Friday, August 30, 2013
Five Packers who helped themselves
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Thursday’s preseason finale at Kansas City was the final chance for Green Bay Packers players to impress coach Mike McCarthy and general manger Ted Thompson.
Here are five who did that:
Chris Banjo: The first-year safety may have solidified his roster spot by showing enough toughness to return to the game after sustaining a hip injury. Despite missing some time in the first half, Banjo managed to play 27 snaps and record two tackles and a sack.
Mason Crosby: Less than 24 hours after he agreed to a pay cut, the veteran kicker completed a perfect preseason by making field goals of 48 and 45 yards. He made all six of his field goals in preseason game action this summer and appears to have put last season’s slump behind him, at least for now.
Micah Hyde: If Casey Hayward’s hamstring injury keeps him out of the regular-season opener at San Francisco, the Packers should feel good about playing Hyde in Hayward’s nickel cornerback position. While Hyde might not be as good in coverage as Hayward, he has shown a knack for blitzing and is a sure-handed tackler. He registered his second sack of the preseason against the Chiefs. He also might be a viable option as a punt returner. He had one return for 12 yards on Thursday and fair caught three others, although he probably should have returned one of those because he had all kinds of room to run.
Jeremy Ross: The Packers have been enamored with his big-play ability as a kick returner ever since late last season, when he had a 58-yard punt return in Week 16 against Tennessee and a 44-yard kickoff return in Week 17 at Minnesota. However, he had not contributed much as a receiver. Entering Thursday’s game, he had just four catches for 20 yards in the first three preseason games combined. Against the Chiefs, Ross had three catches for 50 yards, including a 26-yard catch on a back-shoulder fade from Vince Young.
Tramon Williams: By returning to action and picking off Chase Daniel's first pass of the game, Williams showed he’s ready for the season opener at San Francisco. The starting cornerback missed most of training camp because of the bruised knee he sustained on July 30, but looked good on his only snap of the preseason. Surely, he could have used a little more game action, but the fact he got any before the opener was probably a bonus.