Third-year Green Bay Packers’ tight end Justin Perillo has played well in training camp leading up to Friday’s preseason opener against Cleveland. And in a continuation of that, Perillo put together a very impressive performance against the Browns, which puts him in a strong position in the battle to be Green Bay’s third tight end.
Perillo, who caught 11 passes for 102 yards last season, hauled in five passes for 52 yards against the Browns and looked good doing it. Perillo helped quarterback Joe Callahan convert multiple third downs and was able to do his damage in the middle of the field, a place the Packers struggled to get the ball consistently last season.
Perillo has been competing with Kennard Backman and a slew of others for last couple spots at tight end on the roster following Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers, who each saw limited action Friday night.
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One thing that helps Perillo’s cause, is that he’s a strong special teamer and is able to contribute in that area of the game and while he isn’t an elite run blocker, he can hold his own.
Yet, at the end of the day, Perillo is going to make the 53-man roster because of his pass-catching skills. Tight end was a big focus last night for the Packers and it might be a sign that head coach Mike McCarthy, who is calling the plays, is ready to get them involved as an answer to the way teams defended the Packers last season.
Blanket man-to-man coverage on the outside and safeties playing over the top, thwarted the Packers offense a season ago and part of the reason why was the team’s inability to attack the seam.
Perillo has always flashed the potential to be effective in that area of the field and he showed that ability once again vs Cleveland. If he continues to play at a high level, he will certainly be on the final 53-man roster and it’s possible, he will keep seeing a more and more footballs come his way.