Packers Mailbag: Opening Week

If you’d like to submit a question or thought, please email packersmailbag@gmail.com or Tweet me @andrewmertig

 

First up!

 

What roster move surprised you the most this weekend?

-John in Duluth

 

There are two roster moves that caught me off guard (and one directly impacted the other). First, the trade of Jayrone Elliott made no sense to me. I’m always happy when the Packers can get a draft pick (even a 7th rounder) for someone who they were going to cut anyways. Jayrone didn’t appear to be on the chopping block. He was one of their best Special Teams players and seemed to be turning to the corner towards becoming an impact OLB. If they really liked Chris Odom enough to replace Elliott I could accept that.

But the decision wasn’t between Jayrone and Odom. The second roster move that shocked me was keeping Kyler Fackrell. I try very hard to reserve judgement, but Kyler Fackrell is worthless on a football field. He is weak at the point of attack and doesn’t have the athleticism to get around blockers. Even worse than that, he isn’t disciplined on defense and often hurts his teammates by being out of position.

I have defended a lot of moves by Ted Thompson, but this is the one that bothers me the most. Fackrell did not earn his place on this roster. If you believe that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, then the Packers are in a world of trouble.

 

After getting claimed by the Saints, did the Packers make a mistake releasing Taysum Hill?

-Javier in Sun Prairie

 

Hill had a nice preseason, but I think Packer fans are getting a little crazy for this guy. He’s 27, has a long injury history, and doesn’t possess the kind of accuracy to ever be a NFL starter. It would be great to have him hang around the Practice Squad for a year and be a potential replacement for Hundley next year, but he is not a big loss. People tend to forget all the teeth-gnashing about releasing Joe Callahan last season. Suddenly, Joe is just another guy and Hill is the future savior. Hill played really well against 3rd and 4th stringers, but I’m not convinced he even sticks on the Saints roster the whole season. He could be back at some point just like Callahan.

Please save your concern for areas that need it. Like why Kyler Fackrell is still on this roster?

 

Pack are typically young week 1. They have a hard time winning early & miss out on home field How do they overcome?

-@BrianTrettin on Twitter

 

Last year they got off to a hot start and then fell off a cliff in the middle of the season. They do tend to be a slower starting team, and I think you’ve correctly identified the number one reason (youth). This isn’t as young of a team, so I expect a stronger start. I think it avoiding droughts will be reliant on health and the development of the Cornerbacks on the team.

If Green Bay drops the home opener against the Seahawks, they face an incredibly difficult game at Atlanta in the opener of their new stadium.

That’s all I have for this week. Remember to submit your questions for next week.

Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig
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