2010 June : Packers Insider

Jermichael Finley to work with Larry Fitzgerald

June 12, 2010 by  
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June 12, 2010, by Pistol Pete Dougherty

~Jermichael Finley is the kind of player who stands to gain the most from working at Larry Fitzgerald’s offseason camp in July.

Finley, the Green Bay Packers’ fast-ascending tight end, plans to work out with Fitzgerald and a group of invited receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks and defensive backs at an unofficial camp Fitzgerald is conducting for the second straight offseason at the University of Minnesota’s new football stadium.

“I’m stoked,” Finley said. “This is my first time doing an organized workout besides doing it by myself. I’m pretty excited to take my game to the next level. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Fitzgerald, the Arizona Cardinals’ star who grew up in the Twin Cities and is arguably the NFL’s best receiver, is regarded as one of the most obsessively hard-working and competitive players in the NFL. So watching him and instructor Cris Carter, among others, will give Finley a first-hand look at the time, effort and attention to detail players outside his Packers teammates put in when preparing for the season.

Atari Bigby giving starting job to rookie Burnett

June 12, 2010 by  
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June 12, 2010, by Brian E Murphy

~Atari Bigby has had an up and down short career for the Green Bay Packers, but he’s spent almost as much time in the training room injured as he has on the field defending passes.

Morgan Burnett had 14 interceptions in just three years at Georgia Tech.

So it is a very odd tactic that he has chosen to not sign his tender and instead has stayed away from all OTA’s so far.

By doing this, it has given rookie hotshot safety Morgan Burnett every opportunity to work with Nick Collins and the number one unit.

More from Rob Demovsky here.

Greg Jennings Charity goals are extremely ambitious

June 11, 2010 by  
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June 12, 2010, by Lori Nickel

~When Greg Jennings needs to raise thousands of dollars for one of his favorite causes, Habitat for Humanity, he turns to some of his favorite people – teammates and Green Bay Packers fans.

One by one, Jennings asked his Green Bay Packers teammates to join him for his celebrity golf outing and by the time he was done, more than 40 guys were headed down I-43 to Waukesha Thursday.

“You know what, the thing about the Packers, we’re very supportive of one another,” said Jennings. “You put it out there and the guys just flock to it.

"I know Aaron is playing pretty well, but so is Mason Crosby," said Jennings. "I hit recreationally. Right now, it's not looking good. I can hit a mile, but I'm not consistent enough to even try to keep a handicap. I'm all over the place, but my best round is an 88."

 And that’s the best part. This doesn’t get done if the people don’t come out.”

Jennings and Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity have set the ambitious goal of raising $60,000 Friday to build a low-income family a home through the third annual celebrity golf classic at the Merrill Hills Country Club, as well as enough money to build a second Habitat home in Kalamazoo, Mich. Overall, the goal is to raise $150,000.

Among the Packers expected to attend: Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Grant, Donald Driver, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews. Others include the Chicago Bears’ Tommie Harris and former Packers Koren Robinson and Javon Walker.

Full story here

PTI: Aaron Rodgers feels best days are still ahead

June 10, 2010 by  
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June 10, 2010, by Don Banks, Sports Illustrated

~When you stop and consider what he has already endured in his first two seasons as the starting quarterback in Green Bay, it makes you wonder if anything about playing the game’s glamour position in this football-crazed town will ever manage to shake the confidence of Aaron Rodgers.

, and we finally did.''”]In 2008, all he did was replace the iconic Brett Favre amidst a backdrop that included the messiest divorce of player and team in the history of professional sports, a full-blown media circus that afforded Rodgers no respite and no way to ease himself into the Packers lineup.  His every move, word and pass attempt was a referendum of sorts on Green Bay’s decision to bid farewell to No. 4, but at the end of that year, no one could say Rodgers was not ready for his close-up.

Then came 2009, when the Packers’ dominant August gave way to the harsh reality of a 4-4 record at midseason, with Rodgers absorbing the beating of his life in the course of being sacked a staggering 36 times in those eight games, losing twice in highly charged head-to-head showdowns with Favre. But Green Bay and A-Rod answered their wake-up call, and a 7-1 record in the second half of the season delivered a playoff berth, where we last saw them in the Arizona desert, losing 51-45 in overtime to Kurt Warner‘s Cardinals in a postseason game for the ages.

Great full story from Banks here

My take on Brandon Underwood and Johnny Jolly

June 9, 2010 by  
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June 9, 2010, by Brian E Murphy

~The Green Bay Packers are a fine football team, mostly due to Ted Thompson assembling a fine roster. But more impressive than the talent is the fact that most of the players are actually pretty good people, upstanding citizens.

The Bengals have a dozen or so players who either have, or might end up on America’s Most Wanted. They have plenty of guys who have criminal records, some with serious rap sheets. That doesn’t include the now deceased Chris Henry, who had plenty of run-ins with the law before he tragically died last year.

It was no surprise to any of us that it was Marvin Lewis and the Bengals who just gave Adam Pacman  Jones a Fourth NFL Chance.

For the most part, Thompson has done his criminal justice background homework prior to drafts and has avoided the criminal element that is getting harder and harder to avoid these days in America.

Johnny Jolly's cough syrup business will most likely cause his Packer career to be cut short.

But there are a couple of players who have slipped through the cracks. Johnny Jolly and Brandon Underwood have embarassed this organization, and I would expect neither of these guys to ever get another contract from the Green Bay Packers organization.

It’s becoming more obvious now why Thompson drafted DL Mike Neal with the 2nd pick in the draft, and C.J. Wilson later in the same draft. They apparently are planning for like after Jolly. It’s not because he’s not a good player, as he is solid versus the run and he plays with passion. He has uncanny ability to time his leaps  to knock down and deflect passes.

Thompson ignored the cornerback problem in the draft because he had a lot of faith in youngsters Pat Lee and Underwood. He made no play on young, former Pro-Bowler Antonio Cromartie, who was available from San Diego.
One reason might be because Cromartie shies away from tackling so badly that he makes Deion Sanders look like Dick Butkus. But another reason might be because the young Cromartie already has seven or eight children out of wedlock with six or seven different females, all in different states.

Call that what you want, and justify it based on today’s shady moral teachings if you like, but it’s not the image Ted Thompson or Mark Murphy want to be sent from this organization, nor should it be.

This is why I think Brandon Underwood just cut his Packer career short, and I wouldn’t be surprised, now, to see Thompson surprise the Packer Nation and actually look at bringing in an outsider to add depth and talent to the CB position.

Rodgers should keep his critical opinions to himself

June 9, 2010 by  
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June 9, 2010, by Mark Strotman, Green Bay Packers Examiner

~Aaron Rodgers has had to prove himself his entire NFL career. It began on draft day, when Rodgers waited for 23 teams to pass him up before being selected by the Green Bay Packers. While Rodgers waited in the green room for over four and a half hours that day, analysts critiqued him any way possible to understand why he was dropping so far.

Kornheiser and Jaworski weren't the only ESPN guys that Rogers ripped. "You look at Marcellus Wiley. He's up there talking about quarterback play. The guy was a defensive end for a few years in the league. "He's not any good," Rodgers said.

 

Then came the waiting game behind legend quarterback Brett Favre. After three years of waiting in the wings, Rodgers took the over the starting job in not-so-quiet fashion. Fans wanted Favre back and accused Rodgers of stealing the job and was dubbed the reason Green Bay had lost the best thing to ever happen to the city since….ever.

Full story here

Packers Training Camp schedule announced

June 9, 2010 by  
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June 9, 2010, by Brian E Murphy

~The hopeful 2010-2011 NFL Champion Green Bay Packers have announced their official training camp schedule today, and they will first put the full pads on Saturday, July 31st, at 2:00.

Remember, the most important news that comes out of training camps are injuries. So Packer fans: No news is good news, from training camp. The Eagles already lost their starting safety for the year.

They will practice for two weeks before they have their first preseason game on August 14th versus the Cleveland Browns and Mike Holmgren, at Lambeau Field, 7:00.

Full Schedule here.

Wrongly Accused: Or is Brandon Underwood following Roethlisberger’s footsteps?

June 5, 2010 by  
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June 5, 2010 ~ By Brian E Murphy

~The Vikings had the “Love Boat” scandal. The Steelers have been dealing with Big Ben’s Bathroom Sexcapades.
Now it appears the Packers have put their city on that criminal map as the Lake Delton, WI Police are formally investigating the alleged sexual assault of two women early Saturday.

While the player under investigation has not officially been disclosed, they have leaked enough for our sources to declare that second year cornerback Brandon Underwood is indeed the player under investigation.

We are hearing that there are some discrepencies in the stories of the two women, and this case might not last as the Roethlisberger and Chmura ones did. Still, Underwood (and all players in today’s NFL) need to be smarter and morally wise than either version given.

Sgt. Gerald Grimsled says officers responded to a Lake Delton condo around 4:20 a.m. Saturday on a report that two women were sexually assaulted. He says seven players were questioned and all cooperated. He says they were all released but police are still investigating whether one of the players was involved in assaulting the women.

Packers Nation is hoping that Brandon Underwood isn't the new "Mark Chmura" or "Mossie Cade" for the franchise.

Grimsled says the six others are not suspected of criminal activity. They are Khalil Jones, Joshua Sitton, Korey Hall, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, and backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

There apparently is no truth to the rumor that any of the Kardashian Sisters were with Flynn at the time, but he recently stated that he does like to follow them “just because”.

Pro Football Talk story here, and CNN’s  here.

Packers Brass put faith in Lee and Underwood

June 4, 2010 by  
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June 4, 2010, by Brian E Murphy

~A year ago this summer, Packer GM Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy were touting the ability and readiness of two young offensive linemen for the Packers.

Twenty minutes into the season opener in early September, fans across the country saw how meaningless that praise really was.

Right tackle Allen Barbre made 30-something journeyman Adewale Ogunleye look like Julius Peppers as he sacked and battered Aaron Rodgers for four quarters in a near-loss to the rival Bears on opening night in Green Bay. Barbre also missed some other key assignments on that night, which almost ended Rodgers season in week one.  

Aaron Rodgers turns away from an apologetic Allen Barbre after Barbre once-again allowed a Bears rusher to come free and sack Rodgers. This time, it was safety Daniel Manning on a blitz untouched, for a Bears safety. Barbre was fooled and blocked in on a guy who already would have been blocked by the guard Josh Sitton, and he allowed Manning a free run on Rodgers. Highlight clip shown above.

The other young guy that was being hghly touted was Jason Spitz, whom the coaches wanted to become the new center. But Spitz’s body couldn’t hold up through training camp, and the Packers had no choice but to stay with veteran Scott Wells at center. That turned out to be a lucky break for the Packers as Wells is a solid NFL center. Sometimes, coaches don’t know what they have right in front of them. And as the cliche’s go, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Mike Vandermause has a story today about the Packers faith being shown to Lee and Underwood. Full story here

“Every time he gets on the field, he makes plays,” McCarthy said. “He has this injury hurdle that hopefully he has cleared. I'm excited about his participation and what he has shown so far in the OTAs.”

Graham Harrell relishes opportunity

June 3, 2010 by  
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June 3, 2010 ~by Jason Wilde, ESPN Milwaukee ~

GREEN BAY – Graham Harrell knows it’s nothing more than a chance – and that there’s no guarantee he’ll be around when training camp starts at the end of July, much less be on the 53-man roster when the regular season kicks off on Sept. 13. 

Nevertheless, the Green Bay Packers’ newest quarterback is just happy to get a foot in the NFL door. 

“I’m very thankful to be here and excited to be here,” Harrell said following Wednesday open organized team activity practice. “I’m just excited about the opportunity.”

Similar to Aaron Rodgers coming out of Cal in 2005, “With the history Tech's had, we've had lots of quarterbacks that have thrown for a million yards and for whatever reason didn't make it. So there's kind of a stereotype to break."

If Harrell sounds a little too excited, consider what he’s been through to get to this point.

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