Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Top Ten Packers Players Of The Modern Era

William Henderson Green Bay Packers
Two weeks ago I made a list of the top 10 defensive players for the Packers of the modern era (and in my lifetime.) Today, lets do top 10 offensive players, and no, we’re not counting quarterbacks. I’m simply not going there. We’re also not counting offensive lineman.

10. Dorsey Levens- Dorsey’s career turned out alright, but he will always be remembered for his historic performance in the 1997 NFC championship game, when he picked up 201 total yards of offense and was the game MVP.

9. Edgar Bennett- Edgar Bennett was to the Packers of the 90’s what this current version of the Packer is missing now- a tough, hard nosed offensive skill position player who when things got bogged down, found a way to move the football. The current Packers are hoping Eddie Lacy can be that guy.

8. Robert Brooks- Yes he was a fan favorite, yes he was a good football player. But in the mind of many Packers fans, he gets overrated for being a fan favorite, and he wasn’t as good as well all think he was. The Packers offense in 1996 kept chugging along just dandy without him after he tore his ACL.

7. Bubba Franks- The Packers have had a small handful of good tight ends over the last two decades, and Bubba Franks is the best of the bunch to date. Bubba made three pro bowls and was a favorite target of Favre’s for a number of years.

6. Greg Jennings- In 2005 Ted Thompson traded Javon Walker to the Raiders for a second round draft choice. Thompson then used that draft choice to select Greg Jennings. That was a draft choice well spent as Jennings was a great Packers receiver for a long time, and has now moved on to the rival Minnesota Vikings.

5. Ahman Green- Even though he did have fumble issues, Ahman Green was the anchor back for the Packers rushing attack of the early 2000’s that set all of those league wide modern day team rushing records that will probably never be broken in the changing landscape of the NFL.

4. Sterling Sharpe- Despite his career being cut short due to a neck injury, Sharpe was still an outstanding receiver who set team records that still stand to this day. In fact, I would say that Sharpe was one of the biggest reasons as to why Brett Favre settled in as a great quarterback.

3. Antonio Freeman- Of all of the targets Favre had, Freeman was his favorite, and the 58 touchdown passes Freeman caught from Favre is one of the highest quarterback-to-wide receiver totals in league history.

2. Donald Driver- Probably the most beloved Packer in team history, Donald Driver is the Packers all time record holder in a number of receiving categories, and was the best Packers receiver of the last 20 years.

1. William Henderson- Wait a minute, what? Of all of the great players the Packers have had on offense over the last 20 years, you think Henderson is the best? Yes I do, and I want you to think about the following two reasons. At one point in William Henderson’s career as a lead blocker, five years, five different running backs, five 1,000 yard rushers. Second, the Packers running game, which was so good for so long, went belly up when Henderson retired.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Donald Driver Comes Out Of Retirement If Every Other Packers Wide Receiver Goes Down

Donald Driver Retires
Don’t misinterpret Donald Driver.In case you missed it, Donald Driver said something interesting recently in regards to his retirement. Driver basically said he would be in shape and ready to go this season if the Packers called him. Calm down everyone.

Before you dance in the street and get out your # 80 jerseys, relax. Don’t make a bigger deal out of this than it is. Driver is just simply saying something I’m sure the Packers are already aware of. All he is saying is that he will be ready if the Packers need him, which I think is great on his part, and it shows another example of the team first mentality he has always had, and still carries into his retirement. It’s not like he is saying he will play for any team, he is just simply saying he will be ready of the Packers need him. If he really does this and stays in shape, if they really need him, they can call him. Driver knows the offense so there would be zero learning curve in terms of playbook learning. Getting excited, aren’t you?

Driver's Return Would Require So Many Bad Things To Happen

Now for the bucket of water.There is no chance Driver ever plays again. Let me put it this way, Driver has as much of a chance of playing again as a free agent does of getting offered a contract by Ted Thompson. In other words, not going to happen. The Packers already have five receivers- Jarrett Boykin, Jeremy Ross, Kevin Dorsey, Charles Johnson, and Terrell Sinkfield competing for four spots, two of which are practice squad spots, so a bunch of players would have to get hurt before Thompson calls Driver.Driver had a great career with the Packers. Now it’s time to move on. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Top Ten Packers Defensive Players Of The Modern Era

Packers top ten defenseive players
It’s June, and for us football writers, that means it’s time for some creativity in terms of story ideas. In other words, it’s time for lists. While some people may make lists of best of all time, I’m going to take a different approach. Since I’m only 27, I decided to make a list of the best Packers defensive players I’ve seen play with my own eyes.
10. Ryan Pickett- In his seven seasons in a Packers uniform, Ryan Pickett hasn’t been anything spectacular, but just good old reliable along a shaky Packers defensive front. Pickett has indeed been a stalwart, and even though he doesn’t come with the fanfare as the rest of the players on this list do, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong here, because he does.

9. Nick Barnett- When healthy, Barnett was a tackling machine in Green Bay, and one of former head coach/general manager Mike Sherman’s better decisions. Despite his lack of size, Barnett brought speed and athleticism to the middle linebacker position in Sherman’s defense.

8. Gilbert Brown- There is a fine line between being fat and being good. Brown walked that line every day of is NFL career. A castoff of the Minnesota Vikings, Brown blossomed as the cog in the middle of the Packers defense in the mid-90’s, and was one of the biggest reasons as to why the 1996 Packers defense gave up the fewest points in the NFL that season.

7. Nick Collins- If a player like Randall Cobb is fast, than Nick Collins is Flash Gordon fast. Collins could fly. Oh boy could he fly. Collins covered more ground than any other safety in recent memory. It’s a shame his NFL career ended the way it did. People don’t realize, that when Nick Collins suffered the Spinal Cord injury in week 2 of the 2011 season, Dom Capers entire defensive scheme blew up in his face, and the Packers have been scrambling to rebuild it ever since.

6. Darren Sharper- Darren Sharper had a very simple scouting report. He wasn’t a tackler, he wasn’t a range player, he was a centerfielder. Sharper was a ball hawk who played centerfield better than anyone league wide in recent memory, and he played a large portion of his career in Green Bay, which is why he is officially recognized on this list.

5. Al Harris- In 2002, Mike Sherman traded a 6th round draft choice to Philadelphia in exchange for a little known defensive back named Al Harris. Safe to say that was a 6th round draft choice well spent. Harris was the ace cover corner of the Packers for a number of years and will forever be remembered for his walk-off interception against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2004 Wildcard game.

4. Clay Matthews- Everyone scratched their heads as Ted Thompson traded back up into the back of the first round of the 2009 NFL draft to select USC’s third best linebacker. Ironically enough he used the third round draft choice he received from the Jets in the Brett Favre trade to do so. Four years later, nobody is scratching their heads anymore. Matthews is the only defensive player in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. The Packers rewarded Matthews with a big old fat contract extension this offseason.

3. Charles Woodson- In eight seasons as the general manager of the Green Bay Packers, Ted Thompson has handed out one big name free agent contract. That was to Charles Woodson in 2006. Turns out that might be one of the most important free agent contracts handed out in league history, as Woodson went from draft bust to first ballot hall of famer in a Packers uniform.

2. Reggie White- Very few free agent signings work out. It’s even rarer that a free agent signing works out as well as this one did. White signed with the Packers, and led them on their glorious Super Bowl run in 1996. I could go on and on forever about White, but you all know the story. Before you cut my head off for not having him number one on this last, let me explain myself.

1. Leroy Butler- Charles Woodson may be headed for the Hall of Fame and Reggie White may already be there, but no Packers defensive player and I mean nobody, played in a Packers uniform for longer and played at such a high level for so long. Butler spent his entire 12-year career in a Packers uniform, and it is a crying shame he is not in the Hall Of Fame.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Phillip Phillips Weidner Center Tickets | Green Bay Show November 18

Phillip Phillip tickets Green Bay
A month after canceling his summer college tour due to kidney surgery (including a stop in Green Bay,) American Idol winner and country pop-star Phillip Phillips has rescheduled the dates. Tickets for the show can be found here.

More than 10 shows at schools across the country (and one in Ireland,) were canceled in early May, upsetting thousands of fans that had helped to sell out nearly every performance. Phillips pledged to make-up the tour upon the announcement of the cancellations.

Originally scheduled for May 9, Phillips will now perform at UW–Green Bay's Weidner Center on November 18, at 7:30PM. Tickets previously bought for the first date will be honored at the door.
Another show at UW–Stevens Point has also been rescheduled for a day after the Green Bay date.

Phillips will come into his rescheduled college tour as a recent compliment to being the opening act during John Mayer's world tour this coming fall. Since winning American Idol during their 2011 season, the twenty-two year-old Georgia native has been a hot item on the sports circuit, singing the national anthem at game one of the 2012 World Series before opening for Matchbox 20's North American tour earlier this year. A number of singles from his debut album The World From The Side Of The Moon have gone viral, including uses in Olympic television coverage, commercials, and shows.

Parking at the Weidner Center is ample for fans driving to the event. Three lots surround the building, which is located just off Nicolet Drive on the UW–Green Bay campus.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Who Will Be The Packers Fourth Wide Receiver In 2013?

Packers Wide Receivers 2013
For the last several years, the Green Bay Packers have had the deepest collection of wide receivers in league history. That isn’t the case anymore. Greg Jennings has signed with the Minnesota Vikings, Donald Driver has retired, and Jermichael Finley has regressed. This leaves just Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and James Jones at the top of the receiver depth chart. Not that the Packers have anything to complain about, as those three are as good as it gets across the league, but the depth isn’t there anymore, at least not for the time being. This leaves an open competition for the 4th wide receiver slot. Who will win it?

Jarrett Boykin: Boykin is the popular choice amongst the players contending for the 4th receiver role. Boykin is certainly big enough, as he stands 6’2”, 218 pounds, but he lacks speed. Last year at the NFL combine, Boykin ran a 4.7 in the 40 yard dash. 40 times aren’t the most important measurement at the end of the day, but they are certainly important. The coaches do like Boykin, although personally I can’t figure out why, other than his size.

Jeremy Ross: Late last season, the Packers caught lightening in a bottle with Jeremy Ross, as he stepped in for the injured Randall Cobb and did a great job returning kicks/punts, right up until that crucial drop in San Francisco, which I think cost the Packers the Super Bowl. Ross has a lot of speed, and if he can get over that muffed punt, he can be a great asset to the Packers in the return game, but I don’t think he can be a true pass catcher.

Charles Johnson: Johnson was one of the two late round draft choices the Packers spent on a receiver in April. Johnson, like Boykin, brings size to the table as he stands 6’2”, 215 pounds. Johnson is a raw prospect who could pay dividends down the road for the Packers. If he can improve his route running, Johnson could be the next wide receiver to climb the depth chart to the top in Green Bay. But I’m not sure if he is ready to be the 4th wide receiver at this point of his career.

Kevin Dorsey: Dorsey is the other of the two late round draft choices the Packers spent on a wide receiver. Dorsey has speed. Oh boy does he have speed. Dorsey has “down field, one catch a game that changes the game” potential written all over him. But, can he overcome his lack of refinement in other areas of his game? Four decent options are listed here. There are pro’s and con’s to each of them. Which one do you think should win the 4th receiver job?