Tag Archives: Packers

5 Traits That Locked Roster Spots

Brett Hundley & Ty Montgomery

With the season fast approaching, some of the Packers players who started on the roster bubble have cemented themselves as a part of the long term future of the team. Each of these men have demonstrated flashes of at least one dominating trait that has gotten them a shot to play on a team like this.

With the cut day tomorrow, and the cut down to 53 not long after, let’s take a look at five players who have solidified spot based on some portion of dominance on the field.

Mike Pennel – Hands and Strength

Pennel was a surprise last season as an undrafted rookie who made the roster as a backup tackle and got playing time in goal line situations. Seen as a guy who had to fight this season with the return of Khyri Thornton as well as the draft of Christian Ringo, Pennel needed to impress in camp to make the team. And not only has he impressed but shined, especially in preseason games, consistently getting into the backfield due to his prodigious strength and his improved hand placement.

Signature Play: Against Philadelphia, during a two point conversion attempt, Pennel performed a perfect swim move at the line and got into the backfield to stop Tim Tebow on a quarterback draw.

Jeff Janis – Big Play Ability


PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Nelson Injury Affects Depth The Most

Packers Receiver Jordy Nelson

The first pit in my stomach came when Jordy Nelson clapped his hands together in anger after going down in Pittsburgh.  Nelson’s a smart football player.  He’s also not a very demonstrative one.  For him to be that upset in a preseason game I hoped it was just an ankle, but it probably wasn’t.  We would later find out that it was indeed an ACL tear and that Nelson would be lost for the season.

Does that affect the offense immediately? Of course.  Are the Packers still Super Bowl contenders? They certainly  are.  The Packers offense, as an 11 man unit has certainly been changed.  Their potential as possibly the greatest Packers offense of the modern era may have left them but they can still be very effective.

The Packers offense can function without Nelson.  He’s important.  He’s also an elite talent at receiver, though he doesn’t often get the credit he deserves.  The Packers still have options.  Randall Cobb is the league’s premier slot receiver.  Eddie Lacy, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers are all top 100 picks by Ted Thompson.  The cupboard is far from bare.

It’s possible that the Packers have a philosophical change and limit their use of 3 receiver sets.  It would eliminate the need to use young receivers Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery.  It would also allow the offense to use the talents of two of the John Kuhn, Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers group.  These are all players that have knowledge of the offense, and that have the quarterback’s trust.


Turf Woes Decimate Packers, It Ends Here

Jordy Nelson Knee

This is a difficult scenario to envision as a Packer fan. Two starters down with injury in a preseason game is a huge blow, especially if the initial diagnoses are confirmed. In a game that is only meaningful for those trying to make the bottom of the roster, this leaves a sour taste, but that isn’t what upset me during the game.

Those injuries hurt to see, especially as someone who has faced plenty of injuries in my time as an athlete. The worst part was that they could been somewhat avoided by any sort of decent field conditions. Any sort of non-contact injury is usually largely caused by a misstep on turf that isn’t at its top condition, and that is what happened to Jordy Nelson.

But he wasn’t the only one that got injured in this game in a possible turf related instance. Maurkice Pouncey was rolled up after his right cleat got caught in the turf and he now requires ankle surgery. We don’t know the complete story of TJ Lang’s concussion, at least I don’t, and maybe a caught cleat and a slip could’ve caused a blow to the head.

My point is, Pittsburgh needs to step up their game when it comes to turf. Numerous times over its history, the turf at Heinz Field has been criticized by players, coaches, and even former NFLPA President Gene Upshaw. And injuries have come aplenty from turf like this. And after a calamitous game like this in which three key players from both teams got seriously injured, it is time to admit that this turf is unsatisfactory and to replace it. Look at the examples of Pittsburgh’s woes.


Packers Should Play it Safe and Smart Sunday

Packers v Steelers

With the second preseason game on the horizon, the Packers are facing quite the conundrum when it comes to playing time and preparation. You see, Pittsburgh is taking the field for their third game and with that comes the usual drill of playing your starters for the first half at minimum.


Now for the Packers, that leaves two options. One, they could go with the Steelers plan, playing the starters for an extended period of time, and that has been implied with practice so far. Vic Ketchman of packers.com has written during his daily “Ask Vic” piece that Coach McCarthy has run this week like a regular season week, which leaves some to think that the Packers will treat this like the third game.


But for myself, I think that they’ll stick with their plan and treat the game like the second game of the preseason and take it carefully with the starting lineup, playing them a quarter, maybe a little bit more, but not too far. There are a few reasons for that, and each makes perfect sense for the team as they approach this season and for seasons to come.





If you stay tuned to the Podcast app on your phone (because I know you’re subscribing to Packers Talk Radio Network, why wouldn’t you be, we rock) you’ll be getting From the Benches’ fantasy football preview.  It’s very good and Ryan and I had a lot of fun doing it.  With that said, I understand that not all of you have 45 minutest to listen to the two of us ramble.

I’ll go through each of the Packers fantasy contributors here and give you some outside the box looks at why I hold the opinions that I do about each player.  I’m basing these opinions on a 10 team .5 PPR league.  One because that gives PPR leagues and standard leagues an even-ish look and two because I’m very selfish.

Let’s get started:

Aaron Rodgers– #1 overall, duh.  I kid, I kid.  Rodgers was fantastic last season, was the NFL’s MVP, he’s my favorite player of all time, he led fantasy football in scoring and I’m not going to be able to take him in the first round.  We even give 5 points instead of the standard 4 for passing TDs and I can’t do it.  The issue is positional scarcity.  Rodgers only provided about 1/3rd of a point more per game than second place Andrew Luck and only 3/4 of a point per game more than 3rd place Russell Wilson.  You can get QB points elsewhere.


Who Will Step Up on the Packer’s Defensive Line?

Mike Pennel

One of the best parts of being a Packer fan is that we usually don’t have major disciplinary issues from the league. Ted Thompson has been a great judge of character in his tenure but this year two separate incidents have decimated the defensive line for the start of the season, and now it’s time for some young guys to step up.

The two guys who will miss the beginning of the season were both slated for big roles were Letroy Guion and Datone Jones. Guion had come off a career best season in his first year in green and gold, while Jones had shown more potential than production in his first two seasons, partly due to injuries. But Guion is facing a three game suspension pending appeal for an arrest earlier this year and Jones is gone for the first game against Chicago for a positive test for marijuana.

That leave the Packers looking at some young, unproven guys to step up. This is their chance to make a name for themselves, whether it will create a long term job for them in Green Bay or for another team once Guion and Jones return. We don’t know for sure who will step up but we have some ideas as we break down the top prospects for Week 1.


Week 1 Roster Bubble: Last 5 In, First 5 Out

#38 John Crockett

With one preseason game in the books, the Packers roster now starts to take some semblance of shape. Granted, we have only seen glimpses of the roster, but now we have the capacity to make some judgments about the players that are a part of camp. After one victory, here are the last five Packers on the roster, and the first five looking on from free agency



This is a tough battle between Crockett, Rajion Neal, and Alonzo Harris, and while each of them showed flashes of the talent that got them to Green Bay, Crockett offers an element that makes him the prohibitive favorite to be the third running back: his hands. Harris had the touchdown run, but Crockett’s pass catching ability sets him apart and will give him the opportunity to carve a niche as a third down screen back. Eddie Lacy and James Starks are solid receivers, but Crockett is a natural in this aspect of the game and is already the best receiving back on the roster.


Gaston is a roster player only because of the legal troubles of Letroy Guion and Datone Jones. But for one game at least he should get a shot to prove that he belongs in this league. He was on the team for a couple of weeks last season but never active and he showed why during the New England game, continually disrupting the line of scrimmage. He also is purely a 3-4 end like Jones which will help him out for the opener.