Packers TE Jared Cook making strong first impression

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 24, 2016 – 1:50 pm

160524-cook-650GREEN BAY — Wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Ty Montgomery aren’t all the way back from their injuries yet, putting more eyes on free-agent TE Jared Cook in the passing game as the Packers held their second OTA practice of the spring — the first one open to the media and public — on Tuesday.

“Jared looks good,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. “He’s a big target, very athletic. He’s been an excellent addition. He’s been everything we thought he would be. He looks to get more comfortable each time we line up.”

As for the players returning from injuries, McCarthy said he had no “long-term concerns.” He termed RB Eddie Lacy’s conditioning “so far, so good.”

The Packers have three weeks of OTAs followed by a minicamp to conclude the offseason program.

“We have a lot of work to do,” McCarthy said. “We look like a team that’s practiced twice, but we’re off to a solid start.”

Eddie Lacy plans to stay on current path

Aaron Rodgers getting to know the newest Packers

 


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Pop Warner honors LB Sam Barrington with Humanitarian Award

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on May 18, 2016 – 2:00 pm

Sam BarringtonGREEN BAY – Packers LB Sam Barrington has been named the 2016 recipient of Pop Warner’s annual Humanitarian Award.

Barrington will accept the award on Saturday, May 28, during the 56th Annual Pop Warner All-American Scholastic Banquet at Walt Disney World’s Yacht Club Resort in Orlando, Fla.

The Humanitarian Award is given to individuals who portray both outstanding athletic achievement and high humanitarian principles while serving as an inspiration to the youth of today. Past recipients include Calais Campbell, Ben Coates, Matt Light and Bob Sanders.

Active in the community, the fourth-year linebacker was selected by his teammates as the Packers’ winner of the Ed Block Courage Award this past season. He also received the 2015 community service award from the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

The banquet honors the scholastic achievements of 7,700 Pop Warner student athletes who earned All-American Scholar status by achieving at least a 96 percent average in school.

“This is such a special weekend as we celebrate the amazing achievements of our young scholars who have demonstrated extraordinary scholastic success,” Pop Warner Executive Director Jon Butler said in a release. “Sports and academics together help our young people develop leadership skills, knowledge and an adherence to teamwork and discipline.

“We’re also proud to celebrate the leadership our award recipients have exhibited in their sport, their profession and their community. They are exceptional in their individual fields and they help set a standard for our young people.”

Other honorees include Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker (Inspiration to Youth Award), the Carolina Panthers (NFL Team of the Year), College football and NFL analyst Charles Davis (Media Award), and two-time Paralympian and first Paralympic athlete nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year Cortney Jordan (Female Achievement Award).


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Kentucky graduation a ‘special moment’ for Packers WR Randall Cobb

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 9, 2016 – 12:36 pm

Randall Cobb

As Packers WR Randall Cobb finished crossing the stage at the University of Kentucky’s commencement on Sunday, it wasn’t difficult for him to spot his family in the crowd.

“They were sitting right by the stage, a little up,” Cobb said. “To be able to walk across and look up at them and see how excited they were, it was a special moment.”

Cobb is the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college. He still has two classes left to take this summer, but he went through commencement on Sunday after finishing three classes this spring — his ninth, 10th and 11th since leaving school early back in 2011 to join the Packers as a second-round draft pick.

Cobb remained diligent in his pursuit of a degree in community communications and leadership development. He took two summer classes prior to his rookie year while NFL players were being locked out by the owners in a labor dispute. After his second pro season, he went back to the Lexington campus to take three classes, and he has taken three more classes each of the past two offseasons.

Though he told his mom and grandmother he would finish college, it was a promise he made to himself more than anything. He spoke of it in terms of “changing the course” for his family, hopefully for generations to come.

“It wasn’t like anybody was pushing me to do it. It was something more that I wanted to do,” Cobb said on Monday, speaking with Packers.com after his regular workout. He flew back from Kentucky on Sunday night.

“I value education. It opens your mind up to different things. I just want to be able to set an example, not only for my kids, whenever I have them, but other little kids looking up. Yes, I play professional football, and I’ve been able to make a lot of money, but more importantly, I’ve been able to continue to grow and expand my mind and think differently.”

It was an emotional weekend. Cobb got to re-connect with his academic advisor, who began helping him as a freshman back in 2008, and some tears were shed. Family members cried some, too. Cobb also was able to speak briefly with university president Eli Capilouto during the ceremony, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was in attendance to support his teammate as well.

“Everybody views him as the quarterback, but that’s actually one of my closest friends,” Cobb said. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been able to grow a really good friendship, and I think it was Aaron Rodgers my friend that was there, not the quarterback. It shows just how close a friendship we have.”

 


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Mike Daniels ranked No. 95 on NFL Network’s Top 100

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on May 4, 2016 – 7:33 pm

160505-daniels-blog-300GREEN BAY – The NFL is starting to catch on to the Mike Daniels phenomenon.

On the heels of another career season, the Packers fifth-year defensive end was honored as the No. 95 player in the NFL Network’s annual “Top 100 players” series on Wednesday evening. It’s the first time Daniels has been named to the list, which is determined by a vote of current NFL players.

Daniels is coming off a big season in 2015. Along with signing an extension in December, the 6-foot, 310-pound defensive end had a career-high 49 tackles with four sacks and his first career interception against Arizona in Week 16.

Now seen as a leader on defense, Daniels has amassed 125 tackles and 18 sacks since the Packers drafted him in the fourth round (132nd overall) out of the University of Iowa in 2012.

Daniels is the first Packers player named to the list this year. Green Bay had six players ranked in the Top 100 with QB Aaron Rodgers (No. 2), WR Jordy Nelson (No. 18), LB Clay Matthews (No. 51), RB Eddie Lacy (No. 60), LB Julius Peppers (No. 71) and WR Randall Cobb (No. 100).


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Packers player to be revealed in first episode of NFL Network’s Top 100

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 4, 2016 – 10:21 am

GREEN BAY — The NFL Network’s annual “Top 100 players” series is back for 2016, and the first episode will reveal a Packers player ranked between No. 91 and 100.

The show airs at 7 p.m. CT tonight (Wednesday), and it will be followed by a “Reactions” show that features former players Marshall Faulk, Eric Davis and Reggie Wayne.

Last year, the Packers had six players ranked in the Top 100, as voted on by their peers. They were QB Aaron Rodgers (No. 2), WR Jordy Nelson (No. 18), LB Clay Matthews (No. 51), RB Eddie Lacy (No. 60), LB Julius Peppers (No. 71) and WR Randall Cobb (No. 100).

The player being revealed on Wednesday night will be making his first-ever appearance in the Top 100.

 


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Three Packers OTA practices open to public

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 2, 2016 – 3:07 pm

160401-offseason-950GREEN BAY — Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public , weather permitting.

The dates are:

Tuesday, May 24
Thursday, June 2
Monday, June 6

Those workouts are slated for 11:30 a.m. CT at Ray Nitschke Field and open for public viewing.

The team’s mandatory minicamp from June 14-16 will also be open to the public, but the exact schedule has yet to be announced.


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McCarthy likes vibe surrounding returning veterans

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 9:09 pm

_PMG__9002GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers could sense a special vibe in the air when the Green Bay Packers returned for the start of the offseason program on April 18.

The Packers quarterback, a veteran mainstay at voluntary workouts, has learned over the years that one of the telltale signs of locker-room chemistry is atmosphere in the first team meeting.

The general rule? The noisier, the better.

“When (coach) Mike (McCarthy) has to kind of quiet guys down, when it’s not just quiet right when he walks in, you know there’s a good energy in the room,” said Rodgers two weeks ago.

McCarthy, speaking to the media for the first time since the team returned, concurred with Rodgers when asked about his quarterback’s assessment of the team following the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

With 59 returning players with ties to the 2015 team, there is a feeling of unfinished business in the locker room given how last season ended.

“I agree with Aaron. It’s a great vibe,” McCarthy said. “When you walked into the team meeting room on Monday (April 18), you would’ve thought we were preparing for a playoff game. It felt like they never left.”

So far, McCarthy reports the team has had perfect attendance during the early portion of the offseason program, which began with a two-week strength and conditioning period.

McCarthy has been steadfast in his assertion that participation in the nine-week offseason program plays a critical role in the Packers developing their young roster into a championship-caliber team.

McCarthy, entering his 10th season as head coach, lauded newly signed tight end Jared Cook for how quickly he’s transitioned into the locker room and praised running back Eddie Lacy for being further ahead in the program this year.

Furthermore, the Packers welcomed seven new draft choices this weekend that they’ll begin to integrate into their program beginning at the team’s upcoming rookie orientation camp.

As great as it was to add young prospects to the positional ranks, the most immediate improvement will come from those returning players from last year’s team.

“Our No. 1 opportunity for improvement is the nine-week offseason program,” McCarthy said. “We had 63 players under contract that first day and those men sitting in the room, they are going to impact our football team the most as we move forward. I’ve always believed that. That’s how we set this thing up.”


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Packers draft Stanford T Kyle Murphy in sixth round

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 3:41 pm

Kyle MurphyGREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers continued to stockpile offensive tackles and Stanford products on Saturday evening in drafting tackle Kyle Murphy with their sixth-round pick (200th overall).

A first-team Pac-12 selection, Murphy (6-7, 301) started 14 games at left tackle for the Cardinal during his senior year after making 13 starts at right tackle as a junior in 2014.

The Packers drafted another large offensive tackle in the second round on Friday with Indiana’s Jason Spriggs. They also selected Stanford inside linebacker Blake Martinez with the first of their two fourth-round picks on Saturday.

Murphy is the fourth player from the Pac-12 the Packers drafted this weekend.


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Packers draft California WR Trevor Davis in fifth round

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 2:07 pm

Trevor DavisGREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers has another receiving target to throw to from his alma mater.

The Packers drafted California receiver Trevor Davis with their fifth-round pick (163rd overall). The 6-foot-2, 185-pound receiver had 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns in 23 games at California. He played his first two seasons at Hawaii before sitting out in 2013 due to the NCAA transfer rules.

Davis finished his career at California with 2,300 all-purpose yards with 1,110 kickoff return yards on 45 returns, including two returned for touchdowns. His 32.6-yards per kickoff return in 2014 ranked second nationally.

He ran a 4.42-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine with a 38 1/2-inch vertical jump and 6.60-second time in the three-cone drill.

The Packers previously drafted former California tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round in 2014.


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Packers draft Northwestern DE Dean Lowry

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 12:56 pm

Dean LowryGREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers added a lengthy end to their defensive line in drafting Northwestern defensive end Dean Lowry with their second fourth-round pick on Saturday (137th overall).

Lowry, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound true senior, had 134 tackles (31 ½ for a loss) with 12 ½ sacks over 48 career games.

Lowry ranked second on the team with 13½ tackles for a loss during his final season and set a NU single-game record with six tackles for a loss against Nebraska.


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