Packers Question of the Day: All-Time Running Backs

You can bring back one Packers running back to present day to help bolster their rushing attack. Who would it be?

Choose wisely.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (77)

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Handsback's picture

October 05, 2017 at 08:38 am

AG, no question about it.

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WinUSA's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:36 am

Yup..no doubt about it!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:46 am

I want to say Green too, but the whole child abuse thing is ugly.

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Similis's picture

October 05, 2017 at 07:32 pm

...on top of the other domestic violence allegations in his past. I'm not sure why everyone gives him a complete pass on being a woman abuser.

Hey, good runner though!

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 06, 2017 at 02:26 am

Harlan Huckleby !

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dobber's picture

October 06, 2017 at 08:56 am

The RB with the Laff-a-lympics name!

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 08:41 am

Jim Taylor
Paul Horning
Ahman Green
John Brockington

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fthisJack's picture

October 05, 2017 at 08:45 am

Jim Taylor.

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TXCHEESE's picture

October 05, 2017 at 08:56 am

Ahman Green without a doubt. Strength, speed, elusiveness. He was the total package. He could get you the 3 yards when you needed it (which is why Mike Sherman is the man to blame for 4th and 26....should have run and never punted), or he could hit the home run from anywhere on the field.

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Gman1976's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:43 am

Ahman was the first RB I thought of. He was the total package. I have seen highlights of Jim Taylor (another great back) and probably saw him when I was very young, but Green was the total package.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:37 am

I'm just waiting for the zombie apocalypse so the corpse of Johnny "Blood" McNally can climb out of his coffin and desecrate the modern NFL like he did the Dayton Triangles in 1929.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:40 am

Ahman Green. My favorite RB to wear Green and Gold that I have seen.

Meeting him a few weeks ago and getting his autograph was pretty cool too.

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cheddarhead's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:29 am

don't forget Dorsey Levens. even though he was a fullback I liked William Henderson great set of mitts

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Wiscokid's picture

October 05, 2017 at 06:49 pm

I am flattered that you like my avatar so much that you want to steal it but I wish you wouldn't. I have the original photo and you most certainly do not so stop using and find something else to use.

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Similis's picture

October 05, 2017 at 07:24 pm

Agreed! That's lame.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:29 am

Samkon Gado. Obviously...

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CheesyTex's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:35 am

A different era, but Hornung could run, receive, block, and do it all at a high level. Pretty good kicker, too, which saved a roster spot. Hard to beat all that.

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CheesyTex's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:39 am

Forgot to mention that he could pass, as he was a QB in college. Defenses could not ignore that, and it helped make him more effective as a runner.

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daveinTX's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:53 am

I was going to go with “5” for many of the same reasons. From the more recent era, I think the choice many made of brining back Green is a good one.

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ejr450's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:54 am

It has to be Ahman Green. The other guys from the Lombardi era can't compare athletically to this era of football. It's awesome history but it's not the same game.

Green would translate immediately to the open game. D would have to play run first - no more 6 man boxes/2 deep shells.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:05 am

My lifetime.

Taylor
Hornung
Brockington
Green

But with this team, Hornung, the versatility and play possibilties would be ridiculous. Then again, Taylor would punish defenders and would run over teams even with last week's OL.

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:58 am

Whoa.....that's essentially my list!
Smart guy

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Tundraboy's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:37 pm

I try.

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lou's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:37 pm

For those that watched all of them your list Tundraboy is hard to beat. Hornung was my favorite, the best all around back in the league. He was a power runner who used his blockers perfectly, was almost unstoppable near the goal line, threw the option pass, blocked like a guard for Taylor (Uimmy did the same for him), and had the best hands for a back coming out of the backfield I have seen (Donny Anderson a close 2nd). And in addition he was the place kicker and one of the backup punters with McGee and Dowler (top punter at Notre Dame). 176 points in a 12 game season will never be approached (like Joe D's 56 game hitting streak).

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Pack88's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Lou mentioned my guy, Donny Anderson- he arrived as the dynasty faded but boy could he catch the football! I could be good w\ Ahman as well

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lou's picture

October 06, 2017 at 10:54 am

Donny could have been Jordy Nelson before Jordy Nelson, great hands and those long strides. What he did as a rookie in the Ice Bowl under those conditions, never dropping the ball or fumbling on the frozen Tuindra was some kind of performance.

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Johnblood27's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:09 am

Clark Hinkle

Look it up.

Epic battles with Bronko Nagurski and the hated Bears.

Bone crunching is a term often used to describe his play on both offense and defense.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:22 am

Loved Travis. All time returner for sure.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:39 am

Tundraboy, For too short a time, Travis Williams in my opinion was the closest we ever got to Walter Peyton. What a THRILL it was to watch him play. As a Returner, he was the Most Feared Returner in the league. I was at The RAMS Playoff game before the Ice Bowl. Every kick was a Squib. In a Career that only lasted, I think 5 years, He compiled a 40+ yrd Return Average. No One has ever come close to that. Just a Thrill to watch him play.
LVT

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lou's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:49 pm

Las Vegas Tom, I wish more could have seen the "Road Runner" especially in person. As a Green Bay local I attended practice session on Oneida St. in the afternoons before going to a 3rd shift home from college summer job on the East side at Charmin Paper Co. I truly believe after seeing both in games that Travis in football gear would beat Hayes in the 100 yard dash. Not only was he fast he was a solid 225 and would hit the WEDGE and just bounce to the side and take off. Here is some trivia on him that I witnessed, myself and my college girl friend from the Shawano area attended the fist "Intra Squad Game" ever, Travis ran the kick off back and was knocked out cold, they took him off on a stretcher in those days. I will check with some friends who worked at the Press Gazette to see if they have a write up on that. Earl Campbell had really good speed for a big back but no extra gear like the "Road Runner". Thanks for the memories.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 05, 2017 at 03:43 pm

lou, Travis Williams Without question is on my All Time Great Packer Team. Those who didn't see his Greatness, don't know what they missed. WITHOUT QUESTION he is the Greatest Return Player of All Time. You could argue who would start at Half Back, Travis or Ahman. I personally would pick Travis. Maybe that's because he's a part of my youth, He was a Thrill to watch. Every Chance I get to Elevate the name Travis Williams, I do it. He truly is one of the All Time Packer Greats. Those of us who were fortunate to watch his play, Truly as you put it. have some Great Memories.
LVT

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Steve Cheez's picture

October 05, 2017 at 05:00 pm

I was just a little tyke, so don't recall actually seeing TW play. However, I do know that my Mom always gave me little comments like "I'll bet Travis Williams finishes HIS vegetables", or "Travis Williams shares his toys with his brother".

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lou's picture

October 06, 2017 at 11:03 am

Did it work ? Talking about Mom's advise, Paul Hornung's first commercial was for Morning Glory Dairy (locals will remember it), who would have thought the "Golden Boy" would be doing milk adds when he became famous later for the Miller Lite Beer adds and did cigarette commercials for a while too. I heard the same thing about drinking Morning Glory Milk.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:17 pm

Yes. Left out Donny.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:10 am

Ahman Green was Great, no question about that, but until he got injured I think Travis Williams was better. Sure would like to see him again!! Great Half Back, & The Best Returner of All Time.
LVT

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:57 am

I was going to put Travis Williams on my list but thought people would scoff at that one.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Finwiz, Only those who didn't see him play.
LVT

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:11 pm

At the time he was reported to have run a 9.3 - 100 yd. dash.
There was Homer Jones, Bob Hayes, and Travis Williams.
People wanted a race to see who was fastest.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Finwiz, I remember Bullet Bob well , but don't recall Homer Jones?
LVT

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Since'61's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:56 pm

LVT - Homer Jones played for the NY Giants. I don't think that he was as fast as either Bob Hayes or Travis Williams. If Hayes wasn't the fastest he was certainly the smoothest runner of those 3. I still remember him from the '64 Olympics. Bob Hayes "the fastest man alive." He was classic. Thanks, Since '61

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 07:54 pm

Take a look at H. Jones career total yards per catch.
That should tell you all you need to know about his speed.
In his day, he was right up there with Travis and Hayes.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:39 pm

Yup. For a while as a kid, I would try to imitate him when we would play in the school yard fields, especially when it snowed.

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 07:55 pm

I wrote 23 in ink on my hand for the school week, and after that, it was 25 - Dave Hampton.

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croatpackfan's picture

October 05, 2017 at 11:49 am

No Eddy Lacy? Ooooooh...

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Since'61's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Eddie Who?

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croatpackfan's picture

October 06, 2017 at 05:45 am

The only OROY RB Packers ever had. RB who kept Packers in the hunt to postseason in 2013... Short memory, ha?

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bbellin's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:42 pm

I would say Hornung or Green.

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Since'61's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:07 pm

Paul Hornung! He would be a prefect fit with Aaron Rodgers and MM for that matter. Paul was a great RB inside the red zone. Secondly he was an excellent receiver out of the backfield and once he caught the ball he was a great runner in space. Third, as Lombardi said, he could block like a guard, so no worries picking up the blitz and protecting Rodgers. Fourth, he could throw the option pass as well as anyone who ever played. He won the Heisman Trophy as the Notre Dame QB so throwing was no problem.

Additionally he knew everyone's assignment on the offense. Beyond all that he could kick FGs and Extra Points, punt and kickoff if necessary. In 1960 Hornung scored an NFL record 176 points in the league's final 12 game season. That is an average of 14.67 points per game. He did it scoring TDs, kicking FGs and Xtra points. The record held until broken by L. Tomlinson in a 16 game season scoring only TDs.

Hornung was durable as well, until he suffered a pinched nerve in his neck ending his career prematurely in 1966. With the current emphasis on versatility Hornung would fit perfectly in today's complex offensive schemes. I basically became a Packers fan watching him score 19 out of 37 points scored by the Packers in their 37 - 0 romp over the NY Giants in the 1961 NFL Championship game. It seemed like the only two names I heard throughout the whole game were Hornung and Nitschke. Thanks, Since '61

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jww061356's picture

October 05, 2017 at 12:55 pm

I have to go with Green. A little fumbilitis in his day, but he scared the hell out of people. I never saw the older era guys play, but I do remember a 99 yard drive where we ran it right down the Buccaneers throats the entire drive. They interviewed Warren Sapp afterward in the locker room, and he said "...it isn't like we were fooled, we knew where they were running, we just couldn't stop it." Imagine a world where AR only has to pass when he feels like it....

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Since'61's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:04 pm

No need to imagine it, I lived through it in the Lombardi era. After a game in 1962 against the Bears, legendary NFL founder and Bears head coach George Halas was asked if his team was unprepared for the plays run by the Packers during the game. Halas replied, "No we knew every play they were going to run but we just could not stop them." The game's final score was Packers 49 - Bears 0. I think Bart Starr threw the ball less than 10 times that day. Perfect execution = no chance for the Bears. Thanks, Since '61

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The TKstinator's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:06 pm

AG
Hornung
Ivery (without the torn up knees)
Levens
Taylor
Ryan Grant
(Eric Torkelson just missed the cut)

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:54 pm

NOBODY has said Terdell Middleton...the answer to the trivia question: which former Packer RB was named in just about every Packer telecast from his 1978 1000-yard season until Edgar Bennett finally cracked the 1000-yard mark in 1995?

Ah, yes: Eddie Knee Ivery...

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The TKstinator's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:06 pm

Of course, Terdell had the great threat of David Whitehurst taking pressure off the running game~~

Ivery was so talented, especially with his receiving skills, just such a shame those dang knee injuries: twice in three years!

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:13 pm

It seemed like every telecast they would mention the woeful Packers ground game and the fact that they hadn't mustered a 1000-yard rusher since the Terd....

I actually liked Gerry Ellis in that era, too. He wasn't a star, but he was a very workman-like (not necessarily Vince Workman-like...see what I did there?), blue-collar back who could do a little bit of everything.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:50 pm

Me too!
Good versatility
Poor man's Earl Campbell

(Workman-like; the TKstinator def approves of that kind of chicanery!)

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lou's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:53 pm

Ivery had Walter Payton talent, 2 ACL's in season openers in a row but he still was a capable back for years. His records at Georgia Tech were so good you had to see if they were miss prints.

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Qoojo's picture

October 05, 2017 at 01:19 pm

Well, if you don't equalize the eras, then it's Green. If you just use relative performance from their current era, then Jim Taylor.

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NitschkeFan's picture

October 05, 2017 at 02:58 pm

Brockington was a rookie when I started watching football Every weekend. He was a 1,000 yard machine in a 14 game era with no passing attack to threaten opponents. For a few years he was the only reason to watch the Packers.

It didn't last long and by his fourth season facing 8 men in the box wore him done.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 05, 2017 at 03:25 pm

Travis Jervey. Hands down.

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dobber's picture

October 05, 2017 at 03:42 pm

Travis Jervey: the Jeff Janis of RBs.

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Handsback's picture

October 05, 2017 at 03:31 pm

Heck...I forgot about Ivery. Saw more of him in college than with the Packers. If healthy, he was a HOF runner.
I grew up watching Taylor, Horning, Brockington, and Ivery. 100 percent healthy I very was the best.
imho.

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Duneslick's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:16 pm

Ivery had a major knee injury in his first preseason and we never got to see how special he could have been

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The TKstinator's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:27 pm

Awesome rookie preseason, 3 carries for 24 yards against Chicago in season opener. Tore his ACL. Missed the rest of his rookie year.
Second year, gained 831 yards.
Third year, season opener against Chicago again, tore up knee again, missed the rest of the year.
Could have been one of GB's all time most talented backs. BUT staying healthy is a huge part of the equation.

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Turophile's picture

October 05, 2017 at 03:46 pm

I wouldn't pick a Packer RB at all (and yes, I know that was the question).

I'd pick a guy who, when he played, was the guy I couldn't take my eyes off. He transcended team. There are RBs with better stats, but none looked like him.

Barry Sanders - legend.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 05, 2017 at 03:51 pm

Barry Sanders was no Tony Mandarich.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 05, 2017 at 04:18 pm

Or Michael Irvin.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 05, 2017 at 05:21 pm

Or Michael Flatley.

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Turophile's picture

October 06, 2017 at 04:22 am

I just jumped up and crisscrossed my feet reading that !

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The TKstinator's picture

October 06, 2017 at 06:26 am

Lol

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EdsLaces's picture

October 05, 2017 at 08:04 pm

Man unless you go back to the Lombardi days (which football was so different then) we just haven't had any amazing running backs. Yeah Ahman was good and Levens was pretty good, but damn id kill for just one freakin AP type back!

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Duneslick's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:13 pm

Travis Williams only gained 1160 yds rushing in his 6 years

Amad Green was the best Brockington was good for a short time. Donny Anderson had some good years too

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Finwiz's picture

October 05, 2017 at 09:30 pm

This is correct, but I didn't want to denigrate the deceased man's career.
He was a far better returner than RB.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 05, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Finwiz, He was a Far Better Returner than a RB. I was 20 in his Rookie season. He was so Dynamic, as a Kick Off Return player, It just over shadowed what he did as a RB to a young guy of 20. I had never seen anyone that good prior to Travis Williams. Not to make any excuses for his 4 years of yardage with GB, If I'm not mistaken GB sort of fell off the cliff his 2ond year, & went into a 25 year free fall. That's how I remember it. You are Right, he was a Much Better Returner. He was Special to me & to a lot of GB fans that remember him.
LVT

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A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

October 06, 2017 at 04:07 pm

Johnny Blood!

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The TKstinator's picture

October 06, 2017 at 09:32 pm

Johnny Depp!
Jack Sparrow!

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cheesycowboy's picture

October 07, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Over the history of the Packers organization, they have never been blessed with a Sayers, Payton, Sanders, Peterson type of running back but have been more effective in each era and growth of the franchise with unsung heroes,

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Tundraboy's picture

October 08, 2017 at 08:29 am

Canadeo

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