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Thompson: Roster is "skewed"

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IronMan, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/index.php?ntid=213405&ntpid=3


    Packers: Not your typical roster
    By JASON WILDE
    608-252-6176
    jwilde@madison.com

    GREEN BAY -- Down in the bowels of Lambeau Field -- in an area not part of the daily stadium tours the team conducts -- are the position meeting rooms. They are located just off the Green Bay Packers ' locker room and furnished with comfy theater-style seats, wipe-away boards and a video projector.

    Right now, the defensive line meeting room is standing room only.

    OK, not quite. But close.

    "It is kind of crowded, ' ' defensive tackle Corey Williams admitted Sunday after general manager Ted Thompson kept 11 defensive linemen on the 53-man roster. "Everybody 's not going to be able to sit in the comfortable seats. The young guys, we make them pull up chairs and sit on the side, by the wall. ' '

    There 's no such problem in the tight end meeting room, where Bubba Franks, Donald Lee and position coach Ben McAdoo had the place all to themselves until rookie seventh-round pick Clark Harris was added to the practice squad Sunday.

    "Bubba and I talked about it. We 're like, `Man, there 's just the two of us, so we 're going to have to have each other 's back, ' ' ' Lee said.

    Yes, with 11 defensive linemen and 10 defensive backs and only two quarterbacks, two tight ends and five linebackers, the Packers ' roster entering next Sunday 's regular-season opener against Philadelphia at Lambeau Field isn 't exactly how Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy envisioned the 53-man crew breaking down entering camp.

    But, as Thompson likes to say, it is what it is.

    "(The roster) is a little bit out of balance than a normal, ' ' Thompson admitted. "When you 're sitting there in the summertime and in the spring, you 're thinking, `We 'll probably carry this many at (this) position, this many here. ' Ours is a little skewed.

    "We wanted to make sure we tried our best to keep our best 53, and that might mean the roster gets skewed a little bit. ' '

    Not included in those 53 was safety Marquand Manuel, who lost his starting job to Atari Bigby midway through camp and signed with the Carolina Panthers Sunday after the Packers released him Saturday.

    "I think (Manuel 's release) is more of a reflection of the emergence of Atari Bigby and a couple of young guys that we have high hopes for that we think are going to be very good players, ' ' Thompson said. "We were very honest with Marquand all along, especially when it started looking like it was going to go the other way. Did we expect a little more last year? Yeah, but it wasn 't because he wasn 't trying. It just didn 't work out. ' '

    One move the Packers made to balance out the roster was claiming ex-Pittsburgh Steelers fullback John Kuhn on waivers. Kuhn played nine games with the Steelers in 2006 after spending 2005 on Pittsburgh 's practice squad. He takes the roster spot of halfback Noah Herron, who was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

    Kuhn was the second player added to the backfield in as many days, after Thompson traded what is believed to be a seventh-round pick to the New York Giants for halfback Ryan Grant. Thompson said Sunday that the pick is not a conditional pick.

    Thompson said he did try to make other trades -- including dealing kicker Dave Rayner, who lost his competition with rookie sixth-round pick Mason Crosby -- but couldn 't get anything done. Thompson was especially surprised that there wasn 't more interest in the team 's 11 defensive linemen.

    "(There was) some early, ' ' Thompson said, adding that he expects to keep all 11 on the roster all season. "I don 't know that we had anybody call us (Saturday) about that, which was a little surprising, but I had kind of made up my mind. I kind of wanted to keep this group together. ' '
     
  2. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Hard to argue with that.
     
  3. Bertram

    Bertram Cheesehead

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    If we can avoid any serious injuries, knock on wood, we will be fine and probably have some trading bait for next offseason.
     
  4. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Well, at least Thompson kept more than four wide receivers. We really got in a bind a couple years ago when he only kept four and then we had some injuries in the first game.

    I read that 15 teams have kept only two QB's this year, so that is a non-issue. Having only 5 LB's doesn't concern me either. But I hope to see another TE added soon. If Franks or Lee gets hurt in a game, McCarthy will have to throw away part of the playbook (two TE sets) for the rest of that game.
     
  5. Anubis

    Anubis Cheesehead

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    To be perfectly honest, if you reach your third-string QB in a season, the chances are overwhelmingly against you to ever reach the Superbowl that year. I was happier to see TT keep another WR and cut Ingle Martin than keep Martin and have shallow depth at that position.
     
  6. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    IMHO TT is skewed
     
  7. Popcynical

    Popcynical Cheesehead

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    IMHO you are skewed.
     
  8. CalifPacker

    CalifPacker Cheesehead

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    I think that keeping 11 DL will be a positive. These guys will rotate and pressure the QB on the pass and clog up the running game.
     
  9. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    11 DL and no RB HhhhUUUuRAAAAAAaHHHHHhhhh!
     
  10. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Bet you would like to have the money these NON RB are getting

    Vernand Morency
    Brandon Jackson
    DeShawn Wynn
    Ryan Grant
    Korey Hall
    John Kuhn
     
  11. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    It doesn't make any sense to me why we wouldn't bring in any real competition for 2 tight ends that combined for 35 catches last year.
     
  12. Fuzznuts

    Fuzznuts Cheesehead

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    Thompson would sign 50 linebackers if they let him, regardless of need.

    The only reason there are so many D-Lineman is so that they can keep offensive lineman off his precious linebackers.

    I swear the guy has tunnel vision when it comes to building a team.

    He doesn't seem to care about much else. D-Lineman and Linebackers.

    Everything else is just filler.
    :roll:
     
  13. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Greg Jennings, James Jones, re-signed Donald Driver



    aaaaaaaand you're done.
     
  14. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Um, he only signed five linebackers, which is fewer than the usual six. It would be good to have at least a vague idea of what you're writing about before you post.
     
  15. Fuzznuts

    Fuzznuts Cheesehead

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    Right, and he hasn't really focused on the D-Line and LB corps almost to the exclusion of all else, right?

    That is the Packers strongest area, wouldn't you agree?

    (You can't play 5 or 6 LB'ers. But it is the area he's concentrated on the most in the last 3 years. And I bet he signs another one this year before he's through. )
     
  16. nathaniel

    nathaniel Cheesehead

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    So far, this whole thing has kind of gone in the direction I thought it would. We ignored the RB situation for too long, and then try to deal when it's too late. No one wants anything we have. Thats not to say I don't think Brandon Jackson isn't capable of carrying the load, but it'd be nice to have a little more experience in the backfield, especially with Morency being questionable for opening day. I'm biting my tongue and I'm not going to complain about TT, but it would have been nice if the RB situation had been taken care of sooner than the week before the start of the season.
     
  17. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Here's a quick look at Thompson's major free agent signings and draft picks in the fifth round or higher:

    In three years, Thompson has drafted three WR's in the second round, one in the fourth round, one in the fifth round, an RB in the second round, a QB in the first round, O-linemen in the second, third, fourth, and fifth rounds, and safeties in the second and fourth rounds, plus a mid-level free agent (Manuel). He hasn't spent any high picks on CB's, but he did bring in a high priced free agent at that position.

    Meanwhile, he's taken a D-lineman in the first round and signed one free agent for a fairly high price, and he's taken an LB in the first round, another in the third round, and another in the fourth round.

    So while Thompson has drafted probably one more linebacker than might be expected, he hasn't spent a whole lot on the D-line. Those just happen to be the best two units on the team. Just because these positions are strong doesn't mean other areas have been neglected.

    The only position that I think has really been neglected is TE.
     
  18. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    Definitely TE has been neglected. And we're not exactly very deep at fullback either.
     
  19. millertime

    millertime Cheesehead

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    I agree with you. I think the RB situation wasn't handled very well. One positive, however, is that the zone blocking system doesn't require great running backs. Average ones can succeed.

    On a side note, I haven't really heard of anyone blaming the o-linemen for our pathetic running game in the preseason. Are they not creating holes or what? I haven't seen B-Jack really get many good looks, which creates a lot of 1 and 2 yard runs...
     
  20. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    Funny how you can take one of the most promising parts of this team, one of the things that we as Packer fans take pride in, and turn it into something that TT has screwed up.


    Talk about tunnel vision.......
     
  21. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    This was brought up a while ago, but the general idea was that the oline has been all vanilla so far. One of the linemen was quoted saying that the running game will be an entirely different animal once the actual scheme is employed.
     
  22. nathaniel

    nathaniel Cheesehead

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    That could very well be true. I think Tauscher is a beast, and the rest of the o-line was giving Favre a ton of time in the pocket at the end of the season. I don't see how the o-line could decline in talent this year.
     
  23. Fuzznuts

    Fuzznuts Cheesehead

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    You talk about tunnel vision, because you have it. It's called seeing the big picture, son.

    Something that you and others fail to do.

    Imo, TT is a collector of talent with a hyper-focus on defense. So much so that he basically has neglected the offense for years so that he can build his precious defense. Look at the O-Line, WR, TE situations in '05 and '06, and now, look at the RB situation today in '07. That is, if you can take off your 'TT colored' glasses for about 5 mins.

    It takes a whole team to win, and I think that Thompson has not been particularly good at addressing the whole team, especially the offense. Now, I'm not saying that he's not building a good defense, that seems to be his forte. But he has a penchant for trying to throw things against the wall to see if they'll stick, when it comes to the offense.

    What I am saying as well is that trying to piece together an o-line with castoffs and rookie talent in '05, not going after any FA WR's, TE's in '06, and now not going after any RB's, TE's, and at least one veteran FA WR in '07 is neglecting the offense and his duties as GM in my book, and once again it's going to bite him, and us, in the *** this year again! :evil:

    Now that's my opinion Sonny, and if you don't like it, you don't have to attack me personally, just don't subscribe to it, and we'll see who's right in the end.

    But I know it's going to be me! :rotflmao:
     
  24. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I don't know...........every year i hear "Defense wins championships", and i think it really does. And i think with our D, we will have a real chance to do some damage. And i wouldn't call Driver, Jennings and now Jones exactly garbage. And Bubba looks to be MUCH better then last year.
    Morency is back, and he should help alot. Plus we have Favre.
    TT has built BOTH sides of the ball. But we NEEDED help on the D. It was finally starting to play decent at the end of last year. With the new help, they should be pretty darn good! And if you can keep the other team from scoring, you should be able to win alot of games.
     
  25. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    The O-line's pass blocking has been excellent in the preseason, while the run blocking has been horrible. That leads me to believe that they really are holding something back in the running game. We'll find out soon enough.

    As for the RB's, the problems are mainly due to injuries. Every RB who's played has gotten hurt. If Thompson had signed a free agent RB, who's to say he would not have gotten hurt like everyone else?
     

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