25

March

John Kuhn’s time is up in Green Bay

John Kuhn has been a Packers fan favorite for years. But now, it's time for the team to move on.

John Kuhn has been a Packers fan favorite for years. But now, it’s time for the team to move on.

He’s got his own cheer and he’s been one of the Packers’ favorites for years.

But why in the world are the Packers tinkering with bringing back the eight-year fullback John Kuhn.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a performance or chemistry issue. Kuhn has done everything that’s been asked of him since he came to Green Bay in 2007.

However, his role has shrunk significantly since 2010 to the point that last year it was razor thin with just 10 carries. And even when he’s not getting the ball, he isn’t on the field nearly as much as he used to be.

The reason isn’t because fans are tired of belting out “Kuuuuuuhn” every time he gets the rock. But because the Packers have a guy named Eddie Lacy that runs people over by himself — rendering the fullback position useless.

Kuhn has been an outstanding teammate. You’ve never heard that the Shippensburg product was a locker room problem. And the reason the undrafted free agent is so adored by the Packers fans is because he exemplifies everything they all strive to achieve. Things like beating the odds, never giving up, living out your passion and always outworking the other guy.

Kuhn earned himself a Pro Bowl trip and more importantly helped the Packers win a Super Bowl.

Obviously, it’s never easy saying goodbye to someone that not just fellow teammates look up to but fans from around the league look up to as well.

But it’s time for the Packers to move on.

——————

Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

——————

27

January

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

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Sundays with Packers football are over for a long time. In fact, there is no football at all this Sunday (the pro bowl doesn’t count), so it’s time to resurrect Surviving Sunday. As long as I have time and as long as I remember, I’ll try and do a Surviving Sunday every week to muse about some sort of topic and recap the week in Packers news ad other nonsense.

This week, I want to talk about the atmosphere at Lambeau Field.

At the end of this column about the Packers being too soft to join the NFL’s elite, Bob McGinn takes a dig at Packers fans:

And the crowds at Lambeau Field have started to remind me of those staid assemblages at the University of Michigan. It’s the place to be seen and all that, but it has been a long time since a visiting coach or player went on and on about how difficult it was to hear and play in Green Bay.

Nowhere is it written that the Packers shall contend for if not win the Super Bowl every year, but some fans sure seem to think it is.

So, McGinn thinks Packers fans are just as soft as the players. I’m not sure how he can reach that conclusion while sitting far above the unwashed masses in the press box, but I respect his opinion.

I don’t think Packers fans have gone soft, but I’ve only been attending games at football’s Holy Grail for about six years. Perhaps those of you that have been going to Lambeau your whole lives do, in fact, see a quieter and more finicky type of fan occupying the metal bleachers. I know I sometimes wonder if I’m at a cold-weather version of Mardi Gras or a football game while at Lambeau, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.

McGinn thinks teams don’t “fear” playing at Lambeau any more. Where do NFL teams fear playing these days? Seattle? Maybe. The Metrodome? Perhaps because of the noise. Soldier Field? Only because the bad turf might lead to a torn ACL?

Most NFL players are millionaires. They travel first class, stay in the finest hotels, eat meals catered by world-class chefs, and have team employees handle all of their equipment and other miscellaneous things. Why would anyone in that situation “fear” going on the road. It sounds like something to look forward to!

25

January

Packers News: Jeff Saturday will retire

 

Former Packers C Jeff Saturday will retire

Former Packers C Jeff Saturday will retire

ProFootballTalk is reporting that Jeff Saturday, a 14-year veteran, will reportedly retire after the Pro Bowl.

“We’ll finish it with sunsets in Hawaii and call it a much better career than I would have anticipated,” Saturday said on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis.

Prior to coming to Green Bay in 2012, Saturday spent the previous 13 seasons in Indianapolis. Saturday was selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, which marks the sixth time in his career that he’s held that honor.

Before the Packers’ week 16 game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday was benched in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith. Saturday handled the move like a true professional, calling his benching a “passing of the torch.”

Saturday was signed to replace Scott Wells as the team’s starting center before the season.Wells signed with the St. Louis Rams as an unrestricted free agent.

Saturday started the first 14 games before being benched. He’s one of two Packers that will play in this Sunday’s Pro Bowl–guard Josh Sitton being the other. The Green Bay Packers coaching staff will coach the NFC in Sunday’s game.

This announcement is hardly a surprise. The 37-year-old Saturday wasn’t playing at a high level in 2012, and the Packers appear ready to roll with Dietrich-Smith at center.

It was a great career for an undrafted rookie out of North Carolina. Enjoy retirement, Mr. Saturday.

——————

Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

——————

10

March

2011 Packers Yearbook: Player Most Likely to be Voted to the Pro Bowl for the First Time

NFL Pro Bowl Logo2011 Packers Yearbook: Player Most Likely to be Voted to the Pro Bowl for the First Time.

(Be sure to place your vote in the poll below.)

Adam: Bryan Bulaga. There aren’t many dominant left tackles in the NFC. When (if) Bulaga makes the move to the left side, I’m not saying he’ll be dominant, but he’s got the talent to make the pro bowl.

Al: Desmond Bishop. I guess it would make sense that I stay consistent with my pick for breakout season. If Bishop has the type of breakout season I am anticipating, he will most certainly join the ranks of Pro Bowl players. Unfortunately, he’ll have to miss the game with the Packers in the Super Bowl.

Chad: Mason Crosby. After his best year ever in the NFL, Crosby was just one spot away from making the Pro Bowl in 2011. He seems to finally have found his footing with field goals, and the consistency of having Tim Masthay as a holder seems to be helping. Crosby also continues to amaze with his kickoff ability, having one of the best onside kicks in the league. Next season could be his best ever, and we’ll see Thompson get the most bang from his buck with Crosby’s contract.

Kris: I’m going to go with NONE because I am predicting the NFL won’t hold the Pro Bowl this year.  The 2012 game was an embarrassment in which Aaron Rodgers called out his NFC teammates for a lack of effort. Roger Goodell took notice and mentioned the NFL could possibly scrap the game.  Moving the game around didn’t help. I say it goes bye bye. Should it be held, I’ll go with Bulaga. He’s going to be a staple on the offensive line for years and he begins to prove it in 2012.

Michael: Jermichael Finley. With a new contract ensuring Finley will be back with Pack, he has every opportunity to be a focal point of the offense. Drops were an issue for Finley in 2011, but as fans saw with James Jones, that problem can be fixed. I expect many games like Week 3 against the Chicago Bears were Finley caught 7 passes for 85 yards and 3 touchdowns. He may not score 3 TDs every game, but should have more than the 8 he had last season.

27

December

2012 Pro Bowl: Aaron Rodgers Leads 7 Green Bay Packers Selected

Seven Green Bay Packers, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews, were selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl on Tuesday, the NFL announced.

The seven picked were Rodgers, Matthews, fullback John Kuhn, receiver Greg Jennings, center Scott Wells, defensive lineman B.J. Raji and cornerback Charles Woodson. Rodgers, Kuhn, Matthews and Woodson were selected as starters.

Mason Crosby, a 88.5% kicker in 2011, is a first alternate. David Akers, who set the NFL record for field goals in a season for the 49ers, was the NFC’s selection.

Receiver Jordy Nelson, linebacker Desmond Bishop, receiver/returner Randall Cobb, tight end Jermichael Finley, guard Josh Sitton and cornerback Tramon Williams were selected as second or third alternates.

The seven Packers selected to the Pro Bowl team are the most since 1967, when the Packers sent nine. The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots led the NFL in players selected with eight.

Kuhn, Wells and Raji were all selected for the first time in their respective careers. Rodgers (2009) and Jennings (2010) were selected for the second time, and Matthews is now 3-for-3 in Pro Bowls during his three-year NFL career. Woodson was picked for the eighth time, including each of the last four years.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 29, 2012, in Honolulu.

The entire NFC Pro Bowl roster:

QUARTERBACKS
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay*
Drew Brees, New Orleans
Eli Manning, New York

RUNNING BACKS
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia*
Matt Forte, Chicago
Frank Gore, San Francisco

FULLBACK
John Kuhn, Green Bay*

RECEIVERS
Calvin Johnson, Detroit*
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona*
Steve Smith, Carolina
Greg Jennings, Green Bay

TIGHT ENDS
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans*
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta

TACKLES
Jason Peters, Philadelphia*
Joe Staley, San Francisco*
Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans

GUARDS
Jahri Evans, New Orleans*
Carl Nicks, New Orleans*
Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay

CENTERS
Ryan Kalil, Carolina*
Scott Wells, Green Bay

DEFENSIVE ENDS
Jared Allen, Minnesota*
Jason Babin, Philadelphia*
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York

INTERIOR LINEMEN
Justin Smith, San Francisco*
Jay Ratliff, Dallas*
B.J. Raji, Green Bay

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas*
Clay Matthews, Green Bay*
Lance Briggs, Chicago

MIDDLE LINEBACKERS
Patrick Willis, San Francisco*
Brian Urlacher, Chicago

CORNERBACKS
Charles Woodson, Green Bay*
Carlos Rogers, San Francisco*
Charles Tillman, Chicago

SAFETIES
Earl Thomas, Seattle*
Adrian Wilson, Arizona*
Dashon Goldson, San Francisco

29

October

No Surprise: Rodgers, Jennings, Matthews Lead Packers With 2011 Pro Bowl Credentials

Voting for the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl opened on Tuesday, which makes it only fitting to run down which Packers have a crack at getting a trip to Hawaii. And yes, I know—October is entirely too early to be thinking about the Pro Bowl. But this early start to the voting gives us a convenient way of running down how players are doing seven weeks in.

Don’t forget, getting voted in doesn’t necessarily guarantee their spot. If the Packers have it their way, they’ll be preparing that week for a trip to Indianapolis to play in Super Bowl XLVI .

Let’s run down the nominees and their credentials so far:

QB Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers could probably take the rest of the season off and still secure a spot in the Pro Bowl. No quarterback in the game is playing better right now, and the stats back it up: 171-for-239 (71.5 percent), 2,371 yards, 9.9 average, 20 TDs, 3 INTS, 125.7 rating. Barring any injury, he should be a lock.

FB John Kuhn: Kuhn hasn’t seen as much of the ball this season as the last, but he’s still contributed two scores to the Packers high-octane offense. Kuhn has also been solid in pass protection. There are more deserving candidates, like Jed Collins in New Orleans, but the popularity of Kuhn could be enough to sneak in.

WR Greg Jennings: Jennings remains Rodgers’ top target despite a myriad of weapons in the offense. With 42 receptions, 677 yards and five TDs in seven games, Jennings is on pace for his best season as a pro. In a crowded NFC field for receivers (Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks), Jennings still should make the squad with ease.

WR Jordy Nelson: A fast start, fueled by a bevy of big plays, gives credence to the discussion of Nelson in the Pro Bowl. Of players with 20 or more catches, Nelson has the third highest yards per reception at 19.4 and he’s No. 1 in average yards after catch (10.1). If Nelson stays on his current pace, he’d finish with 55 catches for 1,062 yards and 9 TDs. While there’s very, very little chance that Nelson could make the Pro Bowl with the level of receivers in the NFC, it’s worth noting that he’s having far-and-away the best season of his career.

6

June

Packers 2010 Yearbook Awards: Player Most Likely to be Voted to the Pro Bowl for the First Time

The Packers 2010 season is over, the Yearbook has been printed, and now it’s time to see who got voted “Most likely to…” This is the first in a series of articles where each of the AllGreenBayPackers.com authors will have their say on the topic. Then you, the reader, will get your chance to vote in the poll at the end of the article and we’ll see what the consensus Cheesehead Nation choice is. So here goes…

Award #1: Player Most Likely to be Voted to the Pro Bowl for the First Time (first or second team)

Adam: Sitton — If Grant is healthy and sticks with the team, the Packers should have three decent RBs, which will help Sitton get a trip to Hawaii and the recognition he deserves.

Al: Tramon – This is a no-brainer for me. Williams may very well have been the second-best player on the Packers’ Super Bowl Championship team. NFL players and coaches will remember his performance in big spots in the playoffs. All he has to do is continue to play at a high level, and he’s in.

Chad: This one goes to Tramon Williams, hands down. Not only was he a first alternate for the 2011 Pro Bowl, he has become one of the best cover corners in the NFL. They say that it takes a year for a player to make the Pro Bowl from when he earns it, so next year has to be the one for Tramon, since 2010-11 was undoubtedly his breakout season. Other guys like Josh Sitton and B.J. Raji are equally deserving, but it’s far easier for cornerbacks to earn the notoriety for their abilities than it is for lineman.

Kris:  Tramon–Although he should not be eligible for this list after his 2010 effort.

Thomas: B.J. Raji: He’s progressing to the point where is he one of the rare players who has the size to anchor as a nose tackle but also is disruptive enough to get to the quarterback, and there aren’t many of those players around.  If he played in a 4-3 defense as a 3 technique, he’d would have probably be in the Pro Bowl this year.