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Packers rookie report: Week 13

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Dec. 06, 2011 @ 6:13 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Move over, Randall Cobb. It's time to make some room for fellow Packer rookie Brandon Saine in a state-of-the-art offense that continues to evolve, even though only a month remains in the regular season. An undrafted rookie, Saine got more action than he bargained for in the Week 13 win over the Giants with James Starks hampered by an ankle injury for the third straight week.

Don't be shocked if Saine provides the same kind of late-season spark as Starks started to provide around the same time last season. Saine showed some toughness both as a runner and a receiver in Week 13. His biggest play was a nice 22-yard catch on the final drive of the first half that led to Crosby's missed 43-yard FG attempt. On the day, Saine caught four passes for 29 yards, one of which was a catch for no gain on the Packers' game-winning drive. He also had six carries for 16 yards, and on his longest run of five yards he made a nifty cutback to avoid hard-charging Giants DE Jean Perre-Paul.

It appears more packages are starting to be designed for Cobb, who lined up in the backfield on one play and was used as a deep decoy on a few running plays. On a rare trick play, Cobb attempted a left-handed pass on an end-around, but it was incomplete. He was targeted for one pass, which he dropped. Cobb added five kick returns for 82 yards, the longest of which was a 36-yard kickoff return.

One the other side of the ball, sixth-round ILB D.J. Smith had his hands full in his first start, replacing the injured Desmond Bishop. Entrusted with calling signals while wearing an electronically wired helmet, he was the Packers' second-leading tackler vs. the Giants with eight. Most of those tackles were made at the second level. But Smith got better as the game wore on and never stopped giving his all.

With second-year TE Andrew Quarless suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 13, look for rookie TEs D.J. Williams and, to a lesser extent, Ryan Taylor to chip in more as blockers in the ground game moving forward.

 

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