Packers Prepare for Last Minute Moves
This week's final preseason game will give those players at the bottom of the roster a chance to showcase whether or not they are worthy to make the roster. These players are not only competing with their teammates on the Packers, they are competing with every player in every camp across the entire NFL. Because if history tells us anything, there is a strong chance the Packers will bring in somebody that is on another team right now. (Continue reading)
The History of Ted Thompson and Vince Young
This isn't a story. This isn't a rumor. This is simply an observation. In 2006, the Packers had the fifth overall pick. Vince Young was one of the top prospects that year, and for a while during the draft process it appeared that there was a possibility he may fall into Ted Thompson's lap. He ended up being chosen third by the Titans, and the Packers went ahead and picked A.J. Hawk when they were on the clock. But the fact that there was a very real possibility that Young would be there on the board for the Packers means that Ted Thompson must have considered him very carefully. In light of how Vince Young's NFL career has played out, it is easy to forget what an amazing player he was in college. (Continue reading)
Boykin Makes His Mark at Crowded WR Spot
Meat Hooks. Boat Oars. Oven Mitts. Jarrett Boykin has heard them all. "Go shake his hand," suggested Virginia Tech offensive line coach Curt Newsome. "Bear Claws." Boykin takes it all in stride. He is used to a measure of good-natured ribbing about his massive 10 1/4 inch hands. In college no single nickname really stuck, because his teammates had too much fun thinking up new things to call him all the time. "It just depends on whoever and what mood they're in," said Boykin when asked about the various nicknames. "It's crazy. It's nothing I really go around paying attention to, but people have just told me my hands were big my whole life. I just go with it." The largest gloves Nike makes is XXXL, and they barely do the job. Boykin required a new set of gloves for every game in college, because he routinely ripped through them. Boykin has put those massive hands to good use so far this training camp, and has been one of the pleasant surprises from this year's crop of undrafted rookies. (Continue reading)
All May Be Well Now, But...
The wringing of the hands has largely ceased, after a near-dominant performance against the Bengals. The offense moved the ball well, and still showed plenty of room for improvement. The defense got off the field on several third downs, and were able to keep Andy Dalton uncomfortable in the pocket. Most of the things that fans wanted to see from the starting units were on display Thursday night. While all the positive things that came out of this game should not be overlooked, it is easy to forget that lurking just under the surface are quite a few problems that can easily rear their ugly heads for the Packers. (Continue reading)
Can B.J. Coleman Make the Final Roster?
B.J. Coleman has shown steady progress throughout training camp, and has the kind of arm and body type that fits the profile for an NFL quarterback. The Packers keep their opinions on players close to the vest, but indications are that they seem to like him. That begs the next question: Can they afford to cut him in hopes that they can re-sign him to the practice squad, or would another team snatch him up? When it comes to shaping their roster on the final cutdown day, the Packers have gone with two quarterbacks each of the last three years. The last time they went with three quarterbacks to start the season was 2008, which was also the year that Aaron Rodgers took the helm as the starter. Surprisingly enough, the backup situation that year had several similarities to this year's team. (Continue reading)
Worthy Still Thinking
Last April, Ted Thompson traded up into the mid-second round to draft a defensive lineman. There were three highly rated players at that position, none of whom had been chosen by the midway point in the second round. Each of these players was projected by many to be late first round picks, and the fact that all three of them were still available at this point had the Packers on high alert in their war room. The first domino to fall was Kendall Reyes, who was chosen by the Chargers with the 49th pick. At that point, the Packers knew they were going to have to be aggressive if they wanted one of the remaining two players. Thompson traded up to the 51st pick, and chose Jerel Worthy. Devon Still was quickly snatched up two spots later by the Bengals, who happen to be this week's opponent. (Continue reading)
Is It Time To Worry Yet?
The Packers are over halfway through the preseason, and there haven't been too many bright spots yet. Last night's drubbing by the hapless Browns, who haven't made the playoffs in ten years, left a bad taste in the mouths of the thousands of fans that left Lambeau early. But it doesn't really matter, does it? It's only preseason, right? (Continue reading)
The Workplace Dynamics of "Packer People"
In the wake of the Cedric Benson signing, many people have questioned how it can correspond with the "Packer People" principle. After all, signing a player with four arrests in the past five years who has already served a suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy will tend to bring up such questions. When Mike McCarthy first took the reins of the Packers in January 2006 his first press release included his mission statement, which summarized his vision for the team. Here is an excerpt: The foundation for the new direction of the Green Bay Packers will be constructed with three key components of obtaining "Packer People," creating "Stable Structure" and concentrating on "Character and Chemistry."How does the signing of Cedric Benson fit into that statement? (Continue reading)
Cedric Benson and the Five Stages of Loss
It is now official. Cedric Benson is a member of the Green Bay Packers. It was first reported that Benson was in Green Bay on Friday, but he did not sign with the team until Sunday. Little did we know that this brief period of time would prove to be an interesting study in human behavior. In those three days, a surprising phenomenon swept Packer Nation. We were able to witness a condensed version of the stages traditionally associated with grief or loss. (Continue reading)
New Injured Reserve Rule May Affect Packers
The loss of Desmond Bishop is a devastating blow to the Packers. The team mantra all offseason has been that they want to improve their tackling. Bishop is a tackling machine, finishing 13th in the NFL in tackles last season despite missing three games. D.J. Smith appears to be an able understudy, and the Packers are a good enough team that this injury should not derail their playoff chances. But if there is any chance that Bishop could be back in time for a playoff run, it is an option that should be explored. (Continue reading)
Why Don't the Packers Want Ryan Grant?
Shock waves were sent through Packer Nation on Friday, when it was reported that Cedric Benson was in Green Bay getting ready to sign a deal. It was the kind of thing that you had to read again. It just didn't make sense. If the Packers were going to sign a veteran running back, it seems like a better fit would have been to bring back Ryan Grant. He is almost exactly the same age as Benson, has many fewer carries throughout his college and pro careers, knows the offense, secures the ball well, and has been a model citizen. So why did the Packers choose Benson over Grant? (Continue reading)
Five (More) Things to Watch
All eyes will be on what happens in San Diego, as the Packers kick off their exhibition season against the Chargers. During a recent stroll around the major media outlets that cover the Packers, a common theme emerged. Several of the websites offer a preview of the game, pointing out five key things to watch. Not to be outdone, we would also like to offer five things to watch, although we will make an effort to take a look at a few different things than what was mentioned previously. Certainly, each of those points are important, and it is no surprise that these topics are mentioned consistently by the top beat writers that cover the team. But if you would like to dig a little deeper, consider the following when watching tonight's game... (Continue reading)
Three Unheralded Players Worth Watching
The Packers are not a team lacking in talent. Just ask Aaron Rodgers. “This is going to be I think the most difficult cuts Ted and his staff and Mike have to do, because we’re deep,” Rodgers said last week. “It’s tough, it’s frustrating, because you get to know guys...but I’m excited about this team this year. We’ve got a lot of talent.” There aren't many roster spots up for grabs. Even so, the Packers have some young players that will look to take advantage of their opportunity and put some good things on film, whether it be to vie for a practice squad spot for the Packers, or for possible future employment by another team. And this Thursday's preseason game against the Chargers will be their first real chance to do that. (Continue reading)
Perry Not a Star Yet, But...
So far, Nick Perry has not taken the Packers training camp by storm. He has shown flashes in a play here and there, but for the most part there has not been much news about him at all. Of course, the Packers would have loved it if he had immediately proven to be an unstoppable force from the moment he walked in the door. That doesn't happen often, especially for players drafted at the bottom of the first round. What they have seen at this early stage, however, is that he at least looks like he belongs. He doesn't remind the team of Joey Jamison, for example. Jamison was the player drafted by Ron Wolf in the fifth round of the 2000 draft that was supposed to vie for the open returner position that had never been solved since Desmond Howard left town. In one of his first practices, Ron Wolf stood by watching while Jamison fielded several punts. He dropped most of them. (Continue reading)
Matthews Embraces New Leadership Role
Eighteen months ago, the Packers were the newly crowned World Champions. And despite his monster season and his game changing play in the Super Bowl, Clay Matthews was, for lack of a better term, a goofball. "He loves to play to the camera," said Aaron Rodgers in an interview after the Super Bowl. "He wants to say as much bizarre, crazy stuff as he can. I like to tease him about being Hollywood." Chemistry is an important thing, and it's great to have a few fun-loving, crazy characters on the team. In his first few years, Matthews has played that role to perfection. "I don't like to watch him in pregame, because I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Rodgers quipped, when asked about Matthews' hair dousing and flipping routine. And Rodgers wasn't alone in his assessment. "He squirts that bottle, and swings (his hair) back...I don't know, I think it's his Fabio moment," added Charles Woodson. (Continue reading)
Is D.J. Williams Ready to Emerge?
D.J. Williams used to be the big man on campus. In college, he was the team captain and even became a media darling, if such a thing existed in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was visible everywhere. It seemed like everyone on campus, from students to professors to even support staff, knew him and liked him. His first year as a professional with the Packers was a little different. He toiled in virtual obscurity. He was a role player, and it may even be a stretch to call him that. In many ways, when looking at the Packers roster, he was an afterthought. (Continue reading)