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I think the Packers did enough. They filled a hole at right guard with Billy Turner, who doubles as a backup tackle. On paper, this is the deepest the Packers have been through their first- and second-team units during my time on the beat. Short-area quickness safe to say is a need to be a good slot receiver. I would also say being a great route runner is more important in the slot than the perimeter in our new offensive scheme. If that is true, who is the best route runner of the young receivers after Adams? As far as the returning draft picks, St. I have a story running next week about five things we learned this offseason.
The guy knows every position in the secondary, and more importantly, he can still play. More on that next week.
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With all the talk about the defense being surprisingly ahead of the offense this early, isn't that the way it usually is? In the past, I thought I always heard that it took the offense a little longer to get coordinated with each other to work together as a unit than it did for the defense? To some extent. The defense forced several three-and-outs in team periods this spring. Do they remember when Rodgers took a playoff game into overtime without his top three receivers?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, St. With Teo Redding wearing No. He has some burst to his game and will have the chance to show it this summer, especially on returns and special teams. I think we managed to go through the entire OTA season without mentioning the backup quarterbacks. Tim Boyle or DeShone Kizer was never, or seldom, mentioned. This lack of mention of a good performance by either, and the presence of several veterans still available on the free-agent market, tells me that there is a good possibility that our backup quarterback is not currently on the team.
Am I missing something? The real test comes in July and August. Hey Insiders! I heard Mike Silver address something the other day. Do you think LaFleur wants to try and retain this ability? And somehow expand his system to accommodate some audibility in there? LaFleur tackled this topic earlier this offseason.
Rodgers will still have the authority to make checks at the line. LaFleur just wants to hone the communication and make sure Rodgers is confident in the menu of plays in the game plan. So much is constantly made about the receivers being on the same page with Rodgers and doing exactly what he wants. I don't remember this much talk about chemistry with Favre.
From , he had three straight years with a different No. Favre turned Bill Schroeder into a 1,yard receiver. Can you explain? Evolution, plain and simple. The introduction of no-huddle offenses and run-pass options have altered the landscape for quarterbacks and skill-position players. Checks and audibles within routes are common now, depending on what the defense is showing.
Any merit to the idea that a player can only account for X percent of the salary cap? The only position it would negatively affect would be quarterback. It would raise the value of all the other positions including the players at the bottom of the roster. Owners would still pay out the same, many players would make more money, and it would allow teams to have more "star" players.
Rodgers is one of the highest-paid players in the league, but the Packers are in good standing with the cap because they were smart about it. Do you anticipate Gute using the leftover cap to get a one-year veteran deal with maybe a WR or safety? Rodgers is trailing Brees by nearly 30, yards at the moment. My question is, "If the playing schedule ain't broke, why do so many seem intent on fixing it? Sixteen regular-season games is just right.
Try to squeeze in more and you have even more injuries, more marquee players unavailable for postseason games. Since I started following packers. I become familiar with new faces on the team and want to see how they perform in a game. The whole process has become much more interesting. So when does the regular season start? No, thank you. If you keep Week 1 after Labor Day, then the regular season is now leaking into mid-January?
February 24? The preseason is the perfect lead-in to the regular season. It allows people to enjoy the last few weekends of their summer, too. He is steadfast against this. My logic is that the NFL will expand to an game, week season that will run from September through January. The playoffs will be held in February. This schedule dovetails with prime TV viewing in this country. But as a bonus, if your flight out from Nadi leaves late in the evening say 7 pm onward , the timing of the Yasawa Flier boat fits well. So, you can actually spend your last night in Fiji on South Sea instead of having to go back to Nadi to soak up one more morning of bliss before you have to leave the country.
This group of volcanic islands are located just north of the popular Mamanucas and make up the border of Western Fiji. The Yasawa Islands are home to an abundance of natural beauty, the perfect place for a digital detox.
With postcard perfect beaches decorated with green cliffs and rocks, as well as world class snorkelling spots, The Yasawa Islands are a must visit destination for anyone looking to experience some of the best beaches in Fiji. Hostels in the Yasawa Islands. This is the home of the famous shark diving experience. Before you go out, you do a mandatory shark training, which is actually like a free class on shark biology. There are plenty of places to go for a swim, too — take your pick between the seaside pool or calm ocean waves.
Book your stay at Barefoot Kuata. Further up the Yasawa chain is Octopus Resort , an Australian run idyllic place to rest your feet in Fiji. Here, their calm reef is protected as a marine reserve, so expect to see even more animals swimming in the shallows. Book your stay at Octopus Resort.
The cousin of Barefoot Kuata, known traditionally as Drawaqa Island. This island resort is also famous for a unique animal encounter. From May to October you have the opportunity to swim with manta rays here, gliding along as they munch on plankton. You also have the option to do a shipwreck dive here. In there were two Chinese fishing vessels that were waiting to be demolished, but instead of throwing out the debris, someone had the great idea of turning them into an artificial reef.
Now you can find over 30 types of fish in the wreckage. Book your stay at Barefoot Manta. They do a movie night in the common area where they literally tie a giant canvas between two coconut trees, lay out the cushions from the pool and hand out free popcorn for all to enjoy. It started spritzing rain when we watched our movie and the staff went above and beyond, retrieving umbrellas for us so we could continue to enjoy the film. But being a 2-coconut property, food will be fancier and more expensive. Book your stay at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort.
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Below is a timetable of the Yasawa Flier schedule so you can take a further look at your options when planning where to stay:. In Fiji they use their own form of the dollar far more colourful than its American counterpart. Aside from your flight into Fiji, the two major costs of your trip will be your transportation and accommodation. A unique element to backpacking in Fiji that certainly has its benefits and drawbacks is the mandatory meal plan component at nearly all of the islands.
This place is as remote as it gets. So, one of your largest costs will be the included meal plan at all hostel resorts, which offers you 3 meals a day, typically at a set time of hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some resorts may also have a mid-afternoon tea break included, too. Food comes from the mainland, usually also on the Yasawa Flier. The meal plan cost depends on which resort s you choose, of course the more luxurious places charge a bit more for meals.
In the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands you can experience backpacker or flashpacker level accommodation and food. As of October , these are the prices for a Bula Combo Pass to pick and choose your hostels. These prices are valid until March 31, all prices in Fijian Dollars. When I went to Fiji, I just bought a Bula Pass transportation only and decided to book a mix of 1 and 2 coconut hostels via Hostelworld on my own. It was a bit cheaper that way, too. And doing it on your own is the only way you can mix and match between 1 and 2 coconut level properties.
Costs tend to go up, rather than down to fill any last-minute space. I went to Fiji in March and wrote an article on my personal travel blog about it, detailing a cost breakout. The Mamanuca Islands are small, flat and very close to Nadi.
Taveuni is the 3 rd largest island in Fiji and is nicknamed the Garden Island, for good reason. Both are great places to immerse yourself in nature. These include:. Split Rock is an adventurous dive that includes canyons and faults to circumnavigate. You can also go for a surf at the King Kong Left surf break, which is in close paddling distance to land. History buffs can check out the colonial village called Levuka on Ovulau. Worth noting here just for the hilarity of it, but this is the actual island where Tom Cruise was stranded in Castaway.
Each island hostel resort offers several activities a day, much like an all-inclusive hotel would. Most activities are free but a few come at an additional cost such as a night snorkel that includes a flashlight and a guide to help point out to some nocturnal fish, octopus and other seafaring creatures. In general, you can snorkel and swim, kayak or paddle board in the calm and crystal-clear reef waters.
Most islands offer a happy hour or two and all their bars include breathtaking views of paradise. Some even include night-time entertainment, such as traditional Fijian dancing and kava ceremonies, Hermit Crab racing, live music from the locals or sunset walks. Other forms of night-time entertainment include fire dancing and even walking on coals, which is an extremely old tradition in Fiji that dates way back before the days of colonisation. The further up the Yasawa Islands you go, the larger the islands get and more varied their topography.
They offer quite a few guided and independent long walks to waterfalls or lookout points. If you do wind up staying at Blue Lagoon, they offer a day trip to a nearby island that is uninhabited at the top of the Yasawa chain where you can catch a glimpse of the unique Sawailau caves. The second one is a bit more secretive — the only way in and out is through an underwater passageway. The reefs are calmer, the crowds are smaller and the cost is a lot more affordable than in neighbouring Australia, a popular choice.
Prices vary from resort to resort, but they generally all provide equipment for you and some include special dives like the bull shark feeding or a night dive. Most islands include a cultural element, too. Be it the very small islands that engulf you into the Fijian family who run the place, or the opportunity to attend Sunday mass with the locals a big, fun activity for even the non-religious amongst us , there are a lot of opportunities to learn about the Fijian way of life. Fijians love sharing their culture, too. You can also learn how to make beautiful jewellery with local women, whose craft includes a variety of shells and plant-based art.
You can even make beautiful jewellery and artwork from coconuts. The women bring an array of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other handmade knickknacks like bookmarks or bowls. You can only imagine how innovative they are and resourceful, too. For those who may not have much time to stray too far from Nadi, or perhaps for those who do but are looking for one last fun activity on their way back to the mainland, there is a famous floating bar just an hour away from Port Denaru on Viti Levu called Cloud 9.
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There are ample sun chairs so you can kick your feet up on a floatie in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, sipping on a nice cold cocktail. If you time it right, you may even see a live DJ on the Cloud. A cousin to the Cloud 9 bar of sorts, but a bit more fast paced if you will, is Malamala Beach Club. So, if it might be your thing, come and sip on one expensive cocktail, check out the scene and relax into uber luxury.
You might just run into a celebrity.
Make sure you bring clothing that will cover your shoulders and knees. Bonus points if you bring something dressy along, as the locals always look the part for the weekly occasion. There are dozens of shops scattered around with jewellery, sarongs, bathing suits, and a mix of other typical and unique presents. This stamp of approval is a legal government mandate to indicate a genuinely locally made product. Fijian food reflects influences from Polynesia, India, China and Western worlds, so you can imagine there will be a diverse abundance of things to eat. Fijian food is heavily influenced by the local environment.
Expect lots of sea food and root crops as these are easily caught and grown locally, feeding both locals and visitors alike. They offer a mix of traditional, local fare and Western staples, as well as fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. One night a week at most resorts they offer Lovo, which is a big Fijian feast cooked traditionally. They cover up the feast with banana leaves or coconut stalks to provide insulation. Kava comes from the pulverised root of a cousin to the pepper, and many say it has medicinal qualities.
So, there you have it — your ultimate guide to the Fiji Islands. Whatever you choose, be ready for ultimate relaxation and the most breathtaking beaches you may ever see. V inaka vaka levu for reading! I'm Annabel, a Brit with a passion for travel. NYC is my favourite travel destination although I'm also a sucker for a cheap Europe mini-break! Hello, I was wondering if the hostel places are just for back packers per say.?