Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Packers may be looking for a man in the middle

As the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine gets underway today, reports have been circulating for some time that fans of the Green Bay Packers may see a new man snapping the ball to Aaron Rodgers next season. It seems that there may soon be a parting of the ways between Pro Bowl center Scott Wells and the team.

Wells is an unrestricted free agent. He is also 31 years old. Reports are that the Packers will meet with Wells' agent and make a bottom line offer. The Pack will definitely not use a franchise tag for Wells, which is in the neighborhood of $8.4 million for an offensive lineman. If the Pack can get Wells at the number they want, it will be a done deal. If not, look for someone else at center. That's the bet here. Be sure to check out Bob McGinn's great article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Wells' situation here.

But who would it be if not Wells? The Packers do not have a designated heir apparent at the position. They may be able to have Evan Dietrich-Smith fill in for a while. But the Packers may be looking for a free agent (roughly 13 centers, if memory serves, are on the market) and/or a draft pick.

The latter is intriguing because there is a great draft prospect in this year's draft: Peter Konz from the University of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!). He's the best center in the draft, which begs the question as to whether or not he'll be around when the Packers make their first round pick at #28. At least one mock draft so far believes so, from the venerable no less. Here's what they have to say: "This may not seem like an obvious choice for the Packers, but Scott Wells, their stud center, is a free agent. Green Bay is close to the salary cap and will be using its franchise tag on Jermichael Finley, so it may not be able to re-sign Wells if he receives a huge contract elsewhere. If Wells leaves, Peter Konz will become one of the favorites to be selected at No. 28."

If the Packers could get Konz they could be set with a prototype center for the next decade. Wells was no doubt the best offensive lineman the Packers had this season. He's a scrapper and plays with pride. But at 31 and undersized, will the Pack ante up the money he likely will want to stay? I doubt it. And if the Packers can get Konz at #28, it would be a gift that would keep on giving for a long time to come.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Mr. Rodgers does the Super Bowl right

Fans of the Green Bay Packers would have preferred to see QB and NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers suited up, on the field, and leading the Pack to victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. But, the Giants unfortunately interceded along the way and allowed Rodgers instead time to opine from the NBC pre-game show. And by all accounts, Rodgers did just fine behind the mic.

Bob Wolfley, sports columnist with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has a great article about Rodgers' TV foray here. The article also recounts comments Rodgers made yesterday during his weekly radio show on WAUK-AM (540), including his view about a new quarterbacks coach (former QB coach Tom Clements has been elevated to offensive coordinator, replacing Joe Philbin), a career in broadcasting after his playing days are done, and more.

The article is worth checking out.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Packers still defending champs!

Yes, it's true. At least until about 9 p.m. (CT) tonight, the Green Bay Packers are still the reigning Super Bowl Champions. Then they will become last season's champion. (Sigh)

This isn't the way it was supposed to go this season was it, Packer fans? Nope. Not when you go 15-1. Not when you have one of the most explosive offenses in the history of the league. Not when you have the league's Most Valuable Player (awarded last evening, by the way), QB Aaron Rodgers, throwing to arguably the best receiving corps in the league. Unfortunately, the worst-ranked defense in the league finally did the Pack in. And the rest, as we know, is history. The team with the best record this season is sitting home watching the big game just like the rest of us.

So, kudos to Mr. Rodgers on his MVP season. Unfortunately, there was no one on the defensive side of the ball this year that could help carry things the way Rodgers and company did offensively. Let's hope GM Ted Thompson addresses that matter in the offseason. You have to believe so. The Packers are still a young-enough team to have a window for competing for the Super Bowl each season, as long as they don't let it slip away as they did this year. Lessons learned. We hope.

Now, as to the game today between the Patriots and the Giants, what do things look like? Well, frankly, I could care less which team wins. Really. I'll watch, of course. But it matters not a whit to me which team takes home the Lombardi Trophy. Don't care for the Pats and for the second time in the last four or five years the Giants have left a really bad taste in my mouth after sending our beloved Packers down to Lambeau Field no less. So, if the game could end in a tie through some cosmic hocus pocus, that would be great. Even better if they could both lose. But the probability of that happening is of such a metaphysically minute nature as to make it not even worthwhile to consider...I hate it when that happens!

But, anyway, what's my call for the outcome? The Pats are favored by 3 points. But the Giants have the momentum, much as the Packers did going into the game against the Steelers last year. So, as much as it pains me to do so, I have to conclude that the Giants will win tonight's game.

Don't have a score prediction because, well, I just don't care. I'll be watching mainly for the commercials.