No Pro Bowl, but Bakhtiari All-Pro

Packer Plus - - NEWS - Ryan Wood Green Bay Press-Gazette and Tom Sil­ver­stein Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sen­tinel

Green Bay — Af­ter he didn’t get selected for the Pro Bowl this sea­son, Green Bay Pack­ers left tackle David Bakhtiari was asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of mak­ing an­other All-Pro team.

That wouldn’t be un­usual. Not for Bakhtiari, at l east. The Pack­ers l eft tackle had al­ready been a sec­ond-team All-Pro twice in his ca­reer. He had just one Pro Bowl se­lec­tion.

In the­ory, All-Pro lists are harder to crack. Ap­par­ently not for Bakhtiari. What if he made a third All-Pro team, yet only had the one Pro Bowl?

“I think that would be hi­lar­i­ous,” Bakhtiari said. Some­where, he must be laugh­ing. Bakhtiari was named first-team Al­lPro by the As­so­ci­ated Press for the first time in his ca­reer Fri­day. New Or­leans’ Ter­ron Arm­stead, whom Bakhtiari is an al­ter­nate be­hind for the Pro Bowl, was selected sec­ond-team All-Pro along­side Seat­tle’s Duane Brown. Bakhtiari was the only left tackle on the first team.

In other words, he’s the best of­fen­sive tackle ac­cord­ing to the 50-mem­ber me­dia panel which an­nu­ally votes for the NFL’s All-Pro first and sec­ond teams.

“I think he has Hall of Fame po­ten­tial,” quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers said late in the sea­son. “He’s an in­cred­i­ble player. He’s been a rock for us. When he’s over there, you feel re­ally com­fort­able with him lock­ing down pass rush­ers through­out the game. He’s played through some in­juries, he’s had a fan­tas­tic sea­son again, and ob­vi­ously hav­ing him out there has been great.”

Fitzger­ald re­mains at North­west­ern: Ac­cord­ing to agent Bryan Har­lan, mul­ti­ple NFL teams i nquired about North­west­ern’s Pat Fitzger­ald for their head-coach open­ing, but in the end the 44-year-old coach de­cided to stay with his alma mater, where he has been head coach for the past 13 years and is locked into a 10-year con­tract ex­ten­sion he signed two years ago.

The Pack­ers had to know it was a long shot that they would be able to lure Fitzger­ald from the col­lege ranks.

Fitzger­ald grew up in the Chicago area, was a star line­backer for the Wild­cats, is a life­long Bears fan and said af­ter the team’s come -from-be­hind vic­tory over Utah on New Year’s Eve that he wasn’t go­ing any­where.

Pack­ers pres­i­dent/CEO Mark Mur- phy hired Fitzger­ald when he was ath­letic di­rec­tor at North­west­ern in 2006, and gen­eral man­ager Brian Gutekunst has ad­mired him greatly, ac­cord­ing to sources. Both wanted to gauge Fitzger­ald’s in­ter­est in the po­si­tion but needed to wait un­til the Wild­cats’ bowl game.

The Pack­ers prob­a­bly would have dou­bled Fitzger­ald’s $3.62 mil­lion salary, but they couldn’t erase his loy­alty to a uni­ver­sity that has made a ma­jor com­mit­ment to be­com­ing a big-time Divi­sion I foot­ball pro­gram.

The Wild­cats won the Big Ten West Divi­sion and played i n the Big Ten Cham­pi­onship for the first time. Cap­ping the sea­son off with a Hol­i­day Bowl vic­tory put Fitzger­ald on top of the world.

The con­struc­tion of a new $280 mil­lion foot­ball fa­cil­ity and the break­through 2018 sea­son should make re­cruit­ing top play­ers eas­ier for Fitzger­ald. Given he is only 44, it’s likely other NFL op­por­tu­ni­ties will come his way, and pos­si­bly an op­por­tu­nity to coach the Bears.

Even if Fitzger­ald had agreed to in­ter­view, Mur­phy and Gutekunst would have had to make his new con­tract too good to pass up. The fact Fitzger­ald wouldn’t be too far from home would have played in their fa­vor, but their tim­ing just wasn’t right.

But­ler again fails to make cut: A trio of safeties were among 15 mod­ern­era fi­nal­ists for the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019, but for­mer Pack­ers safety LeRoy But­ler was not one of them.

But­ler, the first de­fen­sive back in NFL his­tory with 20 ca­reer in­ter­cep­tions and sacks, was among 25 semi­fi­nal­ists for the sec­ond straight year. At a po­si­tion no­to­ri­ously lack­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Can­ton, But­ler ap­pears to have fallen be­hind John Lynch and Steve At­wa­ter, both of whom were named fi­nal­ists. Ed Reed, the safety most likely to be en­shrined, also was a fi­nal­ist.

But­ler’s num­bers com­pare fa­vor­ably to Lynch’s and At­wa­ter’s. He fin­ished with 38 in­ter­cep­tions and 201⁄ sacks in 2 12 sea­sons, pro­duc­tion that would have been even greater had his ca­reer not ended at age 33 be­cause of a frac­tured shoul­der. Lynch had 26 in­ter­cep­tions and 13 sacks in his 15 sea­sons split be­tween Tampa Bay and Den­ver. At­wa­ter had 24 in­ter­cep­tions and five sacks in his 11 sea­sons played mostly in Den­ver.

“(But­ler) could match up one -onone and be down in the box. Which was rare,” long time coach Brian Bil­lick told

Pack­er­ last win­ter.

Bil­lick de­vised game plans against But­ler and the Pack­ers de­fense as Min­nesota’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and later coached Reed in Bal­ti­more.

Of the three, Lynch has the edge with nine Pro Bowls. But­ler’s four Pro Bowl ap­pear­ances also trail At­wa­ter’s eight.

But But­ler was a four-time, first­team All-Pro, in­clud­ing three straight years from 1996-’98. Lynch and At­wa­ter were selected first-team All-Pros twice apiece.

Clay Matthews Jr., the father of Pack­ers line­backer Clay Matthews III, also failed to make the cut to 15. Matthews Jr. was a line­backer for 19 sea­sons, most of them in Cleve­land.

Mont­gomery sells one of two houses in Howard: For­mer Pack­ers run­ning back Ty Mont­gomery has sold one of the two houses he owns in Howard.

The house at 1252 Beech­wood Court sold on Dec. 11, 2018, for $262,500. He bought the house in 2016 for $243,250. The listed price was $274,900.

The 2,498-square-foot house, with three bed­rooms and three baths, is near Bay View Mid­dle School. It in­cludes a the­ater room in the base­ment and is bor­dered by wooded lots to the north and east.

Mont­gomery bought a larger house not far from the Beech­wood Court house early last year. He was traded by the Pack­ers to the Bal­ti­more Ravens in Oc­to­ber.

In seven games for the Pack­ers last year, Mont­gomery rushed for 105 yards and one touch­down, and caught 15 passes for 170 yards. In six games with the Ravens, Mont­gomery rushed 15 times for 83 yards and caught 10 passes for 65 yards. He scored no touch­downs for Bal­ti­more.

For­mer Pack­ers GM Ted Thomp­son’s house at 222 Ni­co­let Place in west De Pere re­mains on the mar­ket. The list price is $424,900, down from $499,900 when the house went on the mar­ket in sum­mer 2018. The 2,113square foot house, has three bed­rooms, one full and two half bath­rooms, two fire­places and river­front ac­cess.

Thomp­son, who was named Pack­ers GM in 2005, bought the house at 222 Ni­co­let Place that year for $317,000, ac­cord­ing to records at the Brown County Regis­ter of Deeds of­fice.

Thomp­son was named se­nior ad­viser to foot­ball op­er­a­tions in Jan­uary 2018. Brian Gutekunst was named gen­eral man­ager shortly af­ter.

For­mer Pack­ers re­ceiver Jordy Nel­son, who now is with the Oak­land Raiders, sold his 3,642-square-foot house in Suam­ico for $345,000. It was listed for $379,000. Nel­son paid $310,000 for it in 2009.

Pack­ers Pres­i­dent and CEO Mark Mur­phy also listed his house in prepa­ra­tion for a move to a nearby con­do­minium. The house was taken off the mar­ket dur­ing the foot­ball sea­son. It has not been re-listed.

Richard Ry­man, Green Bay P ressGazette con­trib­uted to this re­port.


Pack­ers of­fen­sive tackle David Bakhtiari made the As­so­ci­ated Press All-Pro team af­ter get­ting snubbed in the Pro Bowl.


For­mer Pack­ers run­ning back Ty Mont­gomery sold this house in Howard for $262,500.

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