Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.


Green & Gold


Packers trying to shore up defense

Pleased with the Packers’ draft, coach Mike McCarthy made a confident proclamation. Engrave it into the side of a foam cheesehead in large, green-and-gold type.

“We’re going to be a better defense this year,” McCarthy said. “You can write that in big letters.”

A glimpse at potential reinforcements comes Friday, when the team opens a two-day rookie minicamp. Green Bay took four defensive players in the NFL draft, starting with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from Alabama in the first round.

The selection of Clinton-Dix with the 21st overall pick filled one of the most pressing needs on a defense that sagged as the 2013 season progressed. The Packers finished 25th in the league (372.2 yards per game).

In a perfect scenario for Green Bay, Clinton-Dix would be the playmaker needed at safety, a position at which the Packers failed to get an interception last year.


Abbrederis moving north

The Green Bay Packers kept one Wisconsin player in state, added a candidate to replace departed center Evan Dietrich-Smith, and got another outside linebacker to beef up the pass rush on the third day of the 2014 NFL draft.

“It’s all about building a 90-man roster,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We definitely got better the last few days.”

The home state crowd loved the Packers’ move with their second pick in the fifth round (No. 176 overall), taking University of Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis, who was a Packers fan growing up in Wautoma.

“We were a little surprised that he was there,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said. “His first couple of years especially, he did everything but sell hot dogs.”

Abbrederis, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, had 78 catches for 1,081 yards and seven touchdowns last season for the Badgers.


Packers go receiver in 2nd round

Aaron Rodgers has a new weapon.

That’s a scary thought for NFC North defenses.

With the departure of wide receiver James Jones to free agency in the offseason, the Green Bay Packers opted for offense early in Day 2 of the NFL draft. The Packers selected Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams at No. 53 overall Friday night.

“He’s a complete football player, and that’s what stood out,” Packers wide receiver coach Edgar Bennett said.

The 6-0 7/8, 212-pound Adams broke 11 school records at Fresno State in two highly productive seasons. For his career, he tallied 233 catches for 3,030 yards and 38 touchdowns. As a redshirt sophomore last year, he had 24 touchdowns and 1,718 yards. In college, Adams wasn’t shy to catch a ball on any part of the field.


Packers take safety in 1st round

The Associated Press Alabama free safety Haha Clinton-Dix poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Green Bay Packers as the 21st pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday in New York.

The Packers are banking on another former Alabama star to give their team a boost.

Green Bay picked Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with the 21st overall pick of the NFL draft Thursday night, adding a hard-hitting safety to a defense that needed playmakers. He had 51 tackles and two interceptions as a junior in 2013, his first season as a full-time starter for Alabama.

He’ll join fellow former Crimson Tide star running back Eddie Lacy in Green Bay.

The 6-foot-1 Clinton-Dix is considered to be a disciplined player with good ball skills, though not especially fast or athletic. Still, he figures to strengthen the secondary. The Packers didn’t get an interception from their safeties last year.

“I think he’s a real all-purpose kind of safety. He’s shown the ability to cover guys in the slot, good in support, physical player,” said general manager Ted Thompson.


Safety, LB could be early draft targets for Packers

The prospect with that impressive 40-yard dash time might look good in green and gold. He may not be the best fit in a certain round for the Green Bay Packers.

In those instances, general manager Ted Thompson has plenty of voices in the room on draft day to remind him of the team’s philosophy. If that player happens to fill a hole, all the better for Thompson.

“Even in the draft, during the draft itself, sometimes if we need to pat ourselves on the back, we’ll repeat it,” Thompson said before offering the phrase “Let’s just take the best player.’ I have people remind me and whisper in my ear.”

For the most part, things have worked out nicely in Green Bay under Thompson in spite of pleas from some fans to be more aggressive in free agency.


Packers season ends with 23-20 loss

Photo by Jim Leuenberger San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick gains some of his 98 rushing yards during the 49ers' playoff game Sunday against the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost the game, 23-20.

For a Green Bay Packers team that had to overcome mountains of adversity just to make the playoffs, it was hard to accept that they came up just one play short in a 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in a wild card playoff game Sunday at a frigid Lambeau Field.

After tying the game at 20-20 on a 24-yard Mason Crosby field goal with 5:06 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Packers allowed the 49ers to drive 65 yards and eat up the rest of the clock. Phil Dawson, the 49ers kicker, then hit a 33-yard field goal for the 23-20 win.

It was a bitter loss for the Packers, who battled through a bevy of injuries and setbacks this season to make the playoffs, and their fourth loss to the 49ers in the last two seasons.

“It hurts,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Yeah, it hurts.”


Packers win North title over Bears

Wolf River Media Photo by Greg Mellis Chicago Bears defenders work at bring down Packers rookie Eddie Lacy during Sunday's NFC North championship game in Chicago. Lacy rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown on a bad ankle.

A fourth-and-eight touchdown throw from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to receiver Randall Cobb with 46 seconds left to play put the Green Bay Packers ahead of the Chicago Bears 33-28 in a back-and-forth regular season finale Sunday at a cold and windy Soldier Field in Chicago with the NFC North championship on the line.

It was fitting that Rodgers (collarbone) and Cobb (leg), who both returned this game after missing weeks due to injury, connected on the game’s pivotal play, giving the Packers the win, the NFC North title and a home playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

“You see the heart that this team has, to go through what we went through all season and still have a chance to get into the playoffs,” Cobb said. “To have a game like we played tonight … we found a way to win the game. I think it speaks a lot about our team.”


5 things we learned in Packers' win

Wolf River Media Photo by Greg Mellis Quarterback Aaron Rogers celebrates a third quarter touchdown of the Packers' 33-28 win Sunday in Chicago. The victory gave the Packers their third straight NFC North title and propelled them in the NFL playoffs. They will host San Francisco on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers missed about half the season. Now, he can make up for lost time.

Rodgers returned from a broken collarbone and fired a 48-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb in the final minute Sunday to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 33-28 victory over the Chicago Bears and the NFC North championship.

"There were a lot of opportunities for us to give up, and we just kept believing in each other," Rodgers said. "I'm proud of our guys."

Back after missing seven games with a broken left collarbone, Rodgers found a wide-open Cobb on fourth-and-8 to wipe out a one-point deficit with 38 seconds left.

Green Bay will host San Francisco next weekend in the wild-card round.

The Bears had one final drive, but Jay Cutler's deep pass to Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Sam Shields on the final play.


Packers lose but hope remains

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy dives into the end zone against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Green Bay lost 38-31 but remains in contention for a playoff berth.

The Green Bay Packers’ roller-coaster season will continue for another week, despite a 38-31 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the snow at Lambeau Field.

The loss would have ended the postseason hopes for the Packers (7-7-1), but the Chicago Bears (8-7) were embarrassed 54-11 by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. Detroit (7-8) dropped out of playoff contention with a 23-20 overtime loss at home to the New York Giants.

The Packers and Bears will play Sunday in Chicago with the NFC North title, and the playoff berth that comes with it, on the line. That game has been moved to a 3:25 p.m. start.

The Packers' fate was nearly sealed as they raced the clock on the final drive Sunday, trailing 38-31.

The Packers entered the fourth quarter down by 10, 31-21, until a Mason Crosby 22-yard field goal cut the deficit to seven.


Lacy strong candidate for rookie award

Eddie Lacy was wearing a walking boot on his right foot Wednesday in the locker room, as he has everywhere except to games since spraining his ankle against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14.

The boot is mostly precautionary, as is the decision to hold the rookie running back out of a few practices the last two weeks.

“It looks pretty cool,” Lacy said of his protective footwear.

However the boot makes Lacy look, there is no doubt what Lacy is: a grinding, three-down, 1,000-yard rusher who has transformed the Packers’ running game.

Lacy is also a deserving candidate for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

The former Alabama running back has amassed 1,028 yards, just 77 short of breaking John Brockington’s Packers rookie record of 1,105 yards, and eight touchdowns, a first for a rookie in franchise history. He’s tied with Brockington for the most 100-yard games in a rookie season with four.


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