Recapping Labor Day Madness

Don't worry, Michael Hill. You get to wear nicer uniforms from now on.

Don’t worry, Michael Hill. You get to wear nicer uniforms from now on.

Well, that certainly turned out to be a crazy Labor Day weekend, huh? First, Vince Young was all but a shoo-in for the number two quarterback job. Then, it was B.J. Coleman all by his lonesome. Now…Seneca Wallace? Certainly wouldn’t have guessed that, but nevertheless, he’s what we’ve got.

Wallace himself was probably the craziest part of the weekend, but there were certainly other unusual developments. Since I was pretty much limited to watching things develop on Twitter (being that I was too busy watching things like this and picking blackberries in the great north woods of Wisconsin), I’ll recap my thoughts in brief here.

Roster Predictions

I ended up picking 48 of the final 53 roster spots correctly, but I can’t decide if that’s a good number or not. Thinking about it more in depth, almost anybody could name the 22 starters a team is going to have, and the kicker, punter, and long snapper are all basically gimmes too. Beyond that, you should have a reasonably good shot at the top backups at just about every position, so you’re up to 35-40 players right there. And at that point, it’s basically a crap shoot. So do I feel good about going 48-for-53? I guess. We’ll compare again next year.

And by the way, I apologize to Vince Young, Alex Green, Matthew Mulligan, and Josh Boyd for suggesting that you’d be with the Packers beyond the weekend. And Jamari Lattimore, I apologize for suggesting that you’d be cut.

Quarterbacks

Stepping back a bit, it may not be that big of a surprise that Vince Young is off the roster. He was terrible in two of the three exhibition games and was lucky not to have ended up with an interception in the Seattle game that could have thrown his promising night completely off track. B.J. Coleman is similarly unsurprising, although it does seem a little weird that the Packers were apparently somewhat comfortable with the idea that he’d be their lone backup until Seneca Wallace became available.

And speaking of Wallace, it’s hard to know if he truly is the answer at quarterback. He’s certainly more experienced than Coleman and he’s had a longer run of success than Young, but I’m not sure I’d count on him to win a couple games if the Packers needed it. Ted Thompson may not be done wheeling and dealing yet.

Running Backs

Not surprising: Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, and James Starks are still around.

Very surprising: Alex Green is with the New York Jets.

Green wasn’t overly impressive in any of the preseason games, but he’s still a relatively recent draft pick who was still (seemingly) approaching his potential. Maybe the Packers are more concerned about the long-term health of his knee than they’re letting on. Maybe they’re more confident in Franklin’s development than it appears. Maybe they honestly believe Joe McKnight can do something more than he’s shown to this point in his NFL career (if he’s signed).

It’s not a huge loss, given Green’s production, but it is surprising.

Practice Squad

Four of the eight players added to the practice squad were camp bodies: Charles Johnson, James Nixon, Jake Stoneburner, and Myles White all return for a longer look at what they can do.

Johnson and White were no brainers, although it’s a little surprising not to see Tyrone Walker get a call over White, given his production and rapport with just about every quarterback in camp. Johnson, though, is too physically talented to let slip.

Stoneburner is this year’s version of Brandon Bostick: a nice physical specimen with an uncertain upside. How he pans out is up in the air, but he’s relatively big and fast, and he’s worth keeping around.

James Nixon was the best of three cornerbacks thought to be low level roster contenders (Nixon, Lloyce Means, and Brandon Smith) and may be the fastest man on the roster next to Sam Shields.

The Packers also brought a pair of linemen (Aaron Adams, Bryan Collins), a running back (Michael Hill), and former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien in for a look.

In the shortest possible summary, Adams is large and thought to be unimpressive. He may yet be a prospect at guard. He was an All-American as a senior at Eastern Kentucky and also earned all-conference honors.

Collins is of similar size and also played tackle in college, but has already made the move inside to guard.

Michael Hill comes to Green Bay via San Diego, where he spent training camp. Hill was ridiculously productive at FCS Missouri Western. He rushed for 2,168 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior and finished his career with 4,969 rushing yards. Yep, those are real numbers. I don’t know if he’s good or not, but he can’t be any worse than Marc Tyler, and that guy hung around for all of training camp last year.

Finally, Scott Tolzien, the embodiment of every Wisconsin Badgers quarterback, will serve as the perfect scout team quarterback. He’s perfectly average in just about every way, and he’ll be just fine until another option comes along.

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