Tag Archives: Green Bay Packers

Who’s In and Out for the Packers’ Final 53 Man Roster?

Packers Receivers Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis

With the start of training camp just a few days away, the process of whittling down the current Green Bay Packers roster of 88 to 53 will begin.  While most cuts won’t take place until after the Sept. 1st and 5th cut-down dates, the battle for those coveted roster spots really begins now.  While a relative few are locks to make the final roster, the full character of the 2015 Packers will not emerge until camp battles are won and lost, with some players flashing, and others faltering.

With the NFL draft having concluded nearly 3 months ago, we are transitioning out of the slowest period of the NFL offseason.  Sports fans and writers are chomping at the bit for real NFL news and now, with the commencement of training camp, they have something tangible upon which to focus.  This is the time of the year when NFL teams are beginning to take shape, but there remains a great contingency as to their final composition.  For that reason, it is fun to take a look at each player currently on the roster and analyze what chance they might have of being one of the final 53, a member of the 2015 Green Bay Packers.

I’ve divided each of the 88 players now on the roster into 6 groups based on likelihood to make the final cut.  Every player is considered based upon the assumption that they will remain healthy throughout training camp and the preseason.  I will finish with my own roster prediction.

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Green Bay Packers Get a Crack at Revenge against NFC West

Seattle's game-winning touchdown against the Packers

In recent seasons the Green Bay Packers have had a difficult time playing the teams in the NFC West. A case can be made that the Packers currently have more of a rivalry with teams like the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers than with their NFC North rivals.

After all, Green Bay has had no problem winning the division over the last four seasons, posting a 20-4-1 record over the Bears, Lions, and Vikings since 2011 (including playoffs). Over that same span, though with a much smaller sample size, the Packers are 3-7 against the NFC West, and are winless against the 49ers (0-4) and Seahawks (0-3).

Included among those losses are a number of postseason defeats. In Aaron Rodgers’ career as a starter, he has made the playoffs six times. Of the five times that Green Bay failed to win the Super Bowl, four of the Packers’ postseason exits were at the hands of an NFC West team: the Cardinals in 2009, the 49ers in 2012 and 2013, and the Seahawks in 2014.

What has made matters worse for Green Bay is that the defeats have often come in heartbreaking fashion. From the Cardinals beating the Packers 51-45 in overtime on a controversial call in 2009 to the Seahawks overcoming a 12-point deficit in the last few minutes last year, the Packers have been left stunned by the NFC West too many times in recent years.

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Zach Miller A Possible Free Agent Tight End Candidate For Packers

Zach Miller

Last week we saw the Green Bay Packers bring in former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham. It would appear as though the coaching staff believes that there are improvements that the Packers could make from outside of their team.

Coming into the first week of training camp, the Packers currently only have 88 players on their roster. Here are some of the top candidates the Packers could be looking into signing since Gresham signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Zach Miller is the clear cut winner among all free agent tight ends right now. He’s a seven year pro with four years experience with the Oakland Raiders and three with the Seattle Seahawks. Miller’s best season statistically came in 2009 when he caught 66 receptions for 805 yards and three touchdowns.

The following season was just as productive and Miller was elected to the Pro Bowl. After reaching two Super Bowls with the Seahawks in 2014 and 2015, Seattle released Miller after he failed a physical back in March. Had Miller returned to Seattle, he would have been blanketed on the depth chart behind Anthony McCoy, Luke Wilson, and recently acquired Jimmy Graham.

Seahawks Zach Miller

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 08: Zach Miller #86 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball as Jon Beason #52 of the Carolina Panthers tries to make a tackle during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 8, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Green Bay Packers Face Stiff NFC Competition

Green Bay Packers logo

The Green Bay Packers have the highest of expectations with training camp set to begin tomorrow. It’s Super Bowl or bust yet again, as the only satisfactory end to the 2105 season is to bring the Lombardi trophy back home. They have all 11 starters back on offense and only lost one on defense. Even though Green Bay is perhaps the most talented team in the NFL, the NFC has numerous challengers and poses a much tougher threat than the AFC would if the Packers resided there.

The AFC saw the Indianapolis Colts make its championship game last season, and they lost in resounding fashion to the New England Patriots 41-7. Andrew Luck is an amazing young talent, but it was clear the Colts belonged nowhere on the field with them with many holes on the team. Look at the contrast in the NFC Championship game between Green Bay and Seattle. Clearly, New England had not one legitimate challenger last year in the AFC, and they haven’t had one in their own division either for the better part of the last decade and a half. This is why it was pretty surprising to me when New England beat Seattle in the Super Bowl. I suspect health had a lot to do with it or maybe the Packers took a lot out of Seattle in that NFC Championship game.

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Breakdown of the 2015 Packers Tight Ends

Packers Tight End Richard Rodgers

Given the star power present in the Green Bay offense, the tight end corps of the 2015 Green Bay Packers has received relatively little attention.  Although NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers’ most potent weapons are certainly his bevy of young, albeit proven talent at the wide receiver position, the tight end position is certainly more of a question mark, especially with the recent off-field issues of veteran Andrew Quarless.  Head coach Mike McCarthy has always valued the tight end position on this team, however.  In order for the Packers offense to improve on its high marks from last season one or more of these young players below will have to step forward and show themselves to be worthy of targets (at least as a secondary option) and capable in the pass and run blocking game.

Below I will take a look at each of the tight ends currently on the roster and make predictions on their possible contribution to the team this season.  Green Bay has kept 4 tight ends on the active roster over the last three seasons, and there is no reason to think that this trend will change.  All predictions will assume, of course, that the players will remain healthy.

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Can Barrington, Ryan Change Green Bay Packers’ ILB Fortunes?

Packers Linebacker Sam Barrington

The Green Bay Packers have done a good job addressing areas of need in recent years. When the run game ranked near the bottom of the league in 2011 and 2012, the Packers drafted Eddie Lacy to rejuvenate the backfield.

In 2013, Green Bay was the only team to not record an interception from the safety position. The Packers addressed that by selecting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with their first round pick, and he now appears to be a long-term fixture at safety.

This offseason, the Packers’ biggest need was the inside linebacker position. Green Bay parted ways with veterans A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, leaving the team with an extremely young corps of inside linebackers.

When the season begins, the likely starters at inside linebacker will be Sam Barrington and Clay Matthews. Matthews will have had more time to learn the nuances of playing inside after being forced into that role last year, but the team would still prefer if he can stay outside, where he is one of the best in the league. Either way, Matthews will switch between playing inside and outside linebacker, especially at the beginning of the season.

Barrington will probably begin the season as the Packers’ fixture at inside linebacker. In 2014, he became the starter in Week 13 and held that spot through the end of the season. As the 2015 season approaches, Barrington appears ready for a more prominent role on the Green Bay defense.

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Who in the Heck is Green Bay Packers Clark Hinkle?

#30 Green Bay Packers Clark Hinkle

Recently my wife and I attended the June 10, 2015 Green Bay Packers OTA at Clark Hinkle Field.  We arrived with about 90 minutes to spare.  Many, if not all Green Bay Packers fans have heard of Ray Nitschke and Don Hutson, who both have practice fields named after them. But who in the heck was this “Clark Hinkle,” who also has a Packers practice field named after him?

What did he do for the Green Bay Packers that would bestow such recognition of achievement?  If he was a legendary Green Bay Packers great, why is his jersey number not retired, like Ray Nitschke’s and Don Hutson’s numbers?

To pass the time, I told my wife to save our spots so that I could conduct an “informal survey.”  I proceeded to walk down the sidewalk and I asked several random Green Bay Packers fans, “Do you know who Clark Hinkle is?”  Only a couple of those surveyed knew that he was a former Green Bay Packers player, but beyond that not much more.

In fact, many of the fans surveyed guessed that he was an investor of sorts in the early years or that he must have been on the coaching staff with Curly Lambeau or was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the team.  To be honest, I knew a bit more than this about the legendary Green Bay Packers player, but not much more.

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