Observation deck: O-line goes from weakness to strength

The Packers' offensive line has gone from being a weakness to a strength, writes John Clayton.

Originally Published: August 2, 2007
By John Clayton |
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Five observations from Green Bay Packers training camp, gleaned from the team's practices:

1. Jackson hoping to be a thriller
Brandon Jackson is an interesting choice at running back. He had a relatively unknown career at Nebraska and finished the season as a backup. Now he has a chance to get a starting job with a Packers team that lost Ahman Green through free agency. He's not tall and he doesn't have blazing speed, but he's a tough runner and a hard worker. During his first Packers practice, he had trouble catching the ball, dropping two. Vernand Morency is expected to be the starter, but he banged his shoulder at the start of camp and missed a few practices. Morency, according to coach Mike McCarthy, fits the Packers' zone blocking scheme because he's good at making one cut and going. What the team is missing, though, is the explosiveness at the position. That's where Green spoiled the Packers. On any given snap, he could break off a long touchdown run. Plus, he was a leader and one of the hardest workers on the team. Jackson can get to the outside, and when he does, can give a linebacker a hip move that might free him. What he appears to lack is the speed to break the long ones.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer