Category Archives: Alex Green

6

May

Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson averages a draft whiff a year

Packers general manager Ted Thompson selected future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his first pick as the Green Bay GM.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson selected future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his first pick as the Green Bay GM.

This will be Ted Thompson’s 10th NFL Draft as the Packers general manager. He has been arguably the biggest lightning rod for criticism over the years.

There is inherent value in every round of the draft, but the most consistent value lies in rounds 1-3, which is where I also focus my attention.

Thompson did a masterful job early on. When you land a guy like Aaron Rodgers as your first pick to begin your new job, things are looking pretty good. He added safety Nick Collins and wide receiver Terrence Murphy, who were both forced to leave pro football early after suffering neck injuries.

The next year, Thompson did another excellent job by adding fifth overall pick in linebacker A.J. Hawk, second rounders in guard Daryn Colledge and wide receiver Greg Jennings and third round guard Jason Spitz. The only guy that was a question mark was third round linebacker Abdul Hodge because injuries forced him to only start one game in four NFL seasons.

But after hitting so many home runs in his first two seasons, Thompson was due for some whiffs. And that’s exactly what happened in 2007. Justin Harrell, arguably the worst pick of Thompson’s career, started just two of 14 games in his three-year career. It was a little head scratching that the Packers even used a first round pick on Harrell, who entered the league hurt after tearing his biceps at Tennessee.

Brandon Jackson is another strikeout. The former Nebraska track star/football player was able to play bit roles but is now looking for a job. James Jones gave the Packers a good return on its third-round investment. He proved he could start but was never capable of winning the top receiver job. The final whiff of 2007 is Aaron Rouse. The safety played just three seasons before signing with the now-defunct United Football League.

The following year, there were two more whiffs sandwiched in between a couple of home runs. Obviously, second rounder Jordy Nelson has carved out a pretty nice career as one of Rodgers’ go-to targets. However, second rounder Brian Brohm, after not being able to get comfortable with the speed of the NFL game, is now playing quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. The other miss was second round cornerback Patrick Lee, who only started one game in his Green Bay career. The other great get that Thompson secured was third rounder Jermichael Finley. Although his mouth got in the way early on, Finley was one of the most athletic tight ends in the game when healthy.

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3

October

Where Are They Now: Following Former Packers

With the 2013 season now a quarter of the way over, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all the Packers who played for the 2012 team who are now playing somewhere else.  Have the Packers really missed them?  Have they made a contribution to their new teams?  (note: snaps are only counting offense and defense, not special teams)

Alex Green (New York Jets)

  • 2012 season: 343 snaps, 135 attempts for 464 Yds, 3.4ypc, 0 TDs, 1 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 40 snaps, 28 rushing attempts for 60 Yds, 2.1ypc, 0 TDs, 0 Fum
  • Alex Green never really was able to overcome the ACL injury he suffered as a rookie and became one of the few high draft picks to be quickly dumped by the Ted Thompson regime.  Green quickly found a new home with the New York Jets, one of the teams that curiously have been linked to the Packers (numerous trades of picks, Caleb Schlauderaff and of course Brett Favre).  As of yet, Green hasn’t been able to make much of an impact even with an apparent opening at the running back position with the Jets; Chris Ivory has been hobbled with injuries, Mike Goodson just returned from suspension and KR/RB Joe McKnight was sent packing.  At the moment, Green is projected as the 3rd running back and is on pace for about 60 yards rushing with a 2.1 average.   For the Packers James Starks has played pretty well and Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin have both showed promise.  the Packers are fine at running back without Green.

Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)

  • 2012 season: 416 snaps, 36 Rec for 366 Yds, 10.2 YPC, 4 TDs, 0 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 664 snaps, 56 Rec, 1,008 Yds, 18.0 ypc, 8 TD, 0 Fum
27

August

Packers News: Dujuan Harris to IR

The Packers have announced that running back Dujuan Harris has been placed on IR, ending his 2013 season before it even started.  This perhaps culminates a star-crossed offseason for Harris, who coming in to the offseason looked like the Packers starter.  During the training camp physical, a fist sized cyst was found in Harris’ lung which forced him to miss much of the beginning of training camp.  Once allowed to return, Harris was again hobbled by a knee injury, which finally looked behind Harris coming into the 3rd preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.  Unfortunately, Harris appears to have re-injured the same knee in the 2nd quarter and did not return to the game.

 

 

Afterwards, Harris sought out a second opinion and apparently the news did not come back well and thus Mike McCarthy has announced that Harris will be placed on IR.  No news has been announced if the Packers will decide to use the IR/Designated to Return tag on Harris, which would allow him to return after week 6 of the regular season.

With Harris out, Eddie Lacy presumably becomes the defacto starting running back with Johnathan Franklin, Alex Green and James Starks as backups.

 

Update:

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al\'s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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16

August

Checking Up on the Packers’ Third-Year Players

Packers RB Alex Green could have the most to lose among third-year players.

Packers RB Alex Green could have the most to lose among third-year players.

At a time where rookies are looking to make an impression, sophomores are trying to make that jump, and veterans are honing their skills, it’s easy to overlook the third-year players. These guys are knee-deep into that transition between being a “young guy” and being a “veteran.” And for many of them, it’s this transition that will make or break their careers. When a football player goes looking to sign his second contract after three or four years, he’s going to know exactly what he’s worth – both to his own team and other teams.

The third-year players for the Green Bay Packers are an interesting group, to say the least. After winning the Super Bowl in 2010, the Packers picked at the 32nd spot in the 2011 NFL Draft. It’s a double-edged sword, because it represents a great achievement, but also provides a great challenge on draft day.

General Manager Ted Thompson ended up taking ten players that day, and four of them are no longer on the roster: G Caleb Schlauderaff (Round 6, No. 179), LB D.J. Smith (Round 6, No. 186), LB Ricky Elmore (Round 6, No. 197), and their final pick DE Lawrence Guy (Round 7, No. 233). Schlauderaff was traded to the New York Jets at the beginning of the regular season, Elmore was a disappointment who left with the cuts, Guy spent a year on injured reserve before being signed from the practice squad by the Indianapolis Colts, and D.J. Smith was a semi-surprising cut by the Packers last April.

The remaining six picks and two undrafted rookie free agents have made it this far, so let’s take a quick look at where they might be headed:

T Derek Sherrod (Round 1, No. 32)

  • Fate hasn’t been kind to Sherrod. No matter what people gleaned about his abilities from his short time in training and practices, there’s no avoiding the fact that his injury killed the value of Thompson’s first round pick. Sherrod’s been off the field since December 2011, and there’s no telling when he’ll get back on, not to mention how he will perform if he does. The Packers will be as patient as possible, but the outlook just isn’t promising.

WR Randall Cobb (Round 2, No. 64)

8

August

Thursday 8/8 Packers practice: Calm before the storm

What I learned at Thursday's practice: Aaron Rodgers can throw a football.

What I learned at Thursday’s practice: Aaron Rodgers can throw a football. Pretty well.

The Packers will kick off the 2013 preseason tomorrow night at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

On Thursday morning at Ray Nitschke Field–the final practice before exhibition games start–the team opted to practice in shells, despite the fact that it was originally scheduled to be in full pads.

It was a slow-paced practice without many memorable plays, highlighted by a mid-practice pep talk from head coach Mike McCarthy. The skipper was dissatisfied with the pace of practice, so he paused the action to get his team going.

In the last couple drills of practice, the pace picked up and guys seemed to be playing with more energy.

Eddie Lacy (sort of) returned to practice

Yesterday, Packers running back Eddie Lacy was in flip-flops at practice. Today, he walked onto the practice field wearing cleats and carrying his helmet. But the walk from Armed Forces Drive to Ray Nitschke Field would be the most action Lacy would get all morning.

Lacy didn’t play a single rep at Thursday’s practice and looks highly unlikely to play in the preseason opener against the Cardinals.

At this point, it’s pretty clear that the coaching staff views Lacy as their No. 1 back. And if that’s the case, it makes sense to keep Lacy off the field in an effort to prevent his hamstring injury from lingering.

Vince Young continued to struggle

In my practice summary from yesterday, I suggested Young is not currently ready for game action. I came away from Thursday morning’s practice thinking the same thing.

During the team portion of practice, Young was intercepted multiple times and sailed a couple more passes well above the receiver’s head. Young did make a nice deep throw to Jeremy Ross, but the receiver couldn’t hang on in the endzone.

According to McCarthy, the Packers would like to get Young into Friday’s game at some point. A brief preseason appearance is one thing, but right now, Young is not ready for regular-season action. What’s the next step after rusty? That’s Vince Young right now.

Johnathan Franklin is quick, crafty in space

With Lacy on the sideline, James Starks and Alex Green got the most snaps with the No. 1 offense. But the most impressive back during Thursday’s (half-speed and unpadded) practice was rookie Johnathan Franklin.

24

July

Ten Packers Training Camp Topics: #1 — The Main Event

The Packers spent two draft picks on running backs, but could DuJuan Harris steal the starting job?

The Packers spent two draft picks on running backs, but could DuJuan Harris steal the starting job?

Quick. Think of a more anticipated Packers training-camp battle in recent years than this summer’s competition at running back. Good luck.

In 2012, the running back position saw a great deal of turnover. Desperate for a true feature back, the Packers opted to sign veteran Cedric Benson during the preseason. But Benson went down with a Lisfranc injury, opening the door for 2011 third-round pick Alex Green.

When Green failed to take full advantage of his opportunity, James Starks got a chance to prove his worth. Outside of a few nice runs, Starks was pretty average in his six regular-season appearances.

But late in the season, the team got a massive boost from journeyman DuJuan Harris. Just months after selling used cars in Florida, Harris was the feature back for the No. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs.

In six games with the Packers between the regular season and the playoffs, Harris carried the ball 62 times for 257 yards, an average of 4.1 yards per carry. While not spectacular, that’s a sizable upgrade over Benson’s average of 3.5, Green’s 3.4 and Starks’s 3.6.

Harris also scored four touchdowns in those six games.

This will be his first offseason with the Packers, and he’ll face the stiffest competition at the position in recent memory. Leading up to this year’s draft, Eddie Lacy was considered by most to be the best running back available, possibly cracking the first round and Johnathan Franklin was thought to be a surefire second rounder before falling to the Packers in the fourth round.

The rookies have yet to show what they can do in full pads, but there’s certainly reason to be excited about both. Lacy provides the Packers with their most physical running back in some time, and Franklin appears to be a natural fit within the Packers’ fast-paced, spread offense.

Franklin joined us last month at Packers Talk Radio Network for an interview.

Prior to the draft, I considered Franklin to be the second-best running back in the draft, behind Giovani Bernard and just ahead of Lacy. Ultimately, teams were scared off by Franklin’s small frame and ball-security issues which were on display through his first three years at UCLA. But fresh off his senior season in which he racked up over 2,000 total yards, Franklin expected to hear his name called much earlier than he actually did.

4

July

Will Lingering Injuries Hang Around the 2013 Packers?

Tramon Williams on the ground with an injured shoulder is something Packers fans do not want to see in 2013.

Injuries suck. Injuries suck worse when they occur to players who suit up for the Green Bay Packers.

What makes injuries even more sucky is that the serious ones linger into the following season, or lead to once-good players getting released (hello, Desmond Bishop).

The Packers have had a bunch of players go down with serious injuries since 2010. Many of those players are gone, many are still around and are still feeling the effects of those injuries today.

Which Packers could be battling lingering injuries in 2013? Unfortunately, too many:

Tramon Williams

After a Super-Bowl run where Williams elevated himself to near the top of the list in the “Who’s the best CB in the NFL?” debate, he jammed his shoulder early in 2011 and hasn’t been the same since. He hasn’t been bad, just not as good as we thought he’d be after the Super Bowl win. Williams talked openly about the nerve damage in his shoulder bothering him in 2011 and it’s unclear if it still dogged him in 2012. Nerve damage doesn’t sound like much fun, or an injury that automatically heals itself. The fact that Williams recently turned 30 probably doesn’t help his shoulder much, either.

Davon House
Speaking of shoulders, Davon House also had problems with his. After playing much of last season in a shoulder harness, House had surgery in the offseason and now says he feels better than ever. Unfortunately that’s what every player coming back from an injury says. You never know what’s going to happen when surgery is involved, though.

Alex Green
It’s not easy returning from a torn ACL. It takes most players two seasons to get back to where they were pre-injury. Every now and then, a guy will go Adrian Peterson and come back even stronger than he was before. Alex Green was not as good as Adrian Peterson before he hurt his knee in 2011 and he defintiely wasn’t Adrian Peterson his first season back in 2012. Will the knee still bother him in 2013? If it does, he might not make the team. It’ll probably come down to how comfortable the Packers are with James Starks’ always-nagging injuries and how they feel about Green’s knee.