Rasul Douglas Provides Packers with Much Needed Stability at CB

With question marks at the CB position, the Green Bay Packers get stability from an unlikely source in Rasul Douglas.

Despite having Jaire Alexander, there were some real concerns surrounding the Green Bay Packers cornerback unit entering this season, specifically the lack of depth. 
 
And unfortunately, early on this season, that depth has already been tested. We don't know when -- or if -- Alexander will return to action while Kevin King has missed several games as well.
 
However, the Green Bay Packers found a stabilizing presence in an unlikely contributor. Just a few weeks ago, the Packers signed Rasul Douglas off of the Arizona practice squad, and it's a move that has made a huge difference already. 
 
A former third-round pick out of West Virginia, Douglas spent his first three seasons with Philadelphia, but inconsistency and a crowded cornerback room led to Douglas' eventual release. Avonte Maddox was outplaying him while the team had just signed Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman. 
 
“In Philly, it was a great situation,” Douglas said via Sports Illustrated. “First year, I was behind two great guys. That was good. And then they went on to get deals. Jalen Mills got a deal with New England, and Ronald Darby got a deal in Denver. So, I was behind those two guys. I think I started coming on my second year, started making plays for myself. Then Year 4, I really don’t know what happened but I was released."
 
Douglas would then spend 2020 with Carolina, where he ended up playing a significant role and held his own at times. In 821 snaps, he was targeted 77 times, allowing a completion rate of 65 percent and 12.3 yards per catch. Douglas also had eight pass breakups and a passer rating of 106.8 when targeted.
 
But Douglas was not in Carolina's long-term plans, and before joining Green Bay, he would spend time this summer in Las Vegas and Houston before ultimately landing on the Arizona practice squad. 
 
“And then in Carolina, I did good until Week 7, when I caught COVID, and it was hard bouncing back from there," said Douglas via Sports Illustrated. "Getting back into the game plan was kind of hard. And then the GM firing. It was good. I think I kind of came on and made a good deal for myself there. And then with the Raiders, I was doing good but things didn’t work out. Houston, I didn’t expect to make the team. I was only there one day. And then Arizona, I came on after camp. There’s really no competition period anymore if you’re not there in camp. You’re kind of just a scout guy. It’s really hard to jump from scout team to starter unless injuries happen. So, I was just working my craft, working my technique and making sure, in case the situation appeared, I was ready.”
 
However, in Green Bay, Douglas was given an opportunity and has provided stability at an important position. He absolutely flies around the field, and he's also made a few impact plays since arriving--which was not all that long ago. 
 
After being with the team for just over a week, Douglas came in off the bench against Chicago and ended up playing 52 snaps where he allowed only 32 yards on three completions. The following week against Washington, Douglas was targeted only twice, allowing one reception for four yards. 
 
Then, of course, there was this past Thursday in Arizona where he led the team in tackles and came away with the game-clinching interception. In fact, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network would report that Douglas recognized the play at the line of scrimmage from his time on the Arizona practice squad because of a hand signal that Kyler Murray gave AJ Green--an incredibly heads-up play.
 
“I’m so proud of Rasul. What a great story,” Aaron Rodgers said following the win. “How special is this game? Guy’s on the street, comes in, starts for us, finishes the game out for us. Amazing.”
 
All-in-all, Douglas has 17 tackles and five stops -- or plays that result in a "loss" for the offense -- during his first three games with the Packers, according to PFF. In coverage, he's been targeted 16 times, allowing a completion rate of 56 percent and only 9.7 yards per catch. Douglas also has an interception, two pass breakups, and a passer rating of just 45.6 when thrown at. 
 
“Man, you’re talking about a guy who’s been in here three weeks, and then the next thing you know, he’s starting,” said Jerry Gray via the Wisconsin State Journal. “A pro — that’s what I consider him as. He doesn’t talk a lot. He’s a real quiet guy. He understands.
 
“He’s all business, now. He understands what he’s supposed to do. We’ve tried to make it as simple as possible for him. And he knew some of the names, and we said, ‘Hey, this is like this. This is like that.’ And he caught on real fast. When you’ve got guys like that, that hadn’t been part of the locker room in training camp and all of a sudden show up, and then the players embrace them, that means they’ve done a good job in the locker room.
 
“And then, they go on the football field and they make plays, that makes them a lot better, especially in our locker room.”
 
Douglas has been rock solid, and you wonder how he's been on five different teams prior to joining the Packers. Whether it's the cover-2 heavy defensive system that Joe Barry runs -- I do think that's an important part in this -- something just clicked for Douglas, or a number of other possible answers, Green Bay is reaping the rewards of this signing.
 
Next to rookie Eric Stokes, the two have given this Green Bay Packers' defense some-much needed stability in recent weeks when there was quite a bit of uncertainty around the position. Now as the season progresses, the Packers will be tasked with divvying up playing time once they get back to full strength--but that's a good problem to have in this instance. 

---------------------

Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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7 points

Comments (55)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
MarkinMadison's picture

November 01, 2021 at 11:21 am

"Douglas has been rock solid, and you wonder how he's been on five different teams prior to joining the Packers."

I'd LOVE to hear the answer to that question from someone with NFL scouting ability. I don't think I even blinked when the Packers signed Douglas. I doubt if anyone here was going, "Just wait, this guy is going to be a competent starter." Maybe something just clicked for the guy. Or maybe his flaws are just really well hidden in this scheme. Or maybe the difference between a competent starter and the practice squad is not as great as I might think.

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dblbogey's picture

November 01, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Could be he's just in the zone and playing well right now and comes back to earth and shows why he's bounced around. Or hopefully, as you said, something finally clicked for the kid. He's been a great addition, hope it continues.

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Crankbait's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:27 pm

Actually, King is that bad.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:31 pm

Crankbait.....I thought we agreed that because you clearly wouldn't recognize good defense if it sat on your face, that you would refrain from commenting on our defense?

Kevin King always starts when he's healthy, and we usually win when he starts. He'd start for quite a few teams in this league.

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Coldworld's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:01 am

King has good points and bad. He would, however, be playing this year somewhere because he’s better than many CBs playing this year, whether he’d start on the perimeter or not. Last year, playing impaired, the question should be why we continued to play him.

If King is our 3rd or 4th CB, we are in a pretty good spot. I know it’s fun to have easy targets, but some lose enough perspective that they might end up shooting their own feet in the rush to uphold conventional “wisdom”.

Many squealed that we could have had players that were much better cheaper. One name trotted out was that of Breeland. A man PFF ranked as 103 out if 103 CBs in the league over the season to early October. Yes, that’s well below King, as is Richard Sherman. So King is not Alexander, but he’s not what many here claim. Every snap he plays avoids a snap for Yiadom or SJC. That’s a pretty big positive this year.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:32 pm

After spending a while on AZ's PS on the edge of washing out of the league, he might have realized just how fragile his career is...

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 01, 2021 at 05:07 pm

He worked against their WRs and knew a bit of their playbook. See how he does vs Mahomes and Company.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2021 at 06:32 pm

He's played pretty well in the other two games he's played for the Packers, too. Admittedly, those WR groups weren't as good as AZ's, but he's been solid.

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Coldworld's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:20 am

The knock on Douglas has always been his speed. An Eagles perspective, written after his play in AZ lamenting his release but not that he should be starting for them stated:

“ In Philadelphia, Douglas recorded five picks and 25 passes defensed in 46 games of action, he just gave up too many big plays down the field due to his lack of outside speed. While that is still technically true, see the number of teams he’s played for in 2021, in the endzone, where you have only a few yards to worry about, Douglas can be a very effective player.”

https://section215.com/2021/10/29/philadelphia-eagles-rasul-douglas-ruin...

Athletically, he ran a borderline 40 for a CB at 4.59 and had below average explosion and agility scores. That seemed to mirror his college tape.

These statements also chime in closely with assessments over his career. So true or not as to the reason, he has struggled preventing big plays despite having good ball skills and tackling. Yes, it could be maturity, but I think there is a good chance that a lot of it has to do with fitting how Barry’s system uses CBs. If so, great, because that has unlocked his ball skills and would be sustainable.

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ImaPayne's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:14 pm

Keep in mind, anything is an improvement over a guy who cant and wont tackle, who gets beat deep often letting guys run by him and is hurt often just like in college Ted T.
When I read Kind had several shoulder injuries in college and missed a log of games I wondered what the hell did Ted see?
Ya for now I will take Douglas, maybe he can force King to wake up and accept the fact he may be gone if he doesnt get it done.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:18 pm

The line between PS and active roster is razor thin in this league. More often than not, player's talent level is equal depending on position and scheme. Two things usually makes or breaks an individual player, Mental ability and team fit. Sometimes teams don't know until they see a player preforming out on the field. Then there is the X-factor, injury and sickness, some teams in this league release players real quick if they come in with a hang nail. The Packers are unusual in they like to take a long look at the players they sign. Gute is decisive when he releases players, but he also makes sure the organization get a good look at their potential investment.

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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:45 pm

A great point about the meshing of abilities and fit flackcatcher - they really are tightly coupled when it comes to success.

I wonder how much benefit having 2 decent safeties and a good ILB are also having on the play of the corners (or more accurately the targeting). Add to that the pressure that the D line is getting.

Playing man coverage does seem to suit Douglas better. It will be good to see how Mahomes and Andy Reid plan against them.

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Coldworld's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:29 am

The odd thing is that the perceived wisdom with him dating back to before the draft and up to his arrival here was that he struggled in man and needed to play press zone.

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:44 pm

"Or maybe his flaws are just really well hidden in this scheme"

I prefer to think: "maybe his strengths are really brought out in this scheme"

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jurp's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:38 pm

Douglas did say that he joined AZ after camp and that it's difficult to move up onto the roster due to lack of competition; they obviously liked him enough to cut someone from the PS (assumption in my part) to sign him. Houston signed him for a day (what's up with that?), but LV had him and cut him. I would like to know why Gruden cut him, though.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 01, 2021 at 05:25 pm

Maybe Gruden didn't like the look of his lips...

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Mike Rossmeier's picture

November 01, 2021 at 04:33 pm

It's not hard to see why Philly released him. In his last year I remember seeing them targeting him - he was terrible.
But kudos to him for keeping at it and turning a bad year around.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 01, 2021 at 08:07 pm

I can't say for sure but I feel like Jerry Grey deserves some credit. He's got Stokes, Douglas and Sullivan playing very well.

5 points
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ApplesAndTons's picture

November 01, 2021 at 11:37 pm

Cobb is then doing GREAT....not on IR either

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Hematite's picture

November 01, 2021 at 11:43 am

I'm certainly happy that this young man landed in Green Bay.
Hopefully he can continue to hold up his end of the bargain.
It's hard to believe that he won't.

6 points
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Koostyroosty's picture

November 01, 2021 at 11:52 am

I only needed to see him play some extended snaps (Chicago) and i thought he was better than King. I would not play King ahead of Douglas on the outside for any reason. This guy can play, he is aggressive to the ball, and can tackle. Lets sign him to a longer contract.

11 points
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canadapacker's picture

November 01, 2021 at 12:58 pm

This is the NFL - Not for Long - and it is also a show me league. Douglas has played well and it was not just that last game saving play. Not if he can keep on playing well - I think that he will be on the field ahead of King. And King needs to be on only on those plays where he is on the line of scrimmage and playing against those short route guys or maybe if Douglas or somebody else needs a breather. Just hope that he keeps this play up - because sometimes people are only as good as their last game.
And wasnt last night terrific to watch the Vikings lose to a rookie QB ??

11 points
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dobber's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:30 pm

Actually, the Packers could've used a MN win over Dallas with an eye toward seeding...but the frickin' Vikings couldn't even get that right.

7 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:48 pm

I know right!

My mind was saying "Let the Vikings win". But my heart was overjoyed when Dallas won.

Heart won over head! 😁

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2021 at 06:34 pm

Yeah, last night was a classic "meteorite strike" game.

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canadapacker's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:16 pm

I am not looking anywhere down the road past winning our division. First we get into the dance and THEN we look farther down the line. Every week that the Lions Bears and Vikings lose I say whoopee - one more full game between us and them and I especially love it when the Vikes get a big old L - dont like Zimmer and dont like Cousins ( not a team player) . And we know that the Bears Still Suck.

5 points
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jurp's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:42 pm

Right now, I'd like the Bears to lose to GB, but knock off MN. In fact, I'd love to see them go 9-8, finish second to GB, back into the playoffs again, lose again, and then KEEP NAGY AS COACH. He's one of the best Bears coaches that the Packers have ever had :) Oh yeah - I'd also like him to ruin Justin Fields for the near future (sorry Justin; but you were a Buckeye and are now a Bear, and all's fair in football).

3 points
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dobber's picture

November 01, 2021 at 06:36 pm

"...and then KEEP NAGY AS COACH"

I know an awful lot of Bears fans who lamented them making the playoffs last year because they knew Nagy would stay...and they're afraid of the same thing happening this year!

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:24 am

As long as they keep Pace I’m happy.

1 points
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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:51 pm

The MM showdown just keeps edging closer, doesn’t it!

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:27 am

I’m happy to see MN slide towards irrelevance. The Cowboys have a long early to go at this point. Plenty of time for them to return to reality, but ultimately, win your division first.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:10 pm

Amen, brethren. I don't think most of us were counting on Stokes and Douglas to replace Alexander and King, either, but they have, and they've done pretty well.

I was perusing the pro-football-reference.com defensive stats this morning, and our PASS defense is among the best in the league. Pressure %, QB rating, Average Yards per Attempt, etc.....the team keeps showing up towards the top.

I don't know how Rasul Douglas ended up with us, but I'm damn glad he did. I guess maybe he was just ready to succeed in Green Bay.

8 points
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Crankbait's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:34 pm

Talented, Very humble and a young man of faith. What's not to like?

2 points
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therealcause's picture

November 01, 2021 at 04:55 pm

The faith part.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 01, 2021 at 05:16 pm

Had Stokes over King from day one.

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ImaPayne's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:10 pm

I'm only bought into Douglas half way. When I looked at that interception that saved the day I realize he was in the wrong position to stop the play. Had the receiver been on the same page he could have easily turned and caught the ball and won the game. Douglas would have been on the wrong side of the receiver to prevent that so he got very lucky.
All I know is they let him go for a reason just like we resigned King for a reason and no one has a clue why?

-7 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:32 pm

Agree that the INT was more the result of the offensive play not being on the same page than any great exploit by Douglas being the defender. Had the WR turned, as assumed was the play call, Douglas would be in the Kevin King doghouse consoling each other.

Douglas has done good things for the team, but the miscommunication blunder on that play shouldn't erase that Douglas was going to be burned and the game goes back to needing Rodgers to pull off the last possession win.

-4 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:58 pm

"...Douglas was goingto be burned..."

Hmmm... I thought that only the events that actually happen matter. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe only downers matter.

4 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:31 pm

IF ever there was a place that epitomized the 'what if and if only' mantra, it surely is this one. Now, when an 'if' is brought into the conversation other than those who abuse such, they're downers. Practice what you preach and accept the 'if' factors that are so uncountable when a loss happens. Hypocrisy knows no bounds in Packer fan land.

-2 points
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jurp's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:52 pm

All I know is that IF the Packers hadn't picked up Douglas and/or IF they hadn't replaced Yiadem with Douglas during the Bears game, then Yiadom would've probably been playing on Thursday. Given his small sample size, there's no way he makes that play. Hell, he'd've probably been watching the ball hit Green's helmet from the 5 yard line IF Green doesn't turn around.

6 points
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nygary's picture

November 01, 2021 at 06:33 pm

On any play you can say what if. All the matters is the end result.

4 points
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ApplesAndTons's picture

November 01, 2021 at 11:11 pm

either the Israel Lobby trained you or the Packers are in cahoots with them. either way, you're subjecting your fans to one of the most low-quality sports information news silos...provincials have been easy to propagandize as they have proven to be almost immune to facts....and if they stay in their propaganda silos it wouldn’t matter what happened because they’d say the handling of the team has been great. when in reality Gute is no better than rachel phelps

cheeseheads are becoming synonymous with schadenfreude, and that needs to change

-2 points
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TOMMY'63's picture

November 01, 2021 at 04:38 pm

Dear Taran you are so very right.I just hope mlf realises he almost cost us the game.on the muffed punt with ball on 4 yard line 3 straight passes,why.?we were moving the ball well on the ground.On last drive ball on goal line ,A pass, why is Dillon not going to get it,for mlf.one of these days mlf will cost a game.Dont get me wrong he prepared a good game plan,but he does the stupid things.maybe he could use Clark to block as ellegible receiver or alla fridge gpg

-1 points
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Rebecca's picture

November 01, 2021 at 08:24 pm

Douglas was interviewed by Sports Illustrated and spoke of knowing that play from practice and that he saw Murray give the hand signal for the play. But since Green was unaware of the signal he was not running the correct route. Douglas knew at least where the ball was going. He was fortunate and made the play. Bragging rights BITCHES!

1 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

November 01, 2021 at 01:56 pm

That's not it.

Rasul knew that Green would not turn around. If Rasul had been in front, Green would have tackled him and knocked the ball out, and it would have been an incomplete pass.

As it was, Green had absolutely no idea that Rasul had caught the ball!

Additionally, lets consider that Green did in fact turn around. Maybe he makes a play for the ball. Maybe Rasul knocks it out and the pass is incomplete.

Or lets go back even further; maybe the refs did not succumb to the betting gods and did not overturn the TD call on the field; the call that did not have any conclusive evidence to overturn the onfield call. Maybe then this would be a moot point.

So, lots of maybes. In the end, only the ACTUAL FACT matters.

10 points
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ApplesAndTons's picture

November 01, 2021 at 10:15 pm

great point

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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:35 pm

Anyone else pick up that the Chiefs signed Josh Jackson to their practice squad late last week. While it’s a common thing for teams to do (in anticipation of an opponent) I’ll be interested to see how (or how not) keyed in the Chiefs secondary are to Rodgers and the packers offense.

0 points
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jurp's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:46 pm

Eh, maybe the Packers will change a little terminology or, if Jackson is elevated and actually plays for some reason, change a hand signal to mean something different to what he knows. In which case it'll be to our advantage when he covers the wrong route (would love to see this, actually). I doubt that he'll be a positive factor for them.

3 points
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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2021 at 02:58 pm

Good point Jurp. I too don’t think that he’ll get elevated and make the field. I think he’s just there for a week to get pumped for information. He’d have to have a Rasul Douglas moment to be any different.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 01, 2021 at 05:30 pm

He didn't know the terminology to begin with. Scrub Talk 2021.

4 points
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packer132's picture

November 01, 2021 at 05:18 pm

I've seen a couple of players signed before facing their former team, though heard somewhere that it doesn't mean anything. I can't see a team giving up a spot on the roster (practice squad) to pick up a call or two. I would love to hear from a former player if that is a valid tactic. The Chiefs have a poor defense this year, and I read where they have tried out several players at CB and still looking for some depth. Jackson was a top 50 pick in 2018 and is only 25.

3 points
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Minniman's picture

November 02, 2021 at 01:43 pm

Yes, he went from being a 'pick machine' in college to being picked on in the pros. Make no mistake, I do feel for him. I often wonder what it is that makes these guys flail once they hit the pros......... Some may remark that "he doesn't have the speed", and why this may be true to a point, according to the Combine results, Douglas posted a 4.59 40 [that's only LB speed] and a 3-cone of 6.97 [as above]..... yet, he's been quite reactive and "on-time" thus far for the Packers. Interesting!

On another topic, I'm looking forward to seeing Stokes vs Hill when Mahomes (inevitably) throws that deep ball...... Battle of the 4.2x 40-time speedsters......who wins that battle???

0 points
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THESZOTMAN1's picture

November 01, 2021 at 03:01 pm

I've never joined in with any of the "Gute Bashing" you see on Cheesehead TV streams, but you gotta give him props for finding Rasul on Zona's PRACTICE squad. His trade for Campbell is just as great, if not greater. This goes back a ways too. Remember getting Veldheer out of retirement? Did good job a right tackle when we were hurting. Wonder if he's got anybody in mind at trade deadline?
The Szotman

4 points
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packer132's picture

November 02, 2021 at 01:15 pm

Gute brought in Mercilus who should help the rest of the season. Also the trade for the new punter (Bojorquez) who has made a difference. Winfree was signed last year to the practice squad after Denver released him and Malik Taylor, Lazard, and Tonyan came from the practice squad. His drafts are producing starters and players who can fill in for injuries. I would love a trade, but don't want to give away high draft picks like the Rams did for 32 year old Von Miller.

4 points
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Handsback's picture

November 01, 2021 at 06:07 pm

Douglas is a very physical CB, he's not the 2nd coming of Al Harris. If King is healthy, will probably see him get 40% of the plays in the first game. If he stays healthy...he will be a starter. Green Bay is happy to get Douglas, and he's obviously better this year than last. He will provide excellent depth, which every team in the NFL needs, and hopefully steps up his coverage. Because of his physical play, you can use him instead of a 3rd safety for many of the nickel and dime formations.

Green Bay could have a very strong team if they get everyone back this year.

5 points
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