Morning Buzz: Packers' special teams plummet

Aaron Nagler, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
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Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers  from around the web and here at Grab a strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.

Green Bay Packers special teams coach Ron Zook watches from the sidelines during a 2015 game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field in Denver.

Pete Dougherty starts us out with a look at the impacts made by James Starks and Sam Shields during their time in Green Bay.

From Pete:

The release of Sam Shields and James Starks leaves the Packers with only five players under contract who played in Super Bowl XLV six years ago: Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Bryan Bulaga and Mason Crosby.

Nothing unusual there. The NFL is a young man’s game with high roster turnover. Six years is a lifetime in this league.

But I couldn’t let Shields and Starks slip out of town without recognizing their unusual stories and crucial roles in the Packers’ 13th world championship.

Shields was a rare find – an undrafted rookie in ’10 who took on a prominent role as a rookie and became one of the team’s best players in the coming years. Starks’ career was far more modest, but the Packers probably wouldn’t have made that title-winning playoff run without him.

Be sure to read the entire thing.

I spoke with former Packers executive Andrew Brandt for my podcast this week. We talked Ted Thompson and free agency.

Elsewhere, Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings for the Dallas Morning News are out and the Packers don’t come out well.

Not only are the Packers ranked 29th overall (out of 32 teams) but they come out worst in the league in kickoff coverage and opponent kickoff starting point. Not a good look for Ron Zook’s crew.

Pro Football Focus ranks the Top 50 free agents set to hit the market. T.J. Lang, Nick Perry, JC Tretter and Eddie Lacy are all mentioned.

In Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft for ESPN, the long-time draftnik has the Packers taking a running back.

Eddie Lacy posted some rehab work on his Instagram page:

How can you tell it’s the offseason? Larry McCarren is singing.


Paul Noonan has heard enough of your Adrian Peterson nonsense:

Bill Huber continues his podcast-by-podcast look at various positions:

It would seem JC Tretter’s family is ready for free agency:

Vince Young, who had a cup of coffee with the Packers a few years ago, is trying to make a comeback.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman thinks quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in one particular way:

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