Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com. This is an abbreviated version of the Packers-Browns Preseason Week 1 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Browns Preseason Week 1 Dope Sheet:
GREEN BAY (0-0) at CLEVELAND (0-0) Saturday, Aug. 13 - Cleveland Browns Stadium - 6:30 p.m. CDT
PRESEASON ACTION FOR GREEN BAY STARTS IN CLEVELAND
- The Green Bay Packers’ 2011 season officially kicks off Saturday night when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in a preseason contest at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the third straight year the teams have squared off against each other in the preseason opener.
- Green Bay lines up against another opponent for the first time since Feb. 6, when it captured its 13th world championship and fourth Super Bowl title with a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
- Saturday marks the debut of rookie and free-agent acquisitions, as well as a potent offense that returns all but one of its starters from 2010. Under the direction of Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the offensive play-caller, the unit ranked No. 9 in total offense a season ago. McCarthy has led the offense to a top-10 ranking in total offense each of his five seasons at the helm, joining New Orleans as the only team to accomplish that from 2006-10. The Packers have also finished in the top 10 in scoring offense each of the past four seasons.
- Saturday’s contest also features a defense in its third year under defensive coordinator Dom Capers. The Packers posted their best scoring-defense mark since the Super Bowl champion team of 1996 (13.1 ppg) when they finished No. 2 in the league in the category by allowing just 15.0 points per game, highlighted by three games where their opponent did not get into the end zone. The defense also registered 47 sacks, good for No. 2 in the NFL and the most by a Green Bay unit since 2001 (52).
- As has been the case under McCarthy in previous preseasons, starters aren’t expected to play more than a few series. Maintaining the health of the football team will be the ultimate determining factor, as will the need to see a number of younger players in live game action for the first time. Teams must make the first roster cut, to 75 players, on Aug. 30.
- This will be the first time since 2007 that the Packers have opened the preseason away from Lambeau Field. The last time Green Bay played at Cleveland during the preseason was on Aug. 15, 2003. The Packers' last appearance at Cleveland Browns Stadium for a regular-season contest was on Oct. 25, 2009, when Green Bay came away with a 31-3 victory.
- Saturday marks the 23rd preseason meeting in the all-time series between Cleveland and Green Bay. The Browns registered a 27-24 victory over the Packers in the 2010 preseason opener at Lambeau Field and hold a 12-10-0 advantage in the all-time preseason series.
- Green Bay returns to Lambeau Field next week to host the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, Aug. 19 in the 62nd annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, one of the NFL’s longest standing team traditions. Each season, the Packers donate a percentage of the gate to the Shriners’ Hospitals for Children.
WITH THE CALL
- The Green Bay Packers Broadcast Partners will air the game over a 10-station network throughout the state of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, northeastern Minnesota, and the Quad Cities in Iowa, with CBS network production, personnel and the latest network-quality technology.
- The top-notch broadcast team includes CBS’s Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) alongside fellow CBS broadcaster Rich Gannon (analyst).
- WTMJ’s Jessie Garcia serves as the sideline reporter and WFRV’s Larry McCarren joins the crew for pre-game segments. In addition to WFRV-TV (Green Bay) and WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee), the games are televised over WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire; WYOW/ABC, Eagle River, Wis.; WJMN/CBS, Marquette, Mich.; and KQDS-TV/FOX, Duluth, Minn.; KLJB-TV/FOX and KGCW/CW, Quad Cities in Iowa.
- Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 52-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 13th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 43 markets in five states.
- The game will also be televised live nationally on NFL Network.
FAMILY NIGHT RECAP
- The Packers’ 11th annual Family Night practice held Saturday night in front of 43,048 at Lambeau Field was cut short by storms, limiting the action to a couple of drives by the No. 1 offense.
- The offense got off to an inauspicious start when QB Aaron Rodgers’ first pass was intercepted by non-drafted rookie CB Brandian Ross and returned 24 yards for a touchdown.
- On the ensuing two drives, the offense had more success moving the ball. Rookie WR Randall Cobb came back to make a 40-yard catch deep down the left sideline as Rodgers took advantage of a defensive offside. RB James Starks added runs of 11 and 9 yards on the drive.
- Rodgers spread the ball around on the final drive of the evening. He converted a third down with an 8-yard completion to WR Brett Swain, and then hit WR Chastin West for a 15-yard pickup. Rodgers connected with WR James Jones for 21 yards, which set up a 5-yard fade to WR Jordy Nelson for a touchdown.
- With the lockout ending the week training camp opened, the players have spent much of their time studying the playbook as well as in meetings and walk-throughs. With two-a-days no longer part of NFL training camps, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he could see the mental grind taking its toll on the players.
- “In hindsight, this may have been a pretty good break for the football team,” McCarthy said Saturday night. “I think mentally they’re worn down. We’ve accomplished a lot this week, even with the day off on Tuesday. I think they’re mentally worn down more than physically, in my opinion. Tonight’s break might be helpful from that standpoint.”
- Now the team turns its attention to preparing for the preseason opener against the Browns this Saturday.
- “We have a lot of work to do,” McCarthy said. “You’re probably tired of hearing me say it, but it’s where we are as a team, and we’ll continue to work through it. We’ll be ready to go when we hit Cleveland.”
THE INJURY REPORT
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy only reported one injury after the abbreviated Family Night session, with S/CB Brandon Underwood sustaining a knee injury. On Monday night, McCarthy said that Underwood will be out for a couple of weeks.
- T/G Marshall Newhouse (shoulder) and WR Brett Swain (hamstring) dropped out of practice on Monday evening with injuries, but their status for this week is unknown at this point. Also new to the injury list on Monday night were LB Cardia Jackson and T Chris Campbell with unspecified injuries.
- K Mason Crosby (ankle) did not kick at Family Night or on Monday night, but McCarthy said he is hopeful Crosby will be able to go on Saturday night in Cleveland.
- Continuing to sit out on Monday were G Adrian Battles (Achilles), LB Diyral Briggs (hamstring), CB Davon House (hamstring) and DE Eli Joseph (hamstring).
- Returning to action on Monday from injury were TE Tom Crabtree (hip flexor), DE Lawrence Guy (concussion), WR Greg Jennings (hip flexor), LB Clay Matthews (glute) and CB Tramon Williams (hip).
WHERE THEY'LL BE SATURDAY NIGHT
- Coaches often use the preseason as a test to see where players are best utilized. Head Coach Mike McCarthy is on the sidelines, but here’s a look at where the rest of the staff will be Saturday:
- Press Box: Dom Capers (defensive coordinator), Joel Hilgenberg (offensive quality control), Scott McCurley (defensive quality control), Joe Philbin (offensive coordinator), John Rushing (asst. wide receivers/special teams) and Joe Whitt (secondary - cornerbacks).
- Sideline: Edgar Bennett (wide receivers), James Campen (offensive line), Tom Clements (quarterbacks), Mike Eayrs (research and development), Jerry Fontenot (running backs), Kevin Greene (outside linebackers), Ben McAdoo (tight ends), Chad Morton (special teams assistant), Winston Moss (inside linebackers/asst. head coach), Darren Perry (secondary - safeties), Shawn Slocum (special teams coordinator) and Mike Trgovac (defensive line).
WHAT IS AHEAD
- After enjoying a day off this past Sunday, the Packers will hit the practice field four times this week, with all four sessions scheduled for 7 p.m., before departing on Friday morning.
- Due to inclement weather in Green Bay on Monday night, the team was forced to practice indoors in the Don Hutson Center.
- All four practices are scheduled to be in full pads, though the health of the team heading into Saturday night's preseason opener against the Browns will determine if those numbers stay the same.
- Including the Family Night practice, the team will have 11 practices under its belt when it takes the field in Cleveland.
- The team was originally scheduled to practice early Friday afternoon before departing for Cleveland, but now will travel to Washington D.C. first on Friday morning to visit with President Barack Obama at the White House for a celebration of the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV title. The team will then travel to Cleveland later in the day on Friday.
- The team will take a break from the practice field this Sunday before returning to action next Monday evening at Nitschke Field. Practices next week are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with a 1 p.m. practice slated for Thursday leading into the home preseason opener vs. Arizona on Friday night.
SAVE THE DATE
Important dates to remember (all times CDT):
- Saturday, Aug. 13 – First preseason game, at Cleveland Browns, 6:30 p.m., Cleveland Browns Stadium
- Friday, Aug. 19 – Preseason game vs. Arizona Cardinals, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field
- Friday, Aug. 26 – Preseason game at Indianapolis Colts, 7 p.m., Lucas Oil Stadium
- Tuesday, Aug. 30 – Final practice open to public, 10:30 a.m., Nitschke Field; Possible roster reduction, to 75 players
- Thursday, Sept. 1 – Preseason game vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field
- Saturday, Sept. 3 – NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players
- Thursday, Sept. 8 – Regular-season opener vs. New Orleans Saints, 7:30 p.m., Lambeau Field
LOTS OF FAMILIAR FACES
- General Manager Ted Thompson continued his philosophy of building through the draft in the 2011 offseason, so much of the Packers’ core remains intact once again.
- Eight Packers earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2010, the most by a Green Bay team since it featured nine in 1967, and all eight of those players return for the 2011 campaign.
- Green Bay welcomes the return of 21 of 22 players that started against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
- The Packers battled their way through several season-ending injuries in 2010, finishing the season with 15 players on injured reserve. The group returning from injuries includes fifth-year RB Ryan Grant, a 1,200-yard rusher in both 2008 and 2009, fourth-year TE Jermichael Finley, the team’s leading receiver through four games last season, third-year LB Brad Jones, who started five games in 2010, second-year S Morgan Burnett, the starting strong safety for the first four contests last season, and second-year DE Mike Neal, who was limited to just two games as a rookie in 2010 but figures to compete for increased time this season.
- The continuity extends to the coaching staff, where almost the entire group returns for 2011 with a few changes in duties.
- Edgar Bennett, who tutored the running backs for the past six seasons, moves into the role of wide receivers coach in 2011, while Jerry Fontenot, the assistant offensive line coach for the past four seasons, takes over the running backs.
- John Rushing, the offensive quality control coach in 2009-10, will now serve as assistant wide receivers/special teams. Joel Hilgenberg, who worked with the Packers last year during the spring and summer as a coaching intern, will serve as the offensive quality control coach. Hilgenberg enjoyed a 10-year playing career (1984-93) as an offensive lineman with the New Orleans Saints.
MEET THE DRAFT PICKS
- Training-camp storylines always hover around new players and just how they figure into the depth chart. This summer, all eyes will be on the 10 draft picks added to the club this past April, Green Bay’s largest draft class since an 11-player one in 2007. With no offseason work at Lambeau Field due to the lockout, training camp is the 2011 class’ first on-field action as Packers.
- T Derek Sherrod, the first Mississippi State offensive lineman to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, was a first-team All-America selection by CBSSports.com and Rivals.com in 2010 and earned first-team All-SEC honors. He helped the Bulldogs rank second in the SEC in rushing in 2010 and first in ’09. Sherrod joined new linemate Bryan Bulaga (2010) as only the second offensive tackle to be selected in the first round by Green Bay in the past 14 drafts.
- The Packers stayed in the SEC in Round 2 by selecting versatile Kentucky WR Randall Cobb in the second round. He earned first-team All-America recognition from The Associated Press, ESPN.com and SportsIllustrated.com as a junior in 2010 as an all-purpose player. Cobb set the SEC single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,396 in 2010, topping the previous mark of 2,310 yards by Arkansas RB Darren McFadden (2007). He was the only player in FBS to rank first or second on the team in receiving, rushing and passing.
- RB Alex Green, the Packers’ third-round choice, rushed for 1,199 yards and 18 TDs in 2010, ranking second in University of Hawaii history for rushing yards in a single season and tying the school mark for rushing TDs. His average of 8.2 yards per carry in 2010 ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division I-A among players with 100 or more carries. Green spent his first two seasons at Butte Community College in Oroville, Calif., the same junior college that produced QB Aaron Rodgers.
- In the fourth round, the Packers drafted CB Davon House, who earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a junior and senior at New Mexico State. He finished his career ranked first in school history in INT return yardage with 319 and tied for sixth with 11 INTs. House was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list and was an honorable mention All-America selection by The NFL Draft Report in 2010.
- Green Bay selected TE D.J. Williams out of the University of Arkansas in the fifth round. In 2010, he became the first Razorback to win the John Mackey Award, an honor given to the nation’s top tight end. Williams also received the 2010 Disney Spirit Award, which is given to the most inspirational figure in college football. He finished his Arkansas career with 152 receptions, the second-highest total in school history and the most by a non-wide receiver.
- With the first of three choices in the sixth round, the Packers picked G Caleb Schlauderaff. He earned second-team All-America honors from Walter Camp and SportsIllustrated.com and was named first-team All-Mountain West at Utah in 2010. A four-year starter, he was part of a Utes squad in 2008 that finished No. 2 in the AP’s final poll, the only team in the country to post a perfect record (13-0).
- Green Bay also drafted LB D.J. Smith out of Appalachian State in the sixth round. He was one of only two players in school history to record 500 tackles in his career, joining three-time NFL Pro Bowler Dexter Coakley. Smith finished his career at ASU as the NCAA Division I FCS active leader in tackles with 525.
- The Packers added another linebacker in the sixth round with the selection of Ricky Elmore from the University of Arizona. He finished his collegiate career with 25½ sacks, second in school history behind only Tedy Bruschi (52, 1992-95). Elmore led the Pac-10 in sacks in 2010 with 11, giving him 21½ over his final two seasons for the Wildcats.
- With the first of two picks in the seventh round, Green Bay drafted TE Ryan Taylor from the University of North Carolina. He set a single-season school record for receptions by a tight end with 36 in 2010, and established career highs for receptions and yards in each of his final three college games. Taylor was also a key contributor on special teams, serving as a two-year captain for that unit during his Tar Heel career.
- The Packers also drafted DE Lawrence Guy out of Arizona State in the seventh round. An early entry into the draft, he earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 recognition each of his three seasons with the Sun Devils and was part of units that led the conference and finished in the top 20 nationally in run defense in 2009 and 2010.
ST. NORBERT AND THE PACKERS
- Continuing a tradition started under Packers coach Scooter McLean in 1958, the Green Bay Packers will call St. Norbert College home for a 54th consecutive training camp this summer. The relationship between the private college in De Pere, Wis., and the Green Bay Packers marks the longest continual use of any training camp facility by an NFL team.
- Players will take up residence in Victor McCormick Hall, a 60-room coed dormitory used to house 225 students during the academic year.
- St. Norbert, founded in 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, borders the Fox River and enrolls around 2,000 students.
- The Packers use their own practice and team-meeting facilities at Lambeau Field during training camp, with the college serving as housing headquarters.
- Players return to St. Norbert via cars and vans every evening for team dinner.
- The 6.62-mile commute is estimated at 11 minutes each way.
- The team will travel roughly 264.8 miles between the college and practice facility during training camp…that’s almost 4,660 lengths of a football field. It will take an estimated 7 hours, 20 minutes for the team to commute to and from the college…roughly the time of two-and-a-half NFL games.
A LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE
- The Green Bay Packers’ 91st NFL regular-season schedule – headlined by four prime-time games as well as a nationally televised Thanksgiving contest – was released in mid-April by the National Football League.
- Green Bay will begin the 2011 season at home against the New Orleans Saints in a Thursday night contest on Sept. 8. The matchup of the last two Super Bowl winners will mark the first time in franchise history that the Packers will open the season on a Thursday night. It will also be just the third Thursday night game in Lambeau Field history.
- The Packers will head out on the road in Week 2 to take on Carolina, the first of back-to-back road games for Green Bay. It is the second straight season that Green Bay has played two contests away from Lambeau Field in the first three weeks.
- For the second straight season, the Packers will visit Soldier Field in Week 3 to take on the Chicago Bears, a rematch of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
- Green Bay will face another 2010 playoff foe in Week 5 when it travels to Atlanta for a Sunday night contest against the Falcons on NBC. It will be the Packers’ third game against an NFC South opponent in the first five weeks.
- The Packers will host Minnesota in Week 10 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. 2011 marks the 19th consecutive season the Packers have appeared on MNF, the NFC’s longest streak (Denver, 20).
- For the third time in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure, the Packers will travel to Detroit for a Thanksgiving Day matchup. Green Bay won the previous two Thanksgiving meetings (2007, 2009) under McCarthy.
- With the MNF game against Minnesota and the Thanksgiving game at Detroit, the Packers will have three games in an 11-day span. Green Bay has some recent experience with a stretch similar to that, having won three contests in 12 days in 2009 (Nov. 15-26).
- Both of the Packers’ December road games will be played outdoors in potential cold-weather conditions with visits to the N.Y. Giants (Week 13) and the Kansas City Chiefs (Week 15).
- Green Bay finishes the regular season with back-to-back home contests (Chicago, Detroit) for the second straight season. The only other time the Packers have finished with two home games in consecutive seasons was 1922-23.
- For just the second time in franchise annals, the Packers will play on Christmas. Green Bay will host Chicago in prime time on NBC. The only other Christmas game in Packers history also came against the Bears (2005) at Lambeau Field.
- The Packers will be the first NFL team to play on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day in the same season, with all three games coming against divisional foes.
- Green Bay closes against an NFC North opponent for the fifth time in the past six seasons, this time against Detroit.
2011 SCHEDULE NUGGETS
- Green Bay’s bye week arrives in Week 8, the second time the Packers have had their bye that week under McCarthy (2008).
- The Packers go into (at Minnesota) and come out of the bye (at San Diego) on the road for the first time since 2003.
- Under McCarthy, the team has won four of five games immediately after the bye week and 11 of its last 15 after the week off dating back further.
- Overall, the Packers are 30-19 (.612) after the bye under McCarthy, and since 2000, the team is 61-36 (.629) following the week off.
- Thirteen games are slated for Sunday this season, with two Thursday night contests and one on Monday night. Only six games are scheduled for noon (CT) starts with five games currently slated for 3:15 p.m. (CT).
- The Packers have five games on the schedule against 2010 playoff teams, beginning right away in Week 1 vs. New Orleans. The other matchups come against Chicago (Weeks 3 and 16), Atlanta (Week 5), and Kansas City (Week 15).
- Green Bay (No. 9 offense, No. 5 defense) was one of just four NFL teams to finish in the top 10 in both total offense and defense in 2010. The Packers play all three of the other teams in 2011, hosting New Orleans (No. 6/No. 4) in Week 1 and traveling to take on San Diego (No. 1/No. 1) in Week 9 and the N.Y. Giants (No. 5/No. 7) in Week 13.
BY THE NUMBERS
Nothing attracts more attention during training camp, both from fans and media, than positional battles. Here’s a look at the Packers’ current roster. Just a quick note – the first number is the number of players at that position currently on the roster, while the second is the number at the position during Week 1 last season.
Quarterback – 3 (2)
- Aaron Rodgers has emerged as one of top players in the league at his position, with a career passer rating (98.4) that ranks No. 1 in NFL history. He posted 12,394 passing yards from 2008-10, which ranks No. 2 in league history behind only Kurt Warner (12,612, 1999-2001) for the most passing yards by a QB in his first three seasons as a starter.
- Behind Rodgers is fourth-year signal caller Matt Flynn, who saw his most extensive game action in 2010. He has served as the No. 2 quarterback in each of his first three NFL seasons and got his first start as a pro last season in Week 15 at New England when Rodgers was sidelined with a concussion.
- Also at the position is first-year player Graham Harrell, who spent time on the practice squad and as the third QB in 2010. He set numerous NCAA records including career TD passes and completions while at Texas Tech (2005-08).
Running back – 5 (3)
- Ryan Grant, one of only three players in team annals to post back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons (2008-09), returns to action after missing all but one game in 2010 due to an ankle injury sustained at Philadelphia in Week 1.
- Behind Grant is second-year pro James Starks, who was limited to just four games in the regular season but made a splash in the playoffs with a team-high 315 yards, the third most ever by an NFL rookie in a single postseason.
- Rookie Alex Green was selected in the third round out of the University of Hawaii. His average of 8.2 yards per carry in 2010 ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division I-A among players with 100 or more carries, and his 1,199 yards on the season were good for No. 2 in school annals.
- Second-year man Dimitri Nance saw some action as a rookie, posting 95 yards on 36 carries (2.6 avg.). The running back group also includes non-drafted rookie Brandon Saine, who finished his career at Ohio State with 1,408 rushing yards and 17 TDs.
Fullback – 3 (3)
- Last year the team kept three fullbacks, with two of those players, John Kuhn and Quinn Johnson, returning in 2011.
- With injuries at running back, Kuhn took on more of a role as a ball-carrier and responded by setting or matching his career high in every major offensive category.
- Johnson saw action in 11 games as a rookie in 2010, and at 263 pounds, brings a physical presence to the position.
- The only other fullback on the roster is non-drafted free agent Jon Hoese from the University of Minnesota.
Wide receiver – 12 (5)
- Veterans Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, who both earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2010, form a dangerous 1-2 combination on the outside. Jennings has topped the 1,000-yard mark each of the last three seasons, while Driver has topped the mark in six of the last seven seasons.
- Fifth-year wideout James Jones, who recently re-signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent, posted career-highs in catches (50) and receiving yards (679) as he joined Jennings and Driver to comprise the first trio of 50-catch receivers in team history. Fourth-year man Jordy Nelson had a career year as well, posting personal bests in catches (45) and receiving yards (582) in 2010.
- Third-year pro Brett Swain made contributions as the No. 5 wideout in 2010 as well as on special teams, appearing in all 16 contests. Green Bay added versatile WR Randall Cobb in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Cobb was a first-team All-America selection by The Associated Press as an all-purpose player in 2010 at Kentucky and will likely factor in as a return man in addition to wide receiver.
- First-year man Chastin West will look to compete for a roster spot after spending the 2010 season on the practice squad, as will several other young players. That group includes first-year WR Antonio Robinson and non-drafted rookies Diondre Borel, Tori Gurley, Shaky Smithson and Kerry Taylor.
Tight end – 6 (4)
- An already deep tight end group welcomed the addition of two more players through the draft.
- Fourth-year TE Jermichael Finley posted one of the most productive stretches by a Packers TE with a team-high 301 receiving yards on 21 catches in the first four games, but his season was cut short when he sustained a knee injury at Washington on the opening series in Week 5.
- Second-year man Andrew Quarless saw increased time after Finley’s injury, and posted 21 catches for 238 yards (11.3 avg.) and a TD in his debut campaign.
- Second-year TE Tom Crabtree appeared in all 16 contests in 2010, contributing primarily as a blocker and on special teams. Third-year pro Spencer Havner caught four TD passes with Green Bay in 2009.
- The Packers added 2010 John Mackey Award winner D.J. Williams of Arkansas through the draft, as well as seventh-round selection Ryan Taylor out of the University of North Carolina.
Offensive line – 15 (10)
- Four of five starters return from a year ago on a line that started the same five players the final 16 games of the season (including playoffs).
- Veteran LT Chad Clifton, who earned his second career Pro Bowl selection in 2010, returns for his 12th season. Second-year RT Bryan Bulaga, the Packers’ first-round pick in 2010, started the final 12 games and all four postseason contests as a rookie.
- Eighth-year C Scott Wells brings a consistent presence to the middle of the line, while RG Josh Sitton emerged as one of the top guards in the league in 2010 in his third season, earning recognition as a Pro Bowl alternate.
- Many eyes will be focused on the competition at left guard with starter Daryn Colledge departing in free agency. Rookie Derek Sherrod, Green Bay’s first-round pick in 2011, was a three-year starter at LT at Mississippi State but will be in the mix at LG. So will third-year man T.J. Lang, who provided depth at guard and tackle in 2010 after starting three games at tackle as a rookie in 2009.
- Also expected to compete along the inside are second-year pros Nick McDonald and Evan Dietrich-Smith and rookie G Caleb Schlauderaff, a sixth-round pick in 2011. G/T Marshall Newhouse, a fifth-round pick in 2010, will also be battling for a roster spot.
- The group also includes first-year G Adrian Battles, first-year T Chris Campbell, and rookie T/G Ray Dominguez, C Sampson Genus and T Theo Sherman.
Defensive end – 6 (5)
- The defensive end group will be led by veteran Ryan Pickett, who appeared in 14 games with 12 starts in 2010 and posted 53 tackles (27 solo) and a sack.
- With the departure of veteran end Cullen Jenkins in free agency, the right defensive end position is expected to feature a competition between a trio of young players in second-year pros Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson and third-year man Jarius Wynn.
- Neal, Green Bay’ second-round selection in 2010, was limited to two games during his rookie campaign due to a shoulder injury, but did show flashes of his potential in brief action.
- Wilson, another member of the 2010 draft class (seventh round), saw significant time during his debut campaign due to injuries along the line. He appeared in 15 games with two starts and registered 21 tackles (12 solo) and a sack.
- After being released in the final roster cutdown last season, Wynn re-signed with the team heading into Week 2 because of injuries and went on to appear in nine contests on the season.
- The Packers added another defensive end late in this year’s draft by selecting Lawrence Guy out of Arizona State in the seventh round. Non-drafted rookie Eli Joseph rounds out the position group for Green Bay.
Nose tackle – 4 (1)
- Third-year man B.J. Raji was the lone nose tackle on the roster in 2010 and he responded in a major way by starting all 16 contests and posting 66 tackles (36 solo). His 6½ sacks were the most by an NFL nose tackle since Minnesota’s Ken Clarke registered seven in 1990, and Raji was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.
- Seventh-year veteran Howard Green was acquired by the Packers off waivers midway through the season in 2010 and ended up playing a prominent role on the line as he worked primarily at end. Solid against the run, Green appeared in nine contests with three starts and posted 17 tackles (four solo).
- Jay Ross, who spent time on the practice squad in 2010, and non-drafted free agent Chris Donaldson round out the position group.
Linebacker – 15 (8)
- This position was also hit hard by injuries in 2010, but several players took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them.
- On the inside, sixth-year LB A.J. Hawk continued to serve as a steadying presence on the defense, but took on more of an every-down role in 2010. He led the team with 134 tackles (97 solo), and his career-high three interceptions tied for the league lead among linebackers.
- At the other inside spot, fifth-year LB Desmond Bishop moved into a starting role for the first time in his career after contributing primarily on special teams in his first three seasons in the league. Bishop trailed only Hawk in tackles with 121 (82 solo), while his 10 passes defensed were the most by a Green Bay LB since John Anderson registered 15 in 1981.
- Second-year man Robert Francois and rookie D.J. Smith, a sixth-round choice this spring, are expected to compete for a roster spot on the inside, as will second-year man K.C. Asiodu, first-year LB Cardia Jackson and non-drafted rookie Elijah Joseph.
- On the outside, third-year LB Clay Matthews looks to follow up his first two years that saw him become the first Packer to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first two seasons since RB John Brockington (1971-72). He led the team with 13½ sacks, No. 2 in the NFC and No. 4 in the NFL.
- At the ROLB spot opposite Matthews, three players that started games there in 2010 return. Second-year man Frank Zombo played in 13 games with eight starts as a non-drafted rookie and recorded four sacks, while fourth-year LB Erik Walden played in nine games with two starts and posted three sacks. Third-year pro Brad Jones was limited to just six games with five starts last season due to a shoulder injury, but is expected to compete once again for the starting spot while also potentially providing some depth on the inside.
- The Packers added LB Ricky Elmore from the University of Arizona in the sixth round of the draft, and he will be joined by non-drafted rookies Jamari Lattimore and Vic So’oto in competing for a spot on the outside.
Cornerback – 8 (6)
- Veteran Charles Woodson earned his seventh career Pro Bowl bid in 2010, registering career highs in tackles (105) and forced fumbles (five) while adding two interceptions and two sacks.
- In his first season as a full-time starter, fifth-year man Tramon Williams posted the finest all-arounds season of his career with career highs in tackles (63), interceptions (six) and passes defensed (23).
- Sam Shields won the nickel job as a non-drafted rookie free agent in 2010, and the second-year man appears poised to maintain that role once again this season.
- Sixth-year pro Jarrett Bush remains one of the team’s best special teams players and provides experience at the position, while fourth-year man Pat Lee saw his most significant action as a pro in his third season.
- Green Bay added another player to the mix with the selection of CB Davon House out of New Mexico State in the fourth round. Filling out the position group are first-year CB Josh Gordy and non-drafted rookie Brandian Ross.
Safety – 7 (4)
- Securing three straight Pro Bowl berths has solidified FS Nick Collins’ status as one of the game’s best at his position. Opposite Collins, however, will be where most of the focus is in the back end.
- Second-year man Morgan Burnett, who started the opening four games at SS in his debut campaign, will be looking to return to his starting role after sustaining a season-ending knee injury last year in Week 4.
- But Burnett could see competition from sixth-year pro Charlie Peprah, who stepped into Burnett’s starting spot and posted the finest season of his career with 64 tackles (50 solo), two interceptions and seven passes defensed.
- Third-year man Brandon Underwood, who played CB his first two seasons, has made the shift to safety, and non-drafted rookies Anthony Bratton and M.D. Jennings join first-year S Anthony Levine to round out the group.
Specialists – 3 (3)
- Though no specialist job in the NFL could ever be deemed secure, K Mason Crosby, LS Brett Goode and P Tim Masthay are the only players at their respective positions on the roster. Solid performances in camp and in preseason action should earn each a roster spot.
- Masthay earned his spot last season with a strong showing in training camp, and went on to post a 37.6-yard net average during the regular season to match the best mark since 1976 (Jon Ryan, 2007).
- Crosby, whose 509 points are the second most in NFL history by a player in his first four seasons, re-signed with the team recently as an unrestricted free agent. Goode has handled the long-snapping duties each of the past three seasons.
WR Greg Jennings, 5-11, 198, 6th Year, Western Michigan
- One of just five receivers in team history to post three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and one of only four to catch 12 touchdown passes in two different years.
- Ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in receiving yards (10th, 5,222), receptions (t-9th, 322) and touchdown catches (t-8th, 40).
- Leads the NFL with 27 catches of 40-plus yards over the past four seasons, and his career 31.5-yard average per TD reception ranks second among active players (min. 20 TD catches).
- His 3,670 receiving yards over the past three seasons and his 37 TD receptions over the past four years both rank fourth in the league over those spans.
LT Chad Clifton, 6-5, 320, 12th Year, Tennessee
- Earned Pro Bowl recognition last season for the second time in his career as he was voted into the all-star game for the first time, having served as an injury replacement in 2007.
- Has blocked for five of the top eight single-season rushers in franchise history (Ahman Green, 2001-03; Ryan Grant; 2008-09), and has helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in eight of his 11 seasons in Green Bay.
- Reached the 150-game career milestone in 2010, making him only the sixth offensive lineman in franchise history to do so.
- Has started 122 of 128 games (132 of 138 including playoffs) at left tackle since returning to the field in ’03 from the serious pelvic injury that ended his 2002 season.
LG Derek Sherrod, 6-5, 321, Rookie, Mississippi State
- Was a first-team All-America selection by CBSSports.com and Rivals.com in 2010 and earned first-team All-SEC honors from the coaches and the media.
- Helped Mississippi State rank second in the SEC in rushing as a senior and first in the conference as a junior.
- Became the first Bulldog offensive lineman in school history to be drafted in the first round, and was the first Mississippi State player since 1996 (WR Eric Moulds, Buffalo) to be selected in the first round.
C Scott Wells, 6-2, 300, 8th Year, Tennessee
- Started all 16 contests for the second time in his career and earned All-NFC recognition from Pro Football Weekly in 2010.
- Has played in 95 games with 84 starts during his seven seasons in Green Bay, with 72 starts at center the past five seasons.
- Part of an offense that ranked No. 9 in the league in total yards last season, the fifth straight year the offense has ranked in the top 10.
- A key blocker in Ryan Grant’s back-to-back 1,200-yard rushing seasons in 2008-09, helping Grant become only the third running back in team history to accomplish that feat.
RG Josh Sitton, 6-3, 318, 4th Year, Central Florida
- Was named 2010 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.
- Is the only Packer on either side of the ball to not miss a snap over the past two seasons.
- According to STATS, Inc., did not allow a sack all season and was flagged for holding only one time in 2010.
- Known best for his run blocking, was a key cog in Ryan Grant’s career-best 1,253-yard season in 2009, the sixth-best single-season rushing total in franchise annals.
RT Bryan Bulaga, 6-5, 314, 2nd Year, Iowa
- Started the final 12 games of 2010 and the entire postseason at right tackle after taking over for veteran Mark Tauscher (shoulder), the most regular-season starts by a Packers rookie tackle since Tauscher’s 14 in 2000.
- Named to the Pro Football Weekly/PFWA all-rookie team.
- Capped his impressive rookie season by becoming the youngest player, according to STATS, Inc., to ever start in the Super Bowl (21 years, 322 days) and turned in a commendable performance against Pittsburgh pass rusher LaMarr Woodley.
TE Jermichael Finley, 6-5, 247 4th Year, Texas
- In 2010, led the team in receiving yards (301) and per-catch average (14.3) through four games before going down for the season with a knee injury on the second offensive snap at Washington in Week 5.
- In breakout 2009 campaign, posted second-most catches in a single season by a Green Bay tight end (55) and fifth-most yards (676), despite missing three games with a knee injury.
- Finished ’09 with Green Bay playoff-record 159 receiving yards in NFC Wild Card loss at Arizona, the second-most productive game by a tight end in NFL postseason history behind San Diego’s Kellen Winslow (166 yards, Jan. 2, 1982, vs. Miami).
- Also in ’09, tied regular-season, single-game franchise marks for yards (128, Week 4 at Minnesota) and receptions (nine, Week 15 at Pittsburgh) by a tight end. Again matched the reception mark in 2010 with nine at Chicago in Week 3.
WR Donald Driver, 6-0, 194, 13th Year, Alcorn State
- Ranks first on the franchise’s all-time list for receptions with 698 and ranks second in team history with 9,615 career yards, needing just 42 yards to surpass James Lofton (9,656) for the franchise mark.
- Has caught 50 or more passes in a season a franchise-best nine times, topping Lofton and Sterling Sharpe (seven each).
- Extended two team records in 2009 with his seventh 1,000-yard season and sixth straight. Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne was the only other player in the league to have a 1,000-yard season each of those six years (2004-09).
- Was credited with his fourth career Pro Bowl selection in 2010 since he would have been named to the all-star squad as an injury replacement for DeSean Jackson had the Packers not been preparing for Super Bowl XLV.
QB Aaron Rodgers, 6-2, 225, 7th Year, California
- His career passer rating of 98.4 ranks No. 1 in NFL history (min. 1,500 attempts).
- Posted 12,394 passing yards from 2008-10, which ranks No. 2 in league history behind only Kurt Warner (12,612, 1999-2001) for the most passing yards by a QB in his first three seasons as a starter.
- In 47 regular-season starts, has posted 14 games with 300-plus passing yards, 26 without an interception and 25 with a 100-plus passer rating.
- Became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons (2008-09) as a starter.
RB Ryan Grant, 6-1, 222, 5th Year, Notre Dame
- Set to return from a season-ending ankle injury suffered in the 2010 season opener at Philadelphia, which ended a streak of 48 consecutive games played (51 including playoffs).
- Topped 1,200 rushing yards in both 2008 and 2009, only the third back in team history to do so in consecutive years (Ahman Green, 2001-03; Jim Taylor, 1961-62) and one of only four backs in the NFL to do so those years (Adrian Peterson, Thomas Jones, Chris Johnson).
- Has a career-long streak of 299 carries without a fumble, with his last fumble on a rushing play coming in the third quarter of the 2008 season finale vs. Detroit. His lone fumble in 2009 came on a pass reception (Week 2 vs. Cincinnati).
FB John Kuhn, 6-0, 250, 6th Year, Shippensburg
- Has played in 62 of 64 games (69 of 71 including playoffs) during his four seasons in Green Bay.
- Set or matched his career high in every offensive category in 2010.
- Only player on the team to have a rushing and receiving touchdown each of the past three seasons, and is the first Packer to achieve that feat since RB Ahman Green (2002-04).
- Converted 10-of-12 opportunities on third-and-1 or fourth-and-1 in 2010, an 83.3 percentage that ranked No. 3 in the NFL among players with 10 attempts.
LDE Ryan Pickett, 6-2, 340, 11th Year, Ohio State
- Has played in 148 of a possible 160 regular-season games during his 10-year career, missing just seven contests due to injury.
- Unselfishly made the transition to left defensive end after serving as the starting nose tackle in 2009, the first year of defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme. Played in 14 games with 12 starts last season, finishing with 53 tackles (27 solo), a sack, a fumble recovery and a pass defensed.
- Key component of Packers’ No. 1-ranked rushing defense in 2009 (franchise-record 83.3 yards allowed per game), the first time in team history that Green Bay led the league in that category.
NT B.J. Raji, 6-2, 337, 3rd Year, Boston College
- Led all NFL nose tackles with 6½ sacks in 2010, the most recorded by a nose tackle since Minnesota’s Ken Clarke posted seven in 1990 (according to STATS, Inc. ).
- Was the only Green Bay defensive lineman to open every game in 2010, with his career-high 66 tackles (36 solo) pacing the line.
- Selected as a Pro Bowl alternate and was named to USA Today’s All-Joe Team, which honors unheralded players in the league.
- Added 12 tackles, a sack, two passes defensed and an interception in the postseason, highlighted by an 18-yard INT return for a score at Chicago in the NFC Championship Game that put Green Bay up 21-7 in the eventual 21-14 victory.
RDE Mike Neal, 6-3, 294, 2nd Year, Purdue
- Limited to just two games as a rookie due to injuries, but recorded his first forced fumble and first sack as a pro.
- Earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media as a senior when he finished second on the team with 5½ sacks and third with 11½ tackles for loss.
- Posted several team weightlifting records at Purdue, including a 510-pound bench press and a 615-pound squat.
LOLB Clay Matthews, 6-3, 255, 3rd Year, Southen California
- Became the first Packer since RB John Brockington (1971-72) to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.
- Named first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press in 2010, the first Green Bay LB to earn that honor since Tim Harris in 1989. Finished second to Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu in the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year voting.
- Is the only Packer (since 1982) to record a double-digit sack total in each of his first two seasons in the league.
- Was named NFL Defensive MVP by Pro Football Weekly, and also earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year recognition from Sporting News and NFC Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Committee of 101 in 2010.
BLB A.J. Hawk, 6-1, 247, 6th Year, Ohio State
- Has either led the team or finished second in tackles in each of his five seasons.
- Hasn’t missed a game in his career, playing in all 80 contests with 77 starts. The only two non-starts came in both Minnesota games in ’09 and the season opener in 2010 at Philadelphia when Packers opened in nickel defense.
- Tied for No. 1 among NFL linebackers in 2010 with a career-high three interceptions, and is tied for No. 1 with five interceptions over the past two seasons. Earned first career Pro Bowl selection in 2010.
- Has posted 626 tackles (444 solo), nine sacks, eight interceptions, 29 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries during his career.
MLB Desmond Bishop, 6-2, 238, 5th Year, California
- Started the final 12 games of the season and finished second on the team with 121 tackles (82 solo), three sacks and an interception, all career highs.
- Led the linebackers with a career-high 10 passes defensed in 2010, the most by a Green Bay LB since John Anderson registered 15 in 1981.
- Paced the team with a career-high 22 special teams tackles in 2009, and his 50 tackles on special teams from 2007-10 were tied for the team lead (Jarrett Bush) over that span.
ROLB Erik Walden, 6-2, 250, 4th Year, Middle Tennessee St.
- Signed by the Packers as a free agent on Oct. 27, 2010, went on to appear in nine games with two starts along with another three starts in the postseason.
- Earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his Week 17 performance vs. Chicago when he recorded a career-high three sacks and a career-best 16 tackles.
- Originally a sixth-round draft choice by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, he played in a total of 28 games for Kansas City and Miami from 2008-10.
LCB Charles Woodson, 6-1, 202, 14th Year, Michigan
- In 2010, earned third straight and seventh career Pro Bowl bid, won first Super Bowl in his 13 seasons in the NFL, and returned his 10th interception for a touchdown to move into the No. 3 spot in league history.
- Holds the franchise record with nine defensive TDs (eight INTs, one fumble return), eclipsing CB Herb Adderley and S Darren Sharper (seven each) in ’09 for the team mark.
- Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by The Associated Press in 2009, becoming only the second Packer to win the award (DE Reggie White, 1998) and the oldest defensive back to earn the honor.
- In ’09, posted a career-high nine interceptions, and earned NFC Defensive Player of the Month honors three times. Became first defensive player in the NFL to win a monthly award three times in the same season.
RCB Tramon Williams, 5-11, 191, 5th Year, Louisiana Tech
- Ranked No. 1 in the NFL with a combined nine interceptions (six in regular season, three in postseason) in 2010.
- Posted career highs in tackles (63), interceptions (six) and passes defensed (23) on his way to being selected to the Pro Bowl in 2010 as an injury replacement.
- With three interceptions during the 2010 playoffs, tied Joe Laws (1944) and Craig Newsome (1996) for the franchise single-postseason record.
- In Week 5 at Washington, he became the first player in franchise history to post a 50-yard punt return (52 yards) and a 60-yard INT return (64 yards) in the same game.
SS Morgan Burnett, 6-1, 209, 2nd Year, Georgia Tech
- In 2010, became only the second Packers rookie to open the season as a starter at safety since Chuck Cecil in 1988, joining teammate and three-time Pro Bowl selection Nick Collins (2005).
- Started the first four games of the season at SS before sustaining a season-ending knee injury vs. Detroit in Week 4.
- In just three seasons at Georgia Tech, intercepted 14 passes, two shy of the school’s career record.
FS Nick Collins, 5-11, 207, 7th Year, Bethune-Cookman
- Selected to the Pro Bowl for the third straight season in 2010, becoming the first Packers safety since LeRoy Butler (1996-98) to earn the honor in three consecutive seasons.
- Ranks second in the league with 439 interception return yards since 2008, and is tied for second among NFL safeties with 17 interceptions over that span.
- Has missed just three games in six seasons (all in 2007, knee injury) since being drafted in the second round in 2005.
- Returned three INTs for TDs in 2008, becoming the first NFL safety to do so since Kansas City’s Lloyd Burruss in 1986. His 295 INT return yards in ’08 led the NFL and broke the franchise record (Bobby Dillon, 244 in 1956).