Tag Archives: Packers

5 Guys That Have to Be Good- Casey Hayward

Casey Hayward Packers

For the last two years I’ve been making a list of 5 guys that have to be good.  This kind of list isn’t obvious.  You’re not going to find Aaron Rodgers on this list.  These are guys that you might not think of right away regarding the overall success of the Packers.

That’s the thing, though.  Aaron Rodgers is going to play well.  Clay Matthews, should he stay healthy is going to play well.  Eddie Lacy’s going to be good and so is the offensive line.  The players that we know are good are more than likely going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a playoff “run” and a 13 or 14 win team and the 14th World Championship in Packers history.

There are few players that are as interesting a study as Casey Hayward.  Advanced statistics and guys that are big on film study think Hayward is a star.  I tend to fall in with that crowd.  Others point to Hayward’s extensive work in the slot and have concern that it may or may not translate to the outside.

The thing is, Hayward has to play outside because Micah Hyde probably can’t.  Hyde has always been a safety/slot cornerback type.  Hyde worked almost exclusively as a slot corner as a rookie, and as either a safety or slot corner a year ago.  There is no proof that Hyde can play outside.  There seems to be no question that the Packers’ best 5 DB set includes Hayward, Sam Shields, Hyde, Morgan Burnett and HaHa Clinton-Dix (who is going to be a Pro Bolwer but that’s a different article).

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On the Bubble: Cornerbacks

D. Goodson

 

As the Packers approach training camp, like every team, there are players who are considered on the “roster bubble.” These players don’t have any guarantees and need to fight for their position or face the possibility of starting a new career. Today, we continue our look at the guys fighting for the final spots on the Packers roster.

With the Packers pretty set on offense, the defense is the focus again with the roster bubble. Many worthy players are fighting for a spot, and while some won’t make it, you can bet that teams will be looking at these final cuts looking for a gem. We have already looked at the linebackers, but now it’s time to move back a few yards and focus on what might be the position under the most scrutiny: cornerback

The top four true corners are set with Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Damarious Randall, and Quinten Rollins. And if you consider Micah Hyde a corner, then you have five. That leaves three players for probably one spot.

The first guy is Tay Glover-Wright. A second year player, Glover-Wright spent 11 weeks on the practice squad last season, putting him in the middle of the competition as far as experience goes. Spent his last two seasons of college at Utah State, and while he wasn’t a big turnover creator, he was assignment sure and a good tackler (52 as a senior). That trait is key for special teams, and he also has experience as a kick returner. The 6’0” 175 lb corner is a long shot but the coaches like him and that’s enough to give him a long look.

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On the Bubble: The Linebackers

Jayrone Elliott

As the Packers approach training camp, like every team, there are players who are considered on the “roster bubble.” These players don’t have any guarantees and need to fight for their position or face the possibility of starting a new career. Today, we continue our look at the guys fighting for the final spots on the Packers roster.

After looking at Adrian Hubbard earlier, we need to look at his stiffest competition on the roster. Linebacker, despite being considered a position of weakness by the mainstream media, has a lot of depth and competition to it. Specifically, there are four guys who are competition closely with Hubbard for two of three spots.

Andy Mulumba, Nate Palmer, Jayrone Elliott, and Joe Thomas, are all second or third year player who are either coming off a major injury or, in Elliott’s case, a numbers game last season to get on the field.

Mulumba is a third year outside linebacker from Eastern Michigan who was the surprise of camp back in 2013, making the team as a pass rusher and seeing action in 14 games while starting 3. During that season, he recorded 30 tackles and a single sack, getting extensive action in the playoff game against San Francisco. The 6’3”, 260 pound product is a converted defensive end from the Congo who came into last season with high hopes and made the roster out of training camp, but suffered a serious knee injury after two games. He looks to regain the form that made him a rotational player this camp.

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PFF: 5 Guys That Have to Be Good- BJ Raji

bj raji

For the last two years I’ve been making a list of 5 guys that have to be good.  This kind of list isn’t obvious.  You’re not going to find Aaron Rodgers on this list.  These are guys that you might not think of right away regarding the overall success of the Packers.

That’s the thing, though.  Aaron Rodgers is going to play well.  Clay Matthews, should he stay healthy is going to play well.  Eddie Lacy’s going to be good and so is the offensive line.  The players that we know are good are more than likely going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a playoff “run” and a 13 or 14 win team and the 14th World Championship in Packers history.

I can’t get the practices that I watched last training camp out of my head when it comes to BJ Raji.  His position switch back to nose tackle was supposed to bring back the BJ Raji of old.  As a 29 year old player, it’s completely reasonable to think that Raji still has something in the tank, especially when you consider guys like Jay Ratliff, Vince Wilfork and Kyle Williams still providing excellent play from the inside.

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5 Guys That Have to Be Good- JC Tretter

JCT

For the last two years I’ve been making a list of 5 guys that have to be good.  This kind of list isn’t obvious.  You’re not going to find Aaron Rodgers on this list.  These are guys that you might not think of right away regarding the overall success of the Packers.

That’s the thing, though.  Aaron Rodgers is going to play well.  Clay Matthews, should he stay healthy is going to play well.  Eddie Lacy’s going to be good and so is the offensive line.  The players that we know are good are more than likely going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a playoff “run” and a 13 or 14 win team and the 14th World Championship in Packers history.

Unless something bad happens during camp/the preseason, like the first guy on this list Jared Abbrederis JC Tretter isn’t going to start this year.  That doesn’t mean that he’s not important to the success of the 2015 Packers.  in 2014, the Packers got 355 snaps from offensive linemen that weren’t their week one starters.  In 2013 that number was 270, but offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga was supposed to start the season and didn’t play a snap.

Offensive line depth is key for any contender.  It’s one of the reasons I’m lower on the Seahawks in 2015 than most.  A lot of people would tell you that Don Barclay is the backup at tackle and Tretter is the backup interior lineman.  I’m not convinced that that’s the case.

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One Game, One Kid, One Quarterback, a Lifetime as a Fan

Brett Favre Super Bowl XXXI

Growing up I watched football, but wasn’t a huge fan like I am now. I followed the Packers, because that’s what all Wisconsinites do. But I never really fell in love with the Green and Gold until January 26, 1997.

I was only five years old then, but I remember that day and that game vividly. I remember Reggie White’s three sacks and Desmond Howard’s back-breaking kick return. But what I remember most is the smile on the face of a guy who wore number four in the first quarter. I remember the pass to Andre Rison and Brett Favre running around the field like a small child. And to see that childlike wonder, that love for a game is what drove me into football fandom and eventually football playing and writing and broadcasting.

And with this momentous day here, with Brett Favre home again where he belongs, I feel like it is only appropriate that I share my memories of the man who was the key part in bringing Green Bay back to prominence in the NFL. No matter what your viewpoint on him is after how everything ended, you cannot deny his love for football and his impact on NFL history.

Brett Favre, for all his flaws, was “the Man” for almost 20 years. He played every game like it was his last and he always left it on the field. He sacrificed his body to get the throw off or to throw a block, or to make a tackle after one of his numerous head-scratching picks. But more than the numbers, the touchdowns, and the wins, he brought joy. He brought love and passion and the energy that the Packers and the NFL needed.

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PFF: 5 Guys That Have to Be Good- Jared Abbrederis

Jared-Abbrederis-850x560

For the last two years I’ve been making a list of 5 guys that have to be good.  This kind of list isn’t obvious.  You’re not going to find Aaron Rodgers on this list.  These are guys that you might not think of right away regarding the overall success of the Packers.

That’s the thing, though.  Aaron Rodgers is going to play well.  Clay Matthews, should he stay healthy is going to play well.  Eddie Lacy’s going to be good and so is the offensive line.  The players that we know are good are more than likely going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a playoff “run” and a 13 or 14 win team and the 14th World Championship in Packers history.

Jared Abbrederis almost assuredly won’t start this season.  With the success of Micah Hyde returning punts it would appear that he might not be able to contribute a lot there either.  It’s more than likely, however, that Abbrederis will need to succeed at some point for the Packers.

The obvious place for “Abby” is the second slot position in 4 wide sets that was unsuccessfully operated by Jarrett Boykin a year ago and eventually became Andrew Quarless (who doesn’t offer very much either).  If Jared Abbrederis is a serviceable starting caliber slot receiver he’ll be virtually uncoverable by the oppositions 4th best corner.  With Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and the rising Davante Adams on the squad, Abbrederis should be able to run free.

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