Hello Wisconsin: The Roster is Set. Let’s Play Ball!

It's one week to go before the regular season and the Packers have a roster.

After more than a month of training camp and preseason, we officially have first edition of your 2022 Green Bay Packers 53-man roster.

The couple days of roster cuts are always eagerly tracked by fans online, but it’s been some time since the Packers have had a truly shocking cut happen during this period. Once again, there were no real surprises in the Packers’ final 53. While some prognosticators’ predictions might not have been completely on the money, there were not any decisions that a reasonable person would not have foreseen.

However, if you had to pick a few notable decisions the Packers made in trimming their roster, these would be a few you might glance at:

  • Samori Toure made the final 53 over Juwann Winfree at wide receiver in the seventh receiver spot. There were some who thought Winfree would earn his position on the 53 after a strong training camp and after some advocacy by Aaron Rodgers, but in the end the Packers liked Toure’s playmaking ability, and likely valued the fact that he was a draft pick. But never fear; Winfree cleared waivers and is safely stowed on the Packers’ practice squad. 

 

  • Jack Heflin and Caleb Jones both did not make the 53, but Jonathan Ford did. Once again, this is likely an instance of the Packers valuing their draft picks, as it didn’t really seem like Ford had outplayed either of the former. Both Heflin and Jones will be back with the Packers on the practice squad and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both get playing time at some point this season, whether it’s due to elevation or promotion.

 

  • There were some who predicted the Packers would keep only two running backs at first, and that’s exactly what they did. Tyler Goodson showed enough flash to get brought back to the Packers’ practice squad. What this also likely means is that the Packers think highly enough of Kylin Hill that once he’s fully healthy he will come back to the 53.

Most of the rest of the decisions basically went according to plan.

At this point, the Packers might have the strongest starting 22-man roster of anyone in the league. The difference makers will be depth and special teams. 

Special teams can’t possibly be as bad as last year, right? (Wrong, it can ALWAYS be worse).

As far as depth goes, the Packers are pretty well set at offensive line, linebacker (how weird is that?) and even corner; there’s a significant drop-off after their nickel corner, but how many teams in the league have a really strong fourth and fifth corner? Defensive line is looking better than it’s looked in years as well. Wide receiver has potential, but is unproven.

The areas of concern are safety, edge and tight end. If Kingsley Enagbare can translate his preseason into regular season, edge will be pretty well covered. Safety I’m not feeling so positive about. The team could really stand to add another player at that position. Tight end… Marcedes Lewis is still a great blocker and veteran presence, but at his age he should not be the most reliable player at his position group. This has to be the year Josiah Deguara steps forward, and Robert Tonyan must look more like his 2019 self than his pre-injury 2020 self for the Packers to really get the most effective use out of this position.

But I’m really picking nits here. Overall, this is yet another really strong roster put forward by the Packers. 

This team, though, has had plenty of strong rosters in the last several years. The question now becomes what they will manage to accomplish together.

We get a week and a half to sit and wait before that journey begins.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

One thing I managed to do this summer, despite how surprisingly busy it was for me while I was in between jobs, was get out to a whole bunch of new breweries here in Milwaukee.

One of those new breweries is *really* new, as in it opened to the public earlier in 2022. It’s Amorphic Beer in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, and it has a fun science-y theme with a slogan “Beer without form.” Their flights even come served in little beakers!

As you can see from the above photo, we tried a wide variety of their beers when I went for the first time on Father’s Day (and again just this last weekend). We had all kinds of beers, from your standard IPAs, wheat beers, saisons and pilsners to a couple more experimental beers, including fruited sours and a really cool cucumber kolsch called Hendrix and Cuke.

That’s right–a cucumber kolsch, which serves as my beer of the week for this week. 

The Untappd description of the beer reads, “Kveik Lutra fermented pseudo-kolsch beer with organic lemon zest, sea salt, and a hefty dose of cucumbers and gin botanicals.” The crisp, refreshing kolsch flavor is there, and just as cucumber adds a nice pleasant flavor to water on a hot summer’s day, so too does it add to the depth and refreshing nature of this beer. 

It’s not a combination I’d have ever thought of, but it really, really works–in fact, it works far better than a lot of fruit combinations I’ve had in beers, and I’m a person who enjoys a good fruited ale. The flavor is just present enough to be noticeable, but not so present that it overpowers a really pleasant, crisp German beer flavor. 

Amorphic Beer is brand new, so if you’re going to have their beers it’s pretty much going to have to be at their Riverwest tap room or at a few local establishments in Milwaukee. So if you’re in the area and looking to try something new, definitely swing by. They’ve got plenty of more traditional styles as well as some really fun experimental stuff–truly a brewery with beer for all palates. Check ‘em out!

The shuffling of announce teams

One of the things I’m curious to see this year is how the new announce teams fare across several networks. It’s sort of a new era of football broadcasting.

At NBC, Al Michaels is out, and Mike Tirico is in. Tirico is a really strong broadcaster on play-by-play; he understands when to hype up the action and when to back off, and never attempts to make himself the center of attention. He’s got a good understanding of the game, and has always been strong at developing a good rapport with his booth partner. I’ll be interested to see how his chemistry with Cris Collinsworth compares to that of Michaels and Collinsworth. We’ve had some tastes of them together a few times in the last few years, but it’s never been an every-week sort of deal.

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the favorite announcers of Packer fans on the internet, have moved on from their long run together at the lead mics on FOX to head to Monday Night Football on ESPN. MNF has desperately needed a revamp; their announce teams have been flat-out bad since the Tirico/Jon Gruden pairing, and almost embarrassingly bad at times. The addition of Buck (in my opinion, the second-best play by play man in the game) and Aikman (not really my jam, but he’s better than people give him credit for) affords MNF much more legitimacy and immediately provides a better product than the trash we’ve had to sit through for a while now. MNF had become utterly unwatchable.

Meanwhile, at Buck and Aikman’s former home, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen get the lead job. It’s well-deserved; Burkhardt has been a great up-and-coming voice for a bit now, and Olsen has rapidly become one of the strongest yet most underrated color commentators on the broadcast networks. It’s a shame that Olsen is only keeping the seat warm for Tom Brady, who may or may not even be good at the job. But for this year, at least, it’s a really great partnership for FOX and a couple new faces (/voices) to the limelight.

Thursday Night Football moves to Amazon Prime, and Jeff Bezos and company shelled out the big bucks to draw the legendary Al Michaels away from Sunday Night Football. Michaels, in his late 70s, is still arguably the very best in the business on play-by-play and one of the greatest of all time, so this is a huge get for TNF. Joining Michaels is Kirk Herbstreit, who has been calling ESPN/ABC’s biggest college football game of the week for years and is now making a jump to the NFL. It’s a bit of a gamble with Herbstreit; how well will he translate to the pro game and audience? How will he pair with Michaels? But it’s certainly a booth with plenty of experience and credibility. I’ll be fascinated to see how the TNF presentation on Prime works out.

CBS is the only channel that remains the same, with the venerable Jim Nantz calling games and the extremely enthusiastic Tony Romo taking the color commentary.

For as much as people like to complain about announcers, I feel like this is the best slate of lead announcers we’ve had in a long, long time. I’m looking forward to this new era of broadcasting and hearing how their voices mesh with their networks’ presentation styles. And, of course, to the actual football itself.

Here’s to yet another fantasy football season filled with disappointment

Rarely do my teams perform well in fantasy football. I lucked into a championship once a few years ago, but in the league I’ve run for a decade and a half or longer, rarely have I even finished within the top half of my league.

This is coming from a person who fancies themself to be pretty knowledgeable about the sport of football. What’s funny is it always feels like the most successful teams in my league are run by the people who know the least about the sport. 

Perhaps you’ve noticed the same sort of phenomenon in your sports fandom. You put a ton of effort into filling out your March Madness bracket, only to have someone who knows absolutely nothing about college basketball pick their games based on which mascot they like more and end up crushing you in the point totals.

I feel like the same sort of thing happens with fantasy football. People who are so invested in the sport might overthink their decisions or try to get too cute. 

Or at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself when my team underperforms yet again.

Last year, it was basically the fault of Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle and a few other high-profile players who spent a lot of time on the bench.

This year in my primary league, i feel like I’ve done pretty well for myself. We had our draft Tuesday night, I drafted in the third position, and I think I came away with a pretty good team. 

Which means come October I’ll probably be desperately trying to trade for anyone who can score points worth a damn.

On Wisconsin!

There may not be any Packer football this weekend to get excited about, but this DOES mark the first week of the season for the Wisconsin Badgers football team!

The Badgers host Illinois State on Saturday evening in a game that SHOULD be a pretty easy beatdown. The Badgers enter the year ranked number 18 and have a few tough games on their schedule this season, notably traveling to Columbus to play Ohio State on September 24th. 

Will the Badgers finally get more consistent quarterback play? Will the defense play up to its potential? We know they’re going to push people around and run the ball, but will the rest of the offense look like something out of this century?

No matter what, I’m looking forward to watching. I’ll actually be attending my first game in a decade this season when I return for Homecoming. I went to UW and attended every single home game during my four years there, but since the I’ve only been to, I believe, only one game, a couple years after I graduated. 

It won’t be the same student section experience, but I’m far too old for that these days. But it’ll be sort of like going home when I walk into Camp Randall for the first time in so long. It’s really an incredible gameday experience if you ever have the opportunity to check it out. There’s a reason why Madison consistently ranks among the best college sports towns in the nation!

Around the NFC North

Once again we’ll take a quick look around the NFC North at what the Packers’ rivals are doing.

 

  • The CHICAGO BEARS claimed more players off waivers than any other team in the NFL. What does this say? Well, for one, it means the team was less satisfied than any other team in the NFL with the players it had on its roster with its initial cut to 53. It also means this is a team that likely still has a lot of roles in flux on its roster heading into the season. The team brought in six players off waivers (none being wide receivers), meaning there are at least six roster spots that have a bit of turbulence heading into the year.

 

  • The DETROIT LIONS cut former Packer Tim Boyle, an unfortunate and premature end to the Tim Boyle Laser Show in the Motor City. They also cut David Blough, bringing in Nate Sudfeld as their new backup to Jared Goff. Outside of that, the Lions finished a reasonably entertaining run on HBO’s Hard Knocks and now hope to not be the worst team in the NFC North for once. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

 

  • The MINNESOTA VIKINGS enter the season with strong expectations as always, largely due to the strength of their offensive skill positions. But if the Packers are a top-heavy roster, the Vikings are much, much more so. The Vikings have an excellent starting pair of wide receivers but little depth behind them. Cornerback depth is concerning, especially for a division that harbors Aaron Rodgers. Tight end depth is not great, and the team’s starter has 66 career catches. Even inside linebacker, despite the presence of Eric Kendricks, could be a weak spot. Finally, the team always has troubles with offensive line in recent years. Overall, there are still plenty of question marks for a team that fancies itself a contender. 

Welcome to September

It’s very difficult to believe the summer is basically behind us already. Today is September 1st. It’s my first day with students back in the classroom, which means summer is truly all but over for me. It’s the first day you’re reasonably allowed to have Oktoberfest on the shelves (I can’t believe these breweries putting it out there in July!!). The days are slowly starting to get shorter, the hot days are becoming fewer, and the smell of pumpkin spice has begun approaching.

Most important, though, is football is on the way. It feels like a lot of people place fall as their favorite season of the year. I’ve never been one of those people–the warmth and energy of summer are what make it my favorite time of year. But there’s something to be said for a great football game on a crisp fall day, with the leaves turning colors and a slight chill in the air. 

We may be in the final quarter of the year, but it’s only the first quarter of the NFL season. So crack open an Oktoberfest beer and give a toast to the season to come. 

One week til football

One week until the NFL season kicks off with the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills. Who could have predicted this being a premier, season-opening matchup five years ago? 

Seven more days until football that matters, and this is a great one to get things started. Can’t wait!

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

7 points

Comments (48)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
porupack's picture

September 01, 2022 at 06:42 am

Great post and summary, Tim. I agree with your assessment of the 2 RB allocations, that they are banking on Kylin Hill to rejoin the 53 in the early part of the season. I also agree that this is a strong roster, and we can pick nits (as you say) about the 3rd and 4th depth position in each group, but its a strong roster. We can also keep debating about the unknowns, but really no point in doing so: yes, we don't know what the unproven WR group will end up doing, as the pecking order will evolve multiple times over the season. The TE group also depends on Deguara and Tonyon. While past performance is the best indicator of future performance, in the NFL, it constantly changes and every player must prove themselves again each season. All have short leashes if someone behind them is hungry and studious. If I pick nits on your article, other than special teams can always get worse, I would have like to hear more about what appears to be the improvements in ST personnel. Enjoyed your post. Goodbye summer.

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GregC's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:03 am

Of the three areas of concern mentioned here, the one I'm least concerned about is edge. I think that with the improved quality of the defensive line, the defense can still get a decent pass rush with a backup OLB or two on the field, and it helps that the starting CBs are really good.

I think tight end is a pretty big weakness, though. With all the turnover at wide receiver, it would be nice for Aaron Rodgers to have a good receiving tight end to fall back on, but we don't have that right now. The best hope, as Tim mentions, is for Robert Tonyan to come back soon and play like he did in 2020. I wouldn't bank on that. He's coming off a mid-season ACL injury, and his game is reliant on speed.

I agree on the weakness at safety as well. One of the starters is solid but the other is inconsistent, and all three backups at this point are on the roster for their special teams abilities. With the CB group being a little thin, this is another potential weakness that could get exposed if there are a couple of injuries.

It's a really good roster overall, though.

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T7Steve's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:35 am

I think they're going to move R. Douglass back there a bunch. I'm excited about that because I think he'll even be a better safety then corner.

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GregC's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:39 am

Oh that's right, Douglas could be a big help at safety, especially if Jean-Charles or Nixon can do a good job filling in at the slot CB position.

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T7Steve's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:53 am

Savage is supposed to do the slot more this year where he can rush the passer more often. With his speed it makes an exciting combination.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:38 am

I have a feeling that we will see some of Ford. He was really pretty decent as the nickel corner last year when he got the chance. The Jags picked him up exclusively for STs but gave him his first real shot on a D due to injuries and he did pretty decently both in the box and in coverage, playing mostly Nickel and dime back roles. He had interest in a trade but only if the Jags covered part of his $2m cap hit apparently as the new coaching staff had. The new regime there saw him as primarily a STer despite an apparently strong camp and really like a rookie gunner apparently. So how good on D is hard to tell, but here’s an SI.com positive take:

“Ford has been inserted into the defensive lineup at nickel cornerback with Tre Herndon banged up the last two weeks. And on Sunday against Buffalo, he had his coming-out party.
The former seventh-round pick was incredible in Jacksonville’s upset victory over the top offense in the league in the Buffalo Bills. When it was all said and done Ford finished with seven tackles (all solo), three pass breakups, and an interception.”

That’s a game not a career, but it does indicate some upgrade in terms of experience and proven coverage and I’d prefer to keep Rasul in the slot ideally, no offense to SJC, but Rasul is an important cog in that role that has been a problem for ever.

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:50 am

I disagree about OLB. Last year, when Gary and P. Smith weren’t on the field, our pass rush was B-A-D. We could not consistently pressure the QB. What have we done to improve our OLB depth since then besides drafting Rnagbare, who is a project? If you saw the last 2 preseason games, we could not put consistent pressure on the QB. OLB is one of the most rotated-out positions in football, so our backups will be playing a good chunk of snaps. That is why, to get better depth, I think the Packers should sign Jason Pierre Paul before the season begins to be our #3 OLB.

Safety I’m a bit less concerned about, because you don’t rotate players like you do for OLB. I also expect to see less 3-safety looks now that we have 2 high-quality ILBs. I thought Abernathy showed real potential to be a quality #3 safety, but he got cut. Hopefully Rudy Ford can do that. Other veterans, such as Jaquiski Tartt and Anthony Harris, are still available on the FA market. You are right in that Savage has been inconsistent, but ‘21 was his first year in the Joe Barry defense. In year 2, he should be more comfortable and play better. Year 4 was when Nick Collins was able to put it all together, maybe the same for Savage?

I think Tonyan will be just fine, He’s been doing team drills, & MLF would have held him out if he was not fully able to play. We’ve also got Deguara, who’s been looking better, and Lewis, who can provide the occasional reception. I think the Packers need a better TE4, so maybe they could cut Davis and explore the Practice Squads of other teams?

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:07 am

Agree. Edge is less a depth concern because of the additions to that front 7. This Packer D should bring steady pressure from the D line...but also from the ILBs, even DBs. Walker was often used to pressure at GA and he was very good at it. Campbell should be able to pressure as well...if he blitzes, Walker can handle the pass pro.

I think Barry dials up more DB blitzes than we have seen since Sir Charles was slicing to the QB.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:25 am

I would also argue that Toure made the roster over Goodson and Taylor...or maybe it was R. Walker over Winfree, Goodson, and Taylor. We can compartmentalize these cuts by position, but roster math is a zero sum game in terms of the 53, and with all those pieces on the PS, really the Packers chose them all.

5 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:17 am

Yeah, Dobber. I was unconcerned cut players like Caleb the Giant, Goodson, Taylor, Heflin, Slayton, even Winfree would not clear waivers. Only 3% of all cut players were signed to a 53 last year during waivers.

That said, every PS player remains vulnerable to being signed to a 53 all season long.

I also think Gutey and Matt will be using the new PS rules very strategically on game days.

Also expect Gutey may again poach a PS player...maybe a S.

3 points
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dobber's picture

September 01, 2022 at 02:34 pm

I was surprised how many waiver claims there were this year...but somehow all the guys we wanted the Packers to keep made it back. I think it shows that Gute had a good feel for what kind of player to sneak through.

"That said, every PS player remains vulnerable to being signed to a 53 all season long."

I'll be curious to see who the Packers are paying over PS minimum to be on the PS. My guess is a couple of those guys are probably making close to weekly game checks...that's one way to keep them around without having to use your weekly protected slots.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:59 am

I’ve felt for quite a while that Cobb is probably going to be put on the injured list. When we kept 7, that feeling got stronger.

Toure, Doubs, Watson, and Rodgers are all on cheap rookie contracts for the next couple of years.

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Guam's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:02 am

Unfortunately neither Cobb nor Watson have a history of completing full seasons. I suspect the young WRs will get their share of playing time.

The only surprise on the 53 for me was Jonathan Ford. I really thought Heflin and Slayton outplayed him, but Gute got both on the practice squad so all is well.

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Coldworld's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:40 am

I think you mean Watkins? Watson has had some injuries as well of course.

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Charvid's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:38 am

The big surprise to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that all 4
Seventh round picks made the initial roster. That says something about our scouting department.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 01, 2022 at 09:29 am

...or the roster weakness at the bottom

...or the draft bias in the personnel dept

...or the unique draft quality and depth due to covid rules in the NCAA

spin it however you like, the only thing that matters is the results on Gameday. How MLF uses the full roster will determine if good decisions were made. Let's hope that he is maturing in this respect as well as others.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 01, 2022 at 12:09 pm

That's a little surprising. I kind of figure the 7th rounders on a team that was 13-4 are probably drafted for the practice squad, and maybe that's where they'll all end up, but it was a surprise to me that they all ended up on the initial 53.

Our scouting/personnel department has been very good for a long time. It's produced guys like Gutekunst, who was a protege of Thompson, who was a product of Wolf and Harlan. It's obviously well organized and good people are rising to the top, sometimes in other organizations.

We have these players for 4 years on a cheap rookie deal. Along with others like them, they'll be about half our team for the next four years. It's nice to have highly paid vet superstars at every position, but the reality is that guys on rookie deals are going to be the bulk of your roster. If they aren't any good, even with great coaching, then you're not going to be very good.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2022 at 02:26 pm

" I kind of figure the 7th rounders on a team that was 13-4 are probably drafted for the practice squad, "

I can't remember who said it (maybe Vic Ketchman), but he would call 7th rounders "preferred UDFAs"...getting dibs on the guys on that wide pool of players who might be draft quality (or might not). Your statement certainly lines up with this.

"If they aren't any good, even with great coaching, then you're not going to be very good."

<ahem> Chicago Bears <ahem>

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Johnblood27's picture

September 01, 2022 at 06:12 pm

duh bares... everybody's yip dog just waiting to be kicked!

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egbertsouse's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:43 am

Finally, the season is about to start. The off-season is long and often boring but I think I hate the last weeks of training camp the most. Endless articles about how every player is improved and Canton better order 53 new gold jackets and that Goodell should suspend the season and award the Packers the Super Bowl trophy because it’s a done deal.

But in a week, as Vic Ketchman used to say, “The baloney stops here” and it’s time to put up or shut up. Will the defense be better? Will special teams be less cringeworthy? Will Man-bun refrain from doing his annual playoff choke? Will David Bahktiari return to the OL or retire early to join the professional beer-chuggers tour? Will MLF flap his arms so hard trying to fire up the crowd that he actually flies into the upper deck? We shall see.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:56 am

Roster looks very strong. So much credit goes to Gutey and his team.

His 2018 draft, also 11 selections, was almost total miss, salvaged by Alexander the Great. Since then, Team Gutey has upped its game and built one of, if not the best starting roster in the NFL. Mostly through the draft...but they have also unearthed some gems from the FA ranks (Campbell, Nijman, Reed) and practice squad poaching (Lazard, Douglas) to name a few.

Rodgers had an in depth presser after the (best of the year) practice yesterday, and he was very complimentary of Gutey and his Team. All Wine and Roses now. Rodgers even explained Toure over Winfree decision as good as Gutey could have. I was pleasantly surprised.

Regarding the broadcast booth...give me Nantz and Romo all day long. Jim has qualities of Pat Summerall...prepared, knowledgeable, and lower key, even understated at times. Tony has surprised me with his analysis...I have thought more than a few times..."that's a good point.!" His enthusiasm is obvious but he does a good job controlling it. (Being the Boy from Burlington doesn't hurt my rating either)

Aikman...ugh. His bias against the Pack is like fingernails on the chalkboard.

2 points
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dobber's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:15 am

The Buck-Aikman team oozes smarminess.

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:16 pm

And the Lord created the Mute button...

2 points
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mrtundra's picture

September 01, 2022 at 07:59 am

If Abernathy signs a PS contract, with the Packers, how long will it take for him to be on the field? The juggling of his status, with the Packers, when they signed Rudy Ford, was unsettling. First we heard Abernathy made the 53, then we heard he was cut after the Ford signing and then we heard Gute wants to sign him to the PS. This guy could be this season's Rasul Douglas or even, as some have surmised, this years Devondlre Campbell. He is too good, IMO, to be relegated to the PS waiting for a chance to play.

-1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:35 am

I was a bit unsettled too...until I researched Ford. I have been calling for the Packers to focus on, and staff STs with ST players for a change. I was pleased Ford was signed.

Ford is one of, if not the best gunners in the NFL. He may be better than Bush or Janis. He's a howitzer shell. 4.4 fast, strong tackler, knows how to shed blocks and get to the ball carrier in a flash. Yes, he can play S too...but he's a starter on STs first. And a likely leader in the room for Bisaccia.

5 points
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GregC's picture

September 01, 2022 at 04:18 pm

deleted

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stockholder's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:13 am

Now that we’ve made the Final Countdown to 53. I can’t believe how many draft picks are on it.
Gutey finally brought speed to this team.
How can anyone not feel positive about it. This team has the weapons that could take the to the super-bowl. And a Defense. Finally!
I get your Quintessential Beers that make the packers special. But is the burgeoning marijuana industry next? After that fantasy football disappointment piece.
And when it comes to the shuffling of announcers. Tuning into Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren is always better.
The NFC North is Never a sure thing. My inside look. The bears didn’t go after any of are cuts. Yet; The Jones would have been my choice. How did we get two Ford players? And the Lions none? The first game with the Vikings is always the best of both worlds. Oh how I wish Watson was ready.
On Wisconsin - If The packers draft badger players. It’s a curse. Still wish them Luck.

6 points
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PackEyedOptimist's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:14 am

Good article Tim, and good luck with the new school year!
Cucumber sounds good--I think it would be a good beer to put a slice of lime in.

On your notables:
I think people forgot how far down the depth chart Toure and Winfree are; Winfree might be liked by Rogers, but he has Lazard and Watkins and Doubs filling a similar role in front of them. Toure is a little different; he is a deep threat and can play both inside and outside.

The only way Ford makes it over Heflin and Slayton is if he proved he is an excellent blocker on the punt/kick teams or his status as a draft pick (I'd hate it if that was the reason). I strongly feel Heflin would be a better roster choice. I was also impressed by Caleb Jones, but Rasheed Walker has some unusual talent as well, and played well at KC, so I understand that decision.

At RB, I also said Hill is the key; Goodson looked good, but Hill looked even better last year, and having Goodson and Taylor on the PS is perfect.

It will be very interesting to see the Opening Day starters on the STs; I think it will underscore the roster decisions.

3 points
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murf7777's picture

September 01, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Pack, I think you assessed keeping Ford for ST’s is right on the money. I’ll go a step further, I think there are 4 or 5 in total that were kept for ST’s alone, including the addition of Rudy Ford a ST specialist. In the past, they would keep the player who plays their position better, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.

They mean business in ST’s this year and although I agree with a lot of this article, I don’t for one second believe they will be worse or the same in ST’s this year. Don’t worry about the pre-season, I expect at worst a middle of the road for their rankings come year end.

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Handsback's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:34 am

Thank you Tim, I always like your articles. I have no idea how strong the Packers are this year and since I predicted Rhyan to be a starter....don't think I should make any more predictions until I get off probation. Just don't tell anyone I said this but I think Jonathan Ford only made the roster because he'll be the blocking guy on kicks. But still on probation so no opinion.
Still think stronger roster than any team in the division.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:39 am

..." an unfortunate and premature end to the Tim Boyle Laser Show in the Motor City..."

Passing coffee through my nose isn't my favorite way to start the day, but it was worth it. Thanks, Tim.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2022 at 06:37 pm

"Passing coffee through my nose isn't my favorite way to start the day"

Most of us use filters, but, you gotta find your joy somehow...

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Packers0808's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:44 am

Well one thing for sure we got the start of a strong Parking lot on the team, we have Mercedes and a Ford!

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PackfanNY's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:57 am

Well at least we don’t have any Edsel’s on the squad. That would be concerning.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 01, 2022 at 09:35 am

thats 2 - TWO - Fords and a Mercedes...

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JQ's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:53 am

Well done Tim! Lots of variety and interesting thoughts.
Stay tuned, film at 11...
-JQ

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:59 am

Samori Toure -
I viewed Toure as a higher upside player then WInfree. The reason why most of us thought that they may keep Winfree is because Rodgers talked highly of him. But Toure earned his spot on the 53. He got better as camp went on and that is why he earned his spot.

Jack Heflin and Caleb Jones both did not make the 53, but Jonathan Ford did-
I was more surprised that Ford made it over Heflin. I only saw him during preseason games. Obviously they something else. He is a very big man and possibly could be a clog in the middle.

Tyler Goodson-
I was hoping they would have kept Goodson on the 53. They managed to get him on the PS. The part I really like about Goodson is his speed and one cut ability. He finds the crease and goes. He has great hands. He reminds me a bit of Tyler Ervin. I think he could have a similar impact when called upon.

Depth-
OL, DL, ILB are the strengths of this team with the depth. WR maybe but its unproven. I'm good with our TE's with Tonyan back. I like our RB group too.

CB, S, OLB are my biggest concerns for overall depth. There is a significant drop off from the starters to the non starters at these positions.
Enagbare i think could be good in rotation. He really started to flash during camp. Hopefully he can be the 3rd OLB. CB behind our top 3 is not great. I do have hope for Jean-Charles. But there is a big drop off after our top 3. S after our top 2 guys, I am concerned.

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PackfanNY's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:25 am

No way of knowing what went into Gute’s thinking on trimming the roster. Only he really knows and he is good at it. Sure everyone makes mistakes but this is what I think was part of it. Keep in mind Gute is balancing the current needs with the long term.

Exposing certain players over others even if you like those players better or equally than those you expose is a guessing game of trying to figure out what other teams needs are on what positions have the most value. Personally I think Winfree is more of a this year player who knows the system but Toure is a better with more upside long term. The same with Heflin. He probably is a rotational DL this year but Ford who is a big boy may be a better long term player with some further development.

I also think certain positions are less “risky” to leave a guy exposed. I like Goodson blocking issues aside. He still needs work. However, most teams think RB has less value and they can find one if needed. Both Patrick Taylor and Tyler Goodson were both pretty good options and neither was picked up. So now if you have an injury you can pull up a Taylor, a Goodson and eventually a Hill if he gets healthy. All having some background in the offense the team runs. This is some good work by the GM.

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mnbadger's picture

September 01, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Great to have you back Tim, your first article is my "Fall is here" indicator.
One thing you missed regarding broadcasters - Preseason shuffle of losing JLofton and gaining Jkuhn.
I hope Lofton just decided to step back and wasn't let go, I thought his commentary was excellent. Quick read and reporting of the play including why something happened, or didn't and not just WHAT happened.
Plus, he wasn't a blind packer loyalist. He had multiple years as a Packer and other teams, multiple years with very good and very bad teams, coaches, etc.
I missed him this preseason and wish him the best.
GPG!

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Matt Gonzales's picture

September 01, 2022 at 01:27 pm

Lofton is apparently an active broadcaster for CBS (since 2017) and for NFL radio on Sirius. Could have just been a contractual thing.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

September 01, 2022 at 01:16 pm

Depth is a concern for every team, but one thing I really like for GB is the versatility they have at a few positions.

2 RBs - they can play pro set/pony with Deguara lined up as a FB. Amari can't pass block but he can play that Cobra role. Toure can potentially play out of the backfield (but that would definitely be telegraphing quick pass to him).

TE depth - Lazard was used last year as an inline blocker on run plays and has run routes out of that position. Not ideal, but it has been done, and GB has several big bodied receivers to be able to fill out the outsides.

Safety - Ford had a decent year in Jax, and Douglas has taken snaps in camp as the deep guy.

OLB - as others have said, I think our DL looks stout this year and we shouldn't be wholly reliant on outside pressure. Absolute worst case, you are playing more "true" base package and relying on two stud ILBs to cover sideline to sideline, with Clark and either Lowry or Wyatt at DE and Slaton as a true NT. Barry has also shown he likes him some A Gap blitzes.

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dobber's picture

September 01, 2022 at 02:41 pm

Around the NFC North...
"The CHICAGO BEARS claimed more players off waivers than any other team in the NFL. " --This is a B-A-D football team....four-win bad. They'll be picking in the top 5 next spring, and they'll find a way to screw that up. Give the new GM credit enough to realize that their projects needed to go.

"The DETROIT LIONS cut former Packer Tim Boyle, an unfortunate and premature end to the Tim Boyle Laser Show in the Motor City." -- Bring in the next JAG. Tim Boyle can at least say that he had a longer-than-average NFL career.

"The MINNESOTA VIKINGS enter the season with strong expectations as always, largely due to the strength of their offensive skill positions." -- No questions about the skill position starters (except that Cousins will have a couple unexplainably awful starts per year). You hit the nose on the OL...if they keep their studs healthy and they finally found a good combo on the OL, they'll score in bunches. The defense isn't fixed...so they're going to give up a lot of points, too. I'm not sold on their OL.

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Packers0808's picture

September 01, 2022 at 04:17 pm

Anyone know exactly where Abernathy landed or what has happened to him?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 02, 2022 at 03:09 am

Signed to the PS. Had to wait to clear waivers.

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dpwiener's picture

September 01, 2022 at 04:43 pm

There's been a lot of nitpicking here about who deserved to be on the 53 but was cut. Far more important these days is who made it to the 69.

To me the really impressive thing about Gutey's cuts was that every important player was able to make it through waivers and get signed to the practice squad. Everyone I wanted to stay with the Packers, but was nervous about being claimed, is indeed staying with the Packers, especially Etling, Goodson, Taylor, Caleb Jones, Heflin, Winfree, and (presumably) Abernathy.

Sure it sucks for the practice squad players to not be on the 53, especially from a financial standpoint. But they have a excellent chance of eventually being called up or promoted, if not this year then next, based on the Packers' historical pattern of operation.

So far everything has worked out as well as we fans could reasonably have hoped.

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T7Steve's picture

September 02, 2022 at 07:20 am

I don't know why that deserved a thumbs down? I wish who ever did that would comment to tell us why? Are they one of the nitpickers?

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vin0770's picture

September 01, 2022 at 05:47 pm

You really think ST could be worse than last year? I didn’t think they could be worse either mentally or physically. I thought the only place for them to go is up…because they were the worst 😩

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SugarCain's picture

September 01, 2022 at 09:17 pm

14-3 Let’s Gooooo!

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