Category Archives: 2010 News Recaps

17

December

Cheesehead Radio News – 12/10/10 – 12/16/10, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Holly Phelps. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 12/16/10 )

Packer News 12/10/10 – 12/16/10

AL:  Well, the big news in cheesehead nation this week is, of course, Aaron Rodgers’ condition and his availability for Sunday’s game versus the Patriots. According to Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers is behind the schedule set the week after his concussion against the Redskins. Rodgers was cleared to practice on Thursday that week. This time around, he won’t be able to practice until Saturday, at best.

Holly: But wait, it gets worse. it seems that as part of the recovery and evaluation process, Rodgers has not even been allowed to participate in meetings, game planning or film study. So it would be hard to see how he could be prepared to play, even if he is cleared by the medical staff on Saturday. And that’s a medical staff that is very conservative and always errs on the side of caution. Right now the odds are not very good of seeing Rodgers on the field on Sunday.

AL: If those are bad odds, what do you suppose the odds are of a Matt Flynn led Packers team beating the red-hot Patriots in New England, where they have won 26 straight regular season games? Mike McCarthy, for one, doesn’t buy that line of thinking. “We’re nobody’s underdog,” said McCarthy in Wednesday’s presser. “We have all the confidence in our abilities.” Fortunately, he stopped there. The last two guys to show any verbal disrespect to the Patriots got their heads handed to them on a platter.

Holly: Well, the Packers will be needing their heads to figure out the multiple playoff scenarios they are still a part of. The bottom line is they’re going to need help. The Packers could still win the Division, even with a loss to the Patriots, but one thing HAS to happen. The Vikings have to beat the Bears. If the Packers lose to the Patriots and the Bears win, the Bears are NFC North champs, regardless of what else happens.

3

December

Is Not Practicing Catching up With Packers’ Clay Matthews?

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a blurb about Clay Matthews’ recent drop in production and a possible correlation with a shin injury that severely limits his practice time.

On Monday I wrote about how I am done criticizing Aaron Rodgers this season, and I probably could write basically the same piece about Matthews. When examining problem areas for the Gren Bay Packers, Matthews is nowhere near the top of the list.

But Matthews has only 10 tackles and one sack his last two games. That one sack was given to him after Brett Favre slid behind the line of scrimmage early in the Vikings game. Matthews has only practiced once a week since the beginning of November and maybe that is starting to catch up with him. Despite what Allen Iverson says, practice is important – especially in the NFL and especially for a young player like Matthews.

It would have been unrealistic to expect Matthews to continue the torrid pace he set early in the season. He is a great talent, but nobody is talented enough to notch over 35 sacks. After his fast start, teams are now ready for Matthews. They are game-planning for him. They are forcing him to make adjustments, which is tough without practice time.

Most coaches will tell you that half the battle in football is lining up correctly and getting to the right spot once the ball is snapped. It is difficult to experiment and make necessary adjustments without practicing them first. The less Matthews practices, the more difficult it is for him to work on new stunts or schemes to get favorable matchups on Sunday.

Obviously, I am not arguing that Matthews needs to suck it up and practice regardless of how injured he is. He needs to be as healthy as possible on Sunday and he is probably the best judge of whether he can practice or not. But Matthews’ production is something to monitor as the season winds down.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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3

December

Cheesehead Radio News – 11/26/10 – 12/2/10, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Holly Phelps. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 12/2/10 )

Packer News 11/26/10 – 12/2/10

AL: Well, the man known around these parts as simply, “Tramon” got his big payday from the Packers this week. Unlike Atari Bigby, Tramon chose to come to camp in shape, sign his tender,  and let his play on the field do his talking for him. I think that’s worked out pretty well for all involved. And by the way, that’s the way a real man handles such a situation, Mr. Bigby.

Holly: Well, Al, there’s no shortage of real men on the Packer’s injured reserve list. The gaudy number is now up to 13, rather appropriate considering how unlucky the Packers have been in that department. Any more additions, and the Packers will be fund-raising for a new medical wing at the Hutson Center.

Al: The Atlanta Falcons know just how the Packers feel. Bill Huber of PackerReport.com points out that last year, the Falcons had 11 players on injured reserve, including significant starters, just like the Packers. They still managed a respectable 9-7 record, and this year, with the injury bug gone, have shown this season how good they are.. How the Packers have withstood the injury onslaught during this year is pretty impressive. I hope they get the chance to play with a healthy team next season, so they can answer the question of how good they really are.

Holly: And with the concussion to Dimitri Nance, we may finally get to find out how good James Starks is, which should make his legions of rabid fans very happy. With many Packer fans so desperate for a running game, they have been talking up Starks like he’s the second coming, despite never having taken an NFL snap. Imagine the collective groan you’ll hear if Starks doesn’t impress.

Al : A lot of people were not impressed with Mike McCarthy’s non-challenge of the Tony Gonzalez catch that replays showed was probably incomplete. Supposedly, the replay was late coming into the coaches’ booth, something McCarthy attributed to “home field advantage.” This was discussed on Packers Transplants the other night, with Corey Behnke saying the Packers need a tech guru to implement a system where information is received immediately, regardless of what stadium they are in.

23

November

Cheesehead Radio News – 11/19/10 – 11/23/10, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Holly Phelps. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 11/23/10 )

Packer News 11/19/10 – 11/23/10

AL: Well, the 2010 Green Bay Packers have solidified their new reputation as NFL coach killers. After getting Wade Phillips sacked by the Cowboys, they turned their attention to embarrassing the Minnesota Vikings Organization. The Packers did such a thorough job, even Zigi Wilf couldn’t screw this one up. He did what had to be done and fired Brad Childress.

Holly: Well there was also buzz about the Packers coaches , but there won’t be anyone getting fired. On the contrary, there’s a growing movement for Mike McCarthy to be considered for coach of the year. He’s won the respect of a lot of NFL experts for the job he’s done holding the team together despite the Packers’ massive injury situation.

AL: And another subject of coaching kudos is Dom Capers. In two separate press conferences, now, Mike McCarthy has been quoted as saying Capers is worthy of a head coaching position. Of course, he’d rather keep Capers, but wouldn’t stand in his way. Capers’ contract happens to expire after this season, also. Personally, I just want whomever is asking McCarthy about Capers to shut up. Lets just keep this under our hat…

Holly: Aaron Rodgers had some things to say Monday morning on ESPN radio. Rodgers said that the Packers’ defense have played incredible football, which give the offense confidence that they’ll get good opportunities. He also admitted to the team being motivated by the bandwagon jumpers when the Packers were at 3-3.  Said Rogers, “I heard many comments when we were 3-3 that we were done, that we had no soul as a team. I think we just kind of used that as fuel.”

AL: And running out of fuel is what may have finally happened to Brett Favre. Frustrated all day by the Packers defense, arguing with his offensive coordinator buddy and close to tears after the game, Favre looked a pathetic shell of the man we knew. After the game, Favre said he would have to go home and “re-evaluate things”. Asked what he meant by that later on, Favre managed to laugh it off and said if he had known he’d be pressed on that, he would have re-evaluated his answer.

18

November

Cheesehead Radio News – 11/08/10 – 11/18/10, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Holly Phelps. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 11/18/10 )

Packer News 11/08/10 – 11/18/10

AL: After a week off for rest and relaxation, the Packers returned to the practice field this week. Curiously, with two Dome games coming up, Mike McCarthy had the team practicing outside in 35 degree weather. Is he looking ahead to the Pats, Giants and Bears games? Or is he just being Mike McCarthy? As Aaron Nagler wrote in a blog post, one of these years, he’ll figure this all out…

Holly: One thing he did figure out was that there was a game worth watching on TV Sunday Night. According to McCarthy, the only game he watched on his off weekend was the Bears – Vikings game. McCarthy said he always make a point of watching Sunday or Monday Night games featuring their next opponent. It gives him a bit of a head start before the game film arrives.

Al: There was some good news for Cullen Jenkins this week. Jenkins practiced for the first time since week 1 without the club cast on his hand. Sporting just a small pad on the hand, Jenkins worked on getting some flexibility and strength back to his wrist and fingers. Jenkins thinks he lost 4 or 5 sacks because of the club

Holly: And there was bad news for Mark Tauscher this past week, as he became the Packers 6th starter and 11th player overall on Injured Reserved this season. In an unusual move, Mike McCarthy revealed that the Packers have asked him to travel with the team, participate in meetings and basically stay a full-time member of the team. That is not always the case with individuals that are on IR or PUP.

Al: And now officially part of the team is rookie running back James Starks, recently activated off of the PUP list. Mike McCarthy has been taking a lot of questions about the move, and has sung the praises of Starks. McCarthy said, “He had the No. 28 jersey on, and he looked dang good in it today. He’s a big, physical, athletic runner.” He went on to say that Starks still has a lot to learn and that special teams will be his ticket onto the active gameday roster.

3

November

Please Folks, A Moment of Silence for Brett Favre…

Dear Packer fans everywhere,

Sometime between today, two days after our once-great quarterback was crushed by a Patriots defensive tackle and sent to the locker room to get stitches, and next week when Favre trudges back onto the field one more time, take at least a minute to feel sorry for the man.

(Pause for outraged exclamation and protest.)

I know. I was there for each one of his unretirements. I argued during the summer of 2008 that he was making himself bigger than the team, when half of Packer Nation was burning Ted Thompson in effigy for daring to trade him away. I cheered as loudly as anyone when he threw the fatal pick at the end of the NFC Championship game, and I took a great deal of satisfaction from watching him lose the game for the Vikings two weeks ago. I’ve defended him before in this space against Deadspin’s charges, which are inching closer and closer towards being substantiated, but I do not consider myself a Favre apologist. I’ve castigated him enough over the past few years for that to be an untruth.

And I know that he brought all this on himself. I know that he took a fat contract from the Vikings to come back for another year, how it took three Vikings flying down to Mississippi to beg him to return, and how Favre alone is the reason why he’s still on the football field, taking these massive hits and losing game after game.

But he doesn’t deserve this.

The image of Favre lying on his side, wincing and huddling in pain as a Vikings tagalong held a towel up to his bleeding chin as the motorized cart sped towards the locker room, was one of the saddest things I’ve seen in professional football.

Regardless of what you believe Favre did or didn’t do for the Packers–and forget the revisionist history, he was the biggest reason why we’ve been as successful as we have over 16 of the last 20 years–he will go down in football history as one of the all-time great quarterbacks, if not the all-time great players. What endeared him to us Packers fans and to all of America, his exuberance, his play, his heart and guts and courage on the field, make him so. Such a player, who we have been privileged to see as fans for almost as long as I’ve been alive, should not go out like this, battered and broken and still coming back for more.

29

October

Cheesehead Radio News – 10/22/10 – 10/28/10, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Holly Phelps. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 10/28/10 )

Packer News 10/22/10 – 10/28/10

Al: Well, there was much rejoicing in the town of Green Bay last Sunday night, as former hero Brett Favre was battered and beaten, as was his team, the hated Minnesota Vikings. I would imagine the Packers bars were hopping late into the night, and Monday morning became an unofficial holiday as legions of Packers fans called in sick to work.

Holly: There were many eventful moments in this game, from the Packers defense denying Favre’s bid for a last minute win, to Donald Driver’s consecutive catch streak coming to an end. But most important of all, the Packers showed tremendous resiliency to get their season back on track with an all-important Division win. The Packers once again find themselves tied for first with the Bear this week.

AL: It wouldn’t be a typical  week in Green Bay without more players being added to Injured Reserve, so now Mike Neal , Brady Poppinga and Brad Jones became the latest members of the Packers Parade of Pain. I believe that makes 10 players on injured reserve, that is unless, someone else is getting hurt right now and we just don’t know it yet.

Holly: Well, don’t worry, Al, reinforcements are coming. In what might have been Ted Thompson’s busiest week ever, the Packers have signed 2 outside linebackers, an inside linebacker and a nose tackle. All are players that have been on active rosters and of particular interest is nose tackle Howard Green, who was just released by the Packers’ next opponent, the NY Jets.

AL: Yes Holly, perhaps Dom Capers will be connecting Green to the old brain drain machine to get some insight into Rex Ryan’s defensive schemes. But even if that were not a factor, Green provides some emergency depth to a defensive line currently comprised of BJ Raji, 7th round pick CJ Wilson and two players the Packers had previously cut, Jarius Wynn and Mike Montgomery. If Pickett can’t go on Sunday, the 340 lb Green would figure to be active as the only other wide body on the roster.