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Did Alonzo Harris come out of nowhere?

Last look at 53-man and then on to the opener


Trevor from Uijeongbu, South Korea

I liked what John Crockett did in the preseason. I didn't know much about Rajion Neal or Alonzo Harris. Pass protection is usually the tiebreaker in who to keep and who to cut. Do you think that was the case in this decision?

It was probably a factor.

Noah from Omro, WI

Vic, as a fun little exercise this year, I decided to write up my own Packers 53-man roster after the final preseason game. When the smoke cleared on Saturday, I was only off by four players, and they were all mostly on the bubble, so to speak. I credit reading your work for allowing me to get so close. One thing that surprised me, both from what I saw in games and what you and Mike had written, was Rajion Neal getting cut. I thought he looked good, and was contributing on special teams, in an area of need. Was that the biggest surprise for you, too?

Yes, it was. I thought he was the leader for the kickoff-return job.

Mark from Dalton, GA

Vic, how did you enjoy the opening weekend of college football?

Most of the games I saw were sloppy, as I've come to expect of the opening weekend of college football; that's the result of no preseason. I saw an avalanche of fumbled exchanges from center, and drop-back-and-run is not my idea of scheme or execution. Of the games I saw, I can't think of one I'll remember. I sincerely hope the NFL puts on a better show this weekend than college football did this past weekend.

Joel from Omaha, NE

Vic, I know will never scoop itself, but do you have any information on the supposed signing of James Jones?

You know the drill. Until he passes his physical and signs a contract, we can't report it. I think I've been honest with the readers. This isn't the place to go for getting scoops on player signings.

Bob from Titusville, FL

Your inbox must be overflowing with James Jones questions. I think it will help Rodgers and take pressure off the young receivers, eventually making them better. Agree?

I think that's a reasonable analysis.

Brett from Blacksburg, VA

Vic, do you have any thoughts on No. 1 Ohio State taking on Virginia Tech? Do you think the Hokies can pull an upset?

I think you should prepare for the worst.

Jeremy from Marietta, GA

Can you explain to me why the Eagles cut Tebow, who worked on learning their system for the entire preseason and did a respectable job in the opinion of most, just to sign another QB who didn't practice or learn the system at all. In my opinion, QB is the hardest position to learn, especially in a Chip Kelly system. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep a guy who spent weeks learning it?

Talent trumps everything.

Mike from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I just read three weeks' worth of your column on this football-less Sunday. I think I have perspective overload. Alonzo Harris is our Montell Owens.

I don't think Harris came out of nowhere in the final game of the preseason, as Owens did. I just think I missed the little things he was doing in practice all along. I have one distinct recollection of Harris from practice. It was in a tackling drill. He and Josh Francis collided at the landing pad. They each took a direct line so as not to avoid each other. I thought to myself, "Remember those two guys."

Steve from Webster, NY

Do I understand the situation correctly, Guion and Jones do not count toward our current 53-man roster, but when their respective suspensions are served, if the team wants them among the active 53-man roster, they will have to release (or move to the practice squad) two players in order to make room for them.

All of that is correct except: 1) Teams receive a one-week roster exemption for players coming off suspension, and the exemption must be removed before they can play. 2) You can't just move a player to the practice squad. He must first clear waivers, and then you may sign him to the practice squad.

Nick from Bismarck, ND

I am excited for the opener in Chicago. What area are you most concerned about going into that game?

Winning that game begins with stopping the run.

Jeffrey from Saint John, IN

Which college teams impressed you?

Alabama and Northwestern. They each won the battle of the hitting. They were dominant up front. That's what I want to see early in the season. The finer points of the game will develop with time. I watched South Carolina State and Arkansas Pine Bluff last night, and I saw a dominating defensive lineman named Jovan Hargrave. I'm going to remember his name. I think we're going to see that name at the next level.

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