Category Archives: Brandon Saine

24

April

Packers Release RB Brandon Saine and LB DJ Smith

Brandon Saine and DJ Smith

Saine and Smith were both released by the Packers on Wednesday

According to the Green Bay Packers team website, the team has released running back Brandon Saine and linebacker DJ Smith. The transactions were announced by Packers GM Ted Thompson.

Both were lost to season-ending knee injuries last season and even more ironically, during the same week six game against the Houston Texans.  Both players reportedly failed a physical exam.

Saine appeared in a handful of games in 2011 and 2012.  He was acquired as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State in 2011.

Smith was drafted in 2011 with one of the team’s three sixth-round pick.  Smith played in 22 games and had claimed a starting role after the loss of inside linebacker Desmond Bishop during the 2012 pre season.  Smith appeared in six games in 2012 before suffering a season-ending knee injury at Houston in Week 6.

 

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

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4

April

Packers Running Backs: James Starks or Brandon Saine?

Could Packers RB Brandon Saine be on the team over James Starks in 2013?

Could Packers RB Brandon Saine be on the team over James Starks in 2013?

I just recorded a podcast on the Packers running backs with my colleagues Jason Perone and Marques Eversoll. One of them, I can’t remember which, asked an interesting question: Will Brandon Saine make the Packers roster over James Starks?

Saine missed most of the 2012 season after blowing out his knee. He has 18 carries for 69 yards in his career and has contributed some on special teams.

Starks has missed all kinds of time with various injuries throughout his three-year career. When healthy, Starks shows just enough to get Packers fans excited before breaking/spraining/pulling/straining one of his limbs or muscles.

When this topic first came up, I thought it was a silly question. I didn’t think there was any way Saine could be on the team over Starks. But as the conversation carried on, I changed my mind.

Will Mike McCarthy have the patience to deal with Starks if he comes up lame yet again in training camp or the preseason? Will McCarthy even want to deal with the risk of Starks getting hurt again?

It sounds like McCarthy wants to find a back that can carry the load this season instead of always plugging in different players. Given Starks’ injury history, I’m not sure he meets the coach’s criteria.

Saine doesn’t fit that criteria either, but he can play special teams. Perhaps he also benefits a bit from lower expectations. Saine doesn’t need to be a bell-cow running back in order to earn a roster spot. If Starks isn’t running well, there’s not much else he brings to the table.

Of course, Saine is coming off a major injury himself, so this entire discussion could be moot if he’s limping around in training camp.

For some reason, there’s still a part of me that thinks Starks might have it in him and become the running back he was during the Super Bowl run. It might be the delusional part of me, but it’s still a part of me.

My money is still on Starks wearing a Packers jersey over Saine in 2013. That’s a major injury that Saine is coming back from.

What say you, fine readers of ALLGBP.com?

Perhaps none of this will matter if the Packers draft Eddie Lacy and he runs for 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns…

3

April

2013 Packers Position Group Analysis: Running Backs

Packers RB DuJuan Harris will surely be back with the Pack in 2013.

Packers RB DuJuan Harris will surely be back with the Pack in 2013.

As far as personnel, the Packers underwent more changes at running back than any other position. James Starks was the starter through training camp before the team signed Cedric Benson after the first preseason game. Injuries added up, allowing DuJuan Harris–a former used car salesman–to take over as the team’s feature back.

Where are we now:

Here are the current suspects;

DuJuan Harris (UDFA, Signed as FA in 2012)
Alex Green (3rd round, 2011)
James Starks (6th round, 2010)
Brandon Saine (UDFA, 2011)
John Kuhn (UDFA, Signed as FA in 2007)

Listen to expanded coverage of this topic using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio

Harris: For the 2012 Packers, DuJuan Harris (5-9 208) was a huge blessing in a small package. After starter Cedric Benson was lost for the season with a Lisfranc injury, and reserves Alex Green and James Starks both battled injuries of their own, the team turned to Harris to be the lead back. Harris played in a total of six games last season and recorded a team-high four rushing touchdowns.

Green: After Cedric Benson was lost for the season while James Starks was already out of the lineup, Alex Green was the next man up. Green broke off a season-long run of 41 yards later in the game Benson got hurt but never grabbed hold of the starting job. For the season, Green averaged just 3.4 yards per carry.

Starks: As the starter in the Packers’ first preseason game, James Starks turned in a disappointing performance. Before suffering a turf toe injury which would cause him to miss half of the season, Starks also lost a fumble. He returned to the lineup and became a key part of the backfield rotation during the middle of the season, but his roster spot for 2013 is far from assured.

Saine: The second-year back out of Ohio State didn’t carry the ball once in 2012, as he was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL in week six against the Houston Texans. Saine has appeared in just 14 games the past two seasons, but he showed promise during 2011 in a limited role.

13

March

2013 NFL Draft Preview: Ranking Packers Running Back Prospects

North Carolina RB Gio Bernard

North Carolina RB Gio Bernard

Running back can be a tough position to evaluate headed into the NFL Draft.

Take last year for example. Trent Richardson was considered a “can’t-miss” guy at the top of the draft, but Alfred Morris, the 173rd overall pick, had the best season of all rookie running backs last year.

This year’s draft doesn’t have a clear-cut top back. There isn’t a Richardson or an Adrian Peterson in this year’s draft class, but there are a handful of intriguing prospects that could step in and start for a team from day one.

Nearly all draft rankings have the same two guys at the top: Alabama’s Eddie Lacy and North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard. Most have Lacy firmly entrenched as a first-round pick with Bernard projected to go in round two.

Lacy and Bernard are completely different backs. While Lacy is a physical, punishing runner, Bernard is a versatile player capable of doing damage in the passing game as well as between the tackles. In today’s pass-happy NFL, I prefer Bernard as a prospect slightly ahead of Lacy.

But beyond the top two guys, this year’s crop of running backs has some quality depth. Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle, Clemson’s Andre Ellington, UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball all have a chance to be selected on Day 2.

Perhaps the most interesting running back in this year’s class is Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina. Lattimore suffered the most gruesome knee injuries I’ve ever seen last season, and concerns over his long-term health will likely cause him to drop to the third round.

It would be an upset if the Packers don’t add a running back at some point this offseason, whether it’s a veteran via free agency or a young guy through the draft.

1. Gio Bernard, North Carolina (5-8, 202)

  • Draft stock: Late 1st/Early 2nd
  • 40 time: 4.53, 225-pound bench: 19 reps, 10-yard split: 1.53
  • Two-year starter, declared after his RS Sophomore season.
  • The second round is likely where Bernard will be selected, but I really believe he’s the best running back in this class. On top of being a talented runner, he’s a dangerous return man and receiver. I see Bernard as Ray Rice 2.0, and I really think he’d be a natural fit in the Packers’ offense.
5

February

Packers Running Backs: Present and Future?

DuJuan Harris - Packers Running Back

DuJuan Harris – Packers Running Back

I dig into every article I can find about the Packers and the draft, including here at Al’s site.  There is a wide range of opinions on the subject of Packers running backs.  Lets look at my views on running backs,  those with the team, and in the draft.

The Packers currently have six running backs and one full back listed on their roster.  Those include running backs Cedric Benson, Alex Green, James Starks, Brandon Saine, Dujuan Harris, Ryan Grant and John Kuhn at full back.  Grant filled a spot caused by injuries, showed he can still do a little, but like last year, just say thank you and good luck.   The question on Benson would be is he even worth bringing back?  He did ok at best. He is a talented back with mileage and age, he just turned 30 and is coming back from a foot injury that required surgery.   I don’t see any compelling reason to bring him back other then competition.

Harris looks like a very good 3rd down back that can fill in nicely when needed to start, but not a “featured back”.  He does it all pretty well.  Has a decent jump cut, might need to be a bit more patient looking for cut back lanes.  He needs to be brought back and coached up over the off season.  Starks has shown he can be productive as a runner, is a good receiver out of the back field, but needs to work on blitz pickup.  How much time do you put into a talented 6th round RB that can’t stay healthy?  I think he should be brought back, but with any additional injuries he would get a quick hook from me.

Saine, another UDFA like Harris, has good straight line speed, is a decent receiver out of the back field and quite good in blitz pickup.  His ability in Pass Protection might have been his best asset. Not a great fit for the Packers running game.  He lacks lateral agility, but has quickness and speed.

23

January

Packers Stock Report: End of Season, Full Roster Edition

CB Tramon Williams and S Morgan Burnett fight for an interception against the Saints

Packers CB Tramon Williams found himself in the falling category. Safety Morgan Burnett was steady.

The Packers end of season, full roster stock report is upon us. Below are over 2,300 words of insight, analysis, opinions and nonsense about every player currently on the Packers roster.

Read closely and enjoy, because many of these players likely won’t be around in 2013.

I incorporated each player’s performance from this season, and their future outlook while categorizing. Please agree or disagree in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading the weekly stock reports. Onto the last one:

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
It wasn’t as great as his MVP campaign, but it was still damn good. With chaos and injuries swirling all around, Rodgers kept the Packers offense moving forward and limited mistakes. A fine all-around performance and no reason to think it won’t continue in 2013.

Randall Cobb
With Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson hobbled most of the season, Cobb broke out and turned into the Packers most dangerous weapon. I worry a little about his durability, but his production when healthy was great. Oh, and he needs to drop fewer passes.

DuJuan Harris
Is this too much praise for the 5-foot-7, 210-pound rolling ball of butcher knives? Maybe. But if I’m buying Harris stock, I want in right now. I think he’s going to stick with the Packers and get a chance to make some noise.

Casey Hayward
Lost in the disastrous playoff loss and grumbling about the Packers lack of physicality was Hayward’s dynamic rookie season. I don’t care if the read-option sticks or not, stopping the pass will still be a defense’s top priority and Hayward can do it.

Sam Shields
He’s on the rise now. Will he remain on the rise if the Packers pay him? Or will he morph back into the timid and non-aggressive cornerback of 2011? There’s no denying his raw talent, and I’d like to see him develop that talent as a member of the Packers.

Clay Matthews
Microsoft. Apple. TRowe Price. Fidelity. With the contract that Matthews will get from the Packers, he’ll be able to buy all the stock he wants.

Nick Perry
How can a guy who was hurt most of the season land in this category? The same way Matthews landed in the rising category when he was injured. The Packers can’t afford another season with Erik Walden as the primary outside linebacker opposite Matthews. Perry is rising by default.

15

October

Packers News: Saine, Smith done for season, RB White claimed

Packers LB D.J. Smith is out for the season

Packers LB D.J. Smith is out for the season

The Packers dominated the Houston Texans in every facet of the game Sunday night, but the injuries continued to pile up.

Running back Brandon Saine and linebacker D.J. Smith both suffered knee injuries in the Packers’ 42-20 victory. Both players have been placed on injured reserve, and thus, ending their seasons after just six games.

The injury bug has bitten the Packers’ inside linebackers yet again. After losing starter Desmond Bishop in their first preseason game, the Packers have now lost yet another key piece in the middle of their defense. Smith filled Bishop’s shoes in the starting lineup, and now the Packers will likely turn to Brad Jones to fill the starting position.

Jones and Jamari Lattimore both started as outside linebackers before moving inside this offseason. The Packers also drafted Terrell Manning out of North Carolina State, who has yet to make an impact on defense this season. Robert Francois rounds out the Packers’ depth at inside linebacker, after starting two games in 2011.

It’s too early to tell if the Packers will turn to the free agent market and add another linebacker, but the top available players at the position include E.J. Henderson, Gary Guyton and Gary Brackett. But seeing as the Packers still have five inside linebackers on the roster, they’ll likely roll with who they have for the time being.

To fill Saine’s void on the roster, the team has claimed running back Johnny White from Buffalo. White, a former fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, has appeared in 15 career games for the Bills.

With C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson both having been out of the lineup due to injury, White has carried the ball eight times for 34 yards this season. White will back up starter Alex Green and James Starks, and he’ll wear No. 34 with the Packers.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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