29

December

Packers DuJuan Harris: What are people saying?

Packers running back DuJuan Harris

Packers running back DuJuan Harris

On December 1st, the Packers signed running back DuJuan Harris to the active roster from their practice squad. Since that time, Harris has run the ball 20 times at a 4.4 yd per carry average and has two touchdowns. More importantly, he has shown something we haven’t seen in a Green Bay running back since Ahman Green – patience, vision and the ability to cut and make tacklers miss, while still hitting the hole hard.

First, a brief Bio:

In High School in Florida, Harris ran for 3,000-plus yards and 45 touchdowns, including a single-game record of 363 and five TDs. At the time, he weighed about 160lbs, which combined with his lack of height meant he didn’t get a lot of offers to play college ball.

Harris went to Division 1-A Troy, where he had 540 carries for 2,635 yards and 27 TDs and 79 receptions for 553 yards and five TDs.

Harris was signed as an undrafted free agent by Jacksonville and spent 11 games on the practice squad and 5 games on the active roster.  He was cut in training camp in 2012, signed by the Steelers for their last preseason game and then cut again. The Packers signed him to their practice squad on Oct 24th and then to their active roster on Dec. 1st.

In his limited playing time, DuJuan Harris has drawn high praise from some teammates and coaches:

Mike McCarthy: He’s a change-of-pace player for us because of his physical skill set. He presents a different challenge to defenders. He’s small at impact and he’s as quick as he is fast. DuJuan has the ability to put his foot down and lower his shoulder, and he also has the ability to make you miss. He’s unique and we haven’t had a runner with that skill set in my time here.

Mike McCarthy: “He’s a young man that has a lot of ability. He’s 5-foot-7, but other than that we like everything about him. He has very good hands. He has burst. He’s quick. So, he’s done a nice job since he’s been here.”

James Jones: ”He’s got a bright future. I’ve never seen anybody as quick as him in and out of his cuts. It’s similar to Barry Sanders. Seriously. “It’s similar to Barry! I know he came from nowhere, but watching him in practice, and the way he moves, all that stuff, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

23

December

Packers vs. Titans – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 55 TEN 7

Clay Matthews vs. Tennessee TitansGreen Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans:

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

 

Inactive for Packers today: 

WR Jordy Nelson, RB James Starks, S Charles Woodson, TE Tom Crabtree, RB Alex Green, DL CJ Wilson, DL Jerel Worthy

Inactive for Titans today:  

QB R. Smith, WR K. Wright, CB R. Mouton, LB C. McCarthy, C K. Matthews, T M. Otto, DE S. Solomon

 

Game Notes:

Ryan Grant gets the start at running back for the Packers today. Who’d a thunk it?

Evan Dietrich Smith starts at center for Jeff Saturday. Saturday’s body just breaking down.

Donald Driver is active for what will probably be his final regular season start Lambeau Field.

Packers are playing for a 2nd seed and a first round playoff bye. They need help from Seattle tonight (how ironic) to beat the 49ers.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Does clinching the NFC North impact your preparation: It really doesn’t. Today’s win is very important to our football mode. Chance to move up or at least clinch the 3rd seed.

Different from last year?: A totally different mindset. You don’t have to listen to the 0utside voices because there are none. Last year, there was the subconscious of “hey we’re in”.

EDS at center: It was a conversation that started earlier in the week. jeff has been fighting through, giving us everything he ha. A bit of a projection here with EDS.   EDS on a short leash… Jeff Saturday has been a consummate professional.

Rodgers better this year?: Last year was smooth sailing. It’s been a different ride this year. He’s had to be very disciplined and deal with the constant change around him. Has been a great year for him to grow and he’s a rock. he always goes out and gives us his best.

Chris Johnson: You talk about a home run back, he and AP are the two best at taking it to the house when you give them a crease.

Jake Locker: Excellent athlete, can make all the throws. We need to keep him in the pocket.

Titans D: They have to be excited about the way they’re playing the last month. This is going to be a hell of a contest today.  This will be a bigger challenge than I think people think.

23

December

Win a GEEBZ Ted Thompson TRUST T-Shirt: Packers Prediction Contest

GEEBZ Ted Thompson Trust T-Shirt

GEEBZ Ted Thompson Trust T-Shirt

Packers Vs Titans Prediction Contest

Win a “GEEBZ” Ted Thompson TRUST T-Shirt courtesy of the fine folks at GEEBZ Shirts  (an $19.95 value). They also have other GEEBZ items available at their online store.

Make your picks in the comments below.   The person with the correct winning team and the closest overall in point differential wins the T-shirt.

Don’t forget the tiebreaker question… (you won’t be eligible if you don’t answer it.)

 

Winning Team:

Final Score:

Tiebreaker: (Total net yards of offense for the Packers):

Post your entry in the comments below. Only entries posted here and received by 1:00PM EasternTime on 12/23/12 will be considered. ALLGBP writers are not eligible for a prize. The winner will be announced in the comments section of this post, so check back if you think you did well.

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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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23

December

Keys to the Game: Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans

Chris Johnson and Tramon Williams

The Packers need to bear down on Johnson this Sunday and keep him from running free

I’m going to depart a bit from the usual Key Matchups format because the Tennessee Titans are an unfamiliar opponent of the Green Bay Packers and also due to the injuries on both sides.

We will return to our regularly scheduled “Key Matchups” next week when the Packers visit the Minnesota Vikings to round out the 2012 regular season.  For this week, it’s more of a “What to Watch For”.

Titans Running Back Chris Johnson

Johnson gets hidden, sometimes even forgotten, in Tennessee because they are one of the smaller markets.  And let’s be honest, the Titans have been very forgettable the past four seasons.  But 1,200 yards and five touchdowns is nothing to overlook this week for the Packers.

Johnson had a 94 yard touchdown run in Tennessee’s Monday night’s dismantling of the New York Jets.  With that run, Johnson set a new NFL record with six career touchdown runs over 80 yards.

He’s still a very good running back and clearly has the ability to break a long run at any time.  Green Bay struggled to contain another great running back three weeks ago when Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a long scoring run and ran wild all day.

It’s asking a lot of any defense to contain a top back, but Green Bay has had recent success defending the run and can again this week.  It comes down to the one-one-one matchups at the line, specifically with Ryan Pickett and BJ Raji.  Each played very well last week against Chicago and Matt Forte.

Tennessee’s offensive line grades out better than does the Bears’ but with top wide receiver Kendall Wright out this week, the Titans won’t have as many options in the passing game. Green Bay may be able to focus more on loading up the box, as they say.

If all else fails, just tackle.  The Packers have had more than their fair share of tackling issues over the past two seasons and it cost them in the Vikings game.  Fortunately it didn’t cost them the game, but in a close contest, a missed tackle can be the one play that prevents them from getting the “W”.

22

December

Packers vs. Titans Week 16 Game Predictions from AllGBP.COM (with Podcast)

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 16: Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 10-4 Green Bay Packers 27-10
Now that we know the Mayans were wrong, here’s a sign the world still may end: the Packers will put this thing away early.  With the pressure of winning the division off, the Packers return to an aerial attack and put this one away early. I think we’ll even see Graham Harrell in the fourth quarter.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 9-5 Green Bay Packers 31-17
NFC Champions Baby! The Packers host the hapless Titans, so surely that must mean a Packers win, right? As we’ve seen in the past, the Packers can play down to the level of their competition, but I don’t think even that would be enough to lose to the Titans. Wacky prediction: Crosby goes one for five on field goals and is mobbed by his teammates on the one he makes. Yeah, that’s where we are…
Adam Czech 11-3 Green Bay Packers 28-13
I was going to predict 34 points for the Packers, but then I remembered Mason Crosby is our kicker. The goal in this game should be to avoid more injuries. I watched the Titans vs Jets game on Monday because I had money on the Jets. Now I’m scarred for life after witnessing that debacle. The Packers need to get ahead early so the Titans quit playing and start thinking about what last-minute gifts they need to buy for their wives and mistresses.
Marques Eversoll 11-3 Green Bay Packers 31-6
I’m usually hesitant to predict a blowout, as every NFL team has talent and it takes a full team effort to completely control a game. But that’s exactly what I expect this week. The Packers defense is playing its best ball of the season, and I think they’ll shut down the Titans offense. Even if Alex Green is out, I expect the Packers to be able to run the ball with success. And oh yeah, Aaron Rodgers figures to have a field day. Packers win easily.
Thomas Hobbes 10-4 Green Bay Packers 23-10