Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Packers sign 13 rookie free agents

With the dust from the draft settling, it seems that the final tally -- at least for today -- is that the Packers have signed an additional 13 rookie free agents. You can learn about them here.

In addition, there's a nice story about RB Justin Beaver, the Gagliardi Award winner from Division III Champion, UW-Whitewater, who has been invited to try out for the Packers this weekend. As the article points out, all his numbers compare favorably with those of some first round picks. The only one that doesn't is his height: 5'7". Still, he's interesting enough for Ted Thompson to invite him in for a look. Would be a heckuva story if he is able to make the team in some capacity. He's a kid you have to root for. Check out the story here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Packers release QBs and punter

It should come as little surprise after this weekend's draft and rookie free agent signings that warm body QBs Jerry Babb and Dalton Bell would not be long in Packerland. A roster check even this afternoon had them still listed. A check this evening, however, and "poof...they're gone!". In addition, punter Ryan Dougherty has also vanished from the roster. This then frees up 3 additional roster spots on top of the 2 that appeared to be remaining after the various free agent signings, leaving 5 available roster openings before the Pack hits their NFL maximum of 80.

Packers add more rookie free agents

Continuing to add depth to the training camp roster, the Packers added two more rookie free agents today: Mississippi College WR Jake Allen, C Brennen Carvalho of Portland State, TE Joey Haynos of Maryland, and LB Marcus Riley of Fresno State. There seem to also be conflicting reports as to whether RB Justin Beaver from UW-Whitewater has signed a contract or not. The earlier report (as noted here at PackerFansUntied.com) and what is still being reported on local news outlets, is that he will work out for the Packers at their rookie orientation camp this coming weekend. That means a contract has not yet been extended, he's been invited to tryout and that's it at this point.

That puts the Packers rookie free agent signings at 10, as far as we know. They have 2 more slots available -- of veteran or rookie signings -- to reach the league maximum training camp roster of 80.

Packers sign rookie free agents after draft

As is always the case with NFL teams, a plethora of players that don't get drafted find themselves getting phone calls after the draft concludes. In the case of the Packers, reports are that they signed the following players: punter Ken DeBauche of Wisconsin (in this case, that's both in terms of the school as well as birthplace...in fact, he grew up about 15 minutes from Lambeau Field!); RB Kregg Lumpkin of Georgia; WR Taj Smith of Syracuse; TE Mike Peterson of Southwest Missouri State; LB Danny Lansanah of Connecticut; and long snapper J.J. Jansen of Notre Dame. RB Justin Beaver from UW-Whitewater will also work out for the Packers at their rookie orientation camp this coming weekend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Packers wind up draft with a QB, WR and trade

The Packers wound up their 2008 draft by taking another QB and WR, and then trading their final pick in the seventh round for a sixth rounder next year.

With the 209th pick overall, the Packers took QB Matt Flynn from LSU. And with the 217th pick in the draft, the Pack brought a Brett back to Green Bay. No, not the Brett. Brett Swain, a wide receiver from San Diego State.

GM Ted Thompson finished the draft as he began it: with a trade. He traded the 237th pick to New Orleans for a sixth round pick next year.

Rate the Packers Draft

You're invited to rate the quality of the Packers 2008 draft choices in our poll, which you can find in the right hand column under our PackerFansUnited store link. The poll will be open through Friday for your vote. Let the world know how you think the Pack did.

Packers take another OT

Continuing to build depth on the offensive line, the Packers took another offensive tackle with their 150th pick in the draft. Breno Giacomini from Louisville will be joining his old quarterback, Brian Brohm, as part of the Pack's 2008 rookie class.

Giacomini is 6'7", 303 lbs. More details can be found here. You'd like to see this guy make it for the name alone.

Packers take OT and make trade in fifth round

Trader, er GM, Ted Thompson continues to wheel and deal in the late rounds today. With the 135th pick received from an earlier trade, the Packers chose OT Josh Sitton from Central Florida. The Packers then traded their #137 pick to the ViQueens (who used it to pick up USC QB John David Booty) for #s 150 and 209.

You can read more about Sitton here.

Packers trade out of #128

Packers GM Ted Thompson has traded out of the #128 pick with the Rams for #s 137 & 217.

Packers take DE at start of fourth round

With the 102nd overall pick, the Packers selected DE Jeremy Thompson from Wake Forest. He led his team in sacks last year with 6.5. Had 112 tackles during his career.

It appears as if the Packers had targeted Thompson, as they traded up for this pick with the NY Jets, giving the Jets picks at #s 113 and 162.

You can learn more about Thompson here.

Packers take TE Jermichael Finley in 3rd round

With their first pick on day two of the 2008 NFL Draft, #91 overall, the Packers selected TE Jermichael Finley out of Texas. He's a big (6'5", 243 lbs.), athletic tight end with good hands who can go over the middle. He needs work on his blocking, though, as do most young tight ends. Pundits on the NFL Network said they liked the pick for the Packers.

Here's the story on him from the Packers site.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Packers select CB Patrick Lee

With their third and final pick of the day, the Packers took cornerback Patrick Lee from Auburn with pick #60. He's aggressive in press coverage, has good speed for a corner, and is a big, physical player according to the scouting report. But that same report indicates that he will need some seasoning. He had a good senior year after primarily being a back up until then. Playing behind Woodson and Harris for a year or two should be a plus, obviously.

Mel Kiper said that he liked Lee, and felt that he is a good pick for the Packers.

We'll all need to read up on Lee. So here's his profile.

Remaining Picks

The second day of the 2008 NFL Draft will see the Packers with the following picks (barring trades): #91 (3rd round), #113 (fourth round, acquired in the earlier trade with Jets), #s 128 and 135 (also fourth round), #162 (fifth round), #194 (sixth round), and #237 (seventh round).

Packers take QB Brian Brohm

With their second pick in today's draft, #56 overall, the Packers took Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, who some had projected as a late first round pick. Steve Young -- who knows a little bit about the position -- said on ESPN's coverage that while this is a good pick for the Packers it does nothing but put even more pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Young said Brohm is not a project, but is ready to play now. Another commentator said Brohm was the "steal of the draft. The Packers site has this to say about Brohm, who is 6'3", 228 lbs.: "Brian started 33 games at Louisville. He closed his career as the Big East Conference's all-time record holder in passing yardage, becoming the first player in league history to throw for over 10,000 yards (10,775) He finished second on the school's career-record list with 780 pass completions and 1,185 pass attempts. He compiled a 24-9 record as a starter."

We knew the Pack would take a QB. But getting Brohm -- the third QB taken in the draft -- is indeed a steal.

In an on-air interview, Brohm said he talked with Coach Mike McCarthy. Brohm said he felt the Packers would be a great fit for him with the West Coast offense.

Here's the scouting profile on Brohm.

Packers take Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson

With their first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, #36 overall, the Packers selected Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson. He's only been a receiver for three years. He had a great Senior Bowl, according to reports, where he really turned some heads...apparently including that of Ted Thompson. Has good size at almost 6'3". "Sneaky fast" as one of the pundits put it. He was a sprint champion in high school, and has 4.5 speed. Mel Kiper says he "catches everything thrown to him" and is a very good athlete. A "good pick" according to Kiper. From the Packers site: "The consensus All-American shattered school and Big Twelve Conference season-records in 2007, hauling in 122 passes for 1,606 yards (13.2 avg) and eleven touchdowns. He scored twice on five punt returns for 264 yards (52.8 avg) and registered a school record 140 points."

For the scouting report on Nelson -- who was one of those names that never came up as a person of interest -- check here. Get to know your new Packers receiver!

Packers trade out of #30

The Packers only took about 4 minutes on the clock to...trade their #30 pick in the first round to the NY Jets. Ted Thompson does it again, fans! The Pack now pick at #36, and it was just announced that the Packers also get the Jets fourth round pick as part of the deal, which is the third in that round, #113 overall. So, we drop 6 spots and get an additional pick at the start of round four. The magic of Trader Ted at work!

It's Draft Day, Kids!

It just seems to fit. A day in the upper Midwest that feels more like late October than late April. In other words, it's football weather. And that means: the NFL Draft is here! (Yes, I know. The weather doesn't cause the NFL Draft to happen...it's a bit of hyperbole...but that also is very fitting for draft day, isn't it? I mean, if the NFL Draft isn't about hype what is?)

So, anyway, the latest news -- or at least, speculation -- is that the Packers will trade down out of their #30 first round pick. Certainly given GM Ted Thompson's proclivities and history, that wouldn't be a shocker.

One of the ideas being tossed about this a.m. on Milwaukee's 620WTMJ radio station by sports guy Jay Sorgi is that the Packers would do a deal with Atlanta. Huh? OK, stay with us now. Under Sorgi's scenario, Atlanta -- which has the #3 pick overall -- needs a QB. Many mock drafts have the Falcons picking Boston College QB Matt Ryan. But the Rams might also go for Ryan and they're sitting at #2. Or, the Falcons might decide their greatest need is on defense, where they would likely go with LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, or a running back where the hands-down choice is Darren McFadden. So, carrying on with Sorgi's scenario, if Ryan is gone or they decide to go with Dorsey or McFadden, the Falcons will still need a quality QB while the pickings are still good. If Ryan is off the board, and the Falcons don't have him, they may savor the Pack's pick at #30 if the next highest QB prospect is still on the board. That would be, under Sorgi's view and that of some other analysts, Louisville's Brian Brohm.

Now, here is where this scenario becomes interesting (I know, finally, right?). Atlanta has three picks in round two, including two of the first six selections. Hmmm...would Thompson give up #30 to perhaps pick up an additional two second rounders? That would give him four picks in the second round. Gotta admit, that does sound intriguing. Especially since Thompson has already said they are going to stick by their draft board and always take the best available player. If I was Ted, I'd do this deal.

But is it likely that the Falcons would pass up Ryan? I have to concur with many of the mock drafts out there that have the Falcons taking him at #3. In which case Sorgi's idea -- as fascinating as it is -- goes down the drain. That's not to say, however, that something like it might not happen. You can read more about Sorgi's scenario here.

And for excellent overviews of the Packers needs, draft possibilities, etc., check out the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's analysis here, as well as this article from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, which also says it's likely Thompson will trade down...but which also raises the name of Oregon RB Jonathon Stewart as a possible pick, while acknowledging it's unlikely he'll make it to #30. And given the Packers other needs -- despite Thompson's best player available approach -- it's unlikely he'd take Stewart over some of the other prospects available at #30.

Having said all that, my expectation is that Ted will trade down to acquire more picks. Which team or teams that will happen with, and for which picks, remains to be seen (that's not too obvious a statement is it?). But it's an exciting day, Packer fans!

Keep checking back here to Packerfansunited.com for updates and comments throughout the draft today and tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Favre on Letterman - did you see it?

Packers QB Brett Favre was on the David Letterman show on CBS last evening, during which it was also announced that he was -- as reported here earlier yesterday -- the new cover boy for the Madden '09 game. But that was really anti-climactic to the conversation between Dave and Brett. Particularly when Letterman asked Brett whether he might start feeling something as mini-camps start up. "You know what, not with mini-camps. I wasn't excited about it last year. I think when training camp gets close, I will - something's bound to happen." That's when Letterman got excited. "You just said, 'Something's bound to happen,' so this makes me think you're not retired." With that quirky smile and almost a sense of embarrassment, Brett said "Butterflies, or I don't know, something's bound to happen."

But no need for me to rehash it. Because if you missed it, you can now see the entire segment on YouTube. To be precise, you can find it here. Definitely worth watching.

Draft Names from the Voice of the Packers
On this morning's sport segment on 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee -- the flagship station for Packer games -- Wayne Larrivee, the Voice of the Packers, was asked what names he is hearing as of possible interest to the Packers.

Larrivee said that GM Ted Thompson is high on USC offensive tackle Sam Baker, who was a four-year starter at USC and a three-time All American. Scout services rate him as a late first round or early second round pick which, with the Pack at #30, would be a good fit. Offensive tackle is not an immediate need for the Packers, but it will be coming up in the next year or two. Baker wouldn't need to be an immediate starter but certainly seems to have a pedigree -- as well as the size (6'5" and 309 lbs.) to perhaps make him a good pick at #30.

Other names that Larrivee mentioned include some of the same names we have also mentioned in prior posts: CB Tracy Porter from Indiana (and while acknowledging his coverage skills Larrivee noted that he found it somewhat funny that Porter has basically said he "doesn't like contact"...what game are we playing again???); tight ends Dustin Keller from Purdue and John Carlson from Notre Dame (man, we've got a real state of Indiana thing going on here, don't we?).

Second and later round possibilities mentioned included LB Ali Highsmith out of LSU. One name which Larrivee mentioned that is under the radar (no more, I guess) is QB Josh Johnson out of San Diego. Here's the summary on Johnson from nfldraftscouts.com: "Johnson led the nation in passing efficiency (198.3), total offense (371.4 ypg) and points responsible for (27.4 ppg)…His passing efficiency rating set a new NCAA Championship Subdivision season-record…Also ranks fourth nationally in yards passing per game (298.8 ypg) and 13th in pass completions (20.6 pg)…Set another NCAA season-record, as only 0.332 of his pass attempts (one of 301) were intercepted." He is projected to go anywhere from the second to fifth rounds. We had previously heard mention of San Diego State QB Kevin O'Connell as a draft possibility, but Josh Johnson is a new -- and intriguing -- name to add to the watch list.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fans seem split on Culpepper as a Packer

In an online fan poll at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, out of currently about 2,000 votes cast at the time of this post, there seems to be a fairly even split between those who feel the Packers should sign free agent QB Daunte Culpepper and those who say they shouldn't. Right now, it's about 52% "No" and 48% "Yes." I think a lot of the "No's" may be basing their responses off their latent negative feelings for Culpepper from his days as a ViQueen: he was not well liked by Packer fans, especially when he and Randy Moss hooked up, or when he did his silly little "rolling rolling" hand movements after a big play. OK, based on that alone, admittedly, one can see why some fans feel the way they do.

However, Culpepper -- for now -- is about the only available veteran QB on the market. Given that the current backups to Aaron Rodgers consist of Jerry Baab and Dalton Bell...well...Culpepper is definitely an option to consider. And, admit it, anyone looks better in green 'n' gold than in purple. I mean, c'mon...

Reminder: Favre on Letterman tonight

As noted here in a prior post, Brett Favre will be appearing on the David Letterman show on CBS tonight. Would seem to be worthwhile tuning in, since this will be Brett's first national TV appearance since his retirement.

In addition, SportsBusiness Daily reports that Brett will be on the cover for the new "Madden NFL 09," video game. Apparently, he'll make that announcement official this evening on Letterman. From tossing footballs to pitching products...welcome to the world of the retired QB, Brett.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Culpepper a Packer?

Reports out of Green Bay, both locally and on ESPN, indicate that QB Duante Culpepper is visiting the Packers today. Culpepper was with Oakland last year and is now a free agent. At 31, Culpepper is one of those QBs whose best years are behind him. That's why the Pack is looking at him as a possible veteran backup to new starter Aaron Rodgers. To read more about Culpepper's visit to Green Bay, go here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Who's visited the Pack lately?

While Packers GM Ted Thompson holds his draft interests tight to his vest, it might be a bit easier to learn about his overall interests, including late round and free agent possibilities, by discovering who the Pack has had in for visits. But rather than have all of us checking out the nooks and crannies of Lambeau, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has compiled such a list for us.

Among those who have paid the Pack a visit: WR Luke Swan from Wisconsin, who was the Badgers' #1 receiver before tearing his hamstring in October versus Illinois -- very good hands, and quick enough at 4.59 in the 40 before the injury; Kevin O'Connell, the 6'6", 225-pound QB out of San Diego State; punter Ken DeBauche, also from Wisconsin, who averaged 42.5 per punt and can also hold on field goals and PATs; LB Tavares Gooden from Miami, who is a very fast and effective linebacker but who had hip and hamstring injuries that make him a question mark; and WR Pierre Garcon from Division III Mount Union who is another small but fast receiver and returner.

And while he hasn't been in for a visit, the Packers have contacted UW-Whitewater coach Lance Leipold since RB Justin Beaver ran 40 yards in 4.49 seconds and lifted 225 pounds 25 times at UW pro day on March 5. At 5'7" and 191 pounds, Beaver seems undersized, but he broke the WIAC rushing record with 6,584 career yards, and demolished Mount Union in the Division III National Championship game with 249 yards in 31 carries (8.0 average) as he literally carried Whitewater to victory. Sometimes, it's the size of the man's heart that makes a winner. Beaver should get signed as a free agent after the draft; whether it will be with the Packers or not we'll have to wait to see.

You can read the full report on those who the Pack have had in here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

One week to Christmas...er...Draft Day!

OK. I admit it. And you should, too. True football fans get a bit geeked up this time of year. It's one week until the NFL Draft and you get that same feeling you had when you were a kid around Christmas-time. You just can't wait to see what's under the tree. The excitement is palpable. And then...for that one year you got that hot bike you wanted...you had more years of underwear and socks than even more years of therapy can help erase. But I digress...

The point is, this is an exciting time. Mock drafts abound. Speculation as to which of the bottom feeders will wind up with the top picks -- or blow it somehow -- are all over the place. When you get to the bottom of the first round, however, where the Packers are set to pick at #30, it would seem that this is a year when need trumps best player available. As has been noted here in prior posts, most of the pundits have the Pack taking a cornerback with that pick. Some have the Pack taking a tight end and going for corner with one or both of the second round picks we have. I've even seen some mock drafts that go through rounds five and six. Please. It does make for entertaining reading on a rainy day, but it would seem that once you get past the middle of the first round everything is pretty much up for grabs.

With that in mind, there is an interesting article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel evaluating GM Ted Thompson's drafts from 2005 on. As the article states, "Thompson has swung nine trades involving 11 draft picks, netting him a total of 17 picks that he has used to help rebuild the roster." Perhaps more importantly from a tendency standpoint, "All of the trades have been downward in the draft."

OK. So how did all that turn out?

So-so, according to the article: "Perhaps the best way to categorize it would be this way: He whiffed in '05, he hit it big in '06 and he played slightly better than a draw in '07. Of the 17 picks Thompson used through his trades down the draft board, 10 players who played at least one game last season are still on the roster."

Not exactly a science, is it? Still -- and especially with Thompson at the helm -- one never really knows what will happen. And despite many saying that the Packers really don't need much of an overhaul, there can never be too many good players...and sometimes, just players...on a squad. That may be why Thompson prefers to trade down to get quantity over quality. Not that he hasn't hit big on a few picks, as the article points out. But in general, it wouldn't be surprising to see Thompson trade out of that first round pick if there's no one there that he feels he has to have with that pick. But if there is a gem in any of the areas where the Pack can use assistance -- such as cornerback, tight end, O- and D-lines, perhaps even quarterback (see an intriguing article from PackersNews.com about that possibility here) -- Thompson would pull the trigger. After all, he already has three picks in the first 60 which should give him a good quality and quantity feel going into the mid to later rounds of the draft.

It's beginning to look a lot like draft day! Deck the halls! Here comes Santa Claus...

(To read the full Journal-Sentinel article about Thompson's drafts, go here.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Packers to retire Brett's No. 4 at first game

The Packers announced today -- and not really to the surprise of many -- that the team would retire Brett Favre's #4 at the first regular season game on September 8 vs. the ViQueens. This will the nationally televised season opener for Monday Night Football, as well.

Do you think that will possibly add any pressure to the regular season debut of new QB Aaron Rodgers???

Brett's number will be the sixth retired by the Packers, joining wide receiver Don Hutson's #14, fullback Tony Canadeo's #3, quarterback Bart Starr's #15, linebacker Ray Nitschke's #66 and defensive end Reggie White's #92. That's quite an elite group. It becomes even more so with the addition of ol #4.

Whatchya think? Will that be a hot ticket?

Draft musings

We're a little more than a week away from the NFL Draft, so it's time to start taking a look at who the Packers might pick, especially in the first round...assuming GM Ted Thompson doesn't decide to trade up or, more likely, trade down.

Mock drafts abound across the Internet, so you can do your own research when you have too much time on your hands...like yours truly. Kidding. And our own poll here at PackerFansUnited.com (open until the start of the draft in the right hand column...vote now!) has the majority of folks saying the Pack will pick a cornerback with their first pick. That seems to be the overall consensus of the mock drafts, as well. Still, there are some folks who have the Packers looking for a tight end with that pick...might not be a bad idea since the Packers roster is a bit thin there right now.

So...who ya got?

Well, a brief scan of the mock drafts reveals such possibilities as: CB Aqib Talib from Kansas (although several mock drafts show him going much higher than the Pack's #30); TE Dustin Keller from Purdue (who also shows up in one mock draft as the Packers first pick in the second round); CB Brandon Flowers from VA Tech; T Chris Williams of Vanderbilt; CB Tracy Porter of Indiana. Second round picks include Keller (noted earlier), OG Roy Schuening from Oregon State, OLB Erin Henderson of Maryland, OT Duane Brown of Virginia Tech, DT Pat Sims of Auburn...well, so it goes...

One interesting name that pops up occasionally and would seem to be a dark horse of sorts given the Packers' more immediate needs is that of QB Brian Brohm of Louisville. His stock seems to place him late first round or early second round, as he is essentially a pocket passer with good but not great arm strength. He is very accurate, however, which in the Packers scheme might be a fit...that doesn't sound quite right, but you know what I mean (an accurate passer is a good fit in any scheme). While we aren't looking for a starter, we are looking for a capable back up to Aaron Rodgers (honestly, are there any fans yet who aren't placing bets on how long Rodgers lasts before getting hurt?). Given the dearth of veteran backups now available, it is not out of the question that the Packers would use one of their picks within the first three rounds to grab a QB. Another name in that regard that has been mentioned is John David Booty of USC, who shares some of the same characteristics of Brohm, but whose size drops him down the rankings. Still, he is well-suited, according to scouting reports, for the West Coast offense and his intangibles would make him a good candidate in the second or third rounds...right about where the Pack might look to bolster a very young and inexperienced QB corps.

Stay tuned, Packer fans...no doubt there will be more speculation to come in the days ahead.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brett to appear on Letterman

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Brett Favre will appear on CBS-TV’s “Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday, April 24. According to the report, Brett was a guest on the show one other time, in January 1997. So, tune in, Packer fans! Should be very interesting to hear what Brett has to say. And, if Letterman does his usual shtick, he'll no doubt have Brett throwing passes in the studio or on the street. Fun and frivolity for all!

2008 Packers Schedule Released

Hot off the NFL presses, the Packers full 2008 schedule was released today. It includes three Monday Night Football games on ESPN and one Sunday night game on NBC. Let the prognostications begin! And, by the way, the schedule can always be found in the righthand column of links.

2008 Preseason Season Schedule
Mon., Aug. 11 Cincinnati Bengals (Bishop's Charities Game) 7 p.m. ESPN
Sat., Aug. 16 @ San Francisco 49ers 8 p.m. State
Fri., Aug. 22 @ Denver Broncos 8 p.m. State
Thurs., Aug. 28 Tennessee Titans (Gold Pkg.) (Midwest Shrine Game) 7 p.m. State

2008 Regular Season Schedule
Mon., Sept. 8 Minnesota Vikings 6 p.m. ESPN
Sun., Sept. 14 @ Detroit Lions 12 noon FOX
Sun., Sept. 21 Dallas Cowboys (Gold Pkg.) 7:15 p.m. NBC
Sun., Sept. 28 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12 noon FOX
Sun., Oct. 5 Atlanta Falcons 12 noon FOX
Sun., Oct. 12 @ Seattle Seahawks 3:15 p.m. FOX
Sun., Oct. 19 Indianapolis Colts 3:15 p.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 26 Open Date
Sun., Nov. 2 @ Tennessee Titans 12 noon FOX
Sun., Nov. 9 @ Minnesota Vikings 12 noon FOX
Sun., Nov. 16 Chicago Bears (Gold Pkg.) *12 noon FOX
Mon., Nov. 24 @ New Orleans Saints 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Sun., Nov. 30 Carolina Panthers *12 noon FOX
Sun., Dec. 7 Houston Texans *12 noon CBS
Sun., Dec. 14 @ Jacksonville Jaguars *12 noon FOX
Mon., Dec. 22 @ Chicago Bears 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Sun., Dec. 28 Detroit Lions *12 noon FOX

All times indicated are Central.
* Start time may shift due to NFL flexible scheduling.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Brett's done...but...

If you're Aaron Rodgers, it might not be what you want to hear: if you're hurt, well, yeah, Brett might be enticed into coming back.

That's what Brett told the Biloxi Sun-Herald in an interview posted on its website yesterday. While stating that he is still completely comfortable with his decision to retire, he intimated that if the Packers called him to help out, should Rodgers go down, he would certainly have to think about it. "It would be hard to pass up, I guess," he said. "And if that opportunity presented itself and they did call, it would be tempting. And I very well could be enticed to do it."

So, Aaron, you better stay healthy. Or your predecessor could become your successor.

Check out more here and here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Brett says "Nyet"

Remember that story on Thursday from the LA Times (as I said at the time, folks, it was LA) which said that Brett's agent was quietly shopping around to see if any teams were interested in Brett playing for them? Not only did Brett's agent deny it at the time, but on Friday Brett told Peter King of Sports Illustrated, "That's the last thing I'm thinking about." Further, Brett said, "I have no idea where that came from, but it certainly didn't come from me. I'm happy about my decision and I haven't once said, 'I wonder if I made the wrong decision.' I know it's the right one."

Brett had a few other comments as well, which you can read for yourself here.

While acknowledging that "anything could happen" in regards to a possible return, "Ninety-nine percent of what he (Brett) said in a 20-minute conversation was very much about football being in the rearview mirror," writes King. So don't be looking for Brett this fall on the football field...other than to see his number retired at Lambeau.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Report: Favre might not be retired just yet

Oh boy...You just knew this stuff would happen. As long as Brett has not yet officially filed his retirement papers with the league and players' union -- which he hasn't -- the possibility of his return to play continues to bubble up.

The latest version is a story in today's Los Angeles Times by Sam Farmer stating that, "Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who announced his retirement last month after 17 seasons, could be weighing a comeback with another team. According to NFL sources, Favre's agent has quietly inquired with teams about their interest in trading for the three-time NFL most valuable player."

OK. What does Brett's agent have to say? According to the article, "Reached today, agent James 'Bus' Cook said he was not aware of Favre's interest in resuming his career. 'That's news to me,' Cook said. 'I don't think that has anything to do with anything. He's retired, period, point blank.'"

In addition, the Packers still hold the rights to Brett, of course. And while they could trade him to another team...do you really think that would happen if Brett still wanted to play? Not a chance.

But if you care to indulge in this latest speculation, you can check out the LA Times article here. But just remind yourself: it's LA. 'Nuff said.

Preseason schedule set

The NFL announced today that the Packers will open their preseason schedule with a Monday Night Football game from Lambeau Field, hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on August 11. This will be the 48th annual Bishop's Charities Game, a charitable game initiated in 1961 by Vince Lombardi and the Diocese of Green Bay that has raised more than $3.4 million. Week 2 will see the Pack take on the 49ers, Week 3 will have the Pack at Denver, and the final preseason game will be the Midwest Shrine charity game at Lambeau versus the Titans. This will be the 59th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, which began in 1950 and has raised more than $3.1 million for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals for crippled children. Other than the 7 p.m. start time for the game versus the Bengals, dates and times for the other games are still to be announced.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pack gets extra pick

The NFL yesterday announced the addition of 32 compensatory picks in this year's draft to teams that suffered significant free-agent losses the prior season. The Packers got word that they received an extra fourth-round pick, number 135 overall (last of the round), due to the losses of running back Ahman Green and tight end David Martin. The Packers picked up reserve cornerback Frank Walker, who is already gone to another team. Of the 32 picks, only eight were higher than that the Packers received.

What kind of player can one expect with a compensatory pick? This is the highest the Pack has received since 2002, when it used the pick -- also #135 -- on running back Najeh Davenport. Others selected with compensatory picks include center Scott Wells (seventh), quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (sixth), guard Marco Rivera (sixth), cornerback Tyrone Williams (third), punter Josh Bidwell (fourth), quarterback Aaron Brooks (fourth), tackle Tony Moll (fifth) and end Dave Tollefson and tight end Clark Harris (both seventh).

The Pack now has eight picks, including two each in the second and fourth rounds. Overall, there are three picks in the top 60 and six in the top 135. Not bad. Especially in what GM Ted Thompson and many others consider a deep draft. Thompson is known for parlaying his picks into even more picks. If he feels he can package a pick or two and move down without losing the player he wants while picking up even more picks, you just know that's what his tendency will be.