With Training Camp coming to an end, Ted Thompson was faced with the task of constructing a team which will lead the Packers back to the Super Bowl. As the clock ticked down to 3pm CDT yesterday, Packer fans across the world were wondering what this year’s team would look like. Would it have the caliber of talent to get the Packers back on top of the football world this season?
We are about to find out, as the season kicks off a mere 4 days from now.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here are your 2014-15 Green Bay Packers:
Quarterbacks (3) — Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien The talk of Training Camp was whether the Packers would keep 2 or 3 QBs. We got the answer yesterday. Perhaps a little surprising as it may have cost another roster spot to someone else, but after the disaster that was the Packers backup QB position last year, keeping both Flynn and Tolzien makes sense. In somewhat of a surprise call, Aaron Rodgers also made the final 53.
Running backs (4) — Eddie Lacy, James Starks, DuJuan Harris, John Kuhn If the trio of Packers RBs doesn’t get you excited as a Packers fan, not sure what will. All three have started in the past, with Lacy firmly entrenched as the starter for years to come. Starks and Harris add their own skill set to the offense, which Mike McCarthy will seek to use every chance he can. John Kuhn knows the offense better than anyone else on the field who isn’t named Aaron Rodgers, and returns to help protect the Packers franchise QB for his 8th season.
Wide receivers (5) — Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis Good for Jeff Janis. Already facing an uphill battle as a 7th round draft pick, he started Training Camp by contracting shingles, further delaying his progress. After that, all he did was make plays. Nelson and Cobb are the starters, and Jarrett Boykin looks to continue to develop after his strong 2013 season. Rookie Davante Adams adds yet another weapon for Rodgers to throw to.
Tight ends (4) — Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Richard Rodgers, Ryan Taylor Andrew Quarless may be the “starter” on paper when the season starts, but Richard Rodgers is the defacto starter. Ryan Taylor sticks as as core special teams contributor.
Offensive linemen (8) — David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, Corey Linsley, JC Tretter, Derek Sherrod, Lane Taylor The starters are set with Bakhtiari, Sitton, Linsley (until Tretter returns from his injury), Lang and Bulaga. But depth is a huge concern for the o line right now. Free agent Adam Gettis is alrady scheduled for a visit today. If he doesn’t sign, expect someone else to sign before Thursday’s game against the Seahawks.
Defensive linemen (5) — Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, Letroy Guion, Josh Boyd, Mike Pennel The number of defensive linemen on the roster is deceiving, as OLB Julius Peppers and Mike Neal can both play with their hand on the ground as well. As it stands right now, the Packers DL consists of: a 3rd year rising star in Daniels; a 2nd year player in Jones who is hoping to justify his first round selection last year; a free agent signing in Guion who was expected to backup BJ Raji, not start; a second year player in Boyd, who saw his snap count increase last season because Jones was ineffective; and a rookie UDFA in Pennel. Breathe…
Linebackers (11) — Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Andy Mulumba, Jayrone Elliott, Carl Bradford Eleven (!!!) linebackers. The starters are set in Matthews, Hawk, Jones, and Peppers. Perry and Neal are the second group of OLBs, while Lattimore and Barrington add depth on the inside. It will be very interesting to see how Dom Capers utilizes rookie Carl Bradford and Training Camp MVP Jayrone Elliot. This group should be able to provide some definite giddy up while rushing the QB. This will be a fun group to watch.
Cornerbacks (6) — Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Demetri Goodson Time for head scratcher number one: the Packers cut CB Jumal Rolle, who had an outstanding Training Camp, and kept Demitri Goodson, who was anything but outstanding. It pays to be a Ted Thompson draft pick. Williams and Shields are your starters, Hayward the Nickel slot CB, House is the 4th CB, and Jarrett Bush returns for his 9th season as special teams ace and 5th CB.
Safeties (4) — Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Sean Richardson Head scratcher number 2: S Chris Banjo was released, after being a core special teams contributor all of training camp. While there was no need for the Packers to keep a 5th Safety considering the current depth, it would be interesting to find out if Banjo was cut to make room for all 3 QBs. Ted Thompson will almost certainly inform the world whether this was the case, won’t he? Aside from that, after the mess that 2013 was at this position, isn’t it refreshing to see a group of Safeties that can actually make plays?
Specialists (3) — Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode This group was set from the start of Training Camp. Let’s just hope the Mason Crosby of 2013 is set for a repeat performance this season, and the Mason Crosby of 2012 never returns again.
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.