Just one week away from training camp, we preview the Green Bay Packers’ special teams.
This is an area the Packers need significant improvements from last season if they are to bounce back.
Entering training camp, there are a few questions that need to be answered.
Uncertainty at kicker
Until proven otherwise, we can assume Mason Crosby will be kicking field goals and extra points for the Packers in 2019. But unlike in most years, this is anything but a guarantee. The arrival of Sam Ficken creates an interesting training camp battle.
Even if Crosby is considered the overwhelming favorite, if he struggles at camp, the Packers might decide to make a change at kicker. He’ll need to play well over the next few weeks.
Who will return punts and kickoffs?
Another question is who the Packers will choose to return punts and kicks.
Trevor Davis is certainly an option, especially if he sees an expanded role in Matt LaFleur’s offense. Davis will be competing for a role on offense at training camp, and a successful summer could also land him a key role on special teams.
But would the Packers be willing to keep him on the roster just for him to play special teams?
Another candidate is Jaire Alexander, who returned 43 punts at an average of 9.9 yards per return, and also had one touchdown, at Louisville. And don’t forget about Jawill Davis, who returned 12 punts and seven kicks for the New York Giants last season, averaging 7.4 yards on punt returns and 24.4 yards from kickoffs.
This will be a competition to watch at training camp.
JK Scott the man in year two
One area without any questions is at punter. Second-year JK Scott is the only punter on the roster, so he enters training camp with the confidence of the coaching staff. Unless he struggles this summer and forces the team to bring in another punter, the job will be his once again.
And that’s the right call. While inconsistent in his rookie season, Scott played well enough with an average of 44.7 yards per punt in 2018.
A fifth-round pick last year, the Packers will be hoping Scott makes a year two jump.