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Packers Daily Links: Becoming One-Dimensional?

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Packers Daily Links: Becoming One-Dimensional?

With a running game that's been absent since Ryan Grant got injured, there are far more questions than answers surrounding the Packers ground attack. “I don't ever think we ever want to get totally one-dimensional,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is quoted as saying by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee. “So say OK, we've got the short passing game, that's our run game, carte blanche. It may work for a couple weeks but you may end up in trouble. (By the) same token, you've got to have balance. You can't just tee it up every first-and-10 and run the ball." The running must have success soon, otherwise defenses aren't going to respect it.

Guard Daryn Colledge says there's more to it than just finding a new ball carrier. ''But we've got a lot of things we've got to fix besides just who's running the ball," Colledge told the Associated Press. "We've got to make better holes, we've got to make better reads, we've got to move the pile, we've got to do a lot of things better. We've got a lot of things to work on.'' The biggest deficiency may be from left tackle Chad Clifton. But the tight ends and Daryn Colledge have been guilty too.

Can a team win a Super Bowl without a running game? "Even if we never get the running game going, we still have a shot at the Super Bowl," writes F.G. Union of the Packers blog Meat Packers Union. "Several teams in recent memory have won or come damned-close with a pass-heavy attack." The Saints and the Colts come to mind as recent champions that didn't have good ground games, so it can be done. But they at least had threats to run the ball and ran the ball with moderate success.

Outside linebacker Frank Zombo was fined for his hit flagged for unnecessary roughness on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. "And it's going to hurt," said Zombo as quoted by Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal. "Especially being (an undrafted) free agent, I don't really have a whole lot of money. When they fine me like that, it definitely hurts." Zombo makes $320,000 per year.

The special teams deficiencies against the Chicago Bears are being in part by injuries and personnel by the coaching staff. "Coach Mike McCarthy felt that part of the reason for the special teams letdown was that several players who looked on Wednesday as if they might be able to play Sunday, wound up being ruled out Friday because of injury," writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Eventually, it became a board game trying to move players in and out and around." Charlie Peprah, Brad Jones and Mike Neal being late scratches are used as examples. The thing is, that excuse really only works the punt return touchdown by Devin Hester. His other long return is squarely on the shoulders of Tim Masthay. And the blocked field goal had nothing to do with personnel.

Brandon Chillar has been classified as "doubtful" for Sunday's game by head coach Mike McCarthy. "With Chillar probably out this week, Capers might turn to Bishop to fill the role in one of those two groupings, with Hawk doing the other," writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "Hawk presumably will remain in the lineup when the Packers play base defense, which they haven’t done much this season." Although McCarthy did say that Hawk would remain in subpackages as well. So don't expect a ton of Bishop.

Jermichael Finley says he hasn't forgotten about a hit Lions safety Louis Delmas put on him last year. "Delmas hit a defenseless Finley square in the chest to knock the wind out of him in the second quarter of the Thanksgiving matchup," writes Greg Bedard of the Journal Sentinel. "Delmas further drew the ire of the Packers, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, when Delmas celebrated the late hit." So what does that mean for Delmas? Will the Packers target him? Probably not. If anything, they'll avoid him as one of the few legit players in the Lions back seven.

Rookie Mike Neal may finally make his NFL debut on Sunday. "Neal, who has been out since straining some muscles near his rib cage prior to the regular-season opener, went through a full, non-padded practice for the second time in the last two weeks on Thursday," writes Mike Spofford of the Packers official website. For it to become official, however, Neal must make it through today's practice without any setbacks.

Nickel cornerback Sam Shields was added to the injury report. "Shields [was] added on Thursday," writes Bill Huber of Packer Report. "Shields was injured during Thursday’s practice, and McCarthy didn’t have an update on its severity." Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette tweeted that the injury didn't appear serious.

Wide receiver James Jones is profiled in an article by Jason Wilde. He feels badly about his fumble on Monday, but Wilde also points out other deficiencies this season. "When he had seven passes thrown his way – but only had three receptions for 32 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown – against Buffalo, his mates in the receiving corps were relentless in their needling of him for not making the most of his opportunities," writes Wilde. "Twice he ran poor patterns that caused incompletions, including one when he caught the ball but came down out of bounds." Performances like the last two games may open the door a crack for Jordy Nelson.

I must apologize to Bill Huber of Packer Report and being wrong about Nick Collins' apology yesterday. I said Collins didn't apologize, and he did according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The reason I didn't think he did is because it wasn't included in Collins' interview on the Packers official website. Nor was it included in the article on Packer Report. But he did, and now I must apologize.

Speaking of Collins, Dennis Garrity, president of Packer Fan Tours, wrote a short piece calling Collins a consummate professional.

Sharing the ball among a deep receiving corps is the topic of an article written by Kareem Copeland.

It's official. Clay Matthews was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Actor Tony Shalhoub will be in attendance at Sunday's game in support of a new movie.

The newest Packershow podcast is out.

Bitter Border Battle says it's back to reality for the Packers.

An Associated Press article from a Detroit angle says the Packers won't take the Lions lightly.

Finally, it was announced that Greg Bedard is leaving the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to become the lead NFL writer at the Boston Globe. Greg has been a solid presence on the Packers beat since coming to the area three years ago. He's arguably the most savvy Web 2.0 presence in the Packers media, and for that, his efforts are much appreciated. Good luck, Greg, in your future endeavors.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (9) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Any idea as to what the JS plans to do regarding replacing Bedard? It's likely too late this season to find a quality replacement. I expect it will result in an expanded role for Silverstein and Nickel. I don't think we'll get any more from McGinn.

wgbeethree's picture

They plan on hiring Chicken Little to repeatedly shout "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

You won't even realize Bedard is gone.

Zub-a-dub's picture

Really Clifton's and Tauscher's problems are directly related to the running game.

Teams are going tee off on the pass rush every time, giving the advantage to the defense, without a true threat of running the ball. In reality against a player like Peppers, I am not sure any lineman in the league would have done better.

Tauscher and Clifton become instant probowlers once we establish some kind of running game.

The reason why it does not look so bad for the Packers now is due to A-rod's performance and our receiving threats.

But without a true running game, and enough game film is watched on the Packers, teams will be able to stop the Packers scoring machine.

Something will happen before the training dead line, I am confident in that.

otherwise this season is just a dream.

CSS's picture

Make no mistake, every offensive tackle knows the best way to neutralize a defensive end that likes to get up the field is to hit him in the mouth run blocking. Ends stop accelerating off the balls of their feet on the pass rush and start playing 'flat footed' because the offensive tackle is punishing him run blocking.

That's on Tauscher and Clifton. They offer no substantial impact, or that proverbrial 'hit in the mouth', when run-blocking. They will never play a well-rounded game (run/pass pro) at this point in their career worthy of pro-bowl status.

That being said, they're still crafty, understand positioning/leverage. They need McCarthy and Rodgers more than ever to mix up pass/run on unexpected down-n'-distance. It's an aging tackles best friend, and they both need it.

Bad Knees's picture

I knew Bedard would come up with an excuse to avoid doing his weekly game statistics.

Then again, good luck Greg, you did a great job.

PackersRS's picture

Good luck, Greg. Best to you. You will be sorely missed, believe it.

You provided the, uhmn, "sober" view of the Packers. Promise to read some of your Bostonian work!

Question is, will you also provide the negative nancy view of the patriots, or will you be more of a homer?

lars's picture

The Packers won the Ice Bowl with Ben Wilson and SFA Chuck Mercein as the RB's. So, yes a team can win without it's best back.

dgtalmn's picture

So will Corey retire the Bedard siren? Will miss Greg, good luck in Boston.

Asshalo's picture

"Performances like the last two games may open the door a crack for Jordy Nelson."
... and possibly cause the packers to pass on him when his contract comes up

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