20

June

Packers Mini Camp and Offseason Recap

Jared Abbrederis

Abbrederis is one of many who need a strong training camp to crack the Packers final roster

The Green Bay Packers wrapped up their final mini camp practice on Thursday and thus ends another offseason in Green Bay.  The next team gathering will be on July 25th at the official opening of training camp.

Quite a few stories have come out during the team’s organized team activities (OTA’s) and this last week at mini camp so here is a recap of the highlights and latest on where the team stands as they prepare for the preseason.

Some of these notes are brought to you by a host of Packers beat writers and media including ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Mike Vandermause and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Ty Dunne.

Early offseason/free agency

The biggest move in terms of the interest and excitement created was the acquisition of defensive lineman and former second-overall draft pick Julius Peppers, who was released by the Chicago Bears shortly after the 2013 season ended.  The signing was significant in that it was the first time since 2006 that Packers general manager Ted Thompson signed a free agent of notable name.  Peppers was said to be in great shape during the offseason workouts and practices and is expected to provide a boost to the pass rush from the “elephant” end position.

Despite Peppers’ age (34), he says he has a lot left in the tank.  Playing in the same division against your former team who released you and may have thought you had nothing left to offer has served many past players in that same scenario.  Jay Cutler, you’ve been warned.

The Packers also signed former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Letroy Guion.  Guion is anything but a lock to make the team’s final roster, but he did choose Green Bay over other offers and if he can become serviceable, he could end up being a bargain.  Remember Howard Green in 2010?

The Packers re-signed cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year, $39 million contract.  The Packers also re-signed defensive lineman B.J. Raji to a one year “prove it” deal worth $4 million.  Other re-signings include Mike Neal, John Kuhn and Chris Banjo and Matt Flynn.  Shields was a must, in my opinion.  He knows the defense and has the speed to make up for errors.  He’s not the best corner in the league but he’s the best corner on the Packers.

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30

May

Packers OTA Quick Hits

Peppers and Matthews

Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews practice as teammates for the first time. Big things are expected of both this season in Green Bay (Rob Demovsky/ESPN)

The Green Bay Packers started their organized team activities (OTA’s) on Thursday.  This was the first time that all players on the current roster got together to practice.  Two week ago, the Packers held a rookie orientation and mini camp to acclimate the newcomers to the team’s culture, facilities and schemes.

I, for one, am glad that we finally have some live action to talk about.  After all of the draft build up and free agency, it’s good to get back to seeing guys doing actual football things.

Here are a few quick hits from the practice opener:

- Not OTA-related but the Packers did agree to terms with first round pick and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix today.  The deal is reportedly worth four years and $8.25 million.

- Speaking of rookies, not one of them worked with the first teams on Thursday.  No entitlement going on in Green Bay this season.

- Rookies Davante Adams and Khyri Thornton not at practice.  At NFLPA Rookie Premiere

- Micah Hyde lined up at the safety position next to Morgan Burnett in first team drills.  Clinton-Dix will have to earn his way to a starting gig.

- J.C. Tretter lined up at center with the first team.  Rookie Corey Linsley is also in for a battle.

- Among those returning punts:  Tramon Williams, Randall Cobb, Micah Hyde, Jared Abbrederis, and Jeff Janis

- Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga, running back DuJuan Harris and cornerback Casey Hayward were active in Thursday’s practice.  Bulaga lined up at right tackle and wore a knee brace.

- Julius Peppers worked with the outside linebackers

- Offensive lineman Josh Sitton is apparently taking a page out of the Boston Red Sox’s playbook from last year and not shaving his face. . at all.  Frankly, I’m glad.  The Packers could use a bit more “nasty”.

- Tight end Colt Lyerla caught some, dropped some.  Did appear to receive the biggest ovation from the crowd, even bigger than Abbrederis’s

- Tight ends Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick, linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry and running back Johnathan Franklin watched, but did not participate in Thursday’s practice.

 

We will have more updates as the week progresses!

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.

 

———————————————

 

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.

29

December

Packers vs. Bears – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 33 CHI 28

Chicago Bears v Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears:  2013 Game 15

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

GAME NOTES:

Aaron Rodgers sitting out again is of course the top story line. The Packers seem to go out of their way to prove that injury decisions are not influenced by winning or losing.

Does Matt Flynn have another week of magic left in that feeble arm?

The Steelers are playing much better of late and are a team that won’t be affected by playing in snow and/or cold weather.

Today’s game is the first time the teams have met since Super Bowl XLV.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers will be C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith (offense), S Morgan Burnett (defense) and CB Micah Hyde (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
13 WR Chris Harper
20 CB Jumal Rolle
52 LB Clay Matthews
59 LB Brad Jones
65 G Lane Taylor
73 C/G JC Tretter
98 DE C.J. Wilson

Starting lineup changes: 57 LB Jamari Lattimore starts for Jones, 55 LB Andy Mulumba starts for Matthews, and 96 LB Mike Neal will start for 53 LB Nick Perry, who is active.

Chicago Bears
2 QB Jordan Palmer
76 T Joe Long
78 T/G James Brown
79 T Jonathan Scott
80 WR Earl Bennett
82 WR Chris Williams
94 DE Cornelius Washington

Chicago Bears

 

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

One game:  Everything you do throughout the whole preseason, regular season, the ups and downs, all comes down to one game. Means our whole season.

Reprieve by Bears loss: : Obviously it was a lift – it was  microcosm of our season -it’s been so up and down.

Rodgers rust?: I can’t really worry about it. He’s practiced for 3 weeks. We have great faith in him as the leader of our offense. We feel they may try to be aggressive with us.

Cobb: We’re going to ge him in on some plays and see how it goes. Not practical for Randall to play 50 plays today.

Lacy: Eddie will start the game and we’ll see how he goes. We feel good about our one-two punch with he and Starks. Khalil Bell will also get some chances today.

Cutler. Very talented…can make all the throws.  The man’s played a lot of football…he gets better and better with each opportunity in this new offense.

22

December

Packers vs. Steelers – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: PIT 38 GB 31

Packers Matt Flynn vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Packers Matt Flynn vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:  2013 Game 15

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

GAME NOTES:

Aaron Rodgers sitting out again is of course the top story line. The Packers seem to go out of their way to prove that injury decisions are not influenced by winning or losing.

Does Matt Flynn have another week of magic left in that feeble arm?

The Steelers are playing much better of late and are a team that won’t be affected by playing in snow and/or cold weather.

Today’s game is the first time the teams have met since Super Bowl XLV.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers: - WR Jarrett Boykin (offense), CB Sam Shields (defense) and FB John Kuhn (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:
Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers

12 QB Aaron Rodgers
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
73 G/C JC Tretter
99 DE Jerel Worthy

The Packers placed TE Brandon Bostick and DE Johnny Jolly on injured reserve Saturday, reducing the roster to 51 players. Therefore, only five players are listed as inactive instead of the usual seven.

10 QB Matt Flynn starts for Rodgers, and 76 DT Mike Daniels starts for Jolly.

Pittsburgh Steelers
3 QB Landry Jones
14 WR Derek Moye
39 CB Isaiah Green
44 LB Jamaal Westerman
71 G/C David Snow
92 DT Hebron Fangupo
93 LB Jarvis Jones

54 LB Chris Carter starts for Jones and 28 CB Cortez Allen starts for 22 CB William Gay.

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

The comeback:  A tremendous feeling, obviously. We have a highlight tape we watch every week and Wayne and Larry, you guys are all over it.

Atlanta halftime vs. Dallas: InAtlanta there was a lot more juice and activity in the locker room. Whereas in Dallas it was more of a focus thing. It was , “lets not go out and try to do to much, let’s take one drive at a time and crawl back into this game.” The approach and the way the players went about it was an experience I’ll be able to draw from.

Fear of a letdown: If you look at your week of preparation there are some strong indicators of how your team is going to play. Our team has been full of energy all week… I feel strongly our team  will come out strong today.

15

December

Packers vs. Cowboys – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 37 DAL 36

Jarrett Bush breaks up a pass against Dallas.

Jarrett Bush breaks up a pass against Dallas.

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys:  2013 Game 14

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

GAME NOTES:

Aaron Rodgers was held out of this game and he is pissed about it.  Packers always err on the side of extreme caution with injuries, ironic since they always seem to have so many.

With Taylor and Tretter out, that leaves Sherrod and Newhouse as the 2 OL subs. That means Newhouse at guard again if something happens to EDS. Oh dear…

Dallas has the worst defense in the league, and the fourth-worse since 1935 in terms of yardage given up. Time of possession could be a big factor in this game.

The last time the Packers won in Dallas was 1989.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers: - T/G Don Barclay (offense), LB A.J. Hawk (defense) and S Sean Richardson (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers

12 QB Aaron Rodgers
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
73 G/C JC Tretter
85 TE Jake Stoneburner
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy

10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys
17 WR Dwayne Harris
23 S Jakar Hamilton
24 CB Morris Claiborne
50 LB Sean Lee
54 LB Bruce Carter
56 DE Martez Wilson
75 T Darrion Weems

32 CB Orlando Scandrick starts for Claiborne, LB 52 Justin Durant moves from strong side to middle to start for Lee, 51 Kyle Wilber takes Durant’s normal strong-side spot, and 59 LB Ernie Sims starts for Carter.

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

(sorry – missed most of it…)

MM: 

Guys in trenches will be critical/ability to get ball in space is where big plays will happen.

Flynn brought consistency and flow to the offense…does a great job…playing to strengths.

 

 

———————————————

 

Packers vs. Cowboys – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win toss and defer.

Well that was awful coverage by Tramon and too late help from Burnett on a 27yd completion from Romo to Williams.

Josh Boyd showing up early – big tackle for loss.

How do you see the blitz, make your adjustments and you still look caught by surprise and take a sack? Can someone explain that?

8

December

Packers vs. Falcons – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 22 ATL 21

Packers TJ Lang hustling his ass off. on interception return - Atlanta.

TJ Lang hustling his ass off.

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons:  2013 Game 13

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

GAME NOTES:

Evan Dietrich Smith is playing, which means the Packers can prevent the OL shuffle, which has not worked out well at all. Even better, Marshall Newhouse reported with flu symptoms, so Derek Sherrod will be the first tackle off the bench, if needed.

Matt Flynn get the call again at QB, despite a dismal performance last week against the Lions.

Snowing in Green Bay – perfect football weather and a great welcome for the 3-9 Falcons.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers: - James Jones, Clay Matthews and Jarrett Bush

 

Inactives for today’s game:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
13 WR Chris Harper
22 RB Kahlil Bell
51 LB Nate Palmer
74 T Marshall Newhouse
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy

10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.

Atlanta Falcons
30 RB Josh Vaughn
36 S Kemal Ishmael
53 LB Omar Gaither
69 G Harland Gunn
74 T Terren Jones
77 T Sean Locklear
92 DT Travian Robertson

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Weather: Smells like Green Bay Packer football. Importance of the game is evident to us all.

Game plan for weather: You have to look at the whole picture. You have to look at the field – it was beat up a little after the Vikings game. the wind will be a factor.

EDS: Evan responded very well to the rehab. Everyone felt really good about his workout yesterday. he says he feels great and he’s ready to go.

Time off: Definitely helped. Our energy level is as high as it had been in quite some time. There’s a different energy about ourselves this week and it has to show up today,.

Flynn:  A liittle up and down this week in practice but I thought Friday was the best day he’s had since he’s been here.

Decline of Defense: Energy and finish is what we focused on. Schematically we’re fine. Frankly, we need to get off the damn block and tackle the football.

Atlanta: Good football team going through a lot of challenges. They’re playing some young guys. Frankly, I’m going to focus on our own football team and what we’re going through.