Green Bay opens the preseason with a 24-9 win over the Eagles

Brett Hundley threw a touchdown pass and Trevor Davis returned a punt for a score to help the Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-9 in the preseason opener for both teams Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

“We took a step tonight as a football team,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s always important to win. This game is about winning even if it is the preseason.”

Starting in place of Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Hundley got off to a bit of a rough start, fumbling the first snap of the game. But he got it going in the second quarter, leading a Green Bay scoring drive that he capped off with a pretty 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeff Janis. Hundley finished the night 8 of 15 for 90 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The throw to Janis was the second touchdown of the night, though, as Davis had been in the end zone just minutes earlier thanks to a 68-yard punt return for a score.

“Trevor did an outstanding job not only getting vertical but finishing there when he bounced outside and made the punter miss and scored a touchdown,” McCarthy said. “A well executed play and a great return.”

Undrafted rookie Taysom Hill capped the scoring for the night by finding another undrafted rookie, wide receiver Michael Clark, for a 7-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, Green Bay forced four turnovers, including a pair of interceptions. But the one series that the entire first-team defense was on the field for, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz carved them up. The team’s first-round pick in 2016, Wentz was 4 of 4 for 56 yards and tossed a 38-yard touchdown to Mack Hollins.

Unfortunately, the biggest story of the night was injuries. Cornerback Damarious Randall left with a concussion, center Don Barclay was carted off the field with an ankle injury and rookie wide receiver Malachi Dupre was taken off the field on a stretcher after absorbing a big hit in the fourth quarter. He later tweeted he was OK.

Green Bay’s next preseason game is Aug. 19 at Washington.

The Green Bay Packers release DT Letroy Guion

GREEN BAY | During Tuesday’s practice the Green Bay Packers made a roster move that many saw coming. The team released defensive tackle Letroy Guion.

Guion had several off field issues and it appears his latest one was the tipping point for general manager Ted Thompson. Guion was arrested for a DUI in Hawaii last month. He was already on suspension for the first four games of this season from a previous marijuana-related traffic stop. Guion still remained on the roster and practiced with the Packers during training camp. When asked about Guion’s status head coach Mike McCarthy continued to give no sign it would change: “Letroy’s situation is obviously a pending matter,” McCarthy said. “He’s made mistakes and we’re still working with him.” He went on to confirm that Guion would be practicing with the team during camp as long as he is healthy and available.

However Tuesday GM Ted Thompson made the decision to release Guion.

Guion played in 44 regular season-games with 35 starts for Green Bay over the last three seasons and appeared in seven postseason contests with five starts.

Aaron Rodgers wants to be with Packers at age 40, McCarthy hopes for same

GREEN BAY – On the day that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady turned 40 years old, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked where he expects to be when he turns 40.

“Hopefully right here,” Rodgers said during his weekly media availability in front of his locker at Lambeau Field. “Hopefully talking to you guys right here.”

But Rodgers made one thing clear. He doesn’t want to just be playing at age 40. He wants to be doing it in a green and golf uniform.

“I hope it’s in this locker room,” said the soon-to-be 34 year old Rodgers. “That would mean it’s been at a high level. Like I said, hopefully Dec. 2 of 2024..”

Rodgers was quickly corrected. It would actually be December 2nd of 2023 when he turns 40.

“Thank you,” Rodgers said.

A few hours later during his afternoon media session, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was asked how he can go about keeping Rodgers in a Packers uniform that long.

“Well I think Aaron is fully capable just given the path he’s on and physically. I would think as an organization it’s something you want to entertain to say the least (chuckle).”

“You looking that far out. That’s probably a better question for Mark Murphy.”

McCarthy quickly adjusted his response.

“That’s a cop-out,” said McCarthy. “I’m all for it. I hope he’s here 40 plus and hopefully I’ll be here right there with him.”

 

Vince Biegel, Demetri Goodson to start training camp on the PUP list

Vince Biegel’s first training camp practice will not come for a few weeks.

Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday morning that the former Wisconsin linebacker will start on the Green Bay Packers physically unable to perform list as he continues to recover from offseason foot surgery. He’ll be joined there by cornerback Demetri Goodson, who suffered a knee injury in the final regular season game a year ago.

“Both those guys have been here every day I’ve been in here. They’re making progress,” McCarthy said prior. “Vince looks like it’s going to be a couple weeks. Don’t really have a timeline for Demetri.”

Biegel, a fourth-round pick in April’s NFL draft, had surgery after Green Bay’s rookie minicamp. It’s the same foot he injured during his senior year at Wisconsin.

His absence is notable for a number of reasons, including the fact the team lost Julius Peppers and Datone Jones in free agency, leaving them thin at outside linebacker.

“I’m confident in the other guys,” McCarthy said. “We got to get Vince back to 100 percent. We have time.”

LISTEN: Packers coach Mike McCarthy on being smart with the use of Aaron Rodgers

It’s true. Martellus Bennett spent Tuesday night sleeping on locker room floor

GREEN BAY | It has to be one of the strangest beginnings to Packers training camp. Tight end Martellus Bennett failed to inform anyone he would be checking in late to St. Norbert College on Tuesday night. Hotels in the area were booked. So rather than sleep in his car, Bennett drove to Lambeau Field and spent the night sleeping on the locker room floor in front of his locker.

The veteran who signed with the Packers in the offseason put out a video on instragram, stating he actually doesn’t mind sleeping on the floor. But he was afraid “ghosts (in Lambeau Field) might get him.”

“Just got to Green Bay not too long ago and couldn’t get into the dorms, so now I’m sleeping on the floor [in front of] my locker,” Bennett said in the video.  “Camp life, Day 1.”

“Sleeping on the floor actually doesn’t bother me, I actually like to sleep on the floor from time to time. Honestly. I should’ve told somebody I’d be getting in late tonight.”

Coach Mike McCarthy was at Lambeau Field late Tuesday night as well but did not notice Bennett.

“I heard all about it,” McCarthy said Wednesday morning. “I was here late last night, so he must have came after I left. I don’t usually check lockers for people sleeping.”

Players were required to be at Lambeau Field for physicals at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, so Bennett was right on time. Tuesday was considered a travel day for the players, but most checked into the dorms that afternoon. The first practice is Thursday morning at 8:15 on Ray Nitschke Field.

 

The Neighborhood: McCarthy won’t sacrifice longevity for Rodgers’ window

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Among the many things discussed by Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy during Wednesday morning’s training camp introductory press conference were some seemingly innocuous statements about longevity.

“Programs win championships,” McCarthy began, referring back to his thought process as a first-year coach in 2006. “I never thought to sell the farm and be a one-year wonder.”

But after elaborating on his response, it’s clear McCarthy and the Packers have discussed comments from last winter’s playoff run where quarterback Aaron Rodgers put the pressure on management to get him players that can win.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re going all-in every year to win,” Rodgers said after an NFC Championship Game loss to the Atlanta Falcons. “And I think we can take a big step this offseason.”

A lot has been made in recent years about 33-year-old Rodgers and his perceived “window” closing — a reference to the number of years he might remain in elite playing shape. If Rodgers’ pleas were answered, it wouldn’t be the first time a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback got his team to help him win another Super Bowl.

In Peyton Manning’s final season in 2015, the Denver Broncos made a number of free agency moves, highlighted by cornerback Aqib talib and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. That was enough to send him out on top in his 17th NFL season.

Adding to the intrigue was a recent admission by Rodgers that he was entering the “back nine” of his career.

Fast forward to July 26, 2017 in front of reporters in the media auditorium at Lambeau Field, McCarthy seemed unwilling to give in to hints that Rodgers wants more weapons at the expense of prospects.

“Those eight [consecutive years of] playoff victories are a clear reflection of our championship-level program…But my focus is on continuing to grow that.”

“We’ve always focused on the program. We’ve never sold out to win one game.”

Despite McCarthy’s unwillingness to adapt a more nearsighted approach to team-building, general manager Ted Thompson helped acquire players with plenty of star power. Among the notable additions were tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks, defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, and offensive guard Jahri Evans.

Green Bay will get its first look at the newest Packers when pads come on during Thursday morning’s first training camp practice.

Aaron Rodgers responds to Greg Jennings’ criticism of Mike McCarthy

Aaron Rodgers has Mike McCarthy’s back.

Days after former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings blamed McCarthy for not having a killer instinct and intimated he was at fault for what has ailed the team, the quarterback came to his head coach’s defense in an interview with WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee.

“I think it’s important that when you’re thinking about comments coming from outside the facility, especially by people who haven’t been around the facility in a number of years, you’ve got to take that with a grain of salt,” the two-time NFL MVP said.

“We’re concerned with the opinions of our players and our coaching staff and our organization.”

Jennings, who has criticized Rodgers several times since leaving the team after the 2012 season, said the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick have the right mentality.

“I’m just going to flat-out say it: If we had a lead, our issue wasn’t the defense — our issue was Mike McCarthy,” Jennings said on FS1’s ‘Undisputed.’ “[McCarthy] would cuff us.

“When you watch New England play, when they have a lead, they go for your throat. They don’t relax.”

Rodgers, who claimed to not have heard Jennings’ comments, said his position on McCarthy has been pretty clear.

“He’s our leader and we follow his lead. We love Mike,” Rodgers said. “We believe in him, and he believes in us. So we’ve got his back.”

Letroy Guion arrested.. again

Last week Packers coach Mike McCarthy warned his players to stay out of trouble during their time before training camp. One player, who has been in and out of trouble, apparently did not listen.  Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion has been arrested again.

Already facing a four-game suspension to start the 2017 season for violating the league’s PED policy, Guion could now face personal conduct penalties after a being arrested for drunk driving in Hawaii.

According to Sam Spangler of KHON, Guion was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. He was pulled over in Waikiki around 4 a.m., and later failed a breathalyzer test.

The 30-year-old Guion was also arrested in 2015 on marijuana and handgun charges, when he was stopped in Florida with $190,028.81 in cash in his truck.

Last week, during Packers mini-camps, coach McCarthy talked about how he hoped his players would stay safe and out of trouble.

“You always worry about them,” said McCarthy. “So knock on wood. I don’t worry a whole lot once you get past the 4th of July.”

Hand injury ends Vince Biegel’s day early

GREEN BAY — Vince Biegel’s first practice as a member of the Green Bay Packers came to end early on Friday, as the former Wisconsin outside linebacker left midway through the session with what turned out to be a minor injury to a finger on his left hand.

“It’s not too much of a concern. It’s not a season-ending injury by any means,” said Biegel, who underwent X-rays and was still being evaluated by the team’s medical staff. “This is a finger here. My whole body is ready to go. This is football. You get nicks and bruises. I’m not concerned at all about this moving forward.”

Being forced out of practice early was frustrating for Biegel, but he remained upbeat.

“[I’m] disappointed, obviously, that I didn’t get to finish my first practice as a Green Bay Packer,” Biegel said. “Obviously, I was really looking forward to this moment. [But]listen, this is going to be a bumpy road. There’s ups and downs in this journey.”

The injury has been the lone negative for the Wisconsin Rapids native since being selected with the first pick of the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday. A fan of the Packers for his entire life, the week has been one memorable moment after another.

“Given my situation, being from Wisconsin, it was really kind of a surreal moment to check out the locker room…check out the indoor facility, the weight room, the training tables [and the] training room,” Biegel said. “It was a really cool experience. I’m extremely blessed.”

When Biegel walked into the locker room, he found his nameplate and quickly noticed the two players on either side of him in veterans Nick Perry and Clay Matthews, the latter of which has been an inspiration for Biegel throughout his football life and stopped by to welcome him to the team.

“Clay approached me, and it was kind of fun to shake hands with Clay, see him, talk with him,” Biegel said. “It was a guy I looked up to. I’ve taken parts of his game and tried to include it in mine.”

Biegel felt that his locker placement was intentional, placing him between the team’s two best pass rushers and that it meant the coaching staff has high expectations for him. Though the three-year starter for the Badgers is likely reading too much into it, he’ll chase those perceived expectations anyways, and do so with a passion few others possess. That intensity won’t be reserved for the field either, as coach Mike McCarthy and the rest of the staff have learned in just a few days of being around him.

“He drove here. He was the first one here. He sat in the front row [in the first team meeting],” McCarthy said. “He’s off to a great start.”

Early games against Seattle and Atlanta highlight Green Bay’s 2017 schedule

We knew who and where the Green Bay Packers would play in 2017, and now we know the when after the NFL released its full regular-season schedule on Thursday.

Things get underway for the Packers on Sept. 10 against Seattle at Lambeau Field, a game that will mark the return of running back Eddie Lacy, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason. That’s followed by a trip to Atlanta for Sunday Night Football and a rematch of the NFC title game as the Falcons open their new stadium.

Overall, Green Bay will play five of their first eight games at home, including visits from Cincinnati on Sept. 24, a Thursday night tilt with Chicago on Sept. 28 and then the New Orleans Saints come to town on Oct. 22.

Coach Mike McCarthy’s team will finish the season playing four of their final six games on the road, including the season finale in Detroit on New Year’s Eve.

The Packers have five primetime games, including their game at Pittsburgh on Nov. 26, the first time they’ve visited the Steelers since 2009.

Here’s the full schedule:

https://twitter.com/packers/status/855235000496791553