Roster spots could be on the line in Packers preseason finale

Roster spots could be on the line in Packers preseason finale

Packers GM Ted Thompson says history shows that jobs could be won and lost in one preseason game
(WFRV-TV) - Even the most hardcore Packers fan probably isn't keen on paying face value to watch it.

TV viewers may lost interest early on.  Heck, veteran players admit they have no interest playing in it.

"Nah," said guard Josh Sitton when asked if he thought it was important to get a few reps in the preseason finale against Kansas City.  

But General Manager Ted Thompson knows the final preseason game Thursday night is a big deal.

"It's important, this last game's important," Thompson said on the final day of training camp Wednesday.  "The young men know that.  This will be interesting stuff."

Can one preseason game really mean making or not making the team? Thompson says that was the case back in 1996 for a certain Super Bowl MVP.

"Desmond Howard wasn't going to make our team," Thompson admitted.  "He hadn't had very good games, and I think he had been hurt.  Mike (Holmgren) and Ron (Wolf) decided to just put him out there to return the whole game and see how he does."

In the third preseason game against Pittsburgh, Howard returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown, and showed what he was capable of.

"Wound up having that run, especially there at the end of the season," said Thompson of Howard who wound up being a big weapons for Green Bay and the MVP of Super Bowl XXXI.  "That run may be the finest piece of football returning that I've ever seen. So you never know."

You never know which player on the bubble could make a great final impression in the Thursday's preseason finale against the Chiefs. Fourth round pick Carl Bradford hopes that it's him, but it won't be easy after a late camp switch from outside to inside linebacker.

"I believe I'll be ready," said Bradford who's in danger of being the first 4th round pick cut in his first year Green Bay since 2006.  "It's another opportunity.  Different position, same goal.  Just focus on the game don't focus on the cuts, don't focus on anything outside of football.

Reserve offensive tackle Aaron Adams spent time on the Packers practice squad last year, and knows how important Thursday's game is.  

"I try to approach it just like any other game and prepare myself just as I would," said Adams.  "Same sleep, same routine, just know that there's a lot riding on it."


Adams says he wants to make the final 53 "more than I've ever wanted anything," showing the kind of emotion players carry into this last roster audition.

Thompson and Mike McCarthy feel the same pressure to pick the right guys.

"It weighs on you because it's very important, said Thompson.

"We can't worry about, I thought this guy was going to be this kind of player or this guy is disappointing me, or the coaches like this guy... We can't get into that.  We have to do what's right for the Packers.  And most of all what's right for the people in that locker room."
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