Donald Driver or Tori Gurley? Or better yet, why not both?
The Packers already have a stable of wide receivers that include Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Driver. Jermichael Finley is often slotted as a wide receiver. Gurley awaits on the practice squad. He already turned down an opportunity to play for the Minnesota Vikings last season.
There are numerous reasons for why some fans want nothing more to do with Driver. Is he worth the money at his age? Is he worth the money as a No. 5 receiver? Would he delay the progression of Cobb? Will it prevent them from signing players like Scott Wells or Finley?
I see the points, although I wouldn't necessarily agree. The one argument that I'd vehemently disagree with is that Gurley should be promoted as the No. 5 receiver just because he's younger and has more upside. Personally, I think Gurley should have little-to-no impact on whether Driver stays.
The Packers have been known to use some unorthodox strategies with retaining talent on the 53-man roster. The Packers have started the past two seasons with a depth chart that has at times consisted of 10 linebackers, five tight ends or three fullbacks.
I've always been puzzled by the heavy allotment of tight ends and fullbacks. At most, it makes negligible difference with special teams. The Packers operate a spread offense with at least three wide receivers and a tight end. They often depend on four-and-five receiver sets. I've seen them use these spread formations when they're inside the opponent's goal line.
The Packers have been fortunate in that they haven't suffered many injuries to their wide receivers these past few seasons. Aaron Rodgers has enjoyed the luxury of having a receiving core that has developed great chemistry with him. With the exception of Cobb, all of the receivers have been with the Packers since Rodgers was promoted to starting quarterback in 2008.
My argument is that it isn't a "Driver vs. Gurley" thing as much as it's a "Driver vs. No. 53" thing. The Packers would benefit more from having six wide receivers on their roster as opposed to having five tight ends or three fullbacks. The Packers can't have enough experienced depth at wide receiver when one considers how many four-and-five-receiver formations they use.
Do they really need all those tight ends with Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor and D.J. Williams? Driver and Gurley would both give them more than those tight ends even before potential injuries to top receivers.
Now can they afford him? That's a different story. Driver has informed the media that he's willing to take a pay cut to stay in Green Bay. We'll just have to see where the chips fall after the key free agents have been re-signed or franchise tagged.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs and Nashville Predators. He also follows the Tennessee Titans, his favorite AFC team.
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