Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Packers couch Surviving Sunday without Packers Football

After a rough start, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has drafted some really good offensive linemen in recent years.

Here are Thompson’s o-linemen selections his first five years as Packers GM:

(Player, round, years)

  • Junius Coston, 5, 2005
  • Will Whitaker, 7, 2005
  • Daryn Colledge, 2, 2006
  • Jason Spitz, 3, 2006
  • Tony Moll, 5, 2006
  • Allen Barbre, 4, 2007
  • Josh Sitton, 4, 2008
  • Breno Giocamini, 5, 2008

Of the eight linemen selected, only Sitton remains with the Packers (and he turned into a Pro Bowl player). Colledge had a decent season in 2010, but other than that, nobody did much of anything. Barbre was a complete disaster, but somehow he’s still hanging around the NFL along with Giocamini.

Now check out the linemen Thompson has selected since 2009.

  • T.J. Lang, 4, 2009
  • Jamon Meridenth, 5, 2009
  • Bryan Bulaga, 1, 2010
  • Marshall Newhouse, 5, 2010
  • Derek Sherrod, 1, 2011
  • Caleb Schlauderhaff, 6, 2011
  • Andrew Datko, 7, 2012
  • David Bakhtiari, 4, 2013
  • J.C. Tretter, 4, 2013
  • Corey Linsley, 5, 2014

Now that’s more like it. Of the 10 selections, four are current starters. Newhouse wasn’t terrible when the Packers threw him in at left tackle for a couple of seasons. J.C. Tretter was supposed to be the starter in 2014 before he got injured. Only Sherrod was as all-out bust, and who knows how much of Sherrod’s failures should be attributed to a nasty leg injury that Thompson could not control

Has Thompson suddenly become an offensive line savant? Was he just unlucky early in his tenure and now his fortunes have shifted when selecting offensive linemen? Both are possible.

Here’s another theory: Thompson deserves credit for drafting some good offensive linemen. Aaron Rodgers also deserves credit for making his offensive line look extra special.

The Packers fortunes on the offensive line began to turn when Rodgers became an MVP player. A smart, mobile and supremely talented quarterback who knows how to maneuver around the pocket can make a good offensive line look great or a poor offensive line appear to be average.

How long would a quarterback like Christian Ponder remain upright if he had Marshall Newhouse as his starting left tackle? Not very long.

Give Thompson credit for upping his game when it comes to drafting offensive linemen. But don’t forget that Rodgers has played a key role in helping the Packers turn things around up front.

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • I really think the Packers should give free-agent nose tackle Kenrick Ellis a serious look. He didn’t play much with the Jets because he was stuck behind some quality players. But when he did play, he was a true run-stopper. According to Pro Football Focus, Ellis was a plus run defender last season and led the league in run stop percentage in 2013.
  • The longer Tramon Williams sits on the open market, the more his price should drop (theoretically, at least). Prediction: Tramon is back in Green Bay by Tuesday for two years, $6.5 million.
  • What was your favorite Davon House moment in Green Bay? The oft-injured cornerback signed with Jacksonville for $10 million guaranteed earlier this week. I mostly liked what I saw from House when he was on the field for the Packers, but $10 million is too rich.
  • The Vikings traded a fifth-round pick to the Dolphins for Mike Wallace on Friday night. Per Zach Kruse on Twitter, pending any cuts or re-structures, the Vikes will be paying Wallace and Greg Jennings $23.1 million in 2015. In comparison, the Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will count roughly $10 against the Packers’ 2015 salary cap. Oh, and Wallace might not be too happy about landing in Minnesota.
  • Todd McMahon had an interesting Q&A with former Packers coach Mike Sherman in the Green Bay Press-Gazette this week.

Non Packers links and other Nonsense


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


14 thoughts on “Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

  1. Jennings getting cut by the Vikings illustrates the dangers of a WR chasing money over the value of the QB that they would play with. Now he is out after 2 years. I doubt that will happen with Cobb. Cobb will likely play out his contract and be primed for another big one after four years with Rodgers. Jennings next contract won’t be nearly as good. I think Cobb is feeling even better about his decision today.

    1. I don’t blame Jennings for getting as good a contract as he could. And, he will sign on with someone and get another great payday. He wants and needs to make as good a buck as he can because his days are numbered. It is the game of football. His opening his mouth is what riles most of us.

  2. Yes, doesn’t look like anyone wants Williams.
    There is not one starting corner in the NFL @ 32 years of age. Tomorrow 03/16/2015, Tramon turns 32. Happy birthday, but looks like he’s staying in GB uniform. I remember when Al Harris got older and he had really lost a step or two. Really hurt the Pack in his last year as I recall. QB’s threw at him relentlessly.
    Coaching staff may start Tramon, but should watch him very carefully.

    1. “Al Harris got older and he had really lost a step or two. Really hurt the Pack in his last year as I recall”

      Same thing with Driver. He wins Dancing With The Stars and suddenly Ted is forced to keep him due to pressure from females. That one hurt us.

  3. I saw something interesting Friday I believe it was. I read that the Packers, Steelers, and Ravens were the only 3 teams that hadn’t signed a FA from another team. Well that’s changed in the last 2 days, the Packers are now the only team that hasn’t signed a FA from another team. Not that this is surprising but I hope this changes this week. Brandon Spikes signed a contract last year for one year at $3.25 million. I understand he’s a 2 down LB but he could really improve the run defense and most likely not cost to much. Any thoughts?

    1. I honestly think they can find a downhill plugger in the draft who could be just as effective–and perhaps more athletic–than Spikes and much cheaper. I’m a big fan of someone like Taiwan Jones from MSU for that role. Besides, I don’t think TT will make any moves on an FA ILB until after the draft, if at all.

      Aside from that, I think that if Carl Bradford is going to make it as an ILB, that’s probably where he belongs.

    2. Spikes would be a great fit stopping the run and giving our young LB’s more time to develop.

  4. “Newhouse wasn’t terrible when the Packers threw him in at left tackle for a couple of seasons.”

    Geez, Adam, why are you baiting Big T like this?

  5. Yeah, TT has really done a nice job with the offensive line the past couple year. Striking gold in the 5th round with Linsley has to be one of his best. He’ll be a perennial pro bowler starting next season.

    As far as the Vikings are concerned, they pay all this money to Jennings and Wallace yet the best receiver on that team is none other than Charles Johnson one of Ted’s 7th rounders a few years ago.

    I do believe Tramon Williams has a great shot now to resign back with the Pack. I would have preferred House due to his age but I’ll take Tramon back. I assume he didn’t make those racist comments that someone on here posted.

  6. Giacomini just signed a 4 yr., $18 mill contract, $4.5 million/year with $7 million guaranteed. He previously was making more. The talent was there, GB just couldn’t coax it out of him or he couldn’t beat out Clifton and Tauscher, a fairly tall order. He is a 9 yr. veteran. Not great, but he has been a starter for much of that time after leaving GB. Colledge earned $2 million last yr, also a 9 yr. vet. Much of the time he was a below average starting or decent back up NFL guard. Barbre is currently making $1.5 mill with Philly, but he was a starter for Seattle for a while. Meredith just signed for $737K. Moll played in 63 games and started 22. He was out of the league by 2009. Sitton became an elite guard. Not great, could have been better, but not terrible.

  7. I think Nick Perry and I suggested signing Ellis a few days ago in a post. Minnesota will pay Wallace $9.9 million and take a $6 million dead money hit on Jennings (divvied up either all 6 mill this yr or $2 mill this year and $4 million next season). Kruse’ tweet was before Minn cut Jennings. Hope you’re right about Tramon.

    1. I love the Ellis idea, he’s older 33 I think but could really help the DL. If Tramon left Cleveland without a deal that’s good news for Green Bay, Dwayne Bowe is there now and I’d read they didn’t want him leaving without a contract. Losing House and Williams makes CB almost as important as ILB, Goodson scares me at this point.

  8. Newhouse wasn’t terrible!!!!!! Oh my, what are you on dude. U must be smokin crack out of TT’s crack.

  9. Tramon Williams signed in NOWHERE LAND for $7 MILLION for a 3 year contract. I hope he loves Cleveland Browns, that’s who he’s playing for now.

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