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

Charles JohnsonAug 31 08:12p

The Cleveland Browns have placed WR Charles X. Johnson, OT Martin Wallace and OG Karim Barton on no-recall waivers.

Daryl RichardsonAug 31 07:22p

The New York Jets signed free-agents DT Tevita Finau, DL Kerry Hyder, SS Rontez Miles, TE Chris Pantale, OT Brent Qvale, RB Daryl Richardson and QB Matt Simms to [ More ]

Alex SmithAug 31 07:02p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $68 million with $45 million guaranteed.

Mike KafkaAug 31 05:02p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added TE Cameron Brate, RB Jeff Demps, QB Mike Kafka, LB Brandon Magee, DT Matthew Masifilo and WR Solomon Patton to their practice squad.

Michael CoxAug 31 04:42p

The New York Giants have signed RB Michael Cox, CB Bennett Jackson, CB Chandler Fenner, LB Dan Fox, DE Jordan Stanton, WR Julian Talley and OT Nick Becton to their practice squad.

Rex GrossmanAug 31 04:23p

The Cleveland Browns have released QB Rex Grossman, according to a source.

Michael EgnewAug 31 04:12p

The Detroit Lions have signed TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn to their practice squad.

Benson MayowaAug 31 04:12p

The Oakland Raiders have claimed DE Benson Mayowa off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.

Ryan JensenAug 31 03:42p

The Baltimore Ravens will sign QB Keith Wenning, CB Tramain Jacobs, TE Phillip Supernaw, LB John Simon, RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, DT AJ Pataialii and OG Ryan Jensen to their [ More ]

A.Q. ShipleyAug 31 03:32p

The Indianapolis Colts have claimed OG A.Q. Shipley off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.

Jeff TuelAug 31 03:22p

The Buffalo Bills have signed S Deon Broomfield, DE Bryan Johnson, S Kenny Ladler, QB Jeff Tuel, LB Jimmy Gaines, WR Caleb Holley and DL Ikponmwosa Igbinosun to their practice squad.

Kapri BibbsAug 31 03:12p

The Denver Broncos have signed LB Shaquil Barrett, RB Kapri Bibbs, FS John Boyett, QB Zac Dysert, WR Bennie Fowler, OT Vinston Painter, WR Nathan Palmer, C Matt Paradis [ More ]

Lawrence OkoyeAug 31 03:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have added DL Lawrence Okoye and LB Shayne Skov to their practice squad.

Travian RobertsonAug 31 03:02p

The Atlanta Falcons have signed CB Ricardo Allen, FS Sean Baker, OG Harland Gunn, OL Terren Jones, WR Bernard Reedy, DL Travian Robertson, LB Jacques Smith and RB Jerome Smith to the practice squad.

Myles WhiteAug 31 02:52p

The Green Bay Packers have signed S Chris Banjo, WR Myles White, CB Jumal Rolle, TE Justin Perillo and OL Jeremy Vujnovich to their practice squad.

Tim DobbinsAug 31 02:43p

The Atlanta Falcons have claimed LB Nathan Stupar off waivers from the Jacksonivlle Jaguars and placed him on their 53-man roster, according to a league source. In a corresponding [ More ]

Ryan MallettAug 31 02:12p

The Houston Texans have acquired QB Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots, in exchange for a sixth-round pick, according to multiple sources.

Ryan SeymourAug 31 01:02p

The Cleveland Browns claimed free-agent OG Ryan Seymour (49ers) off waivers Sunday, Aug. 31.

Michael SamAug 31 12:12p

Free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams) reportedly cleared waivers and is free to sign with any team.

Josh KadduAug 31 03:22a

To get its roster down to 53 players on Saturday, Aug. 30, the Philadelphia Eagles released OT Kevin Graf, FS Keelan Johnson, LB Josh Kaddu, DT Wade Keliikipi and WR Will Murphy.

Wes WelkerAug 31 12:12a

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) will increase his activity level when the team returns to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Khaled HolmesAug 30 11:52p

Indianapolis Colts C Khaled Holmes (ankle) is one of five offensive linemen on the team that is currently dealing with an injury, and Mike Wells of ESPN.com believes the [ More ]

Alfonso SmithAug 30 10:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Alfonso Smith was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Tyler BrayAug 30 09:52p

Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Bray (undisclosed) and WR Kyle Williams (shoulder) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jamarca SanfordAug 30 09:52p

Minnesota Vikings OT Antonio Richardson (undisclosed) and S Jamarca Sanford (undisclosed) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Aug. 30.

A.J. McCarronAug 30 09:42p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder) was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jamar ChaneyAug 30 09:32p

Denver Broncos LB Jamar Chaney (undisclosed) was released from Denver's Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownAug 30 09:22p

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on no-recall waivers with a waived/injured designation Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve BeauharnaisAug 30 09:02p

New England Patriots LB Steve Beauharnais (undisclosed) was placed on no-recall waivers after reaching an injury settlement Saturday, Aug. 30.

Andrew TillerAug 30 08:52p

Green Bay Packers OG Andrew Tiller (calf) and LB Joseph Thomas (knee) were placed on no-recall waivers after being released from Green Bay's Reserve/Injured list with injury settlements Saturday, Aug. 30.

Rajion NealAug 30 08:42p

Green Bay Packers RB Rajion Neal (knee) was placed on no-recall waivers after being released from Green Bay's Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Saturday, Aug. 30.

Shaun ChapasAug 30 07:52p

Baltimore Ravens RB Shaun Chapas (undisclosed) was waived from the Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement.

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