Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
Interim coach Joe Philbin led the Packers (5-7-1) to a 34-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday at Lambeau Field. Next up: a tough test Sunday at noon against the Chicago Bears (9-4) at Soldier Field.
We'll start with former Cleveland Browns teammates Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins discussing in their "ThomaHawk Thoughts" for SI.com how the perception in Green Bay was that Mike McCarthy's term as Packers coach was way past its expiration date.
The biggest problem is that McCarthy's message got stale. I don’t care how motivating a head coach can be, but after a while the message, the analogies, everything grows stale because players have heard it so many times. For any coach that wants to have a long tenure in the NFL, it’s always important to reset your roster—even championship teams win and then blow their roster up not only because they know how hard it is to duplicate that, but also to keep the personalities in check.
Players develop a perception that the coach isn’t as sharp he used to be, and the mentality slides from here: Oh, I think this coach is going to get fired, I don’t have to sell out and give everything I have anymore. Once the coach does get fired, then the players don’t have an excuse anymore, and they realize they are the ones under the microscope, and they want to keep their job so they pick up their play. I think that’s why a lot of times when a coach gets fired, you see the interim coach having success right away.
You can read all of their thoughts on the matter here:
Jim Owczarski takes an in-depth look at how Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has gone about making in-season roster improvements:
The Packers and Bears have gone in opposite directions since Green Bay's thrilling Week 1 victory, writes Ryan Wood:
Aaron Rodgers talks about the "great games" the Packers have played at Soldier Field:
Justin McCray, who will start at left guard with Byron Bell (knee) going on injured reserve, is determined to fare better this time against the Bears' Akiem Hicks:
Owczarski and Tom Silverstein analyze the importance of the Packers' offensive line against the Bears' outstanding defense:
Don't look for the Packers to be playing overseas any time soon:
Packers fan Russell Beckman had his day in court against the Bears and awaits a ruling over whether he can wear Green Bay gear at Sunday's game:
ESPN compares and contrasts what has happened to the Packers and Bears since Green Bay's season-opening victory:
Bears coach Mike Nagy was a 23-year-old free-agent quarterback from Delaware getting ready for a tryout with the Packers in Green Bay when news broke about the 9/11 tragedies:
Another endorsement for Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as a head-coaching candidate:
A nice read from Rich Ryman on Packers season-ticket holders and friendships forged watching games together at Lambeau Field:
Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes about how the Packers' offense was more efficient at getting plays called:
Philbin rated fairly well in his first game as interim coach:
The lowdown on newly acquired Packers offensive lineman Nico Siragusa:
With the NFL giving the 2020 draft to glitzy Las Vegas, will Green Bay ever be seriously considered?
Former Packers training-camp quarterback Taysom Hill, now a do-everything gadget for the Saints, earned NFC special teams honors:
And finally .... more Packers autographs can be had for a good cause: