25

March

Anthony Hargrove is Tweeting Like a Packer

Anthony Hargrove is Tweeting like a Green Bay Packer

Is Anthony Hargrove Coming to the Packers?

“Can’t wait for my first Lambeau Leap on game day.”

“Played with Pickett when he was a Ram. Going to be great playing with him again.”

“Not yet but we screaming green and yellow green and yellow.  go Packers go.”

“Loving the packer nation for all the love already…go packers go…goodnite”

Free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove has been tweeting out hints today about where he thinks he’s going to be playing. Nothing has been announced, and my guess would be that contract details need to be finalized, but it sure sounds like Ted Thompson is about to land his third free agent of 2012.

This all assumes that it is, in fact, really Anthony Hargrove. Judging from his other tweets it has the feel of authenticity and Liz Mathews of ESPN Seattle gave his twitter account out for anyone who wants to follow.

Hargrove has always played as a 4-3DE, and is listed as 6’3″ and 272 pounds. While that would be way too light for a 3-4DE, Hargrove was close to 300 pounds when he played for the Saints. He would surely have to gain weight again if the Packers want him to play at 3-4DE, but what if they have plans to move him to OLB? After all, they have considered the possibility of moving Mike Neal there, and have also been pursuing Giants DE Dave Tollefson, who is only 260 lbs.

Could all this DE free agency pursuit just be a ruse to find themselves a “big” conversion OLB? Stay tuned…

Anthony Hargrove’s full twitter timeline can be found here:

 

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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27

February

2012 Packers Position Group Analysis: Defensive Line

Packers Defensive Line

Packers Defensive Line

Packers Defensive Line: This is the first in a series of examinations I’m going to do on each Packers position group as it currently exists. Kind of a State of the Union address – where we are, where we want to go and what we need to do to get there.

Where are we now:

Here are the current suspects;

BJ Raji (1st round)
Ryan Pickett (1st round)
Mike Neal (2nd round)
C.J. Wilson (7th round)
Jarius Wynn (6th round)
Howard Green (6th round)
Lawrence Guy (7th round, injured reserve)
Johnny Jones (undrafted, 77th ranked DT by nfldraftscout.com, cut by Miami in preseason)

Notice a pattern here? This is classic Ted Thompson building depth with late round picks, but thanks to Neal missing so much time, the emergency fill-ins ended up playing a lot more that you would want. For the year, both Jarius Wynn and CJ Wilson were both within a hundred snaps of Ryan Pickett. Frankly, that’s way too much. Pickett’s value against the run can not be argued against – one just has to look at the two games Pickett missed – the Packers gave up 344 rushing yards in those two games.

But at age 31, Pickett is just not a full-time player anymore. He’s certainly no BJ Raji, who played 80% of the defensive snaps last season. While Raji and his coaches say it’s not a problem, that he didn’t wear down, one has to wonder. Raji’s production was down in every category this year, and some observers outside of the Packers organization have hinted that he wasn’t playing hard every play.

Certainly fatigue will do that to you. Looking at the game-by-game rankings over at ProFootballFocus.com are certainly telling. Raji’s only “Plus” performances were early in the season while the last six games were all on the minus side, especially against the run. In my mind, there is no doubt Raji wore down and did not show much of the explosion he’s capable of. Instead, he was playing way too upright (another sign of fatigue), which makes the offensive lineman’s job that much easier.

19

December

Packers Fans, How do YOU Really Feel? A Packers Therapy Session

The Packers finally lost a game on Sunday. Losses always rile up the Packers fan base, but folks seem to be particularly riled up after losing to the Chiefs and seeing a chance at 19-0 disappear.

So lets just get it all out there. Take a seat on the AllGreenBayPackers.com therapy couch and open up about what’s bugging you about the Packers.

Nobody is going to judge you and nobody is going to tell you to calm down and relax because the Packers are 13-1 and still the best team in the NFL. We’re also not looking for in-depth statistics or X’s and O’s analysis.

We just want to know what’s bugging you about the Packers and what you think could trip them up in the playoffs.

I’ll start:

Offensive line
Marshall Newhouse is getting overwhelmed and many of his linemates are battling injuries. I hate watching teams with bad offensive lines. It messes up the entire offense and drives me nuts. I’m not saying the Packers offensive line is bad, but there’s only so many injuries a unit can sustain before it starts taking a toll.

Defensive line
Would it kill a defensive lineman to get a pass rush every now and then? I know 3-4 D-lineman don’t rack up big pass rushing numbers, but I doubt there’s a page in Dom Capers playbook that discourages a defensive lineman from getting in the QB’s face occasionally. And unless the Packers put about 10 guys on the line in anticipation of a running play, it seems like no defensive lineman ever makes a play on the ball carrier in the backfield.

Regression to the mean
Was the first part of the season too good to be true? Are we seeing the Packers come back to the pack (no pun intended) because things just tend to even out over time? Are the Packers a very good team that was playing like a great team and is now coming back down to Earth?

There.

I don’t know if I feel better now that all of that’s off my chest, but it’s a start.

What’s bothering all of you? Take a seat and the therapists here at AllGreenBayPackers.com can try and help.

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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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19

April

2011 Draft Prep: Green Bay Packers Needs by Position – Defensive Line

In this next installment of our 2011 Draft Prep series looking at the Green Bay Packers’ needs by position, we are going to analyze how the defensive line currently stands. Strengths, weaknesses, depth, and uncertainties will all be examined to determine the urgency of need in regards to next season.

This series is meant to help us figure out the needs of the team and how the draft could be used to improve the weaker areas. While Ted Thompson largely uses the “best player available” (BPA) approach, his decision to trade up or down the board is affected by what position players he would prefer to have. Additionally, the picking up of players in the later rounds and in undrafted free agency is often based on need, since the talent is less defined.

CURRENT PLAYERS:

#90 B.J. Raji [NT]
24 yrs. old / 2 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2013

#79 Ryan Pickett [DE/NT]
31 yrs. old / 10 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2013

#95 Howard Green [DE]
32 yrs. old / 6 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2011

#91 Justin Harrell [DE]
27 yrs. old / 4 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2012

#94 Jarius Wynn [DE]
24 yrs. old / 2 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2012

#96 Mike Neal [DE]
23 yrs. old / 1 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2013

#98 C.J. Wilson [DE]
24 yrs. old / 1 yrs. exp.
Signed through 2013

#68 Jay Ross [NT]
23 yrs. old / 1 yrs. exp.
Signed to reserve/future contract

#60 Curtis Young [LB/DE]
24 yrs. old / 1 yrs. exp.
Signed to reserve/future contract

#77 Cullen Jenkins [DE]
30 yrs. old / 7 yrs. exp.
Free Agent

#97 Johnny Jolly [DE]
28 yrs. old / 4 yrs. exp.
(Currently suspended from the NFL)

* Contract information acquired from RotoWorld.com

POSITION STRENGTHS:

If there is one player I would have to call the foundation of the Green Bay Packers defense, it would undoubtedly be B.J. “The Freezer” Raji.

Throughout the season, Raji was a constant force to be reckoned with. He excelled in his role as the anchor of the defensive line, eating up blockers and pushing the pocket when needed. Plus, it’s hard not to be impressed with a nose tackle that amassed 34 solo tackles, 7.5 sacks, and a pick-six all in one year. To top it off, he played over 85% of the snaps during the season. I don’t think it’s too much to expect more of the same in 2011 from such a young, motivated player.