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Tag:Chad Clifton
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:00 pm
 

The Super Bowl injury report

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The last one of the entire season.

PITTSBURGH Steelers

Status Report

OUT

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Practice Report

DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)

Thursday

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)

Friday

C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Thursday

DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

Friday

DE Aaron Smith (triceps)

GREEN BAY Packers

Status Report


QUESTIONABLE

LB Erik Walden (ankle)

PROBABLE

T Chad Clifton (knees), WR Donald Driver (quadricep), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Frank Zombo (knee)

Practice Report


LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

T Chad Clifton (knees), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Erik Walden (ankle)

Thursday

T Chad Clifton (knees), WR Donald Driver (quadricep), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Erik Walden (ankle)

Friday

WR Donald Driver (quadricep), LB Erik Walden (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE

Wednesday

LB Frank Zombo (knee)

Thursday

LB Frank Zombo (knee)

Friday

T Chad Clifton (knees), C Jason Spitz (calf), LB Frank Zombo (knee)

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Driver misses practice; other Packer injury news

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Driver (US Presswire)
Packers wide receiver Donald Driver tweaked his bothersome quad injury and missed Thursday’s practice. The Packers claim they aren’t worried, though.

“He’s fine,” Mike McCarthy told Jim Trotter, who is covering Green Bay practice for the NFL. “He wants to practice and all that, but I’m not taking any chances with him. I’ll probably hold him out tomorrow, as well.”

The quad injury landed Driver on the inactive list in early November and cost him two games.

Veteran left tackle Chad Clifton also sat out practice to rest his knees. Like Driver, Clifton is expected to play Sunday.

The only other noteworthy injury for Green Bay is starting outside linebacker Erik Walden, who is fighting a sprained ankle. Walden was limited in practice on Thursday.

The Steelers are healthy with the exception of center Maurkice Pouncey, who has not practiced all week and will likely not play.

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 3:18 pm
 

Matchup breakdown: Packers O vs. Steelers D

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Packers’ ground game doesn’t have a prayer against a Steeler run defense that ranks third all-time in the modern era. Center Scott Wells is a cagey veteran, but he struggled all season to hold ground against vociferous nose tackles. There may not be a more punishing run-stopping nose in the game than Casey Hampton. Even if the Packers can somehow neutralize that interior mismatch (and it’s doubtful they can), James StarkD. Driver (US Presswire)s, decent as he’s been this postseason, lacks the speed and agility to elude Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark and Pittsburgh’s superb linebacking corps.

Green Bay’s best chance on Sunday will be to isolate their wideouts against the Steelers defensive backs. Don’t be surprised if the Packers spend most of the game in four wide receiver sets. That would force Dick LeBeau to play nickel or dime and keep either his leader (James Farrior) or most athletic player (Lawrence Timmons) off the field. It would also isolate at least one of Green Bay’s wideouts on one of Pittsburgh’s cornerbacks.

For Green Bay, the most attractive mismatch in the passing game will be inside. Steelers nickelback William Gay, who occasionally struggles in man coverage, will have his hands full against either James Jones or Jordy Nelson.

Also, expect the Packers to keep Greg Jennings on the right side of the formation, where he’s more likely to face Bryant McFadden. McFadden, like his counterpart Ike Taylor, is stout enough as a tackler to keep the catch-and-run happy Packer receivers from breaking a big one. But unlike Taylor, McFadden does not have great length or catch-up speed over the top. Jennings, one the crispest and most befuddling downfield route runners in the game, can exploit this.

Most importantly, spreading the field will create natural throwing alleys for Rodgers. This is critical because, with Chad Clifton going against James Harrison and Bryan Bulaga going against LaMarr Woodley, shaky pass protection will limit Rodgers to mostly three-step drops.

It will be fascinating to see whether LeBeau allows Rodgers to complete passes off three-step drops or whether he tries to counter the quick pass. Countering it likely means taking a reactionary defensive approach – something that is generally unfamiliar for LeBeau’s unit. Normally the Steelers love to blitz their inside linebackers (often this is what creates one-on-one scenarios for their potent outside linebackers). But to counter Rodgers’ quick strikes, the Steelers may drop eight into coverage and rush only three. Harrison and Woodley are both adept in space. If the linebackers are dropping back, Pittsburgh’s corners get to play zone instead of man. That helps appease the mismatch against Green Bay’s wideouts.

The X-factor, as usual, is Troy Polamalu. How LeBeau decides to utilize his most dynamic playmaker will determine whether the Steelers blitz or drop back. If Polamalu roves around the box, expect blitz. If he roves around centerfield, expect drop back.

Speaking of Polamalu, here's what LeBeau had to say about the legendary safety.



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Posted on: February 2, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Bulaga getting the hang of his new role

B. Bulaga has steadily gotten better this season. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

IRVING, Texas – Though he was a 2010 first-round draft pick, Packers fans probably didn’t expect to see T Bryan Bulaga have to play such an immediate role in the Green Bay offense.

But when RT Mark Tauscher’s shoulder forced him to the sidelines in October (and eventually to the Injured Reserve list), Bulaga was pressed into action – and a new role.

A left tackle for his career, Bulaga suddenly had to shift into the starting role on the other side of the offensive line. Without much preparation, he was thrown into his new assignment, and after a rough start, he’s finally gotten more comfortable in his new position.

“Just going to the right side was tough, because I had never played there,” Bulaga said. “That made it a little hard. But as the games went on, I got more comfortable over there, and I feel like I was playing pretty good football toward the end.”

He’s right, and he’s played a supporting role in Aaron Rodgers’ ascent to the top of the NFL quarterback universe while helping him win his first postseason games. But it wasn’t easy for Bulaga either.

“It was a little bit of a transition for him,” Packers OL coach James Campen said. “It was his stance going from left to right and that type of thing. Every game he’s seen a different look, a different pressure and a different situation, but he very rarely makes the same mistake twice. That’s a tribute to him, especially for a young guy. He’s a 21-year-old player that’s certainly dropped that rookie tag at this point. He’s gotten better and better.”

For that, Bulaga partially can thank LT Chad Clifton, the 11-year veteran whose eventual replacement likely will be Bulaga.

“He’s been tremendous,” Bulaga said. “You can look to him for anything. He’s been an absolute big help so far.”

But Campen really saw the improvement in Bulaga during the NFC championship game. Already, the Packers had faced the Bears twice, and that third time, Campen saw how much better Bulaga was playing.

“It’s because of his attention to detail,” Campen said. “Bryan Bulaga just doesn’t want to be good, he wants to touch greatness at some point in his career. He’s certainly on the right track with that.”

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 1:59 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 8:45 am
 

Green Bay Packers offensive roster breakdown

Posted by Will Brinson & Andy Benoit

Perhaps the most fascinating thing if you look (at a glance anyway) at Pittsburgh and Green Bay is that they've built their teams "properly." (AKA "the opposite of Dan Snyder.) They draft smart, and they sign smarter. At least that's what we're lead to believe, right?

Andy and I set out to check the roster breakdown for both teams. En route, we* managed to figure out not only where they're coming from, but what they'll do for their respective teams in the Super Bowl.

Name POS Acquired Scouting Report
Aaron Rodgers
QB
Drafted 24th overall, 1st Round 2005
He lacks is a weakness. One of the smartest, savviest and most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL. A Super Bowl ring might even legitimize the inevitable Is he better than Favre? discussion.
James Starks
RB
Drafted 193rd overall, 6th Round 2010
ixth-round rookie arrived on the scene just in time for Green Bay’s playoff push. Not a star, but the upright runner gives the backfield some of the burst it’s been missing.
Brandon Jackson
RB2
Drafted 63r overall, 2nd Round 2007
Doesn’t have the initial quickness or agility to be a quality NFL runner, though has at least found a niche as a pass-blocker and screen pass receiver on third downs.
John Kuhn
FB
UDFA 2005, PIT; FA 2007
Now synonymous with the term “folk hero” around Wisconsin. Has a knack for moving the chains.
Chad Clifton
LT
Drafted 44th overall, 2nd Round 2000
Superb technique and consistent pass protection earned him Pro Bowl honors for the second time in his 11-year career.
Daryn Colledge
LG
Drafted 47th overall, 2nd Round
Was finally kept at one position for 16 games, and responded with a career year. Not the strongest ox in the field, but dexterous at the second level. Packers would be wise to give him the long-term contract he wants.
Scott Wells
C
Drafted 251st overall, 7th Round
Reliable as they come. Will get jolted by bull-rushing nose tackles, but very rarely let’s that disrupt the entire play. Good mobility out in front.
Josh Sitton
RG
Drafted 135th overall, 4th Round
Arguably the best right guard in football this season. Outstanding brute force on contact, has little to no trouble reaching linebackers in the run game. What’s more, he’s at his best in pass protection.
Bryan Bulaga
RT
Drafted 23rd overall, 1st Round 2010
First-round rookie was drafted to eventually become the left tackle, but he might not have the quickness for that. Sound mechanics have made for a fairly smooth debut season.
T.J. Lang
OL
Drafted 109th overall, 4th Round 2009
Versatile player but limited athlete.
Greg Jennings
WR
Drafted 52rd overall, 2nd Round 2006
Known for his catch-and-run prowess, though his best asset is his innate feel for working back to the ball late in a play.
Donald Driver
WR
Drafted 213th overall, 7th Round 1999
The elder statesman saw his production dip in 2010 (thanks in part to a quad injury). But there’s still plenty of speed and quickness left in him.
James Jones
WR
Drafted 78th overall, 3rd Round 2007
When he’s not dropping balls he’s burning teams for long plays. Was actually Green Bay’s second most productive receiver this season.
Jordy Nelson
WR
Drafted 36th overall, 2nd Round 2007
The fact that he’s white and not constantly compared to Wes Welker or Brandon Stokley tells you what a viable field-stretching target he can be.
Andrew Quarless
TE
Drafted 154th overall, 5th Round 2010
Not Jermichael Finley, but then again, Antonio Gates isn’t even Jermichael Finley. The fifth-round rookie improved as the season wore on. Can catch what you throw him within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Donald Lee
TE
Drafted 156th overall, 5th Round 2003
Scaled-back role because he’s not the blocker that Tom Crabtree is. Still athletic, though. Packers try to get him one or two touches a game, usually on a screen.

*Scouting smarts credited to Benoit. HTML and research credited to Brinson.
Posted on: January 24, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Pro Bowl replacements for SB players announced

Posted by Andy Benoit

Last season the NFL decided to move the Pro Bowl from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl. The idea was to take the utterly irrelevant All-Star event and make it just regularly irrelevant. It’s been an alright ploy, though a consequence is players from the competing Super Bowl teams cannot compete.

Thus, the league had to replace all of the Steeler and Packer players on the roster. So who did they tap?
 
For the Packers:

CB Tramon Williams replaced by Antoine Winfield

CB Charles Woodson replaced by Brent Grimes

FS Nick Collins replaced by Roman Harper

OLB Clay Matthews replaced by Brian Orakpo

WR Greg Jennings replaced by Larry Fitzgerald

LT Chad Clifton replaced by Donald Penn


For the Steelers:

OLB James Harrison replaced by Tamba Hali

S Troy Polamalu replaced by Eric Berry

C Maurkice Pouncey replaced by Jeff Saturday

DE Brett Keisel replaced by Randy Starks

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Posted on: January 24, 2011 10:53 am
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Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Hot Routes 12.29.10: Doing good deeds



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- Ever wonder what happens to all the pink wristbands, gloves, cleats and towels that NFL players use during the month of October to raise awareness about breast cancer? The answer is, they’re auctioned off as part of the league’s A Crucial Catch breast cancer awareness campaign. On Tuesday, the NFL announced that the program raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

- It wouldn’t be surprising if all Bengals fans wanted to take their team to court for the way it’s played this season. One person actually is, though for alleged injuries. My man, Kimball Perry, writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer, details the lawsuit filed by Rebecca Dunn for injuries suffered in the stands during a 2009 contest.

- Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio thinks Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has done a damn good job this season.

- The Buccaneers coaching staff has to feel a little unsettled. That’s because most of the assistants don’t have a contract for next season. Blame the potential 2011 lockout.

-  Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth, snubbed for the Pro Bowl despite winning the fan vote, can’t help but wonder if where a player was selected in the NFL Draft has an impact on his Pro Bowl status, even many years later.

- It seems unlikely Texans WR Andre Johnson will play in the Pro Bowl. Maybe Whitworth can take his spot at wide receiver.

- The Green Bay Press Gazette doesn’t think Packers T Chad Clifton and CB Charles Woodson should have been given Pro Bowl berths.

- Forbes.com writes Redskins owner Daniel Snyder should use a potential lockout as a chance to do some spring cleaning. And hire Bill Parcells.

- The San Diego Union Tribune thinks the Chargers should re-sign WR Vincent Jackson. That would probably be a popular sentiment in San Diego.

- What happened to Cardinals WR Steve Breaston, why isn’t he playing and what is his future in Arizona?

- David Garrard will have surgery on his finger Thursday and won't play in Jacksonville's game Sunday.

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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