My new book, to be released tomorrow on paper and as an ebook through Amazon, provides an answer to the question above, based on over 50 years of watching, reading and researching. (Yes, I’m old)
In Green Bay Gold, I construct the 53-man roster of the greatest Packers at each position over the past 65 years.
Since football is such a team game, the 53-man roster concept works better than, say, the top 50 or 100 players to get to the very best Packers of all. Each position gets its own spotlight, and those players are compared to others who played the same position, rather than trying to compare the relative worth of a quarterback to a defensive end for example. While I include a kicker, punter, and two return men, the more arcane specialties in today’s game, such as long snappers, punt team gunners and kick team wedge busters, are not considered. This is a team for starters. Players primarily are compared against their contemporaries and in the context of what is needed to make the strongest overall team.
The book is framed the same way that each year’s Packer team is whittled from waves of cuts in minicamp, training camp and the preseason to determine the final 53-man roster for opening day. Using the framework of the real process allows me the chance to discuss why each player either deserves a spot on this ultimate roster or why he falls short.
From the 1,261 players who have worn the Green and Gold since 1950, 215 (plus Hutson from the early days) are given consideration in the book’s pages. While almost all are worthy of fond memories from Green Bay fans for their efforts on the gridiron, more than 75% of them must be cut from this historical fantasy camp. Read about those difficult choices in the book and let me know what you think.