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The Dynamic Duo Of the Packers

two beasts

There is nothing that should excite Green Bay Packers fans as training camp approaches more than Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy playing a full season together.

They only played in six games together last year due to injuries for both. They went 5-1 in those games with the only loss being the first game of the season at San Francisco, averaged 29 points per games and averaged 404 yards per game. For reference sake the Packers averaged 35 points per game and 405.1 yards per game during their historic 2011 season. The points differential can be explained in red zone efficiency.

The Packers were still third in the NFL in yards and eighth in points with Rodgers missing seven games, which is amazing to think about. Not only where they without Rodgers and Lacy at times, but they were also without Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley and James Jones at times too. It really wasn’t talked about enough how effective they were on offense last year without this collection of talent.

Rodgers and Lacy is perhaps the best quarterback and running back duo in the NFL. The league should be scared if they both stay healthy and the Packers are at least adequate on defense. Rodgers used to dominate without much of a running game at all and defenses hanging back in cover-2 defense compelled to let the Packers running game beat them because they knew it couldn’t. Now it can.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: 53 Man Roster Prediction Update: Camp Edition

Aaron Rodgers prepares to pass

I took a swing at the 53 man roster immediately following the undrafted free agent signings, which you can find here.  There have been a few developments since then.  Obviously the most significant one is the release and probable retirement of Jonathan Franklin.  I had him penciled in to the roster not only for this season but for many seasons.  Other players made as much as a name for themselves as you can in OTAs.  First I’ll lay out the new 53 man prediction followed by a little bit of analysis.

Quarterbacks (3)

Aaron Rodgers
Matt Flynn
Scott Tolzien

Running Backs (4)

Eddie Lacy
John Kuhn
James Starks
DuJuan Harris

Wide Receivers (6)

Jordy Nelson
Randall Cobb
Jarrett Boykin
Davante Adams
Jared Abbrederis
Chris Harper

Tight Ends (4)

Brandon Bostick
Colt Lyerla
Richard Rodgers
Ryan Taylor

Offensive Linemen (8)

David Bakhtiari
Josh Sitton
JC Tretter
TJ Lang
Bryan Bulaga
Don Barclay
Derek Sherrod
Corey Linsley

Defensive Linemen (6)

Mike Daniels
BJ Raji
Datone Jones
Jerel Worthy
Josh Boyd
Khryi Thornton

DE/OLB (3)

Julius Peppers
Nick Perry
Mike Neal

Outside Linebackers (3)

Clay Matthews
Carl Bradford
Adrian Hubbard

Inside Linebackers (4)

AJ Hawk
Brad Jones
Jamari Lattimore
Sam Barrington

Cornerbacks (5)

Tramon Williams
Sam Shields
Casey Hayward
Davon House
Jarrett Bush

Safeties (4)

HaHa Clinton-Dix
Morgan Burnett
Micah Hyde
Sean Richardson

Specialists (3)

Mason Crosby
Tim Masthay
Brett Goode

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2014 Green Bay Packer and NFC North Preview

Packers NFC North

The 2013 season was a down year for the NFC North. Only the Packers had a winning record last season, winning the division with just 8 wins.  The NFC North had provided wild card teams the previous 4 years, The Packers in 2009 and 2010, the Lions in 2011, and the Vikings in 2012.

While the Packers have dominated the division the past few years, winning the North 2011-13, and making the playoffs every year since 2009, they may have strong competition from the Bears and the Lions,  both of whom have made some potentially impactful additions this offseason.

With the start of training camp just around the corner, here is how I see the NFC North.

Green Bay Packers

2013 Record: 8-7-1

Important Free Agent Additions and Key Draft Picks: Julius Peppers, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Davante Adams, Richard Rodgers

X Factor:  Health – The Packers are always among the most injured teams in the NFL, and if they hope to compete with the likes of the 49ers and Seahawks, that is going to need to change this year. The Packers are doing and saying all the right things this offseason, taking yoga classes, using a GPS monitoring system to try to help reduce injuries, but will these new strategies actually have an effect on the amount of injuries that the Packers sustain this year?

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Will Packers Keep Three Quarterbacks?

Scott Tolzien was 24-of-34 for 339 yards in a 27-13 loss to the Giants.

The Green Bay Packers have not kept three quarterbacks on their roster since 2010 when they kept Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell. That could change this season.

The Packers have kept only two quarterbacks for the last three years to give them added roster flexibility. Keeping only two quarterbacks has allowed them to grab an extra roster spot at another position. Maybe that player could add depth, be a developmental guy or be a special teams contributor.

Most teams will never have three quarterbacks on the active 46 player game day roster even if they have three on the 53 man roster, so it makes sense to try to stash a third developmental guy on the practice squad instead of the active roster.  However, it finally caught up to the Packers last season when their starting quarterback got injured in consecutive games and they were a play away from Jordy Nelson playing quarterback twice.

Ted Thompson found out the importance of the backup quarterback position when his complete botching of it burned him last season. It was more of the fact of who was the backup than the fact that he only had two total quarterbacks on the roster, but that didn’t help him either. Thompson should have figured out Graham Harrell couldn’t play long ago like most people knew and had a better backup plan than Vince Young and Seneca Wallace.

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Why Brett Favre Deserves His Packers Day Now

Favre

Brett Favre will go another season without having his number retired in Green Bay, and it is another season too long.

Packers president Mark Murphy told reporters last week that it is just not the time for a Favre ceremony yet with the possibility of booing being a reason.

“That is an issue,” Murphy said. “He doesn’t want it, and neither do we. He wouldn’t want to come back and get booed. You can’t control 80,750 people. I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it’s less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue.”

Hopefully the booing isn’t an excuse for there still being tension between Favre and the organization. I have seen many people have say this on Twitter and it makes sense; just send Favre out with Bart Starr and Aaron Rodgers and he will not be booed.

If you are somebody who planned on booing Favre will another year really make a difference? He last played for the Packers in 2007 and last played in the NFL in 2010. If you’re not over it by now you will probably never be over it. Also, if you’re still holding a grudge on Favre at this point you really need to get over it and grow up.

LeBron James agreed to return home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers after having about as ugly a divorce as possible. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing letter tho the fans about James after he left for Miami–and the fans burned his jerseys in the streets–yet they both realized that they behaved badly and reconciled.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Tight End Summer Battle

Richard Rodgers

The tight end position in Green Bay is the one that both baffles and excites me the most.  I have literally talked myself into 3 different players as the #1 contributor on the team (4 if you include Jermichael Finley).  I truly the believe the position is fascinating.  When you add in the fact that the team’s best special teams contributor, Ryan Taylor, basically has to make the team you can talk yourself into 5 TEs making the roster.

Due to the unfortunate end of Johnathan Franklin’s career this 5 TE roster is possible, but the idea that the team would be best served keeping 6 WRs muddies those waters.  Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Colt Lyerla and Richard Rodgers all bring different things to the position and I don’t really want to see any of them go.  What makes it intriguing is that I really don’t believe the team can afford to keep 3 QBs 6 WR 4 RB and 5 TE.  That’s 18/53 players dedicated to the offensive skill positions.  If you add 8 OL and 3 specialists to that number that’s 29/53.  It’s very unlikely that the Packers go into the season with only 24 defenders.  They kept 27 last year and with the mantra being “more personnel, less scheme” I wouldn’t be shocked to see that number climb to 28 or 29.

That means at least one of Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien, DuJuan Harris, John Kuhn, Jared Abbrederis, Chris Harper, Andrew Quarless, Colt Lyerla, Ryan Taylor, or Brandon Bostick are going to be released.  God only knows what would happen to the roster if Jermichael Finley is re-signed.

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5 Packer Veterans Who Could be on the Roster Bubble

Davon House Packers

 

During the next couple of months the Packers will have to whittle down their roster from the 90 players they currently have to just 53.

The Packers lost a few players to free agency, but they also signed free agents, Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion, selected 9 players in May’s draft, have numerous players coming back from injury, and they also have a penchant for keeping a few undrafted free agents on the roster.  With this influx of new talent, the Packers will have some tough choices to make, and it will undoubtedly mean there will be a few veterans looking for new teams come August and September.

Here are 5 players that may be fighting for a roster spot this preseason.

Davon House – Since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft, House has flashed potential at times during the preseason, but has never been able to get that preseason success to transfer to the regular season. For his career, House has just 1 interception and 15 passes defended in 27 games. And he played so poorly against Detroit last December,  he was benched for much of the remainder of the season.

With the re-signing of Sam Shields, the return of a healthy Casey Hayward, the emergence of Micah Hyde, and the selection of Demetri Goodson in the draft, House may find that he is the odd man out in a crowded secondary.

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