Category Archives: Matthew J Stein

21

May

Packers President Mark Murphy: Could He Be Leaving for Stanford?

Could the Packers lose their President?

Mark Murphy, current President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers, is reportedly interested in the Athletic Director job at the University of Stanford.  The San Francisco Chronicle was the first to break the possibility of Murphy leaving Green Bay.

The job as the AD of Stanford became available when previous AD Bob Bowlsby took a job as commissioner of the Big 12.  Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette reported today that Murphy tried to get the Stanford athletic director job in 2006, but Bowlsby got the job.

While the idea of leaving one of the most successful franchises in the NFL for a college may seem like a step down, Murphy has a long and rich history with the college game.

The bigger question that needs to be answered is what is happening with the Packers’ front office?

With so many coaches and staff leaving this offseason (i.e. Joe Philbin, Reggie McKenzie, etc.), losing Murphy could be another tumultuous hit to Green Bay.  It’s understandable that other teams or schools want to hire successful people, but at what point do the Packers need to pony-up some dough to keep these guys around?

Will Green Bay suffer in 2012 from these losses?  Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly is much harder to bring in a new coach or a new CEO than it is to keep one that has been there for years.

Hopefully this is all just the work of rumors and nothing comes from it, but just in case, Green Bay might want to start lining up some other options.

Any volunteers?

17

May

Donald Driver: Packer for Life?

Packers WR Donald Driver

Donald Driver: Packer for life?

When Donald Driver tweeted that he’d be a “packer for life”, speculation around the Internet and Twitter grew rampant.  Did Driver just re-work his contract?  Had he been released and will be retiring at the end of the year?

Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com spoke to Driver’s agent, Jordan Woy, who stated that, “the Packers have always wanted Driver back.”

He went on to add,

“He has been busy with the DWTS show and the team knows that.  I discussed deal structure with the team a while ago and we will work out the details once Donald returns to Green Bay.”

This clearly doesn’t put an end to the questions surrounding Driver and Green Bay’s plan for him in 2012.  However, upon first glance, it definitely appears as if Driver could be back for another year with the Packers.

This is certainly a bit puzzling because of the depth at wide receiver that Green Bay is already blessed with.  Without Driver, the Packers still have Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and youngsters like Dale Moss and Tori Gurley.  So, with all this younger talent, where does Driver exactly fit in?

The honest truth is that he doesn’t fit in, and unless Green Bay plans on making him a coach for the foreseeable future, using a roster spot on him seems like quite the waste.  We all have to say goodbye to the players we love at some point, and now is the time for Driver.

16

May

Former Packers DE Johnny Jolly Gets Early Release From Prison

Johnny Jolly released from prison

Johnny Jolly has been released from prison on "shock" probation.

Johnny Jolly, a former defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, has been released from prison and given 10 years of “shock” probation by a judge in Houston, Texas.  This comes after serving only six months of a six-year sentence for numerous charges related to the controlled substance Codeine.

While I’m no legal expert, “shock” probation is given to first-time offenders who have been “shocked” by their prison experience, which would then hopefully bring about a change. Jolly gets 10 years of shock probation along with 200 hours of community service.

Jolly was originally drafted by the Packers in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft.  The two years before Jolly was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in 2010, he played in all 32 games and was a key contributor to the defense.

The chances of Jolly ever returning to the NFL or Green Bay are slim to none, but it is always encouraging when a human being makes a genuine change in their life.  Hopefully, this is just the beginning to a new life for Jolly.

 

15

May

Green Bay Packers Fill Roster to 90 Players

Green Bay is getting ready for the offseason

With the signing of five tryout players, the Green Bay Packers have reached the limit for their offseason roster with 90 players.  The NFL increased the allowed amount of offseason players on a roster from 80 to 90 this year.

The five tryout players signed were offensive tackle Shea Allard of Delaware, wide receivers Jarrett Boykin of Virginia Tech and Curenski Gilleylen of Nebraska, offensive guard Grant Cook of Arkansas and cornerback Otis Merrill of Illinois State.  It shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that four of the five players are on the offensive side of the ball since the Packers only drafted two (both seventh-round selections) during the 2012 NFL draft.

The Packers will have until their four preseason games are played to get down to their final 53-man roster, which I’m sure we’ll continue to keep you up to date on.

So, what does this exactly mean for Green Bay?

For starters, it means that we won’t be hearing about many, if any, new signings from here on out.  The few weeks after the draft but before training camps begin are usually riddled with signings, but that will slow down dramatically now.

Also, the roster that they currently have is the roster that we’ll likely see for the remainder of the offseason.  Of course, they could decide to cut a player to make room for someone else (possibly Ryan Grant), but that would be the only likely way that the roster changes from here on out.

From this point forward, Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson and the rest of the Packers’ coaching and front office staff will be looking to trim that number from 90 to 53.  Last year the Packers were one of the first teams to have their 53-man roster finalized, and we could very well see the same thing happen again this year.

For the entire Green Bay Packers’ roster separated by position, take a look here.

 

11

May

Packers Draft Picks Starting to Sign Contracts

The Packers have signed DT Jerel Worthy

With rookie camps set to begin today for the Green Bay Packers, it is quite encouraging to see numerous rookies signing contracts before camp starts.

Rob Demovsky at the Green Bay Press-Gazette has reported that three of the Packers’ draft picks signed contracts yesterday.  Those three players were second-round pick Jerel Worthy, fourth-round pick Jerron McMillian and seventh-round selection Andrew Datko.

Each of these three players look to be critical to the future for Green Bay, which makes them being signed and ready for camp even more encouraging.  If that wasn’t enough, it was reported this morning via Casey Hayward’s agent Scott Smith that he had signed a contract this morning.  Hayward is another rookie who will likely see limited playing time as a rookie, but will be a future starter for Green Bay.

The only draft picks that haven’t signed are OLB Nick Perry, DT Mike Daniels, OLB Terrell Manning and QB B.J. Coleman.  However, Demovsky reported earlier in the week that Green Bay is expected to have all draft picks signed by the end of this week.

While this may not be the most exciting of news, the fact that rookies are getting signed early is great for the team.  It also means that real football is closer than we can imagine.

I hope we’re all ready.

Update:

As of late this morning, the Packers are now reporting that all their picks except for OLB Nick Perry have signed with the team.

10

May

Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson Appears on NFL’s Top 100 of 2012

Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson against the Chicago Bears

Jordy Nelson makes the NFL Top 100 at No. 80

After posting 68 receptions, 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns (all which happened to lead the team), Jordy Nelson is starting to get respect from everyone, including the NFL Network.

During last night’s broadcast of the Top 100 Players of 2012, Nelson came in at No. 80, right ahead of defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and behind cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.  While being considered the 80th best football in the NFL by the NFL Network is definitely quite the honor, there is certainly a reason for him to feel he was shortchanged.

Of the 30 players that have been revealed so far, two receivers currently rank ahead of Nelson.  Cincinnati Bengals’ receiver A.J. Green came in at No. 77 and Philadelphia Eagles’ receiver came in at No. 71.  There is little doubt that both Green and Jackson are extremely talented receivers, but neither comes close to what Nelson did in 2011 or what he’s likely to in 2012.

Both Green and Jackson had less yards, receptions and touchdowns than Nelson.  When you combine that with the fact that Nelson was playing next to receivers like Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley, it makes Nelson’s numbers even more impressive.

While last year’s performances are only part of the equation in deciding the Top 100 for the following year, all signs point to Nelson becoming an even bigger threat in 2013.  Over the past three seasons, Nelson has quietly increased his receptions, yards and touchdowns.  With Driver likely to see a decreased role with the team, Nelson will only get more looks from Aaron Rodgers, likely meaning more production.

The NFL Top 100 list has also been a hot topic of conversation in years past, and this year will certainly be no different.  I’m sure Nelson is honored at being considered one of the best of the best, but there is certainly reason for him to be upset at being surpassed by two less talented receivers.

What do you think?  Was Nelson ranked too low, too high or just right?

 

 

8

May

Which Running Back Gives Packers Best Chance to Win?

Does James Starks give the Packers the best chance to win?

The Green Bay Packers have the most potent passing game in the NFL heading into the 2012 season.  While their pass-happy offense with Aaron Rodgers and his ridiculous amount of weapons in certainly impressive, the same can’t be said for their running backs and their ground game.

If Green Bay wants to improve off an impressive 2011 regular season that ended in playoff disappointment, I believe they key lies in the ground game.  Today we’ll take an in-depth look at which running back currently on the Packers’ roster gives the team the best chance to win week-in, week-out.

 

James Starks

Starks will likely enter training camp and the preseason as the top running back on the depth chart for the Green Bay Packers.  While his 2011 season wasn’t quite what everyone expected after completely blowing up during the 2010 playoffs, he is still the most experienced and game-proven running back on the roster.

There is a lot to like about Starks’ overall game.  He has the physicality to pound the ball up the middle, but can also bounce outside and pick up a chunk of yards in the open field.  Starks also has good enough hands and the ability to make plays in the open field to be a threat as a receiver.

If there is any aspect of Starks’ game that needs to improve it is his blocking.  He’ll often miss assignments and appear unwilling to lay out his body in order to make the necessary block.  There are also questions about his ability to consistently find the end zone, as Starks only had one overall touchdown during the 2011 season.

 

Brandon Saine

Thanks to some injuries during the 2011 season, Saine was given the chance to get on the field and show the Packers what he is capable of bringing to the table.  Even though he only received 18 carries during the regular season, Saine showed enough to Green Bay that they didn’t feel they needed to retain Ryan Grant heading into the 2012 NFL season.

Saine has a good all-round game as a runner, receiver and blocker.  He isn’t necessarily a speedy back, but is quick and shifty enough to make defenders miss in the open field.