Packers XLV

10 Rookies Make Packers "First 53;" Harrell, Gurley Among Cuts

Posted September 4th, 2011 @ 01:09am

What does it stay about a Super Bowl champ that is willing to open the season with rookies making up nearly 20 percent of the roster? Ted Thompson elected to keep seven of his ten draft picks and three undrafted rookies on his initial 53 man roster. Clearly he was impressed with the immediate impact many of them can make on special teams.

Randall Cobb, Alex Green and DJ Williams all have a chance to become core offensive players within a tear or two and a couple of the linebackers, DJ Smith and Vic So'oto have shined during games.

But the last couple of guys on the roster probably won't sleep real soundly the next couple of nights. With just eight offensive linemen, the Pack could easily add another after scanning the waiver wire. That could spell curtains for one of the undrafted guys, Jennings or Lattimore.

Probably the biggest surprise was the release of QB Graham Harrell, who showed development in his last start and looked like the heir apparent as the understudy to Aaron Rodgers. But since the Pack didn't plan on activating him on game days, they decided it was more important to load up on linebackers and tight ends. We'll find out in the next day or two whether someone picks up Harrell, or if he lands on the Packers' practice squad.

I thought the Pack would go against history and keep six wide receivers but ultimately they thought the five tight ends provided more versatility. Undrafted Tori Gurley, at 6'4" and with a crazy wingspan that helped him block five punts during the preseason, couldn't crack the team's deep receiving corps. My hunch is he will be scooped up by another team (the Vikings perhaps?), otherwise the Pack would welcome him onto the practice squad. The same holds true for fellow receiver Chastin West.

The current roster looks like this: two QBs, 4 RBs, 5 WRs, 5 TEs, 8 OL, 6 DL, 10 LBs and 10 DBs, with three specialists. Wouldn't shock me to see one LB (Lattimore or Jones) replaced with an offensive lineman if the braintrust finds one to their liking.

Now that a lot of tough decisions have been made, the team can focus on Drew Brees and the Saints. The opener is just days away. Really looking forward to being at Lambeau on Thursday night. It's going to be crazy loud when the champs come out of the tunnel. Ihave goosebumps already.

Thompson found takers for two guys he was going to cut anyway. Fullback Quinn Johnson was shipped to Tennessee and rookie guard Caleb Schlauerdaff was dealt to the Jets, both for conditional draft picks. Just last season Thompson kept three fullbacks; this year Kuhn is the last man standing, though tight end Tom Crabtree could fill in in a pinch.

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Comments (30):

um do you have a thing against the JS or sntmehiog? because i cant count the number of times ive seen a lowly blogger go almost word for word on an interview and story that a reporter did and printed and also living in Racine its easy to see that all the Racine newspaper does is copy word for word the exact stories from the JS well okay they might change like 5 words and this includes 2 for the name of the writer

on August 3rd, 2012 at 01:35am

Both players seeemd to be fundamentally sound. However, CJ Wilson has done a great job at proving he can play at this level, and yes start. Spectators can continue to write, however, at the end of the day its let the best man win. Don't matter who start, it's a win/win situation. CJ Wilson has the experience, if I can recall, he started in the Superbowl, while Mike Neal may have better pass rushing abilities, his injury has set him back in that regard. Time will tell though.

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on May 18th, 2012 at 02:53pm

Loved the way Levine and Gordy played. Bush is alayws going to be a step slow but a good special team player. The musical chairs at O-line is annoying. Sherrod was lost and played terrible. They need to get it figured out, and let some players get comfortable. Campen is going about it all wrong. Please remember that the QB is our greatest asset ..we need to make sure he doesn't get hurt .I don't like experimentation it could end Rodger's career.DJ Smith looked great. Elmore looked rough. Pat Lee .ummmm look for the ball buddy.Starks is by far the better back over Grant. He looked explosive in his few carries. Grant can be the 3rd down back.Need to see more from Mike Neal.

on May 18th, 2012 at 04:57am

Some random thuothgs:I though the starting o-line when Rodgers was in looked pretty good. Rodgers was a little rusty.Both Grant and Starks showed burst on the few runs they had.Cobb looks like a playmaker already(watch out DD).Not much of a pass rush is concerning(I know CM3 didn't play).We finally have a punter. Flynn looked pretty good. If you ever noticed pictures of Harrell he's always laughing so it was good to see him smile, even after things didn't always go his way.Gordy I believe will be on the roster.Come on Ricky, you can do better(or not).

on May 18th, 2012 at 06:52pm

I think any deuce that contributes vlurtaliy nothing in his first 2 years might not yet fully qualify as a bust, but add the PED thing and the name Neal on his jersey might be replaced with Humpty-Dumpty .The fact that he's a head case doesn't help either. Anyone who gets a hyperbaric chamber for his personal use and doesn't sleep so he can work out has bigger problems. Add the fact that FOR WHATEVER REASON he was part of the reason behind letting CJ walk, it's been kind of a clusterfuck with this guy since day 1.Scariest part is, is that TT has to draft another DL this year and as good as he is at his job, that position for some reason has been his achilles heel.

on May 18th, 2012 at 08:21am

I agree about Shaky a step or so too slow for the NFL. It was painfully oovbius.I think Gordy makes the team over Pat Lee.I don't think you can read much into the second half performance of the OL. Too many guys moving around. Hopefully, the staff is coming to a decision on LG pretty soon.I think many of this year's draftees will not make the team Schlauderaff and Elmore, in particular, looked lost. Guy holds the point pretty well and make make the 53-man as a developmental guy.Am anxious to see Finley with the offense the unit has the makings of greatness. AR looks terrific and I think the OL will be better than last year. There are so many packages that they can put on the field to create mismatches.

on May 18th, 2012 at 08:36am

More random tuotghhs:Last year first preseason game Packers lose to Browns then win SB. This year Packers in first preseason game Packers lose to Browns and win SB.Did Holmgen shed a few pounds?In MM's presser why did keep lamenting about not seeing what players were doing on the field because he was concerned about calling the plays. Does that tell you something Mike?I know we'll be fine without Cullen (OK, I'm trying to convince myself). With the best QB in the NFL and a crap-load of quality receivers we might not need Finley after all next year. I'm still leaning towards resigning him though.

on May 18th, 2012 at 11:13am

Bush will always stay busceae he has become a Special Teams ace. Pat Lee was feeling a bit comfortable since Underwood tweaked his ankle and has questionable personality. Then came Josh Gordy, and even though his skillset may be worse than Pat Lee, Josh Gordy did what the coaches wanted him to do, step up his game. The Packers are to be a elite-tier team this year and so only the best and willing will be on the roster. Pat Lee might have just lost his chance already, not to mention he is not a rookie.

on May 18th, 2012 at 11:23pm

Nice point, Kuhn and nice article. Seemed to me like the Packers were doing more exetnimerping with different positions and new players, while the Browns kept their core and replacements in longer.Re: Newhouse, the point is in what role does he make this team. He is not going to be the starting LT (#3 there at best). But if he is going to be a backup he needs to play more than one position. Hence they use preseason action to see which spots he can handle (or not as the case may be).

on May 20th, 2012 at 01:11am

Masthay with 52.2 Gross and 48.9 Net was a very nice thing to see. It would have been even more impressive if the coearvge team could have tackled better. At this point they're using all 90 men on coearvge. I'll worry more in the 3rd and 4th games.Crosby wasn't impressive on KO's. His low trajectory line drive KO's were returned from 8 to 9 yds deep and came close to braking a couple of times. Proably due to liberal use of the entire roster, I hope.

on May 20th, 2012 at 02:01am

Levine & Gordy certainly had good nhtigs. They are handling the OL just the opposite of my instinct. Newhouse is future LT. Lang = LG. Let Sherrod back-up Bulaga this year. Cobb is another TT WR keeper. Had only Terence Murphy not had career ender, we would have six #1s. Why is Alex Green MIA? Gaine looked good. I liked #51 at ILB. New TEs looked good in limited action. If it comes down to Crabtree vs Quarless, I'm thinking Quarless is gone.

on May 20th, 2012 at 02:46am

Is if everyone doesn't know alrdaey, I am so disturbed that Marshall Newhouse got ZERO time at LT last night.I don't know if Sherrod can play RT, but it's clear Newhouse is not ready to just suddenly mirror his footwork/hand work on a moment's notice. Let this kid compete for LT Heck, he might even beat out SHerrod at LT in the LONG TERM as well.. We'll never know if they don't let him battle it out in live game situations.

on May 20th, 2012 at 04:43am

Honestly, I'm a bit worried about the Pack atm. Confidence is alywas good, but arrogance is not and there seems to be too much of it right now. Sloppy practices and too much attitude, showboating and trash talk. I think Coach McCarthy needs to start kicking some butt to get them grounded and their heads in the game PDQ or it'll be a short, painful season.

on May 20th, 2012 at 06:02am

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on May 25th, 2012 at 06:07am

Looks like the Packers are making a concerted effort to have better special teams this season. TT always talks about players contributing in multiple ways. I will be shocked if our kick coverage (and returns for that matter) are not significantly improved. Really excited that So'oto made it. I assume the braintrust is hoping that with injuries behind him, Pat Lee will become the player they drafted. Really hope they pick up another Olineman, and think that another stout Defensive End could be helpful. Got to think that Jones is the odd man out at LB if they add. No reason to give someone like Lattimore hope if they were planning to dump him anyway. Excited for the season. GoPack!

on September 3rd, 2011 at 09:13pm

Also, considering we have let go of a number of late round draft picks as well as most of the UFA's, I wish TT had packaged his late rounds into higher quality picks, rather than his usual high-quantity. We'll see what the actual roster looks like after the waiver wire action is completed. GoPack!

on September 4th, 2011 at 08:55am

I was hoping to keep Gurley around, especially if TT wanted a difference on Special teams. I thought he could have made a real difference in Field goals made. I really have a feeling average start position was going to be around the 20 no matter what with the new rules. So I'm really hoping they can keep Gurley around. He'd be likely to be activated sooner or later. Can't wait for Thursday!

on September 5th, 2011 at 04:48pm

Gordy got beat twice for touchdowns in the Chiefs game. If he had been able to break up the plays, he might still be here. I'm not a big Pat Lee fan either. But he's been around longer and did hold up in the second half of the Super Bowl.

on September 5th, 2011 at 08:28pm

Schenny schen, thanks for agreeing with me, i told u that back in the draft also. we had to many guys coming back, get rid of all the 5 th, 6th and 7th round picks and move up. for quality. it's hard to argue with tt, but he is wrong on this. now we lose Gurly, what a shame, Dave, the queens better not get him. he is cheap and young. 6' 4" with hands and speed what the hell are they looking for ? he will never stay on practice squad. i hope i'm wrong but u all know that doesn't happen very often, ha, ha, look back at my picks i know my packers. just finished watching the replay of the bowl, i watched alot of colledge, he was a amazing in that game, never missed a block and helped clifton alot. i think we are going to miss him for awile, until lang gets his confidence. go world champions, 24-20 thursday. go pack

on September 5th, 2011 at 10:42pm

Its hard to second guess Mr. Thompson however I DONT understand keeping Lee over Gordy.... The only reason Lee was able to "make" any plays was bc he was either beaten badly or someone else actually made the plays while he was following up...... Still not a huge fan of 5 te's when we do need o-line help........ Over all another great rookie crop... GO PACK GO

on September 5th, 2011 at 11:44am

Davey, why does PA try so hard to "hate" the Packers? Doesn't he know how phony it sounds? His clear man-crush on Wayne Larravie is proof positive for me.......your thoughts? goPack!

on September 6th, 2011 at 04:56pm

You keep Lee over Gordy because he knows the defense better and while a liability at times in coverage, he is better in run support than Gordy. He won't cost you much more because he is your #4/5 DB. Not a significant signing. -- Gurley back on the practice squad. Yes he could be good on special teams but who do you de-activate on Sunday to make room for him? He's not better than any of the other receivers, can't return like Cobb and can't block better than any of the TE's/LB's that are on the return teams. The chances of blocking a punt/fg are slim and therefore are not more important than the cohesion of blockers on the return which can shift the field in your favor. GoPack!

on September 6th, 2011 at 08:06am

I believe TT and MM keeping the 10 new guys were made to address our glaring weakness of last year that I have streessed in earlier posts. And that is especially kick coverage.....seems like a minor issue but if you look back at all the close games lost last year it was mainly because of poor kick coverage. Also I am really concerned this year about Clifton at left OT. With a passing league and Rodgers at the top of his game the left tackle is the most important player on offense after the QB. Like our practice squad players. Excited for Thursday's game. GO PACK GO !!

on September 6th, 2011 at 09:16pm

I wish that they would have kept another lineman instead of 5 TEs for depth although it seems like keeping Crabtree could be considered a "hybrid" TE/Fullback. Sorry to see Gurley go but the Packers have a lot of depth at wideout. I guess that the thinking on Harrell is that if they have to go to a third QB their season is dead already anyway. Definitely creates a hole next year when Flynn departs.

on September 6th, 2011 at 12:39pm

Harrell is on the practice squad again. No team is going to sign him, unless they saw enough to make him their #2 which any team would be hard-pressed to do. Remember that teams can only sign other teams PS players if they put them on their active 53 man roster. Harrell will be safe for the season and then will be the #2 for GB next year after another season in MM's QB camp. GoPack!

on September 6th, 2011 at 12:48pm

OSSG, I have a sneaking suspicion that Newhouse or Sherrod will be finishing the season at LT. Newhouse looks better now but by midseason, after he has caught up to NFL speed, Sherrod will be ready. The genius of putting Sherrod at LG during preseason is tha t the defender is on you quicker than tackle. When he officially goes back to tackle in games, it will take the defender longer to get to him, thus slowing down the game for him. GoPack!

on September 7th, 2011 at 06:17am

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