He annually led the league in roster moves and undrafted free agent signings, sifting through the scrap heap, to find players such as Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Don Barclay, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Brandon Bostick, Lane Taylor, Greg Van Roten, Jarret Boykin, M.D. Jennings, and Andy Mulumba.
Develop them, teach them the Packers way, and if they learn and develop, sign them to a second multi-year deal. All throughout the roster you can see that philosophy. For three years in a row the Packers were the ‘youngest team’ in the league’. Currently they are the ninth youngest team in the league, but second youngest on offense.
Green Bay has a roster full of first-, second-, and third-year players that make up 49 percent of the roster (26 players). Five players are 30 years old or older. Aaron Rodgers is 29 years old.
One through 52, the Packers have players that can come in and be productive, and maybe given their own opportunity, could begin to shine. Their only glaring weakness, and Lord knows it’s a big one, is backup quarterback, but that discussion will be up ahead at a later time.
How about the long haul as we get deeper into the season? Derek Sherrod, Jerel Worthy, J.C. Tretter are all possibilities to come off the PUP list around mid-season. That’s three big body talented linemen ready to go fully late in the season if need be, as their brethren in front of them may go down along the way just as they themselves did.
Let’s not forget (Casey Hayward), who hasn’t played a down this season. He began individual drills last week at practice. Clay Matthews, Brad Jones and James Starks are all injured but are on the active roster, too.
Later in the year we’ll have those reinforcements back as the Packers try to juggle, manage and prepare for the war of attrition that hits every football team in one form or another.
Everyone remembers the Packers Super Bowl run in 2010, when 15 players were lost for the season due to injury, yet they won the championship, solidifying forever in the Packers locker room, the next man up philosophy.
Losing a player like Matthews is huge, one not many teams could handle for a stretch.
However, Green Bay proved last year, and I believe will prove again, that they are capable of holding the fort down until their best defensive player returns from multiple injuries (hamstring, thumb).