14

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Packers training camp is only a few weeks away, which means it’s time to get excited.

And worry.

Any good fan worries. It’s normal. You get excited about all the possibilities of the upcoming season, but you also can’t help but fret over certain worst-case scenarios that could play out and ruin the season.

Some people might call this worrying “negativity.” Those people are wrong. They worry just as much as you, and their way of coping is by criticizing others who worry openly.

What’s your biggest worry about the Packers as training camp gets closer?

I suppose Aaron Rodgers’ good fortune running out and missing multiple games with an injury is always a concern, but I tend to not worry about injuries so much because you literally have no ideal from year to year what a team’s injury luck might be.

For me, I worry about impact players in the middle of the Packers defense. A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Morgan Burnett and either Jerron McMillian or M.D. Jennings will likely be roaming the middle of the field for the Packers on defense.

Do any of those players strike fear into opposing offenses?

It’s nice to have an impact player up the middle to wallop somebody and force a fumble or range across the field and make a pick to change the momentum of the game or make up for shortcomings in other area’s of the defense.

Hawk definitely isn’t that type player. We’re not sure yet about Jones, but I don’t have my hopes up. Burnett is a good player, but hasn’t yet ascended to playmaker status. McMillian and Jennings are unknowns, but again, I wouldn’t get my hopes up — especially about Jennings who is really small.

So, there’s your does of negativity for the day. Or what some people call negativity and I call worrying like any normal fan would.

I do think the Packers defense will be better, but I’d be a lot more confident if their players up the middle had at least one proven playmaker. Hopefully Jones, Burnett or McMillian/Jennings ascends this season and makes all my worrying for not.

Packers News, Notes and Links

17

March

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Of the many things that make the NFL great, one of my personal favorites is how new trends tend to pop up out of nowhere.  Just when know-it-all types like yours truly think we have it all figured out, some new wrinkle arises that brings us crashing back down to Earth.

For example, we all understand that the NFL is a passing league these days, but it’s probably safe to say that next to nobody saw the read-option and power-running game trend that came on and played such a major factor in the league last season.

Read option? Power running? In today’s NFL? Nah! What coach is stupid enough to try that? Well, thanks to a new breed of quarterback, several coaches gave it a try and it worked. We’ll see if it continues.

In NFL free agency this offseason, thanks to a stagnant salary cap, there are a lot of usable veterans cut by teams and left on the market. In the past, many of these veterans would have signed bloated new deals with new teams on the first day or two of free agency.

These types of deals are still happening, but not quite like they used to.

Is this the new trend in free agency? It appears to be, for this offseason, anyway. More  teams are taking the Packers’ Ted Thompson approach and being patient, either because they think it’s the right thing to do, or because they have no other choice due to the stagnant salary cap.

Don’t get me wrong, few teams — if any — are taking the extreme draft and development approach that Thompson takes, but the general trend appears to be heading in that direction.

This raises several questions:

  • Will all of these unsigned veterans eventually just sign cheap one-year deals after a while?
  • Will prices for these unsigned veterans actually go up as free-agency wears on and teams realize they need to fill a few holes on their rosters?
  • Prices appear to be down for wide receivers and defensive backs this offseason. Is that because there are too many on the market? Is it becasue there are so many on the market? Is it because teams feel it makes more sense to draft and develop their own WRs and DBs?
8

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

The Green Bay Packers are huge in Oregon.

If you’re too lazy to click on the link, it basically highlights how a recent poll showed that most Oregonians cheer for the Packers over the nearby Seattle Seahawks. This doesn’t surprise me. The Packers are the greatest team ever. Everybody should cheer for them.

Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this. On July 4, Deadspin asked which sports team is the most American. They shouldn’t even have to ask. It’s the Green Bay Packers. And it’s not even close.

What’s more American than having a professional football stadium next to a K-Mart? Instead of being surrounded by fancy clubs and five-star restaurants, the area around Lambeau Field boasts local pubs that serve beer and fatty foods that are dipped in batter and deep-fried. People tailgate before, during and after Packers games. In the stadium, you don’t sit in a cushioned seat with a back rest, you sit on old-school metal bleachers.

Packers fans wear Styrofoam cheese on their heads. And blaze orange deer hunting gear.

This is America, people.

I know the Packers are no longer the Little Engine That Could. They’re a large, rich organization that is trying to squeeze every last dollar they can out of their fans and customers, just like every other NFL franchise. But I don’t care. They’re still located in Green Bay, Wis., population 104,057. They’re still small-town in my book.

The Packers are about as American as you can get.

(Note: I realize that not all Packers fans are cheesehead-wearing, fried-food eating, beer-swilling bumpkins. I’ve been on vacation all week and I’ve drank a lot of beer and eaten a lot of bad food, so that’s the sector of Packers fan that I’m identifying most with at the moment.)

Packers Links

  • There was another must-listen interview on Green & Gold Today this week. This one was with former Packers president Bob Harlan and is more than worth your time.
  • One of the things that Harlan discussed is steps Favre could take to get back on the good side of Packers fans. John Rehor shared his thoughts on the subject over at Dick’s Favorite Blog.
  • Mike at Packerpedia.com takes a look at Ted Thompson’s compensatory draft picks.
  • Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette thinks the Packers will keep seven WRs.Seven WRs?!?! The Packers have kept a ton of TEs and FBs in the past. Maybe WR is the position group this year that keeps an extra player or two.