So Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline proved once again that most NFL GM’s have no idea what they’re doing. Al Davis, who doesn’t know where he is much less what he’s doing, gives up a top 10 pick for a 30-year-old 3-4 defensive end who isn’t an impact player anymore, not to mention doesn’t stay healthy.
The Ravens gave up something, anything for Tony Moll (that’s bad enough, he can’t play at all).
Oh, but Ted Thompson doesn’t escape without looking a little foolish. He kept three fullbacks when John Kuhn and Korey Hall are essentially the same guy (if you switched their numbers would you be able to tell the difference? No).
He cut Anthony Smith and not Jarrett Bush…and that’s really all I’d have to say even without a game every being played. But then Anthony Smith displayed an aptitude for the defense, and was making plays all over the field, while Atari Bigby struggled and Bush was well, Jarrett Bush.
This is a talented, talented team and while Smith was brilliant this preseason, Aaron Rouse probably has more natural talent and better physical tools. In fact, I never understood why Rouse wasn’t getting time at strong safety this preseason because with his body he seems like a natural fit there.
Some interesting questions now though, because there are some very talented players on this team who don’t seem to really have a clear role.
Quinn Johnson is a road-grading fullback with underrated receiving skills and limited special teams potential. He’s a third string fullback sitting behind John Korey Kuhn Hall and likely won’t even be active most games.
So why keep a player on your team for depth at a position where you don’t need depth unless they can play special teams, which he won’t because the guys in front of him will? How does that make sense?
Brad Jones at outside linebacker is off the charts athletically, but with Kampman the starter on one side for as long as he wants to play in Green Bay, and Clay Matthews the man being paid to play opposite him, where does Brad Jones fit?
Jeremy Thompson bigger and stronger than Jones, but certainly doesn’t have the same burst or agility. As long as Kampman, Thompson and Matthews remain on this team, he’s no better than the fourth outside linebacker, and we haven't even talked about the current starter Brady Poppinga. Plus, lord only knows why Chillar hasn’t been getting time there.
The offensive line seems painfully thin. Word out of Green Bay is Jamon Meredith will be brought back on the practice squad, but there isn’t an awful lot of experience on this line. Two first year starters make up the right side of the line, not to mention Jason Spitz has never started a full season at center.
Other than Scott Wells, the back-up offensive lineman have started a grand total of zero games. For a team that had to do a lot of shuffling due to injuries last season, this seems like a dangerous game to be playing particularly when the face of your franchise is the man these guys are protecting.
Ultimately though, the starters remain in place. The Packers boast one of the deepest receiving cores in football, a stable of talented linebackers, and some man-eaters on the defensive front.
The offense will need to stay healthy at running back and offensive line, but if they do it seems hard to imagine them being stopped.
The defense has been flying around the field, and they have plenty of athletes to continue to put pressure on opponents, force turnovers, and create opportunities for the offense.
No, we won’t always understand NFL GM’s, but Ted Thompson normally seems easier to read. This was a somewhat strange cut day for him, but there was no Hall of Fame quarterback locked out, no first round pick bungled (Justin is sitting at home), so Packer fans can’t complain too much.
The 2009 Packers now need to focus on making a statement on national television. They’ll see Cutler and Co. in a week.