Category Archives: Seasons

Green Bay Packers 2015 Schedule Preview

The NFL announced that it will release its schedule at some point this week and it’s always like a holiday for NFL fans. In no other sport does a schedule release come with such anticipation with only 16 games and every game being of such importance.

Let’s first get a refresher of the Green Bay Packers’ opponents for the upcoming 2015 season:

Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers

Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders 

The NFL loves to try shove the parity narrative down your throat, which is kind of a fallacy. Sure, there are a few surprises and disappointments every year, but you can pretty much pencil in a handful of teams in the postseason every season and a handful of teams at who will be at the bottom. Those teams have been the same for a number of years now. So, you can have a pretty good idea of how hard your schedule is at this point, even though most people will say you can’t really evaluate it right now.

The Packers are going to have a pretty tough schedule this year. They play both the NFC and AFC West, which are both very strong divisions. Green Bay had it much easier last year playing the AFC East and the brutal NFC South. Fortunately, the Packers get Seattle and Kansas City at home to avoid those brutal road trips, but road games at Arizona and Denver will be extremely challenging. As a first place finisher they will have to play games against the other first place finishers in the NFC — Dallas and Carolina.

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Ross’s First (and Last) Packers 7 Round Mock v2

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Just like last year, this is a best case scenario draft.  While it is unlikely that all of the players that I have selected will be available when they are selected in this mock it is at least possible.  In fact if I have made the pick I’ve at least seen this player available in a different “expert’s” rankings and or mock at the position they’ve been selected.  Finally, I won’t be projecting trades.  Ted Thompson stood pat and drafted in the spot he was slotted with every pick last season and it seemed to work out just fine for him.

1st round (30)- Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Eric Kenridcks

After missing out on Mosley, Shazier and Borland a year ago, Thompson finds his every down ILB.

Analysis: Some might argue that cornerback, specifically outside cornerback is the top need for the Packers.  Davon House and Tramon Williams have both left the team, which would appear to leave the Packers with Sam Shields, two good slot corners (Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward) and unproven perimeter athletes Tay Glover-Wright and Demetri Goodson.  The thing is, I like the 2nd and 3rd round corners about as much as I like the 1st round corners and I love how Kendricks fits the Packers.  THere isn’t anything Kendricks doesn’t do well and the difference between his cover ability and what the Packers have had at inside linebacker since the switch to the 3-4.  Thompson loves to cultivate talent from the Pac 12.

NFL comp: Kiko Alonso, Eagles

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2015 NFL Draft: Packers Position Preview: OLB

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The Packers are in an interesting spot at OLB.  Their best defensive player is an outside linebacker by trade, and one of the best in the business.  The defense is markedly different when he’s not on the field.  You needn’t look any further than the NFC Championship game for evidence of that.  While Clay Matthews was going through the concussion protocol, a defense that had shut down the Seahawks attack all day long fell completely to pieces.  The big problem is that he’s so far and away the best linebacker on the team that the Packers have to use him inside on running downs.

Like I wrote last week, the Packers have to make big changes at inside linebacker.  Whether or not Matthews is a part of it is an interesting proposition.  Having Matthews play inside in the base defense is a positive on two levels.  Matthews aggressiveness and speed are best utilized attacking a running back.  That same attitude actually makes him an average edge run defender.  It’s easy to get CM3 to chase RB on read-option.

The reason that the CM3 to part-time ILB thing worked is because of the presence of Julius Peppers and the emergence of Nick Perry.  The outside linebacker position looks like it’s in great shape on the surface, but look a little deeper and you’ll realize that if Peppers comes back for 2015 it will likely be his final year in Green Bay.  You’ll then realize that Nick Perry, Mike Neal and Andy Mulumba are all playing on expiring contracts in 2015.

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Out of the Pocket: The Draft is Coming

Out of the Pocket Podcast on the Packers Talk Radio Network.

Jump in to off-season fun with the Hot Mess-Express as they review the Packers free agent signings (or lack there-of), discussing how much everyone has missed us, Kelly’s love of the game, recap the coaching staff reorganization, the different Packers that have been traded or left out in the cold, what the Packers’ greatest needs are, and how we can use the draft to build our organization.

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

Join Out of the Pocket as they bring you a weekly dissection of the Green Bay Packers as only they know how. All are longtime Packer fans who bring their infinite wisdom, passion and snark to the Packers Talk Radio Network. Follow them on Twitter at @WhatRUTinkin , @Ceallaigh_k , @missannielynn, and @jys_h. Follow our guest, Mark, on Twitter at @MarkWWellner.

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The Packers are looking at quarterbacks?

bryce petty

As other teams start playing musical quarterbacks, isn’t it reassuring to know that the league’s MVP, and possibly one of the best quarterbacks in the history of, well, ever is on the Green Bay Packers’ active roster. Let’s face it, we’re spoiled. Aside from the fall of 2013 where the Packers walked through the Shadow of Mediocrity while Aaron Rodgers nursed a broken clavicle, the Packers have been rock solid with a top tier quarterbacks since 1992. That’s three presidents ago, and I was still in college.

Yet Rodgers’ injury reminded the team and fans alike that he is very much mortal, susceptible to the same injuries as any other athlete, and that there needs to be a Plan B if he cannot play. The Packers gambled that year and lost horribly. Vince Young, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien. By the time Flynn was resigned to salvage the remainder of the season–or at least stop the hemorrhaging–he was technically QB3, maybe QB4 if you count Young.

Needless to say, they haven’t been caught shorthanded since. With a reliable insurance policy and a spare last year, the Packers kept Flynn on as the backup while Tolzien continued to develop. He knew the system, though his arm wasn’t that strong. And now that it appears that Scoots is ready to assume the role of QB2, the Packers resigned him last month to $1.35 Million one-year contract (a $645,000 raise from last year.) Meanwhile they have made no move to resign Matt Flynn. It signals to me that the Packers have already picked Rodgers’ back up for 2015. It’s a sizable hit against the cap for someone riding the bench, but it is a solid insurance policy when the league’s MVP goes down.

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2015 NFL Draft: Packers Positional Preview: ILB

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Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to make an accurate prediction.  The Packers re-signed Letroy Guion and BJ Raji on Monday.  These signings might have only made the defensive line more interesting as far as the draft is concerned.  Ted Thompson eliminated the defensive line as a “need” pick.  The defensive line is going to be fine so long as the internal improvement from the players that were on the defensive line last year is enough to push the team over the top.

The return of Raji and Guion on 1 year deals doesn’t eliminate the defensive line as a position of need for the 2015 draft.  There doesn’t seem to be a long term answer at nose tackle on the roster yet, and if the Packers can secure a wide bodied player who can provide even a little pass rush don’t be surprised if they do so.

The weakest position that remains is inside linebacker.  The Packers have released mainstays and fan/media whipping boys AJ Hawk and Brad Jones.  That’s fine with me, neither player was ever an elite option and at this point in their careers, neither player is even replacement level.  Any linebacker off the street can provide the production that Hawk and Jones gave the team a season ago.  Jamari Lattimore is also gone, having signed with the New York Jets.

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Wisconsin Badgers in Green Bay

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While the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team has been getting national attention with their National Championship berth last night, their football team is a perennial Top 25 program as well. As of January, a total of 33 former Badgers were on NFL rosters, two of which were a part of the Green Bay Packers.

Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien and wide receiver Jared Abbrederis are the lone Badgers currently in Green Bay. While playing in Madison, the two were both big contributors on the offensive side of the ball, but only overlapped briefly during the 2010 season.

Over his three years with the team, Tolzien really only saw playing time during his junior and senior seasons. Over that span he started 26 games and threw for 5,164 yards, 32 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He led the Badgers to a 20-14 win in the Champs Sports Bowl over Miami following the 2009 season, but lost in the Rose Bowl 21-19 to TCU in 2010. Tolzien also decimated the Wisconsin single-season record for passing completion in his senior season, along with winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Here are his career stats:

Scott Tolzien Stats

Abbrederis was an impact player during his four years in a Badger uniform. Over his career, Abbrederis totaled 202 receptions, 3,140 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. On top of his receiving stats, he also tallied 291 rushing yards (2 TD)as well as 1,387 return yards (1 punt return TD).

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