Don’t Sleep on These Five Packers at Training Camp

It’s easy to focus on the star players and new additions. However, don’t forget about these five returning players who will play key roles for the Packers in 2024.
Romeo Doubs
Romeo Doubs / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Jordan Love is back for Year 2 as the starting quarterback. Xavier McKinney and Josh Jacobs were signed in NFL free agency. Jordan Morgan, Javon Bullard and Edgerrin Cooper highlighted a big draft class.

While they’ll be focal points when Green Bay Packers training camp begins on July 22, don’t forget about these five returning players.

WR Romeo Doubs

Christian Watson is healthy. Jayden Reed had a record-setting rookie season. Dontayvion Wicks emerged down the stretch of his rookie season.

And then there’s the steady Romeo Doubs. His first career 100-yard game was a six-catch, 151-yard demolition of the Cowboys in the wild-card playoffs. He finished second on the team with 59 receptions for 674 yards last season and tied Reed for first with eight receiving touchdowns.

Doubs isn’t the biggest receiver. He’s not the fastest, either. But he knows how to get open, generally catches the ball and has a strong rapport with Love.

RG Sean Rhyan

The Packers used their No. 1 pick on Morgan and there’s only one obvious hole on the offensive line, right guard, where Jon Runyan left in free agency. Runyan started all 17 games last season but ceded some playing time to former third-round pick Sean Rhyan.

If the team didn’t think Rhyan was up to the task, the coaches would have ended last year’s timeshare. However, instead of giving Rhyan fewer snaps or none at all down the stretch, the Packers gave him more. Of his 183 snaps in the regular season, 130 came during the final four games. He played another 46 in the playoffs.

Rhyan played with power in the run game and didn’t allow a sack in protection. He has earned his opportunity. It will be up to him to take advantage.

C Josh Myers

Before the draft, ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky said at least one Packers source considers Zach Tom a potential Hall of Fame center.

Tom missed the offseason practices with a torn pectoral, so it’s impossible to know how the Packers would have lined up for OTAs had the unit been at full strength. However, right tackle is a premium position, and former second-round pick Josh Myers is coming off a decent Year 3 and took the No. 1 reps at center throughout the offseason.

“I felt like things started turning for me” last season, Myers said last week. “I was able to string together some good games, and I’m going to keep working, keep trying to get better and, hopefully, they’re excited for me to come out and play this year.”

DT TJ Slaton

Under new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley, Green Bay’s defense is going to go on the attack. From that perspective, defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich compared his unit to the Navy SEALs.

That style should suit Devonte Wyatt in a pairing with Kenny Clark. It also should match the skill-sets of second-year players Karl Brooks and Colby Wooden. However, big TJ Slaton spent most of the offseason running with the No. 1 defense.

“TJ Slaton might be the biggest man-athlete that I’ve ever seen in my life,” Rebrovich said before the start of OTAs. “If you put a basket right here, my man can two-step jump and dunk that basketball. So, is he athletic enough? There’s no question TJ Slaton is athletic enough to play in this scheme and system.”

CB Carrington Valentine

A lot has been written and said about the return of former first-round pick Eric Stokes, who missed almost all of last season due to hamstring issues. Stokes, who lined up across from Jaire Alexander with the No. 1 defense throughout OTAs, is healthy and confident entering minicamp. However, it’s not as if he delivered lockdown coverage throughout OTAs.

The door remains wide open for Carrington Valentine. It’s an apples-to-avocados comparison given their health, but Valentine allowed a 55.6 percent catch rate and one touchdown in 17 games (12 starts) while Stokes allowed an 80.0 percent catch rate and three touchdowns in three games (two starts).

“When you just watch his POA [point-of-attack] tape throughout the season, you don’t really see a rookie. At least I didn’t,” defensive passing-game coordinator Derrick Ansley said of Valentine before OTAs. “Obviously, he has some things he has to clean up, and he knows that and we’ve been working hard attacking those things, but Carrington’s wired the right way.”

More Green Bay Packers News

Packers OTAs: Don’t forget Sean Rhyan | No No. 1 receiver; no worries | Jordan Love under pressure | Greg Joseph’s big-kick historyBo Melton strikes again | Anders Carlson makes splash | Brotherhood and football for Reed, Wicks 

Latest news: PFF’s reason for optimism | Rich Eisen’s Top 10 | One of worst backup QBs | Breakout starToo many INTs to Christian Watson | X-factor and rookie to watch | Fresh look at strength of schedule | All-decade first-round draft 


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Bill Huber

BILL HUBER

Bill Huber, who has covered the Green Bay Packers since 2008, is the publisher of Packer Central, a Sports Illustrated channel. E-mail: packwriter2002@yahoo.com History: Huber took over Packer Central in August 2019. Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillHuberNFL Background: Huber graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played on the football team, in 1995. He worked in newspapers in Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Shawano before working at The Green Bay News-Chronicle and Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1998 through 2008. With The News-Chronicle, he won several awards for his commentaries and page design. In 2008, he took over as editor of Packer Report Magazine, which was founded by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke, and PackerReport.com. In 2019, he took over the new Sports Illustrated site Packer Central, which he has grown into one of the largest sites in the Sports Illustrated Media Group.