Packers minicamp: Three observations

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- I spent a good portion of Tuesday picking up information and background for future blog posts on the Green Bay Packers. But I've never been good at keeping secrets, so let me pass along the gist of several topics I plan to expand on later:

  1. The Packers have committed to James Starks as their primary running back. Ryan Grant's locker is now occupied, indicating his return is not in the team's plans, and Tuesday, Starks took the first-team repetitions while second-year back Alex Green continued his recovery from knee surgery. Starks has a long injury history, but coach Mike McCarthy is clearly prepared to take that risk. McCarthy: "He's a young raw guy that needs to play. If he can stay healthy, I think he'll make a significant jump as a player."

  2. The Packers have taken great measures to increase competition along their defensive line, which naturally makes you wonder why they are not counting more on fourth-year player B.J. Raji. From what I gather, the Packers thought Raji played too many snaps in 2011 -- he played 79.5 percent of plays last season, fifth-most among all NFL defensive linemen -- and hope the personnel influx can help his production. "We really need to get back to quality over quantity there," McCarthy said.

  3. I am no expert, but quarterback Graham Harrell appeared to have decent enough velocity on his throws. More important, there is absolutely no indication that the Packers are considering other alternatives to back up starter Aaron Rodgers. "He's on track to be a darn good quarterback," quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo said.