GPN Archives

2011 Roster Evaluations: Running Backs

  5 years ago     96 Views     3 Comments  

In a year where Aaron Rodgers' arm fueled most of the offensive production, the Green Bay backfield was left in the shadows. James Starks picked up where he left off in the prior postseason, leaving many to believe he would become the feature back by December. Instead, a late-season resurgence by Ryan Grant kept the backfield split through the final match in January. Kudos to Mike McCarthy for calling plays around each of his backs' strengths rather than inserting any back into running plays. Grant, a known liability inside the tackles, used his speed to turn standard sweeps into sizable…

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2011 Roster Evaluations: Receivers

  5 years ago     48 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Out of all the positional groups on the Green Bay roster, I find the receiving corps the most difficult to grade. On paper, you have one of the most talented groups of receivers of the past decade. The question is: did they live up to all the hype? With Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver all in the same offense, the expectations were high. In 2011, it was no longer Greg Jennings and Donald Driver that defensive coordinators lost sleep over. Rather, it was Jennings and new versatile threat Jordy Nelson that gave defensive backs problems. Nelson…

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2011 Roster Evaluations: Offensive Line

  5 years ago     74 Views     Leave your thoughts  

It's pretty difficult for a quarterback to finish the season north of 30 touchdown passes without adequate protection up front. Similarly, a 45-touchdown, 6-interception season requires sheer excellence out of the offensive line. Aaron Rodgers' MVP numbers hint at the type of season the offensive line experienced in 2011. In his contract year, Scott Wells turned in one of his finest seasons as a Packer, giving Ted Thompson lots to think about as the veteran center becomes a free agent. Ball security between Wells and Rodgers was almost never an issue, nor was pre-snap communication. Without a capable backup behind…

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2011 Roster Evaluations: Defensive Line

  5 years ago     86 Views     3 Comments  

For a Packers' front three that played such an important role in the 2010 playoffs (Raji's pick six, Green's pressure turned-pick six), the 2011 defensive line was quite ordinary. The missing piece to the puzzle was obviously pass rushing phenom Cullen Jenkins, who was too expensive to resign in the offseason. Clearly, Ted Thompson had no idea how anemic the pass rush up front would be without Jenkins. With defensive end Mike Neal still nursing a 2010 knee injury, the Packers opened 2011 in classic Thompson-like form: whoever sat behind Neal on the depth chart was now the starter. Three-year…

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2011 Roster Evaluations: Linebackers

  5 years ago     96 Views     1 Comment  

Experts will give mixed impressions of the performance of the Green Bay linebackers in 2011. Like many other positional groups on the Packers' roster, the corps had its ups and downs. The run defense had some rough outings, like those against Minnesota and Chicago (at home), but still finished the season a respectable 14th in rushing yards allowed.  The abysmal performance of the pass defense, however, must be reflected in the outside linebackers' grade. Ted Thompson's choice to add just one late-round draft pick to the platoon at right outside linebacker proved to be a poor one as the rotation…

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