Final cut down day is one of the most difficult days during the year.
On this day, the dreams of literally hundreds of players of playing in the NFL come to an end as they are released, becoming free agents in the process.
Some will find work with other teams, continuing their careers.
For others, it will be the end of the line, and they will have to move on to the next phase of their lives.
If nothing else, cut down day does bring closure to the months of speculating what teams will look like heading into the season. The months of OTAs, mini camps, training camp and exhibition games determining what each team will look like.
With that being said, here are a few thoughts about the Packers 53 man roster as it stands right now:
- BJ Coleman is Aaron Rodgers backup. In the mind of Ted Thompson, BJ Coleman>Graham Harrell AND Vince Young. Let that thought sit with you for a minute. Hopefully, there is someone on the waiver wire Ted is targeting, because the thought of Coleman backing up Rodgers for an entire season should terrify every Packers fan.
- The release of Alex Green leaves the Packers with four running backs-Eddie Lacy (rookie), James Starks (oft injured), Jonathan Franklin (rookie who has been disappointing thus far), and John Kuhn (a blocking fullback and that’s about it). The promise of running the ball better in 2013 is in serious jeopardy right now. Losing DuJuan Harris for the season is going to be a massive loss for this team in 2013.
- There are eight offensive linemen on this team (Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari, Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor). Aside from Sitton and Lang, there are a lot of question marks in this group, the biggest one being whether or not they can prevent Rodgers from taking a beating this season.
- With massive odds stacked against him, Johnny Jolly made the Packers final roster. And he earned his spot. Burried in the defensive line rotation at the beginning of camp, he worked his way up, making impact plays on what seemed to be a daily basis. His presence on the line gives the Packers something they have not had in some time-some nastiness up front. Congrats Johnny on coming full circle in your comeback.
- What is Mike Neal? Is he a defensive lineman or a linebacker? He is listed as a defensive lineman, but anyone who saw him play in the preseason would say he did not look at all out of place playing on the outside. How Dom Capers utilizes him is going to be interesting, and could provide some fun matchups against opposing offenses.
- The Packers kept only 5 WR-Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Boykin and Ross. Have to think they have their eyes on another WR (Tyrone Walker, Myles White?) for the practice squad. Just in case…
- Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Micah Hyde, Jarrett Bush-on paper that has to be the deepest CB group in the entire NFL.
- Still am not sold on any of the other three safeties (M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Chris Banjo) starting opposite Morgan Burnett.
- Derek Sherrod begins the year on PUP-again. His career has been derailed since he sustained a broken leg in 2011. Mike McCarthy keeps saying he is close, but it remains to be seen whether the former first round pick can even get back on the field, let alone contribute. Hopefully we get a glimpse of him this year, just to see whether or not the time has come to just move on or if he still has a role with this team.
- Rolling the dice with Mason Crosby as the Packers kicker for another year. He’s the Packers kicker and we should all support him, but if he starts kicking at a 63% clip again Ted Thompson is going to have some serious explaining to do.
Analyzing the Packers roster will continue throughout the season. While much of the roster moves could be debated one way or the other there is one certainty: If Aaron Rodgers is lost for an extended period of time, the Packers season is done.
Let’s hope that discussion never has to take place.
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.