Many Packers fans are still sick over the fact that general manager Ted Thompson was unable to trade for Randy Moss this off-season. Moss-backers felt the veteran receiver could step in immediately and pump life into Green Bay's listless red zone offense with his ability to make big plays.
Moss, instead, was traded by Oakland to New England, leaving the Packers with incumbent playmaker Donald Driver and a handful of younger players with ability, but no proven success in the NFL. However, keep an eye on second-year pro Ruvell Martin.
While opposing defenses will be focusing on Driver and second-year pro Greg Jennings, Martin is in position to have a big season. At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Martin has ideal Moss-like size. Even better, he is much younger (24 years old), and has gotten much more confident and comfortable with Green Bay’s offense this off-season. In a recent interview after an OTA practice, he said he can go to the line of scrimmage knowing what he needs to do on routes, instead of thinking about it as the play is in progress. Big difference, and it should result in a bigger season for Martin.
Martin had 21 catches for 358 yards (17.0 yard avg.) and one touchdown last season, his first in the NFL after spending the 2004-05 training camps with San Diego and the ’05 season on Green Bay’s practice squad. He will be battling rookie James Jones for playing time behind Driver and Jennings, but he should see significant action this season.
With his size and ability to play all three wide receiver positions, Favre may be looking more to Martin, especially, in the red zone, to boost the offense’s productivity. If that happens, the thought of acquiring Moss will be a distant memory.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.