The Green Bay Packers' secondary looked a little bit different on day 1 of training camp than it did much of last season. After the release of Charlie Peprah, who started most of the year at safety last season, M.D. Jennings worked with the first string defense in the nickel, while Charles Woodson was at safety in the base defense. Also, Jarrett Bush started at corner opposite of Tramon Williams with the fist team in place of Sam Shields.
Bush also started in place of Shields on early downs in the Divisional playoff loss to the Giants. Bush was in on run downs, while Shields went in on obvious 3rd down passing situations. Shields will have to win his job back in camp for sure after his bad sophomore season. Casey Hayward and Davon House are more likely to be the dime back so that leaves Shields and Bush to battle it out to start opposite Williams. The coaches are sending that message to Shields because Bush is a willing tackler and Shields displayed a brutal effort in tackling last season. However, starting Bush opposite Williams is still not an ideal thing at all. While Bush has greatly improved his coverage skills from the beginning of his career he is still somebody you would rather have as a backup. Bush's biggest issue is playing the ball in the air. Often times in the past Bush has been in the right position to make a play but has continually failed to do so. Shields has amazing speed, but his lack of aggression in tackling clearly will not be put up with for another season.
Peprah may have been cut because of the injury to his knee, but it should have a positive effect on the other safeties. Peprah simply did not get the job done last season. He was either out out of position due to a mental error, trailing a receiver in coverage, or not having enough speed to run across the field and make a play on the ball. Peprah does not have the athleticism to be a starting safety and now M.D. Jennings and Jerron MicMillian will have a chance to take the job. Now with Peprah out of the picture they will have all the reps they need to prepare. Jennings has an an year of experience in the defense over McMillian. However, at 6 ft tall and 187 lbs Jennings is very small for the position. Either way one of them will be hard pressed to be a lot worse than Peprah was lat season.