2010 July : Packers Insider

Bigby signs tender

July 27, 2010 by  
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July 27, 2010 ~ by Gregg Rosenthal

~Packers safety Atari Bigby will arrive to training camp on time to try to defend his starting strong safety job.

A league source has confirmed to PFT that Bigby signed his restricted free agent tender on Tuesday.  Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news.  Bigby, a rangy but highly inconsistent player, is scheduled to earn $1.759 million.

Atari Bigby will arrive to training camp on time to try to defend his starting strong safety job

 
Rookie Morgan Burnett has impressed in minicamps and could challenge Bigby for playing time this year.  Bigby makes big plays and is an asset in the running game, but too often was the cause of breakdowns in the secondary.

Story

Still on Waiting List? Vikings @ Packers, Week 7 Tickets

July 25, 2010 by  
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~Want to see the Packers welcome Brett Favre and the 2-time defending champion Vikings to Lambeau Field on October 24th?
Tickets can be had here:  

http://tinyurl.com/239b6ro

Can Brad Jones raise his game in 2010?

July 25, 2010 by  
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July 26, 2010 ~by Brian E Murphy

~The last we saw of Brad Jones, he was actually MIA in Glendale, Arizona, a seemingly innocent bystander to the crime of being torched by Cardinals QB Kurt Warner.

While ROLB Clay Matthews was being double-teamed all game long, and still getting to Warner on occasion, LOLB Jones was manhandled by Arizona RT Levi Brown.

Brad Jones is being counted on to boost the Packers pass rush in 2010.

While Warner had all day long to survey the Packers confused pass defense, Packers fans could only dream of a compliment to Matthews coming from the other side. This is why many Packer fans and draft experts expected a guy like Jerry Hughes from TCU to be Ted Thompson’s 2010 number one draft pick. That was, until prototype Packer offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga slid down to their pick.

That being said, Thompson had six more rounds, plus free agency, to bring in a big time pass rush specialist to upgrade Jones at LOLB. So what did Thompson do? He told everybody the copboard is not as bare as others think it is.

Sure, he hoodwinked Packer nation that same line last year when referring to the right tackle position, telling us that Allen Barbre and Breno Giaconimi were both ready. Barbre won that battle, and we all saw in week one against the Bears how ready Barbre really was. The name Adewale Ogunleye is all we need to remind us. Aaron Rodgers still occasionally sees Ogunleye in his nightmares.

But not so fast with Brad Jones.  Brad Jones, pass-rush reportoire
When Brad Jones was announced as the seventh round selection out of Colorado in the 2009 NFL Draft, University of Colorado fans told me that Jones is as fast as the wind coming off the edge.

Packer fans saw some glimpses of it last year, in limited duty.
Jones didn’t start at LOLB  until after Aaron Kampman blew his knee out in week 11, but starting with the first game in December, Jones had a four-game stretch in which he registered four sacks. He brought down Flacco, Roethlisberger, and Hasselbeck four times. He also had seven tackles against Dallas in a big win in week 10.
 
However, at about 239 pounds, Jones did not have the strength to go thru any NFL OT’s, and speed alone isn’t enough to conistently get to QB’s at this level.

The Buffalo Bills come to town in week two, for the Packers home opener, and Brad Jones hopes to make either Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or former Packer Brian Brohm his latest sack victim.

Following the draft this April, Thompson was asked about the position, and said: “Brad did pretty good during the limited time that he played there last year, and we’re going to work at it.

Every year it’s that way. Quite frankly, Brad Jones is a perfect example. We picked him in the seventh round last year and at this time last year you wouldn’t have thought he’d have wound up starting eight games or something like that and had the production he had in sacks.

 I understand everybody’s concerned about that position. We don’t think it’s quite as dire as everybody else does.”

Jones has added a solid 10-15 pounds of muscle since that Cardinals loss, and he’s refined his pass rush moves.

Only time will tell, but Jones hopes and expects his off-season hard work will pay off and will make Ted Thompson look like a genius.
The first test will come on September 12th in Philadelphia against Kevin Kolb, and Packer fans are banking on Jones acing his first exam of 2010.

Rodgers is Leader of the Pack

July 25, 2010 by  
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July 25, 2010 ~ by Bob McGinn

~In truth, general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy could hardly have hoped for any more from Aaron Rodgers after they mortgaged their futures by trading Brett Favre.

All Rodgers has done in Green Bay is post a passer rating of 97.2, placing him just ahead of Steve Young (96.8) as the National Football League’s all-time efficiency leader.

All Rodgers has done in Green Bay is post a passer rating of 97.2, placing him just ahead of Steve Young (96.8) as the National Football League's all-time efficiency leader

Full Story here

Jermichael Finley: Matchup Nightmare for Defenses

July 23, 2010 by  
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July 23, 2010 ~ by Brian E Murphy

~It took Aaron Rodgers awhile, but he figured out how to get the ball to Jermichael Finley’s correct shoulder.

As the Cardinals found out this January, Finley is a tough matchup for slow, taller LBers, or faster, shorter CB's.

From CNNSI:

No other position group in the NFL had a better decade than tight end and these 10 (with all due apologies to Zach Miller and Chris Cooley) give current defensive coordinators the biggest fits. Finley’s athleticism is off the charts and his progress has been steady.
After taking over the starting job in 2009, Finley’s vertical leaping ability and knack for finding space led to a breakout year. He should just get better, working with Cards All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald over the summer.

Read more:

WhatifSports NFC North Preview: Packers Win Division

July 22, 2010 by  
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July 22, 2010 ~ by Ryan Fowler

~Throughout the 2010 NFL season, Whatifsports.com will provide Foxsports.com its game predictions and Fox Sports Fantasy Football fantasy projections on a weekly basis.

Using our NFL simulation engine, we have “played” the entire 2010 NFL season. Each game was simulated 501 times.

The simulation engine has provided us game-by-game predictions and projected fantasy stats for all 32 NFL teams and 350 players.

The NFC North predictions are: Click here

What If Sports has the Packers going 13-3 and dethroning the 2-time defending division champion Vikings

Sophomore Slump for Clay Matthews?

July 21, 2010 by  
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July 22, 2010 ~ by Jon Bob

~Aside from Aaron Rodgers’ MVP-caliber year and Charles Woodson’s DOPTY campaign, no individual storyline from the 2009 season was quite as compelling as Clay Matthews’ sensational rookie performance………. The Packers had a chance to do something about this, but they didn’t. They passed on the likes of Jerry Hughes in the 2010 draft, and instead opted for “tackle of the future” Bryan Bulaga. 

Clay Matthews will see more than one blocker in his way this season. Will his sacks go down because of no force opposite him at OLB?

 

Full Blog here

ESPN: 2010 NFC North Preview Video

July 21, 2010 by  
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July 22, 2010 ~ by Brian E Murphy

~The fellas at ESPN with NFL Live weigh-in with their NFC North preview.
Former Cowboy Darren Woodson pegs Aaron Rodgers as the division’s best QB. Yes, that’s assuming Minnesota’s QB returns.

Full video here

The ESPN NFL Live fellas break down their preview of the NFC North

Rodgers beaten by Jim McMahon and Sterling Sharpe ?

July 19, 2010 by  
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July 19, 2010 ~ by Brian E Murphy

~Aaron Rodgers may be your number one choice at QB in your fantasy drafts next month, but he was soundly beaten by many other current and former QBs this weekend in golf at the American Century Championship at Edgwood Tahoe Golf Club.

Aaron Rodgers finished in 43rd place at the 2010 ACC, but playing with Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice was more memorable than a few more birdies would have been. AJ Hawk finished in 69th place, ahead of Jared Allen and Charles Barkley.

Former QB Billy Joe Tolliver blew away the field by 19 points, with Tony Romo and John Elway among those tied in 2nd place.
Many other former QBs such as Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien, Joe Theismann, and Chris Chandler also finished in the top 20. 

Those guys are older and have had nothing but time on their hands since retiring. All except Romo.

Rodgers did beat Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, as well as Jared Allen of the Vikings.

It was Aaron’s second time playing in the fantastic event, and he expects to do better next year than this year’s tie for 43rd.

Full results here

What to Look for at Training Camp

July 19, 2010 by  
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July 18, 2010 ~ by Lori Nickel

~One of the most anticipated times in the National Football League season is quickly approaching:

Putting on the pads and going to work at training camp.
But what exactly do the expert evaluators look for among the flying elbows in the clouds of dust?

The Green Bay Packers will open their practices to the public once again starting July 31, and droves of fans will come and snap pictures and wait in long lines for autographs.

But some will want to observe the craft to formulate their own opinions about who is a sleeper and who is a bust on coach Mike McCarthy’s bloated roster.

That can be difficult, tracking nearly 100 players running in nine different directions at the commands of dozens of coaches.

So here is a guide to observing and analyzing various positions at practice, at the suggestion of the men who know the NFL the best: coaches, players and one particularly razor sharp former player, radio analyst Larry McCarren.

McCarren, who was Green Bay’s center for 12 years, sees every practice for its duration. Radio listeners know well that he provides instant insight during games, making calls before the TV replay is shown.

McCarren spent nearly two hours of a recent summer minicamp providing tips on what to look for when studying the various positions in football.

First, some general advice.

The biggest news in training camps are always injuries. Packers fans hope all is quiet in Titletown this camp.

Watch from the stands rather than on the sideline. It is a better viewpoint (especially if you’re watching the running backs).   Full story here

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