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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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Turnover appears inevitable on defensive line

Posted Feb 14, 2014

Four draft picks over last two years need to develop into future unit


Packers.com is taking a look at the Packers’ roster, position by position. The fifth installment focuses on the defensive line.

GREEN BAY—It could be a year of transition for the Packers’ defense up front.

With four veterans heading for free agency – B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly and C.J. Wilson – the Packers might have more turnover on the defensive line than anywhere else on their roster in 2014.

Since Dom Capers brought his 3-4 to Green Bay in 2009, his base three-man line has been anchored primarily by Pickett and Raji, with Jolly taking a lot of Wilson’s run-stopping snaps this past season.

All four have issues that bring into question their futures as they approach free agency – Raji’s possible contract demands, Pickett’s age (34), Jolly’s season-ending neck injury and Wilson’s diminished role. Bringing all four back seems next to impossible for the Packers. The more relevant question might be if any of the four will return.

If the answer is no, the Packers will be practically starting over with their run defense, which plummeted from a top-five unit at midseason to the bottom third of the league.

Last year’s first-round pick from UCLA, Datone Jones, was drafted to become an every-down defender in the 3-4, playing the “Okie” end in base and inside in rush packages. His rookie year showed it’s going to take some time to reach that point, but the Packers may need him to get there sooner than later.

A beast early on in his rookie training camp, Jones injured an ankle in the first preseason game and that derailed his progress. As the season wore on he played very little base defense and was used almost exclusively as an inside rusher on passing downs, recording 3½ sacks, but by season’s end he was hardly seeing the field.

The line’s best inside rusher was Mike Daniels, the fourth-round pick in 2012 out of Iowa. Daniels finished second on the team in sacks behind only Clay Matthews, with 6½ (plus another in the playoffs), and was a consistent disruptive force.

Daniels’ energy and passion are always on display, perhaps a reflection of being undersized, but also a sign he sees himself as a future leader of the unit. Year No. 3 for Daniels could determine whether, at 6-0, 300, he can play “Okie” end against the run, or if he’s best suited to stay fresh as a situational pass rusher.

The same could be said for Jerel Worthy, the Michigan State product drafted two rounds ahead of Daniels in 2012. Worthy’s second season was basically lost to a knee injury from Week 17 of his rookie year. He didn’t return to practice until Week 11 this past year and eventually appeared in only two games for a total of a dozen snaps. Given his draft status and a pedestrian rookie season, this could be a prove-it year for Worthy.

Like Jones, entering his second season in 2014 will be Josh Boyd, a fifth-round pick out of Mississippi State last year. At 6-3, 310, Boyd looks the part of a run-stuffer, and he was definitely making an impression on the coaching staff as his rookie season progressed.

Inactive for seven of the first nine games in 2013, Boyd’s playing time steadily increased and then jumped considerably following Jolly’s injury. He showed up the most during the second-half comeback in Dallas in Week 15, and as he continues to make the transition from one-gap responsibility in college to two-gap in Capers’ scheme, he could become an anchor against the run in the future and might even get a look at nose tackle.

Jones, Daniels, Worthy and Boyd have all been drafted in the last two years, and the Packers will be looking for that considerable investment of picks to pay off soon. The free-agency fallout with the four veterans will determine how strongly the Packers look to the free-agent market and/or target more defensive linemen in the draft in the coming months.

 
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