Packers XLV

Opining on the Opening 53 and "Packer Preview" News

Posted September 1st, 2013 @ 01:09am

While we always pay a lot of attention when our favorite team announces its 53-man roster at the cutdown deadline, the truth is the 53 is a living organism, constantly morphing and evolving. It quite possibly will look a little different before the teams heads to San Francisco for the opener.

But the initial 53 carried some surprises. Gone are Alex Green, DJ Williams and newcomer Vince Young. On the other side, youngsters Dezman Moses and Terrell Manning gave way to even younger replacements.

The headline is the backup quarterback situation, which is as unsettled as it could possibly be. For now, BJ Coleman is the understudy by default. Conventional wisdom is he needs another year on the practice squad and is not ready to lead a Super Bowl contender if Rodgers goes down. You have to think the team will bring in a veteran, if they see one they like.

Among the suddenly unemployed veteran QBs: Jimmy Clausen, Greg McElroy, Brady Quinn, Dennis Dixon, Seneca Wallace and Austin Davis. Notice I didn't mention the guy the Patriots cut loose. Any of those names get your interest? Me either. I really wish the team would have brought back Matt Hasselbeck to give us all peace of mind if the unthinkable happens.

As I write this, it sounds like the team is bringing in former Badger and 49er Scott Tolzien to join the practice squad. He'll no doubt be asked to provide some intel on his former team, leading up to the opener.

The release of Green was surprising, in light of the season ending injury to Du Juan Harris. But he hasn't looked like the same guy since the ACL injury and the team hopes that Johnathan Franklin can grow into the third down role they envisioned for Green. The team brought in former Jet Joe McKnight for a workout over the weekend and the return specialist could also figure into the mix if the team decides to add him.

I wasn't surprised to see DJ Williams let go, but the Matthew Mulligan cut caught me off guard. His training camp injury sealed his fate, though it didn't appear that serious. All we heard all camp was how heady he was and how he was by far the best blocker of the bunch. Special teams ace Ryan Taylor was a given, but the team's belief in youngster Brandon Bostick will be tested if Finley gets nicked, or Andrew Quarless can't get on the field.

For me, no other big surprises on offense, thought I thought WR Tyrone Walker had shown enough to earn the fifth spot over Jeremy Ross.  But Ross showed enough late to hold off the challenge. Undrafted guard Lane Taylor was probably one of the last two to make the team, so he's not completely safe--he could still be practice squad-bound.

Defensively, the headline is that two undrafted guys made it: OLB Andy Mulumba (who beat out Dezman Moses) and S Chris Banjo. We say good bye to second year linebacker Terrell Manning, the victim of a deep unit which added rookie Sam Barrington.

The 53 man roster analysis would not be complete without a nod to Johnny Jolly who has made it all the way back to the NFL after a near tragic three year odyssey. If he can continue to work off the rust, he could become a key contributor to the defensive line. Let's hope he makes the most of this last chance to show he can be a professional both on and off the field.

One final note: I announced on "In the Zone" on Saturday the new fall KFAN Sunday morning schedule, which sees "Packer Preview" being moved up to 7:30am this year. The show will be 30-minutes long, commercial free and will allow the station to run even more Viking programming. In this new format I won't take phone calls. I'll answer emails and tweets and have an interview each week.

At 8, I will join Meat Sauce and AJ Mansour for the first segment of their new Vikings-themed show. Yes, it's disappointing, but at least we're back for an 18th season. Maybe it will be a one year thing. In any case, you can always sleep in and podcast it later on iTunes or "Fan on Demand" at kfan.com. And I'll get my chance to mock Viking fans on Monday mornings when I join Paul Allen for our weekly "Border Battle."

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Comments (17):

I always think about practice squad eligibility when it comes down to this last cut. I think that can play a major part in it. Also, I was really disappointed in what Franklin showed. I'm guessing they didn't think they could keep on the practice squad or that he could contribute there. Still, how many of the last dozen seasons have we ended up adding a running back that got playing time? Too many. I'm really hoping Lacy puts an end to the carrousel and becomes an every down back.

on August 31st, 2013 at 08:53pm

Extremely disappointed with kfan they continue to digress

on August 31st, 2013 at 08:55pm

One thing to keep in mind is what the purpose of the practice squad is...it's not a place to "stash" your extra personnel. Everyone on the practice squad is a free agent, able to sign with anyone at anytime. Just to get on any team's practice squad, you have to clear waivers first. So that's not where Franklin should go, because he'd be gone in a flash to somewhere else. Both he and Lacy should solidify the running game - it's the least of the Packers' problems right now. First and foremost, they need to get the backup QB situation figured out. Nobody who's on the street right now really jumps out at me, so I'm going to leave it to those who are a lot smarter than me on this topic figure it out.

on August 31st, 2013 at 10:35pm

associated with start enters the picture components fog up and Tuscany different shades and it has a store price close to $210,

on December 6th, 2014 at 09:17pm

Thanks for the kind words everybody (even you, Cane). This was not a local decision. Some Clear Channel sports marketing bobos in Cincinnati were appalled that they didn't offer more Vikings programming to sell to their sponsors. Remember, the team controls the 11-4 part of the Sunday equation. PD Chad Abbott was incredibly cool about the situation and would rather have stuck with the status quo. Spencer, he new show will be 30 minutes in length total. The program will be available in its entirety for podcast shortly after it ends. I'm trying to figure out a way to do online chats after the show. Stay tuned on that one...

on September 1st, 2013 at 02:18pm

Looks like kFAN got some heat from the Vikings for being the only flagship radio station of an NFL team to have a rival team show on their air. Too bad as it made good radio for both sets of fans.

on September 1st, 2013 at 02:48am

First of all Davy you have too much class to come across as being really upset about the Sunday show. So let me be your mouth and mind.(I know I am taking liberty) so maybe it is just me and many other loyalists. Yes...KFAN is the Viking flagship and a Viking show on WTMJ in Milwaukee would never even make it's way out of someones thought box. But....your show was extremely popular,well received even among Viking baiters and I bet profitable sponsor wise. So lets get to the real reason.....PA and his aliens got not stand it and he got to Zigi to end the format. To not have callers and to shorten the show is ridiculous.....but it is the Flagship and after getting Longwell, Sharper, Jennings, and Bishop they wanted to bring your show and format down. You are too classy to admit this Davy but the Viking insecurity led to this. Would it be possible to find another Twin City station to carry your original format or are you on a contractural no compete with KFAN ?? As to the Packer first 53 man roster ....some were surprised about cutting Vince Young....but from what I have heard and read he just could not pick up the playbook and relied only on his natural ability. That does not work with MM or most pro coaches. They have a system and you have to implement it. None of the released QB's impress me. So we will see. As to the running backs I hope Lacy can carry the bulk of the load. He had a history of small nagging injuries in college and has reputation as someone who does not enjoy working out and training.....which can be an issue in a long NFL season. Lets get the season started......GO PACK GO !!

on September 1st, 2013 at 07:13pm

I think we should be prepared to look at this year's Packers as a "work in progress" sort of team. That doesn't mean they won't win the division, make the playoffs or not be a top tier contender for the Super Bowl from this year's NFC. But the questions and concerns lingering about the o-line, the rushing game, the kicking game, the lack of an assuring back-up qb and certain aspects of the defense indicate a good bit of the early part of the schedule will have the team still trying to figure some things out and still in some development. Don't be surprised- or alarmed- if the Packers have a losing record or may be winless heading into their early bye week this season. They open with 3 straight 2012 playoff teams, two on the road.The first three weeks will be sort of an "extended preseason." Key for the club this year is to continue their domination of the NFC North. Since Mike McCarthy has been coach the Pack is 13-1 against the Lions, 11-4 over the Vikings and 10-5 vs. the Bears. They haven't won fewer than 4 of 6 in-divison games since 2006 and are 11-1 over the past two seasons. Nothing that much has changed about the NFCN this year to alter Green Bay's competitive edge there. Win 5 or all 6 of those games and .500 against the other divisions and the AFC will be enough to put up 10-11 wins on the season.

on September 1st, 2013 at 08:24am

Terrible news about the show. The phone calls were what made the show. I am THC's biggest critic, but you don't mess with the perfection that was the format/style of the show. It's way too much to try and cram into a half hour too, plus I always listened to the show that morning while I was lifting (which takes an hour). In the words of Chief Joseph, "I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

on September 1st, 2013 at 08:32am

Sure is a drag about the show format change. It was on a bit early for me anyway since I work almost every Saturday night, so the podcast was the way to go for me. Dave, I'm sure you'll make the best of it, and good luck.

on September 1st, 2013 at 08:59pm

NOOOOOO!!!!!! This is terrible news!! ... ...do you mean the regular hour will be available on itunes or just the half hour??

on September 1st, 2013 at 11:56am

Dave-This news does not sit well with me. How about jumping over to(or at least looki into) AM1500 like a lot of KFAN listeners have done recently. "Meatsauce and AJ" have a show? Sounds awful. Good luck with that KFAN.

on September 2nd, 2013 at 09:26am

BRILLIANT!!! Gbfisher, you may be on to something! Dave, run that idea past the Clear Channel brass - a sponsored show at 8AM Sundays on 1130 has to do better financially than whatever else they have on at that time. I say go for it!!

on September 3rd, 2013 at 02:16pm

I'll still listen or at least podcast the show in the ne format. I bet a lot of the regular callers will just call into In The Zone to talk to THC instead. Online chat following the show could be fun....

on September 3rd, 2013 at 06:53am

I loved waking up Sunday mornings, making breakfast for the family, to some legit Packer talk in the Twin Cities. I also loved hearing the regular callers. This is disappointing, especially since you had legit sponsors. Why not do a full hour (or longer show) on the old AM channel? As much as I dont like to feed the conspirators, this smells of Vikings brass twisting arms.

on September 3rd, 2013 at 09:19am

Very disappointing that you wouldn't be taking phone calls. I hope you screamed at KFAN management stating that this is totally unacceptable. Stand up for your fellow Packer fans

on September 3rd, 2013 at 09:44pm

Just adding to the list of disappointed comments. We also have a family tradition of (at least one of) the kids coming downstairs early Sundays, eyes still half-closed, crawling into bed with their Packer mom (suitably annoying the Vikes dad), and waking up by singing along to the bumper music between calls and analysis. Your signature "Go Pack" at the end of the show has been the signal for pancake time as long as my 10-year-old can remember. We will truly, truly miss the full hour show. (And if you can't at least get a recording of our friend from Milwaukee opening the show with his sweet salutation to "Mr. Head Cheese," I think I might just cry a little.)

on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:31pm

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