Jclombardi highlights Packers headlines.
Guest senior writer jclombardi @ http://lombardiave.com
Williams Elevates Game: After surprising everyone to make the team in 2007, Williams moved his way up on special teams and then as the dime and nickel corner. Last season, he filled in for Harris, who was lost for the season with a knee injury. With Harris out for the first six weeks of this season, as well, Williams has been Green Bay’s best and most reliable cornerback – even if his exceptional play has been, once again, buried under the problems of another struggling 3-3 Packers team. With Harris returning this week to practice, Williams is focused on getting the Packers back to winning. “We’ve got so much other stuff going on around here,” Williams said. “The only thing with Al is when he comes back, he’s just going to make the team better.”
Rodgers must find ways to win games: Here we are six games into 2010, and Aaron Rodgers, who also is six games into his third season as the Packers’ starting quarterback, isn’t playing well. The Packers are 3-3, and his passer rating is 87.9 points, which ranks No. 13 in the NFL. Clearly, nobody’s kicking around the idea of benching Rodgers, but he’s been far from the potential MVP candidate who looked so dominant in the preseason. He’s directing an offense that bears most of the responsibility for the Packers’ three defeats. It hasn’t been anything like the machine that finished last season No. 3 in the NFL in points scored and No. 6 in yards. There’s also the issue of Rodgers’ poor record in games decided by four points or less. Three of those losses were this year, including in overtime to Washington and Miami, games in which the Packers had the ball with the chance to win in sudden death. So what’s going on with the player who went to his first Pro Bowl last year?
Rookie OL Bryan Bulaga: There’s a lot of really good guys on this team. T.J. Lang has been great, Josh Sitton. ‘Cliff’ (Chad Clifton) and ‘Tausch’ (Mark Tauscher) have been great. Everyone, really. I don’t know how it was with A-Rod and Brett. I don’t know. But I heard it wasn’t great. It wasn’t great, and with Cliff, it’s nothing like that. He brings me in to help me out, rather than not telling me anything. And outside of meetings and the locker room, he’s a good guy. He takes care of me. If I have any questions, he helps me out. I try to instill confidence in me. When I make mistakes on the field, I’m willing to admit them, learn from them and move on. I’m not making excuses for myself. I never will. When you interview me, you’ll see I’m not that kind of guy. I don’t like to evaluate what I do, I leave that to the coaches. I just go about my business. I’m accountable, I work hard, and I hope people have confidence in me. Because if I’m in there, it’s because they think I can do the job and do it well. I was a communication major, so if football hadn’t worked out, I would’ve wanted to do something in media. And coaching, too, that would be another thing I would’ve liked to have done. Before games, I’m not uptight. I like to talk. I’m relaxed. But here, it’s a very relaxed atmosphere. Every guy has his own space, they can do what they want. When my career is over, I’d like people to say that Bryan Bulaga was a great player for this organization. He contributed a lot, he did a lot of great things for the organization and the community. That’s what I hope. I don’t like to put long-term predictions out there. I take it one year at a time. I don’t like to look too far ahead.
Wednesday injury report:
- All three players from the PUP list were at practice.
- CB Al Harris appears to be the most ready to play. He was in on snaps almost immediately.
- S Atari Bigby seemed to be in more of a reserved role, not quite going full speed. He might not be activated for this game, but he was in the mix and it could happen.
- RB James Starks looked like a guy just acquired by the Packers. He was going through very basic drills with RB coach Edgar Bennett.
- LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder) appeared to go full and will be ready to play barring any setbacks.
- RT Mark Tauscher (shoulder) returned to practice but was very limited.
- LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), S NIck Collins (knee), LT Chad Clifton (knees), CB Charles Woodson (toe), DE Mike Neal (shoulder), LB A.J. Hawk (groin) was in jogthroughs only.
- WR Donald Driver (thigh) and DE Ryan Pickett (ankle) watched practice.