Packers XLV

Thoughts on the First 53 Man Roster

Posted August 31st, 2014 @ 02:08pm

There weren't a lot of dramatic roster battles as the Packers whittled the roster to the league mandated 53 on Saturday. The biggest question was whether the team would keep two or three QBs on the roster. But there were a few interesting decisions made.

The decision to keep Flynn and Tolzien seems like the right one, especially in light of the situation the team found itself in last season. Tolzien has progressed enough to look like a viable backup for the next few seasons, while Flynn's likely the guy the team would turn to this season, should disaster strike #12. I still wouldn't rule out a trade of Flynn, if a QB-needy team comes calling.

That third QB likely cost safety Chris Banjo a shot at being the fifth safety. Banjo is a special teams ace and seems to be a capable backup, but the move of Hyde to safety and the addition of Ha Ha Clinton Dix makes that position much more solid than it was a year ago. Sean Richardson's strong preseason showing made Banjo a luxury the team just couldn't afford. I'm guessing he gets claimed on waivers--if not, he's a lock to return to the practice squad.

The most alarming position in terms of depth is the offensive line. The starters are solid, or will be, once JC Tretter returns. The backups (Sherrod and Taylor) are raw and unproven and could cause Thompson to shop the waiver wire for a veteran that might fit. Center Greg Van Roten, a former Packer, was cut by the Seahawks and could be a candidate to return.

No real surprises at the offensive skill positions, except possibly the axing of tight end Jake Stoneburner. The team kept just four tight ends to start the season, and Brandon Bostick is a few weeks away from returning. The team is banking on Rochard Rodgers being ready to tackle the starting spot, with the very average Andrew Quarless awaiting a chance to show he's worth keeping. If Bostick were healthy I have a hunch the Pack would have parted ways with Quarless.

On defense, the biggest story is the two undrafted guys who shined in the preseason. Outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott, from Toledo, was the preseason star with five sacks. His last one, against Chiefs starting tackle Donald Stephenson, no doubt locked up his spot. He won't play much, barring injury, but shows an ability to get to the quarterback and will be fun to keep an eye on. Nose tackle Mike Pennel takes BJ Raji's spot and will only play if Boyd or Guion falter in that role.

I was a bit surprised to see Jumal Rolle get released, in favor of sixthround pick Demetri Goodson, who by all accounts is a great athlete but is a latecomer to football and doesn't appear ready to contribute. He has a concussion, so it's possible he gets booted to the practice squad once he's healthy. I'd love to get Rolle back via the practice squad too, but he likely put enough on tape to draw another team's attention.

The initial roster appears deeper than usual in the secondary, at linebacker and at running back, and thinner at tight end, offensive line and the D line (though Neal and Peppers can move up to the line, and will from time to time). How it measures up against the best in the league will be answered at about 10:30 Thursday night.

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Comments (7):

Just announced. The Packers have signed 10 to their practice squad; all guys who were with the team in preseason. WR's Kevin Dorsey,Myles White, Alex Gillette, TE Justin Perillo, RB Michael Hill, C Garth Gerhart, LB Adrian Hubbard, DE Luther Robinson,OT Jerry Vujnovich and S CHRIS BANJO! No nose tackle, though. They must think Boyd, Guion and Pennell will suffice. I think Stoneburner got hurt in Saturday's game. That may have cost him in the tight end competition.

on August 31st, 2014 at 02:08pm

Some of us have questioned TT's steadfastness on keeping his draft choices ( myself included) in lieu of pursuing free agents....but I have to give him major kudos for keeping all of his 9 draft choices and 2 free agents on the 53 man roster. Yes...that can change but he does have a plan that he sticks to of draft and develop that always keeps the Pack as one of the younger teams. Lets hope the starters can stay healthy and the young guys develop. We have trusted TT and he has produced with this approach. GO PACK GO !! PS: Voice...I am not sure the Park Tavern serves New Glarus but it would be nice to see you this year at one of the gatherings....the first one being the first Lion game.

on August 31st, 2014 at 05:41pm

Let's hope the roster stays healthy this year. I've seen more than one prediction putting the Packers in the Super Bowl, but I'll take a more guarded approach and see how that works out - needless to say I wouldn't be disappointed if it came true. I'll share my thoughts on Thursday's opener later this week. OSSG, you brought up the draft-and-develop topic vs. free agents again (no, I'm not going to go into another lengthy speech), but one of the reasons this is the correct philosophy for the Packers to follow has to do with the recent players poll on which franchise they'd want to play for, and a high percentage put the Pack near the bottom of the list. Two reasons for that are the Wisconsin climate, and Wisconsin taxes. States like Florida and Texas that have little or no income tax I'm sure scored high among players, so if TT gets 'em young and early, and keeps restocking every year, that's a formula that works. And as much as I'd like to join you at the Park Tavern, my schedule and other commitments (along with being on the east side of the metro) makes an appearance somewhat remote, but my thoughts are always with you guys.

on August 31st, 2014 at 06:35pm

I agree with everything u said Davey, and that doesn't always happen, how do u keep goodsen? what do u want to bet the damn vikings pick up rolle or banjo now, u know that is the 1st place they look is our left overs. I think they will be looking for some back up depth from other teams on our o line, one thing I hope your wrong on is that Elliott better play, let's find out if he can or not, or why have him? should have dropped flynn, no one would have picked him up. Banjo was great special teams guy as u said. we better hope we get him back. 11-5 still works for me. GO PACK.

on August 31st, 2014 at 12:40pm

AzRuc1 Thanks for another magnificent post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

on September 24th, 2014 at 06:33pm

hey envious packer hater, have u looked back on the history how many players u have taken from our team? just the facts, sometimes they hurt.

on September 3rd, 2014 at 01:06pm

Larry have another 6pack it will calm your nerves. you must feel like such a big man taking a shot at the "damn vikings". you don't represent your fan base very well or do you?????

on September 3rd, 2014 at 05:26am

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