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25.09.2019 05:02
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst Antworten

GREEN BAY Dexter Williams Jersey , Wis. (AP) — insisted he went into the NFL draft prepared to go for the best available player with each of Green Bay’s eight picks.He thinks that plan worked out well for its biggest need: Defense.“I feel really good right now” about the defense, said Gutekunst on Saturday after finishing his second draft with Green Bay.“These guys have to come together as a team, and that takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I’m excited about (second-year defensive coordinator) Mike Pettine and the second year in the system, but the additions we made, I think we’re very optimistic about what these guys can do.”First-round picks Michigan edge rusher Rashan Gary and Maryland safety Darnell Savage, who the Packers traded up to get, should have an immediate impact for Pettine.On Saturday, three of the Packers’ four picks were defensive players: Texas A&M defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, Toledo cornerback Ka’dar Hollman and TCU inside linebacker Ty Summers.“I think we’ve added a lot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball,” Packers first-year head coach Matt LaFleur said. “I think we definitely upgraded our ability to rush the passer. Being an offensive coach, there’s nothing harder on an offense Max Scharping Jersey , especially if you can rotate guys through.”In his first year as defensive coordinator, Pettine’s injury-filled unit finished the season ranked 18th in total defense (354.4 yards per game) and 22nd in scoring defense (25.0 points per game). In his previous seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, Pettine had never had a group finish outside the top 10 in total defense.Having already added three projected starters on defense in free agency in outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith and safety Adrian Amos, the Packers have only a few projected defensive contributors who are older than 26: Cornerback Tramon Williams (35), defensive lineman Mike Daniels (29) and outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell (27).“Again, a lot of these guys — last year’s draft — and some of the guys we acquired … obviously there’s an adjustment period,” Gutekunst said. “But I’m really excited about what we have.”WHO THEY GOTWhile the focus turned out to be on defense, the Packers did fill two glaring offensive needs: Offensive line depth and a young, athletic tight end. In the second round, they took Mississippi State center/guard Elgton Jenkins, who should compete for the starting right guard job. In the third , they got Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger, who will develop behind veterans Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis. Sternberger, who the Packers feel can be both an effective pass catcher and in-line blocker, could flourish in LaFleur’s system.“Jace, he’s got a pretty cool skill set. He’s a tight end who can separate,” LaFleur said. “That becomes a little bit of a matchup nightmare for a defense.”SURPRISE MOVEGutekunst used both of the team’s fourth-round picks to trade up to get Savage. Gutekunst said he had to make that trade to ensure he got him — “I know for a fact we would not have gotten him at 30,” he said — but it did make for a difficult morning.“Historically, we’ve tried not to have those gaps,” Gutekunst said. “It was a long wait. But our numbers were strong, which was nice.”HOW THEY DIDWhen he watched the Packers defense last season, Gutekunst felt Pettine didn’t have what he really needed — versatile players. And now Gutenkunst feels he’s given Pettine a more flexible crew.“Mike’s big on moving pieces Cullen Gillaspia Jersey , and I thought we needed to get a lot more pieces for him to move around,” Gutekunst said. “I feel much better now than I did previously.”WHAT’S NEXT?Having been more active in free agency than they had been under Gutekunst’s predecessor, Ted Thompson, the Packers have most of the pieces they plan to go into training camp with. That said, Gutekunst has said from the moment he got the GM job that he will use every avenue of player acquisition, and the team also has a history with undrafted players contributing.The team did stand pat at wide receiver, but having picked three receivers in last year’s draft, that wasn’t entirely surprising. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — There’s been no such thing as a sophomore slump for Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara.The two NFC South running backs have followed up strong rookie campaigns with even better second seasons for the Panthers and Saints, who’ll meet Monday night in a game with big playoff ramifications for both teams.McCaffrey has 926 yards rushing and 701 yards receiving. He has a chance to join Roger Craig and Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk as the only running backs in NFL history to post 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.Kamara Tytus Howard Jersey , the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year, has 1,384 yards from scrimmage and needs five scores in the final three weeks for a 20-touchdown season.“They’re both highly versatile players,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees . “So, great in the run game. They’ve got great instincts and a great feel for making cuts, breaking tackles, just a level of elusiveness that’s pretty unique. And then their ability to catch balls and really be receivers outside the pocket is very unique as well.”The only difference in the two this season has been in the win-loss column. The Panthers and Saints have been heading in opposite directions since early November.Carolina (6-7) has lost five straight — despite 747 total yards and eight touchdowns from McCaffrey during that span — and is in dire need of a win to keep its slim playoff hopes alive . Kamara and backfield mate Mark Ingram have New Orleans (11-2) out in front in the NFC and looking to stay a step ahead of the Los Angeles Rams in the battle for the top seed and home-field advantage in theplayoffs.Both teams will be counting on their all-purpose backs down the stretch.“Oh man, he’s a heck of a player,” McCaffrey said of Kamara.McCaffrey said he spends some of his off days studying film on Kamara and looking at some of what he does to see if he can incorporate it into his own game.“It’s been fun watching him and it’s kind of cool, a lot of similarities obviously in our game,” McCaffrey said. “He’s a good one to watch.”McCaffrey was Carolina’s first-round pick in 2017 Rock Ya-Sin Jersey , while Kamara slipped to the Saints in the third round.Kamara said he and McCaffrey do a lot of the same things, yet still have different styles. But he too keeps an eye on what other backs from the Class of 2017 are doing in the NFL, including McCaffrey.“Christian is a great back,” Kamara said. “We came in in the same class so I think it is just respect for all backs that we came in with whether it’s Christian or Leonard (Fournette) or Dalvin (Cook) or anybody. We all kind of watch each other. We talk in the offseason. He’s having a great year and definitely doing a lot of good things. So I see it.”McCaffrey and Kamara have joined Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley as the league has put added value in recent years on versatile running backs.Saints coach Sean Payton said that with the formations and the running schemes in the NFL that have begun to resemble college football in terms of zone reads and run-pass option plays “those type of players are a handful.”“He’s very gifted in the passing game, he’s got exceptional vision, and I think he runs with good balance and power,” Payton said of McCaffrey.“You see him in goal line situations, short-yardage situations. He’s a guy that’s very difficult to defend in space, and I think that’s the same way Alvin is. I think that those are explosive guys that can change the field position very quickly.”

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