Friday, August 13, 2010
Friday's Final Thoughts: The first depth chart is here! And we're not dead yet
"The flame that burns brightest, burns shortest. And just like that, you're gone."
I saw that, C. Liedl. But fear not! We aren't going away just yet. Family Night was last Saturday and the Packers have released their first depth chart of the season. So study up and read on! This one's for you!
Rookie TE Andrew Quarless is facing an uphill battle. The 5th round pick out of Penn State has struggled to convince the coaching staff to keep him around. His hands have been shaky at best, and that's not going to cut it if Quarless wants to be a part of this TE corps. He dropped an easy TD at Family Night. He is the 5th TE on the depth chart behind Tom Crabtree. I don't even know who that is. I must also say I did have my doubts about Donald Lee making the team, but I'm glad to see that he's the #2 TE. Havner also seems pretty safe. McCarthy says he plans on using him at linebacker during camp, on top of his TE and special teams duties. You can't get rid of one guy who can do three jobs. And while we're on the subject of tight ends, we might as well watch some highlights of the BEST TE in the league:
Bulaga has the left side of the O-line backed up. Or is he fighting for the LG spot? The Packers have been working their first round pick hard, switching him back and forth from LT to LG. He's even gotten reps at LG with the first string offense. Should Colledge be worried? Yes. This is definitely something to watch during preseason.
Justin Harrell is still healthy. I'm afraid to even write it. But so far, so good. I'd like to see him make the team and contribute, mostly just out of curiosity for what he can bring to the table. I hope he has a chance this year to shake the total bust label. Or at least confirm it by his play on the field...
Allen Barbre is toast. He's only listed as the 3rd LG on the depth chart. He's been awful when he's played. I think Ray Edwards made a career out of playing against him. Thankfully, the offensive line is too deep for him to see the field, or even make the team this year.
The Packers CANNOT cut Sam Shields. Did you see that 98 yard pick six at the Family Night scrimmage he had? I thought Charles Woodson was out there for a second. His play on the field has certainly made him a tough cut. Josh Bell being put on IR also helps Shields' chances. Shields should also get more opportunities on special teams while the coaches continue to play it safe with Will Blackmon's knee. I really hope the Packers find room for Shields on the final roster. He could be special. Just watch:
Quinn Johnson might be in trouble. There's no doubt he can block. But that's about all Quinn Johnson is good at. He dropped a pass put right on his hands during the scrimmage this week. Johnson's unsure hands may be his downfall. Hall and Kuhn are much better receivers out of the backfield and are both more well rounded, reliable football players. There's a lot of talent on this team right now, and Johnson could be deemed expendable if guys like Sam Shields keep stepping up.
Is this Brandon Jackson's year? This guy can do everything. Jackson is a decent runner, but he really earns his paycheck as an extra blocker/receiver on third downs. I think he'll contribute a little more than that this year. Jackson looks like he's in great shape. Last year he looked a little thick, like he was too ripped. Bobspop agrees that Jackson looks slimmer and quicker. And he sure raised some eyebrows at Family Night when he took a kickoff to the house. I realize that the coverage team and blockers were going half speed, but no one even came close to "touching him up" as Jackson burst through the hole en route to the endzone. He's listed as the back up to Blackmon on kick return duties but I have a feeling we'll be seeing Jackson fielding plenty of kicks this season.