Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Moss says Packers Blew It

This article is courtesy of Tom Silverstein from the Packers Blog on JS Online.

Phoenix, Ariz. - I got a chance to ask New England wide receiver Randy Moss whether he was ever close to becoming a Green Bay Packer this off-season, and his answer was interesting.

Basically, Moss said, if the Packers had treated him better in negotiations he might have agreed to play with Brett Favre instead of Tom Brady. Moss and Favre know each other through their association with agent James (Bus) Cook and when Favre heard there was a chance the Packers might be able to swing a trade with Oakland, he called Moss.

"He tried (to reach me), but I was a little tied up and wasn't able to talk to him," Moss said. "Green Bay was in the picture, but the things told to me about maneuvering money around and making it a good fit - the Packers were really talking a lot about the wrong things, not the right things.

"When they started talking about the wrong things I hung the phone up and didn't want to talk to them anymore. I thought about it. It was something that could work out just for the fact Brett Favre was there, but I think as the conversation continued throughout the day and the next day, I really didn't want to go to Green Bay."

Moss' contract with the Raiders called for base salaries of $9.75 million in 2007 and $11.25 million in 2008, but he was willing to tear that deal up and accept a one-year $3 million contract with the Patriots. The Packers wanted a portion of Moss' salary to be tied to performance instead of being earned as a base salary. For vested veterans like Moss, the base salary is guaranteed if the player is on the roster after the first day of the regular season.

Moss said besides the money, the Packers put too many conditions on him coming to Green Bay.

"It was like they were telling me that they're going to take a chance on me, but if you do come here these are the things you have to work out, 'Be on your best behavior. Donald Driver is the top receiver here so don't come in there trying to step on his toes,' things like that. I didn't think that was right because my whole career things have been taken out of (context) at times, but at the end of the day all I wanted to do was win games. It's hard to win games.

"If we do the things we're supposed to do on Sunday, we'll go undefeated and it will be historical. I don't feel they (the Packers) really wanted me. Brett wanted me, but I don't thing the Packers' organization wanted me."

Moss caught 98 passes - the third-highest total of his career for 1,493 yards and an NFL-record 23 touchdowns this season. With him in the lineup, the Patriots went undefeated during the regular season, setting an NFL record for most points and most touchdowns in a season, and with a victory over the New York Giants Sunday can become the first team to go 19-0.

During the playoffs, Moss has not had much of an impact. He has just two catches for 32 yards.

Moss is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, but he said today that he would like to finish his career with the Patriots. Given the way things worked out with Moss, the Patriots are probably willing to talk about a long-term contract, but they have been tight with money in the past and might decide they got what they wanted out of Moss.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Pick.........


This time a view from behind the line of scrimmage.

Throw the left sideline, maybe Jennings gets a touchdown.

Catch Donald Lee crossing the middle… good shot at a first down.

Check down to Ryan Grant five yards past the line of scrimmage, who knows how far he goes.

The yellow circle is the football in flight and there is your dagger

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ikegwuonu Blows Out Knee - Will Not Play FB in 2008

Jack Ikegwuonu, the former University of Wisconsin cornerback, blew out his knee Tuesday in a training exercise and won't play football in 2008.

Ikegwuonu suffered tears of both his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments as well as damage to his kneecap, according to a source close to the situation, and will need reconstructive knee surgery.

He was working out at Perfect Competition, a training facility in Davie, Fla., when the incident occurred.

Ikegwuonu, who earlier in the month decided to leave UW a year early, was pulling a sled designed to improve his speed when the injury occurred. He exploded out of a start, planted his leg and the knee buckled.

The injury will all but eliminate Ikegwuonu's chances of being selected April 26-27 in the National Football League draft. It's possible a team might take him in a late round and bring along for 2009.

"He's screwed now," an executive in personnel for an NFL team said. "He wasn't going to be that high of a pick, anyway. Fourth round.

"I blame the agent for talking the kid into coming out. Stupid. Because he wasn't a first-day player."

Ikegwuonu signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus on Jan. 5 and declared for the draft before the Jan. 15 deadline. Players had until Jan. 19 to change their minds and regain their collegiate eligibility.

At Wisconsin, Ikegwuonu intercepted six passes in three seasons. He made the All-Big Ten team as a junior in 2007.

Ikegwuonu was regarded by some scouts as a solid prospect on the basis of size and speed but was downgraded because of his performance this season.

"You've got to play, too," the scout said.

Article from Bob McGinn

Brett Favre Still Taking Post-Game Shower

This from our friends at the Onion:

GREEN BAY, WI—The Packers confirmed Wednesday evening that quarterback Brett Favre had yet to emerge from the Lambeau Field locker-room shower he entered roughly an hour after throwing the game-sealing interception against the Giants in the NFC Championship game. "We aren't worried about him quite yet. He's been here before," head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, politely declining their requests to speak to the three-time MVP. "We can hear him in there chewing himself out, shouting strings of curses, and occasionally breaking into a mournful version of 'Friends In Low Places,' so we know he's okay. He's just got some stuff to work out is all." Favre, who has yet to announce whether or not he will return for another season, has thus far limited his public statements to daily requests for the stadium's hot water to be turned back on.

The Last Word on Giants/Packers game

The phrase 4th & 26 stung to a lot of Packer fans even years after the Philly game. Where does this game fall??? The loss on Sunday stings. It was a crushing defeat for a team destine to go to the Super Bowl in what would have been a rematch from Super Bowl XXXI.

So what happened??? Well you could say Favre showed his age. You could say it was the cold, the play calling, the ineffective running game, the time of possession, the week of practice indoors, inability to convert on 3rd down (1-10). Anyone of those reasons could have been a contributing factor. The bottom line is the Packers didn't have it. The got out-played, out-coached, and shouldn't have even been in Overtime the way they played. The sure fact that the score was tied up 20-20 at the end of regulation, goes to show you the Packers WERE the better team. In the NFL anything can happen. It's a game of inches, momentum, and streaks. Destiny smacked the Packers right in the face, and so it was Giants vs. Patriots, Super Bowl XLII.

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers on a great year. Nothing to hang your heads about. The Packers have the youngest team in the NFL, and are returning just about everyone minus probably Corey Williams on D. 2008-2009 season is one to be optimistic about. Weather Favre returns or not, Ted Thompson has built this team for the long haul. The Packers will be a force in the NFL for several years to come, and I'm proud to be a loyal GREEN BAY PACKER fan and member of G-Force!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some photos from my trip to Lambeau & the NFC Championship

Packer Free Agents

The loss stings.....I couldn't watch any sports on TV or even listen to any sports radio. So because of that, the pictures from the game and a SHORT write up on what happened to the Packers is still forthcoming.

Corey Williams just might have played his last game as a Green Bay Packer. The DT is set to test the waters on the open market and most likely will leave the Green & Gold. Justin Harrell is set to replace Williams and while it's not a for sure thing, it's very likely Williams is gone.

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a list of all the Packers that are set to be Free Agents this offseason. Here's the list and an analysis on if they will be back by Tom Silverstein.

Rob Davis, long snapper: The man with the second-longest tenure on the Packers roster, Davis, 39, knows that the odds of the team moving on without him are pretty good.

He said he would talk to coach Mike McCarthy this week and find out whether there was a place for him on the team. If Davis retires, he is expected to move into a role with the organization counseling players.

"I do know at some point with me approaching 40 fast, they're going to have to move in another direction," Davis said.

Frank Walker, cornerback: Walker left the Giants for a one-year, $1.18 million deal that included a $150,000 signing bonus, but his experience wasn't all that he hoped.

Young cornerbacks Jarrett Bush and Will Blackmon were given first dibs on the nickel and dime jobs and Walker became a factor only after Blackmon broke his foot. He was inactive for four of the 16 regular-season games and for the battle Sunday with his old teammates.

"I most definitely expected a lot more," said Walker, a five-year veteran. "I felt like I should have played a little more, had a more prominent role in the defense, but I'm not the coach, so it don't really matter."

Walker said personnel officials told him they wanted him back and asked him if he wanted to come back. He said he told them yes, but if there's an opportunity for him to play more somewhere else, it wouldn't be surprising to see him leave.

Tracy White, linebacker: The leader of the special teams, White said he definitely wanted to return and wasn't interested in playing anywhere else.

He said he got a good feeling after discussions with the coaching staff and expected to be back. White played under a one-year, $641,240 deal this season.

"I'm trying to get back here," White said. "I still have goals to set. I'm trying to get to the Pro Bowl. I want to get a couple-year deal here, but if it's one year, I love playing for the coaching staff and so I would play for that. I told them that."

The five-year veteran finished second on the team in special teams tackles with 16 and also had two fumble recoveries.

Craig Nall, quarterback: It was fun for Nall to come back to the Packers at midseason and go along for the ride, but he said his objective in the off-season would be to find a situation where he could compete for a starting job.

Nall, 28, said Brett Favre didn't tell him whether he was coming back, but Nall sees that Aaron Rodgers is next in line if Favre retires and could see himself in a fight with a young, developing quarterback if he sticks around.

"I don't know if this would be the best opportunity for me," Nall said. "I enjoy playing here. I really love it. I think the coaches are great, but at the same time, it's my career. I have to go out there and entertain (offers)."

Houston was a team that pursued Nall when he became a free agent in 2006 and he thinks it could be a suitor again.

Ryan Krause, tight end: Hoping to show the coaches he could be a reliable receiving threat, Krause ended up being mostly a blocker because the team was locked into its five-receiver sets.

It's unclear whether veteran Bubba Franks, with his $3.5 million salary, will be back or whether Tory Humphrey will be able to come back from a broken leg.

"My agent talked to them during the Bears week and they gave him a big question mark," Krause said. " 'Unrestricted' means I can go anywhere. We told them Green Bay has first dibs. I feel like I fit here and that it worked out pretty well here. Hopefully, the end road is Green Bay."

Krause, 26, said he had hoped to catch more balls, but just tried to improve his blocking.

"There were games that were really good on my part and a couple games I didn't play that well," Krause said. "I got beat on a couple blocks, didn't really make the plays, just didn't do my job and felt pretty bad. I played 10 games and I thought eight out of 10 I did well."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mike Bush's SWOT Analysis on Packers vs Giants

Strengths - relatively balanced team. Can run and throw effectively. Manning has been playing well, Coughlin has them performing with minimal mistakes (9-1 road record). Defensive front four among the best in the league.
Weaknesses - Injuries on offense (Shockey), injuries on defense (CB's, Ross). Historically, bad record at Lambeau, inexperience by Manning, poor run defense (see Dallas), Manning's inability to throw the ball deep or with much behind it (see 20 mph winds)
Opportunities - Bad weather could potentially level the playing field, special teams could play a huge roll (see Pack vs. Bears), TO's, Pack could view them as the same team from Week 2. Feagles...
Threats - Never played CB's like Woodson or Harris (Toomer and Plexico aren't going to be as effective in -10 degrees), most of the team will be in awe of the Stadium / Fans and Favre, playing in hostile Packer country, O-line will be facing a 7 man defensive front rotation, we're the youngest team in the NFL, energy, energy, energy (G-FORCE!!!).

Strengths - 4 and 5 WR sets, running game with Grant, BRETT home....temp below 34, Kicker led league in points, stingy defense builds after Seahawks beat down.
Weaknesses - Potential SP teams blunders (see bears game), cold weather may slow down WR's, penalties on Woodson/Harris, over confidence, inexperience, stopping a powerful run attack
Opportunities - pressure Manning, forcing TO's, field position game, attack with Grant early and often, 3 step drops to get rid of ball and neutralize NY's front four
Threats - interceptions and/or fumbles, execution of plays in the cold, relying to much on pass, getting behind in 2nd half, special teams (Feagles)

How Bad was Lambeau Last Week??.......See for yourself

Packers vs Giants

There has been a lot of media attention on several story lines this week in Green Bay. Well hit on a few of them:

Word on the street is the Giants are a "dirty" team. They talk a lot of trash and try to get in their opponents heads, occasionally throwing some cheap shots in. The refs typically do not see the initial hit, and end of flagging the guy who retaliates. McCarthy has already warned his team about this and lets hope the Pack can keep their cool. They had 2 15 yard penalties in week 2 against the Giants for "retaliation".

There's also talk about the Giants Center Shaun O'Hara cheap shot on Aaron Kampman. O'Hara doesn't think his hit to the back of Kampman's knees was dirty but the Pack thought otherwise. Keep on eye on O'Hara!!!

Packers RB Ryan Grant has gotten a lot of media attention this week. Because of his great game against Seattle, but most of all because Grant was traded to the Packers from the Giants early in the season for a 6th round pick. Grant spent 2005 on the Giants practice squad and all of 2006 on IR with a lacerated hand. Grant a NJ native is also a groomsman for Giants DE Justin Tuck. Tuck has 10 sacks this year and is part of the Giants rotation at DE. Tuck and Grant were former teammates at Notre Dame, but Tuck said he might have to reconsider having Grant in his wedding....all in fun of course.

Of course there's the story of Favre and Strahan. Strahan got his record setting sack against Favre a few years ago and Brett seemed to just lay down and let Strahan get the sack. They are friends, but Strahan has seemed irritated this week about Favre's overall greatness and love affair for the future HOF QB.

Packers vs Giants NFC Championship Game

I don't mean to rub it in, but I will be attending the NFC Championship game in Green Bay this Sunday. Temperatures will be in the singel digits and the wind chill is set to be around -15 to -20 degrees out. I will have actual pictures from the game, as well as my group's attire to post shortly after the game.

The game is already being hailed as the 2nd coldest game in NFL history. #1 being the Ice Bowl, which also had the Green Bay Packers playing at Lambeau

Strahan Tired of Favre Lovefest

Michael Strahan is sick and tired of the national Brett Favre lovefest. The veteran defensive end wondered aloud yesterday why he and other long-suffering pros in the Giants' locker room aren't getting nearly the attention being showered on the Packers' Canton-bound quarterback this week. Strahan considers Favre a friend and will always be indebted to him for not-too-subtly letting Strahan clinch the all-time single season sack record in 2002, but enough's enough.

Courtesy of NY Post and (Truth & Rumors)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dominic Foscato picks his Top Plays from Favre

Top Plays:

1. Game winner to Kitrick Taylor against the Bengals in 1992.
2. Long touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe on a beautiful play action fake at Chicago in 1992.
3. Long touchdown run in the Halloween monsoon at Chicago on Monday Night Football in 1993.
4. Game winner to Sterling Sharpe at Detroit in the 1993 playoffs.
5. Game winning scramble against the Falcons at County Stadium in 1994.
6. Bomb to Robert Brooks for 99 yards at Chicago on Monday Night Football in 1995.
7. Bullet touchdown pass between three defenders to Mark Ingram against the Bengals in 1995.
8. Falling down and then completing a pass in the shocking victory at San Francisco in the 1995 playoffs.
9. Underhanded flip to Antonio Freeman at Seattle in 1996.
10. Scrambling TD pass to Dorsey Levens at St. Louis in 1996.
11. The stiff-arm of Michael Dean Perry and touchdown pass against the Broncos in 1996.
12. The pitch to Dorsey Levens while getting sacked by Kevin Greene against the Panthers in the 1996 playoffs.
13. Bombs to Andre Rison and Antonio Freeman in the 1996 Super Bowl.
14. Amazing touchdown pass to Mark Chmura at New England on Monday Night Football in 1997.
15. Game winner to Corey Bradford on 4th down against the Vikings in 1999.
16. Game winner to Antonio Freeman against the Buccaneers in 1999.
17. Game winning run at Jacksonville (capping a big comeback) on Monday Night Football in 2001.
18. Improbable heave to Antonio Freeman against the Vikings in OT on Monday Night Football in 2001.
19. Every throw at Oakland on Monday Night Football the day after his Dad died in 2003, but I'll add the first one to Wesley Walls for its beauty.
20. Touchdown pass to Javon Walker after getting a concussion against the Giants in 2004.
21. Big passes to Donald Driver (for a TD on 4th down) and Javon Walker to set up the Christmas victory at Minnesota in the "NFC North Title Game" in 2004.
22. 400th career TD pass to Greg Jennings at Detroit in 2006.
23. First Lambeau Leap against the Cardinals in 2006.
24. Game winner to Greg Jennings against the Chargers in 2007.
25. Record breaker to Greg Jennings at Minnesota in 2007.
26. Game winning bomb to Greg Jennings at Denver in OT on Monday Night Football in 2007.
27. Game winner to Greg Jennings at Kansas City in 2007.
28. Shovel pass to Donald Lee against the Seahawks in the 2007 playoffs.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Photos from Packers vs Seahawks

The previous post has a great You Tube clip with a 4+ minute recap of the game. But here are some photos courtesy of Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images:

Instant Classic......Packers win in "Snow-Globe"

It was an amazing weekend for football. The Green Bay Packers faced off against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau field Saturday afternoon. The week consisted of story lines such as Holgrem returning, Hasselback's call heard round the world, "We Want the Ball and We're going to Score", and Seattle's fast Defense.

The game did not disappoint at all. The Packers received the opening kick off, which was bobbled by Tarmon Williams and returned for a short gain. The Packers first play on offensive was a short check down to Ryan Grant. Grant bobbled the pass, fell down, and fumbled while trying to get up. The Hawks recovered and returned it within the Packers 5 yard line. 1 play later Shaun Alexander ran it in to put Seattle up 7-0.

The Packers next possession Grant wanted redemption. He would have to wait on that. 2 plays later Grant coughed up the ball for his second turnover in 3 touches. A stunned crowd at Lambeau settled in for what looked like a long afternoon. Grant, beside himself would need to forget those two plays. His teammates rallied around him explaining it was early and they would need him.

The Pack already down 14-0 needed some big plays to get the stunned crowd back in it. Down 14-0 the Packers marched down the field and Brett Favre connected with Greg Jennings for the score making it 14-7. The Packers would not look back after that.

Green Bay went on to score 6 straight TDs crushing the Seattle Seahawks 42-20. Grant bounced back from a horrible start to rush for a franchise record in the postseason of 201 yards on 27 carries and 3 TDs.

The there were the elements. What started off as another cold day at Lambeau with a light snow flurries, ended in a blizzard with Favre saying "I've been hoping for that for 17 years," he said. "I was watching the weather all day and it's a shame, I'm like, 'Just give us one of those big snow games.'" And that he got!!!

The next day the Giants pulled off a huge upset beating Dallas in Texas, meaning the road to the Super Bowl will go through Lambeau!! The Green Bay Packers 4-12 a few seasons ago, are playing in the NFC Championship game, at Lambeau.

GO PACK GO!!!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Seahawks D

All week the talk has been about how great the Seahawks Defense is. While they might be a solid bunch, lets not forget who they have played:

Week 11: Bears, Rex Grossman (do I need to say anymore)

Week 12: Rams, Gus Frerotte (backup)

Week 13: Eagles, AJ Feeley (backup)

Week 15: Panthers, Matt Moore (3rd string)

Week 16: Ravens, Troy Smith (3rd string)

Week 17: Atlanta, Chris Redman (backup)

Wild Card: Redskins, Todd Collins (backup)

See a trend??? The all powerful Seattle Defense might be fast, but they are undersized and going up against Brett Favre....need I say more!!! GO PACK!!!

Photo Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Foscato's Match Up Stats: Packers vs Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers

Offense – Packers
• Packers have a better yard/play average (6 vs. 5.3) and a better 3rd down % (43 vs. 35)

Defense – Even (slight edge to Packers)
• Both teams average 5 yards allowed/play and are stingy on 3rd down (Packers have best in league with 33% though)

Time of Possession – Packers (slightly)

Turnover Margin – Seahawks
• Packers are 8th ranked playoff team (+4); Seahawks were (+10) in regular season

Points Scored/Game – Packers
• Packers own the edge by about a FG (27.2 to 24.6)

Points Allowed/Game – Even
• Tied at 18.2/game

Ladies & Gentlemen.....I Give You Dominic Foscato's Predections for the 2007-08 NFL Playoffs!!!!!!!!!!

The all-knowing, seldom wrong, highly intelligent and friend of Foscato's Playoff predictions using his own system!!!!:

A few things to note on the playoff rankings:

1. Packers are ranked higher than the Cowboys

2. Over the past 5 or so years, the predictions have been almost 70% accurate in regular season play

3. I didn't pick the Super Bowl winner in the bracket - mostly because it shows the Pack losing to the Pats.... in my heart, I know these are just stats and numbers. It doesn't have the intangible of the pressure to protect a perfect season or a future 1st ballot HOF QB's desire for a magic ending.

Most other sports predictions have some road upsets, I'd say without using the calculation - I'd take the Jags and Skins to cover or win.

The below rankings do not - regardless of the wild card outcome - I don't see those teams winning in the divisional round so the bracket should hold true for a little while.

Favre leaning toward coming back

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Brett Favre is leaning toward returning for another season with the Green Bay Packers, according to comments he made to his hometown newspaper.

In a story in posted on the Web site of the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald on Thursday, Favre said he isn't approaching Saturday's playoff game against Seattle like it will be his final game in Green Bay. He seemed more optimistic than in years past about returning.

"For the first time in three years, I haven't thought this could be my last game," Favre told the newspaper. "I would like to continue longer."

Favre's now-annual flirtation with retirement has taken on a life of its own in Wisconsin. He has taken weeks and even months in recent years to make his decision.

While it has been widely assumed that he would come back to play next season after having one of the best years of his career, Favre and Packers coach Mike McCarthy have said the quarterback would wait until after the season to address the issue.

Favre's favorite receiver, Donald Driver, said Wednesday he hoped Favre would return.

"Oh, yeah. Of course," Driver said. "I hope so. ... But I don't know. I hope he comes back, but if not, he had a great career. I'm happy for that, and I'm glad I'm a part of it."

Favre is not scheduled to speak to the media again before Saturday's game. But McCarthy spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon.

"I'm trying not to laugh but I have not been part of any conversation with Brett on that topic," McCarthy said. "I think we need to move on and focus on Seattle. That's what we're focusing on and I'm sure it's what he's focused on. I think someone just wants to distract our quarterback."

Courtesy of Fox

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

UW Junior Cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu to Enter the NFL Draft

UW's shut down cornerback has elected to enter the NFL draft. Ikegwuonu has had an up and down year this past season and after UW's loss to Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, said he had some "unfinished business" with regards to his playing days at Madison. Well that unfinished business apparently is complete.

This year's NFL draft is a weak crop for CB's and Ike is projected as a "high round" pick. My guess is within the early to middle of the 2nd round. Not too shabby in the wallet, but not crazy money like he probably expected.

With the departure of Jack Ikegwuonu, the Badgers are now thin at CB. The two projected starters for next year are both rehabbing from season ending ACL surgery. Junior Allen Langford and freshman Aaron Henry, will not be available for the Spring game and most likely will be back around Fall. Behind them are a bunch of unknown young players waiting for their shot at Big Ten football.

Wondering if the departure of D-Coordinator Mike Hankwitz had anything to do with it. Bielema fired Hankwitz and O-Line Coach Bob Palcic already since the Bowl loss.

Best of luck to Ike!!! The Packers could use him for some more depth at DB!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

"We Want the Ball & We're Going to Score"

Packer fans tend to be a little bias when reading about the Packers. This story is courtesy of the Seattle Times.

Every Seahawk knows about Lambeau and the tradition of the Packers. But most are just glad to still be alive in the playoffs and are looking forward to the challenge quarterback Brett Favre and the Packers present. Green Bay is 13-3 and the NFC's No. 2 seed in the postseason, and will be rested after a first-round bye.

"The same way we had the fans behind us [Saturday], they're going to have that next week so it's going to be a huge test," safety Brian Russell said. "Great team playing good football."

The Seahawks have been to Green Bay several times in recent years, so they don't figure to be too fazed. In the Holmgren era, the Seahawks have played Green Bay four times — three in the regular season and one playoff game — and are 1-3 in those games.

Seattle has also played at Green Bay twice in exhibition games in the past four seasons, once on Aug. 18 and also in 2004, and is 1-1.

"We know the challenges better than most," Holmgren said.

The last time the Seahawks played a meaningful game at Green Bay was in January 2004, a wild-card playoff game that Seattle lost in overtime, 33-27. Four current offensive starters took part in that game, as well as one 2007 defensive starter, cornerback Marcus Trufant.

It became apparent right after the Seahawks' wild-card win Saturday that people haven't forgotten Hasselbeck's bold "We want the ball, and we're going to score" prediction that was overheard via the referee's microphone after the overtime coin toss of that playoff game.

Today, Hasselbeck is still an excitable and confident player, but he goes back to Wisconsin a more mature and playoff-tested quarterback who hasn't forgotten what he learned from Favre and others.

"I remember the first time I went back there, it was a huge deal to me," said Hasselbeck, who was originally drafted by the Packers in the sixth round in 1998. "Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a special place to me. I think it is the greatest venue in all of sports. That organization is special because it is owned by the fans. If it wasn't for that organization, I would never have gotten a chance. I would be wearing a suit to work every day."

Not a jersey and helmet, or the jeans and sweaters he wears in postgame interviews.

"They helped me to fulfill my dream of playing in the NFL, and the people there are the same way," Hasselbeck added. "It's just a special thing when you get to play your friends

José Miguel Romero, Seattle Times:
Photo: JS Online, Tom Lynn

A Lee Remmel short story

This from Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback on

A piece of the Packers is missing today. A big piece, if you ask me. Lee Remmel retired the other day after 62 years -- 62 years! -- covering and working for the team. He first covered the Packers in 1945 as a beat reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette -- wrote about the team for 30 years, then began a PR career for the team in 1974.

I'll always remember Remmel's great press box cuisine at Lambeau in the 1980s. Lee would have a giant cheese wheel. I mean, a 10- or 15-pound wheel of Wisconsin cheddar, something to snack on through the game, along with the greatest brats ever served in a stadium.

Later, he got to be close with Brett Favre, so close that Favre played the kind of jokes on Remmel that he'd play on Reggie White or the newest rookie. Like this one: "We get on the bus before a Monday night game in Chicago, and I put a remote-control fart machine under Lee's seat. He sits right behind Mike [Holmgren]. I sit about four seats back. It's real quiet on the bus. The machine's got four different fart settings. I got the remote, and I hit one, and it goes off. Everybody looks around. Then I hit another one, a different one, and now everyone's looking at Lee, like he's got a little problem. Mike's in front of him, and you know Mike. He's always so serious before the game. But I can almost see him shaking, laughing a little. Lee was so mad at me. He wouldn't acknowledge me for a week.''

Remmel survived Favre's needles, was a pro's pro and served the people in our business well for a long time.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Packer Regular Season Awards

The Green Bay Packers exceeded expectations this year, finishing 13-3 and tying the club record for wins. The Packers clinched a 1st round bye in the Playoffs and are awaiting there next opponent.

So we'll look back at 2007 and the success the Packers had, by handing out some season awards.

Team MVP: Brett Favre - Favre bounced back this year in a big way and adapted to McCarthy's approach of being smart with the football. Favre threw for over 4,000 yards, 28 TD's, a QB rating of 95.7 and broke every record a QB basically could this year (TD Passes, INTs, Career Yards, Wins, etc.) At 38 years old, Favre's been playing like he's 28 and still showing he's got it, when others told him to hang it up. The question next year is not will he return, but how many more years he'll play after a showing like this year.

Defensive MVP: Nick Barnett - So he got snubbed by the Pro Bowl voters, but we don't care. He's the emotional leader on an expectationally good Defense. Barnett had 131 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 2 INTs for another solid year. It's a shame he didn't make the Pro Bowl, but Packer fans call him a Pro Bowler anyway

Offensive MVP: Brett Favre (see above)/Ryan Grant - Grant is a great story. This kid virtually came out of nowhere to help a very poor Packer running game. Grant was buried on the Giants roster and Ted Thompson pulled the trigger sending the G-men a 5th round pick for him. He finished the regular season just just shy of 1,000 yards (956 yards), 8 TDs, and an average of 5.1 yards a carry. Grant is a hard nose runner who many say is like Dorsey Levens. Is Grant the answer at RB, who knows. But he sure was fun to watch this year.

Special Teams MVP: Mason Crosby - Crosby is only a rookie, and lead the NFL in scoring with 141 points this year. He hit 31 of 39 field goals, 48 of 48 extra points, and made everyone forget about Dave Rayner. Crosby was a late 6th round pick, that made many Packer fans scratch their heads, but again the gamble paid off.

More awards to come in the next few days......(most underrated, Best play of 2007, etc.)

Guess Who Wants to Come Back to the Green & Gold

Former Packers receiver Javon Walker wants out of Denver, and you're never going to believe where he'd consider going.

Back to Green Bay.

Walker demanded a new contract after his breakout season of 2004, when he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned a Pro Bowl berth, then missed the 2005 season with a torn ACL suffered in the regular-season opener. Saying he could never play for the Packers again because the team refused to renegotiate his deal, and because quarterback Brett Favre criticized him during his holdout, Walker got his wish when the Packers sent him to the Broncos on draft day 2006.

In a rambling group interview in front of his locker before his exit interview with Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, Walker, who missed most of the season with knee problems and caught 26 passes for 287 yards and no touchdowns, said Denver is not "the best fit for me" anymore. Walker is due to make about $7.5 million in salary and bonuses and has said he is unwilling to restructure his deal.

"Green Bay made me who I was for a team like (the Broncos) to want to bring me here," Walker said. "So, maybe it takes a team like that to go back."

Courtesy of Wisconsin Sports Writer of the Year, Jason Wilde from the Wisconsin State Journal:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

McCarthy 2nd place for Coach of the Year

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy lost out to New England Patriot's Bill Belichick for Coach of the Year. McCarthy received 15 of 50 votes which is amazing considering the Pats went 16-0 a feat which seemed unreachable in the salary cap era.

McCarthy lead the Pack to 13-3 and the NFC North Division Championship. Most writers picked the Pack to finish around 6-10 or 7-9, and no one thought the Packers would be the #2 seed in the NFC with a 1st round bye.

McCarthy will fill in for Belichick if he is unable to fill in his duties as Coach of the Year......(a terrible Miss America pun.)

CONGRADS to McCarthy for a great season and BEST OF LUCK to him and the PACK as they enter the PLAYOFFS!!!! GO PACK GO!!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Badgers Fall to Tennessee in Outback Bowl

The 18th-ranked Badgers had one last chance to put a successful spin on a season of great expectations, but all they were left with Tuesday was a bitterly disappointing 21-17 loss to No. 16 Tennessee in the Outback Bowl before a crowd of 60,121 at Raymond James Stadium.

Not only did the Badgers, once ranked as high as fifth, end the season 9-4, they had snapped their streak of two consecutive bowl victories over Southeastern Conference opponents.

"You never want to end a season on a note like this," junior linebacker DeAndre Levy said. "It's going to be an extra-long offseason when you have a bad taste in your mouth."

That taste was especially bitter, given how much pride the Badgers take in bowl preparations, believing they have it down to a science. In fact, that's what they want to be a big part of the identity of the program.

The shocking thing was not the Badgers losing to Tennessee (10-4), but how poorly they played and how many mental mistakes they committed after all that preparation.

"We had how many procedure penalties?" right tackle Kraig Urbik said. "Missed assignments, all that stuff. I was very surprised we weren't focused (Tuesday)."

UW coach Bret Bielema aimed his frustration at the officials afterward, but it seemed misplaced. His team was not sharp and the buttons Bielema pressed didn't work, either.

The Badgers burned four timeouts, which proved costly at the end, because of poor communication and problems with the personnel on the field.

"It was just a miscommunication with personnel, nobody related the message," tight end Travis Beckum said.

After quarterback Tyler Donovan was temporarily knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a left knee injury after trying to slide and catching a cleat, the offense was late getting on the field because nobody knew if backup Allan Evridge or Donovan was going in the game.

"Tyler said he was good," left tackle Gabe Carimi said. "Allan wasn't sure if he was still going to go in, there was a lot of mix-up."

It was that kind of game for the Badgers, who also suffered a momentum-sapping fumble from receiver Paul Hubbard on their first possession at the Tennessee 30-yard line, following a 27-yard completion.

While some of that could be explained away from rust due to the layoff, there was no excuse for a defense that allowed two easy touchdown drives of 57 seconds and 1:40 on back-to-back possessions as the Volunteers took a 21-7 lead in the second quarter.

Most of the damage in the game was done by Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, who was named the MVP after throwing for 365 yards and two scores.

"We came out here and basically laid an egg on defense in the first half," UW junior linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. "We're just lucky they didn't blow us out."

Donovan came back to lead a 70-yard drive late in the first half, resulting in a 4-yard touchdown pass on a bootleg to the right and throw back to the left corner of the end zone to senior tight end Andy Crooks.

While the defense buckled down and held the Volunteers scoreless in the second half, all the Badgers could manage was a 27-yard field goal by Taylor Mehlhaff, despite good field position.

"That's kind of what happened in this game, little things we didn't capitalize on," Donovan said.
The Badgers' two best chances came late in the fourth quarter. Trailing 21-17, Bielema elected not to attempt a field goal from the Tennessee 10 on fourth-and-2 with about 6 minutes left. The play prior was a 9-yard completion to Beckum and Bielema made the decision beforehand to go for it if it was fourth-and-2 or less.

Donovan rolled to his right and after his first two options were shut down, came all the way back across the field. He still could find nobody open and threw the ball out of the end zone as he was hit.

"It was a flood route with Travis and 'Hub,' " Donovan said. "They did a good job outflanking it and shutting it down. I tried to make something happen. Give Tennessee credit for shutting it down."

Donovan got another crack after a defensive stop, but it came from his 12, with 1:26 left and no timeouts.

"You'd like to have the timeouts," Donovan said. "It makes things a little easier on ourselves. That's the situation we were in and we had to deal with it."

Donovan completed four passes and had a first down at the Tennessee 36 with 38 seconds remaining. He had Hubbard isolated on Antonio Wardlow, a backup safety playing in passing situations due to Tennessee's academic suspensions. Wardlow made the interception.

"I knew they were going to try me sooner or later so when the ball was thrown, I made a move to the ball," Wardlow said. "With the ball hanging up that long I just knew I had to make a good catch."

Bielema didn 't blame Donovan for making the throw. "You can't fault a kid for thinking we had a shot in the end zone," he said.

Courtesy of Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal