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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After time off, Packers ‘ready to go’ for Sunday night

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 7, 2016 – 11:27 am

161007-mccarthy-950GREEN BAY — The Packers have had a week off and now a long week of practice that started on Monday. To say they’re eager to retake the field for a game would be an understatement.

“Definitely. There’s good energy. They’re ready to go,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday in his last meeting with the media before Sunday night’s game against the Giants at Lambeau Field. “The early bye week, it’s different for the veterans, the rookies don’t know any better, but anytime you get into a week that feels like it’s a little longer, particularly with a Sunday night game, you can feel the energy on Fridays and it will probably be the same tomorrow. They’re ready to go.”

Second-year CB Damarious Randall popped up on the injury report this week with a groin injury and has been limited in practice. McCarthy said he hopes there won’t be any concern come Sunday night.

After this fourth game of 2016, suspended players Mike Pennel and Demetri Goodson are eligible to be activated to the roster, but no pending roster decisions have been made.

“Pre-planning is something you do all the time, but you’re not going to have all the answers to the equation until we get done playing this game Sunday night,” McCarthy said. “(The discussions) will occur Monday after we get the medical report from our training staff.”


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Packers’ young inside LBs ‘approach the game the right way’

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 6, 2016 – 6:00 pm

161006-coordinators-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators and defensive coaches addressed the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a synopsis of some of their key comments.

Special teams coordinator Ron Zook
(on getting Janis back at full strength)

“He’s excited to be able to be out there without the cast. He never complained about it. He did a nice job. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do without it.”

(will Janis get involved in the return game)

“That’ll be up to Coach (McCarthy). We have a number of guys that can do it. We’ll see who’s got the hot hand.”

(on Harris in the return game for Giants)

“He’s returned three for touchdowns in his career, and anybody who does that, you respect him. And he had three tackles on special teams Monday night. I think he’s a heck of a special-teams player. He’s fearless. He plays very, very hard.”

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers
(on the pass defense)

“Too many big plays. I think we’re getting pretty consistent pressure. I think we’ve got to convert our opportunities (for turnovers). If we make a couple of those interceptions, that’s two possessions we take away from them and give the offense the ball. That’s what you have to do.”

(on Manning)

“He’s very efficient. They don’t give up many sacks because he gets rid of the ball. He understands the system and doesn’t want to take negative plays.”

(on Randall)

“It’s like any young corner in the league. You’re going to make some plays, you’re going to miss some plays. I think Damarious will be fine. He’s a young guy that’s a real competitor, and he’s going through what I think a lot of young corners go through.”

(on Beckham)

“You don’t have to watch much tape and Odell catches your eye. He’s a rare guy. He’s got elite ability and he’s a dynamic player. You’re always worried when he gets the ball in his hands because he’s so good after the catch. Every time he touches the ball, he has a chance to make a big play.”

(on emotional players)

“Sometimes that’s what makes them great players. I’ve seen a lot of great players play on the edge. This is a game sometimes where you have to play on the edge, but you can’t let that influence your play.”

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett
(on Pierre-Paul and Vernon in the pass rush)

“That’s one of their strengths, the two guys they have on the outside. We have to make it more about us and what we do. That’s our approach.”

(on McAdoo)

“Excellent football coach but even better person. Tremendous work ethic. You saw that Day 1, and when it works out the way it did, you say that’s what you want to see, a guy that’s putting in the work, day in and day out. It’s about taking care of the job that’s in front of you, and good things will happen.”

Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss
(on getting the OLBs healthy again)

“I think it’s a blessing and it’s great from a coaching standpoint to have so many different options with different skills sets that are all very capable of performing at a high level. Sunday night, if we can get all these guys on the field at different times where we see they best fit to impact a game, that’s what we’re looking for.”

(on Perry’s play and the impact on Matthews)

“If Nick continues to play that way, it better serves the defense. I think Nick Perry is off to a very impressive start, and you want to take it one game at a time to where let’s continue to find ways to put him in the best position to continue to play well.”

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac
(on the leadership of Daniels and Guion for the younger players)

“Letroy and Mike both, they’re both a good influence on those guys in that room. The first day you walk in there, you do have a lot of young, new faces in there. Mike’s work ethic is so good. Letroy is a very smart, intelligent guy football-wise. He’s always helping them out. You still coach the guys, but when you have a veteran player in there reinforcing it for them, that’s huge.”

(on Price’s debut)

“I thought he did well. He’s another kid for a young man that’s mature and very serious about his business. That’s what I like about these young guys, Ringo included, they’re very serious about their jobs. Dean, Kenny, BP, you can see they’ve got some football smarts.”

Safeties coach Darren Perry
(on Burnett)

“He’s coming along. He’s progressing, and we hope to get him back this week. He’s got some reps this week, so hopefully he’ll help us out on Sunday.”

(on Brice)

“Brice had as good a camp as anybody we had on defense. He’s earned his snaps. We’re just trying to find ways to get our best guys on the field.”

(on playing against emotional receivers)

“There are some guys that talk, some guys use it as motivation and use it as fuel to get them going a little bit. There are different ways to try to get after people. The biggest thing is you have to play with your personality. You have to be smart about it, not be selfish and not hurt the team.”

Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr.
(on what was discovered during self-scout)

“That we need to improve. We’re working at it, hopefully we’re getting there. We need to play a better brand of football, winning football. The things we haven’t done well, hopefully we’ve addressed it and we’re moving forward.”

“A lot of pressure is put on our room for the success of the defense. That’s just part of it, and they know that coming in. I know that coming in. They have to do it. We have to get it done.”

(on Beckham)

“He can do it all. He’s one of the few guys that can run the whole route tree. He has a great catch radius. He’s very dangerous with run after the catch. He runs with more power than people give him credit for. Him and Antonio Bryant are average-sized guys, but they can do whatever you ask them to do. He’s an elite player.”

(on the other Giants receivers)

“They’re as good a receiving corps as there is in the league, from top to bottom, and they have a quarterback that can get them the ball.”

Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley
(on the play of his young group through three games)

“It was a solid start. A lot of good reps, good and bad, some bumps in the road, but right now, it’s experience. They put some good snaps together. Defensively we’ve done some good things against the run. We just need to keep growing. They approach the game the right way.”

(on Martinez’s nose)

“It’s going pretty well right now. It looks like they cleaned up the stitches a little bit. That was brutal. I was hoping we could get through the Detroit game and heal up over the bye week, but it didn’t take but one hit there and it was split back open. He’s fighting through that OK.”

Other stories:

Hodkiewicz: Packers’ pass rush coming in a variety of forms

Spofford: Bakhtiari-Vernon rematch comes at new stage of each’s career

Hodkiewicz: McCarthy values Justin Perillo’s versatility

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McCarthy values Justin Perillo’s versatility

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 6, 2016 – 10:55 am

161006-perillo-950GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers remarked during his Wednesday news conference that one of the most endearing traits of Justin Perillo is that he catches everything thrown his way.

Now, the third-year tight end could be on the receiving end of more opportunities in the Packers’ offense.

Perillo figures to play a larger role as the No. 2 tight end going forward following the ankle injury Jared Cook sustained against Detroit before the bye week.

A former undrafted free agent out of Maine, Perillo caught one pass for 13 yards on 17 offensive snaps against the Lions in the wake of Cook’s injury.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end filled a similar void last season after Andrew Quarless was placed on temporary injured reserve with a knee injury sustained in a Week 3 win over Kansas City.

While he caught 11 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown last season, Perillo’s value to the Packers runs across the board.

“Clearly in his flexibility to play all the different positions and you have to take it even further on special teams,” said Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday morning.

“His ability to play throughout the four-core and six-core units, but it’s his flexibility. He’s very sharp, very detailed. He’s athletic. His versatility is obviously a part of the value for our football team.”

The Packers plan to stick with third-year tight end Richard Rodgers and Perillo as their primary tight ends until Cook returns.

McCarthy said he spoke on Thursday morning with cornerback Sam Shields, who continues to make progress in the concussion protocol, but won’t play Sunday night against the New York Giants.

All four defensive players – Clay Matthews, Morgan Burnett, Letroy Guion and Datone Jones – who practiced with the team inside the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday continue to make progress.

Barring weather, the Packers plan to conduct Thursday’s padded practice outside.

Other stories:

Hodkiewicz: Packers’ pass rush coming in a variety of forms

Spofford: Bakhtiari-Vernon rematch comes at new stage of each’s career

Spofford: Packers’ young inside LBs ‘approach the game the right way’

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Stiff challenge awaits Packers’ secondary

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 5, 2016 – 11:16 am

161005-secondary-950GREEN BAY — The Giants will bring three productive receivers and an accomplished, durable quarterback to Lambeau Field on Sunday night, and that’s what the Packers are focused on, not all the news about personalities and emotions coming from New York.

“We’re focused on the video, what each player’s strengths are, and how we feel they’re going to utilize them against us,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “It’s an excellent receiver group, no doubt about it. They’re explosive.”

The trio of Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard was off to a strong start for QB Eli Manning before the Giants ran into Minnesota’s defense on Monday night. Beckham is the one in the headlines for his emotional outbursts during, and in some cases after, games when things don’t go well.

With former Packers assistant coach Ben McAdoo now the head coach in New York, McCarthy said there are some offensive concepts that have carried over. The work the Packers’ defense, particularly the secondary, gets in training camp every year could be a help there.

Green Bay’s defensive backs are looking to recover from a couple of rough weeks of allowing big plays. Veteran safety Morgan Burnett could be back in action this week after missing the last game. There was no update from McCarthy on CB Sam Shields (concussion). Second-year corners Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter likely will be in the spotlight on Sunday night.

“The ability to compete at the breaking point of receivers’ routes and challenge routes is definitely something we’ve improved on,” McCarthy said. “But with that, our younger guys need to get back at it. It’s something we’re focused on. A lot of it comes with comfort, familiarity and how they’re being utilized.”

Regarding TE Jared Cook’s ankle injury, McCarthy said as of now there are no plans to add another tight end to the active roster, so the Packers will be going forward with Richard Rodgers and Justin Perillo for now. will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

Other stories:

Hodkiewicz: Offense turns back to Richard Rodgers at tight end

Spofford: Ben McAdoo rose through coaching ranks ‘the right way’

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Packers’ injured players getting back to work

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 3, 2016 – 11:12 am

161003-burnett-950GREEN BAY — Head Coach Mike McCarthy did not declare his team fully healthy following its bye week, but four defensive regulars who missed the last game vs. Detroit were expected to get back to work in some capacity during Monday’s practice.

LB Clay Matthews (ankle/hamstring), DE Datone Jones (knee), S Morgan Burnett (groin) and DT Letroy Guion (knee) all are in the early stages of assessing where they are in their recoveries as Sunday night’s home game vs. the Giants approaches.

“When we get done with practice today, I’ll have a better handle on where we are health-wise,” McCarthy said. “It looks like everybody is going to do something.”

One player still sitting out is CB Sam Shields (concussion), who is “improving” but has not been cleared to return to practice. Shields is working through his second concussion in a nine-month span after missing four games late last season with one. Shields’ latest concussion occurred in Week 1 at Jacksonville and he hasn’t practiced or played since.

“I think our medical staff has done a great job, and Sam has an excellent support group,” McCarthy said regarding Shields’ recovery and his future. “No stone has been left unturned. I think we have a very good handle on the why and how, and the process for him to come back.”

As usual after a bye week, Monday’s practice would be focused on fundamental drills and some competitive work. McCarthy said the coaching staff did an extensive individual review of each player’s practice and game film, and the evaluations were presented to the players when they returned Monday morning.

“We’re taking the approach today of self-improvement,” McCarthy said. “We want each player to have some substance from the evaluations.

“Today our emphasis is on the fundamentals and the things we feel we need to hit one more time before we get back into a normal work week preparing for the New York Giants. That in itself will make sure everyone is focused.” will have more following practice and locker room interviews.



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