The first game of the Packers season is in the books.  Even though it was a 17-7* preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals (yeah, um James Starks scored, watch the replay on NFLN) there were some real positives to take away from that game.  The defense minus Davon House (what the hell Davon) played well. New LT David Bakhtiari acquitted himself nicely against a very good defense.  Aaron Rodgers looked as sharp as ever in his one series, despite missing Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson all the while having to hand off to James Starks.  Actually, to be honest James Starks really didn’t look that bad and it’s becoming more and more difficult to predict his being cut if he keeps getting the first team reps at tailback.  Here’s my updated prediction:

QB- Aaron Rodgers
QB- Vince Young

RB- Eddie Lacy
RB- DuJuan Harris
RB- Jonathan Franklin
RB- Alex Green

FB- John Kuhn

WR- Jordy Nelson
WR- James Jones
WR- Randall Cobb
WR- Jarret Boykin
WR- Tyrone Walker
WR- Jeremy Ross

TE- Jermichael Finley
TE- Andrew Quarless
TE- DJ Williams
TE- Matthew Mulligan

LT- David Bakhtiari
LG- Josh Sitton
C- Evan Deitrich-Smith
RG- TJ Lang
RT- Marshall Newhouse
OL- Don Barclay
OL- Greg Van Roten
OL- Derek Sherrod

LE- BJ Raji
NT- Ryan Pickett
RE- CJ Wilson
DL- Datone Jones
DL- Johnny Jolly
DL- Mike Daniels
DL- Mike Neal

LOLB- Nick Perry
ILB- Brad Jones
ILB- AJ Hawk
ROLB- Clay Matthews
OLB- Dezman Moses
OLB- Nate Palmer
ILB- Jamari Lattimore
ILB- Robert Francois
ILB- Terrell Manning

CB- Sam Shields
CB- Tramon Williams
FS- Morgan Burnett
SS- Jerron McMillan
DB- Casey Hayward
DB- Davon House
DB- M.D. Jennings
DB- Micah Hyde
DB- Jarret Bush

K- Mason Crosby
P- Tim Masthay
LS- Brett Goode

PUP- Jerel Worthy, JC Tretter

IR- Bryan Bulaga

Highlights and changes:

Offense- I really think that Ted Thompson is enamored with Vince Young.  This infatuation is actually fine with me.  If any one can teach VY how to improve as a player it’s going to be Mike McCarthy and Tom Clements, two of the best in the business at improving QBs.  If AR goes down with a high ankle sprain and has to miss 4 or 5 games I feel a lot better about going 3-2 or 2-3 with Vince than I do with Graham Harrel or BJ Coleman at this point.  The Packers will cut ties with Harrel and Coleman will get one more season on the PS because of his rocket arm.

I’m also softening my stance about the release of John Kuhn.   Ryan Taylor’s inability to be healthy this spring and his inability in his first two seasons to make an impact beyond special teams is making it difficult for me to believe he’s going to make the team over Kuhn.  It’s becoming clear that the team is going to go with Boykin and Ross on the active roster.  The sixth spot, if there’s going to be one looks like it’s going to go to Tyrone Walker at this point.  I think that Bryan Bulaga’s injury allows the team to carry 8 offensive lineman instead of 9 and they will stash Lane Taylor on the Practice squad.  I’m still holding out hope that Derek Sherrod returns to the 53.

Defense- The position that I think gets to keep an extra player because of Bulaga’s injury is the defensive line.  I believe that because the team has so much invested in young players at this position (Neal, Jones, Worthy, Boyd) coupled with the fact that so many DL are in the last year of their deal, the team is going to be forced to keep more than 6 on the roster.  Johnny Jolly graded out tied for second best on the defense against Arizona and I really think that the team is going to have a hard time cutting him.  This roster configuration allows the Packers to keep a lot of their guys in the last year of their deals on the team, while still allowing them to keep their “next” defensive line on the 53.

The one thing that I’m really struggling with is that I’m almost certain Andy Mulumba is going to make his way on to the team, but I can’t figure out how.  I am almost certain that Nate Palmer would make it to the practice squad if he was cut, but TT really does like his draft picks.  Mulumba and Tyrone Walker are making a case to be 2 in a long line of Ted Thompson UDFAs to make a 53 man roster with the always-contending Packers.

Special Teams- I am one more Giorgio Tavecchio pre-season victory away from believing that they are going to cut Mason Crosby.  This is no joke.


Ross Uglem is a writer at You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem