Packers: 5 things to watch in preseason opener against Titans

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 03: Brett Hundley
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 03: Brett Hundley /
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Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark, Reggie Gilbert
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

3. Pass rush depth

Clay Matthews and Nick Perry form a strong starting pair at outside linebacker, but it’s been clear all offseason the Packers need a couple of their young edge rushers to step up. The two obvious candidates are Vince Biegel and Reggie Gilbert.

Biegel is a second-year player coming off an injury-hit rookie season. He was a fourth-round pick last year. Gilbert was given an opportunity late last season and impressed.

And he’s been performing well this summer, too.

Based on various reports, Gilbert was a standout player at Family Night. Here’s a tweet by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Gilbert was also part of the “stock up” category in Packers Wire‘s stock up, stock down article following Family Night. He will be one of the top players to watch in the preseason opener against Tennessee.

Another player to watch is linebacker James Hearns, who the Packers claimed off waivers on Saturday. Hearns will be competing for a spot on the roster, and a strong preseason would certainly help his case.

The Packers’ pass rush depth is a concern. But if Gilbert continues to impress, and the team can get contributions from the likes of Biegel and Hearns in preseason, the pass rush will look much stronger entering the regular season.