On the radar: Packers LB options

June, 24, 2010
6/24/10
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A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

As he wrapped up mandatory minicamp this week, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy refused to rule out the possibility of acquiring a veteran outside linebacker. (I also didn't see where he ruled out bungee-jumping from the top row of Lambeau Field, but I haven't caught up on all of the news stories yet.)

Keith Bulluck
Don McPeak/US PresswireSigning a veteran free agent like Keith Bulluck would go against the norm for GM Ted Thompson.
"We'll continue to evaluate that and watch what goes on around the league," McCarthy said -- of the linebacker situation, not bungee-jumping.

We all know how rarely the Packers seek veteran help from outside the organization. If you look at their roster, you see only one veteran free agent who signed this offseason. And that was safety Charlie Peprah, who spent three seasons with the Packers before joining the Atlanta Falcons last year.

But the Packers' personnel remains in flux at left outside linebacker, and they even gave defensive end Cullen Jenkins some reps there during minicamp. It's been expected that Brad Jones and Brady Poppinga would compete for the starting role in the base scheme, and the truth is that defensive coordinator Dom Capers uses so many sub packages that he can cover for an uncertainty at one position.

So would the Packers break from their usual practices and seek veteran help? ESPN's Adam Schefter recently ranked veterans Adalius Thomas and Keith Bulluck as the best free agents remaining on the market, and Thomas has extensive experience in the 3-4. A trade is also a possibility.

But I think the Packers are in no rush to make a move. The history of general manager Ted Thompson suggests the Packers would prefer to evaluate their current group in the early stages of training camp before looking outside the organization.

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