GREEN BAY - There are plenty of caveats for judging this early in training camp whether the Green Bay Packers significantly upgraded their running game in this yearís NFL draft.
The team has practiced only once in pads, and even in that setting thereís no tackling, which eliminates the crucial tackle-breaking element of running back play.
Still, it was hard not to notice Johnathan Franklin in the Packersí first padded workout Sunday. The rookie stood out most at a position that general manager Ted Thompson augmented with two of his first five draft picks this year.
ďFrom what Iíve seen so far, it looks like (Franklin) is going to be a pretty decent player,Ē said Josh Sitton, the Packersí left guard. ďHavenít seen a whole lot yet, but heís a shifty little son of a gun.Ē
Coach Mike McCarthy has vowed that the Packers will run the ball better this year than they have under his stewardship, and Franklin and Eddie Lacy are a huge part of that plan.
Lacy, a second-round pick, had an uneventful first day in pads, in large part because he had little running room on his three carries during 11-on-11 periods. His strengths as a runner also donít show up as much as Franklinís on the practice field. At 5-feet-11 and 230 pounds, Lacy is a power back who, if his abilities translate well to the NFL, will push piles and either run through or spin off tackles, which he canít do because thereís no tackling.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.
"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
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