Tag:Green Bay Packers
Posted on: August 19, 2010 11:28 pm

Packers could place Bigby on PUP

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Originally, Packers S Atari Bigby wasn’t supposed to be out this long. He had surgery on his left ankle Aug. 6 to clean out some scar tissue, and at first, he thought he might be out four weeks. That prognosis, though, has been stretched to eight weeks, and now, it’s unclear what Green Bay should do with the five-year veteran.

Wait for his ankle to heal and hold his spot on the 53-man roster? Or put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning he couldn’t return for the first six weeks of the season?

That's the conundrum, writes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . From the story:

Bigby is due to have his stitches removed in a few days. If he is cleared to practice in the four-week timeframe, he would be able to work out the week of the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 12. It's doubtful he would be able to play in that game, but he could contribute soon after.

If Bigby's recovery time is closer to eight weeks, that puts him on pace to be out at least the first four games.

In that case, it would make sense for the Packers to place Bigby on the physically unable to perform list. He wouldn't count against the 53-man roster but would be ineligible for at least the first six weeks of the season.

Bigby said the PUP possibility would be "very disappointing. Extremely."

Bigby’s absence means rookie Morgan Burnett will start in his place. Although he's inexperienced, Burnett got some much-needed reps in the offseason, considering Bigby refused to sign his restricted free agent tender and missed OTAs and mini-camp.

So, why didn’t Bigby get the ankle surgery earlier in the offseason. Like, say in April instead of August?

"I just thought I was beat up after the season," Bigby told the paper. "I went through the whole off-season, I rested on it, and I thought I would be able to come back and be 100 percent. Of course, I wasn't."

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Posted on: August 19, 2010 4:48 pm

Bryan Bulaga has a good reason to want to start

Posted by Andy Benoit

If you’re into the economics of the NFL, and particularly player contracts, you’ll love Bob McGinn’s latest article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. McGinn breaks down the details of first-round rookie Bryan Bulaga’s contract. The most interesting stipulation is how the 23rd overall pick can earn an additional $5.14 million in incentives simply by being a starter in the first four years of his five-year deal.

Here is an excerpt of what else McGinn dug up:

Bulaga's contract was slotted between wide receiver Demaryius Thomas of Denver, the 22nd pick, and wide receiver Dez Bryant of Dallas, the 24th choice.

Thomas' five-year deal contained $9.35 million in guarantees and a maximum value of $15.51 million.

Bryant, who on July 23 became the first first-round selection to sign, got $8.63 million in guarantees.

"It's a little light," one agent said after examining the guaranteed portions of the Bulaga and Bryant contracts. "But that's because Dez Bryant is a wide receiver."

Like most first-round picks, Bulaga's deal contains a one-time bonus that isn't considered guaranteed. But in order to gain that $2.54 million bonus, all Bulaga has to do is play 35% of the snaps in 2010 or 45% of the snaps in any subsequent season.

McGinn goes into much – MUCH – greater detail. If you’re so inclined, click here.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 15, 2010 11:46 am

Hot Routes 8.15.10: Overhyping the preseason

Got a link for Hot Routes? Tweet us or shoot an email to andy [dot] benoit [at] cbs [dot] com.

Jets offensive linemen Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are both competing for the starting left guard position. Slauson has the edge right now, but he was a sixth-round pick in ’09. Ducasse, a second-rounder in ’10, figures to be the future.

Former USC Trojan took another positive step in his football rebirth last night, impressing Seahawks coaches and fans with his 51-yard touchdown reception and run-blocking against the Titans/

Falcons followers have been paying close attention to rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. The first-rounder started ahead of Mike Peterson at weakside linebacker in Atlanta’s preseason debut.

Josh Freeman was 4/4 passing, including a touchdown strike to Sammie Stroughter, in page/MIA">Dolphins" target="_blank">Tampa Bay’s preseason opener against the Dolphins.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic, has a great headline for his column today: “Matt Leinart Blessed by a lack of competition”. Leinart did not look great in Arizona’s preseason opener.

One of the best offensive tackles in the game, Baltimore’s Jared Gaither, continues to battle the injury bug. On Saturday the Baltimore Sun reported that Gaither has been diagnosed with a tear in his back and could miss 2-3 weeks. Gaither had foot problems during the offseason and also suffered serious weight loss early in training camp.

Though he didn’t look particularly great against the Ravens Thursday night, there has been some buzz about Panthers rookie receiver Brandon LaFell. Now, his fellow rookie, Armanti Edwards, is getting some hype.

Packers rookie Morgan Burnett drew passing grades in his preseason debut filling in for injured starting strong safety Atari Bigby. The key for the athletic playmaker is to prove he can be physical.

Former and current Packer tight ends Mark Chmura and Jermichael Finley have been exchanging public barbs like a couple of junior high schoolers (actually, on further thought, given some of their passive-aggressive undertones, the barbs are probably more of an early high school level). We haven’t paid much attention to it, but if you want to read some details, you can click here.

Jack Del Rio still doesn’t seem too high on safety Reggie Nelson.

Jets and Giants open their new stadium tomorrow night. Given that it’s the New York market, does it seem like there is slightly less hype for this $1.6 billion venue than you’d guess?

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 11:39 am
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Posted on: August 14, 2010 9:46 pm

Ryan Grant concussed against Browns?

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite the fact that Ryan Grant is both overrated and average (he is, seriously), and despite the fact that the Packers pass a whole lot (and seemingly even more the red zone, signed disgruntled Grant fantasy owners), Green Bay still needs him in their offensive gameplan.

Which makes it slightly disconcerting that he left the Packers' preseason game with an apparent head injury, which could possibly be considered a concussion.

Grant suffered the injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Browns' Sheldon Brown and walked quite woozily to the sidelines, where he was attended to by trainers.

The Packers obviously haven't classified the injury as anything in particular, but it would be surprising if there wasn't at least a discussion of "concussion-like symptoms," which force Grant to miss some extended preseason action.

At the time he left, it was considered unlikely he would return to Satuday's game.

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: August 13, 2010 11:02 pm

Packers remind fans not to smoke

Posted by Andy Benoit

This, admittedly, isn’t very newsworthy, but the firm tone of this Green Bay Post Gazette article may amuse a few of you…

Headline: Green Bay Packers remind fans: No smoking at Lambeau Field

If you’re going to Lambeau Field for the Green Bay Packers’ preseason opener on Saturday night, remember there’s no smoking inside the stadium.

The stadium bowl, concourses, atrium and Curly’s Pub all have gone smoke-free as required by state law. Smokeless and electronic cigarettes are banned from the stadium.

Anyone caught smoking inside the stadium may be fined or ejected. Anyone who leaves the stadium to smoke will not be allowed to re-enter.

Fans also should carry their tickets with them at all times, the Packers said, citing their security guidelines.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 13, 2010 7:37 pm

Packers serious about using Jenkins at OLB

Posted by Andy Benoit

During the offseason, the Packers flirted with the idea of playing defensive tackle/end Cullen Jenkins at outside linebacker in passing situations. Jenkins has always been one of the most nimble defensive linemen in the game -- particularly in his lateral movement. But you rarely see 304-pound 3-4 defensive linemen move to the two-point stance. C.Jenkins (US Presswire)

Now, the flirtation has turned into what amount to serious dating. Not only is Jenkins getting legitimate reps as a pass-rushing outside linebacker, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers actually moved the front seven’s best athlete, Pro Bowler Clay Matthews, from right outside ‘backer to left outside ‘backer to accommodate Jenkins.

“If you have Clay and Cullen lined up together, there’s no question where protection is going to go,” Capers said in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, written by Tom Silverstein. “Clay and Cullen are two of our top rushers so you have to keep them rushing as much as you can, from various spots.”

Silverstein goes on to explain:

Matthews finished the regular season last year with 10 sacks, by far the most on the team. Jenkins was next with 4½, a total the Packers would like to see increase, along with their season total of 37 and No. 11 ranking.

Typically on passing downs, Jenkins would line up over the guard in a 2-4-5 formation with Matthews to his right on the outside shoulder of the tackle. The center and guard would double-team Jenkins enough to slow his progress and then the guard would release and help the tackle block Matthews.

In other words, it was a 2-on-3 situation, 2-on-4 if the back stayed in to help block.

Capers’ plan is to free Jenkins and/or Matthews from those kinds of mismatches. In addition, he would like to create some indecision on the other side of the line and make opponents try to figure out when and from where Jenkins is going to rush.

Some of that will involve Jenkins standing up like a linebacker, something he did early in college at Central Michigan. There may be times when he actually drops into coverage rather than rush.

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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