Graham Harrell locked up the backup QB job with a stellar outing on Thursday against Kansas City (13 of 15, 223 yards, 2 TDs, 158.3 rating), and GM Ted Thompson said on Saturday what stood out about his performance was the plays he made with his feet.
“You could see his ability to ad-lib a little bit, which is a huge thing playing quarterback in the NFL,” Thompson said. “Obviously some guys made some plays for him down the field, and I thought we protected pretty decent. It was a good showing.
“He never lost his confidence during this whole time. I know he’s been sort of the focal point, but Graham has a sometimes quiet, sometimes not-so-quiet confidence in himself to play the position, and our coaches have been behind him the whole way.”
One of the close calls in the roster cutdown that Thompson mentioned was the sixth and final spot on the defensive line. It went to Phillip Merling, a 6-5, 315-pound end who was a former second-round draft pick of the Dolphins, over Daniel Muir, a 6-2, 322-pound nose tackle who had made the Packers’ roster as an undrafted rookie back in 2007 before playing four seasons in Indianapolis.
“In the case of Daniel Muir, very difficult. Very passionate young man,” Thompson said. “But the NFL is like a wheel, it goes round and round, you never know when someone might be back.
“In the case of Phillip, we thought he played very well. We thought especially he gave us a little inside push in that last game, (plus the) body type, a little bit longer and taller.”
That decision was one of many difficult ones, Thompson said. Without naming the player, he told the story of one player who was released on Friday who told Thompson what a thrill it was to simply play a preseason game in front of the Lambeau Field crowd.
“I patted him on the back and said, ‘How did it go last night?’, talking about the game, and he said it was the greatest time, it was the most fun he’s ever had in his entire life to be able to play at Lambeau Field. I think sometimes we’re so conscious about trying to win and compete on such a major level as the NFL, we forget it’s guys playing the game, and I thought that was pretty cool.”
There’s been nothing fun about these last couple of days for Thompson, though, who has often said that roster cutdown days are the worst days of his job.
“We had a fairly strong 90-man roster I felt,” he said. “These guys competed and played hard, and eventually you have to cut down. It’s just awful, the experience of going through that.
“You say a little prayer and hope you have the wisdom to make the right decision. Tough times.”
For the main story from Thompson’s Saturday press conference, click here.
Tags: ted thompson, roster, graham harrell
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 9 Comments »
With the Packers’ announcement of roster moves on Friday night, three of the survivors were undrafted rookies: offensive lineman Don Barclay, wide receiver Jarrett Boykin and safety Sean Richardson. Including outside linebacker Dezman Moses, who had a line on a roster spot almost from the start of training camp, that makes four undrafted rookies who made it.
In a related surprise, cornerback Brandian Ross, an undrafted rookie a year ago who spent time on the Packers’ practice squad, also made the 53-man roster.
Keep in mind, however, that the roster moves may not be complete. Teams have until Saturday to put in waiver claims on released players, and a player awarded to a team off waivers must be placed on that team’s 53-man roster, so some roster shuffling could ensue on Saturday.
Barclay came on strong in the second half of training camp with the No. 2 offensive line and was no doubt helped by his ability to play both guard and tackle. Boykin beat out practice-squad holdovers Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel for a sixth WR spot, and Richardson joins his former college teammate at Vanderbilt — second-round draft pick Casey Hayward — on the roster.
The inclusion of Ross on the roster gives the Packers seven cornerbacks, counting hybrid CB/S Charles Woodson.
The Packers’ roster currently sits at 55 players, but LB Erik Walden is suspended for Week 1, and DE Mike Neal is suspended for the first four weeks. While suspended, they do not count against the 53-man limit.
For a look at the updated roster, click here.
Packers.com will have further analysis of the roster after GM Ted Thompson addresses the media at 2 p.m. Saturday. The press conference will be streamed live, with a story to follow.
Tags: roster, undrafted rookie
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp | 41 Comments »
No., Name, Pos., College
1, Jake Drwal*, WR, Lehigh
5, Ray Keys*, WR, Virginia
6, David Nadeau*, K, Minnesota-Duluth
7, Michael Zweifel*, WR, Dubuque
9, B.J. Coleman, QB, Tennessee-Chattanooga
10, Marcus Rivers, WR, Buffalo
13, Dale Moss, WR, South Dakota State
17, Nick Hill, QB, Southern Illinois
19, Diondre Borel, WR, Utah State
22, Jerron McMillian, S, Maine
23o, Duane Bennett, RB, Minnesota
23d, Otis Merrill*, CB, Illinois State
25, Doyle Miller*, CB, Nevada
27o, Marc Tyler, RB, Southern California
27d, Mike Williams*, CB, Miami
28, Sean Richardson, S, Vanderbilt
29, Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
32d, Jamie Bender*, S, Alabama-Birmingham
32o, Curenski Gilleylen*, RB, Nebraska
34, Anthony Levine, S, Tennessee State
35d, Antonio Baker*, S, Louisiana Tech
35o, Jon Hoese, FB, Minnesota
39, Brandian Ross, CB, Youngstown State
40o, Nic Cooper, FB, Winston-Salem State
40d, Chad Kilgore*, LB, Northwest Missouri
41o, Ray Carter*, RB, Colorado State
41d, Dion Turner, CB, Southern Utah
43, Patrick Hampton*, LB, South Florida
45o, Eric Lair, TE, Minnesota
45d, Cobrani Mixon*, LB, Kent State
46o, Robert Brown*, TE, Clark Atlanta
46d, Jaymar Latchison*, LB, New Mexico
47, Brandon Bostick*, TE, Newberry
48, Cameron Ford, TE, Wake Forest
53, Nick Perry, LB, Southern California
54o, Casey Casper*, LS, Wisconsin-Whitewater
54d, Dezman Moses, LB, Tulane
56, Terrell Manning, LB, North Carolina State
60o, Tommie Draheim, C, San Diego State
60d, Matt Putnam*, DE, Brigham Young
61, Grant Cook*, G, Arkansas
64o, Mike McCabe, T, Holy Cross
64d, Drew Vanderlin*, DE, Michigan Tech
65o, Sampson Genus, C, South Florida
65d, Frank Trotter*, DE, Memphis
67o, Don Barclay, G, West Virginia
67d, Johnny Jones, DL, Marshall
68o, Jaymes Brooks, G, Virginia Tech
68d, Luke Black*, DE, Fairmont State
69d, Anthony Gray*, DT, Southern Mississippi
69o, Derrick Showell*, G, Walsh
72, Shea Allard*, T, Delaware
73, Tyler Butzler*, T, Wisconsin-Stout
76, Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa
77, Andrew Datko, T, Florida State
81, Jarrett Boykin*, WR, Virginia Tech
86, Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina
95, Jake Lattimer*, LB, Iowa State
99, Jerel Worthy, DE, Michigan State
Tags: rookie orientation camp, roster
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