Coming Up
  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 6:00 PM CDT Packers 1K Kids Run

    Back to Football also includes the 1K Kids Run, presented by WPS Health Insurance. Kids 10 years old and younger will have the opportunity to run a Lambeau Lap on Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m. Registration for the Kids Run is $10 and all participants will receive a Packers 1K Run t-shirt, a logoed bag and a participant medal.

    http://www.packers.com/5k

  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 7:00 PM CDT Movie Night at Lambeau Field

    Movie Night at Lambeau Field will return this year on Friday, July 25, following the 1K Kids Run. The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout the movie. More details will be announced at a later date.

    Time listed above is subject to change.

  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 6:30 PM CDT Packers 5K Run/Walk

    The fifth annual ‘5K Run/Walk at Lambeau Field,’ is set for Saturday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m.

    The computer-timed run is highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The event has a special finish line – the Packers’ ‘G’ painted on turf located in the parking lot.

    All participants will receive a Packers 5K Run T-shirt, a logoed bag, and a bib number and timing chip. To celebrate the race’s fifth anniversary, all participants will receive a commemorative medal. In addition, photos will be taken on the course and will be available at no cost on the Packers 5K Run website.

    Packers-themed awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. An awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the race.

    Registration, which is $25 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger), will be available online beginning Friday, May 23, at www.packers.com/5k. Mail-in registration is also an option, with forms available online and in person at Lambeau Field. Runners can also register at the Bellin Run Expo on Friday, June 13, at Astor Park in Green Bay. Early registration is encouraged. After July 13, registration fees will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.

  • Thu., Jul. 31, 2014 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT PPCC Annual Reception

    The Packers Partners Annual Reception is set for Thursday, July 31, 2014 in the Lambeau Field Atrium from 4:00 PM- 7:00 PM.

    Packers Jarrett Boykin, Eddie Lacy, Datone Jones and DuJuan Harris will appear at the reception. The event will include a Player Guest Q&A, a Meet & Greet with a Packers Alumni and a Raffle Drawing.

    This is a member’s only event. Invitations will be mailed the week of June 23rd, and online registration will open at 9 am CDT on June 25th and will close on July 11th at 5 pm CDT. 

    Invitations will include all of this information and additional details.

    To sign up to become a member of the Packers Partners Club of Champions and receive an invitation to the reception, fans can go to www.packers.com/ppcc.

     
  • Sat., Aug. 02, 2014 5:30 PM CDT Packers Family Night, presented by Bellin Health

    ‘Family Night’ will serve as the introduction of the 2014 Green Bay Packers, in-person to a capacity crowd in Lambeau Field and on television to a state-wide audience.

    The event, which begins with in-stadium activities at 5:30 p.m., will benefit the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids foster care adoption program, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

News

Mike Spofford

Mike Spofford has worked as a sportswriter in Wisconsin since 1995 and has been a packers.com staff writer since 2006. He has covered the Packers' last two Super Bowl appearances, XXXII and XLV.

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Williams loves to play the game

Posted May 12, 2011

Packers GM Ted Thompson loves answers like this.

Ask Arkansas tight ends coach Richard Owens what will make the undersized (6-2, 245) but ultra-productive D.J. Williams successful in the NFL, and the reply comes without hesitation.

“It’s important to him. The game of football is important to him,” Owens said. “He loves playing the game.”

The Packers strive to get players that feel that way with every one of their draft picks. The hope is that the combination of Williams’ ability and attitude will allow the tight end to overcome his lack of prototypical size at his position, which helped make him most believe will be a steal at the 141st overall pick.

It’s the missing 2-3 inches and 15-20 pounds that kept the 2010 John Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end available until the fifth round of last month’s draft.

There were certainly no qualms about his character as a community-oriented young man who gives lots of time to organizations such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Boys & Girls Clubs. He’s always willing to share his story of escape from an abusive father (highlighted by ESPN’s E:60 show) in order to raise awareness of domestic violence and give others in similar circumstances hope for the future.

There’s also no argument with his production after he averaged 49 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns over his final three seasons at Arkansas. Owens points to Williams’ natural feel for the game and the position as the trump card to his size at the college level.

“He can beat a linebacker one-on-one, and he did it week in and week out for us, year after year,” said Owens, a former NFL tight end himself. “It’s a feel thing, being able to run routes off a linebacker, feel leverage and pressure and know where the holes are. That’s what he does.”

As important as the game is to Williams, he was pretty important to the Razorbacks. One of five players last season to compile at least 600 receiving yards, Williams was as clutch as any of quarterback Ryan Mallett’s targets, particularly in the Southeastern Conference’s hostile road stadiums.

Consider:

  • At Georgia, with the score tied at 24 and 47 seconds to go, Arkansas got the ball on its own 27. Williams promptly caught back-to-back passes for 18 and 15 yards, setting up Mallet’s game-winning 40-yard TD toss to Greg Childs with 15 seconds left.

  • At South Carolina, Williams caught a 19-yard pass on third-and-10, a 15-yard pass on another third-and-10, and drew a pass-interference penalty on third-and-1, with all three conversions leading to scores as Arkansas jumped ahead 17-7. The Razorbacks went on to win 41-20.

  • At Mississippi State, Williams made an early fourth-and-1 gamble pay off with a 5-yard catch and immediately followed it with a 25-yard TD grab for a 14-7 lead in what turned into a double-overtime victory.

“He just made a bunch of plays in pretty much every game,” Owens said. “I think the biggest thing with him is he’s very consistent.”

He’s also a great teammate, and not just because of his inspirational story. Williams considered turning pro a year early but opted to return to Arkansas for his final season and serve as a team captain.

More than anything, Owens saw Williams’ leadership skills grow during that final year and feels he’s entering the NFL a more mature player now.

“I always tell him, ‘If you don’t ever play football, you could always run for mayor of Little Rock,’” Owens said. “He’s that kind of person, as far as being able to step out and engage with people.”

Nothing distracts him from football, though. It’s too important to him.

“I remember one of the stories on ESPN about him and his history growing up,” Owens said. “He talked about getting hit on the football field and just lying there and saying, ‘I’ve got to get up. I’ve got to go again,’ because it means a lot to him. He cares about it.”

For more feature stories on the 2011 draft class, click here.

 
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