Now that the dust has settled on the draft and we have had some time to process I thought it might be a good idea to take a guess as to which Packers are saying "Oh Crap" based upon our draft selections....or to put it another way which guys are already on the hot seat. Now some of these guys are on the hot seat because we've drafted a guy who looks promising...sometimes it's injuries...sometimes he's just got a big mouth. Either here's a list of guys who have their work cut out for them when train camp starts up.
1. Mark Tauscher.
Why he's on the hot seat: Age, Injuries, and our last two first round picks.
Why he might have some hope: He's cool and from Wisconsin damn it!
Alas the drafting of Sherrod was probably it for Tausch if he already wasn't pretty much done. Knee injures and father time have pretty much caught up here and he'll have a tough time securing even a back up roll if he does come back and play. Here's hoping he's offered a FO job or a coaching position and he can just stay in the family.
2. Nick Barnett.
Why he's on the hot seat: Twitter, injuries, his contract, A.J. Hawk's contract, Desmond Bishop becoming really good.
Why he might have some hope: CBA nonsense and the fact he's got something left in the tank.
It's tough cutting good players, but it's tougher to pay starter money to a guy who's probably going to sit the bench. Hawk and Bishop pretty much handled things along the inside last year when Barnett went down and both have reupped with the Packer for some time. Mix that with the picture scandal around the SB last year and you have a perfect recipe for a vet cutting. Really if he makes it to camp I'll be surprised. Thanks for the memories Nick and we all wish you the best!
3. Quinn Johnson and Korey Hall.
Why they are on the hot seat: disappointing production and TT's love affair with drafting TE's and H-backs.
Why they might have some hope: TT's love affair with keeping FB's.
It might be unfair to lump these two together because they each have a different reason for landing on my list, but their problems are essentially the same. The problem facing these two guys are D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor. But PA those guys are TE's and Johnson and Hall are FB's. Yes, that's true, but Hall has a spotty injury history and Johnson is one dimensional. Williams and Talyor on the other hand have the basic ability to line up in the FB spot, plus the TE spot, plus do any special teams work, and hopefully stay healthy doing it. Really my gut tells me that these two face the chopping block before Crabtree and Quarless......but not before..........
4. Spencer Havner.
Why he is on the hot seat: D.J. Williams, Ryan Taylor, and Jermichael Finely being healthy again.
Why he might have some hope: Being a jack of all trades master of none.
Oh Havner! You could of been the folk hero John Kuhn became, but instead you decided to get drunk and crash your bike. Not smart and that probably cost you your job last year. This year I really don't see you making the team either because TE is loaded and while you are pretty decent at many things...TE, LB, Special teams....you just aren't really good at any of it. Sorry dude.
5. Pat Lee and Brandon Underwood.
Why they are on the hot seat: Injuries, prostitutes, and generally not progressing much in 3 or 4 years.
Why they may have some hope: Umm....special teams and depth? Maybe they can convince a coach they could still be good?
I don't have much hope here. The best argument each of these guys could give last year was basically there was something there to build on and "at least he's not Jarett Bush." Well when the crap hit the fan in the Super Bowl last year it was Bush who stepped in before either of these two guys and played decent. Mix that cold hard fact with the Packers selecting Davon House and I don't see how both of these guys stick. Heck if the Pack finds another guy along the line of Sam Shields in UDFA's this year both could be hitting the street very soon.
6. Brett Swain.
Why he is on the hot seat: Randall Cobb and dropping passes in the Super Bowl.
Why he might have some hope: Being tall, fast, CBA madness, and good enough at special teams
Swain probably boils down to what the rules are for 2011 with free agency. If it's 2010 rules Swain is gone. If it's 2009 rules Swain stays. Why do I say this? Well because the Packers are probably only going to keep 5 WR's this year and Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and Jordy Nelson aren't going anywhere. Randall Cobb will also make the team short of a complete disaster. That leaves James Jones and Swain battling out for the last spot....and let's be honest this really isn't a battle. Thus Swain's best hope of staying in GB is Jones leaving and that is pretty much dependent on the free agency rules.
7. Brady Poppinga.
Why he is on the hot seat: Injuries, a glut middling OLB's, and a big contract.
Why he might have some hope: being an experienced middling OLB and crazy enough to play special teams.
Poppinga seems like a fun guy, but I just don't see him in GB anymore. This is a guy not talented enough to hold off Brad Jones for the starter's spot last year. He then was given the opportunity after Jones fell to injury early only to quickly become injured himself...oh and he did nothing special with the opportunity before he got injured. Now I have nothing against Frank Zombo, Erik Walden, and Brad Jones...it's just that they are all basically the same guy. Sure each have slightly differing strengths but at the end of the day each are going to be good enough to hold down the fort and not quite good enough to really change the game or take much pressure off of Clay Matthews. Rickey Elmore is another name to that list who looks at this point similar to Jones & Co. So the question becomes are the Packers going to keep 5 OLB's? Probably not and so heads will have to roll. Why not start with the oldest, most injury prone, and highest paid of them all since they are about the same?