GREEN BAY WI - AUGUST 14: Graham Harrell #7 of the Green Bay Packers passes during the NFL preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field August 14 2010 in Green Bay Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
You can feel the tension even when reading the transcript. It was not a typical press conference for Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson on Sunday. The "I don't think that is your business" answer to a question about roster claims? Make sure to never ask him a real personal question. At least two reporters agreed that it was a "contentious" one, though Greg Bedard tweeted that it's been a tough week. And yes, the Packers couldn't find a single player worth a waiver claim, and that seems impossible to me. Moving on...
The Press-Gazette has the practice squad list, and there is room for just one more player on it:
QB Graham Harrell. They needed a 3rd QB who could be kept on the practice squad, and Harrell was probably the best option. They can't sign a veteran QB because no one on the practice squad can have been active for more than 8 games in a single season. Harrell's familiar with the system, he had a ton of experience in college, and looked decent this preseason.
S Anthony Levine. I've seen flashes of talent in coverage. He didn't deserve to make the 53-man roster due to poor tackling, but I'm willing to give him another chance as a practice squad player.
LB Maurice Simpkins. I hesitate calling him a LB. I think they'd move DE Cullen Jenkins to LB, as was previously threatened, before they'd let Simpkins play. But he's got potential as a special teams ace. He was flying around against the Chiefs. At least there's a chance he would contribute if he was signed to the 53-man roster.
RT Breno Giacomini. They had to battle the Vikings for him? OK, he's 6'7", 318 lbs, and it appears that he's got a long wingspan (I don't have the combine results). Physically, he looks like a prototype left tackle. But every so often he gets beat on a speed rush, and that is coming against second team players. He'd get a QB killed if he was a starter. And I don't think he'll figure it out if he hasn't figured it out already. Maybe that's just fine since this is only the practice squad after all.
WR Chastin West. I don't see any reason to keep around. He was awful against the Chiefs as a receiver, but he was given an opportunity as a returner. The only reason to keep him over WR Jason Chery is that West didn't drop any kick or punt returns that I can recall. But there had to be another receiver on waivers that was better than him.
OL Chris Campbell. Ugh. The list just gets worse the longer it goes on. I want Giacomini to go away, but he's much better than Campbell.
This list just stinks of not wanting to claim or sign any other team's rejects without a workout first. Since RB Kregg Lumpkin was claimed off waivers, they'll have to find another RB for the practice squad since they usually have at least one. The practice squad is very fluid over the course of the season, so this isn't anything to get hung up about.