Brandon Saine: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Brandon Saine
Brandon Saine

1) Introduction: After an up-and-down career at Ohio State, Saine signed with the Packers as undrafted free agent on July 28. During the 2011 preseason, no skill player saw more touches than Saine (25; 19 rushes for 51 yards, six receptions for 36). A big back that fits the positional mold of Ted Thompson, Saine was retained on the Packers 8-man practice squad to start the 2011 season.

2) Profile:

Brandon Croft Saine

Position: RB
Height: 5-11
Weight: 220 lbs.
AGE: 23

Career Stats


3) Expectations coming into the season: Expectations are never high for a player who starts the season on the practice squad. With both Ryan Grant and James Starks healthy, and third-round pick Alex Green showing a capacity to contribute on third downs and special teams, Saine looked destined to spend the 2011 season on the Packers’ practice squad.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Injury spawned him a chance. Saine was promoted off the practice squad on Oct. 31 following a season-ending knee injury to Green against Minnesota in Week 8. Saine didn’t get many opportunities (just 75 snaps) in the nine games he was active but did show an ability to both break tackles (team-high 2.7 yards after contact) and catch the football (10 receptions, no drops). His highest carry totals came against New York (six for 16 yards) and Detroit in Week 17 (eight for 28).

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Hardly measurable. 75 snaps is just too small a sample size to have any kind of real impact on a team’s season. In his limited chances, however, Saine never made any huge mistakes or mental gaffes.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Saine was actually the first running back to spell starter Ryan Grant against the Giants. He had one carry for three yards and played five total snaps. With both Grant and Starks healthy, Saine wasn’t expected to do much.


Season Report Card:

(C) Level of expectations met during the season
(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D-) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: D+


Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

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  • Mojo

    Don’t know why he gets a D+. He had way too small a sample size to warrant any grade. Should be “incomplete”.

    • Zach Kruse

      Incomplete would be given to a player who doesn’t register in one or more of our grading guidelines. Saine doesn’t qualify. And by our guidelines, a D+ is exactly where he should be. Got a chance on the 53 by injury, then did very little in 2 and a half months on the active roster.

  • aj

    yeah I’m puzzled by the D+ rating too. I look foward to seeing him in camp next year. Good be a very very good 3rd down back for us….im thinking a C is a more accurate rate.

    • Zach Kruse

      What did Saine do to deserve a C?

      • john driscoll austin texas

        didnt disappoint, solid on special teams, good hands, decent blocking…C+, exceeded practice squad status imo

  • Savage57

    It’s always puzzled me why the Packers have never been able to find that break-out back that some teams like Denver do.

    Oh well, I guess in Green Bay we just grow QB’s!

    Must be something in the water.

  • Dan

    I hope this kid can contribute next season. It will be interesting to see what TT does with Grant. If he’s planning on cutting him and going with Starks, Green and Swine, that would leave us with 2 unknowns and and injury prone guy at the RB position. I consider Kuhn a FB.

  • Dan

    that’s Saine not swine…Damn spell check….by the way, what’s his 40 time?

    • Chad Toporski

      Freudian slip? I think we know how you really feel about Saine now…

  • Lucas

    I’m confused by what you mean in grading “Level of expectations met during the season”. If he had very little expectations, didn’t he meet them? If the bar was set low and he cleared the bar…Then the grade should be an A. Or is this grade more of a performance grade considering what was expected?

  • Ron LC

    Actually, rather than grade the RB’s individually they should have been graded as a group. None of them had what could be called a whole season’s work.

    As a group C-. All were injured for more than one game each. They never reached the level of an organized cohesive unit. Individually they just a reflection of the MM running game. “Scarce”

  • Chad Lundberg

    Understand what you mean, but D+ just feels low. I know we don’t grade on potential but that’s probably why it feels like he deserves a higher grade. This guy looks like he’s going to be our screen play man of the future based on what I saw this season.

    • Lucas

      Or Alex Green

  • JimR_in_DC

    D+ is too low. Especially for someone we expected to be a practice squad player. I’d go with a C or maybe a C- on Saine.

  • JimR_in_DC

    BTW, how can I change my avatar from the goofy (default) one I have now to something better?

    • Steve Cheez

      That’s not your real picture?

    • Steve Cheez

      Nicely done!

  • JimR_in_DC

    It is, but I’m completely embarrassed by my looks!

  • JimR_in_DC

    I figured it out. Now, that’s better!