Where To Overload The Green Bay Packers Roster

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Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis
With a strong preseason, Abbrederis and Janis could force the Packer to carry six wide receivers

I want to start off by wishing everyone a happy 4th of July!  I was supposed to be born on the bicentennial and decided to arrive early so I’m forever reminded of my need for patience on this glorious day in American history!

Heading into training camp in just under a month, the Green Bay Packers and their coaching staff are likely already discussing possible scenarios that the team can emerge with when they head into the 2014 regular season.  However, it’s way too early to make any hard and fast decisions on who will and won’t be on the final 53-man roster, save for the obvious guys.

One part of that discussion that has already started some buzz is which positions the Packers may consider carrying an extra player.  There is no real requirement for how many players a team has to carry at a certain position, but there are some historical averages that most teams operate under.  Below are the usual number of players seen on a roster that employs a base 3-4 defense.  Again, these are averages and many teams have used different combinations in the past, based on need and talent level.

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Quarterback (2)

Running Back/Fullback (4)

Wide Receiver (5)

Tight End (4)

Offensive Line (9)

Defensive Line (8)

Linebacker (8)

Cornerback (6)

Safety (4)

Kicker (1)

Punter (1)

Long snapper (1)

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Keep in mind that while teams carry 53 men on their roster, only 45 are dressed on game day.  Teams need to be sure that they’re giving themselves enough depth at each position based on who is most likely to suit up on a regular basis.

One example of why is last season when the Packers were faced with the harsh reality that they didn’t have what they needed at the quarterback position behind Aaron Rodgers.  Heading into the regular season, they carried only one backup, Seneca Wallace, and had Scott Tolzien on the practice squad.  By the time Rodgers returned in week 17, Wallace was on injured reserve, Tolzien was promoted to the active roster and Matt Flynn was signed mid-season.  The Packers ended the season with three quarterbacks on the active roster and I fully expect the same this season.

Both the offensive and defensive lines tend to carry the most number of players because of how many guys are on each line to begin with.  If you consider that you want at least one backup for each position, you would theoretically have at least six defensive linemen and 10 offensive linemen.  The Packers aren’t carrying 10 offensive linemen this season and depending on whether you consider guys like Julius Peppers and Mike Neal to be defensive linemen or linebackers, that could easily skew the number of players those positions carry as well.  For that reason, I’m keeping offensive & defensive line as well as linebacker out of this discussion.

Cornerback has potential to be overloaded this season, but with Micah Hyde having taken most of his reps with the first team defense at the safety position, he could easily be classified there and then the Packers would probably have just six true corners left on the roster.  So cornerback is out as well.

The three positions at which the Packers most likely carry an extra player would be wide receiver, tight end and running back.  For the purposes of this discussion, I’m lumping fullback in with the running back position.  Say it with me one time: Kuuuuuuuuuuuuhn!

Wide Receiver

Starting at wide receiver and barring injury, we know that Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin and rookie Davante Adams are locks to make the final roster.  That leaves Jared Abbrederis, Jeff Janis, Kevin Dorsey, Chris Harper, Myles White and Alex Gillett in a competition for one or two final spots.

Both Harper and White were on the active roster and saw the field for at least one snap at receiver last season.  White filled in quite a bit when Cobb and James Jones were both injured last season.  He was serviceable but was nothing special.  He has his work cut out for him this preseason and will need to shine at every opportunity he gets.

Harper barely played, save for special teams but his size has the Packers looking very closely at his prospects on this year’s team.  He, much like White, also needs a very strong showing this preseason to elevate himself enough to be the fifth receiver or warrant consideration for a sixth spot.

Dorsey was a seventh round selection of the Packers in 2013.  A hamstring injury ended his rookie season before it even began and he was placed on season-ending injured reserve just before the regular season.  We haven’t been hearing Dorsey’s name much during organized team activities and mini camps so the assumption is that he faces one of the toughest battles to crack the roster.

Gillett was added to the team’s practice squad last season when Tolzien was promoted in early November.  The Packers like him enough to give him a spot on their practice squad, but he, like Dorsey, has the toughest road ahead of him and is a definite underdog to elevate to the active roster.

Abbrederis and Janis are this year’s draftees at the receiver position and both have seen extensive work during OTA’s and mini camp.  Both have seen time at receiver and as a kick returner.  While a fifth round investment is no guarantee that a player will make it through to the regular season, all indications are that Abbrederis will.  Strength is a question mark for Abby and he has admitted as much himself.  What the Packers likely saw that they liked in him were his football intelligence, mechanics and speed.  That combination have me pegging Abbrederis as the team’s fifth receiver this season and to be used mostly on kick return.

Janis is a wild card.  He certainly has the speed and athletic ability.  The question is how many opportunities he will get during camp and in preseason games to make enough plays to get on the team’s radar.  He seems ripe as a practice squad guy but let’s remember that it’s still late June and a lot can happen between now and the end of August.

Tight End

Even with Jermichael Finley out of the picture, the tight end position could get interesting for the Packers.  If Finley somehow and miraculously returns to Green Bay, this position group immediately becomes crowded and the competition heats up.

Assuming Finley is gone for good, that leaves Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Richard Rodgers, Ryan Taylor, Jake Stoneburner, Colt Lyerla and Justin Perillo.

Quarless, Bostick and Rodgers are locks and will be on the final roster.  Exactly who starts is still up for grabs.  Rodgers has received quite a bit of attention as a potential starter heading into week one of the regular season.

Taylor has been a valuable special teams contributor but has struggled at the tight end spot when given the opportunity.  He dropped a pass early last season against the Detroit Lions that would have likely been a long touchdown.  With Rodgers and Lyerla in the mix now, Taylor may be feeling some pressure to elevate himself and become a bigger part of the offense.

Stoneburner was an undrafted free agent signing last season and was elevated to the active roster in mid-October.  His contributions were mostly on special teams and while he did contribute in live action last season, he didn’t do enough to get on the field as a pass catcher.  The Packers are surely going to give the nod to a guy who can offer as much versatility as he can.  If they keep Taylor for his special teams play, Stoneburner’s chances of being on this year’s roster are greatly diminished.  He’s a long shot but could end up back on the practice squad if he is not kept beyond preseason.

Perillo is camp fodder, to me.  The Packers are likely eyeing him for a practice squad spot or just to see what he may offer during camp.  We didn’t hear his name at all during OTA’s and mini camp.  His chances of sticking with the team this season are slim to none, barring a few injuries.

Lyerla needs no introduction.  Much has been said, written, discussed and argued about this undrafted free agent.  He brings a lot of potential to the table, but has spent no time in pads and so we have to temper our expectations.  While many like what he could be, he has to actually be it in order for those hopes to be realized.  That’s no given and therefore, Lyerla is facing an uphill battle to crack the team’s final roster.  He needs every single opportunity he can during camp and also needs to stay out of any type of trouble.  Lyerla is the x-factor that has the tight end position on this list.  If he sticks, he would theoretically become the team’s fifth tight end and that would constitute an overload at the position.

Running Back

The discussion about running back being and overloaded position got a lot shorter the week before last when we learned that Johnathan Franklin would not be with the Packers this season due to a career-threatening neck injury.  With Franklin out of the mix, Eddie Lacy, James Starks and John Kuhn should all be on the final roster.  There has been some debate about Kuhn, but the team re-signed him for a reason and I see his value as worthy of a roster spot.

That leaves DuJuan Harris, Michael Hill, LaDarius Perkins and Rajion Neal competing for a fourth or fifth spot.  A fifth spot?  Yes.  Why else would running back be on this list?

Harris would seemingly have a good chance to be the team’s fourth back and they will carry at least four.  Having started several games in 2012, including two playoff games, Harris brings with him a known element and experience within the offense.  He had a decent offseason and seems to be past the knee injury that forced him out last season.  He also had a tumor removed from his lung nearly a year go, but that has not seemed to hamper him either.  If he continues to be what he was with the team two seasons ago, Harris has a clear edge as the fourth guy.

Hill spent some time with the team last season and was even elevated to the active roster at the end of the season.  He was recently re-signed and will compete for the fourth spot in camp.  The Packers like him enough to bring him in for another look, but I am not hearing enough buzz to think that he has a good chance of elevating himself this season.  Another year on the practice squad could be waiting in the wings for Hill.

I heard very little about either Perkins or Neal during the offseason.  For two undrafted free agents, that may not be unusual but in Green Bay, it’s worth noting.  Several undrafted free agents have found their way onto the team’s active roster and have forged very successful careers for themselves in the past.  Both of these runners have their work cut out for them but will one of them be this year’s training camp All-Pro?  There seems to be one every year and if either of these backs catches the coaching staff’s eye, it could mean stiff competition for Harris or the team possibly carrying a fifth back.  With the University of Tennessee last season, Neal had over 1,000 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.  Tennessee resides in the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) conference and the level of competition is some of the best that college football has to offer.

Conclusion

I see wide receiver as most likely to be an overloaded position this upcoming season.  It’s possible that multiple positions see an extra player, but given these scenarios and the talent level, receiver gets the nod.

I don’t see any way Abbrederis isn’t on the final roster which puts them at five.  Harper and Janis with Dorsey as a dark horse strike me as the best chance to overload their position group.  The pads come on in a month and we’ll then see how much truth there is to any of this.

 

 

 

 

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • Tim

    Good article Jason. Its interesting to hear how things are shaking out leading into another season. Every year there seems to be a guy out of nowhere to make himself a name, ala Sheilds, Barkley, Flynn,…etc. I’m hoping for someone really making their mark as a returner, an inside lb or pass rusher. There’s lot of opportunity for improvement, and not sure how much the team did in the off-season. Hoping for something special from Bradford, and Abby/Janis/Dorsey. Also need guys who can take the next step – be a difference maker, not just a body in there. – lots of suspects with seeming upside…Barrington, Worthy, Lattimore, Perry, Neal, house, tolzein, Richardson… On and on – some will, you can bet on that. But, will they be at positions where we need the help?

    • http://eatme.com CornHolio

      Thank God, Thank God, Thank God Almighty!
      Sometimes it is a bit difficult to type on this site.
      Thank God almighty I have gotten through!!
      First off, I think you may not need 9 O – Line Men. Perhaps 7 will do.
      There were other things/numbers I had ready, but, I forgot, because I was trying to deal with your web-page! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
      I will be back A- holes!
      I do not quit!

  • James David Marsh

    Nine for the offense line is too many. I believe that six wide receivers will make the final roster. I may be in the minority, but I would like to see Lacy, Starks, Harris, and Neal at running back.

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      THe OL depends on how well Lane Taylor develops. With Linsley being drafted with the potential to compete for a starting spot at center, they will keep at least 8 (5 starters, Linsley, Barclay, and Sherrod). Taylor has no PS eligibility and may become good enough to keep for injury depth vs. a 5th RB or 10th LB who won’t suit up on game day anyway (and who would have PS eligibility).

  • Tarynfor12

    “I don’t see any way Abbrederis isn’t on the final roster which puts them at five.”

    Repeat as needed….
    Practice Squad…practice squad…practice squad….no way he is ready to grab the 5th WR spot this season if at all with Packers.

    He has the biggest hill to climb to claim that spot..remove the Packer/Badger distortion eye wear…this will be a disservice to him and the team….Small,weak,fragile(concussion issue)…practice squad..practice squad..practice squad…

    Click away!

    • Oppy

      Janis looks to be the furthest away from NFL ready of all the Packers WRs, IMO.

      Honestly, I don’t follow the Badgers- at all- and Abbrederis looks like a legit NFL WR from what I’ve seen of him. Not a star, but the kid can play and he runs routes quite well.

      • Stroh

        Abbrederis looks like a boy among men! He’s small, very weak, not elusive for returns… I barely see NFL player, but he certainly isn’t there now. I’ve said it before and say it again. He NEEDS to go on the PS for a year to gain just the strength needed to compete in the NFL. Maybe in a year, he’ll be a decent enough backup to keep around. He’s a slot receiever that will never beat out Cobb and he’s not a good enough returner to earn a job on ST.

        Put it this way… At my biggest I was 5’11 160 lbs dripping wet and I could bench as much as he does! He is NOT strong enough to play in the NFL right now. Period!

      • Stroh

        I also think Janis could use a year on the PS. Neither is ready to play in the NFL for different reasons. Abbrederis is too weak and frail and Janis is too raw and most just an athlete at this point. But at least Janis has the potential to become a starter.

        • Slim11

          Abbrederis will have the same problem Jordy Nelson had returning punts. He will be too big a target for the opponent’s punt coverage team. At KR, Abbrederis will probably be okay, just like Nelson was.

          Cobb and Harris, because of size are better suited for PR duties. Cobb shouldn’t be returning punts except in a pinch and Harris is worthy of a serious look for PR and KR duties.

          Janis’ athleticism is likely why he did so well in college. In college, especially at D2 and D3, players can get by on athleticism alone more often than their contemporaries at the D1 level. That’s why I agree Janis will be a good PS candidate for the upcoming season.

          • Stroh

            I just think its a lack of elusiveness. Deion Sanders was 6’2 and the arguably the best return man in NFL History. Size has little to do w/ it IMO. Just that neither Abbrederis of Jordy is elusive in the open field. I do agree that Harris and Cobb are better suited for return duty and I hope that’s exactly what the Packers do. Harris on KR, Cobb on PR.

            • Slim11

              While you’re right about Deion Sanders’ successes as a PR/KR, I believe he’s an exception. I think of players like Desmond Howard, Terry Metcalf and his son(?) Eric and Darrell Green. They were smaller and all very successful returners during their careers.

              Allen Rossum was one of the more successful GB returners before Cobb. Size is a factor. It’s not the only factor. Howard and Rossum were both listed as WR/KR on the GB roster yet neither was all that good as a WR. Was size a factor? Probably because Sanders enjoyed some success at WR.

              If Abbrederis can prove me wrong, I’m all for it. I’d like him to be successful so Cobb doesn’t have to return punts.

              Now, if Abbrederis is the PR of choice because (a) he did it in college and/or (b) the coaching staff sees that as way to improve his chances of succeeding on the field, then Abbrederis might become the victim of poor coaching decisions. I believe this is what happened with Derek Sherrod when he was given the opportunity to be the starting LG his rookie season.

              • Stroh

                I will agree that generally speaking shorter guys tend to be quicker and more elusive. Abbrederis is quick enough to possibly be a return man but he just doesn’t have the elusiveness to be more than ordinary at best at it. I also don’t think he has any instincts for it.

                As far as Sherrod, we had a LG job open and only Lang, who was mostly unproven at the time, to play that position. Sherrod being a 1st rd choice and behind Clifton and Newhouse at LT. It was Sherrods only chance to see the field in training camp that year. And its not like LG is a major change from LT. A lot of the same techniques, but its quicker and more physical inside as opposed to OT. Later in Sherrod’s rookie year he was asked to play RT and LT. I don’t see giving him the chance to start at LG as hurting his development.

              • Ed Schoenfeld

                Let’s remember that initially in 2011 at Tackle, Sherrod was behind Clifton and Bulaga, not Newhouse.

                You want your best 5 on the field, and since you can only suit up 7 you need the nest 2 to play multiple positions. Sherrod learning LG was only ever a positive thing for his development. Coming out, it seemed like he needed to up his level of ‘nasty’ and its guard where that is needed the most.

              • Oppy

                I think physical size in and of itself has little to nothing to do with success as a punt returner directly.

                The reason why guys like Jordy Nelson aren’t great punt returners isn’t because they’re “large targets”. It’s because guys like Jordy Nelson are top-end fast, not necessarily quick or sudden.

                Kick off returns allow the return man to get up to top speed and make one-cut to daylight runs. Punt returners have a shorter field and guys barreling down on them before they get more than a handful of steps in edgewise. Quickness and agility win the day in tight quarters.

                The idea that being a few inches taller is the difference between being tackled or not is really stretching it. It’s all about speed, quickness, and burst.

                I think the reason there aren’t a lot of tall, large bodied guys in the NFL who are more quick than fast is simply a matter of the way the NFL uses those tall WR’s. Teams look for FAST, tall, large guys to get behind the defense for jump balls in the corner of the endzone. Quickness isn’t as valued in those tall guys as top end speed.

              • Stroh

                ED, I only mentioned the LT. Bulaga was already situated at RT so I didn’t consider him for that reason. Sherrod was going to be the LT of the future. Clifton was coming back as the aged vet, and Newhouse played well enough to help the Packers win a SB, and actually looked like potentially a passable LT at the time. I do think Sherrod was behind both Clifton and Newhouse, especially since he didn’t have an offseason and had an abbreviated training camp.

                Oppy you make a good point about the bigger receivers being speed oriented, but smaller guys do have an advantage is quickeness. Less mass changing directions takes a lot less energy than more mass having to change directions. And longer limbs make the deceleration and acceleration phases longer. But some taller guys do develop quickness.

                Elusiveness and instincts are traits that players learn very early in their athletic careers. If you don’t learn them early you likely won’t ever learn it or at least you’ll take a long time to learn.

              • Ed Schoenfeld

                Yes, I just couldn’t believe that you (Stroh) made that mistake :-)

                If Abby makes the squad it will be because he is better than the rest. I don’t put as much value on the bench press exercise as you do — all the combine stuff is a little artificial anyway, we’ll find out whether or not Abby can beat press coverage when the Packers defensive backs press him in training camp practices.

                If he can’t do it, he can’t do it. If he can, and makes the team, it will be because he can do the job.

        • Oppy

          I agree that strength sure is a bonus for WR’s to help them beat press coverage and block, but I don’t think it is a necessity for a WR. If a WR can read coverage and assimilate the on the fly route adjustments the plays call for and apply it to find seams and holes in coverage while catching the ball reliably, he’ll be able to play in this league. I think Abby might have that ability. Strength is so far down the list of necessary attributes for a WR that I don’t think it precludes a kid from making the roster if he has the other skills and talents needed. Hands, route running, football IQ- those things will delay your career at WR. Again, IMO.

          • Stroh

            Strength is necessary just to get INTO his route. So if he doesn’t have at least adequate strength he can’t do anything. His hands are adequate not great. I agree he’s a good route runner and has IQ, but he isn’t good enough to be a starter IMO. More strength and he’ll be a decent backup. He’s gonna be stuck behind Cobb for as long as he’s in GB. If he ever gets to be a top 3 WR on a team they’ll be looking to upgrade ASAP.

            • Oppy

              You don’t have to be an X or a Z to make a roster or be an NFL caliber receiver. You can even be the 4th or 5th guy and still make a career of it. There’s a long list of WRs in the league who would probably be stuck behind Cobb their entire career.. So what?

              To be honest, I think Abbrederis will likely be stuck behind Jarret Boykin so long as he’s in GB, too. That doesn’t change the fact I think he’s got what it takes to be an NFL receiver. As I originally stated, I don’t think he’s a star, but he can play.

              Just remember, only 40% of the players on any roster in the NFL are ‘starters’.

              • Stroh

                I agree, and I think Abbrederis ceiling and best chance to stick long term is as the #4 or 5 WR on a team. First tho he has to get strong enough to be able not just to beat press coverage, but to handle the rigors of being an NFL player. It takes a major toll on the body, even if WR is slightly easier than other positions. He needs to use his first year just to get strong enough and in good enough overall condition just to withstand a long grueling NFL season.

                If he can get significantly stronger, he’ll have a chance as a long term backup.

              • Stroh

                The other thing is… It going to be hard to earn a backup WR spot if he’s not contributing a lot on ST. Is he strong enough to make a tackle, much less break one? Right now I would say definitely not. And IMO being the primary returner for a team is unlikely due to his lack of strength (to break tackles) and elusiveness to avoid tacklers.

              • Two Bears, One Cup

                Slot receivers don’t need as much strength as a #1 or #2. A lot more motion that keeps corners from effectively bumping. Also, they’re generally facing #3 and #4 corners or safeties, and they aren’t going to be as good at jamming as a Richard Sherman.
                For a slot receiver, I think technique is almost as important as upper body strength, but the most important aspect is willingness.
                For the receiving aspect, Route running/finding the whole in a zone is of the utmost importance. No one marvels at Wes Welker’s brutal strength or blinding speed.

              • Oppy

                I don’t think Donald Driver was exactly a chiseled specimen of strength as a rookie, either. He made the team and slowly developed his physique along the way. As bear points out, motion and playing off the LOS goes a long way to keep DB’s hands off of slot guys, too.

              • Stroh

                Every receiver needs to be able to beat press coverage. Stength is a factor in every facet of the game. Slot receivers still need to have a certain amount of strength, and simply put, Abbrederis is well below even adequate.

                Donald Driver was very strong for his size. He also had explosiveness that Abbrederis lacks, coming from his college days as a Olympic caliber High Jumper! And Driver spent his first THREE (3) years on the PS and as a backup gaining the necessary traits to be successful.

                Abbrederis shouldn’t need three years to be a contributor, he’s much farther along mentally than Driver was. But he’ll also never have the athleticism/explosiveness Driver had, so he’ll never have nearly as high a ceiling as Driver.

                As a rookie, Driver never saw the field that I remember. He next to nothing till year 4 and basically had 3 years to build his strength and refine the techniques and mental aspects of the game.

              • Stroh

                Driver came in as a 179 lb leaper/athlete. He left the NFL as a very strong 194 lbs. He built himself up physically in his early years.

              • Ed Schoenfeld

                Stroh, Driver was drafted in 1999 and played in 6 games that year. He played in every game in 2000.

                Yes, Driver did not make the 53-man roster coming out of training camp in 1999, but no way did he spend ‘3 years’ on the practice squad.

                Please stop letting your desire to make a point override your connection to the facts. You are to good a contributor and I know you knew better. Please try decaf.

              • Stroh

                Yes Ed, that was a mis type… Of course I know you can’t spend 3 yrs on the PS. And I did go back and check to see that he did play in 6 games as a rookie.

                Driver was as mentioned a 179 lb athlete when drafted, who basically did next to nothing for 3 years. In yr 4 he Doubled his previous production from his first 3.

                I would be willing to bet that even as a 179 lb high jumper Driver did double the bench reps Abbrederis did. Driver was always fanatical about his conditioning. He ended up putting on 15 lbs and had less than 4% body fat.

                When Abbrederis can do 10 bench reps he should have adequate strength for the NFL. He is no where near being ready for the rigors of the NFL as a rookie. Put him on PS for a year and we’ll see. I don’t want to waste a roster spot for him till then. I don’t think he can contribute enough on ST to give him a roster spot right now.

          • Two Bears, One Cup

            Strength can help you beat a jam, but lower body strength is almost as important as upper body strength. Gotta keep those legs churning and power through the defender. Quick hands that can knock a CB’s hands off target are important, too.

        • Oppy

          Once we see how these guys play with the pads on, we’ll get a better understanding of how much impact Abbrederis’s strength or Janis’ route running will have on their ability to play for a roster spot.

    • http://eatme.com CornHolio

      I think you are right. Abbrederis is a decent College boy and if he can handle a few hundred more concussions, he will play for maybe a year. Not likely he all of a sudden becomes Elroy “Crazy legs” Hirsh.

  • Sven

    I think that Abberderis only makes the final 53 if he can beat out Harper, and that I don’t mind. I hope he can do it but it is important to have the best group of receivers possible. Abby’s lack of strength is a real concern to me. I worry both about his blocking ability and injuries.

    I was happy to see Boykin beat out two draft picks last year. I think that occasionally choosing the UDFA over a draft pick sends a strong message to both your draft picks and potential UDFAs.

    I think the Packers should group TE and WR together and keep the best 9-10 players out of the group. Meaning Lyerla, if he is good, would be competing not just with Stoneburner, but also Harper, Janis, and Abby, etc for that potential spot, as an example.

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      Fullback is kind of in the same mix. “Move” TEs like Lyerla and taylor are also competing to be backfield protectors and 3rd down outlet options which has become the FB role these days.

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    Abby’s value this year will probably be as a returner IF he makes the team.

    I’d bet Janis is PS, Lyerla is PS and they keep 3 QBs (ARod, Flynn and Tolzein).

    I’d also like to nominate DL: D Jones, Daniels, Raji, Boyd, Thornton, Guion, Worthy, 1/2 of Peppers. Either Guion or Worthy gets cut.

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      Regarding Wide Receivers: Myles White was signed to the active roster on Oct 15th, that gives him 10 or 11 weeks on the 53 man roster — he is not eligible to be on the practice squad in 2014.

      Neither are Harper, who was claimed off waives on Oct. 18th.

      I’m not sure about Dorsey — he is the listed as a ‘2nd year’ player on players page on packers.com, so it looks like his year on IR counts as an accrued season which would make him ineligible for PS.

      Abbredaris has too much of a rep to make it to the PS and his play in OTAs has done nothing to diminish it.

      I think Abby is on the 53 as a returner, and they keep a 6th WR (Harper, White, or Dorsey). If anyone goes to PS it would be Janis, but he still has a chance to make the 53 as well. It will be an interesting battle in camp.

  • Ed Schoenfeld

    I agree with Bearmeat that the DL/LB area is going to be an interesting spot in training camp. Guion seems like TTs annual third tier FA/depth insurance pick and could easily be cut from the final 53,his real chance is that Worthy seems to have taken a step back on the injury front, not suiting up in OTAs at all even though he saw some game action near the end of the season in 2013.

    At LB, I can easily see them keeping an extra player. If you think about Matthews, Peppers, Neal, Perry and Bradford as ‘locks’ along with 4 inside LBs, there are several players who could assert themselves for a roster spot: Mulumba, Palmer, Hubbard, Elliot or even an extra inside LB (Doughty or Thomas).

    I feel like the versatility they get from Hyde and even Bush being able to play safety makes it tempting to carry only 9 DBs. I see the rookie Goodson as possibly be being developed enough yet, and banjo as needing to prove something to stick. (Hint: If either of those two are good enough at ST to push Bush off the roster, I won’t be crying).

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      That should read “I see the rookie Goodson as possibly NOT being developed enough yet.”

      Sorry.

    • Sven

      Perry may end up being a lock, but i would like to see him earn it. I think there is talent behind him and i want to think that players like Mulumba an Hubbard have real shot if they work hard and show something.

      Perry’s none participation so far this off season is concerning especially since he has not really shown a ton on the field yet. The coaches comments have been pretty direct on that subject.

      I think liebackers will be great to watch in camp as Peppers in really an mysterious package of potential and the players competing for jobs are all guys that I want to make he squad.

      • Stroh

        While Perry has been a disappointment I don’t think its all his fault. Did you know last year in very limited snaps at ROLB he had all 4 of his sacks, 3 FF. Matthews has played primarily ROLB the entire time Perry has been in GB. But when he’s gotten snaps at ROLB he’s been very productive. Even in college I watched all his highlites and almost all his pass rush production came from the right side.

        Capers and McCarthy have said they are going to get Perry on the Right side more this year. If he’s given the chance to play only on the right side, either as a LB or the Elephant, he’ll show how good a pass rusher he can be. Its been obvious all along that Perry can rush from the Right side, but not the Left. Unfortunately almost all his playing time has been at LOLB.

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        I think players like Mulumba and Hubbard have a real shot even if the 5 guys I think are ahead of them make the team. LB is actually a prime position for keeping an extra player this year.

        And if Perry should falter …

        (Though I agree with Stroh that part of Perry’s issue has been the way he is used. But he still needs to be healthy before he can play any role consistently.)

  • Ed Schoenfeld

    At TE we should remember that Perillo can long snap, so that is an extra reason for him to stay on the PS.

    I don’t think Lyerla makes it to the PS — if he is sane enough to make it all the way through TC, some other team will be desperate enough to sign him to the 53 man roster.

    Stoneburner is like White — he spent too much time on the 53 man roster last year and is no longer eligible for the Practice squad.

    I see a real threat to Kuhn this year if Rajon Neal makes a push and they decide to keep both Taylor and Lyerla at TE. I think they ‘probably’ cut Taylor in that event and try to pay Neal extra to stay on the PS, but IMO that is a risky strategy with regard to keeping Neal.

  • Tim

    I don’t see them keeping 4 or five tight ends. To me they’re not that great. I feel its down to Taylor, bostic or lyerla for one spot. How many weapons does ARod need, and are any of them a weapon? We will only play 2 of them at a time, and are any of these guys the answer? Has Taylor been much more than a “body”? Bostic has been full of promise for a couple of years, without really panning out, and lyerla – well, time will tell, but I’m not holding my breath. Keeping two out of the three is going to cost somewhere else, a Hubbard, Abby, Underwood, Janis…etc may be lost with no guarantee of sneaking them to the practice squad. Guys like bush, mulumba, Palmer might go at the expense of the luxury TE. Some will go anyway, but I’m thinking TT should go with three and a te on the practice squad.

    • Stroh

      Quarless, Rodgers and Bostic are all locks to me. Quarless is decent and Rodgers is probably the future but I doubt he’s ready for a big role this year. Bostic has tons of potential, as much as Lyerla. This is Bostic’s year to grab the job and own it. If he does he could be the starting TE for a few seasons. He was a PS player for a year, got limited playing time last year but showed good ability and has excellent potential. He has to step up big time to start but its easily in his grasp.

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      They generally want 5 guys who can catch and with the FB/TE body type (which supposedly means they can block either in line or in the backfield).

      I don’t see any fullbacks other than Kuhn making the team.

      So I think we get 4 TEs like we did last year.

      • Stroh

        FB, TE and LB make the best ST player too. When you get down to the final roster spots, that makes it more likely that you keep an extra TE over an extra WR. We’re talking about the last half dozen roster spots and any position, and those are going to the players that are more helpful on ST.

        Look for an extra TE over and extra WR.

  • Archie

    10 years into the TT regime and the GBP are still w/o a PR or a KR. 10 years. There’s lots of them out there. After more than 100 draft picks and thousands of FAs, TT has been unable find one worth mentioning. If that isn’t incompetence, I don’t know what is. I guess he’s been too busy drafting DL/OLB who have been busts.

    Makes you yearn for the days of Ron Wolf and Desmond Howard.

    • Big T

      TT is busy looking for the next Marshall Newhouse, please give grandpa Ted a break.

    • Stroh

      They drafted Cobb to be THE primary returner. But they won’t allow him to do what he was drafted for! He should still be used as a return man IMO. Not allowing him to do it out of fear of injury is stupid IMO. By that reasoning he should not be allowed to play WR since that’s where he DID get hurt!

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        It’s a question of practice time during the season, not just injury.

        Cobb is the number 2 WR. He is going to practice with the 1st string offense, not with the returners.

        So somebody else needs to be the primary KR/PR during the season, because you need someone in that spot and Cobb is now too important to the weekly game plan to be the principle returner anymore.

        • Stroh

          Even w/o any practice time Cobb is easily the best returner in the NFL. Darrell Green and Dieon Sanders did PR throughout the majority their NFL careers even tho they were not only FT CB’s but All Pro CB’s. It didn’t seem to take that much practice time for them to excel at both. No reason Cobb can’t… Even McCarthy has said they don’t want Cobb in returns due to injury risk, which IMO is playing not to get hurt.

          You can’t play that way in the NFL IMO.

          • Stroh

            Best returner on the Packers, not in the NFL.

    • Oppy

      You’re right. We should totally shit- can one of the most successful GMs of the last 20 years because he hasn’t signed the next coming of Desmond Howard.

      I’m totally with you on this one.

      #whatsthepackerswinningpercentageundertedthopsonagain?

  • Tim

    I totally agree with you Archie. A impact guy on returns is such a huge weapon. We have that guy in Cobb, but I understand why we don’t want to use cobb in that way. They could help the team out so much if they had that guy. Way more than a 4th tight end with potential. Try to stash lyerla onto the ps or dump bostic unless he shows something. An impact returner would do loads more than some of the 2nd or 3rd back-ups with potential. I’m hoping abbradaris or Janis can be the guy.

  • Icebowler

    I can’t wait for the pads to come on. That always signifies that the Vikings are no longer leading the division.