Green Bay Packers What If Roster Scenarios

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What if Micah Hyde can do what Jarrett Bush does, only better? Does Bush get cut?

Are you ready to really scramble the Packers portion of your brain?

Let’s go over a few “What If” Packers roster scenarios. Your head will begin spinning in 3, 2, 1…

What if a RB/FB emerges as a really good pass blocker?
Then John Kuhn — due to make $1.6 million this season — might be out of a job. Besides being the only reliable blocking back, what else does Kuhn bring to the team besides a recognizable fan chant whenever he touches the ball? He’s not a reliable option for picking up short-yardage first downs. He’s not a run blocker. He’s got decent hands, but it’s not like his receiving would be sorely missed. I know he’s tight with the quarterback, and cutting a reliable pass-blocking back in this offense would be risky, even if another back emerges as a blocker in preseason. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kuhn gone if Mike McCarthy is confident in having someone else out there on third downs to protect Aaron Rodgers.

What if Johnny Jolly has a great training camp and preseason?
The Packers kept six defensive lineman on the opening day roster last season. The six did not include Mike Neal, who was suspended for the first four games. Neal, Josh Boyd, Datone Jones, C.J. Wilson, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Mike Daniels are probably frontrunners to secure spots this season. Jerel Worthy will likely start on the physically unable to perform list and may eventually move to injured reserve. If — and it’s a big if — Jolly is too good to cut, could Daniels go? He had a few moments in 2012, but seems too small to become a major impact player. Other than Daniels — and even he seems pretty safe — I don’t know who else would go to make room for Jolly. I guess the most likely scenario if Jolly is good is keeping eight defensive lineman and stashing Worthy on the PUP. You could probably get an extra roster spot by going with five wide receivers and eight linebackers after opening with six and nine, respectively, in 2012. The bottom line is this: Jolly is going to have to be damn good to make the team. And if he is, it’s going to lead to a lot of other roster dominos falling.

What if Micah Hyde is REALLY good on special teams?
Here’s another way the Packers could get an extra roster spot for another defensive lineman and save a few extra bucks: Cut Jarrett Bush if Micah Hyde is just as good as Bush on special teams and better in the secondary. Cutting Bush would save about $1 million against the cap. Combine that with cutting Kuhn as discussed in the opening to this post and the Packers would have an extra $2.6 million to possibly extend Randall Cobb, Sam Shields, B.J. Raji, James Jones or another 2014 free agent. Would the Packers really miss Kuhn and Bush all that much? Depends how the younger players currently underneath them look in camp.

That’s enough what if scenarios for now. Remember, these what if scenarios are pure speculation and spitballing, so don’t get all wound up at me if none of these prove to be true. Fire away in the comments section, though, with some what if scenarios of your own. Once you get rolling on these, the possibilities are endless.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • aaronqb

    I don’t think the Kuhn scenario is far-fetched at all. Frankly, I’ve been a bit surprised that the Packer writers seem to expect him to make the team. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see 4 RBs and no FBs make the team. I think Kuhn competes with blocking TEs for his job.

    I don’t think Jolly makes the team – too much time has passed. But, if he does light it up, that is a great situation to have. If the front 3 play well, the Packer defense should be a top 10 NFL.

    Again, Hyde being a great special teamer makes Bush expendable and is a great problem to have. I expect GB to keep 10 DBs on the final 53. Cutting Bush probably opens up a roster spot for one of the free agent DBs also.

    • PatMc

      MM wants his players to be groomed for a year before letting the veteran go. Bush will be on the squad this year while Hyde gets a full year to develop.

      I hope Jolly is able to bring it. Daniels can be replaced.

      Kuhn is here this year then gone. Again, he is the 100 million $ blocker. No one (RB’s) have shown they can do that yet. MM is not going to risk it. During the season the other RB’s will have a chance to take snaps but kuhn is a safety blanket for rodgers & MM.

  • Crefan

    I think Kuhn it a real possibility here.
    And another one may be what if Dujuan Harris beats out all the high draft picks for the starting running back job?

  • Savage57

    I’m an underdog fan, and believe in second chances, so if JJ shows any of the beast he used to be, even if he’s still got some rust to knock off, keep him and let Daniels, Boyd or Wilson walk.

    All of the preceding predicated on Johnny Jolly working his @$$ off and bringing his old mojo back.

    Damn, I hope he makes it. Not just for him, which has its own appeal, but because the guy really did have an impact on D.

    • PatMc

      Let Daniels go as he is too short. Go JJ!

  • Bearmeat

    Every year that GB’s D has been good in the past 25 years – the Defense has been good. Period.

    IF Jolly is good enough, I’d rather keep 8 DL (Pickett, Raji, Jones, Neal, Wilson, Daniels, Worthy, Jolly), and sacrifice at WR or TE or RB.

    • Bearmeat

      Correction: Every year that GB’s *DL* ….

      Sorry. typo.

  • GO

    Ummm… The Packers won their most games ever (15) in a season in which they had the 32nd ranked defense…. Like a year ago. Period.

    • aaronqb

      So, that means Thompson has made terrible mistakes by drafting Perry, Jones, Hayward, McMillian?? Are you saying the defense doesn’t matter?

      • Bearmeat

        Right Go – but that D was atrocious. If they managed to win it all that year, it would have been in spite of the defense.

        And specifically, in spite of the DL. They could not do anything right.

        1 thing I’ve noticed over the past 10 years that hasn’t changed. O still wins games in the regular season. D still wins games in the playoffs.

    • NYPACKER

      Yes but opposing defensive coordinators finally woke up & are playing the Packers like the Giants did in the 2011 playoffs, take away the quick slant & back shoulder, keep 2 safties deep & dare us to run. MM & TT put everything into the passing game then. Now that the landscape has changed they are putting more into our defense & running games. They are adjusting to what teams have done to beat us.

  • Alex Parkhurst

    “Extend Raji?” – may not happen if he has a season like 2012. I hope he returns to his 2010 performance. It’s possible that he was mis-used given the weak DL the last few years, but I have my doubts. If he has a bad year again he may not stay.

    • Stroh

      Raji will absolutely gat another contract. Problem for him is overuse. Hes forced to play far too many snaps.

      • PatMc

        Pickett might be done after this year. GB can’t let the 2nd big guy go. Stroh is right Raji will be back. The team will set Raji up for success this year. Expect to see his swagger and sacks go up.

  • Stroh

    Jolly and Wilson are competing for one roster spot. They are the same player. To put in perspective… Jolly was the driving force behind the #1 run D in ’09 and Wilson was allegedly a good run defender on a poor run Defense! Makes the choice rather easy IMO!

    Hyde was drafted specifically to replace Bush. I don’t think either is good enough at CB to contribute on D.

    Kuhn will play out his contract this year.

    • Lucas

      I completely agree on the JJ/Wilson roster spot.
      It’s possible they saw Hyde as the replacement for Bush, I’m just not as sure as you are. If the injury bug were to hit the CBs, I wouldn’t mind Hyde over Bush for that Dime replacement.

  • Wayne

    Here is a what if for you: What if Andrew Datko plays very well through the preseason after fully recovering from the injury he suffered in college. Could he steal a roster spot?

  • Adam Czech

    Good question, Wayne. Perhaps they give up on Sherrod if Datko looks good and Sherrod doesn’t?

    That would sting….

    • Stroh

      They’ll give Sherrod this year. Hes not going anywhere. I can easily see Datko make it too especially if he shows he can play some OG.

      • ScottS

        What if they re-visit the failed experiment and give Sherrod another shot at guard and he beats out Lang, and Datko wins the tackle spot and together they open holes even Kuhn could hit.

  • DuJuanaman

    What if Clay Matthews can actually get some pass rush help this season?!?

  • Mojo

    I agree that Kuhn will be on the bubble this year.

    As far as Jolly, I know a lot of us are excited about what he could bring if he’s close to his 2009 version. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. When he finally started OTA’s he was way overweight. He’s three years older. The Packers already have run-stuffer types on the roster. They want pass-rushers. So if he and Wilson are about the same player, I’ll keep Wilson. He has much more character(I still think there’s an amount of prickness(new word) still embedded in Jolly).

    I thought Bush was great on ST’s last year. If Hyde is also good on ST’s, then he and Bush can create havoc on that unit. And as erratic as Bush is in the secondary, he would provide an emergency backup in case of multiple injuries. Remember, he was the starter to begin the season last year(chortle).

    I keep trying to figure out why I want Datko to make the roster. Maybe it’s because he has true tackle size. Or that he has a great pedigree in a decent conference. He did well during the 2012 combine with high scores in the 20 yard shuttle, 3 cone drill and vertical jump(2nd, 13th and 9th respectively). He compares well to Riley Reiff, who is currently a good prospect for Detroit. http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012-nfl-combine-results-offensive-linemen/

    So what if Datko comes out of nowhere to secure the right tackle job? Imagine the backup depth at the tackle positions(Newhouse, Bakh and maybe Sherrod) and at the same time we could slide Barclay inside where he belongs. I’m hoping to see good things from Datko, as long as he doesn’t fall down.

    • Stroh

      Datko was 2nd or 3rd round talent if not for his shoulder. If healed he could develop into a starter. No reason not to believe in him.

    • Stroh

      As far as Jolly and Wilson. The differnce is immense, one lead the #1 ranked run D the other was just a other player on a poor run D. As for pass rush DL we have quite a few that need to progress. Raji Jones Neal Worthy Daniels are all pass rushers. Not to mention the OLB. We need help containing AP the 9ers and other strong run teams.

    • http://yardbarker.com PACKFAN

      I made the statement months ago that Kuhn should be cut. If Mulligan (sp) is as good as a blocker as the reports say, there is little reason to keep Kuhn. As mentioned he is not a good 3rd and 1 guy, only decent hands and considering how many times A-Rod was sacked, not much of a blocker, not all sacks his fault but the Pack need a better blocker in the back-field.

  • Mike Sherman

    Kuhn is probably gone. We have enough good TE’s to take over his role at a smaller salary and the young TE’s might even have a higher ceiling. I don’t see Bush getting cut or traded but I’m sad to say I doubt Sherrod makes the cut. I don’t agree with Thompson on his short leash but I don’t see him sticking with a guy coming off the major injuries Sherrod has had. I’m rooting for Sherrod but the recent cuts of Bishop and Smith prove Thompson can be a cold GM at times. Thats why Thompson gets paid the big bucks and its probably a reason why he is a winner. Don’t count on Sherrod and Datko being on the Packers or any other roster this year.

    • Nopainnogain

      Don’t want to entertain wishful hopes too much, but Sherrod’s in a different scenario than the other 2. Bishop will be 29 this season and was scheduled to make $5 mil. Smith did not have the pedigree of Sherrod. The emergence of Jones at ILB made both of them more expendable, especially since DB talents like Hayward allow them to play nickel and dime alot. Sherrod is a young first-round talent still on his rookie contract at a position where none of his teammates have really stepped up. They will take a longer look to be absolutely sure he can’t contribute before they think about releasing him.

  • Mike Sherman

    What if Manning outplays Hawk in preseason and training camp? Could he steal his starting job? What if hawk has to miss a game and Manning shines in a spot start? We could probably pay James Jones the 4 mill a year we pay Hawk and keep him. Jones is infinitely more valuable to the team than Hawk and a solid starter at LB would be an upgrade over AJ. I know Hawk just restructered his deal but I think someone emerges over the season or next offseason to make AJ a free agent. I wonder if AJ would get more than the veterans minimum on the open market?

  • Batavia Greg

    Adam, you should not have encouraged the homers to play the silly “What if” game. Some sound as if they’ve eaten bad cheese or uncooked brats.

    • Adam Czech

      It’s the offseason. What else are they supposed to do? Watch baseball?

      • PatMc

        What’s baseball?

    • Mike Sherman

      Greg, I don’t think you know what the word “homer” means and where it applies. Sounds as if you shouldn’t be encouraged to use it in a sentence

  • BradHTX

    Huh, the new mobile interface seems to not allow replies to comments. Re Mojo’s comment about Jolly’s “embedded prickness” (kudos, well put)… That is precisely WHY Jolly is a better player than Wilson — or was, in his prime. If he can get back to form, I agree with Stroh: Jolly stays and Wilson is cut. Wilson is a good “plodder”-type player, but he has never brought the nasty the way Jolly did in his early years. I am pulling for him because I love a redemption story, and also because our DL can use his badassness!

    • Adam Czech

      I noticed the same thing about the mobile interface. Will bring it up w/ the boss.

  • Andrew

    If Jolly looks decent I would drop Wilson for him in a heartbeat. All Wilson is is a clogger/occupier against the run. Even if Jolly doesn’t have the athleticism he had before, Jolly had a knack being able to swat passes at the line and create a little push into the backfield. As the last guy off the bench in the defensive line rotation, I’ll take Jolly and the chance he offers slight playmaking ability over Wilson being just a body.

  • Klausen

    Jolly is competing with Wilson..
    As mentioned above, they both bring a run defense element to the defense.. the same goes for Pickett and Raji, Boyd is big enough to be a good run defending end, too..
    You don’t need that many run defenders when you have only 2 DL on the field for 70% of the time anyways..
    Jolly offers some pass rush potential, Wilson doesn’t.. If Jolly shows enough to make the coaches believe he can come back, he’ll beat out Wilson!
    Another option is Boyd to the Practice Squad, though I’m not sure if he’d last

  • Lucas

    What if Quarless lost a step? Does Williams step up the chart? Does Ryan Taylor become Chmura 2.0 (on-field version) with his ability to “out-slow” the opponent? Do we see a roster spot for the Ohio State TE/WR?

  • Batavia Greg

    OK, I’ll play. What if Aaron Rodgers blows out a knee? Is it B.J. Coleman or Graham Harrell who leads the Pack to a Super Bowl victory?

  • robbie

    About manning possibly outplaying hawk, if he did out play hawk he would immediately be cut like Barnett and Bishop were

    • Lars1

      Sadly true. Hawk is mediocrity personified, but he’s management protected.

  • http://MSN Mark

    Jared Allen won’t miss Kuhn. Rodgers will!

  • Jeff Lawver

    Jolly was a big time contributor back a few years ago.He was the best d lineman at knocking down passes.Plus he and Picket were a stone wall against the run. That’s the problem though. He’s not played since,and isn’t getting any younger. I’ll be surprised if he makes the team.