Green Bay Packers: Vince Young

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Between now and the Green Bay Packers' first training camp practice on July 26, we will break down each position group.

First up is quarterback.

Returning players: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien

Gone from last season: Seneca Wallace, coach Ben McAdoo

New this season: Chase Rettig (undrafted rookie, Boston College)

Position coach: Alex Van Pelt (first season), moved from running backs coach to replace McAdoo (who became the New York Giants offensive coordinator)

Flynn
Flynn
Tolzien
Biggest issue: Last year, the Packers went in to training camp unsure whether they had a capable backup behind Rodgers. As it turned out, they did not. Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman and Vince Young all failed to show enough to warrant the job, so the Packers turned to the journeyman Wallace. This year, coach Mike McCarthy thinks he has two viable options in Flynn and Tolzien. So what happens if both play well enough in the preseason to warrant the job? The Packers have not kept three quarterbacks on their opening-day roster since 2008, preferring instead to stash their third quarterback on the practice squad. Can the Packers afford to keep three quarterbacks at the expense of another position?

Player to watch: The Packers know what Flynn can do. Although his days of competing for a starting job with another team have probably passed him by, he once again proved his value as a backup -- especially in Green Bay -- by going 2-2-1 last season while Rodgers was sidelined with his collarbone injury. So all eyes will be on Tolzien, who went 0-2 as a starter last season after Wallace was injured before giving way to Flynn. Tolzien's upside might be higher than Flynn's based on his arm strength and age (26 compared to Flynn, who is 29). But Tolzien must show he can avoid the costly turnovers that befell him last season, when he was picked off five times in two games.

Medical report: Rodgers reported for the offseason program in perhaps the best shape of his career. He said his weight was around 220 pounds (5 to 10 pounds lighter than his playing weight last season) thanks in part to yoga exercises and diet. He showed no side effects from the collarbone injury and participated fully in the offseason program.

Help wanted: Barring an injury, the Packers won't need any additional help.

Quotable: "I think there's a comfort level obviously with the group that's here now," Van Pelt said. "Scott having a chance to start last year, probably a little premature. I don't know if he was quite ready for that, but he did a nice job and managed the game when he was in there. And then having Matt come back last year was a good shot in the arm for the group. Obviously with his knowledge of the system we feel very comfortable with him in there, won two games for us last year, did a nice job when he was in there. I think we're very happy with who we have and what we are and the direction we're moving. Should be interesting competition in the fall between Matt and Scott."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Since he took over as general manager of the Green Bay Packers in 2005, Ted Thompson has drafted 87 players.

Leading up to this year's draft, in which Thompson currently has nine selections, we will look at his best and worst selections in each round.

We'll start at the bottom and work our way up over the next week.

Seventh round

Total players drafted: 16

By position: Receivers 3, linebackers 3, defensive ends 3, quarterbacks 2, tight ends 2, guards 1, tackles 1, running backs 1.

Best pick: Brad Jones, LB.

Jones
Jones (No. 218 overall in 2009) was the only one of Thompson's seventh-round picks that was a full-time starter last season. After beginning his career as an outside linebacker, he moved inside in 2012 and then took over as a starter after Desmond Bishop tore his hamstring in the preseason and D.J. Smith injured his knee in Week 6. After that season, he signed a three-year, $11.75 million contract. However, after an inconsistent 2013 season, he likely will face competition for the starting job in 2014.

Honorable mention: Matt Flynn, QB (No. 209, 2008), C.J. Wilson, DE (No. 230, 2010), Ryan Taylor, (No. 218, 2011).

Worst pick: B.J. Coleman, QB.

It's hard to call any seventh rounder a bad pick, because at that point in the draft every player is flawed, but the Packers had high hopes for Coleman (No. 243, 2012) -- so high they neglected the quarterback position last offseason, and when Coleman (and Graham Harrell and Vince Young) proved ineffective, it left the Packers without a viable backup for Aaron Rodgers when training camp broke last summer.

Dishonorable mention: Will Whitticker, T (No. 246, 2005). Clark Harris, TE (No. 243, 2007), Andrew Datko, T (No. 241, 2012).

Notes: Thompson hasn't fared as well in the seventh round as former Packers GM Ron Wolf, who found starters Adam Timmerman, G (No. 230, 1995), Donald Driver, WR (No. 213, 1999) and Mark Tauscher, T (No. 224, 2000). Driver and Tauscher are likely locks for the Packers Hall of Fame. ... Thompson did draft Dave Tollefson, DE (No. 253, 2006) but cut him, only to see him go on to be a contributor for the New York Giants from 2007-2011. ... Perhaps the strangest case is that of Whitticker. He started 14 of 16 games at right guard as a rookie, but never played in another NFL game after the Packers cut him at the end of training camp the following season.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If the Green Bay Packers do nothing else at the quarterback position this offseason, at least they know they have someone who has proven he can win games as a backup.

That is a better situation than they were in a year ago, when they had no clue whether Graham Harrell or B.J. Coleman could function with a meaningful NFL game on the line.

Flynn
Flynn
And it's a better situation than they were in in September, when they broke training camp by cutting Harrell, Coleman and Vince Young.

By re-signing veteran quarterback Matt Flynn on Tuesday, the Packers renewed an insurance policy that paid off last season after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. Flynn came back on Nov. 12 after failing to win starting jobs with the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders (and following a brief stint with the Buffalo Bills).

Just 12 days later, he rallied the Packers to a comeback tie against the Minnesota Vikings and went 2-2 in his next four starts to keep the Packers in playoff contention before Rodgers returned to win the regular-season finale -- and NFC North title -- against the Chicago Bears.

Whatever Flynn's shortcomings were (likely a lack of arm strength and an unfamiliarity with new offenses) when he got his chances in Seattle and Oakland, he has proven to be comfortable and effective in Green Bay, where he began his career in 2008 and still holds a share of the team’s single-game passing yards record (480 against the Detroit Lions in the 2011 regular-season finale, a mark Rodgers tied in Week 2 last season against the Washington Redskins).

Perhaps the Packers won't need Flynn or they will decide Scott Tolzien is a better option after he goes through coach Mike McCarthy's offseason program for the first time. But for now, they don't have to worry about the unknown that came with Coleman, who never caught on with another team; or Harrell, who, coincidentally on Tuesday, was hired as an assistant coach at Washington State, according to media reports.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the next two weeks, we'll take a position-by-position look at what the Green Bay Packers have and what they need.

We can revisit this process before the draft based on what -- if anything -- general manager Ted Thompson does in free agency.

First up is the quarterback position:

2014 free agents: Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace.

The good: The Packers went 6-2 in the regular season in games in which Aaron Rodgers started and finished. Although he missed nearly half the season because of the broken collarbone he sustained on Nov. 4, his performance was up to his usual standards despite only an average showing in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In the regular season, he ranked fifth in the NFL in completion percentage (66.6 percent, which was better than his career average of 65.7 percent entering the season), second in average gain (8.74 yards) and had a solid touchdown to interception rate (17-to-6).

The bad: Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy failed to find Rodgers' backup during training camp -- when they auditioned Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman and Vince Young -- and were forced to sign Wallace after final cuts. At the same time, they added Scott Tolzien to the practice squad. Wallace didn't get through his first start after Rodgers got hurt. Wallace's groin injury forced Tolzien into action and necessitated the return of Flynn. Tolzien showed some promise but wasn't ready to win games, so Flynn took over and went 2-2-1 in games in which he either finished or started.

The money: Rodgers' salary-cap charge jumps to $17.9 million in 2014, up from $12 million last year when he signed his five-year, $110 million extension. Tolzien is under contract for a minimum salary of $645,000. Flynn, who made $294,412 for his portion of the season on the Packers' roster, and Wallace also were working for minimum contracts, but those were only one-year deals. At age 33, Wallace is unlikely to return. Flynn might still want another shot to start somewhere else.

Draft priority: Since drafting Flynn (seventh round) and Brian Brohm (second round) in 2008, Thompson has taken only one quarterback == Coleman (seventh round in 2012). Unless Thompson is convinced Tolzien can be a long-term backup or wants Flynn to fulfill that role again, there's a need to take another mid-to-late round quarterback like Ron Wolf used to do on a regular basis when he was the general manager. Despite having Brett Favre as his starter, Wolf drafted six quarterbacks from 1993-99.

Don't expect a Flynn-Packers reunion

October, 7, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers did not hesitate to try multiple backup quarterbacks this preseason.

They went from Graham Harrell to Vince Young to B.J. Coleman before finally settling on 33-year-old Seneca Wallace, who was signed on Sept. 2.

Wallace
Flynn
Flynn
But they don’t appear interested in shaking things up behind Aaron Rodgers again -- not even to re-sign their former backup Matt Flynn, who was released by the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

“Personally, I’m very happy with the quarterback room, the way it looks, the people in it,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. “Obviously Matt was a Packer, very fond of Matt and his time here. As far as any roster moves and things like that, I really don’t have any comment on, but I do like Seneca Wallace. I like what he’s done since he’s been here. I feel very good about our quarterback room.”

Just last week, Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo said Wallace’s 10 years in the NFL and his experience in a similar offense during his time with the Seattle Seahawks have made him a good fit.

“He’s been around the block,” McAdoo said. “This isn’t his first rodeo. He’s an experienced guy; he’s a smart guy. He knows his role, and he’s a good team player.”

Flynn cashed in on the strength of two performances -- his 2010 start against the New England Patriots when Aaron Rodgers was ruled out because of a concussion and the 2011 record-setting performance in the regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions with Rodgers resting for the playoffs. In the latter, Flynn threw for a team-record 480 yards and six touchdowns.

The following offseason, he signed a three-year, $26 million free-agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks but couldn’t beat out then-rookie Russell Wilson for the starting job. The Seahawks then traded him to the Raiders this past April, but once again Flynn couldn’t win the job. He started one game this season, the Week 4 loss at Washington, and was demoted to third string shortly thereafter before he was released.

“I definitely am surprised because when his opportunity came I obviously gave him a very high recommendation,” McCarthy said. “Injuries and all the different types of things, quarterback competition in both places, a lot of factors go into it. I haven’t watched the film of Matt, so I really can’t even give you an educated or informed opinion on how exactly he did play, but on a personal level I’m very fond of Matt Flynn. He was excellent in his time here, and I wish him the best of luck.”

The Packers-Josh Freeman connection

October, 3, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Could the Green Bay Packers be a possible landing spot for former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman?

Well, there’s a connection between Freeman, who was released on Thursday in an ugly ending with the Bucs, and the Packers.

Freeman
Packers running backs coach Alex Van Pelt was Freeman’s position coach with the Bucs in 2010 and 2011 before he came to Green Bay in 2012.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t comment on whether Green Bay might be interested in Freeman but if he was looking for an endorsement from Van Pelt, he got one.

“I loved Josh,” Van Pelt said Thursday. “Josh and I had a good working relationship. He was nothing but a pro when I was there with him. He was never late for meetings. We actually had 6:30 (a.m.) quarterback meetings; we were an hour before anybody else, and I never had an issue or anything like that. He did everything that I asked him to do.

“He was a great teammate, watched him work around the other guys and had a lot of respect for him. I don’t know what happened, but I know the guy that I was there with I really enjoyed being with.”

When asked whether Freeman could still be an NFL starter, Van Pelt said: “No doubt.”

Freeman made his first NFL start against the Packers on Nov. 8, 2009, and led the Bucs to a 38-28 upset victory.

“I haven’t really seen Josh play in a few years,” McCarthy said. “But as far as player acquisition and so forth, I really don’t have anything to talk about. But when we did compete against him, I definitely thought he was a young quarterback that had a bright future.”

Given how the Packers shuffled through backup quarterbacks this summer -- from Graham Harrell to Vince Young to B.J. Coleman and now Seneca Wallace -- it makes sense that the Packers might be mentioned as a possible landing spot for Freeman.

The case for Seneca Wallace

September, 2, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In the NFL, so often coaches and general managers rely on the familiar.

Such is the case with 33-year-old Seneca Wallace, who, as Ed Werder first reported Monday morning, was signed to be the Green Bay Packers’ newest backup quarterback.

Take a look at Wallace’s career path. In 2003, he was a fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who at the time had Mike Holmgren as their coach and general manager. Wallace had an unusual career in Seattle, where sometimes he played receiver when he wasn’t needed at quarterback. When he did play quarterback, he went 5-9 as a starter, with his most extensive playing time coming in 2008 after Matt Hasselbeck sustained a knee injury. Wallace started eight games that season, going 3-5.

In 2010, Wallace was traded to Cleveland, where Holmgren had become the Browns' president only a few months earlier. Wallace started seven games over the next two seasons, but won just one of them.

Wallace hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since 2011 and his most recent stint with an NFL team was a week-long stay with the San Francisco 49ers, which ended last week in bizarre fashion, with coach Jim Harbaugh saying Wallace would retire and Wallace later denying that.

Which brings us back to the Packers, whose general manager, Ted Thompson, was Holmgren’s top personnel man in Seattle from 2000 to '04. So Thompson not only knows Wallace well but has seen him play in an offense that is similar to what Packers coach Mike McCarthy runs.

Still, familiarity doesn’t always breed success. There’s been little in Wallace’s history to suggest he could keep the Packers afloat in a playoff race if something happened to Aaron Rodgers.

Thompson has been in a scramble mode with his backup quarterbacks ever since he signed Vince Young on Aug. 5 after Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman got off to shaky starts to training camp. Thompson released Harrell on Aug. 24 and Young on Saturday. The Packers briefly had Coleman as the only quarterback behind Rodgers. To make room for Wallace, the Packers released Coleman.

With Wallace, the Packers now expect to have two quarterbacks with ties to the 49ers, their Week 1 opponent. They plan to sign Scott Tolzien, who was released by San Francisco last week, to their practice squad.

But for those who think the Packers signed Wallace to help with preparation for the 49ers, it should be noted that he spent only a week there this summer, and as a vested NFL veteran, the Packers would be on the hook for his entire 2013 base salary (likely the league minimum) if he’s on the Week 1 roster.

Starter Pack: Labor Day edition

September, 2, 2013
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A daily roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

The NFL stops for no holiday -- well, at least not this one -- and the Packers will hit the practice on Monday to begin preparations for Sunday’s regular-season opener at San Francisco.

Before we look forward, let’s look back at some of the major developments over the last few days.

In putting together the 53-man roster, general manager Ted Thompson assembled the fifth-youngest team in the NFL and stuck to his principle of keeping players that have come through the system. A summary of that can be found here.

One other housekeeping item: I noted on Twitter Sunday evening that the Packers worked out five players earlier that day. They were: guard Chandler Burden of Kentucky, guard Bryan Collins of SMU, receiver Sam McGuffie of Rice, running back Joe McKnight of USC and quarterback Scott Tolzien of Wisconsin.

Elsewhere:

Taking the blame for Vince Young

September, 1, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- After the Green Bay Packers released veteran quarterback Vince Young on Saturday, it was worth discussing -- as we did here -- whether more time in the system would have made a significant difference in his bid to be the team’s backup.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson, the man who waited until Aug. 5 to sign the 30-year-old quarterback, thinks that perhaps it might have done just that.

[+] EnlargeTed Thompson
AP Photo/Morry Gash"I probably should have had him in here earlier," Packers GM Ted Thompson said about Vince Young.
In discussing his roster moves on Sunday, Thompson placed the blame on himself for not acting sooner to bring in the former first-round draft pick.

“Quite frankly, it probably wasn’t fair to Vince,” Thompson said. “We threw a lot on his plate, and the fault is probably mine. I probably should have had him in here earlier.”

Thompson praised Young for being a good teammate and a humble guy.

“If there was fault, it was probably mine,” Thompson said.

The decision to release Young left B.J. Coleman, who spent all of last season on the practice squad, as the only quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers. Coleman’s shaky play early in training camp was one of the reasons Thompson turned to Young in the first place.

The Packers no doubt are exploring all of their options at quarterback, but the list of those available was far from impressive. They were expected to add a quarterback to the practice squad -- Scott Tolzien, the former University of Wisconsin starter who was released by San Francisco last week.

“We’re actively pursuing everything there is in the National Football League at every position,” Thompson said. “I’m not just making this up. At every position, we’re looking to see if we can get better.”

If the Packers stick with Coleman, it wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that they went into the season with an inexperienced backup. They did so last season with Graham Harrell, who like Coleman had previously been on the practice squad. And they did so in 2008 with rookie Matt Flynn.

When asked if Coleman, who completed just 41.2 percent of his passes this preseason, would be an adequate fill-in if something happened to Rodgers, Thompson said: “Well, we think he has a good chance to do that. Again, there’s a lot of things that he hasn’t seen yet. He’s played in preseason games but never played in a regular-season game. We’re getting ready to tee it off, so we’re getting ready to play.”

Note: The Packers have not announced their practice-squad signings yet. But in addition to Tolzien, they are expected to add receivers Charles Johnson and Myles White, tight end Jake Stoneburner and cornerback James Nixon, according to multiple media reports. Those four all were released by the Packers on Saturday. The Packers had hoped to bring back center Patrick Lewis to the practice squad, but he was claimed off waivers by Cleveland. Four others released by the Packers on Saturday were claimed off waivers: running back Alex Green (by the New York Jets), tight end D.J. Williams (Jacksonville), linebacker Dezman Moses (Kansas City) and linebacker Terrell Manning (San Diego).

Reviewing the roster projections

September, 1, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Playing NFL general manager isn’t easy.

I tried to do it twice this preseason by predicting the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster, first on Aug. 22 and then again on Friday, the eve of the final cuts.

In the first go-around, I actually had outside linebacker Andy Mulumba and guard Lane Taylor on the 53, only to remove them on Friday. Of course, both made the team.

In the end, my final roster prediction had 49 of the 53 players that general manager Ted Thompson kept. Here’s a look at my predictions compared with the actual roster:

Quarterbacks

Prediction (2): Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young

Actual (2): Aaron Rodgers, B.J. Coleman

Running backs

Prediction (5): Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, Alex Green, James Starks, John Kuhn

Actual (4): Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, James Starks, John Kuhn

Receivers

Prediction (5): Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross

Actual (5): Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross

Tight ends

Prediction (4): Jermichael Finley, Matthew Mulligan, Ryan Taylor, Brandon Bostick

Actual (4): Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor, Brandon Bostick

Offensive line

Prediction (7): David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten

Actual (8): David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor

Defensive line

Prediction (7): Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly, Josh Boyd

Actual (7): Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly, Josh Boyd

Linebackers

Prediction (10): A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Terrell Manning, Mike Neal, Nate Palmer

Actual (10): A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Andy Mulumba, Mike Neal, Nate Palmer

Defensive backs

Prediction (10): Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Chris Banjo

Actual (10): Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Chris Banjo

Specialists

Prediction (3): Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode

Actual (3): Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode

Green Bay Packers cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
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Most significant move: After the Packers released Graham Harrell on Aug. 24, the backup quarterback job was Vince Young’s to lose. The former first-round draft pick on the Tennessee Titans lost it. After an unimpressive performance in the preseason finale at Kansas City on Thursday, when Young led only two field goal drives in 11 possessions, the Packers released him on Saturday.

Perhaps he was fighting a losing battle from the start, considering he wasn’t signed until Aug. 5. That was 11 days after the Packers opened training camp. He missed the first seven practices and a scrimmage.

It leaves an unsettled situation behind starter Aaron Rodgers. For now, the only other quarterback on the roster is B.J. Coleman, who spent all of last season on the practice squad. Coleman opened training camp as the No. 3 quarterback but slipped to fourth string after Young was signed and before Harrell was released. In the preseason, Coleman completed just 14 of 34 passes (41.2 percent) for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It’s hard to imagine the Packers won’t explore other options over the weekend.

2011 revisited: With running back Alex Green and tight end D.J. Williams among the most surprising cuts on Saturday, it made a strong statement about the 2011 draft class. Packers general manager Ted Thompson drafted 10 players in April of that year. Only three of them – receiver Randall Cobb (second round), cornerback Davon House (fourth round) and tight end Ryan Taylor (seventh round) – remain on the roster. Tackle Derek Sherrod (first round) will start the season on the physically unable to perform list. He still has not returned from the broken leg he sustained on Dec. 18, 2011. Green was a third-round pick, while Williams was taken in the fifth round.

What’s next: Like all teams, the Packers will scour the waiver wire and free-agent lists. Their focus likely will be on the quarterbacks. Even if they find one they like, they might have to use Coleman as the No. 2 early in the season while the newcomer gets acclimated to the offense. The Packers haven’t carried three quarterbacks on their active roster since late in the 2011 season. They also can begin signing players to their eight-man practice squad on Sunday afternoon. Thompson is scheduled to meet with reporters on Sunday afternoon.

Players cut: QB: Vince Young. RB: Alex Green. FB: Jonathan Amosa. TE: Matthew Mulligan, Jake Stoneburner, D.J. Williams. WR: Charles Johnson, Tyrone Walker, Myles White. OL: Andrew Datko, Garth Gerhart, Kevin Hughes, Patrick Lewis. DL: Jordan Miller. LB: Terrell Manning, Dezman Moses, Donte Savage. CB: Loyce Means, Brandon Smith, James Nixon. S: David Fulton, Chaz Powell.

Midafternoon Packers cuts update

August, 31, 2013
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The biggest name among the Green Bay Packers' cuts so far clearly was quarterback Vince Young, who was released on Saturday morning.

But they also have cut a couple of players who saw significant playing time last season in running back Alex Green and tight end D.J. Williams.

Green was their leading rusher last season with 464 yards, and Williams played in 14 of 18 games last season (including playoffs).

With a few hours left before teams have to trim their rosters to 53 players, here’s the latest list of the players who have been released.

Note: This list is a compilation of our own reporting here at ESPN plus reports from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Packer Report, ESPNMilwaukee.com and players with verified Twitter accounts. With 18 cuts already confirmed, the Packers will have to make four more roster moves to reach the 53-man limit.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It’s easy to say Vince Young didn’t have enough time to learn the Green Bay Packers’ offense.

And it would be true.

After all, any quarterback signed to a new team with an unfamiliar system would struggle to pick things up in less than a month. So when Young signed with the Packers on Aug. 5, he was a long shot from the start, making his release Saturday far from a complete shock.

Young
But after watching Young practice for four weeks and play in all four preseason games, there’s reason to wonder whether an entire offseason with coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Tom Clements and quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo would have turned Young into a capable backup for Aaron Rodgers.

Young’s throwing motion and footwork didn’t match with what McCarthy teaches in his offseason quarterback training sessions. Although he praised Young for trying to incorporate some of the team's fundamentals, the coaches might have had a hard time breaking a 30-year-old quarterback of his old habits.

Two issues Young has had in his career -- accuracy and ball security -- were problematic in his stint with the Packers might may not have changed no matter how much time he had been in their system. A career 57.9 percent passer, Young completed just 26 of 49 passes (53.1 percent) this preseason. Although he didn’t throw an interception, he fumbled twice (losing one). In 60 career regular-season games (including 50 starts) with the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles, Young fumbled 40 times.

To be sure, most of his playing time this preseason came with second- and third-string players, many of whom also will be released this weekend, but he also played against many players of the same caliber and couldn't take advantage.

The Packers now have to figure out where they will turn for a backup to Rodgers. The only other quarterback they have on their roster is B.J. Coleman, who spent all of last season on the practice squad but never made a strong bid for the No. 2 job this preseason.

Almost any quarterback they bring in at this point -- whether through a trade, a waiver claim or a free-agent signing -- would be in the same position as Young in terms of learning a new offense.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – In the past 24 hours, the Green Bay Packers worked out “Kickalicious” (a.k.a Havard Rugland, the Norwegian-born placekicker made famous by a YouTube video) and made plans to bring in running back/kick returner Joe McKnight for a look-see.

If nothing else, it tells you the Packers’ 53-man roster might not be set even though final cuts are due by 6 p.m. ET.

There’s bound to be a player or three who winds up on the Packers’ roster who wasn’t with them in training camp. It could be a free-agent signing, a trade or a waiver claim.

But for the sake of this exercise, which was first attempted nine days ago, let’s assume general manager Ted Thompson keeps 53 of his own players. Here’s the final projection for how the roster will look after the final cuts are made (note the changes from the Aug. 22 version of this projection):

Quarterbacks (2): Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young

Moved in: None

Moved out: None

Analysis: No change from the Aug. 22 version, other than in the interim the Packers cut Graham Harrell. B.J. Coleman needs another year on the practice squad and likely will get it if he clears waivers.

Running backs (5): Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, Alex Green, James Starks, John Kuhn

Moved in: Starks

Moved out: DuJuan Harris

Analysis: The loss of Harris to a season-ending knee injury will force coach Mike McCarthy to alter his plans for the running game. He was hoping Lacy and Harris would provide a one-two punch.

Receivers (5): Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross

Moved in: Ross

Moved out: Tyrone Walker

Analysis: With Cobb and Nelson finally healthy, there’s probably no need for a sixth receiver. Ross showed enough in the final week that he could be serviceable as the fifth receiver, if necessary, and he’s too valuable as a return specialist to let him go. Walker’s best shot is if they keep six at this position.

Tight ends (4): Jermichael Finley, Ryan Taylor, Matthew Mulligan, Brandon Bostick

Moved in: Mulligan

Moved out: Jake Stoneburner

Analysis: Mulligan has returned from his elbow injury and is the kind of blocker the Packers need to help their running game. Stoneburner’s fumble near the goal line against Seattle on Aug. 23 hurt his chances. He’s a strong practice-squad candidate. Veterans Andrew Quarless and D.J. Williams appear to be in trouble.

Offensive line (7): David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten

Moved in: None

Moved out: Lane Taylor

Analysis: The Packers got by with seven offensive linemen to start last season, and Taylor now looks like someone they can sneak through to the practice squad.

Defensive line (7): Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly, Josh Boyd

Moved in: Boyd

Moved out: None

Analysis: Thompson doesn’t easily part with draft picks, and Boyd (a fifth-rounder) has shown steady improvement in the preseason.

[+] EnlargeNate Palmer
AP Photo/Reed HoffmannSolid showings in the final two preseason games might have secured Nate Palmer a spot on the Packers' roster.
Linebackers (10): A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Terrell Manning, Mike Neal, Nate Palmer

Moved in: Palmer

Moved out: Andy Mulumba

Analysis: Palmer has had a sack in each of the last two preseason games and, like Boyd, he’s a draft pick. Again, I’m counting Neal as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive end.

Defensive backs (10): Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian, Chris Banjo

Moved in: None

Moved out: None

Analysis: Banjo solidified the final safety spot with another strong performance in the preseason finale.

Specialists (3): Mason Crosby (kicker), Tim Masthay (punter), Brett Goode (long snapper)

Moved in: None

Moved out: None

Analysis: Crosby’s restructured contract gives the Packers flexibility if they need to make a mid-season change, but if Crosby continues to kick like he has of late, that won’t be necessary.

Five Packers who hurt themselves

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
5:00
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Thursday’s preseason finale at Kansas City was the last chance for Green Bay Packers players to impress coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson.

Earlier, we listed five players who did just that.

Now, here are five who did not:
  • B.J. Coleman: If Coleman really was still in play to be Aaron Rodgers’ backup, as McCarthy insisted earlier in the week, then Coleman probably played his way out of that competition. He completed just 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. His interception was a classic example of a quarterback making a bad decision in the face of pressure. The Chiefs had two blitzing defenders come free and Coleman threw into trouble, missing tight end D.J. Williams, allowing linebacker Frank Zombo to pick him off.
  • Vince Young: Given his most extensive playing time since he signed with the Packers on Aug. 5, Young didn’t do much to convince them he could get the team through a game or two if something happened to Rodgers. In 11 possessions, he managed only six points (two field goals). He missed several open receivers and completed just 14-of-30 passes for 144 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Young also fumbled twice, losing one of them, when pressured in the pocket. Ball security has long been an issue for Young, who has 40 fumbles in 60 career regular-season games. In fairness, Young did not get to play with many of the starters. The number one offensive line played just one series. Starting running back Eddie Lacy got only three snaps. Receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson played only the first two snaps, and James Jones did not play at all.
  • Andrew Datko: If the Packers are going to keep a fourth tackle – and they may not – it probably won’t be Datko. The seventh-round draft pick in 2012 who spent last season on the practice squad was responsible for both sacks on which Young fumbled. Datko played 64 snaps, which was tied for the most among Packers players in the game against the Chiefs.
  • Myles White: One of the players in the running for the final receiver spot, White fumbled on the game’s last play, a 23-yard reception. White had a productive preseason with eight catches for 90 yards, but players on the bubble can’t cough up the football.
  • Tyrone Walker: See above. Three plays before White’s fumble, Walker also had the ball knocked free at the end of a 4-yard reception over the middle. Offensive lineman Garth Gerhart recovered the fumble, but the play spoiled an otherwise strong game (five catches for 30 yards) and strong preseason (nine catches for 86 yards) by White.

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