Packers Cut Veterans Noah Herron, Vernon Morency; Youth Reigns in Backfield
Herron was all you could ask for in a backup. A good blocker, solid on third down conversions, and playing well in preseason, I was sure Herron would make the team. In 2006, Herron averaged over four yards on third and short, a valuable asset to have. Herron did have some injury issues, though, as he was on the IR last year.
Morency, who the Packers picked up for his knowledge on running in the zone-blocking scheme, also was deemed unworthy for the team. It was more understandable to cut Morency, however. He has gotten nicked up the past couple of years, and is close to that all-important age of 30 years old for a running back.
Herron and Morency represented the only backs with more than a year of experience for the Packers. So who bumped them off the depth chart? Kregg Lumpkin, an undrafted rookie from Georgia. It was clear who the Packers wanted to look at in preseason, as Lumpkin received far more carries than any other back.
But to nix both Herron and Morency? My intuition tells me Ted Thompson tried to get a draft pick for these players, but no one took the bait. If the Packers are lucky, neither of these players will sign with another team, leaving a chance to put them on the practice squad.
Players that made the cut and I can't understand why: Charlie Peprah and Jarrett Bush. My guess is Peprah will make way for a long snapper, and Bush will inexplicably stay on the 2008 roster. It seems the Packers are determined to find a spot for Bush, as they have been trying his skills (or lack thereof) at safety.
I have no problems with the Packers keeping seven linebackers, and I am incredibly happy Tracy White made it. There had been rumors flying around he would not make the cut, but his special teams play makes him, in my opinion, a no-brainer to keep.
Why Ted Thompson has made the defensive tackle position so thin is beyond me. Johnny Jolly has a court date September 16, and Harrell is currently on the PUP. Look for Cullen Jenkins to possibly get a few snaps at tackle this season.
So back to the backfield, who is Kregg Lumpkin? The undrafted rookie out of Georgia, this is now the Packers number three back. Lumpkin rushed for nearly 800 yards his junior season, however was sidelined quite a bit in his collegiate career, including most of his senior season. So far this preseason, he has stayed healthy and McCarthy gave him enough chances to succeed.
Lumpkin has not disappointed. He has found the end zone once through the air, and once on the ground while averaging over four yards a carry.
I am neither disappointed nor angry that Herron and Morency didn't make the roster. Surprised is much more accurate. The veteran backs didn't provide anything too extraordinary, but were decent. I just don't know if Lumpkin can provide the consistency as a backup that Herron has displayed.
Lumpkin is most likely going to be used on third down situations, the same way Herron was used. If he can come through for the Packers in those kinds of plays, I will be more than happy.
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