Lombardi: Take five
With training camps right around the corner, Michael Lombardi provides five subplots that have piqued his interest. More ...
Veteran Charlie Peprah stepped in after Collins was injured and finished third on the team in tackles (94), and his five interceptions ranked second on the team behind Charles Woodson. Peprah has missed offseason workouts with a knee injury, but he has the inside track to start, while Woodson could also play safety in nickel and dime situations.
Joining the competition will be M.D. Jennings, who joined the Packers as an undrafted free agent last summer and played primarily on special teams as a rookie, and Jerron McMillian, a 2012 fourth-round pick from Maine. McMillian will most likely follow Jennings' path and be a core special teams player this season, but he's looking forward to competing for a bigger role in training camp.
"I'm going to learn the playbook as well as I can," McMillian said, according to a Monday report from Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I'm going to know my job and know what everyone else is doing around me to help my job at that position. I'll just go out there and compete, work as hard as I can. That's all I can do."
Dunne notes that the coaching staff likes Peprah's experience and that having dependability and continuity in the back end of the defense figures to give him an edge.
One interesting statistic from the Packers' 2011 season is that neither Burnett nor Peprah had a single penalty called against them, despite official playing-time documents showing that the two combined for 2,014 defensive snaps.