Saturday, August 31, 2013
The Surprising Players Who Made It
WR Jeremy Ross and Jarrett Boykin. Both players got off to a slow start, but finished strong (as strong as anyone on a punchless offense). It also helped that none of the other receivers stepped up.
OL Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor, and Marshall Newhouse. Van Roten improved his snapping at center and he brings the ability to play any position on the line. I don't know what the coaches see in Taylor, who probably wouldn't have made it without the injuries to Bulaga, Tretter and Sherrod. I'm not sure how much faith the coaches have in Newhouse, but he brings experience to a very inexperienced unit.
TE Ryan Taylor and Brandon Bostick. Nothing against each player, they both played well considering the overall weak offense, but I'm surprised they moved ahead of D.J. Williams.
RB Johnathan Franklin and James Starks. Franklin has a lot to learn and his blitz pickup is awful, I didn't expect him to be such a project when they drafted him, but 4th round picks aren't usually released after one preseason. Also, he helped himself out by making some plays on special teams. Starks ran hard against the Chiefs and finished the preseason strong.
NT Josh Boyd. Another recent draft choice, 5th round, who might have been saved by his draft selection because I didn't see him making any notable plays.
OLB Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer. Palmer had his status as a draft pick to help him after an up-and-down preseason. He made a couple plays but also looked overwhelmed at times. Mulumba was one of the stars in training camp, so despite a late preseason injury, he made the team ahead of last season's training camp star Dezman Moses.
ILB Jamari Lattimore. I thought he had a rough preseason, just a step behind too many plays, but Terrell Manning didn't do enough to move ahead of him.
FS Chris Banjo. He played very well but it's unusual to see a player signed so close to the start of training camp make the roster.
The Surprising Players Who Were Released
QB Vince Young. He didn't do anything on the field to keep a job, but it looked like he was the man after they released Graham Harrell. Now GM Ted Thompson will try Plan C at backup QB, assuming he's checking on backup QBs (hopefully not named Tim Tebow) who were just released.
RB Alex Green. I thought he was a lock after DuJuan Harris was lost for the season, but the Packers chose Starks over Green. Other than one big run, he didn't do much to earn a roster spot this preseason, and he didn't stand out on special teams either.
TE Matthew Mulligan and D.J. Williams. I thought Mulligan was a lock as the designated blocking TE but a preseason injury might have cost him. I'm not sure what Williams did to fall behind both Bostick and Taylor but Williams might be more of a glorified receiver while Taylor is a bigger help on special teams (backup long snapper) and Bostick has more size.
WR Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. The Packers don't usually release their recent draft choices, even 7th round picks. Early training camp injuries cost them and the useless offense didn't give them any chance to shine. I bet both players will get another shot somewhere else.
WR Tyrone Walker and Myles White. Both undrafted free agents looked good at times but they both had some problems holding onto the ball. They both fumbled on their last drive against the Chiefs. It's almost impossible to keep a roster spot for a receiver if they fumble.
OL Patrick Lewis and Andrew Datko. I had high hopes for both players but they both were consistently overpowered against backup pass rushers.
DL Jordan Miller. He made some plays as a pass rusher but he didn't seem to hold up that well against the run. Also, he got caught in a bit of a numbers game as he wasn't better than any other lineman except Boyd (who holds up better against the run) and Datone Jones (who's struggling with an ankle injury).
OLB Dezman Moses. He had a turf toe injury and just didn't make plays like last preseason. I'm sure they'd have like to give him more time to bounce back but that wasn't possible.
ILB Terrell Manning. I really thought that their 2012 5th round pick would have a big preseason, and instead he had trouble shedding blocks and didn't make enough plays to move ahead of Lattimore. If he had more of an impact on special teams, the entire unit struggled against the Chiefs, maybe the Packers would have opened up a 10th linebacker spot for him.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Vince Young could be in jeopardy following poor performance last night, depending on who becomes available as final rosters made #packersAs Werder says, it is "depending on who becomes available." I don't think they'll make another change for the sake of making a change, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them kick the tires on a couple QBs. It really was that bad for Young.
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) August 30, 2013
His fumbles are the big problem. If he can throw the ball a little and give the running game some teeth with the occasional scramble, then the Packers could play a field position game and let their defense shoulder more of the burden. That's not a successful formula, but it can give them the chance to win some close games. However, they can't win the field position battle when they're turning the ball over. A team with no offense and a lot of turnovers will lose games by a score of 30-8.
The other stat that stood out was their awful 3rd down efficiency: 2 for 15. However, most of those happened on third and long, so it wasn't a matter of them struggled on third down, but that their offense was so bad that they kept finding themselves in third and long. It's a sign of a bigger problem and not a problem in itself.
I still don't think they missed the boat with QB Graham Harrell. He was committing turnovers and unable to throw the ball downfield just as badly as Young. GM Ted Thompson is fantastic at assembling a roster through the draft and with rookie free agents, but he should have done more this offseason than sign undrafted free agent QB Matt Brown (since released). Here's to hoping someone good appears on the waiver wire in the next few days.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
The game will be replayed on NFL Network for those outside of Wisconsin.
Though this game, in theory, should be a good opportunity for players to prove they deserve a roster spot, I think the Packers have already made up their mind about most of them. They've already decided to keep Mason Crosby (though I'm not sure about that one). At the positions with some backup question marks (offensive line, running back, wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker) a big game might not help some players. The only position that does seem interesting is the offensive line, where the Packers could go in a couple different directions.
Patrick Lewis. The undrafted free agent looked like a good pickup back in April because he was a four year starter at Texas A&M. He's played a lot this preseason, but not too many people I bet have noticed him. It's generally a good sign when the offensive lineman aren't noticed. While that means he's been solid, it also means he's been unspectacular against other backups. The Packers probably like him, but they wouldn't have a need for him if it weren't for someone Van Roten's problems.
Greg Van Roten. The second year player is probably the most talented of the backup lineman, but the move to center hasn't worked out. He botched a couple shotgun snaps against the Seahawks and they can't trust him during the regular season if they need him to play center. His struggles might open the door for Lewis because I'd trust Lewis to play center ahead of Van Roten. I think he's still eligible for the practice squad, but he may also interest another NFL team, so they may have to put him on the 53-man roster if they want to keep him.
Lane Taylor. He botched a couple plays against the Rams (personal foul, allowed a sack) but his strength is that he's a road grader. Mike McCarthy would love to see more from the running game and Taylor might be able to help them. However, as mentioned above, he might be a liability in pass blocking. He seems like a perfect candidate for the practice squad.
The unknown is how these players might fit in with the tackles. Derek Sherrod and JC Tretter are officially on the PUP list (though I'm not sure why Tretter isn't on I.R. along with Bryan Bulaga). I haven't seen enough from Kevin Hughes or Andrew Datko to feel they need to be kept, and I don't know exactly what they have in mind for Marshall Newhouse. Maybe they can trade him to a tackle desperate team or move him to guard full-time? Maybe he'll just stay as the full-time backup tackle?
The final preseason game might actually make a difference for the offensive line if Van Roten can prove he can play center. Otherwise, it'll be fun to watch, but I don't expect it will shake up the roster.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Jets add another poor bastard to their trash fire of a quarterback competition: http://t.co/CbDp1pH6MlI don't pay too much attention to the Jets, except to occasionally laugh and point, so I don't have any idea how this might work out for Harrell. He's had an awful preseason, but it hasn't been as bad for him as it's been for the Jets. Between Buffalo's Jeff Tuel experience and whatever's going on with the Jets, the AFC East has two of the scariest quarterback situations in the NFL.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) August 28, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
If the Green Bay Packers were serious about giving K Mason Crosby some competition this year, wouldn't they have signed/drafted someone who really could unseat him?
#Packers release kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, who was brought in to provide competition for veteran Mason Crosby. http://t.co/AHTJayhUZmIt never seemed like Tavecchio was intended to be the answer. Maybe Tavecchio was just the starting point and Crosby has been the better kicker over the last couple weeks. Even if Zach Ramirez is outstanding in his first week with the team, it's only one week. Is he really a better kicker or did he just have the better week?
— NewsHub (@NewsHub) August 26, 2013
This feels like a drama that's going to stretch on all season. The Packers can easily tryout kickers during the season, if Crosby starts missing regular season field goals. Sometimes those moves work out great, for example, the Redskins signed rookie Kai Forbath last October and he was automatic for them. However, the last time the Packers were in this situation, they released P Jon Ryan at the start of the 2008 season and suffered through a partial season from Derrick Frost.
Crosby had a disastrous 2012 season and I'd be glad to see a kicker who's better than him, but my concern is that they actually find a kicker who is better before they make the move.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Looks as if Vince Young has won Packers backup QB job. Packers are releasing QB Graham Harrell.Vince Young was more effective, he led them on a touchdown drive and was their leading rusher for the game, but what really stood out was Harrell's 3.8 yards per attempt. Among quarterbacks last season who attempted over 224 passes, the worst yards per attempt belonged to Blaine Gabbert at 5.98, and Harrell wasn't anywhere near that good. The best thing I can say is that at least he didn't turn the ball over.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2013
And Harrell played that poorly with the first team offense. Granted, it was against Seattle's first team defense and Harrell was without Cobb and Nelson at receiver. Phil Simms gave Harrell some cover by noting that none of the receivers were getting open. However, injuries are part of the NFL (especially for the Packers) and that can't be an excuse.
This also is another example of how GM Ted Thompson operates. He doesn't value experience over potential. Harrell knows Mike McCarthy's offense while Young barely knows it, but that didn't save his roster spot after three poor to awful preseason games. Thompson wasn't going to keep a lesser player just because he has a comfort level with him.
Young was the better quarterback, though he's still very much a work in progress. He did complete six of seven attempts (that one incompletion should have been intercepted) but his yards per attempt was only 5.9, which means he completed only a lot of short passes. However, he did look more comfortable against the Seahawks than the Rams, having a full week of practice under his belt obviously helped, and the coaches are far from opening up the entire playbook for him. So it wasn't perfect, but he made it look like he could actually do something in a regular season game while Harrell hasn't shown anything.
Unfortunately I think this means the end of Harrell's NFL career. If he couldn't beat out Young in this situation, which was as close to an ideal one as any player could ask for, I don't see how he could make it on another team.
Young is now the unquestioned backup. B.J. Coleman is no competition, he had the same number of sacks as completions (two) against the Seahawks, but he can hide on the practice squad, unlike either Young or Harrell. They still need three quarterbacks but they've rarely kept them all on the 53-man roster in recent years. Releasing Harrell now probably opens up a lot of playing time for Young against the Chiefs (and in practice too), which he'll need to get ready for the regular season.
Friday, August 23, 2013
The good news is that this game is being televised nationally, on CBS at 7pm CST, but it will be replayed on NFL Network early Sunday morning if you miss it on CBS.
Quarterback. It could be a short night for QB Aaron Rodgers, who really doesn't need the reps, because the Packers may want to take a long look at their backups. Graham Harrell seems in firm command but it's unclear how much of a chance either Vince Young or B.J. Coleman has to unseat him. I don't expect the Packers to keep Young if he can't move ahead of Harrell because they can stash Coleman on the practice squad.
Right tackle. Don Barclay and Marshall Newhouse both had a chance with the first team offense last week. While Newhouse should be in the lead to start, his blown protection on a speed rush by DE John Abraham in their game against the Cardinals highlighted his weakness in pass protection. It doesn't seem like Barclay's done much to win the job, but maybe the fact that he hasn't had a major blunder is his advantage.
Wide receiver. If rookies Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey want to prove they're better than the undrafted tandem of Myles White and Tyrone Walker, now would be a good time. Unfortunately this might not be the time for Johnson, since he's still recovering from an injured knee. I don't know how Jeremy Ross stays on the roster when he keeps dropping the ball.
Tight end. This has become a battle because of all the injuries, neither Andrew Quarless or Ryan Taylor have played in a preseason game, and D.J. Williams has been outplayed by Brandon Bostick. Williams was supposed to be a good receiver coming out of college, but Bostick showed better hands against the Rams. I like Bostick as a big target who's listed height is 6-3 but seems taller. Jermichael Finley is the unquestioned starter, so there's no need to have him play a lot, and this could be a great opportunity to sort out who should back him up.
Running back. Eddie Lacy will play a prominent role this season, but there are a bunch of question marks after him. DuJuan Harris will see his first action of the preseason against the Seahawks, so this game might cement him as the other back to complement Lacy, while the remaining players battle for the final spot or two on the roster.
Defensive line. Johnny Jolly's been great over the first two preseason games, but he hasn't had a chance to play with the first team defense. The coaches might not need to seem him with the starters because I can't imagine he won't make the roster. It'd be nice to see Datone Jones get some work but his ankle injury might prevent it.
What to do with Mike Neal? The Packers have been serious about their efforts to try him at outside linebacker, but it hasn't worked. When Neal drops back in coverage, he looks like a lineman trying to drop back in coverage. Against the Rams, Neal dropped back into his zone and the receiver who caught the ball just ran around him. I'm not sure if the Packers will hope he improves during the season, move him back to defensive end, or just give up on him all together. However, it would seem like they should find some use for him; he was second on the team last season with 4.5 sacks.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The starters are playing all right. In two games, the defense hasn't forced any turnovers and the offense hasn't scored a touchdown, but they haven't been outplayed either. The offensive line seems set with Bakhtiari at LT though the coaches are giving Barclay a chance to unseat Newhouse (it hasn't happened yet). S Jerron McMillian has had some trouble with deep coverage, but it must be a little confusing in the secondary when rookie CB Micah Hyde is playing so much alongside inexperience CB Davon House.
The backup offensive and defensive lines dominated the Rams' backups. The backups weren't great when run blocking, which might have been a sign that the backup wide receivers weren't blocking well, but the Rams' pass rush didn't get anywhere near QB B.J. Coleman, which led to his best preseason performance (though too many of his passes were still thrown too high). The only backup lineman without a shot is undrafted rookie Lane Taylor, who picked up two penalties in the second half, including a personal foul for an illegal block.
On the defensive side, it's all about Johnny Jolly, who's making all the plays this preseason like he did in 2009 (hustle plays, tipping passes at the line of scrimmage). I can't make a case that he doesn't deserve to start, considering we haven't seen anything from rookie DE Datone Jones, who's battling an ankle injury, and DE C.J. Wilson hasn't done much.
Who will start at running back against the Seahawks? Despite the strong performance by Eddie Lacy against the Rams, he's still fourth on the official depth chart, and the Packers have started two different backs in two preseason games (Starks and Lacy). With DuJuan Harris back at practice this week, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him get the start. The Seahawks have a great defense, and probably some extra motivation to look good against a possible playoff opponent, so no back might stand out on Friday.
The backup wide receivers are getting a lot of work. With Jordy Nelson out and Randall Cobb out, a lot of passes have been targeted at undrafted rookies Myles White and Tyrone Walker. Walker had made the most of it, until a couple of drops against the Rams, and White seems to be a favorite target for Vince Young and Coleman. However, Jeremy Ross and Jarrett Boykin haven't fallen behind either of them, so White and Walker might only be playing for a spot on the practice squad.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
While he did make three field goals against the Rams, he's otherwise been awful this month. John Clayton's NFL contacts are among the best, so when he suggests something, it's probably going to happen:
Dan Carpenter and Rian Lindell are the top kickers on the market after being released. Mason Crosby could be the next veteran cut.For the first time since his rookie season, Crosby has someone to compete against, and K Giorgio "Sergio" Tavecchio has out-kicked Crosby this month. Unfortunately, Tavecchio missed one of this two field goal attempts against the Rams, and I don't have the greatest confidence in him either.
— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) August 19, 2013
Clayton mentioned Carpenter and Lindell, maybe they could be options, but those two guys have their own problems otherwise they wouldn't have been released. The Packers would be taking a leap of faith that either one of them could do better than Crosby or Tavecchio.
The Packers don't really have a good option here. They can bring in kickers for tryouts. They can watch Crosby and Tavecchio in practice. But that doesn't mean the kicker they watched in tryouts and practice will deliver come game time. Crosby was so bad last season, and struggled so much this month, that change seems inevitable. The real concern is that the solution will bring new problems.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
“I feel like it will happen soon,” Longwell said, per ESPNMilwaukee.com. “I feel like everybody’s in a good place about it, and like I said, I think time heals everything. I think it’s his desire to be here. When that happens, I think it will be the right time, but I don’t know when that is.”
I like Longwell, so I'll agrees with what he says. Honesty, I don't understand why this whole thing is such a question. I mean, Favre played 16 years with the Pack. Then he left, played 1 year with the Jets, and then 2 with the Vikings. He was a little annoying with his retirement drama, but leaving for three years isn't that bad. Forgive and forget.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Anything from the backup offense. The Packers were the only team shut out in their first preseason game, and they didn't even attempt a field goal despite five drives that ended in Cardinals' territory. They'd probably get some points if QB Graham Harrell could avoid turnovers and he just keeps targeting WR Tyrone Walker. QB Aaron Rodgers should play the entire first quarter, so he should get at least one score, but the first team offense won't look like itself if both WR Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson miss the game. As a bonus: it would be nice to see one of the various running backs emerge.
On the defense, CBs Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward are still likely to be sidelined, so it'll give CBs Davon House and Micah Hyde another chance. I don't know expect much from the Rams' passing attack, their backup QB and receivers made Bernie Koser go a bit insane last week, so another poor game from House and Hyde might be a sign of some trouble if Williams and Hayward remain unavailable. The pass rush was a bit lacking against the Cardinals but all I'd like to see is some of the backup lineman or linebackers make a couple of great one-on-one plays to force a sack.
The game will be televised in Wisconsin, but otherwise it'll be replayed on NFL Network at 4pm (EST) on Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Tyler Dunne wrote a piece on rookie CB Micah Hyde, who gave up one of the two touchdown passes while making zero reaction as the ball was in the air. However, he looked better than the other corners behind him on the depth chart. He's now moved ahead of CB Davon House, and Hyde was starting with the first team defense while Williams and Hayward were still out.
The good news for House fans is that he didn't look beyond redemption. He was almost in position but wasn't able to adjust quickly enough as the receivers ran their routes. He hasn't played a lot in his first two seasons due to injury, so his game against the Cardinals looked like a bit of rust. He's still got the potential.
One of my least favorite players, CB Jarrett Bush, played some cornerback and looked better than any of the other players on the roster. He'll make the team because of his special teams play, but he's still in the mix at corner too.
I don't know how any of the corners can make the roster. Loyce Means and James Nixon didn't make plays, and Brandon Smith looked lost. They need every game to prove they deserve a spot ahead of the other more highly regarded players at a deep position.
Monday, August 12, 2013
"When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed. There's no ‘kind of' to it. Being over in Green Bay, you're brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below. And so coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I'm like, ‘Wow, these are really great people. It's like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best. And it's like total brainwashing. And I think you don't open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position."
Ok, apparently teaching your players to think they're the best is a bad thing. Normally, I would go on for an hour complaining about the stupidity of this, but today I'm not up to it. Jennings isn't worth my time.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
“Graham has to play better, and it’s tough,” Mike McCarthy said Saturday. “Playing quarterback in the preseason, it’s never clean, and it’s been like that as long as I’ve been in this league.”
It's only been one preseason game, so it's not really time to judge. But like McCarthy said, he does have to get better. As of now, he's not their backup.
The only injury was rookie 1st round DE Datone Jones, but it wasn't clear if his ankle injury was serious.
For Arizona, DB Tyrann Mathieu was deemed impressive but he was the highlight maker from a game without many of them. His sack of QB Graham Harrell was Harrell's fault, he completely ignored a blitzing DB which earned Harrell an exasperated stare from Mike McCarthy. Mathieu's other big play was a 24 yard punt return.
So without focusing on what the team did, here's how some individual players performed.
LT David Bakhtiari. Breathe a sigh of relief: he was solid. He looked a little off-balance on the first drive, his momentum carried him too far forward on one early run play, but he looked nearly perfect thereafter. He certainly looked better than Marshall Newhouse, who was beaten on a speed rush by DE John Abraham which led to a sack-fumble of Harrell.
WR Tyrone Walker. After the first drive, when Rodgers and WR James Jones took a seat, the undrafted rookie out of Illinois State was basically their entire offense. The Packers' backups only generated 137 yards of offense and 41 yards was from Walker. He's looked great in practice, in last weekend's scrimmage, and he did it again in his first game.
The defensive backs. Yes, CB Davon House was burnt early and often, but the guys behind him on the depth chart were awful too. Rookie 5th round CB Micah Hyde gave up a touchdown. The worst play was made by CB Brandon Smith, who was completely fooled on a comeback route and ended up running out of bounds. The good news is that none of these guys are expected to start, and since it was only one game, hopefully they bounce back next week.
The running backs. None of them made plays, but rookie RB Johnathan Franklin looked the best to me (Eddie Lacy was held out due to a hamstring injury). I need to see the rest of the preseason games before deciding.
QB Graham Harrell. It would have been a bad game even if he hadn't fumbled (see above) and telegraphed an easy interception (though WR Jeremy Ross seemed lost on the route). The only good news for him is that B.J. Coleman and Vince Young looked worse, though Young only knew about six plays. This isn't something GM Ted Thompson can fix this year, so the coaches will have to make due with the backup quarterbacks they've got.
DE Johnny Jolly. The defense didn't provide much of a pass rush, but Jolly got loose in the backfield on a couple plays. He looked almost as good as ever, despite the nearly four year absence from football. He's still got to prove himself over the remaining preseason games, however, after the first game, he looks like he should be part of the defensive line rotation.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Friday, August 09, 2013
The player with the most eyes on him should be rookie starting LT David Bakhtiari, after all the news surrounding LT Bryan Bulaga's season ending ACL injury. However, Mike McCarthy might want to encourage QB Aaron Rodgers to get rid of the ball quickly. There's no need to make something out of nothing in the preseason. Also, the coaches might be just as interested in seeing how Bakhtiari is as a run blocker, and how the rookie running backs run behind the new look offensive line.
If you're not in Wisconsin, NFL Network will re-air the game late Friday night, so set the DVR.
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Mike McCarthy at the Lambeau Field podium: Bryan Bulaga has indicated to our medical staff he will have surgery this week. #Packers
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 7, 2013
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
As an added bonus of suck: WR Randall Cobb left practice early due to a biceps injury.
#Packers WR @JordyRNelson to miss the remainder of training camp. @jasonjwilde has details: http://t.co/L38kDCsiJ0 pic.twitter.com/o5P85CWHlC
— ESPN Milwaukee (@ESPNMilwaukee) August 6, 2013
Monday, August 05, 2013
League source confirms Vince Young has signed a one year with #Packers to compete for backup QB jobB.J. Coleman had a very bad Saturday night at the Family Night scrimmage, but I didn't realize it was that bad. Or maybe this is the end for Graham Harrell because Young could take his backup job while Coleman could spend another year on the practice squad.
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) August 5, 2013
While I hate this signing, unless Harrell and Coleman are just that bad (I haven't watched them yet in 2013), at least Young was once a decent starting QB. Over 21 games (18 starts) in 2009 and 2010, his QBB was a respectable 70.3 and 70.6. Of course, that's only good news if you ignore his turnover filled 2011 season.
On the downside, Young had a mega-feud with his head coach, Jeff Fisher, back in 2010, so he doesn't seem like the type of guy you want in the locker room. For what it's worth, Young apologized this year.
Overall, this hasn't been the best day to be a Packer fan. First they lose their starting left tackle, and now they signed a former (almost) Heisman winner that no NFL team has wanted for over a year. I should feel worse about Bryan Bulaga's injury (he's a starter while Young will be paid to hold a clipboard) but Young's signing feels worse in my stomach. I don't want them to have anything to do with him, even if he makes them a slightly better team.
To clarify, the #Packers have NOT confirmed that @BBulaga has a torn ACL. But, an #NFL source says he DOES have a torn ACL.While this isn't a fatal blow to the Packers's offense, the odds that their offensive line would improve next season are almost nil.
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) August 5, 2013
Maybe rookie David Bakhtiari will be a steal in the fourth round and immediately become a quality starting left tackle, which is possible, but that isn't the most likely outcome. Maybe Marshall Newhouse will be better at right tackle than left, but I think he'd be better at guard than either tackle position. The only expected improvement should be from Evan Dietrich-Smith, who will be better at center than Jeff Saturday. Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang switched guard spots this offseason, and that doesn't seem to provide much benefit without Bulaga playing alongside Sitton, but at least Lang should be healthier next season.
After all the injuries at tackle over the past couple years, at least the Packers now have some depth. Don Barclay's played at all three offensive line positions in camp but he might be asked to become the full-time backup tackle. Former first round pick Derek Sherrod will play at some point this season. Maybe Andrew Datko will have improved in his second season. None of them will replace Bulaga, but at least the Packers won't have to scramble to find some decent offensive lineman for depth.
Sunday, August 04, 2013
At running back, James Starks started, Eddie Lacy replaced him on the first drive, Johnathan Franklin went third, and Alex Green was fourth. The only back who's really suffered this week is DuJuan Harris, who's been held out after having a cyst removed back in June. The snap count between the top four backs was almost identical, however Lacy stood out with 65 yards on eight carries behind the first team offensive line. Technically, Green came into camp at the top of the depth chart, but (surprisingly) Starks is healthy, he certainly knows the offense, and that might have given him the early advantage, though Green ran the ball well during scrimmage too. The position looks like a toss up.
At quarterback, Graham Harrell easily outplayed B.J. Coleman. For whatever progress Coleman has made in his second NFL season, he keeps turning the ball over in camp, though he didn't get much help from Jeremy Ross who dropped one pass before he slipped on another route which led to a pick-six INT. The talk earlier this week that Coleman might move ahead of Harrell seems well premature.
At right tackle, Marshall Newhouse is the starter but he was quickly replaced by rookie David Bakhtiari, so it looks like they are closely competing for the job. I really like Bakhtiari's potential, so I don't see this as a bad thing. Don Barclay started at right tackle at the end of last season, but he was awful in pass protection and is being moved all over this line so far in camp, apparently to see where he might fit. Former first round pick Derek Sherrod hasn't practiced at all, as far as I've read. The competition might already be down to Newhouse and Bakhtiari, though the winner shouldn't be obvious until the second or third preseason game.
I wrote about Tyrone Walker last week, he's still a long-shot, but he stood out during the scrimmage with a couple nice receptions.
Also, Mason Crosby's kicking woes continued and the boo-birds let him have it. I'm not sure how much more time the team will be willing to give him; they've already given him more than many franchises would have.
Saturday, August 03, 2013
Friday, August 02, 2013
Thursday, August 01, 2013
From @LoriNickel, B.J. Coleman vies to be #Packers back-up QB this summer... http://t.co/yZa6TKIMJgThere had been some happy talk about how Harrell had really improved, but if that was true, he should still be a clear step ahead. Coleman was pretty bad last preseason, and the day before Lori Nickel wrote her article, Coleman threw another couple interceptions at practice. He has the size and big arm to be an NFL quarterback, but I haven't seen anything good from him yet. He has the upcoming preseason to prove me wrong.
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) August 1, 2013
As for Harrell, if he does lose the backup role to Coleman, he might very well find that his NFL career is over. The Packers haven't always kept a third quarterback and Harrell isn't eligible for the practice squad anymore. If the Packers don't want him, then I don't know why any other team would be interested. No one was interested in him before the Packers signed him. I was never very high on him, but I did hope that he could develop into a decent backup.
This isn't the end of the debate, there are still four preseason games to play, but today I'm not optimistic for Harrell. This isn't a big problem, the drop off from Aaron Rodgers to anyone was going to be substantial, but if the best Plan B is Coleman, it might be more of a Grand Canyon than a drop off.