Green Bay Packers must improve tight end depth


It’s early, but so far the Green Bay Packers training camp is off to a good start. Their rookies have been performing well by some reports and the Pro Bowl players like Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, and Clay Matthews have been lighting it up, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Packers don’t have many obstacles in their way toward a run to a Super Bowl championship, but there is one obstacle that is almost becoming an eye sore for the Packers.

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Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing the Packers this training camp is figuring out ways to fill the void that will be left by some of their suspended players. It will be a little bit easier for the Packers to fill the void left by Letroy Guion and Datone Jones, because they do have some depth at the defensive line position.

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It also helps that Dom Capers uses different packages where it only requires two defensive lineman or sometimes just one.

It will be harder for the Packers to fill the void, however, if tight end Andrew Quarless is suspended for any amount of time.

Even before Quarless’ legal issues, if anyone looked at the Packers depth chart, the one area that the Packers really could improve on was the tight end position. Now that Quarless is most likely facing some sort of discipline that most likely includes a suspension, the Packers are really lacking with talent in their tight ends.

Quarless was expected to be in a battle with Richard Rodgers for the starting position and it looks like it’s now Rodgers’ spot to lose. Behind those two, the Packers tight ends on their roster include: Second-year player Justin Perillo, and rookies Harold Spears, Kennard Backman, and Henry Mitchell.

When you look at that depth chart, the talent and experience of this group is severely lacking.

The Packers would be wise to look elsewhere to find and add a veteran to this group. The Packers have an explosive offense and a lot of weapons to go around, but that doesn’t mean that they can get by with their current tight ends group. The tight end position could be that safety valve for Aaron Rodgers.

Opposing defenses will concentrate much of their time on Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Eddie Lacy. Having a capable tight end that will take advantage of the opportunities that will most definitely be there for him will help this offense be even better.

Richard Rodgers has the possibility to develop into a very good tight end, but that doesn’t mean the Packers shouldn’t improve the depth behind him. The Packers brought in veteran Jermaine Gresham for a visit before training camp started, but they decided to pass on signing him. After Gresham, the free agency market for veteran tight ends is severely lacking.

Fred Davis is available, but he brings a long a lot of baggage that the Packers may not want to gamble with. The best option for the Packers to look for a veteran presence is Zach Miller … as long as he can stay healthy.

Miller would be a nice addition for the Packers, though. He brings a veteran, winning presence to a young Packers tight ends group. The only downfall with Miller is his health.

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  • The Packers might decide to wait until after training camp cuts commence to look for a veteran to add to their group. Regardless, the Packers would be wise to look elsewhere to upgrade this group because if there is an injury to Rodgers and Quarless is suspended, the talent level drops down exponentially.

    The Packers would no doubt like to know what is going to happen with Quarless, and the sooner the better. The Packers may decide not to make a move until they know what is going to happen with Quarless, but it’s a gamble the Packers shouldn’t attempt to make.

    The Packers needed to improve their depth at the tight end position before the Quarless issue, but it now becomes more imperative with a looming suspension. The Packers can’t afford to start the season with Rodgers and possibly two unproven tight ends backing him up if Quarless is suspended.

    If the Packers decide not to bring in a veteran, it puts more pressure on guys like Perillo and Backman to contribute early. It will be a crucial training camp for those two players, as they need to show the team they would be capable of stepping in and helping the team when they are called upon to do so.

    Richard Rodgers is the starter for the long-term for the Packers, but the Packers need to improve their depth behind him and not try to get by with the depth they have as they wait out with whatever happens to Quarless. Add a cheap, veteran free agent to this group like a Zach Miller and the Packers fill one of the few holes this team has.

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