Johnnie Gray

I'm no different from any other Green Bay Packers fan. This off-season I felt we needed a couple of impact players on offense and defense to take this team, not just back to the playoffs but to the ultimate goal which is the Super Bowl.<p>

With Corey Bradford gone to Houston, the need for speed came with the acquisition of Terry Glenn, a tough wide receiver with Antonio Freeman tenacity to go inside but with great speed to force the opposition to know where he is at all times. With this speed and awareness the Packers are in desperate times trying to find the number two receiver. Can they re-sign Freeman? Is Robert Ferguson the real deal?

On Freeman, yes, he's lost a step or two but what I'm interested in is his ability to get open. With Glenn opposing defensive coordinators probably will game plan against the quick score, and short yardage plays with Freeman. When I think of what could happen with these two in the game I get goose bumps. Do any of you remember James Lofton and John Jefferson? James had world-class speed and athleticism and J.J. was slow, quick and very smart. The key was that they were both veterans and complemented each other well.

I'm not yet convinced on Ferguson. I've heard and seen how good an athlete he is but not where it counts, and that is on the field of play. I was disappointed to say the least by not having him out there in more three and four wide receiver sets. If he's that good then the opposition would have taken notice and made adjustments, or he would have been left alone and made them pay for an easy score.

On the defense the Packers locked up Joe Johnson, a bonafide 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end that has proven to stop the run and has shown the ability to have a pass rush with 21 sacks in the last two years. I have to believe that Jamal Reynolds – the Packers first round selection last year – is in town working on his strength and weight. Johnson, being 29 years old, could be a mentor for Reynolds should the defensive lineman demonstrate that he's willing to work hard and prove that indeed he was the choice after such a disappointing first year.

Vonnie Holliday's consistent play last year proved his solidity on the defensive line. Should Gilbert Brown come back the defensive and offensive lines could be the strongest units on the field.

Without knowing at this time the signing of veterans and free agents it's tough to make a pick for the draft. If the draft were tomorrow I'd have to go for a free safety. LeRoy Butler's injury and age has got to considered. I blew out my knee in the middle of my career and they drafted safeties for the next two years, just the nature of the business.

With the hard hitting of Bhawoh Jue and Billy Jenkins at that position last year it should make for an interesting decision, especially should they decide to go with a taller safety.

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