11

November

“Reoccurring Issues” Doom Packers Again, McCarthy vows Action

Will someone in the Packers organization get the pink slip on Monday?

Yes, the Packers are all beat up. Yes, the injury situation keeps going from bad to worse to seriously, WTF? Yes, the Packers are down to their third-string quarterback.

But not all of the issues dragging the Packers down during this ugly two-game home losing streak can be blamed on the quarterback or injuries.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy seemed to acknowledge this after Sunday’s loss to the Eagles and vowed to take action to address “reoccurring issues” plaguing the Packers on Monday.

That phrase — “reoccurring issues” — caused Twitter to light up on Sunday night. What could McCarthy possibly mean by “reoccurring issues,” and how will they be addressed on Monday?

Firings? Benchings? More angry press conferences? All of the above? None of the above?

You can CAST YOUR VOTE below…

I have a few theories:

Dom Capers gets fired
Capers’ defense helped the Packers win a Super Bowl in 2010 and…that’s about it. The defense has been the weak link on this team for much of Capers five-plus years calling the shots. The problems seem to be the same every season: Bad tackling, lack of toughness and confusion in the secondary. Has McCarthy had enough?

I don’t see the Packers making a drastic move like this during the season, but you never know. I wouldn’t be opposed to it — firing a coordinator during the season worked for the Ravens last season — but would an internal replacement like Darren Perry or Winston Moss really be an upgrade? Maybe…

M.D. Jennings cut
He was benched on Sunday and hasn’t improved much during his time in Green Bay. Jeremy Ross got the boot after several major screw ups. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jennings is next.

Marshall Newhouse cut
What’s the point of keeping Newhouse around at this point? It’s like he’s afraid of contact. The Packers could get equal or better production from a street free agent.

Tramon Williams cut
Nah, not happening. Especially if Casey Hayward is hurt again.

Tramon Williams benched
This I could see happening. But what does getting benched mean in this secondary? They’re in dime and nickel a lot. I doubt a benching would result in Tramon never seeing the field again.

10

November

Packers vs. Eagles – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: PHI 27 GB 13

Burnett and Williams fight each other for the ball - TD Jackson.

Burnett and Williams fight each other for the ball – TD Jackson.

Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles:  2013 Game 9

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

GAME NOTES:

There’s really only one thing that matters in this game – can the Packers find a way to win games with Seneca Wallace in place of Aaron Rodgers?

Clay Matthews hurries back to try to give the defense and the Packers an emotional boost. His OLB bookend, Nick Perry also makes it back this week.

Nick Foles threw seven touchdown passes last week. He did a great job of going through his progressions because he had time to. Packers can’t allow that to happen this week.

 

Tonight’s captains for the Packers: - David Bakhtiari, Brad Jones, Chris Banjo

 

Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
10 WR Chris Harper
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
25 CB James Nixon
55 LB Andy Mulumba
78 T Derek Sherrod
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

Philadelphia Eagles
7 QB Michael Vick
24 CB Bradley Fletcher
39 RB Matthew Tucker
54 LB Jake Knott
64 T Matt Tobin
67 T Dennis Kelly
89 WR B.J. Cunningham

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Panic when Rodgers went down?:  You really don’t have time for that. He told me on the sidelines they just want to take a picture. It happened at end of series, so the transition was as smooth as it can possibly be. You have a chance to warm your backup QB up and get him in there to start the next series.

Adjustments when Rodgers went down: Last week was particularly tough because of where we are as an offense with Aaron Rodgers and the responsibility we put on to our quarterback. Ad dto that our injuries on the perimeter – it was a big adjustment. With a week of preparation, we’ll be much more ready today.

Eagles uptempo offense:  -  It’s a challenge. I thought our opponents team did am great job replicating it this week in practice. Just have to make sure you have the right defensive sets and not get caught by surprise.

Nick Foles: H can really throw – has always been impressive. Our defense has a big challenge – More importantly we have to go attack them.

9

November

Packers vs. Eagles Week 10 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 10: Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 4-4 Philadelphia Eagles 28-14
Until proven otherwise, consider this a vote of no confidence in Seneca Wallace. I’d love to be wrong but things didn’t look too encouraging Monday night. Also, Dom Capers tends to struggle facing a new and unusual offensive scheme for the first time (see Colin Kaepernick in the playoffs). Packer Nation gets closer to the end of a bridge as the Packers lose their second straight.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 5-3 Green Bay Packers 23-20
I’m not sure how, but I think the Packers find a way to gain a home win that is desperately needed. Hopefully a clubbed CM3 is Pack and leads a spirited turnover-causing effort from the defense.
Adam Czech 6-2 Philadelphia Eagles 30-17
You know how the Packers have those games where they’re kind of plodding along, not necessarily playing poorly but not putting their opponent away, either? Then Aaron Rodgers makes a few amazing plays, the Packers pull away, and we’re all happy. Well, the Packers will plod along on Sunday, only Rodgers won’t be around to save the day.
Marques Eversoll 6-2 Green Bay Packers 23-20
The run game will carry the offense, Seneca Wallace will play better and the defense will step up. Most importantly, they’ll come up with some key takeaways that they’ve been lacking so far this season. It may not be pretty, but a win is a win. And I’m about 52% sure that’s what it will be.
Thomas Hobbes 5-3 Green Bay Packers 20-13
Expect a lot more open offense for Seneca Wallace and the Packers; last time Rodgers was hurt, Flynn was on a short leash against the Lions as well only to see the the playbook open up for the Patriots.  A steady does of Eddie Lacy and consistent defense will make this game winnable for the Packers.
Cory Jennerjohn 6-2 Philadelphia Eagles 27-17
Last week the deficiencies of Seneca Wallace displayed themselves. An average arm which makes him vulnerable to most throws. The Eagles come to Lambeau flying high after erupting for 49 points last week. Even with the return of Clay Matthews, the Packers will not have an answer for LeSean McCoy, will get behind early and with a backup quarterback starting, that’s not a good equation.
10

March

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations — Offense — James Starks

1) Introduction: When the Packers took James Starks in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, there was probably only a handful of fans who knew who he was. Yet after probing into the history of Starks, many fans became enamored with his untapped talent at running back. However, Starks’ inability to stay healthy was also a concern, and he missed his entire senior season at Buffalo with a shoulder injury.

Those injury worries were confirmed when Starks injured his hamstring before the season. He would spend the first six weeks on the PUP list and didn’t see any game action until Week 13.

2) Profile:

James Darell ‘Buck’ Starks

Position: RB
Height:
6-1   Weight: 203 lbs

Born: February 25, 1986 in Niagara Falls, NY
College: Buffalo (school history)
Drafted
by the Green Bay Packers in the 6th round (193rd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.

3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: Low, but also optimistic. With Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson ahead of him on the depth chart, Starks didn’t figure to see the field much in year one. Those expectations were further lowered when Starks hurt his hamstring in OTA’s and missed nearly all of training camp and the preseason. Before the injury however, many thought Starks could add a home run threat to the running back position and possibly contribute on kickoff returns.

4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: Starks didn’t see the field until the Packers’ Week 13 game against the 49ers, and he had a solid showing in his debut (73 yards on 18 carries). He than disappeared again for most of the regular season, contributing only 28 yards rushing and 15 yards receiving while being active in just two of the final four games.

Once the playoffs began, so did Starks’ breakout campaign. In the Wild Card, he rushed for a Packers rookie playoff record 123 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. Starks’ 123 yards also marked the Packers highest individual rushing total of the season.

Two weeks later, Starks gave the Packers a 14-0 lead over the Bears with a lunging 4-yard touchdown run. He would finish the NFC Championship game with 74 yards against the NFL’s No. 2 rushing defense.

If there was low mark to Starks’ season however, it’d be his 8-yard rushing performance against the Lions in Week 14.

27

January

Cheesehead Radio News – 1/21/11 – 1/27/11, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Jayme Joers. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 1/27/11 )

Al: Well, what can I say. After 13 long years, the Packers are back in the Super Bowl. Having survived a season racked with injuries and in jeopardy of not making the playoffs at all, the Packers found themselves winning 5 straight elimination games to propel themselves into the big game. The sweetest part, of course, was beating the Bears in their home for the NFC Championship.

Jayme: And the week that followed could easily be called controversy gate. We had Cutler-gate, Concussion-gate and Photo-gate. The Bears Jay Cutler was criticized by some former and current NFL players for supposedly tanking on his team. Bears fans vilified him, with some taking to burning his jersey. Never mind that this was a huge rush to judgement and Cutler really did have a serious injury.

Al: Yes Jayme, but I think Cutler brought this on himself. His dispassionate attitude on the sidelines would surely infuriate me if I was a Bears fan. Fortunately, I’m not and my quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, by the way, did a classy thing by coming out and saying he was very disappointed by the way Cutler was treated. Rodgers then mentioned the airport incident and noted that he has come to realize that you can never make everyone happy and as long as you know you’re a good person, that’s all that matters.

Jayme: And one thing that matters quite a bit to Packer Nation is the health of one Aaron Rodgers. Many in the media and even observers in the medical profession have speculated that he  may have suffered a concussion from the vicious hit by Julius Peppers. Rodgers has insisted that he absolutely did not and that the new helmet he has been wearing did it’s job.

Al: And finally, we had photo-gate. When it was announced that the Packers team picture would not include the players on injured reserve, some of those players objected. Turns out it was really just a logistics and scheduling issue for the Packers, but after much media attention, Green Bay announced they would move the picture day back to the Friday before the game, when all of the players on IR will be in Dallas with the team.

13

January

Cheesehead Radio News – 1/07/11 – 1/13/11, News From the Packers Twitterverse and Beyond

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Jayme Joers. (As heard on Cheesehead Radio 1/13/11 )

Packer News 1/7/11 – 1/13/11

Al: Well it’s certainly good to be in week 2 of the playoffs and still talking about the Packers next opponent. After a typical “keep the other team in it” performance by the Packers (a special thank you to James Jones for that), the Packers defense came up with a game ending interception for the second week in a row.

Jayme: This time it was Tramon Williams with the game’s dagger, as he smothered an ill-advised Michael Vick pass in the end zone and fell to the ground. Tramon sprang up and ran on the field, skipping and jumping like a schoolboy at recess. Williams, however,  didn’t realize he hadn’t been downed and the play was still live. Luckily, Nick Collins and Charlie Peprah corralled him to and got him on the ground before something really bad happened.

Al: Well nothing really bad happened in the injury department against Philly, a rarity for the Packers this season. Cullen Jenkins was used carefully and came out of the game feeling no worse. Donald Driver suffered a bruised knee but is expected to be fine for Atlanta. With the short week coming up, the lack of new injuries is a big plus.

Jayme: In contrast to the Packers’ short week, the Falcons will have had 13 days to rest and game plan for the Packers. In a press conference this week, McCarthy downplayed the game plan angle, saying the coaches spent a lot time on Friday and Saturday before the Eagles game prepping for the Falcons. The Packers were fortunate in that regard, as they knew exactly who they would play if they got past the Eagles.

Al: It also helps that they’ve recently been to the Georgia Dome and know what to expect from a crowd noise standpoint. Not that it’s worrying Mike McCarthy any, who called his team exceptional in that regard. McCarthy gave Aaron Rodgers and Scott Wells equal praise for their communication skills under such loud conditions. The ability to avoid false start penalties under these conditions will also be a critical factor – the Packers had 2 in the 4th quarter in their previous meeting.

11

January

Game Changers: Film Study of the Top 3 Plays of Packers – Eagles Playoff Game

Watching the Packers – Eagles video again, three Packers players made plays that  stood out for me in terms of greatly affecting the outcome of the game.

The phrase “game changer” can have many meanings. It can be a play that sends a message, changes momentum, affects the score, cripples another team, etc. To me, I always include an incredible individual effort into the equation.

I look for individual players chasing perfection and catching excellence during the game. Players and plays that would make Vince Lombardi proud.

Of course, this is very subjective. I’m sure many of you will have different opinions, and I want to hear them. But for me, here are my three plays, in order of importance:

PLAY #3: Sam Shields Sends a Message:


The speed and talent that the Philadelphia Eagles have at wide receiver is no secret. They have won many  a game with big plays down the field to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Eight minutes into the first half, the Eagles decided to take their first shot.

As could be expected, they went after undrafted rookie Sam Shields. Seeing Shields with single coverage on Maclin, the Eagles tried to setup Shields and catch him looking in the backfield. As Vick give a half roll to his left and pump fakes, Maclin takes a few jog steps like he’s not involved and then suddenly turns on the burners.

You really couldn’t have blamed Shields if he had started drifting toward the middle of the field, but he didn’t.  You couldn’t have blamed Shields if he had let Maclin got behind him, but he didn’t. You couldn’t have blamed Shields if allowed Maclin to pull in a picture-perfect pass from Vick, but he didn’t.

Instead, on this play, Shields looked every much like the Pro Bowler that Tramon Williams should be. While we can expect Shields’ speed to be an asset, could we really expect a guy in only his second year playing the position to execute his coverage so perfectly while running at top speed? To stay shoulder to shoulder with him the whole way, not get called for interference, make a perfect play on the ball (preventing the catch by Maclin) and almost coming up with the ball himself?