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Packers Daily Links: Smith, Alexander Not Signed

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Packers Daily Links: Smith, Alexander Not Signed

The Packers had two intriguing players in for visits yesterday, but ... "The source said [kick returner Clifton] Smith signed with the Miami Dolphins Tuesday evening without having received an offer from the Packers, while the Packers also chose not to sign [safety Gerald] Alexander," reports Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. Smith was an All-Pro kick return specialist with the Buccaneers who had several injury problems while Alexander was a starting safety with the Jaguars. Alas, it was not to be.

Respected NFL writer Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News was in Green Bay and wrote about tight end Jermichael Finley. "Jermichael has all the tools but the routes ... the routes can make him special. The proper depth on his routes, the sharpness of his cuts – those are some things he struggled with last year. If he dials all that in this season, he's going to be a huge weapon for us," quarterback Aaron Rodgers is quoted as saying by Gosselin. I don't think it's going out on a limb saying Finley can have over 1,000 yards receiving this season as long as he stays healthy.

Cornerback Charles Woodson is profiled by Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and as we find out, Woodson is one of a growing number of players that have taken up boxing in the offseason. Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt also went out on a limb when it comes to Woodson. “I think he’ll have a better year,” Whitt said. Better than the nine interceptions with three returned for touchdowns? I admire Charles Woodson as much as the next person, but I'm not buying it.

Punter Tim Masthay is featured in an article by Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Masthay's preparation for his first regular-season NFL game Sunday will include working more with long snapper Brett Goode for field-goal attempts by Mason Crosby," writes Nickel. Masthay had to split time with Chris Bryan during training camp, so he'll be getting pretty much all the reps from now on.

Rookie offensive lineman Nick McDonald supposedly made the roster through his play in team situations and not necessarily individual drills. "He did by playing well in the team (11-on-11) portions of practice, and most importantly, in the games," writes Mike Spofford of the Packers official website. "By his own evaluation, McDonald felt he showed good footwork on inside zone runs and got movement against opposing defensive tackles. He also showed the athletic ability to make blocks at the second level against linebackers and to get out into the flat on screens." As Rob Demovsky noted on last night's Packers Transplants episode, McDonald struggled in 1-on-1 drills during training camp, so he had to do something to stand out.

Encouraging words about the pass rush are provided by Waldo from the blog Where's Lambeau. "Combine the outside rush of last season with the inside rush that we’ve seen thus far this summer, and things have seemingly tremendously improved," writes Waldo. "To me the outside rush gets sacks and breaks plays, the inside rush steal’s the QB’s time and sets the throwing clock. While the Packers have not shown fans the whole yet, an improved pass rush, they have shown that they have the parts to assemble a significantly better pass rush than they have shown at any time during Dom Capers’ tenure." We'll find out if that's the case on Sunday.

Kicker Mason Crosby looks like he'll be one of the fastest players in NFL history to get to 500 points. "Had he demonstrated greater accuracy in his first three years in the league, the Green Bay Packers kicker would have been a good bet to move ahead of the Hall of Famer who achieved that total the quickest nearly a half-century ago," writes Eric Goska of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. That's an interesting nugget of information.

Punter Chris Bryan was set to sign on the Green Bay Packers practice squad until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers walked into the picture. "Bryan expects to play his first game on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, after Tampa Bay released its lone punter, Brent Bowden," writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. It goes to show how talented Bryan may become that the Packers were considering him for their practice squad despite keeping Masthay.

The Packers are ranked 1 to 53 by Mike Vandermause.

"Pigskin" Paul Guillemette gives his thoughts on the Packers roster.

The Press-Gazette writers predict how the Packers and the NFL season will unfold.

The Tundra Tailgate Zone in Green Bay kicks off the NFL's regular season on Thursday.

Television coverage maps for Week 1 of the NFL season.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

FITZCORE1252's picture

I'm with Waldo on the inside pressure. I think Neal and Jenkins are going to be a pocket destroying duo, and Raji won't hurt either. Which in turn will only help the outside rush as well as the secondary.

Forfeit Philly, just forfeit

GBP 4 LIFE

jeremy's picture

Not that I think they are missing out on a lot. But, if they are not going to make even one of them an offer, why bring them in?

packeraaron's picture

Teams always like to see guys in person, esp when there are medical things involved. Get their own doctors to gather the relevant info, etc.

Irish Cheesehaed's picture

Tampa wanted Bryan down in 24 hours and they send him an e-mail? That's why that organization sucks.

MarkinMadison's picture

Nagler made a comment last night that has been on my mind for a while - historically Capers' defenses tend to be great in year 1 (like top 5), and drop off in year 2 (like 11-20). Nagler suggested that the drop-off might be due to teams adjusting to the new D, while Capers failed to add enough new wrinkles. That's as good a guess as any. But complicating the picture this year will be the losses of Jolly, Bigby and Harris for all or 1/2 of the season. How many wrinkles can you add to the pass rush without overwhelming Burnett and Shields/Lee/Underwood? How does Williams stack up in his first season as a starter? Neal looks like a stud, but does he give the Packers more than they got from Jolly last year? The good news is that Philly will probably be the toughest team they face in their first five weeks. I think that they gut it out, but I don't know how anyone can be talking Super Bowl right now.

FITZCORE1252's picture

That 2nd year regression is definitely a legit stat regarding Dom's D's historically. You could dwell on that.

I'm taking the 'sunshine' approach however. It's also been proven that the biggest tangible leap in an NFL players career happens from year one to year two. If that trend continues we have three starters on that D that should be noticeably improved in Mathews, Jones and Raji. Couple that with the vets 2nd offseason mastering the intricacies of said D and I think we will be just fine.

"I don’t know how anyone can be talking Super Bowl right now."

There are definitely concerns going into this season. BUT, there is good reason for Packer fans to have high expectations going in, I suggest you enjoy it and embrace it. Squads with this much talent are few and far between. Thankfully I wasn't around for the decades long drought but I have plenty of family members that were... enjoy it while we got it.

GBP 4 LIFE

WoodyG's picture

Everything you say has merit but again, you only mention the D ...... Face it, with an O primed for the upper atmoshere, the D simply has to be 'all right' ....... At the same time, Burnett, Neal, Shields & even Zombo appear to have what it takes to upgrade the D over last year's roster ........

The Saints can certainly talk SB at this juncture but if GB can't talk SB, no one else in the NFC can either.

MarkinMadison's picture

Re Super Bowl talk, I think that there is the real difference between now and 96. Back then, free agency was new, and salary caps were things to work around. The '96 Packers were a complete team, arguably great in all phases. Since then there are no "complete teams," the only dynasty has been New England, and NE was built around a great defense. I don't know that any team can now really be called a Super Bowl "lock," including the Packers, the way they were in '96. But in a salary cap world where every team has holes, one thing I do know: Brady has more rings than Manning, meaning great defense wins more consistently than great offense. What we saw against Arizona and Minnesota last year was a D that could not slow down a top offense, so the game came down to luck as much as anything. That is not the stuff Super Bowl talk is made of.

fhornplayer83's picture

@Markin

You are absolutely right about the rarity of "complete" teams during this era of football. It just doesn't happen anymore.

However, I have to disagree with your point that "great defense wins more consistently than great offense." For this, just look to last post-season.

The Colts still made it to the Super Bowl - and by beating out the Jets' elite, top-5 defense. Meanwhile, the Saints beat out the Viking's top-10 defense in the NFC Championship.

And BOTH of those teams ranked in the bottom half of NFL teams when it came to defense last season.

Now, I'm not saying that teams can get by with lousy defenses. But since teams cannot find much of that "completeness" on both sides of the ball simultaneously, then one side has to suffer a little.

Therefore, it's all about balance. If you have a high-octane offense, then your defense doesn't need to be *as* good. Conversely, a rock solid defense doesn't need an offense that will score on every drive. But in each case, that "lesser side" still needs to be up to a certain level to still win games.

The perfect example is the Jets. Great defense, but their offense is what killed them. Similar statements can be made about the Bengals and Redskins.

So I think it's fair to believe that the Packers have a legitimate shot at getting to the Super Bowl. Will it happen? Who knows. But that opportunity is right there for the taking, and much closer than most other teams.

WoodyG's picture

"Talking SB" & 'Talking SB 'lock" are two totally different items ........... There has never been a "SB Lock" except (maybe) GB in SB 1 & 2 ......... It would be crazy for any player, coach or fan to use the term "lock".

FITZCORE1252's picture

There is no such thing as a sure thing in the sporting world. Trust me and my wallet.

WayneF's picture

I read somewhere that the reason Brent Farve, Roethlisberger, and Warner were able to pick the Packers apart was their ability to step up into the pocket. No push up the middle means more time scanning the field and less time moving. Makes sense.

jeremy's picture

Brent Farve must be Brett Favre's non-evil twin.

WayneF's picture

Who's Brett Favre? :)

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