Starter Pack: Who's HOF worthy?

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers’ beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- On Wednesday evening, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 25 semifinalists for the 2014 class.

Among them was current Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene. He made the first cut for the eighth straight year. The five-time Pro Bowl selection played 15 seasons for four different teams and ranks third on the career sacks list with 160, which is first among linebackers.

But from the Packers’ standpoint, Wednesday’s announcement may have been more notable for who didn’t make the cut. Neither former coach Mike Holmgren nor former general manager Ron Wolf, the men perhaps most responsible for turning around Green Bay’s football fortunes in the 1990s, made the list. They were among the 126 preliminary candidates announced in September.

For Holmgren, who led the Packers to the Super Bowl XXXI title and another appearance in Super Bowl XXXII, it was his first year of eligibility.

Among others with Packers’ ties who did not make the cut were receiver Sterling Sharpe, safety LeRoy Butler and the father of current Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.

The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 plus two recommendations from the seniors committee, punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey, on Jan. 8. Those who will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, will be announced on the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII.

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:

  • The Packers’ upcoming game against Minnesota on Sunday afforded reporters at Lambeau Field the opportunity to talk via conference call with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who understood exactly what Packers running back Eddie Lacy has gone through with opposing defenses stacking the box to stop the run in quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ absence.

  • The Packers haven’t won since Rodgers broke his collarbone on Nov. 4 so when coach Mike McCarthy was asked if there was a heightened sense of urgency this week, his answer -- “Hell yeah” -- said it all.

  • Rodgers isn’t the only injury concern. The Packers listed a dozen players on their injury report.

  • Receiver Randall Cobb talked to reporters for the first time since he fractured his fibula on Oct. 13. He said reports about his injury were inaccurate, but he wouldn’t say exactly what landed him on the injured reserve/designated to return list.

  • Without Rodgers, the Packers needed their defense to step up. But that hasn’t happened. Here’s a look at the defensive stats with and without Rodgers in the lineup.

  • For all the angles on the Packers’ opponent this week, follow Ben Goessling’s coverage on the Vikings blog.


  • On ESPNWisconsin.com, Jason Wilde used a screen shot from the TV broadcast to show a play in which Lacy faced eight defenders in the box.

  • In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Weston Hodkiewicz wrote that while the Packers believe backup quarterback Scott Tolzien is good enough to lead them to victories, they need help from other areas – like defense and special teams.

  • In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tom Silverstein broke down four of the big plays that the Packers’ defense gave up in Sunday’s loss to the Giants and put the blame on the secondary -- and not on defensive coordinator Dom Capers -- and Tyler Dunne’s notebook leads with an item on receiver James Jones, who despite returning to action is still battling his knee injury.