Offensive Continuity ‘Great Advantage’

Of the 176 possible starts from the Packers' offense in 2014, 172 are under contract for the 2015 season.

Photo by Benny Sieu/USA TODAY

The Green Bay Packers led the NFL in scoring, and that high-powered offense returns virtually intact for 2015.

The Packers retained two of the top free agents in this year’s class, receiver Randall Cobb and right tackle Bryan Bulaga.

Of the 176 possible starts from the offense, 172 are under contract. Receiver Jarrett Boykin, who started the first three games, was not brought back and joined the Panthers. Derek Sherrod started the Week 2 game against the Jets and was released at midseason.

“The team did a good job bringing back Bryan Bulaga, re-signing John Kuhn (and) re-signing Randall Cobb,” two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last week. “We have a lot of veteran leadership and guys in important positions, but I think (what it means) is yet to be seen. There’s always going to be prognostications about records, and many times around here the words ‘Best offense,’ or ‘Best group’ of a certain position has been said, and you kind of have to temper your expectations until you put the pads on, and even still until you have some live preseason action, and even still what happens when it really counts.”

Based on the play counts at ProFootballFocus.com, Boykin played 227 snaps and Sherrod 142. Also missing from the offense are quarterback Matt Flynn (68 snaps), running back DuJuan Harris (51), tight end Brandon Bostick (34), receiver Kevin Dorsey (12) and tight end Ryan Taylor (10).

That’s a total of 544 snaps that are out the door.

What does that mean? The Packers retained a league-high 95 percent of their offensive snaps. Only four other teams were even at greater than 90 percent.

Last season, due to the stability brought forth by production and health, the Packers fielded 111 unique offensive lineups, according to league data. Only Pittsburgh (108) had more. Green Bay’s top 11 personnel groupings return intact. Those 11 lineups alone account for 65.0 percent of last year’s snaps.

That should all bode well, obviously, with Rodgers again surrounded by an abundance of proven talent. And it should be a big benefit as the Packers place a greater emphasis on starting fast after opening 1-2 in 2014, 1-2 in 2013 and 203 in 2012.

“It’s a great advantage,” associate head coach Tom Clements said last week. “Guys playing together, they have a lot of experience, they’ve been successful together. It’s just a matter of knocking the rust off and getting back ready to play. When we get to training camp, we want to have our foot on the gas and be in midseason form. We’d like to be there at the beginning of the season rather than wait until midseason.”

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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