Packers-Cardinals Preview


THE GAME:Coming up just short in their first preseason venture of 2002 at Philadelphia, the Green Bay Packers (0-1) hit the road again this weekend, winging west to meet the Arizona Cardinals (1-0) in Tempe's sprawling Sun Devil Stadium Saturday night (August 17).

Kickoff, accompanied by a temperature predicted to be in the low 100s, is set for 9:05, CDT (Wisconsin time).

At a minimum, the Packers came within respectable range of forcing an overtime in their non-league inaugural, falling 20-13 after rookie quarterback Craig Nall's fourth down pass fell incomplete in the Eagles' end zone with 3:19 remaining in the game.

The matchup, which saw both teams substitute liberally in keeping with the customary preseason modus operandi, had been a 10-10 standoff at halftime.

In the Cardinals, the Packers will be facing an opponent that experienced preseason success in its initial outing, outscoring Marty Schottenheimer's Chargers at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, 24-17.

Arizona quarterback Chris Greisen, a native of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., triggered the Cardinals' victory, firing a 41-yard scoring pass to Bryan Gilmore midway through the third quarter to give the visitors a permanent 21-17 lead.

THE TV-RADIO COVERAGE: Saturday night's game will be broadcast over the state-wide Packers Television Network, with WBAY-TV (Channel 3) as the originating station. The telecast also will be carried by WISN-TV (Channel 12), Milwaukee; WISC-TV (Channel 3), Madison; WSAW-TV (Channel 7), Wausau; and WKBT-TV (Channel 8), La Crosse. Additionally, it will be aired "live" in Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Charter Communications in Escanaba and Marquette.

Chris Roth, WBAY-TV sports director, will call the play-by-play and Bill Maas, Fox Sports Network analyst and former Packers lineman, will provide the analysis, with Andy Kendeigh of Milwaukee's WISN-TV, reporting from the field.

The game also will be broadcast over the 72-station Packer Radio Network with Milwaukee's WTMJ as the flagship station and available on the internet at Wayne Larrivee will call the play-by-play and Larry McCarren will provide the analysis.

THE SERIES: The Packers will be making history of sorts when they take on the Cardinals in Tempe's Sun Devil Stadium Saturday night. It will mark the first time they have played a preseason game against the Big Red since the Cardinals moved to Arizona from St. Louis in 1988.

It will not, however, be their first preseason appearance in the Cardinals' current venue. They played a non-league contest against the Denver Broncos there in 1987 - the year prior to the Cardinals' arrival in the Arizona desert.

The Packers also have played three regular season games in Tempe in the interim, posting a 26-17 victory in 1988, a 24-21 win in 1990 and a 29-3 victory in 2000, the last-mentioned success coming under Mike Sherman.

The rivalry, one of the National Football League's most venerable, dates back to the very dawn of the NFL, the Packers' first meeting with the Cardinals having occurred in 1921, the second year of the league's existence. On that occasion (November 20, 1921), the fledgling professionals struggled to 3-3 tie before a modest gathering of 2000 fans in Chicago.

Saturday night's principals have met 65 times in the 81-year interim, with the Packers holding a 41-21 advantage in the regular season series. There also have been 4 ties, including that initial deadlock in '21, the most recent a 16-16 standoff at St. Louis in 1971.

The Packers also prevailed in their only postseason encounter with the Cardinals - in a Super Bowl Tournament game in Green Bay's Lambeau Field on January 8, 1983, the Green and Gold setting a club playoff scoring record en route to a 41-16 triumph.

The preseason competition between the longtime rivals has been close, the Packers holding an 11-5 lead after 16 such meetings.

Saturday night's contest will mark their first preseason meeting with the Cardinals since 1983, Bart Starr's last year as Green Bay's head coach, the Packers emerging with a 39-27 victory at St. Louis.

THE HEAD COACHES: Purposeful Mike Sherman has made a major impact on the Packers' artistic fortunes in just two years as the 13th head coach in Green Bay's storied annals. He has matched the fabled Vince Lombardi's won-lost record for his first 32 regular season games (21-11) and, in so doing, become only the fourth head coach in the team's NFL history to own a winning career record, thus joining team founder E.L. "Curly" Lambeau, Lombardi and Mike Holmgren.

Sherman, then a head coach for the first time at any level, debuted in 2000 by leading the Packers to a 9-7 record, climaxed by a sweep of the Packers' four NFC Central Division rivals (Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Tampa Bay), a rare accomplishment.

And, despite assuming the additional and imposing responsibilities of executive vice president and general manager following Ron Wolf's retirement, he guided the Green and Gold to an impressive 12-4 record in 2001, a victory total surpassed by only three teams in the club's 81-year NFL history.

Additionally, Sherman equaled another Lombardi accomplishment by leading the Packers into the posteason in only his second season at the controls. The 47-year-old New Englander enhanced that substantial accomplishment by escorting the Packers into the second round of the playoffs, posting a 25-15 victory over the formidable San Francisco 49ers in their initial postseason test, a wild card playoff in Lambeau Field before falling to the Super bowl-bound St. Louis Rams in a subsequent divisional playoff, 45-17.

The first man to shoulder his tri-cornered role since Lambeau last functioned In those capacities in 1949, Sherman has brought multiple credentials to his responsibilities. They include a Super Bowl following the 1997 season, during which he was a member of the Holmgren staff that led the Packers into SBXXXII against the Denver Broncos at San Diego.

It was the first of three consecutive years in the playoffs for the imposing Central Connecticut State University alumnus, who returned to the postseason with the Packers in 1998 and as the offensive coordinator on Holmgren's Seattle Seahawks' staff in 1999.

Now in his 25th year in his profession, the Massachusetts-born mentor launched his coaching career at Stamford, Conn., High School in 1978. He went on to coach in the college ranks for 16 years - including a year as offensive coordinator at Holy Cross and terms as offensive line coach at such highly-regarded programs as Texas A&M and UCLA.

The Cardinals' Dave McGinnis, who compiled an outstanding record as a defensive coach before becoming the Cardinals' field leader, has been Arizona's head coach since the seventh week of the 2000 season when he was named interim head coach of the Big Red for the final nine games of the season.

McGinnis, previously the Cardinals' defensive coordinator since 1996, posted a 1-8 record after taking over the head coaching duties during the transitional 2000 season, then led the Cardinals to a competitive 7-and-9 record last season.

Earlier, in a decade as linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears (1986-95), he was a member of a highly successful defensive staff, under which the Bears' defense ranked among the NFL's top six teams in fewest yards allowed seven times.

In addition, McGinnis coached Pro Bowl players at all three linebacker positions - outside linebackers Otis Wilson and Wilber Marshall and middle linebacker Mike Singletary, a 1998 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who made the Pro Bowl every season under McGinnis' tutelage.


NFL ties: Packers assistant defensive backs coach Lionel Washington played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1983-86)...Director of Pro Personnel Reggie McKenzie played for the Phoenix Cardinals (1989-90).

College teammates: Tim Duncan (Cards) and Torrance Marshall (Green Bay) at Oklahoma...Joel Makovicka, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Chris Dishman (Cards) and Ahman Green, Jared Tomich, Steve Warren, Tyrone Williams and Scott Frost (Green Bay) at Nebraska...William McCray (Cards) and Javon Walker (Green Bay) at Florida State...Jason Starkey (Cards) and Billy Lyon (Green Bay) at Marshall...Ray Thompson (Cards) and Chad Clifton (Green Bay) at Tennessee...LaVar Woods (Cards) and Matt Bowen and Aaron Kampman (Green Bay) at Iowa...Russell Davis (Cards) and Vonnie Holliday (Green Bay) at North Carolina.

Other connections: Packers offensive assistant Darrell Bevell played at Northern Arizona in Flagstaff and Chaparral High School in Scottsdale before transferring to Wisconsin...Green Bay scout Lenny McGill starred at Arizona State...Arizona DT Wendell Bryant played at Wisconsin...Cards head coach Dave McGinnis and Packers VP/Football Operations Mark Hatley both went to Texas Christian...McGinnis also coached on several Bears staffs with Bob Slowik, Packers assistant head coach/defensive backs, in the 1990s.

THE INJURY REPORT: Wide receiver Terry Glenn, "actually during the game...was on the sideline watching the game...and I didn't find this out until afterwards - that the (injured) knee just regressed during the game and got sore," GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman reported. "And flying on the plane this weekend probably didn't help him a whole lot." The prognosis: "I'm sure it's about a week to 10 days."

On Glenn's fellow wide receiver, Robert Ferguson, nursing a groin injury. "He's been playing with that groin injury, and we have a fair amount of groins this year. Two years ago, it was the 'hams'. We addressed the it seems to be the groin.

"I don't know if that's because we play so much bump coverage where guys are planting and pushing off of each other. Usually it has affected our defensive backs and receivers. But, anyway, he has a groin that he's been nursing. The doctors actually wanted to hold him out today. He wanted to give it a shot, and it looks like we're going to have to sit back and rest him to get him back in time."

On rookie defensive back Marques Anderson, who started in place of Antuan Edwards: "During the game, Anderson felt his hamstring knot up on him and we thought it might have been cramps because it affected both of his hamstrings. That's why he did not finish the game and that's a situation that will be day-by-day with him."

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