It's a busy day on the Packers calendar today with the Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band concert at Lambeau Field, the Lombardi Golf Classic at North Hills Country Club in Menomonee Falls, the Tramon and Shantreell Williams Baby Parade and Walk at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wis. and the Green and Gold Champions Autograph Signing at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield today.
Veteran offensive lineman Mark Tauscher was non-committal when he was asked about his future with the Green Bay Packers. In a conversation with Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tauscher said, “You know, I haven’t really figured out what I’m going to do yet." Tauscher had last season ended with a shoulder injury and was placed on injured reserve. He was replaced by Bryan Bulaga at right tackle, who appears to have a bright future in the NFL. Tauscher said when the lockout ends, he'll figure out what to do. But he's leaving his options open and says his rehab is going well.
While hosting the Greg Jennings Celebrity Golf Tournament yesterday, Jennings confirmed that the team will run a player-organized practice in the near future. "We're definitely going to do something soon because we don't know," Jennings told Bill Huber of Packer Report. "There's that uncertainty (because of the lockout). I think guys have been working out individually with their own trainers, which is great, but it's also not as great when you're not doing it as a team. Anytime you come together as a team -- it doesn't matter how you come together, it's why you come together. You come together to build that camaraderie, that gel. We have something special here and we have a little bit of momentum, so we want to make sure that we continue that and don't slack off." Cornerback Tramon Williams said he thought the team had taken enough time off.
Head coach Mike McCarthy expressed feelings that workouts had value during a local radio interview yesterday, but that he felt the camaraderie aspect was more important. “I’m more interested in them being together as a group for Greg Jennings’ event or Donald Driver’s event. I think that’s as important as them going onto the field and trying to manufacture a practice,” McCarthy told Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “I think anytime you have a group of people, especially professionals, there’s other factors involved that obviously have to deal with risk." The audio from McCarthy's entire interview can be heard at ESPNMilwaukee.com.
A couple injured Packers gave updates on their conditions at Greg Jennings' golf outing yesterday. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson said he's back to normal after rupturing his bursa sac during the Super Bowl. "It's been fine," Nelson told Lori Nickel. "It was just a matter of time for the body to absorb all the swelling." Nelson he's back to running, lifting weights and working out.
Linebacker Nick Barnett also confirmed he's fully recovered from his wrist injury last season. "Oh I'm ready, it is a different situation than hurting your knee," Barnett told Lori Nickel. "I hurt my wrist. I was ready a couple of months ago, so it's just a process. I've been working out, staying in shape and with no minicamps, you have to do that much more so you're in shape when it starts. I'm ready to go when it happens." Barnett also indicated he had just come back from a vacation in Europe.
As for the event itself, the Greg Jennings Celebrity Golf Tournament raised money for charity. “We’re excited about what we bring to the table and have a partnership with Habitat for Humanity because of what they represent," Jennings told Lori Nickel. "We’re just trying to follow their template, what they’ve done to help people to get a step ahead in life." From what I remember, every year Jennings builds a house for a family via Habitat for Humanity through his foundation.
With the concert being held at Lambeau Field today, law enforcement is preparing accordingly. "The Kenny Chesney concert being treated like a Packer's home game when it comes to alcohol around the stadium," according to the Green Bay NBC affiliate. "Police say, they know what to expect on a game day, but a country concert of this size is uncharted territory." It is reported that police are allowing people to drink on the streets and sidewalks surrounding the stadium.
Former Packers general manager Ron Wolf was interviewed about his son Eliot by Jason Wilde. “He had an opportunity at a very young age to learn from the ground floor," said Ron Wolf. "He went to Atlanta’s training camp for five or six years, Seattle’s for a couple years, and he was taken over by other people and they kind of trained him on what it really takes to be a scout. He fell into it and really enjoyed it." The junior Wolf was promoted to assistant director of player personnel last week.
Guard Josh Sitton was named the most underrated player on the Packers by NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. "Packers veteran Chad Clifton was named to the 2010 Pro Bowl team, but most football people will tell you that Sitton has been the team's best offensive lineman. He hasn't missed a snap since the start of the 2009 season, the only Packers player on offense or defense to accomplish that feat. Sitton is without question the Packers' most powerful run blocker, helping the Packers average 4.48 yards per carry up the middle in 2010, according to NFL statistics. He has elevated his pass blocking to a near-equal status. Recognition outside of Green Bay has been fleeting, but he was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010 and was named the league's best offensive lineman by NFL Alumni." Interestingly, this distinction comes one day after Pete Prisco of CBS Sports called Tramon Williams the most underrated player in the entire NFL.
Radio voice of the Packers, Wayne Larrivee, weighs in on the NFL labor negotiations. "So while it is great that the principals are in serious discussions, how much better a deal can the owners offer?" writes Larrivee at JSOnline.com. "What if this process behind secret doors breaks down? Where are they then? Back in court-where no one wins."
The best player to ever wear #63 for the Packers is being debated on the team's official website.
A photo gallery from yesterday's Greg Jennings Celebrity Golf Tournament appears at Packer Report.
A feature on former Packer Jermaine Smith, who now plays in the Arena League, appears at Tampa Bay Online.
Vic Ketchman answers his mailbag at Packers.com.
Video: Today's concert at Lambeau Field is the topic du jour...
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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