Interesting comments from Jerry Kramer


Dec 9, 2004
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North Carolina
Jerry Kramer 'Takes Five'

In the Packers' old days, this wouldn't fly

Posted: Sept. 15, 2005

Approaching 70 and still active, Idaho native and former Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer has made a living playing football and, later, recalling the glory years when he played for the Vince Lombardi-coached teams that won five NFL championships. His latest venture is a Web site,, where he'll vend nostalgia items related to his 11 years as a Packer and one of the pillars of a dominating offensive line. He discussed the glorious old days - and what may be the inglorious new - with Journal Sentinel reporter Graeme Zielinski.

'Takes Five'

Q.The Packers lost their two starting guards in the off-season (Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle) and some commentators suggested that guards are replaceable. I wonder what your impression of that characterization is.

A. I think commentators are much more replaceable than guards. I think commentators are a dime a dozen. I didn't get to see the game Sunday, but I think the offensive line in general, and certainly I'm speaking from a prejudiced position, but it starts there, the whole process starts there. If you can't move the ball and you can't protect the ball then you can't control the ball. So I think that offensively and defensively, you've got to have the big guys up front, to take care of the business. . . . You are dead without a good offensive line. Forget it. It's over.

Q.You mention the "big guys." The NFL has disputed some medical reports recently that talked about the size and the girth of the lineman nowadays and how it's unhealthy for their physical well-being to carry that much weight. You came from a different era. What's your impression of size and weight?

A. I don't think the NFL knows a damn bit about it. There were several studies when I was playing that indicated that the life expectancy of linemen was 54 years of age and that NFL players in general had a life expectancy of 57 years of age. . . . Certainly, we all know that excess weight puts a heavy load on the heart. Seventy pounds of fat is like carrying around a 70-pound cement bag on your back all day long and all night. Certainly, size has to be a consideration. Things are changing so rapidly. We're learning so much about medicine and the human body.

Q. Back to this year's Packers (who lost in execrable fashion to the Detroit Lions, 17-3, Sunday). It's certainly not good to lose to a team that you've dominated over the years. What do you make of the coming season?

A. I don't know a great deal about it, but it's obviously a very poor start. I did happen to catch the (pre-season) Detroit-St. Louis Rams game (Aug. 29). St. Louis looked sensationally sharp that night and embarrassed the Detroit Lions. I don't remember what the score was (37-13), but (the Lions) were outclassed and outplayed and outscored pretty severely. Now, if that's the same team that beats us, we're in deep doo-doo. . . . The one thing that did stick out and I read about it was the 18 penalties. That's unacceptable.

Q.Do you recall a Lombardi team that had 18 penalties, and if there was a Lombardi team that had 18 penalties, what would have happened?

A. (Long pause, followed by the wriest of smiles.) I had two holding penalties in my 11 years in Green Bay. Two flags for holding. I made maybe one or two errors a year. It was totally unacceptable (to commit penalties). Of course, we had a very basic system and we kept that system for a number of years so we didn't have a great deal of changes, and once you learned it, it was pretty much there. . . . But we just didn't make mistakes, and that was kind of one of the hallmarks of our organization. And when a kid (cornerback Ahmad Carroll) makes four or five errors in a row, we've got to take a hard look at the kid and his mental abilities.

Q.Knowing what you do about who's in the league right now and when you were still wearing pads, if there was a player who you wanted to drill, either because he jawed too much on defense or was a showboat, who would it be?

A. Probably (Oakland Raiders defensive lineman) Warren Sapp. I don't like his attitude. I don't like what he did to the Packer player, what was the kid's name? Chad Clifton. I thought that was (chicken leavings). I think (Sapp) is a big mouth. And those are the kind of guys you like to shut up.

"It was totally unacceptable (to commit penalties). "

Hopefully Sherman has been stessing this point this week. (Of course it should have been stressed from day one)


Jun 7, 2005
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Guadalajara, Mexico
Yes I like this guy a true Packer Player !!!! Anyhow check on Carroll the holder !!!
Maybe he can be used as a cup holder near the gatorade station !!! :twisted: