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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
As was the case in Green Bay's memorable 2010 campaign, it would appear there are two types of Packers players in 2011.
On one hand, you have a host of Pro Bowl-caliber susperstars, led by QB Aaron Rodgers, considered by numerous leaguewide observers to be a league MVP lock in the making, based on his brilliant play in the first seven games.
On the other hand, you have a host of resourceful, hardworking replacement parts, so to speak — players who have been pressed into larger roles due primarily to injuries, which have continued to take their toll.
Players like Jarius Wynn, a starter this season in four of the first seven games at right end.
Last year the DRE spot was manned mostly by Cullen Jenkins, an established, quality inside pass rusher who signed with the Eagles this offseason as a free agent.
This year the DRE spot was expected to be filled by second-year pro Mike Neal, but the promising 2010 second-round pick has yet to take a snap so far this season due to a preseason knee injury.
Enter Wynn, the team's co-leader in sacks (three) along with LBs Clay Matthews and Desmond Bishop.
"I think I've played pretty well, but there's always room for improvement," Wynn told PFW during a bye-week phone interview. "I've got to play all the double-teams better. I can be better at everything."
What is it, Wynn was asked, that is behind the fact that just about every Packers fill-in the past two seasons has filled the bill so well?
"They get you ready here for situations like that," Wynn said of what has clearly become a win-win situation. "You are told to always be prepared because there's no telling when you might have to be ready to play."
Although the Packers are holding out hope that Neal will be able to make his presence felt this season, Wynn appears to have settled in as the line's primary nickel pass rusher. Having a well-regarded D-line coach like Mike Trgovac has made his job easier, Wynn believes.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'd give him a 10," Wynn said of Trgovac. "He can be hard on you, but he always has the next guy ready to jump in. He's real cool. Everyone knows he was a defensive coordinator at Carolina."