Morning State Sports Briefs: Pack looks to improve pass defense vs. FalconsWisconsin Sports
-- The Green Bay Packers will try to improve their passing defense on Sunday night when they play the Falcons in Atlanta.
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers will try to improve their passing defense on Sunday night when they play the Falcons in Atlanta.
Green Bay has given up the second-most passing yards in the NFL – and part of it has to do with the slow recovery of corner Tramon Williams. The team is trying to ease him back, after he had a severely-bruised shoulder on Opening Night against New Orleans. Williams is playing more zone coverage and less of the man-to-man, bump-and-run style to which he’s accustomed. He says it’s a big adjustment -- and it’s frustrating, because he’s been giving receivers yardage he wouldn’t normally give up. But Williams agrees it’s best for the team to quote, “stay out of those battles and try to get better.” The Falcons certainly know what kind of damage Williams can do. When the two teams met in the playoffs last January, Williams intercepted a Matt Ryan pass and ran it back 70 yards for a touchdown. It gave the Packers a 14-point lead on the way to a 27-point rout at the Georgia Dome. Ryan said the play was a good source of motivation during the off-season – and he vows things will be different during their Sunday night contest. The Falcons come in at 2-2. The Packers are 4-0.
Packers’ right tackle Bryan Bulaga has still not returned to the practice field, after injuring a knee two weeks ago at Chicago. Coach Mike McCarthy says if Bulaga does not practice today, he won’t play at Atlanta on Sunday night. That means second-year pro Marshall Newhouse could be in line for his second consecutive start. Also, back-up tight end Andrew Quarless was still out with a knee injury. Quarless has not had a catch this season – but he’s been a key blocker who has helped Green Bay’s running game. Receiver Donald Driver returned to practice yesterday, after hurting his shin last Sunday against Denver. He’s expected to play against the Falcons. And so is running back Ryan Grant, who missed last Sunday’s win over the Broncos with a bruised kidney. McCarthy says Grant is back to 100-percent, and he’s expected to start on Sunday.
Milwaukee Bucks’ center Andrew Bogut will not play pro basketball in his home country of Australia during the NBA lockout. Bogut’s agent, David Bauman, said he could not resolve issues involving insurance to protect Bogut’s Milwaukee contract – which has three years and 39-and-a-half million dollars remaining. Under a new collective bargaining agreement, Bauman said it’s possible the Bucks could cancel Bogut’s contract if he gets hurt playing in Australia – and he just couldn’t take that chance. The 7-foot Bogut was hoping to play with the Sydney Kings until he could return to the Bucks once the lockout’s over. Sydney opens its season tonight against Melbourne. Two other Australian teams had also expressed an interest in signing him.
UW-Eau Claire will go for its third straight WIAC women’s golf title this weekend. The conference tournament begins this morning and runs through Sunday in Wisconsin Rapids. Eau Claire is ranked sixth in a national coaches’ poll. The Blugolds are led by senior Sara Mattes, who was the player-of-the-year in the conference last year.
In Wisconsin high school football last night…
Cudahy 36, Saint Francis 14
Eau Claire Regis 35, Fall Creek 7
Germantown 28, Nicolet 12
Madison La Follette 14, Madison West 6 (OT)
Madison Memorial 48, Madison East 22
Mequon Homestead 42, Whitefish Bay 7
Wisconsin School for the Deaf 60, Madison Abundant Life Christian 22