Packers Daily Links 7.20.10

Players fighting to make the 53-man roster is the theme in today's look at the world of Packers football ...

On the Packers calendar today, it's the second day of the Packers Youth Football Camp at both Glendale/Whitefish Bay and Kenosha. Among the former Packers helping out at the camps is safety Johnnie Gray ...

The ranking of every player on the Green Bay Packers roster continues by Bill Huber of Packer Report. Today it covers players 55 through 51, and seeing as teams are only allowed to keep 53 players on their roster, you're looking at the players on the cusp of making it or breaking it. Coming in at No. 53 is safety Derrick Martin. "As poorly as Martin played at safety when thrust into the starting lineup for an injured Bigby at Minnesota in Week 4, he was one of the few consistently good players on a beleaguered special teams," writes Huber. "He plays with great energy and is a coach’s dream in the locker room. He had five special teams tackles against Pittsburgh. Martin played cornerback at Baltimore before being acquired at the end of training camp for backup offensive tackle Tony Moll. Maybe he’ll be better at safety with a year in the system, because he was so poor last year that Dom Capers decided linebacker Brandon Chillar was a better alternative." Martin's agent expressed that his client wanted to be considered for the nickel back role this season, but you have to figure that's out of the question.

Newly enshrined Packers Hall of Fame tight end Marv Fleming is featured in an article by Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. As it turns out, Vince Lombardi taught his players lessons that are still applicable in today's free agency age. When asked about his move to the Miami Dolphins, Fleming said, “It worked out really good. (The Packers) wanted me to sign an extension. One of the things Lombardi said is when you don’t pay a man his worth he cheats on you. He comes late. He doesn’t think the production is good. He doesn’t believe in the company any more. And so I felt I wasn’t being paid my worth. So I said I wanted to play my option out." Fleming can't be blamed for moving to Miami. Those two Super Bowl rings in three appearances are proof.

A look at the wide receivers who might challenge Brett Swain for the No. 5 job are looked at by "Jersey" Al Bracco. He gives a reminder that Swain returning from injury is no guarantee. "A study was performed of wide receivers or running backs coming off of ACL injuries," writes Bracco. "Twenty-one percent never made it back to the NFL. Of the ones that got back, their performance on average was reduced by about one-third. So Swain reclaiming his spot, even if physically ready, is no guarantee." If anyone is going to challenge Swain, it looks like it will be Patrick Williams based upon his time on the 53-man roster last season and the fact he played with the first-string offense from time to time in offseason practices.

A look at the defensive line after the suspension of Johnny Jolly is looked at by Brandon Benson of Acme Packing Company. He said two of the bigger guys along the line, Anthony Toribio and Aleric Mullins has a chance to stick around. "Just as Wynn looked good last preseason, so did Toribio," writes Benson. "Mullins falls into the same category as [C.J.] Wilson: I want to see him first. If anyone got a leg up on a roster spot with Jolly's suspension, it's these two guys. At 315 and 319, respectively, they would be more likely to fill the 300+ lb. roster spot vacated by the 325 lb. Jolly. " I have to disagree here. I think the only way Toribio or Mullins makes the roster is if either B.J. Raji or Ryan Pickett get hurt. Although one of them is going to have a very good chance at making the practice squad.

The defensive line is also focused upon by Bill Huber at Packer Report. "The indefinite suspension of Johnny Jolly is good news for at least one player," writes Huber (subscription required). "Seventh-round pick C.J. Wilson has a better chance to make the team and contribute as a rookie." There's still a lot to play out in the month of August, but Wilson went from fringe player to a guy that probably has a better than 85% chance of making the team.

Between regular season games played in London, the possibility of a Super Bowl being played there and even the possibility of an NFL franchise there, Monty McMahon of Total Packers notes it may only be a matter of time before Green Bay will eventually play in London. "With regular games in London, Mexico City and now with the Buffalo Bills playing some home games in Toronto, the NFL is clearly serious about developing an international presence," writes McMahon. "The London games have been successful, and while the English may not fully understand American football, they have shown a willingness to spend money on it." If the home team doesn't mind playing on a neutral field because they don't draw well at home, I don't have a problem playing regular season games in London. But if a team draws well at home, it's a huge, huge shame to play in London. Feel free to play preseason games there, but the regular season is a different story.

Looks like the Madden ratings for 2011 are out. Alex Tallitsch of Packers Lounge breaks down the Packers and finds out there's many injustices. "Giving Greg Jennings a 90 is terrible," writes Tallitsch. "He should be a 92 or a 93. What hurt him was toughness at 75. That’s way off. Jennings has taken plenty of big licks and walked away." From the comments I've seen on Twitter, it also looks like Josh Sitton got jobbed as well.

The case is made for linebacker Desmond Bishop to get more playing time over at JonBob's Packer Blog. "In 3 years, he's only had one career start while accumulating 74 tackles and one sack," writes Bob. "But despite his limited opportunities, Bishop has 4 fumbles forced at this point in his short career. When he's in the game, he's around the ball. He makes watching the second-string D in preseason games exciting. With his size, speed, and instincts, Bishop has the potential to become a disruptive force at inside linebacker, especially with guys like Raji, Pickett, and Jenkins eating up blocks at the line of scrimmage." What isn't mentioned is the big plays Bishop has given up when he plays in the regular season. I'm as much in Bishop's corner as anyone, but until he shows more consistency, he's not going to see the field on a more regular basis. Of course, there's always hope that he will.

Rookie safety Morgan Burnett has impressed Max Ginsberg of the blog Purple Pants, Green Jersey. "First and foremost, Morgan Burnett seems to have his priorities straight," writes Ginsberg. "For example, he isn’t eager to spend his newfound wealth. When asked what he will buy with his signing bonus, his reply was a refreshing change from the typical response of a fancy new car." Furthermore, Burnett is preparing for a lockout in 2011. If he's true to his word, he might be one of the few players that may thinking of the future.

References to the Packers in pop culture are noticed by Tim Cigelske at BrentFavre.com. "Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are some of the musicians and actors who braved the Frozen Tundra," writes Cigelske. "Maybe it’s because Wisconsin winters provide a natural defense against paparazzi?" And that's not to mention Jay-Z whose picture appears in Life After Favre.

I'm worried about pass coverage, as you would have found out if you read yesterday's post here at Cheesehead TV. "Who did the veteran quarterbacks expose last season?" I asked yesterday. "It wasn’t Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Nick Collins. Sure, they might have gotten beat from time to time, and that’s bound to happen when you play nearly 100% of all defensive snaps. It was the nickel and dime guys, and the backups who were forced to play due to injury." I think the Packers could be in trouble if they're forced to go with players down the depth chart, especially at corner.

Chris Lempesis of Ol' Bag of Donuts chimes in on the Packers releasing their financial details last week. "The team seems committed to keeping ticket prices reasonable and I have a feeling that will continue," writes Lempesis. "But don’t be surprised if there’s a slight rise in concession prices at some point in the near future. By charging a buck or two more for things, the team can bring in a lot more money. Ultimately, I have no problem with that." Things like concession prices rise from time to time, that's nothing new. It's bound to happen.

Vikings head coach Brad Childress visited everyone's favorite former Packer in Hattiesburg, Miss. yesterday. "The scene was awfully familiar to the one that played out a year ago when Childress visited Mississippi in the sweltering summer and wooed Favre to come out of retirement and play for the Vikings," writes Chris Harry of NFL Fanhouse. "And it was not terribly unlike the scene that played out two years ago -- sans the Green Bay drama, of course -- when Favre was contemplating his controversial first 'unretirement' that eventually sent the Packers icon to the New York Jets in a trade."

Brett Favre's agent James "Bus" Cook showed some annoyance with Favre not unlike that of many fans in an interview published in Men's Journal. “Brett talked to goddamned Ed Werder at ESPN, says he needs ankle surgery," Cook is quoted as saying. "Now why did he do that? I’ve got Childress calling. I’ve got reporterscalling all damn morning. Goddammit, why does he have to be such a goddamned drama queen? Play, don’t play, goddamn, people are getting sick of it. I’m getting sick of it! Why does he have to talk to these people? What good does it do? Ed Werder at ESPN! What’s he ever done for anybody other than say, ‘Look, look, Mommy, I got this first, ain’t I special?’ You got problems with surgery, talk to your wife. Why talk to goddamned Ed Werder?” Funny stuff.

PackerWorld Central wonders whether Jarrett Bush will stick around in 2010.

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Comments (3)

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Scott in China's picture

July 20, 2010 at 08:39 pm

Brian,

I've been checking Railbird since June 25th for an update--are you officially shutting that down now? Must have missed it. Good stuff--thanks.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

July 20, 2010 at 09:32 pm

Railbird Central will no longer exist in it's former form. But it will, however it will resurface again in a new and different way. Details coming soon :)

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Wiscokid's picture

July 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Very cryptic. I do love a mystery.

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