2009 September : Packers Insider

Like it or Not, this Game was a Gimme

September 28, 2009 by  
Filed under News

By Mike Vandermouse, Green Bay Press Gazette
Sep 28, 2009

ST. LOUIS — They would never admit it publicly, but the Green Bay Packers are grateful they played the lowly St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

This is an NFL doormat that has lost 13 games in a row, suffered through a miserable 2-14 season in 2008, and can’t seem to get out of its own way.

The Packers turned in an uneven performance and displayed some of the same old nagging ailments that plagued them in their first two games this season. But thanks to both a weak and generous opponent, the Packers prevailed, 36-17, at the Edward Jones Dome.    

Packers FB John Kuhn races into the end zone for one of his two TD's on the day

Packers FB John Kuhn races into the end zone for one of his two TD's on the day

Full Story from MVM here

Going Back to Basics

September 28, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Against Crappy Rams, Packers Win 1-on-1 Battles, Game

By Bob McGinn, JSOnline.com
Sep 28, 2009

St. Louis —
Mike McCarthy’s call to his players appealed to their primitive nature as professional football players.

“He said, basically, to leave all the technical stuff out the window,” one of his veterans, nose tackle Ryan Pickett, said in the locker room at Edward Jones Dome. “He said it today, last week, all week. He said just beat the man across from you and we’ll win the game.”  

 Packers rookie B.J. Raji fends off a block by Rams tackle Adam Goldberg.

Packers rookie B.J. Raji fends off a block by Rams tackle Adam Goldberg.

McCarthy had never taken such an approach in four seasons leading the Green Bay Packers, but the situation that his team would encounter Sunday seemed like a good time to try it.

The least of McCarthy’s worries were the schemes and personnel of the St. Louis Rams. Almost bereft of talent at some positions, the Rams are in the early stages of a rebuilding program under rookie coach Steve Spagnuolo and haven’t won since Week 6 of last season.

Reinforced by an upset loss to Cincinnati a week ago, McCarthy worked his players hard in practice to avoid a repeat. It was a bad time for the Rams to play the Packers, who took their opponent seriously and ended up with a 36-17 victory before maybe 10,000 green-and-gold clad fans and perhaps another 5,000 empty seats.

“We had to (win),” Pickett said. “There was not even another (option). Detroit won today. You’ve got to come out and play every week.”

The Packers were petrified about this matchup. It was in a dome. The Rams still are giving it the ol’ college try for their new coach. And the temptation to look ahead to a date with the Minnesota Vikings was real.

Full Story from McGinn Here (Subscription Req’d)

Run Defense to Face Legitimate Stud in Rams’ Jackson

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under News

By Tom Pellisero, Green Bay Press-Gazette
Sep 25, 2009

Run defense looks to rebound vs. Rams’ Jackson

The Green Bay Packers will get an up-close look at the NFL’s premier running back on Oct. 5, when they visit Adrian Peterson and the Vikings in Minnesota. For nose tackle Ryan Pickett’s money, though, there might not be a more talented back in the game than the one the Packers will try to contain on Sunday: his former St. Louis Rams teammate, Steven Jackson.

“He reminds me of Adrian Peterson,” said Pickett, who played with Jackson in 2004 and ’05. “I think he’s underrated; his team hasn’t had a good record, so maybe that’s (why). But he does everything (Peterson) does. He can cut it back on a dime. He starts fast. He’s big, strong, powerful, hard to tackle. He’s one of the better backs in the league to me.”

Steven Jackson is a lot better than Cedric Benson, who torched the Packers Swiss Cheese Run Defense for 150+ last week on a slow track

Steven Jackson is a lot better than Cedric Benson, who torched the Packers Swiss Cheese Run Defense for 150+ last week on a slow track

It Should Be Desmond Bishop Time

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Hard-hitting Linebacker sits and Watches as Mediocre RB Cedric Benson Carves Packers

By Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel
Sept. 24, 2009

Green Bay —
The way the Green Bay Packers played run defense last week, you would think they’d want to take a look at incorporating linebacker Desmond Bishop and his hard-hitting style into some of their packages.

But with a linebacker corps packed to the rafters, Bishop continues to find himself the invisible man, unable to get a whiff of practice or playing time with the defense despite being a standout on special teams.

Bishop proved his value during training camp, but the caste system that exists in the NFL dictates first-round draft picks Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk, and veteran free agent Brandon Chillar, get first crack at the two inside jobs.      

Despite more subpar work from ILB's Hawk & Barnett, Desmond Bishop continues to sit, which most attribute to the politics of Hawk and Barnett being 1st round draft picks with high salaries

Despite more subpar work from ILB's Hawk & Barnett, Desmond Bishop continues to sit, which most attribute to the politics of Hawk and Barnett being 1st round draft picks with high salaries

“It’s difficult, but you have to keep going,” Bishop said after practice Thursday. “It’s an obstacle, and you keep pushing forward. I have to pour it out on special teams and try to make my mark and be the best at that. That’s where I’m at, just playing the cards I’m dealt.

“It’s special teams, and that’s where it’s at.”

After Bishop made two special teams tackles against Chicago in the opener, coach Mike McCarthy said that he had to find a way to get the linebacker more involved. However, that didn’t happen, and the defense didn’t have a very good day against Cincinnati.

Full Story from Tom here

Another New Safety Starting This Week

September 25, 2009 by  
Filed under News

WHO?
Derrick Martin likely will start vs. Rams

By Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel
Sept. 24, 2009

Green Bay — Derrick Martin has never started a National Football League game at safety, but in about 72 hours there’s a very good chance he will be lining up on defense with the Green Bay Packers at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Sunday will mark only the three-week anniversary of Martin joining the Packers from the Baltimore Ravens in a trade for tackle Tony Moll, but a rash of injuries and personnel moves have vaulted him up the depth chart and into a pretty critical role for the Packers.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t officially chosen between Martin and Jarrett Bush to replace the injured Atari Bigby (ankle) and the recently released Aaron Rouse, but it’s no secret Martin is the top choice. He has lined up with the starters in practice while Bush has been nursing a sore ankle that, when all is said and done, may not even be a factor in the decision.      

"I love playing in the box," Martin said. "I think playing in the box is like playing on kickoff returns. All you have to do is make the tackle in a small space

"I love playing in the box," Martin said. "I think playing in the box is like playing on kickoff returns. All you have to do is make the tackle in a small space."

The 5-foot-10, 198-pound Martin comes from a 3-4 defense in Baltimore where he played both cornerback and safety, and was fortunate to learn from perennial all-pro Ed Reed and veteran Jim Leonhard. His three career starts were all at cornerback, but he has been playing safety exclusively since the end of last season and is eager to show his new teammates he belongs.

“When I got here, I was happy they brought me here,” Martin said. “That showed me they had confidence in me. Then once they were able to put me into a game situation, that’s a great honor for me, especially in this green and gold. There have been so many people who have passed through this locker room who have won championships, I’m just happy to be out there.”

Full Story Here

Offensive Line not Run-Blocking Well Either

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under News

By Brian Murphy, PackersInsider.com
September 23rd, 2009

The whole world is aware of the leaks on the O-Line in terms of protecting franchise QB and team-leader Aaron Rodgers. But ask Ryan Grant what he’s been seeing on running plays, and he’ll tell you “A whole lotta LBers and Defensive Linemen.”

Is it the players, the zone blocking scheme, or the offensive line coach? If it’s the players, then is it Ted Thompson’s mis-evaluations that’s the source? Afterall, he’s assembled an all-white offensive line, none of which were first round talents to begin with. Coincidence or not, it’s an extreme rarity in today’s NFL.       

When he's been able to hang onto the football, HB Ryan Grant hasn't seen many holes so far this year

When he's been able to hang onto the football, HB Ryan Grant hasn't seen many holes so far this year

Pete Dougherty column: Running game isn’t in the zone
Four years, four bad starts for the Green Bay Packers’ run game. This must be galling for coach Mike McCarthy, who seemed to have everything in place to start the 2009 season with an explosive and relatively balanced offense.

After all, the Packers are in their fourth season in his zone-blocking run scheme. Four of his starting offensive linemen are in at least their third year, and the other, right guard Josh Sitton, is in his second. Halfback Ryan Grant is healthy and practiced all offseason. All the techniques and reads should be ingrained in the principals.

Full Story Here

Head-Scratcher: Packers Release Rouse

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Missing their top two safeties due to injury, the Packers did what seems illogical: they released their #3 safety Aaron Rouse

Is this another move like releasing Jon Ryan and bringing in a scrub punter named Frost? This time, out goes Rouse and in comes Giordano off the street. 

 Aaron Rouse (37) reacts to his 99-yard touchdown on an intercepted Peyton Manning pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 34-14.

Aaron Rouse (37) reacts to his 99-yard touchdown of an intercepted Peyton Manning pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 34-14.

Full Story Here

Scoring Chances Slipping Away

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under News

by Mike Spofford, Packers.com
posted 09/22/2009

As frustrated as the Packers were on offense last Sunday against the Bengals, nothing was more frustrating than when the team was able to move the ball on certain possessions, only to blow scoring chances.

In a game ultimately decided by seven points, every scoring opportunity was critical. Against Cincinnati the Packers had three drives (not including the final drive that ended at the Bengals’ 10-yard line with the clock expiring), that totaled 140 yards of offense yet produced zero points, all in situations where the Packers could have taken the lead or potentially tied the game.

“You’ve got to cash in,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “When the opportunities present themselves, you have to take advantage of them. We were not opportunistic (Sunday). We were in fact generous. Cincinnati has good players and they played well, but we did not play smart football in some situations.”

Rodgers and the high-octane offense have been handicapped by a horrible offensive line.

Rodgers and the high-octane offense have been handicapped by a horrible offensive line.

Full Article Here

Mike McCarthy Day-After Press Conference

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Transcript:

OK, I’ll start off with the three injuries to report on. Chad Clifton had an ankle sprain. It’s really too early to tell how long he’ll be out. Nick Collins has a clavicle sprain, so we’ll see how he is Wednesday, on whether he’ll practice or not. Aaron Rouse had a neck stinger. We’ll see how he is Wednesday as far as his practice status. Questions.

(Anything on Donald Lee?)
Donald Lee is going to be fine. All his tests were negative.

(Any chance Clifton can play on Sunday?)
Pat just thinks it’s too early to tell. I talked to him right before I came in here, Dr. McKenzie. He said we’ll see how he is Wednesday, but he just felt it was too early to give me a diagnosis on one week, two weeks or so forth. So he wants to look at him Wednesday before he gives me a better estimate.

(Is he in a boot or anything?)
Have not seen him. Didn’t ask about if he was wearing a boot.

(The ankle sprains for Jackson and Raji have kept them out awhile. Any chance this is as serious as those?)
It could be. Everybody was nervous, particularly the way Chad left the field. The testing for the x-ray was negative, so obviously that’s a positive. But we’re preparing to play without him, I guess to answer your question.

Full Transcript Here:

Coach McCarthy Refers to every injury as a "Sprain" on Sunday Nights

Coach McCarthy Refers to every injury as a "Sprain" on Sunday Nights

Colledge Needs to Shore up Left Tackle

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under News

by Mike Spofford, Packers.com
posted 09/21/2009

Daryn Colledge has started two games at left tackle in his NFL career thus far, and he’s going to start at least one more, and maybe additional ones beyond that, beginning this Sunday in St. Louis.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn’t have much information on the severity of Chad Clifton‘s sprained ankle that knocked him out of Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. But he did say the team is planning to play at least this week without Clifton, which turns over the left-tackle duties to Colledge, the regular starter at left guard. 

Daryn Colledge might have to fill in at left tackle for awhile, as someone above seems to have forgotten about TJ Lang

Daryn Colledge might have to fill in at left tackle for awhile, as someone above seems to have forgotten about TJ Lang

 
 
As an emergency fill-in against the Bengals, Colledge did not fare well, allowing multiple sacks in the second half to defensive end Antwan Odom, who had a five-sack day in all.

Full Article Here

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