Packers Daily Links 7.15.10

Analysis of the Packers financial report highlights today's look at the world of Green Bay football ...

On the Packers calendar today, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker A.J. Hawk and former Packer Sterling Sharpe take part in the American Century Classic golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. You might remember Hawk won the long drive competition in the same event last year. Apart from that, there's this other thing going on today called the Supplemental draft. Check out our Packers supplemental draft primer ...

The nuts and bolts of the Packers financial report is broken down by Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The Green Bay Packers said Wednesday that their net profit was up slightly last year, but so are operating expenses, especially player costs," reports Walker. And that's basically what it will come down to. The Packers posted a one million dollar rise in net profit over a year ago, which should appease the shareholders. But NFL owners will point to rising player salaries, the majority of operating costs, in their upcoming negotiations with the players union as they try to strike a new CBA.

Lambeau Field expansion and land development, two hot topics lately, are touched upon by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. "The top priority is expansion of the south end zone seating at Lambeau Field, an area that was designed for expansion when the stadium was redeveloped in 2003," writes Wilde. "The team has been talking to focus groups for several months about options for expansion, but Murphy and vice president of administration Jason Wied said Wednesday that with 83,000 people on the season-ticket waiting list, the team likely won’t explore limited-seating ideas such as a brew pub with pool tables." My question now is, will the Lambeau Field expansion coincide with the extension of the regular season if and when that happens?

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com answers a logical question that arose out of the release of the annual report. How can player salaries be rising at twice the rate of revenue when the salary cap was based upon revenue? "Here's the answer, " writes Florio. "Packers CEO Mark Murphy said that the team's 'local revenues' have been flat since 2007.  So the growth has come from revenues shared by all teams.  And because the salary cap and floor were determined by total revenues, shared and unshared, the small-market Packers are experiencing the pinch of other teams' revenues driving up every team's player costs." I would take this to mean that other teams are out-pacing Green Bay in their local revenue. That would mean places like Cowboys Stadium bringing in tons more visitors to their new stadium. But it's more than just Dallas. The Packers have their work cut out for them when it comes to drawing visitors to Green Bay and Lambeau Field.

Kevin Mawae, president of the NFLPA, responded to the release of the Packers annual data saying all teams should give out their financial information. "It’s 1/32nd of the financial information we’ve requested in response to their demand that we give back $1 billion and increase our risk of injury by playing two additional games," said Mawae. Not unexpectedly, he paints a picture favorable to that of the players union.

Also dishing out information on the annual report is Paige Pearson of WLUK-TV, Bill Huber of Packer Report and Richard Ryman of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Does all this talk about money and financial got you dizzy? Former Packers vice president Andrew Brandt tries to why it has such a big impact over at the National Football Post. Now onto football talk ...

The Packers biggest problem in 2009 was a porous offensive line surmises Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders. He holds up Bryan Bulaga, a well-informed and well-coached disciple of zone blocking schemes in his college days, as being one of the solutions to the problem. "There are those who believe that Ferentz-coached linemen are risks in the pro game, because of the possibility that they’ve been coached to their full potential," writes Farrar over at Yahoo Sports. "But in Bulaga’s case, his intelligence, experience, and adaptability could make him more than a swing tackle sooner than later – he could be the key to a line that propels the Packers to the next level." This is some very good analysis from a guy who thinks outside the box. While many are pointing to pass rush or pass coverage as big problems, Farrar is tackling the offensive line.

Pulling off a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for some outside linebacker help is an option, says Michael Rodney of Packer Update. "Antwan Barnes is a fourth-year player from who has yet to start a game in his pro career, but the former Florida International star is blessed with good size and speed and he’s always performed well when given an opportunity," writes Rodney. "A number of teams inquired about the 25-year-old last summer, but Newsome wasn’t ready to make a deal. He may be more receptive this time around. Paul Kruger is a second-year player who started one game in ‘09. The Ravens are so deep at outside linebacker that the former Utah star worked mostly at defensive end during the offseason, but he’s probably a better fit standing up. Think of Kruger as a younger, bigger and much more athletic version of Poppinga." This is a very intriguing possibility and an example of what Packer Update can bring to the table when they aren't quoting unnamed former scouts. I look forward to more of this type of post.

Soon-to-be Packers Hall of Fame inductee Greg Koch spoke with Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Commenting on how he wants to be remembered, Koch said, "I actually saw the scouting report from the Oakland Raiders (when I was coming out of college). It goes Greg Koch — mean son of a (expletive). I had tremendous strength. I had a mean, nasty streak. Do I want to be remembered as a mean son of a (expletive)? No, I don’t. I would just like to be remembered as a guy, when it was time to play, he was always there (and) ready." His quote was memorable, so I'm liable to remember him that way.

Copeland also did some research on negotiations with high round draft choices and why they take so long to sign. Andrew Brandt shared his insight: “Obviously, the bonus is most important in these deals, as it is the only guaranteed money. However, other parts of the deal work to allocate risk, such as incentives, escalators and injury protection.  Those parts may take considerably longer than the actual front side of the deal, i.e., the money involved."  As far as Bryan Bulaga goes, being drafted late in the first round, he's likely to be signed just days before training camp, or maybe miss a day or two. Players drafted as late as Bulaga don't typically hold out for long.

The offensive line is the deepest in years says Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Packer Insider section. "In all, this group should be much improved from the 2009 unit," writes Reischel (subscription required). "The games of eight sacks by Minnesota or even five by lowly Detroit shouldn't happen again." With the additions of Bulaga and fifth-round draft choice Marshall Newhouse, I tend to believe him. A talented group of undrafted rookies also figure to push the veterans.

The player-by-player ranking of each and every Packer continues at Packer Report by Bill Huber. His highest rated player today is defensive lineman Jarius Wynn at No. 56. "Wynn provided zero impact as a sixth-round draft pick last year," writes Huber. "While he flashed some pass-rushing promise in training camp, he never got a sniff of the quarterback while playing mostly in the nickel package on defense. Wynn will get a chance to earn that role again — and maybe earn more of a role in the base defense depending on Johnny Jolly’s fate. Wynn weighs the same as last year (285) but has definitely cut his body fat." Wynn will be challenged to make the 53-ma roster this season with the additions of rookies Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson.

With the passing of George Steinbrenner, we find out the former Yankees owner would bet against the Packers. "The New York Yankees owner always bet against the Packers, if only while wagering with Bud Selig a friend for almost 40 years," finds out Jeff Ash of the Press-Gazette. "Selig owned the Milwaukee Brewers, once one of the Yankees’ American League rivals, before becoming baseball commissioner."

Former Packers quarterback Don Majkowski made an appearance in Sheboygan Falls recently. "He appeared at the Marshview Conservation Club's 11th annual sports banquet Tuesday night and was warmly received by a packed house at Range Line Inn in Sheboygan Falls," writes Brian Gaynor of the Sheboygan Press. "The event raises funds for youth programs, scholarships and conservation programs."

A photo gallery is provided over at PackersNews.com from when former Packer Bill Schroeder made an appearance at the Packers Youth Football Camp in Oshkosh this week.

Are you coming to the Cheesehead TV tweet-up being held at the Titletown Brewing Co. on July 30 from 7 to 9 p.m.?

Did you notice the Packers official website underwent a re-design?

The Packer Ranter manages to compare Ryan Grant to Rodney Dangerfield in a way only they can pull off.

John Rehor of Green Bay Packer Nation shares a story from the days immediately following Brett Favre's departure from Green Bay.

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Comments (4)

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CSS's picture

July 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

Bulaga is all of 21 years old. He's neither physically nor mentally near his peak. If he doesn't respond well to coaching it's somehow become a confidence issue, but even that seems unlikely. Once you've been coached by 'one coach' (Ferentz, in this case) it's just that, 'one coach'. Kid has a lot to learn, he will grow.

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PackersRS's picture

July 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

"That’s because no team does a better job of drafting and then developing 3-4 outside linebackers than the Ravens."

The last time one of the current Ravens OLB had double digit sacks was in 04. Suggs had 4.5 last year, and Jarrett Johnson had 6. Meanwhile, Woodley had 13.5 and 11.5 last 2 seasons, and Harrison 10 and 16.

That, IMHO, completely kills any argument Packer Update was trying to make for adcquiring Ravens' OLB. It also doesn't help that Brad Jones has 4 sacks in his whole career (7 starts, 14 games), and Barnes, with 3 years playing (0 starts, but 37 games), had 5.

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CSS's picture

July 15, 2010 at 01:04 pm

They were also tied with 5 other franchises, ranked 18th in sacks last year. That's with a stout defensive line to run interference.

As for Kruger, he's Aaron Kampmann, but not nearly as talented. 280lbs, too small for DE in the 3-4, can't navigate in space at OLB. He's a pass-rush specialist at best and has yet to even fullfill that roll.

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PackersRS's picture

July 15, 2010 at 01:30 pm

I liked Kruger coming out of the draft, but as a 4-3 DE. Thing is, the Ravens do play a lot of 4-3 looks (even in base). But you're right, so far, he has looked stiff, and he does have to play in space.

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