Saturday, July 30, 2011

For Packers, it's ch-ch-ch-changes

Since the moves recounted in the last posts here at on Thursday, the Green Bay Packers have:
  • Released 11-year veteran right tackle and Wisconsin native son, Mark Tauscher. (Thank you, Tausch, for being a great Badger and Packer. Look forward to seeing you in the Packers Hall of Fame!)
  • Released veteran linebacker Brandon Chillar, who had the bad misfortune of apparently sustaining a serious hamstring injury 2 weeks before the start of camp
  • Lost DE Cullen Jenkins in free agency to the Eagles
  • Lost FB Korey Hall in free agency to the Saints
  • Did not re-sign S Atari Bigby as demonstrated by the team awarding his #20 to rookie RB, Alex Green.
  • Signed their remaining draft picks, OL Derek Sherrod, RB Alex Green, and DB Davon House
  • Re-signed TE Spencer Havner and WR Brett Swain
  • Commenced training camp, held their first meetings, scheme installation, and evening practice
Even head coach Mike McCarthy added to his personal roster: his wife gave birth to their second daughter Thursday evening...think he's a little sleep deprived right now?

About the only key Packer free agent left on the board is James Jones (yes, John Kuhn is still unsigned as well, but will likely return to the Pack). According to reports, and following Minnesota's signing today of former Atlanta receiver, Michael Jenkins, Jones is now being pursued by the Jets and Cardinals, as well as the Packers. But you just don't know how much GM Ted Thompson is going to be willing to pay. I'd still say the odds are Jones does not return to the Pack.

One advantage of the new CBA and the whirlwind week of training camp start-up activity is that player holdouts, whether veteran or rookie draft picks, are virtually nil as far as the Packers goes. Given the changes on the squad already, and with many players coming back off injured reserve, there is a real awareness that there's not much time to compete for a job. Players have to make the most of every moment they have right now. The Packers will field the best players, of course, for the final squad. To make it onto that elite, defending Super Bowl Champion roster, they have to Expect one of the most competitive training camps you've ever seen.

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