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Who Will Start at Other Safety Position?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    At training camp, the roster battle for the other safety position is hot with strong competition among the candidates.

    http://www.jsonline.com/index/index.aspx?id=44

    Silverstein's story about the candidates for the position sums it up: "For those wondering whether veteran Marquand Manuel is going to get tossed out of the starting lineup, consider the play of second-year safety Atari Bigby. [T]he physical Bigby...has only one interception during camp, but if he wins the job, his role is going to be at the line of scrimmage, punishing running backs. Manuel has not had a bad camp and is orchestrating the defense much better than he did a year ago. He appears to be running better and isn't making as many coverage mistakes. But Bigby has firmly entrenched himself in the safety battle...with Marviel Underwood, Tyrone Culver, Charlie Peprah and third-round pick Aaron Rouse...for playing time. Bigby has to continue gaining a grasp of the defense and show he can break on the ball quickly enough to cover receivers in his area, but he has practiced well...." The candidates are playing well but no one stands out ahead of the competition. By opening day, the question is whether the filled position is an upgrade to the weak performance of last season.

    http://packers.scout.com/2/664658.html

    Hard-hitting Rouse ready to make an impact

    Mike McCarthy's practices, which have been void of tackling, haven't allowed big rookie safety Aaron Rouse to show his promise. That will change soon, PackerReport.com's Steve Lawrence says. Aaron Rouse stands tall, but he hasn’t stood out. That opportunity will have to wait for the Green Bay Packers’ rookie safety. It’s impossible not to notice Rouse when you’re at practice. Seeing a 6-foot-4 guy in the defensive backfield is about as easy as picking Yao Ming out in a room full of jockeys. Through the first dozen days of camp, Rouse has split time between the second- and third-team defenses, sometimes paired with impressive Atari Bigby with the second team and others paired with Marviel Underwood with the third team.

    In all cases, though, Rouse is playing free safety, which is Nick Collins’ position. For now, it seems, Rouse has no chance of unseating Marquand Manuel at the other safety spot. Perhaps that will change when Rouse gets a chance to do what he does best: hit people.

    Mike McCarthy’s training camp has been void of tackling. That’s prevented the 223-pounder, who was known as an intimidator at Virginia Tech, from making his presence truly felt. He’s had some moments, though. On Monday, Rouse expertly read the play and intercepted Ingle Martin. Later that day, he drilled running back P.J. Pope. "It felt great," Rouse said after that practice. "I've studied my playbook very hard, I've been studying the offensive routes, and once I get in there, instincts take over. I felt like I've been doing other things well, but when you get the opportunity you have to step up and make the play." Even when he’s not allowed to hit people, Rouse’s promise is apparent. On Thursday morning, with the players wearing only shells and hitting being off limits, Rouse flashed his coverage skills. Twice, he blanketed seventh-round pick Clark Harris, a tight end who made his mark at Rutgers for his receiving skills. In between, he lined up against a flanked-out Harris and easily beat his block — and Harris’ jersey grab — to seal off the edge.

    Other times, Rouse looks like a rookie. On Thursday morning, for instance, his overpursuit allowed the back to cut inside for a decent gain. Too often, it looks like he’s thinking more than reacting, which probably shouldn’t come as a big surprise considering his NFL experience encompasses less than two weeks and he spent most of his Hokies career playing a hybrid linebacker/safety position. “I think Rouse looks very good,” McCarthy said Friday. “I’m anxious to see him tomorrow night in live action (at the Family Night Scrimmage). I think he's a guy who will definitely compete in the safety slots, and he definitely looks to be a personnel mismatch on special teams. So, I'm anxious to see him. I think he's off to an excellent start.”

    The preseason games are more important than training camp practices. That’s true for all of the players fighting for roster spots or trying to climb the depth chart. It’s especially true for Rouse, though, as he battles a decent group of young, talented and inexperienced safeties. Rouse will be unleashed..., but he’s definitely a player to watch when the preseason kicks off Aug. 11 in Pittsburgh. It will be those opportunities against teams wearing jerseys some other color than green and gold when Rouse will get a chance to make his presence felt. Literally.
     
  2. Krazygangsta

    Krazygangsta Cheesehead

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    Rouse ... will be the starter ... Rouse could of been a 1st rounder if im not mistaking had some issues off the field
     
  3. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    None of the candidates stood out in the scrimmage, and from what I hear, none of them are standing out in practice either. Manuel was his usual mediocre (at best) self in the scrimmage, so I'm hoping one of the younger guys with more upside beats him out.

    I was disappointed to read that Rouse has been practicing exclusively at free safety, which is Collins' position. Maybe they're just trying to give him more experience in pass coverage early in camp, then they'll switch him to strong safety.
     
  4. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    No... he was a 2nd rounder ... MAYBE very MAYBE a late first rounder if he came out after his junior season... but he decided to stay around at Virginia Tech and be a leader as the team was undergoing troubling times with Marcus Vick screwing up constantly.

    So he stayed to be a leader and didnt have as good of a year as the year before and it hurt his stock.

    Id love to say hes gonna be the starter and hes got a while to earn it still.

    but my money is on Bigby, Manuel, or Underwood this year.... You dont want a guy out there learning the job when the rest of the team is ready to go and counting on the SS to be where he needs to be.

    Rouse will be the guy though eventually i do believe that.
     
  5. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    I think Rouse will start sooner or later. Maybe not opening day but Manuel will be on a short leash and the moment he screws up, he'll be pulled for Rouse.
     
  6. mi_keys

    mi_keys Cheesehead

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    I think Packnic's right. Rouse probably won't start this year. From what I've seen so far I think Bigby will win the job. But in the mean time, hopefully Rouse can contribute on special teams and possibly on the defense in running situations.
     
  7. Danreb

    Danreb Cheesehead

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    We're giving Manuel a lot of money, so he better be worth it.

    I liked the spark that Culver and Underwood provided last year, but both guys got hurt. I can't say much about Bigby.

    If nobody's standing out at all--I'd just throw the rookie out there..
     
  8. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    They didn't do too bad.

    The CBs were everywhere though.
     
  9. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    IMO, Bigby looked good in the scrimmage. Better than the others, anyway.

    Someone said the safeties were invisible, but the corners were shining. I think that's a good thing. Usually we only notice the safeties when they screw up, so if we don't notice em, they're probably doin their jobs!


    Defense looked pretty impressive as a whole, I thought.
     
  10. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    Barring injury, Manuel will be starting this year for the same reason he was last year.
     
  11. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Which is....?
     
  12. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    It seems a little early to be making such a proclamation. We are barely a week into training camp. There is still time for one or more of the other safeties to stand out from the crowd, especially considering that they are all young and one of them is coming back from a major injury.
     
  13. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    I honestly don't know. All I know is that in spite of being a liability in the defense last year he started every game and is still starting this year. And if his play in the scrimmage is any indication, he's also going to be a liability this year.

    If I had to guess, I'd say he is starting for the same reason Justin Harrell is starting.
     
  14. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    which is...?

    What do you know that we don't?
     
  15. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    There is zero chance Manuel starts, i predict he is cut.
     
  16. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    It isn't rocket science.

    Somebody has to start.
     
  17. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    yeah...thats the reason you were talking of, im sure.
     
  18. vikesrule

    vikesrule Cheesehead

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    Wish that you had him back? :rotflmao:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    How bout........not even a little bit

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Sharper is still good. I was really bummed when he went to the Vikings. It's just Driver is Da Man!

    Nice pic, Packnic. :packbeer:
     
  21. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    Seriously, what does DT Justin Harrell have anything to do with this thread? It's about the safety position, not the FO and thier awful picks, awful FA signings and awful coaching/general personnel decisions.

    On my TV, Manuel didn't make a peep besides one interference call, and yet he looked like a liability? I guess I just don't get it......
     
  22. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    you think the draft was full of "awful picks"? I disagree. If there is one thing Thompson knows, it's how to run a draft.
     
  23. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://forums.packersnews.com/viewtopic.php?p=156939

    RD's view: "...Getting to your question about the safety spot, I can tell you this: Manuel has taken every single rep alongside Collins with the No. 1 defense. Now there's still plenty of time left in camp to make a change and maybe they're just giving Manuel a long look-see before they do so. Bigby might be the favorite if they do go in another direction. He's been in on a lot of plays of late. Rouse looks like he struggles in coverage especially when he has to change directions. Underwood hasn't flashed at all like he did before his knee injury last season."
     
  24. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    lol. No, I was using a little sarcasm there. I just got annoyed at the resounding negativity of the previous post, when I've been feeling so good about this TC/Preseason. It's been generally injury-free, (major ones anyway) and I think that that's never a bad thing.
     
  25. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    FANS, YOU DECIDE WITH LATEST NEWS!

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=644102

    Packers keeping the faith with Manuel. Safety...weak link in 2006

    Two years after general manager Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers hurt their defense by sticking with Mark Roman at strong safety a year too long, they now appear ready to ride the rapids with another year of Marquand Manuel at the position.It's halfway through the second week of training camp, none of the young safeties has mounted a serious challenge and Manuel looks entrenched as the No. 1 strong safety, the position that he played so poorly a year ago. Bob Sanders, who coached defensive ends in 2005 before becoming coordinator in '06, said Tuesday that he was more than satisfied having Manuel in the lineup. "I feel very, very confident in his ability to help this football team," secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer said.

    One of the reasons why Schottenheimer lost his first job in Green Bay shortly after the '04 season was Roman's horrible performance. Thompson, who took over in January 2005, eventually signed off on the decision by Mike Sherman and Jim Bates to start Roman for another season. If Roman was an "F" player in 2004, he might have merited a "D-minus" in '05. The parallels between Roman's and Manuel's first seasons in Green Bay are eerie. In 2004, Roman allowed 9½ plays of 20 yards or more and 4½ touchdown passes, missed 18 tackles and didn't record a turnover. In '06, Manuel allowed five plays of 20 or more and 5½ TD passes, missed 15 tackles and had one turnover play, numbers befitting of a "D-minus" grade. Roman, who was drafted as a cornerback, had a faster 40-yard dash time than Manuel, a more rugged player against the run. Coincidentally, Manuel played behind Roman in 2003 for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Packers dumped the final year of Roman's three-year, $2.75 million contract on the eve of training camp in 2006, almost five months after giving Manuel a five-year, $10 million deal. Roman caught on with San Francisco and now is starting at free safety.

    Sanders, who was coaching defensive ends during Roman's last season in Green Bay, is convinced Manuel will perform well. "Well, he started every game for us last year," Sanders said. "He can do what we ask him to do." The Packers apparently figure that Manuel couldn't possibly perform any worse. At the same time, they say Manuel wasn't right physically in the early stages of '06 because of a groin injury suffered in Super Bowl XL and a calf injury that caused him to miss the first 19 practices of camp and one exhibition game. "He's moving better," Sanders said. "He's explodin' better on the ball, explodin' better on his breaks. And he picked up right where he left off as far as his knowledge of the defense. His communication is extremely good." Schottenheimer referred to Manuel as "a different player athletically than he was last year." He added: "He was a victim of circumstances early in the year. He played extremely well down the stretch."

    Since the start of camp, it has been Manuel alongside Nick Collins with the No. 1 defense. Behind them, Marviel Underwood and Atari Bigby have been paired second, usually followed by rookie Aaron Rouse and Tyrone Culver, then Charlie Peprah and Alvin Nnabuife. Manuel's modest speed was exposed blatantly Monday when wide receiver Calvin Russell blew away from him on a go route during one-on-one drills. On Thursday, Manuel bit on a read route by Ruvell Martin, sucked up on a play-fake and allowed a 38-yard touchdown over his head. Every player, of course, has some bad plays, and Sanders indicated that Manuel's total had not been excessive.

    Underwood, 11 months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, has shown no fear of re-injury in his play but doesn't always change direction as well as he did in the past and might again a year from now, according to Schottenheimer. For his part, Underwood said he respected Manuel's level of experience and tried to learn from him. Bigby, said Schottenheimer, has the best range of the six backups and can be physical at the line. But both Bigby and Rouse need to show more in coverage. Rouse, a third-round draft choice, has had his moments as a physical presence in the box, making plays on the ball and as a pass rusher. Sanders doesn't think Rouse (6 feet 4 inches, 223 pounds) is too big to break down in space, either. "(Rouse) takes notes and is a student of the game," Sanders said. "Very few busts."

    Culver, the No. 3 safety a year ago after Underwood's surgery, has had little impact this summer. He and Peprah, a onetime cornerback at Alabama, rely on instincts to compensate for average size, speed and striking ability. "The (backups) have all done fine but they're so closely wrapped together, it changes daily," Schottenheimer said. "We've got to see where the young guys are but also get your starters ready. "We know we're going to keep four, obviously. If there's a special-teams issue Mike (McCarthy) may consider five. There are some difficult decisions to be made." But barring the unforeseen, the decision to stick with Manuel has been made.
     

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