Update: With the Saints victory over the Lions Saturday night, the Packers will face the winner of Sunday's Giants-Falcons game, next Sunday at Lambeau.
By Travis Duncan
Aaron Rodgers graces one of four regional covers of Sports Illustrated this week. Rodgers was also named SI senior NFL writer Peter King's pick for NFL MVP.
But King predicts the New Orleans Saints will actually advance out of the NFC, and face the Patriots, and win the Super Bowl.
-Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has interviewed with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs according to multiple published reports. With one of the league's best all-time offenses, Philbin it's highly possible he will be a head coach on another team next season.
Philbin has been the offensive coordinator with the Packers since 2007.
-Packers director of college scouting John Dorsey has turned down the Indianapolis Colts offer to interview for the general manger's job, according to ESPN Milwaukee-the reason why? According to sources, he's content in Green Bay.
-Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie has been hired as the Oakland Raiders new general manager, according to reports.
McKenzie has worked in the Packers front office for the last 18 years and has more recently served as the right-hand man of general manager Ted Thompson.
It signals a new direction for the Black and Silver as the late owner Al Davis served as the team's general manager and decision maker until his death this past October.
McKenzie has ties to the Raiders organization having played linebacker for the then Los Angeles Raiders from '85-'88.
McKenzie comes highly recommended to Raiders owner Mark Davis by former Packers general manager Ron Wolf. Wolf worked with Davis and the Raiders front office in the '60s and '70s. According to Pro Football Talk.com, Eliot Wolf, Ron's son, who is in his first year as the Packers assistant director of player personal, will also go to Oakland with McKenzie.
McKenzie was a finalist for the Atlanta Falcons GM job in 2008 and the Texans in 2006 and the Titans in 2007.
One of McKenzie's notable transactions is the singing of Charlie Peprah, who has had his deficiencies, but generally played well at the safety position filling in for the injured Nick Collins.
-Writers for Pro Football Weekly believe the Packers are not likely to franchise tag quarterback Matt Flynn who will be a free-agent at the end of the season. According to the magazine's calculations the Packers would need to pay Flynn $14 million in order to franchise tag him and that applying to the tag to Jermichael Finley is more likely which would cost $5.4 million.
There has been some talk that the Packers could tag Flynn then trade him and get draft picks in return. According to PFW, that is against the league's collective bargaining rules.
-Speaking of financials, the Packers got a steal when they signed Jordy Nelson to a three-year $13 million contract in October. $4.3 million is not bad for a wide out but considering his production-the price is right for the Packers.
Nelson finished ninth in the receiving yards and third in receiving touchdowns (15 total) in the NFL. The only other two players to catch more touchdown passes were Calvin Johnson (16) of the Detroit Lions and Rob Gronkowski (17) of the Patriots.
Johnson made $8.8 million in 2011. Gronkowski is underpaid and will likely will get a contract extension soon signed a 4-year $4.4 million contract in 2010 with incentives.
-Rodgers' hugely popular Discount Double check ad with State Farm Insurance will get a part two, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Insurance company's lead marketing guy, Tim Van Hoof, is a Wisconsin native to boot. The new commercial, which could also feature B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews,should begin airing this weekend.
-Brad Jones is poised to start in the playoffs at right outside linebacker ahead of Erik Walden and Frank Zombo. According to reports Jones started in practice this week with the first team defense at the position and Walden got some time in too. The criticism of Walden has been the inability to get the football or around blocks. Jones brings the ability to stop the run, which will be critical against just about any of the teams the Packers will face besides perhaps the Lions.
-Aaron Rodgers says he's not worried about losing an edge by sitting two weeks, “I’m not worried about rust,” Rodgers said via CBSSports.com. “You want to stay mentally sharp, that’s the most important thing, and keep up on your conditioning.”
Health wise everything is looking up, James Starks is the only player which did not practice fully this week because of injury. Starks is still recovering from an ankle injury.
Greg Jennings said via CBSSports, "Right now, my knee is as stable as it's going to be, and it's been as stable as it's going to get for the last two week."
The Packers now have the weekend off and will return to practice Monday knowing their opponent.
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