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Difficult picks for Packers coaches, and which 53 they'll pick to keep

Defensive end Josh Boyd. Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Difficult picks for Packers coaches, and which 53 they'll pick to keep

By Wayne Larrivee. CREATED Aug 29, 2013

For all of us who have to keep track of 90 guys on a given roster, or two, we are so glad to see the NFL preseason come to a close tonight.  But for players and coaches this is a difficult time.  

The collectively bargained restrictions on off-season workouts and training camp practices have put a premium on pre season games for those trying to evaluate talent and those players trying to make the team.  
As Packers coach Mike McCarthy has said, “The priorities are creating opportunities, quality of individual play and then winning the game.”  
The opportunity aspect is especially true in this final pre season game-the last opportunity for some of these players, who have been working since March, to show what they can do.
Coaches and personnel people are information gatherers at this time of year as they try to make the correct decisions for their teams.  
Andy Reid here in Kansas City said, “I’m a coach, I just want to coach my guys.”  
Right now "his guys" number 75 players. By next week they have to get down to 53.  
You get the impression the coaches can’t get enough of pre-season.  If it were six games like it used to be, all the better for them.
Tonight Mike McCarthy will take a look at defining roles at running back, special teams, making decisions on what he terms is a deep roster of talent on defense and deciding how many tight ends and wide receivers to keep.
Looking at this roster again here are my picks to make it:
Offensive Line :  Bakhtiari, Sitton,  Ddietrich-Smith, Lang, and Barclay to start.  Newhouse,  Van Roten, and Taylor backing up.
Runningback:  Lacy, Starks, Green, Franklin and Kuhn.
Wide receiver:  Jones, Nelson, Cobb, Ross and Boykin.
Tight Ends:  Finley, Mulligan, Taylor and D J Williams 
Quarterbacks:  Rodgers and Young
That’s 24 players on offense.
Defensive line: Wilson, Jones, Pickett, Jolly, Raji, Daniels and Neal.
Linebacker: Matthews , Perry, Jones, Hawk, Francois, Lattimore, Manning, Mulumba, Moses.
Cornerback:  Williams, Shields, House, Hayward, Hyde and Bush.
Safeties: Burnett, Jennings, McMillian, Banjo.
That’s 26 players on defense.
Three specialists: Crosby, Masthay and Goode.
Jeremy Ross is my return guy on kicks and possibly Micah Hyde on punts.
On the practice squad I’ve got:  OT Andrew Datko, WR Charles Johnson, TE Jake Stoneburner, NT Josh Boyd, CB James Nixon, LB Sam Barrington, CB Brandon Smith, and another player from the waiver wire.
Injuries could change everything.  So too could an outstanding performance tonight by one of the bubble players.   But the defensive side of the roster has been upgraded greatly in the past two seasons and that is reflected in the numbers breakdown of this team.  
Scroll through the media gallery above for the Green Bay Packers' roster as it stands now