After a rough third preseason game in which he gave up two sacks and had a holding penalty, head coach Mike McCarthy gave left tackle Chad Clifton a vote of confidence following the Packers' training camp practice on Sunday. “I have all the confidence in the world in Chad Clifton. Like I’ve stated, Chad Clifton’s played at a Pro Bowl level in my time here, and I expect him to play at that level this year,” McCarthy is quoted as saying by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “I don’t know what else to tell you. He had a handful of plays I’m sure he wishes he had back.” The question, not just for Clifton but for the entire offensive line is, are they getting tired from the no-huddle offense? Clifton said it didn't matter, and he has to perform better regardless.
Running back Ryan Grant addressed his newly re-structured contract for the first time at practice on Sunday and as it would appear, he's made peace with it. “Nobody wants to lose any money, but at the same time you have to look at the situation,” Grant said, according to Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. “I’m not the first person to (take a pay cut), I won’t be the last person to do it. We’ll see how it pans out. The fact that it’s guaranteed makes you feel good they’re willing to do that as an organization.” Grant also expressed how his commitment and work ethic will remain unchanged.
Kicker Mason Crosby reacted to his long, game-winning field goal in this past Friday's preseason game against the Colts. "In the bigger picture, Crosby felt his 50-yard field goal as time expired on Friday in Indianapolis was more important for the specialist trio of snapper Brett Goode, holder Tim Masthay and himself to nail the 'operation' in a last-second situation," writes Mike Spofford of the Packers official website. "It helped for the young players on offense to execute the drive to set up the kick, too." Fans can only hope his success translates to the regular season.
Undrafted rookie wide receiver Tori Gurley is featured in an article by Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, including his penchant to block punts. "All camp, Gurley has been a problem for the Packers' punt team," writes Dunne. "Block No. 5 came Sunday. Using his long arms, Gurley has closed in fast on punter Tim Masthay. He never played defensive end, but Gurley has enjoyed imitating two of his favorite players growing up, Jevon Kearse and Julius Peppers." I can't see Gurley making the 53-man roster, but I can see him making the practice squad. It's possible he could be claimed on waivers if the Packers cut him.
As far as injuries go, the Packers have fared pretty well this training camp, says Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. "The Packers couldn't be sitting much prettier 10 days before their season opener against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Only five starters have missed a practice this summer and only one of those missed more than three consecutive days." Among starters, defensive lineman Mike Neal is the one who missed more than three days.
Linebacker A.J. Hawk is interviewed at AllGreenBayPackers.com where he looked in retrospect at the contract he signed this past spring. “I always wanted to be with the Packers," Hawk told Zach Kruse. "I never had any doubt. At least in my mind, if they wanted me back I definitely wasn’t going to be exploring other options. Of course, they had to cut me—I was released for about 12 hours officially—but we knew the whole time that we’d be in contact for a new deal. After I was released, they told me not to freak out if it went public, but we agreed on a new deal maybe three or fours hours after it all. There was never any question about me going anywhere else.”
The bottom half of the Packers roster is up for grabs this week. "With no starting spots left unclaimed, the final week of the Green Bay Packers’ preseason is more about the middle and bottom of the roster than anything quarterback Aaron Rodgers or the rest of the starters might do," writes Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette.
An article on Vic So'oto appears at Packer Report (subscription required).
Aaron Rodgers signed an endorsement deal with State Farm Insurance.
Mike McCarthy's press conference is summed up by Rob Demovsky.
The short career window of NFL running backs and how it relates to Ryan Grant is written about by Pete Dougherty.
The recent match-up between Sam Shields and Reggie Wayne gets some attention from Bob McGinn.
Video of Tori Gurley is up at JSOnline.
A training camp photo gallery is at PackersNews.com.
Video: More on the kickoff concert courtesy of WBAY-TV...
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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