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Scouting report: Packers


The Green Bay Packers are 5-7 this season and are currently on a two-game losing streak. The Packers and Texans are the only two 5-7 teams in the NFL heading into their Week 14 matchup.

Mike McCarthy took the job as head coach of the Green Bay Packers back in January 2006 and helped a 4-12 team improve to 8-8 in his rookie season. Last year, the Packers went 13-3, which tied a club record for regular season wins. That 13-3 record helped McCarthy earn the Motorola and NFL Alumni 2007 NFL Coach of the Year award.


Quarterback: The Packers began a new era at the beginning of the season, using a new starting quarterback for the first time since 1992 when Aaron Rodgers took over for long-time Packers great Brett Favre. Rodgers, who backed up Favre for three seasons after being drafted in the first round from the University of California, has thrown for 2,897 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.

Running back: Ryan Grant came out of nowhere in 2007 to earn the Packers' starting running back job and ran for 956 yards and eight touchdowns in just seven starts. His play last season earned him a new contract in the offseason, cementing his starting status with the team. Grant has rushed for 876 yards and three touchdowns this season, but has only averaged 3.8 yards per carry after boasting a 5.1 yards-per-carry average in 2007.

Wide receiver/tight end: The Packers' receiving corps is considered one of the tops in the league, led by the duo of Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. Jennings has become the Packers go-to guy in just his third year in the league. He has caught 64 passes for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns so far in 2008. Driver, a three-time Pro Bowler, has caught 54 passes for 698 yards and four touchdowns this season. Tight end Donald Lee has 34 receptions for 247 yards and four touchdowns.

Offensive line: At left tackle for the Packers is ninth-year pro Chad Clifton. Clifton made his first trip to the Pro Bowl last season after being named a Pro Bowl alternate three times earlier in his career. Left guard Daryn Colledge is in his third season in the league. Center Scott Wells is in his fifth season in the NFL and his third year as the Packers' starting center. Right guard Jason Spitzwas a teammate of Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye in college at Louisville. Right tackle Mark Tauscher is in his ninth season in the league. He has spent all nine seasons as the Packers' starting right tackle.


Defensive line: The Packers' defensive line is led by two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Kampman, who led the NFC last season with 15.5 sacks. This season, Kampman has 9.5 sacks and 44 tackles. Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, a former first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams, was signed by the Packers in 2006 via free agency. Pickett is in his eighth NFL season and has recorded 36 tackles and one sack this season. Next to Pickett on the defensive line is tackle Johnny Jolly, a Texas A&M graduate in his third NFL season. Jolly has 35 tackles and two passes defensed this season. Fourth-year defensive end Mike Montgomery has 42 tackles and a sack this season.

Linebacker: After Pro Bowl middle linebacker Nick Barnett went down with a season-ending injury, A.J. Hawk moved into the starting middle linebacker spot. Hawk was the fifth overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. He leads the Packers with 63 tackles. Fourth-year pro Brady Poppinga is third on the team with 50 tackles. Brandon Chillar is in his fifth NFL season and his first with the Packers. Chillar 46 tackles and one sack this season.

Secondary: The Packers have a solid secondary, starting with cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris. Woodson, a four-time Pro Bowler, is in his 11th season in the league. He has 42 tackles and has intercepted five passes this season, returning two of them for touchdowns. Harris made his first Pro Bowl last season and has recently returned from a ruptured spleen he suffered earlier in the year. He has 10 tackles and six passes defensed in eight starts this season. Strong safetyAtari Bigby, in his third NFL season, has 21 tackles and one interception this season. Free safety Nick Collins is in his fourth year in the league and is second on the team with 52 tackles. He also has intercepted five passes this season and returned three of them for touchdowns.


Kicking: Kicker Mason Crosby has made 22-of-26 field goal attempts and is 36-of-36 on extra point attempts. The Packers released their punter Derrick Frost on Monday and are said to be working out a few players this week to fill the spot.

Receiving: Cornerback Will Blackmon handles all punt return and kickoff return duties. Blackmon has 28 punt returns for 358 yards and two touchdowns and 43 kickoff returns for 921 yards.

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