Saturday, August 31, 2013

Packers 53-Man Roster: The Surprises

The Green Bay Packers have set (for the moment) their 53-man roster. Here are the players who were released and here are the players who made it. Some of the released players will be back once the Packers set-up their practice squad while some of the players who did make it might not stay for long, depending on what the waiver wire holds.

The Surprising Players Who Made It

WR Jeremy Ross and Jarrett Boykin. Both players got off to a slow start, but finished strong (as strong as anyone on a punchless offense). It also helped that none of the other receivers stepped up.

OL Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor, and Marshall Newhouse. Van Roten improved his snapping at center and he brings the ability to play any position on the line. I don't know what the coaches see in Taylor, who probably wouldn't have made it without the injuries to Bulaga, Tretter and Sherrod. I'm not sure how much faith the coaches have in Newhouse, but he brings experience to a very inexperienced unit.

TE Ryan Taylor and Brandon Bostick. Nothing against each player, they both played well considering the overall weak offense, but I'm surprised they moved ahead of D.J. Williams.

RB Johnathan Franklin and James Starks. Franklin has a lot to learn and his blitz pickup is awful, I didn't expect him to be such a project when they drafted him, but 4th round picks aren't usually released after one preseason. Also, he helped himself out by making some plays on special teams. Starks ran hard against the Chiefs and finished the preseason strong.

NT Josh Boyd. Another recent draft choice, 5th round, who might have been saved by his draft selection because I didn't see him making any notable plays.

OLB Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer. Palmer had his status as a draft pick to help him after an up-and-down preseason. He made a couple plays but also looked overwhelmed at times. Mulumba was one of the stars in training camp, so despite a late preseason injury, he made the team ahead of last season's training camp star Dezman Moses.

ILB Jamari Lattimore. I thought he had a rough preseason, just a step behind too many plays, but Terrell Manning didn't do enough to move ahead of him.

FS Chris Banjo. He played very well but it's unusual to see a player signed so close to the start of training camp make the roster.

The Surprising Players Who Were Released

QB Vince Young. He didn't do anything on the field to keep a job, but it looked like he was the man after they released Graham Harrell. Now GM Ted Thompson will try Plan C at backup QB, assuming he's checking on backup QBs (hopefully not named Tim Tebow) who were just released.

RB Alex Green. I thought he was a lock after DuJuan Harris was lost for the season, but the Packers chose Starks over Green. Other than one big run, he didn't do much to earn a roster spot this preseason, and he didn't stand out on special teams either.

TE Matthew Mulligan and D.J. Williams. I thought Mulligan was a lock as the designated blocking TE but a preseason injury might have cost him. I'm not sure what Williams did to fall behind both Bostick and Taylor but Williams might be more of a glorified receiver while Taylor is a bigger help on special teams (backup long snapper) and Bostick has more size.

WR Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. The Packers don't usually release their recent draft choices, even 7th round picks. Early training camp injuries cost them and the useless offense didn't give them any chance to shine. I bet both players will get another shot somewhere else.

WR Tyrone Walker and Myles White. Both undrafted free agents looked good at times but they both had some problems holding onto the ball. They both fumbled on their last drive against the Chiefs. It's almost impossible to keep a roster spot for a receiver if they fumble.

OL Patrick Lewis and Andrew Datko. I had high hopes for both players but they both were consistently overpowered against backup pass rushers.

DL Jordan Miller. He made some plays as a pass rusher but he didn't seem to hold up that well against the run. Also, he got caught in a bit of a numbers game as he wasn't better than any other lineman except Boyd (who holds up better against the run) and Datone Jones (who's struggling with an ankle injury).

OLB Dezman Moses. He had a turf toe injury and just didn't make plays like last preseason. I'm sure they'd have like to give him more time to bounce back but that wasn't possible.

ILB Terrell Manning. I really thought that their 2012 5th round pick would have a big preseason, and instead he had trouble shedding blocks and didn't make enough plays to move ahead of Lattimore. If he had more of an impact on special teams, the entire unit struggled against the Chiefs, maybe the Packers would have opened up a 10th linebacker spot for him.

Packers release Vince Young

Today, in a quick turn of events, the Packers released Vince Young, officially making B.J. Coleman this year's backup. This move definitely surprised me, since all people talked about last week was how Young had beaten out Harrell. But apparently Young's lackluster performance in Kansas City was too bad to tolerate. Personally, I'd like to congratulate Coleman on this achievement. This is a huge step for his career. Now he wasn't that good this past month, but apparently not that good was still better than the other two guys up for the job. So B.J., go find your nice spot the bench and settle in until next preseason. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Former Jets RB Joe McKnight could be heading to Green Bay

Earlier today, former Jets RB Joe McKnight, who was just cut by New York on August 26, tweeted that he is "headed to Green Bay," leaving some to believe the Packers may be signing him to help their dead running game. McKnight, who was a solid running back while playing for USC at the collegiate level, hasn't done much in his first three NFL seasons, but at this point I'm willing to accept any running back who has potential. 

If he is truly joining the Packers, I don't think it'll matter. I mean, he might be good, but he probably won't be. He'll just average 2-3 yards a carry like everybody else. But on the bright side, the regular season's finally starting, meaning there's hope that we'll finally see some passes thrown instead of white flags. 

Vince Young Sinks As The Packers Lose In Kansas City

With the exception of 2010 and 2011, when it was clear that QB Matt Flynn would do a good job when needed, there's been a concern that the Green Bay Packers offense would stink without QB Aaron Rodgers. But I can't think of a time when it's been this bad, and Bob McGinn confirms that it hasn't been this bad in a long while.
As Werder says, it is "depending on who becomes available." I don't think they'll make another change for the sake of making a change, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them kick the tires on a couple QBs. It really was that bad for Young.

His fumbles are the big problem. If he can throw the ball a little and give the running game some teeth with the occasional scramble, then the Packers could play a field position game and let their defense shoulder more of the burden. That's not a successful formula, but it can give them the chance to win some close games. However, they can't win the field position battle when they're turning the ball over. A team with no offense and a lot of turnovers will lose games by a score of 30-8.

The other stat that stood out was their awful 3rd down efficiency: 2 for 15. However, most of those happened on third and long, so it wasn't a matter of them struggled on third down, but that their offense was so bad that they kept finding themselves in third and long. It's a sign of a bigger problem and not a problem in itself.

I still don't think they missed the boat with QB Graham Harrell. He was committing turnovers and unable to throw the ball downfield just as badly as Young. GM Ted Thompson is fantastic at assembling a roster through the draft and with rookie free agents, but he should have done more this offseason than sign undrafted free agent QB Matt Brown (since released). Here's to hoping someone good appears on the waiver wire in the next few days.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Report: Crosby accepts $1.6 million reduction in guarantees

To Packers fans, it's no secret that Mason Crosby has struggled at times in his career. Whether it's missing multiple thirty yard field goals in a Wild Card game in Arizona, or occasionally kicking off out of bounds, Crosby has failed to accomplish what is to many NFL kickers a simple task. And now today, it appears all those face-palm moments have finally caught up with him, as the Packers announced today that they are slashing Crosby's guaranteed salary by $1.6 million. 

I gotta tell you guys, I'm jumping for joy right now. Honestly, I'm completely shocked that Tavecchio got cut. He wasn't great, but to me he had much more potential than Crosby. If anything, the Packers showed Crosby today that they know he's struggling. And if he wants to remain the team's starting kicker, he'll have to improve soon. 

Preseason Preview: Packers at Chiefs

The Packers played a preseason game against the Chiefs in 2011 and things got a little strange when ex-Chiefs head coach Todd Haley left his starters in. His decision led to a couple injuries, and the Chiefs' starters lost a preseason game to the Packers' backups. I don't expect that to happen again since both Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy shouldn't leave their starters in for long. QB Aaron Rodgers has barely played at all this preseason, and I don't expect to see him on the field against the Chiefs.

The game will be replayed on NFL Network for those outside of Wisconsin.

Though this game, in theory, should be a good opportunity for players to prove they deserve a roster spot, I think the Packers have already made up their mind about most of them. They've already decided to keep Mason Crosby (though I'm not sure about that one). At the positions with some backup question marks (offensive line, running back, wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker) a big game might not help some players. The only position that does seem interesting is the offensive line, where the Packers could go in a couple different directions.

Patrick Lewis. The undrafted free agent looked like a good pickup back in April because he was a four year starter at Texas A&M. He's played a lot this preseason, but not too many people I bet have noticed him. It's generally a good sign when the offensive lineman aren't noticed. While that means he's been solid, it also means he's been unspectacular against other backups. The Packers probably like him, but they wouldn't have a need for him if it weren't for someone Van Roten's problems.

Greg Van Roten. The second year player is probably the most talented of the backup lineman, but the move to center hasn't worked out. He botched a couple shotgun snaps against the Seahawks and they can't trust him during the regular season if they need him to play center. His struggles might open the door for Lewis because I'd trust Lewis to play center ahead of Van Roten. I think he's still eligible for the practice squad, but he may also interest another NFL team, so they may have to put him on the 53-man roster if they want to keep him.

Lane Taylor. He botched a couple plays against the Rams (personal foul, allowed a sack) but his strength is that he's a road grader. Mike McCarthy would love to see more from the running game and Taylor might be able to help them. However, as mentioned above, he might be a liability in pass blocking. He seems like a perfect candidate for the practice squad.

The unknown is how these players might fit in with the tackles. Derek Sherrod and JC Tretter are officially on the PUP list (though I'm not sure why Tretter isn't on I.R. along with Bryan Bulaga). I haven't seen enough from Kevin Hughes or Andrew Datko to feel they need to be kept, and I don't know exactly what they have in mind for Marshall Newhouse. Maybe they can trade him to a tackle desperate team or move him to guard full-time? Maybe he'll just stay as the full-time backup tackle?

The final preseason game might actually make a difference for the offensive line if Van Roten can prove he can play center. Otherwise, it'll be fun to watch, but I don't expect it will shake up the roster.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reaction to the Jets signing Graham Harrell

As you already know from reading the previous post on this site, the Jets just signed former Packers QB Graham Harrell. Now I have know idea why any team would want this guy after he lost his job to Vince Young, but apparently the Jets saw hope in him. With Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith both struggling right now, it appears Harrell, as bad as he is, is good enough to play for this downright pathetic team. I'm serious, the Jets have no hope if they're using Harrell as a life vest. Now I'm happy that Harrell's career isn't over, but I was hoping a better team would pick him up. Unfortunately for him, no better team was bad enough to want him. So, good bye Graham. Try to enjoy your days in New York. Try really hard. 

Some Good News and Some Bad News For Graham Harrell

I wasn't sure whether QB Graham Harrell would get another NFL opportunity and the good news is that he did. It might even give him the chance to start. However, the bad news is that it's with the New York Jets.
I don't pay too much attention to the Jets, except to occasionally laugh and point, so I don't have any idea how this might work out for Harrell. He's had an awful preseason, but it hasn't been as bad for him as it's been for the Jets. Between Buffalo's Jeff Tuel experience and whatever's going on with the Jets, the AFC East has two of the scariest quarterback situations in the NFL.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Packers place RB DuJuan Harris on IR

After injuring his knee last Friday against the Seahawks, Packers RB DuJuan Harris will now miss the rest of the season, the team announced today. At first, the injury didn't look that serious, but today's placing of him on the IR said otherwise. Harris was a huge part of the team's running game last season, and his presence will certainly be missed. 

Now that Harris is off the table, it appears that Eddie Lacy, Jonathan Franklin, James Starks, and Alex Green will have to fill his void. In my opinion, Lacy should be the guy who gets the most snaps. So far in preseason, he's clearly been the best, while Starks and Green have never been good and Franklin just doesn't seem ready to play. 

The Kicking Competition Isn't Over For Mason Crosby

UPDATE: And then with one bad day of practice, Ramirez was gone. His was one of the quicker signings/releases I've ever seen. I thought they'd give him at least a week.

If the Green Bay Packers were serious about giving K Mason Crosby some competition this year, wouldn't they have signed/drafted someone who really could unseat him?
It never seemed like Tavecchio was intended to be the answer. Maybe Tavecchio was just the starting point and Crosby has been the better kicker over the last couple weeks. Even if Zach Ramirez is outstanding in his first week with the team, it's only one week. Is he really a better kicker or did he just have the better week?

This feels like a drama that's going to stretch on all season. The Packers can easily tryout kickers during the season, if Crosby starts missing regular season field goals. Sometimes those moves work out great, for example, the Redskins signed rookie Kai Forbath last October and he was automatic for them. However, the last time the Packers were in this situation, they released P Jon Ryan at the start of the 2008 season and suffered through a partial season from Derrick Frost.

Crosby had a disastrous 2012 season and I'd be glad to see a kicker who's better than him, but my concern is that they actually find a kicker who is better before they make the move.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Preseason Recap: Who Stood Out During Their Loss To The Seahawks?

This was a big game for a lot of players on the roster bubble, but it was dominated by penalties. It wasn't just because of the refs, the players were getting in each others faces, and both sides were aggressive. The worst offender was Seahawks RG J.R. Sweezy, who was named their starter last week, and celebrated his accomplishment by committing multiple penalties and finding himself pulled mid-series by Pete Carroll. The Seahawks ended up with an amazing 182 penalty yards. 

The Packers had a bad game too, 69 penalty yards, but most of those came on three iffy 15 yard flags. Twice the Packers were flagged for running out of bounds on punt coverage, something I never see called during the regular season, and a hit by LB Terrell Manning on QB Brady Quinn that was close.

Offensive line. I didn't think Don Barclay could do it, but he's had a solid camp (second year in a row) and beat out Marshall Newhouse for the starting right tackle position. He hasn't had any breakdowns in pass protection this preseason, and that was a major problem for him before, so it's something to keep an eye on. I'm a little surprised that the first team offense didn't try to run the ball. The second team line didn't look good, again, as run blockers (Eddie Lacy went nowhere on several carries) but they did open up a big run for Alex Green. The most important thing is that, with the exception of Newhouse, the lineman have all been solid in pass protection.

Receivers. Jarrett Boykin would probably have the job locked up if he hadn't fumbled. The Packers need to keep two receivers behind the Big 3, but I wouldn't be surprised with any combination of receivers at this point. Who stays and who goes might depend more on what they've been doing in practice.

Tight end. I thought Bostick and Stoneburner had a chance, but both struggled (Stoneburner had a fumble) while Andrew Quarless saw his first action since 2011 and D.J. Williams caught all three passes thrown his way. Quarless and Williams should stick and remain the top backups behind Jermichael Finley.

Running backs. This was a weird game to evaluate. The first team offense didn't run the ball and the second team offensive line couldn't run block. Green had a big run, but is that enough to save his roster spot? DuJuan Harris started for his first preseason action and then he got hurt during the game. James Starks seems completely out of the picture, otherwise everyone else might stay if Harris's injury keeps him out.

Defensive line. It looks like they've got a lot of options. Johnny Jolly is back with the first team defense while C.J. Wilson had a great game. Datone Jones hasn't played much because of an ankle injury, but it would be a shock if their first round pick wasn't in the rotation. Mike Daniels is a high energy player while former practice squad lineman Jordan Miller had a sack. I haven't seen much from fifth round pick DE Josh Boyd. The criticism will be fundamentals from the backups, Seahawks rookie RB Christine Michael had a couple big runs when the backups over ran or lost containment. 

Linebackers. The starters looked great, though A.J. Hawk looked the same as ever, and second year LB Terrell Manning has looked much better this preseason. Robert Francois almost had an INT and rookie Nate Palmer had a sack. Mulumba didn't play (injured) and Moses didn't make any plays, but both have played well this preseason. Rookie Sam Barrington has impressed the coaches and played a lot this preseason. That would seem to be the roster, with everyone else looking for a new home. I'm still not sure what they plan to do with Mike Neal, maybe he's ahead of Mulumba but he doesn't really look like he can play linebacker.

Secondary. Free agent S Chris Banjo was recently signed and he might have made the team with a strong game against the Seahawks. He would be the fourth safety behind Burnett, Jennings, and McMillian while everyone else misses the cut. At cornerback, Micah Hyde continues to impress while Davon House seems to have rebounded well enough to cement his backup spot. Loyce Means had his worst game with a 15 yard penalty and a long touchdown allowed. Nixon and Smith are probably out of it.

Special teams. It's surprising to see them sign another kicker after Mason Crosby had his best game. Still, it seems unlikely that Zach Ramirez has any chance to win the job after one week of camp. It's a typical Ted Thompson move; while other teams are signing veterans to plug their kicking problems (Dan Carpenter in Arizona, Rian Lindell in Tampa) the Packers sign an unknown rookie. Ramirez was injured for most of his senior season in 2012, so he might be a surprise if he's now healthy.

McCarthy: "The No. 2 spot hasn't been answered"

Despite the fact that the team just cut Graham Harrell yesterday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is still saying that the backup QB job is up for grabs. So far, Young has definitely been better than Coleman, but I guess that's not enough in his eyes. 

“The No. 2 spot hasn’t been answered,” said McCarthy. “That’s where we are. B.J. and Vince are going to compete and take the majority of this football game (against Kansas City).”

I'd be shocked if Coleman beats out Young here. There are so many reasons why he shouldn't be the first guy off the bench. In the fourth quarter on Friday, playing against at least a third string defense, Coleman completed just 2/7 passes for 8 yards. Now I do think that Coleman is better than Harrell, but not better than Young in any way. The fact that McCarthy is considering this is, in my opinion, completely stupid. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nelson "looking good" for Week 1 return

In an article recently published on, Packers WR Jordy Nelson gave Packers fans some good news when he was quoted saying that a Week 1 return is "looking good." Nelson is recovering from knee surgery he underwent earlier this month to repair a nerve issue. 

"The knee's doing good. It's moving right far as we can tell. We'll find out a lot this coming week, but we feel good with where we're at," said Nelson on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News."

This news is music to the ears of any fan nervous about that opener in San Francisco. Now obviously his knee getting better does not guarantee a win in that one, but it'll definitely help out. Knowing how good the 49ers are, the Packers could use a little more talent on the field. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Vince Young Defeats Graham Harrell

Based on their performances on Friday night, this news should come as no surprise.
Vince Young was more effective, he led them on a touchdown drive and was their leading rusher for the game, but what really stood out was Harrell's 3.8 yards per attempt. Among quarterbacks last season who attempted over 224 passes, the worst yards per attempt belonged to Blaine Gabbert at 5.98, and Harrell wasn't anywhere near that good. The best thing I can say is that at least he didn't turn the ball over.

And Harrell played that poorly with the first team offense. Granted, it was against Seattle's first team defense and Harrell was without Cobb and Nelson at receiver. Phil Simms gave Harrell some cover by noting that none of the receivers were getting open. However, injuries are part of the NFL (especially for the Packers) and that can't be an excuse.

This also is another example of how GM Ted Thompson operates. He doesn't value experience over potential. Harrell knows Mike McCarthy's offense while Young barely knows it, but that didn't save his roster spot after three poor to awful preseason games. Thompson wasn't going to keep a lesser player just because he has a comfort level with him.

Young was the better quarterback, though he's still very much a work in progress. He did complete six of seven attempts (that one incompletion should have been intercepted) but his yards per attempt was only 5.9, which means he completed only a lot of short passes. However, he did look more comfortable against the Seahawks than the Rams, having a full week of practice under his belt obviously helped, and the coaches are far from opening up the entire playbook for him. So it wasn't perfect, but he made it look like he could actually do something in a regular season game while Harrell hasn't shown anything.

Unfortunately I think this means the end of Harrell's NFL career. If he couldn't beat out Young in this situation, which was as close to an ideal one as any player could ask for, I don't see how he could make it on another team.

Young is now the unquestioned backup. B.J. Coleman is no competition, he had the same number of sacks as completions (two) against the Seahawks, but he can hide on the practice squad, unlike either Young or Harrell. They still need three quarterbacks but they've rarely kept them all on the 53-man roster in recent years. Releasing Harrell now probably opens up a lot of playing time for Young against the Chiefs (and in practice too), which he'll need to get ready for the regular season.

Packers fall to Seahawks despite Young's surprisingly good performance, 17-10

Despite Aaron Rodgers completing 4/7 passes for 41 yards and a field goal, the Packers fell to the Seahawks last night at Lambeau Field, 17-10. This loss included a lot of penalties and failed rushing plays, but in the end I think the pros in this one beat the cons. 

While playing throughout the second quarter and most of the third, backup QB Graham Harrell really struggled. He rarely threw the ball, and whenever he handed the ball off it resulted in a loss of yards. Overall, he completed just 6/13 passes for 49 yards. He really needs to get this turned around. 

In his two drives of the game, Vince Young actually played really well, completing 6/7 passes for 41 passing yards, rushing for a team-best 39 yards, and throwing the team's only touchdown pass of the night. Now this one game probably won't completely change the way the coaching staff looks at him, but it'll definitely help. We'll just have to see how he is next Thursday in KC. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Packers President Mark Murphy not a fan of proposed 18 game schedule

In an article recently published on, Packers President Mark Murphy constructively criticized the league's idea of a possible 18 game regular season schedule, calling it "hard to justify."

"I think with all the concerns about the health and safety of players, it's hard to justify," Murphy said earlier this week. "To go from 16 to 18 regular-season (games) would be a lot more wear and tear. It would be additional games for your starters."

I completely agree with Murphy on this subject. I like having a four game preseason schedule. It gives the new guys more chances to show off and it gives the starters more time to prepare for real games. But if the league feels the need to change it, I guess it'll happen. 

Preseason Preview: Seahawks at Packers

The Green Bay Packers should play their starters throughout the first quarter and into the second before letting the backups take over. There could be a couple backups thrown in with the starters early on, just to see how they perform in that role. The defense seems in large part set, even among the backups, but the offense is loaded with question marks.

The good news is that this game is being televised nationally, on CBS at 7pm CST, but it will be replayed on NFL Network early Sunday morning if you miss it on CBS.

Quarterback. It could be a short night for QB Aaron Rodgers, who really doesn't need the reps, because the Packers may want to take a long look at their backups. Graham Harrell seems in firm command but it's unclear how much of a chance either Vince Young or B.J. Coleman has to unseat him. I don't expect the Packers to keep Young if he can't move ahead of Harrell because they can stash Coleman on the practice squad.

Right tackle. Don Barclay and Marshall Newhouse both had a chance with the first team offense last week. While Newhouse should be in the lead to start, his blown protection on a speed rush by DE John Abraham in their game against the Cardinals highlighted his weakness in pass protection. It doesn't seem like Barclay's done much to win the job, but maybe the fact that he hasn't had a major blunder is his advantage.

Wide receiver. If rookies Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey want to prove they're better than the undrafted tandem of Myles White and Tyrone Walker, now would be a good time. Unfortunately this might not be the time for Johnson, since he's still recovering from an injured knee. I don't know how Jeremy Ross stays on the roster when he keeps dropping the ball.

Tight end. This has become a battle because of all the injuries, neither Andrew Quarless or Ryan Taylor have played in a preseason game, and D.J. Williams has been outplayed by Brandon Bostick. Williams was supposed to be a good receiver coming out of college, but Bostick showed better hands against the Rams. I like Bostick as a big target who's listed height is 6-3 but seems taller. Jermichael Finley is the unquestioned starter, so there's no need to have him play a lot, and this could be a great opportunity to sort out who should back him up.

Running back. Eddie Lacy will play a prominent role this season, but there are a bunch of question marks after him. DuJuan Harris will see his first action of the preseason against the Seahawks, so this game might cement him as the other back to complement Lacy, while the remaining players battle for the final spot or two on the roster.

Defensive line. Johnny Jolly's been great over the first two preseason games, but he hasn't had a chance to play with the first team defense. The coaches might not need to seem him with the starters because I can't imagine he won't make the roster. It'd be nice to see Datone Jones get some work but his ankle injury might prevent it.

What to do with Mike Neal? The Packers have been serious about their efforts to try him at outside linebacker, but it hasn't worked. When Neal drops back in coverage, he looks like a lineman trying to drop back in coverage. Against the Rams, Neal dropped back into his zone and the receiver who caught the ball just ran around him. I'm not sure if the Packers will hope he improves during the season, move him back to defensive end, or just give up on him all together. However, it would seem like they should find some use for him; he was second on the team last season with 4.5 sacks.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seahawks WR Tate not bothered by what Packers fans say

Ever since his controversial "catch" in last year's Monday night game, Seahawks WR Golden Tate has been hated by Packers fans. To them, he is seen as a liar, which he clearly is. And now that Tate's team is heading to Green Bay tomorrow for a preseason game, the State of Wisconsin will finally get their chance to boo him. But unfortunately for them, Tate won't care. 

“It’s been pretty entertaining to read up on this stuff,” Tate said Tuesday. “I’m not letting it bother me any. What they say on Twitter or in Wisconsin doesn’t affect me.”

Now Tate could be lying, but we can't prove that. All we know is that an athlete in his position would definitely say something like this, an "I don't care" statement. He might be a little bothered by the hate every fan outside of Washington feels for him, but he won't tell us. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Finley "having his finest training camp," says McCarthy

In an article recently published on, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy stated that TE Jermichael Finley, who has struggled at times in his career, "has had his finest training camp."

"He's having his finest training camp, I think it's clear-cut," said McCarthy on Tuesday following practice.

When the Pack host Seattle this Friday, I'll be watching Finley closely to see how much he really has improved. Usually in the third preseason game, the starters play a half. If Finley plays well in those 30 minutes, I'll be convinced. But as of now, all he's done is practice. That's not really anything. 

After Two Preseason Games, The Packers Look All Right

Before the Green Bay Packers next preseason game, when they host the Seahawks on Friday night, I thought I'd take another look back at their win over the Rams.

The starters are playing all right. In two games, the defense hasn't forced any turnovers and the offense hasn't scored a touchdown, but they haven't been outplayed either. The offensive line seems set with Bakhtiari at LT though the coaches are giving Barclay a chance to unseat Newhouse (it hasn't happened yet). S Jerron McMillian has had some trouble with deep coverage, but it must be a little confusing in the secondary when rookie CB Micah Hyde is playing so much alongside inexperience CB Davon House.

The backup offensive and defensive lines dominated the Rams' backups. The backups weren't great when run blocking, which might have been a sign that the backup wide receivers weren't blocking well, but the Rams' pass rush didn't get anywhere near QB B.J. Coleman, which led to his best preseason performance (though too many of his passes were still thrown too high). The only backup lineman without a shot is undrafted rookie Lane Taylor, who picked up two penalties in the second half, including a personal foul for an illegal block.

On the defensive side, it's all about Johnny Jolly, who's making all the plays this preseason like he did in 2009 (hustle plays, tipping passes at the line of scrimmage). I can't make a case that he doesn't deserve to start, considering we haven't seen anything from rookie DE Datone Jones, who's battling an ankle injury, and DE C.J. Wilson hasn't done much.

Who will start at running back against the Seahawks? Despite the strong performance by Eddie Lacy against the Rams, he's still fourth on the official depth chart, and the Packers have started two different backs in two preseason games (Starks and Lacy). With DuJuan Harris back at practice this week, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him get the start. The Seahawks have a great defense, and probably some extra motivation to look good against a possible playoff opponent, so no back might stand out on Friday.

The backup wide receivers are getting a lot of work. With Jordy Nelson out and Randall Cobb out, a lot of passes have been targeted at undrafted rookies Myles White and Tyrone Walker. Walker had made the most of it, until a couple of drops against the Rams, and White seems to be a favorite target for Vince Young and Coleman. However, Jeremy Ross and Jarrett Boykin haven't fallen behind either of them, so White and Walker might only be playing for a spot on the practice squad.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nelson still hopeful for Week 1

After having knee surgery two weeks ago, Packers WR Jordy Nelson can not tell whether or not he's healthy enough to play in the team's Week 1 game against San Francisco. But that doesn't mean he's giving up. 

“I said there’s enough time left for opening week, and we felt we’d be able to get in and get out and be ready to go,” Nelson said. “So that was our plan.” 

From that quote, it almost sounds like he's behind in his rehab. But I haven't heard anything about that, so I might as well not entertain that idea. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Will Mason Crosby Be Released Soon?

I'm not exactly sure where he ranked in NFL history but K Mason Crosby was terrible last season. His percentage was bad (21 made in 33 attempts, 63.6%) and only one other kicker was below 70% while twenty-six others were above 80%. To make matters worse, some of his missed attempts were amazingly off-target. He really had to show something this preseason.

While he did make three field goals against the Rams, he's otherwise been awful this month. John Clayton's NFL contacts are among the best, so when he suggests something, it's probably going to happen:
For the first time since his rookie season, Crosby has someone to compete against, and K Giorgio "Sergio" Tavecchio has out-kicked Crosby this month. Unfortunately, Tavecchio missed one of this two field goal attempts against the Rams, and I don't have the greatest confidence in him either.

Clayton mentioned Carpenter and Lindell, maybe they could be options, but those two guys have their own problems otherwise they wouldn't have been released. The Packers would be taking a leap of faith that either one of them could do better than Crosby or Tavecchio.

The Packers don't really have a good option here. They can bring in kickers for tryouts. They can watch Crosby and Tavecchio in practice. But that doesn't mean the kicker they watched in tryouts and practice will deliver come game time. Crosby was so bad last season, and struggled so much this month, that change seems inevitable. The real concern is that the solution will bring new problems.

NFL Scout: Lacy a "steal" for Packers

In an article recently published over on, an anonymous NFL scout called RB Eddie Lacy a "steal" for the Packers. This just another positive review for the rookie, who still is being considered the team's backup by head coach Mike McCarthy. 

In my opinion, despite how good he's been, Lacy shouldn't start this season. While I've already talked about how experience isn't much of a factor since Harris has really only played one legitimate NFL season, I still feel like that one season of experience he's had could be, to the team, enough to land him the starting job for at least this year. But it also might not. We'll have to watch these last two exhibition games closely to see if Lacy keeps playing the way he has. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kickers, quarterbacks great as Packers beat Rams 19-7

Mason Crosby made all three field goals he attempted, Aaron Rodgers completed 10/12 passes for 134 yards, and Eddie Lacy had 8 rushes for a combined 40 yards as the Packers easily beat the Rams Saturday night, 19-7, to even up their preseason record at 1-1. These games don't matter, but it's nice to beat another team. 

Graham Harrell, who was terrible last week against Arizona, completed just 5/10 passes in this one for 44 yards. B.J. Coleman, who many see as the team's automatic third stringer, was actually really good, completing 8/13 throws for 86 yards and the teams only touchdown. In my opinion, he could be the frontrunner for the backup job right now if Vince Young doesn't get hot. 

Speaking of Young, he wasn't terrible either, going 5/9 for 26 yards. He could've been better, but this was still a step in the right direction for him. We'll have to see if he keeps improving. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Driver: "Jennings will always be a Packer"

In an article recently published on Bleacher Report, recently retired Packers WR Donald Driver stated that his former teammate, Greg Jennings, "will always be a Packer" despite all the drama he's caused this offseason. 

“Greg felt like he wanted to be in Green Bay but Green Bay felt like they wanted to move on so he went to the rivalry. I don’t think anyone likes when you go to a rivalry, but at the end of the day Greg Jennings will always be a Green Bay Packer. He’s going to retire as a Green Bay Packer. He has a Super Bowl ring that has a big G on it. It has no other colors, no other brand. It’s something he’s going to cherish for a long time. He will never get rid of it, he’ll always cherish it and at the end of the day people will remember him as a Green Bay Super Bowl champion.”

It seems to me that he's focusing a lot more on the pros. Eventually, I'll forgive Jennings for what he's said about the Packers recently. But not yet. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rodgers: Jennings' comments don't matter to me

In an interview with Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers again was forced to acknowledge the recent comments made by Greg Jennings. In his response, Rodgers made it clear that he doesn't care what his former teammate says, since it's not relevant to his team. 

“People taking shots at me who aren’t relevant to this team and to this locker room doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. Those comments do wash over with me without a reaction, because they don’t matter.”

If the only the rest of the world felt like him on this whole thing. I really hope Jennings sees this interview, since it'll shut him up. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Longwell: "I feel like (Favre and the Packers reconciling) will happen soon

In an article recently published on NBC, former Packers and Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell, who I just reported a couple of days ago had re-signed with Green Bay and retired, talked about why he thinks the Packers and Brett Favre will reconcile soon. 

“I feel like it will happen soon,” Longwell said, per “I feel like everybody’s in a good place about it, and like I said, I think time heals everything. I think it’s his desire to be here. When that happens, I think it will be the right time, but I don’t know when that is.”

I like Longwell, so I'll agrees with what he says. Honesty, I don't understand why this whole thing is such a question. I mean, Favre played 16 years with the Pack. Then he left, played 1 year with the Jets, and then 2 with the Vikings. He was a little annoying with his retirement drama, but leaving for three years isn't that bad. Forgive and forget. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Could recent praising of Lacy lead to Harris' downfall?

So far in training camp, it's been very clear that the Packers two best running backs are DuJaun Harris and Eddie Lacy. As for Jonathan Franklin, the rookie out of UCLA, he's been good too. But Harris and Lacy are clearly the guys that the management, coaching, and starting QB seem to like the most. 

When asked who he thought should be the team's starting RB, head coach Mike McCarthy didn't hesitate to say Harris. 

""I'm excited to see when DuJuan Harris comes back, because I view him as our starter," McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. "I want him to get back in there and earn it like he did all of last year. He made an impact in our offense."

Now while McCarthy's opinion is obviously important, so is Aaron Rodgers'. Now Rodgers does not say that he favors Lacy over Harris, but he does give the rookie a good amount of praise for what he's done so far. 

"I think everybody's been really impressed with Eddie and how he's looked in pads," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "He offers something a little different — a big back who's got incredible vision."

Now some people who like to doubt that Lacy has a legit chance of beating out Harris for the starting spot often point to Lacy's lack of professional experience. But really, I don't think that matters. Currently, Harris is 24 and Lacy is 23, so it's not like one's that much older than the other. And last year was really Harris' first NFL season, as his first two were spent on practice squads. While Harris was one practice squads, Lacy was dominating with Alabama and winning national titles. Now while I know that NCAA football is nowhere near as hard as NFL, I do feel like Lacy will make the transition to the pros easier on himself. I mean, he won three national titles and a Capitol One Bowl while with the Crimson Tide, doesn't that show that he does know how to perform under pressure? 

What To Watch: Packers at Rams on Saturday Night

I'm not sure if I'll be posting again over the next couple of days, so I thought now's the time to look ahead to the Green Bay Packers next preseason game in St. Louis.

Anything from the backup offense. The Packers were the only team shut out in their first preseason game, and they didn't even attempt a field goal despite five drives that ended in Cardinals' territory. They'd probably get some points if QB Graham Harrell could avoid turnovers and he just keeps targeting WR Tyrone Walker. QB Aaron Rodgers should play the entire first quarter, so he should get at least one score, but the first team offense won't look like itself if both WR Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson miss the game. As a bonus: it would be nice to see one of the various running backs emerge.

On the defense, CBs Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward are still likely to be sidelined, so it'll give CBs Davon House and Micah Hyde another chance. I don't know expect much from the Rams' passing attack, their backup QB and receivers made Bernie Koser go a bit insane last week, so another poor game from House and Hyde might be a sign of some trouble if Williams and Hayward remain unavailable. The pass rush was a bit lacking against the Cardinals but all I'd like to see is some of the backup lineman or linebackers make a couple of great one-on-one plays to force a sack.

The game will be televised in Wisconsin, but otherwise it'll be replayed on NFL Network at 4pm (EST) on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Former Packers Kicker Longwell to retire with team

According to Packers GM Ted Thompson, former Packers Kicker Ryan Longwell will soon briefly re-sign with the Packers in order to retire with the team. In nine seasons with Green Bay from 1997-2005, Longwell kicked 226 field goals (most in team history) and 376 extra points(most in team history), giving him a career total of 1054 points. That total is by far the most of any player in franchise history. 

Longwell's field goal percentage while with the Pack (81.6, 226/277) is also a franchise record. Of the nine seasons he spent with team, he had at least 100 points in eight of them, another franchise record. With just these two paragraphs, I think I've made it clear that he was a very good player. So I'm happy that he's decided to retire wearing our team's jersey. 

The Cornerbacks Looked Awful Against The Cardinals

The good news for the Green Bay Packers is that the bad game from the corners happened without much from their top three players. CBs Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward are being held out due to injury and only CB Sam Shields played. Shields did allow a completion along the sideline, but it was against WR Larry Fitzgerald so it can be somewhat excused.

Tyler Dunne wrote a piece on rookie CB Micah Hyde, who gave up one of the two touchdown passes while making zero reaction as the ball was in the air. However, he looked better than the other corners behind him on the depth chart. He's now moved ahead of CB Davon House, and Hyde was starting with the first team defense while Williams and Hayward were still out.

The good news for House fans is that he didn't look beyond redemption. He was almost in position but wasn't able to adjust quickly enough as the receivers ran their routes. He hasn't played a lot in his first two seasons due to injury, so his game against the Cardinals looked like a bit of rust. He's still got the potential.

One of my least favorite players, CB Jarrett Bush, played some cornerback and looked better than any of the other players on the roster. He'll make the team because of his special teams play, but he's still in the mix at corner too.

I don't know how any of the corners can make the roster. Loyce Means and James Nixon didn't make plays, and Brandon Smith looked lost. They need every game to prove they deserve a spot ahead of the other more highly regarded players at a deep position.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jennings: "Packers brainwashed me"

Yea, Jennings is still just kidding. 

Today, the now hated former WR of the Packers again continued to trash talk his former team for no real reason other than to get some publicity when he said Green Bay had "brainwashed" him into hating other teams. Here's his quote:

"When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed. There's no ‘kind of' to it. Being over in Green Bay, you're brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below. And so coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I'm like, ‘Wow, these are really great people. It's like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best. And it's like total brainwashing. And I think you don't open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position."

Ok, apparently teaching your players to think they're the best is a bad thing. Normally, I would go on for an hour complaining about the stupidity of this, but today I'm not up to it. Jennings isn't worth my time. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Harrell losing grip on backup QB job

On Friday night, the three Packers backup QBs (Young, Harrell, Coleman) threw a combined 15-for-29 and 98 yards in the team's 17-0 loss to Cardinals. While Young and Coleman both seemed to really struggle, Harrell seemed to be the guy who did the worst. Making some people, like me, believe that Harrell's time as the team's no.2 may be running out. 

“Graham has to play better, and it’s tough,” Mike McCarthy said Saturday. “Playing quarterback in the preseason, it’s never clean, and it’s been like that as long as I’ve been in this league.”

It's only been one preseason game, so it's not really time to judge. But like McCarthy said, he does have to get better. As of now, he's not their backup. 

Preseason Recap: Packers Shutout By Cardinals, 17-0

The Green Bay Packers hadn't been shut out in a preseason game since the dark ages (a.k.a. when Forrest Gregg was the head coach in the 1980s) but that really wasn't a big surprise after they needed to add QB Vince Young to the backup quarterback battle. This game was really a sign that they'd be in trouble if anything happened to QB Aaron Rodgers. The good news is that on Rodgers' only series, he drove them 86 yards before they got stuffed at the one-yard line on 4th down.

The only injury was rookie 1st round DE Datone Jones, but it wasn't clear if his ankle injury was serious.

For Arizona, DB Tyrann Mathieu was deemed impressive but he was the highlight maker from a game without many of them. His sack of QB Graham Harrell was Harrell's fault, he completely ignored a blitzing DB which earned Harrell an exasperated stare from Mike McCarthy. Mathieu's other big play was a 24 yard punt return.

So without focusing on what the team did, here's how some individual players performed.

LT David Bakhtiari. Breathe a sigh of relief: he was solid. He looked a little off-balance on the first drive, his momentum carried him too far forward on one early run play, but he looked nearly perfect thereafter. He certainly looked better than Marshall Newhouse, who was beaten on a speed rush by DE John Abraham which led to a sack-fumble of Harrell.

WR Tyrone Walker. After the first drive, when Rodgers and WR James Jones took a seat, the undrafted rookie out of Illinois State was basically their entire offense. The Packers' backups only generated 137 yards of offense and 41 yards was from Walker. He's looked great in practice, in last weekend's scrimmage, and he did it again in his first game.

The defensive backs. Yes, CB Davon House was burnt early and often, but the guys behind him on the depth chart were awful too. Rookie 5th round CB Micah Hyde gave up a touchdown. The worst play was made by CB Brandon Smith, who was completely fooled on a comeback route and ended up running out of bounds. The good news is that none of these guys are expected to start, and since it was only one game, hopefully they bounce back next week.

The running backs. None of them made plays, but rookie RB Johnathan Franklin looked the best to me (Eddie Lacy was held out due to a hamstring injury). I need to see the rest of the preseason games before deciding.

QB Graham Harrell. It would have been a bad game even if he hadn't fumbled (see above) and telegraphed an easy interception (though WR Jeremy Ross seemed lost on the route). The only good news for him is that B.J. Coleman and Vince Young looked worse, though Young only knew about six plays. This isn't something GM Ted Thompson can fix this year, so the coaches will have to make due with the backup quarterbacks they've got.

DE Johnny Jolly. The defense didn't provide much of a pass rush, but Jolly got loose in the backfield on a couple plays. He looked almost as good as ever, despite the nearly four year absence from football. He's still got to prove himself over the remaining preseason games, however, after the first game, he looks like he should be part of the defensive line rotation.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Why NFL Network preseason reruns are not worth watching

Tonight, I stupidly decided to stay up late to watch the Packers preseason rerun on NFL Network. Now the game didn't re-air until midnight CT, meaning that I would have to stay up practically all night to watch each quarter. Now since it was a weekend, I thought that I might as well do it. I thought it would be fun. But due to NFL Network's apparent lack of common sense, the game was spoiled just as I watched Mason Crosby kick off.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think you should show scores and stats of a game that has gone final just as the game is starting. I mean, what's the point of airing it if your just gonna spoil it for the viewer immediately? In case you don't know what I'm saying, the NFLN bottom line showed the Cardinals-Packers scores and stats just as the first quarter began. So now here I am, instead of writing an insightful post-game later after staying up all night and watching every play, you'll get to here me complain about how my night's ruined. I would love to go to sleep right now, but I'm wide awake after drinking caffeine all throughout the day. So, to NFL Network, thanks a lot. I wanna still watch the game, but I know what's gonna happen. So obviously it won't be interesting. By the way(spoiler ahead), the Packers lost 17-0. What you should take from this: just check the score as the game's happening if you don't live in the State of Wisconsin. 

Friday, August 09, 2013

McCarthy: Young "playing uphill" for Packers backup QB spot

In an article recently published on, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy admitted that Vince Young is "definitely playing uphill" for the team's backup QB spot, something that wasn't really shocking to here but still surprising that a coach would admit that the competition to make the team isn't completely fair. 

"He's definitely playing uphill right now," McCarthy said after practice Thursday. "That's just from the mental transition that he's going through, and frankly it's the responsibility of the coaching staff, particularly myself calling the game, to get him comfortable where he can just play. That's really what we're working on here in the next 30-plus hours."

Like I said, the fans probably already know this. I just find it a little weird that a coach would practically say that he doubts a player is good enough to make the opening day roster. 

What To Watch: Packers Preseason Against The Cardinals

Since this is the first preseason for both teams, the answer is probably everything. The Cardinals have a new head coach, new QB (Carson Palmer) and are trying to rebuild an offensive line that was horrific in 2012, so the Packers defense might look better than usual. On the other side of the field, the Cardinals defense is changing defensive schemes which is being welcomed by DL Darnell Dockett but could lead to some initial confusion in assignments.

The player with the most eyes on him should be rookie starting LT David Bakhtiari, after all the news surrounding LT Bryan Bulaga's season ending ACL injury. However, Mike McCarthy might want to encourage QB Aaron Rodgers to get rid of the ball quickly. There's no need to make something out of nothing in the preseason. Also, the coaches might be just as interested in seeing how Bakhtiari is as a run blocker, and how the rookie running backs run behind the new look offensive line.

If you're not in Wisconsin, NFL Network will re-air the game late Friday night, so set the DVR.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Pre-game: Cardinals at Packers

Believe it or not, the preseason starts tomorrow which means that the month of watching who might and who might not help the Packers win this season has begun. So far in training camp, we have heard mostly good things about this team. According to Rodgers, Finley has dominated, Mike McCarthy has said that he expects Dajuan Harris to be the team's number one RB, and of course the defensive line as shown a little improvement. But that's just on the practice field, which means that we won't get our first look at how good these guys really are until tomorrow. Now I know it's just preseason, but we all know how passionate Green Bay fans are. It's safe to say they'll be expecting a win. 

Kickoff for tomorrow night's game will at 7:00 pm CT. You can see it in Wisconsin on NBC 26 and WTMJ 4. Enjoy it. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Bulaga's Season Is Officially Over

The Green Bay Packers were "hoping for a miracle" and there was some talk about asking LT Bryan Bulaga to play with a torn ACL, which Josh Sitton thought was stupid. In the end, the most likely scenario came true and he will have surgery. There is no silver lining here, but as I wrote earlier this week, at least the Packers have some options as they try to replace him.

Randall Cobb practicing today

After leaving practice yesterday with an apparent bicep injury, Packers WR Randall Cobb returned to team practice today, according to's Tyler Dunne. 

"And it also looks like the Packers have dodged a bullet at wide receiver. Randall Cobb (bicep) has returned to practice," Dunn tweeted earlier this morning. 

This news is big for the Packers. Training camp just started and already the Packers have lost Bulaga for the season and Nelson for at least the preseason. If the injuries were to stop with those two, it would still be really bad. They simply can't afford to lose Cobb. 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Another Injury? Jordy Nelson Has Knee Surgery

What a bad week this has been for the Green Bay Packers. Jason Wilde reported that WR Jordy Nelson will have surgery "to correct a nerve issue" that's been bothering him on-and-off since college. It sounds serious, but the recovery time is expected to be 4-6 weeks. I guess it's better to do have the surgery now instead of waiting until mid-season. That means more playing time for some of the rookie wide receivers on the roster.

As an added bonus of suck: WR Randall Cobb left practice early due to a biceps injury.

Why signing Vince Young was a good idea

Ever since the Packers signed Vince Young yesterday, I have read nothing but negative things about the former Rose Bowl winner. But I'm completely against the idea that this no-risk signing was a stupid one. 

While playing for the Titans from 2006-2010, Vince Young was a solid, not great, starting QB. But really, that's all the Packers need in the guy. When they're up or down 40-0 in the fourth quarter of a late season game, all they'll need is a guy capable of throwing the ball, not a super star. We need to remember that Rodgers will be the one playing when it actually matters. If they win or lose a game, it will never be Young's fault. It will always be someone else's. 

Also, let's say Rodgers tears his ACL early in the year. Harrell and Coleman both have solid arms while Young has plenty of experience. In that nightmare scenario, the Packers could just split time between two of them. They could have Young start against a stronger team and Harrell against a weaker one. Now I don't want to imagine a universe where Rodgers is out all year, but I believe that if that was to happen the Packers would still be ok at the quarterback position. 

Monday, August 05, 2013

The Packers Signed Vince Young?

Apparently all the game film from QB Vince Young's disastrous 2011 season with the Eagles has been destroyed. Now the Green Bay Packers can relive it as they watch his inaccuracy this preseason.
B.J. Coleman had a very bad Saturday night at the Family Night scrimmage, but I didn't realize it was that bad. Or maybe this is the end for Graham Harrell because Young could take his backup job while Coleman could spend another year on the practice squad.

While I hate this signing, unless Harrell and Coleman are just that bad (I haven't watched them yet in 2013), at least Young was once a decent starting QB. Over 21 games (18 starts) in 2009 and 2010, his QBB was a respectable 70.3 and 70.6. Of course, that's only good news if you ignore his turnover filled 2011 season.

On the downside, Young had a mega-feud with his head coach, Jeff Fisher, back in 2010, so he doesn't seem like the type of guy you want in the locker room. For what it's worth, Young apologized this year.

Overall, this hasn't been the best day to be a Packer fan. First they lose their starting left tackle, and now they signed a former (almost) Heisman winner that no NFL team has wanted for over a year. I should feel worse about Bryan Bulaga's injury (he's a starter while Young will be paid to hold a clipboard) but Young's signing feels worse in my stomach. I don't want them to have anything to do with him, even if he makes them a slightly better team.

It Looks Like Bryan Bulaga Will Miss The 2013 Season

Bob McGinn has reported that LT Bryan Bulaga suffered a torn ACL at some point during the Green Bay Packers's Saturday night scrimmage. There's a second report from Hub Arkush which said Bulaga is seeking a second opinion to find out whether it really is a torn ACL. At this point, the only way he salvages his 2013 season is if the initial diagnosis was wrong. But that doesn't appear to be the case.
While this isn't a fatal blow to the Packers's offense, the odds that their offensive line would improve next season are almost nil.

Maybe rookie David Bakhtiari will be a steal in the fourth round and immediately become a quality starting left tackle, which is possible, but that isn't the most likely outcome. Maybe Marshall Newhouse will be better at right tackle than left, but I think he'd be better at guard than either tackle position. The only expected improvement should be from Evan Dietrich-Smith, who will be better at center than Jeff Saturday. Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang switched guard spots this offseason, and that doesn't seem to provide much benefit without Bulaga playing alongside Sitton, but at least Lang should be healthier next season.

After all the injuries at tackle over the past couple years, at least the Packers now have some depth. Don Barclay's played at all three offensive line positions in camp but he might be asked to become the full-time backup tackle. Former first round pick Derek Sherrod will play at some point this season. Maybe Andrew Datko will have improved in his second season. None of them will replace Bulaga, but at least the Packers won't have to scramble to find some decent offensive lineman for depth.

Report: Packers to work out Vince Young today

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers will work out former Pro-Bowl QB Vince Young today. Young will be competing with QBs B.J. Coleman and Graham Harrell for the backup job.

In his career, Young has played for the Titans (2006-2010), the Eagles (2011), and the Bills practice squad (last year). Overall, his professional career has not been that great. While he did make the Pro-Bowl in 2006 and 2009, his ending with the Titans was an ugly one and since then he's had a tough time finding a job elsewhere. Hopefully his workout in Green Bay today will be his big break. 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

McCarthy: Crosby's performance "not going to cut it"

After struggling mightily in last night's scrimmage, Packers kicker Mason Crosby is finally beginning to face some criticism from Mike McCarthy.

"He's definitely got to do better than that, because that's not going to cut it," McCarthy said after Crosby's Family Night to forget had just concluded with a 2-for-6 showing in the scrimmage-ending head-to-head duel with challenger Giorgio Tavecchio.

It's great to see McCarthy finally start to acknowledge that Crosby's not that good. Honesty, I hope Tavecchio wins the kicker job. He already seems much better fit for it. Now I know it's still early in training camp, but last night was really ridiculous. 

Family Night Scrimmage: Eddie Lacy Shines

It seems like every other year these Family Night events are cancelled due to thunderstorms, but the Green Bay Packers were able to scrimmage Saturday night in front of just over 63,000 fans. There were a couple of interesting takeaways:

At running back, James Starks started, Eddie Lacy replaced him on the first drive, Johnathan Franklin went third, and Alex Green was fourth. The only back who's really suffered this week is DuJuan Harris, who's been held out after having a cyst removed back in June. The snap count between the top four backs was almost identical, however Lacy stood out with 65 yards on eight carries behind the first team offensive line. Technically, Green came into camp at the top of the depth chart, but (surprisingly) Starks is healthy, he certainly knows the offense, and that might have given him the early advantage, though Green ran the ball well during scrimmage too. The position looks like a toss up.

At quarterback, Graham Harrell easily outplayed B.J. Coleman. For whatever progress Coleman has made in his second NFL season, he keeps turning the ball over in camp, though he didn't get much help from Jeremy Ross who dropped one pass before he slipped on another route which led to a pick-six INT. The talk earlier this week that Coleman might move ahead of Harrell seems well premature.

At right tackle, Marshall Newhouse is the starter but he was quickly replaced by rookie David Bakhtiari, so it looks like they are closely competing for the job. I really like Bakhtiari's potential, so I don't see this as a bad thing. Don Barclay started at right tackle at the end of last season, but he was awful in pass protection and is being moved all over this line so far in camp, apparently to see where he might fit. Former first round pick Derek Sherrod hasn't practiced at all, as far as I've read. The competition might already be down to Newhouse and Bakhtiari, though the winner shouldn't be obvious until the second or third preseason game.

I wrote about Tyrone Walker last week, he's still a long-shot, but he stood out during the scrimmage with a couple nice receptions.

Also, Mason Crosby's kicking woes continued and the boo-birds let him have it. I'm not sure how much more time the team will be willing to give him; they've already given him more than many franchises would have.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Jennings apologizes for "fun" comments about Rodgers

In a recent interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Greg Jennings finally apologized for what he called "fun" comments about Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. 

"Aaron's a phenomenal quarterback. He knows that. No one needs to tell him that. What he's done over the course of the last five years? Phenomenal. He set the bar high for quarterbacks in this league. He set the bar high for offenses in this league. Everything I say is all out of fun. I'm just saying something just to say it. They know that's not me."

I guess these new words are somewhat believable. While they were teammates, Jennings and Rodgers must've had some kinds of relationship. So it's understandable that Jennings could've just been ripping on Rodgers in a non-serious way. Still, what the former Green Bay receiver said was pretty cocky. Hopefully that attitude of his is gone. 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Davon House practices for first time this summer

Yesterday, Packers CB Davon House practiced for the first time on a football field since injuring his shoulder in last year's preseason opener. 

“I’m getting there. With my shoulder, it felt 100 percent. With what I have (being sick), it’s getting there. I’d say I’m 85, 90 (percent),” said House, who got some first-team reps in his first practice because starting cornerback Tramon Williams (knee) and No. 3 CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) are out indefinitely. “With what I have and what I did, I’m impressed with myself. I look forward to being 100 percent. It’s going to be a great year.”

I'm really excited for House's return next week when the Packers host the Cardinals in their preseason opener. He'll probably play and when he does I'll be watching to see how he does. 

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Backup QB: Coleman Competing Against Harrell

The main reason I'm discouraged about the news that second-year QB B.J. Coleman has "every opportunity to win the backup quarterback job" is that it doesn't speak well for QB Graham Harrell.
There had been some happy talk about how Harrell had really improved, but if that was true, he should still be a clear step ahead. Coleman was pretty bad last preseason, and the day before Lori Nickel wrote her article, Coleman threw another couple interceptions at practice. He has the size and big arm to be an NFL quarterback, but I haven't seen anything good from him yet. He has the upcoming preseason to prove me wrong.

As for Harrell, if he does lose the backup role to Coleman, he might very well find that his NFL career is over. The Packers haven't always kept a third quarterback and Harrell isn't eligible for the practice squad anymore. If the Packers don't want him, then I don't know why any other team would be interested. No one was interested in him before the Packers signed him. I was never very high on him, but I did hope that he could develop into a decent backup.

This isn't the end of the debate, there are still four preseason games to play, but today I'm not optimistic for Harrell. This isn't a big problem, the drop off from Aaron Rodgers to anyone was going to be substantial, but if the best Plan B is Coleman, it might be more of a Grand Canyon than a drop off.

Packers GM Thompson has "no objections" to team retiring Brett Favre's number

In an article recently published in USA Today, Packers GM Ted Thompson said that he has "no objections" to the team retiring Brett Favre's number. 

"The man played for a very long time here and he was a marvelous, marvelous football player," Thompson said. "A good person in the community, he and his wife. I think he means a lot to the Packers for Brett Favre to be remembered in a good light, and I have no objections at all. I'm thrilled."

I'm 100% with Thompson on this. Favre played for the team for 16 seasons and was easily one of the best players in the franchise's history. It's time for the fans to accept that he's still a Packer and deserves to have his iconic #4 retired.