Category Archives: 2011 OTAs / Mini-camp

17

September

Packing the Stats: 2011 Week 1 Pass Defense

After week 1, every fan has the right to be optimistic.  Fans of winning teams will instantly project the same success to the next 16 weeks, fans of losing teams will console themselves that its only one game and fans of teams that got blown out will delude themselves into thinking that their team is the next 2003 Patriots, who got skunked 31-0 by the Buffalo Bills only to finish 14-2 and win the Super Bowl.

Packers fans can count themselves lucky to be part of the 1st group after a thrilling win against the New Orleans Saints but amidst the victory, questions arose. The Packers game up an astounding 477 total yards with Drew Brees shredding the Packers secondary for 398 yards.  Will this be an issue in games to come or just a result of playing one of best quarterbacks along with one of the most powerful  passing offenses in the NFL?

In my opinion no. Take a look at the statistics


Date Points TY R/A RY RTD
2010 Avg Tm/G 22.00 336.00 27.20 114.50 0.80
2010 Week 1 Avg Team 18.25 311.25 26.31 105.72 0.66
2011 Week 1 Avg Team 23.50 350.30 25.60 105.30 0.70
Difference 5.25 39.05 0.71 0.42 0.04
2010 Week 1 League Total 584.00 9,960.00 842.00 3,383.00 21.00
2011 Week 1 League Total 752.00 11,211.00 818.00 3,369.00 21.00
Difference 168.00 1,251.00 24.00 14.00 0.00

 


Date P/C P/A PY PTD INT
2010 Avg Tm/G 20.50 33.70 221.60 1.50 1.00
2010 Week 1 Avg Team 21.06 34.28 219.94 1.22 0.84
2011 Week 1 Avg Team 21.40 34.90 245.10 1.70 0.80
Difference 0.34 0.62 25.16 0.48 0.04
2010 Week 1 League Total 674.00 1,097.00 7,038.00 39.00 27.00
2011 Week 1 League Total 685.00 1,116.00 7,842.00 54.00 24.00
Difference 11.00 19.00 804.00 15.00 3.00

Abbreviations: TY: total yards, R/A: rushing attempts, RY: rushing yards, RTD: rushing touchdowns, P/C: passes completed, P/A: passes attempted, PY: passing yards, PTD: passing TD, INT: interception

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1

September

Adam Czech: My Initial Packers 53-man Roster Prediction

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson has some tough roster decisions to make after Thursday's preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Graham Harrell (3)

Running Backs: Ryan Grant, James Starks, Alex Green, John Kuhn (4)

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb, Tori Gurley (6)

Tight Ends: Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor (4)

Offensive Line: Chad Clifton, Derek Sherrod, T.J. Lang, Marshall Newhouse, Scott Wells, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Josh Sitton, Caleb Schlauderaff, Bryan Bulaga (9)

Defensive Line: B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, C.J. Wilson, Mike Neal, Howard Green, Jarius Wynn (6)

Linebacker: Clay Matthews, Desmond Bishop, AJ Hawk, Frank Zombo, Erik Walden, Robert Francious, Vic So’oto, D.J. Smith (8)

Defensive Backs: Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, Davon House, Pat Lee, Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett, Charlie Peprah, Brandon Underwood (10)

Specialists: Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Brett Goode (3)

Random Thoughts

  • TE D.J. Williams looked intriguing after the Packers drafted him, but does Green Bay really need another pass-catching TE behind Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless?
  • The reserve OL spots are tough to predict unless you’re watching these guys every day in practice. I also think the Packers value linemen that understand the pass-blocking schemes and won’t miss an assignment that could get Rodgers killed. If any of the reserves blow an assignment on Thursday, they might be out the door.
  • Capers likes to keep 10 DBs. That’s why Lee stays.
  • I think the Packers are a little worried about Driver’s health, so that’s why they keep six WRs. I chose Gurley over West because Gurley is bigger.
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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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11

August

From the Mouth of Jermichael Finley: Packers Should Score Every Time

NFL general managers, coaches and the majority of players give the most boring interviews in all of sports. Because football is run by multi-billionaires and is the most mainstream sport in America, the league and its teams spend a lot of money trying to control their message and ruffle as few feathers as possible when communicating through the media.

That’s why I love Jermichael Finley. Green Bay’s fourth-year TE apparently was absent when Packers PR staff provided media training to players and covered such topics as Cliches 101 and How to Say the Same Boring Stuff Over and Over Again.

Finley just says whatever is on his mind, and it’s great. For some reason, certain fans get upset when players are honest. I get that there’s a fine line between being honest and being dumb, but I don’t understand why some fans would prefer a player to just shut up instead of actually telling us what’s on his mind (even if whatever is on his mind might be dumb).

Actually, it probably has nothing to do with being honest or dumb. It’s more about being genuine. I think Finley is genuine, and that’s a good thing.

Here are some of Finely’s best quotes from the last couple of weeks along with my thoughts on each one:

Finley spoke to Ricardo Arguello of the Appleton Post Crescent on July 23 about returning after the lockout:

“”The longer the lockout, the better conditioning and shape I’ll come back in. My thing is to come back and show the Packers I’m ready to go….(The lockout) has actually helped me, to tell you the truth.”

I like that Finley feels he still has to show the Packers he’s ready to go. We all know Finley is talented (and Finley knows he’s talented), but he’s never played a full 16 games in his career. It’s good to know he’s not expecting to come back and be featured in the offense without proving he’s healthy and can play at a high level.

Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee spoke to Finley about numerous topics on July 15, one of which concerned Finley lining up as a receiver:

“Standing up, I think that’s the best position for me,” he said. Asked if the coaches are comfortable with that, Finley replied, “They’re going to be comfortable with it.”

5

August

2011 Packers Annual from Maple Street Press

The 2011 Packers Annual from Maple Street PressThe 2011 Packers Annual from Maple Street Press is now available. It’s known as the “Packers Guide for the DieHard Fan.” The guide is 112 full color pages of All Green Bay Packers content from some of your favorite Packers writers.

Jason Wilde brings you an exclusive one-on-one interview with Aaron Rodgers.

Sigmund Bloom examines the new crop of Packers draft choices.

Brian Carriveau takes a position-by-position look at the 2011 Packers Roster.

Paige Pearson profiles the Packers players coming back from season-ending injuries.

Aaron Nagler digs into the Xs and Os to show how the Packers made protecting Aaron Rodgers a team effort.

Plus fourteen other feature articles guaranteed to keep you engrossed in your own version of Packers nirvana.

Other authors (in order of appearance) are Tony Wilson, Holly Phelps, Vince Verhei, Jersey Al Bracco, Chris Brown, C.D. Angeli, Wayne Scullino, Mike Johnson, Dennis Gullickson and Adam Czech.

112 Full Color Pages – Only $9.99. Order your copy now. They will also be available in Piggly Wiggly and Pick N Save stores in Wisconsin and possibly neighboring states, but to insure you get one, best to order online.

Click here to order

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He is a PFWA member who can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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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.

26

July

The NFL Lockout is Finally Over: What Roger Goodell was Really Thinking

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to be feeling good about his sport as the NFL lockout ends.

Roger Goodell was asked today if there were any damages from the NFL lockout that need to be repaired. He said:

“Well, I would say from the Commissioner’s perspective, we know what we did to frustrate our fans over the last several months. They want football and our job is to give them football. We think that through a 10-year agreement here, we’ve secured the future of the game to ensure that pledge to bring great football to our fans. I think we have some work to do though to make sure they understand that we are sorry for the frustration we put them through over the last six months, but our commitment is to bring them better football going forward. I think we ought to make sure that we understand that our bond with our fans is probably the primary issue that all of us have to keep focused on, whether you’re a player, or you’re an owner or you’re the Commissioner.”

While Goodell was giving this beautifully crafted and politically correct answer, here’s what he was really thinking:

“Hell no there aren’t any damages! Are you freakin’ kidding me?! We’re the NFL, not the NBA, MLB or NHL. Twitter literally melted into a pile of social networking goo once the lockout ended? ESPN basically threw a party live on the air. The NFL Network is covering this news conference like someone just brokered a peace deal in the Middle East. Fans are more excited for the upcoming football season than for any other season in our league’s history.

And do you know why? Because this lockout forced everyone to skip the boring parts of the offseason. How great is it that we didn’t have to endure a summer of free-agent speculation or BS stories from minicamps about how this player or that player looks really good running around in shorts and a tank top? Wasn’t it nice not having to read about how Albert Haynesworth or some other criminal in shoulder pads appears “focused” this year and wants to “put the past behind him?” We even managed to keep Brett Favre quiet until I gave him the go-ahead to start his unretirement rumors on Saturday night.

25

July

Packers Sign Shaky Smithson and Tori Gurley

Shaky Smithson's best shot of making the Packers is as a returner, but he has an outside shot of getting a look as a slot receiver.

The Green Bay Packers signed Shakey Smithson and Tori Gurley as undrafted free agency began Monday night.

Besides having a cool first name, Smithson led the nation in punt return yardage (572) and average (19.1) at Utah State. Smithson also is a kick return specialist.

Gurley had 42 catches for 416 yards last season at South Carolina. The 6-foot-4, 216-pound Gurley has a better chance of making the team if James Jones departs via free agency.

Follow both Smithson and Gurley on Twitter.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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