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Planning a Trip to Packers Training Camp?

training camp

The Green Bay Packers has finished minicamp and are scattered to the four corners in what is equivalent to the NFL’s summer vacation. With that, there will be little activity out of 1265 Lombardi Avenue until the team reconvenes at the end of July for Training Camp ahead of the 2015 regular season. Tickets for the annual Family Night–a night practice under the lights, mind you–were sold out within 48 hours. Fans love attending Training Camp.

But there’s still nearly a month where fans can still absorb the entire Training Camp experience and take in the events around Green Bay  without missing out any of the experiences.

Plan ahead. That’s the first and foremost rule. It may not be Mackinac Island or Disney, but Green Bay is a destination for summer travelers. The vast majority of hotels in town are with a short driving (read: not walking) distance from the stadium. But there are some a few blocks away. Call early, because those are the first to fill up.

That said, Highway 41 from Appleton to Green Bay is a complete pain in the butt. It has been so since I got my drivers license in high school in the 80’s and remains one to this day. It is constantly under construction, though I’m wondering what anyone has to show for it in the 20+ years since. Familiarize yourself with local maps and consider other ways to navigate town. Your sanity will thank you for it later.


PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Who’s the #1 contender?

Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl

The Green Bay Packers have either won the Super Bowl or the NFC North in each of the last 5 seasons.  It has been an incredible run.  In Game of Thrones parlance the Packers are the Kings in the North.  The Packers are prohibitive favorites to win the North again, requiring a $300 bet to win $100.  Admitting that the Packers are the clear favorite is easy, but identifying the #1 contender for the title is a little more difficult.

Each of the Packers’ NFC North mates have finished second during this half decade of dominance.  The Vikings scrapped their way to a 10-6 record in 2012 behind a monstrous season from Adrian Peterson, the Bears fell victim to “4th and great” in 2013 and Detroit came in second during the Packers’ 15 win season of 2011 and their 12 win season last year.

2015, from what I can tell, is going to be very interesting.  Last season’s #1 contender, the Detroit Lions, have lost what defined them as a team.  Ndamakong Suh and Nick Fairley are gone.  Everything that they did on defense was predicated by those two occupying between 3 and 3.5 blockers on every play and freeing up everyone else on the defense to make plays. The 3rd place finisher in Minnesota certainly appears to have the arrow pointing up.  The Bears Still Suck.

Contender #1: Minnesota Vikings


Why deflated balls are a big deal


Fans across the NFL–including Packers fans–have likely had their fill of Deflategate. And as I post this column, the NFL Players Association is drafting Brady’s appeal to his four game suspension. Four games–a quarter of the season—all for a bunch of flat balls. Oh, that as well as a $1 Million fine and forfeiture of next year’s first round draft choice as well as their fourth round pick in 2017.

I could rehash the entire Wells Report and the whole Free Brady outrage, but I won’t.  Instead, let’s break down the apologist’s arguments and point out the painfully obvious and –oddly enough–how this scandal affects the Green Bay Packers.

  • Excuse #1: Big whoop, it’s just a bunch balls. And the advantage it gave the Patriots did not tip the game in their favor during their victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game.

Yes, it’s true. The Patriots walloped the Colts. Probably would’ve done it, flat balls not withstanding, but why have rules if they are only suggestions? And guess what, the NFL has rules specifically addressing the condition of its game balls. In fact, the NFL rules pertaining to balls are pretty clear:


Wisconsin Badgers in Green Bay


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).


Looking Back at the 2010 Green Bay Packers Draft

Green Bay Packers 2010 NFL Draft

The 2009 season was a resurgence for the Green Bay Packers, improving by 5 games to 11-5 and taking the Cardinals to the limit in one of the most exciting playoff games of recent memory.

2009 rookies Clay Matthews and BJ Raji each made an impact, while Matthews became an instant star, so the Packers looked to get a similar impact, drafting the Best Available Player, and so far it has worked. Let’s take a look at the 2010 draft for Ted Thompson and the Packers.

ROUND 1 (23) – Bryan Bulaga, OL. Iowa

BAP: Bulaga

Seen in draft circles as a top prospect, some mocks had him going in the Top 10. However, he fell due to concerns about arm length and where he would play in the NFL. Coming in early on, he eventually became a starter at Right Tackle and he has held the job since then. A key piece of the 2010 Super Bowl team, he was seen as an elite right tackle by publications such as Bleacher Report and has been anything if not consistent, great in run blocking and slowly improving in pass protection. He did battle injuries in 2012 and 2013, but bounced back nicely last season. A priority free agent for Thompson, he re-signed this offseason and will remain in green and gold for a while to come.

ROUND 2 (56) – Mike Neal, DE. Purdue

BAP: Jared Veldheer, OT. Hillsdale


Green Bay Packers Taking A Step Back Defensively?


The Green Bay Packers have been able to keep its fantastic offensive machine so far this offseason, but the same cannot be said for its defense.

The Packers lost cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House, who combined with Sam Shields, Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde were the biggest strength of the Green Bay defense. They also have not added any free agents from another team to help out the defense.

Now at a premium position on defense they are an injury away from a disaster. Of course, it’s only March 23 and the NFL Draft has not happened yet, so it’s too soon to say the Packers have taken a step back on defense. However, drafting from the 30th spot in an average at best draft in terms of talent will not be easy. The Packers will find it tougher than the past two years when they had picks in the low and mid 20s in very deep drafts.

Ted Thompson made the right choices in letting both House and Williams go, as they were both overpaid. House has all the makings of a starting caliber corner, but he has not stayed healthy for a full season and has trouble with quicker wide receivers, so him getting more money guaranteed than Bryan Bulaga is crazy. Williams also got more money guaranteed than Bulaga and is one of the oldest corners in the NFL.


Packers Thompson Starts Free Agency His Way


Packers general manager is a man of few words, and even fewer smiles. He isn’t a bombastic circus sideshow like owner/GM Jerry Jones. It’s never about Ted. It’s about the football. Yesterday, as free agency had just begun, Thompson had already proved he is shrewdly one of the best in the league.

He’ll never be one to act like a star-struck groupie willing to get herpes from an over-the-hill, washed-up rock star playing the local bingo hall like the organization on the other side of the Mississippi. He’s stingy when it comes to free agency, and there needs to be a specific need before he’s willing to enter into a bidding war with other teams. The Packers needed a leader in the secondary, and he pulled the trigger on Charles Woodson. Last year the defensive line needed some heft, and he signed Letroy Guion.

So when the Packers were mentioned and interested suitors yesterday in the Darelle Reavis speed dating saga, I had to laugh. He wouldn’t cross the $7 Million line for tackle Bryan Bulaga, and signed Randall Cobb for a hometown discount the day before. You really think he was going to pay a king’s ransom for a reconstructed knee and would even entertain paying a corner more than his MVP quarterback. Reavis is good, but he isn’t that good. There was no way Thompson would’ve payed $70 Million over 5 years. (Whether he was at the table to get other teams blow their entire cap may be another story.)