Rodgers sees promise in second-team offense
The Green Bay Packers' second-team offense hasn't exactly been a juggernaut the past few preseasons, but maybe that's about to change.
A week into training camp, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sees talent when he looks down the team's depth chart. A lot has been made of the offense returning all 11 of their preferred starters, but Green Bay returned a lot of experienced reserves, as well.
It starts on the offensive line where four players – Don Barclay, JC Tretter, Lane Taylor and Garth Gerhart – have spent at least one full season on the 53-man roster. Two practice-squad holdovers, Jeremy Vujnovich and Josh Walker, also have a year in the system, too.
Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien, now in his fifth NFL season, has been sharp when running the Packers' two-minute offense. He did it again on Thursday when he connected on a 47-yard pass to rookie Ty Montgomery before hitting Myles White on a 16-yard touchdown off a corner route.
"I think the second unit is really a good unit," Rodgers said. "I think that offensive line for that second unit is as good as we've had here in awhile. And then you've got Myles and Ty out there making a lot of plays for him. That really helps. And then we have a couple of good young tight ends, so it's a good second unit. But Scotty's doing a great job and deserves a lot of credit."
The Packers altered Tolzien's throwing mechanics and footwork, which seems to have increased the zip on his passes. Despite the Packers being banged up at receiver, he's developed a rapport with Montgomery, White and undrafted rookie Jimmie Hunt early on.
Green Bay will have to wait to see who separates themselves when preseason games start to get underway next week, but Rodgers likes what he's seen so far. That's important considering he may wind up playing critical downs with a few of those reserves this season.
"There have been years where you've felt very young but also talented," Rodgers said. "This year, we feel like a little bit more of a veteran team. We still have a lot of talent. It's just working through it. We've got to see who's going to be in the first group when we go two tight ends.
"Who's going to be in the first group when we go four wide receivers? Who's going to be in the first group when we have our Eagle package with two backs and three receivers? That's what camp's all about. It's about making the most of your opportunities."
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.