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longtimefan  
#1 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 3:06:11 PM(UTC)
Andrews version


true insider


Quote:
The saga continues Sunday at Lambeau Field. The storylines are drawn for this drama thats been building for 16 months: The signature player for one team for a decade and a half returns in the uniform of its rival. Made for television, guaranteed to garner the strongest rating of the 2009 NFL season. High drama indeed.

Having spent nine years in Green Bay, Ive commented often about both sides of the decision by the Packers to move on without quarterback Brett Favre. Ill leave out the truly confidential parts of the story, but heres a look behind the green and gold on some matters.

Weve moved on

As we know, when Brett decided to un-retire last year to reclaim his throne in Green Bay, coach Mike McCarthy informed him, Weve moved on, signaling the end of an era. All events from that point forward were the result of those three words.

In early 2008, there was radio silence between Favre and the Packers. In previous years, McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson had stopped by the Favre compound in Mississippi for a visit when they were at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Faced with indifference from his coach and general manager in the months following the 2008 NFC championship game, Brett took the hint. And coincidentally, on the same day Randy Moss re-signed with the Patriots after the Packers had attempted to sign him two years in a row (after much urging from their quarterback), Brett decided to retire.

Even though he cried at his press conference -- and Packer Nation cried with him -- announcing that he had nothing left to give, those of us who knew Brett understood this was not a decision he wanted to make (he cried following other seasons, but he wasnt going anywhere). He was retiring from the Packers because the Packers were indifferent to his decision about playing, something he dearly wanted to continue.

The man behind the curtain

When I started with the Packers in February 1999, Ron Wolf greeted me and placed me in an office with a white-haired personnel director named Ted Thompson. I got to know Ted a bit that year. We shared an office and then worked closely for three years when he returned as general manager of the Packers. There were a few times when I was able to get Ted to open up and actually talk about things other than football players. I was pleasantly surprised to learn there was more to the person than anyone knew.


Ted is a fundamentally good person with exceptional loyalty to a few close friends. He cares about his staff and players and about the history and tradition of the Packers. He is obsessed with the task of looking under every rock to find the best football players for the team.

Like many people, though, Ted is uncomfortable being open with people when the situation may require it. Difficult conversations are just that -- difficult -- yet necessary to clear up ambiguities. Dealing with conflict is part of leadership and management of elite athletes with fragile egos and insecurities. Avoidance is a dangerous option when handling the raw emotion of player-management relations.

I never had a difficult conversation with Ted until our last one, when it became clear we were not going to be able to continue working together. Even in that conversation, Ted acted as if he had a plane to catch. It hurt, but I agreed with him: Although I felt, and still feel, that the Packers are a national treasure, life is short. After a nine-year run through three head coaches, three general managers and countless players, it was time to move on.

It was also time for Brett to go soon after. Ted and Brett never had a cross word with each other; they just had little to no words at all. Brett was used to a certain warm response from the general managers office -- through the years of Ron Wolf and Mike Sherman -- and he and his family recoiled at the quiet chill from Thompsons leadership. Rather than talking about it, both sides just stayed silent rather than face the inevitable conversation.

The successor

A major reason, of course, why the Packers moved on from Brett was Aaron Rodgers. Aaron was special from the day he arrived, exuding high intelligence, natural leadership skills and a wry sense of self and humor. We were friends despite our alma mater rivalry (Cal vs. Stanford).


Brett, as I have often said, has the Wally Pipp syndrome, knowing how he got his job -- replacing the starting quarterback and never giving it back. I saw it first as an agent for Matt Hasselbeck and then with Aaron. I understood Bretts insecurity about a new potential team leader. Aaron was someone he could not embrace, but I was glad to finally see Brett warm to him in 2007.

On the field, Rodgers displayed in practice and preparation the skills hes now showing as a starter. And in the 2006 and 2007 offseasons, with Brett at home making his decisions and sitting out the majority of the offseason, Aaron was preparing as if he was the starting quarterback. Ted and Mike certainly liked what they saw. Aaron was going to be fine.

The bitter end

Even upon his retirement, the Packers knew -- or should have known -- that Brett would not stay retired. They knew Brett and knew when the calendar moved closer to training camp, that he would want to play again. At the time of his retirement, as hard a conversation as it would have been, the Packers could have had an open and honest communication that they were moving on with Aaron, someone they had been grooming for three years, and any un-retirement would not be welcome. That conversation, however difficult, would have headed off the enmity to come.

Instead, there was growing distance between the parties, even with an awkward attempt to have Brett stay retired with a marketing deal with the team. Favre and the Packers retreated to their media sources to spin their stories. The Packers even uncharacteristically detailed the sequence of events that showed Bretts vacillations, incensing Favre and his family.

Mutual mistrust ensued again with Bretts desire to play for the Vikings and, in the view of the Packers, having extensive communication about doing so. The Packers obviously were not going to let that happen and were exasperated when the NFL dismissed tampering charges despite what they felt was strong evidence against their rival. That episode further enhanced the existing rivalry that continues Sunday.

[size=18]Once set free from the Jets last winter, Brett was finally was able achieve the result he and the Vikings had pursued for more than a year[/size]. Brett now is linked at the hip to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a member of Mike Shermans staff in Green Bay that treated Brett and his family the way felt they should be treated given his accomplishments with the team.

Handling the decision


Let me say this: I agree with the decision by my former team to move to the future with Rodgers. It was not like the Packers were moving forward with a stopgap veteran quarterback. I also believe that whatever communication Brett had with the Vikings a year ago complicated matters for all sides and that Brett could have handled himself better at the end of the relationship as well.


The Packers didnt owe Brett Favre anything. He had retired, was paid over $100 million by the team, and he would be a living legend free to return any time with great fanfare.

At the end of the story, though, Brett deserved more from the Packers as a person, not as a player. Brett had played through personal tragedy; he had raised the profile, the profit and the asset value of the franchise; he had made the Packers a national, and international, attraction.

How could they have treated Brett better at the end? Simple, open and honest communication, and perhaps a touch of bedside manner and humanity to go along with it. As easy as it sounds, it was very hard to do but needed to be done. That may have gone a long way to making sure the parting of the most famous player on one of the most storied franchises in sports was amicable.

The next chapter but certainly not the final one -- comes Sunday.




I bolded up and made big, parts I think should be said..

Andrew has more insight than anyone that is willing to put it in print..And for him to say things that don't look good on Brett AND the Packers must mean they are true....



Both sides are at fault what I felt all along

Edited to include entire story
Zero2Cool  
#2 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 3:20:34 PM(UTC)
What was the reason for Brandt leaving the Packers again?
wils0646  
#3 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 3:22:48 PM(UTC)
Great article. I really like Brandt's insight on the whole matter. Both sides just had communication issues.

It's too bad the right decision to move on had to be made so painfully.

" said: Go to Quoted Post
What was the reason for Brandt leaving the Packers again?


I think he wanted to become President (that fell through) and he felt like he couldn't get any type of promotion staying with the Packers.
dfosterf  
#4 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 3:31:11 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
Great article. I really like Brandt's insight on the whole matter. Both sides just had communication issues.

It's too bad the right decision to move on had to be made so painfully.

" said: Go to Quoted Post
What was the reason for Brandt leaving the Packers again?


I think he wanted to become President (that fell through) and he felt like he couldn't get any type of promotion staying with the Packers.


He was considered but passed over for the job.

LINK

Quote:
Brandt said he wanted a new challenge
Published Jan 28 2008, 04:32 PM by Tom Silverstein
Phoenix, Ariz. -- A few minutes ago, Andrew Brandt called back to explain his reasons for leaving the Packers after nine years as its cap manager.
Brandt wanted it to be known that he wasn't bitter about being passed over for the president's job and was thankful for the chance to be a finalist. But he said that after almost a decade of doing the same thing, he was looking for a fresh challenge, and that wasn't going to be available to him in Green Bay.
Working under general manager Ted Thompson, Brandt's duties were limited to overseing the salary cap and negotiating contracts. He said he enjoyed that role and grew quite a bit, but like others before him decided it was time to expand his horizons.
""Life is short and you have to embrace new challenges at the appropriate time," Brandt said. "I feel that I have a lot to offer."
Brandt said he has been thinking about his future for awhile, but didn't want to speak to Thompson about it until the season was over so he wouldn't create a distraction. Last week, he went to see Thompson to let him know of his decision, knowing he needed a fresh challenge.
Thompson has a slew of lieutenants in his personnel department who hold relatively equal positions, and promoting someone above them probably didn't appeal to him. Thompson has yet to return a phone call seeking comment on Brandt's resignation.
Brandt said he did not feel comfortable searching for a job while working for the Packers, so he resigned without having another position lined up. He said he has received a number of calls since news of his resignation got, but wasn't sure what direction he would go in the future.
"Maybe I'm too honorable, but I didn't feel right looking for other opportunities while I was still working for the Packers," Brandt said. "Maybe I take my time with this. Maybe no one calls (with an offer). We'll see."
He did not rule out returning to the NFL.
Brandt said he thinks the Packers are in good shape regarding the cap and will have plenty of time to get someone in place for the start of free agency in March.
"I had a good run here," Brandt said. "It's time to move onto new challenges."
Zero2Cool  
#5 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 3:54:49 PM(UTC)
By those accounts, it sounds like it was Brandt's decision to leave.

Quote:
I never had a difficult conversation with Ted until our last one, when it became clear we were not going to be able to continue working together. Even in that conversation, Ted acted as if he had a plane to catch. It hurt, but I agreed with him: Although I felt, and still feel, that the Packers are a national treasure, life is short. After a nine-year run through three head coaches, three general managers and countless players, it was time to move on.


After reading that, it comes off to me that it was Thompson who started the departure process.
longtimefan  
#6 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 3:59:37 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
By those accounts, it sounds like it was Brandt's decision to leave.

Quote:
I never had a difficult conversation with Ted until our last one, when it became clear we were not going to be able to continue working together. Even in that conversation, Ted acted as if he had a plane to catch. It hurt, but I agreed with him: Although I felt, and still feel, that the Packers are a national treasure, life is short. After a nine-year run through three head coaches, three general managers and countless players, it was time to move on.


After reading that, it comes off to me that it was Thompson who started the departure process.


Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Ted haters say it was because Ted fired him
dfosterf  
#7 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 4:27:31 PM(UTC)
I love Andrew, but he is assigning some things here that I think are plain flat wrong.

He says that the Packers should have made it clear, yada yada yada

I say bullshit.

Here is the part I am referring to:

Quote:
Even upon his retirement, the Packers knew -- or should have known -- that Brett would not stay retired. They knew Brett and knew when the calendar moved closer to training camp, that he would want to play again. At the time of his retirement, as hard a conversation as it would have been, the Packers could have had an open and honest communication that they were moving on with Aaron, someone they had been grooming for three years, and any un-retirement would not be welcome. That conversation, however difficult, would have headed off the enmity to come.


That is hindsight. It is also not taking into consideration that maybe management wanted to keep their options open, plus some PR factors that maybe he isn't even considering here, even in hindsight.

After all, he is "The Legend".

The media all speculated on what Favre will or will not do, what the management should or should not do, etc. Andrew is applying hindsight here. Maybe they DID think that Brett might come back. MAYBE THEY WANTED THAT OPTION AVAILABLE TO THEM. Maybe they didn't. Brandt is a fair man, but in this instance he is doing too much speculating...way too much speculating. How does he know all of this? How does he know that it would have headed off the enmity? Sounds to me more like it would have most assuredly created it.

The man retired.

The end.

As Andrew himself has said repeatedly, 999/1000 of these guys never get that chance.

He cried.

I saw it.

There is no crying in football. Unless you wear purple or some other effeminate color (not that there is anything wrong with that)

We moved on. The train left the station. Aaron was what we thought he was. [insert your own cliche' here]

Christ---It's like the whole friggin' world seems to feel that this man deserves some special dispensation because he is Brett friggin' Favre.

Sorry, I don't.

He was well-paid and so very well pampered as a Packer, both in his monetary compensation and his play "compensation", if you catch my drift.

Crush this man and his team.

The love-fest can be reinstated sometime down the road. I doubt I'll participate as much as many.

I don't begrudge the man-love to come, don't give a rat's ass that he's a Queen (actually love it), but c'mon, even Andrew has his BF BJ goggles on in this case.

imo
Greg C.  
#8 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 4:45:06 PM(UTC)
Anyything Andrew Brandt writes is worth reading. I'm glad I went to the link, because you chopped off the first section of the article. Also, I was able to read the comments after the article, which are worthwhile.

I wonder what would've happened if management had been more upfront with Favre about not wanting him back for the 2008 season. I agree with Brandt that it may have been a more honorable way to handle the situation, and yet, in the end, I don't know that it would've made much of a difference. I suppose the ugliness might've happened sooner rather than later.
Zero2Cool  
#9 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 4:50:52 PM(UTC)
Greg C. , thanks for pointing out the original poster failed to include the whole article without stating as such.

They did want him back.
He retired.
They were going to welc ...

oh screw it. I'm not going through this again. I'll let you guys do this, again.
longtimefan  
#10 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 6:11:01 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
Greg C. , thanks for pointing out the original poster failed to include the whole article without stating as such.

They did want him back.
He retired.
They were going to welc ...

oh screw it. I'm not going through this again. I'll let you guys do this, again.


I chopped it off because originally is was just going to be about Andrews thoughts on Ted..And was posting it on that thread with the Ted interview..then saw there were other parts that didnt really make sense to post under that interview thread..that is when made the new one, and forgot the entire 1st part

Was not meant anything other than being absent minded
all_about_da_packers  
#11 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 6:23:17 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
What was the reason for Brandt leaving the Packers again?



I don't have any links from the past, but I vividly remember a couple of articles that stated a major reason for Brandt's departure was his reluctance to get more involved with the personnel side of things.

First draft after Russ Ball was hired, Ted Thompson in one of his interviews explicitly credited Russ Ball for one of the trades that was made (I think it was trading down with the Jets, and getting Jordy). He said it was Russ who was working the lines and using some of his past connections to figure out who might be interested in getting back into the first round, and then Russ also initiated discussions with the Jets.


If you ask me, if Ted wanted someone of Brandt's caliber to stick around - he would've found a way to do it. Brandt seems to suggest that he was given the impression that the organization did not want him back necessarily.
longtimefan  
#12 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 6:25:33 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
What was the reason for Brandt leaving the Packers again?



I don't have any links from the past, but I vividly remember a couple of articles that stated a major reason for Brandt's departure was his reluctance to get more involved with the personnel side of things.

First draft after Russ Ball was hired, Ted Thompson in one of his interviews explicitly credited Russ Ball for one of the trades that was made (I think it was trading down with the Jets, and getting Jordy). He said it was Russ who was working the lines and using some of his past connections to figure out who might be interested in getting back into the first round, and then Russ also initiated discussions with the Jets.


If you ask me, if Ted wanted someone of Brandt's caliber to stick around - he would've found a way to do it. Brandt seems to suggest that he was given the impression that the organization did not want him back necessarily.


Was afraid of rats
nerdmann  
#13 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 7:24:42 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
Anyything Andrew Brandt writes is worth reading. I'm glad I went to the link, because you chopped off the first section of the article. Also, I was able to read the comments after the article, which are worthwhile.

I wonder what would've happened if management had been more upfront with Favre about not wanting him back for the 2008 season. I agree with Brandt that it may have been a more honorable way to handle the situation, and yet, in the end, I don't know that it would've made much of a difference. I suppose the ugliness might've happened sooner rather than later.



He doesn't get into how Favre was demanding to dictate to Ted Thompson who the head coach should be, what players to pick up, the offensive philosophy, etc. Brandt isn't going to put that type of stuff in his column.
British  
#14 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 7:26:38 PM(UTC)
I think this guy makes a valid point.


hedgeapple
Oct 30, 2009
01:49 PM
Quote:

I think that the Packers deserved more from Brett, too. The fans certainly deserved more. It's sad to see a grown man act like a child. Just stand up and tell us what you want, what you need. Don't expect people to read your mind. It seems as if so much of this stuff, perceived indifference, imagined persecution, was all in his head. I mean, come on, Ted Thompson didn't stop by on his way home from the Senior Bowl so he retired? Give me a break. He complained that they pestered him too much by asking him if he wants to come back, and he complains when they leave him alone to let him think about it. There's no making this guy happy.
nerdmann  
#15 Posted : Friday, October 30, 2009 7:27:44 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
What was the reason for Brandt leaving the Packers again?



I don't have any links from the past, but I vividly remember a couple of articles that stated a major reason for Brandt's departure was his reluctance to get more involved with the personnel side of things.

First draft after Russ Ball was hired, Ted Thompson in one of his interviews explicitly credited Russ Ball for one of the trades that was made (I think it was trading down with the Jets, and getting Jordy). He said it was Russ who was working the lines and using some of his past connections to figure out who might be interested in getting back into the first round, and then Russ also initiated discussions with the Jets.


If you ask me, if Ted wanted someone of Brandt's caliber to stick around - he would've found a way to do it. Brandt seems to suggest that he was given the impression that the organization did not want him back necessarily.


Was afraid of rats



My impression at the time was that Brandt did something "power struggle" wise to try to get the job as TT's boss. Not sure about that though.
However, Brandt was also apparently leaking things to the media. Ted Thompson didn't like that at all.
There could have been a bit of a power struggle between the two, with Brandt trying to leapfrog Ted Thompson in the hierarchy.
longtimefan  
#16 Posted : Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:03:10 PM(UTC)
116 comments on that site and about 99% are bashing Brett
bozz_2006  
#17 Posted : Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:08:00 PM(UTC)
nothing unifies the mob sentiment like a common enemy. just sayin'
dfosterf  
#18 Posted : Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:14:04 PM(UTC)
Two of the comments are mine.

The only thing negative I stated was speculation (since Andrew speculated, so can I) that Brett's ego and insecurities were used against him in the sense that he interpreted silence--as in not making the (required) annual pilgrimage down to Kiln to sit at the Lord's throne (I didn't say that part, lol)--

as not being wanted anymore.

A passive but tacit (and perhaps the most classy way) of letting him know that the Packers were moving on without him.

His ego and insecurities did him in as a Packer...That is what I said.
evad04  
#19 Posted : Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:55:22 PM(UTC)
Could someone help me out with the timeline of events? Didn't the Packers front office make an attempt at getting Brett to unretire and recommit to coming back for another season?

The entire soap opera was so vast and the number of new developments were so plentiful -- it's difficult to keep track of the clusterf**k. I do recall, sans specific evidence, that they recruited him after the teary-eyed retirement. He said no; they moved on.

I'm not making this up, right?
wils0646  
#20 Posted : Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:53:08 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
Could someone help me out with the timeline of events? Didn't the Packers front office make an attempt at getting Brett to unretire and recommit to coming back for another season?

The entire soap opera was so vast and the number of new developments were so plentiful -- it's difficult to keep track of the clusterf**k. I do recall, sans specific evidence, that they recruited him after the teary-eyed retirement. He said no; they moved on.

I'm not making this up, right?


http://m.espn.go.com/nfl...d=3484868&topId=null

Quote:

-March 6: Favre's tearful press conference. McCarthy says he is surprised at how honest Favre is about the reasons behind his decision -- particularly about not being able to commit 100 percent to football.

-Week of March 24: During the coaching staff's spring break, Packers offensive line coach James Campen, whose in-laws live in New Orleans, goes up to visit Favre in Mississippi on March 26. On the 27th, Campen tells McCarthy Favre is having second thoughts and McCarthy should call him.

He does, and learns that Favre indeed is having second thoughts. McCarthy and Thompson decide they will welcome him back. They secure a private jet from a Packers board member to visit Favre in person and seal the deal.

-March 29: Favre calls McCarthy to deliver a message: Thanks, but no thanks.

"He felt at this point we had reached a point of closure," McCarthy said. "Those were his words. And he was going to stick with his initial decision."


Yes, you are right about that.
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