Gutekunst Not Afraid of Change

 

The Green Bay Packers 53-man roster is set, for now and while there weren't many surprises, there were some moves that made a statement by general manager Brian Gutekunst.

By releasing Josh Jones, J'Mon Moore and DeShone Kizer, Gute admitted that those weren't good decisions.  Technically, Jones was a Ted Thompson pick but Gute was said to have a loud voice in the room at the time so there is a connection between he and the Jones pick.

In the past, the Packers took a snail's pace approach to making changes with their roster.  Not only did certain players linger around longer than they should have, but they were often given more chances to play because they had "earned them".  Some of that was Thompson and some of that was former head coach Mike McCarthy.

Now in his second full season as general manager, Gutekunst continues shaping his style and has shown he's not afraid to make moves.  Whether that is to acquire outside talent or let a young top draft pick go, his direction is whatever is best for the team.

The opinions on what is best for the Packers vary greatly from one person to the next.  Every year when final cuts roll in, fans agonize over their favorite under-the-radar player getting let go after they showed so much promise during the preseason.  Guys like Allen Lazard and Curtis Bolton, for example.

When it comes to young players, the best advice is to trust the process.  Yes, there have been some players the Packers cut loose who went on to flourish elsewhere.  Taysom Hill and Charles Johnson most recently come to mind.  But overall, Gute and his staff know how to evaluate talent and are more in lock step with the rest of the league than not.

The Packers have made more changes this offseason than in any recent year and there will be a lot for the Packers to work through and get comfortable with.  It may lead to a season where the team drops a few games they should have won and they may miss the postseason for a third-straight season but Gute's plan is in place.

That plan may change by the week or look very differently by season's end.  Unlike in years before, there is a high chance of things changing sooner than later and to better the Packers.

 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (116)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:16 am

Thank the Packer Gods!

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KenEllis's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:19 am

"In the past, the Packers took a snail's pace approach to making changes with their roster. Not only did certain players linger around longer than they should have, but they were often given more chances to play because they had "earned them". Some of that was Thompson and some of that was former head coach Mike McCarthy."

Ding, ding, ding.

So glad Gute admitted Kizer and Moore were mistakes and moved on unlike Thompson who would have kept his guys (like Hundley) around forever to prove what a great pick he'd made.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:56 pm

Every coach/GM does this to some degree. They have their favorites and pet projects. BG is finishing the process of clearing the TT/MM projects out, but he and LaF will have their own...we just don't know who they are, yet.

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Stroh's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:25 pm

Thats a very good point dobber. I do think Gutey will have a quicker trigger to cut bait on a mistake than Thompson did. And I was a supporter of Thompson till thd last year or so.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:18 pm

There was quite a bit of turnover under Thompson the first two years. He went 8-8 and then 13-3 in his third year.

Gutekunst hasn’t been here long enough to have moves work out badly. His first year, he signed Wilkerson and Graham and then four more FAs this year. Let’s see how all these moves turnout before we crown him.

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Turophile's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:24 pm

I've heard too much about how GMs want to dump a previous GM's selections for his own guys, and that's bad IF it's an ego thing. I don't believe the ego thing happens as often as some think.

Naturally when a new GM comes in, it is almost always because the previous one has failed (or at least failed recently), therefore the roster SHOULD be turned over to get the team competitive again. However, that isn't getting rid of a previous GM's guys just for the sake of it, it is doing it to get better.

The real test of a new GM is how quick he is to discard his own misfires. If he does it quickly, that is a good sign how committed he is to making the team better, without letting ego get in the way.

Gute's speed in cutting guys he had a big hand in getting (KIzer, J.Jones) shows he is the better kind of GM. Well done Gute !

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Hawg Hanner's picture

September 01, 2019 at 06:09 pm

Mistakes or worthy experiments? There is a batting average for these choices panning out but if you aren't swinging you are not going to hit it.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:27 pm

Exactly. It’s swinging for some big hits and there is a bigger chance of striking out, yet those are the potential game changers when one does hit.

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Lphill's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:23 am

Like how long it took to get rid of Capers and McCarthy.

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HeavenlyRa's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:25 am

Despite (and to spite) history, the Packers are making the playoffs.

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Qoojo's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Supporting indications that a 1st year coach will make the playoffs in Packers history are

- The rebuild started last year
- Rodgers
- Ascending defense
- Much better OL and OL depth

Against
- MLF is really young and inexperienced with 1 year of play calling duties
- First year in MLF's offense

Have to hope that a QB of Rodgers' skill will help ease the learning hump of a new offense. Very excited to see this first real glimpse of the team.

Realistically, you have to expect a lot of bumps in the road.

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CoachJV's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:28 am

Gute ain't afraid to say "Ooops" and correct his mistakes. That is a very good thing for us.

I believe our HC is the same way. Somewhere out there is video footage from last year when he was calling plays for the Titans, and a particular play collapsed and Mariota got killed. The cameras caught LaF ripping the play right out of the book and throwing it to the wind...

MM would blame it on bad execution and run that play for 4 more years....

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Funny!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:19 pm

I love it.

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Demon's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:56 pm

You're half right. MM would sing the pad level song, then run that same play 4 years

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:58 pm

Likewise, if a play gashed a defense for big yards, he'd put that page in his back pocket and leave it there for a couple months so he wouldn't overuse it.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:14 pm

Yes. Glad we won't see that again. We better not.

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wildbill's picture

September 01, 2019 at 08:26 pm

Pad level, will correct it in this weeks practice

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Since'61's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:43 am

The Packers have 3 very smart guys leading this team. Gute as GM who brings a sense of urgency to improving the roster and moving on from his mistakes. He has a plan and he’s using every avenue to implement it.

MLF as HC who has been smart enough to protect his key players during the preseason and who has an offensive approach that is less complex and easier to learn for the younger players. When I watch Dusty’s clips I see an offense that can be very effective especially when the running game and play action our working.

At QB we have Aaron Rodgers who can make any throw from anywhere on the field, who can extend plays when necessary, who can read defenses and most importantly makes good decisions with the football.

There will still be some mistakes made both with personnel decisions and on the field but this team is moving in a better direction with a better and faster defense and an offense that strike in a variety of ways. The quality of the roster has improved, now the Packers need to play with a sense of urgency and hopefully stay healthy. In any case Gute won’t let roster holes linger like TT did whatever the cause. He may yet reinforce the backup QB role before the season starts. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Gort's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:30 pm

Was Mark Murphy deliberately excluded from your list of smart guys?

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:21 pm

He only looks smart if the other guys continue to look smart.

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Since'61's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:03 pm

Cookie!!! Thanks, Since ‘61

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ShooterMcGee's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:18 pm

We could add Petine to the list he did win the spelling bee.

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Bure9620's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:45 am

Raiders Claimed Kizer.....

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:52 am

Hee hee.

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Qoojo's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Gruden's Achilles' heel shows itself. He can't stop himself from collecting QBs.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 06:45 pm

No animosity toward Kizer. Wish him well...just not when he plays the Packers.

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Packer Dave's picture

September 01, 2019 at 11:50 am

I really don't buy all of the fan discussion about talent evaluators making as many mistakes as are attributed to them. All of Jones, Moore and Kizer have talent - they just could not put together the sum of their parts. You hope that the guy you choose reaches his ceiling in a time frame reflective of their draft status - impossible to tell outside of the top 10.

Mistakes are doing things like drafting obvious head cases like Johnny Football

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Kizer is better this year than Boyle. Don’t kid yourselves that this wasn’t a move based on potential and contract.

Jones may not be Jonny Football, but he was a mistake not perhaps in drafting but in that he showed a complete inability to read a field followed by a reluctance or inability to see that holding back his remaining chances.

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Daren726's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:10 pm

He may be, but he’s plateaued. I was saying keep Kizar also, but how long can we wait. They will draft another next year anyway, so let’s hope it doesn’t matter. Next year they start seriously looking for Rodgers replacement.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:17 pm

Better, as in moves the offense better and puts more points on the board?

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:00 pm

Now, let's not bring data into this narrative!

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WinUSA's picture

September 03, 2019 at 06:42 am

Sigh .... Coldworld... i was hoping to go one week without you preaching the “Kizer better than Boyle” crap... move on dude.. no rational person is buying your dribble!!!

Kizer will be FOURTH string on Oaklands lousy team!!!

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Unglued's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:27 pm

Agree 100%.

Author says: "By releasing Josh Jones, J'Mon Moore and DeShone Kizer, Gute admitted that those weren't good decisions."

Gute isn't admitting the decision wasn't good, given the information he has now, he is making just another decision. Was drafting Josh Jones a bad decision at the time? When Josh Jones was drafted were people going, wow what a mistake, Josh will never develop in Pettine's defense and he will become despondent and turn into a bad fit? Actually, if memory serves, Josh Jones pick was generally well regarded at the time.

To me, it's like Texas Hold'em, betting on Jack/King suited before the flop is not a bad decision, even if the flop pops an Ace and no help for you. Yeah hindsight you wish you would've not played the hand, but next time you get J/K suited you are likely betting again. Gute folded is hand after the flop, that is wise, but shouldn't be bashed for playing the hand.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:00 pm

"Gute isn't admitting the decision wasn't good, given the information he has now, he is making just another decision. "

I like the way you phrased that. Very true.

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Thebearsstillsuck's picture

September 02, 2019 at 06:34 am

Jones was generally regarded as a huge boom or bust pick at the time. Several draft reports mentioned his inability to grasp the field. That's why I hated him the talk of him playing 2 positions

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dobber's picture

September 02, 2019 at 07:45 am

When he was drafted, I loved his athleticism and potential at a time when the Packers D seemed to be struggling to find it.

The sad part is that he seems unwilling to play the ILB/hybrid role, which he appears to be best suited for and where--right now--he could most help this team. That was his path to the field in GB, and by all accounts he didn't want it. I don't see this changing anywhere else he plays...if he plays.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:05 pm

" But overall, (blank and his staff) know how to evaluate talent and are more in lock step with the rest of the league than not."

This type of statement is bs and is proven so by the number of FO's that are failing year after year because of bad decisions that were opposed by the fan base.

Just because someone gets the job it doesn't mean they know it to an extent of being totally adept in it and the turnover numbers in GM's,HC's etc would be minimal yearly. Not to ignore how GM's often hire HC.s that have failed multiple times and still prop them up as good and failed HC.s saying how successful they are while winning nothing in 3+ chances on multiple teams.

I'm not a GM or HC in the NFL but I sure as heck seen failure written all over some players before the GM made them. Does it make me better or smarter,no, but it sure casts doubt on buying into that statement so easily.

Gute deserves his time to right the ship and be allowed a few mistakes but only a couple of bad ones. He made good ones with moving on from Perry and Matthews and has made good ones in the FA market,though that will need to be seen on the field starting Thursday. It's hard to tell about the roster selections as yet and that will begin with what LaFleur can do with them.

The New Culture hits prime time this week and any failings of it fall on the ones who are deemed in lock step with the league.

As I said months ago...I'll wait until the season starts since we have no idea what's really in store, especially when we seen so little and none in preseason.

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Unglued's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:44 pm

is it possible that Gute and the front office are actually looking beyond this year in terms of really competing? Was Daniel's moved because that was going to help this team this year? Or was Daniel's moved because it sets up a longer term plan? Short term thinking and quick fixes rarely get you where you want to go.

Fans have right to say whatever they want, and have luxury of letting emotions take over. If Bears roll us this Thursday, look out, as some fans will be ready to run LaFleur out of town after one game. It's amazing how smart fans are in hindsight, how many times they "knew" something wasn't going to work out, after it didn't. The term "Monday morning QB" was coined for this, and is everyone's right, but yelling from the stands is easy, anyone can do it.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:36 pm

As to your first paragraph....Yes...Possibly...Likely...Agree.

Agree...I have made my predictions about some players prior to being drafted and signed as FA. I do not predict every player.
I said Starks would be a sleeper pick before he was drafted in 6th rd before it happened.
I said pre draft Perry would never be the OLB expected and hoped and should not draft him.
I was against retaining Driver his last season for goodbye tour and wasted roster spot.
I liked Fackrell in the 3rd to help not to dominate.
I was and still am against the Graham signing.
I said,R Rodgers,C Bradford,Hundley were wasted picks the moment they were.

These few things aren't hindsight and mentioned as they were hot topics/decisions at each time. I'm not a hindsight GM or a GM but a fan who will not be told I should just accept what the team does because I know little compared to any in the league because I/we aren't in it.

I assume you were speaking in general as to fans but I wanted to make my case and will be 'approached ' by some in dislike fashion as expected and welcomed

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fthisJack's picture

September 01, 2019 at 07:58 pm

Taryn ,when will you stop blowing your own horn? i could go back and say the same things about players i liked or disliked but you don't see me on here still biching about releasing Casey Heyward, etc. you seem to think your the only one who SEEN these things.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 01, 2019 at 08:50 pm

" Taryn ,when will you stop blowing your own horn?"

Can't help it...the music in me is BEA-U-TI-FUL...and I believe many need to hear it now and again. : )

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:31 pm

Be careful of those inner voices.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:21 pm

Re: Daniels. Both.

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

September 01, 2019 at 07:13 pm

I made the point in your first paragraph a few weeks ago. "All in" this season would have meant keeping Daniels for the last year of his contract. Also no rookie HC in Packers history has led his team to the playoffs in his first season. The team LaFleur took over has a better shot than most, but still: New HC, lots of new coaches and a new system on O are obstacles that need to be overcome

BTW, I think beating the Bears in Chicago on opening night will be a heavy lift. Many pick them as division favorites for good reason. If LaFleur & staff know what they're doing, they'll get better as the season continues.

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Swisch's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:46 pm

Hoping Rodgers gets the ball out quick!
If he survives the Bears, then it's not all bad.
Here's hoping the Packers play the Bears tough, and even win; but I'm more concerned about how the Pack is playing for the rematch in Lambeau.

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Bure9620's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Lazard is not on PS yet but Malik Taylor is?......

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Lazard could be weighing options. He might have offers from teams with less WR depth.

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Bure9620's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Yeah may have lost a good one.........

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Hematite's picture

September 01, 2019 at 05:00 pm

Apparently, from what I have read today, Lazard has been signed to the practice squad.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Ramsey not Jones: if so we screwed the pooch there and Jones is going elsewhere. Completely different level of talent in my view.

I suspect that Lazard has gone elsewhere. Maybe Redding too if we signed Malik.

Still no RB, ILB, SS or OLB (if Ramsey moves inside).

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Hate to lose Lazard and Redding if that in fact is what happens. I like Shepherd but the aforementioned sure had a lot of upside. Hope Gute made correct decisions.

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psugbp's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:30 pm

Don't believe Lazard has option to go anywhere else, he was released injured, if he clears waivers he reverts to Packers ir until injury settlement is reached.

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Lare's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:07 pm

Lazard was signed to the Packers practice squad.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:29 pm

Jones is looking for a spot on a team's 53.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:03 pm

Let's not overvalue these PS guys or get too hung up on who goes where. We all have favorites. Some may eventually turn into solid contributors, but the vast majority do not.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:24 pm

Have a feeling this year will be different.

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fthisJack's picture

September 01, 2019 at 08:01 pm

i really like Lazard and Ento! glad they made it through. both could see a bump to the 53 if injuries crop up.

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Qoojo's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:37 pm

In my opinion, many fans get bent out of shape because they use hindsight without realizing it, or they guess right about one roster move, while being wrong about most other things, and this validates their high self-opinion. When in reality, if they had to make all the decisions, the team would be a disaster and look worse than a Jerry Jones/Dan Synder team combined.

Plus, many fans do not understand the basic nature of talent evaluation, and that it's impossible to be perfect. There will be mistakes, big and little.

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murf7777's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:19 pm

You’re right on...just read an article on cut down day where many were 1-4 round draft picks over the past few years. Hindsight makes being an armchair GM easy.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Baylis I hear. Possibly the Lewis of the future but we need a RB and an ILB or hybrid.

I’m not thrilled about losing M. Jones at all. Ramsey did nothing that caught my eye.

It looks like we lost Lazard and Redding potentially. Glad we didn’t try to stash Shepherd!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:44 pm

We signed Baylis? I like him and see a very good player down the road

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4thand1's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:47 pm

A lot of the fan base will expect success right out of the gate. Me I'll hold of judging anything until week 4. Give this new system and team a chance to gell. A lot of new faces and they should be hungry to win and win a lot. I expect a low scoring game in Chicago with the Pack having a chance to win in the 4th.

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MytQ's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:06 pm

Practice season is over. The real preseason starts Thursday night.

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MytQ's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:06 pm

Practice season is over. The real preseason starts Thursday night.

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MytQ's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:06 pm

Practice season is over. The real preseason starts Thursday night.

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skyler's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Yes, Gute is a breath of fresh air. TT was stubborn and not logic driven the last five years. I remember BJ and Harrell. You QB's who should have never been give a chance due to lack of talent let alone being put on the roster and/or PS.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:35 pm

Refreshing to see a different management approach and coaching style. No cover your ass management here.

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Ustabeayooper's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Just remember that PS players can be signed by other teams and put on the 53 man roster. Just because someone elects to sign with another teams PS doesn't mean they will stay with that team. You can bet that every team is well aware of PS players that can contribute to their team depending on circumstances.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:17 pm

True, but team can elect to incentivize a PS member to stay. Several ways!

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 12:57 pm

They signed Tra Carson: no Ford or upgrade. That’s one I truly hate. No upside whatsoever

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Guam's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:17 pm

Sorry to see J'mon Moore ripped the Packers during his exit by saying to the media he got the very short end of the stick when he got cut. He played his way off the roster and yet wants no accountability for it. Apparently he went to the Josh Jones school of entitled players...…….

Glad the Packers do not want to sign him to the PS!

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stockholder's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:00 pm

I believe EQ to will go that way. The writers who had him on the bubble said," he couldn't get off the line fast enough for them." Now he's got an injury history.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 01, 2019 at 05:18 pm

ESB has been nothing but class so far. He is a 4.48 in the 40 yard. Guy is plenty fast and big. Going to be a top player IMO.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:35 pm

ESB had a decent camp: did nothing wrong. I fail to see why you are keen to write him off. I don’t recall any writer having him on the bubble until injury.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 07:03 pm

Moore, MVS, ESB were all third-day picks. Getting more than one to be a quality player would be a coup. It looks like MVS has got a shot...maybe shooting the averages on the three. Don't rule out St. Brown, yet.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:20 pm

You should lose good players on the final cut. That’s a good thing. If nobody wants the guys you are going to cut............

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:06 pm

...then your roster probably isn't very good or deep.

Keep the guys who give you the best chances to win. Cut the rest. Fill your PS with the players that best augment your roster. Don't look back.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:37 pm

Again, like the decisiveness.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2019 at 12:44 am

LOL, I agree, but also can't help laughing a little. I do have to admit that Dobber was very decisive when he wrote that Gute should be decisive.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 01:23 pm

It wasn’t quite like that but did suggest he is lost. Less rip and more politely struggling to deal with reality in my opinion.

Thank goodness we at least brought in an ILB, Sheldon.

Carson suggests they may have just kept D Williams in the roster to stash him. Carson isn’t here to get better, he is already polished. He is here Incase they need to do what they did in camp I conclude.

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Swisch's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:33 pm

Would it be accurate to say that Williams, Carson and Ford are the same kind of runners -- one-cut power guys?
Then there's the blocking for our QB. Apparently, Williams is bad at it. How are Carson and Ford in comparison?
Trying to get some learning. Thanks for any responses.
P.S. Sad to see McKinnon of the 49ers out for the second straight season with an injury. I like those quick and shifty backs, including Cohen of the Bears.
We never seem to have that type of guy on the Packers, who would be a nice change of pace.

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flackcatcher's picture

September 01, 2019 at 08:06 pm

I agree. Most running backs coming out have blocking as a alien skill. Not their fault, just the main difference between college and pro football. Quite a shock when they realize pass blocking is job 1 in this league. Only Carson is a three tool back. The rest, one. I suspect Vitale is what he is, a place holder until they can upgrade the FB position. Might be hard as there are few D1 college teams that actually run systems that have FB like plays for their offensives.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:38 pm

I think you are very wrong about how they value Vitale. I don’t think he is a placeholder in their minds at all. Sounds like LaFleur has been designing plays to exploit him.

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flackcatcher's picture

September 02, 2019 at 06:02 am

Could be right CW. My point is Vitale is the best of a thin group league wide. Small, average blocker, but smart player. MLF like any good play caller, is going to design and scheme to his players strengths. Vitale physical limitations may overrode his pluses as a player in a one back system. Not today, there is no one else on the roster, and they would have to cut someone to pick up Vitale replacement. The ugly truth, is teams like the Packers who want a fullback type, are going to have to commit a full year in advance to get that player up to speed, taken away a player slot for someone on postion of need. An example is John Kuhn, who took two years to get up to speed. But became a critical core player in McCarthy's offensive.

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Coldworld's picture

September 02, 2019 at 07:18 am

Well that’s fair. To be honest, I don’t se Vitale as having an awful lot in common with what most of the world understands to be a fullback.

Vitale is a pass catcher who has rarely run who runs routes that are typically assigned to a RB or TE. He has seldom run the ball and is a moderate blocker. When Cleveland tried to turn him into a fullback as traditionally understood, he struggled. From what I’ve seen, in doing so, they took away his real value, which is as a part of the passing O.

Vitale seems to me more similar in a sense to the FBs of old, who were major weapons offensively. The difference to date is that his primary area of contribution is through the air not on the ground.

I’m not sure how many Vitale types are out there in college. Seems like he had a superback position created for him in college and now the same is happening here?

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flackcatcher's picture

September 02, 2019 at 04:49 pm

Your correct CW. At Northwestern their coach shifted to a one back more out of need. He fitted his coach's system to a tee. Ironically, if Vitale were still at Cleveland under the new front office, he would get a very serious look for their offense with his skill set.

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Swisch's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:39 pm

Thanks, flackcatcher, for the knowledge.
After reading your comment, I was pleasantly surprised to find out Vitale is from my hometown of Wheaton, Illinois, and went to the same college of Northwestern (although I went there not on a football scholarship, but a golf caddy scholarship, of all things).
Somehow I've picked up the impression that Vitale is excellent as a receiver. I'm guessing he's at least a good blocker. Anyway, it will be intriguing as to how he is utilized by our new coach, and how well he performs.
Vitale's not exactly the scatback I dream of; but if he works out, fantastic. With his background, he could become one of my favorite Packers.

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flackcatcher's picture

September 02, 2019 at 06:17 am

Anytime Swisch. I saw Vitale play live about half Northwestern home games his senior year. He's a tweener who wasn't ask to block much in their system. As a runner he had good burst wasn't afraid of contact, and had 'wiggle' in him when he toted the rock. When he got in open space, he was far more shifty than he appears. But he far less muscle mass than he has today. I'm not sure how that effects him. Have to wait to see him 'live'. Aaron Jones has it, but the Packers one cut and go offense discourages that kind of lateral movement.

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stockholder's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:08 pm

I need to break these chain comments. First. Change had to come to Green Bay after they fired MM. It's easy to gamble when you have two losing seasons. And while Gute is making positive changes. They haven't proved anything yet. Three things stand out since Gute took over. 1. Arron Rodgers is still the savior of this franchise. 2. The OL. You don't keep your QB on the field with a system that didn't have the personal. 3. Pettine has been here long enough to know what needed fixing. So while everybody wants to praise Gute. He still hasn't proved himself. He opened the Fault. Good players want to be part of a winning environment. They won't play their butts off if the talent isn't around them. Filling in the holes was easy. Having enough where this team can win a super-bowl. That's how Gute should be judged.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:32 pm

PFR.com is usually pretty good in it's info. Here's the Packers practice squad as of 2:30 central...

TE Evan Baylis
RB Tra Carson
CB Kabion Ento
WR Allen Lazard
DL James Looney
T Yosh Nijman
LB Randy Ramsey
LB Brady Sheldon
WR Malik Taylor
QB Manny Wilkins

profootballrumors.com/2019/09/sunday-nfl-transactions-nfc-north-4

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Mojo's picture

September 01, 2019 at 02:49 pm

Literally every position group represented except special teams. Good coverage in case of injuries.

I was hoping for Lazard, Sheldon, Looney and Jones so pretty close.

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Since'61's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:17 pm

Practice Squad looks about right. I was hoping to see Lazard, Ento, Baylis and Wilkins make it to our PS. I know it’s way too early and nothing has been accomplished on the field yet, but I don’t have a problem with the way Gute has handled the roster so far.

Thursday night Gute and all of us face reality. It’s up to MLF and his staff to have us ready. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:39 pm

Very happy and perfectly fine with that!!

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Bure9620's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:09 pm

Sheperd is a great story but I do not see him sticking around long. He starts as a game day inactive. He was passed over so many times, over 100 WRs that were undrafted. The hit rate on UDFAs is low anyway, there is very little precedent for an undersized WR on the slower side making it in the NFL. The percentage is well below 1%. I get he got open against 3rd stringers but I simply do not see him contributing to this offense.

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Swisch's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:43 pm

I think it depends on his quickness and shiftiness in real games, as well as his knack for finding open spaces for catching passes.
I think a lot of us are rooting for him to be something special as a slot receiver who creates a lot of excitement and, most of all, helps the Packers to move the chains.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:03 pm

Vision, anticipation, and decisiveness.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:40 pm

Shepherd showed remarkable awareness and hands. That’s not a typical UDFA.

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

September 01, 2019 at 07:38 pm

Bure, Shepherd is near the bottom of the roster but if Davis gets injured he will get a real chance to contribute.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2019 at 09:41 pm

I can see him covering Allison before Davis.

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Donster's picture

September 02, 2019 at 06:26 am

I believe that Shepard will do well when called upon. He played in a high powered passing offense for No Dak State over 4 years. He runs excellent routes, plus I believe that he is has more between the ears than J'mon could ever muster. J'mon's problem was his inability to learn an offense. He struggled last year in camp, and did so this year with another new offense. At Mizzou, all he had to do was run downfield, let his athleticism work to his advantage in a conference that doesn't know how to play defense. His problem at Mizzou was dropping passes. Now he gets cut and bitches that he didn't get a fair shake. Glad he is gone.

If Shepard can stay healthy, and I say that because of his size, he can be another Randall Cobb. I know it is early to say that, but the potential is there.

I will wait and see on Davis. He looked so much improved this camp, but in the games, he was playing against mostly inferior players. Plus the big question is can he stay healthy? I'm hoping he does and continues to play as well now that the real shooting starts as he did in pre-season. But I will continue to be wary of him.

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Rick1's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:10 pm

The ability to change and fix your issues is the most important thing a GMS does. Players earn opportunities and that leads to players being impact players. To turn over this roster to be more competitive and get back to the playoffs is job number one.
Second keeping that are not impacting games is foolish and was done in years past. The packers are further ahead giving new players chances then keeping the duds like they have in years past.
Rodgers needed help and fixing it with more talent was the number 1 priority. The offense needs to be consistent and the defense needs to take the ball away for this season to be successful.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:56 pm

Agreed. Refreshing not to see the rigid and stubborn practices of the previous regime(s). B.G. validated his legitimacy as a bona fide G.M. by releasing Kizer - one of his few 'misses' to date.

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Rick1's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:35 pm

That’s a great point if you miss but will change it shows you are team first always. Gutekunst to overhaul this team shows how far we have fallen. Teams have to weather the storm and that is done with talented rosters.

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Qoojo's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:43 pm

I don't see Kizer as a miss. Gute tried to get something for a player that wasn't working out. He took a shot at getting something for nothing, and did not work out. I see J'mon Moore's release towards validating Gute recognizes his own mistakes, and does not hang on too long.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:47 pm

The only reason that Shepherd was disrespected & continues to be disrespected is because he played at NDSU & not a big name school.
His skills & size & body of work are legit.
Trust your eyes.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:51 pm

"The packers are further ahead giving new players chances then keeping the duds like they have in years past."

Amen

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Branden Burke's picture

September 01, 2019 at 03:55 pm

I think it's funny all of the people who got worked up over some of the cuts and the team returned pretty much everyone interesting onto their PS. Just need to get Bolton back when he heals.

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stockholder's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:17 pm

Bolton doesn't have the size or the stopping power needed in the pros. As far as the cuts. Daniels and CM3 would have put the fears of many to rest. You get what you pay for. If you don't expect a lot. Your in good company.

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Mark Gaedtke's picture

September 01, 2019 at 04:32 pm

I'm happy for Kiser getting another opportunity to play in the league. I remember back in the seventies when if you were cut by the Packers your next job was driving a bread truck.

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Houndog's picture

September 02, 2019 at 01:18 pm

Well said Mark, but..........
"I remember back in the seventies when if you were cut by the Packers your next job was driving a bread truck".
More recently, wasn't gong to the Vikings a second option for a number of years?

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

September 01, 2019 at 05:19 pm

Anyone else disappointed or surprised that we didn't add any veterans at ILB or backup QB?

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flackcatcher's picture

September 01, 2019 at 08:15 pm

Not me. Both are positions in flux across the league for various reasons we all commented about at one tine or another. My guess Gute and his front office are pouring over their prefer list right now seeing if any player matches the skill set the Packers want.

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Coldworld's picture

September 02, 2019 at 07:32 am

I haven’t seen examples of the types of ILB we would be looking at that I would see as an upgrade. Maybe there are some but that type is in demand.

As to QB, that could still occur as things settle in the market I suppose. The few names will likely hold out for an injured starter opportunity though.

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stockholder's picture

September 02, 2019 at 10:49 am

Ross uglem = Had us taking Polite. He said he will be an all-pro. I argued and got 30 plus dislikes. If Gute wants to take chances. I'd put him on the PS and move him inside.

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

September 02, 2019 at 11:17 am

Packers just acquired ILB BJ Goodson from the NYG.

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