Packers position preview: Tight ends

July, 17, 2014
7/17/14
12:00
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Between now and the Green Bay Packers' first training camp practice on July 26, we will break down each position group.

Next up is the tight end group.

Returning players: Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor, Brandon Bostick, Jake Stoneburner

Gone from last season: Jermichael Finley (unsigned)

New this season: Richard Rodgers (third-round pick), Colt Lyerla (undrafted free agent), Justin Perillo (undrafted free agent)

Position coach: Jerry Fontenot (third season, previously was an offensive assistant in 2006, assistant offensive line coach from 2007-10 and running backs coach in 2011)

Bush
Finley
Biggest issue: Finley was one of the most dynamic tight ends in the NFL before he sustained a season-ending (and possibly career-ending) neck injury on Oct. 20 against the Browns. The Packers struggled to replicate his production in the passing game. With Finley still unsigned, they will need to look elsewhere for a player who can make plays deep down the seam and also take the short and intermediate routes and break tackles for extra yards. The athletic and powerful Finley was able to do both.

Player to watch: Rodgers was perhaps the most impressive rookie in the offseason practices, making difficult catches look easy. One member of the team's personnel department predicted Rodgers would be the opening-day starter ahead of Quarless.

Quarless
Medical report: Quarless missed all the offseason practices due to an undisclosed injury.

Help wanted: The Packers not only have an opening for a starter but also are looking for another playmaker to emerge. That could be Lyerla, who went undrafted and unsigned until he parlayed a tryout with the Packers into a roster spot. Although he did not stand out in the offseason practices, he has big-play ability. Or it could be Bostick, who averaged 17.1 yards per catch in limited action last season.

Quotable: "I think that we are pretty wide open at this point," Fontenot said of his group. "I think that guys have shown some progress, and those guys warrant a much bigger look. Once we get to training camp, we'll kind of have an idea of what the rotation will be and how we give guys reps."

Previous installments:

Monday: Quarterbacks

Tuesday: Running backs

Wednesday: Receivers

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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