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Packers Notes: Collins Apologizes, Zombo To Start, Matthews Is Best

September 30, 2010

After leaving Soldier Field on Monday night and allegedly being spit at and called the N-word, Nick Collins apologized to “all fans” immediately upon entering the locker room. On Wednesday, he elaborated on that apology.

“I want to apologize to the organization, to the fans, to Nick Collins fans,” Collins told reporters. “This was a situation that I could’ve walked away from, but in the heat of the moment, things happen. Both sides were out of line.”

When asked about whether or not the fan spit on him, Collins replied, “I’m not going to say what the fan did or nothing like that.”

It sounds like Jeff Blumb and the rest of the Packers’ public relations staff spoke with Nick because he was giving reporters all the right answers. Once the league has its say and hands out a punishment, I bet we’ll hear more from Nick. Right now, he’s smart to say as little as possible.

On the field, it looks like rookie Frank Zombo will get another start for the injured Brad Jones (knee) at outside linebacker. In addition to having a great name, Zombo played well enough to impress the coaching staff last Monday night against the Bears. However, head coach Mike McCarthy said the decision to start Zombo over Brad Jones was made because Zombo has been healthy and able to practice.

“I’m not sure if (Jones) is healthy enough to play Sunday, so we’re going to play the prepared players,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to play the (game-plan) experienced players. I felt as a staff, particularly the last two weeks, that we have been way too up-and-down during the course of the week of trying to prepare players based on their health situation, and waiting on a certain number of individuals to get healthy by the end of the week.”

Personally, I think McCarthy likes yelling Zombo’s name more than Jones’, but when reporter’s asked McCarthy if Zombo would be the permamnent starter, he chose to speak in the short-term only.

“It was addressed (Wednesday with the team), the ability to prepare and play the prepared player over going back and forth all week,” McCarthy said at his weekly press conference. “Frank Zombo is the starting outside linebacker today.”

While there may be some uncertainty surrounding who is starting at right outside linebacker, Clay Matthews III has locked down the left outside linebacker position. Through three games, Matthews has totaled 15 tackles, 6 sacks, and a forced fumble. Per Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette, that performance has been good enough to earn Matthews the Defensive Player of the Month award.

When asked what the award meant, Matthews was pleased with his play, but focused on doing what it takes to help his team win.

“I think it’s a great start, and it is a long season. I think I’ve been playing at a high level, but I need to continue that the rest of the year and whether that’s getting sacks or stopping the run, I’m here to do that.”

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