Saturday, May 04, 2013

Packers Bits and Pieces

It was an exciting post-draft week for the Green Bay Packers and their fans. Firstly, the Pack had, by most accounts, a successful draft overall. We gave it an A- and that seemed to be a popular grade among many if not most pundits. Yes, it could be argued the team needed to add a safety and didn't. Or a starting left tackle, and didn't. A few things like that brought down some people's opinion of the Pack's draft.

But on the other hand, the Packers picked up arguably the best running back in the draft -- Eddie Lacy -- and, according to some others, the second best back, Johnathan Franklin. Barring injury, that duo could be the starting backfield along with fullback John Kuhn. Given the paucity of a Packers running game since the departure of Ryan Grant at least and, some might say, Ahman Green, these two picks alone will give a much-needed boost and variation to an offense that for the last few years has been far-too one dimensional.

On the defensive side of the ball, DE Datone Jones may provide enough of a pass rush presence to make offenses account for more than just Clay Matthews in their protection schemes. DT Josh Boyd should help bolster and give relief to a defensive front that needed some depth. LB Nate Palmer spent time already with linebackers coach Kevin Greene. Greene, according to reports, told Palmer that he could help take his play to another level. Apparently, the Packers see something in Palmer they like. Very much.

The Flip-Flop
While the lack of offensive tackle picks bothered some, the Pack did add depth with the selections of David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter. But the other way the Pack addressed the offensive line issues of last year -- far too many sacks given up -- was to shuffle the existing players.

This week, head coach Mike McCarthy announced that they were moving Bryan Bulaga from the right tackle position to the left and also flipping Josh Sitton from right guard to left. Bulaga and Sitton are the two best offensive linemen the Packers have and it makes sense for them to be protecting the blindside of the $100+ million quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Evan Dietrich-Smith will anchor the line at center, while T.J. Lang will move from right guard to left. Marshall Newhouse will move from left tackle to right. So the personnel is the same, but they will now be playing different sides of the line. Let's hope it works out as planned. Let's also hope they are able to create some lanes for what could be the best running attack the Packers have had in a generation.

Al Harris Retires as a Packer
Former Packers CB Al Harris retired as a Green Bay Packer this week, despite not playing for the team for about 3-1/2 years. But that's OK, Al wanted to retire with the team and in the city that meant the most to him during his long career. He had many memorable moments as a Packer before a torn ACL ended his run with the team. But can we ever forget that interception off Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck in overtime of the playoffs? No. But if you need a reminder, just click here

Packers Shareholders Meeting Set for July 24
For those who are proud shareholders of the Green Bay Packers, the team announced that its annual meeting will be held at Lambeau Field on Wed. July 24. Once again, each shareholder will be able to bring a guest and, of course, revel in all things Packers. It doesn't get any better than that!

Learn more about the shareholders meeting here.