News: Jordy Nelson to Retire, Packers-Bears to Start 2019 NFL Season, LaFleur Studies Aaron Rodgers
While there was some hopeful buzz that Jordy might return to the Packers from free agency, it looks like he is going to retire:
🚨After more than a decade in the NFL, my brother, former #Packers & #Raiders WR @JordyRNelson is calling it a career. He’s stepping away from the game with more than 8,500 yards…72+ TD’s and as a SB Champion! I’m proud of him and happy for him and his family! #Ese’ #Respect
— James Jones (@89JonesNTAF) March 27, 2019
Needless to say, Jordy Nelson had one hell of a career. He has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of and I hope we still get to hear from him in some capacity in the future. Released by the Packers in March of last year, Nelson spent his final season with the NFL in Oakland with the Raiders – of course, he will always be known as a Packer. Drafted in the second round by the Packers in 2008, Nelson made the biggest impact on the team when his performance peaked between 2011 to 2016. He also played a pivotal role in the Packers win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
NFL.com recently announced that the beloved Packers vs Bears rivalry will start the 2019 NFL season with a Thursday Night Football game:
The Bears will host the Packers in an NFC North showdown at 8:20 p.m. EST on Sept. 5 on NBC to begin the NFL’s 100th season.
En route to claiming the NFC North title, the Bears won the last meeting, 24-17, but the Packers won the teams’ first 2018 tussle. It will mark the second year in a row in which the teams square off in Week 1, with last season’s 24-23 Packers victory featuring a comeback for the ages as an injured Aaron Rodgers reemerged to spoil Khalil Mack’s Bears debut.
Chicago, under reigning coach of the year Matt Nagy, will be looking to prove its 2018 turnaround from worst to first wasn’t a fluke as the Mack-led defense features returning difference-makers Eddie Jackson, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Fuller and Roquan Smith. Former first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky’s development at quarterback will also be a continuing storyline as he toes the line with Rodgers.
Rodgers helped the Packers to seven consecutive triumphs at Soldier Field before last season’s loss.
More important than the rivalry histrionics for the Packers, though, will be the debut of a new-look team trying to get back to the franchise that once ruled the north. In the aftermath of a 6-9-1 showing in which the Pack missed the postseason for the second year in a row, Green Bay will begin a new era under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur. The Packers will also feature a trio of high-profile free agents in edge rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith and safety Adrian Amos — a former Bear. In addition, it will also be the first time in a longtime that Green Bay will have a roster without linebacker Clay Matthews (signed by the Rams) and receiver Randall Cobb (signed with the Cowboys).
It is the league’s oldest and most-played rivalry. It’s a division showdown. It’s a star-studded showcase.
It’s a great way to kick off the 2019 season.
I can not think of a better way to start the next season. Hopefully the new coaching staff will have worked well enough on their overall communication to survive their first regulation NFL match-up against the Bears at Soldier Field during a night game. Pardon the cliche, but Game 1 is a great trial by fire for LaFleur and his new staff.
In somewhat related news, new head coach Matt LaFleur has been hard at work watching film and will have practice against an opposing team in training camp:
Let me clarify – LaFleur has watched every snap the past TWO seasons of Rodgers. That was the 1,500 estimate. He's now going back and watching older film (e.g. 2011, etc.) #Packers
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) March 26, 2019
For the first time since 2005, Matt LaFleur said the #Packers are planning to practice against a team in training camp (yes, it'll be in Green Bay).
Also, the Packers moving back to Friday practices, LaFleur's film study on Rodgers, his take on rule changes and more. https://t.co/UfWbLIJ4eV
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) March 26, 2019
Probably not a bad idea. I think at least the first few games this season are going to be a bit chaotic for the new staff, but the more effort they put in during preseason to work on communication should help alleviate this.
There is also some rumblings about a special preseason game:
What a day. Mark Murphy said the #Packers are in discussions to play a preseason game this summer against the Raiders in Canada. Possible locations are Saskatchewan and Winnipeg
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) March 27, 2019