McCarthy likes Packers’ sense of urgency

Green Bay Packers: Evan Dietrich-Smith ready to prove his worth

Everyone’s going to talk about missing Donald and Greg – which we will, it will be an adjustment – but we know we have an opportunity to step up and we have beliefs in what we can do.” There’s also the belief that the Packers had Super Bowl-caliber teams each of the past two years and failed to deliver. ”Guys know there’s a short window for a team to be as good as we are,” Nelson said. ”You’ve got to make the most of those (years) and that’s by winning championships. We know we’ve been close. We know we’ve had the team, but came up short.” In an effort to avoid that same fate, the Packers have made some changes. McCarthy reconfigured his offensive line, taking four starters and moving them to four new positions. Now, they’ll line up with Bryan Bulaga at left tackle, Josh Sitton at left guard, T.J. Lang at right guard and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. The defensive coaches not only spent much of the offseason working on solving the read-option that the 49ers used to beat them, but also emphasized increasing takeaways, especially forcing more fumbles. And with the addition of two big-name running backs in the draft – second-rounder Eddie Lacy of Alabama and fourth-rounder Johnathan Franklin of UCLA – McCarthy said that the running game will improve, which would help Rodgers and the aerial game. ”We’ll be better, I promise you that,” McCarthy said of the run game.

Former Packers receiver Donald Driver draw sellout crowd for charity softball game

No quarterback has ever rushed for more yards in a single game, and to put that final number in its proper perspective, Kaepernick finished with the 14th-highest single-game rushing yardage total in the league’s postseason history. The Packers had no answers for the 49ers’ option packages, which led their great defensive coordinator, Dom Capers, to experience a lot of heat this offseason. According to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , Capers barely addressed the option in practices the week before the game, which was a bit silly, as Kaepernick had been riddling the league with it for weeks. Green Bay faces Kaepernick and the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III in the first two weeks of the 2013 regular season, so Capers is taking no chances this time. Not only is the option at the top of his “to-do” list, but he recently took his entire defensive staff to the Texas A&M campus to spend a day with the Aggies’ coaching staff, and he spent a day with Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Arnada, who was part of the Hawaii staff when Kaepernick played for Nevada. As a result, Arnada was intimately familiar with the ins and out of the Pistol formations Kaepernick ran then and runs now. “We’re going to do more,” Capers told Dunne. “We’re going to do more than we have because we know the first two teams we play run it. There will be a number of teams that have a little element of it in. How much it takes off, I don’t know. It’s like everything else.

Packers go back to school to learn how to defend the read-option

Two, maybe three days. Then it’s back to Green Bay. Said Dietrich-Smith, “I’m not the biggest fan of taking too much time off.” That’s a small peek inside the brain of the Packers’ new starting center. Dietrich-Smith hasn’t been rewarded with a long-term deal yet. He’s in the same boat as Sam Shields, B.J. Raji and others. Green Bay will wait before investing. After starting the final four games at center in 2012, Dietrich-Smith signed his modest restricted free-agent tender of $1.323 million and returned. Any job in the NFL is fleeting, a fact Dietrich-Smith knows more than anyone in the Packers locker room. He has been released by the team before. He’s worked out of a YMCA.

Packers’ Dietrich-Smith plans to prove his worth, keep starting role

I mean, I’m not going to sit there and fight it all the time. I knew it wasn’t true. Aaron knew it wasn’t true. Did I talk to him all the time? No. Do I talk to other guys all the time? No. So he knows how I feel about him and he knows how I feel about his career up to this point.” In talking about his own mental toughness, Favre said part of it sprang from his sense that he never felt he could rest on his laurels. He was driven by not wanting to be replaced. “I never, ever rested — (that) I’m fine, my position is safe, no one is going to beat me out,” Favre said. “I always looked over my shoulder.” Favre was asked what level of involvement he would like to have with the Packers, if he wanted to be a kind of ambassador for them.

— Former Packers receiver Donald Driver drew a sellout crowd of more than 9,000 fans Sunday for his annual charity softball game. “I was successful as I was because of the fans,” said Driver, who took over the game after the Packers traded Brett Favre. “This has always been such as special place because of the way the fans have shown me love and respect.” Driver said he would host the charity softball game again next year, along with many other charity functions throughout Wisconsin. “I’m going to be back as often as possible,” said Driver, who boosted his national prominence in 2012 when he won “Dancing with the Stars.” ‘’Green Bay will be my second home and I am going to be around and be part of this community and continue to interact with the fans.” The defense won the game 24-20. Rookie linebacker Nate Palmer was selected the most valuable player after hitting a home run and finishing with two doubles. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Favre airs contrition regarding Packers breakup again

Peering back at Rodgers through his legs, it was difficult for Dietrich-Smith to hear anything. That’s where continuity is key, he says. In critical moments, a message can be blurred in translation. Dietrich-Smith is hardly the new kid on the block. He originally signed with Green Bay in 2009. The backup lineman was let go, picked up by Seattle, let go and then picked up again by the Packers. As he has spoken at length about before, Dietrich-Smith realized he needed to clean up his act off the field — quit partying, start working out more — to forge an NFL career. Hence, the “hello, goodbye” trips west. Green Bay is his new home. To make it his long-term home, to earn a contract extension, Dietrich-Smith can’t warp this approach. The contract isn’t on his mind.


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