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NFL PREVIEW: GREEN BAY PACKERS

June 28, 2012
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



NFL PREVIEW: KELCI BAKER, EIHSS SPORTS

Green Bay Packers

Last year: 15-1, 1st in NFC North, lost divisional round

 

 

This heavily favored No. 1 seed suffered a 17-point loss at home. Certainly not a fact to be overlooked but the Packers also have to deal with the 37-20 rout imposed by the New York Giants. They were 15-1 before the abrupt postseason end. They go into the next season with conversation of possibly winning a Super Bowl title in the next 3 years. With the most explosive offense in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers is at the controls in keeping them intact. Rodgers, the returning MVP, had a record breaking season. Because of his efforts, the Packers racked up 560 points, the second in league history. Where the offense strives,  the defense fails. They've hit rock bottom, ranking last for total yards and net passing yards.

The Packers run the west coast style under coordinator Tom Clements. Knocking on the door of greatness is Rodgers who is going in to his fifth season as a starter. Torching opposing defenses, he threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns with six interceptions during the near-perfect season. It all surmounted to a passer rating of 122.5, a league record. Rodgers has an embarrassment of receiving riches, led by Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley who stayed a prospective free agent. They've lost Pro Bowl center Scott Wells to the St. Louis Rams. He will be replaced by Jeff Saturday, a former Indianapolis Colt. The running game goes far behind in the mind of Coach Mike McCarthy who prefers a vertical offense. The problem is Green Bay doesn't have a proven commodity at halfback. Veteran Ryan Grant is unsigned as a free agent. Last season, he split the lead-back duties with James Stark. Potentially replacing Grant but coming back from a knee injury is Alex Green. The offseason release of 12-year starter Chad Clifton throws one of two younger prospects in Marshall Newhouse or Derek Sherrod into a full-time role at left tackle.

The 3-4 defense under coordinator Dom Capers only produced 29 sacks and allowed more than 70 passes of 20-plus yards. They struggled to apply pressure and general manager Ted Thompson has responded by signing linemen and taking defensive players with his first six picks in the 2012 draft. It was topped with first-round selection, pass rusher Nick Perry. It came as no surprise with the pre-draft cut of Pro Bowl Nick Collins because of his surgically repaired neck but it was a surprise when no replacement was found for him in the draft. That leaves us to speculate that 35-year-old cornerback Charles Woodson will take the role.

 

Special teams for the Packers is led by coordinator Shawn Slocum. Returning is kicker Mason Crosby who had a career high field goal percentage of 85.7 in 2011. Also returning is Tim Masthay as a solid tandem for a third season. With a great turnout in his rookie season, Randall Cobb will play a bigger part on offense as a slot receiver and boasts two touchdown runbacks to his name. Coverage ace Jarrett Bush has also re-signed.

McCarthy has full faith in his defense while the departure of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to the Miami Dolphins as head coach is cause for some concern. Several promotions took place with Clements named coordinator along with Alex Van Pelt, an ex-NFL quarterback to coach the running backs.

 

2012 Draft Recap

After the draft the Packers had picked up eight new players but the overall best pick was LB Nick Perry of Southern Cal. They wanted to take pressure away from Clay Matthews III who was held to a career low of six tackles in 2011. They'll be counted on him to not only start, but to deliver.

 

LB Nick Perry. Southern California

First round. 28th pick overall.

 

DE Jerel Worthy. Michigan State

Second round. 51st pick overall.

Worthy will fill the void alongside B.J. Raji for the Green Bay Packers

 

CB Casey Hayward. Vanderbilt

Second round. 62nd pick overall.

He should contribute soon in a nickel-back heavy scheme because he's aggressive and a playmaker

 

DT Mike Daniels. Iowa

Fourth round. 132nd pick overall.

He has an tough injury history and is undersized but he still led the Hawkeyes in tackles for loss and sacks

 

S Jerron McMillian. Maine

Fourth round. 133rd pick overall.

He has decent skills in the back end but the Packers were most impressed with his upside as a big hitter in the box

 

LB Terrell Manning. North Carolina State

Fifth round. 163rd pick overall.

He's well known for his play making but also known for knee injuries

 

T Andrew Datko. Florida State

Seventh round. 241st pick overall.

Four games into last season, a continuing shoulder injury ended it early

 

QB B.J. Coleman. Tennessee-Chattanooga

Seventh round. 243rd pick overall.

Small-school product has the tools to succeed

 

2012 PACKERS SCHEDULE

Week 1 9/9: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers 4:15 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 2 9/13: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears 8:20 p.m. EST, NFL Network

Week 3  9/24: Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 p.m. EST, ESPN

Week 4  9/30: Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints 4:15 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 5  10/7: Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts 1 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 6 10/14: Green Bay Packers @ Houston Texans 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC

Week 7 10/21: Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams  1 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 8  10/28: Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m. EST, CBS

Week 9 11/4: Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals 1 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 10 : BYE

Week 11 11/18: Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions 1 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 12 11/25: Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC

Week 13 12/2: Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. EST FOX

Week 14 12/9: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC 

Week 15 12/16: Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears 1 p.m. EST, FOX

Week 16 12/23: Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans 1 p.m. EST, CBS

Week 17 12/30: Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. EST, FOX

 

 

ROSTER

#

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Age

Exp.

College

69

Allard, Shea

T

6-5

305

22

R

Delaware

67

Barclay, Don

G

6-4

305

23

R

West Virginia

23

Bennett, Du'ane

RB

5-9

213

23

R

Minnesota

55

Bishop, Desmond

LB

6-2

238

27

6

California

19

Borel, Diondre

WR

6-0

199

23

1

Utah State

48

Bostick, Brandon

TE

6-3

245

23

R

Newberry College

11

Boykin, Jarrett

WR

6-2

217

22

R

Virginia Tech

68

Brooks, Jaymes

G

6-2

300

22

R

Virginia Tech

75

Bulaga, Bryan

T

6-5

314

23

3

Iowa

42

Burnett, Morgan

S

6-1

209

23

3

Georgia Tech

24

Bush, Jarrett

CB

6-0

200

28

7

Utah State

18

Cobb, Randall

WR

5-10

192

21

2

Kentucky

9

Coleman, B.J.

QB

6-3

231

23

R

Tennessee-Chattanooga

54

Cook, Grant

G

6-4

318

23

R

Arkansas

40

Cooper, Nic

FB

5-10

249

23

R

Winston-Salem State

83

Crabtree, Tom

TE

6-4

245

26

3

Miami (Ohio)

2

Crosby, Mason

K

6-1

207

27

6

Colorado

76

Daniels, Mike

DT

6-0

291

23

R

Iowa

77

Datko, Andrew

T

6-6

315

21

R

Florida State

62

Dietrich-Smith, Evan

C/G

6-2

308

25

3

Idaho State

73

Dominguez, Ray

G

6-4

334

23

2

Arkansas

60

Draheim, Tommie

C

6-4

309

23

R

San Diego State

80

Driver, Donald

WR

6-0

194

37

14

Alcorn State

88

Finley, Jermichael

TE

6-5

247

25

5

Texas

49

Francois, Robert

LB

6-2

255

27

3

Boston College

65

Genus, Sampson

C

6-1

315

24

1

South Florida

7

Gilleylen, Curenski

WR

5-11

213

23

R

Nebraska

61

Goode, Brett

LS

6-1

255

27

5

Arkansas

20

Green, Alex

RB

6-0

225

24

2

Hawaii

86

Gurley, Tori

WR

6-4

232

24

1

South Carolina

91

Guy, Lawrence

DE

6-4

304

22

2

Arizona State

95

Hargrove, Anthony

DE

6-3

282

28

8

Georgia Tech

6

Harrell, Graham

QB

6-2

215

27

1

Texas Tech

50

Hawk, A.J.

LB

6-1

247

28

7

Ohio State

29

Hayward, Casey

CB

5-11

192

22

R

Vanderbilt

35

Hoese, Jon

FB

6-2

238

22

1

Minnesota

31

House, Davon

CB

6-0

195

22

2

New Mexico State

85

Jennings, Greg

WR

5-11

198

28

7

Western Michigan

43

Jennings, M.D.

S

6-0

187

23

2

Arkansas State

59

Jones, Brad

LB

6-3

242

26

4

Colorado

89

Jones, James

WR

6-1

208

28

6

San Jose State

67

Jones, Johnny

DL

6-4

310

23

1

Marshall

30

Kuhn, John

FB

6-0

250

29

7

Shippensburg

45

Lair, Eric

TE

6-2

238

22

R

Minnesota

70

Lang, T.J.

G

6-4

318

24

4

Eastern Michigan

57

Lattimore, Jamari

LB

6-2

230

23

2

Middle Tennessee St.

34

Levine, Anthony

S

5-11

199

25

1

Tennessee State

56

Manning, Terrell

LB

6-2

237

22

R

North Carolina State

8

Masthay, Tim

P

6-1

200

25

3

Kentucky

52

Matthews, Clay

LB

6-3

255

26

4

Southern California

64

McCabe, Mike

T

6-5

313

23

R

Holy Cross

22

McMillian, Jerron

S

5-11

203

23

R

Maine

69

Merling, Phillip

DE

6-5

315

27

5

Clemson

47

Merrill, Otis

CB

5-11

188

24

R

Illinois State

54

Moses, Dezman

LB

6-2

249

23

R

Tulane

13

Moss, Dale

WR

6-3

213

23

R

South Dakota State

77

Muir, Daniel

DT

6-2

322

28

5

Kent State

96

Neal, Mike

DE

6-3

294

25

3

Purdue

87

Nelson, Jordy

WR

6-3

217

27

5

Kansas State

74

Newhouse, Marshall

T

6-4

319

23

3

Texas Christian

32

Pellerin, Micah

S

6-0

195

23

R

Hampton

26

Peprah, Charlie

S

5-11

203

29

7

Alabama

53

Perry, Nick

LB

6-3

265

22

R

Southern California

79

Pickett, Ryan

DT

6-2

340

32

12

Ohio State

81

Quarless, Andrew

TE

6-4

252

23

3

Penn State

90

Raji, B.J.

DT

6-2

337

25

4

Boston College

28

Richardson, Sean

S

6-2

216

22

R

Vanderbilt

12

Rodgers, Aaron

QB

6-2

225

28

8

California

39

Ross, Brandian

CB

6-0

191

22

1

Youngstown State

33

Saine, Brandon

RB

5-11

220

23

2

Ohio State

63

Saturday, Jeff

C

6-2

295

37

14

North Carolina

78

Sherrod, Derek

T

6-5

321

23

2

Mississippi State

37

Shields, Sam

CB

5-11

184

24

3

Miami (Fla.)

71

Sitton, Josh

G

6-3

318

26

5

Central Florida

51

Smith, D.J.

LB

5-11

239

23

2

Appalachian State

16

Smithson, Shaky

WR

5-11

202

24

2

Utah

97

So'oto, Vic

LB

6-3

263

24

2

Brigham Young

44

Starks, James

RB

6-2

218

26

3

Buffalo

72

Taylor, Herb

T

6-4

305

27

3

Texas Christian

82

Taylor, Ryan

TE

6-3

254

24

2

North Carolina

41

Turner, Dion

CB

5-11

194

23

R

Southern Utah

27

Tyler, Marc

RB

5-11

226

23

R

Southern California

93

Walden, Erik

LB

6-2

250

26

5

Middle Tennessee State

84

Williams, D.J.

TE

6-2

245

23

2

Arkansas

38

Williams, Tramon

CB

5-11

191

29

6

Louisiana Tech

98

Wilson, C.J.

DE

6-3

290

25

3

East Carolina

21

Woodson, Charles

CB

6-1

202

35

15

Michigan

99

Worthy, Jerel

DE

6-2

308

22

R

Michigan State

94

Wynn, Jarius

DE

6-3

285

25

4

Georgia

58

Zombo, Frank

LB

6-3

254

25

3

Central Michigan

 

 

 


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