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01/16/2018

$ome Big Decisions Coming

New GM Brian Gutekunst will have some difficult decisions to make in regard to four of the team’s longest-tenured and most highly-decorated players. Bryan Bulaga, Randall Cobb, Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson will count $45 million against the salary cap in 2018. And while they are still capable players, all of them are susceptible to

Players & Coaches

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

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

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Off The Field

Gutekunst To Face Big Challenges

There’s no better job than being the general manager of the Green Bay Packers. There’s also no tougher job, and that’s something Brian Willis Gutekunst will find out in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. The following is a quick look at five of the biggest challenges that lie ahead for the new leader of

Ball’s Not Worth The Risk

Even though team president Mark Murphy hasn’t even begun his official search yet, all signs point to Vice President of Football Administration/Player Finance Russ Ball being named the 11th general manager in the history of the Green Bay Packers. And while this wouldn’t be a surprise – I wrote about the possibility two years ago

Sizing Up GM Candidates

Longtime general manager Ted Thompson will transition into a new role, and the search for his replacement will begin immediately. There would appear to be three strong internal candidates for the job, as well as one from the outside. The following is a brief look at the four men, one of whom will likely be

Breaking Down Adams’ Deal

The Packers signed wide receiver Davante Adams to a 4-year deal worth over $58 million on Friday. Here’s a quick look at the pros and the cons of this transaction: PROS -Signing Adams had been a top priority since the summer, and general manager Ted Thompson and VP of football administration/player finance Russ Ball were able

Fixing D As Easy As 1-2-3

The Packers’ defense has been an albatross weighing the team down for much of this decade, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By doing three things, that side of the ball has a chance to be pretty good come next fall. The only question is whether Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson have what

Potential Replacements For Dom

Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers has more lives than a cat, but this may finally be the year when his seven-season run of incompetency comes to an end. If, and it’s still a big if, a change is made, here are some possible replacements (today’s focus is on veteran coaches; I’ll look at up-and-comers next

Adams Proves His Worth

Free-agent-to-be Davante Adams bet on himself in 2017, and despite a devastating hit that sent him to the hospital in week 5, that decision has proven to be a wise one. The fourth-year wide receiver will likely end the season worth at least $2 million per year more than he began it. That’s because Adams

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

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Previews & Reviews

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

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

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