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Too Many Receivers Messing Up Packers’ Roster

While many were predicting the Green Bay Packers would keep only five or at most six wide receivers on the final 53-man roster, we were certain the Packers’ leadership would go with seven. Trouble is, it’s led to some unfortunate consequences.

The first problem to surface was when the team needed to create roster spots for until-then suspended defenders Mike Pennel and Demetri Goodson and decided to move backup quarterback Joe Callahan to the practice squad. Unfortunately, the New Orleans Saints had other ideas and claimed him on waivers. Should either of the Packers’ two remaining QBs be injured over the next few years, losing Callahan might turn out to be a huge miscalculation.

The next roster dilemma came about when running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks both got injured in succession. The presence of versatile Ty Montgomery might have saved the day there, but the Packers were forced to make two additional roster moves to trade for Knile Davis and activate Don Jackson from the practice squad. Those moves were to put both cornerback Sam Shields and Lacy on injured reserve, which means the Packers can now only recall one of these two starters from IR this season.

And still, the Packers are very shallow at inside linebacker, where they’re carrying only three, and tight end, where only two guys are healthy. One or both of these spots could be where the next personnel crisis happens.

Because the coaching staff couldn’t decide among four backup receivers, all got token playing time in the first several games, but no one was given much of a chance to show what he could do.

Instead, Montgomery had to wait six games before he got thrown a pass – and that was only because the team ran out of running backs. I really liked Jared Abbrederis as a situational receiver, but I would have sent him, rather than Callahan, to the practice squad. I don’t think he would have been claimed by another team. After all, he’s been in that position before, but now he too is on injured reserve, so it doesn’t matter. Rookie Trevor Davis has too much flash to go unclaimed by 31 other teams if he were released.

Now that Abbrederis has been put on IR, the team has added Geronimo Allison to the 53-man roster. That just adds to the problem – is he going to divide up the occasional snaps with Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis?

Coach Mike McCarthy has shown an inability to break up the log jam at wide receiver all season long. It’s maddening. Under personnel management, I’d give him a D- for this alone.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Zwoeger October 26, 2016

    What te hell is going on? Is there a fight between The Corpse and Mcbay window?

  2. MMTTDCSUCK October 26, 2016

    MM is unable to utilize the talent that he has on the team by designing plays to fit the players. He is in over his head. I also believe that Rodgers has some blame in this as well. He is the exact opposite of his earlier days where he would pass to anyone open. He has handcuffed himself somehow due to many circumstances over the last few years, and this is causing him to NOT EVEN LOOK at other WR’s not named Nelson, Cobb, Adams, and sometimes Montgomery and Rodgers. Years ago he would have had 8 to 10 different targeted players game in and game out. He has become as predictable as the Buffoon! The opposing defenses know this coming into the game, I am certain that they use this data to help shut down this ridiculously predictable offense . . . sad stuff.

    1. Kato October 26, 2016

      I don’t think he is in over his head. I just think he is stubborn. He believes in his system, and rightfully so given the success it has had. However, I think that he needs to cave a bit and make some adjustments. Which I feel there have been a few signs of that the past couple of weeks.

      I agree with you on the point about when he used to hit multiple receivers, sometimes double digits, each game. Some of that is on Rodgers, but a lot of it is on McCarthy when he changed the offense to a no huddle offense rather than multiple formation, multiple personnel grouping offense. Wish they utilized I formations more

      1. Empacador October 26, 2016

        I agree with you McCarthy is stubborn. The problem isn’t the system. I’m sure McCarthy has a deep and extensive playbook being a genius and all. He only uses what seems like the same 4-6 plays ad nauseum. That is the problem. Dig into that playbook and run plays that utilize your receivers strengths rather than force receivers to bend to the plays being called.

        1. Empacador October 26, 2016

          I’d like to see his version of “The Annexation of Puerto Rico” myself.

          1. MMTTDCSUCK October 26, 2016

            It would be interesting to see. I am not certain that he could pull off something that esoteric . . . it might disrupt his running plays’ count.

  3. Deepsky October 26, 2016

    It will be interesting to contrast Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison.

    Trevor Davis has the speed, but really hasn’t done anything, even as a punt returner. I keep expecting him to hit a second gear, but he doesn’t. To me, he doesn’t look like a natural receiver, he looks like a converted track guy.

    Geronimo Allison has all the tools, the size, the route running ability, but not the speed.

  4. Howard October 26, 2016

    To me the first problem was only keeping 2 true running backs on the 53. It was obvious when Davis became the #1 punt returner over Abby that Abby was not in the Packers future plans. Should have cut Abby and if Burks was not good enough pickup a true running back. Ty is a very good third down receiving back, however I do not believe he should be being used as an every down running back you hand the ball off to consistently.

    1. Empacador October 26, 2016

      It is difficult to argue with your logic Howard. Although I thought, and I believe there was an article here as well, by taking him off punt returns that was removing the higher risk and saving Abby from concussions. That doesn’t explain his lack of playing time though, so agree his time with the Packers is probably done.

  5. Howard October 26, 2016

    One other thing about the receivers. I would expect Janis to start lining up a lot more in what would be a stand up tight end location just off the tackle. Janis lined up there several times against Chicago and was open more than you might think, several times he was being held by a linebacker (#50). Janis does need to learn how to avoid the linebackers in shallow crosses and drag routes.

    If anyone saw how the Chargers lined up against the Falcons that is close to the way the Packers lined up against the Bears. There are plays to be made against that Falcon D short, intermediate and deep, and a lot of those can be realized from the position Janis setup in against the Bears. Expect the Pack to run the 4 and 5 receiver set a lot against the Falcons.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK October 26, 2016

      Great point Howard regarding Janis. I noticed this as well. I did notice that at some point in the game that Janis was running one of those TE type routes and I believe that it was #50? for the Bears that hit him pretty hard as he started to going into his break and Rodgers did not see Janis get hit. He then threw the ball his way and it was missed due to the hit. I noticed that as soon as this happened Rodgers looked pissed, started bitching at someone and Janis was then NEVER targeted again in the game . . .

      1. Howard October 26, 2016

        I think when the team looks at the film of the Bears game, and the Chargers against Falcons they will see the Falcons will be suspect at the linebacker position with 4 or 5 receivers, even more than the Bears. The team should target the Falcons with the so called standup TE. I think it should be Janis, but it could also be Jordy, or Davis. The middle of the Falcon D is open and stressed against 4 or 5 wides. The one problem may be if the Falcons start getting pressure off the edge. Then do the Packers need to bring a TE in to chip on the edge rushers, mainly Beasley.

  6. Cyberstag October 26, 2016

    History repeating itself. for those who were too young to remember The buffoon. sounds exactly like Lindy Infante. lindy would say “my players are good they just need to play better! That was the losing attitude they had back then. along came Ron Wolf whose way was if there is someone better available than what we got we are going to bring him in. the exact opposite of geriatric Ted. TT and MM is why we suck now! stupid philosophy!!!

    1. MMTTDCSUCK October 26, 2016


  7. MMTTDCSUCK October 26, 2016

    hope that the team actually sees this trend. At this point I do not care who the receiver is! Just hit whoever is open in the middle. I believe that this is one of the Falcons weak spots as well. Yea, at this stage of the season I believe that Janis is not going to survive much longer on this team due to some (presumed by me) animus from Rodgers towards him.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK October 26, 2016

      This was a reply to Howard.

    2. PF4L October 27, 2016

      Too many people, players, coaches haven’t amped up Janis when given the opportunity when questioned about his progress. There is a problem with him in practice and behind the scenes, that were not privy too. I don’t believe for a second that Rodgers won’t go to him because of any personal animus. Matter of fact, Rodgers has said glowing things about him making big catches after games.

      Tell me why Rodgers doesn’t want a go to receiver that’s 6′ 3″ 220lbs with near world class speed? Janis may have the “metrics” of a Hall of Fame receiver. But i can’t help but think maybe there is a few legitimate reasons Janis lasted towards the end of the 7th round.

      My personal take (guess). If you can’t learn to run the passing routes, you are going to have trouble getting on the field in McCarthy’s offense.
      So where you could use him is on post (go) routes. The problem is i don’t think McCarthy likes to utilize go routes a lot in his system.
      My final take is, if he hasn’t gotten it down yet, he probably never will.

      1. Empacador October 27, 2016

        You may be correct. I think that is part of the problem, McCarthy expects all the receivers to know all the positions. Or at least he did from what I recall reading once upon a time. I bet someone would sign him though and get more use out of him, even in a reduced role/capacity that played to his strengths. Like a Sean Payton or an Andy Reid. Hell even Chip Kelly for that matter. Someone would take a flier and find a way to work him into their offense.