Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Who's the new wide receiver?

Now that Javon Walker is lost for the season -- and perhaps along with him, the Packers' chances for making the playoffs -- who will the Packers pick up to replace him? Right now, they will rotate Donald Driver at flanker and Robert Ferguson at split end. Antonio Chatman and rookie Terrence Murphy will battle it out for the number 3 spot.

BUT...the Pack will today be working out 7-yr. veteran, Jerome Pathon, recently released by Seattle. Pathon is one of the best free agent wide receivers available. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, other receivers who are available include Scottie Vines, Kelvin Kight, P.K. Sam and Nate Poole. Jacksonville cut Troy Edwards -- the 13th overall pick in the '99 draft -- just before game time on Sunday. He has not been mentioned as a possibility so far, despite being the Jags 2nd leading receiver last year. The Packers also were interested in Koren Robinson, but he just signed a 1-yr. deal with the Viqueens.

If Pathon's workout goes well, the Packers would likely sign him to provide added quality talent, experience, and depth to the receiving corps. He is a proven receiver, a down-field threat, and someone who could help the Packers immediately. The Pack is high on rookie Murphy, but he is coming off injury and will likely only see limited duty this week as he gets his game legs. Murphy needs time to develop. Having another experienced receiver such as Pathon, along with Driver, can perhaps help accelerate the physical talent Murphy possesses into a real gamer.

Will there be a drop off without Walker? Undoubtedly. But how well Pathon or other pick ups, as well as the existing receivers, step up to fill the void will determine in large measure whether the season hopes can be fulfilled. Given the dismal performance in the first game, the offense can only get better.