(ieeebear will have the video of Bears with the Pros by Sunday!)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Obviously the big storyline, but the only one Cal fans care about is how our Golden Boy will whip the Vikings back to Minneapolis. Aaron himself has taken a Zen-like approach to the whole controversy.
"I feel like a stance like that would have portrayed me as wanting some sort of sympathy or self-pity on my part, and I never felt like that," Rodgers said. "I felt like I’d waited for three years to do something that I always wanted to do since I was 3 years old watching Joe Montana and running pass patterns with my dad in the back yard. That’s the way I looked at it. I didn’t look at it like I was going through something that was unfair to me, or I was innocent."
Rodgers compared the fallout from the Favre trade to his experience in the 2005 NFL draft, when the Cal star wasn’t picked as early as many expected and had to deal with disappointment in the spotlight.
"I just try to stay focused on the things I can control," Rodgers said. "I think I learned that as a 21-year-old sitting in the green room (at the 2005 draft) firsthand. That was kind of the beginning of just continuing to trust in my close friends and advisers and just hearing the same kind of thing — that the things you should worry about, think about, spend your energy on are the things you can control."
CGB will have an open thread for this weekend's Minnesota-Green Bay game, since almost the entire country will get it. Remeber to swing by Cal fans; get your Rodgers-love/Favre hate on. 12:45 PM PST, we get it on!
A section of Green Bay's east side is now Mister Rodgers's neighborhood.
Minnesota Avenue was renamed Aaron Rodgers Drive by the mayor in a special ceremony Thursday morning, in advance of the Minnesota Vikings coming to town.
Mayor Jim Schmitt said the change is temporary -- in effect until Monday.
"Hopefully he'll get a street named after him in really more of the sports district, which is over by Reggie White Way, Bart Starr Drive, Brett Favre Pass. I think that day will come, but we're a ways away from that," the mayor said.
When the sign is taken down Monday, Rodgers says he'll autograph it and donate it to charity.
The mayor wasn't shy about offering his prediction about the game. "This will be fun. It's a special weekend and the Packers are going to win this weekend, too. So it will be a special sign come Sunday night."
The mayor says the city is marking Brett Favre's return to Lambeau Field with the rival team by wearing flip-flops to work Friday in honor of the gunslinger's on-again/off-again retirements.
The first thing that jumped out was that their pass defense seems to be playing much better on the road. The best performance at home was holding the recently benched QB Shaun Hill to "only" a 94.6 QB rating. It's not a great sample size comparison because only the Steelers have a good pass offense among their 4 road opponents.
The second thing was that a consistent pass rush has no relationship on whether they can stop the pass. They did a great job sacking and hitting QB Aaron Rodgers and Baltimore's QB Joe Flacco, but those were their two worst games of the season per opponents' QB rating. Let's say, hypothetically, we do go ahead and pull out the 4.5 sacks DE Jared Allen had against the Packers last time, then it turns out that the Vikings would still have 20.5 sacks on the season, which would leave them ranked No. 4 overall. Once you actually add back in those 4.5 sacks, then the Vikings are the leading the league with 25 sacks as a team. The defensive front seven is getting to the QB, but it hasn't helped their pass defense climb any higher than No. 17 overall, so far.
Their pass defense has struggled at times, whether they are recording 8 sacks against QB Aaron Rodgers or not, so this has to be the area the Packers will focus on. This is where they have to attack on Sunday.
Aaron was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September...Here's the Jay Glazer interview with Rodgers talking about Favre's return to Lambeau...Rodgers was also on Jim Rome to talk about last week's game and the upcoming matchup!
Desean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
"The biggest thing I can say is they put me in great positions to expose the defenses," Jackson said of his coaches. "Anytime you have the coaches and the other 10 players helping you and doing everything they can to go out there and have success . . . just keep putting it together."
He also had a name for one of his end zone celebrations.
After his second touchdown in the Eagles' 27-17 Monday Night victory over the Redskins, Jackson celebrated in the end zone with something that resembled an Irish jig. He called it "The Jerk."
"That was like country dancing," Jackson said. "We're just out there having fun, honestly. My ankle was kind of hurting . . . so it affected my dancing."
He suffered an ankle sprain in the win, but fully practiced on Thursday and should be all set to go on Sunday against the Giants. Also, here's his MNF postgame interview with Suzy Kolber.
Finally...there's some weird Shining parody featuring Desean on the Eagles.com intro. Just click here and you'll get to see Antonio Pierce riding a trike!
Tully Banta-Cain, New England Patriots
The first year in San Francisco, Banta-Cain had a career-best 59 tackles. Yet an injury ruined his 2008 season, and the experience soured. When he returned to New England, the understanding was that he would concentrate on rushing the passer.
He accepted it, but thought to himself that he wanted more.
"My deal is, I pride myself on how I play and I want to definitely be somebody who doesn’t come off the field," Banta-Cain said. "But I’ve known what’s worked for me in the past and that’s situational responsibilities. If I can take advantage of those, that’s only going to give me more chances to hopefully prove that I do deserve to be on the field more."
It has worked out like that. He has three sacks, while receiving more chances to make plays.
"You get an inch, you try to take a mile," said Banta-Cain, who has 18 tackles. "I was given a limited role, and I figured, ‘Hey, I can build off of that.’ "
Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks
Q: Matt in Graham asks, "Do you see Justin Forsett playing a bigger role in the offense as the season goes on?"
A: Forsett had 18 carries (for a 5.7-yard average) and 10 receptions in the first six games, when he was used primarily as the third-down back. But as he continues to produce in that role, the coaches will find other ways to use his special talents. He is listed at 5 feet 8, but Forsett plays bigger. He is a willing – and effective – blocker in picking up blitzes. He can be very elusive, especially when getting the ball in space on screen passes. But Forsett also has the power to break tackles when used in a more tradition way.
Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic
Anderson got the start for Orlando with the suspension of Rashard Lewis, and scored 16 points and 5 rebounds, including going 4 for 7 from downtown in a dominating opening game win for the Magic! It'll be interesting to see how Anderson will be used as the season goes on; Stan Van Gundy has indicated he'll be starting Friday night in his return to New Jersey. If you have an extended cable package, there's a free preview of League Pass out there, so check out your channels!
How much is it a luxury, for when the starters come off, to be able to have a bench that increases the lead and keeps things going?
It just makes the game a lot easier. The guys who are starting, it makes it so they don't have to press and come out to keep the momentum, the game our way, it's just a harder way to play and when the games drops off, I don't see that happening. We have so many different lineups, different guys who can come in and play, if somebody is having an off-night, you can bet that somebody off the bench is going to step up and play great.
Other Bears in the Pros
idmann (via Okaydo1)
- Lorenzo Alexander is involved in getting buereucrats to cut their own personal pork. Good luck with that Lorenzo. He had three tackles in the loss to the Eagles.
Nnamdi Asomugha had 4 tackles in a 38-0 loss to the Jets. More importantly, he made a cameo appearance on Friday Night Lights! Check it out above.
Aaron Rodgers has a funny story about how Desmond Bishop (on the Packers scout defense team) is faster in practice than the current Browns starting safety. Bishop did have one tackle in the Packer rout of the Browns.
- Poor Andre Carter had the job to contain Desean on his 67 yard TD run, but it wasn't really his fault. Carter did have six tackles, a forced fumble and a sack.
- Thomas Decoud did ding up Tony Romo for a period, although Romo appears to be okay. Decoud had 10 tackles and a sack in the loss to Dallas.
- Zack Follett was at the Cal-Wazzu game, and I believe someone here saw him (Monica's Dad?). He missed practice this week due to illness.
- Scott Fujita did not practice and his status is questionable for Monday Night against Atlanta. He missed last week's game against Miami.
- The Cowboys kept Tony Gonzalez in check in their win. Tony G had a quiet 4 catches for 37 yards.
- Ryan Longwell, who kicked a field goal in the Vikings loss, ponders if Packers fans will boo Favre the same way he's been booed ever since leaving Green Bay.
- Bills fans aren't happy with Marshawn Lynch hotdogging it into the end zone on his touchdown run, and his poor blocking on another play that could've sealed the game. He only rushed for 47 yards in the Bills victory.
- Browns head coach Eric Mangini continues to like the progress of Alex Mack, who has played every snap since the start of the season.
- Field Gulls recognizes the importance of Brandon Mebane to getting the rest of the pieces on defense early to have them operating properly.
- Jason Kidd had 4 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals in his season debut at home against the Wizards.
- Leon Powe, recovering from offseason surgery, "joked that he asked the Cavs staff to "just get me 10 minutes and I’ll get you 10 (points) and eight (rebounds)."