WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: Jolly continues to impress in Packers training camp
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers will host Seattle tomorrow night, and defensive end Johnny Jolly will get another chance to audition for a spot on the Packers’ regular season roster.
He’s been impressive at Training Camp, considering he was out for three years with a drug suspension that included six months in prison for repeated codeine possession in his home state of Texas. In Saturday night’s exhibition win over Saint Louis, the 30-year-old Jolly intercepted a deflected pass, batted two others away, and had two tackles. He then kept his momentum going at Monday’s practice with two more pass break-ups. Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said it looks as if Jolly has not lost his skills despite being off the field for three-and-a-half years. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Jolly’s skill set is definitely there – and he said Jolly still has great instincts. In his last full season in 2009, Jolly set a Green Bay record for pass break-ups by a defensive lineman with 11.
Green Bay Packers’ Head Coach Mike McCarthy said his players did not take full advantage of their final practice before tomorrow night’s home exhibition game against Seattle. He told reporters that he liked the start of yesterday’s practice – but things went downhill after they started scrimmaging. McCarthy said he thought quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked fine, after he missed Tuesday’s workout with a head cold. Rodgers said he was okay – and he wasn’t sure what the coach was bothered about. Defensive tackle B.J. Raji didn’t have a clue, either. He said he was carrying out his own assignments – but if the tempo of the scrimmage was not up to par, then Raji said it wasn’t good enough. The news wasn’t all bad, though. Receiver Randall Cobb returned to practice on a limited basis, after coming off an injured biceps. He’s expected to play tomorrow night against Seattle. Running back DuJuan Harris is expected to make his pre-season debut, after being out with a knee injury. McCarthy said Harris performed well upon his return to practice this week.
Former University of Wisconsin guard John Moffitt will continue his NFL career in Denver instead of Cleveland. The Seattle Seahawks traded Moffitt to the Browns on Monday for defensive end Brian Sanford. Cleveland later nullified the trade, citing “health concerns.” The Seahawks later shipped Moffitt to Denver for defensive tackle Sealver Siliga. The deal hinges on both players passing a physical, which was still pending at last word. Seattle drafted Moffitt in the third round in 2011. He started his first nine games as a rookie, before getting a knee injury that ended his first season. He also had elbow surgery that year, and was suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. His agent said Moffitt took Adderall to reduce hyper-activity. Last year, Moffitt started the final six games to help Seattle make the NFC Playoffs.
The Milwaukee Brewers could have won a lot of series this year, and didn’t. One reason is that they get stuck on the final game of their sets. Yesterday’s home loss to Saint Louis was a perfect example. The Brewers let the Cards go up 7-0 in the second inning. The Crew tried catching up, but it was too late and they lost 8-6. As a result, Milwaukee blew a chance to win its first series in four tries against the Cardinals this year. The Brewers are just 8-and-32 on the final game of a series. Lots of those games are played during the day, and Milwaukee is only 13-29 when they’re not under the artificial lights. Also, they’re 6-23 on “getaway days,” the final games before they take off for another city. Manager Ron Roenicke says the Brewers have had trouble with day games in all but one of the last five years. He’s not sure why that is – and he says he does not pay a lot of attention to it. The Brewers remain a half-game ahead of the last-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central. The Crew opens a series at Cincinnati tomorrow night.
Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says he’ll give starter Tom Gorzelanny at least one more chance before deciding whether to send him back to the bullpen. The veteran left-hander started the year as a long reliever before injuries moved him into the rotation. Gorzelanny had a decent ERA of 2.57 until he struggled in his last two starts – including yesterday’s home loss to Saint Louis. Gorzelanny was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in three-and-two-thirds innings yesterday. He gave up 12 earned runs in eight-and-a-third innings of his last two starts, for a 12.97 ERA. Roenicke said he’s not committed to keeping Gorzelanny in the rotation, but he wants to talk to general manager Doug Melvin about it before making a change.
In the Midwest League, the Beloit Snappers will try to win their second straight at Kane County tonight. The Snappers beat the Cougars 8-to-5 last night in 10 innings. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are at Clinton again, on the heels of a 4-3 Rattlers’ loss. Also tonight, Peoria plays at home against Burlington. Western Division leader Cedar Rapids is at Quad Cities. East leader Bowling Green hosts West Michigan. Dayton plays at Lake County. Lansing is at Great Lakes. And Fort Wayne entertains South Bend.
Rhinelander native Dan Forsman is part of the field for the Boeing Classic on the senior PGA Champions Tour. The 54-hole tournament begins tomorrow in Snoqualmie Washington. Forsman is 47th in the Charles Schwab Cup season point standings on the 50-and-over circuit. He has 90 points in 16 events, with two Top-10 finishes this year. Kenny Perry leads the Schwab standings with 26-hundred-19 points, two victories, and nine Top-10 performances.
Defending champion UW-Platteville has been picked to win another WIAC men’s soccer title. The Pioneers topped the pre-season poll from conference coaches and sports information directors. Platteville won its first WIAC crown a year ago with the most victories in school history at 15. They also made the Sweet-16 round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Platteville has eight starters back, and they’re ranked 17th in a national coaches’ pre-season poll. UW-Whitewater is picked to finish second in the league followed by Oshkosh and Superior.
Aurora is the pre-season favorite to win another women’s soccer crown this fall in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The Spartans have won every regular season crown since the league was formed in 2006 – and they’ve won all but one conference tournament, including the last four. Concordia-Mequon is picked to finish second in the poll from the league’s coaches and sports information directors. Edgewood is picked third, followed by Marian and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.