Tag:Brady Poppinga
Posted on: March 18, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 10:35 am

Offseason Checkup: Green Bay Packers

Posted by Andy Benoit

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:

In the postseason, this 10-6 number six seed got white hot and wound up bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home. Aaron Rodgers played the quarterback position as masterfully as anyone in the last five years. In three of Green Bay’s four playoff games, Rodgers threw three touchdowns and posted a passer rating above 110. The offense was aided by the emergence of running back James Starks, who helped lend balance to Mike McCarthy’s de facto spread West Coast system. But with the way Green Bay’s passing game was clicking, a backfield feature Gilbert Brown Frank Winters probably could have sufficed.

It’s easy to play offense when you have a defense that surrendered more than 20 points in only three games all season. Dom Capers was brilliant in concocting a byzantine 3-4 scheme built around the versatility of rover Charles Woodson, pass-rushing prowess of Clay Matthews, athleticism of corners Sam Shields and Tramon Williams and strength of the B.J. Raji-led front line.

Success, depth
NFL Offseason

Backup receivers Jordy Nelson and James Jones both had 45-plus catches and 550-plus yards in 2010. Don’t expect that to be the case in 2011. Tight end Jermichael Finley will be healthy and once again manning the slot in three-and four-receiver formations. Finley, the team’s most lethal weapon, will be priority No. 1. (Note: With Nelson and Jones both on the rise, it’s possible that veteran Donald Driver could become the forgotten wideout.)

With Finley being versatile enough to line up anywhere, we’ll likely see more formation shifts from Green Bay before the snap. For a defensive coordinator, that’s a terrifying thought given how shrewd Rogers is already in the presnap phase.

Not to cop out, but there aren’t any. When you lead your conference in injuries, all holes on your roster will be exposed. Unless, of course, you somehow plug them again and again. That’s exactly what the Packers did in 2010. Consequently, this team is now two deep at every position.

Of course, if you want to push the issue, you could argue for:

1. Backup interior lineman
The Packers brass is said to be high on Marshall Newhouse, but the fifth-round pick from a year ago is yet to see the field. Veteran utility backup Jason Spitz is injury prone and not likely to be back.

2. Outside linebacker
Snatching someone who can start ahead of Clay Matthews wouldn’t be a bad idea if the right player is available. Because of injuries, Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, Frank Zombo and Erik Walden all started games at this spot last season. The athletic Jones was the best of the bunch, but even he did not shine as a surefire first-stringer.

3. Defensive rover
Charles Woodson isn’t going to live forever. And the 34-year-old is somewhat injury prone, anyway. Replacing the über-versatile veteran is next to impossible, but if Ted Thompson sees a safety he likes (and Woodson is more of a safety than corner these days), he could give his likely future Hall of Famer an understudy. Jarrett Bush, of course, filled in admirably when Woodson was out during the second half of Super Bowl XLV, but Dom Capers still had to trim his playbook.

Anything short of a Super Bowl repeat would be a failure. Every time a team wins a title, scores of hackneyed pundits squawk about how we could be seeing the beginning of a dynasty. That sentiment actually feels true with these Packers.

Rodgers is in his prime. So is the rest of the offense, which happens to be stacked at all the skill positions. Defensively, Dom Capers is the best in the business when it comes to in-game adjustments and variations of 3-4 blitzes. Capers has all the pieces he had in 2010, which includes four Pro Bowlers plus ascending NT B.J. Raji.

The lockout helps the Packers more than most teams because they’re deep and their core has been together for three years now.

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 6:07 pm

Brad Jones heads to IR

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Another day, another Packers starter lost for the season to an injury.

Jones Today the victim was LB Brad Jones – who was placed on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jones had been battling the injury all season. But he aggravated it last Sunday vs. Minnesota, apparently the best game he’d played this season, and he’ll need surgery.

After Jones came on at the end of last season, he hadn’t performed that well this year, recording 27 tackles and zero sacks (he had four QB takedowns last year). He had been splitting time with Brady Poppinga (also on IR), and Frank Zombo had taken some of his snaps as well. Now, look for Zombo to step in and be the full-time starter.

Jones is the fifth starter to visit the IR list, joining RB Ryan Grant, S Morgan Burnett, LB Nick Barnett and TE Jermichael Finley.

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Posted on: October 25, 2010 2:27 pm

Packers place two more defenders on IR

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Packers have suffered two more season-ending injuries on defense. Naturally, one is on the defensive line and the other is at linebacker.

Second-round rookie defensive end Mike Neal will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Outside linebacker Brady Poppinga will undergo surgery on the same knee he had repaired following his ’05 rookie season. Both guys are headed for Injured Reserve.

The Packers were without both Poppinga and Neal against the Vikings Sunday night. Their absence simply means less depth for a front seven that has lost Nick Barnett (wrist), Johnny Jolly (suspension), Justin Harrell (knee) and, for now, Cullen Jenkins (calf) and Ryan Pickett (ankle).

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Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:40 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 2:42 pm

Jermichael Finley to IR, Brady Poppinga surgery

Posted by Andy Benoit
B. PoppingaJ. Finley
It almost seems like the Packers have more injured players than players in general these days. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that linebacker Brady Poppinga suffered a torn meniscus against the Dolphins on Sunday. Like tight end Jermichael Finley, Poppinga will undergo surgery. Once doctors see the damage firsthand, they’ll assess how long he’ll be out.

Hopefully, it will be better news for Poppinga than it was for Finley. It was originally thought that Finley would be out 3-4 weeks. Then, it was 8-10 weeks. Monday, the Packers placed the budding start on Injured Reserve.

The absence of Poppinga would be damaging, especially in the short term. The Packers have already lost starting inside linebacker Nick Barnett for the season. Nickel linebacker Brandon Chillar is battling a shoulder injury. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews is nursing a bad hamstring.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com