Halftime ceremony with Brett Favre will be ‘special’

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 14, 2016 – 9:57 am

161014-mccarthy-950GREEN BAY — The Packers are honoring Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at halftime of Sunday’s Packers-Cowboys game, putting his name up on the Lambeau Field facade along with the franchise’s others enshrined in Canton and presenting him with his Hall of Fame ring.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy — who coached Favre’s final two seasons in Green Bay and was his QB coach back in 1999 — won’t be able to see the halftime ceremony, but he expects it to add to the atmosphere in the stadium.

“Anytime they put your name up in Lambeau Field, it’s special,” McCarthy said on Friday. “Brett’s special in what he’s accomplished as a Green Bay Packer. It’ll be great to see his name up there permanently and get the ring and so forth. It’ll be great for our fans. The organization is excited about having him back.”

It’s interesting that Favre is coming back for a Cowboys game. Dallas was his nemesis as an opponent, as the Packers lost in the playoffs three straight years during the Cowboys’ dynasty of the early 1990s. McCarthy’s Packers now have their own history, and playoff history, with the Cowboys, which factors into the game atmosphere as well.

“You look at both organizations, there’s a lot of history, not only against each other but in the NFL,” McCarthy said. “We respect that, we understand it. They definitely do travel very well, so hopefully our Packer fans will hold onto their tickets. It’ll be a festive environment to play in. There will be a ton of energy outside the stadium, inside the stadium. That’s part of the competition between the Packers and Cowboys.”

As for the Packers’ injury report, McCarthy said RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) continues to “make progress,” while RB James Starks (knee, personal) is slated to return to the team on Saturday, and an evaluation on his availability will be made then. On the offensive line, McCarthy has no concerns about G T.J. Lang (hip) or C JC Tretter (back) for this week.

“JC just got hit in practice, so we were being cautious and following the rules of the injury report,” McCarthy said. “T.J. just needed a day.”

McCarthy also said CB Sam Shields (concussion) was not expected to practice on Saturday, while CB Damarious Randall (groin) might practice. “I’m hopeful he’ll do something tomorrow,” McCarthy said.


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Randall Cobb played with a ‘purpose’ against the Giants

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 13, 2016 – 6:15 pm

161013-cobb-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators and offensive coaches addressed the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a synopsis of some of their key comments.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

On Cowboys offensive line:

It’s one of the most talented groups in the league. They have three first-round picks who are all athletic with good size. They do a nice job of working up to the second level to the linebackers. Their run game is where everything starts. They have a very good play-action game with a mobile quarterback. It all ties together.

On Packers ILB Joe Thomas:

I like the flexibility he gives us. He’s a little different style player than Blake or Jake. I think he can win and do some of the same things, but he also can matchup when you put people out there against some of the third-down personnel you see. He’s a young guy. Your first year you’re seeing a lot of things for the first time. He’s had that go-around now.

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett

On running back situation:

Really any other week. You go into it and there’s a plan in place as far as the guys and overall preparation in the room. You always have to prepare like you’re the starter because at any moment a guy could get injured. I think all of our guys prepare that way. … We have a plan in place as far as who’ll be contributing this week.

On Eddie Lacy:

I love his play style. That’s something that stands out when you look at Eddie Lacy. He breaks a tremendous amount of tackles and the energy he brings from his running style. You get him in there and get him going, but also keeping in mind – we’ll take the approach to do what’s necessary to win the game.

Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook

On punter Jake Schum:

He hit the ball great today. Obviously we track that. He had a good week of practice and I’m looking forward to getting out there Sunday. … They all are deep thinkers. Really, you try to get them away from thinking too much. Do your thinking off the field and when you get out there let it rip.

Associate head coach/offense Tom Clements

On the offense:

I don’t think we’re far away. The guys are practicing hard. They’re working to get better. It’s just a matter of having some things click in the game. As I said, you look at the last game, there were plays that could have been big plays that for whatever reason didn’t happen. At some point they will and that’s what we’re working towards.

On the offensive line:

Usually you get better as you go along and the offensive line in general is the case. A lot of them have been playing together for a long time. They’re smart. They know what they’re supposed to do.

Offensive line coach James Campen

On offensive line’s jelling early:

They work so well together. Lane took a lot of reps last year. He would fill in a lot with both guards. He had a lot of work with David and the centers. It doesn’t surprise me from that standpoint.

On Lane Taylor:

Each one of those five positions has a job requirement. You work hard to get in that position. When you’re in there playing the game, there’s a job requirement and an expectation. He already filled that expectation for me, so I’m not surprised.

Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt

On putting emphasis on passing game:

Spending more time than we have in the past. Groups of time together where we’re putting my emphasis on it on the practice field and in the meeting room. … We still meet a lot together. It’s maybe more time together dedicated to it.

On Joe Callahan’s release:

Obviously Joe I thought did a great job. He’s a great success story coming from a small school and making it and earning a spot on this team. He understands things happen throughout the course of a season.

Receivers coach Luke Getsy

On Randall Cobb’s performance against Giants:

Some opportunities presented themselves, that’s for sure. When he got the ball in his hands, there was a purpose behind it. He definitely had a purpose behind him this past week. … He had some space around him, so he was able to get going after the catch.

Tight end coach Brian Angelichio

On Richard Rodgers getting more playing time:

He played a lot of plays. I think he had like 70 plays in the game, which is a lot. Certainly he’s done it before, so I think he responded OK.

On how Jared Cook is doing:

He’s been good. He’s been positive. He’s been working hard. He’s been good in the classroom and the meetings. He’s been partaking in everything that he needs to do.

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans

On injuries at running back:

The first thing is, you always react under the assumption that the guys are going to play. In sports, you always have to have a Plan B or another guy ready just in case. I think that’s kind of where we’re at with everything is making sure we’re prepared and don’t get caught (unprepared).

On Eddie Lacy’s 31-yard carry against the Giants:

You guys have been seeing that for years. Those are the things he’s capable of doing. I remember his rookie year during the preseason as a rookie and running through it. Those are the things that he’s capable of. It’s a shame what happened in the second half because he was on pace for a really good game. He was feeling really good before the game.

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This week’s TV map: Packers vs. Cowboys

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 13, 2016 – 2:47 pm


– If you’re looking for a Packers bar airing the game, try the search feature on Packers Everywhere.

– FOX Sports, now in its 23rd season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game.

– Play-by-play man Thom Brennaman joins color commentator Troy Aikman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

– Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 22nd season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 18th season of broadcasts together.

– Sports USA Radio will air the game on radio across the country. Wayne Randazzo (play-by-play) and Doug Plank (analyst) will call the action.

– The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.

– DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on Channel 715.

NFL Game Pass gives fans access to full replays of every NFL game on demand, in high definition.


– Brazil: Domingo 18:25 (ESPN)
– Mexico: Domingo 3:00p (Televisa)

TV map is courtesy of 506sports.com. View the full image.

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James Starks absent due to injury, personal reasons

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 13, 2016 – 11:02 am

161013-starks-950GREEN BAY — Packers running back James Starks will be out of town until Saturday due to a death in the family, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday morning.

Starks also was listed on Wednesday’s injury report with a knee injury after a flare-up during a workout Tuesday. His status for Sunday’s game against Dallas will be determined after Starks returns to the team.

McCarthy said running back Eddie Lacy is making progress after being a limited participant on Wednesday due to the ankle injury he sustained in Sunday’s 23-16 win over the Giants.

Lacy and Starks currently are the only running backs on the active roster. The Packers will use the week to determine what impact the two running back’s situations will have on the offense.

“That’s really what the game plans are for,” McCarthy said. “Frankly, Eddie’s health will have a lot to do with what direction we go. He’s a featured player in our offense. That’s stating the obvious.”

Receiver Randall Cobb (neck) and cornerback Damarious Randall (groin) are getting better after practicing in a limited capacity on Wednesday, according to McCarthy. Both are expected to practice again Thursday.

McCarthy added that cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) will not practice.

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Donald Driver co-hosting new show on OWN

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 12, 2016 – 12:37 pm


GREEN BAY — Packers all-time leading receiver Donald Driver is co-hosting a new show, “The Hero Effect,” on the Oprah Winfrey Network that will premiere on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The inspirational docu-series brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who are making extraordinary differences in their communities.

Shot on location in ten different communities across the country, each episode features real-life stories that build on United Way’s credo to fight for every person in every community.

The heroes featured in the series were identified in part through nominations from the 1,200 local United Ways across the country

Driver spent all 14 seasons of his NFL career with the Packers where he won a Super Bowl championship during the 2010 season.

Driver runs the “Donald Driver Foundation,” which serves underprivileged children and families, and the “Donald Driver Driven To Achieve Awards,” which provides scholarship money to students.  In addition to winning “Dancing With The Stars” in 2012, Driver is also an acclaimed author with four children’s books and the New York Times best-selling memoir, “Driven.”

“Every morning when I wake up, before my feet hit the floor, I pause on my bed and pray to God, ‘How I can change someone’s life today?,’” said Driver in a release. “’The Hero Effect’ shows amazing stories of selfless people and organizations that are changing lives every single day.  I was excited to be a part of this journey, and my high expectations were exceeded every time that we visited these incredible causes.  This show inspires me to do even more, and I hope it will inspire our viewers in the same way.”

Driver’s co-host is Emily Wilson, an actress with credits on HBO’s The Newsroom and ABC’s General Hospital and Castle. The ten-episode original series will air back-to-back episodes on the second Saturday of every month, beginning on Nov. 12.

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It’s wait and see on Eddie Lacy

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 12, 2016 – 12:01 pm

161012-lacy-950GREEN BAY — Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that Packers RB Eddie Lacy would be doing rehab on his ankle rather than practicing on Wednesday, and Green Bay is in wait-and-see mode as to whether Lacy will be available for Sunday’s game vs. Dallas.

“He’ll be in the rehab today,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see how he moves around.”

Lacy injured his ankle in the second half of Sunday night’s victory over the Giants. The Packers are conducting Wednesday’s practice a little later than normal after spending more time in meetings and walk-throughs earlier in the day.

The Packers will also be watching DT Mike Pennel and CB Demetri Goodson closely in their first practice following four-game suspensions. Neither player has been activated to the roster yet, and McCarthy said no decisions have been made in that regard so far, emphasizing that any player’s first practice after a long layoff puts him at a higher risk for muscle injuries.

“That’s one of the things we need to accomplish today. We need to get down there and not only get our work done but see where those two guys are at,” McCarthy said. “We’ll spend some time after practice to make sure we have a good feel for where they are.”

Pennel could provide an extra big body for the league’s No. 1-ranked run defense, which will be facing the Cowboys’ top-ranked rushing offense and the league’s leading rusher in RB Ezekiel Elliott.

Packers.com will have more following the Dallas conference calls, practice, and locker room interviews.


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Packers have allowed 171 rushing yards through 4 games

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 10, 2016 – 12:01 am

– The Packers topped the Giants, 23-16, on Sunday night at Lambeau Field to improve to 3-1 on the season. Green Bay has won eight of its last nine Sunday night games played at home.

– The Packers allowed 43 yards rushing on 15 carries (2.9 avg.), bringing their four-game total to 171 rushing yards allowed on 86 attempts (1.99 avg.). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the second-fewest rushing yards allowed by a team through four games since the NFL began compiling individual stats in 1933, trailing only San Francisco’s mark of 157 yards allowed on 74 carries (2.12 avg.) in the first four games in 1995.

– Green Bay has won 11 consecutive home games during the month of October, the second-longest home winning streak in October in team history behind only a 16-game streak from 1928-32.

– The Packers improved to 9-2 under Head Coach Mike McCarthy in the game immediately following the bye. Green Bay has won 16 of its last 21 in the game right after the bye.

– Green Bay led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Packers have outscored their opponents, 179-19, in the first quarter in the last 17 regular-season games at Lambeau Field.

– The Packers posted season bests for total yards (406), rushing yards (147), first downs (23), sacks allowed (zero) and time of possession (36:38).

– Green Bay will stay at home next week to take on another NFC East foe when the Dallas Cowboys visit Lambeau Field for a 3:25 p.m. contest. Including playoffs, this marks the fourth straight season that the teams have met (2013-16).


– Tonight’s paid attendance was 78,401, the 320th consecutive regular-season sellout at Lambeau Field.

– QB Aaron Rodgers2-yard TD pass to WR Jordy Nelson in the first quarter was the 50th between the duo in the regular season, the second most in team history behind only QB Brett Favre and WR Antonio Freeman (57 TD passes).

– Nelson has had at least one TD reception in each of the first four games this season, becoming the first Packer to do so since WR Bill Schroeder in 2001. Nelson’s five TD catches in the first four games are tied for the fourth most in franchise history, trailing only Don Hutson (seven in 1942, six in 1945) and Bob Mann (six in 1951).

– RB Eddie Lacys 31-yard run in the second quarter was his longest rush of the season. Lacy’s 77 rushing yards in the first half were the second most in his career in a first half behind only his 84 yards at Tampa Bay on Dec. 21, 2014.

– WR Randall Cobb posted season highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (108), with six of the catches going for first downs. It was the 12th 100-yard receiving game of his career.

– LB Clay Matthews went over the 70-sack mark for his career, with his third-quarter sack of QB Eli Manning giving him 70.5 sacks as a pro. That is No. 2 in team history behind only DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (74.5). Matthews has posted a sack in all three games he has played in this season.

– LB Nick Perrys third-quarter sack gave him a team-high 4.5 for the season, a career best (previous high of four in 2013). Perry has registered a half-sack or more in four straight games, the longest streak of his career.

– DB Micah Hyde posted a 6-yard sack of WR Odell Beckham in the third quarter, giving Hyde a sack in all four of his seasons (2013-16). He is the only defensive back in team history (since 1982) to register a sack in each of his first four seasons in the NFL.

– LB Kyler Fackrells forced fumble in the second quarter on a sack of Manning was the first of his career. Fackrell has posted a sack in back-to-back games.

– DT Kenny Clarks recovery of the fumble by Manning on Fackrell’s sack was the first of Clark’s career.

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Pregame warmup: Hyde, Hawkins will take on larger roles with Randall out

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 9, 2016 – 6:12 pm

GREEN BAY — The somewhat surprise scratch of CB Damarious Randall (groin) from the Packers’ lineup will elevate everyone else who can play cornerback for Green Bay.

The Packers are without their top two corners now in Sam Shields (concussion) and Randall, so second-year pros Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter will be the starters. Yet to be determined is whether Micah Hyde or undrafted rookie Josh Hawkins will get the call as the nickel, with the other one coming in for the dime package.

The nickel will most likely be Hyde based on experience, but Hawkins could still get a fair number of snaps because the Packers play their dime defense plenty. Another option in the dime would be to bring in an extra safety rather than a corner, but that might make it tough to match up if the Giants line up with four wide receivers.

Hawkins will be looking to atone for a significant blunder in the Packers’ last game, vs. Detroit before the bye week. With Randall out of the game briefly due to illness, Hawkins was the first line of defense on a 73-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones Jr. that never should have been such a big play. It appeared Hawkins had a chance to shove Jones out of bounds after a roughly 20-yard reception, but he failed to do so, and then fellow undrafted rookie Kentrell Brice, playing safety, was late getting over to help and Jones went all the way.

Those are the kinds of mistakes by young players the Packers can’t afford, especially against a veteran QB like Eli Manning and a deep receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard.

Around the NFC North: Regardless of tonight’s result, the Packers will remain in second place in the division, but to be determined is whether they’re one game or two behind the Vikings in the loss column.

Minnesota improved to 5-0 with a victory over Houston earlier Sunday. Detroit improved to 2-3 by handing Philadelphia (3-1) its first loss of the season, and Chicago fell to 1-4 with a loss at Indianapolis. The Vikings are now the lone unbeaten team in the entire NFL after the Broncos fell to the Falcons late this afternoon.

Weather update: It should be a nice fall evening for football at Lambeau Field. Temperatures are expected to be around 50 degrees at kickoff and falling into the high 40s as the game goes on. Skies are expected to be clear with minimal chance of rain and light winds.

Been a long time: Home cooking has been good to the Packers in October. The last time Green Bay lost at home in the month of October was way back in 2010, an overtime defeat at the hands of the Miami Dolphins.

This mark’s the Giants’ first trip to Lambeau Field since the 2011 NFC Divisional playoff, when New York scored an upset victory over a 15-1 Green Bay team. The last two Packers-Giants games, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, took place in New Jersey.

The last time the Giants visited Lambeau Field in the regular season was Week 16 of 2010, a Green Bay victory that launched the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl XLV title. That’s the only truly poor game Manning has played in his career vs. Green Bay. For more on that history, check out this week’s “One Last Look.”


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Damarious Randall ruled out; Packers-Giants inactives

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 9, 2016 – 5:59 pm

161005-inactives-giants-950The following players will not play in Sunday night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants:

Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers
6 QB Joe Callahan
23 CB Damarious Randall
37 CB Sam Shields
68 T Kyle Murphy
89 TE Jared Cook
96 DT Brian Price
99 DT Christian Ringo

Starting lineup changes: #24 Quinten Rollins will start at cornerback for Randall. #36 LaDarius Gunter will start at cornerback for Shields. #82 Richard Rodgers will start at tight end for Cook.

New York Giants
8 QB Josh Johnson
23 RB Rashad Jennings
27 S Darian Thompson
29 S Nat Berhe
73 T Marshall Newhouse
84 TE Larry Donnell
99 DT Robert Thomas

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Packers name captains for Sunday night’s tilt with Giants

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 9, 2016 – 2:30 pm


As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week. Tonight’s captains will be WR Jordy Nelson (offense), S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (defense) and WR Jeff Janis (special teams).

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