Green & Gold

Fri
25
Aug

Backups following Aaron Rodgers’ lead

Aaron Rodgers isn’t the only quarterback playing well for the Green Bay Packers. His backups are shining, too, which could lead to some intriguing roster decisions with the start of the regular season three weeks away.

That’s just the way coach Mike McCarthy wants it.

A day after his quarterbacks played well again in the team’s second consecutive preseason victory, this time a 21-17 triumph at Washington, the coach explained earlier this week that his goal is for his young signal-callers to take after Rodgers, the two-time NFL MVP.

“There’s a focus on emulation of that No. 1 quarterback,” McCarthy said. “That’s having a lead dog that does it the right way and the (No.) 2 trying to be like him and everybody trying to coach that.”

Halfway through the preseason, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Wed
23
Aug

Clinton-Dix looks to make off-field impact

Now that he has established himself as one of the top young safeties in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers’ Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is trying to make an impact off the field.

Personal experience helped Clinton-Dix hone the focus of a charitable organization he started this year. “Ha Ha’s HERO Foundation” aims to improve the lives of children from low-income families in the Green Bay area.

“Me coming from a low-income background, I really didn’t take my studies serious as a young kid,” Clinton-Dix said. “I just want to give back and kind of be a resource for younger generations.”

“HERO” is an acronym for “Hope, Education, Resources and Opportunity.” The foundation’s mission statement said the charity “will provide economically-challenged students with a voice of motivation, empowerment and encouragement.” The hope is it would help students achieve academically, develop positive personal skills and make “positive decisions to avoid high-risk behavior.”

Fri
18
Aug

New TE Bennett the ‘QB whisperer’

Call Martellus Bennett the “quarterback whisperer.”

The Green Bay Packers’ tight end is with his third team in as many seasons, which means another training camp of building rapport with a new quarterback. He’s proven to be productive at every stop.

Bennett is confident he’ll do just fine connecting with Aaron Rodgers, even if the veterans might get limited reps together in preseason games.

“I need all the reps I can (get) with Aaron — practice reps, game reps, meeting room reps. Any rep I can get with him I’ll try to get whether it’s just whispering to him, try to be the quarterback whisperer,” the always-entertaining Bennett said. “Over-communicate and over-rep every single thing we could possibly do.”

Rodgers and Bennett have shown signs of chemistry in practice. What’s not to like about a 6-foot-7 tight end who caught seven touchdown passes last year in New England?

Wed
09
Aug

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

Josh Jones is listed as a safety on the Green Bay Packers roster, though he eventually he might be better known as a jack-of-all-trades player.

The hard-hitting rookie drafted in the third round has left a strong impression so far in training camp, showing the potential to contribute quickly at an already strong position.

There are safeties in numbers in Green Bay, giving coach Mike McCarthy the kind of depth and flexibility needed to keep up with pass-oriented or spread offenses.

“I mean it definitely fits my skill set. I can do a lot of things for a defense,” said Jones, who had 229 tackles and eight interceptions over three seasons at North Carolina State. “I don’t put a limit on what I can do as a football player.”

There might be limits, though, to how much playing time he will get as a rookie. Strong safety Morgan Burnett and free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who made his first Pro Bowl last year, are the unquestioned starters.

Wed
09
Aug

Packers release Letroy Guion

The Packers have released defensive lineman Letroy Guion, ending a three-plus year tenure in Green Bay marked by off-field problems.

Guion was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Hawaii in June. In an unrelated incident, the NFL suspended him without pay for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating a policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

It was the second disciplinary action against Guion in three seasons. The league suspended him for the first three games of the 2015 season for violating its substance abuse policy.

The Packers announced Guion’s release on Tuesday while the team was at practice. He had signed with Green Bay in 2014 after spending six seasons with NFC North rival Minnesota. Guion started 15 regular-season games and all three postseason games last year for Green Bay.

Wed
09
Aug

Crosby, Packers look to get leg up on FGs

Hitting field goals in the NFL comes down to more than just making a strong, accurate kick.

The snap must be on target, while the holder has to make a clean catch and set up the ball at the correct angle. All this must be done in a matter of seconds.

The Green Bay Packers are working on this process after the normally dependable Mason Crosby missed six of his last seven kicks at the team’s Family Night practice. Crosby is working with a new long snapper in Derek Hart, along with a new holder in punter Justin Vogel. Both are undrafted rookies.

Coach Mike McCarthy and special teams coach Ron Zook said the blame falls on the whole field goal unit, not just Crosby.

“Ah gosh, obviously it wasn’t very good Saturday night,” Zook said this week. “But obviously we’ve got to get better. We will get better.”

Sat
05
Aug

Aaron Rodgers looks way down field and hopes to play at 40

Tom Brady turned 40 on Thursday. At 39, he guided the biggest Super Bowl comeback to win his fifth NFL championship. Where will Aaron Rodgers be when he turns 40 on Dec. 2, 2023?

“Hopefully, right here,” the Green Bay Packers quarterback said Thursday.

Rodgers will turn 34 in about four months. There is no sign of decline in his play. After proclaiming the Packers could “run the table” after falling to 4-6 last season, Rodgers threw 15 touchdowns passes against no interceptions to lift Green Bay to six consecutive wins, then added six touchdowns and one interception in two playoff victories to get the team to the NFC championship game.

He ended the season with a league-high 40 touchdown passes, and his rating of 104.2 edged his NFL-record career mark of 104.1.

Thu
03
Aug

Randall Cobb refuels after momentous offseason

Receiver Randall Cobb has big plans for the future, whenever he’s done playing football. He wants to get an MBA and perhaps go into football administration or coaching.

He might have looked into pursuing a graduate business degree this offseason, had he not gotten married and traveled to Africa for his honeymoon.

For now, he is refueled for football season, focused on his current job as one of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ top targets on a potent Green Bay Packers offense.

“I just graduated college (from Kentucky) two offseasons ago and this past offseason it was just a very busy time for me,” Cobb said Tuesday about an MBA. “So this next offseason I’m going to start looking into what I can do and how I can get this process started.”

Cobb is known for making tough catches in traffic. He’ll sometimes line up in the backfield to throw a different wrinkle at defenses.

Sat
29
Jul

Rookie cornerback playing catch-up in Packers' training camp

It didn't take long for the Green Bay Packers' first draft pick, cornerback Kevin King, to get his shot with the starting defense.

After Green Bay lined up with Davon House and LaDarius Gunter as the cornerbacks and Damarious Randall in the slot for Thursday's first day of training camp, the coaches switched things up on Friday, with House and King as the cornerbacks and Quinten Rollins in the slot.

"I'm not too sure what the coaches have planned," King said after practice. "I just come to work and do what I'm told. Today, they put me out with the 1s. Tomorrow, they might put me with the 2s."

Still, it was a noteworthy decision by the coaches to thrust King into the heart of the competition. With class in session at the University of Washington, King was forced to miss all three weeks of organized team activities. Because he missed the OTAs, the coaches limited King to only individual drills for the three-day minicamp in June.

Fri
28
Jul

Martellus Bennett adds life to Packers locker room

Martellus Bennett finished dressing at his locker and turned around to face the media, wearing a foam cheesehead atop his head.

Just one practice into his first training camp with the Green Bay Packers and the pass-catching tight end is already turning into a dynamic personality in the locker room.

He’s an enticing target on the field for quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his athletic build and 6-foot-6 frame.

“I think, No. 1, we all like personality. This is a tough business. You spend a lot of time, so creativity and laughter are definitely good things to have in your culture,” coach Mike McCarthy said before practice on Thursday. “He’s a big personality and I think he’s fitting in very well with our football team.”

Getting to Lambeau Field early to report looks good to coaches and teammates, too.

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