26

February

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

Sundays are rough without football, especially after how the Packers season ended.

I love Sundays, but I love Sundays more when football is on. Football makes you forget about your hangover from Saturday night and the fact that you have to go back to work on Monday. Football also makes you feel less guilty for lazing around on the couch all day, eating food that raises your cholesterol and swearing at your TV.

Now we’re stuck with the NBA, NHL, MLB and golf on Sunday for the foreseeable future. I like all of those sports, but none of them makes a Sunday like football. Those other sports are for the other six days of the week.

Sunday is for football.

To kill the time on these offseason Sundays, I’m going to publish Surviving Sunday: Packers New, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived.

It’ll be a regular notebook-style column that opens with a random thought or rant (like the one you’re reading now), followed by some quick opinions on a couple of key issues related to the Packers that I didn’t have a chance to cover with a full post during the week. From there, I’ll include links to must-read/must-see stories, videos and blog posts from the previous week and a preview of possible Packers storylines for the upcoming week. I’ll close each Surviving Sunday with a few words on a subject unrelated to the Packers.

I hope you enjoy reading Surviving Sunday as much as I enjoy putting it together. Anything to get in a little football on Sunday, right?

Scott Wells, Bryan Bulaga and the NFL Combine

  • Ted Thompson needs to sign Scott Wells. Unless Wells is asking for the moon because he wants his comeuppance after the Packers were mean to him early in his career, Thompson needs to make this one work. Wells is an upper-echelon center. If there’s one thing that occasionally rattles Aaron Rodgers (or any QB), it’s pressure up the middle. Wells does a good job of setting the Packers pass protection and keeping those interior pass rushers out of No. 12′s face. For what the Packers need him to do, he’s worth a 3-year deal in the $17-20 million range.
18

October

Week 7 Packers Stock Report: It’s Getting Tougher to Fill Out the Falling Category

The Packers beat the Rams 24-3 on Sunday despite taking a break for most of the second half. I could rant, rave and nitpick about all kinds of things that happened in that second half, but honestly, I think the Packers just got bored.

This team still needs to develop a killer instinct, but I don’t think the Packers necessarily took a step backward during that snoozer of a second half which featured a few fluky drops and vanilla playcalling. If this were a division rival the Packers were trying to bury, the second half would have been a different story and the final score even more lopsided.

Anyway, I’m usually a glass-half-empty Packers fan, but there’s not much to dislike about this team so far. Yes, the defense needs to plug a few leaks, but at 6-0 it’s getting difficult to find players for the falling category.

Morgan Burnett and his wrecking ball of a right hand make the rising category this week.

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers rolled to his left and lofted a perfect touchdown pass through a swirling wind to James Jones in the second quarter Sunday. That throw was a thing of beauty. Even if Rodgers didn’t complete another pass all game, I still would’ve put him in the rising category for that pass alone.

Tramon Williams
Williams is providing tighter coverage and better support in the run game. In other words, he’s getting healthier, which automatically means his stock is rising.

Morgan Burnett
Burnett has had his share of gaffes this season, but he’s also made a lot of plays. He gets the final rising slot this week for his toughness. Check out the picture of Burnett’s clubbed hand. Can you imagine playing safety with that thing on your hand? Burnett still managed to get nine tackles and force a fumble. I’m not sure if he’ll be able to catch any interceptions, but I give Burnett credit for toughing it out.

Steady

Clay Matthews
You are probably asking yourself how I can include Matthews in a post about underachievers last week, then put him in the steady category this week. Truth is, Matthews has been steady most of the season. However, I think he has the talent to be like Rodgers and become a permanent fixture in the rising category. That’s why I suggested he might be underachieving. His play on Sunday took him one step closer to the rising category.