Green & Gold


Barclay goes down with knee injury

The Green Bay Packers’ injury woes have returned.

Tackle Don Barclay, who was viewed by coach Mike McCarthy as the team’s No. 6 offensive lineman, was carted from the practice field Tuesday afternoon with what appeared to be a significant right knee injury.

Barclay’s right knee buckled beneath him while he was blocking rookie outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard during an 11-on-11 drill and the play ended with Barclay clutching his right knee in pain.

“I was standing right behind him,” McCarthy said. “You (could) definitely see he was in a compromised position.”

Barclay, who made the team as an undrafted free agent from West Virginia in 2012, wasn’t projected as a starter this season, but started 21 games (including playoffs) the past two years, including 15 last season at right tackle.

With Barclay out, second-year guard Lane Taylor becomes the top reserve behind Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang.


Packers, Favre reconcile; No. 4 to be retired

Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers envision the to-be-determined 2015 game for No. 4’s retirement ceremony starting like this:

Favre and Bart Starr walk together to midfield as honorary captains for the pregame coin flip. Aaron Rodgers is there as one of the Packers’ captains. The three greatest quarterbacks in franchise history, one in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, another a surefire first-ballot choice in 2016, and the third on his way to a Hall of Fame career.

“I’ve got chills right now thinking about it,” said Favre via teleconference Monday.

Then at halftime, Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren, the general manager and coach, respectively, who brought Favre to Green Bay, developed his talent and won a Super Bowl with him, join Favre and his family on Lambeau Field. The ceremony will unveil Favre’s retired No. 4 on the stadium’s north facade, only the sixth number retired in Packers history.


Lacy preps for 3-down duty

Eddie Lacy caught the ball and held on tight.

Not even Packers teammate Jordy Nelson could pry it loose after trying to sneak up from behind to force a fumble.

While Lacy — the Offensive Rookie of the Year — is getting paid to carry the ball in Green Bay, he is working on other elements of his game heading into his second year.

“The goal is just to be as good offensively as we can be, and if that’s being able to add another option for the quarterback, that’s what we have to do,” Lacy said Thursday after practice.

The 5-foot-11, 230-pound Lacy pounded away at defenses for a franchise rookie record 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns on 284 carries. He made it to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

This week, Lacy is pictured on one of four covers for Sports Illustrated. The affable Lacy is taking the hype in stride.

“I just walked in and saw I was on the cover. I said, ‘That’s pretty cool,” Lacy said.


Packers sign GM to extension

With four NFC North titles and a Super Bowl victory in the past decade, Ted Thompson has had quite a run as Packers general manager.

Thompson sees no reason to stop now, even as retirement age nears. The team announced after practice Wednesday the signing of Thompson to a multiyear contract extension.

“The more you think about it, the more you think how nuts are you that you’d walk away from something like this,” Thompson said. “To get a chance to continue to do that after you put all the chips on the table, there’s very little choice there. I want to be here.”

Terms of the deal were not announced. Thompson didn’t comment on the specifics, either.

“No. I’m not a very specific guy,” he said when asked if could be more specific about his contract, drawing laughs from reporters.

Extending coach Mike McCarthy’s contract appears to be the next decision.


Peppers adjusting to 3-4 defense

Standing a sturdy 6-foot-7, Packers pass rusher Julius Peppers poses an imposing sight to opposing linemen even without pads.

Good thing Green Bay’s front five only has to go up against Peppers in practice now.

The eight-time Pro Bowler is spending his first training camp in Titletown after joining the Packers as a free agent in the offseason following four seasons with the division rival Chicago Bears. The lure of playing in a 3-4 defense that also features linebacker Clay Matthews helped lure Peppers north to Green Bay.

“It is a new challenge and I’m looking forward to not only proving to myself that I can do it, but proving to the outsiders who don’t think I can do it,” Peppers said Monday after the Packers practiced in pads for the first time.


Pack signs Nelson to extension after 1st practice

Jordy Nelson had a secret on the way to the first practice of Packers training camp.

It didn't take long for the rest of his teammates to find out.

Green Bay's leading receiver now has a deal commensurate with his production after signing a contract extension just before taking the field Saturday morning.

"So I was like the last one in the locker room and waiting on the paperwork to come down to get it done. That way, I had some security when I went out to practice," Nelson said. "That was a little bit different, and knowing no one knew (but) me the whole time I'm riding down there and on the field."

Soon enough, Nelson told fellow receivers and the quarterbacks. Coach Mike McCarthy found out in the middle of practice. Right about the time that Nelson was making a pretty touchdown catch on a long corner pass from Aaron Rodgers, word filtered out on social media.


Rodgers ready for even more responsibility

Since early in Aaron Rodgers’ tenure as the Green Bay Packers’ starter, three quarterbacks have stood above the rest in the NFL for their skill in the cat-and-mouse game with defenses at the line of scrimmage: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Rodgers, at age 30, is bidding to join that group while operating in a scheme that coach Mike McCarthy has been designing for him for seven years.

Before Rodgers sustained a broken collarbone last year, the Packers thought he was becoming elite at calling audibles and making pre-snap reads. This year, McCarthy plans to have him run more no-huddle offense and take more responsibility changing plays at the line than ever.

“(Rodgers) runs our offense as well as any offense is run in the league,” Alex Van Pelt, the Packers’ new quarterbacks coach, said this offseason. “Put him right up there at the top of the list with those guys.”

The Packers are not the only ones who think so.


Defense in spotlight as Packers open training camp

When Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers are healthy, they might be able to beat anybody in the NFL.

Now if only they could stay out of that crowded trainer’s room.

Coach Mike McCarthy is preparing for the worst, just in case, after 2013’s injury-plagued season.

So come training camp Saturday, Green Bay will be getting used to schemes that have been simplified a bit — particularly on defense — in hopes of gaining more roster flexibility. The acclimation process started during offseason workouts.

“We’ve learned some hard lessons here of late,” McCarthy said. “The last couple of years of maybe playing some players that probably weren’t quite ready because of the scheme … we’re playing off utilizing your best players, and that’s a trap you just don’t want to fall into as a coach.”


McCarthy changing things up for Packers camp

Going into his ninth year coaching the Packers, Mike McCarthy isn’t averse to changing things up.

After two injury-filled seasons, an alteration is coming to how Green Bay prepares for games.

The practice schedule is changing, with players getting an off day, then running through practice the day before a game. That’s the reverse of how things were done last season.

“This is the first time the schedule is changing in nine years,” McCarthy said Friday as the Packers reported to camp. “This is the third year we’ve talked about it. I decided in spring to take the leap. We really just want to get that right and get our guys ready.”

McCarthy described it as a philosophical change. It’s another noticeable tweak following a 2013 season in which the Packers finished 8-7-1 and won a third straight NFC North title before losing at home in a wild-card game to the San Francisco 49ers.


Murphy hopes Favre visits Lambeau in '14

Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come.

Under a bright blue sky, Green Bay team brass gave shareholders a rosy forecast Thursday for the future of the NFL’s only publicly-owned franchise.

About the only thing missing from this green-and-gold picture was former star Brett Favre swaggering on to the Lambeau Field turf to toss around a football with current franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Soon enough, that might just happen, too.

Team President Mark Murphy reiterated that he is hoping Favre returns to Lambeau Field for a game this year, though not to retire his No. 4 jersey just yet.


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