Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ex-Packer Knafelc: The NFLPA needs to take care of former players

In an interview with 620 WTMJ, former Packers tight end Gary Knafelc talked about how he believes former players like him are being forgotten about and that they deserve to be taken care of by the NFLPA. 

"We don't have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don't have a voice is that they're hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we'll be all dead and they won't have to worry about anything," he said. "The NFL Players Association has to step up and protect us, and they don't do that. "All they care about is the current players and the guys that played after 1970. The ones that played prior to that, they've kind of just forgotten entirely."

While his words are moving, the NFLPA won't do anything. I hate saying this, but they are filth. They just want the money. They couldn't care less about these former players. They only care about themselves. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lions defensive coordinator: Read option will harm QBs

In an interview with, Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made a case that states how using the read option will injure quarterbacks. Here it is: 

"The problem is for those quarterbacks, one of these days, one of them is not going to walk off," Cunningham told the team's website. "It's a lot of pressure on him to physically do that. I think we all understand what the issues are and how to play it. I reflect back on my college days and it wasn't that hard to remember all that stuff because it put a lot of pressure on me in those days and it does in this league, too." 

This guy makes a good case. Teams should use other formations like the pistol offense instead. 

Friday, June 28, 2013's Top 100 players list ranks Rodgers sixth

In a list of the top 100 players currently in the league up on, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was ranked just sixth, something that slightly disappointed me and probably others around the web. He went #1 last year, but apparently wasn't as good this past season, in which the Pack went just 11-5. 

The five players above Rodgers were Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, J.J Watt, Calvin Johnson, and Adrian Peterson. I can understand Peterson, but why Calvin Johnson and the rest of them? The Lions aren't that good so it doesn't really matter how good one guy is, and the other three simply aren't as talented as Rodgers. Rodgers is much more consistent than those other two QBs on this list. When he loses, it's always the defense's fault. 

PFF: Woodson and Williams Are Among The Best CBs Over The Past Five Years

It was a little sad to read this article, knowing that CB Charles Woodson is now a member of the Oakland Raiders, but over the past five years, Pro Football Focus has rated Woodson as the second best cornerback  in football (well behind No. 1; Darrelle Revis):
However, the article says that Woodson's high ranking is due in large part to his outstanding 2008 and 2009 seasons and he's now in the twilight of his career (obviously), so it's not expecting him to repeat that performance over the next five years.

At No. 7 is CB Tramon Williams. He might not be able to maintain that same level of performance over the next five years, there are questions being asked about him, but he's been consistent and able to play through injuries, so at least he has a chance.

Over the past five years, excepting the 2011 season, the Packers have had one of the best pass defenses. They were especially dominant in 2010, when a strong post-season from Williams helped carry them into the Super Bowl. The times are changing, three starters in their outstanding 2010 secondary (Nick Collins, Charlie Peprah, and Woodson) have been released in the last 12 months, and the players that will hopefully make them great over the next five years aren't the same ones.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jamaal Charles: Chiefs offense "about to be explosive"

As always, the fans and players of the Kansas City Chiefs are talking about how this year will be their dream year when they'll probably end up going no better than 9-7. Their running back, Jamaal Charles, believes that running a pistol offense would help his team have success. 

"I ran it my rookie year and I love it," Charles said on NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Thursday. "I ain't never been around no offense that's about to be explosive and about to put me in space and making me make plays. I see Frank Gore had success with (the pistol) with the (San Francisco) 49ers. If he can have success, I hope I can have success as well."

No matter what any player on this team says, they won't do anything this year. Just ignore their confidence. 

Aaron Rodgers Corrects ESPN

QB Aaron Rodgers has a great Twitter account, which he doesn't use during the NFL season, but it's a way to keep up with him during the offseason. I've been tuning him out lately because he's been tweeting about the NBA Finals and I didn't watch those games, but he did catch this slip-up on ESPN.

Via Tyler Dunne at the Journal-Sentinel:

And it led to this tweet from Aaron Rodgers:
Schapp acknowledged the slip of the tongue, but it was ironic because Rodgers has taken of dim view of ESPN's on-air talent in the past and he took a swipe at Jon Gruden the tweet before.

Not that any of it matters on the field, or will even matter when ESPN smothers him with praise next season because of his elite QB status, but it's something to pass the time during the quiet NFL summer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bishop: Facing Packers part of the reason he joined Vikings

In an article recently published on, Desmond Bishop unsurprisingly stated that facing the Packers was part of the reason why he joined Minnesota. 

"It was part of the reason," Bishop told NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Tuesday. "And if I can get a chance to play against Aaron Rodgers, I think that right there, in itself, is a motivation. You know, you want to play against the best. ... When I was playing for Green Bay, the games I cherished ... most was playing against the Vikings because I had a chance to play against (running back) Adrian Peterson. ... That's my mindset. I want to play against the best."

It'll definitely be interesting to see him face his former team. But I doubt he'll really decide the winner. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Desmond Bishop signs 1-year deal with Vikings

Yesterday, multiple sources reported that recently-released Packers LB Desmond Bishop had signed a 1-year deal with the Pack's NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. This signing may be looked at as betrayal by some cheesehead fans, but it shouldn't be. Because this guy has not been productive or healthy for years now. 

I, honestly, have no idea why the Vikings signed this guy. Since it's a one-year deal, it's obviously not much of a risk. But in my opinion, Bishop's still not worth any amount of money. All he's gonna do at the MetroDome is get hurt and screw up. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

M.D. Jennings wants to get rid of his "Fail Mary" label

We all remember last year's stolen win in Seattle, but that doesn't mean M.D. Jennings, the defender who technically caught the ball, wants us to. 

"I won't say (the fans who only know me as the "Fail Mary" guy) don't know football," said Jennings in an interview with the Milwaukee JS, "but they'll say, 'We know you caught that ball, it was a touchdown.' They keep saying it was a touchdown. You know, I just go along with it."

While his frustration is understandable this reputation will never, ever go away. Even if he wins the Defensive player of the Year Award every year for the rest of his career history will still only know him for that one play. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Packers announce 2013 training camp schedule

Earlier this week, the Packers announced the schedule for the team's 68th training camp since 1946. There's nothing too special about it, but here it is:

Friday, July 26 - 8:20 a.m. - Shells

Saturday, July 27 - 8:20 a.m. - Shells

Sunday, July 28 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Monday, July 29 - No practice

Tuesday, July 30 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Wednesday, July 31 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Thursday, Aug. 1 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Friday, Aug. 2 - 7 p.m. - Full pads

Saturday, Aug. 3 - Packers Family Night, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 4 - No practice

Monday, Aug. 5 - No public practice

Tuesday, Aug. 6 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Wednesday, Aug. 7 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Thursday, Aug. 8 - 8:20 a.m. - Full pads

Friday, Aug. 9 - Preseason game vs. Arizona Cardinals, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10 - No practice

Sunday, Aug. 11 - No practice

Monday, Aug. 12 - No public practice

Tuesday, Aug. 13 - 11:15 a.m. - Full pads

Wednesday, Aug. 14 - 11:15 a.m. - Full pads

Thursday, Aug. 15 - 11 a.m. - Helmets

Friday, Aug. 16 - No practice

Saturday, Aug. 17 - Preseason game at St. Louis Rams, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 18 - No practice

Monday, Aug. 19 - 11:30 a.m. - Shells

Tuesday, Aug. 20 - 11:15 a.m. - Full pads

Wednesday, Aug. 21 - 11 a.m. - Full pads

Thursday, Aug. 22 - No practice

Friday, Aug. 23 - Preseason game vs. Seattle Seahawks, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 24 - No practice

Sunday, Aug. 25 - 11:30 a.m. - Shells

Monday, Aug. 26 - 11:15 a.m. - Full pads

Tuesday, Aug. 27 - 11 a.m. - Full pads

Wednesday, Aug. 28 - No practice

Thursday, Aug. 29 - Preseason game at Kansas City Chiefs, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jennings: Feud with Packers just a joke

In another interview with the Pioneer Press today, Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings again attempted to end his recent drama with the Packers by calling the whole feud with them just a joke. 

"I have no I'll feelings for anyone over there," Jennings wrote in Saturday's edition of the Pioneer Press. "We're just back and forth. (Rodgers) jokes. I joke."

With all these interviews he's given this offseason, it's clear that what he's saying his true. He clearly doesn't want to have any hard feelings toward Green Bay. While it'll still be tough to see him wearing purple, it'll be somewhat tolerable due to what he's done in these past few weeks. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

McCarthy: Questioning Packers toughness is "nonsense"

We all know that the Packers are looking to strengthen their running game in 2013, something that should help the team's image. But some people have instead decided to criticize the team for not doing this earlier and essentially calling them weak. In response to those speculations, Mike McCarthy said this. 

"I think it's a load of nonsense because I think the proof is in the pudding. If you watch the tape and the film and you win 12 games a year and you don't win the Super Bowl, people have to question something. I get that," McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "That was the line that some people took and hey, when you play good football teams week in and week out, you're always looking for a hole in your opponent. And sometimes when people don't see too many holes, the easiest and biggest target to go after is a man's will. His toughness."

Well said. Just hoping that this thing won't be blown out of proportion. 

The Surprising Free Agent Pursuit of Desmond Bishop

Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. LB Desmond Bishop is a starting linebacker who only lost his job because of a hamstring injury that happened a year ago. But after watching him closely over the past several seasons, I don't see a player that multiple teams should be fighting for.
Bishop had an exceptional 2010 season, and recorded five sacks in 2011, but now he's coming off a lost year. The only advantage he has over someone like free agent LB Nick Barnett, who Pro Football Focus said had "two decent years in Buffalo", is that Bishop is under age 30. It would seem that Barnett's relative health (he hasn't missed a game since 2010) would offset that Bishop's three years younger, but that doesn't appear to be the case since at least three teams are in hot pursuit for Bishop while Barnett has been unemployed since February.

Just in case anyone was worried that the Packers might have made a mistake in releasing Bishop, Pro Football Focus called LB Brad Jones a "Secret Superstar" while also noting that LB A.J. Hawk had his best pro season in 2012. GM Ted Thompson wasn't going to pay three inside linebackers like they were starters, so someone had to go and Bishop hasn't been outstanding since 2010.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Former Packers WR Jennings calls Rodgers "brilliant"

In an interview with ESPN Twin Cities, former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings praised Aaron Rodgers, calling him "brilliant" and "smart."

"(He is) extremely smart, like brilliant," Jennings said. "He's just thinking about how he can beat you the next time while he's beating you the first time. That's just the way his mind works. He sees something and it's like it's stored in a memory bank and he remembers it once he sees it and he's checking at the line."

It's good to see that there's no hard feelings between the two. If Greg showed anything in this interview, it's that he can still be liked by Packers nation despite his recent departure. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

McCarthy: "There's going to be adjustments"

According to Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, the team will prepare for the upcoming season differently than last year, where they played their Week 1 game on a Sunday, their Week 2 game on a Thursday, and their Week 3 game on a Monday. 

"We're going to adjust. No different than the way we approach the players," McCarthy said at March's owners meetings. "We believe in our program. We believe in the way we go about things. But there's going to be some clear-cut adjustments, and it's important that we accomplish that and it pushes us to where we want to go to."

Not surprising. 

Football Outsiders: Lacy and Franklin Make The Running Game Better

The question is whether the addition of rookie RBs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin make the Packers' running game better? The answer is "duh" but Rivers McCown at (Insider required) actually goes through the stats and explains why it will improve.

First, he points out that the Packers' running game wasn't all that bad last season (FO ranked them at No. 13 overall). It's not that RB Alex Green was all that good (he wasn't) but QB Aaron Rodgers is a good rushing quarterback and no defense was lining up eight players in the box to stop the run.

The big problem he notes is that their running backs were lousy at breaking tackles. This has been obvious for a while; the Packers haven't had one capable of making a move in the open field since RB Ryan Grant in 2007.

And both Lacy and Franklin are very good at breaking tackles. Rivers McCown pointed out this breakdown from The Sideline View that ranked Frankin and Lacy as the second and third best backs in college last year for yards after contact. The best back was Giovani Bernard, who was a surprise as the first running back taken in the draft, but maybe it's not such a surprise considering how good he was at fighting for extra yards.

So while the Packers haven't had a back capable of making a defender miss in the open field or powering forward for tough yards in recent years, they now might have two of them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rodgers: "I like us being under the radar"

In an interview with, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers talked about how he likes how he and the Packers are sitting under the radar this offseason. 

"I love it. I love being under the radar," Rodgers told Jason Wilde of recently. "For sure, we're a contender. For sure. I mean, we're going to put ourselves in position to win a lot of games. Our goal is to win our division and get to the playoffs. And anything can happen. And then hopefully we can take care of business like we did in 2010 when we get back there."

All I gotta say is: I get what he's saying. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Hard Knocks" to follow Bengals in 2013

According to, this season of the HBO hit "Hard Knocks" will feature the Cincinnati Bengals. This is the second time the team has been on the show, with the first coming in 2009. 

"The feedback we got from our experience with 'Hard Knocks' in 2009 was outstanding," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "Our fans enjoyed it tremendously, and we're happy to try and provide that same experience again. Our fans love the NFL and they enjoy seeing things they don't normally get to see. We have some outstanding men, both as players and as people."

I don't really care who's on the show as long it's still on. But it's still interesting to know that it was a playoff team this year. 

It's Official: Packers Release Desmond Bishop

I've thought this was an obvious move ever since the Green Bay Packers re-signed ILB Brad Jones, so it doesn't come as a big surprise.
Previous: Packers May Soon Release Desmond Bishop.

Though one unfortunate consequence is that Bishop may soon visit the Vikings, who lost starting ILB Jasper Brinkley to the Cardinals in free agency. It sucks when anything done by the Packers potentially helps the Vikings.

Bishop had a surprising career with the Packers. I wasn't expecting much from him as a 6th round pick in 2007, but he made the team as a special teams player. He showed promise early on as a run stuffing inside linebacker, but it took him a couple years to figure how to cover receivers. After injuries to Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar in 2010, he finally got his chance to start and had a great 2010 season.

Unfortunately, he wasn't as good in 2011, and then he was out for all of 2012. He'll be 29 years old at the start of next season. While he's likely to play for another team, the combination of leg injuries, age, and high price led to his release. Because of the coaches undying love for A.J. Hawk, and a surprisingly strong 2012 season from Brad Jones, the Packers are probably in better shape with them next season. Also, the Packers appear to be expecting more from second year LB Terrell Manning as a reserve. While the release of Bishop, and the previous release of LB D.J. Smith, is stretching their depth at linebacker, they appear to be comfortable with the healthy players still on the roster. With Bishop's likely demotion, his release should have little impact on them next season.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Report: Driver open to return to Packers

Despite recently retiring from the league, former Packers WR Donald Driver is still saying he will play for Green Bay in 2013 if the team wants him, according to 

"If the Packers called me and said, 'Drive, come back to training camp,' I'd be back for training camp," Driver explained. "But until then, I'll be sitting at home and just watching football."

I doubt that he actually believes what he's saying. He seems pretty retired to me. And even if he serious about wanting a possible return, I doubt it'll happen. Right now, the Packers don't need any another receiver at all. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Favre on Rodgers: "We got along fine"

In an interview with the Milwaukee JS, former Packers QB Brett Favre was asked why people think he and Aaron Rodgers have a bad relationship. Favre's response, of course, downplayed that theory. 

"I have no idea, honestly," Favre said. "I think Aaron, if he were on this phone right now would say the same thing. I spent a tremendous amount of time studying the game myself. In the latter part of my career I was a lot more vigilant from a mental aspect of it. I was trying maybe to make up for the lack of physical skills over time. I can remember, pretty much all the time, Aaron would say: 'Do you mind if I watch a little film with you?' This would be when people left, Wednesday or Thursday, 5:30 (p.m.) or something. I'd say, 'Sure.' His style of play, obviously, is a little bit different than mine. But I would try to offer him things that were not so much style as things I worked at, little nuances that I worked at. The way I played the game doesn't mean you have to play it that way. I would say, I'm throwing quick here - this is a run play, but I'm throwing quick because the corner is off at outside leverage at eight yards. So I'm going to throw a quick slant. Well, you know, how do you get to that? Little things like that. Then from a leadership standpoint, always being accountable and things like that. Taking the blame. . . . You got to play the game the way you play it. He has done a heck of a job with that. But we spent a lot of time just kind of talking about what had made me successful. Very knowledgeable guy. And we got along fine. I mean, really. There were no problems between Aaron and I. I had no problem with him becoming the next quarterback for the Packers. It was bound to happen at some point. I have no problems with the success that he's had. In fact, I'm proud of it. And you know what? I was well aware of the media making a big deal out of it. I mean, I'm not going to sit there and fight it all the time. I knew it wasn't true. Aaron knew it wasn't true. Did I talk to him all the time? No. Do I talk to other guys all the time? No. So he knows how I feel about him and he knows how I feel about his career up to this point." 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Packers Jones still believes team will have three 1,000 yard receivers in 2013

Earlier this offseason, Packers WR James Jones made headlines by stating that he, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb would each have 1,000 yard seasons in 2013. When asked yesterday in the locker room if he still believes that, Jones reassured that he does. 

“I do, I do,” said Jones, who set new career-highs for receptions (64), receiving yards (784) and touchdowns (14) this past season. “I've been on record as saying that I believe we have three 1,000-yard receivers in this room. I believe me, Randall and Jordy, if we all stay healthy, we can all reach over 1,000."

Now that's the kinda confidence people wanna hear. I don't care if it doesn't happen, but I do care that believes it can. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughts on Desmond Bishop's possible release

In the last few days, multiple news sources have been reporting that the Packers may soon release Desmond Bishop. Bishop is coming off an injury-plagued 2012 season, getting hurt in the team's first preseason game and not stepping on the field again. 

In my opinion, this is exactly what they should do. Right now there's simply no reason for the Pack to keep him. He's hurt most of the time, and when he's not hurt he's not productive. Keeping him would be a waste of money. It's time for the team to move on from him and commit to Brad Jones. 

Packers May Soon Release Desmond Bishop

I've been expecting the Green Bay Packers to release LB Desmond Bishop ever since they re-signed LB Brad Jones because his new contract pays him like a starter ($11.75 million over three years). While LB A.J. Hawk took a multi-million dollar pay cut, he's still paid like a starter ($10.6 million over three years) and the decision to re-negotiate instead of releasing looks like a clear sign that they still believe in him. 

Since the Packers only need two starting inside linebacker, paying Bishop like a starter doesn't make much sense. Especially for the Packers, who aren't known for ever keeping high priced veterans in reserve roles. Now the rumors have heated up again:
I can't see any team offering anything in trade for a veteran coming off a lost season (hamstring injury) who's scheduled to make over $3 million. A contract restructuring seems unlikely too. Bishop wants a chance to start, his goal is to be defensive player of the year, and he can't do that from the bench. As mentioned earlier, the Packers aren't known for keeping veterans as bench and/or special teams players. Plus, they still have depth at inside linebacker, even if Bishop is gone.

Another problem is that the last time Bishop was healthy, he was bad against the run, which is exactly what you don't want from an inside linebacker. While he did record five sacks in 2011, usually after a delayed inside blitz, Jones had two sacks last season and Hawk increased his sack total from one and one-half in 2011 to three in 2012. They seem capable of making up what Bishop added as a pass rusher.

My only question is why now? Everything I wrote above about Bishop has been true for a while. This is the final week of OTAs (organized team activities) and he sat out at least one open practice due to his hamstring. That was precautionary and probably not a big deal, but the Packers apparently didn't see enough progress from him in some regard. Parting ways with him seemed inevitable to me for a while, but maybe the Packers have only recently come to the same conclusion.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Free Agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw signs with Colts

According to, former Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw has signed with the Colts. The deal is worth 1 year and about $1.1 million. 

Earlier this offseason, it was reported that the Packers had some interest in this guy, but apparently not enough. While they don't really need another RB right now, it'd still be nice to add a veteran to a pretty young offense. But it didn't happen. And frankly I'm a little disappointed in that. Bradshaw can still play and right now we really don't know just how good Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin are. If they turn out to be failures, the Packers will regret not signing this guy to a deal that that wouldn't have been worth that much. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Report: Patriots sign Tim Tebow

Finally, the drama of whether or not Tim Tebow will play this season is over.

In case you didn't hear already, which is highly unlikely, the lefty was signed by the New England Patriots last night. This signing is the very definition of a publicity stunt. There is no way he will get any meaningful playing time with that team. They don't need another quarterback. They already have Brady starting every week, and if he gets hurt there must be a guy on the bench who's still better than Tebow. But in some ways I am relieved about this, because now we don't have to worry about him coming to Green Bay and screwing everything up.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bears unlikely to sign JaMarcus Russell

According to, the Bears are unlikely to sign QB JaMarcus Russell. Russell, who's been out of the league for three years, displayed a "big arm" at the team's workout on Friday but was apparently not good enough to take one of their other QB's jobs. 

Despite this somewhat failure, I still expect Russell to find a job somewhere for the 2013 season. In his career, this guy's been solid, not great. But solid should still be good enough to get him a backup spot on a team desperate for arms. Who that team will be? Nobody knows yet. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

NFL releases 2013 league events schedule

In a press release released earlier today, the NFL announced the full League Events schedule for the rest of the 2013 offseason. Here it is:

June 23-29Rookie Symposium, Aurora, Ohio.
July 11Supplemental Draft (if necessary).
July 15At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2013 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players no earlier than 22 days prior to the club’s first preseason game.

Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.

Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.

A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

July 22*Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "June 1 Tender" was made by
August 3Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, Canton, Ohio.
August 4Hall of Fame Game, Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins, Canton, Ohio.
August 6Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an Accrued Season for free
August 6

If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2013, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the draft in the 2014 League Year. 

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Jennings: I'll take Brett (over Rodgers)

When asked by the Pioneer Press who he preferred as a quarterback, Favre or Rodgers, former Packers WR Greg Jennings continued to grow into a hated rival by saying that he would take Brett.

"When you talk about comparing quarterbacks, it's hard to compare guys. I'll take Brett. He did it for so long. I got there in a period of time where Brett already was there (as an elite quarterback). Then the guy they have now, he sat behind Brett and he learned so much. Christian didn't really have that opportunity. He had to jump in. The way you compare them has to be a little different. The guy they have now (Rodgers) was (essentially) a veteran rookie. It's a little different, but Christian has tremendous upside. I think what I see now is a quarterback who's maturing and who's growing and wanting to learn and grow, which is huge."
I don't really consider that statement big, but apparently some people do. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Jones: "I don't like Greg no more"

This week, Packers WR James Jones finally gave his opinion on the whole Greg-Jennings-to-the-Vikings ordeal. 

"Yeah, (Jennings and Driver) are my dogs," Jones said after practice Wednesday. "But I don't like Greg no more. He left us. But 'D-Drive' is my dog. I talk to him every once in a while. It's different. We knew this day would come where all of us wouldn't be together, so we're kind of prepared for it. We have a good group, a good team. So we're excited about what's going to happen."

I don't really know why he doesn't like Jennings anymore, seeing as his departure was kind of inevitable this offseason. But I guess he's entitled to his opinion. He knows a lot more than me. 

Brett Favre: "I Was At Fault"

I'm not surprised things have cooled off between the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre. As he said last September: "it's like a just kind of get over it." On Thursday, he said in an interview with WGR in Buffalo (of all places) that "I was at fault" for the end of his career as a Packer, but this is an interesting observation on the comment:
Maybe it was just a throw-away line, but at least he said it.

I wasn't happy with how Favre retired, and then un-retired. After years of going back-and-forth on retirement, his actions in 2008 were the final indecisive blow-up. I can understand why he had second thoughts, he could still play, but he should have given that some more thought before announcing his retirement in March 2008.

On the other hand, I wasn't thrilled with how the Packers acted either. Instead of trading him, they should have just released him. The Packers had even released Vince Lombardi from his contract, and more recently    the Colts released Peyton Manning. Favre's trade was intended to keep him away from the Vikings, but that obviously didn't work. However, the 3rd round pick they got from the Jets for Favre was then part of the trade to acquire a second 1st round pick in 2009 that became LB Clay Matthews, so as usual, GM Ted Thompson knows what he's doing.

Over the past few years, I've avoided writing about Favre because it's a hot button issue for many readers, and I've read (and deleted) many angry comments about it. But time heals wounds and the issue is cooling off, though it's never going to go away. At some point the Packers will retire Favre's number, so says Aaron Rodgers, and they already tried to do it in 2008. When it does happen, it will be the public end to whatever bitterness remains between Favre and the Packers. It looks like his comments are starting to clear the way forward.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Is Tramon Williams A No. 1 Cornerback?

Cornerback can be a hard position to evaluate because it's not always clear what's being asked of him. What type of coverage did the defense call? Was he supposed to be in man or was it a zone coverage? Did another teammate miss an assignment? Was he supposed to play off and that's why he's allowing so many short receptions? Also, some corners inflate their interception totals by taking too many chances. Those INTs are usually what decides a trip to the Pro Bowl, but it's not the way to decide which cornerback is the best.

CB Tramon Williams, after Charles Woodson moved to safety, has become their No. 1 cornerback. He had a fantastic run with three INTs in the 2010 playoff. But over the past two seasons he's only had six in total and his recorded pass defenses fell from 22 in 2011 to 16 in 2012. Part of the problem has been that he's drawn more difficult assignments. Also, he hurt his shoulder in Week 1 of the 2011 season and it's been bothering him ever since, though it looked like it was less of a problem last season. It hasn't helped him that the Packers' high powered offense has often forced opponents to throw a lot more to try and keep pace.

Cornerbacks' coach Joe Whitt Jr. has heard the criticisms of Williams and he doesn't agree with it. More interestingly, after two seasons of asking Williams to press in coverage, Whitt hopes to give more him more opportunities to play off and make big plays. From Jason Wilde at ESPN Wisconsin:
If you go back to 2010, most of his impact plays came from being off. This year, my whole mantra, and I told (defensive coordinator) Dom (Capers), I know we want to press because if you look at our completion percentage, they don’t complete a lot of balls on us. Now, we still gave up too many explosives but they don’t complete a lot of balls on us. We might give up a little more completions, but I’m going to allow them to do what they do, so you might see Tramon and Casey (Hayward) play off. But I have a feeling he’s going to make more of those splash plays .
After a disastrous 2011 season, the pass defense bounced back to No. 7 overall according to Football Outsiders. The emergence of rookie CB Casey Hayward played a big role in that improvement, but Williams's presence as the No. 1 CB helped take some pressure off Hayward too. Over the past three seasons, the Packers have gone from 24 INTs as a team in 2010, to 31 in 2011, to 18 in 2012. Interceptions don't relate directly to great defense, the Packers pass defense was horrible in 2011, but they can completely change the direction of a game.

In 2010, their ball hawking secondary played a huge role during their Super Bowl run. While interceptions aren't everything for a pass defense, a secondary that make "more of those splash plays" might be what the team has been missing in the playoffs over the past two seasons.

Packers Harris has cyst removed from lung

According to, Packers RB DuJuan Harris recently had a "fist-sized" cyst removed from his lung. Despite the news, Harris is still expected to be fine and ready for training camp. 

"The cyst was pressing against his lung, and now he has full capacity with his lungs so he should have even more endurance and speed, so it was a blessing in disguise," Harris agent, David Lee, said. 

Doctors believe the cyst had been there for Harris' entire life and was constantly pressing against the lung. While asked about it, the running back said that he had felt pain there before but assumed it was indigestion. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Reggie Bush: "We're able to win a Super Bow"

According to, new Lions running back Reggie Bush believes his new team can win a Super Bowl. Bush is entering his first year with Detroit. 

"Honestly, I don't think we're far at all," Bush said Tuesday, via "We have the guys here to be able to win a Super Bowl."

While most football fans won't agree with that statement, I have no problem with a guy who just switched teams having a lot of confidence. He should. It makes the team and the fans like you. I still don't believe that they have any chance of having success in the postseason this year, but it's still nice to have hope. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Mike McCarthy: Jolly deserves a second chance

According to, Johnny Jolly will return to the Packers Tuesday. Jolly hasn't played with the team since 2009 due to criminal activity.  

When asked why the team was welcoming the defensive end back, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that he believes everyone deserves a second chance:

"I think our society is built on second chances," McCarthy said Monday, via "Think how many times you look through the history of successful individuals that probably or maybe wouldn't have happened without a second chance. Every case is different. There's no absolute right way and wrong way when you evaluate every situation. I'm glad to see Johnny Jolly going through the process that he's going through. (I'm) very proud of where he is to this point. But he still has a lot in front of him."

I honestly don't care what the team does with Jolly. In my opinion, he won't contribute to the team, so they don't need him. But he still could be an asset, so if they think it's necessary to give him another chance I guess they should.

Packers Minicamp: Shields and Jolly Return

Another week, another open practice moved inside due to bad weather. Bummer for the fans, but the media was there to watch it.

Mike McCarthy was glad to have a couple players back: DE Johnny Jolly and CB Sam Shields. Jolly's return was delayed by the "program", I assume McCarthy meant Jolly's court ordered rehab program, but he's almost at his playing weight. The team won't rush him as he returns after a three year absence. Shields finally signed his one-year offer sheet, he'd been hoping for a long-term deal, though the Packers don't have a lot of incentive to give him one until he becomes an unrestricted free agent. He took the place of CB Jarrett Bush with the first team defense, which is definitely an upgrade.

NT B.J. Raji was asked about his contract situation and he wouldn't talk about it. Maybe they've started negotiations, but sometimes the Packers don't even tell the player or his agent what's going on. Charles Woodson wasn't even asked to take a pay cut. The Packers should want to re-sign Raji but you never know.

As for the practice itself, WR Jeremy Ross looked great when completely uncovered, RB James Starks can't hold onto the ball (a bad sign for his future with the team), and some players look great in practice and during games:

Monday, June 03, 2013

Packers Sam Shields signs team's RFA tender

Today, the Packers made the first step toward signing Sam Shields to a multi-year deal when they got the defensive back to sign the team's one-tear restricted free agent tender, which is reportedly worth $2.023 million. The signing locks in Shields through the 2013-2014 season, plenty of time for the team to negotiate a long-term deal. 

While Shields is a pretty good defender and a fun guy to watch, I don't want the Packers to give him too much money. He simply hasn't deserved a 7-year deal. If they give more than 4 years and $4-5 million, I'll be a little mad. In my opinion, the Packers don't necessarily need him to win. But they should still sign him. 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Rodgers: "I think we'll have a more consistent running game"

In a Q&A published earlier today by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers praised the team's offense, while also saying that he expects the running game to be more consistent in the upcoming season.

"We have three of the best (wide receivers) in the league as a combination with Jordy Nelson, James Jones  and Randall Cobb," Rodgers said. "I'm really excited about those guys, and then we've got some guys behind them who have a chance to make the team and contribute. I like our offense and I like what we can do in the passing game. And now, I think we can complement it with a more consistent running game with two stud backs we got in the draft and a former used car salesman (DuJuan Harris)."

In this case, I completely agree with #12. The possibility of the running game finally having success in 2013 is something that excites me for the first preseason game. 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Raji: "I want to get back to the Pro Bowl"

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, B.J. Raji, who's been in the news a lot lately for minor stuff, talked about how he wants to "dominate the game" in 2013, the last season of his current contract. 

"I want to get back to the Pro Bowl," said Raji on his individual goals. "I think that I have that ability. And I want to help other guys get to the Pro Bowl who haven't been there. I want to obviously help us get back to being a top-five defense. And I just want to dominate the game, from Week 1 to whenever we're done playing and just have an impact in every football game."

I see nothing wrong with that statement. I just hope that he'll play the way he says he will.