Vince and Johnny: From Long Shots to Roster SpotsPosted:Aug 24th, 2013 9:28 pm
We didn't learn as much from the Packers as we typically do in the third preseason game. That will happen when your franchise QB plays only one series. One thing we did learn: the 53-man roster will include two guys who, collectively, have been out of football for the past four years.
Both Johnny Jolly and Vince Young will make this team. That is something I would have a lot money against a month ago. Let's start with Young who has won the backup job with the announcement on Saturday afternoon that the Packers have waived Graham Harrell. Despite just a couple of weeks in Mike McCarthy's system, Young has looked infinitely more comfortable on the field than Harrell ever has. Young's 80-yard touchdown drive was not a thing of beauty. An interception should have ended it early--and he used his legs a bit more than you'd like to see. But he engineered a solid drive and looked like he belonged. That's all the Packers could ask for.
For Harrell, it's the end of the road--some team might find itself desperate enough to add him, but he looks even less like an NFL quarterback than Christian Ponder. Glad to see the team cuts its losses and move on. BJ Coleman will likely land on the practice squad once again.
The defense looked okay against the Seahawks, though they couldn't find a way to corral rookie running back Christine Michael. They also gave up too many third down conversions for my liking. But they didn't let Russell Wilson beat them with the big play and picked off a couple of passes. The defensive line looks better and deeper--one reason is the return of Jolly, who is looking more and more like his old self and will no doubt win a roster spot. Adding him, rookie Datone Jones and a much improved Mike Daniels to Raji and Pickett gives the team a lot more punch up front--it should make the defense stouter.
The biggest disappointment from the night was the inability of the offensive line to open any holes for the running game. Granted, the Pack went to its backups much earlier than the Seahawks which made things difficult. But whether it was Lacy, Franklin or Green, there were no holes to be found. The injury to DuJuan Harris is troubling: the staff really wanted to see how he stacked up with the others. It will be interesting to see how many RBs the team keeps--right now I'd expect to see Lacy, Harris, Franklin, Green and Kuhn.
It was a very solid night for Brad Jones and Micah Hyde on the defensive side of the ball. And the two young tackles held up pretty well too. Injuries reared their ugly head, so at the time I write this, we have no idea of the severity of the hamstring injuries to Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward. They have two weeks to heal up for the 49ers--can't really afford to be without those guys, especially Burnett, since the team is so thin at safety.
From a special teams standpoint, neither kicker got much of a chance to show anything and the return game still seems pretty much up in the air. Jeremy Ross needs a strong week at WR to keep the return job. If one of those other WRs step up this week (Walker, White, Gillet), it could cost Ross his spot.