Packers WR arrested at LAX

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday morning according to TMZ.com.

According to TMZ, Davis made a joke about carrying explosives in his luggage at the Hawaiian Airlines ticket counter while checking in for his flight.

Davis, a 5th-round draft pick in 2016 out of the University of California, has appeared in 27 games for the Packers since he was drafted. Davis’ role has mostly been on special teams as a return specialist.

To read the full report from TMZ click here.

Report: Morgan Burnett to sign with Pittsburgh

According to former Green Bay wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst James Jones, Morgan Burnett is going to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Burnett was drafted by the Packers in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 71st overall pick. He spent eight seasons in Green Bay, playing in 102 games for the Packers and starting all of them.

In 2017 Burnett started 12 games for the Packers, making 48 tackles and defending three passes. He also forced a fumble. In 2013 Burnett signed a four-year, $24.75 million extension that expired this offseason.

Terms of the contract have not been made public.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

NFL Scouting Combine: Day 5 observations

Indianapolis – Sunday was the fifth and final day of media availability at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The linebackers and defensive line took part in the on-field testing while the defensive backs met with the media and took part in the bench press.

Here are three takeaways from Day 5 of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

Linebackers workout

Sunday was the chance for the linebackers to work out on the field at Lucas oil Stadium. Of the three Wisconsin linebackers invited to the combine, two of them took part in Leon Jacobs and Garret Dooley. Jack Cichy did not participate as he continues rehab from surgery after tearing the ACL in his right knee in August.

Jacobs continued to test well, as expected. His first 40-yard dash time was 4.48 seconds, officially. His second attempt was slightly slower than that at 4.55 seconds. Jacobs mentioned to me on Saturday afternoon that he expected to run a 4.5.

Dooley didn’t run as fast as Jacobs did, nor was he expected to. His first attempt at the 40-yard dash was 4.92 seconds. He was able to improve on his second attempt clocking in at 4.81 seconds.

The show was stolen by UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin for the second consecutive day. On Saturday, he bench pressed 225lbs 20 times despite only having one hand and having to use a prosthetic device in order to grasp the bar with his left arm. On Sunday, Griffin ran the fastest 40-yard dash for a linebacker in the past 15 years at the combine. He clocked a 4.38 in his first attempt, the third-fastest time of anyone at the combine so far, this year.

Defensive backs speak

The defensive backs were the final position group of the media to speak at the combine. This is an area where the Packers could potentially be interested. The top player in the group is Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick, although it is more likely he is drafted far before the Packers are slated to select at No. 14 overall.

A couple of prospects that could make sense for Green Bay are Florida State safety Derwin James and Iowa corner Josh Jackson.

James is a physical safety that could play both in the box and on the back end of the defense. Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, is a defensive back that is more versatile in the sense that he can play either safety position or corner.

James also said that he has met formally with the Packers already.

Jackson was one of the best corners in the Big Ten at Iowa. Fans might remember him having three interceptions against Ohio State and following it up with two interceptions returned for touchdowns against Wisconsin the very next week at Camp Randall.

Lastly, Denzel Ward is regarded as the other top defensive back in the draft. The Ohio State product is a sure-fire first round pick that will be able to come in and make an impact from day one.

Any of them would make sense at No. 14 overall for the Packers.

More Badgers

While Saturday had a trio of Wisconsin linebackers speak to the media – Jacobs, Cichy, and Dooley – Sunday featured a pair of defensive backs from the Badgers.

First, Natrell Jamerson met with the media. Jamerson began his career at Wisconsin as a wide receiver before moving to corner and ultimately safety in his final year. He is at the combine as just that, but does believe that he could play anywhere in the defensive backfield in the NFL.

Jamerson tested on the bench press after meeting with the media where he posted 25 reps of 225lbs. He out-performed four of the five other Badgers there, trailing only Jacobs by a single rep. Jamerson tied with Arizona’s Dane Cruickshank to lead the defensive backs.

Later in the afternoon corner Nick Nelson met with the media and said that he expects to run his 40-yard dash faster than Jamerson, and hopes to be sub-4.4. Nelson was not quite as impressive as Jamerson in the bench press as he finished with 17 reps, tying him for 12th among defensive backs.

NFL Scouting Combine: Day 3 observations

Indianapolis – The 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis continued on Friday with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and specialists meeting with the media.

Here are three takeaways from the day:

Help in the wide receiver room

Friday is when all of the wide receivers met with the media. This class doesn’t have a sure-fire top receiver in it. Calvin Ridley, who played college at the University of Alabama, is expected to be the first receiver taken off of the board. With that being said, it would come as a surprise to no one if he stuck around until the middle of the first round.

The other receivers in this class that could find themselves in Green Bay include James Washington of Oklahoma State, Equanimeous St. Brown from Notre Dame, Christian Kirk from Texas A&M, or Maryland’s D.J. Moore.

Those four all said that they have met with the Green Bay Packers – either formally or informally – while in Indianapolis.

Indiana wide receiver Simmie Cobbs also said that he met with the Packers informally with no plans for a formal visit as of Friday afternoon.

It’s common for teams to take meetings with as many prospects as possible at the combine, but this position is certainly worth watching with the looming contract situations of current wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

If one, or both, of Cobb and Nelson are gone next fall when the Packers hit the field, drafting one of these four receivers certainly could help to lessen the impact.

Wisconsin on the scene

After the first day of player availability, no players from the University of Wisconsin had spoken yet. That changed on Friday when tight end Troy Fumagalli met with the media.

Expectedly, the first few questions that Fumagalli fielded from members of the media were about the fact that he only has four fingers on his left hand. This was something that happened when Fumagalli was exposed to national media during his time at Wisconsin, but did not come up on a day-to-day basis.

“Woodshop class, I guess that was my best one,” Fumagalli joked when asked what his best fake story about losing his finger was. “No, I’m pretty serious about it. I just tell people how it happened at birth. At serious events like this I don’t mess around with that stuff.

“I know it’s part of the process. [Teams] invest a lot of money in people and they need to know everything so that doesn’t bother me,” he said when asked if the questions about his missing finger annoyed him.

Fumagalli also said that he did meet with the Packers while at the combine already.

“I love the Packers. I love what they do with the offense and things like that. Yeah, I’d love to stay at home in Wisconsin.”

Saquon Barkley impresses

The Packers won’t be drafting Saquon Barkley in the draft this year. That needs to be said before the rest of this is written.

Barkley, however, has been one of the stars of the combine to this point.

In the bench press on Thursday, Barkley benched 225lbs 29 times, tied for most among the running backs with Nick Chubb from Georgia. For a point of reference, Barkley beat all but five offensive linemen at the combine.

On Friday, Barkley took part in on-field drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. He tested extremely well in both the 40-yard dash and vertical leap. The Penn State product had the second fastest time in the 40-yard dash at 4.41, two hundredths of a second slower than Nyheim Hines from NC State.

Barkley was the leader at the running back positon in the vertical jump with 41 inches.

Whether or not these things will translate on to the field in the NFL remains to be seen, but his athleticism is certainly undeniable.

NFL Scouting Combine: Day 2 observations

Indianapolis – The 2018 NFL Scouting Combine continued on Thursday in Indianapolis. The offensive linemen and running backs were the position groups to meet with the media, as well as other various coaches and front office personnel.

With both Packers coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Brian Gutekunst addressing the media on Wednesday, things were relatively quiet on the Green Bay front on Thursday. That, combined with the thought that Green Bay won’t be too likely to select a running back or offensive lineman early in the draft, made for an uneventful day.

Three takeaways from Thursday in Indianapolis.

Gutekunst receiving praise

With Gutekunst taking over as the general manager in Green Bay many felt like it was a breath of fresh air that the Packers organization needed. Obviously, the Packers weren’t the only franchise this offseason to make a leadership change.

Roughly halfway through the 2017 season the Cleveland Browns hired former Packers Director of Football Operations John Dorsey as their general manager. Dorsey also hired a pair of former front office members of the Packers in Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith.

He did speak with the media on Thursday and was asked about Gutekunst due to the obvious history that comes with working together from 2002-12.

“Outstanding, I think Brian [Gutekunst] has done a nice job,” said Dorsey of Gutekunst’s career in Green Bay. “He will do a nice job for the Packers moving forward.”

Dorsey also shared the story of giving Gutekunst his start with the Packers back in 2002.

“Brian Gutekunst was a GA at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I had called up Roger Harring, who was a legendary coach at Wisconsin-La Crosse. I said we were looking for a young intern. He said ‘I’ve got this guy Brian Gutekunst who would be really good.

“We sat and talked about it and then next thing you know I call [Gutekunst] up on Friday night. I said ‘[Gutekunst], it’s about eight o’clock,’ – and I think he’s working at some country club trying to put some extra cash in his pocket – ‘this is John Dorsey from the Green Bay Packers. You got the job. Just be here at 7am Monday morning.’ Then I hung up the phone.”

Interest in Quenton Nelson

Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson is widely regarded as the best offensive linemen in this draft class. There are some who believe that he may be the best player available. With that being said, it’s very rare for an offensive guard to be drafted as high as he is projected to go.

It’s likely, according to most, that Nelson will be drafted before the Green Bay’s first selection at No. 14 overall.

That didn’t stop the Packers from having an official meeting at the combine with Nelson, he said.

While it wasn’t expected that the Packers would be in the running for not only an offensive lineman early in the draft, trading up for Nelson cannot be ruled out now.

Green Bay’s wide receiver situation

The Packers have decisions to make at wide receiver with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. That’s no secret. The team extended the contract of Davante Adams late this season, despite issues with concussions during the year.

Adams’ agent, Frank Bauer, told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that there are no long-term concerns surrounding the health of Adams.

Adams suffered a pair of concussions in the 2017 season. One was caused on a head-to-head blow by Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan that caused Adams to leave the game on a stretcher. The second concussion was due to a hit from Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, causing Adams to miss the remainder of the season.

What Packers coach Mike McCarthy had to say at the NFL Combine

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy met with the media on Wednesday afternoon at the NFL Combine as the team begins preparation leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s everything he had to say.

Q: Challenges of such a long relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers:
MCCARTHY: I think it goes all the way around. The way you interact with everybody in your program. Obviously, you have the 1 on 1 component. We’re both driven and focused on the same thing. As I watch Aaron now compared to his younger years, he’s the oldest guy in the locker room. It’s a different relationship for him in there then it was in the early years. Just staying in tune with that. From a pure football standpoint, as far as the scheme, just continue to grow that too. In specifics, what we’re going through now as an offensive staff is we’re spending a ton of time in the passing game particularly, doing a 12-year study, looking at his first six years compared to the last four, particularly the last three. Kind of breaking it down the first seven and last three and just seeing the differences in everything involved in that. Because this is the time when he goes away but when he returns in April, that initial meeting of these are the things we’ve done, here’s the history, the past, these are the changes and so forth. That part of it is always fresh for him. He likes a challenge so we make sure we continue to challenge him as we grow as a football team.

Q: Have you done similar studies in the past?
MCCARTHY: We have, I would say the last five or six years have been in the four-year realm. So, the chance to go back and take all 12 years, particularly the video of it and watch the origin of the concept, the original installation of it, how it evolved, what we got away from, what we stayed with. In this league, the evolution of scheme is the challenge and the focus that every coach goes through whether it be offense, defense, or special teams. The ability to stay on the front end of that curve and try to hopefully stay a step of so in front of your opponent in that particular challenge is where we’re always focused on. We have tremendous history with both Aaron and Brett [Favre] in ’06 and ’07. It’s really probably been as good for the coaches as it will be for the players when they get back. It’s brought us back to the basics in more ways than one.

Q: On the Free Agency plan for this upcoming period:
MCCARTHY: We like the word ‘aggressive,’ but I think it’s like anything, you have to be in touch with reality of the process. The process of veteran free agency is different today than it was prior to Brian [Gutekunst] being the GM. It’s a whole different breakdown and approach, really. That’s the first part of it, so you have the evaluation stage and then the application of it is really what it’s all about. It’s not just one thing that directly leads to another. We don’t want to lose good players, that’s something we’ve always focuses on, particularly our own. We’ve spent pretty much our 12 years here really focusing on improving from within but we need outside resources, we’ve determined that. At the end of the day it’s a market, it’s a market that every team is involved in and we’ll see what happens.

Q: How has the new front office structure been going?
MCCARTHY: It’s different, different structure, there’s meetings, communication is weekly. The reality of what I’m doing specifically, with new coaching staffs, predominantly, probably the last five weeks have been bunkered down with the offensive perimeter group going through the passing game and Mike Pettine has done the same with the defense. We’re kind of in a ‘year one format,’ kind of what you go through when you go into a place with a new staff. Unfortunately, we had an early start with a couple extra weeks before the Super Bowl. Our approach is the same. We’ve always made sure that when players get back on April 16th that we’re ready to go. Every minute that they’re available they’re our priority.

Q: Is the NFL Scouting Combine a fresh start no matter what happens the previous season?
MCCARTHY: I think more for the interaction for the media and the rest of the world, maybe. Really, you get a little time off, the assistant coaches had a little time off. Obviously, we were involved in staff changes. It really kicked off once we turned that first tape on and started to scheme evaluation for me. That’s really the day that the page is turned and you’re able to move forward. This is part of that new journey of 2018.

Q: On Mike Pettine’s scheme, 4-3 or 3-4?
MCCARTHY: Frankly, if you asked Mike if he plays the 4-3 or the 3-4 he’d say ‘yes.” That’s the reality of what a good defensive system is. The ability to utilize your players. We’ve never had that luxury of saying ‘we need this specific kind of player.’ I think when you’re picking where we’ve picked for as many years as we have, and with our prior focus on veteran free agency, we have to acquire good players. In our system, on offense, defense, and special teams we have to take advantage of those players and make sure we’re playing to their strengths and that’s no different with Mike.

Q: On the running back position and Ty Montgomery’s position:
MCCARTHY: First thing, Jamaal [Williams] and Aaron [Jones] did a lot of good things. Probably the most important statistic for me when evaluating players as far as you move forward to the next season is availability. I have a depth chart board in my office and it has their picture, original tag, number, and play time. Play time is a reflection of availability. None of our running backs this year were available for the whole season. That’s the first hurdle that they need to meet. In Ty [Montgomery]’s particular case, his availability the last three years has been his challenge. He’s a multi-positional player. He’s a running back, to answer the question, but he gives us great flexibility to use him so many different ways, so that won’t change. We’re going to need all those guys next year, so that’s going to be our approach.

Q: How can Mike Daniels benefit from a schematic change?
MCCARTHY: There will be some. It’s important for every coordinator through their positon coach, to play their scheme and more importantly their vision and make sure the play style is consistent. Mike’s playing style is a huge asset to not only our defensive line, but our whole football team. Schematically, I think you really just need to play to Mike’s strengths. Create the opportunities, and I think anytime you can get Mike in a one-on-one situation you’re probably going to see more production. I think it’s important. We’re not scorching the Earth or throwing out the baby with the bath water with our defensive approach. There’s some history there with our past defense that Mike [Pettine] will be able to carry over with his scheme. We’ll build off of that but the specifics of what he’s doing, but more importantly how he’s doing it, and even more importantly than that why he’s doing it, will make all of our defensive players, particularly Mike Daniels, better.

Q: On needing a culture change on defense:
MCCARTHY: I think that’s a big statement. I mean, culture change, I think you have to look at more of the definition of it is, from my perspective, my approach is you have an evaluation that you do each and every year. You have filters that you run your data, conversations, and all the input that you take from within, or even outside the organization in some small level. With that you assess. Obviously, the last nine years I felt that internally we were able to take the resources that we had, build the vision, the plan for the upcoming season. Obviously, I felt differently this year and the result was all of the coaching changes. I don’t get too far away from the reality of how our operation is every day and that is the culture. Our culture is what makes it go. That’s how you sustain success. It definitely has been changed, on a lot of levels it has been adjusted, too.

Q: Assessing Brett Hundley and his evaluation from 2017:
MCCARTHY: I think when you look at Brett [Hundley], like anything, you look at what he was able to accomplish. Now his live reps are on video. We felt that he could have been better prepared as far as our whole operation. You look at the evaluation as far as where he started, how he ended his season. He definitely improved throughout his opportunities there. I feel very good about that. I believe in Brett Hundley. I do fully recognize that he has a lot of football in front of him. He has a big upside and our structure and our coaching staff, we need to make sure that we maximize that. We also need to learn from the other parts of the offense that we didn’t do as good as we would have liked. We’ll learn from that and apply it forward. I do believe that Brett as a big upside and looking forward to getting back to work with him.

Q: On the health of Aaron Rodgers:
MCCARTHY: I can’t answer that. I feel confident that he’ll be ready to go. I had a short meeting yesterday with Dr. Pat Mackenzie and his assessment of everything is that everything looks good.

Jerry Kramer elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former Packers guard Jerry Kramer has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame’s selection committee announced on Saturday.

Kramer played for Green Bay from 1958-68 and won five NFL championships and a pair of Super Bowls with the Packers. He was drafted in the 1958 NFL Draft in the fourth round (No. 39 overall) by the team and spent his entire career in Green Bay.

He was a first-team All-Pro selection five times in his career and was voted to the Pro Bowl three times.

“On behalf of the entire Green Bay Packers organization, I want to congratulate Jerry on this well-deserved honor,” said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. “I’m so happy for Jerry. His patience has been rewarded, as he will finally be going into the Hall of Fame after being a finalist 11 times. He was a key part of the offenses on the great Lombardi teams, as well as an outstanding leader. He’s remained actively involved with the Packers over the years and is beloved by our fans.”

Kramer is the 25th member of the Green Bay Packers organization to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Report: Packers hire Cignetti as quarterbacks coach

The Green Bay Packers have hired Frank Cignetti as  their new quarterbacks coach, according to a report by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein.

Cignetti was the New York Giants quarterbacks coach last season and has over nine years of coaching experience in the NFL. He has also spent a number of years at the college ranks as a quarterbacks coach and an offensive coordinator.

Cignetti is just the latest hire the Packers organization has made over the past few days, joining  new GM Brian Gutekunst, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and  defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Report: Eliot Wolf on the move to Cleveland

According to a report by Green Bay Packers beat writer Rob Demovsky, Eliot Wolf has picked the Browns over the Packers and Raiders, and will re-join GM John Dorsey in Cleveland.

Wolf, the son of Packers former GM Ron Wolf, is expected to join the Browns organization as the assistant GM.

He was one of three in-house candidates up for the open GM position with the Packers, but the team ultimately chose Brain Gutekunst for the position.

This to some could be considered a lateral move, since there was some speculation that the Packers wanted to use Wolf as part of a three-person tandem between Russ Ball, Gutekunst, and himself.

Wolf was the Director of Football Operations for the Packers and was with the organization since 2004.

Report: Packers hire new defensive coordinator

The Green Bay Packers are set to hire former Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine as the team’s new defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Pettine’s most recent coaching job in the NFL was as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2014-15. Prior to that he was the defensive coordinator in Buffalo in 2013 and for the New York Jets from 2009-12. His stops in Buffalo and New York were both with Rex Ryan as head coach.

His time as a defensive coordinator has been impressive. In the five seasons he has spent has a defensive coordinator his units have finished no worse than 10th in total defense in the NFL. That 10th ranked defense was his lone season in Buffalo. While in New York his defenses were no worse than eighth, including a first ranked defense in 2009.

As head coach in Cleveland, Pettine finished with an overall record of 10-22 in two seasons. He did go 7-9 in his first year on the job, however the Browns fell to 3-13 in season two. After a 7-4 start as a head coach, Pettine went 3-18 over his last 21 games.

Pettine spent the 2017 season as a defensive consultant with the Seattle Seahawks.