We have done it my friends. We have survived the dreaded football off-season. This coming week NFL teams will begin pouring into Training Camps with about 90 players per team ready to compete for jobs on 2013 regular season rosters. The Green and Gold will be amongst them obviously with high expectations and goals, but lots of questions to be answered as well. Not to be considered all inclusive by any means, here are some topics that come to mind for yours truly.
Nice to see that MARK MURPHY continues to wield the financial magic wand that continues to reap revenue and profit to keep the franchise competitive with the power brokers like JERRY JONES down in Texas. With the South end zone expansion project well on its way to completion local revenue should get a nice boost for future seasons. My only question in that regard is one for the entire NFL: At what point does your thirst for money hit “the wall” because of fan saturation/exposure and expense of access to your game?
Still can’t help but wonder whether Free Agency and Salary Cap haven’t left the team dangerously thin of proven NFL talent at the LB and S positions? Of course some younger players will get better and contribute more, but is the organization counting on more of that phenomenon than is reasonable? We shall see. Read more...(1742 words + 3 images, estimated 6:58 mins reading time)
So now all the guess work is over and the NFL Draft is in the books. As I write this most Packers rookies are showing up for their first taste of an NFL OTA.
And it is obvious that unless I am going to be totally oblivious of my readers’ desires, which is not a good thing at all, I am going to have to relent of my “no Draft Grades” stance, at least relative to the PACKERS and the rest of the NFC North.
So let’s start right at the top of the list with the team that is the clear choice as “America’s Team”, to the vast majority of my readers.
GREEN BAY PACKERS 2013 DRAFT ANALYSIS
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Since my Packers Mock Draft a little while back, I’ve received request for a Bears mock draft as well. So here goes nothing. But I do have one disclaimer. I am not familiar with the long term work of PHIL EMERY, so this one is purely on me with no inside information to draw from. And at the request of more than a few folks whose favorite division is the NFC North, here’s the whole division for you.
(As with my previous PACKERS MOCK the number in parenthesis after the Pick name and vitals is where I currently have the player ranked on my Regardless of Position Prospect list.)
The LB position is the biggest rebuild unit on this team now that VFA has been used to finally upgrade the OL. If EMERY can get past the off-field issues OGLETREE could be an instant starter for them, on the outside in my opinion. He’s an excellent athlete and his ex-S skills can be put to best use outside rather than in the Middle where he’d be a bit undersized for the NFL.
Round 2, Pick 50 MARKUS WHEATON/WR/OREGON STATE/5’11/189(50) Read more...(2532 words + 1 image, estimated 10:08 mins reading time)
Trying to figure out Mocks that involve all 32 teams seems absolutely impossible to my old mind. Trying to construct something that captures the scheming and mechanization of TED THOMPSON’s mind may be even more daunting. But at least it only involves 8 Picks and no one in their right mind expects anything close to it to actually occur at the end of April. So here is my first PACKERS 2013 Draft projection.
Just a brief explanation of the effort. I am using my Top 300 prospect list and then selecting at the pick spots currently held by the PACK. When they are scheduled to select at spot 26 in Round 1 I consider prospects that I have ranked from 24-35. Thus I am hoping that Whitey likes someone in that 12 spot range. Within those 12 I am also considering needs as I view them. Even though Thompson professes the “best available athlete” philosophy as his drafting mode, he is far from oblivious to roster need factors if he has a group of players that are pretty much equally ranked on his Draft Board.
Even though I believe this to be a very good Draft to trade back a couple of times because of high quality depth I refuse to even begin speculation on when and where he might trade. Therefore, this projection is confined to the current 8 Picks that the PACKERS organization holds. Read more...(984 words + 1 image, estimated 3:56 mins reading time)
Before I get totally immersed in DRAFT information, including, but not limited to, the upcoming NFL COMBINE I thought it might be a good time to drop a few tidbits of information and opinion on the PACKERS off-season.
I can assure you that TED THOMPSON and his staff are involved up to their eyeballs when it comes to the off season scouting process in preparation for the 2013 NFL DRAFT, which is the lifeblood of this organization under the guidance of the Thompson administration. Want some further proof of that statement look no further than the current official PACKERS roster posted at their official website http://www.packers.com . Taking away the announced retirements of DRIVER & SATURDAY the roster stands at 69 players right now. Of those 69, 36 are original draftees of the PACKERS.
But for THOMPSON, the 7 Round Draft is just part 1 of the annual talent acquisition process. The other part takes place (legally speaking) a second after the final pick of each draft concludes. That is when all teams hop on the phones and try to sign the highest ranked, or most interesting players not drafted but classified as having that something special that Green Bay is looking for. Another 10 players on the current roster were signed as Undrafted Free Agents by the Green & Gold. Read more...(1830 words + 1 image, estimated 7:19 mins reading time)
Al: It was a quiet week for Packers news, but some Packers players are slowly making their way back into Green Bay this week, as the team’s offseason conditioning program is set to begin on Monday. There will be two weeks of strictly conditioning work followed by 3 weeks of conditioning and individual instruction with position coaches. One of the players already in Green Bay is M.D. Jennings, the Packers backup safety who said he spoke with Nick Collins last week.
Jayme: With regards to Collins, Jennings echoed what others have said, that Collins says he feels great and really wants to resume his playing career. Assuming his doctors give him the OK, he’ll still have to convince the Packers medical staff and coaches to let him back on the field.
Al: Another guy itching to get on the field is Packers’ practice squad receiver Tori Gurley. Gurley is also back in Green Bay and recently made at appearance at the Sisters Bay Lions Club Youth Night. Gurley spoke on the virtues of hard work and told the kids he will be going all out to make the team and have a long career with the Packers. Read more...(697 words + 3 images, estimated 2:47 mins reading time)
After reading a few quick items in he sports pages this morning I’m not sure how much extra insight I’m going to bring to the table regarding the PACKERS win over the COLTS Friday night, but here goes…
What more can a coaching staff hope for in the Pre-Season than a game that goes right down to the wire and requires back-ups and rookies to secure a victory in the clutch? How psychologically rewarding is it for MASON CROSBY to redeem himself from an earlier FG miss with a clutch game-winning kick in the final minute?
I would say I saw two negatives that I am sure MIKE McCARTHY and his staff will be concentrating on in the next two weeks. The first team offense was plagued by some untimely (not that there is any such thing as timely) penalties that hampered several scoring drives. The OL was a bit less than stellar in protecting AARON RODGERS from the COLTS pass-rush… in particular DWIGHT FREENEY.
FREENEY, who is still at the top of his game, made CHAD CLIFTON look like an old man on multiple occasions. CLIFTON should be OK most weeks, since there are not many DEs in the league of FREENEY’s caliber. But I’ll just voice the opinion that for the long term DEREK SHERROD had better make a ton of progress during the 2011 campaign so that he can handle that LT position by the time the 2012 season rolls around. Read more...(1426 words + 1 image, estimated 5:42 mins reading time)