On the Packers calendar today, play gets underway at the American Century Classic celebrity golf tournament at which quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker A.J. Hawk and former Packer Sterling Sharpe will take part ...
The Packers are interested in hosting new the Big Ten championship game at Lambeau Field once the conference expands to 12 teams. "We'd be very interested," Packers president Mark Murphy said in an interview on ESPN.com. "The Big Ten has got such history and tradition, and to have a championship in Lambeau Field would be tremendous. It'd be good for our community and good for college football to have it in such a historic venue." I suppose I could see the game coming to Lambeau on a rotating basis, not as a permanent home to the game like the Georgia Dome has been to the SEC Championship game. The Big Ten isn't going to tolerate a half-full stadium, which could happen if it's held in Lambeau every year and the luster wears off. If it happens once every three or four years, fans will be hungry to visit it after a good season.
It's been confirmed players will wear throwback jerseys at a home game against the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 5. "Jason Wied, the Packers' vice president for administration and legal counsel said a colder date was chosen because the team wanted to make sure the jerseys weren’t uncomfortable in warmer temperatures," reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers wear a throwback jersey for a road game at some point in the future as well. It can't hurt to sell jerseys in road colors as well as home ones.
Aaron Rodgers is featured in a cover story in ESPN the Magazine that's only going to cement his public perception as a guy football fans nationwide can root for and get behind. It's an article that takes a different angle, gets to know Rodgers intimately well. But the Xs and Os people should like this: "Here's what you see: a seven-yard TD pass to Driver on a third-and-five play against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Not a great throw, a little behind Driver, who ran hard off the line, then stopped just inside the end zone, turned and caught the ball. Here's what you don't see: The Lions were bringing too many guys for the Packers to protect. The play called for Driver to run a corner route, but there was no way he was going to complete the route before Rodgers got pummeled. They'd seen this scenario on film. So Rodgers took a short drop and trusted telepathy." Also included on the website is some video of Rodgers' cover shoot. It's worth a peek.
USA Today previews the Green Bay Packers, and lets us know that Rodgers has been spending time in San Diego working out with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and New York Jets running back LaDanian Tomlinson. In an interview, Rodgers said he wants what Brees has––a Super Bowl Trophy. "It makes me real hungry, knowing Drew as a guy who has shown me what it takes — the hard work, the offseason time he puts in, how much he cares about football," said Rodgers. "Drew's been a great resource for me to use and learn from in the short time we've spent together. I'm looking forward to working with him again." Even though it's a preview article intended for a national audience, it's still a pretty good read. Jim Corbett does a good job.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings is a player that's knocking on the door of the Pro Bowl says John Clayton of ESPN. "It's hard to believe Jennings hasn't been to a Pro Bowl," writes Clayton. "He's averaged slightly more than 1,200 yards receiving over the past two years and he has a total of 23 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Aaron Rodgers has established himself as one of the NFC's top quarterbacks, and at the young age of 26, Jennings is just entering his prime." As fans of the Packers know, one of the things holding Jennings back is a deep receiving corps that's taking away several of his opportunities.
Former Packers tight end Mark Chmura, who's going to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame on Saturday, spoke frankly about his past transgressions in an interview with Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I was a 29- or 30-year-old acting like a 16-year-old,” said Chmura. “That’s probably the biggest thing, you learn to grow up. You learn to not put yourself in those type of situations. It was a life-changing moment for me. You hate to say something like that would change your life, but I became a better person after that event and really haven’t looked back. I became a better father and husband. I think I’m a pretty decent guy today, so if one positive thing came out of it, I guess it taught me to grow up.” It's going to be hard for a lot of fans to forgive Chmura for what he did, but interviews like these can only help. His ability to speak openly about it is key, but his actions will continue to speak louder than his words.
Up-and-coming guard Josh Sitton did a Q&A with Michael Davidsen of Green Bay Packer Nation. "The biggest thing I have done this offseason is get my weight and body fat down and lean muscle up," said Sitton in the interview. "I have been eating right and working out hard. It has helped my speed tremendously." It's good to see Sitton has very specific goals for himself in the offseason. Being faster is only going to help him, especially when he pulls outside.
I had the opportunity to attend a fund raiser conducted by several Lombardi-era legends yesterday. "All told, six former players are taking part in the book signing/fund raising tour," I wrote yesterday. "Joining [Carroll] Dale and [Dave] Robinson are two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Boyd Dowler, soon-to-be Packers Hall of Fame inductee Marv Fleming, two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jesse Whittenton and two-time Super Bowl winning wide receiver Bob Long." If meeting those players up close and personal sounds like your idea of a good time, they'll be in both Green Bay and Denmark, Wis. today.
Sadly, Packers safeties coach Darren Perry made a list as one of Virginia's biggest delinquent taxpayers. "Perry and his wife are listed as owing more than $14,000 in real estate taxes and close to $3,000 in delinquent personal property taxes," writes Michael David Smith at ProFootballTalk.com. The good news is that now that is information has come to the public eye, Perry is more likely to take care of it. The money he owes isn't overwhelming.
A preview of the wide receivers and tight ends is undertaken by Chris Havel for Packer Fan Tours. "All of the NFL’s preseason magazines have hit upon a similar theme with the Green Bay Packers’ sixth-ranked offense: If you thought it was explosive last season, wait until Jermichael Finley begins to realize his awesome potential," writes Havel. I can confirm I wrote something along those lines for the Maple Street Press season preview magazine.
After previously looking at the worst moves by general manager Ted Thompson, Ian Hanley of Bleacher Report looks at the six best moves by Thompson. Among them, trading up for linebacker Clay Matthews: "Last year Matthews was an integral part of a Packers defense that was one of the highest rated in the NFL. This year Matthews will look to build upon a rookie season that saw him record 10 sacks, force 2 fumbles and finish third in rookie of the year voting." Also listed was the hiring of Dom Capers, and while that came in Thompson's tenure, I'd say Mike McCarthy gets the bulk of the credit for that.
Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com has some insight into the financial records released by the Packers on Wednesday. "These numbers can't be extrapolated directly to revenue-generating behemoths like the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, where the profit lines could be more substantial (even despite their heavy investments into new stadiums, which over time will surely be richly rewarded)," writes LaCanfora. "Nor does this necessarily reveal how bleak the picture might be in struggling markets like Jacksonville or Buffalo."
The PackerPage makes fun of the long waiting list for season tickets for the Packers by making up a story about dead man finally getting his tickets. "Upon receiving the news last week, his immediate family didn’t waste any time and had Bernard exhumed from his plot at Allouez Catholic Cemetery," according to the post.
Packers.com has video from the NFL Network's 32 in 32 series where the analysts critiqued the inside linebackers and how their pass coverage was a weak point for last year's squad.
Make sure to listen to Cheesehead Radio where on last night's episode several of the hosts named tight end Donald Lee as the veteran most likely to be a surprise cut during training camp.
Cheesehead TV looks great on your mobile phone. Check it out.
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