Bills looking for Pack to air it out without GrantWisconsin Sports
- The Buffalo Bills say they expect the Green Bay Packers to throw more on Sunday, when the two teams play at Lambeau Field. The Packers lost their top rusher for the season when Ryan Grant tore an ankle ligament last Sunday at Philadelphia.
GREEN BAY - The Buffalo Bills say they expect the Green Bay Packers to throw more on Sunday, when the two teams play at Lambeau Field. The Packers lost their top rusher for the season when Ryan Grant tore an ankle ligament last Sunday at Philadelphia.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he’d like to fill at least part of the void by throwing more – and he says other teams are doing it as well. But Rodgers says the Packers still need a solid running game. And he expects Grant’s replacement, Brandon Jackson, to get 20-or-more carries each week. Green Bay was a pass-heavy team to begin with. Stats Incorporated said the Packers passed 58-percent of the time last year, the 12th-highest in the NFL. Bills’ defensive end Marvin Stroud believes the Packers will lean even more on Rodgers and the passing game now that Grant’s gone. Green Bay is 1-0 after beating the Eagles last week. Buffalo is 0-1 after losing by five points to Miami.
The Green Bay punt-and-kickoff coverage teams will be challenged on Sunday when the Packers host Buffalo. The Bills have two solid returners in Roscoe Parrish and rookie C.J. Spiller. Parrish has returned three punts for touchdowns in his five seasons in the N-F-L, and he has a career return average of 12-point-two-yards per kick. Spiller was the Bills’ first-round draft pick this spring. He broke an NCAA record by returning seven kickoffs for touchdowns during his college career at Clemson. Packers’ special teams coach Shawn Slocum says Spiller is a dynamic kick returner, and both he and Parrish are explosive. The Miami Dolphins gave Spiller only one kickoff return last week. It was good for 11 yards. Parrish brought back three punts for an average of 10 yards. The Green Bay punt coverage team limited Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson to an average of seven yards per return last week. Eagles’ kickoff returner Ellis Hobbs averaged just over 23 yards on four returns.
Packers’ center Scott Wells says he didn’t like wearing TV microphones last Sunday at Philadelphia. The NFL is letting the networks use mikes on the centers instead of the umpires this season, so fans can hear the plays begin. But Wells is concerned that other teams will pick up the adjustments called by the center and the quarterback at the line of scrimmage, and use it to their advantage. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says the centers are wearing the mikes in the nationally-televised games because the umpires were moved behind the running backs, further away from the action just before the plays start. He says the mikes are only on from the time the huddle breaks until just after the snap – and the league continues to review it to see how it’s working. Wells says he understands TV’s influence on pro football – but if opposing defenses use the broadcasts to get an advantage, the offenses will find other ways to hide their signals.