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John Kuhn Surprises

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John Kuhn Surprises

I said it last night, but I thought I'd post on it as well - John Kuhn, after a shaky first series against the Browns, has really surprised me this preseason.

When the Packers drafted Quinn Johnson, I thought it was a forgone conclusion that Hall would be the veteran fullback kept on the roster. Hall seems more athletic, stronger and seemingly has better hands out of the backfield. No-brainer, right?

Apparently not. Kuhn has been every bit as good this preseason, maybe even better. His blocking at the point of attack has been much improved and he has shown a burst that I hadn't seen before. Of course, it helps that his job is on the line - Thompson and McCarthy's philosophy of constant competition to improve the roster at play again.

Tom Silverstein makes some good points about the position and about Hall and Kuhn's value on special teams, but he also posits the following, which I find very, very doubtful:

On the surface, you'd think it's a lock that the Packers would keep one of the two veterans and the 6-foot-1, 255-pound Johnson. After all, Kuhn and Hall are somewhat similar in size and ability. Johnson is a classic lead fullback who could play a crucial role in goal-line situations.

But the way the Packers value special-teams play, they might keep both veterans. Their next move then would be to try to sneak Johnson through waivers and onto the practice squad.

Sorry, I just don't see it.

Sure, Johnson has been less than assignment sure, but as Silverstein points out elsewhere in the article, he is an absolute beast in short yardage situations, an area where both Hall and Kuhn show their greatest weakness. Johnson has too much promise to risk exposing him to the waiver wire.

It's a tough choice and I'm glad I don't have to make it, but unlike my earlier thinking, I'll be happy with either veteran sticking around this season.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Franklin Hillside's picture

...short yardage situations, an area where both Hall and Kuhn show their greatest weakness.

Stop hating.

packeraaron's picture

I only hate Aaron Kampman. And cats.

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

don't hate the olb, hate the hater-haters. and cats. keep hating cats, their value is still a mystery to me.

Jayme's picture

joshy- they are great for ridding the barn of vermin like pigeons and mice. Also, they are very cuddly when they fall asleep on your face.

manolito's picture

Cats also bury their own poop, another often underrated trait. ;-)

Not that I'm a cat lover. I'm just not a cat hater.

bomdad's picture

did I hear correctly that Kuhn has lined up at TE? Was half asleep for the blogcast, I thought BC said that.

packeraaron's picture

bomdad - that is correct, which I always take as a sign that they are desperate to find excuses to keep a guy...

Packnic's picture

I dont think Kuhn has done enough to jump Korey Hall. he started off rough for one, and hasn't out and out looked any better. I think Hall is quicker, has better hands, and is a much more consistent blocker. I can't remember the last time I saw Hall make a blatant negative play, Kuhn I cant say the same and i think thats the dagger.

Hall on 1st and 2nd down, Quinn on short and goal line situations.
Kuhns touchdown could have been run in by Stephen freakin Hawkins. The o-line, play call and Aaron's hand off were all great on that play.

Packnic's picture

Hall has lined up as TE as well. so maybe it wasn't looking for excuses to keep a guy as much as it was; hey, we're tied up here... whoever plays TE better adds more value and therefore gets the spot.

Franklin Hillside's picture

Stephen Hawking would have driven into a wormhole and come out in the endzone, so that's not really fair to Kuhn.

Ryeguy812's picture

In all honesty I really can't tell Hall and Kuhn apart. They play similar and are effective usually, abut Johnson is a draft pick and he will make this roster, sadly at the expense of good guys like Hall or Kuhn.

PackersRS's picture

Good to have you back, Mr. Nagler! I think some cat killer replaced you during your extended vacations.
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But you really are odd. Complain about Rodgers and Kampman, and praises KUHN? What's next? And ode to Bush, the sT playmaker? And then a rant on how Greg Jennings isn't really that good?
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About the decision part, easy. Keep Hall and Johnson, and let Kuhn go. EASY.

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

you tryin to say all white guys... who are stout and play fullback and wear the same jersey and a helmet and don't get the ball that much look alike ry? real classy.

but really. i don't think the team will scrap johnson this quickly. in a sense, the blocker you know is(n't) better than the blocker you just spent a draft pick on. and he's described as a 'throwback' fullback, and a guy who loves to hit. i love offensive players who like contact - i remember green changing course in the open field and AIMING at defensive players to run through.

AndrewInAtlanta's picture

There is no way Johnson does not make the roster. I also can't see keeping Kuhn and Hall along with Johnson. I can't say which will go, but I'd be a bit disappointed if we had 3 fullbacks on the roster opening day, regardless of what they bring to special teams.

Ron La Canne's picture

Plain and simple solution. There are two roster spots and the two best players should get the spots. The team, no team, has the luxury of keeping three fulbacks. This a position that will get at best 10 to 15 carries and 4 to 5 passes this year. The real value is two fold. First and foremost is blocking. And then, Special Teams play. Who are the two best? I'd pick Kuhn and Hall but that's me. If you look at the depth chart Johnson is still at three.

BubbaOne's picture

Since Hall and Kuhn are great on ST and can fill in at TE they need to stay. Johnson's great in short yardage and probably wouldn't make it through waivers so keep all three. The extra roster spot is available by keeping only Lee and Finley at TE.

WoodyG's picture

You may as well just go ahead & release Johnson if you think he'll land on the PS.............
There might actually be room for all 3 FBs if GB would drop this "Havner Gimmick". .....
GB will probably net a 6th or 7th for Kuhn.

nerdmann's picture

I still think I'd cut both Kuhn and Hall, and move Wynn to FB.

BO's picture

Having trouble understanding why Johnson should be a lock to make the team. Some scouting reports said that as a college FB he too often ran to the wrong place to block, was not fast and didn't finish his blocks. Sure, he can pancake the other guy more often than our current FBs, and that's fun for us fans to watch but sounds like the other 2 know their assignments and are more consistent, plus they are good special teams players. From McCarthy's quote in the article it almost sounds as though QJ is a project. Kinda surprising that TT drafted a project. Didn't Wm Henderson and even Hall (who was LB in college) figure out the position during their first camp? Projects are OK if they won't have to play when the games count. But what happens if Hall gets hurt at the beginning of the year like last year? I think it's smarter to stick with they guys who are playing better right now and if Johnson doesn't make it thru waivers, try drafting another FB next year, hopefully one that can pick up the pro game better. We're not talking about a high draft pick here.

Oppy's picture

Nerdmann,

That's a really intriguing concept, provided that Wynn could learn to run block effectively.

Wynn has great hands for catching passes out of the backfield and has shifty feet and a quick step (That replaces Korey Hall's best attributes), and seeing as Wynn is a RB, and relatively powerful, he can quite assuredly take on short-yardage carry responsibilities (the attribute that really sets Kuhn apart from the other two.) Wynn is also an exceptional pass-blocker.That still leaves room for Quinn as the bruising, pure run blocker (Who can hopefully learn to become at least an adequate ball carrier, and god willing, be able to catch a pass someday).

Of course, this would also have the added benefit of allowing the Packers to keep Tyrell Sutton on the roster as the third HB without using up an extra roster spot...

Hot damn, this is very intriguing.. I think you've struck gold, theoretically speaking. I don't see it happening, but man, it really should be explored by the PAckers.

Keith's picture

Cutting Johnson to keep Kuhn and Hall, essentially redundant players, would be moronic.

PackersRS's picture

Nerdmann, the Chargers did a similar move with Jacob Hester. It's not out of question.

zluns07's picture

quinn johnson reminds me of my dog when i let him in the back yard! i think he knows in his head that he is fenced in but he is totally oblivious to the fence being there! dude looks like he has no clue what is going on! just like my dog when i let him out

wgbeethree's picture

despite the apparent "cheeseheadnation"wide mancrush on sutton i think the packers should keep all 3 fullbacks and cut sutton if jackson is healthy. he doesn't block well or follow blocks well, didn't look good on returns and hasn't been used in the pass game at all. I really dont see anything that he does better than the other three backs that makes him a viable option to contribute anything special to the team.

PackersRS's picture

He has a better burst and finds holes better than Wynn, Lumpkin AND Jackson. He didn't follow the FB ONCE. Go take a look at the Cleveland game. He was in very good sync with Johnson...

Asshalo's picture

Tend to agree whole heartedly with Carriveau on the FB situation. Although we might have the deepest FB depth in the league, the third FB is rather useless. It's like we fixed something that wasn't broken. Here's to hoping Quinn has a high ceiling. Otherwise can we have our fourth round pick back? Would he really have been selected before the sixth round?

PackersRS's picture

They selected him at the 5th round, and it was because Carolina had just drafted Fiammetta, who IMO was the best FB in the draft. There were only these 2 FBs worth something, so once one was selected, the other would be picked pretty soon. As they were high on Johnson, they feared he might've been gone before they could pick again, at the bottom of the 5th. He may had last till the 6th round, but we still got who we wanted in Meredith, Wynn and Underwood after him.

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