Illinois wide receiver and draft prospect Jarred Fayson is reportedly visiting the Green Bay Packers today. "The 6-foot, 207-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds and posted a 39-inch vertical leap," reports Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. In his senior year, Fayson had 38 catches for 388 yards and one touchdown, with a 9.3 yards per catch average. For a receiver that runs a 4.36 40, his per catch average sticks out as below average.
The Packers' preseason schedule, announced yesterday, is previewed by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The Green Bay Packers will open their preseason at the Cleveland Browns the weekend of Aug. 11-15," writes Silverstein. "Of all the games, that's the one most in danger of being cut if a labor agreement isn't reached until just before training camp." If played, it will be a game against former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren who is currently the president of the Browns.
The uniqueness of the second preseason game is pointed out by Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "The only different preseason opponent [from last season] is the Arizona Cardinals," writes Demovsky. "That’s the preseason home opener, part of the gold ticket package and the Midwest Shrine game. It will be between Aug. 18-22." The NFL's originally published firm, concrete dates on their official website, but those were taken down shortly thereafter. If you happened to hear exact dates for the preseason, they're reportedly not set in stone yet.
The third preseason game is a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium, the first time the Packers will play there. "The Aug. 26 game against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium – site of Super Bowl XLVI – will be a nationally televised game on CBS," writes Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. "It is the Packers’ lone preseason national TV appearance, and it should be a good measuring stick for the team, given coach Mike McCarthy generally plays his starters into the third quarter of the third preseason game." A lot of folks will be hoping the Packers will make a return trip to Indianapolis for the 2012 Super Bowl.
In a series of articles breaking down the Packers position-by-position prior to the draft, Rob Demovsky previews the quarterbacks. "If they’re worried Harrell isn’t good enough to be Rodgers’ backup someday, then this might be the time to pick up another quarterback in the draft," writes Demovsky. "That likely wouldn’t be until the later rounds, but Flynn showed that late-round quarterbacks can be developed. It’s a typical year for quarterbacks in the late rounds, where about a half-dozen will be picked from the fourth to seventh rounds." If the Packers do happen to draft a quarterback, it will end up being quite a battle in training camp for a roster spot.
Meanwhile, the tight end position is broken down by Tom Silverstein. "[General manager Ted] Thompson will have the option of slapping the franchise tag on [Jermichael] Finley next year if he needs to, but good luck getting him into camp with a one-year deal worth $6 to $7 million," writes That’s why he has to look ahead. Coach Mike McCarthy loves receiving tight ends and would love to add another one, but it probably would come at the cost of drafting a quality left tackle or pass-rushing linebacker. So, expect Thompson to think about adding someone in the middle rounds, and then, if not successful, filling it late or with a free agent." I think it might be a little premature to say Finley won't play under a franchise tag (if there is one). He hasn't proven he's healthy, and he still hasn't proved he's an elite tight end over the course of an entire season, even if he has the potential to do so. Unless he's a Pro Bowler in 2011, I could see him playing under the franchise tag. He won't gain very much by pouting.
One dilemma of more teams playing a 3-4 defense is given some attention by Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. "This year 13 teams will play some form of the 3-4, and that list includes the Packers," writes Dougherty. "So though college football is producing more and more of the smaller defensive ends who can convert to 3-4 outside linebackers, there’s now more teams fighting over those prospects also."
Thomas Hobbes of AllGreenBayPackers.com attempts to see how Cal wide receiver/kick returner Jeremy Ross would fit in with the Packers. "Paying for top flight returner doesn’t make much sense;" writes Hobbes, "the Packers had one of the worst special teams this year and yet still managed to win the Super Bowl. What Thompson will be looking to do is find a returner who can also play another position late in the draft or through free agency. Jeremy Ross fits that description to a T."
An update on the labor front comes from an article courtesy of Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press. "With the lockout at one month and counting, attorneys for NFL players sat down Tuesday with the federal magistrate who will oversee court-ordered mediation with the league later this week," according to the article.
Clay Matthews was ranked as the fourth-best linebacker in the NFL by ESPN writers. NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert shares his reasoning.
Texas Tech linebacker Brian Duncan is interviewed by Bill Huber of Packer Report (subscription required).
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