Category Archives: Authors

Bet on the Packers to Win the Super Bowl Next Season

Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl

There, I said it. Way too soon, of course, as free agency and the draft are still down the road. Frankly, though, other than the Packers retaining Randall Cobb, I don’t think it matters much.

If we go under the assumption that the Packers can sign Cobb before he hits the free agent market, (and I think they will), the team as constituted is good enough to win it all next year.

More important than specific personnel, from my perspective, will be the emotional factors that will drive this team next year. The loss to Seattle has hit this team, the organization, the fans, the city, the media, etc, harder than any loss I can remember (and I’ve been  following since the Lombardi years).

Perhaps the player that best described the feeling was Josh Sitton, who intoned he would have rather not make the playoffs at all then to  go as far as they did and lose the way they did. The NFL season is an incredibly long grind and getting as far as the Packers did with as injury-free a season they had is something that is extremely difficult to do. They were five minutes from the ultimate destination – the Super Bowl, when somehow, they abruptly pulled the rug out from underneath themselves.

The effects have spurred the Packers organization to act in a manner that you could say is out of character for them – swiftly and with no mercy.  The symbols of failure from that Seattle game have been jettisoned. Shawn Slocum, Brandon Bostick, Brad Jones; all sent packing. No need to worry about seeing them around Lambeau Field next year and being reminded every day of that terrible day.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: ILBs Falter at Combine, Opportunity for Pack

Paul Dawson

The tweet of the combine for me came from @RumfordJohnny. “Paul Dawson running like he hates money.” He wasn’t kidding either.  Dawson’s performance was abysmal.  A prototypical off-the-ball linebacker would stand about 6 feet tall, weigh about 240 pounds, run a 40 yard dash in 4.7 seconds or less and a vertical leap of at least 33″.  Dawson ran an uninspiring 4.93 in the 40, had a vertical leap of only 28″.  Not only did this performance make scouts question what they saw from Dawson on tape, it made them question how prepared he was for the event.  For a player like Dawson with “character concerns”, that isn’t good.

Dawson wasn’t alone with his combine-related difficulties.  Everyone expected former safety Shaq Thompson to run a very fast 40 time.  This would have been very helpful for Shaq as he’s a little on the smaller side for an ILB.  He didn’t.  Thompson’s 4.64 40 was just slightly above average.

Bernardrick McKinney is another top option at the position that people assumed would test very well.  He checked in just fine.  He’s a very big prospect at 6’4″ 246 but performed marginally in every combine drill except for the vertical jump.  His dreams of the first round might just be gone.

One player that did help himself and actually forced people to go back and check out his tape was Stephone Anthony out of Clemson.  His performance on the bench press and vertical jump were more than adequate and his 40 yard dash and 20 yard shuttle were downright outstanding.  He’s the type of guy that moved up boards and probably solidified himself as a day 2 prospect.

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The Green Bay Packers – Some Of You Should Jump Off The Bandwagon

Brandon Bostick says goodbye.

As everyone knows, Brandon Bostick was released by the Packers. That wasn’t a surprise to me. Nor was what he disclosed in this article for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB

He received death threats.  From Packers fans.  Over a GAME.

In my opinion, Bostick should have been cut.  Not because of that one play, but because he’d had (despite his opinion) a less than stellar year, because he did not show enough progression and because the Packers needed his roster spot for someone who could contribute at a higher level.

Still.  Some of you “real fans” threatened his life?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

Football, despite the importance the Green Bay Packers have to me, is a game.  It is not life or death.  To threaten the life of a young man who was very much a”Packer Person”, who owned his mistake with grace and courage, who did someone any of us that has ever played sports or cared passionately about would understand – acted on instinct with a bad outcome- if you did such a thing , you’re lower than a snake’s navel.

I wish Brandon Bostick the best in Minnesota, although not against the Packers.  Anyone who wished he would die…I hope they get what they deserve.

Get off the bandwagon.  You aren’t wanted.

You aren’t a real fan.

 

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A Look Back: A.J. Hawk

AJ Hawk

The Green Bay Packers announced Wednesday that they released veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk after nine seasons with the team. I thought today would be a fantastic time to look back on the years A.J. has spent with us and reminisce.

Even though he has grown older and slower over the course of his time in Green Bay, A.J. Hawk knew how to tackle a ball carrier. As the 5th overall draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, Hawk was taken before players like Jay Cutler, Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, Devin Hester, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandon Marshall and Greg Jennings.

At the time of his release, Hawk was the all-time tackles leader for the Packers organization at 1,118. In his nine years with the team, Hawk played in all but two contests. He tallied nine interceptions, 19 sacks and five fumble recoveries.

Now that stats are out of the way, let’s look at some of the other things that made A.J. Hawk a special individual.

AJ Hawk Hair
Chopping off his hair was a state-wide news story in Wisconsin.

http://terezowens-com-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/2014/07/860704587.gif
He tackled a fan at a golf tournament because he asked him to.

AJ Hawk Middle Finger
His random, obscene gestures on the field.

http://i.imgur.com/rz3JlsR.gif
His clear dislike for this call.

In the end, that really matters is that another Packers jersey I have is obsolete (#74 Aaron Kampman was the first). I hope Hawk is able to find another job in the NFL, but I hope he doesn’t join Brandon Bostick on the Vikings…

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Trying to decipher Mike McCarthy

mike-mccarthy-packers-coach

We’ve officially reached the equivalent of the dark side of the moon when it comes to Green Bay Packers news. The Scouting Combine has come and gone. The owners meetings aren’t for a few weeks. Sure,  head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson had the typical boilerplate cliche bingo. Not much new, and we all know we’re licking the equivalent of a Wetnap at this point trying to catch a football buzz.

So while we wait for Bryan Bulaga and/or Randall Cobb to be signed or not signed, let’s try to decipher what coach meant last week at his brief presser in Indianapolis.

Regarding how things ended:

What Mike Said:

“I thought we were the best team in football when our season ended. You have to prove it on the field obviously.”

What you’ll never hear him say:

“Yes, we screwed the pooch and embarrassed ourselves in Seattle. The Super Bowl was in our grasp and we tossed it away.”

The organization is well aware of its epic flame out in the NFC Championship game. The film has been dissected, the sacrificial lambs named Slocum, Bostick and Jones have been offered up to the angry football gods.

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2015 NFL Draft: Packers Position Preview: RB

Ameer-Abdullah

Last week I wrote about how quarterback was the most important position in all of sports.  Running back was, for a very long time, held in similar esteem.  Old school football fans used to obsess about the running back position, and some still do.  Reality now tells a very different story.  The value of a running back in the NFL is decreasing almost every season.  The “new” NFL and it’s pass heavy approach to offense, as well as the short shelf life of running backs is leading to a smarter approach in the estimation of their value.

There wasn’t a running back taken in the first round of either of the last two drafts.  It had never happened before the 2013 selection meeting and now it has occurred for two seasons in a row.  The most lucrative free agent contract signed by a running back during the 2014 off season was a modest 4 year $10 million deal signed by Rashad Jennings.  The emphasis at the running back position is now being placed on youth and lack of expense.

This recent turn of events has left the NFL draft as the best place to acquire a running back, despite the lack of first round selections.  Running backs that are drafted after the 1st round are on very cheap 4 year contracts.  Once their 4 years are up the exceptional ones can sign extensions.  After that extension, however, the age of 30 and the running back expiration date approach quickly.  Last year’s Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots, paid their top 3 running backs a total less than $2.5 million.  In fact, the teams that employ the top 4 highest paid running backs, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster, did not qualify for the postseason.

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Looking Back at the 2007 Green Bay Packers Draft

Green Bay Packers 2007 Draft

In the inaugural year of Mike McCarthy’s tenure, the Green Bay Packers doubled their previous win total, improving from 4-12 to 8-8. With a couple of positions that needed addressing, including defensive line and running back, Ted Thompson and the Packers went into the draft looking for upside as well as some depth for special teams, which were struggling early on. He hit on a few picks, but this draft more than any other that he orchestrated is known for some big misses. So let’s look at the 2007 NFL Draft.

ROUND 1 (16) – Justin Harrell, DL. Tennessee

BAP: Jon Beason, LB. Miami (FL)

In a draft filled with misses (see Russell, JaMarcus and Anderson, Jamaal), this was a pick in the same mold. Harrell was known as a player with considerable talent, but he was a raw player who had numerous injury concerns, including a torn bicep that wiped out his final year at Tennessee. That didn’t stop Thompson from pulling the trigger, but he might wish he had looking back. Between this pick and their next pick, The Packers missed on 15 Pro Bowlers, including Beason, Joe Staley, Eric Weddle, Greg Olson, and LaMarr Woodley. As for Harrell, he never could shake the injury bug, appearing in 14 games over four season, suffering knee and back problems. He never caught on to another team after the Packers released him after the 2010 season.

ROUND 2 (63) – Brandon Jackson, RB. Nebraska

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