Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rodgers NFC Offensive Player of the Month

With all the discussion this week -- and many others -- about Green Bay's old quarterback, lost in the shuffle to a degree is the Packers' current QB. That would be a shame because Aaron Rodgers has just been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month. Congrats, Mr. Rodgers!

Here's the official announcement from the Pack with all the details:

"Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the Offensive Player of the Month for October, the NFL announced today. Rodgers led the Packers to a 2-1 record and posted an NFL-best 123.9 passer rating during the month. He passed for 988 yards in October and averaged a league-high 329.3 yards per game. Rodgers completed an NFC-best 74.5 percent of his passes (70 of 94) during October and his 10.51 yards per attempt mark led the league. He had a passer rating of at least 110 in all three games, including a near-perfect 155.4 mark in Week 7 at Cleveland, the highest single-game total in franchise history. Rodgers has now posted a 110+ rating in four consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr (1966) as the only Packers to accomplish the feat. In his fifth season from California, this is Rodgers' first career Player of the Month Award. He is the second Packer to win a monthly award this year, joining Charles Woodson (Defense, September). The last Green Bay quarterback to win a monthly award was Brett Favre (November 2004)."

Read that one statement again: "Rodgers has now posted a 110+ rating in four consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr (1966) as the only Packers to accomplish the feat." And his passer rating of 123.9 during the month was also the best in the league...and he averaged a league-high 329.3 yards per game. Holy Air Rodgers, Batman!

So, while fans might take a trip down memory lane on Sunday, let's also feel very good about the memories yet to come. Very good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What to do when Brett returns?

This is a question which has been kicked about since the moment the Packers world knew Ol' #4 would be playing in the funky purple for the ViQueens: how should/will fans react when Brett Favre re-enters Lambeau Field? It's been discussed on sports talk radio and TV, in print and, yes, even in this blog where one of the ideas floated was to basically stand (or sit) in silence, turning one's back as if in a shunning ceremony. No boos, no cheers, just a turning of the back to "stick it" to Brett to reciprocate for his manipulating things to be able to play with this hated division rival so he could "stick it" to the Packers. Seems reasonable. Or not, depending upon perspective.

And there are many perspectives on this issue. One of the more reasoned ones is in today's online Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by sports editor Garry D. Howard. He makes a compelling case for a bit of a middle path (the Buddha would be proud): cheering Brett loudly when he enters the stadium as a sign of gratitude for all he did for the Packers; then booing him just as vociferously (look it up) during the 60 minutes of play. As Howard states, "Deep down, he is a Green Bay Packer. And you know this. The hate you feel is just the passion that burns for the Green and Gold, not your true feelings about a player that some of you even named your sons after. So when No. 4 enters the building from which he was so famously extricated, show your class."

It seems, though, that a majority of Packer fans (or at least, those responding to the online poll) aren't quite on the same page with Mr. Howard about this. As of the time of this posting, more than 13,000 readers have voted on the Journal-Sentinel poll. And here are the results...

If you're in the stands at Lambeau Field when Brett Favre is introduced, do you boo or cheer him?
  • Boo him (49%)
  • Cheer him (31%)
  • Do nothing (20%)
Total Responses: 13,165

You can read Howard's article here. You can also find the poll there if you care to voice your opinion.

Or... you can vote in our own poll -- found in the righthand column -- and let us know how you think the fans should react when Brett enters Lambeau.

Well...we're waiting!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Packer bliss

Is it just me, or does the day after a Packers victory just have an afterglow that doesn't compare with anything. Well...OK...maybe there are a few things but that's a little TMI (too much information, for you acronym-challenged out there), thank you very much.

We are blissing out today not only because of the Packers win, but because we hit the trifecta yesterday: the victory by the Pack, a loss by Da Bearz (a humiliating loss...regrets to my friend, Billy Da Bearz Fan...but even he knows that's true), and a heartbreaking loss by Ol' #4 and his fellow ViQueens.'s great to be a Packers fan!

We'll return later on to talk a bit, maybe, about yesterday's victory. But mainly, we'll be looking ahead to the game coming up on Sunday. The rematch. The game that will show whether the Packers are in fact to be counted among the better teams in the league, or whether they still have a ways to go.

But a few things to chew on in the meantime.

Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters today that TE Jermichael Finley will likely miss the ViQueens game because of a knee sprain suffered yesterday. WR Brett Swain was apparently also injured yesterday and will have knee surgery; he's done for the season. WR and returner Jordy Nelson is still out "a couple more weeks" according to McCarthy with the knee sprain he suffered last week. So that takes the Pack down to just 5 healthy receivers and tight ends. Not much room for more knocks to the depth chart there. To that end, McCarthy said, "We'll acquire another receiver definitely. We're working through (that) right now. Personnel department is looking at their options. We'll probably make a decision in the next 24 hours." McCarthy noted that moving up Jake Allen from the practice squad is a "definite possibility."

The Packers will be getting Chad Clifton back into practice this week, and Jason Spitz will also be evaluated. Mark Tauscher and newly-signed Ahman Green will be evaluated to see how they fit into the game plan for the Vikes. McCarthy indicated that going into this week of practice the Packers will go with the offensive line that finished the Browns game: rookie LT T.J. Lang (who again acquitted himself quite well), LG Daryn Colledge, C Scott Wells, RG Josh Sitton and RT Allen Barbre. Of special note from yesterday was the fact that for the first time this year Aaron Rodgers was not sacked. Yes, you read that right. No sacks.

The Packers defense has been nothing short of great over the last several games. Granted, not exactly the highest calibre teams on the planet. But still. Here's a few stats to mull over.
  • Against the ViQueens (and Adrian Peterson!) the Packers allowed just 63 yards rushing; against Detroit, 78 yards rushing; versus the Browns, 58 yards.
  • Across those three games, the defense has allowed only 1 rushing touchdown.
Seems as if the rush defense is hitting its stride.

Is that enough of a mouthful to chew on for a while?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Final: Packers 31 - Browns 3

The Packers only score of the final quarter came after their defense held the Browns on 4th and goal from the 1. The Pack then put together a 99-yard touchdown drive which included a nice little scramble by Aaron Rodgers and a 37-yard run by Ryan Grant. The touchdown came courtesy of a 5-yard TD pass to James Jones. Packers 31 - Browns 3.

And that's where the scoring ended. Matt Flynn came in to relieve Aaron Rodgers with about 9 minutes remaining in the game. Brandon Jackson filled in for Ryan Grant.

On the day, the Packers had 25 first downs to 12 for Cleveland. The Packers outgained the Browns in yardage 460 to 139. Aaron Rodgers was 15 for 20 on the day, for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ryan Grant carried 27 times for 148 yards and a 5.5 yards-per-carry average...there we go! There's that rushing game. Yes, it was only Cleveland...but ya gotta start somewhere.

So not a perfect game, again, primarily because of the penalties. But pretty darn good overall on most of the other fronts, including a lack of sacks (might have been one where Rodgers pulled the ball down to run and didn't get far). The defense continues to impress and with the offense getting a running game going today it becomes even more of a challenge for opposing teams to defense.

The Pack goes to 4-2 on the season. And the other good news of the day is that the Steelers beat the ViQueens, 27-17. It appeared as if the 'Queens would take the lead in the closing minute as they were driving when a short screen pass went off the hands of RB Chester Taylor, was intercepted, and returned for a touchdown by the Steelers. Yahoo yahoo!

Now, if the Bengals can just beat Da Bearz in Cincy it will be an absolutely Packerlicious (trademark!) day.

End of 3rd quarter: Packers 24 - Browns 3

The story of the 3rd quarter for the Packers was, unfortunately, the reemergence of dropped passes, penalties and missed opportunities. Yes, deju vu all over again, kids.

For example, on the Packers first drive of the half, they converted a 3rd down play to a 1st down at roughly the Browns' 25-yard line. However, the play was negated by a holding penalty -- questionable -- on TE Donald Lee. On the next play, a 3rd and 20, Lee dropped the pass. This set up a 55-yard field goal attempt, which Mason Crosby proceeded to push wide left. Missed opportunity.

The Browns then started with their best field position of the day at their own 45. On a 3rd down pass to Joshua Cribbs, which would have been good for a first down, he fumbled the ball after making the catch and it was recovered by Brandon Chillar. The Packers eventually had 1st and goal from the 9-yard line and, yup, couldn't get the ball across the goal line. One run and 2 completed passes and still couldn't get it the endzone. (Reminder: the Packers rank a lousy 25th in redzone efficiency.) An 18-yard field goal by Crosby made the score 24-3.

On the Browns next series their best offense was penalties on the Packers: encroachment, pass interference and unnecessary roughness. This and a few good plays by the Browns eventually got them to 1st and goal at about the 1-yard line. The quarter ended with the Browns looking to score.

Halftime: Packers 21 - Cleveland 3

Coming out of the 1st quarter break, the Browns kicked a short field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The Packers responded by executing their own scoring drive, finished off with a 41-yard TD pass (mostly on yards after catch) to TE Spencer Havner...the first TD of his career. 7-3 Packers.

The Packers defense then held Cleveland and forced a punt; however, the Packers punt return unit had 12 men on the field. As TV commentator and former DB John Lynch said, "Inexcusable." Yup.

But, the Packers "D" held yet again and the Packers got the ball back. It didn't take long for Aaron Rodgers to connect with Donald Driver on a 71-yard TD play, to go up 14-3. It was the Packers' longest TD pass play of the year, although about 60 of those yards were on a great run-after-catch by Driver.

On the Browns' next series, the Packers' defense began turning up the pressure -- finally -- on QB Derrick Anderson, with good results: Charles Woodson got another interception and took the ball down to the Browns' 15-yard line. From there, the Pack took it down to have 1st and goal from about the 3-yard line. A pass interference call in the endzone gave the Packers the ball at the 1 with 1st and goal. Two runs failed to advance the ball. Finally, Ryan Grant was able -- just able -- to get the ball across the goal line. The ball came out but Grant was judged to have possession when he crossed into the endzone. There was no challenge. Packers 21 - Browns 3.

With time running down in the half, the Browns were able to get to about midfield and tossed a Hail Mary pass that was knocked down in the endzone.

So, the Packers look to be well in control of this game on both sides of the ball. And one very nice stat from the 1st half -- something I don't think we've seen all year -- is that Aaron Rodgers was not sacked once. Penalties on the offense have also been minimal.

The Packers outgained the Browns 236 yards to 82 in the half. There is no reason they shouldn't be able to continue this in the second half. Let's not put it in cruise control just yet though. There's another 30 minutes to go.

End of 1st quarter: Packers 0 - Browns 0

The Packers began the game kicking off to, and away from, Joshua Cribbs. The kick hit the endzone pylon -- deemed out of bounds -- and thus Cleveland began their first possession at the 40-yard line. The Packers held. They started their own drive from inside their own 20 and moved down to about the Browns 30, building on a series of successful runs and a pass to TE Jermichael Finley; Finley took a shot to the knee on the tackle and his return today is questionable. On 4th and about half-a-yard, though, the Packers ran a quarterback sneak and could not get the half-yard. Coach Mike McCarthy challenged the spot of the ball, as replays looked as if QB Aaron Rodgers had indeed picked up the first down; the call on the field, after viewing the replay, stood, however. Missed opportunity. Where we have seen this before?

The Browns built a potential scoring drive late in the quarter largely on a pass play onto which 15 yards was tacked because of a facemask penalty on Al Harris. The Browns took the ball down inside the Packers 5-yard line. On second and goal, QB Derrick Anderson fumbled the snap. Despite multiple Packers being around the ball, the Browns recovered. On the next play, LB Nick Barnett dropped what would have been an interception at about the 2-yard line, leaving the Browns to decide on a field goal or 4th-and-goal attempt as time ran out in the quarter.

There has been no pass rush on Browns' QB Anderson whatsoever. He went 5 for 6 on the Browns' scoring drive. Even a mediocre quarterback can be made to look good when he has all day to pass.

One of the unspoken fears of this game, coming off the flawed win versus Detroit and looking to the game against the ViQueens next weekend, is that the Packers would be flat for this game. Maybe. Maybe.

Packers - Browns Preview

The Packers are 3-2, the Browns are 1-5. The Packers are favored by 7...or 9, depending upon what spread you look at.

The Browns had a lot of players out sick with the flu this past week. Reports were that as many as 23 players were either ill or sidelined with injuries. Almost hard to have a practice with those numbers. Looking at the Browns' injury report is like looking at a list of...well...a lot of injured players.

This is one of those games that the Packers should win. The level of overall talent between the two teams isn't even close. Still, the Browns do have some individual standouts. The primary one that has received most of the attention, and rightly so, is return specialist and sometime wildcat-er (is that a word?) Joshua Cribbs. He can do some damage. I'm giving the Browns 7 points just because of him, whether taking it all the way on a return or setting up Cleveland in good field position after a long return.

Other players of note include Wisconsin's own Joe Thomas, who, at left tackle, is the best thing going on the Brown's offensive line. Man, how we could use him in Green 'n Gold! (Sigh.) The Browns do have veteran Jamal Lewis at running back. Two weeks ago against Buffalo he ran for 117 yards in 31 carries. Last week against Pittsburgh, Lewis rushed for only 21 yards in 11 tries. In other words, at this stage in his career, Lewis is a bit like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get. Let's hope the Lewis we get today is like that last bit of candy that just never makes it out of the box.

On defense, the player of some concern is NT Shaun Rogers. He was among the ill this past week and also has a foot problem. And while he might not be the dominant player he was when was with the Lions, he still leads the Browns' defensive linemen in tackles with 24, including one sack. He'll be going against C Scott Wells, in once again for Jason Spitz who is doubtful because of his back problems. Wells has something to prove, namely that he should still be the starting center for the Packers. And Rogers? Well, he just might want to make it known that he can still dominate when he wants to; the question today will be how much he wants to.

The injury report for the Packers looks like this today: Out - RB Korey Hall (calf), T Mark Tauscher (out), WR Jordy Nelson (knee); Doubtful - T Chad Clifton (ankle), Jason Spitz (back); Questionable - Brandon Chillar (neck); Probable - WR Greg Jennings (hip), RB Quinn Johnson (ankle), DT B.J. Raji (ankle), QB Aaron Rodgers (foot).

Again, this is one of those games the Packers should have no problem with unless they do themselves in. As noted last week, if all the miscues and missed opportunities in that game appeared against a better foe the win might very well have been in doubt. We're looking to see the Packers correct at least some of the problems that have plagued them over the first five games, particularly on offense. Depending upon how well they do that will determine how many points they put up. We're looking to the defense to once again put on a good performance against a team they should dominate.

We've already noted that we're giving the Browns 7 points for Joshua Cribbs being on the field. Give 'em another 3 for being at home. For the Pack, we're going to say they convert a few more of those trips in the redzone from the field goals of last week to touchdowns this week.

Prediction: Packers 31 - Browns 10.

Go Pack Go!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Which is worst: penalties or sacks?

For Packer fans through the first five games of the season, the matter of penalties and sacks is something that keeps us up at night. Well, OK, some of us. The Pack is leading the league in both categories. Not good.

But, is one of these maladies worse than the other in terms of its impact on games? Hmmm...have to admit, it seems a bit of a chicken-egg thing, doesn't it? Maybe not.

In a very good article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Packers beat writer Greg Bedard makes the case that, yes, penalties are not good but sacks are worse. And he's got some interesting stats to help back up his premise. But don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself here.

More on the Green signing
As sports writer Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes in a recent column, it didn't take long for the jokes to start flying -- including a few here -- about the signing of Ahman Green. But Vandermause also points out that this signing is perhaps a recognition, somewhat belatedly, by general manager Ted Thompson that having the youngest team in the league for the fourth straight year means there is not a lot veteran leadership or depth on the team. Thompson didn't sign Green to save the non-existent running game. He signed Green to be reliable backup at a position where there is now virtually none. As various sports talk shows are reminding listeners, Green was always good as a blocker -- Aaron Rodgers will be glad to hear that -- and as a receiver, especially on screen passes, which have also not been a big part of the offense lately.

One telling statement of how well the signing of Green, as well as that of Mark Tauscher, is being received in the locker room comes from fellow veteran Charles Woodson. Here's what Woodson had to say after the signing of Green was announced: "Anytime you're making moves to try to get better as a team, then I'm all for it. We know what these guys have done here in the past and we know they're eager to play. I definitely love when it's a veteran guy because I know veteran guys know exactly what it's about."

This comment by Woodson, "veteran guys know exactly what it's about," received a fair amount of attention on local sports call in shows, with more than one pundit making the point that Woodson basically was saying that the younger players just don't get what it's all about. For them, they think there will always be another game, another season in which to excel. Woodson, Green, Tauscher, Driver et al know otherwise. They know the time is now. There might not be another play to make a difference between a win and a loss, between the playoffs and a championship and going home till next season.

While leadership is part of what veterans bring, Woodson was adamant that what they bring is more than that. When a reporter suggested to Woodson that Green and Tauscher would help with leadership even if they didn't get into a game, Woodson was quick to state, "It'll help in the game. We ain't worried about the sideline. Our focus is on what happens in the game. You guys have been around a long time, you've seen Tausch, you've seen Ahman play football, so you know what kind of players they are. We look forward to having those guys out there when they're needed, when they're healthy and ready to go."

So, let's see what can happen. Tauscher is now taking part in full practices although it is doubtful he'll be ready for the Cleveland game. Green also, obviously, won't be ready to go Sunday. But having these players ready for duty when Ol' #4 returns the following week would definitely be a help. On the sideline and on the field.

Speaking of welcoming Favre back to Green Bay...
If you hadn't already heard about it, Green Bay's mayor is looking for ideas on ways to welcome Brent, er, Brett, back to town. Seriously. There's even an idea submittal form on the city's website. According to the site, "Mayor (Jim) Schmitt has fielded a wide variety of ideas from Packer fans on how to commemorate the occasion, from re-naming streets, to welcoming back other former Packers greats, to creating the world’s largest #4 waffle. The Mayor is reaching out to the community to create a list of the Mayor’s Top 4 things he can do to tastefully welcome back Brett Favre."

So good ahead, Packer fans, submit your ideas via the link above. And remember: be tasteful. I understand, that's a difficult requirement, but please try. You have until Wednesday, October 28.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yep, it's Green again in Green Bay

As noted here yesterday, the Packers were going retro in their search for a backup running back now that DeShawn Wynn has landed on the injured reserve list and is -- shocking! -- unavailable to play yet again.

The answer: Ahman Green! Yep, the same Ahman Green who the Packers parted ways with in 2007, and who was injury-plagued during his brief stint in Houston, is back with the Pack. And why not? He only needs 46 more yards to break Jim Taylor's all-time yardage rushing record for the Packers. At the rate the Pack has been rushing the ball and gaining yards, Green might just make that by the time the last game of the season rolls around.

While the Packers didn't release details of the deal, reports are that it was a one-year deal (oh, go ahead, Ted...make it a long-term deal while you're at it! sorry...sorry...totally uncalled for, I know...) for a prorated portion of the veteran's minimum and likely with incentives that could boost the dollars, of course.

So...what can you say? What's old is new -- and still old -- again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Penalties and other debris

The topic of ongoing penalties by the Packers under head coach Mike McCarthy's tenure is a topic of much discussion among Packer fans and sports pundits. Some of those thoughts were related in yesterday's post, including links to yet other articles about the topic.

Today, the online edition of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a poll about the subject. At the time of this posting, here are the results:

Does Mike McCarthy show enough concern over the number of Packers penalties?
  • Yes (8%)
  • No (92%)
Total Responses: 1,788

Guess, coach, fans aren't buying the old song and dance that "we'll get it cleaned up." We've heard that for the last few years and the Packers are still among the most penalized teams in the league. And then, refs begin looking for chances to throw the flags. You think they aren't eyeballing Chad Clifton every time he goes to the line of scrimmage to see if he is actually on the line of scrimmage?

Coach McCarthy also got a bit testy during his news conference yesterday when he was pressed on the subject of penalties. It doesn't really get conveyed in the transcript, but if you listen to the audio you should be able to sense his growing unease talking about the subject. Just go here and then click on coach McCarthy's press conference from Oct. 19.

Flashback or flash forward?
Reports out of Green Bay yesterday are that the Packers had RB Ahman Green in for a tryout yesterday. Whaaaaaaa...??? Yep. Ahman Green. Great. About 10 years ago, that is. Was cut by Houston in February after two seasons of ongoing injuries. At age 32, should he even be considered as a backup? And that's what we're talking here. But isn't it a reflection on personnel and/or coaching decisions when this is where things are at in regards to that position after just five games?

Let's review, shall we?

The decision was to keep Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn as the backups to Ryan Grant. Jackson is serviceable when healthy, which he hasn't been yet this season, being active for the first time against the Lions. Wynn has shown flashes on rare occasions when he's been healthy; his problem, however, is that he has never been healthy -- or willing play through minor injuries -- since he's been in the NFL.

As for the starter, Grant has been a non-factor in any form this season. He finally got off his longest run of the season -- 22 yards -- late in the game Sunday when the Lions had already been beaten. Not entirely his fault. The problems with the offensive line extend beyond giving up a league-leading sack count; there also just haven't been many holes to run through. (One wonders if even a back like Adrian Peterson could do anything given this current line. )

But back to personnel decisions. The Packers kept three fullbacks, which raised eyebrows at the time and perhaps is now coming back to haunt the team. Although this past Sunday, the team was down to only John Kuhn as both Korey Hall and rookie Quinn Johnson were out. But if the Pack had kept their leading rusher of the preseason, undrafted free agent Tyrell Sutton, the team might not now have to be looking at such alternatives as bringing in Ahman Green and Dominic Rhodes, another old-timer (age 30), as help in the running back department. Granted, Sutton might not have been the answer either. But at least he was fast and had fresh legs.

You can read more about this development here. Be sure to especially check out the reader comments afterward. Some priceless feedback.

Game Day Weather Link
In a continuing effort to provide at least some useful tools to Packer fans, I've recently added a "Packers 2009 Home & Away Weather Forecast" link in, appropriately enough, the "Links" section in the righthand column. Check it out there. Or here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Boy, are we spoiled, Packer fans

You'd think that after a win -- a win at home, a win against a divisional opponent, a win that is a shutout -- that we Packer fans would be reveling in yesterday's victory. Well, yes and no.

Definitely, it's always a good thing to get a "W" (political references aside, please). So why the kvetching (look it up)? Just review the posts from yesterday as the game went on: penalties, sacks, missed opportunities, redzone failures, no running game. We'll get back to all this in a moment.

Let's not forget the positives:
  • Donald Driver becoming the all-time Packers leader in receptions, surpassing Sterling Sharpe. Not bad for a 7th round draft pick who caught a grand total of 3 passes in his first season. Congratulations, Donald. Packers Hall of Fame here you come!

  • Aaron Rodgers passing for 358 yards.

  • Clay Matthews getting his first start at linebacker and making big plays in the process.

  • Aaron Kampman working occasionally from the down linemen position and looking like his old sack-meister self.

  • Mason Crosby nailing 4 field goals (OK, that was the Pack settling but give credit where it's due).

  • The entire defensive unit staying focused and pitching a shutout.
So, lots of good things. Really. So why so dissatisfied with this win? Rather than reprise my rants from yesterday, why not take a look at what sports reporter Jay Sorgi of 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee has to say. He entitles his article, "Analysis: Worst 26-Point Win EVER." Hmmm...wonder how he really feels? Read it for yourself here and find out. Pretty scathing. And pretty on target.

And if that doesn't do you in, check out Bill Michaels' blog, also at 620WTMJ. He takes on the Packers' sloppiness, penalties in particular, as now a multi-year problem under head coach Mike McCarthy. Check out this tidbit: "Mike McCarthy’s 'We’ll clean that up' phrase has now fallen upon deaf ears. To be honest, I’m beginning to question McCarthy’s capabilities as a head coach. There have been numerous moments that bring me to this more definitive doubt today but an undisciplined team, coming out of a break in which there was supposed to be a staunch concentration on 'cleaning up' the mental errors, leads me to believe that Mike McCarthy doesn’t have the ability, discipline capability or respect to fix the problems that have plagued this team for the last few years." Ouch! Check out the rest of what Michaels has to say here.

The Pack may get away with this kind of sloppiness against their next opponent, Cleveland. However, making these same bonehead mistakes against the next team to visit Lambeau -- that would be the ViQueens and Ol' #4 (as a popular T-shirt says, "We'll never forget you, Brent") -- will be a sure formula for a loss.

So, be happy with the victory. And pray for improvement.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Final: Packers 26 - Lions 0

November 17, 1946. That's the last time the Packers shut out the Lions. The last time the Pack shut out the Lions in Green Bay was five years before that. And the Packers' win streak over the Lions in the state of Wisconsin goes to 19 with today's 26-0 victory.

Aaron Rodgers had the fifth 300+ yards passing game of his career. He threw for 358 yards with 2 TDs and one interception on the day. Ryan Grant had his long run of the season, 22 yards, in the waning minutes of the game. S Atari Bigby made his presence known, picking off a pass in the endzone to preserve the shutout after the Lions had first and goal at the Packers' 9-yard line. Cullen Jenkins had an interception earlier in the game, and Al Harris also had a pick. The defense deserves a lot of credit for keeping Detroit off the scoreboard. Granted, the Lions didn't have many weapons. But keeping a zero on the board for 60 minutes against any team deserves credit. Great job, "D"!

So, yay! Packers win. Get a shut out. Go to 3-2 on the season. They head to Cleveland next weekend. That should put them at 4-2 going into the rematch with the ViQueens and Ol' #4 at Lambeau.

But in the meantime, can we please clean up the crappy play we saw way too much of today, Coach McCarthy? You know, the penalties, the sacks, the dropped balls, the missed opportunities in the redzone...that kinda stuff...the mistakes we have seen through the first five games of the season. No excuses at this point.

The Packers got their much-needed win against the Lions. But against healthier and better teams, such sloppiness will result in a loss rather than a win.

Get it together, guys. You've got all the potential in the world. But you have to start playing like it. And soon.

End of 3rd quarter: Packers 26 - Lions 0

The Packers conducted an 11 play, 70-yard drive chewing up more than 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter, getting down into the Lions' redzone for the fourth time today...and for the third out of those four times had to settle for another field goal. That has allowed Mason Crosby to tie his own record of 4 field goals in a game.

A key play which helped halt momentum was a short dump off pass to Ryan Grant who merely dropped the ball. Where we have seen that before this season? Oh yeah, the Packers lead the league in that category as well as sacks allowed. Great.

Another blown opportunity: on the Packers' fifth trip into the Lions' redzone -- 5, count 'em -- the Pack had the ball late in the quarter with first and goal at the Lions' 3-yard line. Rodgers got stripped of the ball on the fifth sack of the day. No points this time, not even a field goal. And...LT Chad Clifton came up limping and calling for help to get off the field. Not good, on two counts.

I know, I know...the Pack is winning. But if Detroit wasn't so banged up it could be a very different game. You fail to take advantage of repeated opportunities to get in the endzone against a decent team and it will come back to haunt you. The Packers don't seem to have that killer instinct. Or if they do, they shoot themselves in the foot with penalties, dropped balls and sacks given up.

Halftime: Packers 23 - Lions 0

Good news is still that the Packers lead, adding three field goals in the 2nd quarter, by a score of 23-0 over the Lions. But it could and should be so much more. Getting greedy, I know. But when you settle for field goals instead of touchdowns, you are leaving points on the field.

As the TV announcers, including former NFL players Daryl Johnson and Tony Siragusa, have been pointing out repeatedly, Packers' penalties -- now totalling 8 for the day -- and sacks (4 so far) are negating Packers' momentum.

Five times in the second quarter the Pack started within Lions' territory and wound up with only 9 points to show for it. Better than nothing, true. But the Pack could have completely put away the Lions by now. Instead, well, a couple plays, turnovers or breakdowns on the part of the Packers and the Lions are back in it.

We are seeing the same things we've seen all season in the way of lack of concentration, penalties and missed assignments leading to sacks on Aaron Rodgers. Three out of four of Detroit's starting defensive linemen are out of the game, and they still have gotten to Rodgers. No excuse.

The fact that these things have not been cleaned up after a bye week is concerning. If the Pack performed this way against a good team, the outcome might be different. This one will go in the "W" column, make no mistake. But the Packers have not capitalized on their opportunities.

End of 1st quarter: Packers 14 - Lions 0

The good news is the Packers are up 14-0 over the Lions at the end of the 1st quarter. The bad news is the Packers have had a plethora (look it up) of penalties: 6, to be exact. One wiping out an opening kickoff return by Jordy Nelson. A couple in a row on Chad Clifton, who is obviously knocking off the rust.

QB Aaron Rodgers is off to a good start, with 2 TD passes, one to WR James Jones and another to FB John Kuhn. Lots of completions. The flip side of that, of course, is the Packers are once again giving lip service to a running game. But I guess if Detroit is giving you what they are giving you in the passing game, why not?

Part of that passing gaming included WR Donald Driver becoming the all-time franchise leader in receptions.

There is a sloppiness on both offense and defense coming off a bye week which shouldn't be there. But as noted in the preview, nothing cures what ails you better than the Lions coming to town. That will go a long way to helping the Pack get out of their own way today.

Packers - Lions Preview

The cure for what ails most teams in the NFL -- sorry, Washington -- pays a visit to Lambeau Field today. The Detroit Lions come to town as a wounded and anemic team, with the result being the Pack favored by 14 points. Yikes! Almost sounds like one of those set-up games, doesn't it? Well, kids, if the Pack loses to Detroit...nah, not gonna happen. Detroit has lost 18 straight in the state of Wisconsin. Make it 19 when the game ends today. They are without their rookie megabucks QB and best receiver. Veteran QB Daunte Culpepper will get the start and, in his younger days, was known to give the Pack problems. He's not the player he was before blowing out his knee and being out of football for a while; but he's no chump either. The Packers better not take him for granted or he could do a bit of damage, particularly if he starts running. The lines on both sides of the ball for Detroit...not good.

On the other hand, we know all too well about the Packers' problems ever since the preseason ended and the regular season began. Won't rehash them here. Mainly because we're hoping that at least some of these issues -- primarily pass protection! -- have been addressed since the game in the Humpty Dump.

The Pack gets Chad Clifton back at left tackle but center Jason Spitz is questionable; word is that Scott Wells will get the start at center and rookie T. J. Lang, not Daryn Colledge, will be Clifton's backup. S Atari Bigby is also back in the lineup. And RB Brandon Jackson finally will get in a game as the backup to Ryan Grant. Fullback Korey Hall is out for today, which means John Kuhn will get all the work unless rookie Quinn Johnson is ready to go. B. J. Raji is still dealing with his gimpy ankle but will see action. And, yes, right tackle Mark Tauscher is back in the fold but will not play today.

Oh...Donald Driver needs only one catch today to become the Pack's all-time leading receiver in number of receptions.

So, what are we left with here? If the Pack doesn't dominate Detroit and play a full four quarters, well, let's not even go there. This is a game the Pack should win as long as they show up and play. We're taking the Packers 31-13 over the Lions.

Go Pack Go!!!

Kampman on the trade block?
There are starting to be rumors both in print and on TV -- including today's NFL on Fox pre-game show -- that Aaron Kampman is out of place in the new 3-4 scheme and, paraphrasing Howie Long, the best thing for both the Packers and Kampman would be to trade him before Tuesday's trade deadline. Others, quite naturally, disagree, suggesting instead that the Packers should roll with Kampman for the rest of the season, place a tag on him after the season is over and thus be able to get more in the way of compensation for him should he depart. See this article for more. Would hate to see Kampman go. So far, the experiment of moving him from a down defensive end to upright outside linebacker has been less than effective. Perhaps it will be become better as the season goes on. Personally, I can't see Ted Thompson pulling the trigger unless it was to get someone of the caliber of a starting offensive lineman like Joe Thomas, as has been previously rumored. My guess: don't count on this move until after the season concludes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rodgers holding the ball too long?

Any fan of the Packers over the first four games has undoubtedly found themselves shouting either at the game or at the TV, "Get rid of the ball!!!". This, in reference of course, to QB Aaron Rodgers seemingly preferring to take sacks over throwing the ball away when under pressure or when no receiver is open. The discussion of whether it's the sieve-like offensive line's fault or Rodgers' has been a topic of sports talk radio in Packerland for weeks. When you lead the league in sacks -- count 'em, 20 -- after four games, the answer would be instructive, although not totally answerable (btw, is answerable a real word...or just a make-it-up-able one?).

To further the statistical analysis of the situation and its impact upon a whole slew of things, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sports writer, Greg Bedard, compiled a slew of info for all the stat geeks out there. You can find that info here.

If you want to read what Rodgers himself had to say about this matter, check out the comments from his news conference yesterday.

Or, better yet, you can hear what Rodgers had to say this morning during a live on-air interview with the morning team at 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee. Either Rodgers is in fact the most low key guy around or he just woke up. Yes, it was at 7:15 a.m. so it's probably the latter. He was honest and straightforward about the problems and challenges facing the team right now, as well as what it's like playing in Green Bay. Definitely worth a listen, which you can do here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Packer tailgate option: Curly Lambeau's Cottage!

If you want a truly unique Packers tailgate option -- actually, even with or without the game involved -- you can now get together with your buddies for a few hours or the entire day at Curly Lambeau's actual cottage overlooking Green Bay's bay. How's that for putting a new spin on the Lambeau experience?

Turns out the cottage was purchased a number of years ago by the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. It's available for a minimum of 4 hours for $125 or the whole day (no overnights, though, sorry) for $175. What a deal!

The cottage is set up for meetings, teambuilding experiences, etc. It has a brick-laid fireplace, a small kitchen, and restrooms (those might come in handy, eh?). There's an outdoor barbecue and picnic area overlooking the bay. Sweet.

You can check out more details and see photos of the cottage and grounds here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tauscher IS back with the Pack!

The good news out of Packerland today is that veteran right tackle, Mark Tauscher, was signed to a contract, following about 11 months of rehab on his blown knee.

Here's the gist of the Packers' new release: "The Green Bay Packers have signed T Mark Tauscher and placed CB Will Blackmon on injured reserve. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the transactions Monday. Tauscher played his first nine NFL seasons (2000-08) with the Packers. He saw action in 122 games, including 120 starts. Blackmon, a fourth-year pro, had seen action in three games in 2009."

Coach Mike McCarthy said in his press conference today that it will probably take Tauscher at least a week to get back into enough football shape to be able to play. So, apparently, don't look to see him much if at all against Detroit on Sunday. More likely to get playing time the following week at Cleveland so he's really ready to go in that big Nov. 1 rematch at Lambeau against the ViQueens and Ol' #4.

It's also possible that both LT Chad Clifton and S Atari Bigby will get playing time this week, although Bigby was still held out of practice today, according to report.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

No...revenge had nothing to do with it...not at all

I know, I know. You're tired of it. Everybody's tired of it. But in case you haven't seen it, this photo has started making its way around the 'net in the last day or so. It's of the lovely Deanna Favre taking time to pose with a Vikings fan, in her suite, no less. Just check out the message on the guy's jersey.

Nope...revenge had nothing to do with playing for the 'Queens. Riiiiiiiiiiiiigggghhhhtttttt...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Remember "Gang Green"?

One of the nicknames which has in the past sometimes been applied to the Pack and/or its defensive unit in particular is Gang Green. For a time in the late 1970's and early 1980's, there was also a fan who assumed this persona. He attended every home game, whether at Lambeau Field or, as was the case then, County Stadium in Milwaukee. He was attired in a green fright wig and face paint, tights, T-shirt, and cape. We have that description from newspaper accounts. But we aren't able to find a photo.

Anyway, the reason for bringing this up, is that yours truly received a request from a loyal reader (yes, we do have them!) wondering if anyone out there had any photos of our old friend, Gang Green. Just thought I'd put it out there. If you do have a pic of Mr. Green, feel free to send it to us here at and we'll pass it along. Just click on the email link in the righthand column under our Welcome.

That's it. Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Favre most overrated?

By now you have probably already heard the news coming out of a Sports Illustrated poll of 239 current NFL players as to who is the most overrated player in the league. No? You haven't heard? Well, let's get you up to date then. Here are the results of this poll, which was conducted before Week #2 of the season:

  • Brett Favre 13%

  • Tony Romo 10%

  • Terrell Owens 8%

  • Eli Manning 7%

My oh my, how the mighty have fallen.

Surely, some players might be reconsidering their votes after Ol' #4's performance Monday night.

Or, maybe not. In a radio interview this morning on 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, Sports Illustrated NFL beat writer (and former NFL player) Ross Tucker said (paraphrasing) that the perception of universal love with which other players in the league hold Brett Favre is a myth. Some do, some don't, said Tucker. He noted that he feels, especially over the last couple years in particular, that Brett has damaged his reputation considerably.

Tucker said that while Favre contends he wanted to play with Minnesota because he wanted to have a chance to win, it was apparent what the real purpose was: revenge on the Packers organization. Tucker said if all Brett wanted to do was play and win he could have done that in New York with the Jets which held his rights. Favre, according to Tucker, manipulated the situation so that he could get out of his contract with the Jets and be free to go where he wanted to go in the first place to stick it to the Packers, as Brett himself said last February.

Tucker said that if someone is a true fan of the Packers he doesn't understand how they could still support Brett's actions. Tucker stated that in 2007, the Packers were open to having Brett return, he told them he was retiring, and the team moved on. "What were they supposed to do?," Tucker asked. He also pointed out that the performance of Aaron Rodgers has proven that the move the Packers made was right for the organization. (If the audio clip of this interview happens to turn up online we'll post a link here later.)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tauscher back with the Pack?

RT Mark Tauscher, coming off nearly a year of rehab from knee injury and resultant free agent status, was back in Green Bay today working out for the team. Reports are that he pass his physical. Tauscher had reportedly also worked out in the last week or so with Kansas City. Early word is that a deal to rejoin the Pack is close. But, I mean, it's not like the Pack needs any offensive line help or anything. A-hem...

Check out this story for more.

Blackmon out for the year
Bad luck continues for fourth-year player Will Blackmon. Returning a kick in last night's game against the ViQueens, Blackmon tore an ACL and is now done for the season. Blackmon, despite his potential, has been a victim of various injuries over the years which have kept him out for extended periods of time. This is another.

Jordy Nelson takes over in the returner's role. Blackmon was also a reserve cornerback and thus his loss also weakens an already injury-plagued defensive backfield.

The morning after: Packers fans still say moving on was right

The morning after an emotional game like that of last night between the Packers and ViQueens, a lot of thoughts rolled through people's minds. Plays are analyzed. Schemes are reviewed. Players critiqued. And we'll get to all that over the next day or so probably.

But one immediate take that seems quite revealing -- despite the final score, missed opportunities, and uneven play -- is how fans feel about Ol' #4 today. Or to be more precise, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked in its online poll, did the Packers do the right thing in parting ways with Brett Favre? You know there are the Ted Thompson haters out there. Heck, maybe you're even one of them. But now, after seeing the heir to Ol' #4 play 20 regular season games as the starting QB, with an 8-12 record during that time, it's reasonable to ask: did the Pack do the right thing?

Here's the latest results at the time of this post:
So, now do you think the Packers did the right thing when they parted ways with Brett Favre?
Yes (67%)
No (33%)
Total Responses: 4182

So, out of more that 4,000 responses so far, two-thirds say "Yes," moving on was the right thing to do.

After watching last night, it's hard to admit that. But for those able to separate being Favre fans from being Packer fans, it's also the right thing to say.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Final: Packers 23 - ViQueens 30

Despite throwing for a career high in passing yardage tonight (384 yards), Aaron Rodgers was unable to overcome yet again a sieve-like offensive line; he was sacked 8 times, including once in the second half for a safety. And the Packers were unable to prevent Favre's revenge game on Ted Thompson. Favre is now the only QB in NFL history to beat every team in the league. Oh, and this soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback was not sacked once tonight. The Packers defense did, however, hold Adrian Peterson to just 55 yards rushing and one TD.

The Pack went down 30-14 in the half, but made a game of it right down to the end scoring a TD (missed 2-point conversion) and field goal. An onside kick recovered by the 'Queens put an end to the comeback and made the final score 'Queens 30 - Packers 23.

Daryn Colledge, starting at left tackle for the injured Chad Clifton, was himself injured in the second half, resulting in rookie T. J. Lang having to line up across from Jared Allen for a good chunk of the 4th quarter. Yikes. No word on Colledge's injury. Clifton should be back in the starting role after the upcoming bye week.

The Pack has many things to be proud of in this game, including that they never gave up. But also many things to continue to work on. Many things. The Pack helped the 'Queens tonight with penalties and turnovers and missed opportunities. The game will be different come Nov. 1 in Green Bay. That's when we even things up.

3rd quarter story: dropped TD pass

The ViQueens continued to be ably led by Ol' #4 and went up 28-14 in the quarter.

However, the Packers drove to the 'Queens 1-yard line late in the quarter. On 4th and 1, the Pack went for it. Rodgers found a wide open TE Donald Lee in the end zone. Only problem: Lee dropped the ball. Yet another blown opportunity.

This has been the ongoing story of this game. Yes, the guys in the funky purple are playing well, as expected. The Packers are, too. But are missing opportunity after opportunity...not something you can do in a game like this.

The Packers also have gotten no pressure on Favre. On one play in their TD drive, Favre had 7.3 seconds (according to the TV replay) to find a Packer defender got within 10 yards of him. Hard to figure why they aren't bringing more pressure. They've done a good job keeping Adrian Peterson in check. But why they aren't selling out to nail Favre is hard to understand.

So, 15 minutes left. And unless there is a major turnabout or two, this might be a difficult hole for the Pack to dig out of. And the sad part is, it's a hole they've dug for themselves tonight. The 'Queens certainly didn't need any help.

Pack - Vikes 1st half story: turnovers

The Packers have played well in the first half. Except for two turnovers down near the ViQueens red zone. OK, that's not so good. The first was a fumble by QB Aaron Rodgers, and the second was an interception. Both times, the Pack was driving. Each time, they easily would have gotten at least 3 points. And, both times, the ViQueens turned the turnovers into 7 points. The Pack did score on a great throw and run after catch by Jermichael Finley for a 62-yard TD play.

The score after the 1st quarter was 7-7. The 'Queens went up 14-7 about halfway through the second quarter.

Then the Pack finally got a turnover of its own, and took it back for a TD. Tacklers were holding up Adrian Peterson and LB Clay Matthews stripped him of the ball and took it back 42 yards for the score. Bang: 14-14.

A late drive by the 'Queens put them up by 7 at the half. Favre was picked off in the end zone by Charles Woodson. But there was a defensive holding penalty on the play and the refs also called -- as even the announcers acknowledged -- a ticky-tack pass interference penalty on Woodson. That gave the 'Queens first down at the 1. Adrian Peterson carried it on the next play for the go-ahead score.

In the half, 21 of the 35 total points came off turnovers.

Ol' #4 in the funky purple is making good throws. Hasn't been sacked yet, unfortunately. He's getting the ball out quickly and looking like, well, you know. New #12 in the Green 'n ' Gold is making good throws as well, with the exception of the pick. He is having to make more throws on the move, though, as protection -- while not bad -- is still not great.

Just as expected, this game will be a tight one. And probably down to the wire.

Unfortunately, returner Will Blackmon went down on a kick return with a knee injury and was taken to the locker room on a cart for X-rays. Doesn't look good. And considering Blackmon's history of not being able to stay healthy for long, you just hate to see this happen again.

Turnovers were a big factor in the first half. Penalties on the Packers also have played a nagging role in the game. The Pack has hurt themselves in this game. Would rather have the Pack go in up, of course, but to go into half down by 7...still very winnable especially with the Pack's big play ability. By the way, no team in the last two years has had more "big plays" -- plays of 40 yards or more -- than the Pack. If the Pack can make a few corrections at half, and continue to play with the intensity they have...the Pack can still win this game.

Go Pack Go!!!

Tonight's the night - Packers vs. ViQueens preview

As everyone in the civilized world knows -- and for those of you not in the civilized know who you are -- Ted Thompson plays Brett Favre this evening in the Humpty Dump. Translation for those that need it: the Packers play the ViQueens in Minnesota, don't ya know.

You've read, heard and seen all the interviews, projections, story lines, etc. about this game since Ol' #4 finally got back in the NFC North to show Ted Thompson what a mistake he made. Great. So enough with all that hoopla.

The 'Queens are favored by 4 points going into tonight's game. They have Ol' #4 slinging the football around. Which might work well, or maybe not. Depends. As we all know, sometimes Brett can get a bit jacked up and/or a bit overconfident. He'll make some throws, of course, that only he can make. But he also might try some throw he shouldn't. I think the likelihood is greater that he will get picked off than will Aaron Rodgers.

The running game edge goes clearly to Minnesota. If the Packers aren't able to hold Adrian Peterson in check, it will be a long night. The passing game -- assuming the Packers can protect or scheme Rodgers to avoid what is arguably the best front 4 in football -- favors the Pack. That's a big assumption, I know. Especially since LT Chad Clifton is still questionable for tonight's game. The Packers did finally figure out a way to protect Rodgers in the second half of last week's game in St. Louis. But the caliber of defensive rush he will face from the ViQueens is of a whole other level than that. The Pack have had to hold tight ends in to provide protection. Rodgers is good throwing on the run, and can also use his legs to stretch the field. It would also be a very good time for RB Ryan Grant to start breaking through the line for 4 or 5 yards a carry rather than 1 or 2 in order to keep the defense honest. The defensive line edge goes to the 'Queens, but the Pack isn't as far behind as some people may think.

Brett Favre hasn't yet lost to a Dom Capers-coached team or defense...but he was playing with the Packers then, too. That means the odds are skewed in the Packers' defense's favor tonight. Special teams? Call it a toss up. Unless it comes down to a last second field goal, as it often does in these games. Edge there goes to old Packer Ryan Longwell; Packers K Mason Crosby is still inconsistent when it's on the line.

Get yourself a cup for the Green 'n' Gold kool-aid, kids. We're taking the Pack 27-24 in a very physical game. Good thing the Pack have a bye coming up next weekend. They'll need it after tonight. But earning a hard-won victory will make the aches a bit less painful. As will sitting atop the NFC North after beating both Da Bearz and the 'Queens.

Go Pack Go!!!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Anything goin' on this week...hmm???

It must be an uneventful week. Haven't made a post. Not much goin' on, I guess.

What's that? The Packers are playing the ViQueens on Monday? And their quarterback is...who? Nah...he retired two years ago! Wait, he unretired. But then he retired again, right? But now you say he's playing again. And for the ViQueens? Get outta town! What? Oh, that's what Brett did.

Yes, Packer fans, we are -- each and every one of us -- now part of Ol' #4's Felliniesque life story. No, change that. As surreal as Fellini's films may be, I think Kafkaesque would be a more suitable definition of our joy ride with Mr. Favre over the last few years. While I'm reluctant to use Wikipedia as a reliable reference source for, say, financial advice and medical diagnosis, for definitions of terms such as Kafkaesque, it's good enough (especially when it references other sources): "marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity" and "marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger". But if you still prefer the tried and true Merriam-Webster, here's that definition: "having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality." Yep...seems to describe what has been. And, what we will see Monday night.

But perhaps one of the more bizarre moments came during Brett's conference call yesterday with many Wisconsin-based reporters. They were asking some tough questions about which Brett apparently didn't think much about beforehand. And so some of his answers were a bit...oh...waffling. Shocking, isn't it?

For example, the revenge factor in all this. Brett said, "Never was motivated for that reason. No. That has nothing to do with it." Then one of the reporters reminded him of his comments to Sports Illustrated ( last February where he said that at least part of the reason he played last season was for the purpose of "sticking it" to Packers GM Ted Thompson. That's when Brett made one of many backpedals on the day, saying, "It's human nature to feel, I didn't use the word revenge, but to prove that you still could play. To prove someone wrong, or prove a group wrong. So you can call it what you want." Okaaaaay.

But, Brett, a reporter asked, if revenge wasn't part of it and all you wanted to do was play, why didn't you just stay with the Jets? Brett then said at the end of last season he knew he had a torn right biceps tendon and he wasn't willing to have surgery to continue playing. "I knew I had an injury that would require surgery if I chose to play," he said. "And as disappointed as I was, I chose to go home and not have it and they chose to go in a different direction. That's how it evolved." OK, a reporter asked, then why did you ask to be released from your Jets contract when you retired? More to the point, why did you decide to have the surgery when it became apparent you could play for the ViQueens (remember, which he just said he didn't want to have in order to continue playing with the Jets)? An interesting response ensued (this would be at least backpedal #2 if you're counting): "None of that matters now anyway. What matters is this game Monday night, and that's all that matters. This team has welcomed me here. It's been a lot of fun, it's been a lot of work, but I'm having a good time. And that's all that matters."

As was mentioned on one of the sports talk shows afterward, that last point was probably the most critical: "...but I'm having a good time. And that's all that matters."

Yep. It's all about you, Brett, all about you.

And as much as you say it's not about revenge, you yourself admitted in February and again yesterday, it is. You want to make it just another game. But here's hoping you have one of your Brett know...where you are so jacked up and so compelled to make the big play that you overthrow your receivers and try to force passes you should have no business throwing. Let's have one of your bonehead games Monday night.

Please, Brett, you owe it to both Fellini and Kafka.

You can read more about yesterday's conference all here. You'll find the complete transcript here. And if you want to listen to the song and dance, you can hear the audio here at the audio site (just click on the Oct. Brett Favre conference call).