Packers XLV

Loves, Hates and a Stab at the Initial 53

Posted August 16th, 2019 @ 03:08pm

We're mercifully halfway through the preseason and we're starting to get a pretty good idea what the 53 man roster will look like. I've got my way too early projected initial 53 man roster below, along with what I've loved and hated through the first two games.

What I've hated:

  • The fact that Rodgers' back tightened up and he was unable to lead the #1 offense. Most years, I wouldn't care, but he absolutely needs a few series to get a little more comfortable with his new offense.
  • The running game has been abysmal. Granted, Jones and Williams have yet to take the field, but the fact that they are both injury prone means the team needs a reliable third back and there isn't one currently on the roster.
  • Injuries to Kevin King, Josh Jackson and Oren Burks. These guys have missed valuable time already and the defense really can't count on any of them to give them meaningful snaps early in the season.
  • Missed tackles have been a hot topic. It will be a recurring theme until they clean things up. Hopefully we'll see improvement when the starters get some extended time against the Raiders, but with rookie David Montgomery and Dalvin Cook awaiting the first two weeks, the tackling better improve quickly.
  • The backup QB battle looks like a competition between Jerry Tagge and Jim Del Gaizo (obscure reference for old people, like me). Neither Kizer nor Boyle appear in the slight bit ready to lead the team if Rodgers goes down.
  • Rashan Gary. Didn't like him on draft day. Heard about the coaches and teammates drooling about him in practice. So far in two preseason games he looks exactly like the guy we saw at Michigan. Fills out the uniform nicely, but is invisible once the game starts.

What I've loved:

  • The depth at offensive line gives me a lot more comfort than last year's group. Jenkins may force Taylor to the bench at left guard and Turner looks like a big improvement at the RG spot. Plus, with Light backing up Bakhtiari and Turner able to kick out to right tackle if needed, the Pack at least appears to have suitable backups on the outside.
  • The competition at WR is the best thing going on this team. The emergence of Shepherd and Lazard have made things very dicey for Moore and Davis. As it stands now, with everyone healthy, I'd like to see them keep seven, but in this new offense, where fullback and two tight end looks are featured, I don't think they can afford to keep seven. These next couple of weeks will be very interesting for this group.
  • Speaking of which: Jake Kumerow.
  • Za'Darius Smith is the real deal. Small sample size, yes. But he is poised for a monster season and frankly the only guy in the group that looks like he will be a problem for opposing offenses.
  • The starting safeties haven't shown much yet, but neither Houston nor Baltimore have looked downfield very much. I feel so much better about this position than I did a year ago.
  • Curtis Bolton looks like a nice find at inside linebacker--the undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma may start week one by default. He looks the part, has shown up on tape and has made plays on special teams as well. Unless Burks is expected back before midseason, the team will likely add a proven veteran here after cutdowns.
  • It looks like Mason Crosby will hold on to his job for another year. "Love" may be a strong word, but I'm not ready for the Sam Ficken era to start. Crosby has been perfect in games and Ficken snuck one through the left goalpost Thursday night. give me the proven veteran, at least for one more year.

If I was asked to comprise the first 53 man roster for the Pack today, here's what I would do:

QB (2): Rodgers, Kizer

RB/FB (4): Jones, Williams, Williams, Vitale

WR (7): Adams, Allison, MVS, ESB, Kumerow, Shepherd, Lazard

TE (4): Graham, Tonyan, Lewis, Sternberger

OL (9): Bakhtiari, Taylor, Linsley, Turner, Bulaga, Jenkins, Light, McRay, Patrick

DL (5): Clark, Adams, Lowry, Lancaster, Keke

OLB (4): Smith, Smith, Gary, Fackrell

ILB (4): Martinez, Burks (IR)*, Bolton, Summers

CB (6): Alexander, King, Brown, Williams, Jackson, Hollman

S (4): Amos, Savage, Greene, Campbell

ST (3): Crosby, Scott, Bradley

If Burks is placed on IR (with a designation to return Week 8), expect them to either bring back Crawford or, preferably, add a veteran they like who was cut by another team. As I said earlier, I can't see them keeping seven wide receivers, and injuries may sort things out. I don't see Moore or Davis being kept over the two youngsters. Shepherd shows he can be a capable returner and provides a body type and shiftiness that's perfect for the slot in this offense. Lazard appears to have more upside than Moore (and maybe even St. Brown). His size and athleticism leap off the tape. In a perfect world, I move on from Graham. But they've committed to him at this point, so he makes the team. Fackrell earns a spot by a hair over Gilbert, but neither of these guys should figure in the team's long term plans at pass rusher.

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Comments (16):

Synner - oh my sweet summer child - good luck hoping yore overrated (over-the-hill?) QB can save yore team. With 1 starter level WR he'll have his work cut out trying to play hero ball. And that defense: woof! I didn't think it could be worse than last year. See you on Sunday for church and family lunch! :-* YORE Mom

on August 16th, 2019 at 01:39pm

Mediocre offense and bad defense, just like the last five years; embrace the suck that is the Packers again.

on August 16th, 2019 at 05:16pm

A lot of ifs right now. D has to improve tackling, plus, a lot of credit and power was given to Pettine, he needs to show he can do the job w/out Rex Ryan. Not sure what to think of the O w/out playing 12. Sure, a lot of talent at WR, but except for Adams, all talent is unproven.

on August 16th, 2019 at 09:29pm

Got to admit I'm a little disappointed in what I've seen so far from Gary. So much hype from trading camp, but hardly a flash so far in games. Hope they are holding back on "Unleashing" him.

on August 16th, 2019 at 10:39am

looks like Danica's friend is going to be forced to try and be the hero again this year

on August 16th, 2019 at 11:11am

This defense is even worse than an old Dom Capers one. Good lord. And who needs OL depth when you have Jason Sprig........uh.....nevermind.....

on August 16th, 2019 at 11:35am

Roscoe Lombardi here, let me tell you about my old daddy, HOF coach of the Washington Redskins, Vince Lombardi. Rings! We'll be adding number 14 this year, no doubt. This is Rodgers' year, big time, I'm seeing a completion percentage easily exceeding 75%, 45+ TDs, and Zero INTs to go along with 5,000+ yards. Not to mention at least 750 yards rushing. Rodgers is the whole team so we should dub him The Big A-Whole. Rodgers is tougher than Farve ever was and more respected and revered than Starr. Like my daddy used to say: "Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit."

on August 16th, 2019 at 11:37am

Headcheese, your scaring me here, Cane may know something. Gilbert a hair over Fackrell, , he had 10.5 sacks last year, are you nuts? they will keep Gilbert and him, and only keep 2 or 3 ILB's, probably Bolton over summers, he misses a lot of tackles that I have seen. it all comes down who stays healthy, Go Packers,

on August 17th, 2019 at 11:40am

A few disquieting things about the early preseason games in the first year of a new coaching regime: The poor tackling heads the list. We've seen this for too long with the Packers and it appears LaFleur and Pettine haven't changed those bad habits yet. The defense may be faster and more athletic than any in years but they're still missing tackles, a second too late getting home and letting opponents off the hook by surrendering untimely "explosive" plays. We wondered about Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams holding up for an entire 16 game season. Now they can't even get on the field out of the gate. Running the ball is going to be key to LaFleur's offense so getting and keeping those two in action is critical. I don't think the back-up quarterback is even currently on the roster. Kizer and Boyle don't look any different than last year and I would have no confidence in them if that's the options. After watching Joe Webb run and pass all over against the Packers in the Houston game maybe they should grab him if the Texans decide to cut their third-stringer or some other experienced qb who is left out of a position elsewhere in the final cuts. But it's only 2 preseason games so don't proclaim anything about the year too early.

on August 18th, 2019 at 07:00am

MY Best: Hands down...Shepherd...showing flashes of a young Randall Cobb. My Worst....Tackling,Tackling,Tackling, injury prone RB's, no and I mean "NO" backup QB, and Rashon Gary looking like the greatest athlete since the"Helicopter" was dazling hoops fans in Harlem but never played in a real game. He has got more defensive snaps than anyone and has not made a tackle or even an assist. "UGH"....GO PACK GO "

on August 19th, 2019 at 09:22pm

Yep, if the tackling doesn't improve Cane might get carpel tunnel just from writing I told you so often. It would be nice to see Rodgers play. sigh.

on August 19th, 2019 at 10:38am

Cane has got enough problems with his own chokers!!

on August 20th, 2019 at 08:53am

I am concerned that our entire season will hinge on one missed blind side block. No real back-up QB, no dependable RB (not one), an over-the-hill TE, an inexperienced HC, no depth at ILB, and a starting QB that does not seem to have bought in to the "new system". Optimistically I see us at 8-8. Pessimistically at 6-10.

on August 23rd, 2019 at 04:03am

OMG...the angst is excruciating! Give it a rest, people!! There's absolutely nothing to get worked up about until we hit September. Much of this will all get sorted out...until then, let's all take a deep breath, hold it for a moment, and let it out slowly - just like we all learned in Lamaze class.

on August 25th, 2019 at 06:29am

Don't be surprised, whoever the Pack, drops, Crosby or ficken , the bears pick up, would not shock me at all. Just like the vikes always picking up our castoffs. I sure hope they keep Boyle, he just looks more like a a qb and more accurate then Kizer, here are the picks, bears, 11-5, packers, 10-6. vikes 9-7 and lions 7-9, please just stay healthy somewhat for 1 year. Go Packers

on August 27th, 2019 at 02:52pm

Rodgers is not getting any younger and now with Goff's new deal he will no doubt go into his dark "it's all about me" place, playing each game pissed off that he is not the highest paid QB, forcing the ball into tight windows with WR's not named Adams that were not able to gain separation last year. I foresee sideline arguments where you can read lips of the chosen one screaming out "cram it up your cramhole LeFleur". Rodgers will start once again to pull the "I'm better than the coach" mentality and change plays in the huddle, forcing offensive players to choose between the pampered QB and the new coaching regime. Chaos will ensue, a locker cancer will plunge the team into the abyss and the team will fail to meet the lofty expectations set by the biased media. Just trying to keep it real.

on September 4th, 2019 at 02:17pm

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