Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why deflated balls are a big deal

flat

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:

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Wisconsin Badgers in Green Bay

TolzienAbbrederisWIS

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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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

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Green Bay Packers Taking A Step Back Defensively?

Tramon-Williams-vs.-Marshall

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.

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Packers Thompson Starts Free Agency His Way

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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.)

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The Highlights of Packers Free Agency

Reggie White

As the sun rises on the official start of the 2015 NFL season, numerous free agents are looking forward to signing contracts with new teams. Over the years, there have been some mega signings made on this day – Drew Brees to the Saints, Kurt Warner to the Cardinals, Peyton Manning to the Broncos, and Shannon Sharpe to the Ravens.

While Ted Thompson and the current Packers organization are more likely to let the free agency signing period come and go without much pomp and circumstance, there have been a times where Green Bay has opened up their wallet and paid some big name players.

1. Reggie White

ReggieWhiteSI ReggieWhiteSigning
Probably the biggest free agent signing in NFL history happened when defensive lineman Reggie White decided to ink a surprising deal with the Packers. After singing with the team, White said, “I wanted to try to get a new start, and hopefully find a team that would be devoted to winning.”

A coveted free agent in 1993, White anchored the line for six seasons, boosting the defense to tops in the league during his tenure with the team. White tallied 68.5 quarterback sacks, good enough for a Packers record at the time. He also had 239 tackles, forced 14 fumbles and had one interception.

White was also crucial to the Packers two Super Bowl appearances following the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He was also crowned the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1998, a year in which he has 16 sacks – and celebrated his 37th birthday. Let’s take a look at some highlights.

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The Calm Before the Free Agent Storm

Randall Cobb

Once again, the NFL’s franchise tag deadline has come and gone for the Green Bay Packers. As a result, they will need to work hard this week to sign their free agents before Friday’s open negotiating period begins at 4:00pm ET. This negotiating period lasts for three days and allows NFL teams to begin talking to all available free agents.

It’s not a huge surprise that Ted Thompson opted not to use the team’s franchise tag again this season. The last couple of times Thompson has used the tag were on defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (2010) and defensive tackle Corey Williams (2008). A long-term deal was reached shortly after tagging Pickett, and Williams was traded to Cleveland soon after being tagged.

Some media outlets are shocked that Randall Cobb didn’t receive the franchise tag – especially after big name receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas were tagged by Dallas and Denver, respectively. While the Packers could easily have absorbed the $12.8 million it would have cost to hold on to Cobb for 2015, it’s not a surprise that Thompson chose not to at that price, especially since the team’s leading receiver, Jordy Nelson, is currently getting $10 million per year. That could very well be the number that the Packers have in mind for Cobb. But Cobb may have a higher number in mind.

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