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Green Bay Packers Set Up for Mid Season Run

Clay int

The Green Bay Packers are set up again for another mid season run like they have made for two straight seasons.

After starting off the season 1-2 last year, Green Bay went on a four game winning streak and were poised to make it five until Aaron Rodgers got injured against the Bears. In 2012, the Packers started off 2-3 before rattling off five straight wins.

The schedule is set up for the Packers to do something similar this year. They have faced the toughest part of their schedule already and survived at 2-2, which is really a fine record for the quality of opponents they were facing and where they were playing them.

The Packers’ next three opponents are Minnesota, at Miami and Carolina. Those are three teams they should beat. Obviously, you can never predict the NFL and nobody can be taken lightly, but those three teams do not stack up with the stretch the Packers just went through.

Teddy Bridgewater looked awesome for Minnesota yesterday, but it’s so tough for road teams to win on Thursdays, and it will be tougher for a rookie quarterback. Atlanta’s defense is also terrible, not that the Green Bay defense is anything to write home about of course. One thing Dom Capers has been good at with the Packers is confusing young quarterbacks.


Green Bay Packers Injury Roundup

BJ Raji

Well that certainly didn’t last very long did it? It seems like just yesterday that the boys of From the Benches were discussing that the Packers were finally going through a training camp without a high number of injuries.  The thought was that this might finally be the year that the team stays healthy and climbs back towards the 13 win number that would secure it a first round bye.  That good fortune turned and turned quickly.  Jared Abbrederis, Don Barclay, Colt Lyerla, BJ Raji and JC Tretter have all been lost for significant parts of the season.  All five of these players were on my initial 53 man projection.

While I understand that including Colt Lyerla in that projection was partly wishful thinking and might have been a bit of a long shot, the other 4 players were virtual roster locks.  2 of those players were unquestioned starters at the time of their injury.  I’m going to take a brief look at all of these injuries, what they mean for this season, what they mean for the big picture and what frame of mind these injuries should put Cheesehead nation in.

Jared Abbrederis- “Abby” tore his ACL in practice before even being able to step on the field in a preseason game.  While it was unclear whether or not he was going to win the #5 receiver spot, it was clear that he was the leader for the punt return position.  The loss of Abbrederis has more than likely thrust either starting safety Micah Hyde or starting wide receiver Randall Cobb into the punt return position.  There is an outside chance that both the 5th receiver spot and the punt return spot can be taken care of by Jeff Janis, but the Saginaw Valley State product is very raw.


5 Takeaways From the First Week of Packer Training Camp

Casey Hayward Packers

Football is finally back! The Packers kicked off training camp last Saturday and there are already some interesting storylines developing.

You have young receivers like Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis trying to show that they deserve playing time in a crowded receiver group. JC Tretter and Corey Linsley are vying to replace Evan Dietrich-Smith at center. And the Packers have a group of seven tight ends all fighting for a chance to be the starter.

But with the first week of training camp coming to an end, and the first preseason game just a little over a week away, here are the 5 storylines I am most interested in.

  1. The Safety Battle

    Micah Hyde continues to get reps with the first team defense on the other side of veteran Morgan Burnett, while 1st round pick, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix remains with the second team.  On Sunday, Mike McCarthy praised Hyde’s transition to safety as “seamless,” and by all accounts, he has looked excellent in training camp. Even if he isn’t able to beat out Hyde for the starting job, Clinton-Dix should still see plenty of playing time in the Packer’s sub packages.

  1. The Resurgence of Raji

    It’s been less than a week, but BJ Raji has looked more like his 2010 self, rather than the disappointing version the Packers have seen the past 2 years. He has routinely won his one on one battles, and he looks like a man on a mission.  Maybe the return to nose tackle has made the difference, or maybe having to sign back with the Packers on a one year prove it deal has motivated him, but whatever the reason, the Packers can only hope they have an explosive, motivated Raji once the season starts.


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BREAKING: Green Bay Packers select Carl Bradford , LB, Arizona State at 121

Carl Badford Packers


Carl Bradford is a redshirt junior who has a lot of versatility. Bradford has played defensive end, outside linebacker, and inside linebacker. He may be best suited to play inside in the Packers defense. At 6’1” 250 pounds, he may not have the length the Packers look for in an edge rusher.

Bradford had 21.5 sacks over the past 3 season to go along with 154 tackles, and 43 tackles for a loss.

How does he fit with the Packers?

The Bradford selection is another sign the Packers will move to more multiple fronts on defense.

An explosive athlete I like him as a possible replacement for Brad Jones, but he could be a possible back up for Clay Matthews. He has the versatility to play inside or outside in the Packers scheme. I love the selection!

NFL comparison: Alec Ogletree – Bradford is similar in size and speed to Ogletree, who was a 1st round pick by the Rams in 2013. Bradford was a much more productive pass rusher than Ogletree, but they both play with an aggressive attitude . writers Ross Uglem and Ian Hanley  contributed to this article.


Ian Hanley is a writer at You can follow him on twitter at @Ian_M_Hanley.



Should Mike McCarthy Be Extended?

mike mccarthy

According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Packers President Mark Murphy has approached head coach Mike McCarthy about a contract extension this offseason. This comes as a surprise, since McCarthy still has two more seasons remaining on his current contract.

There is no question that McCarthy should be Green Bay’s head coach for as long as he desires. He has a career record of 82-45-1 with four division championships and one Super Bowl championship. At worst McCarthy is one of the 10 best coaches in the NFL, and at best he is one of the five greatest.

However, with two years left on the deal there does not need to be a rush to extend him. As McGinn mentioned, the status of general manager is a big reason why.

Thompson’s contract does not expire until after the 2016 NFL Draft, but there is doubt about how long Thompson will have the desire to keep his grueling job. He is 61 years old and did not appear to be in the best shape health wise at his last press conference. It could mean nothing, but it was a reminder that Thompson has been at this job for a long time and isn’t getting any younger.

McCarthy and Thompson are the longest NFL head coach and GM tandem with nine years together. That is an eternity for a league where jobs are on the line every season. Coaches and general managers are disposed of with little regard.


The End is Near: Dom Capers


I will be up front with all of you. I have been in Dom Capers’ corner for the last two seasons specifically.

When the defense completely tanked in 2011, finishing last in the NFL I was a believer that a coaching change was not needed, but rather more personnel. After last season’s debacle in the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers, I was the same way. It was not Dom Capers fault that he was working with the likes of Erik Walden, a thin defensive line, and a complete liability at the safety position.

The words from various players that they were not prepared for quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s ability to run did not sit well with me, but it was something I was willing to look past.

Early in the season it looked foolish to be in that corner. The Packers faced the same team that knocked them out of the playoffs, and their defense was absolutely lit up. Kaepernick threw for more than 400 yards, 208 of which went to Anquan Boldin, the only viable 49ers receiving threat on the outside at the time. Those who were calling for Capers head were louder than ever.

Some of those calls quieted down when Capers defense turned in a dominant performance against the Washington Redskins, and played well enough to win against the Cincinnati Bengals going into the bye week.