5

April

Cory’s Corner: Solidify backup QB job and sign Matt Flynn

Last year proved just how important a backup quarterback is not for just the Packers but for any football team.

Having a bona fide star quarterback is an advantage that coach Mike McCarthy may have gotten a little too comfortable with. He got used to the 50-yard rollout passes on a dime and being able to whistle a fastball into tight windows.

Matt Flynn finished with a 2-2 starting record for the Packers last year. He is an unrestricted free agent after earning a prorated veteran minimum $715,000 by the Packers.

Matt Flynn finished with a 2-2 starting record for the Packers last year. He is an unrestricted free agent after earning a prorated veteran minimum of $715,000 by the Packers.

They say you never really know what you have until it’s gone. Well, that couldn’t have been truer for the Packers last year. With Aaron Rodgers shelved for seven games, the Packers nomadically spun their wheels until Matt Flynn was able to play good enough to fix the leaks and right the ship.

Now I realize Flynn doesn’t exactly strike anything resembling fear into opposing defenses. But he is a six-year NFL veteran and more importantly, he’s a 4½-year vet of the Packers.

Which is exactly why I am surprised that the Packers haven’t signed the unrestricted free agent yet. His 3-4 career starting record may not be anything to brag about but his ability to win over a huddle and lead a team — especially when your No. 1 option goes down — are things you want in a substitute.

Flynn turns 29 this summer and even he must realize that his days of being a starting quarterback are over. After having dreams of leading the Seattle Seahawks, he was upstaged by Russell Wilson. To make matters worse, he was upstaged by Terrelle Pryor in Oakland and the Bills barely kicked the tires before sending him on his way after just 21 days.

The opportunity to become a starting quarterback in the NFL is ever-shrinking, especially with all the dynamic college quarterbacks that are now bursting on to the scene.

The only sticky point could be money. Flynn was paid a pro-rated veteran minimum salary of $715,000 last year for Green Bay. With that money, he salvaged a 16-point deficit against Minnesota, which ended in a tie. And he orchestrated comeback wins vs. Atlanta and the thriller at Dallas.

2

February

What Would You be Doing if the Packers were in the Super Bowl today?

Here’s a fun little poll for Packers fans to think about what they might be doing today if the packers were playing the Broncos instead of the Seahawks. Weigh in with your response and come back later for the full results.

What would you be doing today if the Packers were in the Super Bowl?
Sitting in MetLife Stadium cheering them on.0%
Hosting a Super Bowl party at home.0%
Going to a Super Bowl Party wearing Geen and Gold.0%
Locking yourself in your room and watching the game by yourself.0%
Cheering for the Packers to lose.0%
Watching the game at a sports bar in NJ or NY after have spent a few days soaking in the Super Bowl atmosphere.0%
Yelling “McCarthy Sucks” or “Fire Capers” at the TV screen every time something doesn’t go the Packers’ way. 0%
Anything but watching the game.0%
Saying “Favre would have completed that” every time Rodgers throws an incompletion.0%
miss the game because you’re still hung over for the previous 48hrs of non-stop partying.0%

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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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1

February

Cory’s Corner: Helping Rodgers should be Packers’ priority

Aaron Rodgers needs to be surrounded with weapons and protection.

Aaron Rodgers needs to be surrounded with weapons and protection.

Super Bowl XLVIII is a collision course of two different team-building philosophies.

In 2012, the Broncos paid 36-year-old Peyton Manning, the owner of four neck surgeries, a five-year $96 million contract to take them back to the promised land. Many saw it as a surprise because nobody knew how Manning would respond to contact and if his arm strength would return.

The Seahawks, on the other hand, decided to spread out most of its resources. Sidney Rice ($8.5M), Russell Okung ($7.06M) and Marshawn Lynch ($7M) are the three highest-paid players on the team. But that doesn’t mean Seattle doesn’t spend money. The Seahawks were the second-highest payroll in the NFL this year with over $103M in salaries.

But the difference is at the quarterback position. Russell Wilson is the 44th-highest paid player on the Seahawks, making just $526,217 this year. Obviously that number is going to skyrocket when he’s a free agent in 2016, but until then Seattle is going to ride the wave of an efficient and cheap quarterback while they fill holes on the rest of their team.

Which is exactly how the 49ers have approached their quarterback position. Colin Kaepernick is the 26th-highest paid player on the roster with a salary of $740,844. San Francisco will have some difficult choices to make when he’s a free agent in 2015.

But it speaks to an interesting philosophy. The quarterback is and always be the most important player on a football team. However, if a team can strike oil in the draft with a rookie that doesn’t make a flurry of mistakes while adjusting quickly to the faster NFL game, it definitely behooves them to go with the unproven rookie.

The 49ers and Seahawks have been playing with house money ever since Wilson and Kaepernick became household names.

The Broncos meanwhile are going all-in for a potential Super Bowl streak with Manning. But in order to do so, they have left gaping holes in the secondary and on the offensive line but Manning has been able to overcome those.

After showing Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews the money last April, the Packers have to decide where their priorities lie. Jordy Nelson becomes a free agent in 2015, which will limit money spent on expiring contracts this spring.

19

January

2013 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Conference Championships: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2013 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (-5.5)
Kris Burke Broncos Patriots
“Jersey” Al Bracco Patriots Patriots
Adam Czech Patriots Patriots
Marques Eversoll Broncos Patriots
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Patriots
Cory Jennerjohn Broncos Broncos
Jason Perone Broncos Patriots
Chad Toporski Broncos Patriots
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)
Kris Burke Seahawks 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seahawks 49ers
Adam Czech 49ers 49ers
Marques Eversoll 49ers 49ers
Thomas Hobbes Seahawks 49ers
Cory Jennerjohn Seahawks Seahawks
Jason Perone 49ers 49ers
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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11

January

2013 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Divisional Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2013 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)
Kris Burke Seahawks Saints
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seahawks Seahawks
Adam Czech Seachickens Saints
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Saints
Thomas Hobbes Seahawks Seahawks
Cory Jennerjohn Seahawks Saints
Jason Perone Seahawks Saints
Chad Toporski Seahawks Saints
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7)
Kris Burke Patriots Colts
“Jersey” Al Bracco Colts Colts
Adam Czech Colts Colts
Marques Eversoll Colts Colts
Thomas Hobbes Colts Colts
Cory Jennerjohn Patriots Patriots
Jason Perone Patriots Colts
Chad Toporski Colts Colts
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (+1)
Kris Burke 49ers 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco 49ers 49ers
Adam Czech 49ers 49ers
Marques Eversoll 49ers 49ers
Thomas Hobbes Panthers Panthers
Cory Jennerjohn 49ers 49ers
Jason Perone Panthers Panthers
Chad Toporski Panthers Panthers
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-9)
Kris Burke Broncos Chargers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Broncos Chargers
Adam Czech Broncos Chargers
Marques Eversoll Broncos Chargers
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Broncos
Cory Jennerjohn Broncos Chargers
Jason Perone Broncos Broncos
Chad Toporski Broncos Chargers
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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23

August

Packers vs. Seahawks: A Preseason Game In Name Only

A picture that needs no caption.

The calendar still reads August.  If I’m the Green Bay Packers, I don’t care.

Tonight is just not another preseason game.  For Green Bay, it shouldn’t be a preseason game at all.  Coach Mike McCarthy of course will eventually get his backup players into the game, but since the third preseason game is the closest to a dress rehearsal as you can get in the NFL, McCarthy very well could roll with his starters into the third quarter.

As well he should.

The game tonight at Lambeau Field against the Seattle Seahawks doesn’t count at all in the standings.  The results will have absolutely no bearing on either team making the playoffs.  As long as they both emerge without any major injuries, the game could be considered a win for both sides.

Not for the Packers.  Preseason game be damned, this is war.

There’s no need to sit here and recap the “Fail Mary” game in Seattle last year that ended up costing the Packers a first round bye in the playoffs.  Had the correct call been made, Green Bay (more than likely) would have still faced the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round but at Lambeau Field rather than San Francisco.

No matter how much McCarthy or the players said otherwise, that “loss” to Seattle had to sting all season long.  The coach and his players did an admirable job in public, but that kind of situation just has to sting a locker room.  Imagine being passed over on a promotion at work because someone read your resume wrong. You’d be upset for a long time, wouldn’t you?

The Packers went on to win six of their next seven games and still won the division and made the playoffs.  Still, you can’t help but wonder what might have been.

Never before did I think it possible that a preseason game could set the tone for the regular season, but the game tonight against the Seahawks very well could.  This summer everyone has been going gaga over Seattle and second year quarterback Russell Wilson and the Packers have largely been ignored except when former players open their mouths about the leadership of the best quarterback in the league.

8

July

After Further Review: Fail Mary Full Of Disgrace

Lancy Easley book "Making the Call"

Former NFL replacement referee Lance Easley’s book hits the stands on August 1st

Just when we had moved on to the 2013 NFL season and were inching further away from the disaster that was dubbed “Fail Mary” last season, shock waves hit Twitter this past weekend.  OK, maybe shock waves is a bit of an exaggeration-unless you’re a Green Bay Packers fan.

It was announced that NFL replacement referee Lance Easley, who infamously awarded a game-winning touchdown to Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate at the end of last year’s Monday Night Football contest against the Packers, has written a book entitled “Making the Call” and it goes on sale starting August 1st.

While Easley’s blown call was what ultimately led to the end of the NFL’s lockout of the regular refs, it obviously came at a cost to both the Packers and the NFL.  Who knows what would have become of Green Bay’s 2012 season had the right call been made and had the Packers left Seattle with the win.

As we know, Easley had no previous experience as a professional referee prior to that game.  He had done some high school and lower division college games and no one knew who he was.  That all changed in the blink of an eye and apparently Easley intends to ride the wave of that fame (infamy, really) all the way to the bank.  Ironically, his day job is as an Executive with Bank of America.  I’m sure many are hoping that he won’t have the luxury of quitting that job and living off of the royalties from the sale of his book.

The book has caused some blood-boiling, judging by the reaction on Twitter from fans and media alike.  While there is uproar among Packers fans and around the NFL, it seems to be another story in Seattle.  A while back, there were rumors that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had invited Easley to be a guest at his celebrity softball game, which took place this past Sunday.  Those rumors were proven true when images of Easley posing with Seahawks players surfaced after the event.  Here is one in particular that ESPN tweeted: