Monday, July 27, 2015

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Introducing the Packers Defensive Backs

I am making the bold prediction that by the time all is said and done in training camp and by the end of the preseason games, the Green Bay Packers will keep 6 cornerbacks and 4 safeties.
Cornerbacks: the Green Bay Packers will keep 6 players on the roster this year.
Obviously there are 3 Green Bay Packers corners with NFL playing experience.  They are Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, and Micah Hyde.  Therefore, without a doubt these players are effectively guaranteed roster spots.
#37 Sam Shields
 Sam Shields has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he can get the job done on the corner.  His production has been steady and he is a reliable tackler.  He defends the pass very well on the boundary.  He will earn Pro-Bowl honors this year.
#29 Casey Hayward
Casey Hayward is starting material and will prove so during the preseason.  He had 6 picks and a fumble recovery during his rookie season.  Last year he was tied with Tramon Williams with most INT’s on the team with 3, but played fewer snaps than Williams.  He is the real deal when healthy.
#33 Micah Hyde
Micah Hyde is Mr. Versatile.  He is best suited in the slot, but can play corner and safety too.  In addition, he has returned punts for the Packers.  I’d hate to see the Packers lose this guy due to injury.  He’s been relatively healthy so far.
#23 Damarious Randall
First and second round picks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins are also guaranteed roster spots.  I’m predicting Damarious Randall will back up Casey Hayward and Quinten Rollins will back up Micah Hyde in the slot to begin the season.  Both rookies will see their playing time increase as the season wears on into December.
#24 Quinten Rollins
Even though the Packers typically keep only five cornerbacks, I believe the team will keep six CB’s this year.  That lucky player will be #36 Ladarius Gunter.  Gunter will prove his worth during the preseason.  He will show Packer Nation that he can defend the pass and tackle the ball carrier coming around the end.  He will also demonstrate excellent special team skills, which wins him the roster spot.
#36 Ladarius Gunter
Safeties: The Green Bay Packers will keep 4 players on the roster this year.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett have entrenched themselves as the starting safeties in Dom Capers' defense, guaranteeing roster spots for each.  Both are excellent safeties and Pro-Bowl caliber players.  I’m predicting that Ha-Ha has a big year and earns Pro-Bowl honors.  Morgan’s production will not be far behind.
#42 Morgan Burnett and #21 Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix
The Packers resigned Sean Richardson, meaning he'll also make the cut.  He is a good special team player and has proven in the past that he can get the job done at safety when called upon by Capers. 
#28 Sean Richardson
Even though Hyde or Damarious Randall could play the position, the Packers will keep 4 true safeties in case of injury.  Chris Banjo's excellent play on special teams should be enough to keep him in Green Bay.
#32 Chris Banjo
That concludes the team breakdown.  First training camp practice is July 30th.  Players report to the facility on July 29.  #GoPackGo  

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Introducing the Packers Defensive Linemen

I am predicting the Packers will carry 7 “D” linemen, given the need for big bodies up front, until Letroy Guion and Datone Jones return.  Guion will serve a 3 game suspension and Jones a 1 game suspension, respectively.  Worth Noting: The Packers carried 5 “D” linemen last season.  So to start the season I am predicting the Packers will go with these players.
Starters: Josh Boyd, B.J. Raji, Mike Daniels
#93 Josh Boyd
Josh Boyd is only the week 1 starter here, because he will prove that during the preseason.  However, as soon as Datone Jones returns, he will become the other starting “D” End opposite Mike Daniels.  Datone Jones needs to crank it up big time!  Jones has 5 career sacks in 2 seasons. 1.5 sacks last year.  Datone was drafted in the first round out of UCLA by Green Bay in 2013, and needs to significantly increase his production, if the Packers want to head to SB 50 and win it! 
#90 B.J. Raji
 BJ Raji will start at NT in week 1 against the Bears.  Raji must get back to his old form of 2010.  It’s that simple.  The 1st round pick, 9th overall has to apply pressure up the middle, if the Packers defense is to have a chance at sacking the quarterback.  He has not recorded a sack since 2011. His experience will be needed in order to stop Matt Forte.
#76 Mike Daniels
Mike Daniels, barring injury, will be a Pro Bowl player this year, but will not be able to play in the game due to a previous engagement.  What else is there to say?  

Backups: Christian Ringo, Mike Pennel

Christian Ringo was drafted in the 6th round with pick #210 out of Louisiana-Lafayette.  He is a 6’-1” - 300 lb tackling machine.  It remains to be seen how well he can perform on the field.  However, it is unlikely he gets cut, given his draft status.

#77 Christian Ringo

Mike Pennel made a splash last year at the Packers Family Night practice.  He followed up that performance during the preseason as well.  However, this year is an uphill battle for him, but in the end I think he beats out some of the others by the narrowest of margins.

#64 Mike Pennel

 Suspended: Letroy Guion, Datone Jones

Letroy Guion got the job done last year in BJ’s absence.  This year BJ Raji has to get it done.  When Guion returns in week 4, the two together are going to be one heck of a goal line defense…not that I want to see that package much.  The point, when Guion does return, the Packers will have a nice one-two punch up the gut.  They will end up splitting time guaranteed.

#98 Letroy Guion
Datone Jones has 5 career sacks in 2 seasons. 1.5 sacks last year. Datone was drafted in the first round out of UCLA by Green Bay in 2013, and needs to significantly increase his production, if the Packers want to head to SB 50 and win it!  Personally speaking, I expect more out of a 1st round pick!
#95 Datone Jones

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Now Introducing the Packers Linebackers

This off-season, the Green Bay Packers’ biggest need was at the inside linebacker position. Green Bay parted ways with veterans A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, leaving the team with an extremely young corps of inside linebackers.

Barring injury, this much we know about the linebacker situation in Green Bay...Clay Matthews will start on the inside with Sam Barrington to begin week one against the Chicago Bears on September 13.  We also know that Julius Peppers will be on the outside with Nick Perry.  However, I believe Nick Perry will receive stiff competition from Jake Ryan, Carl Bradford, Jayrone Elliott and Adrain Hubbard.

#91 Jayrone Elliott

#49 Adrian Hubbard
Nick Perry, was a first round draft choice in 2012.  He played at USC. Perry was selected by the Packers to give them another "edge rusher" to sack the quarterback. Perry has 9 career sacks in 3 seasons. Need I say more?  He needs to step it up until Jake Ryan has been caught up to speed at the inside linebacker position so that Clay can be moved to the outside more often.

#53 Nick Perry
Jake Ryan vs Carl Bradford. Doesn't matter which 4th round pick wins the ILB position opposite Sam Barrington, so long as one of these two guys wins the position so that Green Bay can finally move Clay Matthews back to the outside edge rushing, which is what he was built to do. Bradford may surprise people this preseason.

#47 Jake Ryan and #54 Carl Bradford
In my eyes, second year players Carl Bradford and Joe Thomas will be competing for time at the inside linebacker position, though they face a more uphill battle. While Ryan and Barrington seem to be ahead of Bradford and Thomas on the depth chart for the time being, training camp could see sleepers emerge and rise up the depth chart.

Don't forget....Carl Bradford may have been a "healthy inactive" last year, because guys like Hawk, Lattimore, and Jones were in his way (taking up roster spots). As it looks right now, nobody stands in his way for a roster spot or for that matter, a starting position. On the other hand, I believe hard hitting Jake Ryan, the 4th round pick out of Michigan, will have something to say about that by the end of camp.

Ryan is a versatile player from Michigan with above average speed who can play both inside and outside. Like most rookies, he will need grooming to become a more complete player, but he has the athletic ability and desire for success to develop into a play maker for Green Bay.

#47 Jake Ryan led the Wolverines in tackles, tackles for a loss and sacks.
Next time I will introduce the "D" linemen and conclude with the DB's.  Until then, #GoPackGo!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pre-Camp Breakdown: Now Introducing the Packers Offensive Linemen

Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackerToddsnEnds

This year the Green Bay Packers return intact an offensive line that was one of the better lines in the NFL last year.  Bryan Bulaga resigned with the team and that all but solidified the fortress that surrounded and protected Aaron Rodgers on pass plays and Eddie Lacy during run plays last year. Like last year the Packers will score a ton of points.  Like last year Eddie Lacy will rush for 1,100 yards and become just the 3rd running back in Packers history to do so.

The Studs: #75 Bryan Bulaga, #70 TJ Lang, #63 Corey Linsley, #71 Josh Sitton and #69 David Bakhtiari
The starters on the offensive line for the Packers are set.  # 63 Corey Linsley will start at center.  If he plays like he did last year...he will go to the Pro-Bowl.  The two guards will be # 71 Josh Sitton and #70 TJ Lang.  They pull very well and are two of the best when zone blocking and pass protecting. Sitton will be a Pro-Bowl player in 2015. Lang will be an alternate.  The two tackles are the bookends of the unit.  #69 David Bakhtiari and #75 Bryan Bulaga are two of the best in the business. Both are valuable and they protect Aaron's blind side very well.  So the line is set...but what about the back ups?

I'm predicting the Green Bay Packers will carry no more than eight offensive linemen this year on the squad.  Therefore, given the five starters the lucky other three will be #67 Don Barclay, #73 JC Tretter and #74 Mark Rotheram.  All three of these players bring versatility to the unit.

#67 Don Barclay, Tackle/Guard
# 67 Don Barclay will be the Packers best sixth man coming off the bench should any of the studs up front get hurt during a game.  In fact, last year Barclay himself was injured with a torn ACL, but is expected to make a full recovery.  During OTA's in June he showed the coaching staff that he lost no movement laterally and was more powerful in the legs than the previous season.  Packers fans should be excited about his return to the team.  He can play both tackle and guard positions.

#73 JC Tretter, Center
#73 JC Tretter will be the Packers back up center.  Interesting to note, Tretter was the starting center last year to begin the season, but lost his job to Corey Linsley when he got hurt.  Linsely never looked backed and just dominated interior "D" linemen.  Garth Gerhardt will push Tretter big time for the second spot, but will come up short and will make the squad as a practice player, should he clear waivers.  Tretter has experience at both the center and guard positions, but is a true center all the way and will only be used in that role.

#74 Mark Rotheram, Guard/Tackle
#74 Mark Rotheram will virtually be pushed by every other linemen in camp.  However, in the end he will prevail.  Rotheram is a very athletic player for a guy his size.  He is 6'-5" and 325 pounds, strong upper body and powerful legs.  He uses his hips very well when run blocking and his explosive take off allows him to get to the 2nd tier and blast linebackers out of the way for Eddie Lacy.
#76 Villanova Tackle Vince Kowalski, #50 for Packers
Finally, every year I like to pick a dark horse.  A linemen who seems to have a very good chance, but is relatively unknown.  My dark horse this year is #50 Vince Kowalski.  Vince is 6'-4' and weighs 305 lbs.  He played both right and left tackle at Nova.  Should Barclay go down again and a few other tackles slip up...Kowalski is the man!

Next time the Packers defensive players will be introduced.  Until then...#GoPackGo!

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Pre-Camp Breakdown by Position: Now Introducing the Packers Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

         Wide receivers need to be fleet of foot, able to leap tall defensive backs with a single bound and must have hands large enough to catch cannon balls from the quarterback.  It is more than safe to say that the Green Bay Packers top three wide receivers are Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. It is also safe to assume that the starting tight end will be Richard Rodgers vs the Bears during week 1 of the NFL season.

    After that...the jobs are up for grabs.

    Let's start with Jared Abbrederis.

    # 84 Jared Abbrederis
         Jared Abbrederis attended Wautoma High School in Wautoma, Wisconsin and was a three-time letter winner in football.  Abbrederis joined the Wisconsin Badgers football team as a walk-on spread quarterback on the scout team.  He proved to be a great Badger his senior year not only at the wide receiver position, but as a returner as well.  He hurt his knee last summer before playing in one pre-season game.  He received high praise from coaches before the injury.  He will be competing against Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery for playing time.  Jared is best suited for the slot wide receiver position.  Abbrederis will make the team as the 6th wide receiver, but will have a better chance to succeed on special teams.  If Montgomery cannot get the job done fielding kick offs and punts--Abbrederis is your man!

    # 83 Jeff Janis
         Jeff Janis is a beast.  He is 6' 3" 213 lbs. and has blazing 4.24 40 yard dash speed.  In June, Janis received a ton of praise from Aaron Rodgers.  If that praise is coming from have to be good. McCarthy has also raved about him during OTA's.  The question, will he be able to beat out Abbrederis and Montgomery for playing time at wide receiver.  Right now he has the inside track, but pre-season will obviously tell us more about the young man.  I expect Janis to be the # 5 wide receiver when all is said and done.

    Ty Montgomery, Stanford Wide Receiver, Packers 3rd round draft pick 2015
         Ty Mongomery will be the # 4 wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers.  Why?  He was drafted in the 3rd round and is unlikely to sit the bench for long periods of time, given his outstanding performance in the passing, kick off and punt return game while at Stanford.  His skill set is similar to that of Davante Adams.  Tall, durable and great hands.  He knows how to set his feet in the return game in order to get up the field quickly and give his team great starting field position.  He will be the kick/punt returner this year, barring injury.  He will also be used in the slot and in the run game, much like Randall Cobb has been used as of late.  I expect him to perform very well this year for the Pack and excited to see what he can finally do at the NFL level.

    # 89 Richard Rodgers
         The Packers are thin at the tight end position after the Quarless gun incident.  Richard Rodgers will be the starter, even if Quarless had not gotten into trouble.  Rodgers is young, a good pass blocker and is gaining the trust of Aaron Rodgers.  When Quarless returns...he will be the back up and will see playing time when the Packers want to go with two tight ends on the field.  In the meantime, Justin Perrillo and 2015 draft pick Kennard Backman will compete for the # 2 spot until Quarless can play.  I expect Perrillo to come through for Green Bay, because Backman will not get enough reps in practice in order to make a case for himself.  Backman however, will not be cut by the team.  After Quarless gets back...Backman will be placed on the practice squad and remain there as a healthy inactive.

    Next time...I will break down and examine the offensive line.  Until then #GoPackGo!

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    Pre-Camp Breakdown by Position: Now Introducing the Packers Running Backs

    Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackerToddsnEnds

         The primary roles of the running back is to receive hand offs from the quarterback and run for positive yards, preferably for at least a 4 yard average.  In addition, running backs must be able to catch passes out of the backfield and finally, when called upon to pass block for the quarterback in the event that there is an all-out red-dog-blitz.
         There are three different types of running backs.  Teams usually have a half back or tailback, a full back and a goal line back.  Usually the goal line back is the full back, but this is not always the case. For example, you may see the Packers hand the ball of to John Kuhn (fullback) near the goal line or they may give it to Eddie lacy to punch the ball into the end zone.  The point, the goal line back must have great upper body strength and powerful legs.  Finally, running backs may also be seen on special teams returning kicks or punts.

    Now, let's breakdown and examine the depth chart for the Green Bay Packers running backs.

    #27 Eddie Lacy 

    RB, 5'-11", 230 lbs, 25 years old, 3 years of NFL experience, Drafted 2nd Rd 2013, Alabama

    It's obvious to most Packers fans that Eddie is not only the Green Bay Packers best running back, since Ahman Green. He is also considered by many NFL fans to be one of the better backs in the league.  If he rushes for 1,100 yards or more this season, he will join two other Packers legends in this club...Ahman Green and Jim Taylor.  Given the Packers offensive line play, I expect Lacy to rush for 1,100 yards plus this year.  The trick here is to make sure he is fresh by the end of the year when the snow starts to blow and the wind begins to bite.

    #44 James Starks

    RB, 6'-2", 218 lbs. 29 years old, 6 years NFL experience, Drafted 6th Rd 2010, Buffalo

    Starks has been very reliable when backing up or replacing an injured Lacy.  His best year was in 2010 when he was the ground game for the Green Bay Packers push to the Super Bowl.  He made some huge plays during that playoff run.  The game against Atlanta, in Atlanta, comes to mind.  He seemed unstoppable.  During the 2010 post season he carried the ball 81 times for 315 yards.  Age is beginning to creep in, but he should remain the #2 back behind Eddie this year.  Next year, who knows where James Starks will land.

    #34 Rajion Neal

    RB, 5'-11", 220 lbs. 23 years old, 1 year of NFL experience, Free Agent 2014, Tennessee

    Rajion (pronounced RAY-jhon) is an interesting prospect.  He has had a bumpy road with the Packers.  He was on the practice squad the final 8 games and for the playoffs last year.  He was released and then resigned by Green Bay in January 2015.  He was originally signed in May 2014, placed on IR August 27, 2014 and then subsequently released on August 27, 2014.  He resigned with GB and placed on practice squad in November.  If he can stay healthy during the pre-season, he has a really good chance of being the #3 back for Green Bay in 2015.

    #38 John Crockett

    RB, 6'-0", 217 lbs., 23 years old, NFL Rookie, Free Agent 2015, North Dakota State

    Crockett was not drafted, but did receive a ton of attention during the draft.  Many general managers and coaches called him to let him know of their interest in the young kid from NDSU.  In fact, ESPN had a television camera and crew in his home the final day of the draft, but was not selected by any team.  Then the Pack came calling and he signed with them a day or two after the draft concluded. His senior year he rushed for 1,994 yards and 21 TD's.  Easily the most recognizable free agent rookie among the 17 and will definitely push Neal and Harris for the #3 position.  My prediction: Crockett beats out both and will be the 3rd back for GB.

    #46 Alonzo Harris

    RB, 6'-1", 237 lbs., 22 years old, NFL Rookie, Free Agent 2015, Louisiana-Lafayette

    Played for the "Ragin' Cajuns" and amassed 3,330 yards (a 4.7 yd ave) over his college career.  In 49 career college games he scored 44 TD's. Impressive to say the least, but his chances of making the roster are ultra slim, given the competition.  If Neal can't stay healthy, and Crockett a bust, then Harris is the next best option as the #3 running back for Green Bay.

    #30 John Kuhn

    FB, 6'-0", 250 lbs., 32 years old, 10 years of NFL experience, Waiver Wire 2007, Shippensburg

    This will be Kuhn's last year as a Green Bay Packer.  He is 32 years old and a step slower.  However, he is a fan favorite and a favorite of McCarthy's.  I do not expect Kuhn to be cut this year, because he is still an excellent blocker for Eddie Lacy and a pretty darn good special teams player.

    #22 Aaron Ripkowski

    FB, 6'-1", 246 lbs., 22 years old, NFL Rookie, Drafted 6th Rd 2015, Oklahoma

    This is a kid who I really like, but he has to hold onto the football better than pictured.  He has powerful legs and big time upper body strength.  He is a bruising back with a vicious stiff arm. Played football at Oklahoma, which is known for producing big running backs.  Ripkowski fits the Packers run zone blocking scheme and other blocking schemes well, but will have to improve on his pass blocking, if he wants to beat out John Kuhn for the #1 fullback position.

    Next, I will breakdown the Packers depth chart at the wide receiver position. Until then #GoPackGo

    Saturday, July 11, 2015

    Pre-Camp Team Breakdown by Position: First Introducing the Packers QB's

    Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackersToddsnEnds
         In this series of articles I will provide a breakdown of the Packers players by position--beginning with the offense and concluding with the defense.  Included will be job descriptions and responsibilities, and player bio information and statistics. Finally, I will identify and predict the 2015 Packers starters, 2nd and 3rd string back ups. Starters, for the most part are obvious to pin point, but 2nd and 3rd stringers will be trickier predictions--given a few major battles that loom on the horizon of training camp.  So let's begin at the most logical spot on offense: The Packers quarterbacks.

         The quarterback is the leader of the team, much like a principal of a school, and off the cuff, I'd say his play determines the fate of the team.  For example, can you name the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, who finished the 2014 season with a record of 2 wins and 14 losses?  Possibly not. Now, can you name the starting QB for the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots? Bet you said, "Peyton Manning and Tom Brady." No brainer-right?  Point made: Your team is as good as your QB.

         The quarterback's responsibilities are numerous.  First and foremost, the QB has to take care of the ball.  In other words, he has to avoid turning the ball over to the other team.  Ideally, a quarterback should have twice as many TD's as INT's, twice as many completions as attempts, and must not fumble the ball when being sacked, blindsided, scrambling out of the pocket or running for his life when past the line of scrimmage.

    Let's begin with breaking down the Packers QB's.

    #12 Aaron Charles Rodgers

    Aaron Rodgers, Image From:
    QB, 6'-2", 225 lbs., 31 years old, 11 years of NFL experience, Selected by GB in 1st round of NFL Draft in 2005, Attended California

         Obviously, ACR is the Packers #1 QB.  In fact, most NFL fans would agree that he is the #1 QB in the league and very well may end up being the NFL MVP again in 2015.  The only question mark? How great will he be this year, considering he is already super great?  I will not bore you to death here with unbelievable statistics and rhetoric.  Rather, in my eyes, the sky's the limit for Aaron. He is no longer shooting for the moon, but rather for Mars!

    #16 Scott Tolzien

    Scott Tolzien, Image From:
    QB, 6'-2", 213 lbs., 27 years old, 5 years of NFL experience, Acquired by GB as a free agent in 2013.
    Attended Wisconsin

         Scott Tolzien resigned his contract with the Packers in March of 2015, receiving a $1.375 million dollar deal.  Given this salary figure and the fact that GB parted ways with Matt Flynn, I expect Tolzien to be the #2 back up behind Aaron Rodgers.  His familiarity with the Packers playbook and wide receivers will serve him well when competing against UCLA rookie QB Brett Hundley and new comer UW-Whitewater QB Matt Blanchard. Tolzien's advantage over the others is knowing what everybody (including linemen) is doing on any given particular play; he also knows how the Packers wide receivers run their routes and how to react when a play breaks down and it is time to improvise and extend plays.  Tolzien had a great 2014 preseason and I expect him to be even better in 2015.

    #7 Brett Hundley

    Brett Hundley, Image From:
    QB, 6'-3", 226 lbs., 21 years old, NFL Rookie, Selected by GB in 5th round of 2015 NFL Draft Attended UCLA

         Hundley has the potential to be a starting QB one day in the NFL, but this year will end up being "practice squad material" in order to develop and mature.  He has potential-no doubt; don't forget he grew up in the Jim Mora Jr. pro-style UCLA offense and proved he could handle the duties and responsibilities well enough to be drafted in the 5th and not the 7th round.
         Given his rookie status, I believe he will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, because of his unfamiliarity with the complicated Packers offense and the tendencies of the receivers.  Therefore I believe, given Tolzien's experience and last years preseason success, Hundley will end up being the #3 Packers QB.  What remains to be seen, is whether he gets to suit up on Sundays or will be a "healthy inactive" for all of the games as he begins to get a grip while playing with the practice squad.  What I do believe is that Thompson will keep THIS Brett around and will, sooner rather than later, give him an opportunity to play.

    #6 Matt Blanchard

    Matt Blanchard, Image From:
    QB, 6'-3", 223 lbs., 26 years old, 2 years NFL experience, Acuired by GB as Free Agent in 2015, Attended UW-Whitewater

         Don't get me wrong here, I'm pulling and rooting for Blanchard to beat out Hundley, but the chance of that happening are ultra-slim.  First of all, take a look at the picture and the wrong way he grips the ball.  He also has on a ring while practicing during the 6-10-15 OTA.  No need to further elaborate. Blanchard needs to go back to quarterback school and repeat a couple of introductory classes.  I think he will show well, but not well enough to make an NFL roster.  To be honest, I see him one day as a starting QB in the Canadian Football League--where, maybe, who knows, they don't grasp the ball at the seams. Hey, now don't laugh. They make pretty darn good money in the CFL.

    Next, I will examine the Packers fullbacks and halfbacks.  Until then...#GoPackGo

    Friday, July 3, 2015

    NFL Players Off and Rolling...And the Hits Just Keep Coming

    Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackerToddsnEnds

    Can you picture Aaron Charles Rodgers sitting down in his recliner at home, turning on Jeopardy and lighting up a "doobie," in order to relieve the bumps, bruises and headaches he sustained over the course of an NFL season? To tell you the truth, I can't "picture it"...but then again with all of the recent news about pot and NFL players...who knows what goes on behind closed doors.

    Recently, Mike Freeman, Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer wrote in an article dated June 30, 2015, that Marijuana use in the NFL is prevalent and pervasive. In the article titled, "Banned, but Bountiful: Marijuana Coveted by NFL Players as Invaluable Painkiller," he clearly outlines why football players in the NFL use the mind altering cannabis, instead of popping pills. Click on the title link above to open a new window and read the article. It is absolutely eye-opening and jaw dropping!!!

    In a more recent article, Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer, reported on July 2, 2015, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, that "The NFL has suspended Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones for one game. The league announced Thursday that Jones will miss the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears for violating the league's substance abuse policy. It was not immediately known whether Jones failed a drug test or missed a test."

    Given the one game consequence handed down by the NFL to Datone Jones, it is more than likely a minor substance abuse related infraction and not about Cocaine, Codeine, Vicodin or PED's.  After reading Freeman's article, I learned that the NFL's new drug policy forbids players to use Marijuana, yet for the most part has swept the issue under the rug with only random drug testing (prior to the start of training camp) and implements lenient consequences for smoking pot when compared to the use of other banned narcotic drugs by the NFL.

    My thought...Now that the cannabis is out of the "baggie," no sense pretending we don't really know what's happening.  In other words, either do away with the policy or tighten up the policy, but don't sweep the policy under the rug.  The sooner it becomes less convoluted, the better it will be for all NFL stakeholders.

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    In 2015...Packers will go 13-3

    Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackerToddsnEnds

    "Yellow 30, Yellow 30, Set...Uncle Bill's in jail...Uncle Bill's in jail...Set..."
    As soon as the times and dates of the Green Bay Packer schedule are released, my wife and I like to sit down and make our bold win/loss predictions for the coming season. In addition, we determine which football game we want to see at Lambeau Field. This year was no different. Our Packer win/loss predictions were completed on April 22, 2015, (more than a month before the NFL Draft) and we purchased tickets on April 23rd to see the St. Louis Rams play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 11. Our goal is to see every NFL team play the Packers at Lambeau. This year, I am predicting that the Packers will go 13-3 in 2015. My lovely wife of 28 years, has the Packers going 14-2. Like her, I am also predicting that the Green Bay Packers will play the New England Patriots in SB 50. Here is a breakdown of my regular season game by game predictions for the (13 and 3) 2015 Green Bay Packers.

    Week 1 at Chicago Bears. The Bears are still the Bears with Cutler at QB. Packers win.

    Week 2 Seattle Seahawks. Finally, home field advantage. This time the Packers win!

    Week 3 Kansas City Chiefs. Rodgers is better than Smith. Packers win.

    Week 4 at San Francisco 49ers. Besides Kapernick, is anyone left? Packers win at San Fran!

    Week 5 St Louis Rams. Coach Fisher is rebuilding. Packers win easily.

    Week 6 San Diego Chargers. Welcome back Melvin Gordon. Good game, but Packers win to start the season out of the gate with 6 wins and 0 losses.

    Week 7 Bye

    Week 8 at Denver Broncos. Denver "D" does the trick. Packers lose for the first time this season on the road.

    Week 9 at Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton gives the Packers fits, but Packers win.

    Week 10 Detroit Lions. Detroit needs this game, but Packers win.

    Week 11 at Minnesota Vikings. Are the Vikes for real? Not this year. Pack win!

    Week 12 Chicago Bears. Cutler benched in Week 10! Packers roll and win.

    Week 13 at Detroit Lions. Don't choke on your drumstick, but Packers lose this game by 1 point.

    Week 14 Dallas Cowboys. Cowboy rushing attack still ineffective. Packers win.

    Week 15 at Oakland Raiders. The fans look mean, but that's about it. Packers win.

    Week 16 at Arizona Cardinals. AZ is the real deal. Packers lose a close game by 2 points.

    Week 17 Minnesota Vikings. Vikes blow lead, fall flat in the second half. Packers win.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    Which Packer Rookie Makes Biggest Impact in 2015?

    Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackerToddsnEnds

    3rd Rd Pick WR Ty Montgomery, Standford, Image From:

    Recently I posed the same question to Brian Carriveau's Packers Q & A Mail Bag dated June 5, 2015 on Twitter. Below is the question and his response posted on the blog site@247Sports. After reading the brief Twitter exchange, you tell us, which Packer rookie will make the biggest impact or splash and why in 2015?

    Question From: Todd Stelzel 

    Which rookie makes biggest impact and why? My guess is Ty Montgomery. He can return kicks/punts and play wide receiver.

    Reply Back From: Brian Carriveau 

    Let me be clear, Ty Montgomery could very well be that guy. I like him too, but let me play devil's advocate. Montgomery will be the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart in a best-case scenario, and even that's an iffy proposition if a second-year player like Jared Abbrederis or Jeff Janis emerges.
    And while Montgomery looks to be a good bet to return kickoffs, it might be difficult for him to unseat Micah Hyde on punt returns after averaging an impressive 13.6 yards per attempt and scoring three touchdowns in his first two seasons. 

    My choice for the rookie making the biggest impact isn't exactly outside the box, but I'll go with Damarious Randall. It might take him a little time to get used to playing cornerback in the NFL, but the Packers are going to give him every chance to succeed or fail. You don't invest a first-round pick into a player like that if you don't think he can do it. And at minimum, Randall figures to be playing a role on the special teams coverage units from Day 1, a place he seems ideally suited to make an impact.

    Final Thought From: Todd Stelzel

    So...Having read the exchange, you tell us...Which Packer rookie do you think makes the biggest impact or splash in 2015? Would love to hear from you! On that note, #Go Pack Go!