Cobb, Montgomery and Matthews out; Packers-Falcons inactives

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 30, 2016 – 1:55 pm

161030-wrs-socialThe following players will not play in Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons:

Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers
18 WR Randall Cobb
23 CB Damarious Randall
24 CB Quinten Rollins
44 RB James Starks
52 LB Clay Matthews
88 WR Ty Montgomery
89 TE Jared Cook

Starting lineup changes: 17 WR Davante Adams will start in place of Cobb, 82 TE Richard Rodgers will start in place of Cook, 34 RB Don Jackson will start in place of Starks, 56 LB Julius Peppers will start in place of Matthews, 39 CB Demetri Goodson will start in place of Randall and 36 CB LaDarius Gunter will start in place of Rollins.

Atlanta Falcons
20 S Sharrod Neasman
26 RB Tevin Coleman
32 CB Jalen Collins
71 G Wes Schweitzer
77 DT Rashede Hageman
82 TE Joshua Perkins
98 DL Cliff Matthews

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Falcons will come after the ball

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 28, 2016 – 9:56 am

GREEN BAY — Atlanta’s defensive statistics don’t rank all that highly for a division leader, but one thing the Packers have noticed is how the Falcons generate potential for turnovers with their pass rush.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that six of the eight fumbles the Falcons have caused on defense have come from “edge pressure,” meaning a pass rusher getting to the QB and knocking the ball free.

“It’s highlighted in their profile,” McCarthy said. “They take away the football. They play with a lot of energy, they fly around. We’ve addressed it. It’s all part of getting to know your opponent.”

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has struggled with ball security off and on this season. He has lost fumbles against the Vikings, Cowboys and Bears, an outlier of a rough stretch for a quarterback who has protected the football very well over the majority of his career. Rodgers all but confessed his lost fumble against Chicago, which was recovered for a Bears touchdown, lit a fire under him and he went on to lead three straight TD drives.

McCarthy didn’t provide much of an update on injuries. The full injury report with game designations will be released later Friday. He said the fact that the Packers are playing indoors on an artificial surface on Sunday at the Georgia Dome will not have any bearing on whether injured players get medical clearance to play.

The Packers have practiced inside the Don Hutson Center throughout the week, but only because the weather hasn’t been good enough to practice outside. McCarthy said with better weather, the team would have practiced outside on Wednesday and Thursday and saved the indoor workout for Saturday this week.

“I’m of the opinion you don’t have to be on the field turf every single day,” McCarthy said. “Football is meant to be played on grass and frankly it’s better training environment.”


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Everything has ‘fallen into place’ for Nick Perry

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 27, 2016 – 6:11 pm

161027-perry-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators and defensive coaches addressed the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a synopsis of some of their key comments.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

On Atlanta’s big-play ability:

I think that’s what they’re based off of. Obviously they’ve been productive all the way around in the run and pass game. They’ve got an excellent play-action passing game, which the run sets that up. When you have a receiver like Julio Jones. This guy can go deep. You see him every game showing up and making big plays. … He’s a rare, elite talent. You always go in with a number of things you can go to.

On Atlanta LT Jake Matthews:

There’s a reason why they took him in the first round. I coached a lot of games against his dad and his dad was the same way. He’s a talented young guy and what you look for at the left tackle position. That’s why he was a high No. 1 pick.

Associate head coach/linebackers Winston Moss

On Nick Perry:

Everything has sort of fallen into place with Nick. If it wasn’t for injuries or rotation or something that was out of line with him to get in a flow in all phases, then you can chalk it up to whatever. This year, he definitely has been able to stay healthy. I’m very impressed. Run game and the rush, there were a couple plays in the Detroit game but outside of that he’s been very effective when we’ve asked him to cover as well. Very, very smart and observant. I’m glad everybody can see what Nick Perry is.

On getting pressure on Matt Ryan:

You can ask any defensive coach, any philosophy, but at the end of the day when the offense is throwing the ball, you want to get after the quarterback and make it uncomfortable. It’s very important to establish some type of way to make him uncomfortable. If you do not and you let Matt Ryan get into a rhythm with that offense, it’s going to be a long day.

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac

On how Mike Pennel has played after four-game layoff:

He came back in really good shape. The first game, we had a target of 13-15 snaps. The second snaps, we were going to beef that up but we didn’t play than many reps. He’s ready to move on.

On DT Kenny Clark’s progress:

Kenny’s going to be a good player. He’s a young man who just turned 21 but he’s very focused. He doesn’t clown around a lot but he has a good personality. With the centers we have coming up – we had Frederick and Mack now – he’s growing up fast. He’s a very strong, good-leverage player. He’s not perfect, but when he makes a mistake it really bothers him and that’s a great trait to have.

Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt

On Julio Jones:

When I think about Julio Jones, he’s a really gifted man who came into the league with all those natural abilities, but he doesn’t just rest on the abilities that he has. That’s why he’s an elite receiver. He’s learned how to run the complete route tree, runs extremely hard and blocks, he can get out of breaks. I’m really impressed with how he’s come into the league with so much ability and worked hard to become an elite player. He’s a top-five player. … The quarterbacks going to give him 50/50 balls all game long and he should. The deeper he gets downfield, the faster he gets. He’s a 100-yard runner, not a 40 runner. He’s beaten every coverage I’ve seen on film. He’s taken advantage of it.

On Demetri Goodson’s play since returning from suspension:

It was good to see that he was in shape. When he was away, he did the things to make sure he didn’t have to catch up. He’s been thrust into a role we weren’t expecting and he’s been solid so far.

Assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley

On the Atlanta running backs:

We’ll see how Tevin Coleman does and if he’s going to make it. Both of them have the ability to come out of the backfield and make plays, but they can split them out. We have to do our best to stop the run and get them down there so we can put ourselves in better situations on third down.

On Blake Martinez:

I’m really not surprised with much. He’s come along and done a lot of nice things. I’m really proud of him when he takes something we worked on in practice and take it to the field and really improve in the areas we emphasize in practice. He really can focus on that.

On Martinez’s interception:

It was a nice play. It was good to see him pick that one off the ground. He missed that one earlier. I know that was on his mind and he was able to make that one off and make a play.

Safeties coach Darren Perry

On defending Julio Jones:

It’s going to take a collective effort. Not just the guys on the backend, but the linebackers trying to get pressure and get the quarterback off rhythm. It’s still going to be tough enough. He’s still going to make his plays. We just have to try to limit him the best we can.

On if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix can play 100 percent of defensive snaps

I believe so. Ha’s durable. That’s one of the things since he’s been here, I don’t think he’s missed a practice. Ha’s been a tremendous leader and our young guys see that. It’s an element of toughness that sometimes can go unnoticed. Ha has done a lot of good things and I’m glad we have him.

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett

On Knile Davis’ progress:

I’m excited about the progress that he’s making. He continues to get more adapted to what we’re asking him to do from a playbook standpoint. … He had some really good sessions with (running backs coach) Ben Sirmans. They’ve been working over the weekend. This week we’re in right now. They’ll obviously have more additional time when everybody else heads out.

On Ty Montgomery in the backfield:

He’s a football player. You can’t really say he’s a running back or a receiver. He’s a versatile football player who’s very successful at what he does. He’s a matchup nightmare for a lot of teams.

Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook

On Trevor Davis’ poise on punt returns:

I like his personality. He doesn’t talk a lot, but he’s a tough guy and an athletic guy. The more experience he gets as a football player whether it’s offense or special teams, he’s going to be continue to be a guy who improves as he plays.

On DB Jermaine Whitehead:

He’s an athletic guy who can run. Speed is the name of the game. He hasn’t had a whole lot of reps since camp. We have to get him up to speed quick, but he’s a football player. When we can, we use our techniques so it’s not completely foreign to him.

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Kenny Clark’s instincts kicking in

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 27, 2016 – 11:03 am

161027-clark-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ top-ranked run defense got back on track in Thursday’s win over Chicago, limiting the Bears to only 69 yards on 18 carries.

While rookie defensive tackle Kenny Clark played only 15 snaps in the 26-10 victory, the Packers’ first-round pick made his presence felt with two tackles on back-to-back plays in the second quarter.

The first came on a 3-yard gain by Jordan Howard for a first down, but what was impressive was how Clark raced down the Bears running back near the sideline for the stop.

On the next play, Clark then stuffed Ka’Deem Carey for a 1-yard loss, which ultimately set the table for the defense stopping the Bears’ drive.

So far, Clark has been responsible for 148 of the 620 defensive snaps that Packers rookies have played this season, racking up 10 tackles and a pass deflection in six games.

“He’s playing faster,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think you can definitely see Kenny’s very comfortable in what he’s doing now. You’re definitely seeing the instincts now kick in and making plays.”

The Packers, who reclaimed the top spot in NFL run defense this past week, are allowing 72.4 yards per game on the ground this season.

The team will hold a padded practice on Thursday with linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) scheduled to participate on a limited basis, according to McCarthy.

Running back Don Jackson appeared to get a good report back on his injury. The undrafted rookie was a full participant during Wednesday’s practice, utilizing extra padding to protect his injured hand.

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Packers now hitting tough road stretch

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 26, 2016 – 11:08 am

161026-road-game-950GREEN BAY — After four straight home games with the bye week mixed in, the Packers begin a stretch of four road games in five weeks with their trip to Atlanta this weekend.

The Packers haven’t played on the road, and dealt with crowd noise and other such challenges, since Week 2 at Minnesota back in mid-September.

“We knew it was an unusual schedule when it came out in the spring,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “The seven-day routine, that’s the reality you need to grab onto whether you’re playing home or away.”

Following a short break after last Thursday’s contest vs. the Bears, the Packers will play their final 10 regular-season games without a break. Nine of the 10 games will be on Sundays, with the one Monday nighter coming at Philadelphia in late November.

“It’s a 10-week plan,” McCarthy said. “At some point in your season, you go to a winter schedule where you cut back on the field time, increase meeting time and shorten the day by a half hour or so. We’re going to start some of that next week. We’re planning for the 10-week stretch. The medical report drives the final schedules.”

Regarding the team’s health, McCarthy said RB Don Jackson, who left the Bears game with a hand injury, will try to do the full gamut in practice to see if he can carry the ball with the injured hand.

“He’ll go through half-line drill and full physical team (11-on-11),” McCarthy said. “He has to go through that to give us direction on how we proceed to Sunday.” will have more following practice and locker room interviews.


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Julio Jones ‘has the whole package’

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 25, 2016 – 12:52 pm

161025-julio-jones-950GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy had one word for Falcons WR Julio Jones’ statistics this season. “Outrageous.”

Through seven games in 2016, Jones has 40 catches for 830 yards, an average of 20.8 yards per catch and nearly 120 per game. The Packers haven’t faced Jones for two years, but back in 2014 he came into Lambeau Field and set a stadium record with 259 receiving yards in Green Bay’s shootout victory.

“We’re very well aware of what he’s capable of,” McCarthy said on Tuesday.

“He has the whole package. He can beat you deep, he can beat you on the back-shoulder throw, he goes up and high-points the football. He gets out of breaks on crossing routes. Everybody wants to talk about the talent, but he’s an accomplished route-runner.”

As far as guarding Jones on Sunday in Atlanta, the Packers will be without CB Damarious Randall, whom McCarthy confirmed had surgery on his injured groin and will be out this week. McCarthy did not give a timeline for Randall’s return.

CB Quinten Rollins could be out as well. He has missed the last two games with a groin injury and said in the locker room that he was taking it “day by day” this week.

That could leave the Packers down to LaDarius Gunter and Demetri Goodson as their top two outside corners against the Falcons, the same tandem that started against the Bears last Thursday.

“They’re getting better,” McCarthy said. “You look at all the guys that have been given opportunities. That’s kind of the way our season has gone. It’s important for us to continue to grow.”


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