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12/11/2017

Preview: Packers vs. Steelers

Here are four questions heading into tonight’s game between Green Bay and Pittsburgh: 1) Should the Packers have signed Colin Kaepernick when Aaron Rodgers went down? Of course, and this isn’t second-guessing after watching Brett Hundley for the past five games. Here’s what I tweeted a few minutes after Rodgers got hurt in week 6:

Players & Coaches

Time To Shake Up Secondary

Everything looked fine in the secondary when Green Bay’s front seven was dominating the Seattle’s woeful offensive line in week 1, but things didn’t go nearly as well in week 2 when the pass rush was much less effective against Atlanta’s solid O-line. Given time, Matt Ryan played pitch and catch with his receivers. Davon

Scouting Report: Chris Odom

The Packers claimed outside linebacker Chis Odom off waivers from Atlanta on Sunday, essentially to take the place of Jayrone Elliott, who was traded to Dallas earlier in the day. So what is the defense getting in the undrafted free agent from Arkansas State? I watched all four of his preseason games in an effort

Scouting Report: Ahmad Brooks

At the OTAs in early June, coach Mike McCarthy considered the depth at outside linebacker to be “as good as we’ve had there in some time.” Three short months later the Packers are seriously interested in a 33-year-old player who was just released by the lowly 49ers. My, how things have changed. Or have they?

Q&A: Will Burnett Be Extended?

I‘ll be answering your questions each Saturday from now until the end of the 2017 season (hopefully that’ll be in February). Here are some of this week’s submissions: Is this Morgan Burnett’s last season in Green Bay? His contract is up this year, and despite being 28, it feels like he should be 34 as long

House Still Sits Atop Depth Chart

The biggest surprise this summer hasn’t been wide receiver Max McCaffrey’s really good play or tackle Jason Spriggs’ really bad play. The biggest surprise is the reverence being shown to cornerback Davon House. From being handed a starting job at the start of training camp to keeping it despite not practicing since Aug. 5, the

What’s Wrong With Spriggs?

Ted Thompson traded up for Jason Spriggs in the 2016 draft – something he does about as often as a Kardashian reads a book. That’s how much Green Bay’s conservative general manager liked the left tackle from Indiana. But after a pair of preseason games, it’s fair to wonder if Thompson is regretting that decision.

Young Upstarts Or Fake News?

It’s extremely difficult to analyze young second and third-string players in preseason exhibition games. Facing other backups – many of whom will be out of the league in a matter of weeks – allows Travis Jervey to run like Walter Payton, Derrick Mayes to catch like Jerry Rice and Vic So’oto to sack like Deacon

Q&A: King Or Watt?

I‘ll be answering your questions each Saturday from now until the end of the 2017 season (hopefully that’ll be in February). Here are some of this week’s submissions: Why do you think Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy (I assume he had to be directly involved in the decision) let Eddie Lacy go? Even when overweight

Concerns Remain The Same

In February, my biggest concerns about the Packers were the cornerbacks, the pass rush and the inside linebackers. Six months later, two of the three remain the same. GM Ted Thompson added veteran Davon House in free agency and rookie Kevin King in the second round of the draft, so there are more bodies at

Richard Rodgers Has Value

Richard Rodgers can’t run or block, but he has a huge body and great hands. That should be enough to make him a desirable commodity as the summer moves along. And with Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks ahead of him on the depth chart, it wouldn’t be a shock to see GM Ted Thompson at

Goode News For Janis

Veteran Jeff Janis, who is once again battling for a  spot on the 53-man roster, helped his cause last Thursday night by catching a touchdown pass against the Eagles. He got more good news 36 hours later when the Packers re-signed Brett Goode. How is signing a long snapper good news for a wide receiver?

Rookie Has Size Disadvantage

We seldom hear the words “too” and “big” used together in the same sentence. An employee never tells the boss that a paycheck is too big. A guest never tells the hotel manager that a room is too big. A would-be bride never tells the would-be groom that an engagement ring is too big. But when it comes

Aaron Preys On The Weak(er)

The website Pro Football Focus recently posted a story titled “Aaron Rodgers strategic avoidance.” If you don’t feel like reading it in its entirety, here’s the key point: “Over the past decade, only 403 of Aaron Rodgers’ 2,892 wide receiver targets were aimed at a wide receiver in coverage against a top-25-graded cornerback. That equates

Q&A: Who’s The Biggest Surprise?

Packers Notes contributor Robert Tanner has been at three practices so far this summer and he was gracious enough to answer some of your burning questions. Who’s been the biggest disappointment and the biggest surprise so far? – Rachel It’s still very early, but Damarious Randall has been the biggest disappointment. The No. 1 pick

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Off The Field

Hey Packers, ‘Outsiders’ Are OK

There will come a time when Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy are no longer selecting and coaching players for the Packers, and when that day arrives, let’s hope the search for their replacements is a lot broader than it’s been in the past 20 years. The last time a general manager or a head coach

Depressing Decade For D&D

It’s fine to be a draft and develop team like the Green Bay Packers if you can draft and develop quality players. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened nearly enough since winning the Super Bowl in 2010, and it’s why a franchise with an all-time great quarterback hasn’t been back to the big game in seven years. It’s

Bold Predictions For ’17

A prediction is bold until it doesn’t come true; then it becomes stupid. But hey, that’s not going to stop me from making some for the 2017 season. Here they are: CAREER-HIGH IN SACKS FOR NO. 52 – Considering Clay Matthews has a combined 11.5 sacks in the past two seasons, it probably seems more crazy

Few Surprises On Way To 53

The Packers kept four running backs and seven corners on their 53-man roster. That’s unusual for a team that has never run the ball much and didn’t cover anyone last season. Here’s a quick position-by-position analysis of Saturday’s moves: QUARTERBACKS – I predicted on Friday that general manager Ted Thompson would keep three at this

Packers Usually Quiet On Cutdown Day

For the past seven years, general manager Ted Thompson has been about as active on cutdown day as a college football fan on a Saturday afternoon in late September. Just how inactive has he been? The Seahawks’ John Schneider made as many trades in three hours on Friday as Thompson has made this decade. Unless

Mock 53-Man Roster 2.0

The Packers have to be down to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. Here’s my final projection: QUARTERBACKS (3) – The Packers have opened each of the past three seasons with a trio of QBs on the 53-man roster. Considering the solid work of Joe Callahan and especially rookie Taysom Hill this summer, and just as

Mock 53-Man Roster 1.0

General manager Ted Thompson doesn’t have to cut his roster to 53 for another few weeks, and a lot can and almost certainly will happen between now and then. But if he had to make his decisions today, here’s the way things might look: QUARTERBACKS (2) – AARON RODGERS and BRETT HUNDLEY Both Joe Callahan

Sharpe Belongs In Canton

Another Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced on Saturday night Canton, so it’s time for my annual early August rant. I wrote last year about LeRoy Butler not getting the respect he deserves from the voters. Well, thanks to former Bronco Terrell Davis’ induction, this year’s post will be about Sterling Sharpe. The

Remember The ‘2 Week Rule’

The way people are gushing over Josh “Ronnie Lott II” Jones makes me a bit nostalgic for the 80s. That was the decade I had my first beer, went to my first Bruce Springsteen concert, bought my first car and held my first real job. What does this have to do with a rookie safety

Goal Of Camp Is Staying Healthy

The Green Bay Packers officially opened the 2017 season this morning. Over the course of the next 35 days, the team will practice 20 times and play four preseason games. Here’s a list of the 10 things I most want to see during training camp: 1) No injuries 2) No injuries 3) No injuries 4)

Packers Win Without Superstars

The Packers have had amazing success over the past quarter century. Since 1993, the team has made the playoffs 19 times and won a pair of Super Bowls. What’s even more amazing is just how few truly great players were part of that success. The only Hall of Famers are Reggie White and Brett Favre,

Allison Suspension Benefits Packers

Geronimo Allison will serve a one-game suspension without pay for violating the substance-abuse policy, the NFL announced Wednesday. The second-year wide receiver was charged with a misdemeanor possession of marijuana in December. The Packers might want to send Roger Goodell a thank you note. By suspending Allison, who figured to be at best fourth on

The Ring’s The Thing

Winning Super Bowl LII would obviously make Packers fans extremely happy. But another ring would mean even more to Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers. It would place the general manager and the head coach on a path to Canton and it would make the quarterback a legend. Here’s a closer look at why winning

Harris Deserves To Be Honored

Next weekend’s long overdue induction of cornerback Mark Lee into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame will leave just one glaring omission – Tim Harris. I had assumed for years that the dynamic outside linebacker was an enshrinee, but we all know what they say about those who assume. “I didn’t make a lot of friends

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Previews & Reviews

Preview: Packers vs. Ravens

Here are four questions heading into today’s game between Green Bay and Baltimore: 1) What should be expected from Jamaal Williams in the weeks to come? Not too much. While the rookie deserves all the credit in the world for his solid effort against the Bears, he simply lacks the burst to be anything more

Preview: Packers vs. Bears

Here are four big questions heading into today’s game between Green Bay and Chicago: 1) Is Brett Hundley a lost cause? It’s too soon to say that. He’s gotten a little better each week, and while the improvement has been minimal, he’s at least trending in the right direction (at this rate, he’ll be a

Preview: Packers vs. Lions

Here are four big questions heading into tonight’s game between Green Bay and Detroit: 1) Will Martellus Bennett really retire after this season? Probably not, but the $20 million disappointment almost certainly won’t be back in 2018. Look for the Packers to release the veteran tight end before having to pay him a $2 million

Preview: Packers vs. Saints

No four questions this week because there’s really only one that truly matters. Can the Packers make the playoffs without future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers? This will be easier to answer after watching Brett Hundley today. He struggled last week, but that was an impossible situation. Not only are the Vikings an outstanding defense

Preview: Packers vs. Vikings

Here are four big questions heading into today’s game between Green Bay and Minnesota: 1) Is Aaron Jones for real? Yes, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some bumps in the road – and one could be today vs. the Vikings’ formidable front seven. But Jones ain’t Samson Gado or even Ty Montgomery. He’s

Preview: Packers vs. Cowboys

Here are four big questions heading into today’s game between Green Bay and Dallas: 1) Which player listed on the injury report as questionable is most important to his team? You could make an argument for Bryan Bulaga, David Bakhtiari or Mike Daniels, but no player – excluding quarterbacks – means more to his team

Report Card: Packers’ Offense

As someone who’s taught for 22 years, it’s hard for me to not give out grades. So here’s my first marking period report card for the Green Bay Packers’ offense. QUARTERBACK – Other than throwing three interceptions, including a rare pick-six vs. Cincy, Aaron Rodgers has been terrific. Playing with no running game, no tackles

Preview: Packers vs. Bears

Here are four big questions heading into tonight’s game between Green Bay and Chicago: 1) Was signing Martellus Bennett a mistake? It’s too early to call the $20 million veteran tight end a bust, but it’s certainly trending in that direction. Besides dropping balls, Bennett is showing very little in the way of athleticism or

Preview: Packers vs. Bengals

Here are four big questions heading into today’s game between Green Bay and Cincinnati: 1) Can the Packers overcome all of their injuries? It won’t be easy – even against the winless and touchdown-less Bengals. I hate using injuries as an excuse, but sometimes injuries are an excuse. The Packers figure to be without six starters

Preview: Packers vs. Falcons

Here are four big questions heading into tonight’s game between Green Bay and Atlanta: 1) Can the defense slow down Julio Jones? The All-Pro wide receiver caught 9 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs in the NFC Championship, but most of that damage was done against corner Ladarius Gunter, who was cut a few days ago.

D-lightful Start To Season

The Packers’ defense often resembles the Bad News Bears, but it usually looks like the ’85 Chicago Bears against Seattle. Sunday was no exception as Mike Daniels and the front seven dominated and helped hold quarterback Russell Wilson and the rest of the Seahawks’ offense to 9 points and 225 yards. There’s no question the

Preview: Packers vs. Seahawks

Here are four big questions heading into today’s opener between Green Bay and Seattle. 1) Can Murphy hold up at right tackle? Bryan Bulaga may be listed as questionable with an ankle injury, but based on coach Mike McCarthy’s comments on Friday, it’s doubtful the Pro Bowl caliber right tackle will be on the field

Déjà Vu All Over Again?

I opined before the start of the 2012 season that the Packers would not win another Super Bowl with Dom Capers as their defensive coordinator. The bad news is I’ve been right. The team hasn’t even reached the big game since winning it all in 2010. The good news is Mike McCarthy’s stubbornness has made

Tale Of The Tape: GB vs. DEN

After “studying the tape” (that sounds better than “turning on the computer”), here are the heroes and the zeros from Saturday’s 20-17 preseason loss at Denver: HEROES DAMARIOUS RANDALL – The much-maligned former No. 1 pick started at left corner and played very well. He was more physical than usual and his coverage was excellent.

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