Instead of seeing wide receiver Randy Moss only once this year when the Packers travel to New England in late December, the Packers will face Moss twice as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Former Packer Matt Bowen writes in National Football Post, "The move makes sense from the Vikings standpoint. Favre needs a true No.1 after the injury to Sidney Rice. All of that talk of Bernard Berrian being the deep ball guy is Minnesota is just that—talk. Moss is still the most legit deep ball threat in the entire league and would completely change how defenses would prepare from a game plan standpoint when playing the Vikings. The playbook expands. An impact player and a wide receiver that will go up and get the ball from Favre—something he is desperately missing right now. A game changer to go along with RB Adrian Peterson in that offensive scheme." Going back to the time Favre wanted Moss to come to Green Bay, this year's games against Minnesota will now take on added meaning.
Analysis of Marshawn Lynch trade:
Ted Thompson was reportedly talking with the Bills. "An NFL source who knew of the trade talks said Thompson was in on the bidding for Lynch," writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "The source didn’t know what Thompson offered, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t as much as Seattle, because there were no factors to think 0-4 Buffalo did anything but take the best offer."
Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal goes as far as saying the Packers' Super Bowl wishes went out the window when they didn't trade for Lynch. "When Lynch went from Buffalo to Seattle Tuesday, it's entirely possible the Packers' Super Bowl hopes went with him," writes Oates.
Some think that Thompson dropped the ball when it comes to Lynch. "Lynch, while not an elite player – he’s at about the same level as [Ryan] Grant, in my estimation – would have been someone to lift pressure off [Aaron] Rodgers in ... games, even if he was only used as often as Grant was," writes Chris Lempesis of Ol' Bag of Donuts. "There will be times where we’ll find ourselves wishing Thompson had gotten this done. The sky’s not falling, by any stretch, but it’s certainly a little darker after this."
The Packers' "Safe Ride" program, one players can use when drinking, is featured in an excellent article by Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We have quite a few players that utilize our Safe Ride program," said Packers director of player development Rob Davis as quoted by Nickel. "Some go to a Bucks game and use the car and aren't drinking. They may use it for a Thursday night dinner in Appleton for the O-line. Nick Barnett will use it, even if he's just going to be minutes from his house, just to be smart about it." According to the article, the players can use the service anywhere in the state of Wisconsin, so it's not just limited to the Green Bay area.
Cornerback Charles Woodson is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. "Woodson is on the cover of this week's Midwest regional edition under the headline, 'New Spirit in Green Bay,'" writes Bob Wolfley of the Journal Sentinel. "Woodson is pictured diving into the end zone to score after intercepting a pass Sunday against the Lions at Lambeau Field." Of course, there will now be references to the Sports Illustrated jinx.
NFL Players Association director DeMarice Smith was in Green Bay for Union-sponsored event on Tuesday, and said the NFL is preparing for a lockout. "Speaking at a tailgate-style fan luncheon a few blocks from Lambeau Field on Tuesday, Smith referred to a recent Sports Business Journal report that said the NFL is requiring banks that lend money to its teams to extend grace periods for loan defaults through the end of the 2011 season in the event of a lockout," writes the Associated Press. Packers players Aaron Rodgers, Mark Tauscher and Brandon Jackson were in attendance in support of the Union-sponsored event.
Aaron Rodgers also reacted to being voted the team's NFLPA Union representative. “That means a lot to me,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by Mike Vandermause of the Press-Gazette. “It means those guys in the locker room respect me enough to allow me to speak for the team.”
About the upcoming opponent:
It doesn't appear as if Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis will play on Sunday against the Packers. "Portis, 29, has looked revived in new coach Mike Shanahan’s zone run scheme -- Portis gained more than 1,500 yards in his first two NFL seasons, with Shanahan in Denver," writes Dougherty. "Unfortunately for the Redskins, Portis (195 yards, 4.0-yard average) probably won’t play Sunday because of a groin injury. He already said this week that he doesn’t think Shanahan will let him suit up after getting hurt last week against Philadelphia, though the Redskins probably will try to leave the matter in doubt until game day."
Meanwhile, there's actually positive news about defensive linemen Albert Haynesworth. “I thought it was, by far, Albert’s best game since I’ve been here,” head coach Mike Shanahan is quoted as saying. “I thought he played very good. Played practically 30 plays, had a couple of holding calls against him, which were difference makers in the game. Just had a lot of effort. I was pleased with his performance.”
The defensive linemen are producing from a statistical standpoint points out Mike Spofford of the Packers official website. "[Cullen] Jenkins has four sacks – a consistent one in each game – while [B.J.] Raji has two," writes Spofford on Packers.com. "That total of six from the unit has almost matched the 6½ the linemen posted last season. With one forced fumble and recovery, the group also is on pace to match or surpass last year’s totals in those categories (four forced, two recoveries)."
Looks like rookie outside linebacker Frank Zombo may get engaged soon. "My girlfriend Jessica and I have been together since I was in the 11th grade," said Zombo in an interview with Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. "She’s definitely been with me before all this, and she’s put up with all the stress of football – traveling, not really getting to see her all that much or not getting to see her as much as I should. She’s definitely a keeper. Seven years, that’s a long time. Now that I am getting money, that might be the first thing I do splurge on – a nice little ring for her. She’s been there through the tough and the hard, so she’s definitely a keeper."
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