Category Archives: Brandon Jackson



Packing the Stats Follow-Up: Tracking Greg Jennings’ Targets

Last week we took a look at some statistics to help us answer the question, “Did Jermichael Finley Steal Attention From Greg Jennings?” During the first four games of the season, it seemed as if Jennings was losing productivity to Finley, who posted significantly more receiving yards and catches. However, after looking at the number of targets each receiver was getting in the first four weeks, we came to the conclusion that there was little evidence to support this claim.

Many of you responded positively to this presentation of data, and a couple of you – PackersRS and KS_Packer in particular – wanted to see more. Specifically, how did Greg Jennings’ targets change, if at all, during the remainder of the season after Finley was gone?

It was an interesting question, the results of which would definitely bolster our investigation into this quandary.

Let’s jump right in. Below is the raw data I collected in regards to who was targeted by Aaron Rodgers last season. As I did before, the most targets for a specific week are highlighted in green, and the most receptions are highlighted in yellow. Also, the totals for each position group are presented at the bottom of each chart to give an overall indication of how the ball was distributed.

In the interest of readability, I have broken up the data so that each chart represents four games, and they cover the regular season all the way through the Super Bowl run. You can click on each to get a higher resolution:


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Before we get into some other observations, let’s consider our original question: how did Greg Jennings’ targets change after Week 5? To answer this, let’s first extract his specific statistics and get rid of the extraneous information:

For each category, I highlighted both the highest (green) and lowest (red) numbers. Some extra statistical information (mean, median, and standard deviation) is also included for those categories they would help to explain the most.



Will the NFL Lockout Impact the Green Bay Packers Offense?

When the lockout started, many NFL observers thought the Green Bay Packers were built to survive an offseason without OTAs and a shortened preseason. Truth is, nobody knows for sure how a team will react to an entire offseason without contact with coaches and organized workouts.

Speculating which team is built to withstand a lockout is kind of silly, anyway. It’s not like Ted Thompson built the Packers with the idea that they wouldn’t be able to practice one offseason. I don’t think he instructed his scouts to find him players that perform better without the benefit of OTAs and a full training camp.

Thompson built the Packers by acquiring talented players. And talented players should perform with or without the benefit of offseason practices.

Unfortunately, the Packers are not the only team with talented players. Every team has talented players. It’s the teams that get the most out of that talent that ends up winning. OTAs, training camp and exhibition games play some sort of role in determining which players get the most out of their talent.

That said, let’s take a look at the Packers position group by position group and try to determine how the lockout and lack of OTAs (and possibly a shortened training camp and reduced preseason games) might impact them. We will give each position group a rating after some brief thoughts. One means the lockout has minimal negative impact on the position group, 10 means the lockout has a major negative impact on the group.

The offense is up first. We will address the defense later in the week.

The more reps a QB has with his receivers the better, so the lockout definitely isn’t helping Aaron Rodgers. However, Rodgers is a veteran – a veteran with a championship – that should have little problem getting reacquainted with a receiving corps he’s already familiar with.
Impact: 4

Running Back
I’m not that worried about James Starks and Alex Green (and Brandon Jackson if he’s resigned) getting extra carries during offseason workouts and training camp. Actually, taking it easy and reducing wear and tear on running backs in practice is probably a good thing. But it would be nice to get Starks and Green some live looks at different blitz pickup situations. If Jackson leaves, they’re going to have to pick up the blocking slack.
Impact: 7



Can the Green Bay Packers 2011 Draft Picks Stay Healthy?

Mike Neal missed most of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury.

There isn’t much to criticize Ted Thompson for these days. If you’re searching for something, it would probably be the fact that his recent high draft choices, particularly on defense, have gotten themselves injured with some frequency .

Green Bay Packers’ defenders drafted in the first three rounds since 2009 have missed 29 games. That total rises to 39 games if you count Brad Jones, a seventh round pick in 2009.

It’s not like Thompson has been drafting players that had injury issues in college. But for some reason, they get hurt once they join the Packers.

The first three picks in the 2011 draft were all pretty durable in college. Will they stay off the IR once they join the Packers? Hopefully.

Just for fun, lets review the NFL injury history of the first three picks in 2009 and 2010, then take a look at the durability of the 2011 class.


BJ Raji
Raji was hobbled by a sprained ankle early in his rookie season. He missed two games, started only one, and never really got going. He rebounded in 2010 and now looks like one of the more promising interior defenders in the league.

Clay Matthews
Matthews has been slowed by hamstring injuries throughout each of his first two training camps. He’s only missed one regular season game, though, and is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

TJ Lang
Offseason wrist surgery hampered Lang’s progress last season. Lang saw action in all 16 games as a rookie, but was not a factor in 2010.


Bryan Bulaga
Bulaga dealt with a shoulder injury after the wild card win over the Eagles, but didn’t miss any time. He played in all 16 regular season games and will hopefully do the same this season.

Mike Neal
Neal only played in two games because of a shoulder injury. He looked good in those two games, but the Packers need him to stay healthy and contribute this season.

Morgan Burnett
The strong safety tore his ACL in week four and missed the rest of the 2010 season. Like Neal, the Packers need Burnett to come back strong and compete for a starting spot in 2011.




Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft — 3rd Round, No. 96: RB Alex Green

With the 96th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Hawaii running back Alex Green.

He measures 6-0, 225 pounds with 32″ arms. Green posted a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, 20 bench-presses, 34″ vertical leap, 114″ broad jump, 6.91-second 3 cone drill and 4.15-second 20-yard shuttle.

College History

Playing in Hawaii’s pass-happy offense, Green was able to rush for 1,199 yards on 146 carries (8.2 ypc) and 18 touchdowns his senior season. He also caught 27 passes for 363 yards and another touchdown. Green was named Second Team All-WAC in 2010.

Green was only at Hawaii for two seasons, having transferred from Butte Community College in California—the same place that produced Aaron Rodgers.

One other thing of note: Green rushed for 372 yards against New Mexico State, a performance that broke Hawaii’s single-game rushing record.


I’ll admit to knowing little about Green when the pick was made, but I had heard from some of the talking heads that he was a sleeper candidate at the running back position.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock certainly gave him a vote confidence when he said that “Green will be an impact player this year for the Green Bay Packers.”

After a little digging, there was plenty of other solid reviews on Green. Russ Lande of The Sporting News said that Green could develop into an “Arian Foster-type back.” Foster rushed for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Texans.

It would obviously be fantastic if that scenario unfolded, but Green could be a weapon for the Packers right away. He has good vision and hits the hole hard, and his big frame fits what the Packers like in their backs. Green also has experience catching the ball out of the backfield, making him a potential replacement for Brandon Jackson in third down roles.



Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on




Green Bay Packers 7-Round Final 2011 NFL Mock Draft

The 2011 NFL Draft is quickly approaching.

After all the speculation surrounding the draft process, the actual event will finally take place from Thursday night to Saturday.

So, before the draft, I tried my hand at playing Ted Thompson and put together a seven round mock draft for the Packers. Complete with trades and analysis, I think this mock draft gives the Packers several key pieces for 2011 and beyond.


TRADE: Packers send pick No. 32 to Cincinnati Bengals for picks No. 35, 134 and 207

Second round (No. 35, from Cincinnati): G Danny Watkins, Baylor

There will be a team in the early second round that gives the Packers a call about trading back into the first round. When that call comes, Packers GM Ted Thompson quickly accepts.

Even without a pick on day one, the Packers find an immediate starter on the offensive line in Watkins. When Daryn Colledge leaves in free agency, Watkins will step right in at left guard and likely improves the unit overall.


TRADE: Packers send picks No. 64, 96 and 207 to Denver Broncos for pick No. 46

Second round (No. 46, from Denver): WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky

With more extra picks in their draft queue, the Packers can afford to trade up from No. 64 and get Cobb—a versatile and physical receiver who makes his living after the catch.

He can contribute right away on both punt and kick returns, and Cobb could help replace the likely loss of  James Jones in the passing game.


Fourth round (No. 129): CB Cortez Allen, Citadel

If the Packers draft a cornerback, he won’t be expected to contribute right away.

That gives Thompson the luxury of taking Allen, a raw but talented player who could develop into a starting NFL cornerback if given time. With Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields the top three on the depth chart, Allen would have plenty of time to learn before taking over a bigger role.


Fourth round (No. 131): DE Cedric Thornton, Southern Arkansas

Cullen Jenkins is on his way out of Green Bay, and relying on Mike Neal to completely fill his shoes would be a big risk.



World Champion Green Bay Packers on Twitter — April 2011

The complete list of World Champion Green Bay Packers players and coaches on Twitter (As of April, 2011).

For a continually updated list of Packers on Twitter, go to:

Current Players/Coaches:

Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12)

Adrian Battles (@AdrianBattles64)

A.J. Hawk (@OfficialAJHawk)

Anthony Levine (@MrTr3_4)

Anthony Smith (@antkingsmith)

Atari Bigby (@20ataribigby)

Brandon Jackson (@bjackson32)

Brett Swain (@BrettSwain)

Bryan Bulaga (@BBulaga)

Clay Matthews (@ClayMatthews52)

Cullen Jenkins (@CullenJenkins)

C.J.Wilson (@cjwilson95)

Desmond Bishop (@Desbishop55)

Dimitri Nance (@DNance31)

Diyral Briggs (@BigBaby_50)

Erik Walden (@Ewalden5050)

Greg Jennings (@GregJennings)

Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88)

Josh Gordy (@4_flat)

Marshall Newhouse (@MNewhouse74)

Mike Neal (@mneal96)

Morgan Burnett (@MoBetta_42)

Nick Barnett (@NickBarnett)

Nick Collins (@nickthepick36)

Quinn Johnson (@QuinnJohnson_45)

Ryan Grant (@RyanGrant25)

Sam Shields (@stickyshields9)

Spencer Havner (@SpencerHavner)

Tim Masthay (@TimMasthay)

T. J. Lang (@TJLang70)

Tom Crabtree (@TCrabtree83)

Tramon Williams (@HighRizer38)

Winston Moss (@MeanOgreDude)

If I have missed anyone, please let me know…



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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




Can the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers Still Improve From Within?

Improving from within was the mantra for the Green Bay Packers last offseason and I don’t expect it to be any different whenever free agency begins this year. Coming off a Super Bowl win, you might be asking yourself how much improving from within is possible. After all, it’s difficult to get much better when you’re already the No. 1 team, right?

As good as the Packers ended last season, this is still a young team (hopefully) on the rise. Continuing to improve from within should be expected. Lets look at each position group and see which players have the most room for improvement, and the talent to get better. We’ll start with the offense and look at the defense later in the week.

Aaron Rodgers had one of the best six-game stretches of any quarterback in the history of the NFL during the Super Bowl run. But he was up and down at times early in the season. Some of that can be attributed to injuries on offense, some of it to inconsistency. As good as Rodgers was, I don’t think he has quite tapped all of his talent. A little more consistency and he should be there. Rodgers is excellent, but I think there’s a little more talent left to tap before he peaks.

Running Back
Getting Ryan Grant back from injury is an improvement in itself, but the real improvement might have to come from Mike McCarthy. If the Packers resign Brandon Jackson and James Starks stays healthy, McCarthy will have to find the right balance for all three running backs. With Jackson likely taking most snaps on third down, the challenge will be getting the most out of Grant and Starks. We have probably seen Grant at his best already, but Starks has plenty of room to grow. I also think Jackson has the talent to get a bit better. With a little help from McCarthy, this position group can be much better.

Wide Receiver
The Packers receivers might be the most frustrating position group on the entire team. There’s a lot of talent there, but catching the ball tends to be a problem sometimes. It’s generally accepted that the Packers receivers are among the most dangerous in the NFL, if they improve on catching the ball, they will also be known as the best. Driver is past his prime, Jennings is peaking right now and Nelson should get better. If James Jones is resigned and cures his dropsies, look out. If this already talented group returns intact, there’s room to be better.