On the Packers calendar today, the Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps in Green Bay, Madison and Elm Grove get underway today. Among the former Packers helping out is fullback Dexter McNabb ...
According to new Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Mark Chumura, he supposedly heard suspended defensive lineman Johnny Jolly failed "something like twenty" drug tests. This is obviously an overwhelming claim to make. It implies the NFL's substance abuse program, which doesn't make all violations public, is not nearly as tough against drugs as commissioner Roger Goodell would have the public believe. Is it true? I guess we'll find out Thursday when some bold fan asks Goodell whether Jolly has failed twenty-some drug tests during his Q&A session at Lambeau Field.
Churmura's information is hard to believe, says Alex Tallitsch of Packers Lounge. "Even with the odd way the NFL seems to deal with issues nowadays, I still can’t believe that a guy can fail 20 drug tests and still set foot on a football field," writes Tallitsch. "I suppose, as noted by Chmura, that if he knew he was already facing a long term suspension perhaps he just started drinking up, but 20, seriously? No way anyone lets that happen."
Johnny Jolly and the "Purple Drank" culture are examined today by Jeffrey Martin of the Houston Chronicle. If you've been following the story, there's not a whole lot there you haven't heard before, but there are some interviews with people that knew Jolly. "The thing about (Settegast) is that there are a lot of downfalls," said Jolly's high school football coach, Ron Holmes. "The thing for Johnny to succeed was to get out of that type of environment. ? Kids don't understand what you have to do is get out of the environment — just visit and leave." One professor called the drug as addictive as heroin, which lends some credence to Jolly's supposed twenty failed drug tests.
The Packers could begin development of the land they own west of Lambeau Field in the near future. "Larry Weyers, Packers vice president of the Executive Committee and its lead director, agreed that the timing of any development is uncertain and would be done in concert with municipal leaders," writes Tony Walter of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "However, it’s possible that something could happen on that front in the upcoming year, he said." As far as what the Packers may build, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, youth sports complexes and health-care facilities are all options.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is back on the Packers beat and previews the quarterback position before training camp begins. "In order to take the Packers to North Texas for the 45th Super Bowl, Rodgers will attempt to join the short list of quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl without first having won a playoff game in a previous season," writes McGinn. "In the last 25 years, that list includes Jim McMahon in 1985, Jeff Hostetler in '90, Warner in '99, Tom Brady in 2001 and Eli Manning in '07." I'll give McGinn that inexperienced quarterbacks don't win Super Bowls very often, but it's not exactly unprecedented. If the Packers win the Super Bowl, I won't be overwhelmed by Rodgers' relative lack of experience.
McGinn is criticized by Packers blogger "Donald's Designated Driver" for claiming Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy mortgaged their future by trading away Brett Favre. "This is definitely not what Thompson did with Favre," writes D.D. Driver. "It was actually the exact opposite. When Thompson let Favre go he risked a gloomier present in exchange for the possibility of a rosier future. While Thompson certainly gambled his future with the Packers, he hardly 'mortgaged his future.'" I'm not looking forward to the day Triple D picks apart my metaphors.
The state of the offensive line is previewed by Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. "The Packers now are proceeding as if their offensive line problems are behind them, mainly because of the improved health of aging tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, but also because of the young players backing them up," writes Dougherty. "And it’s critical for this rising organization that Thompson and McCarthy are right, because 41 sacks over the first nine games is not the stuff from which champions are made." Can't complain with that analysis. As long as last year's weak links part ways, the Packers should be much better off this season.
The offensive line is also previewed by Tom Ziemer of the Wisconsin State Journal who reminds us about the plus-side of Daryn Colledge. According to Ziemer, "Colledge, who will only focus on left guard this year, responded by getting into what he says is the best shape of his life." The question is, can a player who stayed away from the team's weight room and training staff for most of the offseason workout portion be in the best shape of his life? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
A preview at the receiver position is provided by McGinn. He notices something the casual observer probably doesn't. "For two years, Aaron Rodgers has been throwing to a corps with fairly defined roles: Jennings at split end and Driver at flanker in base, Driver in the slot in three wide, Jennings often in the slot in four wide, and both Jones and Nelson usually playing outside," writes McGinn. He goes onto say those roles may be less defined this season. And that would be a good challenge for the coaching staff to mix things up.
Dougherty also looked at the quarterbacks and says that Rodgers worked this offseason on studying sacks and whether to throw the ball away. "During offseason quarterbacks school, he and [quarterbacks coach Tom] Clements watched every offensive play from last year and studied each sack to determine whether he should have thrown the ball away, run or taken the loss," writes Dougherty. Rodgers seems hopeful not to make that an issue again this season.
The player-by-player ranking of every Green Bay Packers continues by Bill Huber of Packer Report and, again, there's more controversy. Huber has B.J. Raji ranked at No. 12 ahead of both Chad Clifton and Donald Driver. "The top backup at all three spots on the line in the base defense last year, Raji is now the starting nose tackle," writes Huber. "That was a job handled with aplomb by Ryan Pickett, and Raji will have to prove he can consistently hold up against double teams. He wasn’t tough enough against double teams last year and he provided almost zero pass rush, with one sack and three quarterback hits. He needs to take a big step forward for the defense to remain elite against the run." Does Huber say his rankings are based upon the potential to help the team this season anywhere? I really need to find out the rationale behind putting a guy that's barely played ahead of two former Pro Bowlers.
Bringing in a veteran quarterback is considered by Michael Davidsen of Green Bay Packer Nation. "As of now, some veterans for the Packers to consider include: Mark Brunell, Patrick Ramsey, Daunte Culpepper and Luke McCown," writes Davidsen. "However, Brunell is close to signing with the Jets and I’m not so sure Culpepper would be greeted with open arms by Packers fans. That leaves Ramsey and McCown as potential options for the Packers to add during training camp or the preseason, assuming the two remain free agents until then." I'll tell you what, none of those players offer at this point in their careers that Matt Flynn can't.
Ol' Bag of Donuts tries to predict what kind of team the Packers will have this season. "They’re going to be a team that scores in bunches. That will put major pressure on the opposition to keep up," writes Chris Lempesis. "The run defense will ensure that opponents will not be able to turn games into grind-it-out, clock dragging affairs. So, in order to hang with this team, opponents will have to look to the passing game. And although there are some questions in the secondary, there are also some big-time playmakers who can kill you." Sounds pretty accurate.
An overall taste of training camp comes from McGinn at the Journal Sentinel. It's a good look where the team has been in the past and what got them to the present.
A broad view of the offense is broken down by Ziemer at the State Journal. He looks at how many players the Packers might keep at each position, although that's subject to change.
The Sunday Blitz column by Dan Pompei at the National Football Post is a good read. He ranks the Packers as the third-best overall training camp experience and also has a list of all remaining free agents left on the market, the just-in-case crowd.
Don Hutson made Acme Packing Company's SBN Hall of Fame.
Live near Orlando? The Central Florida Packer Backers Club has their calendar of events for every game this season. Their cow-chip throwing competition sounds fun.
Railbird endorsed video: The Press-Gazette's Tony Walter takes a closer look at development around Lambeau Field ...
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