Though the preseason games represent just one part of the evaluation process, they provide the biggest and best stage for those working towards a bigger role or even just a roster spot. The competition for jobs creates a game-like atmosphere, and teams can test the mettle of unproven players.
The Green Bay Packers' first tilt of the preseason proved a positive showcase for most of their players. However, two in particular managed to produce utterly forgettable performances.
So much went wrong for Don Barclay on Friday that it serves little to no purpose to present his positive moments for counterbalance. Lined up at center, he gave up a sack in the end zone for the game's first points. He nearly repeated the feat in the third quarter, poorly snapping the ball to backup quarterback Marquise Williams at the goal line. A holding penalty later that quarter only further cemented Barclay as Friday night's largest stock drop.
If not for Barclay's missteps, cornerback and special teamer Demetri Goodson would have endured the worst evening of any player on the Packers. During the third quarter, he drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on a kickoff return for an easily preventable late hit out of bounds. On the very next play, he gave up a touchdown to rookie wideout Rashard Higgins. Goodson technically cannot make the Week 1 roster due to his four-game suspension, but the team still has to decide to make room for him upon his return. He likely cannot afford another showing so poor.
Yes, Christian Ringo did notch a sack late in the fourth quarter for a safety, effectively ending the game. However, that came on a free run with mostly non-NFL talent on the field. When Ringo lined up against starters and top reserves, he didn't make much noise. His most impactful moment during the first half came when the referee crew flagged him with a hands-to-the-face penalty. The second-year defender doesn't really belong in the same category as Barclay and Goodson, though much of the Packers' defensive line showing out on Friday, Ringo may have fallen further behind.