By Tyler Ruby on June 2, 2014
The road back to the Super Bowl for the Green Bay Packers starts with OTAs. After a strong draft, expect the rookies to push the veterans for playing time, and in some cases, beat them outright. Every coach says that he enjoys competition as it brings the best out of each player. It's no different for the Packers as they head into their OTAs with several battles at key positions on both offense and defense.
Last season, the inside linebacker position was a real weakness for the Green Bay Packers. A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones lack the speed to make a real impact on the run game and in pass coverage. Expect Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington and recent draftee Carl Bradford to compete for time. Bradford could end up being the steal of the draft for Packers, especially if he transitions to the inside with relative ease.
Bryan Bulaga is expected to return from his injury that cost him the entire 2013 season. However, the Packers may have found his replacement on the left side. David Bakhtiari was a third-round pick of the Packers last year, and he impressed in 2013. It's a good problem for Green Bay to have, because the loser of this battle will most likely be on the right side.
The Packers made it clear that they wanted to get more weapons for their quarterback Aaron Rodgers. By drafting Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis, they certainly have a fair share of competition behind Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. Jarrett Boykin, who filled in for Randall Cobb well last year, will certainly have to keep an eye on the receivers behind him.
With the question mark of Jermichael Finley, the Packers re-signed Andrew Quarless in the offseason just so they could have some familiarity at the position. But with Brandon Bostick and recently signed undrafted free agent Colt Lyerla turning heads, the position is up for grabs.
After the departure of Evan Dietrich-Smith this offseason, the center position for the Packers has become a bit of a revolving door. Now the Packers must decide if they want to go with JC Tretter, a fourth-round pick in 2013 out of Cornell, or rookie Corey Linsley. Familiarity between the quarterback and center is crucial, so once they make their decision, hopefully they stick with it.
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