Category Archives: Brandon Underwood

1

October

Packers Roster Transactions: What’s Up With Nick Collins?

In week 2, starting safety Nick Collins was lost for the year with a neck injury, and yesterday it was announced that Collins underwent neck surgery. Head coach Mike McCarthy was completely devastated when announcing the news to the media and insisted that there is a 0% chance that Collins will play another down in 2011.  And yet, nearly two weeks later, Collins remains on the team and is still listed on the team’s weekly injury report.

This is especially odd when you consider how precious a roster spot truly is.  Here at AllGreenBayPackers.com, the staff each predicted the 53 “starting” opening day roster, and each of us had to cut players who we felt deserved a spot on the roster.  Obviously, none of us were really remotely close (I think we all had 6 wide receivers on the roster for one), but the fact remains, I think we all wish that we had 54 roster spots to work with.

The Packers, however, seem to be going about it from a completely opposite approach.  The Packers are essentially playing with 50 players at the moment; Collins is out for the year, defensive end Mike Neal looks to be out at least until after the bye week if not entirely with a knee injury and outside linebacker Frank Zombo is out with another long injury with a broken shoulder blade.

Traditionally, when a player sustains a type of injury that is season ending, the team would immediately place that player on injured reserve and then usually sign or trade for a player who plays the same position to compensate.  This is even more true for playing making starters going on IR, since depth is needed at that position.  For instance when Tennessee Titan’s wide receiver Kenny Britt, a focal point on the Titan’s passing game, was placed on IR after tearing his ACL, veteran free agent wide receiver Donny Avery was signed immediately to replace him.  There are stories where general managers will call up free agents during a game to sign them when they are sure that they’ve player will be lost to IR.

So what are the possible reasons that the Packers would be keeping a roster spot for a player already for all intents and purposes on IR?

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3

September

Green Bay Packers Roster Cuts: Chastin West and Brandon Underwood Let Go

Cuts continue to trickle in as the Green Bay Packers attempt to trim their roster to the league-mandated number of 53 men by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Recevier Chastin West and defensive back Brandon Underwood are among the biggest names let go. Many thought West had an opportunity to crack the 53-man roster as the sixth receiver after an impressive camp and preseason. Underwood was attempting to play safety after being drafted as a cornerback in the sixth round in 2009.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein, these players have been released so far:

CB Brandon Underwood: Underwood just never lived up to all the athletic potential. He wasn’t a mature guy off the field and injuries started to get the best of him. Not a good combination to have when trying to make a talented football team.

WR Chastin West: Many thought he’d stick as the sixth receiver, but West will get his chance in the NFL. He’ll be picked up in a hurry.

G Caleb Schlauderaff: He’s a practice squad possibility. The Packers are thin on the interior of their offensive line.

CB Brandian Ross: Made some plays to open camp but tailed off from there.

WR Diondre Borel: Never had much of a chance at a position full of talented players.

G Sampson Genus: May still be a practice squad guy.


WR Kerry Taylor: It was always going to be an uphill climb for Taylor at a stacked position. He’ll be a guy the Packers look at to bring back on the practice squad.

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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.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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6

July

Brandon Underwood: No More Second Chances

Brandon Underwood is once again in trouble with the law after an alleged altercation with his wife, Brandie.

If you haven’t heard by now, Green Bay Packers cornerback Brandon Underwood is once again in trouble with Lady Justice. WLUK Fox 11 News in Northeast Wisconsin cracked the story yesterday of Underwood’s alleged altercation with his wife, Brandie, on June 16th, the night he and his teammates received their Super Bowl XLV Championship Rings.

According to Mrs. Underwood’s story, the two were having an argument that evening on their way home from the ring ceremony. Brandon Underwood allegedly became incensed over her wearing the Super Bowl necklace given to her by the Packers organization, then ripped it off her neck while still in their car.

Underwood was then said to have gotten out of the car, walked around to the passenger side door, and dragged Brandie from the vehicle before driving away. She immediately phoned the police, and Underwood was arrested upon his return.

The couple is reportedly going through a divorce.

This incident comes not long after Underwood was the center of attention in an alleged sexual assault case involving two women at a Wisconsin Dells hotel last year. Though nothing came of the women’s claims about the sex being forced on them, Underwood did enter a no-contest plea to one count of prostitution non-marital sexual intercourse last March.

He was fined $379.00 by a Sauk County judge.

Perhaps it is a fitting retribution, then, that the personification of the law is a woman, since Brandon Underwood finds it hard to stay out of trouble when around the opposite sex.

Though fans didn’t wholly condemn him for his previous entanglement with the law, it left Underwood on a short rope for many people. Some saw him as a victim of his celebrity status, while others – after hearing about his married status and two children – were disgusted with his infidelity. Despite his foolish behavior, there still wasn’t a lot of ado regarding his position with the team.

Yes, Underwood had to apologize for his actions in front of his teammates, and yes, it made McCarthy look a little bit foolish for some of his earlier compliments, but other than that, adultery wasn’t much to get too hung up about in the grand scheme of things.

30

May

The Green Bay Packers and the 2011 Salary Cap: What Ted Thompson Might be Thinking

Packers GM Ted Thompson might have to make some tough calls if the Packers are over the 2011 salary cap.

Brian Carriveau of Cheesehead TV raised an interesting question recently: How will a salary cap in 2011 impact the Green Bay Packers?

The Packers had one of the highest payrolls in the NFL last season. The new collective bargaining agreement likely will include a salary cap, which could require the Packers to trim payroll.

Of course, the Packers have people on staff whose main duties include managing payroll and maneuvering within the salary cap. The Packers probably would not have to purge half their roster like the Chicago Blackhawks did after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, but a few moves may be necessary.

Zach Kruse’s recent post examined possible cuts for the Packers in 2011. Lets expand on that a bit. If the Packers had to make cuts to fit under the salary cap, who could they spare? Of course, it would depend on several factors, but if Ted Thompson approached the issue using a categorized list, here is how I think that list might look.

Untouchable
Aaron Rodgers, QB
BJ Raji, NT
Charles Woodson, CB
Greg Jennings, WR
Clay Matthews, OLB
Josh Sitton, OG

These players should stay with the Packers no matter what. There is no way they should be cut. They should only be mentioned in trade talks if a team is dumb enough to propose a Herschel Walker to the Vikings type of deal (even that would not be good enough to get Rodgers).

I debated if Woodson and Sitton should be on the untouchable list, Woodson because he’s old and Sitton because he’s due for a mega contract after 2011. I kept Woodson in the untouchable category because even though he’s not the cover corner he once was, he does so many other things at a high level that I’m not sure how the Packers would replace him.

Sitton will probably get a megadeal sometime soon, which made me think Ted Thompson would listen to trade offers if someone called with the right deal. But you can never have enough elite talent protecting Rodgers, so Sitton makes the untouchables.

Keepers
Nick Collins, S
Tramon Williams, CB
Sam Shields, CB
Jermichael Finley, TE
Chad Clifton, LT

26

May

Who Might Not Survive the Packers Final Roster Cut in 2011?

Packers GM Ted Thompson once again put together a solid draft class a month ago, adding more talent to a roster that was already among the best in the NFL.

But with a roster full to the brim in depth, several players that are currently on the roster won’t be making it back for 2011. Here a list of the players who may not be back on the Packers 53-man roster next season.

Also, to keep this post away from free agency, players not currently under contract were excluded from this list.

 

LB Nick Barnett

His situation remains one of the trickier to assess. Are the Packers going to float his name in trade discussions? And would any team bite at a price that makes sense?

Either way, his $6 million contract and recent demotion makes him an expensive backup. The Packers have a tough decision to make regarding Barnett’s future in Green Bay if they don’t trade him. A straight up release could be in the cards.

 

T Mark Tauscher

With the Packers taking Derek Sherrod in the first round, Tauscher becomes even more expendable. And even without a high draft pick on the roster, there was a chance the Packers weren’t going to bring him back.

He’s almost 34 years old, hasn’t been healthy in three years and is owed over $4 million next season. The only chance he has of returning is if he takes a substantial pay cut.

 

RB Dimitri Nance

Nance’s future might be solely tied into the free agent dealings with Brandon Jackson. If Jackson returns, there’d likely be little-to-no chance the Packers could afford using another roster spot on a running back.

But if Jackson isn’t retained, the Packers might be able to squeeze four running backs—Ryan Grant, James Starks, Alex Green and Nance—onto the roster. He’ll have to sit and wait. He could ultimately be a candidate for the practice squad, however.

 

TE Tom Crabtree

It pains me to say it, as he has quickly become a fan favorite, but Crabtree will have to really fight for his spot during training camp. Of course, that is nothing new to him. But the Packers did take two tight ends in the draft, and it’s possible that both D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor could bring more to the football table than Crabtree.

27

April

2011 Draft Prep: Green Bay Packers Needs by Position – Cornerback

In this next installment of our 2011 Draft Prep series looking at the Green Bay Packers’ needs by position, we are going to analyze how the cornerback position currently stands. Strengths, weaknesses, depth, and uncertainties will all be examined to determine the urgency of need in regards to next season.

This series is meant to help us figure out the needs of the team and how the draft could be used to improve the weaker areas. While Ted Thompson largely uses the “best player available” (BPA) approach, his decision to trade up or down the board is affected by what position players he would prefer to have. Additionally, the picking up of players in the later rounds and in undrafted free agency is often based on need, since the talent is less defined.

CURRENT PLAYERS:

#21 Charles Woodson
34 yrs. old / 13 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2014

#38 Tramon Williams
28 yrs. old / 4 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2014

#37 Sam Shields
23 yrs. old / 1 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2012

#24 Jarrett Bush
26 yrs. old / 5 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2011

#22 Pat Lee
27 yrs. old / 3 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2011

#28 Brandon Underwood
24 yrs. old / 2 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2012

#40 Josh Gordy
24 yrs. old / 1 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2012

Josh Bell
26 yrs. old / 3 yrs. exp.
Free Agent

* Contract information acquired from RotoWorld.com

POSITION STRENGTHS:

Many NFL analysts have said that the Green Bay Packers have the best secondary in the league, and it all begins with the cornerbacks. Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, and Sam Shields are three players that no quarterback wants to face.

Charles Woodson, the 2009 AP Defensive Player of the Year, was undoubtedly Ted Thompson’s best free agent signing ever. He is the Packers’ Troy Polamalu – a guy who is everywhere and does everything on the field. Though his man-to-man cover skills have receded, Woodson’s ability to disrupt plays from the line have made him invaluable.

In his past three years with the team, Woodson accumulated 18 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, 7 sacks, and 6 touchdowns. He is also credited with 48 passes defended in that span of time.

26

April

According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Cornerbacks

Cornerbacks: Here’s the ninth of a series of articles, looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. (Read here for the rationale for this series, here for quarterbacks, here for running backs, here for wide receivers, here for tight ends, here for offensive tackles, here for offensive interior linemen, here for defensive ends, here for outside linebackers and here for inside linebackers).  This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what cornerbacks are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.

Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion.  Also listed below are also two cornerbacks in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best, based on their combine numbers.

Statistics of cornerbacks drafted by the Packers:

Name Height Weight 40-Yard 3-Cone Shuttle Vertical Broad Bench
Marviel Underwood 5’10” 205.00 4.45 7.12 4.22 38.00 118.00 19.00
Michael Hawkins 6’1” 180.00 4.41 6.79 4.20 34.00
Will Blackmon 6’0” 210.00 4.47 6.69 4.24 41.00 133.00
Patrick Lee 5’11” 194.00 4.41 7.07 4.30 31.00 120.00 15.00
Brandon Underwood 6’1” 192.00 4.54 16.00
Average 6’0″ 196.20 4.46 6.92 4.24 36.00 123.67 16.67
StDev 1.30 11.76 0.05 0.21 0.04 4.40 8.14 2.08


What the Packers are looking for: The NFL is a passing league now and it makes sense that cornerbacks are one of the most highly drafted players in the NFL, right after wide receivers; just as offenses are trotting out 5 wide receivers, defenses are following suit with multiple cornerbacks, with the nickel cornerback being a de facto starter these days.  With that being said Ted Thompson doesn’t have the best track record of picking cornerbacks in the draft.