Archive for December, 2007

“We’re Playing for Home-Field Advantage”

December 17, 2007

That’s what Mike McCarthy just told reporters at his Monday press conference. Good. That’s exactly the right attitude. I’m for resting players who are dinged up — McCarthy did this with Nick Collins yesterday and may have to do it with Ryan Pickett going forward — but if you’ve got a shot at home-field advantage you need to do everything possible to get it. It could matter, especially since Brett Favre is 0-9 in Dallas over his career.

Here is Greg Bedard on McCarthy’s presser.

Moron Alert: Another Fake Profootballtalk.com Scandal

December 17, 2007

These guys don’t learn.

Remember a few weeks back when profootballtalk.com played up a report that Al Harris might have been seeking to collect a “bounty” by taking out Adrian Peterson? It was a sensational story, hyped by the rumor-mill that is PFT and for a moment it looked like it might be huge news. (For those of you not familiar with their “work,” PFT is like the Drudge Report of the NFL, only Drudge is a great site and rarely gets things wrong. PFT is read religiously by NFL beat writers, executives, agents and even players.) In this case, as in many others, the PFT guys had no clue what they were talking about. It turns out Harris would have been the one paying the incentive for keeping AP under 100 yards. (Despite the irresponsible suggestions from PFT, there never was a “bounty,” in the sense that Packers were out to injure Peterson or anyone else.)

We posted on the subject several times and emailed PFT with a chance to explain, retract and/or apologize. They did nothing. Maybe they were just too busy.

Last week, the hacks at PFT suggested that ESPN’s Mike Golic, a former football player who has admitted using steroids, had been taken off the air because the network didn’t want him discussing the Mitchell Report on steriods in baseball. They wrote:

WHERE’S GOLIC?

Isn’t it odd that Mike Golic has been MIA the past couple of days from his radio show on ESPN? With the sports news dominated by the “Mitchell Report” regarding steroid use in baseball, shouldn’t Golic be there to offer up his views on the content of the report (assuming he can read) and the consequences of the revelations regarding the extent to which baseball players were using steroids?

Well, yeah, if Golic wasn’t an admitted steroid user himself.And absent a full explanation as to Golic’s whereabouts, offered up at the top of the return from every break, we think it’s fair to assume that Golic was given a couple of days off without pay so that he wouldn’t have to comment on the propriety of something that he himself has done. 

Only it wasn’t fair to assume that at all. Golic was absent because of a death in the family, news that had to be unbelievably embarrassing to PFT. If I had made a similar accusation — without a shred of evidence, mind you — I would make a full and unambiguous apology and beg my readers not to abandon me in spite of my tasteless and irresponsible behavior. What did PFT do? They blamed ESPN. I am serious.

It’s worth reading the whole thing.

ESPN DID GOLIC A DISSERVICE

As it turns out, ESPN’s Mike Golic missed last week not because he was ducking discussion regarding the Mitchell report, but because of a death in his family.

We extend our condolences to Golic, and to his family.

All that said, his employer did the guy a major disservice by not making it known that Golic was absent due to a personal family issue. By not addressing Golic’s absence on a regular basis (it would have taken all of three seconds), ESPN allowed many to unnecessarily speculate that Golic didn’t want to talk about steroids in baseball given his admission last month that he used steroids in 1987.

Even if everyone who thought that Golic was absent because he didn’t want to talk about steroids eventually learns the truth, nothing can change the fact that they were under the impression for several days that he might have been looking for a way to not have to talk about his use of the juice. 

What a crock of shit. (Sorry, Mom.)

ESPN “allowed many to unnecessarily speculate?” Are they serious? Who was this “many” they are talking about? Anyone who didn’t first read such speculation at PFT?

These guys are irresponsible hacks. The only remaining question is why the NFL Network — an arm of the NFL itself — would continue to sponsor the site.

That Eerie Feeling…

December 17, 2007

Here’s what I wrote last week after watching the ugly end of the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions:

The Lions would have won if Paris Lenon, former Packer and Andy man-crushee, would have fallen on a Tony Romo fumble with less than two minutes left. Instead, he wanted to be the hero, so he scooped it up and then dropped it, when a Cowboy lineman fell on it. Dallas scored the game-winning touchdown. I have an eerie feeling that play could be the difference between the NFC Championship at Lambeau Field or at that “pretty” Dallas Stadium.

As you surely know by now, Dallas lost to Philadelphia yesterday, 10-6. And while I am pleased to see further confirmation that the Cowboys are not a good 12-2 team (in addition to their loss to Detroit, they should have lost to Buffalo), it’s difficult to think that the Packers could have had homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with two more wins and an unspectacular play by Paris Lenon.There is still a chance, however. Dallas plays Washington in Washington the last game of the season. Even with Jason Campbell out and no Sean Taylor, the Redskins have played reasonably well. (In fact, the original “eerie feeling” post played up a potential Cowboys loss to Washington and mentioned Philly in passing.) If the Redskins can beat the Vikings next week, they would be 8-7 heading into the Dallas game, a mark that would give them a decent shot at the playoffs. (They would have a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings — giving the Vikings a win against Chicago tonight — but New Orleans has a better conference record.)Of course the Packers still have to beat the Bears (in Chicago) and Lions (at home) before this becomes an issue. But…

Monday Review

December 17, 2007

The Packers played fine yesterday in their 33-14 stomping of the St. Louis Rams. Fine, but not excellent.

The Rams are a better team than their record indicates and they came in 3-2 over their last five games. Their running game was strong — at one point Steven Jackson had 12 carries for something like 108 yards — and their run defense was surprisingly stout.The Packers’ offensive line seemed to regress a bit, especially in the running game. There were very few big holes for Ryan Grant to run through, especially early in the game. Pass protection was okay, however.

All in all (and I’m not looking to restart an old argument) the win yesterday reminded me of the win against Carolina: Decent, not great. They could have looked past this one and they didn’t, which tells us good things about Mike McCarthy and his staff, especially given the other top NFC teams that lost yesterday (Dallas, Seattle, NY Giants).

Mike McCarthy’s postgame press conference is here.  

Jason Wilde is here

UPDATE: McCarthy was asked how the offensive line performed: Just OK. I thought the protection part of it, they did a great job of the pressure recognition, declarations. I don’t think we were fooled one time. I thought the communication was outstanding on the boundary as far as what they were trying to do, who’s bluffing and picking up the disguise and so forth. I thought they did a very good job of that. The run-blocking unit as a whole, it wasn’t our best day. We weren’t as productive as we would have liked to have been in the run game. But I thought their performance was OK.   

Mike McCarthy on Favre

December 17, 2007

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. He’ll go down as one of the greatest or the greatest player in the history of the National Football League. But just the way he goes about his business I think speaks volumes about him as a person. He’s a joy to coach, he’s a big part of our success this year as he’s been throughout his whole career, and you love to see him just keep breaking these records.”

Profootballtalk.com: Packers Will Win Super Bowl

December 15, 2007

They rank the Packers #3 in their Power Rankings this week and predict that the Packers upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl and that Favre will “pull an Elway.”  It’s here

Weekend Reading

December 15, 2007

On the Packers and the Pro Bowl here.

On the Packers’ struggles in short-yardage here.On the promise of Will Blackmon here.

On the Packer offense versus the Rams blitz here.

On a Ryan Grant honor here.

On how a fellow Wauwatosa native beat us out to be the first Tosan to be inducted into the Packer fan Hall of Fame here.

On an outsider’s opinion about Packer fans here.

And Mike McCarthy on a variety of topics here.

Some Packer love from Pete Prisco

December 14, 2007

Sportsline’s Pete Prisco names his 2007 Pro Bowl teams in this article. I agree with most of his selections, especially having Nick Barnett as the starting middle linebacker – something he absolutely deserves this year. And also him stating that Woodson has been the NFL’s best corner this year. But I disagree when he says Romo is the clear-cut starter for the NFC, Favre at least is in the picture and I think a solid argument could be made for Favre being the starter. I also don’t think Al Harris should be a reserve (Woodson and Trufant are the starters). Harris has had a few rough games but mostly very quality games and Trufant would be going mostly because of his 7 interceptions, 3 of which he got last week.

Coston may be out – hurry-up offense in

December 14, 2007

From Mike Clemons, WSSP’s Green and Gold Insider: apparently Junius Coston has had trouble making a go of it in practice due to the ankle and he may not start/play Sunday. Also, Clemons reported that McCarthy and the team have been working on an offense this week where the players get out of the huddle fast in an effort to disrupt the frequent blitzing by the Rams defense.This brings me to a thought: why don’t the Packers use the hurry-up offense more? In fact, why don’t more teams do this? Whenever it’s done, it seems to work. It may be tiring for an offense, but it is exhausting for a defense and there is usually not time for the defense to make the necessary adjustments. It can lead to lots of favorable match-ups for an offense (receivers being defended by linebackers, nobody guarding the RBs or FBs, tight ends being wide open).

Good Bedard points re Packers secondary

December 14, 2007

Greg Bedard writes here about the how the Packers secondary could play a key role going forward into the playoffs. As he notes, the Packers are pretty solid on offense, defense, special teams – few glaring weaknesses. But the play of the nickel and dime corners could indeed be critical. Teams struggle to beat us with their #1 and #2 receivers – but tight ends, fullbacks and #3-4 receivers tend to hurt us. So, not only is the play of these back-up corners important, so is the play of the safeties and Brady Poppinga. Poppinga has been a coverage liability all year and his weaknesses concern me as the games become more important. Any team we face from here on out with more than 2 receiving targets could pose some problems unless these guys all step it up. I do like Rouse being available though – maybe he should just fill in for Poppinga and play a safety/linebacker combo position.

I just hope McCarthy continues to have the stones to yank anyone who has been struggling if they do things that hurt the team in these important games (Bigby, Poppinga, Bush, Jenkins, Colledge – you’re all on notice).


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