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

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

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