Packers: Five players to watch vs. Bears in season opener
By Jesse Fry
3. Kenny Clark
As much as the Packers would like to get the offense going by way of the run, the Bears would like to do the same for Mitch Trubisky.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy would love to get rookie David Montgomery going early and take some pressure off his young quarterback. The Bears have a two-headed monster at running back with Tarik Cohen and Montgomery, and if the Packers want to corral those two, it starts up front in the middle of the defense.
Kenny Clark is a budding star on the defensive line. His play has grown and gotten better each season and he looks to assert his dominance this year and earn a big money deal. In his lone showing of the preseason, Clark didn’t look like the dominant guy we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, but it was just the preseason and he will turn it up on Thursday.
If Clark can eat up double teams against the run, Blake Martinez and the rest of the D will have clear paths to the ball carriers to limit their gains. Clark will also be one of the star players in pass defense. Clark can provide a push up the middle in order to make Trubisky uncomfortable in the pocket.
With Mike Daniels now gone, Clark will have to be the leader on the line. Clark and Dean Lowry are the elder statesmen on the defensive line now and will need to set the tone the way Daniels did in his tenure with the Packers. If Clark can continue his upward trajectory, the big money will come. If Clark can play to his potential on Thursday, it could be a long night for the Bears offense.