Cheesehead TV – anti-Beaver

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Read Cheesehead TV’s response to my recent post lobbying for the Packers to keep RB Justin Beaver on the roster. Fairly strong reaction I’d say to an innocent argument for keeping a hard-working, qualified, local, talented player on the team. I maintain that signing Beaver would have provided a bit of a lift for fans and the overall team – just like Donald Driver making the team got people pumped up a few years ago. (Of course, Aaron conveniently left out my Driver analogy which read: “Think about how excited we all were when we’d read stories about Donald Driver and how this 7th round pick might make the team. Then he made the team and elevated his game to Pro Bowl level. We love stories like that here and the timing of this story could help Packer Nation move forward”).

But I have other issues with Aaron’s response. I sense that Aaron believes the Packers are fine at the RB position. I don’t. We don’t have major talent back there (Grant excluded). Aaron, just because you predict that Jackson will “surprise” this season doesn’t make him a high-caliber player now – all he’s done so far is lose his starting job (last year). While I certainly hope Wynn, Jackson or Morency do emerge as legit players and I don’t feel any of these guys are awful, right now, the fact is, RB is still a position of need and adding Beaver would add needed competition and depth at RB.

Also, importantly, Aaron left out an important piece of my post – Beaver’s versatility. I wrote: “He is fast, very quick (”quick as a hiccup” according to McCarthy), very strong, young, hard-working, devoted – and he’s somewhat versatile in that he can return kicks and compete at RB.” Beaver could be a solid option as a return guy – bringing speed, quickness and also toughness to a position that needs it. He has an upside on special teams that Jackson, Wynn and Morency don’t seem to have. I think it’s a mistake not to give Beaver a chance and instead waste 13 roster spots on wide receivers (which essentially leaves 10 guys competing for 2 spots).

Anyway, bottom line is, we should still sign the guy and give him a chance. We may have just turned our back on the next Devin Hester or Steve Tasker or Travis Jervey.

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18 Responses to “Cheesehead TV – anti-Beaver”

  1. Joe Says:

    What do you expect from a guy who posted this on September 1, 2007:

    “Ryan Grant?

    Well, give Thompson credit. He always manages to trade for players I’ve never heard of. Ryan Grant is a Packer and will no doubt add even more intrigue to an already murky situation.

    Gut reaction? Leave it to Thompson to apply a band-aid when what the team needs a new limb.”

    http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/ryan-grant

    Obviously, Aaron is not the best RB talent scout around. Also, we needed a new limb then but now were just fine? Exactly what changed?

  2. Aaron Says:

    Joe,

    You noticed the part about it being a gut reaction, right? And I never claimed to be a talent scout at the RB or any position. But signing a local RB, just because it would be good PR, is no way to run a football team….

  3. Aaron Says:

    Waur – rereading what you wrote Joe, you say I’m not the best judge of RB talent – and now you ask what’s changed? Um, I would think Grant’s emergence is a pretty big difference since the end of training camp last season, would you not agree…?

  4. awhayes Says:

    Aaron – my overall point has been distorted here. I am not saying we should sign Beaver simply because of PR. If good PR were the only objective, I wouldn’t advocate for Beaver, but perhaps for signing Marisa Miller. Sure I did agree with Joe that signing him would be good PR because it would be, but I also noted importantly that the guy is a skilled player who could be of value at RB or at returning. In fact, this post was really a follow-up post to my initial one lobbying for him to make the team back on 4/29.

    http://packergeeks.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/justin-beaver-gets-the-call/

    And I’d add to Joe’s thought, fine, let’s say Grant has arrived and is that good (which I think he may be, but I also recognize he’s only done this for half a season). Nowadays in the NFL, you need several good backs and having Grant as the only seemingly reliable one is insufficient. I just think having a few more quality backs to compete for the 3-4 spots back there could be helpful (especially a back who has the serious potential to help the team elsewhere).

  5. Aaron Says:

    Andrew,

    Completely understood – comment posting (and indeed most of my blogging) is done at work and can’t always work all my thoughts in, but I do take your points. I would only counter that I think you are inflating your evaluation of Beaver’s talent based on his storyline…

  6. Joe Says:

    Aaron – my comment to Andy’s first post ended with ‘it ain’t bad football either’ and I mentioned that I thought Beaver had the skills to justify a roster spot. In light of that, I don’t understand why you think we are advocating singing “just because it would be good PR.”

    Based on the comments on packergeeks and on cheesehead TV, I think it is safe to say that I have more faith in Grant than both of you guys. But your comment about needing a new limb not a band-aid was directed at the guys who were already on the roster. In your analogy – Grant was the band-aid and the rest of the backs were the limb that need to be cut off. Those dead limb guys are still on the roaster. And there have been no major talent developments for any of them. I understand that you think Jackson is going to surprise us all and maybe he will but Beaver’s TALENT, while different from the others because of his return abilities, qualifies him for a roster spot just as much as Morency’s or Wynn’s respective talents qualifies them for a roster spot. In fact, I think Beaver’s potential as a return guy gives him a stronger claim to a roster spot that either Morency or Wynn. But even if all three are equally deserving of a spot, the PR angle is a justifiable reason to prefer Beaver.

    When the talent is equal, why not look to other factors? After all football is a sport and a business. The stories matter, they sell merchandise. I would chose talent first and story second, but here we can have both.

  7. Aaron Says:

    Jackson was less than stellar at the start of the season. He got better.
    Beaver has talent, but so do hundreds of guys not signed to NFL contracts.
    And as far as his talent to return, as I stated elsewhere, we have plenty of capable, if not downright electric return men. I’d much rather roll with a proven, veteran back who is stellar against the blitz who will keep Rodgers alive than an undrafted rookie who could get our already fragile-looking QB killed. But that’s just me…

  8. Joe Says:

    Aaron – you think Jackson is much improved and that Morency is great at picking up the blitz. I think Jackson is unproven at best and a flop in the making at worst. (I hope I am wrong). But I am also not saying lets cut Jackson to make room for Beaver. I think Morecny did well blocking but blitz pick up is a coachable skill – being fast and elusive isn’t. I would cut Morency to add Beaver – but we don’t have to. We still have Wynn and in my opinion Wynn is simply less talented than Beaver. I think the team would be improved if Beaver got his spot. Likewise, what does Kregg Lumpkin have that Beaver doesn’t? Who? You know, Kregg Lumpkin the RB from Goerga who carried the ball 12 times for 44 yards his senior season, 162 times for 798 yards his junior season. That Kregg Lumpkin.

    But we don’t have to cut a RB to make room for Beaver. Heck don’t we have one open roster spot left? Further, do we really need 13 WRs heading into camp? We also have 2 LS on the roster right now. I understand that we have to replace Rob Davis but …

    The bigger point, is that nobody was saying sign Beaver ONLY for PR. It has always been a two pronged argument: He has talent (more than some other folks on the roster) and he is a great story.

  9. Aaron Says:

    Joe,

    You must have seen a whole lot more UW Whitewater games than I have. I can only take your word that Beaver is such a prodigious talent.

    I suspect this whole argument is moot anyway. Beaver will most likely get his chance after the next owners meeting, where it seems the owners will increase rosters to 86, now that NFL Europa is no more.

  10. Aaron Says:

    Also – how many games did you see Lumpkin play? How many of his touches have you broken down on tape? You seem certain that, based on stats and stats alone, Beaver is a much better prospect for the Packers’ offense than Lumpkin. What do you know that Thompson and his staff do not…? Inquiring minds want to know!

  11. To Packer Geeks (and Joe) | Cheesehead TV Says:

    [...] And I’m raising my glass to my friends over at Packer Geeks, and one of their readers, Joe. Though we may disagree, here’s one thing I am certain we can all agree [...]

  12. awhayes Says:

    While Joe and I may disagree with Aaron re the potential value of Justin Beaver, I’m in total agreement with the glass of Pabst. I will soon reunite with brother Steve for a visit with his family and Pabst will no doubt be a priority.

  13. sfhayes Says:

    A top priority. And since awhayes is driving out here, I assume he will be bringing at least three cases of Pabst Light — the anti-hangover beer — which is not yet available in these backward parts of our fine country.

  14. Joe Says:

    Pabst all around! It doesn’t get any better than Packer talk and a cold PBR.

  15. PackerBelle Says:

    I don’t know enough to comment about whether or not the Packers should have signed Beaver. I will say that none of us were present at the rookie camp and saw how he performed – the coaches were. It may be that something happened there that led to him not getting signed. I don’t know. I do know that in general Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have shown themselves to be very good judges of talent and I’m willing to trust them and their better knowledge of how players perform.

  16. awhayes Says:

    PackerBelle – good point. I too will admit my tendency with MM/TT is to defer to their demonstrated ability to make personnel decisions as they seem to have done a good job of putting talent together and winning with it. That said, I still think there are some things they do from time to time that don’t quite line up (like keeping 13 receivers on the roster). We’ll see though – I still contend that his versatility, massive college production even at D-III, and attitude will be an asset someday to some NFL team. (By the way, if the Packers don’t pick him up yet, my guess is the Colts may, they liked him after his Pro Day).

  17. Joe Says:

    “I do know that in general Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have shown themselves to be very good judges of talent and I’m willing to trust them and their better knowledge of how players perform.”

    In general I agree with this too; these guys have done a great job but the roster is also weak at RB and I really don’t understand why Wynn is still on the roster – even if Beaver is not signed to replace him. I really don’t see much upside to Wynn.

    But the horse is dead so lets all raise our PBRs. Na zdorovye, Prost, Cheers, Skål, and the like.

  18. I Got Nothin’ | Cheesehead TV Says:

    [...] Other than that, I’m reading (and agreeing with) Brian, I’m wondering why our good friends over at PackerGeeks don’t post as much as they used to (and why they don’t have a Twitter account), I’m scoffing at Peter King’s ranking-teams-as-of-right-now (though I’m pretty sure that’s the idea) and I’m wondering how people muster up the energy to write about all these undrafted guys – yes, one or two might make the roster, but piece after piece makes every single one of them sound like the next Kurt Warner or Terrell Davis. I got two words for you: Justin. Beaver. [...]

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