29

August

Packers vs. Chiefs – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: KC 30 GB 8

Packers vs. Chiefs

Packers vs. Chiefs

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs:  2013 Preseason Game 4

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

 

Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers

12 QB Aaron Rodgers
24 CB Jarrett Bush
25 CB James Nixon
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
52 LB Clay Matthews
59 LB Brad Jones
88 TE Jermichael Finley

Kansas City Chiefs
TBA

 

GAME NOTES:

All eyes will be on Vince Young starting with the first unit and the bubble players – many trying to make an NFL roster for the first time.

Just before game time, I found out something very interesting. Brian McIntyre of Yahoo Sports reported that Mason Crosby agreed to restructure his contract on Thursday. Yes, that’s right. Full details can be found here.

I imagine it went like this:  TT: “So Mason, if you’d like to stay here, what say you take a pay cut – then we won’t call Giorgio back – deal?”

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Dujuan Harris injury: Like any injury, you have tomove on. Our responsibility as a coaching staff to taylor plays to the guys we have

OL vs. Seattle: There were some things that frankly weren’t very clean. Our assignment discipline was not what it needed to be. Some indecision there.

Kicking competition: Mason’s been challenged throughout training camp. It’s important for Mason to perform well tonight.

Kickoffs: It’s really about the flexibility to have 2 guys who can do it very well. Crosby is good at it but Tim has been exceptional at it.

Kickoff returns: Alex Green will start back there, Johnathan Franklin will get some reps. It’s still an open competition.

Lower-rung players: You’re playing for an opportunity to play in the NFL. Either at GB or somewhere else.

Quarterbacks: Vince Young to start, BJ Coleman will get a lot of work also.

Injured players: Tramon Williams, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will all start the game.

Hot Night: We’re very conscientious of the heat – we cut the pre-game down.

Feelings about this camp: We grew. I wasn’t thrilled at first, but by the second preseason games, I thought we had come together and were doing things the right way.

 

30

August

Packers vs. Chiefs – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 24 KC 3

Graham Harrel with a perfect passer rating vs Chiefs

Graham Harrel finished with a perfect passer rating vs Chiefs

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs:

My unfitered game day recap and blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today:

Inactives tonight: Charles Woodson, Davon House, James Starks, Robert Francois, Jeff Saturday, Andrew Datko, Ryan Pickett, Donald Driver and Tom Crabtree.

Notes:

The Packers have finished the preseason against the Chiefs the last three years.

Mike McCarthy started his NFL career with the Chiefs in 1993.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

 

Starters: Our starters will play one series, maybe 6-7 plays.

Last week’s game: We felt good coming off the field and even more so after the film study.

Roster: A lot of cometetion throughout the whole roster, not just at the bottom, but for starting jobs also.

Can someone win a job tonight: Absolutely, I’m counting on it. Ted & I have discussed this – it’s the beauty of having a 4th preseason game.

Graham Harrell: GH is just like every other football player competing – he has to play well and he has to earn that opportunity. I don’t really agree with the opinions outside the building. No need for us to address it. GH brings a lot to the table. If we were to play a game tomorrow with GH, our offense wouldn’t need to change… People need to get their facts straight.

 

 

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Packers vs. Chiefs – First Impressions – First Half:

Raji hurt on the first play? Hopefully just turned an ankle.

Sean Richardson in at safety before MD Jennings…

Nice job by Nick Perry on the Richardson tackle for a loss. Got backfield penetration, forced RB wide, couldn’t follow his lead blocker.

For a second, I thought Shields was gojng to try to run that interception out like last year when he would up getting concussed…

Harrell deep to Gurley. Huge play for both of those guys…

Graham’s Law: Harrell + protection = better results.

I’ve been in Alex Green’s corner since day one, but right now, he’s not finding the holes (assuming there are some). Will still give him a pass for most of this season. Usually takes close to 2 years for complete ACLrecovery.

5

April

Looking at the Packers’ 2012 Preseason Schedule

Last preseason @ Indianapolis

The Packers preseason opponents were announced by the team yesterday afternoon. The schedule for the 2012 preseason is as follows:

Aug. 9 @ San Diego Chargers (ESPN)

Aug. 16-19 Cleveland Browns

Aug. 23-26 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Aug. 30-31 Kansas City Chiefs

After being snubbed by the NFL and missing out on the season opener against the New York Giants, the Packers get the first primetime, national televised preseason game outside of the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 5.

Due to it being a national televised game, the Chargers game is the only game that has a specific date and time. The dates and times for the other games will be revealed in the coming weeks.

When the team released the information, some players took to twitter to express their frustration with having to play a West Coast preseason game. Josh Sitton tweeted, “that’s terrible. West coast preseason games suck. Especially early [in] pre season!” When asked why, Sitton claimed the long flight and time change.

While the players may not be happy, it presents the Packers a chance to open their training camp before most other teams. According to NFL rules, teams can begin their camps 15 days prior to their first preseason game. The Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints will be the first to open because their Aug. 5 meeting.

The Packers camp should open on July 25 or 26. The players are likely to disappointed about starting camp earlier than most teams, but it gives the team that much more time to work before the season.

When glancing at the list of opponents, not much jumps off the screen. The Packers have played mostly AFC opponents in preseason, but usually included at least one NFC team. This year it’s all AFC opponents.

Also interesting to note is that each opponent has a stable quarterback situation. It doesn’t mean much, but the Packers defense should get some looks at established quarterbacks.

The skeleton of the NFL’s preseason being released is just a teaser for the full NFL schedule expected to be released sometime in the next two weeks. At that point, the road to Super Bowl XLVII will be properly mapped out.

 

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Michael is a sports writer currently attending Seattle University. You can follow Michael on Twitter .

4

January

Joe Philbin and Tom Clements Drawing Interest For Head Coaching Jobs

Packers QB coach Tom Clements is drawing interest from Penn State University.

Success in the NFL breeds opportunity, and two offensive coaches for the Green Bay Packers are drawing interest for head coaching jobs around the football landscape.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will interview for the Kansas City Chiefs head coaching position on Wednesday night.

Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who earlier interviewed for Penn State’s coaching vacancy, will get a second interview in person sometime this week, according to the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette.

Philbin has been the Packers offensive coordinator since 2007, when he was promoted from offensive line coach to coordinator after Jeff Jagodzinski left to be Boston College’s head coach. Philbin started in Green Bay as an offensive line assistant in 2003.

Clements, a 15-year NFL coaching veteran, has been the Packers quarterbacks coach since 2006. He is credited for helping groom both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn during his time in Green Bay.

It’s no coincidence that the success of the Packers, who won 15 games this season after capturing a win in Super Bowl XLV last season, has coincided with interest in their assistant coaches, especially on offense. The Packers offense set numerous franchise records this season on their way to becoming the NFL’s top ranked scoring offense in 2011 and second-highest scoring offense in NFL history.

It was reported earlier this season that Philbin was drawing interest from Tulane Universtity, his alma mater, for their head coaching vacancy. Philbin denied those rumors and Tulane later hired New Orleans Saints receivers coach Curtis Jackson.

While an interview with the Chiefs is an encouraging sign for Philbin’s vertical movement in the coaching profession, it’s unlikely he’ll land the job. While residing over the offensive coordinator position in Green Bay for five seasons, Philbin has yet to be the full-time play caller for the Packers offense. Head coach Mike McCarthy, a former offensive coordinator, calls the Packers’ offensive plays. The Chiefs are also widely assumed to be retaining Romeo Crennel as the head coach after he helped lead the Chiefs to a 2-1 record, including a win over the Packers, after taking over for Todd Haley.

Losing Clements appears to be more imminent. Penn State has dwindled their candidates list, and Clements looks to be one of the front-runners. The Norte Dame alum has shown a mutual interest in the job as a Pennsylvania native.

21

December

The Birth and Death of the Packers’ Wildcat Formation

Aaron Rodgers Tom Clements Packers

Rodgers and QB coach Tom Clements likely not talking about the Wildcat formation. (Photo: Evan Siegle, GBPG)

We may have witnessed the birth and death of the Green Bay Packers “Wildcat” formation, or at least a certain Packers quarterback made it sound like it yesterday.

Before we talk about its potential mortality, let’s document the birth of the Wildcat in the Packers offense.

On Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers lined up Randall Cobb, a former college quarterback at Kentucky, in the formation on the second play from scrimmage to start the second half.

Cobb took the direct snap and ran off right tackle for a gain of four yards.

(For those who don’t know, the Wildcat is a single-wing formation in which, more recently, a skill player lines up in the shotgun with some kind of pre-snap motion. Once the ball is snapped, the runner has the option of running directly, handing off to the motion man or throwing, with the latter being the rare exception. However, that player usually has some kind of throwing experience or prowess in order to keep the defense honest to the pass. The Miami Dolphins, with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, ran the formation successfully during portions of the 2008 season. There are different variations of the formation, but the one listed above is which most fans are now familiar.)

The possibility of running Cobb in the Wildcat formation was briefly discussed after the Packers drafted him in the second round last April. Cobb started nine games at quarterback during his freshman season at Kentucky, throwing for two scores and running for another seven. He moved to receiver full time the next season, later becoming one of Kentucky’s best all-time players. Despite the switch, Cobb obviously possessed the kind of versatility to pull off that kind of formation on occasion in the NFL.

But after just one snap in the formation, that page in the Packers playbook might have been torn out.

While nothing catastrophic happened during the Packers’ trail run at the formation, Jason Wilde’s weekly interview with quarterback Aaron Rodgers suggests that Sunday’s appearance of the Wildcat may be a one-time deal.

“I’m not crazy about it,” Rodgers said matter-of-factly when asked about the formation.

19

December

The !$*?!#%! Kansas City Chiefs Ruined the Packers Opportunity for Perfection

Donald Driver, WR Green Bay Packers

Is this really happening?

The Packers lost to the Chiefs on Sunday in a complete trainwreck of a football game. Receivers dropped passes, the pass rush never entered Kyle Orton’s zip code and more Packers limped off the field with injuries.

It was a horrible way to end an amazing run. Just horrible.

There’s probably going to be some people that say it’s good for the Packers to lose a game. They’ll say that the ultimate goal is the Super Bowl and losing will build character and force the Packers to correct mistakes… or something like that.

Ignore those people. Tell them to go away.

Losing sucks. No team ever says, “Hey, lets lose this game today to build some character and increase our chances of going to the Super Bowl.” That’s not how it works.

If this Packers team goes 18-1 and repeats as Super Bowl champions, it’s going to be amazing. I’m going to be just as happy as I was for the other Super Bowl titles the Packers have won in my lifetime.

But there’s always going to be a small part of my green and gold brain that reminds me the Packers could have been 19-0 — undefeated — but they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

THE !$*?!#%! KANSAS CITY CHIEFS!!!!!!

We’re going to have plenty of time in the coming days to break down exactly what happened, to start sounding the alarm about the Packers’ injuries, protection issues and defensive lapses. Honestly, I’m not worried about all of that. Yeah, the Packers are banged up and looked lost on Sunday, but they’re still the best team in the NFL.

If they don’t win the Super Bowl, it’d be an upset.

Right now, I just want to vent about the fact that the Packers opportunity for perfection was ruined by THE !$*?!#%! KANSAS CITY CHIEFS!!!!!! Some day my son will ask me why the Packers did not go undefeated in 2011, and I will have to tell him that they lost to the Chiefs, a team that was 5-8 and just fired its head coach.

Now don’t get me wrong. When my son gives me a quizzical look and asks how something silly like losing to the Chiefs could ruin a perfect season, I’ll spend the next two hours telling him stories about the amazing run the Packers went on in 2010-11. I’ll tell him about not losing a game for 364 days, the amazing play of Aaron Rodgers and all of the other things this team accomplished.

19

December

Packers vs. Chiefs: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 19-14 Loss to Kansas City

Photo: MCT

The Green Bay Packers (13-1) lost for the first time in 364 days—a stretch of 20 games—as the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off the upset of the season Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, 19-14.

Five observations from the Packers’ first taste of defeat since Week 15 of last season:

1. Playing perfect to end perfection

I said before the game that Kyle Orton would have to play a perfect game for the Chiefs to have a chance. He was about as close to perfect as you could ask for on Sunday, completing 23-of-31 passes for 299 yards. The key stat, however? Zero turnovers. Orton made all the easy throws and avoided that one game-changing giveaway.

The Chiefs offense did a fine job of hurting the Packers in the screen game early then picked apart the Packers’ zone after Dom Capers was forced to adjust. But even with the Chiefs’ offense rolling, there was anticipation for a turnover from the defense that could turn around the game. It never came. With the Packers offense struggling for the first time all season, not getting that one momentum-shifter was huge.

2. Dropping the rhythm

The issues on offense went deeper than just drops, but it was painfully obvious how those missed opportunities in the first half stymied the rhythm of the Packers’ offense. Jermichael Finley saw a couple of easy ones go right through the hands, but he also had a handful of opportunities to make game-changing catches, which admittedly were tough plays, and couldn’t convert. Aaron Rodgers called the drops a “physical mistake” after the game, but it’s mental for Finley. He’s clearly pressing, and dropping the first ball that came to him Sunday only snowballed the mistakes.

He wasn’t alone, as Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson also dropped balls which they normally catch. If those plays are made, the Packers likely score enough points to win. Greg Jennings wasn’t the one dropping those passes, either. His impact was felt in the offense, but not having him on the field had absolutely nothing with the inexcusable drops.

3. Man down

The Packers’ already aching offensive line saw both Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod suffer injuries. Bulaga left in the first half but seemed fine on the sidelines after returning from the locker room. McCarthy labeled his injury as a “knee sprain,” which again, can mean a number of things. Bulaga will have a MRI later today. Sherrod suffered a major injury, which McCarthy confirmed as a broken leg, and won’t be playing football anytime soon.