Good Sunday morning everyone and Happy Labor Day weekend for most! If you’re an NFL hopeful and you just got released yesterday, maybe it’s not so happy! I wish all of those young men who were released by the Packers and the 31 other NFL teams the best of luck on finding another spot. I’m hoping those who have NFL talent don’t see their dream end.
By now you have all seen the cuts, the roster moves and the the 53 man Packer’s roster. I don’t believe at this point ( 6 AM, Sunday ) that the roster is final, nor do I believe the Packers are finished with moves (Practice Squad aside). The Packers may still address the need for an experienced back-up QB, hello Brian Hoyer, a veteran ILB (several out there), and possibly another Safety (also several available).
At this point I am satisfied with the roster moves GM Brian Gutekunst has made. A couple smart moves were receiving draft picks for Reggie Gilbert and Justin McCray. I wish we could’ve sent J’Mon Moore and DeShone Kizer somewhere for another couple picks. Many would disagree, but I think there’s still some value there. I’m ok with keeping Mason Crosby, but at age 35 (on September 3rd), in the last year of his contract, assuming they may not retain him after this season, why not Sam Ficken now? My other two sigh moments were the release WR of Allen Lazard, while keeping Darius Shepherd (a Trevor Davis clone) and the waived/injured for LB Curtis Bolton. Gutekunst placed WR Equanimeous St Brown on IR (ending his season), wasn’t Lazard a better replacement than Shepherd? I felt Bolton had great promise. If the knee injury was more severe, then why not place him on IR as well? Only Gute, Matt LaFleur and Mike Pettine know the answers to those questions.
We now saw from Brian Gutekunst something we rarely saw from Ted Thompson, the ability to admit a previous transaction wasn’t working out as planned and being able to move on. I’m referring to QB DeShone Kizer. Kizer is a extremely talented athlete with all the physical tools, but could never blend those assets with performance as an NFL QB. For Gutekunst 2 seasons of effort was enough. Gute appears more able to make those very tough decisions, which affect young men’s lives, better than Ted.
Some players I’m hoping the Packers can assign to the Practice squad would be LB’s Randy Ramsey and Markus Jones, DL James Looney, Olive Sagapolu, or Deon Simon, WR’s Allen Lazard and Malik Taylor, OT Yosh Nijman, G Anthony Coyle and QB Manny Wilkins. There are others I like, and I’m sure they will add some players who were in other camps.
I’m very happy for QB Tim Boyle, he had a very good camp and earned his spot. There was little doubt WR Jake Kumerow would make the 53, he appears to be a James Jones type of receiver, always where 12 needs him. I’m surprised the Packers retained TE Marcedes Lewis, must have been LaFleur’s decision. I don’t see the value in a TE who may play 5-10 snaps per game. Maybe LaFleur has bigger plans for Lewis in this offense? As far as the OLine goes, I was expecting 10 to make the roster (Packers kept 9), so Anthony Coyle, Dejon Allen and Adam Pankey all being gone surprised me, I thought one of them would stay. OLB seemed set from the start of camp. The Packers appear high enough on Greg Roberts to have traded Reggie Gilbert and released Folston, Ramsey and Jones. I don’t believe ILB or Safety are finished, but it looks like they are set at the CB position.
My prediction was 26 Offense, 24 Defense and 3 Specialists. I was off by one. The Packers ended up with 25/25/3, unless something changes today. We shall wait and see!
Bring on Da’ Bears! I love the Packers being the underdog here, it would make it even more enjoyable to see the upset at Soldier Field. My prediction is LaFleur, Pettine and staff start the season 4-4, and finish a strong 8-0 to go 12-4. Yes bold, a little crazy, but look at that second half, it’s totally possible. The Packers have to beat a good Chargers team in week 9 on the road, the week following a road game with the Chiefs to make it happen. I’m sticking with it, 12-4!!!
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter