Thursday, August 13, 2009

An anniversary...

In the wide, wide world of sports today is a day that is distinctive for Gene Sarazen winning the 16th PGA Championship in 1933 at Blue Mound CC in Milwaukee.

Oh, today is also the anniversary of this blog!

Yep, this ongoing ode to all things Packers got its humble start on this date -- Aug. 13 -- in 2005.

Just thought you'd want to know. So to all you faithful readers out there, thanks for continuing to stop in. And for any new readers, welcome. To one and all, please help spread the word about this little corner of the Packers blogosphere. As the NFL preseason is about to commence, followed by the absolute best sports season of every year, we'll try to provide timely -- or at least, insightful -- news, links, commentary, etc. when it seems worth saying. And you can always find links to other great Packers-related sites, headlines, and even our very own shop where you can, well, shop. So please do!

Happy Anniversary! (Somebody had to say it.)

Training camp bits & pieces
Most of this probably doesn't come as any shock to those who follow the Packers closely, but for the casual observer let's just say that there is a bit of concern about the number of walking wounded in camp these days. Early in the week, the Pack had 12 guys on the sidelines with various injuries. That includes the promising but oft-injured TE Tory Humphrey who broke his arm in practice last week; the Packers have placed him on injured reserve which -- along with the surgery required -- likely ends his season before it starts. Humphrey missed part of 2006 with a hamstring injury and all of 2007 with a broken leg. He caught 11 passes in the 2008 season -- the best in his career. Now, done again.

Another promising but oft-injured player is DeShawn Wynn. As reported here and elsewhere, the feeling among several camp observers was that Wynn was finally starting to flash the potential the Pack thought they had when they drafted him a few years back. But there were always raps on his work ethic and willingness to play through injuries. He was out with a bruised knee for a few days but apparently returned to practice today. There is some speculation that he may have passed Brandon Jackson as the primary back up to Ryan Grant. Some guys are injury prone, while others may think they are. If Wynn is able to shake the latter tag -- for himself as much as anyone else -- he could have a dynamite year. Keep your fingers crossed.

And it should come as no surprise -- as much as one really wants to root for the young man -- that Justin Harrell is once again nursing a sore back. On Tuesday, Coach McCarthy, according to news reports, indicated that Harrell would be out indefinitely. But as Green Bay Press-Gazette sportswriter Mike Vandermause said in his column yesterday, no matter what happens this season, the Packers might as well give him one more season to run out his contract on the outside chance they could perhaps get something for him along the way. Check out his column here. It's not Harrell's fault he can't stay healthy. It was and is Ted Thompson's fault for reaching for a player with a history of injury in college and drafting him #16 in the first round. This one will likely go down right alongside former GM/coach Mike Sherman's pick in 2001 of Jamal Reynolds as one of the biggest first round failures in Packers' history...let's not even mention Tony Mandarich...oops, dang!

Raji has left the building
Actually, the Packers' first round pick, B. J. Raji, has done more than that. Raji has reportedly left Green Bay, with all signs pointing to a lengthy hold out. He's not the only first-rounder yet to be signed. But given that a few are right around his #9 slot it seems as if both he and the Packers are willing to take their chances and wait for the salary bar to be set elsewhere rather than in Green Bay. It's not as critical for defensive players to be in on time as it would be for an offensive player. But as every fan knows, the longer any rookie is out of camp the less likely it is that they will perform as expected their first year. The one thing that you don't want to see happen is an entirely wasted season. I don't believe the Packers will allow that to happen. It's still a waiting game. But at some point, someone needs to blink. Let's hope they get this done soon. There are a number of injuries along the defensive line at the moment and the Packers could use Raji not only to get some reps but to get into game shape and condition before the season officially kicks off with that Sunday night game versus Da Bearz.