From the Far Hash: Bold Predictions
No one likes reading about the obvious. Safe bets are boring. Let’s have a look at some of my bold predictions about the Packers, which includes this season and perhaps next year. If I’m correct, I’m gonna start buying more lotto tickets. If I’m wrong, I’ll look foolish. Oh well, let’s have some fun anyway.
- Vince Young wins the backup quarterback position. Graham Harrell is waived and B. J. Coleman finds his way onto the practice squad again. The oft-maligned offensive line necessitated the signing of a veteran backup quarterback who has starting experience just in case Aaron Rodgers finds his way onto the meat wagon. Let’s hope he never does. But, if Aaron does need to leave a game, Vince Young gives a better chance of winning the game than either Harrell or Coleman. Maybe, Coleman comes back next year and is ready to be the #2.
- David Bakhtiari has a higher upside and ceiling than Bryan Bulaga. He flourishes in his new role as starting left tackle, and is so good at it that when Bryan Bulaga returns healthy next year, Bakhtiari keeps the left tackle position and Bulaga returns to his previous right tackle position.
- Don Barclay wins the right tackle position. Marshall Newhouse becomes the swing man substitute, filling in at either tackle.
- Alex Green is traded or waived. The fact his surgically repaired knee flared up again in practice scares me. Ted Thompson gambles that James Starks can remain healthy this year, making him the #2 running back behind Eddie Lacy. Johnathan Franklin becomes the #3 running back and third down specialist. DuJuan Harris makes the team and plays sparingly.
- Fan-favorite John Kuhn is also traded or waived. With Eddie Lacy assuming the role of the goal line and short yardage back, Kuhn becomes expendable. The Packers use that roster spot to carry another tight end, with one of them serving the role of a blocking back.
- Neither Mason Crosby nor Giorgio Tavecchio win the kicking job. Ted Thompson signs a veteran free agent kicker near, or after, the final cut down to 53.
- Jermichael Finley leads the team in touchdown receptions, but also drops. At this point, Jermichael is Jermichael. The Packers know what they have in him. He’s an extremely talented athlete who lacks focus at times and shows his hands of stone during others. With the new running of Eddie Lacy, the Packers have an improved play action package, freeing up Jermichael to take it to pay dirt.
- A. J. Hawk actually forces a fumble. He hasn’t forced one since before HD TVs became commonplace in most homes.
- Tramon Williams loses his starting cornerback position. Sam Shields and Casey Hayward are starters, making Tramon the nickle corner. Tramon’s shoulder makes him too much of a liability for run support, but he’s perfectly at home during substitution packages and covering the slot during passing downs.
- Johnny Jolly makes the final 53. He’s had a good camp, Mike McCarthy likes him, and he’s a good locker room guy. Good big men are hard to find.
- B. J. Raji finally becomes the B. J. Raji the Packers expected when they drafted him #9 overall. Contract years do that. Raji won’t negotiate a new contract during the season, so he is franchise-tagged in the off season. Maybe this prediction isn’t so bold, but it’s long overdue.
Well, there you have it. Feel free to discuss away. Agree or disagree. Just don’t shoot the prognosticator.