2010 August : Packers Insider

Packers place Starks, Harris & Bigby on PUP, Porter to IR

August 31, 2010 by  
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From Greg A Bedard

Green Bay – The Packers made the following roster moves to get to the 75-players limit:

  • RB James Starks, CB Al Harris and S Atari Bigby were placed on the physically unable to perform list. That means they can’t be activated earlier than Week 6, and no later than Week 9.
  • RB Quinn Porter was placed on injured reserve. Porter was scheduled to make $320,000, but he has a split salary clause so he’ll make $225,000 being on injured reserve.

    Bigby should be back in time for the first game against the Vikings in week 7. Will he get his job back?

Defensive Line depth unclear behind first tier

August 31, 2010 by  
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Aug 31, 2010 ~ by Robert Demovsky

~Beyond their top four defensive linemen, the Green Bay Packers have all kinds of questions about their depth up front.

They don’t know whether Justin Harrell’s back will hold up, and even if it does, they can’t be certain he’ll ever be an effective player.

They can’t be sure rookie seventh-round draft pick C.J. Wilson is ready to play at an NFL level.

“We’ve (DL) got a lot of talent,” Cullen Jenkins said. “Obviously, we miss Jolly. But we’ve got plenty of depth going in. People just need to keep improving and keep getting better.”

And nothing second-year pro Jarius Wynn or first-year guys Ronald Talley and Anthony Toribio have done suggest they’re worth counting on, either.

Rest of story from Demo here

Aaron Rodgers shows MVP potential

August 29, 2010 by  
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Aug 29, 2010 ~ by Pistol Pete Dougherty

~Aaron Rodgers, MVP?

Yes, it’s a little early to hand out awards for the 2010 NFL season, and this preseason will be long forgotten in two weeks, when many promising developments in training camp begin succumbing to the reality of the 16-game schedule.

Good times in August again: Rodgers ranked just ahead of New England’s Tom Brady for the top passer rating in the preseason (141.2 points to 140.6 points)

But there’s also no denying that the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback has followed up his strong 2009 season with an elite performance through three preseason games. Considering he plays the game’s marquee position for a team with a promising outlook in 2010, that’s the stuff of which MVP candidates are made.

“I’m feeling sharp, for sure,” Rodgers said Thursday night after putting up a 124.9-point passer rating in the Packers’ 59-24 preseason win over Indianapolis. “When I’m playing well it’s a combination of a number of things. Mentally I’m in a good place, the (pass) protection is solid, and there’s a rhythm with the play calling.

“I think we’ve got all those three things. I felt real confident with what I’ve been doing, protection has been excellent, that’s important. And the play calling has allowed myself and our offense to get in a good rhythm. Mike (McCarthy) definitely deserves credit for that.”

As of Saturday afternoon, Rodgers ranked just ahead of New England’s Tom Brady for the top passer rating in the preseason (141.2 points to 140.6 points) and figures to remain there after the 10 games scheduled for Saturday night because Brady already has played this week.

In three games, Rodgers has played 14 series and put up points on eight of them (seven touchdowns and one field goal). Two of the non-scoring drives ended with a lost fumble by a halfback and another when McCarthy tried to convert a fourth down rather than kick a 40-yard field goal, something he likely would have tried in a regular-season game.

Rest of story from Pistol Pete right here

Packers’ Super Bowl run doesn’t rest on QB

August 29, 2010 by  
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Aug 29, 2010 ~ Yahoo Sports

~The Packers’ third preseason game was only 22 seconds old, yet they already trailed Indianapolis by a touchdown.

On the Colts’ first play from scrimmage Thursday night, running back Joseph Addai took a handoff from Peyton Manning, stepped left, then patiently waited for a hole to open, like a man expecting an elevator. When Addai saw a gap, he zipped through it unimpeded. 

Linebacker Nick Barnett and the Packers had a hard time keeping up with Joseph Addai's Colts in the first quarter on Thursday.

 He was finally shoved out of bounds at the Green Bay 18. If the Packers and Colts had been playing two-hand touch, Addai would have still had a 49-yard gain.

Manning then hurried his team to the line without a huddle, took a quick snap in shotgun, looked off the defense to the left, then connected with Pierre Garcon, who was alone in the end zone on the right. Garcon had darted straight through zone coverage, then found the ball waiting for him. Simple, really. Two plays, 67 yards, six points, 22 seconds elapsed.         Full stoy here

Preseason Week 3 Dress Rehearsal: Packers Lasso Colts

August 26, 2010 by  
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Aug 27, 2010 ~ by Brian E Murphy

~In front of an ESPN National audience, the Packers lit up the AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts for 59 points in routing the Colts 59-24.

The 59 points were the most ever allowed by the Colts in any game, and the most the Packers had scored in a preseason game since 1938 when they crushed the Cedar Rapids Crush 75-0.

Aaron Rodgers shook off some early overthrows and settled into another 120+ passer rating game, against the Colts first string defense that features Pro Bowlers at both DE spots and 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders at safety.

Against the king Peyton Manning, Rodgers finished 21 of 29 for 195 yards. The effort actually lowered his preseason passer rating to a still-scorching 142.3. In just over four quarters of play this preseason, Rodgers has completed 41 of 53 passes for 470 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.

In the 2nd half, both Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell led scoring drives and made cases for themselves. The Packers might have a harder time stashing Harrell on the practice squad and like Brian Brohm last year, would probably be claimed by another team. However, this team is too talented and deep to keep three QBs, most likely.

ESPN’s NFC North guy Kevin Seifert’s take on the Packers tonight:

Packers’ defensive line finds its Jolly-less form

August 26, 2010 by  
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Aug 26,2010 ~ by Robert McGinn

~Neither overly confident nor overly concerned, the Green Bay Packers’ defensive line is confronting a new season without suspended Johnny Jolly in a matter-of-fact state of mind.

With Jolly, the Packers would have been sitting pretty in their second season of the 3-4 with four solid veterans and what appears to be a capable rookie in Mike Neal. 

Rookie Mike Neal (96) may see his opportunities on the field increase as Johnny Jolly serves a suspension.

Now minus Jolly, the Packers understand four weeks into training camp they can ill afford another crushing blow such as the pectoral injury that sidelined Cullen Jenkins for the season in Week 4 of 2008.

“I like the way we’ve played our run defense in two games,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “We’re further ahead there than in the coverage element.”

Last season, easily Jolly’s finest in a four-year career, the Packers relied more on him than any other defensive lineman. He led the unit in snaps with 835, an average of 49.1 over 17 games. He was second in pressures with 12, and first in both batted passes (11) and turnover-producing plays (four).

On July 16, Jolly was suspended through the Super Bowl by the National Football League for violations of the substance-abuse policy.

“I’ve been staying in communication with him and I’ll stay in touch throughout the year,” said Mike Trgovac, the second-year coach of the defensive line. “Not as a coach but as a friend to him. Johnny and I kind of forged a special relationship. He really is a good person.”

Young Burnett just needs to do the job

August 26, 2010 by  
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Aug 26, 2010 ~by Robert McGinn

~The education of Green Bay Packers strong safety Morgan Burnett will accelerate Thursday night when Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts visit Lambeau Field.

The Packers’ Morgan Burnett takes down Seattle’s Mike Williams Saturday. The rookie was thrust into his job when Atari Bigby needed ankle surgery

Thrust into the starting job without any competition because of Atari Bigby‘s ankle surgery, Burnett has performed like a typically tentative rookie, feeling his way through the first four weeks of training camp and two exhibition games.

“He’s figuring it out,” safeties coach Darren Perry said Tuesday. “You’ve got a 21-year-old that ain’t seen a whole lot of football. He was a little cautious early on. He will get to the point where he’ll be a little bit more aggressive.”

Nick Collins has developed into one of the finest safeties in the NFC, and no team has a better trio of safeties than the Colts with Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea and Melvin Bullitt.

“You’ll see some of the plays that Nick can make because he (Burnett) has got that ability,” Perry said. “Experience becomes confidence.

“If he does what the defense calls for, we’ll be fine. We’ve got enough talent around him. He can just do his job. He doesn’t have to do anything special.”

The Packers traded up to draft Burnett in the third round due in part to his 14 interceptions in three seasons at Georgia Tech.

Burnett has not been a ball hawk in camp, intercepting about three passes and dropping about the same number.

“He’s had a lot of knockdowns and had his hands on some balls,” said Perry. “I don’t think it’s a question of being passive. It’s just not quite being sure.”

Full story here

Trades for outside linebacker, safety possible as roster cut dates loom

August 26, 2010 by  
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Aug 26, 2010 ~ by Rob Reischel, Packer Insider

~Back in the summer of 2005, the Green Bay Packers had a glut of mediocre cornerbacks and a gaping hole at weak-side linebacker. So when it was time for roster cuts, first-year general manager Ted Thompson sent raw cornerback Chris Johnson to St. Louis for linebacker Robert Thomas, who became a 10-game starter that season.

Green Bay Packers tight ends Donald Lee (86) and Andrew Quarless takes part in a drill during organized team activities on Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Two summers later, Thompson realized his running back trio of Brandon Jackson, Vernand Morency and DeShawn Wynn just wouldn’t cut it. So again, Thompson went the trade route and plucked Ryan Grant from the New York Giants for a sixth-round draft choice.

Last year, instead of waving offensive lineman Tony Moll, Thompson sent him to Baltimore for safety Derrick Martin, and he wound up being one of Green Bay’s top players on special teams.

The moral of the story is this: When the Packers have to trim their roster on Aug. 31 and Sept. 4, look for Thompson to start wheeling and dealing again.

Green Bay has a surplus of offensive linemen, fullbacks and tight ends. The Packers also need help at outside linebacker and safety. So Thompson figures to be looking for a trade partner.

“Those kinds of conversations really haven’t gotten going yet,” Thompson said recently. “There are the great fishing expeditions where they just call and say, ‘Do you got anybody that you are looking to move?’ Nobody says anything, so we’ve got to get into that.    

“I think we have got to see  . . .  where you think you are stronger and where another team might be another stronger. It’s got to work for everybody. It’s not difficult, but the stars have to align a little bit.

Thompson, who believes he’s close to assembling a Super Bowl roster, will probably be extremely active. With that, here’s a stab at how Green Bay’s opening day roster will look.

Full story here

Jermichael Finley: Every team needs a moron like him

August 24, 2010 by  
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Aug 24, 2010 ~ by Mark Craig, Star Tribune

~If Jermichael Finley is a moron, every team needs a moron.

The Packers’ 23-year-old tight end is the latest prototype in a long line of great athletes who possess the kind of size, strength and speed that blows up traditional coverage schemes. And with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, Finley could push the league’s ongoing evolution of the tight end position to even greater heights some day.

Some critics want more from Finley, however. More as in less talking about the Super Bowl.

"Not knocking Brett or dogging him or whatnot," Finley said. "But Aaron has already made a name for himself. He's one of those special quarterbacks, and we're just blessed to have him. He's looking pretty good, don't you think?"

Packers Hall of Fame tight end and current radio host Mark Chmura recently called Finley “a moron” who “should shut his mouth.” Other than the obvious pot-vs.-kettle irony in Chmura calling someone a moron, it seemed unnecessary for anyone from the Packers’ past to rip such a promising young player for expressing some confidence, some swagger.

Full story here

Week One Opponent: Kevin Kolb Ready to Fly

August 24, 2010 by  
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Aug 24, 2010 ~ by Jeffrey Chadiha

~Winston Justice felt the intense pain as soon as his right index finger snapped during that January game in Dallas last season.

 By the time the Philadelphia Eagles right tackle reached the sidelines, teammates and coaches alike winced at the sight of a digit so mangled it pointed sideways at a 90-degree angle. Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb was just as disgusted by the injury. What he didn’t do, however, was allow his shock to prevent him from doing something helpful. Winston Justice felt the intense pain as soon as his right index finger snapped during that January game in Dallas last season. 

After throwing for 327 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last season, Kolb became the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back 300-yard games in his first two starts.

By the time the Philadelphia Eagles right tackle reached the sidelines, teammates and coaches alike winced at the sight of a digit so mangled it pointed sideways at a 90-degree angle. Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb was just as disgusted by the injury. What he didn’t do, however, was allow his shock to prevent him from doing something helpful.

Full story here

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