1) Introduction: After an up-and-down career at Ohio State, Saine signed with the Packers as undrafted free agent on July 28. During the 2011 preseason, no skill player saw more touches than Saine (25; 19 rushes for 51 yards, six receptions for 36). A big back that fits the positional mold of Ted Thompson, Saine was retained on the Packers 8-man practice squad to start the 2011 season.
Brandon Croft Saine
Weight: 220 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season: Expectations are never high for a player who starts the season on the practice squad. With both Ryan Grant and James Starks healthy, and third-round pick Alex Green showing a capacity to contribute on third downs and special teams, Saine looked destined to spend the 2011 season on the Packers’ practice squad.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Injury spawned him a chance. Saine was promoted off the practice squad on Oct. 31 following a season-ending knee injury to Green against Minnesota in Week 8. Saine didn’t get many opportunities (just 75 snaps) in the nine games he was active but did show an ability to both break tackles (team-high 2.7 yards after contact) and catch the football (10 receptions, no drops). His highest carry totals came against New York (six for 16 yards) and Detroit in Week 17 (eight for 28).
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Hardly measurable. 75 snaps is just too small a sample size to have any kind of real impact on a team’s season. In his limited chances, however, Saine never made any huge mistakes or mental gaffes.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Saine was actually the first running back to spell starter Ryan Grant against the Giants. He had one carry for three yards and played five total snaps. With both Grant and Starks healthy, Saine wasn’t expected to do much.
Season Report Card:
(C) Level of expectations met during the season
(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D-) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: D+——————
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.