8

June

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy is Awesome

Packers coach Mike McCarthy is dedicated to his community work.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy is dedicated to his community work.

A lot of ink has been spilled and hot air bloviated this week about Brett Favre taking some of the blame for his split with the Packers and Greg Jennings possibly holding a grudge against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers after departing Green Bay for Minnesota.

Both of those topics merit further discussion. They also move the meter and bring out the passion — for better or worse — of Packers fans and media personalities.

Unfortunately, both of those stories broke around the same time Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote an excellent piece about Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his commitment to both his family and community outreach.

Push pause on all the thoughts that are running through your head about when Favre might finally have his number retired as a Packer, or whether Jennings will send Rodgers a Christmas card this year, and read Nickel’s story.

I get that we don’t truly know the coaches and players that we cheer for every Sunday, but I am pretty confident that McCarthy is a helluva guy and about as genuine as they come. I’m really proud that he’s the coach of the Packers.

I’ve always been impressed with McCarthy’s demeanor throughout the season. He’s never too high and never too low and always remains resolute while looking forward. You can tell he would rather talk about Justin Bieber’s fashion sense than answer questions about the Packers sometimes, but he’s always respectful and provides at least some level of insight.

It looks like many of those same characteristics carry through to McCarthy’s community work and family life. He may tick fans off by calling for a 50-yard bomb on 3rd and 1 or not running the ball as often as we’d like, but any coach will tick off fans with stuff like that on occasion.

I’ve already written too much about this topic. Stop reading this, and go read Nickel’s story. Keep up the good work, Mike.

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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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26

May

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived: 5-26-13

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Adam Czech is away in enemy territory this weekend (Chicago). Evidently, they don’t allow any Packers writing on Sundays in Chicago, so I’ll be filling in.

Before he left he mentioned he’d be going to Mike Ditka’s restaurant and not soon after, the news came across the wires that the Bears would be retiring Ditka’s #89. Cooincidence? Or is Czech a Bears double agent? An investigation shall commence.

In the meantime, when I heard the news about Ditka, my first reaction was, “what the heck took them so long?” Shouldn’t this have been done many years ago? He’s a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a Super Bowl Champion as both a player and a coach for the Bears. This should be a no-brainer, right?

Well, it seems that, unbeknownst to me, The Bears have a little problem when it comes to retiring numbers. Seems they have retired too many – more than any other team in the NFL!

Ditka’s No. 89 is the 14th jersey number to be retired by the bears, joining, No. 3 (Bronko Nagurski), 5 (George McAfee), 7 (George Halas), 28 (Willie Galimore), 34 (Walter Payton), 40 (Gale Sayers), 41 (Brian Piccolo), 42 (Sid Luckman), 51 (Dick Butkus), 56 (Bill Hewitt), 61 (Bill George), 66 (Clyde “Bulldog” Turner) and 77 (Harold “Red” Grange).

I can make a case for seven. Some of the others were chosen for sentimental reasons rather than talent. Some had the talent, but were not even with the Bears that long.

In any case, this presents a logistics problem for the Bears, and as such, they’ve announced that Ditka’s #89 is the LAST number they’ll be retiring.

Sorry Brian Urlacher…

Getting back to the Packers, Jason, Marques and Kris have put out another fantastic show, bringing you up to date with OTA news and other recent Packers happening. I promise you it’s worth a listen:

This Week’s ALL Packers Talk Podcast:

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Packers Talk Radio Network on itunes, you’re going to have some ‘splaining to do… Just click on the link, then “View in Itunes,” then “subscribe.”

Packers News, Notes and Links

14

June

Local Packers Fan to Chill in Green Bay

Jackie Gaertig - Green Bay Chill

Jackie shows off her tackling form for coach Gilbert Brown

As the Monty Python line goes, “And now for something completely different…”

I’m not sure how this even started, but I noticed something on twitter one day about a woman who had tried out for and earned a spot on the Green Bay Chill – that other football team in Green Bay. I did know that the Chill are coached by former Packer fan favorite Gilbert “The GraveDigger” Brown. However, it also dawned on me that I really knew little else, if anything, about the Lingerie Football league, other than, um, the outfits they wear.

I’m always interested in personal stories, so I started to wonder, what is the back story of a woman who wants to play full-contact football, an… ahem… “man’s” game, but do it while dressed in rather feminine outfits? As the saying goes, “Enquiring minds want to know”, so I sought out this young lady and asked if we could hear her story. She more than willingly obliged, so here is the story of Jackie Gaertig, pride of Oconto Falls, WI, and newest member of the Green Bay Chill:

 

As a young child I would watch the Green Bay Packers every Sunday and have been a die hard Packer fan ever since. My stepfather was a big Packer Fan and I swear you could hear him throughout the whole neighborhood cheering during the game if the windows were open.

My freshman year in High School I was on the Pom Pom team and our football team had made it to State. I danced every halftime show during the football season, and had the chance to dance for halftime at Camp Randall Stadium where the Wisconsin Badgers play. Our High School Football team went on to win State that yr. The following year my family moved to another town 15 minutes west of Oconto Falls but I was still connected to football throughout the rest of High School, as captain of the Cheerleading Squad.

The few years I dated my high school sweetheart, his mother had access to Packers tickets for a few games every season. This was my first chance to go to a game and it strengthened my love for the game of football and of course, the Packers. Our seats were the first row above the tunnel. I had tears in my eyes the first time I walked into Lambeau Field. I will never forget those first few games I attended.

20

March

Tebow Time Speculation Highlights Slow Offseason in Green Bay

Tim Tebow? That is what the offseason in Green Bay has come down to. Speculation that the Packers should give Tim Tebow a look either through trade or free agency if he is cut. Tebow would be brought in as a backup to Aaron Rodgers and compete with Graham Harrell for the second string spot.

Whether this move would be good, bad or whatever is not the point. The point is that Packers fans need to accept the quiet and eerie feeling that the team doesn’t even exist when free agency begins and huge contracts are being thrown around wildly (much like Tebow’s passes).

A visit by center Jeff Saturday, speculation of a move to get Tim Tebow and the latest, the re-signing of Jarrett Bush to a new, three-year contract.

The reaction of many fans is that Ted Thompson isn’t doing his job properly and that the Packers are letting their Super Bowl window run out. This team needs a better defense, that’s no secret. There needs to be an improved pass rush and new blood is certain to be brought in.

The Packers are a team that is set to compete once August comes around and quickly turns into September and the start of the 2012-2013 season. The core that remains is likely to not only compete next season, but for seasons ahead. Because of this, fans need to remember that it’s not exactly do-or-die for the Packers and there is no point in breaking the bank and going into cap-hell, just to get that much better this year.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Packers have been so quiet this off-season as it has been the M.O. since Ted Thompson took over. This is a team that has built through the draft and undrafted free agents. That’s not going to change.

That doesn’t mean Ted Thompson isn’t doing his job and completing shut down business in Green Bay. Besides attempting to re-sign Green Bay’s own, Thompson is surely doing his due diligence, calling free agents, but finding no value and that’s the key. For Thompson, building his team is all about finding value.

Thompson has found value in the contract of Jordy Nelson, many undrafted free agents like Tramon Williams and even Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick in the 2005 draft.

17

December

Show Me The Money: Tori Gurley Will Get Paid More By Not Signing With Vikings

Frankly, I was more than a little surprised that wide receiver Tori Gurley decided to remain on the Green Bay Packers practice squad instead of signing to the 53-man roster on the Minnesota Vikings.  Many people dream of being on a NFL team (which practice squad players technically aren’t as they are unrestricted free agents), and Gurley just might be giving up his only chance to be a real NFL player.  From a Packers fan standpoint, most were quick to laugh as the Vikings, who are notorious for stealing players from NFC North rivals such as Ryan Longwell, Darren Sharper, Bernard Berrian and Devin Aromashshodu, couldn’t even get a practice squad player playing wide receiver on the NFL’s deepest and most talent wide receiving corps to sign with them.

But I have to admit; it’s a pretty smart move by Gurley, who is essentially betting on the winning team.  From an economic standpoint, Gurley is probably going to make more money as Packers practice squad member than as a Minnesota Viking.

Signing with the Vikings: the minimum salary for a player with no vested years (such as a rookie like Gurley) is $375,000 and realistically Gurley would have gotten the cookie cutter rookie pick-up 3-year contract from the Vikings.  Pro-rated for the three remaining games of the regular season means that aside from signing bonus money (which would likely be negligible for a late season rookie pick-up if there is one at all) would equate to $70,311.  Keep in mind the Vikings are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, so $70,311 is all Gurley can make on the Vikings this year.  Also keep in mind while it is technically a 3-year contract, most likely none of the money is guaranteed, so there’s a very good chance that Gurley could be cut next year and see no more money from the Vikings.

Staying with the Packers: the minimum salary for a player on the practice squad is $83,000, which equates to $5,200 a week.  Just to the end of the regular season Gurley stands to make $15,600, which is a difference of $54,711.  But, the Packers are already locked into the playoffs and while Gurley will not be receiving a paycheck for the first week of the playoffs (as the Packers have clinched a playoff bye), Gurley  should make more money:

If the Packers win the divisional game: $36,600 total

28

April

Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft – 1st Round, Pick 32: Derek Sherrod

With their 1st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select offensive tackle Derek Sherrod  from the Mississippi State University.

Sherrod measured 6’5” 321 lbs with a 35 3/8 inch wingspan and at the combine and posted a 5.18 second 40-yard dash, 23 bench presses, 28 inch vertical jump, 97 inch broad jump, 7.43 second 3-cone drill and 4.63 second 20-yard shuttle.

 

College history: Derek Sherrod is one of the most decorated college football players in the nation both on and off the field; he was named to seven All-American teams this year as well as winning the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Award, which is given to the top 16 players in the nation for their academic and leadership ability.  Sherrod graduated in August of 2010 with a 3.54 grade point average in business.

On the football field he played in 47 games and started 36 of them at left offensive tackle, racking up 319 knockdown blocks (8.86 per game, highest of any draft eligible offensive linemen in this years draft), and graded out at 92.8% in blocking efficiency.  Sherrod is more of a pass blocker than a run blocker, just like the Packers like them.  He’s also seen as more of a technician than an athletic specimen, which again is just like the Packers like them (see Bryan Bulaga)

Commentary: The Packers waited until they had 30 second left before turning in their pick; this probably meant that the Packers were fielding trade options until the last minute (as is Ted Thompsons MO), but apparently the value wasn’t there for the Packers so they selected their best player available, which was Sherrod.  Sherrod is likely to be the future tackle once Chad Clifton decides to hang it up or as Bryan Bulaga’s replacement once he switches over to the left when Chad Clifton finally decides to hang it up.  Who will be where?  In actuality, it doesn’t really matter.  The Packers have stated that they prefer to have two “left tackles” at bookend; with defenses commonly shifting personnel to get the best match ups, the best pass rusher is no longer over the blind slide, the best rusher is now over the weakest player.

Video:

On Packers.com

 

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

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29

March

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 10-1

In part three of this series ranking Green Bay’s roster, we look at the top ten list for Green Bay Packers players. You can find parts one and two here:

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 67-30

Ranking the Packers 2010 Roster: Players 29-11

10. DE Cullen Jenkins: His injury woes sometimes overshadow how good of a football player he is, but Jenkins is one of the better 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL.

Equally solid against the pass and the run, Jenkins has the versatility to play several positions along the defensive line. This past season, he played both defensive end and on the inside during passing downs, and was effective in both situations.

That package of talents will make Jenkins a wanted man once free agency starts. At 30 years old however, the Packers might not be willing to pay Jenkins what it takes to keep him in Green Bay.

9. TE Jermichael Finley: In a matter of two short years, Finley transformed himself from a immature rookie to the NFL’s most feared tight end.

While injuries have kept him from completing a full season, no tight end can make claim to the athletic package that Finley possesses. That skill set could see him shoot up this list in the coming years.

He needs to stay healthy and put together a complete season, but the sky is the limit for Finley in the Packers’ offense.

8. S Nick Collins: His pick-six in the Super Bowl put him momentarily in the spotlight, but Collins is one of the NFL’s most underrated safeties.

While not a monster around the line of scrimmage like Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, Collins does his best work manning the back of Green Bay’s defense. In that role, Collins has 17 interceptions over the past three seasons and could probably have 5-10 more if he had better hands.

Overall, his range and play recognition have gotten better every season he’s been in the league.

7. NT B.J. Raji: For the better part of his first year and a half in the NFL, Raji wasn’t living up to his 9th overall selection in 2009. An ankle injury during his rookie season was one of the primary causes for his early struggles.