Projection vs. production: Green Bay Packers weigh roster options

Jim Owczarski
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
View Comments
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks up at the video board during an NFL preseason game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wis. 
Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

GREEN BAY - In his final media availability before his 53-man roster is put together, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy stated the obvious: That group has to be ready to beat the Chicago Bears on Sept. 9 at Lambeau Field.

But to get there, the coaches and front office have to work through the yearly push-and-pull of player evaluations. Who is ready to win Week 1, and who might project out to contribute down the line – maybe in Week 8. Or Week 17. Or 2019.

This current group of 90 Packers will require a bit of that forward thinking in the final cut to 53, what with 25 rookies, 10 first-year and 17 second-year players to consider.

McCarthy was asked about that balance of projecting what a player could be as opposed to what is currently doing in regard to the wide receiver room, but the head coach globalized the thought.

Q&A: Gutekunst willing to spend to acquire 'unique' players

YOU'RE THE GM:  Craft your 2018 Packers with Roster Builder

“Well, unfortunately, projection is part of the evaluation,” McCarthy admitted. “I think every team goes through that, and the wide receiver position is no different. But you can’t … I mean we need to start, when the players come in there on Monday, we’re going to have a game plan for Chicago to go win. We’re not going to be projecting on if a guy can do something or not. You can’t put yourself in that position, not that I’m saying we are. You’ve got to get started.

“And the other part of it, too, is you want players – not as much from the coaching or personnel department’s perspective – you want players that earn being on that 53 because that’s a tough locker room to walk into particularly if the individual player doesn’t really think he earned the 53 spot. We’ve experienced that here. It’s just like anything, you learn from your past experiences.”

Murphy ruled out

Backup tackle Kyle Murphy, who injured an ankle in the team’s third preseason game in Oakland, was ruled out for the Bears game by McCarthy on Friday. The extent of his injury is unknown, but if it is a serious problem and requires a move to injured reserve, the third-year tackle has to make the 53-man roster cutdown Saturday in order to be moved to the injured reserve list.


View Comments