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First Thoughts on the Final 53

* The Pack chose to carry only two QBs, letting Graham Harrell go, while hoping he clears waivers to put him back on the practice squad. 16 of the 32 teams are going this route, carrying only two QBs so exactly half the teams are taking the same risk. The gamble paid off, Harrell is on P.S.
* Three undrafted players made the squad, which is about the norm, but the three kept raised some eyebrows. So’oto had guaranteed himself a spot with his preseason games, and Lattimore had flashes throughout camp and the games. The biggest surprise to me was M.D. Jennings making the squad over Levine, Underwood, etc. I think having four safeties is smart though, for depth and special teams.
* No sixth WR for the Packers! In a very understandable and expected move, the two up and coming WRs (West and Gurley) did not make the final 53, but both had their moments. The Pack contain the top WR core in all of the NFL, and there just was not room for more, but both made it to the P.S. so they can continue to grow. If the Pack cannot retain Jordy Nelson, one of these guys can step up then.
* It is well documented that TT went with only eight offensive lineman, leaving the Pack very thin on the inside. Dietrich-Smith backs up the Center and Guard spots, eventhough Sherrod played LG in preseason. Maybe TT will make another claim before the season to shore up this weakness.
* Five TEs are on the final 53, just as I predicted 🙂 These guys have been back and forth making plays throughout the month of August. They all have their place on the team, whether it is in a double TE set, special teams, or in the backfield. Based on their opponent, they will probably rotate who actually dresses for each game because all five will not be on the 46 man gameday roster.
* Trading the FB Johnson and the G Schlaudereraff for picks. TT has done it again, grabbing draft picks to attempt to strike gold late in next year’s draft for players he was probably cutting anyway. The Packers should get a nice compensatory pick or two with the lost free agents next April, so they should have double digit draft picks to play with once again.
* Empty backfields may be a popular choice this season, due to the fact TT kept four total RBs/FBs. Grant and Starks should split carries, with Kuhn lead blocking and stealing a few short distance carries. Green should take the 3rd down spot, as long as he continues to grow as a blocker. Expect Ryan Taylor and Crabtree to be motioning into the backfield because Kuhn needs breaks too.
* Overall, I am very happy with the choices TT made, as usual, and we now have 4 days until the Saints roll into town. Eveyone have a great week, get something at the grocery for the grill, grad your favorite six pack (got ribs and some Octoberfest today)and good luck Friday morning. We have a championship to retain!

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3 Responses to “First Thoughts on the Final 53”

  1. Joe Foster says:

    I like the roster and the fact that the receivers made the practice squad makes it that much better. I think it’s a sight risk to only keep 8 offensive lineman but if Clifton stays healthy and if Lang plays well it will prove to be a good move. I am very excited to see how Vic So’oto progresses and I want to see Mike Neal stay healthy and see what he can do. We need to find a second consistent pass-rusher. Cullen Jenkins will be harder to replace than most think.

    • The offensive line scares me as well. They have been awful all preseason, and now they are short. Man, wouldn’t it be awesome if So’oto becomes this Pro Bowl type OLB opposite of Clay, but I am trying to remain grounded about this decision. If it means anything, the Pack have him as the #3 behind Clay and then Brad Jones. The other side is the same, with Walden starting, Zombo as the backup with Lattimore 3rd. I really think So’oto will be on most special teams units, and the only PT he gets is if the pass rush is stale and the coaches try an inject a little change into it. Jenkins will be sorely missed, no doubt about it!

  2. John Zoul says:

    No one would’ve guesses that in the 2010 season we’d have 15 or 16 players go on IR…and, not only make it into the playoffs, but, win the Super Bowl. Am hoping we do not get anywhere near the number of injuries as last year.

    Keeping 10 LBs was a bit of a surprise, but, special teams will be loaded with 2nd and 3rd string LBs and TEs. I like it.

    Here’s hoping that Grant is back in a big way, that Starks continues to develop, our TEs prove their worth, Randall Cobb and Alex Green contribute, Mike Neal stays healthy and helps us forget-what’s his name, that we dramatically improve our return game, Sherrod learns the system and turns into a stud at LT and that the players we have on the practice squad come in and play well, when needed. I am cautiously optimistic.

    My number one concern, the offensive line…Go Pack!

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