Packerpedia Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:19:54 EST Wed, 27 Jun 2012 22:18:06 EST RapidFeeds v2.0 -- 2012 en Packerpedia 260 50 Packerpedia News, analysis, and commentary about all things related to the Green Bay Packers. For fans who just can\'t get enough. By Packer People. For Packer People. Packers, Green Bay Packers, Lombardi, Aaron Rodgers, Packer, NFL, Football, Green Bay, Wisconsin No Offensive Line Depth Stretched Thin As the 2014 season approached the Packers felt as good about the offensive line as they had in a long time. Part of the reason for McCarthy's confidence is that he felt going into the season that the Packers had six offensive linemen of starting quality. Three of those six players are now out of the lineup. Sun, 07 Sep 2014 12:04:00 EST Linsley Now Center of Attention It appears now that JC Tretter may miss the first quarter of the season, if not more. Corey Linsley will now be thrust into the spotlight during one of the tougher portions of the Packers schedule as they open the season. Can he hold up? Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:06:00 EST Five Observations from Packers-Rams After further review, what might have we learned from the Packers' second preseason game? Is Jeff Janis the real deal? Will Julius Peppers help the defense? Sun, 17 Aug 2014 22:05:00 EST An Optimist's Guide to the 2014 Packers Draft The draft may be in the rear view mirror, but we believe this year's crop of Packers draft picks warrant a closer look. Thu, 29 May 2014 23:04:00 EST Rodgers Has Chance To Add To Legacy After two months many fans would rather forget, Aaron Rodgers has a chance to return from injury just in time to provide some moments worth remembering. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 22:21:00 EST Packers Overcome Pivotal Interception Return Games are often decided by big plays, and there are few plays that change the momentum of a game more than an interception returned for a touchdown. The fact the Packers were able to overcome such an event against the Falcons was no small feat. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 22:40:00 EST Late Season Moves Nothing New for Packers Ted Thompson may not be the most verbose general manager in the league, but he and his staff are always quietly looking for ways to improve the team. For evidence of that, look no further than the fact that the Packers always seem to be tinkering with the bottom of the roster in December. This appears to be by design. Fri, 06 Dec 2013 23:18:00 EST Packers Down But Not Out After dropping key games over the past month, the Packers season is on life support. But the fat lady hasn't sung quite yet. Fri, 29 Nov 2013 00:16:00 EST Lacy a Workhorse for Packers There are over one million dairy cows in the state of Wisconsin. Finally, there is a bell cow in Green Bay. Bell cow. Workhorse. Strong as an ox. A bull in a china shop. Use whichever farm animal metaphor you’d like. Eddie Lacy fits the bill. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 00:40:00 EST Re-examining the Courtship of Steve McLendon The Packers are a team of homegrown talent. Nothing illustrated that more than the television graphic a few weeks ago that highlighted the fact that 50 of the 53 players on Green Bay's roster have never played a game for another team. Perhaps that is why it came as somewhat of a surprise last offseason when Ted Thompson and the Packers reportedly made overtures to sign Steelers defensive lineman Steve McLendon to an offer sheet. McLendon was a restricted free agent, and the Packers thought enough of him to bring him to Lambeau Field for a visit. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:37:00 EST Boykin Emerges As Legitimate Threat There have been many stories written about the unsightly number of injuries to the Packers to this point of the season. Lost behind the weekly laundry list of players listed as questionable, doubtful, or unable to play toils a quiet, unassuming player who brings his lunch pail to work every day and has been able to help fill at least one void during this injury-riddled season. Through it all, Jarrett Boykin has emerged as a legitimate wide receiver. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:35:00 EST Rodgers Chooses Unique Cause The league as a whole has visibly thrown its support behind the American Cancer Society's quest to raise awareness about breast cancer. The color pink is ubiquitous in every NFL stadium during the month of October. Aaron Rodgers chose to throw the considerable weight of his celebrity behind another very different cause. Unlike those mentioned above, his cause of choice is likely something most people in Wisconsin had never even heard of before he took a public stance on this issue. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:34:00 EST Packers Focus on Overcoming Adversity In many ways, Mike McCarthy likes to keep the game of football as simple as possible. While fans and media often focus on yards and statistics, McCarthy just cares about the simplest form of production...scoring more points than the opponent. Fri, 20 Sep 2013 00:49:00 EST Method To Roster Madness When the Packers announced their 53-man roster two weeks ago, there were a few surprises. Letting go of Vince Young grabbed the headlines. Cutting ties with Alex Green turned some heads. Saying goodbye to Dezman Moses raised a few eyebrows. When the dust settled, perhaps the most surprising outcome of the day was that the Packers had 27 defensive players, versus only 23 offensive players. That was a first for Mike McCarthy. Thu, 12 Sep 2013 23:53:00 EST McCarthy Makes Strong Statement In terms of coaching success, Mike McCarthy is approaching rarified air. He has already won a championship, and is given credit for pushing all the right buttons during that injury-plagued season. Later this year, his win total will move him past Mike Holmgren into third place in Packers history. By the time his current contract expires, McCarthy is even on pace to win more games than Vince Lombardi ever did. Wed, 11 Sep 2013 23:45:00 EST Packers Learn About Themselves In Loss There are no moral victories in the NFL. A win is a win and a loss is a loss. The Packers were a five-point underdog going into Sunday's game against the 49ers (although "Nobody's Underdog" Mike McCarthy surely didn't see it that way). After such a disappointing showing the last time the two teams met, all eyes were on the Packers defense to see if they would show signs of improvement. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 00:08:00 EST Packer Nation Ready For New Season There's a phrase being bandied about Packer Nation these days, and with good reason. "It. Is. Time." The dawn of a new season is upon us, and Packers fans are ready. On Twitter, we excited fans most about the start of the season. Some seem to enjoy the promise of a new beginning... Sat, 07 Sep 2013 22:10:00 EST Packers May Have To Alter Approach The events of the past month have not exactly played out according to Mike McCarthy's plan. It was etched all over his face last week when he talked about DuJuan Harris' season-ending knee injury. "It's a tough one," said McCarthy. "He's definitely a young player that I felt was going to be an impactful player for us on offense." McCarthy went on to give a rare glimpse into his mindset going into this season. Mon, 02 Sep 2013 19:48:00 EST Packers Roster Begins To Take Shape The Packers pulled a few surprises on cutdown day, most notably when they cut the apparent shoo-in for the backup quarterback job, Vince Young. Young may not have been overly impressive during his crash course of the complex Packers offense, but with his pedigree and winning record as a starter it seemed likely he would be the choice as this year's understudy to Aaron Rodgers. That turned out not to be the case. Sun, 01 Sep 2013 13:32:00 EST Should Packers Fans Feel OK About Crosby? After restructuring his contract and turning in another solid performance in the final preseason game, it appears Mason Crosby has locked down the Packers kicking job. For the time being, at least. Anyone who has been paying attention to the Green Bay Packers during this offseason knows about the drama surrounding the kicker position. The strong-legged Mason Crosby has held down the role since the 2007 season. But last year, he went into a field goal slump that was about as bad as an NFL kicker could experience. Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:52:00 EST Did Jennings Pull Back the Curtain? Packers fans have a very different opinion of Greg Jennings than they did a year ago. Jennings was once one of the most popular players in Green Bay. Now he is persona non grata. One of the things that has rubbed many people the wrong way is that they now feel that they never really knew the real Greg Jennings. There are many diehard Packers fans who fully supported him for years, followed him faithfully on Twitter, and even bought his jerseys. Many of thse same people now feel like he just played the part of a really good guy in public, but must have been a different person behind closed doors. Perhaps fans should not have been surprised about Jennings' apparent bitterness that came to light after he left Green Bay. Perhaps there were signs all along. Wed, 28 Aug 2013 03:11:00 EST Banjo Dueling for Roster Spot It didn't make headlines when the Packers signed unknown safety Christ Banjo off of the NFL scrap heap less than a month ago. By that time, training camp had already started. There were plenty of other stories more interesting than the latest camp body brought in for a look. Of course, nobody knew at the time that this player would become a nice summer surprise for the Packers. And most were not aware of the long and winding road he traveled before reaching Green Bay. Sun, 25 Aug 2013 02:02:00 EST Could Packers Offer a New Look on Offense? Training camp and exhibition games do not always offer solid evidence about what to expect from a team in any given year. Historians often point to the fact that one of the most dominating teams of all time, the 1985 Chicago Bears, only managed a lackluster 1-3 record that August. Even so, the past two weeks may have offered some clues that could point to some possible changes in the Packers offense. Sun, 18 Aug 2013 23:09:00 EST The Lasting Effect of the "Fail Mary" Game Could last year's "Fail Mary" game have lasting effects and surprising consequences going forward? Sun, 11 Aug 2013 03:31:00 EST Running at an Accelerated Pace The Packers have consistently been a good team for several years now. They have won 28 of their last 34 regular season games. They are led by arguably the best quarterback in the league, who is at the peak of what is on track to be a Hall of Fame career. Simply put, they are one of the most difficult teams in the league to beat. Even when they don't win a championship, a team like the Packers doesn't need to make wholesale changes in the offseason. Staying true to form, they didn't. The team signed their biggest stars to contract extensions, and like always they are counting on several young players to continue to develop and step up. So what might get the Packers over the proverbial hump and back to another Super Bowl? Perhaps a small adjustment may pay big dividends. Sun, 04 Aug 2013 18:06:00 EST Sherrod Looks To Step Out From Crowd It is not easy for Derek Sherrod to get lost in a crowd. At six feet five inches tall and weighing in over 320 pounds, he stands out wherever he goes. In many ways, Sherrod is a physical marvel. At the Packers Hall of Fame, there was an exhibit last year that highlighted the player on the team with the biggest feet, hands, and wingspan. In each case, that player was Sherrod. There were examples of his footprints and handprints for people to compare with their own, and inevitably visitors would marvel at how theirs were dwarfed by Sherrod's gargantuan features. His nearly seven-foot wingspan was outlined on the wall as well, leaving many fans visiting the Hall of Fame shaking their heads in disbelief. But as big as Sherrod may be, he has almost been lost in the shuffle this offseason due to circumstances largely out of his control. Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:24:00 EST Will "Third-Year Rule" Apply To Cobb? There’s an old axiom in the NFL. If you’ve ever played fantasy football, you may have even built your draft around the strategy. Bet on wide receivers entering their third year in the league to have a breakout season. Having already set the franchise record and leading the league in all-purpose yards in just his second season, it seems like Randall Cobb has already had his breakout year and is already a star. That may be true, but many of those all-purpose yards were gained on special teams. It appears that the Packers will be giving other players every opportunity to take Cobb’s place in the return game, so he can focus solely on his role in the offense this season. With that in mind, is it possible that going into his third year Cobb’s game might ascend to another level? Can he become a premiere wide receiver? Wed, 17 Jul 2013 23:00:00 EST An Offseason Survival Guide We have now gone several weeks without any real news about the Packers. We have already read everything we could about the new draft picks, free agent acquisitions (or lack thereof), and undrafted rookie free agents. We refreshed our memories on the promise we saw from last year's training camp surprises and practice squad players. We gobbled up every bit of information available on the OTA practices and minicamp. We have put together our own projected depth charts and opening day rosters. But now...we have three more weeks to wait until anything meaningful happens. THREE WEEKS!!! Entire wars have been fought in less time. God could create three more worlds during that time period. For those of us addicted to Packers information, this stretch leading up to training camp may seem nearly unbearable. Thu, 04 Jul 2013 18:24:00 EST Favre, Rodgers, Records, and Reality Over the last two years, little-by-little, we have seen the ice, formed from the frosty relationship between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers since Favre's retirement and un-retirement in 2008, begin to melt. It started with little statements that would be made from time to time, by both Favre and Packers officials, hinting at the likelihood of an eventual reunion. Favre also began making more positive public statements about Aaron Rodgers' abilities as a top-level NFL quarterback (even if it seemed at the time to carry a little bit of an asterisk about Rodgers' years of learning under...ahem...Favre, and the top-level talent surrounding him which...ahem...Favre felt he never really had). Sun, 23 Jun 2013 21:10:00 EST Only in the Offseason... You have to hand it to the good people at Pro Football Talk. And the NFL Network. And, of course, ESPN. For better or worse, they know how to conjure football discussions in the offseason. The NFL Network has made football fans roll their eyes a few times since they started doing their "Top 100" series each offseason. (Even Packers fans balked at John Kuhn making the list last year.) But at least it's something to talk about while NFL teams are practicing in helmets and shorts behind closed doors. ESPN has been doing things like this for years, and are working through a "Greatest Coaches In NFL History" feature right now. Lombardi will likely make an appearance soon. And not to be outdone, Pro Football Talk is going around the league and naming which players (or key figures) would be on each team's proverbial Mount Rushmore. It just so happens that right now Packers fans can vote on the top four key figures that would make it if Green Bay had such a monument. Sun, 23 Jun 2013 21:09:00 EST Packers Hope To Avoid Deja Vu Baseball legend Yogi Berra was the king of quirky one-liners. After watching his Yankees teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit back-to-back home runs, something they did no fewer than ten times, Berra once famously quipped, "It's deja vu all over again." There may be a strangely familiar feeling in Green Bay as well these days, in terms of how this year's roster is shaping up. Packers fans may not need to try very hard to channel their inner Yogi. Tue, 28 May 2013 13:10:00 EST Who Is Angelo Pease? It's a name that wasn't heard on draft day, and it seems unlikely it will be heard in September once the 53-man roster is announced. But for now, the name that kept popping up during the Packers rookie camp was an improbable one: Angelo Pease. Mon, 13 May 2013 14:38:00 EST Packers Profile: Eddie Lacy In the weeks leading up to the draft, Eddie Lacy's name was linked to the Packers in countless mock drafts. The 230-pound bruiser from Alabama had left a strong impression after his stellar performance in the BCS National Championship game, and in many respects it made sense to choose him with the 26th overall pick because he offered something the Packers haven't had consistently: the threat of a reliable, physical run game. Several highly respected national writers penciled in Lacy to the Packers. Even so, when the Packers chose Datone Jones over Eddie Lacy in the first round it was difficult to argue the logic of the selection. Sun, 28 Apr 2013 22:44:00 EST Questions Emerge Due To Contract Concerns As the draft approaches, countless mock drafts are linking a multitude of college prospects to the Packers in order to fill perceived needs. This begs the question...exactly what are those needs? And which of them are most pressing? When the Packers gave up 579 yards in their playoff loss to the 49ers, the obvious answer seemed that they needed more help on the defensive side of the football even despite investing heavily there in last year's draft. There may be more to the story, however. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 18:01:00 EST Charles Woodson Speaks Charles Woodson doesn't have a team yet, but that didn't stop him from doing an interview with SiriusXM Radio's Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon. Woodson was asked about a variety of subjects, many of which may be of interest to Packers fans. The future Hall of Famer talked about his clouded future in the NFL, what else he's looking to accomplish before hanging up his cleats, and even reflected on his time in Green Bay. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 16:57:00 EST Turning to the Draft Whether fans of the Packers like it or not, Ted Thompson and the Packers chose their usual course of action and remained on the sideline during the first few days of the annual free agency frenzy. They are upfront and clear about their vision for the organization. They are a draft-and-develop team through and through, and appear uninterested in deviating from that course. So perhaps it would be beneficial to step back from all that is happening in free agency (and the instant gratification it offers fans), and try to look at the type of impact player the Packers may be able to add during next month's draft. Sun, 17 Mar 2013 14:12:00 EST Finley and His Future Two months ago, it appeared that Jermichael Finley's days in Green Bay were numbered. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a story by Bob McGinn in mid-December that suggested the Packers were ready to move on without the valuable-yet-vexing tight end. "Barring a shocking turn of events in the next month or so," wrote McGinn, "tight end Jermichael Finley is playing his fifth and final season for the team." The elder statesman of the Packers beat even went on to write, "There is no way the Packers will pick up the second half of the two-year, $14 million contract they gave Finley (last) February, according to sources." Sun, 24 Feb 2013 16:45:00 EST Youth Movement Begins Anew It seemed like just another press conference at the time. After the Packers wrapped up their rookie minicamp last May, Mike McCarthy stood in front of the podium and was asked about what kind of impact could be expected from the newest additions to the team. In light of recent events the past two weeks, it is worth revisiting his answer. "I think the way our program is designed tells you how we feel about young players," McCarthy said. "We've been a draft-and-development program going on year seven right now. It’s a young man’s league in my disrespect to the older players. I think that’s a trend that’s only potentially going to pick up." No truer words have ever been spoken. Sun, 17 Feb 2013 15:24:00 EST When Kings Collide For the most part, the NFL Honors show was anticlimactic. Reports of the award winners had already been leaked, and there isn't much point of an awards show when you already know who the winners are. Even so, many Packers fans remained glued to their seats. Word had also been leaked that the unthinkable was happening. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers were making nice on stage. Mon, 04 Feb 2013 21:19:00 EST Thompson's Shrewd Move Paying Off There can be no doubt that the Packers offense runs through Aaron Rodgers. Yet in their Wild Card victory over the Vikings, an argument could be made that the offense was actually more effective when it was running through DuJuan Harris. Harris is considered a first-year player since he spent so little time on the Jaguars roster last season. He has been playing like anything but a first-year player for the Packers this year. Since his first game when he was only inserted into the lineup for seven snaps and ran the ball on each of those plays, the Packers have expanded and diversified his role more and more. He has been catching passes, picking up blitzes, and has made very few mistakes. Sun, 06 Jan 2013 20:21:00 EST The Most Powerful Man on the Packers? There are several powerful people that make things happen within the walls of Lambeau Field. Ultimately, the buck stops with Mark Murphy. Since taking over as President and CEO of the Packers five years ago, he has had the final say on all business affairs. The Packers have been very successful on the field, but Murphy has spearheaded a period of unmatched profitability off the field for the Packers as well. He leveraged the team's success into a well-received stock sale, which helped finance another building project. Under his leadership, it appears that Lambeau Field will remain a viable income producer despite the fact it is one of the oldest stadiums in the league. Ted Thompson is the final authority in all personnel matters... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 13:51:00 EST Is a Position Battle Brewing? For most of the season, there has been talk that Greg Jennings' injury and absence from the lineup may be costing him a lot of money when it comes time to negotiate a new contract. The opposite may be true for Clay Matthews. Matthews has missed the last three games due to a hamstring injury, but his presence has been sorely missed on the field. If anything, the Packers know now more than ever that he is the cornerstone of their defense. Thu, 06 Dec 2012 22:48:00 EST Giant Difference This Time Around When the Packers played the Giants last January, the entire game...and season...could be capsulized by one play that proved to be the turning point for the Packers' hopes of winning back-to-back championships. Clinging to a 13-10 lead, the Giants lined up at the Packers' 37-yard line for the last play in the first half. They could have attempted a 54-yard field goal, which looked like it could be important in a contest that gave every indication of remaining close throughout its duration. Although the prospects of making a long field goal at Lambeau in January are not particularly good, the weather was mild that day and there would have been little risk to attempt the kick. Sat, 24 Nov 2012 21:50:00 EST Cobb: Receiver or Returner? In his first NFL game, Randall Cobb took a kickoff from deep in the end zone and scored a 108-yard touchdown. It was an electrifying play, and gave an early glimpse of the young playmaker's potential. Last year in his rookie season, Randall Cobb was used sparingly on offense (25 receptions), and his greatest value to the team was on special teams. He was among the top ten in the NFL in both punt and kickoff return average. After years of trotting out mediocre special teams units, the Packers took a major step forward and Randall Cobb's return ability was a big reason why. Fast forward to this year. Cobb continues to perform both the punt and kick return duties, and remains a threat in that capacity. But unlike his first season when he was mostly being used as a fourth or fifth receiver, he has now the focal point of the Packers offense. Tue, 20 Nov 2012 23:56:00 EST Zombo Ready To Contribute If the Packers are overly concerned about having Clay Matthews out of the lineup, they aren't letting it show. Erik Walden has been productive as of late, and Dezman Moses has at least a little experience since he has been on the field regularly in the "bat" package. But Mike McCarthy reminded us of another player that may help make a difference in Matthews' absence. "Well, we've got Frank Zombo too," McCarthy said. In a media session full of questions about Vic So'oto and whether or not Jamari Lattimore may be moved back outside, McCarthy was quick to bring up the name unsolicited of the former rookie standout who is finally ready to see the field again for the first time this season. It may be a clue to how comfortable the Packers may be with Zombo. Sun, 18 Nov 2012 11:31:00 EST State of the Packers, Midseason Style Their math may be a little off, but with nine games under their belts the Packers consider this the halfway point of their season. With a bye week to reflect, renew, and regroup there is no better time to take a look at how the season has unfolded thus far. Coming into the season, the players knew that duplicating a 15-1 record chock full of stunning numbers on offense would be next to impossible. But they also knew that if they wanted to avoid being one-and-done in the playoffs again they would need to become a more well-rounded squad and their defense would need to improve. Fri, 09 Nov 2012 22:12:00 EST Neal Plans To Reward Packers For Their Patience It doesn't seem that long ago that Ted Thompson and the Packers were excited about the "juice" a young defensive lineman could bring the Packers. "We think he fits very well into our system," Thompson said the day he was drafted. "We feel like he'll be a good asset for us in our sub packages, rushing the passer from the inside." Although these were almost exactly the same words spoken about Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels last April, in this case Thompson was actually speaking about Mike Neal in 2010. Sun, 07 Oct 2012 00:32:00 EST Bitter or Better? "Every test in our life makes us bitter or better. Every problem comes to make us or break us. The choice is ours, whether we become victim or victorious." --Author Unknown Rarely does something happen in sports for which there are no parallels. For every great feat or unusual circumstance, at least in modern times, there is usually some sort of precedent that happened previously to another team. This time, it is a little different. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 16:02:00 EST On the Sideline in Seattle The eye in the sky doesn't lie. That is what makes what happened on Monday night so difficult to swallow. While watching dozens of replays from every angle and at every speed imaginable, we have the benefit of seeing a slightly different picture than how it may have appeared in real time down on the field. I have been in contact with a friend from college who now works for a pro sports team on the West Coast. He was on the sideline in a professional capacity during the game in Seattle, and as a result he was able to see some of the key moments of the game up close and personal. As the infamous game-ending play unfolded he was located just beyond the end zone line, literally feet away from where the play took place. He happened to be in the perfect place at the perfect time for a moment in history. Thu, 27 Sep 2012 02:04:00 EST Tough Test vs. Talented Seahawks Defense There has been a great deal of discussion about the sluggish start for the Packers offense. They don't seem quite as concerned inside the walls of 1265 Lombardi Avenue. "We’re closer than you think," Mike McCarthy said earlier this week. "We’re not as far away as people might think we are." By the time the dust settles at the end of the season, the Packers may very well boast one of the league's best offenses. But there is a good chance it may not get on track yet this week. Thu, 20 Sep 2012 23:58:00 EST Two Plays May Speak Volumes One game doesn't determine the course of a season. But how about two plays? The season is still young, but the Packers offense hasn't exactly looked like the juggernaut it was last year. As Tom Silverstein phrased it in one of the post-game interview questions to Mike McCarthy, it seems like the offense is "just a tick off". While it may be too much to expect that this year's team would match the prolific results of one of the best offensive seasons in NFL history, the fact that they are averaging nearly two fewer touchdowns is enough to raise a few eyebrows. Mon, 17 Sep 2012 21:06:00 EST Packers Go All In On Youth Out with the old, in with the new. The Packers wanted to infuse their defense with young talent, as evidenced by the fact that they spent their first six draft picks on defenders last April. Because the defense needed help, the hope was that some of those rookies would develop quickly and would be able to see the field and play meaningful minutes during the course of this season. That hope quickly became a reality against the Bears on Thursday night. Sun, 16 Sep 2012 02:07:00 EST Fifteen Reasons To Come In Off the Ledge There is no denying that Packers lost their opener in disappointing fashion. In many ways they looked like the inferior team when matched against the 49ers on Sunday. They were kept off balance on both offense and defense for most of the day, and the 49ers maintained the upper hand almost the entire game. It was not a stellar performance. One game does not determine the course of an entire season, however. While many questions remain, upon further inspection there are several reasons for optimism that may be gleaned from this loss. Mon, 10 Sep 2012 00:23:00 EST Watch Out for Special Teams Opening day can be full of surprises. Team statistician Mike Eayrs does studies on everything imaginable, and has estimated that about 25 percent of the looks the Packers see from an opponent in the first week are unscouted. That often makes for some interesting results in the opening weekend. Another thing that often goes unnoticed is the role that special teams can play when the regular season begins. As much time and effort a team may invest on special teams during practice, there is no substitute for the speed and ferocity of these plays in live action. Some teams have struggled with this transition early in the season. Sun, 09 Sep 2012 10:08:00 EST Packers in Uncharted Territory with Jennings With the current contract situation of Greg Jennings, Ted Thompson and the Packers find themselves in an unfamiliar position. For the first time under the current regime, they are coming to the end of a second contract for one of Thompson's own drafted players. Thu, 06 Sep 2012 21:28:00 EST Packers Mum on Cobb's Expanded Role Maybe the Packers espouse the old idea that "young people should be seen and not heard." Even with a year under his belt, Randall Cobb is still the youngest player on the Packers roster. Coming off of a season where he set the all time franchise rookie record with 1,616 combined yards (which had stood since 1952), it would be reasonable to think that the Packers would want to feature this ascending young player now in his second season. If they are, they're not letting on. Mon, 03 Sep 2012 16:04:00 EST Versatility Helps Barclay Beat Odds Green Bay is heaven for undrafted rookie free agents, and by now their agents know it. After the events of the past few days, the Packers have now kept at least three undrafted free agents on their opening day roster for three years in a row, and that fact is not lost in the frenzied moments right after the NFL draft. After Don Barclay went undrafted, he had a long talk with his agent about his options. There were several teams that wanted him, but one team stood out above the rest. Sat, 01 Sep 2012 22:34:00 EST Packers Prepare for Last Minute Moves This week's final preseason game will give those players at the bottom of the roster one last chance to show whether or not they are worthy to make the team. These players are not only competing with their teammates on the Packers, they are competing with every player in every camp across the entire NFL. Because if history tells us anything, there is a strong chance the Packers will bring in somebody that is on another team right now. Wed, 29 Aug 2012 20:00:00 EST Ted Thompson's History With Vince Young This isn't a story. This isn't a rumor. This is simply an observation. In 2006, the Packers had the fifth overall pick. Vince Young was one of the top prospects that year, and for a while during the draft process it appeared that there was a possibility he may fall into Ted Thompson's lap. He ended up being chosen third by the Titans, and the Packers went ahead and picked A.J. Hawk when they were on the clock. But the fact that there was a very real possibility that Young would be there on the board for the Packers means that Ted Thompson must have considered him very carefully. Sun, 26 Aug 2012 23:12:00 EST Boykin Makes His Mark at Crowded WR Spot Meat Hooks. Boat Oars. Oven Mitts. Jarrett Boykin has heard them all. "Go shake his hand," suggested Virginia Tech offensive line coach Curt Newsome. "Bear Claws." Boykin takes it all in stride. He is used to a measure of good-natured ribbing about his massive 10 1/4 inch hands. In college no single nickname really stuck, because his teammates had too much fun thinking up new things to call him all the time. Boykin has put those massive hands to good use so far this training camp, and has been one of the pleasant surprises from this year's crop of undrafted rookies. Sun, 26 Aug 2012 14:26:00 EST All May Be Well Now, But... The wringing of the hands has largely ceased, after a near-dominant performance against the Bengals. The offense moved the ball well, and still showed plenty of room for improvement. The defense got off the field on several third downs, and were able to keep Andy Dalton uncomfortable in the pocket. Most of the things that fans wanted to see from the starting units were on display Thursday night. While all the positive things that came out of this game should not be overlooked, it is easy to forget that lurking just under the surface are quite a few problems that can easily rear their ugly heads for the Packers. The starters may not play much between now and the regular season kickoff against the 49ers, but if any of the following things come to fruition next week or even early in the season...and they are all realistic possibilities...the euphoria of this week's victory will quickly evaporate and the sky will start falling again. Here is an unfortunate look at a series of events that could bring about much weeping and gnashing of teeth (to use a Biblical expression)... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 00:44:00 EST Can B.J. Coleman Make the Final Roster? B.J. Coleman has shown steady progress throughout training camp, and has the kind of arm and body type that fits the profile for an NFL quarterback. The Packers keep their opinions on players close to the vest, but indications are that they seem to like him. That begs the next question: Can they afford to cut him in hopes that they can re-sign him to the practice squad, or would another team snatch him up? When it comes to shaping their roster on the final cutdown day, the Packers have gone with two quarterbacks each of the last three years. The last time they went with three quarterbacks to start the season was 2008, which was also the year that Aaron Rodgers took the helm as the starter. Surprisingly enough, the backup situation that year had several similarities to this year's team... Wed, 22 Aug 2012 01:10:00 EST Worthy Still Thinking Last April, Ted Thompson traded up into the mid-second round to draft a defensive lineman. There were three highly rated players at that position, none of whom had been chosen by the midway point in the second round. Each of these players was projected by many to be late first round picks, and the fact that all three of them were still available at this point had the Packers on high alert in their war room. The first domino to fall was Kendall Reyes, who was chosen by the Chargers with the 49th pick. At that point, the Packers knew they were going to have to be aggressive if they wanted one of the remaining two players. Thompson traded up to the 51st pick, and chose Jerel Worthy. Devon Still, the third of the three highly rated linemen, was quickly snatched up two spots later by the Bengals. Mon, 20 Aug 2012 00:34:00 EST Is It Time To Worry Yet? The Packers are over halfway through the preseason, and there haven't been too many bright spots yet. Last night's drubbing by the hapless Browns, who haven't made the playoffs in ten years, left a bad taste in the mouths of the thousands of fans that left Lambeau early. But it doesn't really matter, does it? It's only preseason, right? Fri, 17 Aug 2012 01:42:00 EST The Workplace Dynamics of "Packer People" In the wake of the Cedric Benson signing, many people have questioned how it can correspond with the "Packer People" principle. After all, signing a player with four arrests in the past five years who has already served a suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy will tend to bring up such questions. When Mike McCarthy first took the reins of the Packers in January 2006 his first press release included his mission statement, which summarized his vision for the team. Here is an excerpt: The foundation for the new direction of the Green Bay Packers will be constructed with three key components of obtaining "Packer People," creating "Stable Structure" and concentrating on "Character and Chemistry." How does the signing of Cedric Benson fit into that statement? Wed, 15 Aug 2012 00:16:00 EST Cedric Benson and the Five Stages of Loss It is now official. Cedric Benson is a member of the Green Bay Packers. It was first reported that Benson was in Green Bay on Friday, but he did not sign with the team until Sunday. Little did we know that this brief period of time would prove to be an interesting study in human behavior. In those three days, a surprising phenomenon swept Packer Nation. We were able to witness a condensed version of the stages traditionally associated with grief or loss. Sun, 12 Aug 2012 20:10:00 EST New Injured Reserve Rule May Affect Packers The loss of Desmond Bishop is a devastating blow to the Packers. The team mantra all offseason has been that they want to be a sound tackling team. Bishop is a tackling machine, finishing 13th in the NFL in tackles last season despite missing three games. D.J. Smith appears to be an able understudy, and the Packers are a good enough team that this injury should not derail their playoff chances. But if there is any chance that Bishop could be back in time for a playoff run, it is an option that should be explored. Sun, 12 Aug 2012 13:02:00 EST Why Don't the Packers Want Ryan Grant? Shock waves were sent through Packer Nation on Friday, when it was reported that Cedric Benson was in Green Bay getting ready to sign a deal. It was the kind of thing that you had to read again. It just didn't make sense. If the Packers were going to sign a veteran running back, it seems like a better fit would have been to bring back Ryan Grant. He is almost exactly the same age as Benson, has many fewer carries throughout his college and pro careers, knows the offense, secures the ball well, and has been a model citizen. So why did the Packers choose Benson over Grant? Sat, 11 Aug 2012 00:40:00 EST Packers vs. Chargers: Five (More) Things to Watch All eyes will be on what happens in San Diego, as the Packers kick off their exhibition season against the Chargers. During a recent stroll around the major media outlets that cover the Packers, a common theme emerged. Several of the websites offer a preview of the game, pointing out five key things to watch. In many cases, these themes are similar across the various websites...the cornerback battle, the development of Graham Harrell, an eye on top picks Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy, as well as this offseason's surprise performer, Dezman Moses. Not to be outdone, we would also like to offer five things to watch, although we will make an effort to take a look at a few different things than what has been mentioned previously. If you would like to dig a little deeper, consider the following when watching tonight's game... Thu, 09 Aug 2012 03:32:00 EST Three Unheralded Players Worth Watching The Packers are not a team lacking in talent. Just ask Aaron Rodgers. “This is going to be I think the most difficult cuts Ted and his staff and Mike have to do, because we’re deep,” Rodgers said last week. “It’s tough, it’s frustrating, because you get to know guys...but I’m excited about this team this year. We’ve got a lot of talent.” There aren't many roster spots up for grabs. Even so, the Packers have some young players that will look to take advantage of their opportunity and put some good things on film, whether it be to vie for a practice squad spot for the Packers, or for possible future employment by another team. And this Thursday's preseason game against the Chargers will be their first real chance to do that. Sun, 05 Aug 2012 19:35:00 EST Perry Not a Star Yet, But... So far, Nick Perry has not taken the Packers training camp by storm. He has shown flashes in a play here and there, but for the most part there has not been much news about him at all. Of course, the Packers would have loved it if he had immediately proven to be an unstoppable force from the moment he walked in the door. That doesn't happen often, especially for players drafted at the bottom of the first round. What they have seen at this early stage, however, is that he at least looks like he belongs. He doesn't remind the team of Joey Jamison, for example. Fri, 03 Aug 2012 14:08:00 EST Matthews Embraces New Leadership Role Eighteen months ago, the Packers were the newly crowned World Champions. And despite Clay Matthews' monster season and his game changing play in the Super Bowl he was, for lack of a better term, a goofball. "He loves to play to the camera," said Aaron Rodgers in an interview after the Super Bowl. "He wants to say as much bizarre, crazy stuff as he can. I like to tease him about being Hollywood." Chemistry is an important thing, and it's great to have a few fun-loving, crazy characters on the team. In his first few years, Matthews has played that role to perfection. Wed, 01 Aug 2012 00:01:00 EST Is D.J. Williams Ready to Emerge? D.J. Williams used to be the big man on campus. In college, he was the team captain and even became a media darling, if such a thing existed in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was visible everywhere. It seemed like everyone on campus, from students to professors to even support staff, knew him and liked him. His first year as a professional with the Packers was a little different. He toiled in virtual obscurity. He was a role player, and it may even be a stretch to call him that. In many ways, when looking at the Packers roster, he was an afterthought. But even though he was a star at Arkansas who won an assortment of national awards, this other role was nothing new to Williams either. As the face of the Razorbacks, he was an outgoing leader with a winning personality and million dollar smile. But it wasn't that long ago that he was an insecure, fearful kid who used to be made fun of by the other kids in school... Sun, 29 Jul 2012 15:48:00 EST Packers Unfazed By Inexperience It was a surprise to fans and media alike when Charlie Peprah was unceremoniously released earlier this week. Considering the fact that he and Morgan Burnett were the only safeties with any real game experience, it seemed like Peprah would likely be at the top of the rotation to start the season. Even though it appears that Woodson will play a considerable number of snaps at safety, there will certainly be several packages that will require one of the young, unproven safeties to be on the field. The Packers are ready to take that chance. After all, letting players with experience go and moving forward with young, unproven players is nothing new in Green Bay. The Packers seem to look at experience differently than many outsiders do. They have proven that they would rather go with a 23-year old that could potentially improve, rather than a 29-year old who is already as good as he's ever going to be. Sat, 28 Jul 2012 00:22:00 EST Talented Sherrod Lost in the Shuffle It's not easy for Derek Sherrod to get lost in a crowd. At 6'5" and 321 pounds, he stands out wherever he goes. In many ways, he's a physical marvel. At the Packers Hall of Fame, there is an exhibit that highlights the player on the team with the biggest feet, hands, and wingspan. That player is Sherrod. There are footprints and handprints for people to insert their own normal-sized appendages, only to marvel at how they are dwarfed by Sherrod's gargantuan features. His nearly seven foot wingspan is outlined on the wall as well, leaving observers shaking their heads in disbelief. Even so, Sherrod has almost been lost in the shuffle this offseason. And it's not really his fault. Wed, 25 Jul 2012 03:50:00 EST Ted Thompson Serves Up Spaghetti for Packers Ted Thompson must like spaghetti. He sure likes throwing it against the wall. "Throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks" is an old saying that refers to using multiple approaches to find out what works best. It is a phrase that we hear in the business world, when companies try out different strategies on focus groups to find out what works best. We also hear it in the courtroom, when prosecutors present many different arguments in hopes that something will resonate with members of the jury. In terms of acquiring players, it appears to be a strategy that appeals to Ted Thompson as well. Sun, 22 Jul 2012 20:23:00 EST Will People Start Hating Aaron Rodgers Soon? Every so often, a poll will be released by Forbes or Yahoo or some other organization listing the most hated players in the NFL. Many of the names who make the list aren't all that surprising. If you run a dog-fighting operation, or (allegedly) make unwanted sexual advances in a restroom, you tend to find that a lot of people hate you. But sometimes, people make the list of hated players for reasons that are hard to understand. In a poll taken shortly before the Packers-Steelers Super Bowl, Tom Brady was listed as the third most disliked player in the league (behind Brett Favre and Mike Vick). It seems shocking to see Brady's name on a list like this. From most accounts, he is a pretty good guy. He hasn't had brushes with the law. He hasn't stomped on the head of opposing players while they were on the ground. He is generous with his teammates. He is decent with reporters and fans. But he is still hated. Not by everyone. But still by quite a few. Fri, 20 Jul 2012 01:13:00 EST Does Size Matter? Part II Previously, we looked at some undersized players that the Packers have drafted in recent years and speculated on the possibility that teams can get tremendous draft value in smaller players because many teams would rather go with the larger, more sure thing in earlier rounds. There is another way in which teams can often get good draft value based on size: the size of the college or athletic program a player is from. Teams tend to favor players from larger schools, particularly in the early rounds. Thus, players from smaller schools or less prominent football programs tend to be overlooked—at least to some degree. About 70% of the players in the NFL come from the six conferences that automatically qualify for the BCS... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 01:12:00 EST Is Aaron Rodgers Underutilized by the Packers? 6,132 yards. 59 touchdowns. Only 8 interceptions. The best season by any quarterback in NFL history by a wide margin. That could have been the stat line for Aaron Rodgers, if he had attempted as many passes last year as Matthew Stafford. Stafford led the NFL in number of attempts, with 663. Rodgers attempted 502, good for 16th in the league. And even if he had played in the final game when he sat out for precautionary reasons, he would have only likely moved up to 11th on the list. Not exactly among the league leaders... Sat, 14 Jul 2012 23:50:00 EST Packer People Profile: Tim Masthay Tim Masthay doesn't take anything for granted. "Being a free agent is tough. I do remember that time very vividly," said Masthay, referring to the year he spent out of football after graduating from the University of Kentucky and going undrafted. "The days were long. I was working out in a gym, and punting on my own. Not knowing if you're going to play again or get another's tough." To make ends meet, Masthay took a tutoring job for $10 an hour while Amanda, his newlywed wife, worked as a bank teller. Sometimes to pick up some extra cash they would babysit their former professor's child on the weekends... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 01:07:00 EST Does Size Matter? The Packers Hope That Smaller-than-Average Players Can Produce Big Results When it comes to draft time, NFL scouts and front offices rate potential players on a number of factors, hoping to sort out the ones who will most likely be successful at the next level. Any questionable issues for a particular player raise red flags that, if enough teams are concerned about them, can cause the player to drop several rounds or even out of the draft entirely. There is a general belief in NFL circles that size matters, and while smaller players may have had success at the college level, they are unlikely to find similar success in the NFL. At the very least, they are often considered to be role players and not every-down players, thus making it difficult to justify drafting too highly. It seems that the Packers have been accumulating several of these players over recent years... Mon, 09 Jul 2012 00:00:00 EST The King of Comps Maybe it doesn't matter the Packers didn't trade Matt Flynn. In retrospect, there wasn't as much of a market as those fans once thought. Flynn had a couple of suitors in free agency, but there certainly wasn't a frenzy for his services. But even if there had been, maybe the Packers would have been better off letting him go in free agency anyway. The Packers are going to gain a compensatory pick for losing Flynn. And if there's one thing Ted Thompson has proven, it's that he makes the most of his compensatory picks. Fri, 06 Jul 2012 07:15:00 EST The Official Packers Fan Offseason Survival Guide We've now been 2-1/2 weeks without any real news about the Packers. We have read everything we could about the new draft picks, free agent acquisitions, and undrafted rookie free agents. We refreshed our memories on the promise we saw from last year's training camp surprises and practice squad players. We gobbled up every bit of information available on the OTA practices and minicamp. We have put together our own projected depth charts and opening day rosters. But now...we have 24 days to wait until anything meaningful happens. 24 DAYS!!! God could create 3-1/2 worlds during that time period. Entire wars have been fought in less time. For those of us addicted to Packers information, the next few weeks will be nearly unbearable! Mon, 02 Jul 2012 23:32:00 EST Has Dezman Moses Already Made the Team? There might not have been another player with more buzz around him during offseason workouts than Dezman Moses. As well as he has done thus far, we always hear that a player can't make the team in June. But upon further examination, is it really that ridiculous of a notion to think that what a player does in the offseason program will go a long way in forming the opinions of coaches and personnel evaluators? Sun, 01 Jul 2012 13:40:00 EST Rooting Against Russell Wilson This year's battle in Seattle for the Seahawks starting quarterback job will have a direct effect on the Packers draft next spring. The Packers need former Badgers QB Russell Wilson to develop slowly. Wed, 27 Jun 2012 22:37:00 EST The Forgotten Man There have been a lot of offseason additions for the Packers, and there is quite a bit of buzz around several of them. Then there's Mike Daniels, the draft pick nobody's talking about. Wed, 27 Jun 2012 22:36:00 EST Who's the Second Tight End? The two-TE set has taken the NFL by storm. If there were to be a second tight end to really emerge in Green Bay, who would it be? Wed, 27 Jun 2012 22:34:00 EST