Tag:Frank Zombo
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Ryan Grant out for Packers Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

In theory, the Packers shouldn't have any real trouble dispatching the Broncos on Sunday -- if you ask our experts, the only real consideration is if they'll win by more than two touchdowns -- but there are at least a couple of warning flags for Green Bay.

For starters, Nick Collins is out for the rest of the season, meaning Charlie Peprah is manning one safety position. There's also the fact that Ryan Grant's out for the game against Denver with a bruised kidney.

The Packers listed Grant as one of five players (Bryan Bulaga, Collins, Frank Zombo, Mike Neal are the others) who are already ruled out for Sunday.

Grant's absence shouldn't be that much of a problem, considering the Packers have been their most effective this season when they let Aaron Rodgers sling the ball around. Plus, they did OK last year without the running back.

And James Starks is available, and if the Packers get up, could see a pretty substantial workload for Green Bay.

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Posted on: September 18, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Cam Newton breaks more rookie passing records

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers are 0-2 after their home loss to Green Bay Sunday, but there's reason for optimism in Charlotte these days, and it's all because of Cam Newton.

Following up on his record-breaking performance in Phoenix last week, Newton put on another impressive show against the Packers, throwing for 432 yards and adding two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air.

Newton also threw three interceptions, so everything wasn't sunshine and roses, but his second big game managed to break some more records and put him in impressive company.

The Panthers rookie became just the sixth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in back-to-back games. (Read that again, please.)

Newton is also the second- and third-youngest player to record 400-yard passing games. And he's the only rookie to throw for consecutive 400-yard passing games to start a career.

Additionally, his 432 yards broke the record for most passing yards in a game by a rookie, previously held by Matthew Stafford and ... Cam Newton. From last week.

This isn't to say that Newton is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and I'll have much more on the subject for Sorting the Sunday Pile on Monday morning, and it's absolutely worth noting that Newton picked up some serious junk-time yardage against the Packers.

He also made some indefensible -- well, "being a rookie" is an OK defense, but still -- throws against the Packers that resulted in the three picks.

But the reality is that this is not some sort of mirage, and it is not an accident that he's succeeding at the NFL level. Newton is the real deal, and so are the numbers.

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Posted on: September 18, 2011 11:41 am
 

Tramon Williams out Sunday against Panthers

Posted by Will Brinson


Cam Newton broke out in a big way during his debut, throwing for a first-game rookie-record 422 yards against Arizona. He's getting a slightly tougher test in Week 2, though, as the Panthers welcome the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and their slew of dangerous defensive backs.

Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields are, arguably, the best trifecta in the league. Good news for Newton (and Panthers fans) then, as Williams is inactive for the Packers, thanks to a shoulder bruise he suffered against New Orleans in the NFL opener last week.

Shields and Woodson are still a nasty combo -- and the Packers have announced that Shields will start -- but the Panthers, who are double-digit dogs at home, should consider themselves at least a little lucky that Williams isn't playing.

Running back Alex Green, cornerback Davon House, tackle Derek Sherrod, defensive end Mike Neal and linebackers Vic So'oto and Frank Zombo are also inactive for Green Bay on Sunday.

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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 3, 2011 10:32 am
 

MAC players represented well this week

B. Roethlisberger played his college ball at Miami (Ohio). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

ARLINGTON, Texas – I was talking to Steelers backup QB Charlie Batch the other day at Media Day, and we were discussing the sheer number of Mid-American Conference alumni who were participating in the festivities this week and were preparing themselves to play in the Super Bowl.

“It’s pretty crazy,” I said to the man who played at Eastern Michigan more than a decade ago. “There are 13 of you guys playing.”

“Actually,” he said, “there are 15 if you count the practice squad guys.”

Really? Well, let’s count them.

From the Steelers: Batch, Central Michigan’s Antonio Brown, Kent State’s James Harrison, Miami (Ohio’s) Ben Roethlisberger, and Bowling Green’s Shaun Suisham. That’s five.

From the Packers: Bowling Green’s Diyral Briggs, Miami’s Tom Crabtree, Central Michigan’s Josh Gordy, Central Michigan’s Cullen Jenkins, Western Michigan’s Greg Jennings, Eastern Michigan’s T.J. Lang, Buffalo’s James Starks and Central Michigan’s Frank Zombo. That’s eight.

Well, I count 13. Batch thought there were 15. Either way, it’s an impressive total for a non-BCS conference that doesn’t get much in the way of respect from college football/pro football fans.

“Obviously, we can get our guys out there, and we take a lot of pride in it,” Zombo said. “We talk about it quite a bit in the locker room. Some of the key players from the game are from the MAC who are contributing huge for the team. It shows the caliber of player we have in the MAC conference.”

That’s one impressive aspect of this story. It’s not just the scrubs or the practice squad players. It’s guys like Roethlisberger and Jennings and Harrison and Jenkins – some of the biggest stars of the game.

“The only difference in the MAC schools and the (BCS) conferences is the budgets in the programs,” Gordy said, and he’s probably partially correct.

In fact, the MAC has more players that will compete this week than the Big 12 (eight players), Pac-10 (six) and the Big East (four). All of them are BCS conferences. All of them have less MAC players (for the record, the SEC has 18, the Big Ten has 15 and the ACC also has 13).

Still, it’s a nice boon for the MAC that it has so much representation this week.

“At that level, there’s talent everywhere,” Crabtree said. “Whether you’re in the MAC or the Big 10 or whatever, there’s talent across the board. The MAC might not have the depth other conferences have, but the talent is still there.”

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 2:24 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 8:45 am
 

Green Bay Packers defensive roster breakdown

Posted by Will Brinson & Andy Benoit

Perhaps the most fascinating thing if you look (at a glance anyway) at Pittsburgh and Green Bay is that they've built their teams "properly." (AKA "the opposite of Dan Snyder.) They draft smart, and they sign smarter. At least that's what we're lead to believe, right?

Andy and I set out to check the roster breakdown for both teams. En route, we* managed to figure out not only where they're coming from, but what they'll do for their respective teams in the Super Bowl.

Name POS Acquired Scouting Report
Ryan Pickett
DE 
Drafted 29th overall 1st Round 2005, STL; 2006 FA
Tough guy to move in the trenches; never gives up on a play.
B.J. Raji
DT
Drafted 9th overall, 1st Round 2009
Did not truly come on until late in the year, but once he did…wow. Haloti Ngata of the NFC.
Cullen Jenkins
DE
UDFA 2003
Incredibly nimble for a 300-pounder. Can rush the passer (eight sacks on the season despite missing time and fighting through a calf injury) and also anchor against the run.
Howard Green
DL
Drafted 190th, 6th Round, 2002, BAL; FA 2010
Ate himself out of New York but offers some power whenever one of the starters needs some oxygen.
Clay Matthews
LOLB
Drafted 26th overall, 1st Round 2009
Skims the edge with astonishing speed. Can change directions and hunt down the ball in the blink of an eye. (OK…in 10 blinks of the eye. But blink 10 times in a row and you’ll realize that’s still incredibly quick.)
A.J. Hawk
LILB
Drafted 5th overall, 1st Round, 2006
Fundamentally sound system player, but not enough of his tackles come near the line of scrimmage. Plus, you don’t draft “fundamentally sound system players” fifth overall.
Desmond Bishop
RILB
Drafted 192nd overall, 6th Round, 2007
Green Bay’s most dynamic inside linebacker. Instincts aren’t dazzling, but very good at reacting to what he sees. Gets downhill with alacrity.
Erik Walden
ROLB
Drafted 167th overall, 6th Round, 2008, KC; FA 2010
Plays because he’s a better athlete than all of the other “non-injured” outside linebackers.
Frank Zombo
LB
UDFA 2010
Can make the play that’s right there in front of him, but that’s about it.
Tramon Williams
CB
UDFA 2006 Hard to believe he went undrafted given that he’s such a natural talent. Ball skills have flourished now that he’s comfortable with one-on-one technique.
Charles Woodson
CB**
Drafted 4th overall, 1st Round 1998, OAK; FA 2006
Matthews is fantastic, but this is still Green Bay’s most valuable defensive player. His versatility is what makes Dom Capers’ defense thrive.
Charlie Peprah
SS
Drafted 158th overall, 5th Round 2006
Not bad, but completions seem to occur most often in his area of the field.
Nick Collins
FS
Drafted 51st overall, 2nd Round 2005
Excellent range. Has a knack for sniffing out the ball when in attack mode. Very good tackler, too.
Sam Shields
CB
UDFA 2010
Undrafted rookie has terrific speed. Less than two years of cornerbacking experience explains why he sometimes struggles to feel-out his safety help.
Atari Bigby
DB
UDFA 2005
Was looking like the next big thing until injuries derailed much of his 2010 season.

*Scouting smarts credited to Benoit. HTML and research credited to Brinson.

*Classification is really unfair for him.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com