Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers held their first practiceÂ of the 2013 seasonÂ open to the public and the media on Tuesday. Here’s some of the developments and knee-jerk reaction to what went down on Clark Hinkle Field…
No Shields means Casey Hayward is the starting CB wide, opposite Tramon Williams in team’s base defense.
â Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) May 21, 2013
Quick take: Sam Shields is a restricted free agent that still has not signed the tender offered to him by the Packers. If there’s honest negotiations toward a multi-year contract, then Shields may be justified in holding out for the best deal. But if he has relegated himself to playing on a one-year deal and hitting free agency again next season, Shields isn’t doing himself any favors by staying away from practice. Casey Hayward is getting a fantastic opportunity, receiving reps as the starter at cornerback with Shields not taking part and Davon House still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
More detail on the injury to J.C. Tretter. Injured while sliding (like a baseball player) during FR drill: jsonline.com/blogs/sports/2âŚ
â Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) May 21, 2013
Quick take: I’ve seen offensive line coach James Campen run this drill before. He rolls a football as if it were a fumble, and then the offensive linemen slide feet first to recover it. First of all, sliding feet first seems like a terrible way to recover a fumble to me. Exhibit A is Leon Lett. Maybe the purpose is to protect their head, but taking actually taking time to practice sliding seems to be over-thinking it. Rarely is there enough time to make a premeditated decision to make a feet-first slide. Just fall on the football, preferably with your hands, the fastest way possible. Now that someone has been injured, it seems even worse.
Alex Green opens as starting RB during team drill, then drops or fumbles ball on swing pass.
â Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) May 21, 2013
Quick take: Green reportedly dropped a swing pass later in practice as well. It’s great that the coaching staff is not giving Eddie Lacy a sense of entitlement by making him the starting running back right away, but it probably won’t be long until he surpasses Green. I’ve said since the NFL Draft ended that Green and James Starks are probably fighting for one roster spot between the two of them. If Green isn’t careful, he won’t only lose his default starting spot, he might lose a job altogether.
Brad Jones and Finley exchange shoves and punches after whistle.
â Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) May 21, 2013
Datone Jones in the middle of a scrum. Looked like he was getting into it with Bulaga.
â Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) May 21, 2013
Quick take: These aren’t fringe players on the bubble fighting for their roster lives; these are established veterans and first round draft picks getting into a little scuffle at practice on Tuesday. As long as the fighting doesn’t get out of control, and there was no indication that it did, there’s nothing wrong with a little chippiness at this time of year. It shows the players are eager to prove themselves and put last year behind them.
Coleman and Harrell have had some errant throws today.
â Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) May 21, 2013
Harrell and Coleman are both getting a lot of action today at QB. A lot of overthrows so far with both.
â Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) May 21, 2013
Quick take: It would be premature to get down on either Harrell or Coleman after one day of practice. But the Packers clearly need a more reliable backup than they had a year ago. Mike McCarthy has indicated he wants to cut back on some of Aaron Rodgers’ reps in the May and June timeframe, so OTAs are the perfect time for Harrell and Coleman to see increased action and establish themselves. One or both needs to take the reins and show some marked improvement.
For the first time at a practice open to the public this season, Bryan Bulaga lined up at left tackle in a team environment at Tuesday’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in Green Bay.
Bulaga’s switch to left tackle comes as part of a larger philosophical change by head coach Mike McCarthy in the offseason that is aimed at the traditional football school of thought that puts the quicker players on the left side of the offensive line and the stronger players on the right side.
Even better news for the Packers is Bulaga’s health. While teammates such as Desmond Bishop, Derek Sherrod and others are still sidelined by a variety of ailments at the onset of OTAs, Bulaga is showing few ill effects from a fractured left hip that landed him on injured reserve last season.
“(He) looks good,” said McCarthy during a press conference. “Really, I think if you asked Bryan Bulaga about his hip injury, he probably felt like he could have played at some point later in the season in his mind. But it was definitely a path of rehab that was in his best interests for the long term, for his career.
“He looks great. He’s been here the whole offseason. I’ve seen Bryan it seems like almost every day since the season’s ended.”
Read into it what you will, but last week Bulaga carded at 39 in a recreational round of golf at a local course, as published in the Green Bay Press-Gazette. It’s probably dangerous to put much stock into it, but for a sport that requires as much trunk twisting as golf, it can only be a good sign that the new Packers left tackle is out hitting the links in the month of May.
“I feel good,” Bulaga told reporters. “The hip healed very well in the offseason. There’s no issues with it, no setbacks, nothing kind of stopped the progression we were going with.”
Bulaga only played in nine games last year before his season was in ended in early November in a game against the Arizona Cardinals. His leg awkwardly locked in the turf while setting up for pass protection and he later landed in a heap on the ground.
The 2012 season started slowly for Bulaga, lowlighted by his performance against the Seattle Seahawks when he alone was responsible for giving up two sacks and eight quarterback hurries (according to ProFootballFocus.com) in a game that the Packers allowed eight sacks in one half of football.
From that point forward, however, Bulaga appeared to be progressing and hitting his stride just as injury struck.
This season, he’ll make the transition to the left side of the offensive line along with Josh Sitton who will be moving from right guard to left guard.
“I’m excited for them personally because I know they look at it as a great opportunity,” said McCarthy. “They accepted the challenge, and they were excited about the challenge when we sat down and talked about it.
“Frankly, it’s my responsibility to give them the reps and work against Clay (Matthews) and our defensive line, just the speed of it right now is excellent work for them. We feel good about the move.”
Making the transition easier for both Bulaga and Sitton is that they’ve gained a degree of comfort lining up to each other for parts of the past three seasons. Communication shouldn’t be much of an issue.
There will still be apprehension about the muscle memory it will take to get used to dropping and setting with opposite foot and handwork as compared to the right side of the offensive line.
For Bulaga, he can fall back upon his college days at Iowa when he was used at left tackle for the Hawkeyes, but as for Sitton, he played primarily right tackle at Central Florida.
Still, there’s no turning back now. Bulaga and Sitton will be protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blind side, for better or worse, during the 2013 season. The Packers can only hope it’s better after Rodgers endured a league-high 51 sacks last season.
“I’ve been playing next to Josh every snap since I’ve been here,” said Bulaga. “It’s comfortable having him over there. We’re both kind of going through the same transitions. It’s good to have him.
“We’re learning together; we’re trying in sync over there on the left side like we were on the right side. Like I said, it’s going to be a process. But it’s a good start with these OTAs, just so we can kind of bounce back into it gradually where we need to be.”
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” and editor of Cheesehead TV’s “Pro Football Draft Preview.” To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged on Tuesday that rookie offensive lineman J.C. Tretter suffered an injury on the first day of Organized Team Activities Monday in Green Bay, but he did not have any specifics.
“J.C., one of our new rookies, was not there,” said McCarthy during a press conference. “He was injured yesterday. He will not be available for the rest of the OTAs.”
When asked whether Tretter would be available for training camp, McCarthy declined to speculate, nor did he provide the area of the body in which Tretter sustained his injury.
“Tretter’s going through the medical process right now,” said McCarthy. “I don’t have a clear-cut, exactly where he is.”
The day before he was scheduled to leave for the Senior Bowl back in January, Tretter suffered a broken nose while training. It’s unclear whether his most recent injury is anything related to his nose, however.
Seeing as the right tackle spot is basically up for grabs in Green Bay, it’s been speculated that Tretter would get a chance to compete for the job. His injury will put him behind others trying to win a spot in the starting lineup.
The fourth round draft choice has also been speculated to make the move to center after playing left tackle the last two years of his college career and tight end before that.
UPDATE: As reported by JSOnline, Tretter broke his ankle, according to his agent, Alan Herman.
He’s expected to miss the next several months. It will probably take some time to determine exactly how long he’ll miss and whether he will come back in time to play during the 2013 season.
While teams like Patriots, Cowboys and Rams all spent in excess of $100,000 in guaranteed money on undrafted rookies this season, the Packers were at the bottom of the NFL.
According to Brian McIntyre of Yahoo Sports, “TheÂ Chicago BearsÂ ($29,500) andÂ Green Bay PackersÂ ($35,500) are the two NFL teams to spend under $40,000 in guaranteed money on undrafted rookie free agents.”
Based on those numbers, it’s unlikely the Packers gave any of their undrafted rookies any guaranteed money apart from signing bonuses.
As the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported recently, offensive lineman Lane Taylor led the way among undrafted Packers with a $7,000 signing bonus.
In the grand scheme of things, however, the difference between the guaranteed money spent on undrafted free agents between the top and bottom teams in the NFL is not very much.
With the lack of safety depth on the roster, the Packers might be looking for Jarrett Bush to spend sometime at the position.
At a recent tailgate tour stop, Justin Felder from Fox 11 spoke with Bush regarding the move.
“I have played safety in the past, I have played every position in the secondary. If I were thrown in a safety, I wouldn’t lose a step, I wouldn’t miss a beat….Any spot. The corner spot or the nickel spot. I’m a competitor, I’m going to go in there and compete like I am the starter.”
Bush went on to say,
“I’m definitely looking forward to stepping up my role this year on defense as the nickel or corner. Just have to go and prove it. I’m very focused, I feel like more than last year, because I’ve got more experience underneath my belt, so I’ve just got to go out there and prove it.”
Practice is open to the public and the media on Tuesday for the first time of the 2013 season as Organized Team Activities (OTAs) continue in Green Bay.
OTAs mark the beginning of Phase Three of the offseason, in which the team can practice together in a team environment. It follows Phase One of strength and conditioning and Phase Two of individual position workouts.
The session begins at 11:30 a.m. at Clark Hinkle Field on the west side of the Don Hutson Center. Typically the team has used Ray Nitschke Field for OTAs Â in the past, but will move over to Hinkle as Nitschke is being prepared for training camp.
One OTA practice per week is open to the public in Green Bay, each Tuesday on May 21, 28 and June 11. They’ll also have two minicamp practices open on June 4 and 5.
Following practice, head coach Mike McCarthy will hold a press conference that will be broadcasted live on the team’s official website at 1:35 p.m. CT.
Also on Tuesday, the NFL’s Spring Meetings take place in Boston, where presumably team president Mark Murphy and others in the Packers organization are representing Green Bay.
Among the topics being discussed are moving the NFL Draft and other events in the league’s offseason calendar such as the Combine and the start of the league year. They’re also discussing potential changes to the Pro Bowl.
One thing that will be decided with certainty on Tuesday will be the host sites of Super Bowl L (50) and LI (51). San Francisco and Houston, respectively, are expected to be the winning cities for the upcoming Super Bowls held in 2016 and 2017.
As OTAs begin in Green Bay on Monday, Ray Rivard of LombardiAve.com joins Railbird Central to talk about his website and some Packers football. Topics range from running back James Starks, kicker Mason Crosby and position battles to watch this offseason.
Download audio file (railbird_264.mp3)
Streaming audio – Press play
Download Versions: Download Audio Podcast
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America” and editor of Cheesehead TV’s “Pro Football Draft Preview.” To contact Brian, email email@example.com.
The start to training camp will be almost as busy for fans as the players in Green Bay this summer.
The Packers announced on Monday a couple events at the end of July that will coincide with the start of training camp on Green Bay.
Although the team has yet to release its training camp practice schedule, several media outlets have announced that the first practice will take place on Friday July 26.
That same evening, the Packers will hold aÂ 1K Kids Run at 6 p.m., presented by WPS Health Insurance, which includes a lap around Lambeau Field.Â Registration for the Kids Run is $10 and all participants will receive a Packers 1K Run t-shirt, a logoed bag and a participant medal.
Following the 1K Kids Run will be the annual Movie Night at Lambeau Field starting at 7:30 p.m.Â DisneyâsÂ Wreck it RalphÂ will be shown on the TundraVision. The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout the movie.
Then on Saturday July 27 will be the fourth annual 5K Run at Lambeau Field at 6:30 p.m.
Details are provided by the Packers:
The computer-timed run is highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The event has a special finish line â the Packersâ âGâ painted on turf located in the parking lot.
Bellin Health will be contributing its race expertise to the event through logistical and medical support. The organizationâs 10K race, the Bellin Run, is among the nationâs most popular races. This yearâs Bellin Run will mark the 37th running of the 10K race.
All participants will receive a Packers 5K Run T-shirt, a logoed bag, and a bib number and timing chip. In addition, photos will be taken on the course and will be available at no cost on the Packers 5K Run website.
Packers-themed awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. An awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the race.
Registration, which is $25 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger), will be available online beginning Monday, May 20, atÂ www.packers.com/5k. Mail-in registration is also an option, with forms available online and in person at Lambeau Field. Runners can also register at the Bellin Run Expo on Friday, June 7, at Astor Park in Green Bay. Early registration is encouraged. After July 14, registration fees will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.
The Packers are partnering withÂ local charitiesÂ to raise money with the event. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross, Volunteer Center of Green Bay and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
WIXX 101Â is serving as the radio partner for the event.
New Era, the official on-fieldÂ headwear of the National Football League, is teaming up with the NFL to launch the Back to Football Photo Day contest. So what this means is that Packers fans will now have the chance to join the ranks of Aaron Rodgers to also become THE face of the Packers.
The contest, which is live at www.speakwithyourcap.com or through New Eraâs Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/neweracaps?fref=ts) will require Packers faithfuls to submit photos of themselves showcasing how you personally âspeak with your cap.â Â Whether you wear your cap sideways, backwards or flexed at the brim, show how you are bringing your own style to the game.
32 fans (1 per team) will ultimately be chosen and win a complimentary trip to New York City for two. The winners will enjoy a four-day VIP experience and will be professionally styled in their favorite teamâs looks for a New Era photo shoot that may be used for a year-long advertisement and promotional campaign.
As Packers rookie orientation camp concluded on Sunday, coach Mike McCarthy addressed the decision to relocate their two best offensive linemen.
McCarthy said the switch aims to improve and solidify an offensive line that surrendered 51 sacks last season, the second most in the NFL.
The topic of line realignment was broached once the season concluded. After going through exit interviews, postseason evaluations and video reviews, the decision became clear, according to McCarthy.
âFrankly, we felt Bryan Bulaga and Josh Sitton were our two most accomplished offensive linemen, and just going back to the old-school theory of how you structure your offensive line,â McCarthy said.
“We wanted to put those guys on the left side. We had a chance to watch Josh working and playing the left guard position at the Pro Bowl, so there was more information there. And so, with that, I think it creates more competition.â
âWith reps, everybody involved on the right side has some history there,â McCarthy said. âYou look at, Marshallâs played the right side, T.J.âs played the right side, Barclayâs played the right side, so weâre just trying to make as much competition as possible, and we feel with Bryan and Josh weâve solved the left side and those guys have some history together, so thereâs a number of different things that went into it.â
Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin are already friends, roommates, teammates and competitors, Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin reports. Whether the two rookie running backs will be the saviors of the Packersâ long-dormant running game remains to be seen.
With the team taking Alabamaâs Lacy in the second round of last monthâs NFL Draft, then trading up to take UCLAâs Franklin in the fourth round, both players understand their connection. And when they arrived in Green Bay for the teamâs post-draft rookie orientation camp on Thursday, they learned theyâd be bunking in together at a hotel near the airport, where the rookies are being housed until training camp kicks off in July or they find more permanent living arrangements.
âWeâre roommates in the hotel, we talk. But weâre going to have to compete,â Lacy said. âItâs just like when youâre in college â you get there, you meet the other running backs, youâre all friends but you have to compete. Itâs no different here.â
Added Franklin: âOn the field, we’re competing definitely. But off the field we’re definitely buddies. But we’re here to help each other grow and push each other to get better.”
And the Packers clearly need to get better in the run game. Whether that improvement comes from Lacy, Franklin or the host of holdovers â DuJuan Harris, Alex Green and James Starks all held the job of lead back at times last season â doesnât really matter. After watching his offense face a steady diet of Cover-2 defenses geared to slow down star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the potent passing game, coach Mike McCarthy wants a more balanced attack.
âWeâve made some scheme adjustments. We have already started that process,â McCarthy said. âLacy, frankly will fit into some of these changes weâve made. Weâll see how it goes through the offseason and training camp. Iâm excited about it.â
The Packers are moving right tackle Bryan Bulaga is moving to the left side to be quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ blind-side protector, replacing last year’s starter Marshall Newhouse, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
Last year, McCarthy tried to make it work at left tackle without moving Bulaga, but Sherrod suffered a leg fracture from which he still hasn’t returned and Newhouse was a big disappointment after showing some promise in ’11.
Bulaga, a first-round pick in 2010, played left tackle at Iowa, but he eventually settled in at right tackle, where he was needed when it was clear longtime starter Mark Tauscher was finished. McCarthy could have moved Bulaga to the left side last year, but he decided to roll the dice with Newhouse.
Even with Bulaga, 24, starting 33 regular-season games on the right and none on the left, McCarthy said he wasn’t worried about the transition. Newhouse needed to be replaced after allowing a team-high 11 sacks last year and had Bulaga not landed on injured reserve due to a small fracture in his hip socket suffered in Week 9, he might have been moved there at some point.
Scouts questioned whether Bulaga’s 33Âź-inch arms were too short to play left tackle in the NFL, but he has insisted those measurements mean nothing and with the exception of a bad spell early last year and a few blips at other times, he has done well against some very good pass rushers on the right side.
McCarthy had no hesitation in making the move.
“I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have full confidence in Bryan,” McCarthy said. “He’s been here everyday (in the off-season) and so I’ve seen him develop physically in all areas of his game. He’s a very mature player.”
Hey Packers Gab fans, if you havenât already, check out the official Packers Gab on FACEBOOK!!!
Click HERE to check it out â a super interactive group of Packers fans that keep the page busy with comments, debates, and more!
Donât miss out â become a fan of Packers Gab on Facebook and join the fun today!
FOXSports.com’s Alex Marvez, Peter Schrager and Laura Okmin on Green Bay’s 2013 NFL Draft class.
With the 26th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Packers select UCLA DE Datone Jones.
Jones looks the part, and his production matched up to his talent in his senior season. He is very long, has good initial quickness/power, and plays with good pad level. He is versatile enough to play anywhere along the defensive line. Going forward, Jones needs to do a better job of anchoring, or disengaging once his intial surge is halted.
Week 1: (Sun., Sept. 8) Packers at 49ers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 2: (Sun., Sept. 15) Redskins at Packers, 1 p.m.
Week 3: (Sun., Sept. 22) Packers at Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 4: BYE
Week 5: (Sun., Oct. 6) Lions at Packers, 1 p.m.
Week 6: (Sun., Oct. 13) Packers at Ravens, 1 p.m.
Week 7: (Sun., Oct. 20) Browns at Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 8: (Sun., Oct. 27) Packers at Vikings, 8:30 p.m.
Week 9: (Mon., Nov. 4) Bears at Packers, 8:40 p.m.
Week 10: (Sun., Nov. 10) Eagles at Packers, 1 p.m.
Week 11: (Sun., Nov. 17) Packers at Giants, 8:30 p.m.
Week 12: (Sun., Nov. 24) Vikings at Packers, 1 p.m.
Week 13: (Thur., Nov. 28) Packers at Lions, 12:30 p.m.
Week 14: (Sun., Dec. 8) Falcons at Packers, 8:30 p.m.
Week 15: (Sun., Dec. 15) Packers at Cowboys, 4:25
Week 16: (Sun., Dec. 22) Steelers at Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 17: (Sun., Dec. 29) Packers at Bears, 1 p.m.
Tools | | | | | | | | | | More »