Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Packers' 2012 schedule released

Ah, yes, the smell of a fresh schedule is in the air! Let the games begin. Well, the preseason games will begin Thursday, Aug. 9 at San Diego. Actually, all the preseason games are on Thursday this year, and all against AFC opponents. The regular season starts a month later, at Lambeau, versus the 49ers in a 3:15 p.m. Sunday game.

The Packers will appear five times in primetime night games, which is the most allowed to any team. They open the season with three out of their four first games at home, but then play only once at home in both October and November. The bye week for the Packers comes this year during Week #10, November 11. Prior to that date, they have the Cardinals at Lambeau and then come out of the bye on the road against the Lions. The Packers finish the season with five games in December, three of which are at home. The Pack finishes the regular season against the ViQueens in the Humpty Dump...or wherever that team is playing this year.

We'll ponder what the implications of this schedule may be over the weeks and months ahead.

For now, here's your schedule, week by week. You can also always find the link in the righthand column under, appropriately, the "Links" heading. If you want a PDF version, you can grab one here, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sept. 9 - 49ers, 3:15

Sept. 13 - Bears, 7:20

Sept. 24 - at Seahawks, 7:30

Sept. 30 - Saints, 3:15

Oct. 7 - at Colts, noon

Oct. 14 - at Texans, 7:20

Oct. 21 - at Rams, noon

Oct. 28 - Jaguars, noon

Nov. 4 - Cardinals, noon

Nov. 11 - Bye

Nov. 18 - at Lions, noon

Nov. 25 - at Giants, 7:20

Dec. 2 - Vikings, noon

Dec. 9 - Lions, 7:20

Dec. 16 - at Bears, noon

Dec. 23 - Titans, noon

Dec. 30 - at Vikings, noon

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Packers 2012 draft board musings

Folks, you know I'd normally be all over the pre-draft musings which are running amuck this time of year. With the draft only a couple weeks away, well, things kick into high gear for most of the football pundits. And yours truly is generally there among them, at least from the Green Bay Packers side of things. Although, thankfully for myself and my readers, I have avoided going into the round by round mock scenarios. I mean, really, who the heck knows? Let's be honest. Once you typically get past the first few picks in Round 1, it's a crapshoot. On the other hand, it does keep lots of folks employed working out all the ifs, ands and buts of who might do what at what pick, blah blah blah.

Also, to be honest, other than indicating areas of need for the Packers -- which Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and crew know much better than any one of us on the outside looking in -- really, we can just sit back and watch, right? Yes, the Packers need a pass rusher, hopefully both on the defensive line as well as at outside linebacker to bookend Clay Matthews. Then the team needs some defensive back help, particularly if Nick Collins does not return from his neck injury of last season. Supposedly, he and the Packers will meet this week to discuss his recent tests, doctors reports, etc. Collins is reportedly optimistic. But head coach Mike McCarthy, when asked about this recently, seemed to be very wary of exposing Collins to another injury which could have life-altering, let along career-ending, implications. Stay tuned on that front. But regardless, the Packers need d-back help after being burned big time all last year.

On the offensive side of things, the Packers will need to add depth along the offensive line, especially at center where Scott Wells has departed and aged veteran Jeff Saturday was signed as a free agent. Several mock drafts have Wisconsin center Peter Konz available to the Packers with the 28th pick. If he's there, I'd hope the Packers draft him as he could anchor the middle of the line for the next decade. If he's gone, I wouldn't be surprised to see Thompson play out his usual M-O and trade down for additional picks...although, with compensatory picks for losses in free agency, the Pack already go into the draft with 12 picks...which means Thompson could actually move up if there's a player he really wants to go after that could be an immediate starter and impact player.

No doubt the Packers will also look for skill players: receivers, running backs and, yes, a quarterback to develop. I know I'm going to show my homer cardinal-and-white colors here, but if Russell Wilson from Wisconsin is available late in the draft, he could be a great pick up for the Packers. McCarthy likes to develop smart quarterbacks and Wilson is that. Undersized? Yeah, so's that guy with a last name of Brees. If a QB has the smarts and athletic ability of Wilson, and he's there late, he'd be a great grab.

Now, why am I doing all this pre-draft writing so, well, pre-draft-y? Because yours truly will not, for reasons which don't matter much to anyone but me, have computer access at that time to do my usual real-time draft posts over the course of the days' events. So it goes. I probably won't even be able to do a summary until well after the draft has come and gone. I know. I'm disappointed, too. But, we'll do a recap at our earliest availability. Which will have the advantage of all the cheers and boos having passed and perhaps some better insights having come along. So we'll have that going for us. Which is nice, as Carl Spackler might say.

So, Packers fans, in case we don't catch up again until after the draft, make sure you are well stocked with your favorite beverages and snacks to see you through what soon becomes the mind-numbing blitz of all things draft. Do your best to send up good vibes for the Packers so they can add the pieces that will get them back to the Super Bowl again this season.

Say it with me: It's great to be a Packer fan! Go Pack Go!!!