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08/12/2020

Key Players To Watch

The Green Bay Packers open training camp this week, and if I were allowed to watch practices, here are the six players I’d be keeping an especially close eye on: RASHAN GARY – The exodus of Kyler Fackrell moves last year’s No. 1 pick up a spot on the depth chart, and that means he’ll

Players & Coaches

Scouting Report: Kamal Martin

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is an old proverb that GM Brian Gutekunst obviously took to heart in April’s draft. Only two years after trading up for inside linebacker Oren Burks, he picked an almost identical player in Kamal Martin. Both players are listed at 6-foot-3. Both players were used extensively

All’s Not ‘Right’ With O-Line

The right side of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line has been a strength for the past 25 years. From Earl Dotson and Marco Rivera through Mark Tauscher and Josh Sitton through Bryan Bulaga and T.J. Lang, superstar quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers seldom had to worry about facing frontside pressure. But that probably

Heir To 12 Can Wait

Some experts believe the Packers will use the 30th pick in the upcoming draft on a quarterback, and they often use what happened in 2005 as foreshadowing. That’s the year former general manager Ted Thompson selected Aaron Rodgers late in the first round. It does make sense. Brett Favre was 36 at the time, and

Unsung Heroes Of 2019

There were a lot of reasons the Packers went 14-4 and reached the NFC Championship game last season. They were extremely resilient in finding ways to win close games. They remained healthy while many of their opponents were ravaged by injuries. And they received productive seasons from most of the players who were supposed to

Scouting Report: Za’Darius Smith

I didn’t include Za’Darius Smith among the 20 free agents the Packers should consider signing in the last newsletter. Not because I didn’t think he was a good young player, but because I didn’t think general manager Brian Gutekunst would be willing to pay $12 million per for an outside linebacker whose best season came

Just Say No To Joe

Two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers came out first in support of Joe Philbin. Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams followed a few days later. And you can be sure other players will chime in after Sunday’s season finale against the Lions. None of this should be surprising, and none of this should mean a thing when

Remember The ‘2 Week Rule’

The way many members of the media gushed over Trevor “Jerry Rice Jr.” Davis and Josh “Ronnie Lott II” Jones the past two summers made 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

Long Shots Worth Watching

Nearly 40 players took part in the just-completed rookie orientation camp. Of the 29 undrafted free agents who took the field, a handful actually have a legitimate chance to compete for a spot on the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster. Here’s a look at four long shots to keep an eye on in the weeks

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.

Scouting Report: Jimmy Graham

Almost a year to the day after signing Martellus Bennett in free agency, the Packers signed another former Pro Bowl tight end to a 3-year contract on Wednesday. The team is obviously hoping things work out a lot better with Jimmy Graham, who receiver $10 million in guaranteed money as part of a $25 million

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

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Off The Field

Kizer Trade Was A Dud

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ve spent the past few weeks counting down his worst moves. Here’s

Burks Looks Like A Bust

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ve spent the past few weeks counting down his worst moves. Here’s

Cobb Was Never Replaced

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ve spent the past few weeks counting down his worst moves. Here’s

Best Available Wide Receivers

Despite ending last season with only one wide receiver catching more than 35 passes, general manager Brian Gutekunst decided to bypass the position in the draft. His only addition was free agent Devin Funchess, who chose to opt-out due to Covid-19 earlier in the week. That leaves the Packers with essentially the same group as

Jackson Faces Make-Or-Break Season

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ve spent the past couple of weeks counting down his worst moves.

Graham Added Little To Offense

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ll spend the next couple of weeks counting down his worst moves.

Best Packers In Past 40 Years

As the NFL Network gets ready to run down its list of the top 100 players of 2020, here’s my updated list of the top 25 Green Bay Packers since 1980. Take a few minutes and enjoy the stroll down memory lane. Feel free to leave a comment. 25-tie] CB Tramon Williams (2006-2014, 2018-2019) –

Turner Needs To Be Better

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ll spend the next couple of weeks counting down his worst moves.

Ex-Eagle Would Boost Defense

The Packers improved their defense last offseason by signing a little-known former Eagle. They can do the same this offseason by signing a much more accomplished ex-Bird. While Chandon Sullivan proved to be a pleasant surprise as a versatile backup, Nigel Bradham has the ability to make a far greater impact. Bradham was cut by

Moore Was Less Than Expected

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ll spend the next couple of weeks counting down his worst moves.

Lowry Regressed After Payday

Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ll spend the next couple of weeks counting down his worst moves.

Black Position Coaches Matter

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to sweep across the country this summer, the lack of Black head coaches and coordinators in the National Football League has once again become a hot topic of discussion in the media. We all know the disturbing numbers. Only three of 32 head coaches are Black, and only

Za’Darius Smith Was A $66M Bargain

Brian Gutekunst was named GM of the Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some bad. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks counting down his 12-best moves. Here’s No. 1: While Za’Darius Smith might’ve been the highest-paid of the four free agents signed

Elgton Rocked Rookie Season

Brian Gutekunst was named GM of the Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some bad. I’ve been listing his best moves over the course of the last few weeks. Here’s No. 2: I admit I wasn’t thrilled when Gutekunst drafted Elgton Jenkins with

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Previews & Reviews

$ome Big Decisions Coming

General manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t have many difficult decisions to make in regard to his own free agents the past three offseasons, but that will change in 2021. Five of the Packers’ best players and potential No. 2 wide receiver Devin Funchess are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next March. The following is a

If I Were The GM

I hate when a year or two after the fact people say they would’ve drafted this guy instead of this guy. It’s too easy. So I decided to pick along with GM Brian Gutekunst and make my selections right before he made his. These were my picks: Round 1 (#26) – As expected, Gutekunst traded

Quick-Snap Review: Jordan Love

The Green Bay Packers traded up in the first round to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. The cost was a fourth-round pick. Here’s a quick analysis: PROS 1) Love has the physical traits that get quarterbacks drafted in the top-10. He has size (6-4, 225), speed (4.7), and a rocket for a right arm.

Preview: 2020 NFL Draft

After missing the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Packers bounced back in a big way under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur. But getting from the NFC championship game to the Super Bowl will take more than another four months of fortuitous calls, close wins, and incredible health. It’ll take a really strong draft –

Gutey’s Got A Type

If the first three girls someone goes out with have long blonde hair, there’s no guarantee that the next girl will also have long blonde hair, but the odds are pretty good. Everybody has a type – be it a high school senior looking for a prom date or an NFL general manager looking for

Mocking The Packers

I‘ve never been a fan of mock drafts, but people seem to love them. So here’s my first effort at predicting what will happen next week. Green Bay picks 30th, and while general manager Brian Gutekunst will talk about taking the best player available, the reality is he’s going to try to fill a need

Preview: 2019 NFL Draft

After making the playoffs for eight straight seasons, Green Bay has fallen on hard times recently. It was easy to blame an injury to Aaron Rodgers for the 7-9 finish in 2017, but there was no such excuse for the 6-9-1 debacle of 2018. That record was well earned. Uninspired coaching and a series of

Preview: Free Agency

Free agency officially begins on Wednesday, and if the Packers are going to rebound after back-to-back losing seasons, general manager Brian Gutekunst is going to have to perform a lot better than he did a year ago. Signing younger players would be a good way to make that happen. The Packers acquired five free agents

Packers Go Big At Receiver

The Packers had eight picks on day 3 of the draft, and Brian Gutekunst used them in unique ways. The first-year general manager triple-downed on wide receivers and became the only GM to select both a punter and a long snapper in the same year (Bill Belichick and the Pats drafted a long snapper and a

Another Day, Another Corner

Three years after taking corners back to back in rounds 1 and 2 (Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins), the Packers did it again. Less than 24 hours after selecting Jaire Alexander, GM Brian Gutekunst doubled down with Josh Jackson. Incredibly, Green Bay has now picked five corners in rounds 1 and 2 since 2015. With

Another Draft, Another Corner

The first 13 picks couldn’t have worked out any better for the Packers on Thursday night in Arlington, Texas. With four quarterbacks and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey selected in the top 9, new general manager Brian Gutekunst had his choice of either Virginia Tech’s 19-year-old linebacker Tremaine Edmunds or Florida State’s dynamic hybrid safety Derwin

Corner Remains Biggest Need

The Packers selected Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the first two rounds of the 2015 draft and then grabbed Kevin King with their top pick last year. Amazingly, the position is still the team’s biggest weakness. There’s no greater indictment on the last few years of Ted Thompson’s reign as general manager. Here’s a

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

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