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  • 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
  • Sat., Jun. 07, 2014 8:30AM - 3:30PM CDT JPP Kids Clinic

    The 17th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 7, 2014 in the Don Hutson Center with sessions ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic gives members ages 5-14 years old the opportunity to practice football skills and drills with other Packers backers and a few up-and-coming Packers players.  Parents/Guardians are welcome to come and watch their child/ren participate in the clinic. 

    Members may choose one of three sessions to attend:

    • Session 1 – 8:30 to 10 a.m.
    • Session 2 – 11 to 12:30 p.m.
    • Session 3 – 2 to 3:30 p.m.

    The event will be held inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers indoor practice facility. Parking for the event is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate.  

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic is a member’s only event and will have a registration fee of $5.

    Deadline to register:

    • New Members – May 11, 2014
    • Current Members – May 18, 2014

    To sign up to become a member of the Junior Power Pack and receive an invitation to the clinic fans can go to www.packers.com/jpp.

  • Sat., Jun. 14, 2014 2:30PM CDT Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer

    The eleventh annual Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer motorcycle ride will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 14, 2014. The ride will start at Vandervest Harley-Davidson (1966 Velp Avenue, Green Bay) and will make a fun-filled stop at the Seymour Fireman's Picnic, held at the Outagamie County Fairgrounds in Seymour.

    Ride Day Schedule

    • 9-10:30 am: Registration at Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Geen Bay
    • 11 am: Depart Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Green Bay
    • 12 pm: Arrive in Seymour. Enjoy food, beverages, entertainment and a short program.
    • 2:30 pm: Party kicks off at the new South Endzone Festival Foods MVP Deck at Lambeau Field! Guests can access the space by way of the Shopko Gate. See the field and enjoy the atmosphere from this beautiful indoor/outdoor space newly opened and accessed by very few. The party will include silent and live auction, food, beverages, music and merchandise available for purchase.

    More information: http://cruiseforcancer.org/




Point, counterpoint: Should rookies be expected to make an immediate impact?

Posted Apr 22, 2013

Read the arguments and cast your vote.

Packers CB Casey Hayward

Vic KetchmanPackers.com Editor Vic Ketchman says yes.

There’s a thing called “dead money” on your salary cap, and then there’s a kind of “dead money” on your roster, and you don’t want either. That’s why it’s important that a team receive some immediate impact from its draft class.

Yes, it’s draft and develop, not draft and be a star, but the salary cap era has made it important for teams to expedite the development of their young players because teams can’t afford to dedicate a portion of their salary cap to noncontributors.

Look at it this way: If a seven-man draft class is on the roster and fails to provide impact, then 13 percent of the roster and the cap room it occupies is dead wood.

This isn’t to say that every draft pick should be expected to be a difference maker in his rookie season, but it’s not unreasonable to expect a couple of the team’s top picks to provide upgrades at the positions at which they were drafted.

Draftmetrics.com confirms that games played by rookies hit an all-time NFL high last season: 903. It was up from 870 in 2011, which was up from 782 in 2010, which was up from 712 in 2009, which was up from 656 in 2008. The trend is undeniable. The increase in games played by rookies over the last five years is dramatic, and that trend is likely to continue.

Why is this happening? It’s because of the cap. Nobody can afford to park millions of dollars of cap money, let alone real money, on the bench. It’s also happening because games lost to injury continue to increase, therefore, young players are being forced into the action sooner than later. Remember James Starks? Who expected him to become an impact player in the playoffs as a sixth-round pick?

The Packers had holes to fill on defense last season. They did that by making defensive players their first six selections in the draft, and then those draft picks, led by cornerback Casey Hayward, provided a lot of immediate impact that helped the Packers raise their defensive ranking from last in the league in 2011 to 11th in 2012.

Mike SpoffordPackers.com Staff Writer Mike Spofford says no.

If rookies can come in and make an impact right away, that’s a bonus. There’s certainly that expectation with first-round picks, and in many cases second-rounders as well, but beyond that, remember there’s a “develop” part to draft and develop.

Even with some of those high picks, easing that immediate-impact pressure can pay dividends. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t expected to play right away, and his development speaks for itself. Jordy Nelson was drafted in the second round when the Packers were fairly deep at receiver, and he caught just 55 passes total in his first two seasons. Now he’s one of the top receivers in the NFC North.

In the middle to later rounds certainly, it should be about the payoff down the road. Tight end Jermichael Finley (third round), guard Josh Sitton (fourth round) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (sixth round) are good examples. Those three didn’t have much to show for their rookie seasons but grew into the prominent roles they have now.

Fourth-round picks Mike Daniels and Jerron McMillian obviously played as rookies last year, but the defense benefited more from the development of young players like Morgan Burnett and Brad Jones.

That’s how the 2013 defense will improve the most, too, as Daniels, McMillian, Davon House, Mike Neal, M.D. Jennings and Dezman Moses, among others, continue to develop. If the impact of the 2013 draft class is greater than that of the players just mentioned, I would argue that’s potentially a bad sign for the Packers, not necessarily a good one.

A draft-and-develop team needs to take the long view, and it needs to count on its draft picks and college free agents developing over time. Not all of them will, obviously, but they need to be given a legitimate chance. That’s not to say immediate impact is a problem, however.

What running back James Starks provided late in 2010, and what tackle Don Barclay was able to do last season, made a difference for the Packers. There’s no doubt about that.

But contributions like that are a lot to ask of players getting their first taste of the NFL. They should not be the expectation, but a bonus – a bonus that might put a team over the top, sure, but a bonus nonetheless.

Cast your vote in the poll on the right, please.


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