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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: A Little Bit of Everthing


We’re gonna jump around a little bit on this week’s edition of FOOTBALL FRIDAY.  The first thing that I’m going to do is give my 3 up and 3 down for last night’s final preseason game, which was a resounding win by the Packers over the Chiefs.  The Packers are a mere 6 days away from their season opening showdown with Seattle (I can’t believe I just wrote that) and the excitement is building.  After breaking down last night’s game briefly I’m going to offer my final 53-man roster prediction before any of the cuts are announced.



3 up:

1. The Backup QBs- Flynn and Tolzien both had QB ratings over 108 and both threw for 2 TDs.  As player after player that would have made the 53 go down with injury, it becomes more and more clear that the Packers are going to keep both of these players.  In years past, Ted Thompson has rightfully valued that 53rd spot on the roster, but this season it’s too important to keep both of these players around.

2.  Jeff Janis- This kid is the real deal.  I had a 4th round grade on Janis going into the draft.  The thing about that is I thought that he was either going to be a bust or that he was going to give the return of a 1st or 2nd round pick with basically no in-between.  Janis has elite physical skills and was a terror on offense and on special teams.  As he grows in the system and becomes more consistent he has a chance to be a star in this league.


The Packers with the Most to Win and Lose in the Final Preseason Game

Scott Tolzien Packers


The regular season is almost upon us, but there is still one more game for players who are on the fringe of making the Packers roster to make one last impression.

Here are the players and the positions battles to keep an eye on when the Chiefs visit the Packers.


The most interesting and most intently watched battle will undoubtedly be between quarterbacks Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn. It has been pretty obvious to anyone who has watched the Packers during preseason that Tolzien has outplayed Flynn through the first 3 games.  However, Flynn’s game experience and knowledge of the Packer offense might be enough to keep him locked in as the Packers backup quarterback, at least for this season.

No matter what happens Thursday, with Flynn signed to just a 1 year contract I can’t see the Packers letting Tolzien go and leaving them vulnerable at the backup quarterback spot again next season.  However, if Tolzien looks good again and Flynn continues to struggle, the Packers could opt to keep Tolzien and waive Flynn, but I still think the most likely scenario is that the Packers keep 3 quarterbacks on their roster this season.


The Packers secondary is loaded with talent at both at corner, and somewhat surprisingly, safety.


Why it isn’t crazy for the Packers to keep 3 quarterbacks

Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien

With Aaron Rodgers sitting out the Packers’ last preseason game tomorrow against the Chiefs, Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien have been alternating time with the first team offense. On days Flynn gets the reps, the blogosphere declares the Packers have selected him to fill the QB2 shoes. The same can be said on days Tolzien gets the nod.

By this time last year, the Packer were already starting the never ending turnstile of revolving back-ups. Graham Harrell had already been shown the door, and in the first few days of last September Rodgers was the only QB on the roster while both BJ Coleman and Vince Young were cut loose and Seneca Wallace had yet to be signed.

The same cannot be said this year. The Packers have been reluctant to pare down that list aside from asking fourth string Chase Retting to turn in his iPad. The organization itself has been nothing short of cryptic and has been reluctant to name a QB. There are arguments on both sides to name Flynn or Tolzien the understudy quarterback.

For many years the Packers have held to a strict formula: the strongest candidate becomes the insurance policy if Rodgers should go down. The greener one is sent to the practice squad to grow and develop.


Green Bay Packers Roster Projection

Ted Thompson

The Green Bay Packers have to cut their roster to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Saturday, and as always they will have many tough decisions. I like to do one roster projection per year, so this will be it for me.

Quarterbacks (3)

Aaron Rodgers

Matt Flynn

Scott Tolzien

Flynn playing poorly this preseason and Tolzien excelling has made this a lot closer call than most thought entering camp. Flynn going 2-2-1 for the Packers last year filling in for Rodgers should still count for something, even tough Flynn has not played well this preseason. Tolzien has the much better physical tools, but there is still some level of trust with Flynn since he has gotten the job done almost whenever called upon in Green Bay. With the way Tolzien has played there is no chance he will be exposed to waivers.

Running Backs (4)

Eddie Lacy

James Starks

DuJuan Harris

John Kuhn

Not much intrigue here. Raijon Neal had a chance to break in before his injury. The interesting thing will be  Harris’ role and whether he can challenge Starks for the first backup spot. Lacy doesn’t figure to come off the field much, but Harris is a much more effective receiver than Starks and has forced 10 missed tackles on 26 attempts this preseason.

Wide Receivers (5)

Jordy Nelson

Randall Cobb

Jarrett Boykin

Davante Adams

Jeff Janis


Packer Rookies: The Studs and the Duds on Offense

Jeff Janis Packers

Last week I took a look at the players on the defensive side of the ball who have impressed and those who have disappointed, and now it’s time to look at the Packers rookies on offense.

Not surprisingly, given Ted Thompson’s track record of finding offensive talent in the draft, the offensive players have fared a little better than the rookies on defense.

Here are the rookies on the offensive side of the ball who have made a positive impression, and the ones that haven’t lived up to expectations.

Stud: Corey Linsley – Somewhat surprisingly, Pro Football Focus has actually graded out Linsley higher than JC Tretter through the first 3 preseason games. Granted Linsley has been facing a much lower level of competition, but being the 3rd ranked center in the NFL should give Packer fans a little peace of mind with Tretter expected to miss the start of the season.  Linsley will have his work cut out for him getting ready to play his first NFL game at the incredibly loud Century Link Field on opening day, but playing in between talented veterans Josh Sitton and TJ Lang should make his transition to the starting lineup a little easier.

Dud: Davante Adams – By no means am I calling Adams a bust, but after 3 preseason games he hasn’t done anything to stand out and he certainly doesn’t look like he will be pushing Jarrett Boykin for the 3rd receiver spot any time soon. Adams should still contribute to the Packers offense this year, but don’t expect him to make the same type of explosive plays he made at Fresno State on a weekly basis, at least until he has a firm grasp of the Packers playbook.


Packers News & Notes: Tretter Out “Multiple Weeks”


- The bad injury news was not done today for the Green Bay Packers, even after the news that B.J. Raji would have to miss the season due to torn biceps.

Head coach Mike McCarthy announced today that starting center J.C. Tretter will miss “multiple weeks” with a knee injury. According to ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde, Tretter suffered no ligament damage and is expected to miss five to six weeks. Rookie center Corey Linsley will start in his place.

“He [Linsley]took all the snaps today,” said McCarthy. “His confidence will grow each and every day. He’ll be ready when we step on field for Kansas City. Corey has a very good understanding of our offense. It won’t change us anything from how we approach games moving forward. I feel good about him.”

Tretter was having a terrific summer and the injury certainly hurts, but it is far from some kind of death sentence and nothing the Packers can’t overcome. They will be on their fourth center in four years and have had no problems having a great offense with Scott Wells, Jeff Saturday and Evan Dietrich-Smith. None of them were upper-echelon NFL centers when they were with the team.


The Packers Will be OK Without BJ Raji

bj raji

Everyone suspected the worst when they saw Packers NT BJ Raji standing on the sidelines midway through Friday’s game against the Raiders.

Without his uniform, and his arm wrapped in ice, it was reported that Raji had suffered an arm injury during the game. The extent was not yet clear. Yet because of the Packer injury history over the past few seasons, anyone who follows the Packers always thinks worst case scenario anytime someone on the team gets injured.

These worst case thoughts were confirmed yesterday, when it was reported that Raji had torn his bicep, and would most likely be lost for the entire 2014 season.

This season ending  injury completes a full circle for Raji over the past three seasons.

He had gone from riding high after Super Bowl XLV, to somewhat of a down season in 2011, to two very uninspiring seasons in 2012 and 2013. Raji had gone from budding superstar to budding draft failure.

Some will say that he suffered playing out of position for the past two years. After playing at a high level as a NT in 2010, he was moved to DE, and became nearly invisible.

Despite some rather unimpressive stats, the Packers still offered Raji a longterm contract offer which would have paid him close to $8 million a year. But Raji passed on this offer, deciding to play the final year of his rookie deal and hoping to capitalize on interest in free agency.