Tag:Erik Walden
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:07 pm
 

Walden apologizes for arrest, still will play

E. Walden was arrested no suspicion of domestic battery (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Packers linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery last Friday morning, a few hours after his Green Bay teammates polished off the Lions during their Thanksgiving matchup. After spending the weekend in jail because of the holiday weekend, Walden has emerged apologetic and, according to his coach, ready to play this weekend.

So, apparently, he will.

That’s the word from ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde, who writes that coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t believe a suspension is warranted for Walden at this point.

“Based on the information we have to date, Erik will play in the game," McCarthy said. “I have every anticipation for Erik to start.”

Will there be any type of discipline?

“That's really something that, once again, we'll watch the process, gather all the information," he said. “Those types of decisions are in-house decisions anyway. We've never discussed discipline publicly. We're respecting the process and collecting the information."

The case, since Walden was arrested, seems to have gotten less airtight. Originally, Walden’s live-in girlfriend (and the mother of his two children) said she and Walden were involved in an altercation, and he pushed her. But later, the woman -- who was treated for a bump and a cut on her head at a local hospital -- changed her story, saying that she was the one who started the fight and that Walden was only trying to defend himself.

Charges have not been filed, but Walden still said he was sorry.

“I want to apologize to the entire organization, my teammates and the fans,” he said. “You know, it’s an ongoing process, I respect that process, and it’s just unfortunate that I brought something negative from so much positive that’s going on with this organization. … I’m cooperating fully.”

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Posted on: November 25, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Packers Erik Walden arrested on battery charges

Walden will spend the weekend in jail. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Hours after the Packers defeated the Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving afternoon, Green Bay linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his live-in girlfriend, the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Charles Davis reports.

Walden's girlfriend required medical treatment, and Walden will remain in jail until Monday because the Brown County Court was closed Friday for the holiday. More details via Davis:
The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. at an apartment complex, Hobart-Lawrence police Chief Randy Bani said. The woman later called authorities about 6:10 a.m.

Bani said before the woman called police, she was treated for a cut and bump on her head, along with an injured right hand, at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. Walden, 26, was later booked into the Brown County Jail at 8 a.m.
“The officer felt that were was enough information that was given by the victim that the male was arrested,” Bani said, according to Davis.

Walden was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2008 drafty by the Dallas Cowboys. The Packers signed him in 2010. He's started all 11 games for Green Bay this season, and has 41 tackles (including eight against the Lions Thursday) and three sacks.

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 10:35 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Green Bay Packers

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:


In the postseason, this 10-6 number six seed got white hot and wound up bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home. Aaron Rodgers played the quarterback position as masterfully as anyone in the last five years. In three of Green Bay’s four playoff games, Rodgers threw three touchdowns and posted a passer rating above 110. The offense was aided by the emergence of running back James Starks, who helped lend balance to Mike McCarthy’s de facto spread West Coast system. But with the way Green Bay’s passing game was clicking, a backfield feature Gilbert Brown Frank Winters probably could have sufficed.

It’s easy to play offense when you have a defense that surrendered more than 20 points in only three games all season. Dom Capers was brilliant in concocting a byzantine 3-4 scheme built around the versatility of rover Charles Woodson, pass-rushing prowess of Clay Matthews, athleticism of corners Sam Shields and Tramon Williams and strength of the B.J. Raji-led front line.


Success, depth
NFL Offseason

Backup receivers Jordy Nelson and James Jones both had 45-plus catches and 550-plus yards in 2010. Don’t expect that to be the case in 2011. Tight end Jermichael Finley will be healthy and once again manning the slot in three-and four-receiver formations. Finley, the team’s most lethal weapon, will be priority No. 1. (Note: With Nelson and Jones both on the rise, it’s possible that veteran Donald Driver could become the forgotten wideout.)

With Finley being versatile enough to line up anywhere, we’ll likely see more formation shifts from Green Bay before the snap. For a defensive coordinator, that’s a terrifying thought given how shrewd Rogers is already in the presnap phase.


Not to cop out, but there aren’t any. When you lead your conference in injuries, all holes on your roster will be exposed. Unless, of course, you somehow plug them again and again. That’s exactly what the Packers did in 2010. Consequently, this team is now two deep at every position.

Of course, if you want to push the issue, you could argue for:

1. Backup interior lineman
The Packers brass is said to be high on Marshall Newhouse, but the fifth-round pick from a year ago is yet to see the field. Veteran utility backup Jason Spitz is injury prone and not likely to be back.

2. Outside linebacker
Snatching someone who can start ahead of Clay Matthews wouldn’t be a bad idea if the right player is available. Because of injuries, Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, Frank Zombo and Erik Walden all started games at this spot last season. The athletic Jones was the best of the bunch, but even he did not shine as a surefire first-stringer.

3. Defensive rover
Charles Woodson isn’t going to live forever. And the 34-year-old is somewhat injury prone, anyway. Replacing the über-versatile veteran is next to impossible, but if Ted Thompson sees a safety he likes (and Woodson is more of a safety than corner these days), he could give his likely future Hall of Famer an understudy. Jarrett Bush, of course, filled in admirably when Woodson was out during the second half of Super Bowl XLV, but Dom Capers still had to trim his playbook.


Anything short of a Super Bowl repeat would be a failure. Every time a team wins a title, scores of hackneyed pundits squawk about how we could be seeing the beginning of a dynasty. That sentiment actually feels true with these Packers.

Rodgers is in his prime. So is the rest of the offense, which happens to be stacked at all the skill positions. Defensively, Dom Capers is the best in the business when it comes to in-game adjustments and variations of 3-4 blitzes. Capers has all the pieces he had in 2010, which includes four Pro Bowlers plus ascending NT B.J. Raji.

The lockout helps the Packers more than most teams because they’re deep and their core has been together for three years now.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Looks like the Packers could be without Walden

Posted by Andy Benoit

DALLAS -- It’s only fitting that one last injury would ding Green Bay’s linebacking corps before the Super Bowl. It looks like the Packers could be without starting right outside linebacker Erik Walden. The third-year pro did not participate in the team’s walkthrough practice Saturday. Walden admitted earlier in the week that he has a high ankle sprain. That’s often a three-week injury.

“Erik’s going to have to show us something before the game,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “Obviously we’re going over early, 2 o’clock, so we’ll have a decision right there at the deadline.”

If Walden, who had three sacks over Green Bay’s final four games, does not play, undrafted role player Frank Zombo would get the start. The reason Zombo and Walden got their chances in the first place was because the Packers lost Brad Jones, Brandon Chillar and Brady Poppinga earlier in the year.

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:00 pm
 

The Super Bowl injury report

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The last one of the entire season.

PITTSBURGH Steelers

Status Report

OUT

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Practice Report

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)

Thursday

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)

Friday

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Thursday

DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Friday

DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

GREEN BAY Packers

Status Report


QUESTIONABLE

LB Erik Walden (ankle)

PROBABLE

T Chad Clifton (knees), WR Donald Driver (quadricep), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Frank Zombo (knee)

Practice Report


LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

T Chad Clifton (knees), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Erik Walden (ankle)

Thursday

T Chad Clifton (knees), WR Donald Driver (quadricep), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Erik Walden (ankle)

Friday

WR Donald Driver (quadricep), LB Erik Walden (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

LB Frank Zombo (knee)

Thursday

LB Frank Zombo (knee)

Friday

T Chad Clifton (knees), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Frank Zombo (knee)

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Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Breakdown of the 2009 Packers-Steelers shootout


B. Roethlisberger (US Presswire)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Conversation overheard in the media center this week:
 
Media Guy A: Maybe it’s just me, but why does it feel like we’re going to get a surprising offensive shootout on Sunday?

Media Guy B: Because last time these two “great defenses” squared off it was an absolute scoring fest.

That scoring fest was a 37-36 instant classic in which a Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace 19-yard touchdown on the final play resulted in a 37-36 Steelers victory. It was a fitting end considering that a Roethlisberger to Wallace 60-yard strike had been the first play of the game.

All week both teams have downplayed the relevance of last year’s shootout. And for good reason. The Packers, with dynamite tight end Jermichael Finley in the lineup, had a slightly different offensive structure than what they’ll have this Sunday. And the Steelers were without strong safety Troy Polamalu.

That said, this was barely a year ago, so what we saw is not entirely irrelevant today. Here are some of the key X and O elements from that contest (tip of the cap to Greg Cosell of the NFL Matchup Show for helping with some of the ’09 details).

PACKERS OFFENSE VS. STEELERS DEFENSE

Inside blitzes

Last time:
The Steelers attacked early with a lot of what’s called Fire X blitzes (having the inside linebackers cross each other to rush the passer). They were successful on a few occasions, though Aaron Rodgers amazed with his ability to deliver throws with defenders bearing down on him. Rodgers also built a lot of locker room cred by popping back up when he did get drilled.

This time: Inside blitzing has been a staple of Pittsburgh’s attack this season. James Farrior recorded six sacks on the year and rising star Lawrence Timmons was a thousand times better than his three sacks suggest. If (IF) the Steelers blitz, their interior ‘backers will be a big part of it.

Corner weakness

Last time:
The Steelers did not have No. 2 corner Bryant McFadden last season (he was in Arizona) and their coverage suffered. Ike Taylor, Willie Gay and Joe Burnett rotated throughout this game. Veteran Deshea Townsend was the nickelback. With so many players altering positions, and with no Polamalu helping out, the entire secondary lacked continuity and consistency.

This time: McFadden is not a stud, but he stabilizes the left corner slot. Willie Gay, who was unfit for a starting job last season, is in a more-fitting nickel role. Gay still has occasional issues on the inside, but this cornerback unit as a whole is in the upper half of the NFL.

Spread formations

Last time: The Packers frequently aligned in the shotgun with four and five wide receivers. This was to take advantage of the thin, “Polamalu-less” secondary.

This time: Given the way Rodgers has played, Green Bay’s depth at wide receiver and the fact that it’s virtually impossible to run on Pittsburgh, expect plenty of spread formations again.

STEELERS OFFENSE VS. PACKERS DEFENSE

Multiple formation throwing

Last time:
Pittsburgh relied on a variety of different formations to attack the Packers through the air – most of them of the spread variety. The objective behind this was to make Dom Capers simplify his complex defensive scheme. Mission accomplished. On the 11-play game-winning drive, Green Bay never rushed more than four.

This time: Pittsburgh will likely make a more concerted effort to establish the run, but it would make sense to do so out of spread formations. Spreading the field prevents the Packers from cluttering the box. The fewer bodies the Packers have roving around the box, the fewer options they’ll have for confusing Ben Roethlisberger and the offensive line.

Charles Woodson defended Hines Ward

Last time: This was when the packers were in more traditional sets (two and three wide receivers). Woodson, the ’09 Defensive Player of the Year, was utilized as a cover corner on what the Packers believed was Pittsburgh’s most dangerous wide receiver.

This week: Woodson has evolved into more of a safety in Green Bay’s scheme. (When he plays traditional corner coverage, it usually means the Packers are being passive.) But if the Packers do use Woodson as a cover corner, it’s likely he will face Ward again. That would be an excellent physical matchup. Plus, Green Bay’s other corners, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, are both better equipped than Woodson to handle the blazing downfield speed of Wallace.

Early pass-rush prowess

Last time: Before they got passive in the second half, Green Bay was effective with their zone blitzes. Clay Matthews, in particular, stood out.

This time: Matthews has only gotten better, but the rest of the Packers pass rush has leveled off just a bit. Brad Jones, the starter last season, joined the host of Packers on IR long ago. Replacement Erik Walden is athletic but battling an ankle injury this week. Still, straight up, Green Bay’s pass rush as a whole has an advantage on Pittsburgh’s O-line. Right tackle Flozell Adams doesn’t begin to have the movement skills to handle Matthews, and with center Maurkice Pouncey likely out, you have to wonder if the rest of the line will effectively communicate on blitz pickups. (Offensive line coach Sean Kugler credits Pouncey’s development as the driving force behind the line’s improvement against blitzes.)

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Driver misses practice; other Packer injury news

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Driver (US Presswire)
Packers wide receiver Donald Driver tweaked his bothersome quad injury and missed Thursday’s practice. The Packers claim they aren’t worried, though.

“He’s fine,” Mike McCarthy told Jim Trotter, who is covering Green Bay practice for the NFL. “He wants to practice and all that, but I’m not taking any chances with him. I’ll probably hold him out tomorrow, as well.”

The quad injury landed Driver on the inactive list in early November and cost him two games.

Veteran left tackle Chad Clifton also sat out practice to rest his knees. Like Driver, Clifton is expected to play Sunday.

The only other noteworthy injury for Green Bay is starting outside linebacker Erik Walden, who is fighting a sprained ankle. Walden was limited in practice on Thursday.

The Steelers are healthy with the exception of center Maurkice Pouncey, who has not practiced all week and will likely not play.

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Matchup breakdown: Steelers O vs. Packers D

R. Mendenhall (US Presswire)

Posted by Andy Benoit

In the AFC Championship, the Steelers surprised everyone by coming out running against the Jets. On paper, Pittsburgh’s banged-up offensive line was overmatched against New York’s third-ranked run defense. But on the field, the opposite proved true.

With Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey possibly out this Sunday (ankle/foot), one might think Pittsburgh would be inclined to come out throwing. After all, backup Doug Legursky has a noticeable lack of power, while Green Bay’s nose tackle B.J. Raji has a noticeable abundance of it.
 
But despite the Legursky-Raji mismatch, don’t be surprised if the Steelers once again rely on Rashard Mendenhall early on. Running the ball shortens the game and keeps Aaron Rodgers off the field. More than that, it decreases the number of times lumbering right tackle Flozell Adams has to fend off lightning pass-rusher Clay Matthews (Adams vs. Matthews is a mismatch that makes every member of the Steeler organization shudder; it’s hard to imagine the Steelers won’t concoct some form of tight end help for Adams.)

Early in the season, the Steeler offensive line and third down back Mewelde Moore struggled mightily with blitz identification. They got the pass-blocking issues in order down the stretch, but with two weeks to prepare, you have to figure Dom Capers will design at least a few new complicated zone exchanges and delayed A-gap blitzes.

What’s more, whether he’s blitzing or feigning a blitz, slot cornerback/rover Charles Woodson is the key to Green Bay’s pressure schemes. If it’s Woodson vs. Ben Roethlisberger in a presnap chess match, Steelers lose.

Super Bowl experience will have a pretty huge impact on this game as well. Here's Hines Ward on that subject:


Running the ball would ameliorate those unfavorable passing game matchups for the Steelers. But more than that, the Steelers may very well feel that they have an advantage against the Packer run defense anyway. Yes, Doug Legursky, left tackle Jonathan Scott and right guard Ramon Foster all lack the power necessary to generate downhill movement as run-blockers. But left guard Chris Kemoeatu doesn’t.

Kemoeatu is one of the most mobile blockers in football. When he gets to the second level and faces linebackers, he’s frighteningly nasty .The Packer defense did an excellent job at keeping inside linebackers Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk clean from blockers this season. (Why do you think the inexperienced Bishop and resoundingly average Hawk were the only two Packers to record 100-plus tackles?)

But the Steelers, who run two-tight end base personnel, could give those inside linebackers problems by shifting to three-receiver personnel (which would involve replacing Matt Spaeth with wideout Emmanuel Sanders). The Packers almost always use a 2-4-5 alignment in nickel defense. With only two downlinemen, Kemoeatu would have a clear path to Bishop or Hawk (and remember, in nickel, one of those inside ‘backers will be off the field). In that case, Mendenhall could run inside, or, if he’s lucky, get isolated on the edges against outside linebacker Erik Walden (an impressive athlete but very callow run-stopper).

Roethlisberger is Pittsburgh’s best playmaker, but the run game could very well be Pittsburgh’s best chance at a seventh Lombardi trophy.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com