Category Archives: Chad Toporski

17

May

Chad’s Corner: Why Michael Sam Matters

Michael Sam(Cory is on vacation in the south of France this weekend, so I will be filling in for him. Ok, maybe he’s not in the south of France, but he is without a computer. Looks like you’re stuck with me either way!)

Simply mentioning Michael Sam’s name right now is enough to spark an emotional debate among football fans (and non-fans alike). Last week at the 2014 NFL Draft, he became the first openly gay football player to be drafted by a professional football team. Some people are lauding his courage, some people are disgusted by the move, and then there are others who are asking, “So what?”

Who cares if he’s gay? Isn’t this supposed to be about football? He was drafted just seven spots higher than No. 256, Mr. Irrelevant, so why all the coverage? And can I please watch 10 minutes of ESPN without hearing about Michael Sam or seeing yet another replay of “the kiss”?

To be fair, these people have a valid point; however, it’s rather interesting that this group of fans come from both sides of the “gay rights” aisle. Those who don’t have any qualms about sports players being gay couldn’t care less about the issue, yet those who protest the idea don’t want to see any coverage of it, period. Just make it go away and get back to football.

Now, I realize that this is not really a story specific to the Green Bay Packers, so I hope you will forgive me on that front. Nevertheless, this story is fairly historic and does have ramifications for the rest of the league. And that’s why it matters.

Sports have always carried an air of ultra-masculinity. Real men are tough. Real men are strong. Real men can take a beating and get back up. Real men sweat. Real men like women.

Real men aren’t gay.

Truly, this is why the hardest thing for a gay male athlete to do is to be honest with his teammates. It paints himself as feminine, as someone unworthy of playing a man’s sport. He opens himself up to criticism, taunting, and exclusion. And not just by his teammates, but also his coaches. Will they give him the same opportunities and instructional attention as the others?

---- Get AddToAny
22

January

Packers Free Agents: Top 10 to Re-Sign

Sam Shields is only the second most important UFA the Packers need to re-sign. Who's number one?

Sam Shields is only the second most important UFA the Packers need to re-sign. Who’s number one?

A couple weeks ago, our own Adam Czech took a look at the Green Bay Packers players hitting free agency this offseason.  Of the 19 offensive and defensive players, 16 are unrestricted and 3 are restricted. What I’ve done below is made a list of the top ten unrestricted players Ted Thompson should consider re-signing. They are listed in descending order of importance.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the ranking? Is there someone you would add or replace? Comment below!

 

10. Ryan Pickett

This could be the first year where Pickett’s age has been noticeable. The “Big Grease” has never been a flashy player, and he’s a true two-gap guy, but even in that role he saw some decline. Pickett could still be useful as a veteran leader and run-stuffer; there’s just not much more than that. If he returns, it shouldn’t be at a price anywhere near his last contract.

9. Matt Flynn

It seems like Matt Flynn is destined to be the back-up to Aaron Rodgers for the majority of his career. He got his payday in Seattle, never really saw the field as a starter, and eventually ended up back in Green Bay. The Packers have Scott Tolzien as a project this offseason, but wouldn’t they want to avoid the mess of a situation they had this year and sign Flynn as insurance?

8. B.J. Raji

This guy is going to be the biggest free agent storyline for the Packers. His performance doesn’t command a big contract, but his draft position does. It will all depend on the market, and I have a feeling Ted Thompson will let him test it. Still, if the price is right, it would be foolish for the Packers not to bring him back on board.

7. James Jones

Yes, James Jones can be considered “replaceable.” But this is the same guy who caught 14 touchdown passes for the Packers in 2012. In 2013, he was second in most statistical categories only to Jordy Nelson, and the only player who had fewer drops than him was Randall Cobb. (And Cobb was out most of the season.) James Jones didn’t get much from the market the last time he was a free agent, and he probably see less interest now that he’s hitting 30.

19

January

2013 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Conference Championships: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2013 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (-5.5)
Kris Burke Broncos Patriots
“Jersey” Al Bracco Patriots Patriots
Adam Czech Patriots Patriots
Marques Eversoll Broncos Patriots
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Patriots
Cory Jennerjohn Broncos Broncos
Jason Perone Broncos Patriots
Chad Toporski Broncos Patriots
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)
Kris Burke Seahawks 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seahawks 49ers
Adam Czech 49ers 49ers
Marques Eversoll 49ers 49ers
Thomas Hobbes Seahawks 49ers
Cory Jennerjohn Seahawks Seahawks
Jason Perone 49ers 49ers
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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11

January

2013 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Divisional Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2013 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)
Kris Burke Seahawks Saints
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seahawks Seahawks
Adam Czech Seachickens Saints
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Saints
Thomas Hobbes Seahawks Seahawks
Cory Jennerjohn Seahawks Saints
Jason Perone Seahawks Saints
Chad Toporski Seahawks Saints
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7)
Kris Burke Patriots Colts
“Jersey” Al Bracco Colts Colts
Adam Czech Colts Colts
Marques Eversoll Colts Colts
Thomas Hobbes Colts Colts
Cory Jennerjohn Patriots Patriots
Jason Perone Patriots Colts
Chad Toporski Colts Colts
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (+1)
Kris Burke 49ers 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco 49ers 49ers
Adam Czech 49ers 49ers
Marques Eversoll 49ers 49ers
Thomas Hobbes Panthers Panthers
Cory Jennerjohn 49ers 49ers
Jason Perone Panthers Panthers
Chad Toporski Panthers Panthers
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-9)
Kris Burke Broncos Chargers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Broncos Chargers
Adam Czech Broncos Chargers
Marques Eversoll Broncos Chargers
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Broncos
Cory Jennerjohn Broncos Chargers
Jason Perone Broncos Broncos
Chad Toporski Broncos Chargers
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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8

January

Packers Outplayed, Not Outcoached in Loss to 49ers

Packers 49ers Wild Card KaepernickAs we become farther and farther removed from the Super Bowl XLV championship season, the microscope on Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Dom Capers becomes increasingly magnified. And for a good reason. The Green Bay Packers have arguably the best quarterback in the league on their team, yet for the past three postseasons, they have come up far short of the Super Bowl. They haven’t even reached the NFC Conference Championship in that time span.

I even wrote a controversial post back in November about how Dom Capers is under-utilizing the talent on the defense, suggesting that he be let go in the offseason in favor of someone new. And many of us were carefully scrutinizing the defense during the Wild Card game against the San Francisco 49ers, since they had been the weak link in many of the postseason failures. Could Capers redeem himself and finally put a stop to Colin Kaepernick?

The strange thing about this game, though, was that blaming the coaches for the loss just didn’t seem right. In fact, it wouldn’t be right, because this game came down to missed opportunities by the Packers. There were a number of times where they could have taken control of the game, yet failed to.

We’ll start with the final drive by the 49ers, because it’s where the biggest and most costly miscues were made.

On 2nd-and-10 at the San Francisco 31-yard line, Micah Hyde makes the most heart-wrenching drop of the game, because that interception would have easily been taken to the house. The Packers would have been up 27-20, and the final four minutes would have unraveled much differently. But even on the ensuing 3rd-and-10, Kaepernick is able to escape the pocket and hit Michael Crabtree for 17 yards.

Then, with just over a minute left, the 49ers once again convert a 3rd-and-8 when Kaepernick escapes a Cover 0 blitz and runs for the first down. Jarrett Bush fails to contain, Ryan Pickett gets pushed to the inside, and Andy Mulumba just can’t run fast enough to save the play.

Those were the missed opportunities that stick in our head the most; however, there were others throughout the game that made a difference.

5

January

Packers vs. 49ers – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 20 SF 23

hands_to_faceGreen Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers:  2013 Wild Card Round

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

This will be the second meeting this season and the fourth in the last 16 months between the clubs. The Packers visited San Francisco in Week 1 this season, a 34-28 win for the 49ers.

Including playoffs, the Packers have won 13 of the last 17 games against the 49ers, but San Francisco has emerged victorious in the last three.

It’s cold at Lambeau Field, with temperatures in the single digits and dropping. It’s possible the temperature will remain at or above zero through most of the game, with the brutal cold arriving later in the evening. Still, wind chills will be in the minus-20 range for most of the game and possibly getting worse.

 

As per team tradition, the Packers alternated game captains each week during the regular season. The team elects captains for the entire postseason.

Today’s captains for the Packers will be WR Jordy Nelson and QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), S Morgan Burnettand LB A.J. Hawk (defense), and K Mason Crosby and CB Jarrett Bush (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
13 WR Chris Harper
16 QB Scott Tolzien
20 CB Jumal Rolle
51 LB Nate Palmer
52 LB Clay Matthews
65 G Lane Taylor
73 C/G JC Tretter

San Francisco 49ers
22 CB Carlos Rogers
46 TE Derek Carrier
54 LB Nick Moody
62 G Ryan Seymour
71 DT Quinton Dial
78 G Joe Looney
84 WR Jon Baldwin

Startling lineup change: 26 CB Trumaine Brock starts for Rogers.

 

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Packers vs. 49ers – First Impressions – First Half:

Hope all the #Packers fans at Lambeau stay warm and BRING THE NOISE!!! #gopackgo

The Eagles’ loss to the Saints last night highlights the problems of poor run defenses. I’m hoping but not confident that the Packers can get back into their earlier season form in that regard.

Three runs to start the game, and a three-and-out. Message sent, but at what cost?

Sam Shields down… Not a good sign for the Packers.

Two fumbles so far, one by each team. Could see more of this with the weather, but who will take advantage of it?

It’s going to be a long day for the secondary, as Crabtree is wide open for the 4th down conversion.

3

January

Packers vs. 49ers Wild Card Round Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Wild Card Round: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 9-7 Green Bay Packers 24-21
It’s going to be brutally cold. Advantage: Packers. It’ll probably be a little uglier than expected but 2013 can become an even more special season if the Packers can exact revenge upon San Francisco in the brutal cold. The legend that is Aaron Rodgers grows stronger after the win.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 8-8 Green Bay Packers 28-27
Packers must be deadly efficient in the red zone scoring TDs not field goals. Defense has to force a few Niner field goals in the red zone.
Adam Czech 10-6 San Francisco 49ers 33-24
How are the likes of Andy Mulumba and M.D. Jennings supposed to stop Vernon Davis, Frank Gore and a bruising 49ers offense? Like they have all season, the Packers will fight until the end, but I don’t see this one ending well for the (frozen) home team.
Marques Eversoll 9-7 Green Bay Packers 30-27
This is the fifth time that a team (Packers) will host a playoff game against a team (49ers) with at least four more regular-season wins. The home team (with the worse record) came out on the winning side the previous four times. Who am I to pick against history? The Packers win and live to see another week.
Thomas Hobbes 8-8 Green Bay Packers 27-21
For all that the Packers rely on Aaron Rodgers, this game really is about Eddie Lacy; the Packers have tried 3 times to beat the 49ers through the air without a real semblance of a running game and the 49ers defense is good enough to cover their secondary weakness when an offense is one dimensional.  If Lacy can keep the defense honest, the Packers will have a shot winning.
Cory Jennerjohn 12-4 San Francisco 49ers 31-23
The 49ers have the distinct advantage on the offensive and defensive line. And since this game will be played in biblical polar conditions, the big boys up front will win or lose the game. The biggest nightmare for Dom Capers should be Vernon Davis. He is healthy and virtually unguardable, especially with the linebackers the Packers have. The Packers must play mistake-free football to stay close.