What really matter is…

There’s an awful lot of chatter this time of year about things that, ultimately, don’t matter. The third QB, the 6th or 7th WR, the 4th tight end. Yes, these are real position and roster battles, but do they matter? Your 6th or 7th wide receiver won’t be active most weeks and if they are, they’ll only see playing time on special teams. Plus, let’s be real, if our third QB gets any game action, that means things have gone off the rails.

Invest in rookies

It’s possible the Packers will opt to carry only 3 tight-ends. At this point, rookies Tucker Kraft and Luke Musgrave are roster locks based on their draft status. That means veterans Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis may be fighting for one job, depending on if they call Deguara a TE or a FB. What really matters: is getting Musgrave and Kraft as much playing time as possible. Tight end is one of the toughest positions to step into in the NFL. We already know the potential upside of Deguara and Davis is fairly limited.

RB Tyler Goodson continues to make plays in camp. Rookie Lew Nichols is a 7th round draft pick, and Brian Gutekunst is known for keeping his draft picks. What really matters is: a healthy Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon so Goodson and Nichols don’t become primary players this year.

We still don’t know a realistic return date for Eric Stokes due to his foot and knee injury. What really matters is 7th round draft pick Carrington Valentine reminds some of us of a rookie free agent who once started a Super Bowl for the Packers. How happy would the Packers be if Valentine is even close to as good as Sam Shields?

Elgetron & Bak

The Packers have enviable depth on the offensive line. Yosh Nijman, Josh Myers and Zach Tom are battling for two starting jobs. Caleb Jones, Rasheed Walker and Luke Tenuta are solid tackle prospects who could make many NFL rosters. Even Sean Rhyan, who, like me, many had written off, should make the final roster. What really matters is: good health from left guard Elgton Jenkins and maximizing the playing time of David Bakhtiari, clearly the teams’ best lineman.

Brian Gutekunst got some lousy reviews for taking QB Sean Clifford in the 5th round. Alex McGough has done little in the NFL but was named MVP of the USFL. Both have looked competent in camp. What really matters is: Jordan Love, Jordan Love and Jordan Love. Like most NFL teams, the Packers odds of success drop through the floor if they lose their starter for more than a game or two.

Let the man kick

Rookie kicker Anders Carlson has had some rough days. He’s also shown a strong leg, with some reporters saying the ball “explodes off his foot.” What really matters is: do the Packers have the patience and the stomach to deal with rough days from Carlson? As with Jordan Love, Carlson needs a long leash. Don’t repeat the Vikings mistake by panicking and cutting a legit talent like they did with his brother Daniel. Worst case scenario, there are free agent kickers out there.

Lukas Van Ness, Kingsley Enagbare, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary fresh off the PUP list can give the Packers a formidable pass rush. What really matters is caution with Rashan Gary. Players rarely perform at their peak ability until 18 months past an ACL surgery. I’ll be just fine if Gary isn’t active for the first few games.

Like 1967-the Summer of Love

Jordan Love has had an up and down camp. Sometimes he’s wowed with great passes. Other times he’s misses a big throw or hits defenders in the numbers with interceptions. What really matters is patience and progress. By the time the Packers visit Detroit on Thanksgiving, we should have a pretty good idea of what’s possible for the first-time starter.

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