A couple of weekends ago when Green Bay Packers‘ head coach Mike McCarthy stood at the podium in the media center at Lambeau Field talking about what he had seen from his rookies, one name was brought up a couple of times as having stood out among the bunch – running back Angelo Pease.
McCarthy called the Kansas State player out for having what he believed to be an outstanding couple of days of practice.
Sure, he talked about Datone Jones bringing a new presence to the defense and he talked about running backs Eddie Lacy as being “smooth” and Johnathan Franklin as looking good in all phases of the game, including fielding kicks and punts.
That was expected.
But when the name of Angelo Pease came out of the coach’s mouth – well, that was a bit unexpected. Not only was Pease undrafted, but the Cairo, Ga., native didn’t see the field a whole lot in his two seasons with the Wildcats. In 2011, he played in 10 games, carrying the ball 36 times for 144 yards, and two touchdowns. Last season, he got a few more carries. In 11 games, he carried 60 times for 333 yards. During his college career, he carried the ball 96 times for 477 yards.
Pease is described on the K-State football page as “a powerful and shifty back.” At 5-11, 215 pounds, he has the body type and quickness that could make him a nice fit in the Packers’s system.
Obviously, he wasn’t overused and comes to Green Bay with fresh legs. Maybe that’s something that McCarthy likes.
Either way, should Pease continue to impress the coaching staff and somehow make the roster – heck, even if he slips through and lands on the practice squad, he will be an added value to the team.
What makes him even a better value is the fact that he was brought in without a signing bonus, unlike some of the other undrafted players who were added to the roster after the NFL Draft. Other undrafted players did receive signing bonuses, led by Oklahoma State offensive lineman Lane Taylor who got a whopping $7,000 bonus to sign on the dotted line. Illinois State quarterback Matt Brown, Mississippi defensive tackle Gilbert Pena, Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner and Eastern Michigan outside linebacker Andy Mulumba all received $5,000 signing bonuses.
So what’s the chance that Pease even makes the team? Not high. However, the Packers are known for finding diamonds in the rough – undrafted free agents who do make the team.
For instance, last year alone the Packers had four on their roster: guard/tackle Don Barclay, receiver Jarrett Boykin, safety Sean Richardson and linebacker Dezman Moses. Of the four, three of them – Barclay, Boykin, and Moses – saw action last year. Barclay was forced into action at right tackle and played the final quarter of the season at that spot – gaining valuable experience as he competes for spot again this season. Moses also saw significant playing time when Clay Matthews went down with an injury for four games. He also played in spot situations throughout the season. Boykin saw action mostly at the end of the season, but he’s a player the Packers really like. Richardson was injured last year but was kept around because of his potential.
Could Pease be one of those players who sticks? It will be fun to watch as the running back position is wide open. If he does make the roster or practice squad, he will be one of those value-packed contributors that Ted Thompson has become famous for finding.
Stay tuned …