2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers' MD Jennings tries to get past call

By GENARO C. ARMAS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-22 17:37

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Packers safety M.D. Jennings stood in front of his locker and patiently answered every question about the final play in last year's Seahawks game. Yes, that one, with the replacement referees and Golden Tate's disputed touchdown.

For as much as others bring up the infamous call, Jennings isn't stuck in the past. He'll have more pressing matters on his mind when Seattle visits Lambeau Field for a preseason game Friday night.

The post-Charles Woodson era is under way in the Green Bay secondary, where Jennings is locked in a training camp duel with Jerron McMillan at strong safety.

``It's close, close enough that we haven't made a decision yet,'' safeties coach Darren Perry said. ``It will probably come down to the end.''

Well, Friday night represents a chance for Jennings to create some separation - and maybe exorcise some bad memories, too.

``All the time, it's something that's stuck with me unfortunately,'' Jennings said about the play. ``It's something that I'm trying to get over. I don't want to be remembered by that play. I just try to go out there and play football.''

As if the task of following veteran defensive leader Woodson wasn't tough enough. Released in the offseason in a cost-cutting move by Green Bay after seven years, the 36-year-old Woodson is back with the Oakland Raiders, the team that originally drafted him in 1998.

Not that the Packers aren't used to playing without Woodson, who missed the last nine games of the 2012 regular season because of a broken right collarbone. Woodson did play in the team's two postseason games.

Woodson, the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, was one of the most respected players in the locker room.

``It was an honor and a blessing to play with a Hall of Fame player like Charles Woodson, just to be able to be around him, watch him work on and off the field,'' free safety Morgan Burnett said.

``Now it's time for us to apply it to the game and grow from it.''

Burnett, a third-round pick from Georgia Tech in 2010, is a lock after signing an offseason extension. He's started all 36 games in which he's appeared in three seasons, compiling 259 tackles and six interceptions.

Still, one of the lasting memories of the offseason was how the defense got torched by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers in the playoffs. Green Bay gave up too many big plays overall in 2012.

The Packers got help up front in the draft in first-round pick Datone Jones, a defensive end from UCLA. But the team didn't draft a safety, leaving Jennings and McMillan to compete.

Jennings is in his third year out of Arkansas State. He impressed enough last season that he started 10 games, and replaced Woodson in the lineup for the final nine regular-season contests. Perry called Jennings a ``go-get-the-ball kind of a guy and sure tackler.''

McMillan, in his second year out of Maine, played every game last year off the bench. ``He's effective up there near the line of scrimmage, a little bit more a thumper. Mentally, both of those guys have been sharp,'' Perry said.

Both players are expected to get more reps this Friday, in what's considered the ``dress rehearsal'' for the regular season. Typically, NFL teams give starters limited - if any - playing time in the fourth preseason game, mostly to limit chances of injury.

Memories of last year's Seahawks game are sure to linger among fans at Lambeau Field on Friday night even if the Packers themselves are downplaying questions about the play.

``I think that it's funny that a year later people are still talking about it ...'' Tate said this week. ``I'm in the record books for that play.''

The disputed touchdown catch on the final play of the 14-12 win will be forever remembered as the tipping point in helping push aside replacement referees and getting the NFL's regular officials back on the field. Here's a refresher on the call:

-Side judge Lance Easley signaled touchdown, citing simultaneous possession with Jennings.

-Back judge Derrick Rhone-Dunn waved his arms to stop the clock.

-Referee Wayne Elliott announced the play would be reviewed and after coming out from under the hood, said the ruling on the field of a touchdown stood.

Tate views the play as a springboard to other big plays for him last year.

``I think that at any moment, I can go out there and change the game, I can turn a third-and-4 to a big first down and take us into the red zone,'' Tate said. ``That just shows that the game is not over until there (is no time) on the clock.''

As for Jennings, he's looking to move on.

``It's not about Golden Tate or the Seahawks,'' Jennings said. ``It's just about getting better as a team, getting better for the regular season.''

---

AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Renton, Wash., contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Brandon ColemanSep 2 10:03p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandon Coleman has impressed QB Drew Brees during training camp and the preseason. The quarterback said Tuesday, Sept. 2, that he has a great comfort level with Coleman.

Richard RodgersSep 2 09:43p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers is expected to see more opportunities in the passing game with WR Jordy Nelson (knee) done for the season.

Melvin GordonSep 2 08:23p

San Diego Chargers RBs Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown will be part of a committee at running back this season, according to QB Philip Rivers. [ More ]

Randall CobbSep 2 07:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) said he'd be comfortable starting in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears even if he doesn't practice next week. However, wide receivers [ More ]

Giovani BernardSep 2 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals RBs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard both finished among the top-16 running backs in point-per-reception leagues last season.

Tom BradySep 2 04:33p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady doesn't look like he'll reach a settlement with the NFL. The league and the NFL Player's Associated have not had any talks regarding [ More ]

Victor CruzSep 2 04:03p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) is doubtful to play Week 1, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Dan Graziano. Cruz has not yet been cleared to practice and did not participate in the preseason.

LeSean McCoySep 2 01:43p

Updating an earlier report, Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) may not be in great 'football shape' once Week 1 rolls around, according to a source. He's not at [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 2 12:43p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) seems to be in some danger of missing the season opener Sept. 13. 'Well we certainly expect him to be ready to go, [ More ]

EJ ManuelSep 2 11:33a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is expected to remain on the team as the backup quarterback. There is growing expectations that QB Matt Cassel will be cut.

Matt CasselSep 2 09:23a

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel could be cut by the team, as they are internally discussing the option.

Joseph RandleSep 2 08:33a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could have 10-15 carries per game with RB Darren McFadden slightly below that, in the opinion of beat writer Drew Davison

Travis CoonsSep 1 11:03p

Cleveland Browns PK Travis Coons edged out PK Carey Spear, winning the battle for the placekicking job. 'Yeah, it was close. I thought both guys handled themselves very well, [ More ]

Nick ToonSep 1 07:43p

New Orleans Saints WRs Nick Toon, Lance Lewis and R.J. Harris were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Randall CobbSep 1 06:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (shoulder) thinks his sprained right shoulder will be good to go to play in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears in 12 days. [ More ]

James ButlerSep 1 05:53p

Green Bay Packers WR James Butler and TE Harold Spears were released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Julius ThomasSep 1 05:23p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) will undergo surgery on his injured finger Wednesday, Sept. 2, according to a source. Thomas is expected to miss four to five weeks.

Zac DysertSep 1 05:13p

Free-agent QB Zac Dysert (Broncos) was claimed by the Chicago Bears Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Tom BradySep 1 05:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will know his fate by the end of this week. Judge Richard Berman said he will issue his decision and order by that time.

Matt BlanchardSep 1 04:53p

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Blanchard was released Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Juron CrinerSep 1 04:32p

New York Giants RB Akeem Hunt (hamstring) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Juron Criner and Derrick X. Johnson and TE Will Tye were also waived.

Robert HerronSep 1 04:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Robert Herron was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Phil TaylorSep 1 04:23p

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Junior HemingwaySep 1 04:12p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Junior Hemingway was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Michael HillSep 1 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys RB Michael Hill (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, Sept. 1. WRs Antwan Goodley and David Porter and TE Brandon Barden were also waived.

Travis KelceSep 1 03:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) would be able to play if the Chiefs had a game Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kelce is recovering from an ankle sprain.

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 03:03p

Carolina Panthers WRs Jarrett Boykin and De'Andre Presley were waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jace AmaroSep 1 01:33p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (shoulder) will have season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Erik LorigSep 1 12:33p

New Orleans Saints FB Erik Lorig was cut Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nathan PalmerSep 1 11:53a

Denver Broncos WR Nathan Palmer was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Devonta FreemanSep 1 11:32a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was the most active in practice Monday, Aug. 31, that he was been since a hamstring injury Aug. 6. It's unclear whether he'll play [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 10:33a

Carolina Panthers WR Jarrett Boykin was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group