Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.


Green & Gold


Packers looking for depth at OLB

With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, the Green Bay Packers feel great about their starting outside linebackers.

The depth hasn’t quite developed, though, which is why the team signed free agent Ahmad Brooks on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the discussions. first reported the agreement.

Brooks, a two-time second-team All-Pro, was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week. At 33, he would be the third-oldest player on a Packers roster that perennially has been one of the youngest in the league under general manager Ted Thompson.

The signing shows Kyler Fackrell, last year’s third-round pick, and Jayrone Elliott, a key special teams player, haven’t seized the opportunities created by the free-agent departures of veterans Julius Peppers (Carolina) and Datone Jones (Minnesota).


Bulaga out for Packers with ankle injury

Bryan Bulaga, the Green Bay Packers’ veteran right tackle, is cautiously optimistic that he will be ready to go for Week 1 after injuring his right ankle at practice.

“I’m not too concerned about it,” Bulaga said Thursday while on the way to treatment. “I’m able to walk and it feels better as the day goes on. Based on how it feels today and throughout the day, it’s a positive, I think.”

Bulaga was injured during Wednesday’s practice. After lying on the ground for about a half-minute, Bulaga got up and limped off the practice field in obvious pain. While X-rays were negative, Bulaga was waiting for results from other tests. He will miss Saturday night’s preseason game at Denver but is hopeful that he will be in the lineup for the season-opening game against Seattle in 17 days.


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.


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.”


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?



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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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