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The Best Battle at Every Position on the Packers Roster

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The Best Battle at Every Position on the Packers Roster

Starting next week, the Green Bay Packers begin Organized Team Activities, the first opportunity for the full complement of all 90 players on the offseason roster to take part in a practice environment.

By no means will jobs be won or lost in the May and June timeframe. At best, the bottom of the roster will be culled and turned over.

But roster battles will start to take shape and front-runners for starting positions will be identified.

Here's what to watch for at every position on the Packers roster:

 

Quarterback: The Scott Tolzien Conundrum

Obviously Aaron Rodgers is the unquestioned starter, but the battle is on to figure out his backup.

Because Scott Tolzien is entering his fourth year in the NFL and has no more practice squad eligibility, any competition is less about whether he'll be the No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback and more about whether he's worth keeping at all.

Matt Flynn might have the inside track on the top backup job because of his experience and track record in leading the Packers to several come-from-behind victories last year, but his long-term future in Green Bay is in question after signing only a one-year contract earlier this offseason.

If the Packers commit to keeping Tolzien on the roster, it's because they feel like he has a future in the NFL and could be Rodgers' backup for years to come. There's not much sense to keep both Flynn and Tolzien around only to start from Square 1 next year.

Should the Packers part ways with Flynn, they'll likely keep a No. 3 quarterback on the practice squad for an insurance poicy such as Chase Rettig.

 

Running Back: Three or Four Halfbacks?

Eddie Lacy and James Starks will be options A and B as long as they're healthy, although the Packers are building quite a talented stable of running backs.

In limited playing time, both Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris have shown to be good complements to the size and power offered by Lacy and Starks.

Franklin and Harris offer something different, quickness and elusiveness, but there are questions about their comeback from injuries that forced both to be placed on injured reserve last season.

Is there room to keep both Franklin and Harris on the roster? Or might one of the undrafted rookies the Packers signed—Rajion Neal or LaDarius Perkins—prove too good to cut?

 

Wide Receiver: How High Can Davante Adams Climb?

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb don't have to be worried about the three wide receivers the Packers drafted, but Jarrett Boykin will be looking over his shoulder.

Boykin emerged as a reliable and trusted target last season, and there's no doubt there's a spot for him on the Packers roster, but the Packers didn't make Davante Adams a second round draft choice for nothing.

Based on the potential he displayed in college, Adams showed the ability to be a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. Whether or not that eventually happens remains to be seen.

As for the season at hand, attention will be on how high Adams can climb the depth chart and how quickly.

Even Rodgers' third receiving option has the potential to catch over 60 passes, gain nearly a 1,000 yards and score double digit touchdowns.

 

Tight End: Colt Lyerla

The risk in signing Colt Lyerla doesn't come so much during the offseason.

For the next three-plus months, the Packers can monitor Lyerla's every move, from his development as a football player to how he conducts himself away from the field.

Because the Packers very likely gave him little if any guaranteed money, the only thing they'll lose if they cut him is the time invested into him, and that will be no different than over 30 other players they'll eventually cut before deciding on a 53-man roster.

A much more difficult decision exists when it's time to decide on the regular-season roster, but at least the Packers have several months to come to that decision and should have a much better idea of how much Lyerla has changed and whether he's worth assuming a greater degree of risk.

 

Offensive Line: Center

It will be interesting to see whether Derek Sherrod is finally ready to get back to his pre-injury form, because there's a chance his career hangs in the balance, but without doubt, the best battle will take place at center.

As it's been assumed all offseason, J.C. Tretter might stand the best chance of winning the center job. There's a reason the Packers drafted him as high as the fourth round last season.

They saw something in Tretter, and he'll have every opportunity to show it this offseason. But it also spoke volumes when Ted Thompson drafted the first true center during his tenure as Green Bay's general manager.

It won't be easy for a rookie drafted in the fifth round to step into the starting lineup his first year in the NFL, but Linsley will get a fair shot to win the job.

And don't count out Garth Gerhart and Don Barclay either.

 

Defensive Line: Finding the Run Stuffers

Mike Daniels and Datone Jones are leading the charge to become the primary interior pass rushers, but the jury is still out on how to defend the run in 2014.

Last season, whenever the Packers were in their base 3-4 defense, goal-line or short-yardage packages, behemoths like B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly were the go-to options.

Raji is back, but with Pickett and Jolly still unsigned, the Packers have to find at least two more players capable of holding their ground against the run on a consistent basis.

It could very well be the case that Daniels and Jones become well-rounded, three-down defensive linemen, but there will be no shortage of other players fighting for playing time.

Free agent Letroy Guion, second-year player Josh Boyd and third round draft choice Khyri Thornton will all have a say in how the Packers choose to stop the run this season.

 

Outside Linebacker: Identifying the Most Versatile Players

One thing is for sure: The Packers didn't give Julius Peppers $7.5 million guaranteed to run the same old defensive schemes they have the past couple years.

What exactly Dom Capers has in the works remains a secret. The Packers aren't about to let opponents know what they have in store, but they'll be looking for guys to play multiple roles.

Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry are all options to play the new-look Elephant defensive end position, as does undrafted rookie Adrian Hubbard, the potential-laden product from Alabama.

Could Clay Matthews and Carl Bradford be used as blitizing inside linebackers?

And do second-year players like Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer have enought to hold off the influx of talent the Packers brought in from the incoming rookie class?

 

Inside Linebacker: A.J. Hawk's Running Mate

A.J. Hawk is the rock of the Packers' inside linebacker corps: the constant and steadying influence. At 30 years old and entering his ninth season in the NFL, it may not be that way for much longer, but Hawk's job is safe in 2014.

The search is on to find the best complement to Hawk possible, and there's no guarantee it will come down to any one single player.

Brad Jones is the incumbent and the most experienced, but he hasn't been so good that he couldn't be unseated.

Jamari Lattimore showed playmaking potential in spurts last season but must become a more discipined player.

Every year, a second-year player is hailed for making the biggest jump on the team, and this year it could Sam Barrington that gets that title.

 

Cornerback: Finding a Future Starter

A trio of Packers cornerbacks enter the final year of their contracts in 2014—Tramon Williams, Davon House and Jarrett Bush—and it's unlikely all three of them will be back in 2015.

As such, the Packers are going to be on the lookout for a player that can be a three-down cornerback in due time.

Maybe that player is one of the slot cornerbacks like Casey Hayward or Micah Hyde who can be trusted to play both inside and outside.

Maybe it's a young and ascending player like recently drafted sixth round draft choice Demetri Goodson.

And maybe it's House, who starts a campaign to receive a contract extension that pays him starting-caliber money.

 

Safety: The Third Safety

When the Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, they immediately found their starter to pair with Morgan Burnett, but the depth at safety isn't exactly appealing.

What if either player gets hurt? Who's the third safety that could become a starter in a moment's notice?

Perhaps it's Micah Hyde, as the Packers have been hinting all offseason. But if that's the case, he needs more practice time at the position and perhaps a full-time conversion is in order.

Or perhaps it's Sean Richardson ready to make the leap and become a trusted member of the secondary rather than just a guy on the roster bubble.

 

Special Teams: Getting Randall Cobb off Returns

Kicker, punter and long snapper are set in stone unless there's an injury, but the Packers will be looking to relieve Randall Cobb of his return duties if at all possible.

Micah Hyde showed he could be a capable punt returner but wasn't quite as impressive on kick returns because of his lack of elite speed.

Jared Abbrederis could be a candidate but his history of concussions could be a barrier to playing a high-impact position like kick returner.

Some of the running backs will also be given a chance like Johnathan Franklin did last year, and undrafted rookie LaDarius Perkins had a lot of experience returning kickoffs in college.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

Photo: Green Bay Packers linebacker Jamari Lattimore by Larry Radloff Photography.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (67) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Stroh's picture

Agree about Tolzien. Either he proves conclusively that he is a good backup QB or he's done. He certainly hasn't done it to this point. He couldn't win any games as the backup last year and they picked Flynn up and he walked in and took the job w/in 2 wks, after coming from 3 different offenses in the past year, and Flynn was able to win some games. Tolzien has some ability but he seems to fold when he is needed to be in command. Even in college he wasn't asked to be The Man, he was a complimentary piece to the Badgers running game. He has to prove he is capable of being the man and taking charge of the huddle, and making enough plays to win. To date that ability is not evident.

At least Flynn has shown he can function in that environment and win a few games. I personally don't think that he has that in him.

Flynn as the backup for at least another year w/ a developmental QB on the PS is the most likely outcome.

L's picture

While I don't disagree I do recall MM saying something to the tune of him preferring to have 3 capable QBs on the roster this year in order to avoid last year's pitfall; therefore, one has to wonder how much those words mean. It's one thing to say something in a wishful manner when it's highly unlikely to occur and another to say something like that because there's a good chance that he'll ensure it occurs this year.

PackerBacker's picture

I think they keep 3 QB's this year. They don't want the same mess they had last year.

And to give Tolzien a little break, he was picked up at the end of training camp and had 0 time to learn the playbook in a practice setting (let's face it, the regular season isn't the time to learn the offense). We'll see what an offseason in the program will mean.

I think they keep both Flynn and Tolzien and then Tolzien becomes the backup next year when Flynn doesn't get a new contract.

Evan's picture

"I think they keep 3 QB's this year."

I really hope not. What a waste of a roster space.

PackerBacker's picture

Would you have said that last year around week 10?

Don't think so.

Evan's picture

Last year was a once-in-a-generation cluster. An outlier.

With full off-seasons for both Flynn and Tolzien, that won't happen again.

PackerBacker's picture

Maybe. What if it's not? The Packers have had incredible luck at QB for the last two decades. But that could just as easily work the other way. It only takes two injuries for them to be completely screwed. QB is too important of a position to take that chance.

Evan's picture

If lighting strikes twice, then so be it.

I just think a 3rd QB is a huge waste.

Brutus10's picture

"Last year was a once-in-a-generation cluster. An outlier."

Is this another way of saying that AR or his BU can't get hurt & miss a game or more this season? QB is the most important position in the game. GB finished 8-7-1 last season because TT had no plan for BU QB.

I doubt TT wants a repeat of last year's fiasco. Besides a 3rd QB is much more valuable than any of the last 10-15 roster spots out of the final 53. (unless you believe the hype connected to STs)

Evan's picture

"Is this another way of saying that AR or his BU can't get hurt & miss a game or more this season? "

BOTH AR and his BU, AT THE SAME TIME, yes. That can't happen again.

4thand1's picture

The plan was for Coleman and Harrell to take the next step. They didn't, it's no ones fault. How many top drafted QB's fail in the NFL? So they picked up Wallace and he lasted one series in his first start. This kind of BS bad luck can't keep happening. The injuries did the Packers in last year, no excuses just fact.

Brutus10's picture

TT is a talent evaluator. He is paid to find the talent.

Coleman, Harrell, Young & Wallace are all gone. That's because they did not have the talent to be a BU QB in GB.

That's on TT. ---- That's 0 fer 4. ---- You're making excuses.

4thand1's picture

you suck

Brutus10's picture

The homer troll shows again. ---- Go away. --- you serve no purpose here.

4thand1's picture

So a fan of a team is a homer? Sounds like a troll comment if I ever heard one. I was wondering where you went, see you changed your name again.

Brutus10's picture

Everyone here is a fan of the team. In fact there would be many more fans commenting here if trolls like you just left & never returned.

You've admitted more than once (in the past) that you're just a troll. It doesn't matter if you're a die-hard fan. ---- A troll is a troll is a troll. --- Go away.

Stroh's picture

That's debatable. At least he and I actually show our fandom and don't criticize every move the Packers make and actually believe they are made in the best interest of the Packers. As opposed to you and cowpie.

4thand1's picture

My oh my how wrong you are Brutass. I never admitted to being a troll so why don't you just quit lying to make yourself look good. You suck.

Brutus10's picture

All you need is one of 'em to go down & you need another QB. Truth is it would probably be better if Tolzien beat Flynn out as BU. If Flynn gets cut before game 1, he'll just go home. He's the prototypical 'system QB". He'll always be available. ---- Tolzien is actually young enough where another team may sign him if GB cuts him.

Personally, I don't like either. AR goes down & GB is just another .500 team. Fans need to cross their fingers ----- again.

Stroh's picture

Any team that loses their franchise QB is just another .500 team. Offenses are completely built around those franchise QB's. Even if the backup is good, they simply don't have the mastery of the game and playbook, nor the ability to sustain much more than a .500 record. Flynn is about as good as your going to get in a backup QB unless you invest a reasonably high draft pick in one. And even that is by no means a guarantee.

Look at Denver and NE, they invested 3rd round picks in Osweiler and Mallett and still have no clue if they would be more than serviceable. Chances are that's the most they'll get from either of them if Brady or Manning were injured.

Packers w/ Flynn have as stable of a backup QB as your going to find in the NFL.

PackerBacker's picture

I'm really looking forward to the battles on the O-line. I'd love to see Sherrod take a big step and compete for a starting position only because I hate to see a guy with athletic potential and skills taken out by a fluke injury. The C position should be a great fight. Tretter has a little more experience in the system and intelligence, but Linsley has experience at the position and the one thing that rookie O-lineman normally need more of - strength. I think it'll be a great competition.

Evan's picture

It's interesting they didn't bring any new OTs in this off-season (except for some UDFAs).

Hopefully that means Sherrod is fully healthy and showed enough last year in practice for the Packers to roll the dice with Sherrod, Bulaga and Bahktiari (and Barclay in a pinch).

The best case scenario, imo, would be a starting 5 of Bahktiari, Lang, Tretter/Linsley (doesn't really matter to me), Sitton, Bulaga. Then Sherrod is backup OT, Tretter/Linsley backup OG/C and Barclay the emergency backup for all 5 spots.

That's 8 OL - right in line with past years.

PackerBacker's picture

I think they'll probably let Tretter/Linsley stay at C and be the 3rd backup for G. I don't see either one of those guys beating out Barclay for 1st backup at guard. I think Barclay will be first man in at Guard, Sherrod will be first man in at Tackle and Tretter/Linsley will be first in a Center.

Jordan's picture

How exactly is that going to work when the Packers only dress 7 OL ?

PackerBacker's picture

For the in-game replacement, they would probably use Barclay to back-up G/C and use Sherrod to backup T.

However, if the starting center is down for the next week, then Tretter / Linsey would replace them and Barclay goes back to back-up G/C.

Evan's picture

A lot will hinge on Barclay's ability to back-up C.

If he can handle it (in a pinch), then fantastic. Having one guy be able to play all 5 spots would be great.

If he can't, however, then that leaves him off the game-day actives and puts Tretter/Linsley up as back up G/C.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The back-up scenarios suggested by Evan & PackerBacker are reasonable. If I had to bet now, I would bet that the loser of the battle for center and Barclay (since we know he can BU OG and OT in a pinch, but not whether he can BU the center) dress on Sundays, but it could be Sherrod and Barclay or even Sherrod and the loser at center. Which 7 O-lineman dress on game days is yet to be determined. Training camp will decide who wins certain positions and who has versatility.

There may be less opportunity to cross train this year. If Tretter and Linsley are neck and neck at center, will they get enough reps to see if either can BU at guard? And if Tretter & Linsley are getting all the center reps, will Barclay get enough reps to see if he can BU center? I expect Sherrod to challenge Bakhtiari for LOT too, so the loser of that battle might not get a chance to take reps at OG. I take comfort that there are a lot of possibilities and players that have talent. It will be a challenge for the O-line coaching staff to teach, evaluate and manage the reps well.

Bandanaman's picture

You all seem to be forgetting that Lang can fill in at C if needed and has done so in the past.
Lang could be our BU C and they could still only dress 7 OL. That depends, though, on if they think there's less of a dropoff using Lang at C and the BU G (Barclay, imo) than using the loser of the starting C spot at G if one goes down.

Evan's picture

I hate that musical chair shuffling, though. And I thought they were done with it.

Center goes down, Lang moves over and now they're weaker at 2 spots.

Stroh's picture

It would only be temporary for the remainder of that game. Don't worry Lang isn't moving to Center for a season or anything. If its a situation where Tretter gets hurt, Lang would move to Center for the rest of the game and the following game Lindsley would take over at Center.

4thand1's picture

Lang wants nothing to do with playing center.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I should have mentioned the very possible scenario of moving Lang to center in the event of an injury for the remainder of a game, with GB then having their back-up C active and starting the next game. I gather that the two back-ups in that scenario would be Barclay and Sherrod? It would be revealing if Lang shifted to center in-game even though the loser of the battle for center btw Tretter and Linsley was active for the game. Or Gerhart.

My dislike of shuffling the line that way probably led me not to mention it. As for Lang wanting nothing to do with playing center, that is a matter of interpretation IIRC. In a March 15 article on this site, there was an article about a tweet as follows: " I think you could be the LONG TERM answer at center. Your thoughts." Lang answered "Nope." (Emphasis added). 4thand1 might be right, or Lang simply was indicating that he did not want to be the starting center, or even possibly that he did not want to be the main back up for multiple games in the event of an injury. I suppose that it is possible that he meant he did not want to play center at all. I am not sure. Did Lang at some point expand or answer a question about the tweet?

I may be nearly alone in this, but I expect Sherrod to compete hard for LOT with Bakhtiari. I have respect for 1st round talent, but I admit that Sherrod never really showed too much on the field before he was injured, and I did not recall reading any positive reports about him after he was activated, so I don't know what to expect from Sherrod.

Brutus10's picture

Tretter - Linsley

Zero games in the NFL going into 2014. Hope this doesn't turn out to be another situation similar to last year's lack of a competent starter at safety. A high powered offense with a hole at the center position is not good.

4thand1's picture

Kuhn will there in the middle to pick up the slack.

Evan's picture

Eh....I'm starting to lean toward the "center isn't very important" camp.

De La Peunta, the Saints starting center all last year, got no attention in FA and ended up signing as a backup with the Bears. The Broncos center last year, Manny Ramirez, was average at best. Those are 2 of the highest powered offenses.

Those are just the two examples freshest in my mind.

Nick Perry's picture

De La Peunta is a fantastic pass blocking center, horrible run blocker. I think that was the main reason Even. Maybe you're right though, there's no denying they were 2 of the best offense's. I believe Samson Satele or Kyle Cook are still available, I'd feel much better if Tretter or Linsley beat out a a Vet of some sort.

RC Packer Fan's picture

The thing that will really help either Tretter or Linsley if they were to start is have 2 Pro Bowl caliber guards next to him.

If they were playing younger Guards next to them, I would be more concerned.

Evan's picture

Two great guards and a Hall of Fame QB make the centers job much easier.

RC Packer Fan's picture

you got that right.

My biggest concern with the starting center is getting the ball in Rodgers hands and not allowing the pocket to collapse on him.

While watching Linsley, in a game, I was amazed at how just about everyone of his snaps were directly into Millers hands. Miller didn't have to move his hands an inch on a majority of them.

It should be a good competition between Tretter and Linsley for the starting job. Tretter has the edge in knowing the offense, where Linsley has the edge of knowing how to play center.

Brutus10's picture

Lang ???
When did he become a great guard?

There are OLs that have faltered greatly because their starting center is missing. --- Smells too much like 2013.

I.E. - 2013 & the BU QB & safety positions. Both were an obvious problem last year at this time. Both remained a problem all season long. Both led to a dismal 8-8-1 record with GB unable to win a single game against a team with a winning record.

4thand1's picture

You suck

JimTaylor31's picture

Be great to see Sherrod come back and give Bahktiari a real battle for the LT job. Could be very competitive if Sherrod is completely recovered. As for Tolzien and Flynn, another battle it out and let the best guy win situation. If Tolzien shows enough to convince MM that he can develop then I'm all for keeping him around. If not, then keep Flynn and maybe try to develop Rettig on the PS.

MarkinMadison's picture

I'm looking forward to seeing the battles at WR. Spots 3-5 are up for grabs, with a 6th player competing against probably the bottom TE or RB. Should be a fun pre-season.

Allan Murphy's picture

#57 j.l beast mode bet im not packer #1 fan but that guy scary you will here him name you can wright that down

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

Mr Murphy, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Nick Perry's picture

Wow quoting a Adam Sandler movie? At least it was one that didn't totally tank. But I have to say, I'm not sure what Mr. Murphy was trying to say, but I think he likes Lattimore. Me too Mr. Murphy, especially the version that played against the Ravens.

4thand1's picture

Me thinks mr.murphy was hammered.

Nick Perry's picture

LMAO!! I think you may be right.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Agree WR spots 3-5 will be interesting. Is there enough talent to make GB consider keeping 6 on the roster, or to try to squeeze someone onto the PS who might tempt other teams? I thought Kuhn would make the team, but now I think its 50/50 due to numbers/talent at other positions.

Big battle at center. TT had to take a true center due to the need for a day one starter/back-up. As I predicted during the draft live streaming, GB did not get bigger at C (but got stronger) upon drafting Linsley. I have hopes for Sherrod. I suspect that GB will try Bradford at ILB at least initially. Lots of good battles at LB both for starting spots and back ups.

I am not a fan of the defensive line. Lots of bodies and possibilities, though. I have an idea of what to expect at the least from Daniels, Boyd (who might well improve) and Guion. I like Jones and Worthy is a 2nd round talent, but we need to see it on the field. Will GB have to play Peppers more at DE than they had hoped to help with the run? It is a bad sign if GB needs to sign Jolly or Pickett.

tm_inter's picture

I look forward to following the battle at every position. With last year's injured players back at full strength and the new faces picked up through the draft and the undrafted free agents, the Packers are now loaded at almost every position. I like Charles Clay's 4.42 speed which reminds me of Sam Shields four years ago. And Colt Lyerla's ability to run from the back field make me fear for John Kuhn's future.

HankScorpio's picture

"And Colt Lyerla's ability to run from the back field make me fear for John Kuhn's future."

Trading locker room dynamite for a solid citizen like Kuhn would run contra to TT's statements that he places great value on the locker room. Doing something like that would send a very negative message about the value of being a professional.

PackerBacker's picture

Lyerla's off-the-field issues are well documented, but do we know that he was an issue in the locker room at Oregon?

The obvious hit is that he quit the team. That can't happen. But it seems like a split second decision that he later regretted. I'd give him a chance and in the end, TT is interested in putting the best team on the field. If Lyerla can prove that he's learned to keep him mouth (and twitter voice) shut and play, that might mean he makes it and Kuhn doesn't.

Should be an interesting 3 months.

HankScorpio's picture

Isn't quitting on the team a locker room issue? Sure seems like one to me. As is shooting off your mouth like Lyerla has done. It creates distractions from football that reporters will want to get comments about. I may be applying a very broad definition of "locker room issues" but I would sure say that Lyerla's conduct qualifies.

I would argue it is impossible to prove in 3 months that Lyerla has changed. That is something that is proven every day for a lifetime. 3 months is a too small of sample size. Especially with hundreds of thousands of dollars in incentive to just make it through those 3 months. Yank that away and put him on a more modest PS salary. Then make it through another 12 months. Now we're starting to talk about a sample size that is relevant.

Evan's picture

Assuming Lyerla has a nice camp and pre-season...I'd much rather keep him on the roster (under the assumption he wouldn't make it to the PS) as a 4th or 5th TE over a 3rd QB. Just sayin'

HankScorpio's picture

"(under the assumption he wouldn't make it to the PS)"

That's a pretty dubious assumption, IMO. He was passed over in the UDFA process and had to go the tryout route.

Stroh's picture

It wasn't due to a lack of talent. By the regular season he'll be that much further removed from his incidents and other teams might be more willing to give him a chance, assuming no other issues arise. I doubt we could get him on the PS. Just too much talent...

Evan's picture

You very well could be right.

My thinking is just this: there is no denying his talent. If he shows enough in the pre-season (and stays clean) to warrant the Packers putting him on their PS, chances are he's shown enough for another team with a thinner roster to be interested in grabbing him.

HankScorpio's picture

Interesting that the TE position mentions only a UDFA who had to make it through the tryout guantlet and ignores the rest of the position--as if the Packers only hope of production is if this longshot pans out.

I'm far more interested in seeing Richard Rodgers. TT's history with guys that are labeled reaches is pretty fair. Nick Collins and Greg Jennings were sure panned as reaches at the time anyways. Rookies have trouble adjusting to the NFL but why the heck wouldn't the 3rd round pick be a bigger focus than the rookie tryout camp signee?

Can Andrew Quarless increase his productivity as he gets farther away from injury?

Is Brandon Bostick capable of developing into a big-time pass catching threat?

Have we seen the end of Ryan Taylor?

Can Jake Stoneburner make a year 2 jump?

If you can't tell from that, I'm already getting weary of the talk of Lyerla--a guy that was not even offered a contract in the post-draft feeding frenzy. I can't say I know if any previous tryout signees have made so much as the PS but I would guess the percentage ain't that high. And while Lyerla may be an unusual case, he's still a longshot to make the roster, IMO. Heck, Lyerla is one stupid incident away from not even making it to camp. And he's got plenty of history with stupid incidents.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, TE will definitely be really competitive.

These 3 are IMO as close to being locks as there is at the position.

Quarless - will be the starter, and with another year removed from ACL surgery, he should be better.
Bostick - showed us last year he could be a great #2 TE, and showed flashes of being a playmaker. I expect him to take a major step this year.
Rodgers - we will see how much he contributes early. I like his potential.

These 3 are on the bubble IMO.

Taylor - Will special teams be the main reason he stays again? He almost shouldn't be considered a TE and should be considered a Special teams player only (much like what Bush has been), as he hasn't offered much offensively so far.
Stoneburner - Can he make a year 2 leap? That's the biggest question, because if he doesn't make the year 2 leap I don't see him making the final roster.
Lyerla - At this point I am viewing him as a player that potentially could make the roster, and could be gone tomorrow. I am not putting any expectations on him.

TommyG's picture

I read the first part of the article and thought "oh wow! loads of talent that we might have to cut; what a nice problem to have". Then I got down to ILB, CB, and Safety. A much (and I mean MUCH) improved pass rush can make up for the secondary. We need constant pressure to take that next step again.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Or just stay healthy.

TommyG's picture

^^^this would do wonders for our club^^^

MarkinMadison's picture

I think this CB group is good and deep, and it just got deeper. The S group is still in doubt, and will be until HaHa proves himself and someone shows up as a backup capable of starting if needed. As for ILB I don't even know what the Packers schemes will look like this year. Does the new hybrid OLB/DE position displace a DE or an OLB? If you displace a DE and shade the OLB inside do you leave two ILBs on the field? I'll have to go back and read Brian's article from two years ago just to get started. And even that may not mean much because we can't even be sure what the personnel groupings will look like at this point. I think McCarthy has made it pretty plain that the schemes need to adjust to the best players, and Peppers has to be the #3 talent on that defense now, at worst.

Icebowler's picture

We seem to have a lot more OLB's than ILB's. Our past practice has been to move those who lose the OLB battle to ILB as with Jones and Lattimore. I hope we decide fairly early in camp the OLB winners, so we have more competition at ILB going forward.

MarkinMadison's picture

BTW I don't know what that clusterf#@k of a comment knot above is all about. I don't even read them anymore. I scan, see the usual names, the usual name-calling, and I move on.

Clay's picture

Well I guess T.J. Ward won't be in a position battle in Packers training camp because Ted did not go make that big free agent splash the know it all trolls wanted at safety.

But oops now T.J is accused of assault.

Here's the math part for the trolls:

1) Ted sucks because he didn't sign him.
1) Ted would have sucked for signing him once the assault were brought. After all Ted should be able to see the future right?

1) + 1) equals Ted is always wrong. Right trolls?

Clay's picture

* once the assault charges were brought

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