Ian Rapoport was smart enough to retweet one of Carter’s comments earlier today:
Things just got real… Real fast. But [I've] been waiting for this day. I promise you twitter fam #hardworkpaysoff
One can only assume that when a practice squad player (who turned down an opportunity to sign with another team) says that he’s been “waiting for this day”, that it means he’s being pulled up to the big leagues. Jermaine Cunningham was placed “Doubtful” on this week’s injury report with a hamstring injury- and the hammy is never a good injury in New England. It’s the equivalent of the mid-season Foxborough Flu.
Carter’s been receiving numerous accolades as practice player of the week and has bulked up to NFL-size and strength over the course of the season. Don’t be surprised if he gets the call.
Here’s the breakdown of the Green Bay Packers 2011 roster by position, the strengths, weaknesses and surprises.
Here are the Green Bay Packers final roster cuts we know of right now with commentary. If only someone could gather the Press Gazette’s cuts together with the Journal Sentinel’s so we could have a comprehensive list… Caleb Schlauderaff, guard, 6th-round pick in 2011 — He was traded to the New York Jets. Brandian Ross, [...]
The last major hurdle has been cleared before the Dallas Cowboys open the 2011 season against the New York Jets. I don’t know about you, but I am frankly glad to be able to stop guessing and start talking about the players that the Cowboys will take into this year’s campaign. (If you need a quick review, check here.)
It was a relief in some ways. Igor Olshansky was finally cut, a move many of the posters here were calling for no later than three minutes into the Denver preseason game. In others, it was surprising, or perhaps a bit disappointing.
Some of the posters here were certainly let down to see Akwasi Owusu-Ansah not make the teamA lot of the posters here had a very high opinion of his athletic abilities and felt he needed some more time. I was always a bit ambivalent about him and thought he never quite seemed to catch on to his position. But I know it hurts to lose a pet cat. They are such precious little creatures.
More after the jump.
I was a bit disappointed in one name that didn’t get cut, Sam Young. I was just about ready to lay money on the team going with nine offensive linemen, and he was a clear number 10 in my mind. I look at him, and wonder if that spot could have been better spent on Orie Lemon or Josh Thomas. Young players that have shown some flashes in camp are much more valuable to me than someone who I suspect is this year’s answer to Alex Barron. (I know, you hate to see that name. Which is my point.) If there is any decent OT out there who is now available after the cuts, I would look for Young to be the first person to drop off the 53. I actually think he is on the roster to protect Jermey Parnell, another raw young player the coaches seem eager to invest some more coaching in.
That brings up the numbers themselves. 10 linemen, four running backs and four tight ends are all numbers that could be seen as a bit high, although the lack of a pure fullback does offset at least one of those. On the defense, I was really expecting to see one more ILB and one more CB, and another S or OLB would not have been a bad thing, although the talent might not have been there. The one player I think could have definitely made a contribution was Orie Lemon. He could at least have played until Bruce Carter was ready, and then he might have proven himself valuable enough to maybe consider keeping him over Keith Brooking. As I have said, I like Keith, except for those hyper rah-rah speeches before games, but he only has so much left in him. I really hope Lemon can get onto the PS, because I think we may need him in a few weeks.
I do slip into speculation when I see there are seven DL and seven total LB bodies on the team. I wonder if Rob Ryan has some ideas for other ways to use players like Jay Ratliff, Clifton Geathers and Sean Lissemore that don’t fit easily into the standard 3-4 mold. I expect to see several formations this year that have more of a 4-3 look, with the DL getting a chance to go after the quarterback, too.
Although I don’t fully understand all of the decisions here, I don’t find most of them very shocking. The team has by and large gotten rid of all the dead weight and stayed true to the idea of playing the best people. I cannot find one name on the cut list that I can clearly say is better than the players that made the team at that same position.
One thing that does make me bang my head against the wall is going with two kickers. Again. I cannot really see that as anything other than wasting a roster spot. I would much rather see Orie Lemon on the team. But that would have meant keeping one all around capable kicker, and instead we have two half kickers to cover the job. I am one of those who love seeing David Buehler mash a returner, but hopefully he will almost never have to do that. I just cannot understand why we can’t find a competent field goal kicker who can also kick the ball into the back half of the end zone on a regular basis. I tell you, it’s a curse.
Now, the team will be waiting to see who is available from other teams. And it has to sign a practice squad. Todd Archer at ESPN has a take on a possible PS. It’s a pretty good guess, I think, but if one of the current 53 is cut, then the team may bump one of the PS players, depending on who is eligible. And of course, we don’t know who will clear waivers. We snatched Parnell off another team’s PS.
But the main issue is settled. I will watch with interest to see what else may happen, but now it is time to start focusing on the start of the season.
I feel reasonably good about this group. Now to see how they play against the Jets.
The final cuts are G/T Tony Hills, CB Crezdon Butler, P Jeremy Kapinos, TE John Gilmore, and DE J.Crittenton. Two extremely surprising cuts in Hills and Butler. I did not see either of those coming. Hills was trying out for the starting RG position a week ago and now he is off the roster? Also, Butler just came off a great performance against the Falcons and has good potential. More to come on the 53 man roster.
QB – Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon
RB – Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, Mewelde Moore, Jonathan Dwyer
WR – Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders, Arnaz Battle
TE – Heath Miller, David Johnson, Wesyle Saunders
OL – Willie Colon, Jonathan Scott, Chris Kemoeatu, Doug Legursky, Maurkice Pouncey, Trai Essex, Ramon Foster, Marcus Gilbert, Chris Scott
DL – Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Evander “Ziggy” Hood, Cameron Heyward, Chris Hoke, Steve McLendon
LB – James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, James Farrior, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Stevenson Slyvester, Larry Foote
CB – Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden, William Gay, Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Keenan Lewis
S – Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Will Allen, Ryan Mundy
ST – Shaun Suisham, Daniel Sepulveda, Greg Warren
During tonight’s New England Patriots preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, I will be focused on the team performance of the first team offense, and the first team’s defense. The starters are expected to play about one quarter. Beyond that, I will be paying particular attention to the individual performances of players at positions that have roster battles. Here are three battles I will be paying particular attention to:
Since the Patriots picked up both Mark Anderson and Andre Carter, I’ve said that I think only two of the three will make the Patriots final roster. Eric Moore isn’t exactly a speed rusher, but with his performance at the end of last year, the Patriots are certainly expecting something from him. The real battle will come down to Mark Anderson and Andre Carter. However, I will also be paying attention to the rookies, both the undrafted free agents and sixth round pick Markell Carter. The Patriots picked up Christian Cox, Clay Nurse, Alex Silvestro, and Aaron Lavarias; perhaps one of those guys can stand out.
Brandon Tate is unlikely to play in tonight’s game. Nonetheless, 2nd year receiver Taylor Price, who has impressed thus far in camp, is likely going to get his chance to prove himself. The Patriots could very well keep all three of these players. However, there’s also a chance they only two. Julian Edelman is likely a lock for the roster, but a good performance from Price could help him secure a roster spot. Of course, they will also be looking to prove that they can be counted upon for the regular season.
Because of the logjam the Patriots have at other positions, the Patriots will be challenged to keep all three of the above cornerbacks. Kyle Arrington started most of last season when Leigh Bodden went down, and performed fairly well. Darius Butler struggled early on, losing his starting spot, but improved down the stretch. Jonathan Wilhite was the team’s primary nickel back in 2010 before going down for the season. The battle for the fifth defensive backs figures to be an intense one, and all three of these guys will not only be playing for playing time, but for their roster lives.