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Forrest Gregg put 1987 Packers through paces after preseason debacle

Forrest Gregg Getty Images

The Packers are coming off a 17-0 loss to Arizona, the franchise’s first full-game shutout loss in an exhibition since 1987.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the Packers then as he does now, and on Thursday, he recalled how then-Packers coach Forrest Gregg put his team through demanding practices after the 33-0 exhibition loss to Washington that Gregg termed “childish mediocrity.”

McGinn recalled watching a practice where Gregg made the players do “what seemed to be as many as 75 up-downs.”

Wrote McGinn: “Even I winced.”

Former Packers guard Rich Moran remembered how much Gregg demanded from his players after the defeat.

“You knew that week was going to be extremely difficult,” Moran told the Journal Sentinel. “The CBA didn’t prohibit Forrest from backing up his postgame tongue-lashing in the form of double days and running, like it would today. Back then, the coach could take it out on you.

“It started with the up-downs, then it went to the sled, then it went to the practice, then it went to the running afterward. I’m not kidding. It was literally just trying to survive the camp.”

With clearly stated training rules in the CBA, such extended tough practices are now a thing of the past.

Imagine, though, if they weren’t. Could you imagine the Twitter play-by-play of those workouts?

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55 Responses to “Forrest Gregg put 1987 Packers through paces after preseason debacle”
  1. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2013 4:14 PM

    One of the all time great NFL players at any position.

    Too bad he was a lousy coach.

  2. Neftali Ramos says: Aug 16, 2013 4:16 PM

    The players these days could use some discipline, hardwork and less divas!

  3. hatesycophants says: Aug 16, 2013 4:17 PM

    You’re an idiot.

  4. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Aug 16, 2013 4:20 PM

    I remember that year well. That was Year 20 of the 24-year era of misery the Packers endured between 1968 and 1991. They finished 5-9-1, which was sandwiched by two 4-12 seasons, so I guess the demanding practices really helped.

    You didn’t hear quite as much about what a great franchise they had back then. In fact, I wasn’t really aware they were in the NFL.

  5. ilovemyringlessfranchise says: Aug 16, 2013 4:20 PM

    Wow, that must have really lit a fire under that team to perform during the regular season. Oh wait, they were 5-9-1. Nevermind

  6. getyourownname says: Aug 16, 2013 4:27 PM

    So even then, losing to Washington inspired disgust.

  7. Morning Star says: Aug 16, 2013 4:28 PM

    Didn’t Gregg lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl back in 81-82’?

    Couldn’t have been too bad of a HC.

    The Packers of the mid 1980’s? Just bad.

  8. bigbwoy000 says: Aug 16, 2013 4:28 PM

    Since Forrest Gregg is from the glory day Packers of the 60’s, makes you think Lombardi would have done something similar.

  9. stellarperformance says: Aug 16, 2013 4:31 PM

    He was a terrible coach. Too many concussions and a nasty disposition. Yelling, screaming, and punishments are never good motivators. Those players needed their paychecks and had no choice but to take it. The players today could live a lifetime on the salaries they pull in for one year. Despite all this, the fans stayed faithful and the stadium still sold out. The rest is history.

    And for the inevitable Packer haters from Minnesota sleeping on their keyboards waiting for the next Packer story to show up……I have just explained the difference between Packer fans (history,) and Viking fans (histrionics.) You can look it up on your own.

  10. redbirdsrising says: Aug 16, 2013 4:37 PM

    Cardinals fan here. Neither GB nor Arizona get to make a big stink about a shutout. Packers would normally have kicked a field goal on the first drive but it’s preaseason and they went for it on 4th. Darn near got it too.

    Ok, the 2nd and 3rd string weren’t quite as successful moving the ball but normally that game wouldn’t have been a shutout.

    On the other end of things the scoreboard should have looked a lot worse. Had Jay Feely and not some starry eyed backup camp filler, kicked the remaining field goals, Cards win 23-0. Heck, if the Cards didn’t also do a red zone 4th down play, could have been 26-0.

    TL;DR – Packers first string looked good, stop freaking out over the preseason

  11. clayshair says: Aug 16, 2013 4:37 PM

    As all the Viking trolls can attest, I am only left wondering “what would Les Steckel have done?”

  12. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 4:38 PM

    Who cares. Just another drunkin’ Sconi.

  13. burningrangers says: Aug 16, 2013 4:38 PM

    Back when Green Bay was still considered NFL Siberia before Wolf, Holmgren, Favre, and Reggie turned the franchise around. The status Buffalo now pretty much occupies.

  14. micknangold says: Aug 16, 2013 4:39 PM

    McGinn thought 75 hit-its were a lot?

  15. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 16, 2013 4:39 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:Aug 16, 2013 4:20 PM

    I remember that year well. That was Year 20 of the 24-year era of misery the Packers endured between 1968 and 1991. They finished 5-9-1, which was sandwiched by two 4-12 seasons, so I guess the demanding practices really helped.

    You didn’t hear quite as much about what a great franchise they had back then. In fact, I wasn’t really aware they were in the NFL.

    ——–

    Do you remember that year well? Well, then you’ll remember that that was Majik Man’s rookie season. Don Majkowkski was 10x the QB that noodle armed chcki ponder will ever be.

  16. deltaoracle says: Aug 16, 2013 4:42 PM

    1987 was a brutal season for sure. One thing that made it a little better was that I believe the Pack managed to beat the fearsome Vikings twice. But with immortals Alan Risher and Randy Wright taking the snaps I suppose that shouldn’t have been too surprising. And after all the Heidis were probably unaware they were in the NFL.
    That’s why you hear so much about what a great franchise the Vikings have always had.

  17. contra74 says: Aug 16, 2013 4:43 PM

    As always, packers living in the past.

  18. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2013 4:44 PM

    That was way back when the Packers were stuck on just 11 World Championships.

  19. stew48 says: Aug 16, 2013 4:44 PM

    Having enjoyed a trip to the 1982 Super Bowl as the result of Gregg’s coaching, it is clear some commenters are as unaware of knowledge as a first grader.

  20. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2013 4:47 PM

    Gregg was kind of jerk for making them practice that hard in training camp, but at least he didn’t accidentally kill anybody.

  21. realfootballfan says: Aug 16, 2013 4:47 PM

    A thing of a past for good reason. The Packers were still horrible that year, so it didn’t matter.

  22. mainbucsfan says: Aug 16, 2013 4:51 PM

    Has anyone ever thought that if the CBA didn’t restrict practice the players would be in better shape have more Flexibility and Stamina, Then they wouldn’t be crying about injuries all the time

  23. ilovemyringlessfranchise says: Aug 16, 2013 4:58 PM

    @Carl

    Majik Man! Ha. Terrible quarterback, but he had an AWESOME mullet! Jared would have been proud!

  24. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2013 5:01 PM

    mainbucsfan says:
    Aug 16, 2013 4:51 PM
    Has anyone ever thought that if the CBA didn’t restrict practice the players would be in better shape have more Flexibility and Stamina, Then they wouldn’t be crying about injuries all the time.

    *******************************************

    I think the CBA is a necessary part of the checks and balances required to ensure a safe training camp workplace. Not all teams care about player safety equally.

  25. jhorton83 says: Aug 16, 2013 5:16 PM

    Just because he coached a Super Bowl team doesn’t make him a great coach. Among the other head coaches of Super Bowl teams: Bill Callahan, Jim Fassel, Jim Caldwell, and Sam Wyche. I don’t think anyone would put those guys in the pantheon of coaching greats. Forrest Gregg’s overall coaching record was 75-85-1. He never had a winning record as the Packers head coach and only 3 winning seasons in 11 total as head coach.

  26. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 5:20 PM

    @filthymcnasty1

    You’re a schmohawk you know that? Sheesh, is it your job to troll and make stupid Sconi comments?

    Haha, the packer and cowboy fan-bases have a chiral relationship. They’re both nauseating, but different at the same time.

  27. bordner says: Aug 16, 2013 5:25 PM

    For a fanbase that loves to accuse us of living in the past, viking “fans” sure are quick to bring up a period of time, more than 20 years ago, when the Packers weren’t among the winningest teams in the league year-in and year-out.

    Get over it, viking “fans”! That was then – this is now! Let it go!

    But then again, it’s August, that time of year when all delusional viking “fans” think their team is going to win the Super Bowl… this year… finally… only to be bitterly disappointed once more.

    That must be why it’s so warm in the Midwest this time of year – all of that hot air coming out of Minnesota.

  28. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2013 5:29 PM

    eclipsingbinary says:
    Aug 16, 2013 5:20 PM
    @filthymcnasty1

    You’re a schmohawk you know that? Sheesh, is it your job to troll and make stupid Sconi comments?

    Haha, the packer and cowboy fan-bases have a chiral relationship. They’re both nauseating, but different at the same time.

    *******************************************

    In English, please.

  29. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 5:45 PM

    @filthymcnasty1

    Do Sconis speak English? Are you even a Sconi? I’d bet a hundred bucks your a self loathing Jacksonville resident that adopted the Packers just like all the other football orphans out there.

  30. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Aug 16, 2013 5:47 PM

    deltaoracle says:Aug 16, 2013 4:42 PM

    1987 was a brutal season for sure. One thing that made it a little better was that I believe the Pack managed to beat the fearsome Vikings twice.
    _____

    You’re aware that one of those games was played with replacement players, right? And the Vikings went to the NFC Championship that year. You crow about a replacement game win in 1987 and I’ll just pay attention to what my team is doing this year.

  31. purplepillager says: Aug 16, 2013 5:51 PM

    @deltaoracle

    If you want to count two victories against the Vikings that year, fine. Keep in mind the first game was with replacement players and the second game was played in WI.

    Also, if memory serves, the Vikings went to the NFC Championship in 1987.

  32. mnwildfan15 says: Aug 16, 2013 5:54 PM

    The Purple Kool Aid and Miller Lite are flowing today.

  33. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 5:55 PM

    Hey filthymcnasty1, you don’t live in Wisconsin. You’ve never been there. You adopted the Packers ya phony nerf herder.

  34. jrmbadger says: Aug 16, 2013 5:56 PM

    eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 5:20 PM

    @filthymcnasty1

    You’re a schmohawk you know that? Sheesh, is it your job to troll and make stupid Sconi comments?

    Haha, the packer and cowboy fan-bases have a chiral relationship. They’re both nauseating, but different at the same time
    ==================
    Schmohawk?

    Chiral? (defn: “of or relating to a molecule that is not superimposable on its mirror image “)

  35. gbmickey says: Aug 16, 2013 5:58 PM

    Here we go again with Viking fans whining that we talk about our past. Ask any team that has won championships and see if they dont reminisce about how good they were along with ex players thats part of the allure of sports. Now its easy to understand your hostility with people that do never having won but nowyou are beginning to sound like the jilted Jennings. Even with our down years spielman we can look back fondly of the most successful team in NFL history and smile. Can you say the same?

  36. yaderheylambeau says: Aug 16, 2013 6:02 PM

    @Rick Spielman is a Magician

    “I remember that year well.”…”In fact, I wasn’t really aware they were in the NFL.”

    ##

    Yup, dark time in Packers history. In the words of Paddy Tanninger, “big whoop, wanna fight about it?”

    I realize you exist solely to stir the pot, but even you can do better than contradicting yourself in the space of a few lines. We all know you can do it and we’re all pulling for you!

  37. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 6:07 PM

    Here we go again about some packer fan born in Nebraska adopting whichever team in trending or has a good quarterback. I suppose you live in Wisconsin too gbmickey. 99% of cheeseheads are orphans that adopted. They weren’t born into families of fans. All I can say is I’m glad I’m not one of yous guys.

  38. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2013 6:08 PM

    eclipsingbinary says:
    Aug 16, 2013 5:55 PM
    Hey filthymcnasty1, you don’t live in Wisconsin. You’ve never been there. You adopted the Packers ya phony nerf herder.

    *******************************************

    Thus the wish’d. There’s deat is respect the proud more; and that pangs of us and scorns, when we himself might himself mind by of of somethe and that wish’d. To be: thus respect the retus momethe hear to othe with when we end natural consience dother to suffer to grunt make and than fly to say we himself mind this that dreams all; and thers tural cowardelay, the proud momethis no trageous the arms makes us for no takes us againsolence of respect to takes, whips and moments the mind the rub; forthy.

  39. contra74 says: Aug 16, 2013 6:08 PM

    gbmickey says:
    Aug 16, 2013 5:58 PM
    Here we go again with Viking fans whining that we talk about our past. Ask any team that has won championships and see if they dont reminisce about how good they were along with ex players thats part of the allure of sports. Now its easy to understand your hostility with people that do never having won but nowyou are beginning to sound like the jilted Jennings. Even with our down years spielman we can look back fondly of the most successful team in NFL history and smile. Can you say the same?
    —–
    Is that why packer games only air on the History channel?

  40. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 6:13 PM

    @jrmbadger

    I used chiral as a metaphor. I’m sure you can take a tutorial on how metaphor’s work.

    I stole schmohawk from Larry David. Now you know. Consider yourself enlightened.

  41. eclipsingbinary says: Aug 16, 2013 6:18 PM

    Hey McNugget, you’re a retus. Nuff said son.

  42. jimmylions says: Aug 16, 2013 6:33 PM

    The Forest Gregg Packers were a truly dirty team. That era is best known for a body slam of Jim McMahon by a player whom I’m deliberately not naming (because he doesn’t deserve the recognition).

    Most of the Packer fans I know are ashamed of that time period … on a lot of levels.

    And based on Forest Gregg’s record as a Packer coach, spending more time teaching technique than brutally punishing his players would have been wiser.

    As a Lions fan, the guy who I think got the shaft as a Packer coach was Bart Starr. I’ve never seen a team before or since where the end-around was guaranteed TD play … from any field position.

  43. bigpoppa5501 says: Aug 16, 2013 7:05 PM

    I find it quite comical how the same “homers” post garbage on every Packer related post…you people really need to take a deep breath and relax. Packer fans can be quite proud of their “history”, as a Texans fan…we don’t have much of that yet. As far as Packers games only being shown on the history channel, at least they are known for something other than a guy who ran the wrong way after a fumble recovery.

  44. cornerblitz says: Aug 16, 2013 7:45 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    Aug 16, 2013 4:20 PM

    You didn’t hear quite as much about what a great franchise they had back then. In fact, I wasn’t really aware they were in the NFL.

    ————————————

    Pretty amazing what a salary cap can do to even things out, yeah?

  45. mrcogburn says: Aug 16, 2013 7:46 PM

    Ah yes, those were the days. Back when men were men, and the women were too.

    Actually, that would be the situation today.

  46. irishnativeson says: Aug 16, 2013 8:00 PM

    While I don’t really have a dog in the fight and I’m no particular fan of Christian Ponder, C’mon man, Don Majkowski??? He couldn’t beat out Jack Trudeau for the #1 backup QB on the 1993 Colts or Scott Mitchell for the starting job on the 1995 Lions. That hardly qualifies “The Majik Man” as 10X the QB of… well anybody.

  47. gbmickey says: Aug 16, 2013 8:16 PM

    Eclipse I have been born a Packer fan and live right in G.B. and am proud of it. How could you not be proud of the 13 time world champions. Really think about it we can actually say 13 time world champions and you never had the opportunity to say it once, how depressing and frustrating that must be. By the way can the Vikings lay claim to anything positive from the past? No wonder every offseason you lay claim to championships, thats the only time you can beat your chests before the walls come crashing down. Dont be petty and resort to the childish insults like your brethren because you are envious.

    Contra thats the best you could do is the history channel? Seems to me the most meaningful events in history are aired there. I have no problem with that. Based on your history are you on the disaster channel?

  48. hornbuckle says: Aug 16, 2013 8:40 PM

    You da man Forest.

  49. stellarperformance says: Aug 16, 2013 8:52 PM

    I actually laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of the Packer-hater feeding frenzy that takes place when a Packer storyline shows up. In the name of God, get a life.

  50. stellarperformance says: Aug 16, 2013 8:57 PM

    irishnativeson says:
    Aug 16, 2013 8:00 PM
    While I don’t really have a dog in the fight and I’m no particular fan of Christian Ponder, C’mon man, Don Majkowski??? He couldn’t beat out Jack Trudeau for the #1 backup QB on the 1993 Colts or Scott Mitchell for the starting job on the 1995 Lions. That hardly qualifies “The Majik Man” as 10X the QB of… well anybody.
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////

    So, your familiarity with him took place at the end of his career, not at the height. He was good….and damn fun to watch.

  51. lambeauandlombardi says: Aug 16, 2013 11:56 PM

    Is that why packer games only air on the History channel?
    ………………………………………………………………………………

    And Vikings games on NFL Follies?

  52. teamnorsecore says: Aug 17, 2013 12:54 AM

    If this happened today, Rodgers would refuse to do the up downs. He would stand next to Gregg with his arms crossed, blame his WRs for the humiliating loss and tell the coach he will have the “chip” on his shoulder next game. Oh God no….not that…..anything but that!

  53. GenXJay says: Aug 17, 2013 2:54 AM

    packer past story, eh?
    sounds as though the were complainers back then too.

  54. stellarperformance says: Aug 17, 2013 6:03 AM

    eclipsingbinary says:
    Aug 16, 2013 4:38 PM
    Who cares. Just another drunkin’ Sconi.
    //////////////////////////////////////

    The word is drunken, not drunking. And what’s a Sconi? Is that like a Nesot?

  55. tokyosandblaster says: Aug 17, 2013 7:51 PM

    Yeah, this was back when Preseason was a better scale as to what was going to happen.

    Now it’s not taken very seriously by most people.

    Of course, only Minnesota Vikings fans take it seriously now, because it’s the best part of their season. Too soon, the regular season will start, and the purple bandwagon will fall apart, it’s fair-weather fans go back to fishing.

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