Category Archives: 2013 Training camp

26

March

Why Haven’t The Packers Resigned Matt Flynn?

Matt Flynn

In case anyone forgot, the 2013 Packers will always be remembered as the “oh shit, Aaron Rodgers got hurt” season.  After Rodgers broke his clavicle against the Bears, it became quite apparent that the Packers front office had been unusually caught with its collective pants off by having no viable backup to keep the team afloat.  This all started in training camp and the preseason as the Packers cut incumbent backup quarterbacks Graham Harrell and BJ Coleman, leaving former 1st round pick and overall bust Vince Young as the presumed backup, only to release him at the 53 man cut deadline.  After all that, the Packers front office signed Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien to actually backup the season.  Obviously the football gods didn’t look favorably to all this as Seneca Wallace got hurt almost immediately into his first start for the Packers and left an unproven and inexperienced Scott Tolzien to start for the Packers against the Giants and part of the Vikings game.  It was only when the Packers got to “plan F” did they get really desperate and call back old buddy Matt Flynn, who took over halfway into the Vikings game, managed to scrape a couple of tight wins against the Falcons and the Cowboys and managed to do just enough to keep the team afloat until Rodgers came back to play the Bears in the season finale with playoff hopes on the line.

This story is something that the Packers can ill afford to repeat; in all honestly the Packers did not get into the playoffs last year, the Bears and Lions were just even less deserving of a playoff berth.  So the question really becomes, why are the Packers repeating 2013 by not resigned Matt Flynn and what reason could they possibly have?

Matt Flynn would not be an expensive backup, after bombing out in Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo, its pretty apparent that the only team that has any value for Flynn is the Packers, and thus his asking price would be low due to no competition for his services.  There has been no news of Matt Flynn taking any visits with any other teams and no rumors that any other team is even interested.  Furthermore, Flynn missed out on the free agent signing rush, where some backup quarterbacks commanded as much as a $5 million average over 2-3 years.  As such, the best Flynn will likely see is a 1 year veteran minimum, which for a player with 6 years of experience means $730,000.

---- Get AddToAny
18

October

What Happens If Evan Dietrich-Smith Gets Hurt?

Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith

Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith

The injury headlines mostly coming out of Green Bay right now have been dealing with Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, James Jones and of course Randall Cobb.  While all these injuries are serious to the success of the team, one injury that has slipped under the radar a little bit that could have even more disastrous ramifications is that backup interior linemen Greg Van Roten has been placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, ending his season.  The reason why this should be more concerning then most people are realizing is two fold 1) there is no official backup center at the moment (Ourlads still has Van Roten as the backup) and more importantly 2) knowing how the Packers offense, chances are good an injury to starter Evan Dietrich-Smith will result in a lot of linemen playing new positions.  While losing two outside linebackers or two wide receivers is obviously not great, young back up players have a good shot at hiding some of that loss; for instance Jamari Lattimore did a astounding job last week in his first start, Mike Neal and Nick Perry have also done a great job covering for the loss of Clay Matthews and Jarrett Boykin looked to finally get in sync with quarterback Aaron Rodgers near the end of the game. However, losing the starting center for the Packers is like losing the starting center, guard and probably tackle as the entire offensive line will be shuffled as a result.  Considering the fact that the backup center is currently unknown, below are some of the possible offensive line options.

 

Situation: Evan Dietrich-Smith is injured, the Packers offensive line will look like…

 

Option 1: Bakhtiari (LT), Sitton (LG), Barclay (C), Lang (LG), Newhouse (RT) – postion changes: 2

Under the “best man available” strategy that the Packers love to employ, they bring out their 5 best offensive linemen out but probably in the worst position.  Barclay was seriously considered for the center position during the offseason but was pretty much an abject failure with multiple botched snaps and a general uneasiness about the position according to reports.  Newhouse takes Barclay’s place at right tackle, a position he’s never played in the NFL and one where he didn’t look all that comfortable in during preseason games either.  Surprisingly, Barclay has been pretty decent in pass protection this year and is a sizable upgrade in terms of run blocking to Newhouse so overall, it’s a total loss at right tackle.  On the plus side, Newhouse does have the most experience of the backups and probably has the best rapport with Rodgers but he’s never been able to overcome his limited physical abilities to become a really dependable player.  Nevertheless, if Dietrich-Smith was injured this week, I’m guessing this is what the Packers do.

5

September

Why No Trades For Ted Thompson?

Remember this guy?

DJ Williams, Brandon Bostick, James Starks, Alex Green.  All these names were brought up by the media and fans as possible trade bait that the Packers could dangle for future draft picks.  Ultimately, none of that came to fruition as Bostick and Starks made the team while DJ Williams and Alex Green were cut and subsequently found homes in Jacksonville and New York.  Some of you might be thinking, if the DJ Williams found a home in Jacksonville so quickly, why didn’t Thompson get a draft pick out of them?  It does seem like every year fans and media alike gush about the depth that the Packers’ offseason roster contains and start day dreaming about how great a draft Ted Thompson could have if he had more draft picks.  Overall Ted Thompson rarely trades players at all (save for the whole Brett Favre thing and the “tag and trade” of Corey Williams, and truth be told the odds are against Thompson in making trades right before the 53 man roster cut.

 

  1. The Packers are a stable organization: The Packers don’t have much turnover in their coaching staff or front office; sure coaches have left to for other teams and famously now 3 Ted Thompson disciples are GMs of their own teams, but the gradual loss of talent that the Packers have experienced is nothing like the building clearing clean sweep that some owners start after a couple dismal seasons.  The offshoot of this is that the players on the Packers roster were picked and paid by the current GM.  Everyone of the players on the team now are Thompson’s “guys” and he has a incentive to go protect them as much as he can.  This isn’t a situation where the previous regime drafted a dominant 3-4 outside linebacker but the new coaching staff plays a 4-3 defense.  From a transaction perspective, there aren’t attractive trading candidates that don’t fit the Packers scheme or philosophy.  One famous example of this was when Denver hired Josh McDaniels was hired and proceeded to tear apart the team that Mike Shanahan had assembled including Jay Culter and Brandon Marshall, two players that typically would never see the trading block.
4

September

Does Ben McAdoo deserve blame for Packers’ backup QB blunder?

Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was appointed to his role in 2012, despite having no prior experience at the position.

Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was appointed to his role in 2012, despite having no prior experience at the position.

When the Miami Dolphins hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their head coach in 2012, Tom Clements was promoted to offensive coordinator, leaving the team’s quarterbacks coach position vacant.

Ben McAdoo, who served under head coach Mike McCarthy in each of his previous two tenures with New Orleans and San Francisco, had experience coaching various offensive positions at the professional level. But prior to changing roles in 2012, McAdoo had no experience, at any level, working directly with the quarterback position.

Shortly after Philbin’s departure, Aaron Rodgers, who has given Clements a great deal of credit for his ascension to the NFL elite, was asked by Jason Wilde about how their relationship would change if Clements were, in fact, no longer his position coach.

“I don’t see our relationship changing a whole lot. I think if he were to get the coordinator job, he’d still want to spend some time with the quarterbacks,” Rodgers said. “I would guess they would look for someone to be the quarterbacks coach. I know when Tom originally got hired, that one of the names that Mike was interested in was Billy Joe Tolliver.”

Tolliver, whose playing career ended in 2001 after being beaten out by Doug Pederson in a competition to be Brett Favre’s backup, has never coached at the NFL level. However, Rodgers’ assumption that the team would look to a former quarterback to fill Clements’ role as the position coach suggests that he’d prefer to have a coach who has played the position.

Clements quarterbacked Notre Dame to a National Championship in 1973, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1974 and played professionally for more than a decade, bouncing between the CFL and NFL. But with a quarterback-savvy head coach in McCarthy, along with an offensive coordinator (Clements) who had served as the team’s quarterbacks coach for seven seasons, the Packers opted to promote McAdoo to quarterbacks coach.

Prior to the move, McAdoo had spent the previous six years in Green Bay as the team’s tight ends coach.

The Packers are no strangers to making curious promotions on their coaching staff; wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett played running back in the NFL for eight seasons, running backs coach Alex Van Pelt played 11 seasons as an NFL quarterback, and tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot also coached tight ends in Green Bay despite a 16-year playing career at center.

4

September

This year’s Packers Practice Squad Unusual for Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson looked outside of his own cuts to assemble this year's practice squad.

Ted Thompson looked outside of his own cuts to assemble this year’s practice squad.

Ted Thompson, almost to a fault, likes to keep “his guys” around for as long as possible. And this year’s practice squad looks very different than those of years past.

The team’s 2013 practice squad features four players from outside the Packers’ final cuts, along with wide receiver Charles Johnson, cornerback James Nixon, tight end Jake Stoneburner and wide receiver Myles White. Perhaps Thompson wanted some of his cuts to return to the practice squad before they were ultimately claimed by other teams.

Last year, seven members of the team’s practice squad spent training camp in Green Bay. Offensive lineman Chris Scott, signed from the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the lone member of the practice squad who didn’t spend the summer in Green Bay.

By the numbers, the eight-man practice squad tilts heavily towards the offense. Seven of the eight practice-squad spots are held by offensive players, leaving Nixon as the lone defender. On the other hand, the defense holds 28 of the 53 active roster spots.

Half of the practice squad spent the summer (or longer) with the Packers. Here they are:

WR Charles Johnson #17

A seventh-round draft pick from Grand Valley State, Johnson struggled to stay on the field throughout the summer. Hampered by injuries, the 6-foot-2 215-pound receiver showed flashes of his potential but didn’t show enough to merit a spot on the 53-man roster. It will be interesting to see whether or not Johnson or undrafted rookie Myles White is called upon if the injury bug bites the receiving corps.

CB James Nixon #25

Nixon was signed to the practice squad Sept. 20, 2012. A college running back and wide receiver, Nixon certainly has enough athleticism to make it at the professional level. He began his college career at Temple before transferring to the University of California in Pennsylvania for his senior season. After Mason Crosby, Nixon was the story of this year’s Family Night Scrimmage, thanks to an interception and a 66-yard return for a touchdown.

TE Jake Stoneburner #45

The former Ohio State tight end found himself buried on the training-camp depth chart behind veterans Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor. Stoneburner is not as athletic as Finley or second-year prospect Brandon Bostick, but he had a steady camp, which played a role in the team letting Williams walk. Thanks to his name, there’s a perception that Stoneburner is a throwback, in-your-face-type player, but he clocked a 4.53 in the forty-yard dash at Ohio State’s Pro Day.

31

August

AllGreenBayPackers.com Staff: Final 53-man Packers Roster Predictions

To make it easier for you to compare our Packers roster predictions, here they all are in a handy table. Enjoy mocking us when the actual roster is named!

Packers 53-Man Roster Predictions:

GREEN BAY PACKERS
53-Man Roster Predictions
QUARTERBACKS
Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
Rodgers Rodgers Rodgers Rodgers Rodgers Rodgers Rodgers
Young Young Young Young Young Young Young
2 2 2 2 2 2 2
RUNNING BACKS
Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
Lacy Lacy Lacy Lacy Lacy Lacy Lacy
Starks Green Green Franklin Franklin Franklin Franklin
Green Franklin Franklin Green Green Green Green
Franklin McKnight Kuhn Starks Starks Starks Starks
Kuhn Kuhn Kuhn Kuhn Kuhn Kuhn
5 5 4 5 5 5 5
TIGHT ENDS
Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
Finley Finley Finley Finley Finley Finley Finley
Quarless Quarless Quarless Quarless Quarless Mulligan Mulligan
Taylor Mulligan Bostick Williams Taylor Williams Quarless
Bostick Taylor Mulligan Mulligan Mulligan Taylor Taylor
Taylor Taylor Bostick Bostick Bostick
4 4 5 5 5 5 5
WIDE RECEIVERS
Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
Cobb Nelson Cobb Nelson Nelson Nelson Nelson
Jones Jones Nelson Jones Cobb Jones Jones
Nelson Cobb Jones Cobb Jones Cobb Cobb
Boykin Boykin Boykin Boykin Boykin Boykin Boykin
Ross Walker Ross Ross Ross Ross Ross
Walker Walker
6 5 6 5 5 5 5
OFFENSIVE LINE
Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
Bakhtiari Bakhtiari Bakhtiari Bakhtiari Bakhtiari Bakhtiari Bakhtiari
Sitton Sitton Sitton Sitton Sitton Sitton Sitton
EDS EDS EDS EDS EDS EDS EDS
Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang Lang
Barclay Barclay Barclay Barclay Barclay Barclay Barclay
Newhouse Newhouse Newhouse Newhouse Newhouse Newhouse Newhouse
Lewis Van Roten Van Roten Van Roten Van Roten Van Roten Van Roten
Taylor Taylor Taylor
7 8 7 8 8 7 7
DEFENSIVE LINE
Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
30

August

Marques Eversoll: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Making the final cuts is one of the toughest parts of Ted Thompson's job.

Making the final cuts is one of the toughest parts of Ted Thompson’s job.

It’s been a competitive summer in Green Bay at a number of positions.

After being unemployed a few weeks ago, Vince Young seems to have a firm grasp on the No. 2 quarterback job, and the offensive line is beginning to take form despite the injury bug sinking its teeth into Bryan Bulaga’s knee. Still, several key roster battles have gone down to the wire as the Packers look to trim their roster to 53.

James Starks is all but gone…or at least he was until DuJuan Harris injured his knee. But what’s the deal at wide receiver? Will Chris Banjo crack the 53-man roster?

Read on and find all the answers you’re looking for.

Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young

Young won the No. 2 job with a solid performance against the Seahawks. Prior to training camp, I suggested Graham Harrell would be a pleasant surprise this summer – I was wrong.

Running Back (5): Eddie Lacy, Alex Green, Johnathan Franklin, James Starks, John Kuhn

James Starks backs into a roster spot, due mostly to DuJuan Harris’ season-ending knee injury. Trading Starks is possible, but it takes two to tango…or something like that.

Wide Receiver (5): Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross

Cobb, Nelson and Jones are clearly the top three, Boykin is the No. 4 and Jeremy Ross is the frontrunner for the No. 5 spot. With several practice-squad candidates on the roster, I don’t see the upside of keeping six receivers.

Tight End (4): Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Matthew Mulligan, Ryan Taylor

Realistically, every tight end on the roster has made a case to crack the 53-man roster. Mulligan’s injury hurts his chances, but either way, I think the D.J. Williams Experiment is expiring. Brandon Bostick is a wild card; he could make the team, practice squad, get cut or traded.

Offensive Line (8): Bakhtiari, Sitton, Dietrich-Smith, Lang, Barclay, Newhouse, Van Roten, Taylor

After the top five, the loser of the right tackle competition (Newhouse) and Van Roten look like the top two reserves. With Derek Sherrod and J.C. Tretter out with injuries, the Packers will likely keep eight linemen to start the season. Undrafted rookie Lane Taylor has been a pleasant surprise this summer, and I think he makes the team. Don’t rule out a late trade for some O-Line help, either.