Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football
Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football
Surviving Sundays with no Packers football.

It’s Fourth of July week, which means it’s extremely quiet around the NFL and even quieter if you’re looking for news about the Packers.

I also blew off three of my fingers setting off firecrackers. So instead of a trying to squeeze a long post out of some Packers-related topic that isn’t really news, how about I take a way-too-early crack at predicting the Packers 53-man roster?

(Adam locks himself into a room and begins hours and hours of intense study. He emerges days later, weary and beaten down, but relieved that he finally chiseled the Packers roster down to 53 players.)

(Actually, none of that is true. Adam just drank a couple of beers and tried to figure out who is going to end up on the final 53. Sure, he thought about it, but he also thought about getting a double fudge cookie dough Blizzard at Dairy Queen the other day before finally settling on the Peanut Buster Parfait.)

Ok, I just finished making my first prediction and I counted up all the players. I ended up with exactly 53 players on the first try! I thought for sure I’d have to make a few tough cuts, but I nailed 53 right off the bat!

I bet this happens to Ted Thompson all the time.

Does this mean my way-too-early Packers 53-man roster prediction will turn out to be the actual 53-man roster come September? Absolutely not. But let’s talk about it anyway.

Who did I leave off the roster that you think will make it? Who did I put on the team that you don’t think will be there?

And as long as your actually reading it, did I count correctly? Do I actually have 53 players there? (And don’t count Aaron Rodgers twice. Yeah, he’s good, but he only counts for one player.)

QB
Aaron Rodgers
Scott Tolzien
Matt Flynn

I say they keeps three QBs, and Tolzien wins the backup gig.

RB
Eddie Lacy
James Starks
DuJuan Harris
John Kuhn

Just cross your fingers that at least two of the top three RBs make it through the season healthy.

WR
Jordy Nelson
Randall Cobb
Jarrett Boykin
Davante Adams
Chris Harper
Jared Abbrederis

I’m slipping Harper in there and hoping Jeff Janis makes it through to the practice squad.

TE
Andrew Quarless
Richard Rodgers
Brandon Bostick
Ryan Taylor

They’ll need a special teams contribution from the tight end group, so I think Taylor sticks around.

OL
C J.C. Tretter
C Corey Linsley
G Josh Sitton
G T.J. Lang
T Bryan Bulaga
T David Bakhtiari
T Derek Sherrod
T/G/C Don Barclay

Having a guy with as many starts under his belt as Barclay as your sixth O-lineman is a good “problem” to have.

DL
Mike Daniels
B.J. Raji
Datone Jones
Letroy Guion
Josh Boyd
Khyri Thornton
Jerel Worthy

A lot of unproven ability in this group.

LB
Clay Matthews
Julius Peppers
Nick Perry
Mike Neal
Carl Bradford
A.J. Hawk
Brad Jones
Jamari Lattimore
Sam Barrington

You heard it here first: Watch out for Sam Barrington this season. He can play.

DB
CB Tramon Williams
CB Sam Shields
CB Casey Hayward
CB Jarretty Bush
CB Demetri Goodson
CB/S Micah Hyde
S Morgan Burnett
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
S Sean Richardson

This will be a great group if they can squeeze one more good season out of Williams and get some pass rush help from the D-line.

ST
K Mason Crosby
P Tim Masthay
LS Brett Goode

The Packers should probably cut Masthay since they’ll never be punting this season.

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • Aaron Rodgers came in at No. 11 in the NFL Network’s list of the best players in 2014. Naturally, everybody got all wound up about it (another sign you’re stuck in the most boring depths of the NFL offseason). Apparently, players were polled to compile the list, which shows that NFL players really don’t know what they’re doing when evaluating fellow players.
  • Potts Ave. in Green Bay could soon be re-named Mike McCarthy Way. Get it done. Packers Super Bowl winning coaches get a street named after them. End of discussion.
  • Ray Rivard at Lombardi Ave. wonders if Ryan Pickett deserves another shot. I most definitely think he does. Pickett is still tough to move off the line, rarely gets knocked down and was nimble enough to move laterally down the line to pursue plays. He’s no longer an every-down player, but if I needed a run-stuffer to play a limited number of snaps, Pickett would be near the top of my list to call.
  • The crew at Acme Packing Co. put together a list of the top 10 Packers plays from the 2013 season. Of course, Rodgers-to-Cobb in week 17 tops the list.
  • Hopefully this is the season that the Packers break their unfortunate run of having players go down with serious neck injuries. ALLGBP.com’s Thomas Hobbes wrote a good (but scary) piece about neck injuries this week.
  • Ian at Packerstalk.com wonders if Packers fans should buy the post-mini camp hype surrounding TE Richard Rodgers. I’d look for the Packers to use Rodgers in red zone situations this season and Brandon Bostick to get looks as the down-the-seam tight end.

Non Packers links and other Nonsense

——————

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.

——————

  • James David Marsh

    If Flynn is not the backup, he will not make the team.

    • http://allgbp.com Charlie

      Beat me to it. My first Capt. Obvious award when I started reading.

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    I still am pulling for Lyerla. He played ST in college and was actually effective recording 8 tackles, 7 unassisted his first year. He could replace Taylor on ST while he learns the offense. This assuming he keeps his nose clean. Bostick needs to start doing something. Everybody knew he was a project but he’s entering his 3rd year, time for the project to start paying dividends.

  • Ed Schoenfeld

    Lyerla beats out Taylor at TE.

    House makes the team at CB.

    Only 2 QBs

    Ed

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      I’m thinking the same Ed, I don’t think they keep 3 QB. I hadn’t noticed he left House off, House makes team and I’m wondering if Neal, the UDFA RB from Tennessee makes the 53 man roster too. This is a very talented team that just needs to stay healthy!

    • Lefty

      Think it’s veteran Bush or rookie Goodson for one spot. Think rookie Hubbard makes it at OLB. Might not be able to keep Guion from Minnesota – Ted likes to keep his own. Depends on injuries & performance. Heck – they could keep him & cut Raji if he doesn’t play well in preseason – save about 3 million bucks.

      • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

        Sh#*, now I forgot Hubbard! I read in one of those top players list’s available for the draft, Hubbard was #91. TT and MM are going to have to make some difficult cuts at the end of camp.

      • Archie

        I have a strong feeling this is the year Bush gets cut.

        I don’t know how they structured his contract but it is true that they can save $3MM by cutting Raji he better perform or will be walking the plank too. Last year’s performance was not worthy of a spot on the 53.

        My fondest wish is that both Hawk/Jones get cut as well. We’ve just got to defend the middle of the field better. If not this year, surely next year.

        • Stroh

          They gave Raji a one yr 4M deal, the contract has only 500K guaranteed. The Packers would save 3.5M if they released Raji, but it would have to happen b4 wk 1 of the regular season. Otherwise as a vested NFL vet the full amount is guaranted once the regular season starts.

          Keep dreamin tho.. Raji is going NOWHERE this year and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they Packers give him a contract beyond this year. He’s going to have a damn good year playing NT for the first time in 3 yrs.

    • dobber

      I think House makes the team unless he’s regressed significantly, or someone just plain lights it up in camp. With Williams contract coming up, they have to have a plan…

  • Slim11

    Two QBs…Flynn is a very low cap hit if cut. Tolzien, IIRC, was not only signed to the active roster last season, but was also given a sizable pay increase because another team was trying to sign him (Cleveland?). If Tolzien shows significant improvement, which I think is entirely possible, he’ll stay over Flynn. That said, I like Flynn because of his experience in the GB offense.

    I don’t know about Worthy. I know he had a death in the family during OTAs. But reports say he pulled a near-disappearing act for the OTAs he was not excused from and in the mini-camp.

    Lyerla can make this team. I just don’t know which player he beats out…Taylor or Bostick.

    If Harper makes it, I hope Janis is retained on the PS.

    • Stroh

      Tolzien’s sizable pay increase was that of a PS pay rate to the active roster pay, maybe, MAYBE slightly more. He isn’t making much more than any active bottom of the roster QB w/ minimal to no NFL production.

      Flynn is a proven winner, which is more than can be said of Tolzien. He’s been in the NFL for going on his 4th year and has yet to show anything worth keeping him. Harbaugh asked him to walk and he’s on his last legs in GB. He’s out of the NFL if he can’t beat out Flynn and I don’t believe he can.

  • John Zoul

    I’ve tried to pick the final 53-man roster for the past several years. I have consistently picked correctly between 49 and 51 each year, with the mean of slightly above 50. Am leaning strongly towards two QBs. Flynn is nothing more than a pedestrian backup with a weak arm and no upside. That being said, it looks like it will realistically be between he and Tolzien for backup with the other one being released.
    We usually have two or three UDFAs make the ’53’…So, we have to wait until training camp to see who they could be…Early thoughts, lean towards Hubbard and Lyerla, with a long shot of Neal or Parkins. These are normally the toughest picks for me…

  • marpag

    I kinda hate to say it, but Sherrod is really going to have to show something to keep himself from getting cut. In my opinion, he needs to show that he is clearly a better option than Don Barclay, otherwise there’s a good chance that’s he’s gone.

    Like many other teams, the Packers don’t always keep a fourth tackle, and Sherrod’s base salary for 2014 is 1.3 million. That’s pretty pricey for a number four tackle who doesn’t normally dress on game day. Barclay, on the other hand is a much more proven commodity, and his total compensation is only 571,000.

    Also, there is at least some optimism that Barclay could fill in at guard if needed. Sherrod doesn’t strike me as a viable inside guy.

    Somebody could make the argument, “Yes, but Barclay doesn’t look like a LEFT tackle, so what if Bakhtiari goes down? Sherrod could be better fit than Barclay on the left.” OK, it’s a decent argument, and I would probably have to agree that I wouldn’t like to see Barclay on the left. But the Packers clearly believe that Bulaga could play left tackle, and Barclay can play right. (Of course, Bulaga has some injury concerns as well).

    Finally, it might be a little dicey to go into the year without a true backup guard. I don’t see Tretter or Linsley playing anything but center. If the Packers keep a backup guard like Lane Taylor, that only decreases the chances that they would also keep a fourth tackle.

    Of course, they could keep Sherrod AND another guard, but then you’d have to cut at some other position group…

    • Stroh

      Sherrod has never had a chance to show anything. Rookie year no offseason and an abbreviated training camp. Then the injury wiped out 2 full years. They’ll at least give him this year to see if he’s an NFL player. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they signed him in the cheap to give him more time either. If he fully recovers he should be a starting OT. If he shows something a likely starting LT is too valuable to let walk w/o any return on the investment.

      • marpag

        I agree that he could remain with the Packers… if he shows something by the end of training camp.

        If he doesn’t show that he’s a player by the end of camp, there is very, very little chance that a fourth string tackle is going to show it during in-season practices, when coaches are installing game plans and giving reps to the starters. And when the guy who couldn’t play in training camp (and was 1.3 million worth of dead weight during the season) gets to the end of the year, his contract expires and there is no guarantee that the Packers could get him back even if they wanted to.

        The idea of resigning him to yet another contract after he’s gone another year without showing anything strikes me as the very definition of “throwing good money after bad.”

        I sincerely hope he’s a player. But if he doesn’t show it by the end of training camp, I would cut him and never look back.

        • Big T

          He should’ve been cut a long time ago. It sucks that he was badly injured that way, but the truth is he will never start in the NFL.

  • WKUPackFan

    Agree with Ed & Nick, only two QBs will be kept on the 53 with another on the PS. That roster spot is needed for other purposes.

  • Stroh

    If the Packers keep 3 QB’s one of the backups has to be a legit possible starter in a year or 2. I don’t see that in the future w/ either Flynn or Tolzien. Both are career backups at best, neither has starting potential.

    I agree w/ JDM, if Flynn isn’t far and away the better QB, and I think he is, he won’t be on the roster. I don’t think Tolzien makes the roster. I think Flynn beats him out and they go w/ only 2 QB’s. Tolzien would have to take a BIG step up to really challenge Flynn and if that happens they’ll just keep Tolzien and release Flynn.

    Right now I give Harper the inside track to the #5 WR job and if they keep 6 out of White, Abbrederis Dorsey that player would have to be a heavy ST contributor and none of them, except possibly Dorsey would make a good ST player. Abbrederis too weak and White is too small. I expect only 5 WR w/ another TE, probably Lyerla being a ST player w/ developmental ability.

    When looking at the last roster spots at each position the best thing is to group them all together, instead of by position and think which ones would be the better ST player? TE, LB FB and Safety/CB make the best ST players.

    • Oppy

      I like Flynn.. while naysayers say he has nothing but a weak arm and no upside, I say he led the Packers to a down-to-the-wire, near-win on the road at the nearly impossible-to-win-at (at the time) Gillette stadium (the Nobody’s Underdog game.) Flynn doesn’t have the measurables and he doesn’t show up in practice, but on game day, he has that intangible referred to as ‘leadership’, and a desire to win.

      All that being said, the Packers CLEARLY believe Tolzien has far greater upside, and I think when you consider the fact that his glaring deficiency last season was that he literally didn’t know the offense well enough to audible out of a bad call based on the defense (he was stuck running a play that he knew was a bad one), I think if it comes down to Flynn or Tolzien the Packers make what will amount to a clear, easy decision for them, but a very controversial decision as far as fans are concerned, and they cut Matt Flynn loose.

      Tolzien made mistakes, but he showed a strong arm, some playmaking ability, and absolutely zero fear. I’m not a huge fan, but the Packers seem to have a feeling that Tolzien is going to click and stick.

      • Two Bears, One Cup

        Tolzien has a bit more upside, Flynn knows the system better and is a gamer. 50-50 either way. Seems like other teams have soured on Flynn – we certainly didn’t have to hurry to pick him up. And Flynn wouldn’t need much time to pick it back up with the Packers as a mid-season emergency pickup. Therefore, I’m casting my vote with Tolzien to make the squad, because Flynn could still (more or less) be our QB3.

        As soon as I finished typing that I thought, “Still think Flynn makes the team.” Stupid brain.

      • Stroh

        I don’t think Tolzien has more upside than Flynn. Flynn is pretty much what he is at this point, but so is Tolzien. He’s had 4 yrs to develop but he hasn’t. He’s had 2 strong QB coaches to help him develop (Harbaugh and McCarthy) but he hasn’t. Knowing the plays better isn’t going to turn him into much more than he is right now. Having a stonger arm doen’t match Flynn’s intangible. Flynn’s intangible make him a better backup than Tolzien will ever be IMO.

  • Oppy

    I’m trying desperately to find a way to get Hubbard, Lyerla, and House on the roster.

    Packers have always gone 2 QB’s on the roster under TT. So, there’s one slot.

    In a surprise (kind of) move, the Packers cut their losses with Jerel Worthy, making way for pass rusher Hubbard at OLB and knowing that Neal is still strong enough to fill in as a pass rushing DL in place of whatever reps Worthy would have taken. Worthy might have talent, but his career in GB hasn’t worked out for various reasons, just feels like a situation where it’s not going to work out for him without a change of atmosphere. *If the Packers stick behind Worthy and allow him this year to see how he performs now that he’s healthy, I could see darkhorse fan favorite Sean Richardson not making the team. He’s a thumper in a league that doesn’t allow much thumping at S anymore, and he’s got that neck injury looming. I could see him being a ‘surprise’ cut.

    Last, in another somewhat unexpected move (to help me get these three guys onthe roster ;) ) , the Packers “only” keep 5 wide receivers. Packers fans have ALWAYS over valued our project/PS receivers, year in and year out. The difference in 2014? Packers have the strongest, most legitimate stable of running backs we’ve had since Green/Davenport/Fischer/Henderson.. With that being said, that means we’re going to probably attempt to keep a RB (or TWO) on the field more often than ever to keep the offense balanced and the defense on their toes. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the 5 wide sets that MM was obsessed with years ago, and it is looking less and less likely to see more than 3 wide with Lacy/Harris/Starks and some talent at TE in MM’s pocket. Occasional 4 wide sets I expect. That being said, either Harper or Abbrederis fail to make the squad.

    Extremely solid 53, and difficult for me to squeeze in Hubbard, House, and Lyerla, but I think I did it!

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      Maybe we will see more Slot-I plays, with Kuhn/Lady in the backfield and 3 WR. Or more formations with an h-back role, rather than the traditional, unmoving, inline TE. And some 4WR sets with Lacy or Starks in the backfield. Put your best guys on the field, right? And right now, I don’t think TE is a position of strength.

    • Bear

      Hubbard is being overrated! It wasn’t just his heart condition why he wasn’t drafted it was his lack of motivation!

    • Stroh

      Packers haven’t used the 5 wide set in years really. Yet everyone acts like its a staple of the Packer offense. They used it when they had NO running game to speak of and the OL was a mess. Now we have a legit running game, among the deepest stable of RB’s in the NFL and a solid and potentially very good OL.

      There is no way the Packers used 5 Wide sets now. You might see some 4 WR, but that’ll be limited and is Bostic improves as a legit weapon, you won’t even see 4 WR very often.

      Packers will be using a RB on the field virtually every down, no matter of down/distance.

      Harper has the inside track to the #5 WR spot IMO. He’s well ahead of the rookies and has as much if not more upside. Abbrederis and Janis go on the PS.

  • Adam Czech

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sherrod and/or Worthy get cut.

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    I’d bet Flynn gets one more year. That Taylor is replaced with Hubbard. Sherrod is replaced with House.

    Good list Adam.

  • Two Bears, One Cup

    Is there any chance that the strength of this year’s rookie class allows for more talent to get through to the practice squad? With all the WR talent that came out this year it seems like Janis could make it through to the PS. And Hubbard wasn’t even drafted, so there is definitely a good chance he ends up on the PS. Goodson might make it through, too.

    If we don’t see much of a few young guys in the preseason I would guess this means the coaches are sure he won’t be ready this year but like his potential. So they try to keep other teams from seeing much and getting interested in our guy.

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      Great point.

    • dobber

      I have a hunch that one of these developmental players will suddenly have a “serious” injury toward the end of camp and end up on IR.

  • Oppy

    IMO, Hubbard might slip past initial waivers but I think if the Packers place him on PS it is only a matter of time before a team takes a shot on placing him on their active roster.

    The reason I think he could get past waivers but not last on PS is that the reason why he slipped out of the draft is because of concerns about a congenital heart condition that was discovered at the combine. The Packers took the first plunge and checked him out and gave him the green light medically. Teams may fear that if Hubbard doesn’t make the final 53 it could be because of his heart condition. If the Packers turn around and sign him to the PS however, I think teams will see that as a sign that all is well with him medically, and someone might take a shot at swiping him off the PS down the road.

    Just a gut feeling. Hubbard was too productive a pass rusher to have him slip through the cracks otherwise, IMO.

  • GBPDAN

    Keep House over Bush. House can cover much better than Bush, now. And, house still has potential. Bush is good on STs, but, we now have a bunch of fresh Youngblood to fill in on STs.

    • John Zoul

      We really need to go through preseason training camp before making our projected picks. There are likely to be injuries, pulled hamstrings, injured knees,etc. that changes who is cut and who makes it.

      I can’t get the Detroit game out of my mind in which Flynn stunk and looked totally clueless.

      Overall, going into training camp the end of the month, we look to be a much deeper team with the exception of backup QB. However, there are probably 28 other teams with the same issue.

      One last thought, what are everyone’s thoughts on our new defensive line players, versus Pickett and Jolly being unsigned (by anyone). Will this be an upgrade? Their lateral movement left quite a bit to be desired in 2013. Also, Pickett’s salary last year vis-a-vis his production seems to have sealed his fate, unless he receives a veteran minimum contract. He clearly is a second level player at this point in his career.

      • dobber

        “I can’t get the Detroit game out of my mind in which Flynn stunk and looked totally clueless.”

        Who DIDN’T stink and look clueless in that one?

        • Two Bears, One Cup

          Without looking anything up, I have in my mind that Nick Perry played all right that day. But most of my memory of that game has been repressed. I do remember thinking that, despite the lopsided score, the game wasn’t as close as the scoreboard indicated. What bothered me most was that so many Packers looked like they didn’t give a damn. Discredit to McCarthy for that game, credit to McCarthy for getting everyone going again and saving the season.

  • Frolio

    Just a little musing, given that many have indicated they’d like Rajion Neal, Lyerla, Hubbard, and House (or some portion of that group) to make the 53.

    Keep Rodgers and Tolzien at QB w/ Rettig on PS if worthy, and Flynn is likely sitting home available if needed. This frees up one spot – let’s say for Hubbard.

    Goodson very well could slip through to the PS since there’s nothing I’ve seen that’s too remarkable in his measurables, plus he’s 25, which would scare some teams off. Keeping House instead of him gets House on the squad.

    If Lyerla is the Swiss Army Knife (TE/FB/H-Back/ST dynamo) that some claim he is, and if the Packers feel he has his head on straight, keep him over Taylor.

    Now for the shocker on how to keep R. Neal – if Lyerla is all the things stated above (a HUGE if), he fills Kuhn’s role as lead blocker in 2-back sets and that frees us up to keep R. Neal.

    Of course, as stated by someone else, injuries will probably make some of these decisions for the team – you just hope those injuries (or “injuries”) happen at the bottom of the depth chart.

    Let’s hope the depth shows so well that it makes the decisions REALLY hard and that the players selected to the 53 prove TT and MM right as they’re called upon, because that will lead to a very sucessful season and a team that’s set up to continue their success!

    • Two Bears, One Cup

      I also think Goodson to PS is possible. That he is older than House should help him stay there. I could see Rajion Neal on the PS, too. Really, we always like our guys and think other teams are just biding their time, waiting for us to put our guys on the PS so they can snatch them up, but it doesn’t seem to happen very often.

  • Sugarbear

    Here’s an idea. Lyerla looked good out of the backfield in college. Cut Kuhn and keep Lyerla.

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