GREEN BAY–Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy are said to work well together in a league in which general managers and head coaches often clash. What’s the secret to Thompson’s and McCarthy’s relationship?
“When we get down to the hard decisions, we have to do what’s right for the Packers and for the people in that locker room,” Thompson said during his weekly training camp press conference on Wednesday.
Thompson is facing the annual final roster reduction this weekend. He has long admitted it’s a time that troubles him emotionally.
“It weighs on you pretty good. It’s important to these young guys and some of them are not going to be able to survive past the weekend. It’s the hard edge of NFL football,” Thompson said.
The marriage of opinion between personnel and coaching is one of the key instruments in making decisions on players, and that’s where the Thompson-McCarthy relationship is so important.
“Those are conversations between Mike and I. He has a pretty good feel for his staff. Everybody is trying to do the right thing. Mike and I work pretty good together,” Thompson said.
Meanwhile, the general manager’s scouting staff quickly turns its attention to roster decisions being made by the league’s other 31 teams and the players who’ve been released.
“The first thing we do when a guy gets cut is (ask) what grade did we give that guy when he was in college?” Thompson said.
On Tuesday, the Packers released tight end Colt Lyerla after having assigned him to the injured reserve list a week earlier. Will the Packers re-sign Lyerla at a later date?
“I don’t know. We reached an injury settlement with Colt and he’s a free agent. We’ll see,” Thompson said.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 9 Comments »
GREEN BAY–Thursday’s preseason finale is all about winning spots at the bottom of the roster.
“To me, we have 63 opportunities available,” Coach Mike McCarthy said, referring to the combination of 53 active-roster and 10 practice-squad spots. “We’re going to make sure everyone is going to get an opportunity on Thursday to show what they got.”
Jayrone Elliott is one rookie who’s already shown what he’s got. Elliott has four sacks through three preseason games.
“I think it’s a wonderful example of a young man given an opportunity. He’s stepped up. He’ll play more than he ever has against Kansas City, both on defense and special teams,” McCarthy said of Elliott.
Quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien will also be under the microscope on Thursday, as they take their battle for the backup job into the final game of the preseason.
“I think Matt is 10 plays behind Scott. We have two plans to work on that. You have to give the quarterback a chance to create flow. I think you have to give each a minimum of a quarter before you switch,” McCarthy said.
Packers.com has provided this full report following locker room interviews.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 16 Comments »
GREEN BAY–Coach Mike McCarthy’s review of Letroy Guion’s first practice should help ease concerns about the nose tackle position.
Guion participated in his first training camp pratice on the next-to-last practice of camp. He came to camp with a hamstring injury. His return is on the heels of an arm injury that has ended starting nose tackle B.J. Raji’s season.
“I thought he looked explosive. I really like what I saw from Letroy. He got off to a good start. We limited his reps. I thought he had quality reps today,” McCarthy said.
“I think we improved every day,” McCarthy added when asked for a critique of training camp. “The growth was continuous. The installation phase was excellent. Our practice structure was better. A lot of good things came out of training camp.”
Rookie center Corey Linsley is also a player of intense interest these days, as he replaces injured JC Tretter. McCarthy was asked if he would give extra playing time to the No. 1 offense on Thursday, to help familiarize it to Linsley.
“To go out there and totally overdo reps because of one guy, I’m not going to do that. If you have to do that, you’ve got the wrong guy,” McCarthy said.
Additional coverage – Aug. 25
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 29 Comments »
GREEN BAY–Monday’s practice included a rare treat: the No. 1 Packers offense against the No. 1 Packers defense.
The head-to-head matchup occurred when the No. 1 offense was posing as the scout team offense, which would suggest Aaron Rodgers and company will not play on Thursday night when the Packers close the preseason against visiting Kansas City.
Rodgers and Jordy Nelson got a cheer when they connected on a touchdown pass and reception. It’s important to note nose tackle Letroy Guion, who participated in practice for the first time in this training camp, got some snaps with the No. 1 defense on Monday. Guion reported to training camp with a hamstring injury. His participation is timely since starting nose tackle B.J. Raji was lost for the season to an arm injury on Friday night.
The Packers only have one training camp practice remaining, on Wednesday. They ran an extended-period half-line drill on Monday.
Packers.com will provide a “News now!” report from Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-practice press conference.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 11 Comments »
GREEN BAY–The Packers have lost center JC Tretter for “multiple weeks,” Coach Mike McCarthy said on Sunday. Tretter sustained a “significant knee injury” on the first series of Friday’s game against Oakland, but returned to the game and played 49 snaps. He is obviously lost for the regular season opener in Seattle.
Also, McCarthy confirmed nose tackle B.J. Raji suffered a major arm injury in Friday’s game and is lost to the team. McCarthy said Raji is scheduled to undergo surgery on his right arm.
“B.J. Raji was in great shape and had the best camp of his career. Injuries are a part of the game. It’s unfortunate but it will not stop us,” McCarthy said.
Linebacker Brad Jones sustained a quad injury, did not practice on Sunday and won’t play against Kansas City on Thursday in the preseason finale.
Rookie fifth-round draft pick Corey Linsley would seem to be Tretter’s repalcement. Josh Boyd steps in for Raji.
Tags: b.j. raji, brad jones, corey linsley, jc tretter
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 60 Comments »
GREEN BAY–B.J. Raji’s right arm was in a sling as he watched his teammates practice on Sunday. Raji was injured in Friday night’s game and his injury will likely be the No. 1 topic when Coach Mike McCarthy meets with the media following practice.
Second-year nose tackle Josh Boyd is Raji’s likely replacement. Free-agent acquisition Letroy Guion, who has yet to practice in training camp due to a hamstring injury, and undrafted rookie Mike Pennel are also prospects at nose tackle.
Meanwhile, center JC Tretter was absent from practice; he was not mentioned in Friday’s postgame injury report. Cornerback Casey Hayward returned to practice after missing Friday’s game; McCarthy said he was playing it safe with Hayward’s hamstring history.
Packers.com will provide a report from McCarthy’s post-practice press conference.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 17 Comments »
GREEN BAY—The author of one of the most treasured reminders of the Vince Lombardi era of Packers football has died.
Ted Moore was the radio voice of Packers football through five championship seasons in the 1960s. He was the radio voice of the Packers on WTMJ Radio from 1960-69, and one of the voices to have chronicled the “Ice Bowl.”
Moore’s is the voice almost always heard when Bart Starr’s quarterback sneak for the winning touchdown in the “Ice Bowl” is recounted.
“Here are the Packers, inches to go to paydirt; 17-14, Cowboys out in front. The Packers trying for the go-ahead score. Starr begins the count … and he’s in for the touchdown and the Packers are out in front, 20-17, and there are 14 seconds showing on the clock, and the Green Bay Packers are going to be world champions, NFL champions for the third straight year.”
That was Moore’s call of Starr’s quarterback sneak to win the “Ice Bowl,” one of the most famous plays in NFL history.
“We did some work with him concerning the rebroadcast of the Ice Bowl,” Packers current play-by-play man Wayne Larrivee said. “Ted told me a story of when he was hired in Lombardi’s second year as Packers coach. Lombardi listened to a game and he said, ‘You’ll be OK.’ Lombardi had just listened to the rebroadcast of the game.”
That was during a time when the NFL wasn’t the popular entertainment entity it is today. When Moore was hired, pro football was a distant second to Major League Baseball, and all home games were blacked out on TV; the “Ice Bowl” was blacked out. Until the baseball season ended, several NFL teams’ games were broadcast on FM stations and rebroadcast on AM when it didn’t conflict with baseball broadcasts.
Times have changed.
“Friday night,” Larrivee said, “the Brewers played a significant pennant race game against the Pirates, and the Packers played a preseason game, and the Packers were on WTMJ AM and the Brewers were on WTMJ FM.”
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in reaction to Moore’s passing: “Packers fans lost an iconic voice today with the passing of Ted Moore. His play-by-play calls delighted the radio audience during the remarkably successful Lombardi era. Our sincere condolences go out to his family.”
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 16 Comments »
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(overall thoughts) “Our football team improved tonight. You always want to win the game, but you really look at the quality of play and the play style. I think over these three weeks, these first three preseason games, that the play style is kind of what we’re looking for. The quality of play is something that we’ll continue to work on. This penalty environment that we’re in right now is a challenge for everybody and we need to keep working through that. But overall, without viewing the film, I felt like we took a step tonight.”
(on how he feels the number one defensive unit performed) “I think our number one defense, we had that one big play that we gave up, but other than that, I thought we dominated the line of scrimmage. Three-and-outs speak for themselves so I was very pleased with the first unit.”
(on his running backs) “You never have enough running backs; the history around here will speak to that. The goal is to have as many of those guys, particularly those three to line up and play first, second and third downs. We had some things tonight that we’ll definitely learn from, particularly on third down. That’s the goal. We want to line up and keep playing.”
(on if Richard Rodgers is working toward a starting job) “Well, I think it’s obvious that Richard is definitely going to be a big part of it. I think it’s been evident for some time now. As far as starters, once again, we don’t line up and play with 11. We’ve always kept a number of tight ends. I’ve always looked at the tight end position as a four-down position. I really like what Richard has done with his opportunities.”
(on how Scott Tolzien played) “I think Scott, I feel redundant, I still look at him as a young player that is improving. I thought that he definitely improved tonight. We went to what we refer to as a standard huddle with multiple personnel groups and I thought he handled that very well. I liked the way he played tonight.”
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS:
(on how he feels about the eight preseason drives he has had) “I think we’re ready. I think it’s been a good preseason. We’ve scored some points, moved the ball, saw what we wanted to see out of our skill players and the offensive line.”
(on if he’s concerned about the hits he took on the second and third series) “No concerns. That’s correctable stuff, that’s good defense, a lot of veteran players on that side of the ball. So they made a couple plays and hit me one time when Richard (Rodgers) let his guy get through and they had a stunt for a sack.”
(on opening at the Seahawks in the regular season) “It’ll be a good test for us. That’s a great football team, they’ve got a great home-field advantage and it’ll be a great environment. We know what that was like in the ’11 season when New Orleans came to us. It’s exciting, you’re at home, it’s the first game of the year, so there’s going to be a lot of energy in that place and it’s a tough place to win.”
(on if he’s accomplished more this preseason than previous years) “(Quarterbacks coach) Alex (Van Pelt) challenged me to do a couple things in this preseason and we’ve hit a couple of those, but I think it’s good when you can take a couple shots – not too many – but a couple shots in live action. We had some adversity at times with some poor execution but we still put 20 points on the board and had three scoring drives and a lot of plays in the first half. We had a lot of things we wanted to hit.”
(on how smooth the transition has been with JC Tretter and Richard Rodgers) “Probably more than we thought as far as the smoothness with those two guys. JC’s done a great job. He’s an intelligent guy, he’s a tough player and he’s done a great job. And Richard has really done a good job with his opportunities. He’s a smart guy who’s going to just keep on getting better.”
(on the play of the defense) “They’re playing good. We’ve got a lot of guys who can rush the passer, we’ve got a lot of guys that can cover. It’s just a matter of letting those guys loose. We run a lot of stuff in practice and might not have seen all of it in the preseason, which is normal. But as they start to amp it up a little bit the next few days I’m sure everybody’s going to be excited about what those guys can do.”
(on being able to sustain the offensive pace for a full game) “I’m worried about the offensive line. There’s a couple of guys who are a little overweight (smiling), I think, so they’ve got to work a little harder and be smarter with their eating habits this week and get ready for a long game. This is how we’re going to run the offense. We’ve been doing it in practice, trying to be up-tempo and they’ve got to keep up – and they will.”
(on the improvement of Eddie Lacy) “He was pretty damn good the first year. He’s a great player and he’s going to have a great season for us. He’s a football player. He knows how to play the game, he’s smart. He’s incredible with his blitz pickups and understanding the offense, and he’s just a talented guy. We know what we got in him and we gave him the ball on the first drive a bunch and got him out of there.”
PACKERS SAFETY MICAH HYDE:
(on defense bouncing back after long TD run) “You’ve got to be happy with the way the defense bounced back. Like I said, we want to go out there and set the tone early. We gave up that long run and then after that we kind of just put our foot down and said no more of that. So you know it was tough that first drive, but after that I felt like we got some momentum and we tried to move in the right direction.”
(on momentum and whether the team is completely ready heading into the regular season) “Definitely not. I don’t think so at all. Like I said, we left some plays out there, you know that long run they had, a couple big passes, we left some plays out there so I don’t think we’re 100 percent ready at all.”
(on getting prepared for the regular season) “Just keep moving every day. Every day just keep getting better. You know we’re going to watch film tomorrow, come in on Sunday and have another practice and get better. That’s all you can ask for right now, the regular season is approaching quick and we got another tune-up, another preseason game, to get ready for.”
(on starters not playing in the fourth preseason game) “I feel like this week of practice is going to be big. You know, knowing that is the case, that starters don’t play that much in the fourth preseason game, I think that practice is going to be huge. We’re going to go out there and throw it around. And I’m sure we’re going to have some stuff for Seattle, but like I said it’s the last tune-up for the regular season.”
PACKERS RUNNING BACK EDDIE LACY:
(on playing time) “I mean that’s just the way it played out. You know going in I didn’t know how many series I would go, but Coach liked the first drive.”
(on first drive compared to subsequent drives) “I think the defensive line was flowing a lot. The linebackers were flowing a lot, which was opening up the back cut, but after that drive I don’t think they flowed as much so it was kind of difficult for the runner to tell his lanes.”
(on the rest of running backs) “DuJuan had a great night tonight. He had a lot of explosive runs and a screen for 31 yards, I think it was, so he definitely got a lot of work in today and we’re looking forward to the season.”
(on defenses playing him different from rookie season) “I don’t know; I really can’t tell. I mean I’ve had success my only two drives in the preseason so far but you know it’s just preseason Week 1 and I’ll definitely be able to tell if it’s different this year compared to last year.”
(on the depth at running back) “I think it’s great because we have three backs that are able to play at any time so I think going through the season, it’s a long season, so with us three back there we should be able to stay fresh and be able to go fast all season.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE END JULIUS PEPPERS:
(on what he needs to get better at after this game) “Everything. You need to get better at everything. You need to wrap up better and tackle. It’s always going to be room for improvement.”
(on settling in with the team): “Yeah, I’m pretty comfortable. I feel good. Trying to knock a little rust off before we get to these real games.”
OAKLAND RAIDERS HEAD COACH DENNIS ALLEN:
(on his first thoughts) “Disappointed in the loss. We lost to a good football team today. It was a good opportunity to measure ourselves to exactly where we’re at. We’re obviously not there yet as a football team. We’re going to get there, but obviously we’re not there yet. Lot of areas we’ve got to improve, the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, got to get that cleaned up…We’ve got to learn from that and correct that. That’s my responsibility to get that corrected. Offensively, we’ve got to improve ourselves on the passing game and that’s a full-time team effort. That’s not about one individual. We’ve got to be able to convert third downs and keep those drives alive. I didn’t think our tackling was that good early in the game. I thought midway through the game it got better and then again I thought it got a little sloppy toward the end.”
(on confidence they can accomplish what they have to) “We’ve got a good group of guys that are working hard in there. Really, it comes down to, in a couple instances, a little bit of focus and concentration. We’ve got to continue to work, take advantage of the opportunities.”
(on Khalil Mack looked) “I thought he looked like how I thought he would look. I’ve been saying all along that he’s going to be a factor for us and he’s going to be an explosive player for us and I thought we saw some of that today. He’s still got a long way to go, got a lot of things he’s got to get better, but I think we all saw some of the things he can bring to the table.”
(on updates about Sio Moore) “The initial word is a neck strain, I don’t know what kind of timeline that means. The most encouraging thing is that he is fine. I think he’s back here in the building.”
(on progress of passing game) “In the National Football League, there’s not a lot of wide open guys. You’ve got to be able to play in a contested environment. That’s what NFL football is all about.”
(on Matt Schaub) “I think I would need to look at the tape and see where we’re at. We’ve got to improve in the passing game. Matt’s part of that, but everybody else is part of that too.”
RAIDERS QUARTERBACK MATT SCHAUB:
(on how close they are to getting things worked out) “We better be close to being ready for the regular season shortly. We got off to a good start, which is what we wanted to do. We sort of stubbed our toe a few times there especially in the second quarter. We just didn’t execute. We need to be better than that.”
(on whether it is a unit-wide problem) “This game, especially on the road against a good opponent, you need everyone doing their job each and every play.”
(on the biggest things they need to work on) “Be more consistent on first, second and third down. First drive of the game, throughout the whole thing, play at a high level and play at that standard consistently.”
RAIDERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES:
(on the game) “I feel like we are getting better every time we take the field. We had a couple opportunities that we let slip away on our part that really didn’t have anything to do with their defense, but I have been over there. That is a great football team. They have a lot of good players over there, a good coach, and I think they will be a playoff team. It was a good challenge for us to be able to go against a defense like that.”
(on if he thinks the Packers defense will be improved this season) “I think they all understand each other pretty well and I think that is what is helping them out right now. They have a real good feel for one another. They are going out there trusting one another and playing with each other. I think if they can stay healthy they will be a great defense.”
(on transitioning from Green Bay to Oakland) “It is going good. I love it. I am just excited about the challenge to help get this organization back on the right track. This has been a winning organization in the past. We have some work to do. It was a good challenge for us today, but we accept the challenge and we are going to get better.”
RAIDERS SAFETY CHARLES WOODSON:
(on Green Bay’s no-huddle offense) “That no-huddle is a beast. It can keep a defense on its heels. You have a quarterback that is smart as he is in picking up what you are trying to do. They kept us off balance that first drive and went down there and scored easily. I felt like we settled down a little bit, but then we had some penalties that kept it alive on third down. So I felt like we played well against them aside from that first drive.”
(on being back in Green Bay) “There was a lot of love out there and I could feel it. There were a lot of people chanting my name. I could still see a lot of 21 jerseys. It felt good to go out there and receive that kind of welcome. It was exactly what I felt like it would be because the fans here understand that when I went out there, I left it all on the field every week.”
(on rookie linebacker Khalil Mack) “He is a young guy that has a lot on his plate, but I think he is going to be fine. You saw the flashes tonight with his interception on the screen play. Those are the types of plays that he has the potential to make and we are confident that he will make those going forward. We feel like he is going to be a great player.”
RAIDERS DEFENSIVE END LAMARR WOODLEY:
(on his first quarter sack) “It was good defensive call. Our linebacker on that side did a great job of coming over there and freeing me up and I was the one that got the glory.”
(on limiting Green Bay’s offense after their first touchdown) “It was just guys doing what they are supposed to do. Guys being where they are supposed to be and not doing other people’s jobs. Once we got all the guys on the same page we were able to make some plays. I feel pretty good about our starting defense.”
Tags: #OAKvsGB, oakland raiders, postgame quotes
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 1 Comment »
GREEN BAY–The battle for the backup quarterback job might be on the line in the preseason finale against the Chiefs next Thursday.
Scott Tolzien capped an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Alex Gillett early in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ 31-21 win over the Raiders at Lambeau Field on Friday night.
Tolzien and incumbent backup quarterback Matt Flynn are locked in a competition that’s too close to call after three preseason games. In the win over the Raiders, Flynn was four of 10 for 37 yards and an interception. Tolzien was eight of 11 for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Aaron Rodgers played most of the first half and completed nine of 20 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Other than for allowing Maurice Jones-Drew a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the Packers defense dominated the action.
The Raiders tacked on two late-game touchdowns, with Matt McGloin throwing to Brice Butler on both occasions.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 1 Comment »
GREEN BAY–A Mason Crosby field goal increased the Packers’ lead over the Raiders to 25-7, as the two teams headed into the fourth quarter of Friday’s game at Lambeau Field.
The third quarter began with the Raiders playing their No. 1 offense against a Packers defense of reserves. Matt Schaub completed a 40-yard pass to Denarius Moore to the Packers 25. Schaub then completed an apparent 14-yard touchdown pass to James Jones, Demetri Goodson in coverage, but replay review reversed the call. On fourth-and-9, Schaub threw high and out of the back of the end zone.
Matt Flynn remained at quarterback for the Packers, but was unable to move the sticks.
After recovering a Raiders fumble, the Packers began a drive at their 43. On third-and-10, Flynn pitched a strike to Myles White that carried for 19 yards and a first down at the Raiders 13. Flynn threw the pass into the face of a fierce rush. The drive stalled and Crosby came on to attempt a 41-yard field goal. It was good and the Packers led, 25-7, with 4:10 to play.
The Raiders faced a fourth-and-2 at the Packers 49. Matt McGloin completed a 20-yard pass to Latavius Murray. On the next play, pass-rush phenom Jayrone Elliott sacked McGloin for a loss of 15 yards. Elliott had batted down a pass a few plays earlier. The Packers forced a punt with :37 to play in the third quarter.
The third quarter ended with Scott Tolzien at quarterback for the Packers.
Posted in Packers.com Blog | 5 Comments »