Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Biggest Surprises on the 53-Man Roster

There were a few surprises on both sides of the ball when the Green Bay Packers trimmed their roster to 53 on Saturday (source: here). The biggest shock was that the Packers cut safety Anthony Smith, one of their two off-season signings (the other, Duke Preston, was cut earlier in the pre-season). The Packers originally signed Smith as a free agent in the off-season because of his familiarity with the 3-4 defense from his time as a Pittsburgh Steeler. Packers General Manager Ted Thompson hoped Smith could use his experience to help the team transition from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4. The St. Louis Rams claimed Smith after the cut, and the Packers now lack a player who can lead the team through the changeover (source: here).

The Packers also cut veteran Ruvell Martin, one of the most liked players in the locker room. After Martin was cut, he called Brett Swain, the player the Packers kept instead of him. Martin congratulated Swain on making the 53-man roster (source: here). The Packers need the versatility that Swain provides on special teams, which lead to keeping Swain over Martin. As of Sunday, no one has claimed Martin; so if the Packers suffer an injury at the WR position, expect them to call Martin in short order.

The Packers decision to keep nine linebackers, ten if you count combo OLB/TE Spencer Havner, was another bombshell (source: here). The Packers are making the transition to the 3-4 defense, which means they will utilize more linebackers than defensive lineman but keeping 9 or 10 linebackers seems excessive. Since the Packers put defensive lineman and former first round pick Justin Harrell on injured reserve, they are rather thin on the defensive line. They might look to add depth at defensive end or defensive tackle.

Finally, on the offensive side of the ball, the Packers cut back-up quarterback Brian Brohm. Once considered a top 10 prospect, Brohm was drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Packers. In that same draft, the Packers took quarterback Matt Flynn in the seventh round. Since being drafted by the Packers, Flynn has clearly outplayed Brohm, which made Brohm expendable. Since being cut, Brohm accepted the Packers offer to sign on their practice squad (source: here).

The 53-man roster is fluid and changes week-to-week depending on injuries and other moves around the NFL. The Packers should feel confident with the talent they have assembled heading into week one of the 2009 NFL season.

No comments:

Post a Comment