Packers practice report: Crosby shines
Friend(s) Email Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has made no secret of his affection for running back DuJuan Harris, who on Tuesday was lost to season-ending injured Clay Matthews Authentic Jersey reserve . A second opinion confirmed that Harris will require surgery after re-injuring the patellar tendon in his right knee. Although fantasy football ers were quick to bury the Packers ‘ 2012 late-season find after general manager Ted Thompson picked up Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin in the 2013 NFL Draft , McCarthy steadfastly has maintained — even through offseason cyst surgery and training-camp knee issues — that Harris was his backfield leader . It wasn’t clear until Tuesday’s news conference just how much Harris factored into McCarthy’s offensive plans. “Every offseason, you go through evaluations of your offense, you do offseason studies, you project how you envision your offense looking and then you kind of confirm things after the draft,” McCarthy explained, via ESPNWisconsin.com’s Jason Wilde. “You have a vision, packages in place on how you’re going to start the season. I’ll just tell you this: DuJuan was a big part of particularly my individual focus for this season. “Last week was really the first opportunity to play DuJuan and Eddie Lacy in a game as kind of a 1-2 type punch format, and that has now changed.” The more we heard from McCarthy over the past few months, the more it became obvious that he had taken a vested interest in a plucky player who had gone from car salesman to starting running back on his watch. With Lacy ready to assume featured-back duties, the Packers are in better shape to withstand the loss of Harris this year than of Cedric Benson one year ago.
Can The Green Bay Packers Rule The NFC North in 2013?
Bush proved in Miami hes more than just a passing threat, racking up nearly 2,000 yards in two seasons. Green Bay: David Bakhtiari, LT With the loss of left tackle Bryan Bulaga to a torn ACL early in training camp, Bakhtiari, a fourth-round pick out of Colorado, has become an impact addition on the Packers offensive http://thecfband.com/aaron_rodgers_jersey.html line that gave up 51 sacks in 2012. Whether Bakhtiaris impact will be good or bad remains to be seen. Minnesota: Greg Jennings, WR With the loss of Percy Harvin, the Vikings had to get a weapon for Christian Ponder to help relieve some pressure off of Adrian Peterson. While hes not nearly as dynamic as Harvin, Jennings is a threat all over the field and brings experience to a youthful passing offence in Minnesota. BIGGEST IMPACT LOSS Chicago: Brian Urlacher, LB Urlacher was the face of the Bears franchise for 12 seasons and his presence on and off the field is irreplaceable. Chicago brought in former Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams to take the place of their long-time leader, but the aging defence will most definitely suffer some separation anxiety early in 2013. Detroit: Cliff Avril, DE Even with Avril in the Lions lineup, Detroits defence still ranked 20th in the NFL in total sacks in 2012. Avril led the team with 9.5 sacks and the Lions will be hard-pressed to replace him. To Detroits credit, they drafted Ziggy Ansah in the first round and signed free agents Israel Idonije and Jason Jones but it will be tough to replace Avril.
What We Know: Chiefs-Packers Preseason Finale
At 25th overall Rodgers rests at the start of the third round in 12-team leagues, and therefore he could easily slip into the second round, a time where often if you dont take a running back, youre pretty screwy. I am not and have never been a hater of Rodgers or Brees, because Im not a complete blubbering idiot (most of the time). I have, however, developed a dislike for selecting them in fantasy drafts because of the increasingly inflated price it costs for their fake employment. For the extended rant on this matter, you can go back to the Saints preview post and pretty much take Brees name out and insert Rodgers. Theyre both great, and theyll both lead their positions and the entire league in fantasy production. But that alone doesnt make them a quality pick late in the second round, and they definitely arent a value relative to their draft position. While reaching for Rodgers youre missing out on, say, David Wilson or Frank Gore at running back, or Demaryius Thomas and Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver, two positions where the tumble beyond the top is far more swift and sudden. Meanwhile, last year the difference between Rodgers and Tony Romo was 3.5 fantasy points per week, and the difference between their draft position is currently 55 slots. So hey you, that guy drafting in ESPN leagues: tell me again why both Rodgers and Brees are first rounders ? Randall Cobb (ADP: 31.2): About repeating stuff.
Jets, former Packers QB Graham Harrell agree to deal
Post to Facebook Jets, former Packers QB Graham Harrell agree to deal on USAToday.com: http://usat.ly/18kK3p6 Incorrect please try again A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. 7 To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Jets, former Packers QB Graham Harrell agree to deal Tom Pelissero, USA TODAY Sports 11:21 a.m. EDT August 28, 2013 QB Graham Harrell lost his backup duties in Green Bay to Vince Young. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports) SHARE 47 CONNECT 12 TWEET 7 COMMENTEMAILMORE Short on healthy quarterbacks for Thursday’s preseason finale, the New York Jets agreed to terms Wednesday with former Green Bay Packers backup Graham Harrell, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn’t been announced. The Packers cut Harrell, 28, Saturday after he lost out in a competition with Vince Young to be Aaron Rodgers’ primary backup. Harrell appeared in four games last season, completing two of four passes for 20 yards.
Banged-up Packers hope to get gang back together for regular season, sort out kicking game
Among the many predictions bloggers, analysts, talk show hosts and most of all, fans of the nations favorite sport make, the most heated and the most fun debate topic to talk about and try to predict, is who finishes where in a division. The NFC North is a division that has been among the best and most competitive divisions in the NFL over the past several seasons division that saw the Chicago Bears go 10-6 and finish in only third place, as well as not even make the postseason in 2012. The 10-6 Minnesota Vikings finished only a game worse than the division winning Green Bay Packers (11-5) in 2012. This division saw two of its teams make the playoffs last year, and again, proved along with the AFC North, and recently the NFC West, that it is among the leagues toughest divisions to win. The Packers may be the two-time defending NFC North champions, but it is a division that has improved this offseason. The Packers will have their hands full with their rivals, the Bears, with whom they share a blood feud that dates back to the 1920s. Making the rivalry between these two franchises the most played rivalry in the NFL. Besides, the Bears who have an offense that can give a suspect Packers secondary fits. They must also contend with the Detroit Lions , that, despite a disappointing 4-12 season in 2012, can, and I believe will, finish with 10 or more wins and contend for not only second place, but perhaps the NFC North crown. While the Vikings had a great year last year and went to the playoffs, they are too limited to repeat, what I feel, was a bit of an aberrational season that was carried by Adrian Peterson and his historic rushing season. Therefore, they are out as potential pitfalls to the Packers third straight division title.
NFC North preview: Can anyone catch Packers?
Chiefs Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Barry Rubin was part of the Packers coaching staff as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach (1995-98) and as Strength and Conditioning Coach (1999-2005). Kansas City Director of Pro Scouting Will Lewis was a Pro Scout in Green Bay for the 1997 season. Chiefs Defensive Backs Coach Emmitt Thomas spent the 1999 season as Defensive Coordinator for Green Bay. Kansas City is 7-3-1 all-time versus Green Bay, with a 7-2-1 record in the regular season. The Chiefs are 6-7-1 all-time in preseason play vs. the Packers. The teams have met in the preseason each more info of the past three seasons. The Chiefs are 4-2 all-time against the Packers at Arrowhead Stadium, as well as 3-0 all-time at Lambeau Field in regular season play. The Chiefs have won six of the previous seven meetings vs. the Packers, dating back to 1989. The two teams met in Super Bowl I in Los Angeles, Calif., with Green Bay winning its first title 35-10 on Jan.
Fantasy Forecasting: Green Bay Packers
Ramirez made only 6-of-16 field goals. He got two more attempts thanks Crosby in the second of the two kicking periods because special teams coach Shawn Slocum wanted him to finish on a make. But he couldnt do it, missing three straight to finish the period. While coach Mike McCarthy refused to declare the kicking competition over shortly after practice, less than three hours later Ramirez was released. Its always possible the Packers will watch the waiver wire and add another kicker before the regular-season opener at San Francisco on Sept. 8. But as long as Crosby doesnt stumble against the Chiefs, he may have won his job back. Since Ramirezs arrival, Crosby has missed just one of 25 field goals. On Tuesday, Crosby made kicks of 33, 37, 40, 42, 45, 48 and 58 yards into the wind and 35, 40, 44, 47, 51, 54 and 64 yards going downwind. He improved his camp-long mark to 67-of-81, not including 4-of-4 in preseason game action.
Lang to center and then find someone else to play Langs old spot. But heading into Thursdays preseason finale a Kansas City, theyre not sold on either of Dietrich-Smiths backups. Former Ivy League tackle Greg Van Roten , a second-year pro out of Penn, and rookie free agent Patrick Lewis of Texas A&M both have had issues. Neither performed well in last Fridays preseason game against Seattle. Lewis sailed a shotgun snap high and wide to the right of quarterback Vince Young , and Van Rotens run blocking was poor. When asked if the Packers would have to move other offensive line starters if something happened to Dietrich-Smith, offensive line coach James Campen would only say: Ill answer it this way: Well be ready if that something were to happen. The center position remains relatively new to Van Roten, who didnt start working there until midway through last season. He had an issue with a snap in practice this week, when he rolled a shotgun snap on the ground and drew the ire of the coaches. But perhaps the bigger issue for Van Roten is his run blocking. Against the Seahawks he got beat twice and allowed tackles for losses . This week, I definitely want to run block better than I did last week, Van Roten said.
Green Bay Packers’ James Jones opens checkbook for Gunderson High
They’ll need to cut down on the 51 sacks allowed of Rodgers last season. The front five will also be charged with opening up holes in a running game that Green Bay hopes will be rejuvenated with the addition of rookie Eddie Lacy, who ran for more than 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns on 204 carries last year for top-ranked Alabama. FIRST-TIMERS: From Bakhtiari to Lacy, rookies should have important roles on both sides of the ball. Bakhtiari may have the more important job in the trenches, but whether he starts or not, Lacy will be counted on to help diversify the offense. He might handle more of the carries now with Harris out. It’s a time-tested formula get opponents to commit more defenders in the box to stop the run, hoping it opens up more one-on-one opportunities for the receivers. First-round draft pick Datone Jones, a defensive end, had been slowed earlier in camp by an ankle injury, but figures to play a pivotal part in the rotation. Defensive back Micah Hyde has impressed at times, taking advantage of opportunities left by injuries to Williams and fellow cornerback Casey Hayward. FRONTED: The defense showed push and a little spunk against Seattle, getting to quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Brady Quinn four times.
Packers still searching for a backup center
After hearing about an equipment shortage at his high school alma mater, the Green Bay Packers receiver donated enough money this week to cover 15 helmets that cost upward of $200 apiece. “I know him personally and have never called him and asked,” Gunderson coach Steve Papin said Wednesday. “He loves Gunderson football. He loves the school. He’s always called and said, ‘Do you need any help? I’m going to give you this.’ “He donated some shoes to us this year, cleats. His wife called and said, ‘Hey, there is a box on the way.'” Jones, who also starred at San Jose State, has held free football camps at Gunderson and had his jersey retired by the high school last fall. The equipment shortage was the result of a larger than expected turnout for football. Whereas last year there were about 70 players in the program, this year there is 100. Even with Jones’ contribution, the program still doesn’t have enough shoulder pads and jerseys for every player.