Monday, September 01, 2014

Packers Defeat Chiefs 34-14 and Announce Their Roster

After a solid showing in all four preseason games, the Green Bay Packers' 53-man roster is pretty much what was expected coming into training camp. All of their 2014 draft choices are on the roster or on season ending I.R. None of the players released were notable and none of them were even drafted. And, as it seems to happen every year, they found an undrafted rookie free agent who made a big splash.
LB Jayrone Elliott. He led the team with 5 sacks and was by far the biggest playmaker this preseason. Some of the tackles assigned to block him were bad players, but some other team would have claimed him if they tried to move him to the practice squad. However, once the regular season starts, I expect he'll be left inactive. But they had a ton of injuries at outside linebacker last season and you never know when he'll be needed.

QB Matt Flynn and QB Scott Tolzien. Flynn's stats were OK, his accuracy was poor (47.4% completion) and he threw the lone INT of the preseason. Tolzien looked sharper this preseason and he should have won the job if it was a straight-up competition. Flynn, however, was better suited as the starter last season and that can't be discounted. But after last season's backup roller coaster of Graham Harrell to Vince Young to Seneca Wallace (all out of the NFL now), they needed some stability and I'm glad they kept both.

WR Jeff Janis. He didn't touch the ball a whole lot, but every time he did it was a big play. His route running looks like a work in process, but he showed good hands and big play potential as a receiver and returner. I hope he plays a lot on special teams even if he doesn't play at all on offense this season.

C Corey Lindsey. A month ago, it wasn't even guaranteed that the rookie 5th round pick would make the roster, and now he opens the season as the starter. I expect LG Josh Sitton will make the line calls on Thursday night, but Lindsey looked like a capable player against the Chiefs.

CB Demetri Goodson. This is a minor disagreement, but I didn't see anything that made me think their 6th round rookie CB should make the roster. But he didn't have a lot of competition, other than undrafted CB Jumal Rolle (who outplayed him this preseason, but was also kept on the practice squad) and Goodson probably won't be active in Week 1 anyway. He remains a project.

LB Andy Mulumba. His retention is minor too, but they needed another defensive lineman more than Mulumba, who didn't make much of an impact this preseason. Maybe he would have been released had not DT Khyri Thornton ended up on I.R.

S Sean Richardson and S Chris Banjo. Both can play on special teams, but Richardson looked better on defense. I'm glad they were able to keep Banjo on the practice squad. They don't have a player the caliber of Nick Collins anymore, but the safety position is as deep as it's been in years.

OT Derek Sherrod. He struggled in his second preseason game in St. Louis but otherwise he's looked solid. It's great to see the former 1st round pick back on the field. With Sherrod and RT Bryan Bulaga returning from injuries, despite the season ending loss of OL Don Barclay, the line with Lindsey, Sherrod and G Lane Taylor is deep.

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