Many have been critical of the Bears roster during this offseason, yet ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson had some harsh criticisms of his own during the former NFL wide receivers’ recent appearance on NFL Live.
“Quite frankly, this roster sucks,” Johnson said, via BearsWire.com. “That’s the reality of it. It’s not a good roster. There’s no players there. Think about it, they’ve only got two or three players that could probably start on another team.”
The Packers special teams unit was an issue the entire 2021 season, and it was magnified in their divisional round loss to the 49ers when numerous miscues proved to be the difference in the game. Green Bay prioritized hiring former Raiders interim HC and longtime NFL ST coordinator Rich Bisaccia to turn that unit around and he’s already putting his mark on the team.
“We use the phrase around here, ‘We-fense,’” Bisaccia said via the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “It’s not really offense. It’s not really defense. It’s kind of ‘we-fense.’ It’s us. There’s no other place on the field except for the punt team where you can find a linebacker lined up next to a tight end lined up next to a safety and the running back is the personal protector making all the calls. That’s the only place you find that on the field. There’s offensive players, there’s defensive players and when you get the punt team or kickoff, you get players from offense and defense lining up next to each other. So I think a lot of my success or the success we’ve had on special teams in places I’ve been is really player-driven.”
One key difference will probably be a willingness to use starting players on special teams. Bisaccia’s Raiders ranked first in the NFL in percentage of special teams snaps taken by regular starters on either offense or defense. Green Bay was last in that category in 2021.
“I think at times, you get some of those words thrown out there, but Rich really has a hold of it and really makes it something important,” Packers K Mason Crosby said. “We got Aaron Jones out there playing some PP (punt protection) in the punt stuff and just everybody’s kind of learning what it is, even if we don’t use them throughout the whole season. Guys will know what to do if that time comes and it’s just a cultural thing that Bisaccia’s been really good at in making sure that guys are taking it seriously and know what they’re doing. We’re not holding guys’ hands. You’ve got to go out there and know exactly what’s expected of you and then be accountable.”
KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said recently there was some interest between the Vikings and TE Kyle Rudolph in a reunion, although the veteran just made his choice and signed with the Buccaneers.
“Kyle fully expects to be in some team’s training camp next week,” Wolfson said, via Vikings Wire. “Yes, there has been some dialogue with the Vikings. He’s got multiple agents working on his behalf. I think it’s more them pushing the Vikings idea, but the Vikings haven’t necessarily hung up the phone.”