Category Archives: 2012 Training camp



Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Training Camp

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Another week of Packers training camp is in the books. Is it Sept. 8 yet?

Finley pipes down
I’ve never been one of those people who gets all bent out of shape whenever Jermichael Finley says something that stirs the pot — I’ll take honesty and candor over canned cliches any day. But it looks like Finley is at least trying the cliche route…for now. Will a boring Finley in front of the microphones lead to a more exciting Finley on the football field? I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. If Finley becomes a force at tight end, it won’t be because he zipped his lips during training camp. Besides, if he does finally break out, people would probably be more tolerant of whatever does come out of his mouth.

Hawk OK with pay cut
Calling it “more of an ego thing than anything that guys can’t get over,” LB A.J. Hawk spoke about taking a pay cut this offseason in order to stay with the Packers. After the slash in pay, Hawk is due to make $10.6 million over the final three years of his deal. That sounds like more than enough money for a guy who rarely makes impactful plays. It’s good to hear Hawk speak openly about taking a cut and being a team guy, but deep down, even he has to know that there probably wasn’t another team out there that would be willing to pay him over $10 million. It’s still a great deal for Hawk, and the Packers obviously think it’s a fair price for a LB that hasn’t made many flash plays, but is healthy and ready to go every Sunday.

Bakhtiari making a move
We’ve been hearing nothing but good things about David Bakhtiari. There are even rumblings that he might end up winning the starting right tackle job. The rookie from Colorado appears to be plenty athletic to be the kind of pass protector the Packers like. And with Marshall Newhouse being, well, Marshall Newhouse, and Don Barclay horsing around at backup center, perhaps the window is open for the rookie to win the job. But remember: We haven’t made it to the first exhibition game yet. All rookies are getting loved up right now because they’re new, they’re fresh, their ceilings are perceived to be high and we don’t know their shortcomings yet.

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Erik Walden: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Erik Walden

Erik Walden

1) Introduction:  Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden came into the 2012 training camp with slim odds of staying on the roster.  The team had just drafted Nick Perry with their first round pick and Perry would surely get every opportunity to start opposite Clay Matthews.  The team also saw undrafted rookie Dezman Moses emerge durin camp and it looked lik Walden was all but out the door.  When it became apparent that the Packers would need some depth as Perry developed, they decided to hang onto Walden.  When Perry went down early in the season and Moses wasn’t quite ready to be an every-down player, Walden became the starter at LOLB as he had been in 2011.

2) Profile:

Erik Lashawn Walden

  • Age: 27
  • Born: 8/21/1985 in Dublin, GA
  • Height: 6’02″
  • Weight: 250
  • College: Middle Tennessee State
  • Rookie Year: 2008
  • NFL Experience: 5 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Walden’s initial expectations were low as his ability to stay on the roster was in question from day one of the Packers offseason program.  When he was kept after training camp, Walden was there to serve as a veteran backup.  With Frank Zombo on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, the Packers needed the depth at this vital position in its defense.  When Perry went down early in the season, Walden became the starter and was expected to solidify the left side of the pass rush/run defense and improve over his 2011 performance.  Walden moved to the left side when Matthews moved back to the right side.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Walden had very few highlights in 2012 and unfortunately showcased why he was supposed to be no more than a backup and depth at the OLB position.  His best game came in week five against the Indianapolis Colts.  It wasn’t a flashy game for Walden, but he did post three quarterback hurries.  He was effective in his pass coverage as well.  That was just one of three weeks in which Walden scored in the positive according to Pro Football Focus.  In the week nine game against the Arizona Cardinals, Walden had a key interception that kept momentum on the Packers’ side until they eventually ran away with that game.  Walden’s low lights were weeks six and beyond.  If that seems harsh, consider that Pro Football Focus had Walden graded lower than every other outside linebacker in the NFL in 2012.  He was largely ineffective and showed no improvement over 2011.  He was a complete non-factor in the two playoff games and was manhandled badly in the divisional playoff game against the 49ers.



The Cast and Characters of the 2012 Packers Secondary

Packers safety M.D. Jennings

Packers S M.D. Jennings is one of the new characters in the Packers secondary.

We’ve all sat through a terrible movie before. I’m not talking about a movie where it’s so bad, it’s good. I’m talking about a movie that is just plain bad, even painful.

Watching the Green Bay Packers allow almost 5,000 passing yards last season was like watching a bad movie, for a whopping 17 weeks.

If a director makes a terrible movies, he’ll probably try and make some serious changes so his next movie isn’t as bad. Maybe he’ll bring on actors with more experience or a production staff that has a several good movies under their resume.

Not if the director is Ted Thompson.

The Packers GM looked at his flop of a defense and said, “I’m going to get some guys that have even less experience and are more unproven than they players we had last season.”

Nowhere is that more evident than in the secondary.

Who are these guys?

The Packers first regular season game is only a few days away, but we have little idea what the secondary will look like. We know Tramon Williams will be at corner and Charles Woodson will be at safety in base and slot corner in sub packages. We also know Morgan Burnett will be at safety.

But that’s about all we know. We don’t know who the No. 2 corner will be in base and we have little clue what the sub packages will look like.

The defensive front features high-profile draft picks like Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy to try and save the day. The defensive backfield features a rookie safety from Maine, unproven cornerbacks and, gulp, Jarrett Bush.

In my opinion, who starts in the secondary doesn’t really matter. A lot of who we see on the field on Sunday will depend on matchups.

Nonetheless, it’s nice to know more about the cast and characters that are trying to rescue the Packers secondary. We know about the stars — Woodson, Williams and Burnett have been around for a while.

What about the supporting cast? How might they fit? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Here’s a quick primer on the Packers who will be battling for time in the defensive backfield, both on Sunday and throughout the season.



Packers LB Terrell Manning Battled Health Issues Throughout Camp

Packers LB Terrell Manning

Packers LB Terrell Manning

Packers rookie linebacker Terrell Manning had a mysteriously quiet training camp.

Although Manning was just a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, many draft experts had drafted rated much higher than where he ultimately came off the board–ESPN tabbed Manning the tenth-best outside linebacker of the 2012 draft class.

Fast forward to the summer, Manning was buried behind D.J. Smith and Robert Francois on the depth chart and starving for an opportunity to showcase his abilities. When starting linebacker Desmond Bishop suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s first preseason game in San Diego, the door opened for Manning to step into the spotlight.

But the former North Carolina State standout continued to hide in the shadows.

And as Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay-Press Gazette points out–Manning was battling more than just his fellow linebackers this summer:

His problems began the first week of training camp, and the Packers’ medical staff quickly realized this was no ordinary stomach flu or food poisoning. The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Manning was tested for everything from Crohn’s disease to cancer before he was diagnosed with a parasite that caused colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine.

Manning says at one point during training camp, he weight as little as 220 pounds–which is less than the average weight of the Packers’ top four running backs. However, the rookie linebacker refused to use his health as an excuse to sit out of practice, as he was on the field for all 21 training camp practices and all four preseason games.

Now that Bishop is out of the picture for 2012, the Packers will lean on Smith and A.J. Hawk as their starting inside linebackers. But behind them, Manning is competing with Francois and Jamari Lattimore as the Packers’ top reserves in the middle of their 3-4 scheme.

It remains to be seen what a healthy Manning is capable of accomplishing in a Packers uniform, but after what he endured throughout his first training camp, his competitiveness cannot be called into question.

If you haven’t yet read Demovsky’s article about Manning and his mysterious health condition, you really should. If you’re a fan of the Packers, it’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time.



Waived Packers Players Claimed by Other Teams

One measure of the strength of a team’s roster is how many of their waived players are claimed by other teams. Here’s a list of cut Packers players that have found themselves a spot on other teams’ 53-man rosters.

… There were no signings.

none, nil, naught, zero, zilch, nada, bupkus.

I guess there’s an exception to every rule…

Go Pack!

P.S. Tori Gurley reportedly has joined the Vikings practice squad. He’ll certainly have a much better chance of getting called up there, but having to were a blonde wig with braids? Don’t know if that works for him…

Dale Moss tweeted Sunday morning that he’s headed to the Tampa Bay Practice Squad.









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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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




A Running List of 2012 Green Bay Packers Practice Squad Signings

The Green Bay Packers have made their first Practice Squad signings.

The following players have been signed so far according to various reports and sources.  Any reported signings will not be listed here, however, if not reported by a verified member of the media following the Green Bay Packers:

Green Bay Press Gazette

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


2012 Packers Practice Squad:

OG Greg Van Roten

TE Brandon Bostick

QB BJ Coleman  (Operation Conceal Coleman was a success!)

DE Lawrence Guy

WR Diondre Borel

RB Marc Tyler

OT Andrew Datko

G/T Chris Scott (2010 Steelers 5th rd draft pick)



Follow Jersey Al:

Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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




A Running List of Green Bay Packers Final Cuts

The Green Bay Packers have made their first moves to cut down their roster to the 53 man mark to open the regular season.

The following players have been released so far according to various reports and sources.  Any reported cuts will not show up here, however, if not reported by a verified member of the media following the Green Bay Packers:

S Anthony Levine

C Sampson Genus

WR Tori Gurley

WR Diondre Borel

TE Brandon Bostick

FB Nic Cooper

C/G Tommie Draheim

G Reggie Wells

WR Curenski Gilleylen

T Andrew Datko

OL Shea Allard

WR Dale Moss

WR Shaky Smithson (injury settlement)

DE Lawrence Guy

CB Otis Merrill

OL Greg Van Roten

RB Marc Tyler

DE Daniel Muir

QB BJ Coleman

OT Derek Sherrod (PUP)

LB Vic So ‘oto (IR)

Currently these represent 18 of the 22 cuts Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers have to make by 9PM EST today to trim their roster down to 53. As soon as the other cuts are knowm you can be sure we’ll have them here. So be sure to stay on to keep updated as the Packers make their final roster moves before the regular season begins.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and Follow @KrisLBurke