Month: September 2016

Week Three Predictions: Green Bay vs. Detroit

By: Bill Tewes, Mark Prott, and Jim Boyce

There has been a lot of angst in Wisconsin following last weeks ugly loss in Minnesota. Despite the return of Jordy Nelson, Rodgers and the offense as a whole still look out of sorts. This week the Detroit Lions are in town and they haven’t lost in Green Bay since 2014! Here’s what we think will happen.

JIM

Packers 30 Lions 20

If Aaron Rodgers, and the offense in general, is ever going to get back on track it has to be this week. The Lions will be missing some of their top players on defense, most notably Ezekiel Ansah and DeAndre Levy. Matt Stafford looks much more comfortable playing in OC Jim Bob Cooter’s (what a name) system than he has at any point in his career. I expect the Lions will exploit the secondary enough to score some points, but Detroit’s lack of a running game will hurt them too.

This is a game Green Bay really needs to win going into their bye week. The offense needs to play consistent, winning football. Hopefully there will be more of a balance between the run and the pass than there has been through two weeks. If they are unable to pick up first downs consistently against a depleted Lions defense then there are going to be a ton of questions about the legitimacy of this team moving forward.

BILL

Packers 27 Lions 10

After a disappointing loss to Minnesota last Sunday night, the Packers are destined to bounce back and what better way than to face the Detroit Lions for their first home game of the season. Aaron Rodgers has faced more criticism in one game than he has faced in years following an atrocious performance where he fumbled three times and threw a game ending interception to a player who he had exploited all night (Trae Waynes). Rodgers will look to silence critics (even though he says they do not care about the outside noise) and handle Detroit.

It seems as if the entire Lions defense is questionable for this game. Detroit will most likely have no pressure upfront, and that will give Rodgers all day to pick apart their secondary, which is not that impressive to begin with. Even though Stafford and company put up 39 points on a god-awful Indianapolis Colts defense week 1, they struggled to get into double-digits against a Titans defense that is about middle of the pack as far as rankings goes. I cannot imagine this Lions team putting up a lot of points on the Packers and Green Bay will look to crush any talk that they are highly overrated just two weeks into the season.

Mark

Packers 26 Lions 17

After the offensive debacle against the Vikings, it’s difficult to have supreme confidence in this team right now against any opponent. If the offensive hangover from last year continues to linger into this game, it’s time to P-A-N-I-C. I think the Pack needs to get away from the no huddle attack at least for awhile and get back to basics. How about some smash mouth football with your bruising back Eddie Lacy, who looks great in the limited opportunities he’s been given. He has only 26 carries through 2 weeks so far. I would have no problem giving Lacy 26 touches in this game alone. Let him punish defenders to set up play action, which is desperately needed right now for Rodgers and the receivers to get back into sync.

With 5 key contributors on the defensive side likely out, headlined by Clay Matthews, the Packers will likely be relying on some inexperience to stop Stafford and his crew. The Packers have been down right dominant stopping the run in 2016 and that should not stop today as the Lions possess little threat at running back. The key again will be to harass Matt Stafford and count on the secondary to play to their capabilities after a not good enough start to the 2016 season.

 

Milwaukee Bucks SG Khris Middleton Tears Hamstring Per The Vertical

unreal

By: Bill Tewes

Shams Charania of The Vertical just tweeted that Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Khris Middleton has a torn hamstring. Charania stated that Middleton tore his hamstring in workouts and the timetable for his return is about six months.This is a massive blow to the Milwaukee Bucks season and will no doubt set them back as far as the growth of their big three is concerned.

Middleton was expected to make the leap to the next level and hoped to enter the discussion of top five shooting guards in all of the NBA. The Bucks will definitely miss his shooting, as well as defensive prowess as Middleton is one of the few good defenders the Bucks have. He was expected to be a vocal locker room leader and could very well have averaged over 20 points per game this season.

Middleton played all but three games last season, after dealing with multiple injuries throughout the season. Middleton was one of the most durable players in all of the NBA and as of March of this past season, was 2nd to only James Harden in minutes played. Middleton finished up with a career high 36.1 minutes played and increased his ppg total to 18.2, up from 13.4 during the 2015 NBA season.

It is sad to potentially see Middleton’s season go down the tubes, after the Bucks just signed Giannis to an extension and looked like a team that was destined to go back to the playoffs and maybe make some noise this year. We wish Khris nothing but the best in his recovery.

Week Two Predictions: Green Bay at Minnesota

By: Bill Tewes, Mark Prott, and Jim Boyce

The Packers survived week one in the sauna that is Jacksonville, pulling off a tough 27-23 victory against the young Jags. No return home yet though, as the Pack head to Minnesota to open up their new stadium against the division rival Vikings. Here’s what we think will happen.

JIM

Packers 20 Vikings 17

The Vikings offense really struggled to score points week one against Tennessee. Regardless of who starts at QB I don’t think they’ll have much more success against Green Bay unless Adrian Peterson goes off. As long as the Packers can keep contain on AP and not allow him to bust off any huge gainers I think they will keep the Vikings off the scoreboard for the most part.

The Packers offense had bouts of inconsistency in Jacksonville, with scoring drives mixed in with too many three and outs. The Vikings defense has play makers at all three levels and ball security will be of the utmost importance in this one. The vertical passing game did not return in week one. While I think that will change as Nelson gets more comfortable, I’m not sure the Packers are going to be racking up chunk plays this Sunday. There may be some frustrating sequences for the Packers offense in the hostile environment.

The Packers are highly unlikely to go 16-0 this season and this is one of the tougher road challenges they have on their schedule. I expect another nail biter, but as long as they avoid the turnovers that killed the Titans I think they will scrape by.

Mark

Packers 24 Vikings 16

If Teddy Bridgewater was under center I would have given the slight edge to the Vikings in this game. However, the stability that Bridgewater seemed to bring at quarterback is gone and I don’t see Sam Bradford being able to lead his team to a victory when he’s still learning his teammates’ names, not to mention the playbook. An average quarterback at best even in his top years, you can bet Bradford and the Vikings will rely heavily on handing the ball to Adrian Peterson. Dom Capers and the Packers defense are well aware of this and will look to build on the dominating run defense displayed last week against the Jaguars and force Bradford to beat them.

On offense, one thing’s for sure. The Packers communication needs to drastically improve after the embarrassing breakdowns last week. The Vikings are unveiling U.S. Bank Stadium. There is little doubt that at least in the beginning stages of the game the place will be rocking and loud. Getting out to an early lead could be crucial. With top cornerback Xavier Rhodes out Sunday night, expect Aaron Rodgers to attack Ol’ Man River Terence Newman, who was owned last year in Minnesota by James Jones and his hoodie. If active for his debut, I would love to see a speedster like Trevor Davis get isolated on Newman for a vertical route. Even with a top safety like Harrison Smith manning the middle, I would look for Rodgers to take more shots down the middle of the field, which should lead to success provided the offensive line gives enough time against a stout Vikings front.

Bill

Packers 24 Vikings 14

What better way for the Green Bay Packers to make a statement than to run the Vikings right out of their brand new and shiny stadium? Unfortunately I do not believe it is going to be that easy. Last week I was really high on Green Bay’s offense coming out firing and there was signs of last year’s ugly aerial attack. Whether it was because of the heat, or just week 1 inconsistencies, the Packers are going to have to unleash wide receiver Jordy Nelson now that he has a full game under his belt. This game could be a massive boost to Green Bay’s confidence and by taking their first two road games, it sets them up for a nice, but irregular, four game home stretch. Green Bay’s X-factor is going to have to be Clay Matthews on the defensive side, as he is going to be tasked with the responsibility of making Sam Bradford’s night a living hell. Matthews will hopefully turn in a better showing than last week against Jacksonville.

The Vikings may be in more trouble than most people think. While they will obviously have home-field advantage, questions are beginning to mount regarding whether or not Adrian Peterson is beginning to decline. Peterson was held to 31 yards against a pretty bad Tennessee Titans squad. Dating back to the first Packers Vikings game of last season as well as including the first game of this season, Peterson has had a stretch of eight games in which six of those games he was held under 100 yards (per ESPN). In both games against Minnesota last year, our run defense held Peterson to under 70 yards. I expect more of the same from our crew as they were stellar against the run in Jacksonville and will dare Bradford to throw to one of their very average receivers. Minnesota’s offensive line is pretty porous and worse than last year’s line, and that will help the Packers immensely.  I would pick Green Bay to blow out Minnesota if this game was in Green Bay, but for now, I’ll give Green Bay a 10 point victory, keeping them #1 in the power rankings!

Green Bay Packers win a nail biter against a tough Jacksonville squad on the road: Offensive and Defensive Takeaways

By: Bill Tewes

The Green Bay Packers survived a late push from the Blake Bortles led Jacksonville Jaguars to take a win on the road 27-23. The Packers came out sluggish in the dead Jacksonville heat today, but picked up and showed signs of offensive excellence at the end of the first half and throughout much of the 3rd quarter. So what can we take away from the very first game of the 2016 season? Here are my offensive and defensive takeaways.

Offensive Takeaways:

The Packers offense was looking like a replica of last year’s struggles until they turned it around mid-way through the second quarter. Jordy Nelson hauled in a touchdown and looks to have good burst after suffering an ACL tear last year. Then the play of the game came just before the end of the first half when Aaron Rodgers was being pulled down by Jalen Ramsey and threw a muscled dart to Davante Adams, who hauled it in for the touchdown. Impressive catch from Adams who previously failed to make a difficult catch earlier in the game. The offense finished up with 294 yards and we have to hope as the season progresses, Aaron Rodgers and company being to click and we can capitalize on more scoring opportunities instead of settling for field goals just outside of the red zone.

The offensive line play was solid throughout the entire game. Many questions surrounded Lane Taylor and whether or not he would be an adequate replacement for Josh Sitton. So far, so good! Taylor did not commit any penalties. The o-line gave up only one sack (which was on a play where Rodgers held onto the ball too long and was sacked just short of the line of scrimmage) and looks like they will be pretty effective in both pass and run blocking. The line cleared out a huge hole for Lacy on his longest run of the game and constantly out-muscled the likes of Malik Jackson and Jared Odrick.

Green Bay’s run game was not as effective as the Packers’ probably had hoped it would be. While Eddie Lacy had some nice runs, he was held to 61 yards on 14 carries (4.4 yards per carry). It seemed like Green Bay abandoned the run in spots where they could have continued to pound the rock, especially when their aerial assault began to falter. With more opportunities, Lacy should have no problem cracking 100 yards every game this year.

Defensive Takeaways:

Quinten Rollins’ season got off to a rough start as he got burned multiple times. After having an impressive breakup on Joe Thomas’ interception, he would later give up a touchdown to Julius Thomas and was eventually replaced by Ladarius Gunter. Rollins was forced back into the game when Sam Shields went out with what looked like a concussion. He had a nice break up on what would have been a go ahead touchdown for Jacksonville. on Allen Robinson While Rollins had a rough day, there is still a lot to like about his game and I expect him to turn in some excellent games throughout the season.

Nick Perry had an impressive game and is already making an impact all over the field. Perry had a crucial sack late in the 4th quarter which forced Jacksonville to kick a 50-yard field goal when they were threatening to tie the game. The run defense was superb today and only allowed T.J. Yeldon to 1.9 yards per carry. The defense finished up with three sacks, but will need to get more pressure on opposing QBs. They allowed Bortles to throw for 320 yards after pass defense was supposed to be their strong suit this year. Green Bay did however do a sufficient job of containing Jacksonville’s top weapon in Allen Robinson, holding him to 72 yards on six receptions.

The Packers head to Minnesota next weekend for Sunday night football in Minnesota’s brand new stadium. It will be interesting to see who Minnesota chooses to start at Quarterback and if Rodgers can throw on Minnesota’s staunch secondary.

All stats per ESPN.com

Week One Predictions: Green Bay at Jacksonville

By: Bill Tewes, Mark Prott, & Jim Boyce

It’s here, It’s finally here! Week One of the 2016 NFL Season kicks off Thursday night and continues throughout the weekend. Our Packers head to sunny Jacksonville to open the campaign. Here are our predictions and thoughts on this match-up.

JIM

Packers 27 Jaguars 21

The Jaguars have been a joke for the better part of the last decade, however over the last couple of years a lot of young talent has been added to this roster. For the first time in awhile it feels like the Jaguars are building towards something and I think this game will be a lot tougher than many people might assume.

The Florida heat could be a factor in keeping guys fresh, and it will be of paramount importance for Green Bay to run the ball, win time of possession, and let the defense rest. Whichever team does this better will likely win. There will be some nervous moments, but Green Bay comes out ahead in the end. The Jaguars lose, but prove that they are a team trending in the right direction.

BILL

Packers 35 Jaguars 21

As a fan of the game of football, it is hard not to like and appreciate what is going on in Jacksonville. The team has taken some major strides on both sides of the ball and look like they have the real deal in Blake Bortles. While I think Bortles will regress slightly off his impressive 2015 campaign, I think it is safe to say he is here to stay in the NFL and will only get better with time. The Jags added some seriously talented pieces on defense in Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack and these rookies will get a difficult test to start out the season with Green Bay’s offense looking to regain its form.

That being said, I’m extremely confident that Green Bay’s offense will be too much for Jacksonville’s defense to handle come Sunday. I think Rodgers will throw for 350+ and three touchdowns while leading Green Bay to a no-doubt-about -it victory. The real game winner will be Eddie Lacy, as he will be the reason Jacksonville’s defense gets worn down and Green Bay wins big in time of possession. Green Bay’s defense will constantly pressure Bortles, especially with a suspect run game with Ivory and Yeldon splitting carries.

Mark

Packers 27 Jaguars 17

Yes, after a big free agency spending spree and plenty of high draft picks the Jaguars on paper look like a team with a lot of young talent but let’s not forget this was a 5-11 team last year. And despite the reported heat expected Sunday, it also should not be overlooked that a sizable portion of the sellout crowd expected will be cheering for the green and gold. Packers fans know how to travel. After training all summer in hot and humid temperatures, the weather really should not play that much of a factor, especially according to Mike McCarthy.

The first week of the NFL season can be ugly and sloppy at times but I expect a battle tested team like the Packers to impose their will on the Jaguars and take control early in the game. I’m also not sold on Blake Bortles being able to navigate his team against the Packers defense with success. I think the Jaguars get a late touchdown to make the score more respectable. Expect a heavy dose of Eddie Lacy and James Starks behind an offensive line that should be highly motivated to prove they are still one of the NFL’s elite units, despite the release of Josh Sitton.

 

Wisconsin Badgers shock the nation again with Top 10 AP Poll Rank

By: Bill Tewes

Even with this ranking, Bucky fans should temper their expectations.

After the Wisconsin Badgers put on a dazzling defensive display that upset the heavily favored LSU Tigers this past Saturday at the vaunted Lambeau Field. Many college football experts thought the Badgers would crack the top 25 after this upset win. The Badgers not only cracked the top 25, but launched all the way to the 10th spot in the AP Poll, and 16th in the coach’s poll.

It was somewhat of a surprise that the Badgers came into this season unranked, as they finished 10-3 last year under the guidance of first year Head Coach Paul Chryst. Wisconsin lost their defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, ironically to LSU, and also had major quarterback concerns with unproven Senior Bart Houston as their starter. No one can fault Aranda for taking the LSU job, but he was clearly out-coached Saturday by his successor Justin Wilcox. Wilcox was nabbed after being fired from USC and faced a daunting challenge of taking over a program Aranda turned into the top scoring defense in the league last season.

It is clear as day that the MVP of this game was none other than kicker Rafael Gaglianone. Gaglianone made all of his kicks including the game winner late in the fourth quarter. Gaglianone was playing with a heavy heart as his long time friend Nebraska Punter Sam Foltz was killed in a car accident last month. Gaglianone changed his number to 27 to honor his fallen friend, and it was an incredible sight to see Gaglianone play with so much emotion with so much on the line for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s victory is still somewhat of a shock, as their offense handed the game to LSU on a silver platter. Houston not only threw an interception on LSU’s 10-yardline, costing Wisconsin points. In the second half, Houston made a deplorable throw that resulted in an easy pick six for the Tigers which also swung the momentum in their favor, eventually giving them the lead.

This is the main reason Badger fans should temper their expectations with this squad is solely based on quarterback play. I am not sold on Houston as someone who can go into the Big House and stun Michigan by using excellent game management skills. Wilcox’s defense bailed Houston out multiple times. Perhaps the only thing Houston did extremely well was that he did not put the Badgers in a position late where LSU could put in the nail in the coffin. Which is exactly what their quarterback Brandon Harris did for us with a game ending interception.

Wisconsin has a murderer’s row of opponents coming up after they play two soft games in Akron and Georgia State. The Badgers get two dates in the Wolverine State to play Michigan and Michigan State. While they could make it an extremely interesting game against the Spartans in East Lansing, it is hard for me to believe that they can be real contenders against better programs in both Michigan State and Michigan. No one will pick Wisconsin to beat Michigan, even if they have proved capable of beating a top five team.

Wisconsin then invites the Buckeyes up to Camp Randall, followed by a date in Iowa and then finishes up their difficult schedule with Northwestern, a team that is always a solid challenge for the Badgers.

What we can ultimately take from this huge upset of LSU is that the Wisconsin Badgers are taking a step in the right direction as far as the program is concerned. While the elites such as the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines have a death grip on the Big 10 at the moment, it would not be too surprising to see the Badgers creep up into contention in the next 2-3 years. Badger fans can only hope the next couple of recruiting classes yield sound quarterback play and some more offensive talent to go along with what looks like a stout defense for years to come.

Josh Hawkins and Kentrell Brice: Packers' Latest Diamonds In The Rough

Green Bay Packers new dynamic duo of rookie free agents in the secondary look to be the real deal 

By: Mark Prott

The NFL rookie free agent talent pipeline to 1265 Lombardi Avenue has a chance in 2016 to be as rich as it has ever been in recent history. Packers GM Ted Thompson, along with his personnel staff, have made it a yearly ritual to search every nook and cranny for the overlooked college prospect with NFL talent who happened to slip through the scouting cracks for one reason or another. Look no further than safety Kentrell Brice out of Louisiana Tech and cornerback Josh Hawkins out of East Carolina for likely the two newest members, in a long line of rookie free agents, to become meaningful contributors for the Green Bay Packers.

A quick analysis of the Packers 2016 opening 53 man roster tells you Thompson values rookie free agents and counts on them while building his roster. The Packers currently have 14 players, who entered the league without being drafted. It seems to be a growing trend in the NFL today.

Now in a majority of cases rookie free agent are not talented enough to become full time starters and instead are used to fill out rosters and carve out roles as reserves or special teams players. But there are always exceptions to every rule, as was the case with Packers top cornerback Sam Shields who entered the league as a rookie free agent in 2010. However, the difference in a case like Shields was he was bursting with talent highlighted by his 40-yard dash time of 4.30, making him as physically gifted as the top corners in the 2010 NFL draft. Fast forward to 2016 and the same line of thinking can be used when we analyze the physical tools of Brice and Hawkins in comparison to the other top prospects at their respective positions.

The numbers don’t lie. It’s even likely Sam Shields name came up when the Packers were scouting and evaluating Josh Hawkins in the first place. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote an interesting piece comparing the measurables of Hawkins with Shields and the similarities were shocking. At his pro day the 5-10 189 pound Hawkins ran a 4.39 40-yard dash and completed a 40.5 inch vertical jump, both impressive results which would have given him a top 5 finish in those categories among all cornerbacks participating at the annual NFL scouting combine. Not to be outdone, Hawkins’ new teammate Kentrell Brice put up equally if not even more impressive physical testing numbers at his pro day given that he plays the safety position.

In fact, it’s probably not a stretch to assume Kentrell Brice would have blown up the NFL scouting combine with his results had he been invited. It happens almost every year when a lesser known prospect tests out of this world and begins to shoot up draft boards due to more exposure. The Green Bay Packers are probably secretly relieved that Brice and Hawkins for that matter weren’t invited. To put Brice’s remarkable physical testing numbers in perspective, the 5-11 200 pound safety would have ranked first among all safeties participating at the combine in both his vertical jump of 42 inches and broad jump of 11-1. While both his 40-yard dash time of 4.44 seconds and 21 bench press reps would have placed him second in those categories.

According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey, the fifth pick in the draft, might have been the only defensive back at the combine to test better than Brice.”

Now I don’t want to suggest here that testing numbers and measurables should be the main focus of building a championship roster. If that were the case, the late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis would have been fielding powerhouse football teams every year during his tenure, given his love for acquiring great athletes with big time speed. A great athlete is of little value if he is unable to apply instincts and skills on the football field. Production on the field still is the ultimate deciding factor of player evaluation, which is another reason for Packers fans to be excited about Hawkins and Brice.

With 2 picks in the preseason and a confident presence on the field, Josh Hawkins looked like a potential playmaker on the outside. And the range, closing speed, and physicality displayed by Kentrell Brice while he roamed the middle of the field was reminiscent at times of another great athlete and former Packers safety Nick Collins.

Yes, it was just preseason football and the competition in the regular season is a whole new ball game but the results so far for both Brice and Hawkins are encouraging nonetheless. Lots of development and coaching will still be needed to find out a final verdict on the potential impact either player can make down the road. But as of today, the evidence is there that the electric physical tools of both players are translating into production on the field, making me believe both players could have very bright futures in Titletown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Curious Case of Josh Sitton

Long time starter’s release leaves questions.

By: Jim Boyce

Most fans of the Green Bay Packers, heck most fans of the NFL, were pretty stunned Saturday afternoon when it was reported that the Packers would be releasing veteran guard Josh Sitton if they were unable to trade him. This is obviously a pretty unexpected move by Ted Thompson and one that might take a few days to fully digest. Nonetheless it leaves some immediate questions about the Packers offensive line.

WHO PLAYS GUARD?

In a perfect world versatile backup J.C Tretter could have slid in to the giant hole left by Sitton’s departure. However Tretter is currently the starting center, as Corey Linsley will begin the season on the PUP list. With a healthy Linsley you could have sold me on releasing Sitton more easily, but instead the Packers will have to look at other options. Lane Taylor is the first backup guard on the roster and the Packers gave him a two year deal earlier this offseason. However Taylor played pretty poorly in the final preseason game against Kansas City’s backup defense. Perhaps he has shown enough in practice over the summer to suggest that the Chiefs game was just an off night, but he is not nearly the same caliber of player as Sitton is.

Coach McCarthy could choose to shuffle a few players around on the line. Perhaps moving T.J Lang to left guard and having Bryan Bulaga shift from right tackle to right guard. Rookie Jason Spriggs would then start at right tackle. The Packers are obviously quite high on Spriggs as they traded up to get him in the 2nd round. No doubt Spriggs was drafted with a starting role in mind as the Packers have Lang, Tretter, and David Bakhtiari heading for free agency after this season, as was Sitton. This move simply accelerates the plan with Spriggs.

A line consisting of Bakhtiari, Lang, Tretter, Bulaga, and Spriggs is still a pretty good line, however it leaves some real concerns about depth. As mentioned earlier Corey Linsely is out for awhile, which means Taylor, Don Barclay, and rookie Kyle Murphy figure as the main backups. No Packers fan wants to see any of those guys taking snaps this season, and things could get ugly quick if one or more of the starters goes down with an injury. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, a thin offensive line is playing with fire.

WHY NOW?

If the Packers were looking to move on from Sitton or shed his remaining salary, why did they not trade him earlier in the offseason? With several teams already showing interest in meeting with him, could Thompson not have at least got a draft pick for him had he acted earlier? The Browns were able to get a 6th round pick for a first round bust in Josh Gilbert, what would a team have given up for an All-Pro guard, even if only for this season?

Sitton only had one year remaining on his deal, for a guy who covets draft picks, it’s surprising Thompson didn’t let him leave via free agency after the season in order to accumulate a compensatory pick. Thompson himself did not use any financial lingo when discussing his decision.

“We want to thank Josh for his contributions during his time in Green Bay,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement. “He has been an important part of the success we have enjoyed on the field.

“While these decisions are never easy, this was done with a focus on what is best for the team and the growth of the offensive line. We wish Josh and his wife, Kristen, all the best in the future.”

I don’t know how cutting a still very good offensive lineman is best for the team this season. Sometimes I wonder if Thompson wouldn’t enjoy overseeing a rebuilding team more where young players getting game action would be more of a priority. In 2016 the Packers are in contention for a Super Bowl, is letting Sitton play one more season really going to stunt the growth and future of the offensive line? Sitton himself sure did not see this move coming, but took the high road when discussing his release.

This move is confusing to me right now, and perhaps there is more information behind the scenes that has yet to come out. If healthy, Sitton is clearly better than anyone the Packers plan on replacing him with. Nonetheless he is no longer a Packer, and the end seems far too abrupt for one of the better linemen Green Bay has had in recent history. It is now up to the coaches to put the best line out there that they can, and Thompson to sign the remaining starters on that line to long term deals. Green Bay fans will miss number 71, a durable and consistent performer during his time on the team. We wish Josh Sitton good health and fortune as he continues his NFL career.