Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ special teams were anything but special this year.
Green Bay had seven kicks blocked and were ranked dead last in the annual special teams rankings compiled by The Dallas Morning News. Not to mention, a fake field goal and a botched onside kick sealed the Packers’ NFC Championship Game fate.
And to prove that this year’s ranking wasn’t a fluke, the paper ranked the Packers 20th last season.
Special teams are very fickle. A few crazy bounces and it could mean the difference between a decent year and a forgettable one.
And it’s those things that usually protect coaches. Special teams might be the most unpredictable position in all of football but Shawn Slocum did some questionable things this year.
Three blocked field goals, two blocked extra points and two blocked punts scream that teams saw something. They noticed a weak link and exposed it as often as they could.
That’s just like the Seahawks’ fake field goal. As Robert Klemko from TheMMQB.com reported, Seattle noticed…
The Green Bay Packers season ended on a sour note but NFL scout Chris Landry said that the team is heading in the right directions.
Despite some big offseason decisions regarding big contracts, Landry believes if the team doesn’t panic and stays with their draft and develop philosophy they should be in position to get after another Super Bowl next season.
“They’ve got some tough decisions to make,” Landry said, via the Bleacher Report.
“I think what Ted [Thompson] and Mike [McCarthy] are going to do is listen, they are doing things the right way. This is a good team. I got to tell you, I’m disappointed for the Packer fans. I was pretty proud of how they played.
“I think you can overdo it. You can panic. They are doing that in other places. They are doing that in Denver. I don’t thinks that’s the way to go. I think they are going to do the right things and be calm about it.
“They need to tinker with some things, and maybe it’s just not, ‘Off with the head of Shawn Slocum,…
The hangover from the capitulation suffered by Green Bay Packers in the playoff game with the Seattle Seahawks might last some time.
Just over three minutes away from a sixth Superbowl appearance and in ebullient mood, Green Bay somehow contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. At 19-14, tight end Brandon Bostick missed a Seahawks onside kick. The ball bounced off his hands and was recovered by the Seahawks. By the end of the next drive the Packers were 22-19 down.
Brandon Bostick has admitted that he broke ranks and ought to have been blocking. He is now suffering the consequences. ESPN reported that he felt like the whole world was on his back:
“I’m human. I made a mistake,” Bostick said. “But if I would’ve made the play, we wouldn’t have been in this [situation] or if I would’ve made the block, we wouldn’t be talking about this. But it’s over now, so I’ll just try my best to get over it.”
According to reports, his teammates were quick to refute suggestions that the thi…
The Green Bay Packers did a lot of good things this year. For the fourth straight year they won the NFC North Division. They won their first home playoff game in two years. They got back to the NFC Championship game for the second time in five years. They had the sixth best offense in the league. They improved as the year went on in run defense and the play of their offensive line. Eddie Lacy had his second straight 1,000 yard rushing season, Green Bay had the best turnover/takeaway ratio in the league, and the Packers went 8-0 at home. The Packers did struggle in a couple areas though, specifically special teams and run defense.
Rolando McClain had one of his best years this past season and is someone the Packers should target for an upgrade at the linebacker position
The Packers had no run defense until Clay Matthews began to play inside linebacker in week 8. They did not hold a team under 100 rushing yards until week 8. They gave up 4.3 yards per carry and 119.9 yards a game. To improve their run defense
The Green Bay Packers were just a few plays away from going to the Super Bowl.
Rather than talking about how the Packers will match-up against the Patriots in next week’s Super Bowl, their stunning loss in Seattle means it’s time to concentrate on off-season improvements so they won’t miss out on Super Bowl 50 (no Roman Numerals) next season.
Here is what the Packers must do to return to the Super Bowl.
Signing Their Own Key Free Agents
The team has 16 free agents – 12 unrestricted, three restricted and one exclusive rights.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, they have the money to afford those FA who matter. Randall Cobb must and will be re-signed. The same for Brian Bulaga.
I expect that Tramon Williams will be deemed too expensive given his age and will sign elsewhere which would garner yet another high compensatory draft pick in 2016. They will choose to sign the younger player with more long-term upside that is Devon House.
They will mid-level tender Don Barclay and Se…
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, Packers general manager Ted Thomson has some difficult choices to make on an aging linebacker unit.
A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, and Julius Peppers could become cap casualties if Thompson decides to go into the draft for cheaper talent.
The Packers have roughly $18,361,430 in salary cap room available for 2015 and the team typically makes salary-cap related moves before free agency begins in March.
NFL unrestricted free agents
An unrestricted free agent (a player who has completed four or more accrued seasons) may sign with any team without any compensation owed to his old team through the first scheduled day of training camp in late July.
At that point, if his old team makes a tender offer by June 1st (110% of last year’s salary), his rights will revert back to his old team. The team then has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season to re-sign him. If he’s not re-signed, he must sit out the season. Without a tender offer by June 1st, a player can be signed by any team at any time throughout the season.
Green Bay Packers UFAs (per NFL.com 1/17):
Tramon Williams, CB
B.J. Raji, DE
Bryan Bulaga, OT
Jarrett Bush, CB
Jamari Lattimore, ILB
Matt Flynn, QB
John Kuhn, FB
Randall Cobb, WR
Letroy Guion, DT
Davon House, CB
Scott Tolzien, QB
DuJuan Harris, RB
Let’s take a quick break from making ball jokes at the NFL’s expense and wallowing in our misery over the Green Bay Packers collapse from eight days ago to gaze into the future.
Specifically, let’s gaze into the Packers’ future, all the way to May (or April, or June, or Christmas…whenever the hell the NFL draft is this year) and the rookie draft. Then let’s pretend that mysteriously, every prospect across the board in this year’s draft is equally talented.
There’s no debating about drafting talent over need because all players are equally talented. If you need a pass-rushing defensive end, you can take that pass-rushing defensive end without fear of regretting not taking the more talented cornerback only because you already have plenty of cornerbacks.
So, with all talent being equal, what position should the Packers address in the first round? Here are three obvious options and one darkhorse option:
Middle linebackerIf the Packers can nab a middle linebacker in the first round that …
Green Bay Packers teammates Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson were playing on opposing teams in Sunday night’s NFL Pro Bowl, but that didn’t stop Matthews from celebrating with Nelson after he scored a second quarter touchdown. Nelson and Matthews gave each other a flying bump after Nelson’s 21-yard TD from Drew Brees. It’s all about having fun at the Pro Bowl, and the end result just doesn’t matter.GIF via @_MarcusD_. H/T FTW.
This post appeared first on Holdout Sports.
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During the first half of the Pro Bowl Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees in the Pro Bowl to give Team Carter a 20-19 lead going in to the half. It was an incredible catch. The kind of catch that got him selected to the Pro Bowl, but what was of real interest was the guy that celebrated with him from the other team, linebacker Clay Mathews.They may not be teammates today, but they are every other day of the year. Read more »
After losing to the Seattle Seahawks one week ago in the NFC Championship, the Green Bay Packers now have to look back at the year that was and think about the year that was. While the offense was the reason this team was what is was, the defense did its part to keep the Packers in some games this year, including the NFC title game where they forced four interceptions and one fumble. It is time to pass out the grades and see who passed with flying colors.
As a unit, the Packers’ defensive line did a solid job. Unlike last season, the Packers were able to get pressure from their defensive line on the opposing quarterback, as the d-line had 16 sacks during the regular season. While the Packers had success getting to the quarterback, the defensive line did struggle getting penetration up front to stop opposing running games. The Packers finished in the bottom 10 against the run, as they gave up just under 120 yards on the ground. As a unit, the Packers defensive line did enough to be
Quickly lost in the DeflateGate furor was all the outrage over Dez Bryant’s overturned catch in the NFC divisional playoff round.
Sam Shields is here to open old wounds.
The Green Bay Packers cornerback, who was covering Bryant on the controversial Jan. 11 play, believes the call shouldn’t have been reversed.
“It was a catch,” Shields told ESPN this week at Pro Bowl practice in Phoenix. “But the new rule and at the last minute what happened, that’s what the refs came up with.
“I never said he didn’t catch it. He made a helluva catch I was in great coverage. Like I said, it was good on good and he came up with the catch.”
Sounds like the Dallas Cowboys fan who’s suing the NFL for $88 billion over the play has a potential witness.
Thumbnail photo via Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images
Filed under: NFL, Top Stories
Where do the Green Bay Packers go from here? With some changes, and a strong foundation to build on, the future remains bright.
The NFC Championship game was of course disappointing. It pointed out some changes that need to be made.
First and foremost: Fire Shawn Slocum.
That isn’t because of one play. Brandon Bostick’s mistake on the hands team doesn’t mean that Slocum should be gone. It’s a much deeper issue than that.
Slocum has been the Special Teams coach for six seasons. Let’s examine how the Packers’ Special Teams have fared during those years:
2014 – 22nd
2013 – 19th
2012 – 18th
2011 – 8th
2010 – 26th
2009 – 32nd (LAST)
So, after making progress in Slocum’s first three seasons, special teams plummeted back down to the lower half of the league – and in fact, have continued to deteriorate.
It isn’t only because of personnel. That isn’t because of the excellent kicking team the Packers have had for years now in Mason Crosby and Tim Masthay – while both have had ups and d
Heading into this year’s offseason the Packers will be busy trying to re-sign important players from this year’s team. Many of these players will be testing the free agent market themselves. The Green Bay Packers have a total of 14 restricted and unrestricted free agents, seven on offense and seven on defense. The front office will have tough decisions on who to re-sign and who to let go. The two players the Packers should make sure they sign to a long-term deal are Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga. Cobb and Bulaga played instrumental roles in leading the Packers to the NFC Championship game and also the sixth best offense in the league this past season.
Randall Cobb just finished his fourth season in the NFL and in doing so he set career records in receptions (91), yards (1,287), and touchdowns (12). Randall Cobb has always been one of Aaron Rodgers favorite targets and that was especially evident this year. When Rodgers threw to Cobb he had a passer rating of 134.3 the highest QB to WR rating in the entire
The Green Bay Packers had a lot of positive things happen in the 2014 season but perhaps the most important was the development of the offensive line, which turned out to be the best in Green Bay in over a decade.
Not only were the Packers able to routinely run the football against tough defenses—with over 100 yards rushing against Detroit, Dallas and Seattle in the three most important games of the season, the hogs up front also did a better job of protecting Aaron Rodgers than ever before.
There were plenty of reasons for that but one big one was the healthy return of right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who missed the entire 2013 season and a good chunk of 2012 with injuries.
This season, Bulaga was back to his old self and he was one of the best right tackles in football. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the offensive line graded out as the team’s top unit this season, grading out ever high than the quarterback position, which of course is essentially just Rodger…