2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Hawk flying high at linebacker for Packers

By GENARO C. ARMAS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-17 17:41

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Linebacker A.J. Hawk took an offseason pay cut. He has been criticized by some Packers fans in the past for a lack of big plays or being a step slow.

Well, Green Bay is getting its money's worth so far this year.

The eighth-year veteran has stepped up big inside and provided a steady presence on a linebacker unit ravaged by injuries heading into Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

He's Mr. Consistency to coach Mike McCarthy.

''A.J. Hawk, he's the same guy every day, and I think that's a huge complement in a professional environment,'' McCarthy said Thursday. ''I would hope that I would be viewed that way when my time's over.''

That even-keeled approach may be a reason why Hawk agreed to what amounted to a three-year, $7.25 million pay cut off the five-year, $33.75 million deal he signed in 2011. He didn't care about how he would be perceived on the outside. He's comfortable in Green Bay.

The indentation on the bridge of his nose, imprinted from his helmet after all these years making tackles at Green Bay and at Ohio State, is proof of his experience.

Hawk has the benefit of perspective. When told that a teammate thought that he was overlooked, Hawk responded to reporters in the locker room, ''Nah. I think that's a pretty arrogant way of thinking if you're anybody.

''The truth is we all won the lottery here, man,'' he said. ''You guys, us, we got a pretty good deal going here. We get to play football for a living so (no), I never sat there and thought `woe is me' or `poor me' for a second.''

Through five games, Hawk has 42 tackles and three sacks - all three coming in last week's gritty 19-17 win over the Ravens. The sacks were a career high in one game for Hawk, who came up clutch when Green Bay was without fellow inside linebacker Brad Jones and pass-rushing specialist Clay Matthews on the outside.

Matthews (thumb) is likely out for a few more weeks, while Jones' availability for Sunday doesn't look promising after not practicing so far this week. Outside linebacker Nick Perry is out now, too, after suffering a foot injury in the Ravens game.

And to make matters even worse, Mike Neal, who had stepped in for Matthews, missed the first two days of practice this week with a bruised shoulder. That leaves rookies Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer on the outside for now, with third-year pro Jamari Lattimore starting inside next to Hawk.

Mulumba had four tackles last week, while Lattimore had three, including two for losses.

''You can't sit here and feel sorry for yourself and really ask why,'' Hawk said, ''especially with the numbers of guys we have going down. But (you've) got to just keep rolling and try to trust whatever training, what your plan is.''

Some of Hawk's success this season can be attributed to the improved play of the defensive line. The unit has tightened against the run, ranked third in the league in allowing just 78.2 yards per game.

''We take pride, the big fellas up front, to stop the run,'' said 340-pound defensive tackle Ryan Pickett.

He's just as happy that Hawk is getting recognition. Pickett, who also went to Ohio State, said Hawk does a lot of ''dirty work'' that doesn't always get recorded on the stat sheet.

''You know he's going to be there, every play,'' Pickett said. ''He's got this calm demeanor about him, poised. He never panics.''

Notes: McCarthy had said Friday will be important in determining the availabilities of Neal and receiver James Jones (knee) for the Browns. When asked Thursday if Jones was on track, McCarthy sounded less optimistic. ''We'll see ... It's going to be close.'' ... Injuries at linebacker and receiver are having a ripple effect elsewhere. ''There's going to be a position or two that's stressed, (but) I think it clearly would stress special teams,'' McCarthy said. ... CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) was a limited practice participant for a second straight day. The key defensive back has yet to play this season.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

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

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tharold SimonOct 20 11:04p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (ankle) and CB Byron Maxwell (calf) may be able to play in Week 7, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

A.J. GreenOct 20 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he will play Sunday, Oct. 26, against the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Marcus GilbertOct 20 10:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion) is out for the remainder of the team's Week 7 game after being diagnosed with a concussion.

Ahmad BradshawOct 20 08:43p

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw is on pace for a combined 215 rushes and receptions and 1,753 total yards this season.

Devier PoseyOct 20 07:13p

The Houston Texans have declared CB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Jumal Rolle, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 7.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 07:13p

Denver Broncos RB Kapri Bibbs was attracting interest from other teams on the practice squad, and the Broncos elevated him to their active roster because they didn't want to [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:08p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is expected to be put through a rigorous workout Wednesday, Oct. 22, that will give team officials a better idea of where [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:07p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could start in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys if he looks really good in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a [ More ]

Ike TaylorOct 20 07:03p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 20 07:03p

Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 06:53p

The Denver Broncos signed practice squad RB Kapri Bibbs to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

San Francisco 49ers C Daniel Kilgore (leg) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the team's Week 7 game. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 20 06:43p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) will not be able to play in Week 8.

Derrick ColemanOct 20 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) will miss at least six weeks because of a foot injury he suffered in Week 7.

Usama YoungOct 20 06:23p

Oakland Raiders FS Usama Young (knee) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in Week 7, according to a source.

S. RichardsonOct 20 06:13p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released from the practice squad injured list with an injury settlement Monday, Oct. 20.

Rey MaualugaOct 20 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is expected to miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury.

Chris SmithOct 20 06:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Chris Smith was signed from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Tom CrabtreeOct 20 06:03p

The New Orleans Saints re-signed TE Tom Crabtree to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Vontaze BurfictOct 20 05:53p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (neck) did not suffer a concussion in the team's Week 7 game but did suffer a neck injury, according to a team official. Burfict [ More ]

Gerell RobinsonOct 20 05:53p

Carolina Panthers DB Robert Lester, Cleveland Browns TE Gerell Robinson, Dallas Cowboys DT Ken Bishop and LB Korey Toomer and Miami Dolphins DT Deandre Coleman cleared waivers and became [ More ]

Brandon CarrOct 20 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr (hamstring) strained his hamstring in Week 7 against the New York Giants. Carr still played every defensive snap and should be able to play [ More ]

Austin PettisOct 20 05:43p

The St. Louis Rams waived WR Austin Pettis Monday, Oct. 20.

Vincent JacksonOct 20 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson's name came up over the weekend in reports that the team was fielding phone calls from interested teams, but head coach Lovie Smith [ More ]

Manti Te'oOct 20 05:23p

San Diego Chargers LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) and LB Manti Te'o (foot) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 20. CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and [ More ]

Matt RyanOct 20 05:23p

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. 'We had way too much pressure,' head [ More ]

T.J. WardOct 20 05:03p

Denver Broncos CB Omar Bolden (concussion), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) didn't practice Monday, Oct. 20. S Quinton Carter (hamstring), CB Chris Harris Jr. (knee), RB Juwan Thompson (knee) and [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 20 05:03p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) has a strained calf and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Jake LockerOct 20 05:03p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is scheduled to throw Tuesday, Oct. 21, and the team will see how he responds Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Brian HoyerOct 20 04:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer is still the team's starting quarterback even though he struggled in Week 7, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Ahtyba RubinOct 20 04:43p

Cleveland Browns DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) received a second option on his injured ankle. Head coach Mike Pettine said surgery for Rubin has not been ruled out.

Jason VerrettOct 20 04:43p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) missed his second game of the year in Week 7 with a shoulder injury, and his absence hurt the team in space against the Kansas City Chiefs.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group