1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

The Big Lamborghini.

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,855
    Ratings:
    +22
    Kind of get the sense of the razzing that they do within the locker room, but one thing I drew out of it is the Clifton is getting near the end of his effective playing days due to his body breaking down.

    Sapp's hit took years off his career, no doubt. I still remember Mike Sherman going after Sapp, he would have gotten pummelled but he got in his face anyway.

    Packers: By any name, Clifton's a gamer
    By JASON WILDE
    608-252-6176
    jwilde@madison.com
    GREEN BAY — During his eight years as the Green Bay Packers' veteran left tackle, Chad Clifton has gone by a number of different nicknames.

    There's the unimaginative "Cliffy," which seems more appropriate for a postman who frequents a bar where everyone knows his name.

    There's "The Big Clip," which his not-so-sensitive offensive linemates coined after Clifton was blindsided by Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp in 2002 and suffered serious hip injuries.

    But right tackle Mark Tauscher, who like Clifton entered the NFL in 2000 and has been starting on the opposite end of the line ever since, likes his best.

    "The best nickname for Cliffy is 'The Big Lamborghini.' That's probably my favorite," said Tauscher, who brags about how he came up with the name. "Cliffy's a guy who needs a lot of maintenance, like a Lamborghini does. You put him out there 16 times, and then you keep him in the garage and keep him finely tuned."

    Clifton isn't particularly amused by the moniker, but he doesn't deny that it's pretty accurate.

    And when asked about it recently, he struggled with a comeback for his friend.

    "Big Tausch, we just call him 'The Dump Truck,' " Clifton said, clearly making up the nickname on the spot. "He comes to work every day ... maybe I shouldn't say that. What should we say about Tausch? 'The Garbage Truck'? 'The Recycling Truck'? I kind of like 'The Dump Truck.' "

    All kidding aside, the Packers are wise to be cautious with Clifton, whose body appeared to be breaking down last year.

    Forced to spend several hours in the training room each day just to be able to practice — he had arthroscopic surgery on both knees and his elbow prior to last season, his third straight offseason during which he had to undergo at least one surgery — Clifton was one of the players who benefitted most from the five days off coach Mike McCarthy gave the team for the bye week.

    He'll enter Monday night's game at Denver in perhaps his best health in several years.

    "He's a player getting up there in age," McCarthy said of Clifton, who turned 31 in June. "He's had surgeries in the past on his knees. We're just being smart with him."

    Part of being smart with Clifton is limiting him on Wednesdays — normally the heaviest practice day of the week, though this week's schedule is adjusted for the Monday night game — while making sure he gets enough work on Thursdays and Fridays to be ready for game day.

    That's vital, because the Packers know firsthand what happens when Clifton isn't available.

    When Clifton left the Packers' Sept. 16 game against the New York Giants with an ankle injury, it threw the entire line into disarray. With no capable tackle-only backup on the roster, starting left guard Daryn Colledge had to move to left tackle, right guard Junius Coston moved to left guard and Jason Spitz came off the bench, despite a calf injury, to fill in at right guard.

    Similar line-dancing was necessary last season in Miami, when Clifton suffered from food poisoning after having Saturday night dinner at a strip-mall sushi restaurant. He couldn't play the next day.

    "It's a little bit difficult (to replace Clifton)," offensive line coach James Campen conceded. "When something happens — we don't use the word 'hurt' — you try to minimize that by having just one move. But in that situation (with Clifton), it's usually a two-move situation. (Against the Giants), that's a three-move. But you have to play it as if nothing's happened."

    That is difficult, because though Clifton never has received Pro Bowl recognition, he is considered one of the league's top left tackles.

    When he allowed a sack in the opener, it was just the 16th he's given up in eight years.

    And in the Packers' Sept. 23 victory over San Diego, Clifton and Tauscher shut out Chargers All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman, who has 5� sacks on the year but was invisible in the Packers' 31-24 victory. Campen said Clifton faced Merriman on 65 percent of the passing plays, Tauscher 35 percent.

    "Merriman didn't get a hit, was not around the quarterback in any capacity," Campen said. "The week before he had 2� sacks, forced a fumble. He's an outstanding football player."

    So is Clifton.

    And while he said there is no additional pressure knowing what would happen to the line if he were to go down, Clifton said he enjoys being counted on. He certainly enjoys it more than his nickname.

    "Definitely, you want to be wanted. If they don't need you, they're probably going to get rid of you," said Clifton, who has missed only one game — that Miami game last year — since Sapp's hit, making 69 of a possible 70 starts. "So if you look at it that way, it's definitely nice to be needed. But it's a two-way street. You also have to produce and go out there and play well, play up to your ability."
     
  2. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    2,856
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yeah, I am also wondering how much longer Clifton can last. Thompson may have to rush that decision because Darryn Colledge would probably be better at left tackle than he is at left guard.
     
  3. gopackgo

    gopackgo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Ratings:
    +0
    Cool article. I like insight on the players that aren't the "skill" position or get as much notoriety.

    I hope Clifton keeps healthy throughout the rest of the season. It is hard to believe that hit on him was 5 years ago.
     
  4. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,000
    Ratings:
    +3
    I didn't realize it was that long ago either. I was surprised he was EVER able to come back and play after that cheap shot by (how fitting a name is that?) "SAPP!"
     
  5. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    803
    Ratings:
    +0
    Clifton has been worrying me this year, so I'm glad to see an article on him. At the start of every game I see him receiving extra leg stretching from a trainer. In between series too. Plus he just seems slow on his feet, which means if he does get beat he can't recover. He usually just ends up standing there.
    I'm a Cliffy fan (how could a GB fan not be?) but I really think it's going to be Colledge out there soon, or even Barbre if he impresses.
     
  6. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,454
    Ratings:
    +6
    payback comes december 9. I hope they cut block Sapp till he cant walk anymore. I hope it aches and hurts him till hes 90. Then when his grandkids come and sit on his lap i hope he cant feel it.

    then when they ask him... hey "grandpa douche" why are you in a wheelchair? he can tell them why.

    because hes a cheap shot douche bag that got what he had coming to him.
     
  7. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,486
    Ratings:
    +0
    I am pretty positive that "douchebag" is a single, or at worst, a hyphenated word.

    Hey, I am a stickler....what can I say when addressing such a massive ******-cleanser as Sapp.
     
  8. Timmons

    Timmons Cheesehead

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    623
    Ratings:
    +1
    I don't know which post is better.... Packnic or Digsthepack's. I love it.
     
  9. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Ratings:
    +0
    Personally, I like the nickname for Clifton all the guys I watch the game with use, "Old False Start". If I'm not mistaken Clifton has had at least one in every game he's ever played in.

    But seriously, I think Chad Clifton is very underrated. Despite everyone always predicting his demise due to knee and shoulder injuries, he just keeps playing and performing at a high level week after week. And I'm concerned about who'll play at LT if and when Clifton is out again for any length of time. Let's just say I'm not as enamored of Colledge as others appear to be. IMO, he isn't even an average performer at guard, let alone left tackle.
     
  10. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,000
    Ratings:
    +3
    high level, eh? He's been the weak link on the o-line, even moreso than those darned young kids, which is...unnacceptable. Bringing in the young guys was a risky move and the veteran anchors were supposed to be there and do their thing, but the vets have been making most of the mistakes. Looks like the "O-line rebuild process" happened one year too late, which of course is Thompson's fault (seriously).

    High level? Yeah....right.

    (I wish Clifton and the guys could be healthy and play forever, but that's not how it works. I'm glad there's some guys in the wings who could possibly do great things if given the job.)
     
  11. wils0646

    wils0646 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Messages:
    187
    Ratings:
    +1
    I have to disagree with part of your post. Clifton may be the week link in run blocking, but he is EXCELLENT at pass blocking. Amazingly good. If he was not there, Favre would be hit many many more times. I'm sure he's not built or athletic enough for the zone blocking scheme, but the pass blocking on Brett's blind side makes up for a lot of it.
     
  12. favrefourevre

    favrefourevre Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    128
    Ratings:
    +0
    I dunno, "grandpa douche" wins it for me.
     
  13. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    803
    Ratings:
    +0
    Agreed that he's still a very good pass blocker. We're just foreseeing a time (that seems sooner and sooner every week) where he won't be the best guy we could put there at LT.
     

Share This Page