Packers Question of the day - Players to Watch Against Kansas City

We're finally here - it's finally September and that means one final benchmark before the regular season begins. By this time next week, we'll be preparing to watch a Thursday Night Football game between last year's Super Bowl participants that will actually count towards their records. That's right, no more preseason measuring sticks or deciphering who will or who won't make roster cuts. 

By this Saturday, all rosters will be trimmed to the final mark fo 53 players. That makes tonight's match-up against he Chiefs in Kansas City that much more special.

While bottom-dwellers as far as the depth chart positioning goes make their claims as to why they should be on the finalized roster, a majority of the Packers' veterans will likely sit out. It's the young guys' time to shine. 

Which players on the bubble are you hoping to see big things from tonight AND which ones do you think will be on the 53-man roster?

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (30)

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 01, 2016 at 09:25 am

The players I'm looking forward to seeing play tonight (if they play) are:

QB: Joe Callahan
RB: Brandon Burks
WR: Trevor Davis, Geronimo Allison
ILB: Sam Barrington, Jake Ryan, Joe Thomas, Carl Bradford
OLB: Jayrone Elliott, Reggie Gilbert
CB: Josh Hawkins, Robertson Daniel, Makinton Dorleant
S: Kentrell Brice, Marwin Evans

And Jacob Schum. Will he or won't he be our new punter?

Most of these guys are either competing for roster spots or possibly playing time.
The 4th preseason game is the last chance these guys have to make a lasting impression. I'm looking forward to see who stands out.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:54 pm

I tnink Makinton Dorleant is injured. Better to say I know he was injured, and I'm sure I did not read that he was practicing this week... Maybe I made mistake on this...

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RobinsonDavis's picture

September 01, 2016 at 06:37 pm

To answer the author's question, I think RC nailed part of this. IMO, 3 spots are open on the defense between LBs & DBs (4 if Banjo's injury is serious) . Either 2 more DBs/ 1 LB or vice-versa. Competing are Dorleant, Hawkins, Evans, Daniels, Whitehead, Gatewood, Elliott, Thomas & Bradford. I believe the Pack really likes Dorleant and have a strategy for him injured or not. But the potential loss of 4 Special Team standouts (Banjo, Elliott, Goodson, Janis) underscores the need for some of these individuals to demontrate that they can fill these roles if called upon. Dorleant's injury will not help.

Here is what I believe is currently probable: Hawkins, Evans, and Bradford are on (if Thomas and/or Elliott cannot play). Elliott is released or IR, Dorleant is released and placed on PS to wait out his injury, Goodson serves his suspension (much to my dismay), Daniels, Gatewood, and Whitehead are released or traded. Gatewood is signed to the PS. Gilbert (not mentioned above) is destined for the PS. Packers will have to pay Dorleant, Gatewood and Gilbert to remain on the squad.

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SpudRapids's picture

September 01, 2016 at 09:41 am

Carl Bradford, Trevor Davis and Schum... I think a lot of the roster is solidified beyond those few guys

The Schum thing still has my head spinning

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Rustyweezee's picture

September 01, 2016 at 09:57 am

Mainly, two players; Joe Thomas and Carl Bradford. I think if there's a this guy or that guy decision, this may be the closest to it.Thomas is probably ahead right now because he's supposedly their best dime linebacker in coverage. Personally, I didn't see him excel at pass coverage last year, but Bradford hasn't stood out at all in that area this pre-season either.

Here's a good question; wasn't Blake Martinez supposed to bring some pass coverage ability to the ILBs? Why, then, isn't Martinez their dime linebacker? If that were the case, Bradford's new found ability to read and fill quickly and hit hard should be a legitimate consideration over the smaller Thomas.

Or not, considering we'll never be able to guess right when it comes to Ted & Mike's personnel moves.

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Michalske's picture

September 01, 2016 at 11:07 am

The 'Dime' LB is a substitute that plays in obvious passing situations (6 DBs on the field)

Martinez has staked a claim to be a starter and play on all 3 downs, including 'dime.'

Anyone called a 'dime' linebacker right now is basically competing to be Martinez's **backup** when they are in dime.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 01, 2016 at 10:10 am

Crazy Carl for sure. It'd be nice enough to see Davis make a freaking play in the passing game as well.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 01, 2016 at 01:48 pm

I think that Davis train has left. Depending on what they do with Janis, I feel the only other WR that should sneak on the final roster is Allison (who I thought had little-to-no chance beating out anyone before TC).

Davis might be Myles White all over again.

I'm interested in seeing how the ILB group play as well. Barrington & Ryan haven't played much (let alone practice much), so I'm wondering if the rest of the ILBs are safe (for now, at least).

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:09 pm

I disagree with Davis, but i could be the wrong one.

Davis maybe is the next Myles White. But Davis showed separation skills in the last game, was just overthrown.

But at this point, Davis can help as a return man. I don't think Allison has been on any special teams. I could be wrong about that though.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 01, 2016 at 03:09 pm

I was talking about the Hype Train being gone.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:56 pm

Giants already cut Myles White. I'm sorry for him...

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 01, 2016 at 10:21 am

Looking to see if Hundley can keep another ankle injury off his resume'. Another good show from Callahan makes a larger decision for #2 at the start. Hundley may limp to IR.

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SpudRapids's picture

September 01, 2016 at 12:38 pm

I get that you are pro Callahan but come on no one is taking him off our PS. If we have to resort to a #2 QB during the season the Packers can get him off the PS at any time. I don't forsee any debate about the #2 QB and I think Hundley could of played through a lot of this but they've been cautious with him.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 01, 2016 at 12:49 pm

You have much more faith in the honestly of the injury assessments given to us via the media.
Things never seem to be as low concerning as portrayed. ...history speaks loud to this fault. : )

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SpudRapids's picture

September 01, 2016 at 03:55 pm

You're right I don't trust the information I trust action... Hundley is back at practice already...

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:38 pm

Hundley, yes

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L's picture

September 01, 2016 at 05:00 pm

QB:

<> Hundley - will he play? Probably not, but I'd like an update on his ankle because his condition is probably the biggest factor in whether or not Callahan makes the 53-man roster verses trying to get him onto the practice squad.
<> Callahan - will he continue his impressive production?

RB:

<> Burks - hope he continues to impress. His pass blocking will be of most interest.

WR:

<> Janis - will he be playing special teams tonight as a gunner? If so, how does he perform in that role with the club?
<> Davis - his kick returns will be of most interest as it's his most likely method for making the 53-man roster, but then again he might make the team just because he was a 5th round pick.
<> Allison - how big of a game will he have? A quiet game would help the team get him onto their practice squad while a big game might make him a potential trade asset.

TE:

<> Perillo - If he plays I expect he'll catch pretty much everything thrown his way.

OL:

<> Spriggs - hope he continues to look good with the club
<> Murphy - looking forward to seeing solid production.
<> Barclay - no mistakes at center, please.
<> Taylor - another guy I hope to see solid production from.

DL:

<> Guion - won't play, but I'd like an update on his health status.
<> Clark - will he play? I'm guessing he won't, but regardless I'd also like an update on his health status.
<> Ringo - will he do anything special to help him earn a spot on the 53?
<> Price - the battle with Ringo should be fun to watch in this last preseason game; though, perhaps they both could yet find themselves together on the 53-man roster (at least until Pennel returns).
<> Lowry - hope to see him continue impressing.

LB:

<> Elliot - will he play? If so, does he finally show up as a playmaker on D? He's definitely a bubble guy.
<> Gilbert - does he continue to flash upside? I assume he's practice squad bound.
<> Barrington - if he sits out I assume he's made the 53, but if he plays his performance could be telling as to whether or not he could be a surprise cut.
<> Martinez - will he sit given he's earned a starting role and they don't want to risk him getting injured or will they want him to continue gaining experience regardless to risk?
<> Ryan - I assume he'll be playing and hope he shows well. I also assume he makes the 53 if he plays, but if he doesn't play I'm guessing he might be destined for the IR.
<> Thomas - I'm thinking he doesn't play and if that's so I'm guessing he might be destined for the IR. However, if he does play he'll be very interesting to watch as he's probably the main guy battling Bradford for a bubble ILB spot on the 53.
<> Bradford - can he continue to produce like he has been? I'll be looking for him on special teams as that'll probably be the main factor for him making or not making the 53 over one of these other bubble linebackers.

DB:

<> Burnett - won't play, but I'd like an update on his health status.
<> Banjo - will he play? what's his health status? Might he be looking at an IR stint to start the year?
<> Brice - I assume he'll make the 53-man roster, so I hope to see him getting used as a ST gunner too as that'll probably provide him an immediate contribution role come week 1.
<> Gunter - I hope to see good things from him; especially, no more mistakes on special teams.
<> Hawkins - I hope to see him play really well because I think he'd be a good addition to our secondary. Also, hope to see him get opportunities at gunner.
<> Daniel - the competition between Hawkins and him for making the 53-man roster should be fun to watch. Wonder if he'll get any gunner opportunities too?
<> Dorleant - Is he healthy enough to participate? If so, he should be a fun guy to watch as he's probably playing for a practice squad position.
<> Evans - another guy worthy of a watch. If Banjo is out for health reasons he could potentially be playing for a surprise spot on the 53.

Special:

<> Schum - everyone will be keeping an eye on his punting. Will the accuracy be there that he's known for, will his hang-times average closer to 5 seconds, and can he demonstrate an improvement on his distance punts from his average last year?

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Michalske's picture

September 01, 2016 at 11:09 am

All that, plus Schumm holding on FG and XP.

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L's picture

September 01, 2016 at 12:38 pm

In all honestly, even though I think he will be the holder I'd rather see the back-up QBs be the holders on FGs and XPs so that potential trick play options are more of a threat and something opposing teams consider factoring for.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:40 pm

Excellent point.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:40 pm

Excellent point.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

September 01, 2016 at 04:05 pm

...Randall Cobb!

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Bugeater's picture

September 01, 2016 at 04:39 pm

Nice use of bullets! Makes for a very tidy post.

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Colin_C's picture

September 01, 2016 at 10:51 am

With McCray being traded, that seems like it could leave an OLB spot open. It's been mostly assumed that it's going to Elliot, but I wouldn't count out Reggie Gilbert. He's one of the guys I'll be watching tonight. The others included:

Burks - Will he solidify himself as the 3 RB, or will we go after someone (say Mack Brown) on the waiver wire.
Bradford/Thomas - Who will take that last ILB spot, or will they keep both?
Allison/Geronimo - I know the coaches don't want to keep seven WR's, but unless they trade someone, they might have to. I'm pulling for G-MO, but Davis' speed might give him the edge.
Callahan - Is he good enough to get on the 53?
Hundley - Can he stay healthy and prove himself as good as he's been hyped this offseason?
The DB's - Which guy will take that challenge from Whitt and grab ahold of the corner spot.

Can't wait for tonight!

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NoNonsense's picture

September 01, 2016 at 11:45 am

Im looking forward to seeing guys secure a spot for themselves. This might be the year of the undrafted FA...

Joe Cool Callahan
Brandon Burks
G Mo Allison
Carl Bradford
Reggie Gilbert
Kentrell Brice
Marwin Evans
Josh Hawkins

I want to see all these guys make the team or end up on IR so we dont have to expose them to the waiver wire.

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 01, 2016 at 01:28 pm

Schumm is playing for a job.

I'm not as sold as most that Geronimo is out. Ditto on Davis.

I want to see more of Kentrell Brice and Hawkins. I don't mean to downplay Goodson's value on special teams, but a four game suspension will give Hawkins plenty of time to steal his job away from him.

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Since&#039;61's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:02 pm

I'm hoping that Hundley plays even just a few snaps so that we know he is OK. After that, I'm watching Davis and Geronimo on offense and Brice, Bradford and Gilbert on defense. These are the 5 players that I would like to see stick with the Packers. Thanks, Since '61

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stockholder's picture

September 01, 2016 at 02:13 pm

I want to see Adams tonight. Can we just agree, if Adams drops passes, he should be the one to GO. (Trade or otherwise. ) How can TT trade McCray, and still not find a taker for Adams? A player should be fun to watch. Which WR is not fun to watch?

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croatpackfan's picture

September 01, 2016 at 03:25 pm

Geronimo A, Brandon B & Kyle M on the offensive side...

Ladarius G, Reggie G & Carl B on the defensse...

Jacob S (punting & holding) , Kentrell B on ST...

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RobinsonDavis's picture

September 01, 2016 at 06:41 pm

It is not just who, but what:
* Can we get a rush from our D-linemen/LBs and who is establishing pressure?
* Who can standout as the 5th defensive lineman (minus Pennel)?
* I want to see how Burks catches the ball and tends to blitzing linebackers.
* I want to see who the inactives are and where we stand with injuries to the following...Banjo, Elliott, Dorleant, Hundley, Rip, Spriggs, Thomas, Ryan, Clark, Burnett?
* Hundley's play, or lack thereof, will provide me information on whether Callahan is on the 53 or not.
* How sharp/ready is Jake Ryan & Morgan Burnett?
* I want to see how well different LBs cover a back or TE deep downfield.
* I want see if Julius can play better than last week.
* Who can contribute to the gunner/ST positions other than Janis, Banjo, Goodson, & Elliott?
* WRs, I thought it was crazy to think the Pack could keep 7 receivers previously, but now am having second thoughts with Linsely likely going to PUP. Who can seperate from defenders as well as other WRs for the back-up roles?
* I stated this since the 1st preseason game - Brice has made the team. So, what other DB(s) will stand out and make the team, especially concerning Dorleant, Evans, Hawkins, Daniel, Whitehead? Goodson is purposely left out, because of his suspension, but I still would like to know how his play stacks vs. the others, as well.
* Of course, Schum. Can we see what the Packer interest is?

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