Green Bay Packers are making moves to optimize their roster for the ongoing NFL season. One of the key changes is the re-signing of outside linebacker Justin Hollins.
Hollins had been with the team earlier this season but was released. His return is seen as a strategic move to bolster the Packers’ defense, which has been under scrutiny.
Conversely, the team has parted ways with running back Patrick Taylor. This decision comes amid criticism of the Packers’ running game.
The offensive line has faced backlash for its poor run blocking, and head coach Matt LaFleur has been under the microscope for his play-calling. Specifically, he has been criticized for not putting his running backs in situations where they can succeed.
The focus of the Packers’ offense is currently on Aaron Jones, particularly the health of his hamstring. Jones is a dual-threat, effective in both the running and passing games. His performance often dictates the flow of the Packers’ offense, and it’s clear that Taylor was not able to fill that role effectively.
These roster moves reflect the Packers’ intent to strengthen their defense and address issues in their running game. While Hollins’ return is a welcome addition to improve the defensive lineup, Taylor’s release indicates dissatisfaction with the team’s ground attack.
The Youth Dilemma
The Packers’ offense is notably young, with only three players aged 27 or older actively playing. This youthfulness has led to a series of challenges, including poor execution, miscommunication, and penalties. Head coach Matt LaFleur acknowledges these issues, stating recently that the Pack often finds itself in difficult situations due to negative plays or penalties.
Criticism from a Former Packer
Former Packers backup quarterback Kurt Benkert has openly criticized Matt LaFleur’s offensive scheme, calling it “outdated.” Benkert, who was a practice squad player for most of 2021 and briefly made the active roster, suggests that the team’s current struggles are more about the scheme than the players. He also reveals that he had disagreements with LaFleur during his time with the team.