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Packers Daily Links 7.12.10

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Packers Daily Links 7.12.10

On the Green Bay Packers calendar today, quarterbacks coach Tom Clements takes part in the Notre Dame Club of Milwaukee's annual golf outing at Westmoor Country Club ...

Former Packers vice president Andrew Brandt calls the Charles Woodson signing the exception to the rule as a reason why free agency doesn't work in the NFL. "Yes, sometimes free agency in the NFL does work," acknowledges Brandt, "although in this case, the Packers were fortunate the circumstances played out the way they did." In well-rounded fashion, Brandt points out a signing that was a positive for both the player and the team, but his previous evidence that free agency doesn't work is still more convincing.

The ranking of every player on the Packers roster No. 1 through No. 83 continues by Bill Huber of Packer Report. Yesterday he got as far as No. 66, where he ranked free agent outside linebackers Frank Zombo and John Russell in a dead heat. "They couldn’t have more different football backgrounds," writes Huber. "Zombo was a star defensive end at Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference, finishing with 25.5 sacks in his career. Russell played defensive tackle at Wake Forest of the ACC, finishing with a modest 10.5 sacks. Both are making the move to outside linebacker, though Russell’s transition from interior lineman is much more difficult. Russell, who played in the mid-270s at Wake but wants to get down to no more than 260 by training camp, appeared to have the edge after the minicamp. He just looked more physical, which is what the Packers value at that position more than the glory of rushing the passer." If I was forced to choose, I'd have to say the opposite and give Zombo the edge. Zombo seems more polished at this point, and while Russell may have some potential, he seems more like a practice squad candidate as he develops into a player the Packers can utilize.

Chef Dan Froelich, who's been providing meals to the Packers during training camp at St. Norbert College for 22 years, is featured in an article at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. I was most impressed at the expectations and code of conduct employees must adhere to when it comes to interacting with professional athletes. "St. Norbert is responsible for a continental breakfast each morning, dinner, a late-night snack, a constant supply of beverages, van rides to and from Ray Nitschke Field and the operation of Victor McCormick Residence Hall," writes reporter Kareem Copeland. "NFL teams can bring 80 players to camp, and the Packers bunk two to a room on three floors of the St. Norbert dorm. The number dwindles as players are released and the team shrinks its roster to 53 at the end of training camp." Chef Dan is also on Twitter with the handle @ChefDanF. I encourage you to give him a follow.

Something that the Packers could be subjected to in the future is a test for Human Growth Hormone (HGH). A new, more effective test is reportedly being developed. "The new test, called a bio-markers test, scans the blood for chemicals the body produces after HGH use, which are detectable for up to two weeks," writes Eddie Pells of the Associated Press. "The test, expected to be available in the coming weeks or months, is a complement to — or maybe an improvement over — the current test, called an isoform test, which scans blood for synthetic HGH." I suggest reading the entire article as it gives a more comprehensive look at a subject that's tough to cover in one paragraph. Hat tip to Brian McIntyre of the Other 31.

The signing of free agent running back Brian Westbrook is advocated by Monty McMahon of Total Packers. "If Westbrook has nothing left in the tank, the team can simply cut their losses and go with Jackson and Starks," writes McMahon. "If he does, he provides the third-down weapon the team is lacking and can mentor Starks until he’s ready to take over the role." I would be in favor of a move such as this. Westbrook can still be an effective weapon, and as long as he still wants to play, I'd indulge him.

Bob Fox of Packer Chatters puts a lot of stock into the word of Charles Woodson, who recently called Aaron Rodgers the best quarterback in the NFL. "Woodson should know greatness, as he is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, after his outstanding 2009 season," writes Fox. "Woodson had 74 total tackles, 2 sacks and 9 interceptions, 3 of which were returned for TDs in 2009."

The five worst moves by Ted Thompson as general manager of the Green Bay Packers are picked by Ian Hanley of Bleacher Report. Among them is the release of safety Anthony Smith last season. "Compounding Smith's release was the release of Aaron Rouse a few weeks later, leaving the Packers secondary with only Derrick Martin, Matt Giordano, and Jarrett Bush behind Nick Collins and Bigby," writes Hanley. While some good arguments are presented, Mike Wahle's name isn't even mentioned in the discussion, which hurts the article's credibility, at least in my opinion.

Listen to Greg Jennnings and Dorsey Levens conduct recent interviews on Bottom Line Sports.

Adam Czech of Packer Chatters asks, "How Far Would You Go For Packers Season Tickets?"

Chris Lempesis of Ol' Bag of Donuts reflects on life as a Packers fan in enemy territory.

PackerWorld Central thinks Korey Hall will win the starting fullback job.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

CSS's picture

I would like to hear Hanley's arguement how Smith would have actually been a contributor and not simply a pre-season fan favorite. Stealers let him walk, he was undisciplined with the Packers and played outside of the scheme (exposing his teamates); waived by the talent deficient Rams after 3 months on the squad and now a journeyman with the Jaguars, a rudderless organization with a lame-duck coach.

Ya', I want to go to war with that guy...

aussiepacker's picture

Agreed CSS, I thought that was a shock move at first but If he couldn't even make it on the Rams roster then I dont know if we missed much?

nypacker's picture

The Jags and Rams both ran a 4-3 defense, schemes that Smith was unfamiliar with since he's been in a 3-4 his entire career. Now I'm not saying he would've made an impact directly because of the preseason, but it would've helped to have someone who played in a 3-4 rather than roll the dice with inexperienced personnel like Rouse, Giordano and Bush.

CSS's picture

Bear in mind, you would be hard pressed to find any team that truly runs out of their 'base defense' more than 60% of the time. Every 3-4 team gives a 4-3 look throughout the game, sometimes frequently depending on the offense they're attempting to counter. Smith worked on plenty of 4-3 looks (likely sub-packages) with the Packers and the Stealers. I think it's an excuse to say the 'defense was different'.

Distrubing trend to be such a young journeyman as a former 3rd round pick. When you can't crack 3rd string on a roster as a 3rd round pick you're dangerously close to being a bust and out of the league.

Asshalo's picture

I never really thought about running back depth before Michael Lombardi mentioned it in his Convenient Truths article. Thought I would have picked Left OLB depth, I think he has a valid point. If the season started today, I would guess Starks, Jackson and Grant have roster spots. If Westbrook plays, do you risk putting Starks on the practice squad? I would bet he gets snagged by another team. So, If westbrook is signed do you go to four RBs? With 4 RBs I would guess Starks takes on Kick or Punt return roles

Brian Carriveau's picture

If they go with four running backs, one is in danger of being inactive on game days.

Asshalo's picture

Makes sense. One of the three game-day active RBs is bound to get dinged some time during the season frequently enough that fourth could be inserted right in to receive substantial time. Sort of game-day active RB by committee.

nypacker's picture

I highly doubt another team would pick up Starks. He's coming off a collarbone injury and very raw. Unless he blows people away in the preseason, I have doubts that any other team is that desperate for a 3rd string RB.

Asshalo's picture

I completely disagree. He was also considered to be potential late round steal prior to the draft. Many think he would have been a top 50 pick prior had not got hurt. If Tyrell Sutton didn't clear waivers after getting cut from the 53 man roster (not that I thought GB shouldn't have), James Starks definitely would not.

PackersRS's picture

They went with fraking 3 FBs. Why can't they go with 4 RBs?

supersoul's picture

nypacker, how did you feel about Sutton last year?

Mike Wahle (spelling error) should be, in my opinion, considered a great move by Thompson. He had to redo his contract or release him that offseason. In Carolina he didn't do squat and in Seattle he blew. As high as everyone was on him, Thompson saw the writing on the wall and cut the guard loose.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Nice catch. Thanks. Fixed.

packeraaron's picture

As has often been said, it wasn't so much that he let Wahle and Rivera go, it was that he failed so miserably to replace them for so long. The case has been made that they could have kept Wahle, who actually played well his first two seasons in Carolina. But I agree with your overall point - he has usually made the right call in regards to letting veterans go (ie A Green, M Flanagan, etc)

supersoul's picture

It's regarded as 'canon' that Thompson has tried and failed to replace those two for a long time. Consider this, though: we got Spitz and Colledge in '06. We got Sitton in '08. Has he been trying terribly hard to replace any of those three?

packeraaron's picture

I would contend that Sitton was drafted to replace Spitz at RG, which he did. But I get your point - he takes the long-view, always. He has tried 'growing' the interior of the line, with mixed results. Michael Lombardi said the same thing when he was on Transplants last summer - that offensive lines take time to grow. But I understand frustrations when a team goes from having two Pro-Bowl caliber guards to counting on Will Whitaker and Adrian Klemm.

Asshalo's picture

No, but would you say Thompson has drafted and maintained personnel on the D-line well? It took time for Colledge and Spitz players to develop, meanwhile Thompson struggled to replace both OTs. With that, in year 6 I think the OL finally has the personnel and the depth to be a solid OL.

Tom's picture

Packerworld's take on the fullback position seemed very thin. He projects Korey Hall as the starter because the Pack tend to go with receiving fullbacks and he has the most receiving yardage. He also points to a discrepancy between Kuhn and Hall's rushing numbers. This seems almost inconsequential to me as few carries are given to fullbacks at all and when they are, it is almost exclusively in goal line or a down and inches matter where they are unlikely to get anything more than a yard or two. Plus, I think they believe Johnson has the potential to be a monster bruiser of a fullback.

Steph01's picture

Smith isn't much, but he's better than either Giordano or Rouse. That might be damning him with faint praise, but he probably would've helped us at least a little last season.

packeraaron's picture

I totally, 100% agree.

PWC (CHHQ)'s picture

Great as always Brian. Just want to thank you. Every time you link me, my unique visitors for the day jumps by about 75%

That stuff about Saint Norbert is pretty interesting. My aunt went to school there, and she helped take care of the Packers players rooms as a summer job. She got to meet almost all of them.

Go Pack Go!

Tom's picture

The link from Huber for ranking the Packers roster is broken...I think - or maybe it's just me...

Brian Carriveau's picture

Fixed.

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