Category Archives: Mark Tauscher

5

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Brian Schwenke, C, California

Brian Schwenke

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: C Brian Schwenke

Player Information:

Brian Schwenke, C California
6-3, 314 pounds
Hometown: Oceanside, CA

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 yard: 4.99
Bench: 31
Vertical: 26.50″
Broad: 9’00″
Shuttle: 4.74
Cone: 7.31

News and Notes:

A relative unknown coming into the draft process, Brian Schwenke has cemented himself as a top 5 center in the 2013 NFL draft after an impressive showing in both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.  Schwenke started with the Cal Bears as a left guard but rotated between both sides until his senior year where he moved to the pivot.  While he lacks the experience playing center of some of the other draft prospects, Schwenke does offer good versatility being able to play anywhere in the interior offensive line but ultimately his preferred position will probably be center.   Schwenke posted some of the best combine results of any offensive linemen this year, especially by breaking the 5″ mark on the 40 yard dash and recording a remarkable 7.31 second 3 cone time (as a comparison, Nick Perry recorded a 7.25 3-cone last year)

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Possesses a compact build well-suited to interior line play. Has a naturally low center of gravity and uses it, along with a wide base and excellent use of leverage to anchor against bigger, more powerful bull-rushers. Possesses an exceptional initial burst off the snap to turn and seal off defenders. Quick, active hands and shows an explosive pop on contact. Keeps his legs driving through the play to finish blocks. Alert, competitive blocker who looks to help his teammates and blocks to the whistle. Very good burst to the second level, showing improved awareness as he gained experience at the position. Made all of the line calls for Cal despite his inexperience at the position. Durable. Played in 48 of 50 possible games for Cal, including 36 starts.”
  • NFL Combine: “ Schwenke has a wealth of starting experience, both at guard and center. Schwenke comes off the ball very quickly, and is sound in his hand placement technique. He plays with a low pad level. Schwenke lacks great power, so he will be a better fit at center.”

 

Video:

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/SQyeOUq0cVU

Video Analysis:

---- Get AddToAny
6

February

Green Bay Packers Offseason: Another Veteran Purge Could Be Coming

Packers WR Donald Driver

Packers WR Donald Driver might be a cut Ted Thompson makes this offseason. (Photo: Getty images)

It didn’t take long into Ted Thompson’s reign as Green Bay Packers GM for the unwavering 52-year-old to firmly establish that football moves under his direction would be made without the cling of emotion, void of any sentimental feelings that could effect a given decision one way or the other.

Among Thompson’s first moves as GM in 2005 were the releasing of guard Mike Wahle and safety Darren Sharper and declining to re-sign guard Marco Rivera, three players that were stalwarts for Packers teams that had won consecutive NFC North titles from 2002-04. Despite their undisputed contributions, each was shown the door both because of age and Thompson’s need to manage the Packers’ out of control salary cap.

Wahle was 28 years old and had played in 103 straight games when Thompson released him, but the move saved over $11 million in cap space. Axing Sharper, a 29-year-old All-Pro safety, saved another $4.3 million. Rivera went on to sign a five-year, $20 million contract with the Cowboys after Thompson let him walk at the age of 32.

All three of the moves were spurred by the Packers’ cap situation as he entered the job. No matter how unpopular, each needed to be made to get Thompson back into his salary cap comfort zone.

And while a drastic makeover like 2005 hasn’t been seen since, similar decisions to the ones Thompson made in that offseason have. In the end, making those tough decisions are a big reason why the Packers’ salary cap has never again reached 2005 levels.

Over subsequent years, Thompson released veterans Na’il Diggs (80 career starts, saved $2.9 million) and Bubba Franks (Three-time Pro Bowler, saved over $4 million), traded away an unretired Brett Favre, and let Ahman Green (the Packers franchise leader in rushing yards) and Aaron Kampman (owner of 54 career sacks in Green Bay) walk in free agency.

In 2010, Thompson released cornerback Al Harris, who started seven straight seasons for the Packers but was 36 years old and struggling to come back from a catastrophic knee injury in ’09.

Starting to sound like a broken record?  There was still more roster reshaping to do even after Thompson’s 2010-11 Packers reached the top of the NFL mountain.

21

December

Packers Wednesday Injury Report: No Bryan Bulaga on Sunday vs. Bears

Packers RT Bryan Bulaga was ruled out for Sunday's game with the Chicago Bears.

As expected, the Green Bay Packers will be without right tackle Bryan Bulaga (sprained knee cap) Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Head coach Mike McCarthy announced the news at his Wednesday press conference.

Without Bulaga, the Packers are prepared to start left guard T.J. Lang at right tackle, with Evan Dietrich-Smith at Lang’s natural spot. Dietrich-Smith started two games for Josh Sitton at right guard while Sitton dealt with a knee sprain.

McCarthy also said that new addition Herb Taylor would likely be active as an emergency offensive tackle. Taylor was signed to replace first-round pick Derek Sherrod, who broke his tibia and fibula against the Chiefs and later placed on IR.

Receiver Greg Jennings (knee sprain) was also ruled out. He’s expected back for the Packers first playoff game.

The Packers did welcome back to practice Desmond Bishop (calf), James Starks (ankle), Brandon Saine (concussion) and Chad Clifton (hamstring, back). Starks was a full participant but the other three were all limited. Ryan Pickett (concussion) was held out, and Mike Neal was limited with a new shoulder injury that he suffered during the game Sunday.

McCarthy said that Clifton was “making strides” and wouldn’t rule him out for Sunday, but you’d have to think he’s still a long shot to play. He also said that Bishop would “have a chance to play” if he continues to practice like he did today. It sounded like Pickett was held out solely for cautionary reasons.

Other highlights from McCarthy’s press conference:

  • On Josh McCown, who the Bears announced Wednesday would start against the Packers: “He’s an exceptional athlete. Can make plays with his feet and has a good arm.” If you remember, McCown was the same quarterback who connected with Nate Poole to knock the Minnesota Vikings out of the playoffs as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 of 2003.
  • Excited about playing last two games at Lambeau Field, especially with a home playoff game to follow.
  • On Bears defense: “Good tackling team and adjust well to how you attack them.”
  • “Big challenge” playing against their defensive line. Offensive line will be well-prepared.
  • On Aaron Rodgers winning AP Male Athlete of the Year: “Huge award. Speaks for itself what he’s done. Well-deserving. He should be NFL MVP.”
20

December

Packers Sign T Herb Taylor; Derek Sherrod to IR

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson announced Tuesday that the team had signed tackle Herb Taylor to replace first-round pick Derek Sherrod on the Packers active roster. As expected, Sherrod was placed on IR.

Sherrod, the No. 32 overall pick in the 2011 draft, broke his leg Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs and remained in Kansas City to have surgery. It was learned yesterday that Sherrod broke both the tibia and fibula in his right leg, which means he’ll miss the rest of this season and potentially some of the next. Recovery time for such an injury is obviously extensive.

Taylor was drafted in sixth round by the Chiefs in 2007 and appeared in 18 games, including one start, from 2007-08. Taylor made the Denver Broncos active roster at the end of ’09 before training camp stints with the New York Giants in ’10 and Broncos again in ’11. Taylor had a work out with the Packers in early December, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In college, Taylor (6-4, 305) started 48 games at TCU and twice earned First-Team All-Mountain West honors.

He’ll wear No. 72.

It was interesting that Thompson choose Taylor, a player without a regular season home for two years, to be the guy that replaces Sherrod. Names such as Mark Tauscher and Chris Campbell, a member of the Packers practice squad, have been thrown around since Sunday’s game as potential short-term replacements.

At this point, however, Thompson has earned the benefit of the doubt when selecting players. In just the past 12 or so months, Thompson has found street free agents such as Erik Walden and Howard Green, both of whom have contributed. And Thompson has plenty of tape available on Taylor from the past two preseasons, so the fact that he hasn’t been on a team in two years isn’t as troubling.

Besides, there’s no guarantees that a player like Tauscher, a veteran who can’t stay healthy, or Campbell, a young player still learning the ropes, were any better selections.

——————

Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

1

August

Free Agent Status of Former Green Bay Packers

Tracking the free agent status of Packers released this offseason, with the exception of Al Harris, who was released during the 2010 season.

 

 S Derrick Martin: SIGNED WITH GIANTS  

UPDATE: Martin and the New York Giants agreed to a one-year contract on Monday, August 15. 

The Packers released Martin on March 3.

Despite being an important special teams contributor, the Packers let go of Martin early in the offseason. Injuries likely played into the decision, as Martin suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Washington Redskins.

Little has surfaced about team’s potential interest in Martin, but I’d be shocked if he didn’t find a team for 2011.

LB Brady Poppinga: SIGNED WITH ST. LOUIS RAMS 

The Packers released Poppinga on July 29.

UPDATE: Poppinga has reportedly agreed to a deal with the St. Louis Rams and was observing Rams practice on Tuesday night. He should get a chance to start at outside linebacker for St. Louis.

Much like Tauscher, Poppinga had similar factors working against him.

At 32 years old and coming off an ACL injury, Poppinga was due $2.34 million in 2011. For a guy that was going to be a backup and play primarily on special teams, that price tag was way too rich for the Packers liking.

He was also miscast in the Packers 3-4 defense, and he’ll likely look to team that runs the 4-3 as his next destination. Poppinga visited the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, but there was no word if a contract had been put in place.

LB Nick Barnett: SIGNED WITH BUFFALO BILLS

The Packers released Barnett on July 29, saving $5.9 million in cap room. Barnett then signed a three-year, $12 million deal with Buffalo Bills on July 31.

The Bills got a serious upgrade at linebacker, as Barnett averaged almost 110 tackles in his first seven seasons with the Packers. He’ll bring a veteran presence to a team that needs leaders on defense.

Barnett was expendable to the Packers after Desmond Bishop had a breakout season in his absence. Green Bay signed Bishop to a four-year, $19 million contract in January, putting the writing on the wall for Barnett’s eventual release.

TE Donald Lee: SIGNED WITH PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

The Packers released Lee on March 3. On July 29, Lee signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

29

July

Green Bay Packers Release 11-Year Veteran Mark Tauscher

Mark Tauscher

Mark Tauscher's release by the Green Bay Packers was an expected yet heart-breaking loss to fans and the team.

@jasonjwilde: Mark Tauscher has been released by the @packers.”

That tweet, instantly relayed by dozens of Jason Wilde’s followers today, was simple, striking, and emotional all in one. News of 11-year veteran Mark Tauscher’s release by the Green Bay Packers was to be expected; however, many had hoped the statement would be about his retirement instead.

Along with bookend left tackle Chad Clifton, Tauscher has been one of the foundations of the Packers’ offensive line for just over a decade. Selected in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft, he became a full-time starter after Earl Dotson suffered a back injury early in the season. He has made 132 regular season starts since that time.

Mark Tauscher has earned a large spot in Wisconsin’s heart, and that will make it hard for fans to see him go. A native of the Badger State, he began his football career at Auburndale High School and was a two-time All-Conference honoree. He also actively participated in baseball and basketball, earning state honors in those sports as well.

After graduating from high school in 1995, Tauscher went on to the University of Wisconsin as a walk on, where he played his first few years as a backup to Chris McIntosh. He finally saw playing time during his fourth year in unbalanced line formations, and became the full-fledged starter at right tackle in his fifth and final season. Tauscher was considered an essential blocker in the line that gave success to Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne.

As a Packer, Mark Tauscher continued his high level of play and gained further adoration from Wisconsin fans. His work ethic and charm made him one of the great faces of the organization.

The past two seasons have, unfortunately, been an omen to his final days in Green Bay, as he only played a total of 13 games during that span of time. It seemed the injury bug had hit him, with a torn ACL at the end of 2008 and a shoulder injury early last season. He was replaced after the most recent injury by 2010 first-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga, who started for the remainder of their championship year.

29

July

Green Bay Packers 2011 Training Camp: Previewing the Offense

Let’s take a quick look at how the Green Bay Packers offense stacks up heading into training camp by breaking down each position individually. Packers training camp starts Saturday, July 30th in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Graham Harrell

The Packers head into the 2011 season with likely the best 1-2 combination at quarterback in the NFL. Starter Aaron Rodgers put up fantastic numbers for the third consecutive year, throwing for 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while narrowly missing out on becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in his first three seasons under center.

He didn’t let up once the playoffs started, as he threw for three scores in a win over Philadelphia then thrashed the Falcons in the NFC Divisional round with one of the more impressive playoff performances in Packers playoff history. He completed 86.1 percent of his passes that night (31-for-36) for 366 yards and three touchdowns. In the Super Bowl, Rodgers took home MVP honors for his 304-yard, 3-touchdown masterpiece against the NFL’s No. 1 rated defense. He’s a bonafide regular season MVP candidate heading into the season.

Concussions were Rodgers’ kryptonite, however, as he suffered two (at Washington, at Detroit) during the regular season. The latter kept him out of a huge matchup with the New England Patriots, but that allowed backup Matt Flynn to showcase his ever-improving skill set in primetime. Flynn put up Rodgers-like numbers, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-27 loss that turned out to be a jumping-off point for the Packers playoff run.

There was talk that Flynn, who will be a free agent after the ’11 season, might be traded to a quarterback-needy team this offseason, but the Packers seem intent on holding onto him as a valuable backup. With Rodgers’ injury history, that could turn out to be an important non-move. Even he if does leave after the season, he’s worth more to the Packers this year as a backup than a mid-to-low draft choice.

If they would have dealt him, any injury to Rodgers might have thrown Graham Harrell into the starting mix. While he put up huge numbers and was fourth in the Heisman voting his senior year at Texas Tech, Harrell is obviously raw in many areas. He went undrafted in ’09 and spent sometime in the CFL before latching on in Green Bay. The league’s lockout also cost him valuable time in Mike McCarthy’s quarterback school. The Packers chose not to draft or sign any quarterback this offseason, so his No. 3 spot on the depth chart seems somewhat secure.