Green Bay Packers capsule
GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Green Bay, Wisconsin
LAST YEAR: Offense stumbled following season-ending knee injury in preseason to WR Jordy Nelson and struggles of RB Eddie Lacy. QB Aaron Rodgers' 92.7 passer rating was lowest of career since taking over as starter in 2008. Coach Mike McCarthy took back play-calling duties late in season, though Packers still ended up losing last two games of regular season, and four-year run atop NFC North ended. Improved defense led by DL Mike Daniels and LB Clay Matthews helped make up for offense's shortcomings, while young secondary took another step forward.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: TE Jared Cook, DL Kenny Clark, LB Blake Martinez, OL Jason Spriggs.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: DL B.J. Raji, WR James Jones, FB John Kuhn, QB Scott Tolzien, TE Andrew Quarless, CB Casey Hayward.
CAMP NEEDS: Packers will proceed slowly in camp with Nelson as a precaution, though McCarthy has marveled about Nelson's work ethic in rehab. Lacy hopes to bounce back after slimming down in offseason. Matthews is headed back to outside linebacker, meaning Packers are looking for stability again on inside. Fourth-round draft pick Blake Martinez will get look.
EXPECTATIONS: If Nelson comes back healthy as expected and Lacy returns to form, Packers should be potent again. They're always threat to make deep playoff run with Rodgers behind center. Return of DL Letroy Guion and addition of first-round pick Clark help ease loss of Raji. But Matthews should be happy to be back outside to rush passer.
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