Healthy Roster Will Mean Hot Camp

The Packers will have to let go of some of their veterans just to make it under the 80-player limit for training camp next summer. This is a primer to our position-by-position look at the offseason roster.

"Steel sharpens steel."  

That's one of outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene's favorite catchphrases. And with a score of key performers coming off of injured reserve and another draft class being added to the mix, the Green Bay Packers will have plenty of steel-sharpening competition during what should be an incredible training camp.

Consider the numbers:

— There were 53 players on the final roster.

— There were 15 players on injured reserve.

— Eight players finished the season on the practice squad and a ninth, safety Anthony Levine, also was signed to a futures contract after finishing the season on the practice squad injured list.

— The Packers are slated to draft nine players — the 32nd pick in each round, plus what could be a third-round compensatory pick after losing Aaron Kampman as well as a seventh-rounder from Carolina for long snapper J.J. Jansen.

Add it together, that gives the Packers 86 players — and that doesn't include any undrafted free agents. They can only take 80 to training camp.

Granted, the Packers will lose some players in free agency. They have 12 unrestricted free agents. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins might be too expensive to keep, running back Brandon Jackson might want more opportunities with the ball, receiver James Jones' inconsistent hands might make him expendable and they might have no interest in bringing back safeties Atari Bigby and Anthony Smith, linebacker Matt Wilhelm and offensive linemen Mark Tauscher and Jason Spitz.

In the coming days — with a hiatus during our wall-to-wall coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine — we'll break down the Packers by position. Needless to say, the injuries that were so problematic in 2010 will mean one of the most hotly contested training camps the NFL has ever seen in 2011.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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