*Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com.
This is an abbreviated version of the Packers-Chiefs Preseason Game 4 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Chiefs Preseason Game 4 Dope Sheet:*
GREEN BAY (2-1) at KANSAS CITY (0-3)Thursday, Sept. 2 - New Arrowhead Stadium - 7 p.m. CDT
PACKERS TRAVEL TO KANSAS CITY FOR PRESEASON FINALE
- Green Bay heads to Kansas City to close out the preseason slate with a game against the Chiefs on Thursday night. It is the third time in the past four years that the Packers have wrapped up their preseason schedule away from Lambeau Field.
- Thursday night's game in Kansas City will be just the second contest at the New Arrowhead Stadium, which features state-of-the art video and sound systems among several other new amenities. The stadium, which was renovated over a three-year period, opened on Friday night when the Chiefs lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-17.
- For Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the trip to Kansas City is a return to where his NFL coaching career started. McCarthy spent six seasons on the Chiefs' staff (1993-98), the first two as an offensive assistant/quality control coach and the final four as the quarterbacks coach. Thursday night will be just the second time McCarthy has coached in Kansas City since taking over as head coach of Green Bay in 2006, with the other game coming on Nov. 4, 2007, a 33-22 Packers win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
- Ironically, McCarthy's very first game as an NFL coach was a preseason contest between the Chiefs and the Packers on Aug. 7, 1993, at Milwaukee County Stadium. Kansas City won, 29-21.
- The teams have squared off 11 times before in the preseason, with the series deadlocked at 5-5-1. The last preseason meeting between the teams came on Aug. 4, 2003, in Canton, Ohio, in the annual Hall of Fame game. The Chiefs won, 9-0, in a contest that was called with 5:49 left in the third quarter due to severe rain and lightning.
- The Packers beat the defending AFC champion Indianapolis Colts, 59-24, on Thursday night at Lambeau Field in a nationally televised contest. QB Aaron Rodgers led the No. 1 offense on three touchdown drives in just a half of work, completing 21-of-29 passes for 195 yards and three TDs. TE Jermichael Finley paced the offense with six receptions for 85 yards, including a 15-yard TD grab, and Rodgers added TD passes to WRs Donald Driver and James Jones. FB Korey Hall recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a TD in the second quarter, and WR Jason Chery added a 75-yard punt return for a score in the fourth quarter.
- The 59 points scored were the most by a Green Bay team in the preseason since the Packers posted a 75-0 shutout over the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Crush on Sept. 5, 1938, in Ironwood, Mich. It was also the most points scored by Green Bay against an NFL opponent in any game (preseason, regular season or postseason), topping the mark set on Oct. 7, 1945, in a 57-21 win over Detroit.
- Green Bay's 59-point total was the most by any team in a preseason game since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
- Of the Packers' three highest point totals in the preseason since 1979, all of them have come during McCarthy's head-coaching tenure. In 2009, Green Bay won at Arizona, 44-37, and in 2007, the Packers topped Seattle, 48-13.
WITH THE CALL
- The Green Bay Packers Broadcast Partners will air the game over a 10-station network throughout the state of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Northeastern Minnesota, and the Quad Cities in Iowa, with CBS network production, personnel and the latest network-quality technology.
- The top-notch broadcast team includes CBS's Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) alongside fellow CBS broadcaster Rich Gannon (analyst).
- WTMJ's Jessie Garcia serves as the sideline reporter and WFRV's Larry McCarren joins the crew for pre-game segments. In addition to WFRV-TV (Green Bay) and WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee), the games are televised over WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire; WYOW/ABC, Eagle River, Wis.; WJMN/CBS, Marquette, Mich.; and KQDS-TV/FOX, Duluth, Minn.; and KGCW/CW, Quad Cities in Iowa.
- Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 53-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 12th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 43 markets in five states.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs:
All-time regular season: 2-6-1
All-time, postseason: 1-0
All-time, in Kansas City: 2-3-0
All-time, preseason: 5-5-1
Streaks: The Chiefs had a five-game winning streak snapped in the team's last meeting, a 2007 Packers win.
Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 4, 2007, at Arrowhead Stadium; Packers won, 33-22
Last meeting, preseason: Aug. 4, 2003, in Canton, Ohio; Chiefs won, 9-0
Mike McCarthy: 39-28-0, .582, (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL season
Todd Haley: 4-12-0, .250; 2nd NFL season
Head to Head: Never met
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 1-0 vs. Chiefs; Haley 0-0 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in fifth year as the Packers' 14th head coach.
- Has led his team to the playoffs two of the past three years.
- One of only two coaches, along with New Orleans' Sean Payton, to have his offense ranked in the top 10 in total yardage each of the last four years.
- Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
- Honored as the 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year and NFL Alumni Coach of the Year.
- Became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season.
TODD HALEY…Is in second year as the Chiefs' 11th head coach.
- Was offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals (2007-08), who reached the Super Bowl in his second season there, prior to landing his first head-coaching job.
- His offenses ranked seventh (2007) and tied for third (2008) in scoring in the NFL, with three Pro Bowl players in their Super Bowl year.
- Served as an assistant under Bill Parcells for two different franchises -- the N.Y. Jets (1997-99) and Dallas Cowboys (2004-06). Also was an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears (2001-03).
- Began his NFL career as a scouting assistant with the Jets in 1995.
THE PACKERS-CHIEFS SERIES
- The first meeting between the two clubs was undoubtedly the most memorable game in the series. In January 1967, NFL champion Green Bay met AFL champion Kansas City in the first-ever Super Bowl, won by the Packers, 35-10.
- Kansas City has had the upper hand in the series ever since. In fact, the Chiefs have the third-highest winning percentage against the Packers (6-2-1, .722) among all NFL teams. Only the Jets (8-2, .800) and Dolphins (9-3, .750) have better records vs. Green Bay.
- When the Packers traveled to Kansas City in 2007, it was their first trip to that city since 1996, and they broke a five-game losing streak to the Chiefs by winning 33-22.
- Green Bay's only other victory in the regular-season series came in 1987, a 23-3 win in Kansas City.
Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy began his NFL coaching career in Kansas City, first as quality control/offensive assistant (1993-94) and later as QB coach (1995-98)...Packers VP of football administration/player finance Russ Ball began his NFL career with the Chiefs and went on to work 10 seasons there (1989-98), the first eight as an asst. strength and conditioning coach and the final two in football operations...Ball played center at Central Missouri St. when Chiefs DB coach Emmitt Thomas was on the coaching staff there...Thomas was the Packers' defensive coordinator in 1999, when McCarthy was Green Bay's QB coach...Packers VP of sales and marketing Tim Connolly spent seven seasons with the Chiefs (1989-95) as executive VP and chief operating officer...Packers asst. strength and conditioning coach Dave Redding was the Chiefs' strength and conditioning coach for nine seasons (1989-97)...Packers asst. director of pro personnel Tim Terry (1999) and director of player development Rob Davis (1996) went to training camp with the Chiefs...Chiefs assistant head coach Maurice Carthon interviewed for the Packers head coaching job in 2006 when McCarthy was hired...Packers QB coach Tom Clements previously held the same post in Kansas City (2000) and also played quarterback for the Chiefs in 1980..Packers T/G Allen Barbre grew up in Granby, Mo., less than three hours from Arrowhead Stadium...Chiefs WR Chris Chambers played collegiately at Wisconsin...Chiefs LS Thomas Gafford spent the 2006 training camp and the 2008 offseason with Green Bay...Chiefs LB John Russell spent the 2010 offseason with the Packers...Packers TE Tom Crabtree spent 2009 training camp with the Chiefs and was a college teammate of Chiefs TE Jake O'Connell at Miami (Ohio)...The two teams feature several former LSU standouts whose college careers crossed paths at different times. Those LSU alums are Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe, DE Glenn Dorsey, DE Tyson Jackson, CB Travis Daniels, C Rudy Niswanger, and Packers QB Matt Flynn and FB Quinn Johnson (LSU); Jackson and Johnson have been friends and teammates since junior high in Edgard, La. ...Other former college teammates include Chiefs T Ryan O'Callaghan and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (California), Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki and Packers T/G Bryan Bulaga, both 2010 draft choices out of Iowa; Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, DT Derek Lokey and Packers TE Jermichael Finley (Texas), Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt, TE Brad Cottam and Packers DE Justin Harrell (Tennessee), Chiefs FB Mike Cox and Packers S Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech), Chiefs QB Brodie Croyle, RB Tim Castille, DE Wallace Gilberry and Packers S Charlie Peprah (Alabama), Chiefs DE Alex Magee and Packers DE Mike Neal (Purdue), Chiefs LB Corey Mays, CB Mike Richardson, G Dan Santucci and Packers RB Ryan Grant (Notre Dame), and Chiefs S Jarrad Page and Packers LB Brandon Chillar (UCLA).
INDIVIDUALLY VS. CHIEFS
CB Charles Woodson, a former AFC West rival of the Chiefs while playing for the Oakland Raiders, has six career INTs against Kansas City, returning one for a TD for Green Bay in 2007...LB Nick Barnett has 22 tackles (16 solo) in two career games vs. Kansas City...WR Donald Driver has 12 receptions for 158 yards in two contests.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Nov. 4, 2007, at Arrowhead Stadium; Packers won, 33-22.
- The Packers trailed 22-16 in the fourth quarter when Brett Favre hit Greg Jennings for a 60-yard TD with 3:05 left. It was Jennings' second TD of the game on just three receptions (for 85 yards).
- Mason Crosby's fourth FG of the game and Charles Woodson's INT return for a TD, with 59 seconds left, finished off the scoring.
- Kansas City TE Tony Gonzalez had 10 catches for 109 yards, including a 17-yard TD with 5:18 left that put the Chiefs ahead.
- The Packers outgained the Chiefs by a wide margin, 432-234, as Jennings, WR Donald Driver (5-99) and TE Donald Lee (4-78) accounted for most of Favre's 360 passing yards.
LAST MEETING, PRESEASON
- Aug. 4, 2003, in Canton, Ohio; Chiefs won, 9-0
- In the annual Hall of Fame game, severe rain and lightning led to the contest being called with 5:49 left in the third quarter. The Packers and Chiefs were the participants in the game because former Green Bay WR James Lofton and former Kansas City head coach Hank Stram were being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- The Packers managed just five first downs and 125 yards of offense. Kansas City kicked a field goal in each of the first three quarters.
- Green Bay's defense recorded four sacks, including three by LB Marcus Wilkins. Kansas City's defense intercepted Packers QB Craig Nall twice.
OFFENSE ON A ROLL
- Last year during the preseason, Green Bay's No. 1 offense put together a string of impressive performances that it carried over into the regular season. Three games into this preseason, the offense appears to be building momentum once again.
- In a little more than four quarters of work this preseason, the No. 1 offense has scored seven touchdowns, with all seven of those drives 70 or more yards in length.
- The first offensive unit has put together several long scoring drives, but it hasn't taken them much time to find the end zone. Of the seven touchdown drives, four of them have been three minutes or less. Green Bay's No. 1 offense has an average drive time of just 3:41 on their seven touchdowns.
- Leading the way has been QB Aaron Rodgers, who ranks No. 1 in the NFL during the preseason with a 141.2 passer rating. Rodgers has completed 41-of-53 passes (77.4 percent) for 470 yards and a league-leading six TDs with no INTs.
- Rodgers' performance in the first three contests mirrors what he did during the 2009 preseason, when he posted a 147.9 passer rating on 29-of-41 passing (70.7 percent) for 465 yards and six TDs with no INTs. The No. 1 offense scored nine TDs and a FG on 13 possessions during the '09 preseason.
- Over the last two preseasons, Rodgers has connected on 70-of-94 attempts (74.5 percent) for 935 yards, 12 TDs and no INTs for a 145.2 passer rating.
- Rodgers' favorite target thus far in the preseason has been third-year TE Jermichael Finley, who leads the team and is tied for second in the NFL with 12 receptions for 163 yards (13.6 avg.) and two TDs. Finley caught six passes for 85 yards (14.2 avg.) and a TD in just a half of work against Indianapolis on Thursday night.
- Credit must be given to the Packers' offensive line, as it has yet to allow a sack of Rodgers through the first three preseason games. The No. 1 line didn't yield a single sack in the 2009 preseason on Rodgers' 41 attempts.
- Green Bay's offense as a whole has been productive this preseason, ranking second in the league at 397.0 yards per game with an average of 272.7 yards passing per contest, also second in the NFL. The Packers lead the league with 84 first downs and 110 points in the preseason.
LOOKING FOR CONTINUITY
- While the offense can credit some of its preseason sucess to the stability in the starting lineup each week, it has been a different story for Green Bay's defense thus far this preseason.
- Of the 11 starters on the season-opening depth chart, only six have played in each of the preseason games. Add in veteran CB Al Harris and S Atari Bigby, who have spent training camp on the physically unable to perform list as they work their way back from injuries, and it makes for a tough evaluation of where last year's No. 2-ranked defense is at.
- "Defensively, we haven't played the game with everybody on the field yet so the continuity is probably not where we'd like it to be right now," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said following the Indianapolis game. "And that's something that we're probably going to have to establish in our practice structure leading up to the Philadelphia game.
- "The injuries have kind of kept us from getting the continuity that you would like. It's a challenge that you face at some point almost every season, so I think that's where we stand defensively right now."
- One area that has remained a constant from last year is the Packers' stout run defense, with Green Bay allowing their opponents an average of just 80.3 yards per game on the ground in the preseason.
- The defense has held each opponent to under 100 yards rushing, and has allowed only one running back to post a 15-plus yard run this preseason. That came on the opening play from scrimmage in the Indianapolis game when RB Joseph Addai broke off a 49-yard gain, but after that, the No. 1 defense allowed just 10 yards on eight carries the rest of the half.
YOUTH IS SERVED
- One bright spot to all of the injuries on the defensive side of the ball during camp has been the opportunities they have provided for some younger players on the roster, highlighted by a pair of non-drafted rookies.
- OLB Frank Zombo, who is making the transition to the position after playing defensive end at Central Michigan, leads the team with 15 tackles and two sacks during the preseason.
- With Pro Bowl OLB Clay Matthews and second-year man Brad Jones both nursing injuries, Zombo started at ROLB against the Colts on Thursday night and made the most of his reps.
- On Indianapolis' opening drive of the second half with the Colts' No. 1 offense still in the game, Zombo spun away from the block of RT Ryan Diem to register a sack/forced fumble of Pro Bowl QB Peyton Manning from behind. First-year LB Robert Francois scooped up the fumble and returned it 35 yards down to the Colts' 2 to set up a Matt Flynn TD pass to FB John Kuhn on the next play.
- Zombo finished the game with a team-high nine tackles (five solo).
- CB Sam Shields, a non-drafted free agent out of Miami who made the transition from WR to CB as a senior, leads the team with two interceptions and five passes defensed during the preseason. The two INTs tie Shields for No. 2 in the league.
- Shields has posted an interception in back-to-back games, including a pick late in the fourth quarter at Seattle on a pass from QB Charlie Whitehurst that deflected off TE Anthony McCoy to seal the Packers' 27-24 victory.
- With veteran CB Al Harris' status uncertain for the regular-season opener, Shields has entered the competition at nickel back with second-year CB Brandon Underwood and third-year man Pat Lee. Shields got some reps with the No. 1 defense in the first half on Thursday night against Indianapolis, and finished with a team-high three passes defensed. He made an athletic play to post another interception late in the fourth quarter, reaching high to come up with a QB Curtis Painter pass near the sideline.
- Another one-time non-drafted free agent made an impact against Indianapolis, with first-year WR Jason Chery scoring on a 75-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. Chery, who entered the league with Carolina in 2009 after going undrafted out of Louisiana-Lafayette, signed with the Packers during the first week of training camp. He became the first Packer to return a punt for a touchdown in a preseason game since Desmond Howard posted a 77-yarder for a score vs. Pittsburgh on Aug. 11, 1996.
SAVE THE DATE
Important dates to remember (all times local):
- Tuesday, Aug. 31 – Final practice open to public, 10:15 a.m., Nitschke Field; NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 75 players, by 3 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 2 – Preseason game at Kansas City Chiefs, 7 p.m., New Arrowhead Stadium
- Saturday, Sept. 4– NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players, by 5 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 5 – Clubs may establish eight-player practice squad, 11 a.m.
ALL THREE PHASES CONTRIBUTE IN WIN
- Green Bay got two touchdowns from its special-teams units, three takeaways from the defense, and another stellar performance from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the No. 1 offense in the Packers' 59-24 win over the defending AFC champion Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
- Facing the most potent offense it will see this preseason, Green Bay's defense got off to a slow start as running back Joseph Addai bounced a run out down the sideline for a 49-yard gain on the Colts' very first play from scrimmage. Before the defense could regain its bearings, Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning lined his offense up quickly without a huddle, and found wide receiver Pierre Garcon in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown.
- "We had our gap control at the beginning of that play, and then we got a little overzealous and he bounced back out," said linebacker Nick Barnett of a defense that allowed just 10 yards on eight carries the rest of the half. "All we did was clean it up and execute our responsibilities. We're a good run defense if we do what we are supposed to, and we started to do what we are supposed to after that."
- The Packers' offense answered right back, courtesy of a five-play, 70-yard TD drive, with the biggest gain coming on a 48-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Kelvin Hayden as he covered wideout James Jones down the right sideline. After the penalty put the ball at the Indianapolis 6, Rodgers hooked up with wide receiver Donald Driver (five catches for 35 yards) on a nice back-shoulder throw that the veteran wideout hauled in with his right hand.
- After Green Bay's offense went three-and-out and saw another drive end when Rodgers was stopped for no gain on a sneak up the middle on fourth-and-1 at the Colts' 22, Manning quickly led the Colts down the field, moving 78 yards on six plays in just over two minutes. The savvy veteran, who finished with 214 yards and two TDs on 15-of-26 passing, found Garcon over the middle for a 24-yard pickup against rookie corner Sam Shields, and then scrambled up in the pocket to complete a short pass to Addai that picked up 33 yards. Two plays later, wide receiver Reggie Wayne got inside cornerback Tramon Williams for a 10-yard score and a 17-7 Colts lead.
- The Packers' offense responded with another efficient drive, this time going 76 yards on 10 plays as Rodgers completed passes to five different players. Rodgers found tight end Jermichael Finley over the middle for 15 yards and picked up 11 yards on a well-executed screen to Brandon Jackson, before capping the drive off with a 15-yard TD pass to Finley in the corner of the end zone. Rodgers absorbed a big hit on the throw as Finley got behind linebacker Philip Wheeler for the score to trim the Colts' lead to 17-14.
- With just over 3:30 remaining, a Packers drive stalled at the Green Bay 47, but returner Brandon James muffed a hanging punt from Tim Masthay at the Indianapolis 8. The ball caromed into the end zone, where fullback Korey Hall recovered for a touchdown and a 21-17 lead.
- The Packers appeared poised to add to their lead just a few plays later after rookie safety Morgan Burnett jumped a pass in the flat to Garcon at the Colts' 29, and returned the pick 11 yards down to the 18. After Rodgers found Driver for 10 yards on first down, Green Bay gave the ball right back when linebacker Clint Session forced a Jackson fumble at the Indianapolis 6, which defensive tackle Fili Moala recovered. It was the second fumble of the night for the backfield, with Ryan Grant's earlier in the second quarter recovered by center Scott Wells.
- Manning found Wayne down the left sideline for a 36-yard gain on first down, but then the Colts offense stalled as cornerback Charles Woodson made a nice tackle on a bubble screen to Wayne on third down to force an Indianapolis punt. On the eight possessions for the Indianapolis' first offensive unit, Green Bay's defense allowed 17 points.
- The Packers offense took over at its own 22, but Rodgers went to work right away as he spread the ball around once again, completing passes to four different receivers. Finley, who led the offense with six receptions for 85 yards in a half of work, carried the bulk of the load, with the most crucial play being a 25-yard catch over the middle to the Indianapolis 29 that Rodgers placed perfectly between safeties Antoine Bethea and Melvin Bullitt.
- With seven seconds left and no timeouts, Rodgers completed another back-shoulder throw for a TD, this time to Jones (four catches for 30 yards) to put the Packers up 28-17 at the break. It was a strong finish to a half that, despite the 28 points, left Rodgers feeling unsatisfied.
- "I just didn't like our rhythm tonight," Rodgers said. "A lot of times a penalty like the pass interference we had is good for your team, but it kind of throws off your rhythm a little bit because we only gained 22 yards on the first drive and scored a touchdown. After that, we kind of just sputtered a little bit but the defense did a nice job of getting us the ball back and the two-minute drill was big for us confidence-wise, just to kind of put a stamp on the first half."
- Rodgers finished the night with 195 yards and three TDs on 21-of-29 passing for a 124.9 passer rating. Through three preseason contests, he has completed 41-of-53 passes (77.4 percent) for 470 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 141.2 rating. The No. 1 line has yet to allow a sack of Rodgers, and the first unit has now posted five 70-plus-yard touchdown drives over the last two preseason games in just three quarters of work.
- "It starts up front; we haven't been sacked in the preseason," Rodgers said. "You've got to give those guys a lot of credit when I have that kind of time against a tough front four with [Dwight] Freeney and [Robert] Mathis pretty much playing the entire time we were in there. You've got to be real happy about that.
- "We look at the 21 we scored on offense, and to be honest with you, I think we left some points out there with the turnover that we had and with going three-and-out, which is uncharacteristic of what we've done this preseason. But I like what we did, I like the progress we've made."
- The No. 1 offense called it a night after the half of work, with the Colts leaving their first offensive group in for one more series in the second half. On third down at the Colts' 37 on Indianapolis' opening drive, rookie linebacker Frank Zombo posted a sack/forced fumble of Manning, and first-year linebacker Robert Francois scooped up the ball and returned it down to the Indianapolis 2 to set up a Matt Flynn TD pass to fullback John Kuhn, one of two touchdown passes on the night for Flynn.
- No. 3 quarterback Graham Harrell led the offense on a long scoring drive of his own, a 13-play, 90-yarder midway through the fourth quarter, and first-year wide receiver Jason Chery put the finishing touches on the victory with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Sitting out for the Packers were receiver Brett Swain (knee), linebackers Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Brad Jones (shoulder), offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga (hip flexor) and Allen Barbre (back), defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf), receiver Greg Jennings (back), and the three PUP players – safety Atari Bigby (ankle), cornerback Al Harris (knee) and running back James Starks (hamstring).
LOTS OF FAMILIAR FACES
- General Manager Ted Thompson continued his philosophy of building through the draft in the 2010 offseason, so much of the Packers' core remains intact.
- Thompson moved to keep that core together this offseason, re-signing veterans Chad Clifton, Nick Collins, Ryan Pickett and Mark Tauscher to contract extensions.
- Clifton and Tauscher have been mainstays on the offensive line since 2000, while Collins and Pickett were two integral parts of the new 3-4 defense in 2009.
- The return of those four players means 20 of 22 starters return from a team that made its second postseason berth in three seasons.
- Leaving in free agency was Aaron Kampman, one of the most productive pass rushers in team history. Having made the switch to outside linebacker last summer, Kampman tore his ACL on Nov. 22, which put rookie Brad Jones into the lineup.
- Jones went on to start eight games including playoffs, so some may view him as a 21st returning starter.
- The team will be without defensive end Johnny Jolly, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Jolly's suspension began immediately in July and will continue through at least the 2010 season. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement following Super Bowl XLV.
- That continuity extends to the coaching staff, where the same group returns for 2010. There are some slight changes however, as Chad Morton will serve as special teams assistant while Curtis Fuller serves as coaching administrator.
- Also, Mark Lovat, beginning his 12th season with the Packers, takes over as strength and conditioning coordinator. Dave Redding and Thadeus Jackson will serve as assistants in the weight room.
MEET THE DRAFT PICKS
Training camp storylines always hover around new players and just how they figure into the depth chart. This summer, eyes will be on the seven new draft picks added to the club this past April.
- First-round pick Bryan Bulaga, the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2009, is viewed as the potential heir to veteran Chad Clifton as Aaron Rodgers' blind-side protector and has also seen time at left guard. He started 23 games at left tackle over his final two seasons and was an early-entry candidate into the 2010 NFL Draft.
- The Packers stayed in the Big Ten in Round 2 by selecting Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal. A four-year letterman and two-year starter, he played in 46 career games (23 starts) and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media as a senior. Neal will make the shift to defensive end in the Packers' 3-4 scheme.
- Third-round choice Morgan Burnett was another early-entry candidate and displayed his playmaking skills at safety in his three seasons at Georgia Tech. In 40 career games, including 28 starts, Burnett intercepted 14 passes, tied for second most in school history. He was elected team captain as a junior and led the team in interceptions each of his three seasons.
- In the fifth round the Packers again went back to the Big Ten and drafted Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless. He appeared in 49 career games, including 29 starts, and finished his career as the Nittany Lions' all-time leader in receptions by a tight end (87) and second in receiving yards by a tight end (1,146).
- Also in the fifth round the Packers drafted offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse from Texas Christian. He was a three-year starter at left tackle and appeared in 52 career games, including 38 starts. A first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a senior, Newhouse has seen action at tackle and guard on the left side.
- Running back James Starks came to Green Bay in the sixth round. Starks became the University at Buffalo's all-time leading rusher in just three seasons and holds school records for rushing touchdowns (34) and points scored (222). He missed all of 2009 with a shoulder injury and has been sidelined during camp thus far with a hamstring injury.
- The Packers selected C.J. Wilson from East Carolina in the seventh round. A three-year starter at defensive end, he tallied 192 tackles, including 45½ for loss, and 27 sacks. He earned first-team All-Conference USA honors each of his final two seasons.
- In addition to the seven draft picks, one must also pay close attention to the non-drafted free agents, as at least one seems to make the team each year. Members of the Packers who entered the NFL via the free- agent route include S Atari Bigby, RB Ryan Grant, TE Spencer Havner, DE Cullen Jenkins and CB Tramon Williams.
REST AND RECOVERY
- In today's NFL, training camp is no longer a time to get in shape and learn new wrinkles in the playbook.
- Most of the roster was back for the offseason program, which began on March 15 and ran through the mandatory, three-day minicamp at the end of June. Beginning with dedicated workout sessions under the close watch of the strength and conditioning staff, activities returned to the playing field later in the spring during OTAs.
- With that offseason work in mind, Head Coach Mike McCarthy scheduled his camp with three Wednesdays off to help the players recuperate from the grind of training camp.
- Much like the regular season, players have not practiced the day after preseason games or after the Family Night scrimmage. The Packers also received three Wednesdays off during camp.
- On those Wednesdays the team gathered in the morning for weight lifting, film review and team meetings before having the afternoon and evening off. Each off day was followed by two practices in one day, including the final "two-a-day" of training camp on Aug. 19.
A LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE
- The Green Bay Packers' 90th NFL regular-season schedule – headlined by six nationally televised games – was released in late April.
- Though the 2010 opponents have been known since the end of last season, the arrival of the complete NFL schedule is a day circled on the calendar of all football fans.
- Green Bay will open the 2010 slate on the road at Philadelphia before kicking off the home schedule with the Buffalo Bills in Week 2.
- Its first prime-time appearance – against the rival Bears in Chicago on Monday Night Football – will come in Week 3. The NFL's oldest rivalry will be on display in prime time for a fifth straight season, with this first meeting of the year marking game No. 180 in the all-time series.
- 2010 marks the 18th consecutive season the Packers have appeared on Monday Night Football, the NFC's longest streak.
- Three games are slated for Sunday night on NBC, including home games against the Minnesota Vikings (Week 7) and Dallas Cowboys (Week 9). In Week 15, the Packers are scheduled to take on the Patriots on Sunday night in Foxborough, though the game is subject to the NFL's flex scheduling.
- The Packers will get their first look at the new stadium in New Jersey in Week 8 against the Jets, where they may experience some cool fall temperatures. While games at Lambeau Field later in the season always provide a home-field advantage for the Packers, the 2010 schedule is nearly void of cold-weather road games. After the Jets, three consecutive road contests will be played in domes (Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit).
- That's good news for a Green Bay offense that seems to thrive in domes. Including playoffs, the Packers played in a dome five times last season, exceeding 400 total net yards in four of those games.
- A number of games on the Packers' 2010 schedule – namely those on national TV – are beginning to have a familiar feel. In addition to taking on the Bears for a fifth consecutive year in prime time, Green Bay will take on Minnesota in prime time for a third straight season. The Packers and Cowboys will meet on national TV for the fourth straight season.
- The schedule concludes with two home games for the first time since 2005. One of the NFL's best teams in regular-season games played in December and January, Green Bay may need to call upon that previous success for what could prove to be two very important contests surrounding the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Games against the Giants (Week 16) and Bears (Week 17) could determine not only the NFC North Division crown but conference playoff seeding.
2010 SCHEDULE NUGGETS
- Green Bay's bye week comes in Week 10, the latest possible week for NFL teams. It marks the latest time in which the Packers have had a bye in franchise history, besting the Week 9 bye in 2004. The Packers will play nine games before the bye and seven after the open date.
- Three of four games before the bye come at Lambeau Field, while four of five games after the bye are road contests.
- Immediately following the bye comes an important division game against Minnesota, the first of three straight road games played in domes. Under McCarthy, the team has won three of four games after the bye week and 10 of its last 14 after the bye dating back further.
- Green Bay has always been a successful team after the bye and 2009 was no different, as the team compiled a 9-3 (.750) mark after the bye week. Since 2000, the team is 61-36 (.629) overall after the bye.
- Fifteen games are slated for Sunday, the most since 1993 (also 15).
- Seven of the final eight games are against NFC opponents.
- The Packers have six games on the schedule against 2009 playoff teams, beginning right away in Week 1 at Philadelphia. Beginning in Week 7 vs. Minnesota, Green Bay has a stretch of four straight games against playoff teams from a year ago. The team will travel east to take on the Jets in Week 8 and host the Cowboys in Week 9 before the bye. The stretch concludes in Minnesota in Week 11.
- The NFL's oldest rivalry will see a first in 2010. For the first time in series history, Green Bay will host Chicago in the regular-season finale, set to be game No. 181 between the Packers and Bears.
THE LAMBEAU ADVANTAGE
- The crown jewel of the National Football League, Lambeau Field has long been known as one of the tougher venues to play in, particularly during the harsh Wisconsin winter.
- Re-establishing home-field advantage after a 4-4 mark in 2008 was one of the goals of 2009, and with the Packers finishing at 6-2 at home, they accomplished that goal.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy stated consistently upon his arrival in Green Bay that one of the team's goals would be to reclaim the mystique of playing at Lambeau Field. Mission accomplished. The team is 19-7 at home since 2007, a marked improvement over the prior three seasons (10-14 combined).
- Since Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren began the revitalization of the franchise in 1992, Green Bay owns the best home record in the NFL. A look at the top home W-L records since the '92 season:
Team, W-L record (Pct.)
Green Bay, 107-37-0 (.743)
Pittsburgh, 104-39-1 (.726)
Denver, 103-41-0 (.715)
Minnesota, 100-44-0 (.694)
Dallas, 97-47-0 (.674)
285 AND COUNTING
- Another packed house at Lambeau Field against the Seahawks in the regular-season home finale brought the stadium's consecutive sellouts streak to 285 games (269 regular season, 16 playoffs).
- The league's longest-tenured stadium, Lambeau Field will host its 54th season of football this year. A total of 565,666 fans made their way through the turnstiles in the eight home contests in 2009.
- Across American professional sports, only Boston's Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago's Wrigley Field (1914) have longer tenures.