Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji called the New York Giants offensive line “not the toughest group” during an interview on Thursday. “Speaking to a handful of reporters – including several members of the visiting New York media – in the open locker room session Thursday, Raji delivered his unvarnished opinion about the Giants’ offensive line and about the team’s tight ends in the wake of former University of Wisconsin tight end Travis Beckum giving his scouting report on the Packers’ secondary one day earlier,” writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. Raji has become a bit more outspoken this year, after having previously dissed the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the season. With a 15-1 record, the Packers back up their talk, however.
It appears as if defensive coordinator Dom Capers is on the Raiders’ list of head coaching candidates, another connection between the Packers and new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie. “McKenzie, who was introduced by the Raiders on Tuesday, said he has a short list of candidates, but the offensive or defensive background of a coach will not influence the choice, and head-coaching experience isn’t a prerequisite,” reports Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network. “He will give his head coach authority to hire his own staff.” Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss is also thought to be a top candidate.
Tight end Jermichael Finley, a free agent at season’s end, was asked by the media about his uncertain future, but showed more concern about the present. “Once I get on the field, everything else is on the backburner,” Finley told Tyler Dunne of JSOnline. “I could care less about the contract right now. I’m fortunate to be in the position that I’m in.” Finley’s response perhaps showed a bit more maturity than he’s displayed in the past.
More on Jermichael Finley comes from Packer Report (subscription required).
Because the Packers are a healthy team, there’s going to be difficult decisions about who to place on the inactive list for Sunday’s playoff game. ”There’s a number of competitions going on,” head coach Mike McCarthy is quoted as saying in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. “This is the situation you’re in when you are healthy. It’s been unfortunately easy to pick 46 in the prior weeks because our injuries have answered those questions.” A lot of the decisions about the 46-man gameday roster will come down to special teams.
Snow and high winds were part of the weather in Green Bay on Thursday. “Mike McCarthy didn’t take the Packers outside for any portions of practice Thursday because he thought he could better simulate the likely game-day conditions of Sunday’s playoff game in The Don Hutson Center,” writes Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. The Packers turned on the exhaust fans in the Hutson Center to create some winds indoors and got the temperature to around 30 degrees.
More on the practice conditions comes from JSOnline.
Tackle Chad Clifton draws a tough matchup on Sunday for the playoff game against the Giants. “The 35-year-old Clifton played 25 snaps in the Packers’ regular-season finale against Detroit two weeks ago as his tuneup for the playoffs after missing 10 games because of hamstring and back injuries,” writes Pete Dougherty. “Now the Packers are looking for him to go the full 60 minutes in Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Giants, and most of the time he’ll probably be matched against Pierre-Paul, who in his second NFL season has blossomed into one of the best defensive players in the NFL.” Pierre-Paul had 16.5 sacks in the regular season.
Packers wide receivers and running backs have done a magnificent job of taking care of the football this season. “The Packers have lost just six fumbles all season long and three of them belong to rookie Randall Cobb on returns,” writes Tom Silverstein. “Another belongs to backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who failed to protect the ball on a sack against the Detroit Lions in Week 17.” The only other fumbles belong to Ryan Grant and James Starks, the last one coming in Week 5.
The Packers are looking for workers to help shovel out Lambeau Field this morning. “Interested shovelers – as many as 450 – are asked to report to the Mills Fleet Farm Gate on Lambeau Field’s west side, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13, and continuing through the day as needed,” according to the Packers official website.
The New York Post has articles on the Packers-Giants game mentioning how the Giants wide receivers won’t wear sleeves, how the Giants secondary isn’t afraid of the Packers receivers, the Giants receivers savoring a shootout, Jason Pierre-Paul not backing down and comparisons to Clay Matthews.
Charles Woodson is profiled by Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette.
Expect the Packers to overcome the Philbin tragedy, writes an Appleton columnist.
The Packers pass rush is under pressure.
Greg Jennings gets some ink in the New York Times.
B.J. Raji vs. David Baas.
Turnovers are examined in an article at Packer Report (sub required).
Tom Oates considers Packers for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a column at the Wisconsin State Journal.
Video: Shovelers are needed at Lambeau Field…
Brian Carriveau is a writer for Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.