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  • 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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Point, counterpoint: Rookie impact

Posted May 1, 2012

Which rookie draft pick will have the greatest impact in 2012?

Mike SpoffordPackers.com Staff Writer Mike Spofford says it’ll be Nick Perry.

I know, I know, this is the obvious answer. Perry is the first-round pick, so, of course he’s going to have the biggest impact among the rookies.

Let me preface this by saying, however, that I think this is a close call between Perry and second-round pick Jerel Worthy. The Packers won a Super Bowl with an outside linebacker group of Frank Zombo, Erik Walden and Brad Jones opposite star Clay Matthews, so I’m not underestimating the impact Worthy could have.

Pairing Worthy with B.J. Raji as interior rushers will give offenses a lot to think about aside from Matthews. There was a reason Matthews and Cullen Jenkins didn’t line up on the same side in 2010.

That said, though, it’s impossible not to envision Green Bay’s defense making even bigger improvements with a player like Perry opposite Matthews. The outside linebacker position is the bread-and-butter spot in the 3-4 Dom Capers coordinates, and a Matthews-Perry pair could give the Packers something akin to the premier tandem among 3-4 practitioners – Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley.

Over the last four seasons, as the Steelers have sported one of the league’s top defenses, the fewest number of sacks Harrison and Woodley have combined for is 18. That was last season when they each had nine. The three years before that, both were in double digits, every year, with a combined high of 27½ sacks (Harrison 16, Woodley 11½ in 2008 when the Steelers last won the Super Bowl).

Last year, Matthews led the Packers’ struggling defense with just six sacks, and in the previous two years, when Matthews was in double figures, no other Packers outside linebacker had more than four sacks.

Getting an explosive partner – Perry runs a 4.5 at 270 pounds – should be just what Matthews and the Packers need. Over his 26 NFL seasons, Capers’ best defenses have featured memorable pairs at that cornerstone position: Pittsburgh’s Kevin Greene and Greg Lloyd, Carolina’s Greene and Lamar Lathon.

The last time the Packers made a major investment in an outside linebacker was right after Capers was hired, when General Manager Ted Thompson traded up to get back into the first round in 2009 and grab Matthews at No. 26 overall. Since Aaron Kampman’s knee injury midway through that season, Matthews’ companion on the other side has been either a seventh-round draft pick (Jones), an undrafted free agent (Zombo) or a street free agent (Walden).

The last two seasons have shown that patchwork approach can be boom or bust. It worked like a charm in 2010 but didn’t cut it last year.

The second major investment was made last Thursday night. It offers the biggest potential payoff.

Vic KetchmanPackers.com Editor Vic Ketchman says it’ll be Casey Hayward.

It’s a tall order for any rookie to be the guy that steps into Charles Woodson’s shoes, but should Hayward be that guy, well, his impact on the Packers defense will be twofold and potentially sweeping.

With the release of Nick Collins due to his neck injury, the Packers officially have a void at safety. They drafted a safety, Jerron McMillian of Maine, and maybe he’ll help fill that void, but consensus opinion is that a move from cornerback could do for Woodson’s career what it did for Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson, which is to have lengthened its greatness.

What Packers defensive back has the best hands?

Woodson.

What Packers defensive back is best at playing the ball in the air?

Woodson.

Who led the Packers in interceptions last season?

Woodson.

The legs may be going on 36, but the hands and instincts are still those of a player in his prime. Oh, and did I mention that Woodson has long been one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the game?

Those are the prerequisites for being a safety. He’s a defensive back with strong instincts and good hands, who can play the ball in the air and support against the run. As a safety, Woodson’s interceptions total might even increase.

He can’t be moved there, however, unless another player steps up at cornerback. Maybe Sam Shields or Davon House will be that player, but neither of them are 2012 draft picks; Hayward is.

Can Hayward do it? In his rookie season, can he be expected to play well enough to allow Woodson to move to safety?

Well, let’s start with this: Hayward played in the SEC, which means he faced the best competition college football has to offer week in and week out. He played against all of that legendary southern speed, and having done so as a member of the Vanderbilt Commodores, it’s not as though Hayward covered all of that southern speed with the kind of fierce pass rush Morris Claiborne had at LSU and Dre Kirkpatrick had at Alabama.

Maybe he can do it right away, maybe it’ll take a little longer, but this much is for certain: For what Hayward could mean to two positions, he will be a rookie of intense scrutiny in this summer’s training camp. He could be the player that makes the most impact in this year’s draft class.

What do you think?

 
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