Category Archives: NFL Network



Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson will stick to his script

Ted Thompson is preparing for his 10th NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers.

Ted Thompson is preparing for his 10th NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers.

Now I don’t want to totally dismiss anything that NFL writer and analyst Ian Rapoport said…but I don’t believe any of it.

For those that missed it, Rapoport said that the Packers could sign as many as five free agents to take advantage of the Packers nearly $28 million in cap space.

Anyone who has been around a stale Ted Thompson press conference knows that the Packers general manager prefers to assemble his team through the lower risk, higher reward of the draft, which actually suits a small-market team just fine.

The Packers have not and are not in a position to be like the Redskins or Cowboys who routinely throw money at free agents just because they can. Washington and Dallas are more suited to sign high-priced free agents because they can absorb more mistakes than a team like the Packers.

But that doesn’t mean the draft is an exact science either. There are guys like Brian Brohm, Justin Harrell and Javon Walker in every draft. Obviously the key is finding out which one truly loves the game of football and which one just loves being the star.

The most important free agent signing Thompson has made was Charles Woodson back in 2006. That pales in comparison to Ron Wolf who brought in the hallmark free agent of a generation in Reggie White and then smartly paired him with free agents Sean Jones and Santana Dotson.

Of course Thompson could try and lure the top defensive end in Greg Hardy who has said is looking for a “crapload of money.” Hardy and agent Drew Rosenhaus have already turned down a contract for four years and $32 million. The 25-year-old wants security after netting 15 sacks, which led to his first Pro Bowl bid.

But Thompson cannot do that because dropping that much this year will severely hamper Green Bay’s chances of signing both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, whose contracts expire after the 2015 season.

Basically what Thompson has to weigh is Aaron Rodgers. The Packers’ best quarterbacking mind has a limited window of dominance. He will enter his seventh season as a starter next fall and will turn 31 next December. He has four years of being a game-changing quarterback in the NFL. In that time, the roster has to evolve. It not only has to get better around him, but also must prepare itself for Rodgers’ inevitable diminishing return.



World to Spin Backwards, Packers Ted Thompson to Delve into Free Agency

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson

A report last night from NFL Insider Ian Rappaport claims sources within the Packers have told him Green Bay will reverse course this off-season and look to put together a more dynamic defense via free agent signings.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Wednesday on “NFL Total Access” that the Packers plan to take advantage of their nearly $30 million in cap space and acquire outside free agents, according to sources informed of the team’s thinking. Rapoport reported on NFL Network that the Packerscould sign as many as five players, which would be the most for the team since 2006.

 And who will Green Bay target? According to Rapoport, the team is committed to rebuilding its defense in a way that best suits the philosophy of defensive coordinator Dom Capers. That means getting more athletic and versatile along the defensive line. A major goal is to improve their ability to blitz and get after the quarterback. Green Bay finished with 44 sacks last season, tied for eighth in the league.


My initial reaction is: NOW you want to tailor your defense to Dom Capers’ philosophy? So what have we been doing since the Super Bowl win? Is this saying that the drafting of such players as Mike Neal, Morgan Burnett, Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy, etc, has been a mistake?

Is this purely a reactionary move after watching the dynamic Seattle defense destroy the Broncos? As in, “yeah, that’s what we should do?”

Then there’s the question of how accurate this information is. And what level of free agency are we talking about? Will the Packers actually participate on day one or two?

I suppose if this is true, I should just be happy. But I can’t shake the feeling that things got a bit too comfortable for everyone the last few seasons and opportunities were squandered.

In any case, time for everyone to man the battle stations – we’re sailing through uncharted waters here…

Without this becoming a flaming Ted Thompson hate fest, I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts:


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for



Cory’s Corner: NFL Network should own the weekend

The NFL Network began in 2003 and Thursday Night Football started in 2006. The NFL wants to add another Thursday game due to sagging ratings

The NFL Network began in 2003 and Thursday Night Football started in 2006. The NFL wants to add another Thursday game due to sagging ratings








The National Football League is always looking for ways to gloss the shield.

And they really don’t have to try very hard because the NFL product is by far and away not only the most watched pro sport in this country but also the most beloved.

For example, NBC aired a mediocre Washington-Dallas football game which usurped Game 2 of the Detroit-Boston American League Championship Series. Wait, let me rephrase that, the NFL didn’t just usurp the MLB postseason, it obliterated it. The Redskins and Cowboys had 19.3 million viewers compared to just 8.3 million for baseball.

Recently the NFL said it wants to have add another Thursday football game to the schedule because it is disappointed in the sagging ratings. Now, I know that when the NFL Network was rolled out in 2003 at a cost of $100 million, the end goal was to get legitimate games (which of course means sans preseason) on the station.

And three years later, it happened. Thursday Night Football was born. It began as a novelty that started after Thanksgiving, but since 2012 it has shown Thursday football from Week 2 through Week 15.

But despite the NFL’s gorilla shadow over the rest of the sports world, as of August 2013, only 62 percent of households with TVs get the NFL Network. I’m glad I didn’t subscribe this season because the games have mostly been discarded waste that none of the networks wanted.

And the reason the games lack energy is due to the fact that players have none. Players are only getting a maximum of three days off after taking a physical pounding. And coaches must burn more midnight oil than they ever have in order to make a quick turnaround and hope to not get humiliated because of something that was missed in haphazard preparation.

But after showing its disappointment with the NFL Network, the NFL opened the door for another cable channel to cover the best meal ticket to be put on HD. And they even teased the idea of having Netflix, YouTube or another Internet carrier stream the game.



Hit that Injured Packers WR Randall Cobb wasn’t Dirty

Packers WR Randall Cobb was injured in Sunday’s win over the Ravens and will likely miss 6-8 weeks.

It sounds like Packers WR Randall Cobb fractured his fibula on this hit from Ravens S Matt Elam and will miss 6-8 weeks.

As Cobb withered on the ground, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers raced to the scene and expressed his displeasure with Elam for striking one of his favorite targets low. After the game, Rodgers had this to say:

“I just thought from my vantage point, he had plenty of time to not take out a guy’s legs in that situation. I thought he could have hit in the proper hitting zone and that’s what I told him.”

It’s good to see the former MVP all fired up, but his ire is misfocused in this situation. The hit that Elam laid on Cobb wasn’t dirty.

Elam, a rookie, is listed at 5-foot-10, 206 pounds. Cobb, in his third year and known for being fearless inside and dangerous after the catch, is listed at 5-foot-10, 192 pounds.

This wasn’t a linebacker lining up a defenseless and diminutive wide receiver. This was a rookie defensive back trying to stop a legit NFL playmaker. From a very young age, football players are taught to get low when tackling. It’s a lot easier to bring down a guy roughly your size or bigger if you go at him low instead of high.

Leverage wasn’t the only reason for Elam to go low in that situation. There’s also the issue of a blow-to-the-head penalty and fine. If Elam hits Cobb high and there’s even the slightest appearance that a blow to the helmet area occurred, it’s 15 yards extra yards an automatic first down for the Packers. Not only was Elam making a logical decision to tackle Cobb low on the play, he was also taking the necessary precaution to avoid a blow-to-the-head personal foul that would’ve hurt his team, and a possible fine that would have shrunk his bank account.

To Rodgers’ point about having plenty of time to hit Cobb in the “proper hitting zone”: Since when are a wide receiver’s legs not part of the proper hitting zone? It’s fine to hit a player with the ball low as long as it’s not the quarterback while he’s in the pocket. It’s unfair to ask Elam to decide in a fraction of a second that he should aim higher, but not too high.



Ruling Down The Merriweather Hits

A lot of fans were angry and confused in regards to the Brandon Merriweather hits on Eddie Lacy and James Starks.  And rightly so, Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion on his first carry and was done for the day and naturally there was a lot of outrage as to why no penalty flag was thrown.

Afterwards, many fans have been calling for more consistency in terms of penalties, as they don’t understand why Merriweather wasn’t penalized on the Lacy hit but Dashon Goldson and Bernard Pollard were.  Obviously Packers fans were a little happier with “karma” being served with Merriweather ultimately knocking himself out on the James Starks’ hit but some Washington Redskins fans have complained that actually Starks should have been penalized for knocking Merriweather out (which is pretty ridiculous since defensive players attack the offense, not the other way around).

I think that realistically fans don’t really understand the rules of the game and only use them when it benefits their team, so in an effort to see what the rules are exactly and how they apply to these hits, I’ve gone through the NFL rulebook and some of their ruling memos in an attempt to see what exactly is going on.

Brandon Merriweather hit on Eddie Lacy (click to see the video)

From the first look I think many fans would claim that this should have been a penalty because Merriweather leads with the crown of his helmet on Eddie Lacy, who appears to trip over Jordy Nelson (who was blocking), gets turned towards the sideline and therefore does not see Merriweather coming.  The rule that most fans are thinking about in this case is Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 (b): Players in a defenseless posture.

Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is:

(1)Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him; or

(2)Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body; or



This Interview Will Raise Your Football Smarts – Ted Sundquist on No Huddle Radio

Ted Sundquist was the Director of College Scouting for the Denver Broncos during the late Nineties when Denver won two Super Bowls. He later spent six years as their General Manager. Previously, as a player and later head coach at Air Force, he was part of a read option wishbone offense.

In short, he has the credentials for us to pepper him with questions about the personnel side as well as the Xs and Os. And pepper him we did. Ted handled it all and dropped knowledge bombs all over the place.

Defending the read option, Jay Cutler, Ted Thompson, The Packers Identity, Lacy vs. Franklin, Greg Jennings, offensive line position changes, life as a GM…  And we’re just getting started.

Seriously, you need to take some time and listen in.

Ted also discusses his new book, “Taking Your Team To The Top:  How To Build And Manage Great Teams Like The Pros” and his football website,

The show airs tonight on blogtalk radio at 8:00PM Central or you’ll be able to download it on itunes soon after that.

Listen to the show here.

Download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.


Follow Jersey Al:

                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for