Monday, September 1, 2014, 9:18pm
Instead, safety Earl Thomas will drop a little deeper than usual and wait to catch the ball. Then run with it.
Coach Pete Carroll made the disclosure to reporters on Monday, with a simple, one-word answer to the question of whether Thomas will return punts.
“Yeah,” Carroll said.
Monday, September 1, 2014, 8:16pm
The word "unofficial" is right there at the top of the page that contains the depth chart in the Green Bay Packers' weekly press release.
So why believe it when starting receiver Randall Cobb is listed as the No. 1 punt returner? Because special teams coach Shawn Slocum says so.
"He's been there all along," Slocum said Monday.
Slocum said both Cobb and safety Micah Hyde, who finished last season as the primary return man, will handle punt returns to start this season. Running back DuJuan Harris is expected to return kickoffs with Hyde and rookie receiver Jeff Janis as possibilities.
It's a nice, added bonus for Cobb owners if you get special team TD returns added to your fantasy points. Whether Cobb goes back for every punt is another story, he could very well just be used in certain punt situations, like if the Pack has an opponent pinned deep in their own zone. Head coach Mike McCarthy was quoted as saying he wanted to get away from the thinking of not using star players on kick or punt returns.
Monday, September 1, 2014, 9:39am
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy avoided having to make a decision whether to keep Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien. But after managing to keep both on his 53-man roster, he had to choose one to be Aaron Rodgers' backup.
He chose Flynn.
McCarthy did not say why, but it's pretty obvious he sided with experience over potential. If he didn't think Tolzien had the ability to be better than Flynn, he probably wouldn't have kept him.
Flynn, however, was solid throughout camp and while he trailed his competition statistically in games (112.0 passer rating to 82.3), he apparently played well enough for McCarthy to think he gave the team the best chance to win if Rodgers gets hurt.
"I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I'm in control of what I'm doing," Flynn said after practice Sunday. "I'm in control of what I'm doing physically and mentally. I feel good. I've always felt confident and comfortable going into seasons, but each year I feel like I'm getting better and better."
Sunday, August 31, 2014, 9:01pm
In the simplest terms, here's what the Green Bay Packers face Thursday at Seattle: Aaron Rodgers will try to run the no-huddle offense in the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL with a center who has never snapped to him in a game.
Aaron Rodgers will juggle a noisy outdoor stadium in Seattle with a rookie center playing in his first regular-season game. And he will have to do so against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, who had the NFL's best defense in 2013.
There are many facets to the 2014 NFL opener, but perhaps none is more important than how the Packers' offense operates at CenturyLink Field.
The Packers aspire to field a fast-paced offense like the one Peyton Manning quarterbacks. But even Manning couldn't do that against the Seahawks. And Rodgers was there to see it in person at the Super Bowl, watching from a luxury box, the story says. As a result of all of this, Rodgers comes in ranked 8th on our QB list heading into Week 1, probably as low as you'll see him all season.
And while we will not get an injury report and are restricted on what we can report today, we can pass along that receiver Percy Harvin was back full go.
Harvin was absent from two days of practice last week, as well as the preseason finale against the Raiders, for what the team said was personal business. Harvin is ranked 19th among our WRs heading into Week 1.
he development of wide receiver Jarrett Boykin last season was a major reason why the Green Bay Packers felt comfortable allowing valuable veteran James Jones to depart for Oakland in unrestricted free agency. Boykin's further development this summer might limit the playing time of rookie Davante Adams.
In February, coach Mike McCarthy predicted that Boykin, who would be entering his third season, had another performance jump in him. On Tuesday, McCarthy left no doubt that he would think he was right.
"Clearly, Jarrett Boykin has taken the next step," McCarthy said. "I just love the way he plays. He's had an excellent camp.
"He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB."
Adams, a second-round draft choice, has been feeling his way as the team's No. 4 receiver. He's had good days and some not so good ones.
After Randall Cobb went down, Boykin stepped in and served as the Packers de facto WR3, catching 49 passes for 681 yards and three scores. In games where he played at least 59% of the snaps, he averaged 4.3-61-.27, which equates to 124 fantasy points over a full season. That’s about what Marques Colston scored as the #27 WR in 2013. Cobb is back, but James Jones is gone, so Boykin should play a lot in the Packers’ patented three-wide attack. The only concern is rookie Davante Adams, but first-year wideouts don’t usually play much in Green Bay. Boykin seems to have held off Adams for the WR3 job, which bodes very well for his fantasy value.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 3:56pm
The Packers’ depth at running back should only help the no-huddle offense, which will benefit from having a fresh set of legs available at any moment. That has shown up thus far in the preseason.
In the two games in which the entire No. 1 offense has played, the Packers have scored 32 points in eight series. Two drives with Eddie Lacy, one in each game, produced touchdowns. One with DuJuan Harris (featuring his 31-yard reception) and one with both Starks and Harris ended with TDs as well, with James Starks adding a powerful two-point conversion run.
A story we had yesterday stated that Lacy is clearly the RB1 and is expected to carry a big load this season, something we've been preaching for a while. But it looks like the Packers have two capable backups behind him who could also see snaps from time-to-time when the offense is running at full steam. Lacy is the guy to own but if he goes down Starks and Harris could be popular targets.
Jarrett Boykin is the Packers' No. 3 receiver, behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. That would put him ahead of the rest of the pack - including rookie second-round pick Davante Adams - entering the Packers' preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
''Clearly he's taken the next step. I just love the way he plays,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. ''He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I
think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB. I think he's had an excellent camp.''
We've identified Boykin as a sleeper this year and he remains someone who is available later in drafts. He wasn't always a lock to be the team's WR3, but it looks like he'll emerge ahead of Adams at least to start the year. Neither Adams nor Boykin were impressive at times in camp and then Adams got injured. Given the Packers offense, Boykin could have value as a possible WR3 in just about any format.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 9:17am
Packer RB DuJuan Harris made a bold statement Friday night against the Oakland Raiders, performing so well as a runner, receiver and blocker that it's anyone guess if he or James Starks is the No. 2 back behind Eddie Lacy.
"That's a question that has yet to be determined," said Sam Gash, the first-year running backs coach. "We're still going through the process. The head coach has an idea what he's going to do, but I'll kind of leave that on him."
The club's depth chart, marked as unofficial, lists Starks as No. 2 and Harris as No. 3.
From a practical standpoint, the hard-hitting Starks, who comes off probably his finest season, and the irrepressible Harris both could factor from scrimmage depending on the play call and situation.
"Obviously, Eddie's our top runner," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. "After that, we're going to mix guys in there and see where it goes."
Perhaps the one bad part about being a Lacy owner is not knowing his handcuff. But it looks like if Lacy were to ever miss time this season, it very well could be a split with Starks and Harris, as both have looked good.
"That's coach's call," Gash said, referring to how Mike McCarthy intends to use Lacy. "But I have trained him as a three-down back. He will be ready to go."
Great news for potential and current Lacy owners. He looks to be a real steal the later he slips after the top-three of Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy come off the board. If you really want to take a RB in the middle of the first round, Lacy could be your guy...
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:35pm
Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed a second straight day of practice on Monday because of a sore elbow, but coach Dennis Allen insists that the team is not planning a reprise of last year when Matt Flynn’s elbow trouble led to Terrelle Pryor making a late leap up the depth chart.
“I don’t look at those two situations as the same,” Allen said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, when asked about the similarity to the way things played out at quarterback last season.
Allen also said that Schaub remains on pace to start the season opener against the Jets despite his elbow injury, which Allen said is not a major concern for him, and absence from practices that it appears he needs based on his preseason performances.
Rookie Derek Carr looks like he would get the start if Schaub can't play, as the situation seems eerily similar to last year. Schaub won't be ranked among our top QBs especially in a tough matchup against the Jets.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:11am
Presumptive Raiders starting quarterback Matt Schaub sat out practice Sunday with a sore elbow, a scene eerily similar to a situation a year ago that led to the ascension of Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback at the expense of Matt Flynn.
“He came in yesterday afternoon with a little soreness in his elbow,’’ Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow and kind of take that day by day.’’
All the work in practice went to rookie Derek Carr, second-year player Matt McGloin and veteran Trent Edwards, with Carr getting first-team reps, according to Allen.
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 5:53pm
Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji is expected to miss the 2014 season after injuring his arm against the Raiders on Friday. According to NFL.com, Raji suffered a torn biceps against Oakland. ESPN.com adds that the injury is serious enough that it will keep Raji from playing in 2014.
Friday, August 22, 2014, 9:50am
After what WR Jeff Janis put on film in St. Louis, there's no way the Packers can cut him and hope to slide him through to the practice squad. He'd get snatched up on waivers in a heartbeat. The one thing you can't teach is speed, and the rookie seventh-round pick has it. He's a lock for the roster after that 34-yard touchdown catch and run against the Rams.
First it was Colt Lyerla, now Bostick. Attrition is helping to whittle down the Packer TE derby. Our money is on Richard Rodgers at this point. The rookie has had a great camp and has stayed healthy. Andrew Quarless and Jake Stoneburner will be in the mix as well.
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