2018 July : Packers Insider

Packers’ Muhammad Wilkerson won’t lack motivation playing against Jets

July 17, 2018 by  
Filed under News

From Ryan Wood, USA Today Network

Muhammad Wilkerson looks forward to playing the Jets this season

Muhammad Wilkerson looks forward to playing the Jets this season

~It’s far too early to foresee whether this year’s version of the J-E-T-S will be worthy of the postseason. But with only one winning season and no playoff appearances since 2010, a stretch in which they’ve been stuck in the shadow of their big-city neighbor New York Giants, there is optimism for the future.

Here are three things to know about the Jets:

Darnold’s development

The Jets could have stood pat with their sixth overall pick and drafted a potential franchise quarterback, but instead they sold the farm to eliminate any risk of missing their target. They moved up three spots to pick third, sending their No. 6 pick along with three second-round picks (one in 2019) to the Indianapolis Colts. The power play netted USC quarterback Sam Darnold, whom many considered the top quarterback in an unprecedented class. (The Cleveland Browns, who picked Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield first overall, thought otherwise.) With Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater added this offseason, the Jets should have time to let Darnold develop. Still, there’s at least a solid chance Darnold could start by late December, especially if the Jets are out of playoff contention. The Jets placed their future on Darnold’s right shoulder. Now, it’s his turn to deliver for a franchise that has long been starved for a franchise quarterback.

Mo’s homecoming

For three seasons, Muhammad Wilkerson gave the Jets one of the top interior pass rushers in the NFL. With 28.5 sacks from 2013-15, including a pair of double-digit sack seasons, Wilkerson signed a five-year, $86 million contract in 2016. Then underperformance and off-field issues — most notably tardiness from team meetings — led the Jets to release him this offseason. Now on a one-year, prove-it deal, Wilkerson is trying to remake his career before turning 30 next year. Better believe he’ll want to prove something to the team that pushed him out the door.

Full story here

Countdown to camp: Backfield has proven options

July 17, 2018 by  
Filed under News

From Mike Spofford, Packers.com

Montgomery, Jones, Williams

Montgomery, Jones, Williams

~GREEN BAY – Running-back-by-committee wasn’t necessarily the Packers’ plan for 2017, but it worked out that way, and pretty well, too.

Amidst injuries and shifting roles, the trio of Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for 1,277 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season. They added 457 receiving yards and three more scores through the air.

The Packers would certainly take that level of production from their backfield again, if not more, and the top three backs are capable of delivering.

The question is who will lead the way, now that Montgomery is back from a wrist injury that landed him on injured reserve late last year, while Jones and Williams are no longer rookies but experienced pros.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy has stated he expects to begin 2018 with the by-committee approach and see where things go from there.

The Packers actually will start the season without Jones, who’s suspended for the first two games. That makes the pecking order in the early weeks less significant, because it’s practically a given both Montgomery and Williams will play, provided they’re healthy.

Last year, Jones was the big-play guy, with touchdown runs of 46 and 20 yards and a 5.5-yard average; Williams was the grinder, leading the group with 153 carries for 556 yards; and Montgomery was the veteran showing them the way, particularly with pass-protection duties.

Heading into the new year….  Full story here