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08/23/2017

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

Players & Coaches

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

Gray Off To Promising Start

Guard Geoff Gray has been a very pleasant surprise so far this summer. The undrafted free agent from Canada capped off an impressive first week of training camp on Thursday night by going undefeated in one-on-one pass rush drills, including getting the best of six-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews. Assuming the 22-year-old Gray

D-Line Depth Takes A Hit

With Letroy Guion (4-game suspension) certain to miss the start of the regular season and rookie Montravius Adams (foot surgery) highly unlikely to be ready for the week 1 opener against Seattle, the Packers are very thin up front – even for a team that more often than not employs only two defensive linemen at

Secondary A Primary Concern

You can’t say GM Ted Thompson ignored the cornerback position during the offseason, but unless you’re extremely confident in a player who was released by the woeful Jaguars and a rookie, you really can’t say the position has been upgraded. When a defense plays as poorly against the pass as the 31st-ranked Packers did in

Rookie Runner Could Surprise

I‘ve given you a sleeper to watch in training camp for each of the past three years. In 2014, it was linebacker Joe Thomas. In 2015, it was tight end Mitchell Henry. In 2016, it was nose tackle Brian Price. All three long shot rookies wound up spending time on either the Packers’ 53-man roster

O-Line Now Down Two Star Guards

Despite giving up close to triple the number of pressures as his predecessor, the Packers offensive line held up just fine in 2016 with young Lane Taylor replacing perennial All-Pro Josh Sitton at left guard. But expecting such smooth sailing this season without T.J. Lang at right guard might be asking too much. Give general manager

Barclay Finally Finds A Fit

No matter how many sacks he gave up, I never came down too hard on Don Barclay. Instead, I blamed the coaches for asking him to do what he simply wasn’t capable of doing. The former undrafted free agent had about as much business playing tackle in the NFL as Kim Kardashian has of playing

Amichia Has Bright Future

Ask me again at the end of training camp, but if I had to predict right now which player from the most recent draft class will enjoy the best career in the National Football League, my choice would probably come as a really big surprise. Even though more than 200 players were selected ahead of

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Off The Field

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

Ted’s Picks Stick Around

Ted Thompson drafted 111 players from 2005 – the year he was hired as general manager of the Packers – through 2016. Wanna take a guess at how many of those players were active for at least one regular-season game in the NFL? The answer is 105. Of those 105, 13 have been voted to

2017 All-Former Packers Team

Green Bay will be one of the most talented teams in the National Football League this season. That obviously says a lot about general manager Ted Thompson and the men who work and have worked under him in the front office. You know what says even more? The number of former Packers on other rosters,

Life With Favre As GM

In an exclusive radio interview last week with Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher, former star quarterback and current cheesy commercial spokesman Brett Favre said he’d be interested in working for the Packers – either as a coach or in the front office – after his youngest daughter graduates from college in four years. Since I can’t

Who’ll Be GM A Year From Now?

General manager Ted Thompson’s contract expires after the 2018 NFL Draft, so the next 10 months should be filled with rumors as to who’ll be running the team a year from now. Here’s my list of possibilities, from most likely to least likely: TED THOMPSON – Assuming both his health and his team remain good, it’s

The Ultimate Diss

People under the age of 40 don’t know how tough it was to be a Packers fan in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, a first-round pick actually chose to play in the Canadian Football League. Yes, exactly 37 years ago today, Bruce Clark signed with Toronto instead of Green Bay. It was the first

Roster Spots At A Premium

The Green Bay Packers are one of the deepest teams in the National Football League, so there won’t be a slew of legitimate openings on this season’s roster. Barring injuries, the following 23 players are all but guaranteed to be part of the final 53: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley, Ty Montgomery, Aaron Ripkowski, Jordy Nelson,

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Previews & Reviews

Tale Of The Tape: GB vs. WAS

After “studying the tape” (that sounds better than “turning on the computer”), here are the heroes and the zeros from Saturday’s 21-17 preseason win over Washington: HEROES BACKUP QUARTERBACKS – Brett Hundley‘s numbers were excellent (9 of 10 for 107 yards and 1 TD), but they don’t do him justice. Under decent pressure and with

Tale Of The Tape: GB vs. PHI

After “studying the tape” (that sounds a heck of a lot better than “turning on the computer”), here are the heroes and the zeros from Thursday night’s 24-9 preseason opening win over the Philadelphia Eagles: HEROES UNHERALDED YOUNG DEFENSIVE BACKS – Second-round pick Josh Jones had a solid debut, but the best defensive backs on this

Letters From Camp: Day 6

Dear Packers fans, Tuesday was another perfect day for the fifth practice of training camp. The skies were crystal clear and the temperature was in the low 70s. Here’s what I saw: Kevin King sat out with a shoulder injury today, so Damarious Randall took some snaps with the 1s, but it’s clear he’s fallen

Letters From Camp: Day 2

Dear Packers fans, Friday was a perfect day for the second practice of training camp. The skies were crystal clear and the temperature was in the upper 60s. Here’s what I saw: -It’s never a good idea to read too much into what happens early in training camp, but it sure looks like coordinator Dom

Observations From The Offseason

The Packers concluded their offseason program with last week’s three-day minicamp. GM Ted Thompson spent the past few months replacing veterans lost to free agency and fixing the secondary, with an eye on getting back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2010. The new-look roster will reconvene in five weeks for training camp. Here

Draft Review: Roster Analysis

With the draft now history, here’s a position-by-position look at the Packers’ 90-man roster: QUARTERBACK: Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf believed in drafting a quarterback every single year, but once again Ted Thompson didn’t adhere to his mentor’s philosophy. With Brett Hundley likely to be moved next offseason, it would’ve made sense to spend

Production Rules On Day 3

It took about 40 hours and three rounds, but GM Ted Thompson finally drafted players who produced better in pads than they did in shorts. Vince Biegel and Jamaal Williams won’t win any beauty contests, but they’ll help the Packers win games. In my opinion, Biegel’s tape is very similar to T.J. Watt’s, who went

Defense, Defense, Defense

There’s no question the Packers will be faster on defense next season. Whether they’ll be better remains to be seen. Friday’s draft picks – Kevin King, Josh Jones and Montravius Adams – posted some of the best 40 times at their respective positions at the Combine, but none of the three looked nearly as good playing

Packers Pass On Day 1

General Manager Ted Thompson traded out of the first round in 2008 and drafted wide receiver Jordy Nelson at No. 36. Packers fans can only hope things work out nearly as well nine years later. By sending the 29th pick to Cleveland late Thursday night, Green Bay will now be on the clock when the

The Green Bay Packers Select…

Trying to predict what general manager Ted Thompson might do with the 29th pick in the first round will be a lot easier after pick No. 28 is announced later tonight than it is right now. But that’s not going to stop me from giving it a shot. OK, I’ll start by removing the players who will likely be off

Positional Analysis: Safety

This is the 14th of a 14-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starters (B+): Few teams have a better pair of safeties than the Packers. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix went to his first Pro Bowl and was named an All-Pro in 2016. Meanwhile, Morgan Burnett quietly had the better season. The veteran from Georgia

Positional Analysis: Cornerback

This is the 13th of a 14-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starters (D): Losing Sam Shields to a concussion in week 1 devastated this position. Youngsters Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, and LeDarius Gunter simply weren’t ready for the move up the depth chart. How shaky are things heading into the draft? So

Positional Analysis: Inside Linebacker

This is the 12th of a 14-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starters (C-): Aside from Clay Matthews in 2014, Jake Ryan put together the best season by a Green Bay inside linebacker in years. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that the former Michigan star was still only

Mocking The Packers

I‘ve never been a fan of mock drafts, but football fans love them. So here’s my first effort at predicting what will happen later this month in Philadelphia. The Packers pick 29th, and while general manager Ted Thompson always talks about taking the best player available, the reality is he’s going to try to fill

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