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Cheese Curds, 3/23: Former teammates rave about new Packers’ abilities & intangibles

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A pair of retired NFL players with Wisconsin connections weigh in on the Packers’ two big external free agent signings, with nothing but positives to report.

NFL: SEP 23 Patriots at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sometimes the best way to get to know if you are likely to get along with someone is by talking to a mutual friend. That holds true in daily life, and Green Bay Packers fans should hope that it will be the case with the team’s two big free agent signings in 2020 as well.

A pair of former NFL players with strong ties to Wisconsin have significant playing experience with each of the Packers’ free agents: Rick Wagner and Christian Kirksey. In one case, a former Packers linemen who played next to Wagner spoke to the media about his former teammate, even drawing some comparisons between him and the recently-departed Bryan Bulaga. Meanwhile, a Madison legend and sure-fire Pro Football Hall of Famer was discussing Kirksey, whom he saw on the other side of the football in practice regularly in Cleveland.

In both cases, the reviews of the new Packers are tremendous. From smarts to leadership to playing ability, everything that these two players said about the new arrivals works in their favor, a great sign for the chances of these signings working out. Of course, things don’t always work out as one might hope. But it’s never a bad thing to get a good review of a new friend from an old one.

Here are those reviews and some more Packers-related news from over the weekend.

T.J. Lang on Bryan Bulaga successor Rick Wagner: 'Give the guy a chance' | Packersnews.com
Lang, the former Packers guard, played with both Bulaga and Wagner, and even cited Wagner's arrival in Detroit as a big reason why he himself signed with the Lions a few years ago. He says that both tackles are extremely intelligent, and that Wagner is coming into an ideal situation for his personality and ability.

Joe Thomas believes Packers got a ‘real steal’ in LB Christian Kirksey | Packers Wire
Meanwhile, another former Wisconsin Badgers tackle weighs in on the Packers' other acquisition. Thomas told Locked On Packers that the Packers got "a real steal" with Kirksey, and raved about his talent on the field, his smarts and ability to call plays, and his leadership.

‘Green Bay’s gonna love me’: A Q&A with new Packers LB Christian Kirksey – The Athletic
Kirksey, meanwhile, thinks that he will be a perfect fit with the Packers. A Midwest native, his fit in Green Bay is just right, and he cited Mike Pettine as part of the reason he signed.

The Good News: NFC North Secondaries Take Big Hit | SI.com
Tramon Williams remains the only member of the Packers' secondary who might not return for 2020, but the other teams around the division are all losing key players on the back end of their defenses. Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Darius Slay, Prince Amukamara, and Ha Ha Clinton-DIx all departed the NFC North in the past week.

Draftmas Week Seven: Brandon Jones, John Hightower | 247sports
Jones is a potential late-round pick who could fit as a third safety or hybrid linebacker in Green Bay, while Hightower is a deep threat receiver who also has a little wiggle in his routes.

Guy flips out when he can't buy 552 cans of Mountain Dew | Mercury News
When a Kroger in Kentucky tried to enforce a limit of three 24-pack cases of Mountain Dew at checkout, a man who had 23 cases(!) in his cart lost his mind.