Sunday, September 06, 2009

Packers Down to 53

Seasons are rarely won and lost in the last weekend before the season starts. That said, I generally like what the Packers have done with their roster, and like the guys they were able to stash on their practice squad. Namely, the practice squad has enabled the Packers to keep an eye on (and keep developing) draft picks Brian Brohm and Jamon Meredith, in the hope that they start living up to their talent. (Brohm was eligible because he didn't play in a game last season. Also, I love the fact that the Packers have quasi-retained a guy whose first name translates as "Ham.") There was also likely some debate between developmental 3-4 outside linebackers Brad Jones (a late round draft pick this April) and Cyril Obiozior. The team kept Jones on the roster, but managed to stash Obi on the practice squad. Again, a success from my perspective.

The one loss, I suppose, is former Northwestern Wildcat Tyrell Sutton, who was claimed by the Carolina Panthers and put on their active roster. He ran decisively during the preseason, and looked to be a solid fit in the zone blocking system. Personally, I think they made the right decision in keeping DeShawn Wynn, who's a great blitz pick-up guy, and has shown (when he's been healthy) that he can bust some big plays. Sutton just didn't have much wiggle or speed.

I also like the decision to give Justin Harrell a full-on medical redshirt year. Next year's training camp will probably be make it or break it time, career-wise. With the rookie Wynn and Montgomery looking like decent back-ups, and the Packers able to stash the squatty run-stopper Anthony Toribio on the practice squad, this made sense to me.

See the full practice squad members here.

Of the unretained, the one guy I'm sad to see go is Ruvell Martin. He was a fine blocker and by all accounts an excellent teammate. With his nice preseason interceptions, the decision to release Anthony Smith is a bit of a puzzler, but I guess we fans don't notice all of the mistakes and missteps. With Rouse's life story, I've always been pulling for him, so I'm glad he's still a Packer.

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