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Cheese Curds, 11/13: Celebrating Packers’ pass-rushers and backup quarterbacks

Zeke Bratkowski, Bart Starr’s backup, passed away this week at the age of 88.

Super Bowl II - Green Bay Packers v Oakland Raiders

The backup quarterback is a position that rarely receives much attention — at least as long as the starter is healthy — or much praise. It’s a thankless job, trying to prepare to go in on a moment’s notice without taking any reps in the team’s primary offense during the week.

But while Aaron Rodgers and Bart Starr draw the accolades and the bulk of their memories, today we acknowledge their backups, for very different reasons. Tim Boyle’s job this year is a bit different from last season, when he was the number three QB behind DeShone Kizer, but he’s still providing Rodgers with critical information. And Zeke Bratkowski, who did everything with Starr back in the 1960s, gets remembered fondly this week after passing away.

Meanwhile, the Packers’ current quarterback hunters are earning praise and racking up big numbers this year. The Smiths have 18.5 sacks between them now, with Preston picking up a pair of sacks to pass Za’Darius and hit double-digits first. That comes with a big bill, as the two agreed to reward their teammates when one of them got to the ten-sack mark.

Once again, it cannot be overstated how big those two acquisitions were for this team in 2019. Hopefully they can sustain their excellent play for six more games and long into the postseason.

The unseen role of Tim Boyle as Aaron Rodgers' backup |
Boyle, and to a lesser extent Manny Wilkins, are keeping Rodgers prepared by running the scout team and providing a second set of eyes on the film. Rodgers can appreciate this more than just about any other current starting quarterback, given his own three-year term as a backup to Brett Favre.

Zeke Bratkowski, valuable Lombardi-era backup QB, dies at 88 |
Meanwhile, a member of the Packers family passed away this week. A few months after Bart Starr passed, his backup did the same. Bratkowski did a marvelous job filling in for Starr when called upon, particularly in a playoff game in 1965.

Rolexes for everyone: Preston Smith proving value for Packers - ESPN
On the other side of the football, Preston beat Za'Darius to double-digit sacks, and in appreciation for his teammates he's buying the entire defense Rolex watches. OLB coach Mike Smith joked that he didn't care about whether he would get one, however, saying the only jewelry he wants is a Super Bowl ring.

Packers tally 14 pressures from OLB Za’Darius Smith vs. Panthers | Packers Wire
Preston had two sacks to reach that 10-sack mark on Sunday, but Za'Darius didn't have one. Still, he won't be upset after a tremendous game that saw him affecting quarterback Kyle Allen early and often.

NFL announces Week 16 Saturday triple-header -
The Packers got flexed in week 12, but their week 16 game is safe -- it's on Monday Night Football, after all.

Family told by HOA that it’s ‘too soon’ to decorate for Christmas, ordered to take down display |
Is this the first good decision an HOA has made in history?