Position breakdown: Special teams

Crosby and Ryan give the Packers a leg up, and the reserve linebackers key the return and coverage units.

Here is a breakdown of the Green Bay Packers' special teams.

Depth chart: Kicker: Mason Crosby. Punter: Jon Ryan. Snapper: To be determined. No. 1 kickoff returners: Will Blackmon and Jordy Nelson. Punt returner: Blackmon.

Strength or weakness?: Strength. This often-overlooked area helped the Packers win a couple games this year, and that should be the case again this season, assuming the new snapper is reliable.

Crosby's leg looks stronger and more accurate after leading the NFL in scoring last year as a rookie. Ryan, whose 44.4-yard average last season was fourth-best in team history, needs to be more consistent, especially when he's punting from inside of midfield.

The coverage units should be superb, with defensive end Jason Hunter and linebackers Tracy White, Abdul Hodge, Desmond Bishop and Brandon Chillar leading the charge. That group, along with fullbacks Korey Hall and John Kuhn, will open the holes for Blackmon, who is a Pro Bowl talent in the return game.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com

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