27

August

AllGreenBayPackers.com Staff: First 2013 Roster Cuts Predictions

Here are our predictions for the first round of Packers 2013 roster moves. Per NFL rules, the roster must be cut down from 90 players to 75 by the end of the day on Tuesday, August 27th. The final round of cuts for the 53-man roster will occur by Saturday, August 31st, so stay tuned for our final staff predictions throughout the week.

NOTE: Over the past few days, we’ve had seven cuts already; however, we also had a signing. The current cuts have been noted below in red. Due to our personal scheduling obstacles, some of us made our predictions before some of these recent roster moves. However, I’m sure you’ll get the gist of everything.

GREEN BAY PACKERS
First 2013 Roster Cuts Predictions
CUT OR IR PLAYERS
Kris Adam Marques Thomas Cory Jason Chad Jersey Al
WR Wilson WR Wilson WR Wilson WR Wilson WR Wilson WR Wilson WR Wilson WR Wilson
 WR Hines  WR Hines  WR Hines WR Hines  WR Hines  WR Hines WR Hines WR Hines
 WR Gillett WR Gillett WR Gillett  T Hughes WR Gillett WR Gillett WR Gillett  WR Gillett
QB Harrell  QB Harrell QB Harrell  DB Smith  QB Harrell  QB Harrell QB Harrell
 FB Amosa
DL Pena OL Bulaga (IR) OL Bulaga (IR)  DL Pena DL Pena DL Pena RB Pease C/G Taylor
 RB Pease  DL Worthy (PUP) DL Worthy (PUP)  OL Lewis RB Pease RB Pease  DL Pena DL Pena
OL Bulaga (IR)  S Richardson (PUP) S Richardson (PUP)  FB Amosa WR Dorsey CB Nixon K Tavecchio  OL Bulaga (IR)
OL Tretter (PUP) OL Tretter (PUP)  OL Tretter (PUP)  RB Pease  WR White  DL Boyd OL Gerhart  DL Worthy PUP
 S Richardson (PUP)  FB Amosa  S Fulton  LB Savage TE Taylor  CB Means TE Stoneburner S. Richardson (PUP)
 C Gehart  DB Means FB Amosa  DL Miller TE Stoneburner FB Amosa LB Savage  DL Miller
DB Means  C Gerhart CM Means DB Fulton OL Hughes DL Miller CB Means  DB Means
LB Savage RB Pease  DL Miller  LB Reed  RB Starks  K Tavecchio S Powell OL Tretter (PUP)
 DL Miller  DL Miller LB Savage S Richardson (PUP)  LB Savage WR Dorsey WR White TE Williams
22

August

Micah Hyde and Jeremy Ross Battling For a Roster Spot?

Micah Hyde Training Camp

Is Packers CB Micah Hyde pushing WR Jeremy Ross out of a roster spot?

Green Bay Packers rookie cornerback Micah Hyde and second-year wide receiver Jeremy Ross could be battling for the same roster spot, despite holding two different positions on two different units. The one thing they do have in common, however, is that they’re both getting looks as punt returners on special teams. In fact, according to JSOnline’s Wednesday camp report, both Hyde and Ross will be returning “most if not all the punts against Seattle.”

Micah Hyde has been making a lot of splashes this preseason. He has taken full advantage of the injuries to Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward by making the most of his reps during practice and exhibition games. While he has a couple things to refine in coverage, he has shown great things as a blitzing defensive back. Overall, his praise has been well-earned. ProFootballFocus.com (PFF) even highlighted his performance against the St. Louis Rams last week: “Leading that group (of young corners), in spite of being involved in Chris Givens’ 57 yard reception, was 5th round pick Micah Hyde (+2.4) who outside of that catch surrendered only six yards on five targets. He also broke up two passes and registered four stops including a sack.”

As a punt returner, Hyde has had only a few opportunities to make an impact; however, his 13-yard (and only) return against the Rams was the longest by a Packers player so far this preseason. Head coach Mike McCarthy likes his ability to field balls, too. According to Rob Demovsky at ESPN’s NFC North Blog, McCarthy recalled a drill from rookie orientation camp: “Just to see (Hyde’s) ability to catch the ball on the run and do different things, hell, I was tempted to put him on offense. I think he has that type of ball-skill ability.”

With the cornerback group as deep as it is with Williams, Shields, House, and Hayward, it might take some extra duties for Hyde to really lock down a significant role on the roster.

Then there’s Jeremy Ross. Not too long ago, I wrote about Ross’ problems with ball security, but since that time there have been few reports about dropped catches. After Jonathan Franklin’s failure to field the third-quarter punt against St. Louis that resulted in a turnover (according to special teams coach Shawn Slocum), Ross has one fewer competitor to take the main job.

19

August

Packers 2013 Training Camp Depth Chart: Week 4

Johnny Jolly InterceptionAs the Green Bay Packers Training Camp unfolds, I am going to do my best to track the players along the depth chart. While things will certainly change over the course of the preseason, this gives us an idea of how the coaches are valuing the players.

Please note that this is not a projection, but rather a snapshot ranking based on observations of training camp practices. Those players seen on the first team units are obviously in the running for starting jobs, while those on second team units are still working their way up the ladder. And as we should all know by know, special teams roles will continue to play a part in how each player is valued.

As a change from last year, I have separated each position into tiers. The first tier represents probable “starters,” the second tier represents probable back-ups, and the third tier represents training camp “warm bodies” (for lack of a better term). Generally speaking, the rankings within each tier are most important for second tier players, where there is more competition for a roster spot and possible starter material.

Notes are provided after each position to help you understand why players were ranked as they are. Most of my information comes from the beat writers who have been watching practice, using their Twitter feeds and articles as references.

Quarterback

Rodgers, Aaron

Harrell, Graham
Young, Vince

Coleman, B.J.

  • The quarterbacks had a better showing this week, but that’s not really saying much.

 

Running Back

Lacy, Eddie
Harris, DuJuan

Franklin, Johnathan
Green, Alex
James Starks

Pease, Angelo

  • Lacy is clearly at the head of the pack, and McCarthy has made it clear Harris is right up there with him on the depth chart.
  • Franklin started with the second team offense, but he needs to show that he can still get yards despite bad blocking.
  • Green and Starks need to step up their games.

 

Fullback

Kuhn, John

Amosa, Jonathan

  • Yawn.

 

Tight End

Finley, Jermichael

Williams, D.J.
+ Mulligan, Matthew
Bostick, Brandon
Stoneburner, Jake

+ Quarless, Andrew
+ Taylor, Ryan

  • D.J. Williams is still atop the second tier, as he did get a starting look on Saturday. He also played quite a bit with the second offense, too. How long will they continue to give him opportunities?
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)

14

August

Jeremy Ross’ Hands Will Be His Undoing

Jeremy Ross, Training Camp DrillIn the grand scheme of the game, it might not have been the significant difference between a win and a loss, but it’s a moment Green Bay Packers fans won’t soon forget, no matter how hard they try to repress the memories.

Mike McCarthy won’t soon forget it, either. His decision to have rookie wide receiver Jeremy Ross return punts in the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers backfired in the worst way possible. With the Packers up 14-7 and building some momentum, they managed to stop the 49ers offense at midfield to begin the second quarter. Unfortunately, the ensuing punt was muffed by Ross at the Packers’ 10-yard line, and Colin Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree for a touchdown three plays later. The game was now tied, and all the momentum had shifted.

Make no mistake, Jeremy Ross could be an exceptional return man – maybe even better than Randall Cobb. He has the right combination of vision, speed, and elusiveness that can create substantial returns. The one ingredient that is missing, however, is ball security. And all things considered, it’s perhaps the most important ingredient. Teams can recover from poor field position, but it’s ten times harder to recover from a turnover.

Fast-forward to training camp, and Ross hasn’t shown any improvement in being able to field punts or make catches. He’s been given multiple reps as a returner, and it’s no secret that McCarthy would prefer him to be “the man” at that position. The head coach’s decision to put Ross into the Divisional Round game was, in large part, due to his desire to keep star wide receiver Cobb from unnecessary injury, and that desire hasn’t changed much. If the Packers can have a back-up wide receiver fielding punts and kickoffs, it reduces the risk of them losing a key player in the part of the game where injuries occur most often.

But so far, Jeremy Ross hasn’t done much to help the situation.

As training camp reports from the beat writers come out, we’ve seen some all-too-frequent accounts of muffed punts and dropped passes from Ross. JSOnline’s notes from Tuesday’s practice mention another pair of dropped passes by Ross, which adds to a growing list. Dropped passes obviously aren’t the same as muffed punts, and the mechanics of each type of catch are completely different; nevertheless, they both show a propensity for poor ball security. But even besides that, if he wants to make the 53-man roster, Ross will still need to show he’s valuable as both a wide receiver and a punt returner.

12

August

Packers 2013 Training Camp Depth Chart: Week 3

house-cardinalsAs the Green Bay Packers Training Camp unfolds, I am going to do my best to track the players along the depth chart. While things will certainly change over the course of the preseason, this gives us an idea of how the coaches are valuing the players.

Please note that this is not a projection, but rather a snapshot ranking based on observations of training camp practices. Those players seen on the first team units are obviously in the running for starting jobs, while those on second team units are still working their way up the ladder. And as we should all know by know, special teams roles will continue to play a part in how each player is valued.

As a change from last year, I have separated each position into tiers. The first tier represents probable “starters,” the second tier represents probable back-ups, and the third tier represents training camp “warm bodies” (for lack of a better term). Generally speaking, the rankings within each tier are most important for second tier players, where there is more competition for a roster spot and possible starter material.

Notes are provided after each position to help you understand why players were ranked as they are. Most of my information comes from the beat writers who have been watching practice, using their Twitter feeds and articles as references.

 

Quarterback

Rodgers, Aaron

Harrell, Graham
Young, Vince

Coleman, B.J.

  • Well, it looks like the back-up race isn’t any clearer even with veteran Vince Young in the mix. The only thing we know for sure is that Coleman is officially in the doghouse for his poor performances.

 

Running Back

James Starks
Franklin, Johnathan
Green, Alex

Pease, Angelo

+Lacy, Eddie
* Harris, DuJuan

  • Starks got the start against the Cardinals, with Franklin also taking a healthy dose of snaps.
  • Lacy seems to be “the guy” at running back, but his recent injury has him temporarily sidelined.

 

Fullback

Kuhn, John

Amosa, Jonathan

  • Someone wake me when something happens with the fullbacks…

 

Tight End

Finley, Jermichael

Williams, D.J.
Mulligan, Matthew

Bostick, Brandon
Stoneburner, Jake

+ Quarless, Andrew
+ Taylor, Ryan

  • Quarless and Taylor need to get back onto the field as soon as they can. Williams is still a bit uninspiring.
11

August

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Preseason

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

If you missed the Packer’s preseason game on Friday Night, good for you! It was about as ugly a display of football as we’ve seen around here for a while.

Luckily, it was the only the first preseason game.  Realistically, when talking about anything that happened in this game, one must start with, “It was only the first preseason game, but…”

So that’s what I’ll do.

It was only the first preseason game, but, the secondary was just awful.

The depth at cornerback we’ve all been talking about might be a mirage. One thing I’ve learned over the last five years, those of us that follow the Packers close enough to know about all 90 players on the training camp roster tend to overvalue the guys on the backend of the roster. We all read articles about this guy or that guy who might be the “unheralded diamond in the rough,” that we tend to convince ourselves that they are better than they really are.  We especially see it every year with the final round of cuts as we try to predict the roster and practice squads. Every year there are players put on the practice squad that we all figured would get snapped up by another team. And you know what, it hardly ever happens. So when it comes to Davon House, Micah Hyde, James Nixon, Loyce Means, Brandon Smith, David Fulton, Chaz Powell and Chris Banjo, they have yet to show they are as good as their press clippings make them out to be.

It was only the first preseason game, but, it became perfectly clear why the Packers felt they needed to bring in another quarterback. Graham Harrell does not have the tools to be anything more than what he’s been, a below-average quarterback who still looks like the game is too fast for him. BJ Coleman, who has the tools, has not made the jump we kept reading about in his second year, at least during game action. Pperhaps in practice he has looked good, but in real game action so far, he has been shockingly bad. I had high hopes for Coleman when the Packers drafted him, and from what I’ve seen so far, he seems to have regressed. Some of his passes were so off the mark, you were left wondering who he was throwing to. Perhaps he was betrayed by a WR running the wrong pattern at times, but overall, he was putrid.