Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, center, throws during
the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against
the St. Louis Rams, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in St. Louis.
GREEN BAY —
Aaron Rodgers likes what he sees when he looks around the Green
Bay Packers' No. 1 offense: Familiar faces.
With running back
Eddie Lacy in the backfield, top wide receivers Jordy Nelson and
Randall Cobb entrenched and first-year starting center JC Tretter
established as the clear-cut choice in the middle of the line,
continuity has reigned throughout training camp on offense. It's
been the most consistent group for Rodgers since he became the
team's starting quarterback in 2008.
exception is at tight end, where the Packers are still trying to
determine roles preparing for Friday night's home preseason game
suffered a career-threatening neck injury last October and remains
a free agent amid uncertainty as to whether he will ever resume
to replace him has included fifth-year veteran Andrew Quarless,
who started 10 games last season; rookie third-round pick Richard
Rodgers, who has started each of the first two preseason games;
Brandon Bostick, who played in 11 games last season, his first on
the 53-man roster; and Jake Stoneburner and Ryan Taylor, both of
whom have played more on special teams than on offense.
end, undrafted rookie free agent Colt Lyerla, suffered a knee
injury Aug. 2 and is expected to be on injured reserve this
they're just putting it out there for the taking," said
Quarless, who had back-to-back games in which he caught six passes
for 66 yards and a touchdown last December, in victories over
Dallas and Atlanta. "Coming back into it, I knew it was
something I was going to have to earn."
The tight end
rotation last week at St. Louis had Richard Rodgers starting the
game and playing all 12 plays during the opening touchdown drive,
although he did not catch a pass. He had one catch for 10 yards in
the preseason opener at Tennessee.
Asked if a rookie
could be the team's every-down tight end, tight ends coach Jerry
Fontenot said: "I think he has the tools to, yeah. Again,
we've got a ways to go to get there. But he certainly has the
Bostick took over
on the second series but suffered a lower leg injury and departed
after four plays. Quarless entered and had a 35-yard catch that
set up a field goal.
like the growth (at the tight end position). I think that group
jumped out in the spring and I think they carried it on throughout
the training camp," coach Mike McCarthy said.
While the Packers
have historically kept four to five tight ends on the roster
during McCarthy's previous eight seasons, they usually have
defined roles and Finley was the unquestioned starter when
Now, the position
is wide open with just over two weeks to go until the Sept. 4
regular-season opener at Seattle.
in the room gets an opportunity to step up," Fontenot said.
"And every opportunity you get, you need to make the most of
it because I think that the competition in our room is thickening.
It's going to be a tough decision come the final week of the