Packers Morning Buzz: Mark Murphy intrigued by XFL kickoff rules

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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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

We'll start with Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy telling Mark Maske of the Washington Post at the NFL combine Monday that he's intrigued by the XFL's alternative kickoff rules.

Via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:

“Obviously it makes it safer because you’re taking the speed out of it,” said Murphy. A member of the Competition Committee, Murphy said that there has been no formal discussion of the alternative formation by the league’s rule-recommending body.

Hopefully, they’ll discuss it and suggest that the owners adopt it, without regard to concerns that one or more owners would respond by saying, “Why didn’t you think of this on your own?” For years, the NFL has been trying to take the high-speed collisions out of the kickoff return, but the league’s solutions have made the play less and less relevant.

The XFL’s approach makes the play safer by keeping 20 players within five yards of each other, while also creating more returns. 

You can read the PFT story here:

Murphy sounds less enthralled with the NFL's pass interference replay rule:

Murphy also discussed the framework for a 17-game schedule:

The Packers will be busy this week at the combine in Indianapolis, and Jim Owczarski examines their priorities:

A viewers guide for watching the NFL combine workouts:

And a handy place to get combine results:

And speaking of the combine:

That's the problem with trying to project Packers free-agency targets: You don't really know who's going to be available:

The Packers have only two free agents on's Top 101 list:

42  Bryan Bulaga  OT

The most consistent blocker on one of the best offensive lines of Aaron Rodgers' career, the oft-injured Bulaga played all 16 games for just the third time in nine years. He will be in demand even if he's a year-to-year proposition in his early-30s.

65  Blake Martinez  LB

The tackle numbers that brighten Martinez's box score are impressive to behold. Too often, though, they occur 8 or 9 yards downfield with the linebacker absorbing -- rather than delivering -- the blow.

You can see the entire list here:

Bulaga evaluates Brian Baldinger's evaluation of him:

Peter Bukowski writes about the concept of "premium positions" for Acme Packing Co.:

The MMQB's Albert Breer looks at where each NFL team needs an infusion of youth, and his Packers position comes as no surprise:

Packers: Offensive tackle. David Bakhtiari turns 29 in the fall, and Bryan Bulaga’s a free agent. So while the temptation here is to say the need would be at receiver, the team at least has a good developmental guy there in Marquez Valdes-Scantling. If Bulaga bolts, then this becomes a pressing need. And even if returns, they could use a swing tackle they could groom behind both their guys at the position.

You can read Breer's entire (and quite lengthy) column here:

And finally: The Jaguars are parting ways with a former Packers linebacker:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt

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