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Starters to See Playing Time Preseason Week 2

The Packers head to Baltimore for their first road game of the preseason which will take place Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. (CDT). The team’s starters should also see some playing time against the Ravens, though how many snaps they’ll take is yet to be determined. 

Players like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Aaron Jones should all see action for the offense while free agent acquisitions Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, and Adrian Amos likely will all make their Packers debuts on defense. 

“It’s a different feeling out on the field and you get to get under the lights,” said Amos. “Start to build what we want for the season.

“I guess the measuring stick is how we start to do it in the games, but I feel like we’re progressing each and every day.”

Additionally, Za’Darius Smith, will be returning to face off against the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2015.

During the defensive coaching staff’s press conferences last Friday after the Texans game, outside linebackers coach Mike Smith highlighted the leadership role Z. Smith has taken in the locker room. 

“Z right now, I think everybody is just kind of drawn to him,” said Smith. “I’m excited to see these guys next week when we all get out there.”

Going further, Smith added, “You can’t have enough Za’Dariuses on this football team.” 

The combination of power and strength that Z. Smith possesses is something to keep an eye on and soak in firsthand Thursday night. Immediately, fans will recognize how much different the defense looks with P. Smith and Z. Smith lining up on the edge in place of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. 

That’s part of why the Packers targeted both Smiths in free agency. Their body types align well with what coordinator Mike Pettine is trying to do on defense. Thursday will give us a glimpse at the starters in the second year of Pettine’s scheme. 

Even with the starters expected to make their debuts against Baltimore, it’s evident that the guys who played last Thursday are riding high off their four-turnover performance against the Texans. 

“We have a young defense that sort of feeds off each other’s energy,” said second-year cornerback Tony Brown.

Brown saw plenty of first-team reps throughout the week with Josh Jackson and Kevin King limited (although Jackson returned to practice this past Sunday). He should have Jackson and Jaire Alexander in the rotation with him against the Ravens on Thursday night, along with pro Tramon Williams who is entering his 13th NFL season. 

The Ravens have some talented pass-catchers that will be a good measuring stick against the Packers’ deep secondary. Receiver Marquise Brown, Baltimore’s first-round pick of the draft, possesses great speed and agility. 

Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst are two big-bodied tight ends that will challenge Green Bay’s core of young inside linebackers in pass coverage. Keep an eye on second-year player James Crawford and rookies Ty Summers, Curtis Bolton, and Brady Sheldon as they take snaps opposite Blake Martinez. With the injury to expected starter Oren Burks against the Texans, there’s a big opportunity available these next three preseason games for the remaining inside linebackers. 

Additionally, this might be the NFL’s first look at former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas in a Ravens uniform, someone the Packers are all-too-familiar with. More notable connections? Former Packers quarterback Joe Callahan is now with the Ravens, and running back Aaron Jones’ twin brother Alvin plays inside linebacker for Baltimore. 

Other Packers to keep an eye on heading into Preseason Week 2 include Ka’dar Hollman, Chandon Sullivan, and Will Redmond on defense. All three roster hopefuls had big moments in their NFL debut that they’re hoping to build off of in Baltimore. On offense, watch the way the offensive line comes together. We already know left guard Lane Taylor is battling for his starting job, and now second-round pick Elgton Jenkins has made waves as the highest-rated pass-blocking lineman from Pro Football Focus for Preseason Week 1. Additionally, Justin McCray was the highest-graded center Week 1 and Anthony Coyle was the highest-rated right guard for PFF Week 1

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and a podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieLawler.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lare's picture

Although the schemes will be watered down It'll be interesting to see some of the starters play. The key for this game is to not get anybody injured.

albert999's picture

J-Mo needs to GO
You know, many fans have criticized Ted Thompson in the past for his poor draft picks. Well, in the words of "The Who," "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Of course, I am referring to Brian Gutekunst, the new boss. His two drafts to date have been, at best, mediocre. Selecting J'Mon Moore in the 4th round, when it was known that he has an attention deficit disorder, which caused him to drop many passes in college, was just plain stupidity. Gutekunst could have drafted Michael Gallup, who is doing quite well with the Cowboys, in the 3rd round, had he not traded that pick to Seattle to move-up in the 1st round to pick Jaire Alexander. That trade may have been unnecessary. We will never know though. Even if Alexander had been selected before our pre-trade scheduled pick later in the 1st, we could have walked away with Isaiah Oliver, who will be a starting CB for the Falcons this year. IMO, I'd take Gallup and Oliver any day over Moore and Alexander. Plus, we could have then used our 4th round pick on a TE, for example, Dalton Schultz.

Lare's picture

Isn't this the same post from another thread?

Lphill's picture

And I guess Albert every scratch off lottery ticket you buy is a winner too .

stockholder's picture

A CB set their draft. So a 3rd to move back up was the price. I didn't like the pick of Moore. I liked st.Brown more. They took him in the 6th. I question Moore's speed and hands. He was compared to Adams. Adams made a lot of bread basket catches too. Drops. etc. Moore may never be Adams. But he is big,Tough, and is faster then his time. He doesn't look like he will get injured easy. And that maybe his forte. He will be talked about. But this team will stay with him.

Holecrap's picture

When I read Gutt saying Gary was his guy back in Feb before the draft I wanted to barf. I prayed the pack would pass on this guy the way the 11 before them did.
I'm a long time M fan and this guy was a bum considering the hype. Aka Perry, dominant in hs, not so in college. Perry was rated late two or three not a first.
Gutt is Ted and then some.
12 picks should be pro bowling in year one or two, not in a development program and fill in's.

Since '61's picture

Name an NFL GM who had ever had 12 draft picks make the pro bowl in years one or two. Good luck with that. Thanks, Since ‘61

Rak47's picture

That comment alone let's you know this guy doesn't know his @$$-hole from a hole in the ground. No team has ever had 12 pro bowlers at one time much less 12 from a rookie and second year pool. So over half the NFC Pro Bowl team should be Packers? There's and old saying that goes "better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Fudog's picture

He meant guys picked @ #12 overall; not 12 players.

dobber's picture

"Perry was rated late two or three not a first."

It's been said here many times, sometimes by Al, but Perry was a late riser on many draft boards. He was a legit borderline 1/2. The only ratings that ever matter are 32 of them in NFL team offices. All this shit that gets posted by draftniks is just there to get your blood pumping.

sbransbottom's picture

"New boss, same as old boss"
"Gute is Ted and then some"

Did I read that correctly???

BTW, I don't really see a CB from Alexander's draft class that will end up better than him. Some people just can't be happy. Go play Madden

stockholder's picture

I'm happy to see the starters again. Now we'll see who can work best with them. While the back-up battles go on. No slick tricks should be coming. So many choices in predicting the final 53. But how this offensive Line protects the qb is still my concern. Penalties, should not be tolerated. The importance of making holes and not allowing sacks/pressures, will show if we finally have a wall. Are we soft? Thats the next question. If the game is won in the trenches. Can this defensive line click? Penetration is a must. Getting off blocks will give this opponent all they can handle. The more the trenches win. The more this team will be ready.

Tarynfor12's picture

I'm still optimistic...even more so. This may be vanilla for the offense but getting some insight to how they play together will tell us more. The defense is where my optimism has grow most since it was there that really hurt us in previous seasons, less the Rodgers injuries, and it's near impossible to have not gotten better.

sbransbottom's picture

"near impossible to have not gotten better"

That's exactly how I feel and why I don't understand some people not being at least excited to see what we can do. We won't be worse than last year and that statement is probably true for all three phases of our team really.

Spock's picture

If TARN is optimistic how can anybody else not be, lol. RC must be over the moon :). I know it's just preseason but there certainly is a very positive vibe this year and I've got a feeling we'll be seeing some fun games to watch this year. Go, Pack, Go!

ILPackerBacker's picture

Penalties should not be tolerated.

Amazing how ignorance and stupid phrases live on. "Look - Out Bart" mean anything?

So rather than a hold we allow a free runner at Rodgers in pre season? Rather than retaliating for a cheap shot we tolerate it ?

Stop meaningless cliches for posting something accurate

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