Who Are The Coaches Playing And Who Is Sitting?

At the start of the season I was curious as to how some players would pan out as the season progressed.  I had my own favorites but what is important is what the coaching staff thinks about these players.  So I charted snap counts for selected players to see what the coaches are doing rather than what they might say.  

The table below shows the name of each player and his snap counts for each week.  In some cases I have included snap counts for special teams.  An asterisk denotes an injury.  All stats via Football Outsiders.

 

Opponent: CHI MN DEN PHI DAL DET OAK
Name Wk 1 Wk2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7
M. Adams 22 19 0* 0* 23 13 27
Lancaster 14 32 38 30 16 26 33
Keke 0 0 12 7 7 0/2 7
Gary 6 14 26 18 22 9 18
Fackrell 23 21 24 13 29 17 28
Greene 56 15* 0* 0* 0* 0* 0*
Redmond 0/17 12 27 26 55 57 62
Goodson 0/3 38 25 7 19 34 40
Burks 0* 0* 0* 0* 11 5 14
Tramon W 73 21 45 48 65 33 37
King 42 64 68 55 37 58 58
Brown 27 0/20 1 0/14 0* 0* 1/15
Jackson 3 1 15 10 35 0/25 5/18
Sullivan 0/8 0/5 0/15 5/15 38/13 22/22 19/12
Hollman - - - - 0/5 0/8 4
Vitale 11/19 7/20 19/14 19/17 12/19 10/19 17/16
M. Lewis 30 34 31 17 34 29 24
Graham 51 35 24 56 52 54 33
Tonyan 21 20 17 19 7* 0* 0*
MVS 62 42 50 68 70 57 20
Allison 31 32 26 63 64 32 34
Shepherd 0/0 0/0 23 15/4 4/3 29/11 3/7
Kumerow 1/12 6/5 0* 0* 50 65 43
Lazard 0/10 1/9 5/12 14/13 1/17 17/13 51/3

 

Looking at the charting, here is what I see the coaches doing with these players.  On the defensive line, Lancaster gets steady snaps, and usually more than Montravius Adams.  They are working Keke in. 

Rashaan Gary has gotten fairly steady snap counts but Fackrell usually gets more snaps, save in two games.  Preston Smith is playing 84% of possible snaps while ZaDarius Smith comes in at 81%.  Tim Williams got 2 snaps on special teams in week six, but no defensive snaps to date.

Raven Greene was supposed to play a lot of snaps as the hybrid inside linebacker.  He got hurt after playing 15 snaps in week two and was replaced by Redmond, who did not work out as an inside linebacker very well, and then by Goodson.  Redmond's snap counts increased greatly when Savage was injured after playing 19 snaps in week five.  Redmond appears to be much better as a free safety than as a hybrid inside linebacker.  I cannot say that the Packers' run defense is any better when Goodson plays and I am sure their pass defense is worse when he plays.  Burks missed the first four games due to injury.  It is hard to say whether he is being eased back in, but in his third game after he came back from injury Goodson got most of the snaps.

Tramon Williams had two weeks in which his snap count ballooned up, but otherwise he has received a steady number of snaps.  The high number in week one might be attributable to the coaches just being comfortable with the veteran playing.  The two games in which Williams received a lot of snaps also correlate with games that King missed some snaps.  The only game in which Josh Jackson has gotten significant snaps was against Dallas, probably due to the big lead and Pettine's decision to play a lot of defensive backs.  Since then he has been on the bench, mostly.  My preseason favorite, Tony Brown, got the nod from the coaches in game one, but then got banged up and since then has not been able to get any defensive snaps even though the team felt he was healthy enough to play special teams.  It seems to me that after bringing Chandon Sullivan along slowly, the Packers have found a role for Sullivan over the last four games.  Kadar Hollman got his feet wet in week seven.

Marcedes Lewis has gotten a very consistent number of snaps.  That seems reasonable to me since Lewis seems to have his mojo back for the most part as a blocker.  I was surprised that Tonyan got so many snaps before getting hurt in week 5.  He played 84 snaps and produced 66 yards on four receptions and six targets.  Pro Football Focus gave Lewis a 72.8 grade, Tonyan a 67.2 (both above average) and Graham a 62.2, which is an average grade.

Allison has gotten steady snaps overall.  He got a lot of snaps against Philadelphia, but that was probably due in part to Adams missing time in the fourth quarter and the Packers electing to use a lot of receivers that particular games against the Eagles' suspect secondary.  Green Bay played 2.73 wide receivers per snap against the Eagles and went with 1.16 tight ends per snap.  Shepherd got a chance to play some snaps in two games but only produced one yard on two targets.  Jake Kumerow has been getting a healthy amount of snaps recently, and has 92 receiving yards in 165 snaps.  Lazard, far from my preseason favorite, now has 107 receiving yards in 89 snaps.

Darnell Savage and Robert Tonyan both were listed as full participants on the most recent injury report.  Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis were both listed as limited participants.  When he is healthy, Savage will take all the snaps at free safety, but it will be interesting to see if Redmond can still get some snaps.  It will be interesting to see if Tonyan goes back to getting twenty or so snaps or if his participation in the offense increases.

Winners: Chandon Sullivan, Redmond, Kumerow, Lazard, and arguably Goodson.

Holding Steady: Lancaster, Gary, Fackrell, Vitale, and Lewis.

Losers: Josh Jackson, Tony Brown, Shepherd, and arguably, Burks  

NFL Categories: 
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Comments (23)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 24, 2019 at 09:35 am

I used a photo of Chandon Sullivan as I deemed him the biggest winner. I've seen nothing but positive reports about him. His PFF grade is 74.9, which is well into the above-average category. Lazard was in the running as well. He also has a 75.3 PFF grade.

The biggest question is whether Burks can take away some of Goodson's snaps. Also, whether Burks can take them against run-heavy teams. Burks has only played a handful of snaps, and it may be that the Packers have been able to substitute for him in run situations. I don't know if that is the case.

Tony Brown was a full participant according to the injury report. I think his only path to more snaps is an injury, but time will tell.

We might not know which receiver falls from grace when Davante Adams returns. I suspect Shepherd is already out of the running, so my guess is Kumerow.

I've liked what I've seen from Fackrell in the last 2 games or so, but he does have just a 59 PFF grade and his traditional stats, 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 QB hits, and a half sack, are just so-so if extrapolated out to a full season. He has 155 snaps. I suppose it might be tough playing part-time, perhaps not getting a chance to set up a move on an OT. I am hoping Gary progresses and earns more snaps.

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Guam's picture

October 24, 2019 at 10:00 am

Great information as usual TGR - thank you!

I am very surprised at the loss of snaps for Brown. He looked like a strong addition to the team last year (albeit a bit of a hot head) and I had hoped for a good second year jump. Not only did the jump not happen but the lack of snaps would indicate a regression. Gary has proven to be a very good run defender (elite PFF grade I am told) but his pass rush is suspect for now. You can see he gets more snaps against run heavy teams than pass happy teams. Hopefully he develops some good pass rush techniques and can become a full time player for us, but I will happily take his run defense right now as that has been our weak point.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 24, 2019 at 11:46 am

That's beautiful analysis, Guam. It is just the sort of synergy the comment section can provide: you saw a correlation in Gary's snap count that went over my head.

Now you've got me curious about Fackrell's two low snap games coming against Philly and Detroit, both teams with two good blocking TEs. Philly played 5 or 6 OL along with 2 TEs on 46% of its offensive plays. Perhaps Pettine didn't think Fackrell had enough strength for those teams. Still had to be prepared to cover Ertz and Goedert though.

I also looked at Redmond when he played hybrid. In the first game, Greene played 56 of 73 snaps. In game two, Greene played 15 snaps before he got hurt and then Redmond played 12 for a total of 27. With Greene out, Green played 27, 27 and 26 snaps mostly as the hybrid in the next three games (out of 65, 73 and 62 possible snaps). Makes one wonder if Redmond was used in just a subpackage whereas Greene was meant to be played the bulk of the time.

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Guam's picture

October 24, 2019 at 03:19 pm

You are right about Fackrell. He has always struggled to hold the edge on running plays and a 6th OL or a good blocking TE would likely put him at a serious disadvantage. The NFL is all about matchups and it is interesting to see Pettine take advantage of his depth by playing to his players strengths and away from their weaknesses.

Losing Greene and Savage is a bad combination for the Packers. We lost our best hybrid and our best cover safety leaving us weak up the middle. Redmond plays neither position as well as Greene or Savage and yet Pettine has little choice but to ask him to try. My biggest disappointment has been Jackson. I had hoped they would move him to safety and he could play the position Redmond currently has. I am sure the coaching staff would have done so if they thought Jackson could handle it.

Good stuff TGR - fun to figure out the behind the scenes moves coaches make!

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Swisch's picture

October 24, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Guam, your comment about Gary further adds to my wondering if he would make a monster ILB, with amazing lateral speed all the way to the sidelines, and at least adequate coverage on pass plays that would improve with experience.

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Guam's picture

October 24, 2019 at 03:25 pm

I don't know if he can cover as his size might limit his agility (quick change of direction), but he would make one heck of run defender. The problem is that the NFL is now a pass first league. If we don't resign Martinez, Gary might be a potential replacement.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

October 24, 2019 at 10:41 am

I haven't seen any injury news on Raven Greene. Will he return from IR in a few weeks since he would be eligible to do so? He plays the hybrid linebacker role that no other defender can. I also wonder if Ibrahim Campbell will return at some point. We will have some solid db depth if both of these players come back healthy.

I think Shepard needs time To develop on the practice squad. Honestly do we really need a punt returner? I have often thought that it would be far better to call a fair catch on every punt except inside the 8 yard line. Put 3 players back to ensure the ball never bounces for 20 yards. Also don't block downfield. My rationale is thus: penalties + bad bounces+ turnovers are far greater than return yards + touchdowns. Unless of course Devin Hester walks through the door.

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Swisch's picture

October 24, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Interesting theory about punt returns, Shooter, and I think you may be largely right -- say, for about 80% of punts.
For those line drive punts, or when there's ten yards or so of separation at the time of the catch, a good punt returner can make a big difference.
Many times, the blockers would do better just getting in the way of defenders rather than grabbing their jerseys or lunging at them. Perhaps a single hit would do.
If only guys on special teams would get kudos for blocks they don't make, or make more discreetly -- perhaps with the hidden results shown to the public each week -- then guys could have the same enthusiasm without feeling the need to overreach to make a name for themselves.

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Lare's picture

October 24, 2019 at 10:50 am

Nice analysis TGR. I admit I had to go and read up on Tim Williams to find out who he was after you mentioned him.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

October 24, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Sorry to see the lack of snaps for Josh Jackson. He was a high pick, but did not have the speed. Seems he was an over reach at best unless there is an injury there.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 24, 2019 at 01:01 pm

“Great addition to the OLB room. He’s a great guy,” [ZaDarius] Smith said. “I’ve been with him for three years. He’s vicious, man. I’m just glad we got him on our side.

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Rossonero's picture

October 24, 2019 at 11:36 am

Great stuff, TGR. I really hope Josh Jackson pans out. To be a 2nd rd pick and barely play at all has to be frustrating for him, but also a bit concerning from Gutekunst's standpoint. That was a pretty high pick to spend on someone who can't find their way onto the field. Now I know we're pretty deep at CB (feels weird saying that after the past several seasons), but hopefully he can get on the field to make some plays.

Fackrell is probably good as gone after this season. I hope we can bring Bulaga back for a hometown discount.

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stockholder's picture

October 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

The ones Who can take us to the next level! While your chart supports the rising in the ranks. The strategy still must fit the Game plan. The player that is hot, may not take that next step. And what team doesn't try and defend against that player, exposing their weakness. I don't believe the packers will move away from success. So the most important thing for all these guys, is not to self destruct. Being patient and in control, is the biggest way to more playtime. Some players are going to struggle. Thriving in Lefluers scheme, will dictate who gets more time.

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jlc1's picture

October 24, 2019 at 12:31 pm

What i take away from this is if there are 25(!) special teams snaps in a game, as for some games there seems to be, then special teams really are even more important than I thought. That the Pack is clearly lacking in the return and coverage part of special teams, if not the kicking, says special teams may show us the most direct route to taking this team up a level.

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 24, 2019 at 03:20 pm

Mennega has been an improvement over Zook (any coach would be) in two major areas:

1. Kickers have been very good. Scott was going south under Zook...he has been a weapon this year and Crosby has again been steady Eddy.

2. Reduced penalties. Penalties were a trademark under Zook and that was a direct reflection of inept coaching.

But the return and coverage games remain “Zookish”.

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 24, 2019 at 03:13 pm

Of all the Packer sites I read, CHTV has the best, most in depth analysis.

It used to be JS Online...but since McGinn left and the major content is video commentary and its silly “pay us to read us”....it is a shell of what it was.

But CHTV continues to generate in depth articles like this one. I did not know M. Lewis was grading out as the best Packer TE based on his full body of work. ML is using his talents this year while MM mostly ignored him last year.

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brettnivinski's picture

October 24, 2019 at 05:11 pm

Why isn't Jaire Alexander returning punts? He did in college and was quite successful. We used him back there in the game against the Cardinals last year and he had a great return. Are they worried about him getting injured? If so, shouldn't the Chiefs be worried about Tyreek Hill getting injured and shouldn't the Cowboys have worried about Deion Sanders getting injured. Special Teams are 1/3 of the game. Crosby is a good, reliable kicker, Scott has been nothing short of spectacular as punter, but we've got no juice in the return game.

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optimisticfan's picture

October 25, 2019 at 06:14 am

In my view I would not want Jaire to return punts due to the injury worry. Jaire is way more valuable to GB than Tyreek Hill is to the Chiefs. I am fine with a bunch of fair catches by Shepherd.

Also would like Shepherd to just let the ball go into the endzone on kickoffs when he is standing on the 1-2 yard line. Every time he catches from that yardage he only gets to around the 20 and it risks us having a blocking penalty.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 24, 2019 at 05:47 pm

Yes that's correct.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 24, 2019 at 08:11 pm

Just a thought: GB has Sternberger coming back from IR and Campbell coming back from PUP. To activate them, GB will have to dump two players, but which ones?

Baylis (one for one swap at the same position) makes some sense. Madison, Pankey, Light, Shepherd, Summers (132 ST snaps though), Tim Williams, and Ryan Grant are the other guys on the roster who are not playing.

Interesting that GB continues to carry LB Greg Roberts on the PUP list. I don't expect him to make the 53, but I wonder if GB tries to save money by releasing him with the intent to stash him on the PS.

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optimisticfan's picture

October 25, 2019 at 09:20 am

Who gets dropped off the 53 for the IR and PUP players is very important. Those decisions setup the depth for the playoffs. The decision comes down to a lot of factors:
1) more injuries next few weeks?
2) fringe player consistency in performances
3) eligibility for PS
4) likelihood of clearing waivers to go back to PS
5) number of players in respective position group

My guess (with limited insight into injury recovery status or coaches value of players returning):

1) Sternberger is activated next week and they attempt to send Baylis to PS

2) Campbell activated this week or next week and Ryan Grant waived (PS if eligible still and Malik Taylor released). Currently 8 WRs on the 53. Would doubt they keep holding that many of WRs who are buried on the depth chart and aren’t getting snaps in an offense that uses TE and RB a lot. Pankey is the 9th OL, Holllman is the 7th CB those two groupings probably stay with that many players to account for injuries.

My guess would be that Gutekunst is waiting on making these moves until he is done with considering any trades and other teams waived players dry up (after those teams trades). That is probably why next week is more likely on Sternberger and Campbell coming back.

3) Lane Taylor might not recover in time this year for adequate enough strength and Greene likely is more valued as the second IR person coming back. Whomever Greene replaces comes down to injury situation in ? 3 weeks.

Also this article and critical well thought out analysis is great

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wildbill's picture

October 25, 2019 at 08:37 am

Would not be surprised if Frackrell is resigned to a very team friendly deal. He knows our system and is good injury insurance. Also with more pressing needs(ol,dL,te,lb,etc) I think with the addition of Williams we have a very strong 5 outside lb group.

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jkoenzuraida's picture

April 02, 2020 at 08:07 am

That is an interesting lineup

Jane of

https://www.southbendsepticservice.com

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