Cory Corner: Ted Thompson’s loyalty will pay dividends

Instead of bringing outside free agents, Ted Thompson has opted to reward loyalty and sign players to stay in Green Bay.

Instead of bringing in outside free agents, Ted Thompson has opted to reward loyalty and sign players to stay in Green Bay.

Ted Thompson is proving that devotion and dedication mean more than stats.

The Packers general manager has stuck to his draft and develop philosophy. He has signed four free agents in Sam Shields, Mike Neal, Andrew Quarless and even B.J. Raji to come back and play their home games at Lambeau Field.

I’ve seen and heard numerous people bash Thompson for not bringing in free agents from other teams in order to help the Packers win their fifth Super Bowl title.

Frankly, the fact that Thompson likes to embrace loyalty and reward his guys shouldn’t be overlooked.

Remember, when you bring in outside guys, there is a bit of a transition period as the newbies get acquainted with how things are run. They must get acclimated to the playbook, varying types of schemes for different types of situations and know what and how is expected.

Obviously, former players already know that. They’ve already got strong bonds with teammates, which doesn’t hurt the all-important team chemistry, but most importantly, they already know their roles.

Neal is coming back after a season in which he was tied for third on the team in sacks. It would be ridiculous to even assume that he would demand a Clay Matthews role as the focal point of the defense. But if the Packers had brought in a guy like DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen or Julius Peppers who’s to say that wouldn’t have happened?

Same thing on the offensive side. Quarless all-of-a-sudden isn’t going to demand Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb targets because he knows his role in the delicate Packers ecosystem.

There were, heck there still are, decent guys available. Brian Orakpo is still hanging around, but since he was franchised by the Redskins nobody wants to part with two first round draft picks for a guy that is now arguing with Washington about whether he should be franchised as a linebacker or a defensive end. (It should be noted that the franchise designation as a linebacker is $11.455 million as opposed to $13.116 million for a defensive end).



Cory’s Corner: Packers offensive line must be adequate

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 10 times already and pressured numerous more.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 10 times already and pressured numerous more.

Many people have been praising the offensive line for two straight solid rushing performances.

Granted, the numbers sure do look gaudy. The Packers racked up 139 yards rushing and 5.8 yards a rush against the Redskins. But let’s not forget that the Redskins haven’t exactly been scaring folks on the offensive side of the ball. Washington is tied for 30th in the league by giving up 155 yards a game. And Johnathan Franklin came in admirably in the second half at Cincinnati by tallying 103 yards, but the Bengals had never seen Franklin on tape before so his tendencies weren’t yet known.

Despite those performances from the last two weeks, the offensive has to play better. In three games, the Packers offensive line has been penalized 10 times, with the majority of the penalties coming by way of holding. Those are inexcusable penalties that can easily be fixed. Coming into the Bengals game the Packers had the ninth most holding penalties in the NFL.

When Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers saw the schedule for the first time last spring, they both saw the first three games and had a little trepidation. Everyone knew how good the 49ers defense was going to be after making an appearance in the Super Bowl last February but I’m willing to argue that the Bengals defense is even better.

And if you know a defense is big and physical, more time should be spent to make sure that Rodgers’ jersey stays clean for as long as possible. Obviously that mantra has been forgotten because Rodgers has been sacked 10 times already, which is tied for fifth-highest in the league.

I realize that Bryan Bulaga, the future personal protector of Rodgers at left tackle for the foreseeable future, going down for the season with a torn ACL was a huge blow.

But at the same time, David Carr was sacked 262 times in six seasons and is now watching his younger brother at Fresno State. Rodgers has been sacked 212 times ever since he took over as the starting quarterback in 2008. Every game he gets knocked sideways and pretty soon he’s not going to be able to get back up. And the moment happens, the Packers go from a legitimate 11-5 team to a 6-10 team.



Packers vs. Redskins – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 38 WAS 20

Washington Redskins v Green Bay Packers

Packers’ Eddie Lacy goes aerial vs. Redskins

Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins:  2013 Game 2

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.



It’s pouring in Green Bay today. I believe the wet field factored strongly into the Packers’ decision to keep Burnett out one more week.

While the Packers face a mobile quarterback for the second week in a row, the offenses are fairly dissimilar.

Wilson out, Barrington in.  I think that gives you a subtle hint that the #Packers will not have the same game plan for the #Redskins as last week.

Today’s captains for the Packers: Jermichael Finley (offense), Clay Matthews (defense) and Robert Francois (special teams).


Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
24 CB Jarrett Bush
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

43 M.D. Jennings & 22 Jerron McMillian will start at safety for the Packers. 97 DE Johnny Jolly will start on the defensive line.

Washington Redskins

2 K Kai Forbath
8 QB Rex Grossman
22 RB Evan Royster
32 S Jordan Pugh
48 S Jose Gumbs
67 G Josh LeRibeus
95 NT Chris Neild


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

South End Zone: You can def tell the difference. It’s always great to be home, outr Alumni comes back for this game, it will be a great day.

Wet conditions: You’re aware of it, communication between QB and center is vital.

Bush: Suffered injury in Thursday’s practice. unfortunate, but our guys are ready

Burnett: He’s been a very good player for us for a number of years now, he’s taken ever rep in camp. No excuses,. MC MD and Banjo are ready

Strong play from front seven last week: Definitely – they set the edge vey well, particularly inside. Very pleased with the run defense. Three things we need to focus on today: stop the run, get after the QB in our pressure packages, taking the ball away too.

Redskins & RGIII last week: Any time you look at an individual’s performance, particularly at quarterback, you have to look at the whole game. They struggled early with the turnovers. but were much better later on.



Cory’s Corner: Rodgers’ shoulder chip has been activated

Aaron Rodgers will have the chip on his shoulder when the Packers host Washington on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers will have the chip on his shoulder when the Packers host Washington on Sunday.

If you want to see fireworks and an Aaron Rodgers light show, then get ready for Sunday afternoon.

The Packers are coming off a disappointing loss in San Francisco that saw Rodgers get bear hugged as the final seconds ticked away. The NFL’s best quarterback never got a chance to unleash a 42-yard seed to give the Packers a huge season-opening upset win.

Now Rodgers has had to face questions this week about closing out and winning tight games from his local media. That chip that tends to resurface when his play is questioned made appearance. He then quickly shot back, “You can win them, you execute on both sides of the ball.”

That was a warranted question. But now the Redskins have to face Rodgers’ wrath. This is a guy you do not want to torque the wrong way.

If Rodgers can get peeved at a Packers fan for calling him short, it surely won’t take much to stoke his motivational fires in Week 2.

Let’s take a quick peek at last year. After “losing”14-12 in the famed Fail Mary game, Rodgers responded with 319 yards and four TDs vs. New Orleans. After losing a heartbreaker in Indy, he threw a 338-yard, six-TD gem at Houston.

His whole career is dripping with disappointment that has led to personal inspiration, which has turned him into a Pro Bowl perfectionist.

The Redskins are going to try to stop Rodgers. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will throw the kitchen sink at him perhaps by sending London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo on blitzes to disrupt his timing. That stuff works on guys like Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman but not Rodgers.

Coming into this season, the Packers weren’t even the third best team in the NFC by many analysts. Now Rodgers is on a crusade to prove that his team isn’t just adequate but superior enough to push San Francisco and Seattle for a spot in the Super Bowl.

However, that can’t happen unless the Packers earn its 21st win in 22 tries at Lambeau Field. I hate classifying games as “must wins” but if the Packers come up short on Sunday there is a chance they could be staring at 0-3 before the bye with a tough trip to Cincinnati to face the much-improved Bengals.



Packers Periscope: Eyeing the Enemy (Washington)

With the heated battle with the San Francisco 49ers behind them, the Green Bay Packers now move on to their home opener against Washington.

Last week, Washington was defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles 33-27 after their late charge fell short.  Washington was down 33-7 at one point after their defense was exhausted by the incredible pace of the new Eagles offense under head coach Chip Kelly, but quarterback Robert Griffin III was unable to bring his team all the way back.

It took Griffin a little bit to reclaim his form from last season but he finished the game 30/49 with 329 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.  His struggles early put his team in a bit of a hole while the Eagles’ high-octane offense left the Washington defense gasping for air early.

The last time we met

The last time Green Bay and Washington met was back in 2010 at FedEx Field where Washington beat Green Bay 16-13 that saw tight end Jermichael Finley go down for the year.  It was the game where the Packers’ injury problems that season really began to mount.

Green Bay was in position to win the game in the final second of regulation, but Mason Crosby’s 53-yard field goal attempt clanged off the left upright in a bit of foreshadowing for 2012. Aaron Rodgers had a pass intercepted late and it was a game no one really expected the Packers to lose.

This also was the last time the Packers had a 100 yard rusher in the game when Brandon Jackson ran for 115 yards.

What’s Up with Washington

Heading into the game against the Packers, a lot of hype will be around second-year quarterback Griffin. He had an outstanding rookie season that came to a crashing halt when he was injured in the playoff game against the Seahawks.  Coach Mike Shanahan felt it fit to run him into the ground that game anyway.

There is real concern out there that Griffin is not 100% thanks to Shanahan’s controversial decision in the playoffs. The Packers aren’t biting though, and they are preparing for Griffin based on what they see on film from last year according to the Washington post.



Packers vs. Redskins Week 2 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

Week 2: Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 0-1 Green Bay Packers 21-17
It actually was tempting to pick Washington here. Whenever the Packers go up against Mike Shanahan, he seems to have his team ready. RG3 is another tough challenge for this defense and it will be telling in how this defense handles him. I say Washington leads most of the day, but Green Bay pulls it out late. Way too many people are looking past this game.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 0-1 Green Bay Packers 34-20
The Packers will get on the winning side of the ledger as they return home to Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers will shred the Redskins secondary and only a concerted effort to get Eddie Lacy snaps and ice the game in the 4th quarter will prevent the Packers from scoring more points. 
Adam Czech 1-0 Green Bay Packers 31-23
The Packers offense keeps putting up points and the defense survives a few RG3 hot streaks, forces a few turnovers, and the Packers get back to .500.
Marques Eversoll 1-0 Green Bay Packers 34-17
I’ll say it right now: Eddie Lacy, on Sunday, will be the first Packers running back to go over 100 rushing yards in the regular season since Brandon Jackson did it on October 10, 2010 against … the Washington Redskins. Behind a big day from Lacy (100 yards, 1 TD) and an efficient (300 yards, 3 TD) afternoon from Rodgers, the Packers win this one handily.
Thomas Hobbes 0-1 Green Bay Packers 31-20
I’d say it’s 50-50 how effective RGIII is in week 2; if he plays like he did in the first half against the Eagles, then the Packers win easy.  If he plays like he did in the 2nd half, the game is probably a lot closer but the Packers still probably win.  Look for the Packers to mix up some up tempo offense to see what the Redskins have done to correct their issues.
Cory Jennerjohn 1-0 Green Bay Packers 31-17


2012 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Wild Card Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

2012 NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-4.5)
Kris Burke Texans Texans
“Jersey” Al Bracco Texans Texans
Adam Czech Texans Bengals
Marques Eversoll Texans Bengals
Thomas Hobbes Texans Bengals
Jason Perone Texans Texans
Chad Toporski Texans Texans
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Kris Burke Packers Packers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Packers Packers
Adam Czech Packers Packers
Marques Eversoll Packers Packers
Thomas Hobbes Packers Packers
Jason Perone Vikings Vikings
Chad Toporski Packers Vikings
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)
Kris Burke Colts Colts
“Jersey” Al Bracco Ravens Ravens
Adam Czech Ravens Colts
Marques Eversoll Colts Colts
Thomas Hobbes Colts Colts
Jason Perone Ravens Colts
Chad Toporski Ravens Colts
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins (+3)
Kris Burke Redskins Seahawks
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seadogs  Seadogs
Adam Czech Seachickens Seachickens
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Seahawks
Thomas Hobbes Redskins Redskins
Jason Perone Redskins Redskins
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks

Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski