Category Archives: Daryn Colledge

31

July

The Packers’ Wild Week That Was: Day by Day Tracker

Green Bay Packers 2011 Training Camp

Green Bay Packers 2011 Training Camp

This was certainly a week like no other in the Packers Universe. A full off-season’s worth of activity was compressed into a time period of seven days. Here’s a day by day account of the week’s events:

Monday: July 25th, 2011

- The NFL lockout ends and the players approve the new agreement.
- Packers immediately start reaching unofficial agreements with Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (UDFA)

 

Tuesday: July 26th, 2011

- Nick Barnett comes to Lambeau Field, meets with Ted Thompson and leaves with only memories of his 8-year Packers career. Packers save 5 million in cap space.

- Packers Announce the signing of UDFAs:

Diondre Borel, QB, Utah State (6-0, 199)
Anthony Bratton, S, Delaware (6-2, 200)
Ray Dominguez, G/T, Arkansas (6-4, 334)
Sampson Genus, C, South Florida (6-1, 315)
Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina (6-4, 216)
Jon Hoese, FB, Minnesota (6-2, 238)
M.D. Jennings, S, Arkansas State (6-0, 185)
Elijah “Peanut” Joseph, ILB, Temple: (6-1, 243)
Elisha “Eli” Joseph, NT, Temple (6-2, 290) (officially signed on Friday)
Jamari Lattimore, OLB, Middle Tennessee State (6-2, 230)
Brandian Ross, DB, Youngstown State (6-0, 191)
Brandon Saine, RB, Ohio State (5-11, 220)
Theo Sherman, G, James Madison (6-3, 302)
Antoine “Shaky” Smithson, WR, Utah (5-11, 202)
Vic So’oto, DE/OLB, BYU (6-3, 265)
Kerry Taylor, WR, Arizona State (6-0, 198)
Chris Donaldson, DE, Oklahoma State (6-1, 300) (officially signed on Friday)

- Packers players start arriving in Green Bay. Meet with trainers, coaches and are given their playbooks.

 

Wednesday: July 27th, 2011

- Packers announce the signing of free agent kicker Mason Crosby to a 5-year contract worth 14.75 million dollars.
- Rumors fly about other Packers that will or won’t be back. Some player agents respond. Colledge’s agent says he’s surely gone. Poppinga’s agent is doubtful he’ll be released.

 

Thursday: July 28th, 2011

- Packers Shareholders Meeting – Ted Thompson greeted with standing ovation.
- Daryn Colledge signs a 5 year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
- Justin Harrell released, saving 1.25 million of cap space.
- Brady Poppinga released, saving 2.3 million of cap space.
- Players check into St. Norbert for start of training camp.
- Brandon Jackson signs a 2-year deal with the Cleveland Browns.
- Jason Spitz signs a 3-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Packers sign four of their draft choices, Caleb Schlauderaff, Ryan Taylor Ricky Elmore and D.J. Williams
- Mike McCarthy’s wife gave birth to a baby girl, Isabella.

29

July

Green Bay Packers 2011 Training Camp: Previewing the Offense

Let’s take a quick look at how the Green Bay Packers offense stacks up heading into training camp by breaking down each position individually. Packers training camp starts Saturday, July 30th in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Graham Harrell

The Packers head into the 2011 season with likely the best 1-2 combination at quarterback in the NFL. Starter Aaron Rodgers put up fantastic numbers for the third consecutive year, throwing for 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while narrowly missing out on becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in his first three seasons under center.

He didn’t let up once the playoffs started, as he threw for three scores in a win over Philadelphia then thrashed the Falcons in the NFC Divisional round with one of the more impressive playoff performances in Packers playoff history. He completed 86.1 percent of his passes that night (31-for-36) for 366 yards and three touchdowns. In the Super Bowl, Rodgers took home MVP honors for his 304-yard, 3-touchdown masterpiece against the NFL’s No. 1 rated defense. He’s a bonafide regular season MVP candidate heading into the season.

Concussions were Rodgers’ kryptonite, however, as he suffered two (at Washington, at Detroit) during the regular season. The latter kept him out of a huge matchup with the New England Patriots, but that allowed backup Matt Flynn to showcase his ever-improving skill set in primetime. Flynn put up Rodgers-like numbers, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-27 loss that turned out to be a jumping-off point for the Packers playoff run.

There was talk that Flynn, who will be a free agent after the ’11 season, might be traded to a quarterback-needy team this offseason, but the Packers seem intent on holding onto him as a valuable backup. With Rodgers’ injury history, that could turn out to be an important non-move. Even he if does leave after the season, he’s worth more to the Packers this year as a backup than a mid-to-low draft choice.

If they would have dealt him, any injury to Rodgers might have thrown Graham Harrell into the starting mix. While he put up huge numbers and was fourth in the Heisman voting his senior year at Texas Tech, Harrell is obviously raw in many areas. He went undrafted in ’09 and spent sometime in the CFL before latching on in Green Bay. The league’s lockout also cost him valuable time in Mike McCarthy’s quarterback school. The Packers chose not to draft or sign any quarterback this offseason, so his No. 3 spot on the depth chart seems somewhat secure.

28

July

Breaking News: Daryn Colledge Agrees to Terms with Arizona Cardinals

Kevin Kolb wasn’t the only expensive player on the Arizona Cardinals free agent list apparently.  According to Jason Wilde of ESPN Madison, Daryn Colledge has agreed to a 5 year contract worth up to $27.5 million; that deal contains just under $10 million in guaranteed money and could net Colledge over $12 million over the first two years of the contract.

So it looks like Colledge’s agent was telling the truth all along, I can’t believe that Colledge is worth $6 million a year on average, not to mention the $10 million guaranteed.  Another thing that becomes obviously apparent is that there was no way that Packers General Manager Ted Thompson was really in the running.  Just as a point of comparison, Nick Collins, a pro-bowler who is considered one of the best safeties in the league signed a 4 year, $23.4 million dollar contract at the beginning of the season last year.

So what do the Packers do now?  Laugh a little probably.  TJ Lang, Nick McDonald, Marshall Newhouse and Caleb Schaluderaff become the natural candidates to replace Colledge, with Lang as the clear front runner based on his experience and being the back-up left guard on the depth chart.  Ironically, Colledge was probably the weakest link on the offensive line, even with Bryan Bulaga starting as a rookie in a position he’s never played before.  While fans seem split as to whether Mason Crosby is really worth $14.75 million, I think there will be a general consensus that Colledge is definitely not worth $27.5 million

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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28

July

Packers 2011 Training Camp: The Best Positional Battles to Watch

Ryan Grant will be taking on all challengers for his starting job

Ryan Grant will have plenty of competition in Packers training camp.

With the NFL’s longest work stoppage in league history in the rear view mirror, the Green Bay Packers will begin their 2011 training camp on Saturday, July 30th in De Pere, Wisconsin. It will be the first step in the Packers Super Bowl title defense, and like most training camps, it should provide a framework for how the organization’s roster will look heading into the 2011 season.

But it will also be home to several intriguing and important positional battles that will determine who starts and who rides the bench to open the year. Let’s go in-depth to breakdown some of the Packers best battles to watch during training camp.


RUNNING BACK

This will be the one everyone watches. 28-year-old Ryan Grant is returning from a season-ending ankle injury, and as the leading man to start each of the last three seasons, Grant still believes he is going to be the primary carrier. Grant claims the ankle is 100%, which is more then conceivable considering he believed he could have played in the Super Bowl if not on IR. He’s also the most experienced and accomplished back on the roster, as Grant rushed for over 3,400 yards and 23 touchdowns from 2007 to ’09.

When Grant’s 2010 season ended just eight carries in, the Packers running game floundered in his absence. Grant’s vision and one-cut and go mentality were sorely missed. Neither Brandon Jackson or John Kuhn were able to handle the No. 1 role, and the Packers running game was nearly non-existent. That is, of course, until 2010 sixth rounder James Starks took control of the position late in the season.

Starks rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries in his NFL debut against the 49ers, marking only the second time to that point that a Packers rusher went over 70 yards in a game. Starks then mostly disappeared for the remaining of the regular season, but reemerged for the playoffs and took the postseason by storm. His 123 yards against the Eagles in the Wild Card was a Packers rookie playoff record and arguably the team’s best rushing performance of the 2010 season. He rushed for just 66 and 74 yards in the following two games in Atlanta and Chicago, respectively, but Starks provided the kind of offensive balance the Packers needed.

27

July

Agent Says Guard Daryn Colledge Will Leave Packers

Colledge's days in Green Bay appear to be over.

According to a tweet from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Tom Silverstein, the Green Bay Packers are no longer in the running for free agent guard Daryn Colledge.

Silverstein was in contact with Colledge’s agent, who also said the Cardinals are his likely destination.

“G Daryn Colledge’s days with the Packers are over,” Silverstein’s tweet said. “He’s going elsewhere, his agent said. Leader in the clubhouse is Arizona.”

Briefly afterwards, Silverstein gave Colledge’s reason for leaving.

“College gave Packers last two years to re-sign him and decided that was enough. Packers weren’t involved too much in competition.”

If the reports turn out to be true, then the 2011 season will mark a new era for the Packers at left guard. Colledge had been the starter there since being a second round draft pick in 2006. Possibilities to replace him include T.J. Lang, Nick McDonald and potentially either Marshall Newhouse or Caleb Schlauderaff.

Heading into the offseason, the chances of Colledge returning to Green Bay were 50-50 depending on who you spoke to. It’s clear from Silverstein’s tweet that Colledge was displeased with the Packers refusal to approach him about a contract extension. As a guy who has started 76 of the Packers past 80 regular season games and all of their playoff games since ’06, you can see why there would be some tension there.

It will also be interesting to see what the market ultimately values Colledge, even if his price tag doesn’t appear to be the reason why the Packers strayed away from re-signing him. If he is signed to a manageable price and the Packers have struggles at left guard in 2011, their decision will be questioned.

However, the Packers were obviously comfortable letting Colledge go, whether it be because of price or their own self-scouting of both Colledge and their alternate options at guard.

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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 AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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30

June

Despite Success, Packers Empty Backfield Formations Will Always Make Me Nervous

Aaron Rodgers needs to get rid of the ball quickly in empty-backfield formations.

Whenever the Packers lined up in an empty backfield formation last season, I got nervous.

Could Clifton and his creaky knees keep a speed rushing defensive end out of the backfield? Could the Colledge/Wells/Sitton interior combo handle a middle blitz without the safety net of a running back? Could Aaron Rodgers make his reads quick enough and get rid of the ball ontime? Could the ancient Mark Tauscher or the young Bryan Bulaga hold up the right side?

These are thoughts that raced through my head whenever Rodgers broke the huddle and set up behind center, all by his lonesome.

“That’s the franchise quarterback standing there all alone,” I would yell. “Somebody go stand next to him and protect him!”

If Julius Peppers or Ndamukong Suh broke through, there’s nothing Rodgers could do besides curl up and hope no major bones shatter while he’s driven to the turf. I resumed yelling: “Do we really want to alter the course of the franchise just so we can get Brett Swain in the game or line up a running back as a receiver?!”

Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried so much. The Packers were good in empty backfield sets.

Football Outsiders charted each team’s success in empty backfield formations last season. The Packers used an empty backfield 11 percent of the time (second most often in NFL) and averaged 5.5 yards per play (11th overall). Their DVOA with an empty backfield was 29.6 percent, ninth best in the league.

These are good numbers. Maybe I shouldn’t worry so much.

Even though the evidence points to empty-backfield success for the Packers, I’ll likely always shudder when Rodgers lines up without at least one partner in the backfield. It’s my nature, I guess.

Whenever I play Madden on the PS3, the Packers are almost impossible to stop with an empty backfield, five wide-receiver set. Somebody gets open, and Rodgers just zips him the ball.

Sophisticated offenses, feakishly athletic receivers/tight ends and rules that favor the passing game are making real-life football more like Madden every season. We’re probably going to see the use of empty backfields increase in the coming years.

That’s not good for my blood pressure. Hopefully it’s good for the Packers.

28

June

Chasing Perfection: A Few Areas Where the Packers Can Improve in 2011

We’ve all read or heard the quote. It’s a time-honored choice of words that transcends football, or any sport for that matter, and it was uttered by the most famous coach in Packers and NFL history.

“Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these words, or a variation of it, were said in each NFL locker room every season. The quote in itself  is nearly perfect, as there has only been one “perfect” team record-wise in the Super Bowl era.

Which brings me to my overall point. While the Packers accomplished the goal that every team sets out to at the beginning of the season, they weren’t a perfect team by any means. The 2010 Packers lost six games along the way, overcoming several deficiencies in the process. Every Packer fan from the Pacific to the Atlantic (and beyond, for our international readers) expects the Packers to repeat next season, but that might not be possible unless the Packers continue to chase perfection.

Listed below are several areas where the Packers can continue to improve for next season, and the ways in which they can do it.

 

Kick and Punt Returning

Could Improve:

The Packers averaged just 20.8 yards per return on kicks and 7.9 on punts, good for 26th and 22nd in the NFL, respectively. The group—which consisted of Jordy Nelson, Sam Shields, Pat Lee, James Starks and Tramon Williams—produced zero touchdowns and very few big plays. The Packers were also one of five teams that failed to produce a kick or punt return over 60 yards over the course of the season.

How it Could Improve:

The Packers made their first substantial move in the returning department in some time when they took Randall Cob in the second round of April’s draft. He’ll need to win the spot in camp, but all signs point to Cobb being the Packers primary return of kicks and punts. If that scenario does unfold, Cobb should be a marked improvement. He scored two touchdowns off punts at Kentucky, and averaged 24.7 yards on 44 career kick returns. I’d hesitate to call him the next Devin Hester, but Cobb can help turn around the Packers returning woes in a hurry.