The 2011 Packers: Young, Not Short

That's the verdict as the NFL released its annual rundown of the Kickoff Weekend rosters on Thursday.

The Green Bay Packers are the third-youngest team in the NFL, according to data released by the NFL on Thursday evening.

The average age of the Packers' 53-man roster is 25.74 years. Tampa Bay is the youngest at 25.17, followed by Seattle at 25.72. The Bengals, the AFC's youngest team, are tied with the Packers at 25.74.

Among the Packers' NFC North rivals, Chicago's average age is 26.28, Minnesota's 26.43 and Detroit's 26.92. The average age league-wide is 26.39. The Lions are almost the NFC's oldest team, with Arizona the relative graybeards at 26.96. Pittsburgh, at 27.28, is the oldest team in the NFL.

The average Packer has 3.7 years of experience, which trails only Tampa Bay (3.3), Seattle (3.4), Cleveland (3.5) and Cincinnati 3.6. Detroit, with a league-low five rookies and first-year players, is only less seasoned than Pittsburgh's 5.1 years of experience per player. The average is 4.3 years.

The Packers' youth is further defined by their 13 rookies and first-year players and six players age 30 and older. Only Cleveland (17) and Baltimore, Buffalo, Seattle and San Francisco (14 apiece) have more neophytes, and only Cincinnati (two), Seattle (three) and Tampa Bay (four) have fewer in the 30-and-older crowd.

Only six teams have fewer players standing less than 6 feet tall than the Packers' total of seven. Otherwise, the Packers' roster is relatively unremarkable by other measuring sticks. They're right in the middle of the pack with 10 players of 200 pounds and less and 11 players of 300 pounds and greater. Even with so few players standing less than 6 foot, the Packers' average height of 6-foot-1.5 inches and 247.68 pounds is right in line of the league averages of 6-foot-1.7 and 246.70 pounds.

If you're short and small, you'll have a home in Detroit, which has league highs of 16 players 6 feet and shorter and 13 players of 200 pounds or lighter.

Of the 32 quarterbacks who started in Week 1, 18 were selected in the first round and 21 are younger than 30 years old. Aaron Rodgers, 27, was selected 24th in the first round in 2005.

A total of 238 colleges produced the 1,696 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters. Miami sent a league-high 42 of them to the NFL, followed by 41 from USC, 40 from Texas, 36 from Tennessee and 35 from LSU and Ohio State.

Also, according to the NFL Management Council and AonHewitt, the average length of the career of the 206 drafted rookies on Kickoff Weekend rosters is 6.86 years.

Packers injury report

Out: DE Mike Neal (knee); LB Frank Zombo (shoulder). Did not participate: LB Vic So'oto (back); CB Tramon Williams (shoulder). Limited: TE Jermichael Finley (ankle). Full: T Chad Clifton (knee); CB Davon House (ankle); TE Ryan Taylor (hip).

"His workload increased today, the rehab session," coach Mike McCarthy said after Thursday's practice. "It will really be how he responds from that (before we decide?) if he participates in (Friday's) practice."

After being limited on Wednesday, So'oto's back flared up.

Panthers injury report

Did not participate: T Jeff Otah (head). Limited: LB Thomas Davis (groin). Full: WR Kealoha Pilares (ankle); CB Josh Thomas (thigh).

Four-point stance

— According to, the Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl at 5/1, with Green Bay just off the pace at 11/2. Also, the over/under on Cam Newton is 210.5 passing yards, 55 percent completions, 1.5 touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions. Last week, he threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns.

— Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was happy with a run game that got a combined 97 yards on 21 attempts from James Starks and Ryan Grant. "When we gave it to our runners on called runs, we were over 4 yards a carry. There's a lot of room for improvement but I thought there were some good things."

— Randall Cobb, a second-round pick in 2011, made a quick impression on Greg Jennings, a second-round pick in 2006. "His demeanor, the way he approaches the game, his football IQ, just the way he carries himself reminds me a lot of how i carried myself as a rookie coming in. Just all ears, wide open, ready to learn, ready to absorb anything that anyone throws at me, but bringing his skill-set to the table because that's what got him here in this position."

— According to The Sports Xchange, Cobb is one of two players in NFL history to have a touchdown catch and a kickoff-return touchdown in his first game. The other was Detroit's Bill Bowman in 1954.

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

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