Posts Tagged ‘Packers’

Favre to compete for starting job!

August 3, 2008

This is worth a full read: It comes from Silverstein, so we know it reflects packer thinking…

Green Bay — The Green Bay Packers are through negotiating with quarterback Brett Favre on a marketing deal and they are anticipating him reporting for training camp Monday and being on the field as soon as he passes his physical, a Packers source said.

Another source close to the club, said that the Packers have agreed to allow Favre to compete with Aaron Rodgers for the starting job and he won’t necessarily be the backup this season. Trade talks with Favre have not advanced and coach Mike McCarthy is expected to come up with a plan that will split the practice repetitions with Rodgers.

The Packers released this statement from president Mark Murphy:

“Sixteen years after Brett Favre came to the Packers, he is returning for a seventeenth season. He has had a great career with our organization and although we built this year around the assumption that Brett meant what he said about retiring, Brett is coming back. We will welcome him back and turn this situation to our advantage.

“Frankly, Brett’s change of mind put us in a very difficult spot. We now will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term future, all predicated on Brett’s decision last March to retire. As a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new and different future without Brett and we were obviously moving in that direction. That’s why this wasn’t easy. Having crossed the Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, it’s very difficult to reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction – but we’ll put this to our advantage.

“Brett will be in camp tomorrow. Although there has been uncertainty regarding Brett’s return, Ted Thompson and Coach McCarthy had previously discussed this and have had a plan in place. Coach McCarthy will talk to the team and the quarterbacks about the plan moving forward, and after he has done that we will share it publicly.

“No matter what, I look forward to another successful season for the Packers and our fans. This has been a tough situation, but the Packers will make the most of it.”

McCarthy is expected to address the quaerterback situation after the scrimmage tonight.

Seahawks Rooting for Packers?

January 13, 2008

At least one of them is. There’s this comment from Nate Burleson in Bob McGinn’s excellent piece today: “The Packers are just a good team. Hopefully, they can represent the NFC and win the whole thing.”

Review from Lambeau perspective

January 13, 2008

Like Packer Nation, I was very impressed by this win. I was at the game yesterday and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better Packer game. They totally dominated 56 minutes of that game – and it was simply a bonus that they fell behind 14 points right away as it game them the confidence to know they’re never out of a game. Unbelievable fan excitement at Lambeau – though the silence after Seattle made it 14-0 was deafening. Key play of the game may have been McCarthy’s challenge of the arbitrary spot – because the ref then arbitrarily moved the ball to an arbitrary spot further up the field resulting in another arbitrary measurement giving us the first down. (They need to develop technology to make first down measurements less arbitrary.)

One thing I noticed a lot yesterday was some tremendous blocking. James Jones and Ruvell Martin both opened up lanes for the run game as did Bubba Franks. In fact, Bubba’s blocking in the game yesterday was one of those quiet factors that I’ll bet will be more obvious when they watch the video of the game. While we don’t miss Bubba as a pass receiver much, I do think we missed his blocking while he was out. Hall and Kuehn both had impressive seal blocks as well – not to mention the offensive line as a whole. Tremendous team blocking effort.

I agree with Steve that Bigby was a huge factor and I hope that he continues to play this aggressively as I think he effectively created a zone of fear out there for the receivers – it would be nice if he continued to do this. Bigby would get my defensive game ball. On offense, it’s difficult to overlook Grant, Favre and Jennings, but I have to agree with Greg Bedard here and give the MVP yesterday to Tauscher. Bedard pulls out an interesting stat: that was the first time in Kerney’s CAREER that he didn’t register a single defensive stat. Last week, I said to a friend that Kerney is the one who should be nervous for this match-up and the friend asked me to stop using crack. Tauscher shut down a superstar and considering the havoc Kerney has wrought (if you will?) the last 9 weeks, Tausch should get the game ball.

Holmgren should get the lame ball. I said to my dad after Seattle scored making it 14-0, perhaps out of desperate optimism, that knowing Holmgren, he’ll shut it down and play conversatively. That third quarter punt on 4th and 1 from his 41 was absoluteluy ridiculous. I don’t think Seattle belonged on the field with the Packers yesterday, but I also think Holmgren should call it quits – his conservative style of coaching is out and the aggressive/confident style of McCarthy/Sean Payton is in.

UPDATE: I completely agree with Andy on Bubba Franks. We commented on this several times throughout the course of the game. I think he had at least five key blocks – two of them on touchdowns. I don’t think we’ll see him back here next year (his cap number is prohibitive) and I won’t shed many tears about his departure, but if he plays hard now so that he can make more money somewhere else, I’m all for it.

Packers 2007 Regular Season Review

December 31, 2007

Surprising is probably the word that would best sum up the Packers 2007 season. Even though I shouldn’t be surprised because I picked them to be 10-6 this year, I am surprised anyway (which may be an indication that when I made my 10-6 prediction before the season I actually didn’t have much faith that it would happen and I was just being a homer).

I’ve learned that I like the staff that McCarthy has put together. Despite our doubts re Bob Sanders, he has proven this year, that once the players adapted to his system, it can be quite effective. There is still room for improvement, but this defense has kept the Packers in several games this year. And, if you think about the last time Favre was at his best, it wasn’t when his offensive line made the offense a machine (during the Sherman years), but it was when his defense could help keep the team in games (1995-1998). I also think Mike Stock deserves credit for bringing excitement back to our return game and ensuring solid coverage – as well as bringing along 2 young kickers. And, though we can’t be sure exactly how he’s contributing, I suspect Joe Philbin has been a solid assistant for McCarthy, if for no other reason than that he and McCarthy are on the same page when it comes to calling things as they are.

And then, of course, we have Mike McCarthy, possible Coach of the Year. TT took a chance on McCarthy and now it’s obvious to the rest of us why he did. McCarthy has a lively offensive mind, a refreshingly aggressive approach and he’s not afraid to say what he’s thinking. One of the best characteristics Mike McCarthy has is his honesty. He doesn’t play the Belichick game of dodging questions and being evasive. When asked before the Dallas/GB game last month why the game was important, he didn’t launch into the “one game at a time, we’re not looking beyond this game” crap most coaches and players bore us with daily. He said that the game was important because it had possible implications for home-field advantage in the playoffs, something most coaches would never say when there are still 4 games left on the schedule. He was being honest, but he was also being confident. And, McCarthy’s confidence in his team is one of the biggest factors behind the Packers’ success this year. Going for it on 4th down, trying onside kicks, throwing 70 yard bombs on the first play of overtime, etc – aggressive coaches necessarily have more confidence in their teams and this is a welcome contrast to the previous Packer regime.

I continue to be impressed by the team that Ted Thompson (mostly) has put on the field. There are many high quality players who are young, hungry and talented. Packer fans have reason to be excited not just about this year, but for years to come. That said, the time is now to win a Super Bowl. We’re not sure how much longer Favre will be playing and given his experience in the playoffs, we are in the best position we’ve been in for a long time to win the whole thing. After the Dallas game, some speculated that the Packers tried lots of long passes and trick plays because they felt they were an inferior team going into the game. I disagree, I think this coach and this team are just confident and they had good reason to believe that any play they tried could work out. I expect to see more of this exciting brand of football in the playoffs too, as McCarthy just isn’t the kind of guy who will fall back on conventional, boring football to be safe.

While it would be easier to be pessimistic about the playoffs so that I can head off some of my own potential disappointment if things don’t go well, I’m having a hard time being genuinely pessimistic right now. I have bought into McCarthy’s plan and I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if the Packers get to the Super Bowl. The biggest hurdle in the playoffs will be the first game, but if the Packers handle that, then the pressure will largely be off them and I think there is a good chance they’d get to the Super Bowl. If they get there and win, I’d be a bit surprised, but not shocked because if I’ve learned one thing about the team this year, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Nick Barnett vs. Umpire Jim Quirk…

December 29, 2007

Last week, many of us saw umpire Jim Quirk drag Barnett away from a potential scuffle last week. Many of us probably wondered why the guy was being so aggressive. Barnett even indicated in an interview afterward that he was not able to breathe at one moment. Weird incident and as McCarthy said, unprofessional behavior.

To me, one of the more remarkable things about this whole situation is that the umpire Jim Quirk was fined one game check for the incident – which amounted to $8150. For some reason, I was under the impression that NFL refs didn’t make much money. I’d guess (conservatively) that Jim Quirk works 14 games a season, (not including playoffs where he likely would make much more) – that would come to some $114,100 a year. Keep in mind that is for about 4-5 months of work. Now, being an umpire is one of the more vulnerable ref positions on the field (they are the ones who often get knocked over when players run across the middle). Still, I’d get knocked down a couple times a year to make $114,100 working less than half the year.

Favre back for 2008? Here we go…

December 27, 2007

Read this Pete Dougherty article from Packersnews.com. Interesting look at not just the Favre situation, but the overall needs heading into 2008. While I don’t disagree with the likelihood that Favre is enjoying himself this season and is particularly enjoying having more influence over offensive play-calling, I’ll hold out for the possibility that a deep playoff run may be enough to convince Favre to go out on top (or nearly on top). I hope not, we’ll see…

As far as needs for 2008, I think Dougherty is mostly on, though I would add we may need to look at filling Poppinga’s spot. Now, Poppinga has played better recently, in his defense, but he continues to be a liability in coverage and overall hasn’t been as good as a few of the linebackers we could have picked up last off-season (or some of the high quality linebackers in the 2007 draft). And, if Rouse continues to make plays, even though I do see some serious potential still for both Bibgy and Collins, I think Rouse needs to get on the field and start.

Of course, if I were defensive coordinator, I would have benched Poppinga mid-season and gone to a new regular line-up – not a 3-4 or a 4-3, but a 4-2! I would have replaced Poppinga with Rouse – yes, I would have started 3 safeties. Rouse is faster than Poppinga, better in coverage (could have helped with the tight-end coverage problem), as good a tackler, more instinctive and he has shown play-making ability Poppinga hasn’t shown all year.

National writers weigh in on Packer snubs

December 19, 2007

*Andrew Perloff (cnnsi.com) worked up Woodson and Barnett left off – here.
*Pete Prisco (sportsline.com) believes Woodson not only should make the Pro Bowl, but is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate – here. In fact, Prisco believes both Woodson and Harris should be the NFC starters – me too. Prisco also wonders how Barnett could be left off.
*Vic Carruci (nfl.com) has problems with Woodson and Barnett being left off, the Packers only having 4 players picked as well as Jennings not getting more attention – here.
*Alex Marvez (foxsports.com) doesn’t mention Woodson or Barnett, but has a beef with Mason Crosby and Chad Clifton being left off – here.

“We’re Playing for Home-Field Advantage”

December 17, 2007

That’s what Mike McCarthy just told reporters at his Monday press conference. Good. That’s exactly the right attitude. I’m for resting players who are dinged up — McCarthy did this with Nick Collins yesterday and may have to do it with Ryan Pickett going forward — but if you’ve got a shot at home-field advantage you need to do everything possible to get it. It could matter, especially since Brett Favre is 0-9 in Dallas over his career.

Here is Greg Bedard on McCarthy’s presser.

Craig Nall, Welcome Back

December 1, 2007

The Packers have re-signed Craig Nall. They released Marviel Underwood.

Explaining the Refs from Last Night’s Game

November 30, 2007

John Parry, meet Leslie Nielsen (as Lt. Frank Drebin). John Parry was last night’s referee.

Here is the scene that gave birth to Brother Andy’s “Leslie Nielsen Theory of Officiating,” discussed here.


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