It’s not all ‘peaches and cream’ for the Green Bay Packers


Clay Matthews’ return will help solidify the Packers’ defense, but there are a plethora of other questions facing the team this offseason.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The Green Bay Packers defensively have an impressive list of players in Datone Jones, Jerel Worthy, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Sean Richardson, Casey Hayward – among others.

It is a very talented and physical group of football players.

On offense, players such as Derek Sherrod, Johnathan Franklin, Andrew Quarless, J.C. Tretter, DuJuan Harris, Bryan Bulaga, Randall Cobb provide another talented list.

Unfortunately, one word sums up all of these players and their success for 2014 … health – or lack thereof.

This list comprises 25 percent of the roster. When compiling this list I noticed just how many questions there are surrounding the Green Bay Packers as they enter their offseason workouts and prepare for the NFL Draft on May 8.

Here are just a few of the questions that arise from the injured players from last season:

• Will Clay Matthews’ second Bennett fracture make him now on the downside of his young career?

• Will Quarless, Sherrod and Worthy come back better now two years removed from their surgeries?

Will Matt Flynn be the Packers backup quarterback in 2014?

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

• Even if healthy, is J.C. Tretter the next starter at center?

• Is DuJuan Harris a novelty act or the real deal (change of pace back)?

• Can Mike Neal and Nick Perry play through injuries and be the impact players we all want them to be, and are capable of being?

• Will Casey Hayward be 100 percent this season?

• Can Datone Jones be great starting this season?

• Can Micah Hyde be a difference-maker at safety?

• Will Sean Richardson be the physical safety the Packers once envisioned?

• Will age (34) catch up with Julius Peppers this season?

• The Packers defensive line is much smaller this season, but faster. Will that hurt or help the run defense?

• Can the Packers be a dominant defense with A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones as the middle liners? (How about replacing them with C.J. Mosley and Chris Borland).

And that’s just the questions on injured players coming back.

Scott Tolzien

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

• What about backup quarterback? Is Scott Tolzien capable of being a reliable number two?

• Is Matt Flynn number two?

• Will Don Barclay be the starting center and Bulaga the starting right tackle?

• Can Morgan Burnett be an impact player?

• Is Davon House ever going to start consistently contributing?

• The jury is out on Josh Boyd – can he produce and be ‘big’ inside?

• How will they adjust to having no bonafide pass catching tight end?

• Who will be the fourth and fifth receivers?

Will A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones do the job for the Packers in 2014?

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

• Is this the year Jarrett Bush gets cut?

A quick glance and thought of the Packers would have us thinking all is hunky-dory, but it’s not.

If most of these questions can be answered positively, it could be a super season. It’s not panic mode by any means, but things aren’t as solid as one might think.

It can be, and I think it will be, but it’s not yet.  Isn’t that is what the offseason is for?