Though the plans are not finalized, the Packers are considering relocating the team’s Hall of Fame, Curly’s Pub and Pro Shop as part of the renovations they will be doing at Lambeau Field over the next several years. “During a meeting [vice president Jason] Wied told the Stadium District Board the Packers are looking at moving and expanding the Hall of Fame,” writes Becky DeVries of WLUK-TV in Green Bay. “Right now the Packers Hall of Fame occupies about 20,000 square feet in the basement of Lambeau. Wied said he’d like to see it expanded to 30-35,000 square feet, and brought up to the first level. The Packers Pro Shop, and Curly’s Pub, would move to what is now the East parking lot.” the Packers are also considering underground parking for the players on the East side of the stadium.
Wide receiver James Jones has been honored for some of his charitable efforts. “Congratulations James Jones 4 award from the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, well deserved!” writes Brian Lammi of Lammi Sports, a marketing agency representing Jones, via Twitter. I’ve also recently learned that Jones will be hosting his third annual football camp in San Jose, Cal. in late June.
Packers broadcaster Wayne Larrivee was also honored yesterday by the Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society. “WCPR honoring me as it’s Communicator of the Year,” wrote Larrivee on Twitter. “Thanks to the Packers Super Season I get honored.” Larrivee does play-by-play for the Packers Radio Network.
Appalachian State defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Dale Jones was interviewed for a feature on sixth-round draft choice D.J. Smith on the Packers official website. “He played as well against those guys, if not better, because of the competition,” Jones said of Smith playing against schools like Florida and LSU in college. “The offensive linemen had trouble getting leverage on him and had trouble getting a good block on him, because he’s always in the right place. He looked like he definitely should be on the field.” Smith will be our guest on Railbird Central this morning at 8:30 a.m. Central time.
The uncertain status of Packers eligible for free agency is explained in an article by Bill Huber for Fox Sports Wisconsin. “The Packers’ Ted Thompson and his fellow general managers have no idea what to expect for players like offensive lineman Daryn Colledge (five years), running back Brandon Jackson, wide receiver James Jones and kicker Mason Crosby (all four years),” writes Huber. “All were given restricted free-agent tenders even though all may wind up being unrestricted.” The article makes particular note of three players who were not offered restricted free agent tenders: safety Atari Bigby, offensive lineman Jason Spitz and fullback Korey Hall.
Meanwhile, Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly looks to the future and what free agency holds for the Packers in 2012. “Heading the list of potential Packers free agents in 2012 are two key offensive weapons — TE Jermichael Finley, who, by all accounts, is anticipating a sizable raise, and RB Ryan Grant, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week One last season,” writes Arkush. “With it seeming like a long shot that the Packers would be willing to re-sign both Finley and Grant to lucrative new deals, it’s a good bet their contract status might have factored into the selections of RB Alex Green (third round) and TEs D.J. Williams (fifth round) and Ryan Taylor (seventh round) in this year’s draft.” This article may have caught the attention of Finley yesterday as he commented about his contract on Twitter.
The possibility of a return by Jermichael Finley is discussed by Brandon Benson of Acme Packing Company. “He seems motivated to return strong, but he’s only played in 18 regular season games over the past two seasons,” writes Benson. “And he’s recorded only 1000 receiving yards for his career. He’s got all the promise in the world, but until he stays healthy and puts together an elite season, he’s not an elite player.” The article goes on to discuss Finley’s contract status.
B.J. Raji is held up as an example of how defensive linemen can improve from year one to year two in their careers by Len Pasquarelli of CBSSports.com who also lists Mike Neal as a player who might be able to make the same type of jump. “He was expected to be a key rotation guy for the Packers until a shoulder injury ended his season after only two games,” writes Pasquarelli. “Neal finished with just three tackles and a sack, but demonstrated excellent energy, good hand skills and the ability to hang tough against the run. The second-round choice is never going to be a big sack guy because of Green Bay’s 3-4, but he might provide the Packers a bit of upfield push in some early-down situations.” If Neal continues to play in the team’s nickel package, however, he should get plenty of chances at sacks as a pass rusher.
Quarterback Matt Flynn is analyzed as a potential trade candidate by Russ Lande of the Sporting News. “Overall, I believe Flynn has what it takes to develop into a quality starter,” writes Lande. “He’ll be most effective in offenses that emphasize a short passing attack. Teams must be willing to work around his lack of top arm strength. Because he is a young quarterback, he is not likely to go to a team that just selected one in the draft. We believe he would be a good fit in Arizona, Buffalo, Seattle or Miami.” But will the Packers be willing to trust their backup quarterback spot to Graham Harrell?
Depth along the defensive line is touched upon by Monty McMahon of Total Packers. “The solution to make up for the loss of [Cullen] Jenkins and [Johnny] Jolly may not yet be obvious, but it’s on the roster,” writes McMahon. “If the Packers didn’t think it were, Ted Thompson would have done something before now to address it.” The article was written in response to claims that the defensive line is one the biggest holes on the team. And by and large, McMahon is spot on. Although Mike Neal is still an unknown quantity to a national audience, he looked impressive to those who watched him up close last season in training camp and early last season.
Lombardi Ave. wonders whether Plaxico Burress would be a good fit in Green Bay? Let me answer that for you. No.
A scouting report on sixth-round draft choice Ricky Elmore is provided by Packer Report (subscription required).
A list of 12 Packers with something to prove is created by Zach Kruse of AllGreenBayPackers.com.
A Packers fan saved a Bears fan’s life.
Appleton Post Crescent columnist Jim Olski says James Jones won’t be back in Green Bay.
Vic Ketchman of Packers.com lists the top 10 quarterbacks in NFL history.
The mailbag is answered by Vic Ketchman as well.
Video: More on the moving of the Hall of Fame, Curly’s Pub and Pro Shop comes from WLUK-TV, the Fox affiliate in Green Bay…
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.