Notebook: Woodson leads Pro Bowl hopefuls

The all-star teams will be announced on Tuesday; the offseason punting battle is set; and much more from Lombardi Avenue on Monday.

The Green Bay Packers' season will be mercifully over after two more games.

But for a player or two (or more), their season will continue with the Pro Bowl on Feb. 8.

Pro Bowl rosters will be announced at 3 p.m. Tuesday, and the Packers have a couple of prime contenders in cornerback Charles Woodson and receiver Greg Jennings.

Woodson, who is tied for the NFC lead with five interceptions and is tied for the NFL lead among defensive backs with three sacks, was the No. 1 vote-getter among the conference's cornerbacks in fan balloting. The coaches and players voted on Thursday, and each segment counts for one-third of the final total.

The top three cornerbacks will go to Honolulu.

Jennings, with 69 catches, 1,153 yards and eight touchdowns, ranked fifth in fan voting among NFC receivers. Four will make the team, and Jennings ranks fifth in the NFC in receiving yards behind Atlanta's Roddy White, Carolina's Steve Smith, Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and Detroit's Calvin Johnson. Among that group, Jennings ranks behind all but Johnson in receptions and trails Johnson and Fitzgerald in touchdowns.

Nick Collins ranked third in fan voting among NFC free safeties. He's tied with Woodson and teammate Tramon Williams with five interceptions, plus has scored three touchdowns. But, he's slumped down the stretch due to injuries. Two free safeties will make the team.

Aaron Kampman, a two-time Pro Bowler, ranked fifth in fan voting among defensive ends. Three will make the roster. Kampman is sixth in the NFC in sacks, including fourth among defensive ends, with 9.5 sacks.

Last year, Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff didn't reach the Super Bowl but were awarded the consolation prize of coaching the NFC team.

Offseason punting battle
The Packers are thrilled with Jeremy Kapinos' performance in his first two games, but he'll be challenged in the offseason.

The Packers announced they signed Durant Brooks to their practice squad. Brooks, a sixth-round pick by the Washington Redskins in April, beat out Derrick Frost during training camp, which made Frost available to the Packers.

Brooks, who won the Ray Guy Award as college football's top punter as a senior at Georgia Tech, lasted just six games in Washington after averaging just 39.6 yards per punt with a net of 32.1. Two of his punts were returned for touchdowns.

To make room, the Packers released running back Steven Korte just days after signing him to the practice squad.

Injury report
McCarthy said none of the three injuries sustained against the Jaguars on Sunday should keep them from suiting up to face Chicago on Monday night.

Left tackle Chad Clifton injured both of his thumbs and wasn't on the field for the Packers' ill-fated final drive. Tory Humphrey exited with a concussion and running back Brandon Jackson sustained a sprained wrist.

Playing to win
McCarthy said the Packers won't be looking to the future by giving untested young players extra playing time. At least for this week.

"Our approach will be to beat Chicago," McCarthy said. "I'm not going to change the personnel or make roster moves to use this as a developing game. Our full intentions this week will be to prepare to beat the Chicago Bears, to play the players that give us the best chance to win the game, and put them in position to win the game."

Call it ‘competitive frustration'
During Sunday's game, linebacker Brady Poppinga and cornerback Al Harris, as well as quarterback Aaron Rodgers and tight end Jermichael Finley, were caught by the TV cameras barking at each other.

"I think a lot of that is competitive frustration," McCarthy said. "You can go down to any sideline — I'll just speak to our own sideline — you can go down the sidelines during the course of a game where you win football games by a big margin, you're going to have things happen. I learned that a long time ago in sports. What happens on the field, what's said on the field, stays on the field. I don't look at that as a mark of where we are. I understand how it's highlighted and what the perception may want to lead to, but hey, nobody is happy where we are. And I don't expect the players to be, and I know I am not also."

Timeout or no timeout?
With mass confusion and the Packers facing third-and-goal at the 5-yard line in the second quarter, Finley lined up in the wrong spot. He eventually got to where he was supposed to be, but the Packers had to settle for a field goal.

"I almost called timeout there," McCarthy said. "But Aaron obviously felt, I think it was 2, 1 second. We were getting close. We obviously had the ball snapped, the formation set, so that was not the error, but you want to be under center longer in that particular, ... and actually, really the breakdown of the play was the execution part of it. Because the defensive look that we anticipated, it was there, there was just some fundamental things we could have done better on the execution part of it."

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at

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