Monday, June 24, 2019

1962 Pro Football Illustrated

As we count down the days until 2019 Packers Training Camp begins, we’ll start to get the blog here back into the swing of things. Today we have the 1962 issue of Pro Football Illustrated, featuring the 1961 champs — our very own favorite team from northeast Wisconsin.

But before we get to the actual football writing, the page seen above may be helpful to those of you seeking a career change.

And, for those of you seeking a better physique so you won’t get sand kicked in your face at the beach this summer, who better to solve that problem than Charles Atlas himself?

The special section about the reigning champions and their prospect for a successful 1962 campaign begins here...

As the successful Lombardi Era was getting into full gear, there was — as there is now — always a penchant to look back...

Here are some of the rookie candidates for 1962. Of the players seen here, only NFL Round 3 pick (41st overall) WR Gary Barnes (#80), NFL Round 4 pick (29th overall) G Ed Blaine (#60), and NFL Round 4 pick (56th overall) DT Ron Gassert (#73) saw action in a regular season league game. These three were only with the Packers for the 1962 season. Each of them was also drafted by the AFL.

The Packers’ 1962 No.1 draft pick (14th overall), FB Earl Gros (#40 with the Packers and seen here in a photo from his LSU career), was with the Packers for the 1962 and ’63 seasons, playing in 28 regular season league games. Gros was also a second-round pick by the AFL’s Houston Oilers.

Here are the stats and write-ups for some of the Packers veteran players going into the 1962 season.

This section finishes off with an action shot of WR Boyd Dowler (#86) 

Next up: Paul Hornung is featured in the same publication.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bart Starr Official Obituary

Bart Starr 1934 – 2019

Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr, 85, of Birmingham (Ala.) passed away, surrounded by his family and close friends, on Sunday, May 26, 2019. He is survived by his loving and supportive wife of 65 years Cherry, his son Bart Starr, Jr., three granddaughters (Shannon, Jenny, and Lisa) and three great grandchildren (Bryan, Teddy, and Violet). He was preceded in death by his parents Benjamin Bryan Starr and Lula Tucker Starr, his brother Hilton, and his son Bret.

Bart was honored to attend and play football at Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, and at the University of Alabama. During the next 16 years, he was blessed to be a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. He always stressed to his family, friends, and fans that he received far too much credit for the five NFL championships the Packers achieved under Coach Vince Lombardi. He knew that without the unselfishness, focus, and determination of every member of the team, including the coaching staff and the organization, none of that success would have been possible. His respect for his teammates was profound and enduring. One, Zeke Bratkowski, became as close as a brother.

During his time with the Packers, Bart fell in love with the residents of Green Bay and the entire state of Wisconsin. Because he came from such humble beginnings, Bart had the greatest respect for the work ethic, generosity, and true sense of family values that permeate Wisconsin. After praying with Cherry about their desire to give back to the community they so cherished, he met John Gillespie. John asked Bart to help build Rawhide, a ranch for at-risk teenage boys who needed spiritual support. In his office, Bart displayed a photograph of a group of young men who were working their way through Rawhide with the guidance of God and their counselors. Nothing could exceed the joy he received when, decades later, he met the men who were once residents at Rawhide and had become wonderful fathers and role models.
Upon his return to Alabama in the early 1990s, he found immense meaning in supporting the missions of Children’s of Alabama and Cornerstone Schools for underserved students. He and Cherry also became deeply involved with the Humane Society of Birmingham. Each of these charitable causes filled Bart’s soul with inspiration and gratitude, for they reflected the selfless qualities he witnessed daily by the residents of Alabama.

Following the serious strokes he suffered in September 2014, his daily challenges provided yet another occasion for thankfulness; he recognized that the opportunity to again see his beloved friends in Green Bay would be well worth the extraordinary effort required to make those trips happen.

As he left this world, he did so in peace, having never lost his faith, and having always trusted in the goodness of humanity.

A Birmingham service, “Celebrating the Legacy of Bart Starr,” will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, at the Wright Center, Samford University. The Starr family is making arrangements for an additional celebration in Green Bay, with details to be finalized as soon as possible. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choosing, or to the Bart and Cherry Starr Foundation, which supports the causes noted herein.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Green Bay Press-Gazette – Bart Starr

Here is the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s front page from Monday, May 27, 2019, with the cover story coverage on the death of Packers’ legendary QB Bart Starr.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Bart Starr Passes Away at 85

We’re been posting on our social media channels lately, but the original Packerville, U.S.A. blog has been resting as the new season approaches. As everyone now knows, legendary Packers QB Bart Starr has passed away at the age of 85. We are putting together a Bart Starr Tribute for this space, so stay tuned. Until then, the above photo is of your editor and Starr in 2001.

Here is an obituary from the Associated Press in the mean time:

Bart Starr, Quarterback Who Led the Packers to 60’s Greatness, Dies Sunday at 85

Associated Press
May 26, 2019

Bart Starr, the earnest and determined leader of the great Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s who became one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in history — the in-the-huddle incarnation of their fierce and masterly coach, Vince Lombardi — died on Sunday in Birmingham, Ala. He was 85.

His death was announced by the Packers. He had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2014, the team said.

Starr, the son of a strict military man who used to tell him that he wished he were tougher, was an underperforming bench-warmer when Lombardi first arrived in Green Bay in 1959. Like Starr’s father, Lombardi worried, as he later said, that the young man might be “too polite and maybe just a little too self-effacing to be the real bold, tough quarterback that a quarterback must be in the National Football League.”

More than a half-century later, the annual N.F.L. award given to a player, and voted on by players, for outstanding character and leadership on and off the field is called the Bart Starr Award.

Starr’s name may have been the most flamboyant thing about him. But he proved to be skilled, sly and, by at least one measure, incomparably successful: He won three N.F.L. championships (for the seasons played in 1961, ’62 and ’65) in the pre-Super Bowl era, and then the first two Super Bowls, in January of 1967 and ’68. That Packers’ run of N.F.L. championships helped bring new attention to professional football as it moved into the Super Bowl era. (With his victory in 2019, Tom Brady has won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.)

Starr was named the league’s most valuable player in 1966 and received the same honor in Super Bowls I and II. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times. And on a team known for running — with the flashy Paul Hornung and the rugged Jim Taylor (who died in October) — Starr was one of the league’s most efficient passers. He led the N.F.L. in that crucial category in three seasons and, on average, for all of the 1960s — even though his rival Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts was often viewed as better. Starr set career records for completion percentage, 57.4, and consecutive passes without an interception, 294.

Those records were eventually broken in a league transformed by precision-passing offenses and increasingly coddled quarterbacks, many groomed since childhood and arriving at the annual N.F.L. draft as celebrities. Starr, by contrast, was drafted in the 17th round in 1956 after barely playing his senior year at Alabama, and he may not have been the most talented player on the Packers during their glory years. Many teammates from that era — including Hornung, Taylor, Willie Davis, Forrest Gregg, Jerry Kramer and Ray Nitschke — are in the Hall of Fame. (Gregg died in April.)

Yet Starr became the Packers’ most essential player. Lombardi was a new kind of coach — comprehensive, obsessive, relentless — and he needed a new kind of quarterback, serious and studious enough to put the coach’s grand plans into motion, to make crucial decisions when the game, and maybe the season, was on the line, and to endure Lombardi’s sometimes harsh criticism. Starr became a passionate student and a superlative field general, and he never stopped giving Lombardi credit for his success.
Editors’ Picks

“I loved it,” he recalled in David Maraniss’s 1998 book, “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi.” “I loved the meetings. I never, ever was bored or tired at any meeting we were in with Lombardi. I appreciated what he was trying to teach. He was always trying to raise the bar.”

With Lombardi writing the script, Starr directed the offense, calling the plays. His most memorable was his boldest.

It happened in the frigid twilight at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Dec. 31, 1967, in the league championship game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, now known as the Ice Bowl. The temperature was 13 degrees below zero, and a new heating system installed beneath the turf had failed. Players slipped and fell all afternoon. Starr fumbled disastrously, leading to a Dallas touchdown.

With less than five minutes to play, the Packers trailed, 17-14, with nearly 70 treacherous yards between them and the end zone. Mixing short passes with run plays, Starr calmly marched his team within two feet of a touchdown. But in the final minute, the Cowboys twice stopped the Packers when they tried to run the ball into the end zone. Sixteen seconds remained when Starr called a timeout and walked to the sideline to confer with Lombardi.

There was no talk of kicking a field goal to tie and force overtime. As Lombardi later recalled, he was worried that Green Bay’s benumbed fans could not endure an extra period. Starr told the coach that the running backs were struggling to get traction, but that he thought he could sneak the ball across the line himself.

“Then run it!” Lombardi told him. “And let’s get the hell out of here!”

Starr returned to the huddle and called for a run play without telling his teammates that he intended to keep the ball.

The ball was snapped. Starr hesitated for the slightest moment. Then he dived into the end zone behind big blocks by Jerry Kramer and Ken Bowman. The Packers won, 21-17.

“Texas has the lone star,” read a homemade sign in the stands, “but we have the bright Starr.”

Two weeks later Green Bay defeated the Oakland Raiders, 33-14, at the Orange Bowl in Miami in Super Bowl II. It was the final championship for the Starr-Lombardi Packers. Lombardi resigned as coach and became general manager in February 1968, joined the Washington Redskins as coach and part-owner a year later, and died of cancer in 1970 at the age of 57.

“The dirty little secret of those days,” said Steve Wright, an offensive tackle for the Packers, as quoted in “America’s Quarterback: Bart Starr and the Rise of the National Football League” (2011), by Keith Dunnavant, “was that during the week it was Lombardi’s team, but on Sunday it was really Starr’s team.”

Bryan Bartlett Starr was born on Jan. 9, 1934, in Birmingham, the eldest of two sons of Ben Starr and Lulu (Tucker) Starr. Starr’s father, who was of Native American lineage, served in the National Guard before establishing a career in the Air Force and settling his family in Montgomery, Ala.

Ben Starr believed that Bart’s brother, Hilton, who was two years younger and known as Bubba, had more athletic potential, and he often said so to Bart. When Hilton was 11, he cut his foot on a dog bone while walking barefoot. Three days later he died of a tetanus infection. His death devastated the family, and Bart Starr would later say that it put more distance between him and his father.

When Starr was a junior in high school and playing for the varsity squad, he became the starting quarterback only after the coach’s first choice was injured. But he led the team to an undefeated season and as a senior was heavily recruited.

He nearly chose to attend the University of Kentucky, where the celebrated Bear Bryant was coaching at the time. Instead, to be close to his girlfriend, Cherry Louise Morton, he accepted an offer from Alabama. Starr married Ms. Morton in 1954, after his sophomore year.

Playing under Red Drew, Starr became the starter as a sophomore and led the Crimson Tide to the Cotton Bowl. But he missed nearly all of his junior season with a back injury, and as a senior was demoted to a backup role under a new coach. When the 1956 draft arrived, Jack Vainisi, the personnel manager for the Packers, decided to take a chance on Starr, though not much of one: The Packers made Starr the 199th college player chosen in the N.F.L. draft.

Starr floundered in his early years in Green Bay. Then Lombardi arrived. After a few stops and starts, Starr became the starter for good in 1960.

As his star rose on the field, the public began seeing what Lombardi saw: a loyal, dependable leader who worked hard away from the game as well. Unlike many of his teammates, Starr lived year round in Green Bay, where he received “Mr. Nice Guy” awards from community groups — a label that frustrated him but that he never risked contradicting. In 1965 he helped found the Rawhide Boys Ranch, a faith-based nonprofit residential care center for at-risk youth.

Survivors include his wife, Cherry; a son, Bart Jr., and several grandchildren.

A second son, Bret, died of cardiac arrest after taking cocaine in 1988. His death prompted the family to move to Birmingham to be closer to Bart Jr.

In Birmingham, Starr owned car dealerships, built hospitals and was a pitchman for Ford and other companies.

He played four more seasons after Lombardi retired, but he never again made the playoffs as a quarterback. He retired after the 1971 season, his 16th. He was 37.

Starr returned to coach the Packers in 1975 and stayed for eight seasons, but he was not as effective on the sidelines as he had been in the huddle. The Packers, their roster depleted, had just one winning season and won a single playoff game with Starr as head coach. He was devastated when he was fired in 1983, after finishing second in the division with an 8-8 record, but he remained loyal to Green Bay.

In 2000, when the team sought a local tax break to renovate Lambeau Field, Starr’s main stage, it recruited him to lobby for the legislation. He was an emphatic advocate. The legislation passed.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Packers at Patriots — 1985 Week 1

Set the offseason wayback machine to Sunday, September 8, 1985 as we travel to Sullivan Stadium (later Foxboro Stadium) in the Boston metro area. It is the first game of the 1985 NFL season, in the midst of the Forrest Gregg Era, and it’s his Green Bay Packers vs. the New England Patriots, coached by Raymond Berry. It would be another 15 years before Bill Belichick would arrive to transform the Patriots. On this sunny early summer day, 49,488 fans gathered to watch the game, which was eventually won by the Patriots, 26-20.

Who were some of the Packers players you’ll see in this contest? QB Lynn Dickey, WR James Lofton, WR Phillip Epps, TE Paul Coffman, RB Eddie Lee Ivery, RB Jessie Clark, LB John Anderson, DE Robert Brown, LB Mike Douglass, CB Mark Lee, S Mark Murphy (not the current Packers CEO), LB Brian Noble, K Al Del Greco, G Ron Hallstrom, T Ken Ruettgers, and many more.

Monday, May 06, 2019

MacArthur Lane Passes Away

Former Utah State and NFL running back MacArthur Lane passes away

By Doug Hoffman  |  The Deseret News
May 6, 2019

Former Utah State and NFL running back MacArthur Lane passed away on Saturday, May 4, in his hometown of Oakland, California. He was 77 years old.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of MacArthur Lane,” said Utah State vice president and director of athletics John Hartwell. “MacArthur was a tremendous football player, both at Utah State and in the NFL, and his passion for the university and Aggie football was unmatched. Our condolences go out to his wife Edna and his entire family. He will be missed by all.”

Lane was a three-year letterwinner at both linebacker and running back at Utah State from 1965-67. As a running back during his junior and senior seasons, Lane carried the ball 171 times for 1,182 yards and eight touchdowns. His 6.9 yards per carry average still ranks third all-time in school history, while his 1,182 rushing yards are the 27th most.

For his collegiate career, Lane had four 100-yard rushing games, including a career-best 207 yards on 20 carries against West Texas during his senior season. In fact, those 207 rushing yards tied for the 22nd-best single-game performance in Aggie history. Lane also had a career-long 84-yard run against Hawaii as a junior, which is the ninth-longest rush in school history.

At the conclusion of his senior season, Lane played in the All-Star Professional Game.

During his three seasons playing for the Aggies, USU went 19-10-1, including three wins against Utah and two against BYU.

Following college, Lane was drafted in the first round with the 13th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals. Overall, Lane spent 11 seasons in the NFL with the Cardinals (1968-71), Green Bay Packers (1972-74) and Kansas City Chiefs (1975-78). For his professional career, Lane carried the ball 1,206 times for 4,656 yards and caught 287 passes for 2,786 years. In all, he scored 37 touchdowns.

His best NFL season came in 1970 with the Cardinals, when he led the league with 11 rushing touchdowns and was chosen for the Pro Bowl. During the 1976 season with the Chiefs, Lane led the NFL in receptions with 66.

In all, Lane is one of just four Aggies to ever be drafted in the first round of the NFL, joining defensive tackle Merlin Olsen (third overall) in 1962 by the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Bill Munson (seventh overall) in 1964 by the Los Angeles Rams and defensive tackle Phil Olsen (fourth overall) in 1970 by the Boston Patriots.

Lane was inducted in the Utah State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
Graphic: Green Bay Packers

Friday, May 03, 2019

1967 All-Pro Football

On our trip back to the Packerville, U.S.A. Archives, it’s 1967 and this is what we’re reading — a copy of All-Pro Football’s season preview. The Packers have won two NFL championships in a row, and are looking to repeat and become the only three-time consecutive champs in the modern history of the NFL. Of course, they also won three-in-a-row back in the pre-playoffs era (1929-30-31).

Here is the two-page section about the 1967 Green Bay Packers team, as well as the statistics from the 1966 season.

The publication also previews the 1967 American Football League (AFL) season, and includes a page showing the complete schedule for the Continental Football League. You can read more about this league here, here, and here.

And what sports publication of the 1960s would be complete without a full-page ad for Charles Atlas’ bodybuilding and strength program? Nobody wants to be the skinny guy who gets sand kicked in his face at the beach!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Meet Your 2019 Packers Draftees

The 2019 NFL Draft is history, and all of the speculation is over. These are the players that the Green Bay Packers have targeted to be the new pieces of the Matt LaFleur era going forward. Hopefully, they can contribute to the team’s getting back to the playoffs after a two-year absence.

Player Bio
Gary was the top recruit in the Class of 2016, not only using his immense size and outstanding agility to dominate the competition at Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey as the state's top Defensive Player in 2014 and 2015, but also excelling in the classroom. He had followed former Wolverines star defender Jabrill Peppers at Catholic, and then again followed the path of the 2017 first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns to Ann Arbor. Gary played all 13 games as a reserve his freshman season, making 27 tackles, five for losses, and a sack. His potential really began to show in 2017, when he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors with 66 stops, 12 for loss, and six sacks in 13 starts. Gary was a first-team pick again as a junior, compiling 44 tackles, seven for loss, and 3.5 sacks in 12 games. He joined teammate Devin Bush and others in skipping Michigan's bowl game to prepare for the draft.

Five-star defensive end prospect coming into Michigan who leaves with those same five-star traits and loads of potential but a lack of development in key areas. Gary is a face-up rusher who seems content to hit tackles with bull-rush attempts rather than working the edges. He's explosive out of the blocks and in closing to the quarterback, and is just waiting for hand development and additional rush moves. His size, strength and motor could make him a plus run defender in short order. He has elite potential if a defensive coordinator can harness the energy and focus his approach.

Player Bio
Savage led Delaware's Caravel Academy to a state title his senior year as a two-way player (1,298 rushing yards, 54 tackles). Maryland coaches got him on the field right away as a freshman, playing him in 10 games (12 tackles) and starting him in the season finale. Savage started 12 games the following year (59 tackles, 3.5 for loss, one interception, four pass breakups) and in 2017, as well. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection as a junior (59 tackles), leading the Terrapins with eight pass breakups and tying for the team lead with three interceptions (returning one of those picks for a score). Savage was a playmaker again as a senior, earning second-team all-conference notice with four interceptions, two pass breakups, and 52 tackles (5.5 for loss).

Savage will offer an interesting litmus test for how teams value instincts, IQ and coverage quickness against size. He sports a compact frame with a muscular build and was actually bigger at the combine than some scouts expected. His sticky cover skills and ability to close on throws from all areas of the field are valuable commodities that should not be undervalued. Savage should be targeted as a Day 2 hybrid defender offering early starting potential as a two-high zone or slot cover talent.

Player Bio
Elgton (pronounced el-tuhn) Jenkins is a Mississippi native who signed with the Bulldogs after earning second-team All-State honors his senior year at Clarksdale. He showed versatility in his redshirt freshman season, starting three of 11 games played, two at left tackle and one at right tackle. Jenkins started five of 12 games played the following year, the first three at left tackle and two other contests at left guard. He really caught scouts' eyes in 2017, starting 12 of 13 games at center. He started all 13 games in the middle as a senior but did not gain a spot on the SEC all-conference squad despite his strong play.

Efficient if unexciting prospect with the size, power and length at center to match with a variety of interior challengers across from him. Jenkins has the core strength to handle down and base blocking duties, but he could leave offensive line coaches wanting more if asked to handle challenging blocks in space. His tape against the best SEC's best teams over his last two seasons indicates an ability to become an effective, early NFL starter.

Player Bio
Jace is the son of two athletes, his father a football player at Southeastern Oklahoma and his mother a two-time All-American basketball player at the same school. He signed with Kansas out of high school, but only caught one pass for five yards as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Wishing to make more of an impact, he transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M where he got his chance to contribute (21 catches, 336 yards, 16.0 average, six touchdowns). FBS coaches lined up to recruit him after that performance, and he decided to roll with new A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. That turned out to be the correct choice, as Sternberger became a consensus All-American, first-team All-SEC recipient, and the Aggies' Offensive MVP by setting team highs with 48 receptions, 832 yards, and 10 touchdowns in 13 games (12 starts).

Despite his experience in-line and willingness to block in Jimbo Fisher's offense, he has neither the size nor strength to handle those duties as a pro. Sternberger is athletic with above-average ball skills, catch radius and route breaks that help him undercover on the second and third level. His paychecks will be tied to his pass-catching so he'll need to play stronger through route contact and with better focus when contested. He has eventual starter potential as a move tight-end who can function as a big WR3/4 from the slot.

Player Bio
Keke (pronounced kee-kee) became a full-time starter in 2017, lining up for all 13 contests and stopping 54 ballcarriers, 2.5 times for losses including one sack. He found himself in the backfield more regularly as a senior, breaking out with 51 stops, 11 for loss, and a team-high seven sacks for the Aggies. The four-star recruit and All-State pick from Richmond, Texas, started the final nine games of the 2016 season, posting 37 tackles, seven for loss, four sacks, and four pass breakups in 13 contests that year. Even as a freshman, Keke contributed in 13 games as a reserve, making eight tackles.

Potentially polarizing prospect as some teams could struggle with his best fit in the league. With his athletic ability and functional strength, a role as base in a 4-3 scheme with the ability to reduce inside is most likely. One-gapping 3-4 defenses could target him as well, but he'll need to add aggressiveness at the point of attack for that role. Keke could step into an early backup spot, but he possesses enough natural ability to aim for an eventual starter or designated rusher role.

Player Bio
Hollman could not land a scholarship offer after playing his high school ball in New Jersey and then playing at Milford Academy, a well-known prep school in New York. Toledo took a shot on his talent, offering him a preferred walk-on spot. He redshirted in 2014 and played in just two games the following year, making two tackles. The coaches gave him a scholarship prior to his sophomore season and he responded by starting 8 of 13 games (33 tackles, eight pass breakups). Hollman started all 14 games in 2017 (35 tackles, seven pass breakups) and completed his career with the Golden Rockets by leading the MAC with 12 pass breakups (to go along with 43 tackles and an interception).

Player Bio
Hollman could not land a scholarship offer after playing his high school ball in New Jersey and then playing at Milford Academy, a well-known prep school in New York. Toledo took a shot on his talent, offering him a preferred walk-on spot. He redshirted in 2014 and played in just two games the following year, making two tackles. The coaches gave him a scholarship prior to his sophomore season and he responded by starting 8 of 13 games (33 tackles, eight pass breakups). Hollman started all 14 games in 2017 (35 tackles, seven pass breakups) and completed his career with the Golden Rockets by leading the MAC with 12 pass breakups (to go along with 43 tackles and an interception).

Player Bio
"Juice" Williams gained his nickname from his high school coach because of his infectious personality. One of the top 100 recruits in the country out of West Orange High School in Orlando, he saw the field as a true freshman for the Irish in 2015 (21 carries, 81 yards, 3.9 ypc, one touchdown rushing; one kickoff return for 20 yards in seven games). In August 2016, he was arrested with teammates for marijuana possession and possessing a handgun without a license; the latter charged was later dropped when a teammate confessed to the handgun possession. Williams was given one year of probation, playing in 12 games that fall (39 carries, 200 yards, 5.1 average, three touchdowns rushing; four receptions, 16 yards receiving; four kickoff returns, 67 yards, 16.8 average). He played in 10 games his junior season, missing three contests with an ankle injury but averaged 9.2 yards per carry (39 carries, 360 yards, four touchdowns rushing; two receptions, 13 yards, one touchdown receiving). Williams finally became Notre Dame's top rusher in his senior campaign, though he only played in nine games (eight starts) due to a suspension for undisclosed reasons that cost him the first month of the season. He rushed for 995 yards and 12 scores on 158 carries (6.3 per) while also catching 16 passes out of the backfield for 133 yards (8.3 average) and a touchdown.

Ascending every-down running back prospect who showed major flashes of becoming an NFL starter in his most active season to date. Williams runs with a good combination of feel, force and juice, which allows for a variety of methods in creating yards for himself. His evaluation could require additional character work and his relative lack of experience could mean a slower integration into an NFL offense; however, he offers exciting upside with the talent to become a productive, NFL starter.

Player Bio
An All-District dual-threat quarterback and safety from San Antonio's Reagan High School, Summers was destined to play on the defensive side of the ball in college. He played in the opener as a true freshman but suffered a season-ending injury. The next season, he started five times in 13 games played, making 86 stops, four for loss, and an interception. Summers was named second-team All-Big 12 by league coaches as a redshirt sophomore, racking up 121 tackles (five for loss, 1.5 sacks) in 13 games (10 starts). He was an honorable mention all-conference pick after his junior year, when he started 9 of 14 games played, posting 84 tackles, eight for loss, four sacks, one interception, and five pass breakups. Summers was an honorable mention pick in 2018, despite missing time with injuries (47 tackles, 6.5 for loss, four sacks in 10 games with nine starts).

Inside linebacker possessing the physical qualities of an NFL player but lacking the necessary instincts and feel to make plays on his terms. While Summers won't always play to his top speed, he could very well run a pre-draft sub 4.6 40, which could make him a late-round target for teams who view him as back-end depth and a potential core special teamer.

Post-Draft Players Signed:

Matthew Eaton, WR, Iowa State: 6-4, 209, 4.66.

Kabion “KB” Ento, WR, Colorado: 6-1 ½, 187, 4.53.

Davis Koppenhaver, TE, Duke: 6-3 ½, 245, 4.96.

Larry Williams, G, Oklahoma State: 6-4, 322, 5.34.

Taylor Cornelius, QB, Oklahoma State: 6-5 ½, 224, 4.72.

Manny Wilkins, QB, Arizona State: 6-2, 193, 4.84.

Randy Ramsey, OLB, Arkansas: 6-3, 238, 4.73.

Greg Roberts, OLB, Baylor: 6-5, 258, 4.73.

Curtis Bolton, ILB, Oklahoma: 6-0, 228, 4.58.

Nate Brooks, CB, North Texas: 6-0, 187, 4.61.

Javien Hamilton, CB, Mississippi: 5-10, 184, 4.50.

Player information:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Return of the Hotel Northland

On Saturday afternoon we checked out the newly renovated, recently-reopened classic Hotel Northland in downtown Green Bay. Since the late 1980’s, when we began regularly attending Training Camp and then obtained both season ticket packages, we’ve known the history of the facility, but have never had the chance to go inside. 

From the Hotel Northland website: “Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Hotel Northland delivers an unexpected blend of modern luxury and vintage charm in a truly storied setting. Beyond our 160 inviting guest rooms, you’ll discover unique dining opportunities, homelike amenities, incredible meeting and wedding spaces, and more.”

“Dedicated to the legacy of what once was Green Bay's finest hotel — and one of the grandest in the state. Part of the Schroeder Hotel chain, the Hotel Northland was known as “Green Bay’s $1,000,000 hotel” when it opened in March 1924. It would be host to famous visitors, including Lon Chaney, Eleanor Roosevelt, and JFK. It would also be closely associated with the Green Bay Packers, in the capacity of early NFL meetings, and functioning as the hotel for opposing teams. The Northland Hotel closed in 1972. After changing hands, it eventually became the Port Plaza Towers. On February 14th, 2019 it opened its doors to the community again after a years-long renovation.”

The Packers Heritage Trail plaque on the corner of the building... at the corner of Pine Street and South Adams Street.

The South Adams Street entrance. We would love it if they recreated the neon sign that sat atop the entrance roof.

Welcome mat on South Adams Street.

Tasteful signage on South Adams Street.

South Adams Street entrance.

Hotel Northland reflections.

Hotel Northland lobby.

Hotel Northland lobby — Pine Street entrance.

Hotel Northland lobby, and front desk.

Old fashioned mail slots behind front desk.

Hotel Northland lobby.

Hotel Northland lobby.

Hotel Northland lobby.

Hotel Northland lobby.

The Hotel Northland’s fine dining restaurant — The Walnut Room.

The Hotel Northland’s fine dining restaurant — The Walnut Room.

The Hotel Northland’s fine dining restaurant — The Walnut Room.

Original tile on the lobby floors.

Another view of the Hotel Northland’s front desk.

Hotel Northland lobby, looking toward the Pine Street entrance.

Steps up into the Hotel Northland lobby.

Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Looking down from the Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Looking down from the Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Looking down from the Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Looking down from the Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Looking down from the Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Looking down from the Hotel Northland mezzanine level.

Hotel Northland mezzanine level original tile.

Hotel Northland interior.

Hotel Northland event rooms.

Hotel Northland event rooms.

Hotel Northland event rooms.

Hotel Northland event rooms.

Hotel Northland lounge area.

Hotel Northland lounge area.

Hotel Northland lobby light fixtures.

Hotel Northland original ceilings.

Hotel Northland small light fixture.

Hotel Northland staircase design.

Mail chute which comes from the upper hotel floors...

(Detail of mail chute on upper floors)

... and lands in this U.S. Mail Letter Box in the hotel lobby. According to the Smithsonian: “As urban business centers flourished in the 19th century and buildings grew vertically, rather than horizontally in response to growing urban land values, the Post Office Department sought an easier way for occupants to mail their letters. It was more convenient to collect the mail inside the office buildings instead of forcing tenants to deposit their mail in boxes on the street or post offices. The answer was the creation of mail chutes that would extend from the top floor to a receiving box located at ground level. The first mail chute was installed in the Elwood Building in Rochester, New York in 1884.”


Hotel Northland lobby elevators with mail letter box.

Hotel Northland elevator door.

The South Adams Street entrance.

Just inside the above entrance is where we find the Poke the Bear Bar & Restaurant.

Poke the Bear Bar & Restaurant.

Hotel Northland electronic signs.

Hotel Northland electronic signs.

Looking up at the Hotel Northland’s southwest corner.

The Pine Street side of the Hotel Northland.

Completing the tour of the buildings public areas, we see the backside of the Hotel Northland.

The Hotel Northland in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin.