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  • 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 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.
  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • 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.

  • Sun., Jul. 27, 2014 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.

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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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Zombo, Swain made their marks in XLV

Posted Aug 2, 2011

Nick Collins’ pick-six, Clay Matthews’ forced fumble, Aaron Rodgers’ TD passes to Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson; all those moments forged Super Bowl heroes back on Feb. 6. There were two others, though, whose names and plays weren’t as big but whose contributions shouldn’t be left at the historical wayside.

Linebacker Frank Zombo and receiver/special-teamer Brett Swain were two unsung heroes in the Packers’ 31-25 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers in North Texas, each writing an unforgettable chapter in their young careers.

Zombo, who started eight regular-season games, hadn’t been part of Green Bay’s playoff run but was suddenly desperately needed in the Super Bowl. A knee injury kept him out of the final three regular-season games and all three NFC postseason contests, but fellow outside linebacker Erik Walden’s injured ankle in the NFC Championship in Chicago, fortunately for the Packers, coincided with Zombo’s recovery.

Not having taken a game snap in seven weeks, Zombo wasted no time making an impact. On Pittsburgh’s second play from scrimmage, he whipped left tackle Jonathan Scott and buried running back Rashard Mendenhall for a 4-yard loss, helping force a three-and-out on the game’s opening series.

“It was a Steeler draw play, something we worked on all week,” Zombo said the other day prior to a training camp practice. “They tried to club me upfield and I was able to keep my leverage and make a play.

“Going into (the Super Bowl), I was hoping I could play as well as I did in the middle of the season, and I think that kind of changed my mindset right off the bat. It was a good starting play to have, to set the tone for the rest of the game.”

He followed that up with the Packers’ only sack in the game, at a crucial moment. In the third quarter, Pittsburgh trailed 21-17 and faced third-and-13 from the Green Bay 32-yard line. Zombo and Matthews switched sides of the defensive formation, with Zombo rushing against right tackle Flozell Adams. He got away from Adams just as Ben Roethlisberger was stepping up in the pocket and brought him down for a 2-yard loss.

The sack forced the Steelers to try a 52-yard field goal, and Shaun Suisham’s kick wasn’t close. Zombo became the first undrafted rookie to record a sack in the Super Bowl since sacks became official in 1982.

“I can say for the rest of my life I had a sack in the Super Bowl, to help the team in a critical time, knock them out of field goal range and what-not,” said Zombo, who finished with six solo tackles.

“I graded out well. I graded out at 98 percent I remember. I had a great game and Coach (Kevin) Greene was pretty happy with how I was away for so long but came back and still was able to make some plays.”

Greene, who is Zombo’s position coach, will be looking for more of those plays as training camp and the preseason continue. No longer the unknown quantity he was as a rookie free agent just trying to make the team a year ago, Zombo is in a full-fledged battle for the starting outside linebacker spot opposite Matthews, with Walden and third-year pro Brad Jones.

Including the Super Bowl, Zombo had five sacks last year in his nine total starts, including one in his NFL debut against the elusive Michael Vick in Philadelphia.

“I got a taste of what it was like to start in the NFL, and I’m hungry to keep that spot,” he said. “I don’t know if we’re going to rotate or what-not, but I want that starting spot.”

Meanwhile, Swain just wants to hang onto a roster spot, a prospect that became even more challenging for him in a receiving corps that has grown deeper with the re-signing of James Jones and the addition of second-round draft pick Randall Cobb.

Adding to his anxiety is that, because of the new CBA rules regarding free agents, Swain can’t practice until Thursday, which will be the first time he’ll take the field since his under-the-radar performance in the Super Bowl.

That night, Swain was the Packers’ most productive player on the kickoff and punt-coverage units, registering four tackles as the Steelers posted paltry averages of 18.5 yards on six kick-returns and 1.3 yards on four punt-returns.

“My whole thing before the game was, you had a great opportunity to go out and play in one of the biggest spectacles of American sports, and you don’t just want to go into that situation and not leave everything on the field,” Swain said. “My whole thing was every play I was in there to give my full effort.”

He certainly did that, first by saving the Packers a big shift in field position following Collins’ interception for a touchdown. Collins had been flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration, forcing Green Bay to kick off from its own 15-yard line. Swain chased down Mewelde Moore after just an 11-yard return, putting the ball at the 36, far worse position than Pittsburgh had hoped for after the penalty.

Later, Swain brought down Antonio Brown at the Pittsburgh 23 following a 17-yard kickoff return, and after being moved to punt-gunner for defensive back Jarrett Bush (who was taking more defensive snaps due to injuries to Charles Woodson and Sam Shields), he got in Antwaan Randle El’s face to force a fair catch at the 20, and then knocked Brown out of bounds for a 1-yard loss on consecutive third-quarter punts.

Knowing he can make contributions like that has Swain itching to make his training-camp debut this week. He wants to resume displaying the special-teams prowess that landed him his first roster spot in 2009 after a year on the practice squad as a seventh-round draft pick.

“I think special teams is always a big focus, especially with me,” Swain said. “That was my kick start to making the team and being a part of the Packers. I’m always going to approach it like it’s my only way of making the team.”

His performance, as well as Zombo’s, in the Super Bowl should carry some weight, but both know that only goes so far.

“Super Bowl XLV, it’s already been played and it’s in the books,” Swain said. “What we’re focused on right now is what can we do to get us to Super Bowl XLVI?”

 
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