GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on breathing easier after QB Graham Harrell’s performance tonight) “Well, I’ve said it all along, I was really cheering for that second- (team) offense. I thought it was a group that had some tough sledding the first two preseason games. Part of it was they were affected the most by injuries in training camp. I thought they got better in Cincinnati. And I thought they performed very well tonight. Graham specifically, I don’t know if we’ve had a backup quarterback, a nonstarter play that well. So, it’s a credit to him. I think he’s handled this path through the preseason. And I’ve been more impressed with what he’s done off the field than on the field. So, yes, I was very pleased with Graham Harrell tonight.”
(on if it’s difficult to make cuts after tonight) “Well, it really is. Look at the body of work, we talked about it yesterday or the last time I was up here, two days ago. There are a number of positions, and when you look at our roster horizontally, you’re going to have a tough time picking a player based on another player at another position. So, I thought a lot of guys made a strong case. You talk about, what did you want to see out of your players? I wanted to see those statements. There were statements throughout that game tonight. And that’s impressive. That says a lot about the men in that locker room. It says a lot about the whole process. You’re talking about a talented group of people that came together, worked their butts off, had a tough training camp, an adverse training camp because of injuries, and started to grow at the right time. It’s a great lesson that we can point back to. Hopefully when the playoffs do come around, if we’re blessed to be in it, we can look back at the preseason and we played the best football when it counted. That was one of our offseason objectives and I was very pleased with the process. Once again, I cannot say it enough, it’s going to be a long 24 to 48 hours.”
(on if he’s OK with the way the No. 1 groups did tonight) “I think the ones we’re ready to play. Obviously, I wasn’t very pleased with the way the game started. I thought they (the Chiefs) were moving a little quicker than we were. With that, handling the ball, we had the five penalties in the first half. I really thought we cleaned it up as the game went on and it’s about scoring points and holding them out of the end zone. I thought our team did a very good job of that.”
(on his level of concern with DT B.J. Raji’s ankle) “I don’t have a high level of concern about B.J. Raji’s ankle right now based off the information I was given and also talking with B.J. First play of the game, that’s not a good feeling. Obviously, we did not put him back in.”
Tags: kansas city chiefs, post-game quotes, preseason
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For a replay of packers.com’s live in-game chat during Thursday’s Packers-Chiefs game, click here.
Tags: game blog, game chat, kansas city chiefs, live chat, preseason
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The Packers concluded their preseason with a 24-3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs that left the Packers at 2-2 and their fans feeling a whole lot better about backup quarterback Graham Harrell.
Harrell rebounded from a slow start to the preseason by completing 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He relieved Aaron Rodgers with the Chiefs leading, 3-0.
Rodgers and the Packers No. 1 offense played briefly, as Rodgers threw only two passes, completing one for five yards. Cedric Benson was the Packers starting running back and he rushed four times for 11 yards.
It was the Packers No. 2 offense that turned the game into the home team’s favor. Harrell teamed with second-year wide receiver Tori Gurley on a deep pass to the one-yard line, and Alex Green scored on a two-yard run.
Later in the second quarter, Green scored on a perfectly executed screen play that covered 17 yards and gave the Packers a 14-3 lead at halftime.
A 12-yard Harrell to Jarrett Boykin touchdown pass in the third quarter gave the Packers a comfortable 21-3 lead and capped Harrell’s night. He celebrated his performance with a fist pump following the touchdown pass to Boykin. It was a gesture that released a lot of frustration that had built up through the first three preseason games.
Several players considered to be on the roster bubble played well for the Packers, which will further complicate General Manager Ted Thompson’s decisions on Friday, when Thompson must reduce the roster from 75 to 53.
The rookie Boykin led the Packers with five receptions, but Gurley and Diondre Borel, holdovers from last year’s practice squad, each caught two passes and made moves on earning a roster spot.
Defensively, the Packers allowed more than 200 yards rushing, but they made two goal-line stands, one resulting in a Sam Shields interception, and pressured Chiefs quarterbacks. Erik Walden capped a great preseason with a sack.
Tags: graham harrell, kansas city chiefs, preseason
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HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on Graham Harrell) “I think it’s nice for the second- (team) offense to have some success. They need to continue in the second half like we talked about … He knows what he’s doing. He’s had some opportunities. I thought he played well in the first half.”
(on whether players stepping up today make roster decisions easier or harder) “It’s going to be hard either way. Just the fact of where we are as a football team, it’s extremely competitive. I just want to make sure that everybody gets an opportunity here in the second half.”
Tags: halftime quotes, kansas city chiefs, mike mccarthy, preseason
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From tonight’s live blog, Mike Spofford wrote:
Not suiting up for the Packers: CB Charles Woodson, CB Davon House, RB James Starks, LB Robert Francois, C Jeff Saturday, T Andrew Datko, DT Ryan Pickett, WR Donald Driver, TE Tom Crabtree. To my knowledge, Woodson, Saturday and Driver are not injured; probably just getting a vet’s night off.
Not suiting up for the Chiefs: WR Terrance Cooper, S Kendrick Lewis, CB Brandon Flowers, DB Jalil Brown, RB Cyrus Gray, DB De’Quan Menzie, DL Allen Bailey, DT Anthony Toribio.
Tags: inactives, kansas city chiefs, preseason, scratches
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The Packers’ preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on Thursday will be televised live on NFL Network, beginning at 6 p.m. CT.
The broadcast crew will be the Packers’ preseason broadcast team of Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon.
The game will also be re-broadcast late Friday night/early Saturday morning, at 2 a.m. CT.
Tags: nfl network, preseason
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On Sunday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the team would announce those roster moves on Monday. With practice slated for 11:15 a.m. and likely to go at least two hours, it’s a good bet the roster moves will be made prior to practice.
The roster must then be reduced from 75 to 53 players by 8 p.m. CT on Friday. The Packers play their final preseason game on Thursday night against Kansas City.
Normally, the final roster cuts aren’t due until the Saturday following the conclusion of the last preseason games, but the deadline was moved up a day this year because the NFL Kickoff Opener is being played next Wednesday, Sept. 5, rather than on the traditional Thursday.
Tags: preseason, roster cuts
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GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
How satisfying was it to see the first team put points on the board and move the ball like they did?
“The first team offense was really productive. It all started with Aaron (Rodgers) and his excellent command of the offense. They were rushing four most of the time, and he (Rodgers) did a good job pulling the ball down and making plays with his feet. I thought we were productive, but I am sure that when we evaluate the film, there will be things that we need to correct and get better at. I really thought that the whole team improved today.”
What did you think of Cedric Benson?
“I liked the rotation with Cedric (Benson) and Alex (Green). We really wanted to accomplish that rotation in the first half. Cedric looked very natural carrying the ball tonight. Obviously there are some language adjustments that still have to be worked through, but he is an instinctive and powerful player. That much was evident in those hard, inside runs that he had. I thought he got off to a good start.”
How much is Cedric Benson going to help your play action game?
“I don’t know how you would like to quantify it, but anytime you have another weapon on your offense, it certainly helps. I thought he got off to a good start.”
Defensively, you were able to get some good pressure throughout the game …
“I thought our defense — and really the whole team, for that matter — had a lot of juice and bounce in them. The pressure on defense was good. Our guys were able to cover down in pressure situations and get good pressure with a three-man rush. We played smart out there. Overall, I was very pleased with the defense. The turnovers really made a big difference in the second half as well.”
What stood out to you on that goal-line stand that they had in the first half?
“First-and-goal at the one, and the favor generally goes to the offense. The big loss on second down was a huge play, and those are the type of things that I talk about throughout the preseason. You can’t simulate those things in practice, and when you have a chance to learn from those, it is always a good thing. You can either build off of them, or clean them up if it doesn’t go the right way.”
Tags: cincinnati bengals, post-game, preseason, quotes
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Quite a few players are not expected to dress for tonight’s game in San Diego vs. the Chargers.
21 CB Charles Woodson
23 RB Du’ane Bennett
33 RB Brandon Saine
35 FB Jon Hoese
37 CB Sam Shields
45 TE Eric Lair
58 LB Frank Zombo
67 DE Johnny Jones
68 G/T Reggie Wells
73 T Ray Dominguez
74 T Marshall Newhouse
76 DT Mike Daniels
78 T Derek Sherrod
81 TE Andrew Quarless
82 TE Ryan Taylor
85 WR Greg Jennings
86 WR Tori Gurley
88 TE Jermichael Finley
Tags: chargers, inactives, packers, preseason
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In his remarks to the media following Tuesday’s shareholders meeting, Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said he has changed his stance on the possibility of the league expanding the regular-season schedule to 18 games.
Murphy said during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the players in 2011, he was in favor of converting two preseason games into regular-season games, making the 20-game season a 2-18 split, rather than the current 4-16. But he’s no longer in favor of such a change.
“I couldn’t support a move to 2-and-18 now,” Murphy said. “With all the focus on player health and safety, it would be really hard to do that.”
Murphy suggested he would support eliminating two preseason games and keeping the regular season at 16, but he acknowledged the challenge there is the lost revenue for the league. He added that it’s debatable whether reducing the preseason by two games would have any impact on player health and safety, because he said a team’s starters might play the same amount of preseason snaps in those two games that they do now in four. Also, that type of reduced preseason might not provide enough time for teams to develop and evaluate their young talent, particularly if starters would then cram their four games of preseason snaps into those two contests.
“But those are the things we have to look at,” Murphy said, “what we can do to make the game as safe as possible for our players.”
Tags: games, mark murphy, preseason, schedule, shareholders
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