On the Packers calendar today is the ESPY Awards this evening on ESPN where Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Mike McCarthy and the entire team are all nominated for awards…
While speaking with a reporter during a practice round at the American Century Championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nev. yesterday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers divulged that he hit a hole-in-one this summer. “Even on the golf course it has been a year to remember,” writes Craig Smith in an article for Packer Report. “Earlier this summer, he carded a 71, his lowest score ever, and had his first hole-in-one. But breaking 80 this week figures to be a struggle.” The article is also notable for Rodgers inviting a 12-year-old boy to caddy for him during his practice round. The golf tournament begins on Friday.
A trio of Packers visited the NFL Network on Tuesday and spoke about various topics including winning the Super Bowl and the lockout. Safety Charlie Peprah addressed the controversial issue of workouts. “For us, this offseason has been kind of good after going deep in the playoffs, getting to rest a little bit, enjoy the fruits of our labor, enjoy the Super Bowl victory a bit longer,” said Peprah. “Spending time with the family. Little things like that. Getting longer, more detailed individual workouts, which I think will increase production on the field for everybody who has been working hard. As a team, we should be better. It’s about time to get back to work. For us, going so deep in the playoffs, it’s a blessing in disguise, but at this time, it’s time to go back to work.” Peprah handled that question about as well as he could. For all the controversy about being the only team not to hold large-scale workouts, he addressed being one of the few teams to play deep into the season. Video of their interview appears at NFL.com as well.
Desmond Bishop and Jarrett Bush joined Charlie Peprah at the NFL Network where all three of them posed for portraits showing of their Super Bowl bling.
One day after saying in a previous radio interview that he would be the starting running back, Ryan Grant reiterated to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com the same sentiments. He also addressed his contract situation. “Asked if he’s been given any indication that the team won’t pay the roster bonus or that he won’t be back,” writes Wilde, “Grant replied, ‘No, no, no, I’ve never been given any indication. None at all. I don’t know where that came from. But, who knows? That’s stuff I don’t even think about.’” Good question by Wilde despite the improbability that such a situation should occur. Even if Grant doesn’t carry the bulk of the load this year, the Packers should still honor his contract if he’s a consistent contributor. And he should be.
While we’re talking about running backs, Michael Fabiano of NFL.com wrote about the Packers backfield from a fantasy football standpoint, but brings up an interesting opinion. “While I agree that Grant will start, it’s hard to envision a scenario where he’ll see another 312 carries like he did in 2008,” writes Fabiano. “Starks is going to get his share of the workload, especially in third-down situations, so I’d project Grant to see closer to 200-225 attempts.” It’s been a popular opinion that the Packers drafted Alex Green to fill the third-down role. And based upon his pass protection ability, I’d have to think John Kuhn will still play a fair amount of third downs, especially in short-yardage situations. Starks may play on third downs, I’m just not sold on him in that role yet.
A list of things NFC North teams must accomplish is published by Pat Kirwan of NFL.com, and the writer comes off as incredibly misinformed. Number one on the list is re-sign Cullen Jenkins and number two is sign a guard. “(Aaron) Rodgers has also been sacked 128 times in the last three years and that has to stop,” writes Kirwan. “There is a need at guard and as I said before, there are some terrific options in free agency. Caleb Schlauderaff, a 2011 sixth-round pick, or T.J. Lang can’t really be the starter if they want to protect Rodgers and repeat as champs. Take your pick: The Falcons’ Harvey Dahl, Buccaneers’ Davin Joseph, Ravens’ Marshal Yanda and Falcons’ Justin Blalock are all upgrades, especially if the Packers don’t re-sign Daryn Colledge.” First of all, you can’t mention Jenkins without mentioning the salary cap. The Packers simply don’t have the money to re-sign Jenkins without making several cuts. And second, Caleb Schlauderaff is the first name you come up with as a starter at left guard? Talk to a reporter, Pat. Maybe then you’d find out that first-round draft choice Derek Sherrod, Nick McDonald and Marshall Newhouse are options as well. And why can’t T.J. Lang be a starter?
Fourth-round draft choice Davon House’s defensive backs coach at New Mexico State, Mike Rutenberg, was interviewed in a blog post at JSOnline. “A lot of guys shortchange themselves,” Rutenberg is quoted as saying by Tyler Dunne. “They don’t give it their all. They don’t earn it every day in practice. They don’t have the type of career they should have. Davon took it the other way.” In a related story, new Packers beat writer Tyler Dunne just started at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where he introduced himself by commenting on several Packers items.
Cornerback Charles Woodson is called a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. “In 13 career seasons, Woodson has already put himself in the appropriate statistical range for Hall of Fame cornerbacks,” writes ESPN’s NFC North blogger. “He has enough interceptions. His coverage skills have never been in question. He won a defensive player of the year award at age 33, a testament to the longevity of his elite skills, and has a particular talent — stripping the ball — to hang his figurative hat on.” Even better, he’s probably one of the best cornerbacks in run support in the history of the NFL.
The possibility of linebacker Nick Barnett ending up in Tampa Bay is broached by ESPN.com NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas. “He’s currently property of the Packers, but there’s league-wide speculation that Barnett could be released or traded as soon as the lockout ends,” writes Yasinskas. “He’s coming off a season in which he suffered a wrist injury and played in only four games. He’s expendable in Green Bay, but he could be valuable in Tampa Bay.” The Packers would ideally like to trade Barnett rather than cut him, but they’re not going to get a ton in return seeing as the team also has to inherit his sizable salary as well.
The conversation in which former Packer Jerry Kramer calls Drew Brees “stupid” appears at WBAY-TV courtesy of reporter Mike Fink.
Packer Report lists seven transactions which would save the Packers nearly $20 million in salary cap space (subscription required).
Commenting on Nick Barnett to Tampa Bay is Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Alex Green and a few other Packers are mentioned in a fantasy football column by Jay Clemons of the National Football Post.
A rather lame debate about the merits of Lambeau Field and Cowboys Stadium occurs at the Packers official website.
Ryan Taylor has a chance to stick with the Packers, argues Michael Rodney of Packer Update.
The Packers should cut Johnny Jolly and Brandon Underwood, says Monty McMahon of Total Packers.
The Packers-sponsored 7-on-7 football team gets some publicity at Packers.com.
Former Packer Brett Favre receives some attention at AllGreenBayPackers.com.
A unique picture of Ray Nitschke appears at Packerville, U.S.A.
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email email@example.com.