Packers Morning Buzz: Difference makers hard to find on defense

Stu Courtney
Green Bay Press-Gazette
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Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas sits on the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

After a surprise day off from practice Wednesday, the Packers (1-0-1) worked out inside the Don Hutson Center due to rain Thursday in preparation for their game Sunday at Washington (1-1).

We'll start with Pete Dougherty's column arguing that after they missed out on landing premier pass rusher Khalil Mack, the Packers could still upgrade their defense by trading for disgruntled Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas.

Pete writes:

He, too, will be looking for a top-of-the-market deal for his position. Eric Berry set that last year with a six-year contract that averages $13 million and included $29.8 million in full guarantees.

A six-year deal with that much guaranteed is too much at this point in Thomas’ career. One of the scouts said he’d pay Thomas a three-year extension at $12 million a year and maybe $15 million to $20 million fully guaranteed.

Would all that be enough to swing a deal? That’s up to the Seahawks and the player. But there’s no question Thomas could help the Packers where they need it most. They’re desperate for difference makers on defense, and Thomas is that, even if he isn’t a pass rusher.

While the Packers are OK at safety, Thomas would be a big upgrade. Neither Ha Ha Clinton-Dix nor Kentrell Brice is a true free safety. We saw that Sunday, when they played a big role in three of Minnesota’s four touchdown passes.

You can read the entire column here:

This could be the ideal game for Packers rookie inside linebacker Oren Burks to make his regular-season debut, writes Ryan Wood:

Ryan and Jim Owczarski analyze what the Packers' defense will be dealing with at Washington:

And don't miss Jim and Tom Silverstein's Packers Podcast previewing this Sunday's game:

Here's a primer on the run-pass option and how to stop it:

Given all their weapons, the Packers rank shockingly low in third-down conversions:

How do the Packers fare this year in Forbes' rankings of most valuable NFL franchises?

Interesting story from the Washington Post talking to defensive players on what it feels like going up against Aaron Rodgers (they can't believe how hard he throws):

And yet, Rodgers barely cracks the Top 10 on this list. See who's ahead of him:

The Packers want more from tight end Jimmy Graham, writes Jason Wilde for the Wisconsin State Journal:

ESPN's Rob Demovsky writes on how the Packers got Rodgers ready to play vs. Minnesota:

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back and former Packers great Jim Taylor turned 83 on Thursday:

Newly minted Hall of Fame guard Jerry Kramer still has plenty of stories to tell:


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