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  • Wed., Apr. 16, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Ironwood party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Ironwood: Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort. To benefit Ironwood Volunteer Fire Department. Tickets on sale at Super One Foods, 1480 E. Cloverland Dr., Ironwood, Mich.

  • Thu., Apr. 17, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Superior party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Superior: Superior High School. To benefit the National Bank Commerce Spartan Sports Complex. Tickets on sale at Screen Graphics, 1327 Banks Ave., Superior.

  • Fri., Apr. 18, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Rice Lake party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Rice Lake: Barron County Fairgrounds. To benefit Benjamin’s House. Tickets on sale at Marketplace Foods, 330 S. Main St., Rice Lake; and Rainbow Home Center, 1124 Hammond Ave., Rice Lake.

  • Sat., Apr. 19, 2014 12:30PM - 3:00PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Merrill party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Merrill: MARC. To benefit Riverbend Trail. Tickets on sale at Merrill Chamber of Commerce, 705 N. Center Ave., Merrill; Dave’s County Market, 300 E. 1st St., Merrill; and Drew’s Piggly Wiggly, 3404 E. Main St., Merrill. Tickets also available online at www.merrillchamber.org.

  • Sat., Apr. 26, 2014 8:00AM - 6:00PM CDT Packers Pro Shop Tent Sale

    The sale is taking place earlier than in previous years, due to the construction at Lambeau Field and the work that the Pro Shop team must complete in preparation for the new store, which will open this summer. Visitors to Lambeau Field should enter the Atrium through the Oneida Nation Gate. Parking is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate, which can be accessed off Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue.

    The sale will feature the traditional mix of Pro Shop items greatly reduced in price and other special purchases.

    The team’s football operations staff also has provided Packers team apparel no longer in use, including a large assortment of t-shirts, shorts, jackets, jerseys and pants. Some items are practice-worn gear not normally available in the Pro Shop.

    The tent sale began in 1994 in the parking lot outside the former Pro Shop on the north end of Lambeau Field and grew into a popular event. Now in its 11th year in the Atrium, the tent sale also was held in the west side stadium concourse in previous years.

     
  • Sat., May. 10, 2014 7:00PM CDT Eddie Lacy appearance 22nd Annual Doug Jirschele Memorial Sports Award Banquet

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Packers run defense faces another tough test

Posted Sep 12, 2013

Clay Matthews says “I’m not a dirty player.”


GREEN BAY—The Packers’ run defense passed its first test of 2013, but the exam in Week 2 will be no less important.

Last week against the 49ers, the Packers defended San Francisco’s top running backs much better than they did in two meetings the previous season, which bodes well as Washington’s Alfred Morris comes to Lambeau Field on Sunday.

A few days ago at Candlestick Park, the tandem of Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for just 68 yards on 27 carries, a paltry 2.5 average. Only one run really hurt the Packers, when Hunter broke loose for 23 yards on the 49ers’ go-ahead TD drive in the fourth quarter.

That’s a far cry from the 2012 season, when the production from Gore and Hunter in the opener (and then from the duo of Gore and LaMichael James in the playoffs) was more than double that. Even without factoring in quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s running, the 49ers’ top backs piled up 293 yards on just 51 carries in two games last year, a gaudy 5.7 average.

Of the difference in the effort, surprise starter Johnny Jolly said, “It was basically every man doing their job, being in their gap when they need to be in their gap.”

It also helped to go into the game with considerable depth up front. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the game plan called for a lot of base defense, which requires three down linemen, and as a result the Packers had seven of their eight defensive linemen active for the game.

That allowed starters B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Jolly to have C.J. Wilson behind them, rotating in for some base snaps, while Mike Neal, Mike Daniels and Datone Jones handled many of the nickel and dime packages, which call for only two linemen.

“We wanted to have a healthy rotation,” McCarthy said. “It’s something you keep track of. I’m very aware of each rep that every player plays in the game, what their reps are over the season. You have targets based on play time, because everybody has a role.”

Those roles may not change much this week against Morris, who was the No. 2 rusher in the league last season behind Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

In racking up 1,613 rushing yards and 13 TDs last season for Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, Morris topped 100 yards six times before finishing the regular-season with a 200-yard day.

“He’s a typical Shanahan back,” Raji said. “He’s going to press the hole and look for the cutback. He looks for the weakness in the defense, and he’s very effective.”

If there’s one word about Morris’ game that’s been continually repeated in the locker room this week, it’s that he runs “downhill.”

“He’s a one-cut guy – he makes his cut, makes his decision to get downhill and gets downhill fast,” Pickett said. “You have to bring it when you tackle him, because he gets out of the first tackle a lot.”

Morris came out of the gate slowly in Week 1, with just 12 carries for 45 yards against Philadelphia on Monday. He didn’t have a single game a year ago with totals that low in either category. A big factor was the Redskins’ falling behind the Eagles’ high-octane offense 33-7 early in the third quarter.

Green Bay’s defense would love to play with that kind of advantage, but it obviously can’t count on that. With Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III coming off reconstructive knee surgery and not presenting the same running threat he did as a rookie last year, the Packers are preparing for Morris to be force-fed.

“They do a great job of making those linemen run sideline to sideline, and he just has to plant his foot and get upfield,” outside linebacker Clay Matthews said.

“The defense is in for a long day if you can’t set the edge and force him back inside, but we feel good about how we’ve done as a defense, playing the run.”

For what it’s worth, Matthews on Thursday declined to respond to San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh’s contention that he’s a dirty player, and he did not say whether he was fined by the league for his late hit out of bounds on Kaepernick.

Trying to break the tension a tad, Matthews said, “I’m an awesome player. I’m not a dirty player.” In a much more serious tone, he repeated multiple times, “I’m moving on to the next game.”

The Packers’ run defense is moving on to its next challenge, too.

“We have good players up front, we have good linebackers. We imposed our will last Sunday,” Raji said. “It wasn’t enough, but we’ll try to take the positives away from the game, and if we continue to play this way, we’ll have a heck of a run defense.”

Additional coverage - Sept. 12

 
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