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04/23/2018

Ridley’s More Than Measurables

I consider Calvin Ridley to be one of the best players in the draft, but I’m not surprised to find most reputable mocks – if there are such things – have him going in the late teens to the early 20s. Scouts aren’t drooling over Ridley the way they did over top-10 picks Mike Williams and

Players & Coaches

Defense Will Be A Surprise

Mike Pettine might not have enough rushers or corners, but he does have one thing no other experienced coordinator would’ve brought to Green Bay – the element of surprise. And that’s a big reason why the defense will be better in 2018. Remember how well the Packers played defense in Dom Capers’ first two seasons? That

Less Blake Is Better

Former GM Ted Thompson played in the NFL in the 1970s, and unfortunately for the defense, he seemed to think it was still that decade when it came to the inside linebacker position. Year after year, Thompson provided the coaching staff with slowish and stiffish players who had no chance of holding up in coverage.

Trade Analysis: Randall For Kizer

In his first big move as general manager of the Packers, Brian Gutekunst traded corner Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns for quarterback DeShone Kizer. The teams will also swap fourth and fifth round picks in next months draft. The following is a quick analysis of the deal that won’t become official until next week: PROS

Scouting Report: Muhammad Wilkerson

Brian Gutekunst vowed to be aggressive in the pursuit of players, and Green Bay’s new general manager appears intent on keeping that promise. According to reports, the Packers are expected to meet with free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson today. The former All-Pro was released by the Jets last week. Not surprisingly, this news has

Keeping Randall Is Best Option

Ted Thompson finally got to pick up the fifth-year option on one of his first-round picks last spring. After declining to do so on Derek Sherrod (2011), Nick Perry (2012) and Datone Jones (2013), the former general manager of the Packers pulled the trigger on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (2014). His replacement, Brian Gutekunst, will now

Dom Will Be Gone

What has been a rumor for weeks will soon become a fact – defensive coordinator Dom Capers will not return for a 10th season with the Green Bay Packers. According to a source whose information has always been reliable in the past, an official announcement is expected to be made in the next few days.

Raih Of Hope For Offense

With all the attention focused on the poor play of the defense, it’s easy to overlook the regression of the offense in recent years. Despite the greatness of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, that side of the ball was pedestrian at best for a 20-game stretch from October 2015 to November 2016. And for the past two

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

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Off The Field

Vander Esch Worth Taking At 14

I have to admit to being biased when I first watched Leighton Vander Esch. His name sounded like a character from Gossip Girl and at first glance he looked like so many other pedestrian linebackers the Packers have trotted out in the past dozen years (A.J. Hawk, Brandon Chillar, Jake Ryan, Kyler Fackrell, etc.). It

Packers Could Use Moore At QB

Forget Jimmy Graham. Forget Muhammad Wilkerson, Forget Tramon Williams. The best free agent signing the Packers could make this offseason is a player who hopefully wouldn’t play a single down in 2018 – veteran quarterback Matt Moore. We all saw what happened to the offense when Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone early

Cost Of Trading Up From 14

The Packers haven’t traded up in the first round since 2002 when then-GM Mike Sherman went from No. 28 to No. 20 to get wide receiver Javon Walker. But with a new GM (Brian Gutekunst) and a draft that appears to have 13 players separating themselves from the rest, this might be the perfect year to

Underrated Oliver Could Be Special

Isaiah Oliver hasn’t been connected to the Green Bay Packers in many of this offseason’s mock drafts, but after watching all of the top cornerback prospects, I’m beginning to think the former Colorado star might just be a perfect fit at 14. In my opinion, the only better corner in this draft is Ohio State’s

No Surprise Reid’s Still Unsigned

The pickings are pretty slim after two and a half weeks of free agency. The biggest names left on the open market – players like wide receiver Jordan Matthews and corner  Bashaud Breeland – come with serious health concerns. Finding a proven starter in April who’s not rehabbing from some type of major injury is

Hey Aaron, Don’t Be Greedy

Aaron Rodgers is the best player on the Green Bay Packers, but he isn’t the Green Bay Packers. That’s something everyone needs to remember as the two sides engage in contract negotiations. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has every right to demand the world. And the iconic franchise has every right to just say

Mocking The Packers

I‘ve never been a fan of mock drafts, but fans love them. So here’s my second effort at predicting what will happen next month. Green Bay picks 14th, and while new GM Brian Gutekunst will talk about taking the best player available, the reality is he’s going to try to fill a need – just

Bumpy Start For Brian

The always sycophantic Wisconsin media and the large segment of Packers fans who wear their Green and Yellow glasses year round have spent the past seven days praising the work of new GM Brian Gutekunst. Call me negative – I know many of you already do – but I find very little to get excited

Time To Bring Tramon Home

The last image most Packers fans have of Tramon Williams is him getting beat for the game-winning touchdown in the NFC championship game in 2014. I guess that’s why so many people thought I was crazy for suggesting a year ago that the Packers should sign the veteran cornerback in free agency. Well, guess what?

Top Free-Agent Cornerbacks

Cornerback was a major need for the Packers even before Friday’s surprising trade that sent Damarious Randall to Cleveland. Now the position is almost barren – with only Kevin King guaranteed to still be in the league after Labor Day. Fortunately, there are quite a few intriguing corners available in free agency. Now it’s up

Top 10 Non-QBs In Draft

The 2018 National Football League draft is still nearly two months away, so I’m sure this list will change in the coming weeks. But after studying the top prospects for the past few weeks, here are my top 10 non-quarterbacks as of today: 1. Saquon Barkley (RB/Penn State) – He’s the best running back I’ve seen

Q&A: Should Evans Be Re-Signed?

Unlike the U.S. Postal Service, Packers Notes delivers on Sundays – at least through the end of August. Here’s another batch of letters  from the offseason mailbag: One of former GM Ted Thompson’s few good moves last offseason was signing veteran guard Jahri Evans. Is he worth bringing back? – Chuck from Florida No. Evans

Hubbard Would Bolster O-Line

The Packers need to get more athletic between now and the start of training camp, and that includes along the O-line. Other than left tackle David Bakhtiari, the team lacks a plus athlete at any of the other positions. And while that’s not the only reason why the offense produced so few explosive plays in

Q&A: Why Not Dorsey?

Unlike the U.S. Postal Service, Packers Notes delivers on Sundays – at least through the end of August. Here’s another batch of letters  from the offseason mailbag: Why do you think the Packers didn’t go after John Dorsey, who was sitting out there available for months, to replace Ted Thompson? – Steve from New Jersey I

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Previews & Reviews

Offseason Roster Review

The first wave of free agency ended last week and the second wave is now just barely a ripple. New general manager Brian Gutekunst vowed to be aggressive in acquiring veteran players, and he’s lived up to his word. As of today, the Packers have traded for quarterback DeShone Kizer and signed tight end Jimmy

Players, Not Plan, Failed Packers

Truth be told, Ted Thompson’s free agent strategy is his final year as the team’s general manager was excellent. He signed one second-tier free agent to a three-year contract worth $20 million, and a handful of lower-tier free agents to inexpensive short-term deals. What wasn’t excellent, however, was his choice of players. Former Pro Bowl tight

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:

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

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