NFC North: Jordan Miller

Green Bay Packers cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
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.

A look at who helped themselves

August, 25, 2013
GREEN BAY, Wis. – With just three training camp practices left and only one more preseason game remaining, here’s a look at some Green Bay Packers whose stock improved based on their performance in Friday’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Chris Banjo: The rookie may have solidified his hold on the fourth and final safety spot. He made five tackles (four on defense and one on special teams) in 33 plays. Perhaps his best play came on a third-and-5 in the second quarter, when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson dumped off a pass over the middle to tight end Luke Willson. Banjo squared his body nicely and tackled Willson a yard short of the first down, forcing the Seahawks to punt.

Mason Crosby: After a horrendous performance in practice last week, when he missed three straight field goals, the veteran kicker may have eased concerns when he made his only field goal of the night, a 38-yarder.

Defensive line: This entire unit had a strong showing. C.J. Wilson showed why he’s so important to the Packers’ run defense. Early in the game, he shed a block by left tackle Russell Okung and stopped running back Marshawn Lynch for no gain. He made similar plays on his other two tackles. Mike Daniels continued his impressive preseason by regularly beating blocks and getting to the ball. He had a second-half sack wiped out by an offsides penalty on Datone Jones. Jordan Miller, who was promoted to the active roster late last season, also had a sack.

Jeremy Ross: The backup receiver may have regained control of the return job. He got the first kickoff return and took it back 33 yards and got two chances at punt returns, gaining 11 yards on one and fair catching the other.

Lane Taylor: The rookie may have solidified the eighth and final offensive line position with a solid showing in 31 second-half snaps at right guard and left guard combined. It was a block by Taylor that helped spring running back Alex Green’s 31-yard run in the fourth quarter.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Minnesota Vikings have a traditional leadership structure, a new stadium under development and an ownership group that is committed to the long term. In the estimation of Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan, they are the most well-rounded and well-run sports outfit in Minnesota.

Souhan: "Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman have turned an organization that for decades seemed intent on embarrassing itself into a model for how pro sports franchises should operate. The Wilfs have matured into patient owners who will spend what it takes to win."

That's no small feat considering their short- and long-term history filled with unusual ownership, horizontal leadership and head-scratching decisions. Let's see where it takes them.

Let's take a look at weekend coverage in the NFC North:



Sunday, 1/25