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

Packers GM Ted Thompson on retaining their own free agents: ‘It’s a process.’

Green Bay has 11 unrestricted free agents that will be able to sign with any other team when free agency officially begins on March 9.

The names range from Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang to sack-leader Nick Perry to versatile safety Micah Hyde. And though there has been some recent talk of negotiations starting to pick up, no deals appear imminent. But when he met with the media Wednesday morning at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, general manager Ted Thompson didn’t sound overly concerned.

“It’s a process,” Thompson said. “I stand on this podium, I think, every year and say the same thing. Our best intentions will be to sign as many of our own players as we can and keep it together.”

Having not re-signed any of their own guys at this point is not unusual for the Packers. Two years ago, just three days before free agency was set to start, the team came to an agreement with wide receiver Randall Cobb. Then, on the day free agency started, they got a deal done with right tackle Bryan Bulaga. A year earlier, cornerback Sam Shields got a long-term contract from the club a day before he would have been able to go out on the open market.

“You’ve watched the guys that we’ve signed,” Thompson told reporters. “Over the years, we’ve probably signed several right at the start of free agency. My guess is that’s what’s going to happen this year.”

Coach Mike McCarthy spoke later in the day and echoed much of what Thompson said in wanting to see as many of their guys as possible come back into the fold for 2017. That included Perry, who despite breaking his hand, led the Packers in sacks with a career-high 11 in 2016. And with several other top pass rushers having the franchise tag applied to them, namely the Los Angeles Chargers Melvin Ingram, Perry could be in a for a big pay day.

“I have a lot of love for Nick and what he’s gone through,” McCarthy said, noting injuries that limited him to just 17 games his first two years. “He’s hopefully someone we can get his contract worked out.

“Nick’s a hell of a football player.”

ESPN reported that negotiations between running back Eddie Lacy and the team have picked up, while Lang told ESPN Wisconsin this week that he’s had some talks with the team but intends to test the free agent market.

Green Bay’s unrestricted free agents:

RB Eddie Lacy
RB Christine Michael
TE Jared Cook
OL Don Barclay
C/G J.C. Tretter
G T.J. Lang
OLB Julius Peppers
OLB Nick Perry
OLB Datone Jones
S Micah Hyde
LS Brett Goode

Lacy reveals ankle surgery required 4-6 month recovery window

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In a podcast with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy revealed details of his ankle surgery, which held an estimated recovery timetable of 4-to-6 months.

“I messed up my deltoid and widened the bone on my ankle, so I had to get two screws, two wires and a plate to fix it because I messed up my deltoid ligament,” Lacy told Schefter. “That’s the longest thing to heal.”

Sunday marked the four-month mark in his recovery, in which time he’d been working out at the University of Alabama — his alma mater. He recently posted a video of himself doing pool-jogging exercises where he’d run against the water current.

“I’m going to try and go out and run, but if it’s not comfortable then I’m just going to continue doing what I’ve been doing. But by April, whenever I have to report, I should be able to go out and do everything.”

Whether or not Lacy will be retained remains to be seen. He played in just five games in 2016 before injuring his ankle Oct. 9 against the New York Giants. Lacy put up 360 yards this season and was unable to find the end zone. His estimated market value, according to Spotrac is $2.8 million per season.

while evident from coach Mike McCarthy’s season-ending press conference, the Packers appear to want Lacy to return next season. Lacy says discussions with his agent have been positive, and that the Packers have been “very vocal about having me back there.”

The Packers have finalized their coaching staff for 2017

The Green Bay Packers have finalized their 2017 coaching staff.

Head coach Mike McCarthy announced Monday that Jeff Blasko will serve as assistant offensive line coach, Tim McGarigle will be a defensive quality control coach and David Raih will serve as the newly created offensive perimeter coach.

It’ll be year No. 2 for Blasko with the organization after spending 2016 as a coaching administrator. He was a college and high school coach prior to joining the Packers.

Green Bay picked up McGarigle from the University of Illinois staff, where he served as linebacker coach for one year under former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith. McGarigle played at Northwestern and played in 12 games for the then-St. Louis Rams in 2007.

For Raih, this will be his third different role with the team, spending 2014-15 as a coaching administrator and last season as the assistant offensive line coach.

The full staff:

Offensive Coaching Staff
Edgar Bennett – Offensive Coordinator
Brian Angelichio – Tight Ends
Jeff Blasko – Assistant Offensive Line
James Campen – Offensive Line
Luke Getsy – Wide Receivers
David Raih – Offensive Perimeter
Ben Sirmans – Running Backs
Alex Van Pelt – Quarterbacks

Defensive Coaching Staff
Winston Moss – Associate Head Coach/Linebackers
Dom Capers – Defensive Coordinator
Scott McCurley – Assistant Linebackers
Tim McGarigle – Defensive Quality Control
Jerry Montgomery – Defensive Front Assistant
Darren Perry – Secondary – Safeties
Mike Trgovac – Defensive Line
Joe Whitt Jr. – Secondary – Cornerbacks

Special Teams Coaching Staff
Ron Zook – Special Teams Coordinator
Jason Simmons – Assistant Special Teams

Strength and Conditioning Staff
Mark Lovat – Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
Chris Gizzi – Strength & Conditioning Assistant

Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy to meet with the media at the NFL Combine

For the first time in more than six months, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson will meet with the media next week.

The team announced yesterday that Thompson, along with coach Mike McCarthy, will hold their annual NFL Combine press conferences on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

A lot will have happened in the 184 days between Thompson’s last press conference on Aug. 30 and the one he’ll take part in on March 1, including the cutting of Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton in the week before the season opener, the team’s ugly 4-6 start and the team’s remarkable turnaround and run to the NFC title game.

Among the topics likely to be broached include his future with the club, the reported potential of the team being more involved in free agency and the comment from quarterback Aaron Rodgers that the team needs to be “all in” every season.

Thompson’s press conference will take place at 10 a.m., with McCarthy taking to the podium at noon.

Packers confirm CB Sam Shields has been released

Sam Shields time in Green Bay has come to an end.

The cornerback posted on his Instagram account, “Sam Shields Released From The Green Bay Packers,” and among the hashtags under the message were #IWasGettingBetter, #StillMad, #AtleastLetMeRetireFromThePack, and #NoMoreFreezingWeather.

The Packers confirmed the release on Wednesday night.

An undrafted free agent out of Miami, Shields played seven years in Green Bay, including earning a Super Bowl ring his rookie year. The 29-year-old grabbed 18 interceptions in his career and was named to one Pro Bowl.

But he had missed more and more games in recent years, including 2016, when, in the season opener against Jacksonville, he suffered what is believed to have been at least his third concussion in his NFL career. Shields missed the rest of the season and still hadn’t made it through the league’s concussion protocol when coach Mike McCarthy held his end of the year press conference two weeks ago.

“I think we can all focus on Sam getting healthy,” McCarthy said. “Having a chance to visit with Sam in Atlanta (during the NFC title game) briefly, he needs to get healthy for himself and his family, and that’s the primary focus right now.”

Shields salary cap number on 2017 was $11.7 million. By cutting him, the Packers will reportedly save $8 million.

McCarthy comments may indicate more active offseason

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be 34 years old by playoff time in the 2017-18 season, and coach Mike McCarthy’s comments during his end-of-season press conference on Thursday may indicate a more aggressive approach to a Super Bowl run.

“We all want to win the world championship, and I can just promise you and our fans that we’re doing everything we can to get that done. And I think — going back to Aaron [Rodgers’] statement, ‘all in’ — we can control what we can control. With everybody in football ops, we need to max out this opportunity and we’re already working on the next opportunity.”

The narrative for several years now has been on Rodgers’ perceived “window” for how long he can play at an elite level. Rodgers has already made several changes to his lifestyle to maximize his health, including the removal of dairy from his diet, a decision not taken lightly in Wisconsin, the nation’s dairy production leader.

But a healthy Rodgers hasn’t been enough to return to the Super Bowl after the team’s title run in the 2010 season. Much of the criticism has fallen on general manager Ted Thompson, whose “draft and develop” philosophy has largely meant straying away from signing players in free agency. Occasionally he’ll take a flier on a position of need, most recently signing tight end Jared Cook to a one-year, $2.75 million contract.

With the obvious success of Cook’s season, Rodgers and McCarthy have stated that re-signing the former Rams utility man is a high priority. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says Cook’s emergence, as well as continued areas of need, could force Thompson to go away from his rule of thumb and get more weapons in free agency.

“From what I’m told,” Rapoport said, “I would think the Packers are going to go and get some free agents this year along with trying to re-sign Jared Cook — which is a priority for them.”

In his Thursday press conference, McCarthy added that Thompson would indeed return for another season, seeming to end speculation that either director of football operations Eliot Wolf or Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey could be his successor next year. What McCarthy didn’t say, however,  is whether Thompson’s role would remain the same.  Rapoport reported earlier this month that Thompson may step down to become a senior scouting advisor — a position change McCarthy didn’t address.

Green Bay lists five players as questionable for the NFC title game

The NFC title game is less than 48 hours away, and the Green Bay Packers still have major injury concerns and now an illness going through the team to worry about.

The team released its final injury report Friday afternoon, and saw five players — wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison, along with defensive backs Morgan Burnett and Quinten Rollins — listed as questionable.

“They’ll be given every chance to play in the game,” coach Mike McCarthy said of the wide receivers. “If we know (Saturday), we’ll know (Saturday). If we know Sunday, we know Sunday. I’m going to give these guys the open time frame to do everything they can to play.”

If that wasn’t enough, there is an apparent illness that has hit the team, including Nelson, who was told to stay away from the facility on Friday to avoid spreading it. Still, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and kicker Mason Crosby have been affected by it.

“Rest, fluids, all that stuff. We’ll be OK,” Rodgers told reporters Friday afternoon. “We’re going to be OK and deal with it.”

On Atlanta’s side of the things, wide receiver Julio Jones practiced on a limited basis Friday and is expected to play on Sunday. He had missed the previous two days with a toe injury.