Senior writer jclombardi highlights Packers headlines.
Packers in good position at bye: The Packers’ latest bye week in history falls at a time when they are riding a three-game winning streak, their ramshackle defense is finding a way to shut down opponents despite missing a number of key starters and the once-dysfunctional offense is showing signs of figuring things out. Nevertheless, at 6-3 after nine games and enjoying a full week off before returning to work next Monday, the team still has plenty of work to do. The Packers appear to have the wherewithal to make a run in a watered-down NFC. They also hold a half-game lead on the Chicago Bears (5-3) and 2 ½-game lead on the Minnesota Vikings (3-5) entering Sunday’s game between the Bears and Vikings at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Peprah keeps believing–Safety found starting job with Packers: Drafted by the Giants in the fifth round in 2006 and cut. Signed with Green Bay and spent three years fighting for a roster spot and playing on special teams. Reached an injury settlement with the Packers in 2009 and was waived. “The best advice I’ve been given is, ‘Believe in yourself because if you don’t, no one else will,’?” Peprah said. “I knew I could play. I just had to keep plugging along and make sure I was always ready. “I never lost confidence.” Peprah re-signed with the Packers as a free agent and fought his way onto the roster again. He was on the small side to play strong safety. At 27 years old and with precious little experience on defense. But there is a lot to like about Peprah. He works hard. He prepares well. He does everything by the book. He is reliable and consistent. “A lot of the traits you look for at this level to be successful, he’s got them,” said Darren Perry, who coaches the Packers’ safeties. “He’s a pleasure to coach because you know what you’re going to get. I love the guy.”
Harris finds a new home back home: The Packers chapter of Al Harris’ life officially closed on Monday. By Wednesday, the veteran cornerback was set to begin writing a new one with the Dolphins. The Dolphins certainly had no problem scooping up the two-time Pro Bowler and NFL veteran to add him to their youthful mix of defensive backs on Wednesday. “A player like that comes across your desk and you have the opportunity to get involved with somebody like this, I thought (he) would be really good for our football team,” said Miami coach Tony Sparano. “He’s a quality, quality individual – never mind the kind of player he’s been in this league over the years – (and) the one thing that is important particularly for our young corners right now is the ability to see how it’s done and get a chance to learn (from him). ”Back there at the corner position, I don’t we have that (veteran presence). “This guy can help us in a lot of ways (with) what he does on the field and what he does certainly in the classroom. I felt like this was something we had to do.”
Matthews named NFC Defensive Player of the Week: For the second time this season and third time overall, Clay Matthews was named the NFC defensive player of the week. Matthews, the outside linebacker who leads the NFL in sacks (10 1/2), won the award Wednesday for his performance in the Packers’ win over Dallas. Matthews had two tackles for a loss, a sack, and an interception he returned 62 yards for a touchdown.