Archive for September, 2008

Crap – Cullen Jenkins out for the year

September 30, 2008

Read here at jsonline for more. Thanks, by the way, to reader Ron L for pointing this out to us.

This hurts. He has been pretty good thus far. We are already thin at D-Line and we’ll miss his talent but perhaps more than anything, his versatility. Jenkins could play both DE and DT and was decent at both. Now, we face an even more concerning shortage of quality players on the D-Line. Perhaps someone can step up and surprise, that’s always possible. But right now, I’m feeling a bit doubtful.

Peter King’s right – Kurt Warner is a good guy

September 30, 2008

Read the following from Peter King’s MMQB column over at si.com. (For the full story, go here). I know a good many of us were annoyed by his wife back in 1999 when Warner was dominant with the Rams, but this is cool, really cool. What a neat thing to do – especially considering they’ve made it a practice to do it anonymously.

Good Guy of the Week

Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner.

Karen Crouse of the New York Times wrote a good feature on Warner in last Friday’s paper, with a prescient story as the lead. Seems that Warner, wife, Brenda, and one or more of the Warner children have a practice the night before football games. They sit at their table in a restaurant, look over the dining room, and pick out one family. Warner then informs the wait staff that, anonymously, he’d like the dinner tab of that family of strangers added to his.

Crouse wrote the Warners have been doing this for several years “as a way of instilling in their children the joy of giving,” and quoted Warner thusly: “We want our kids to grow up knowing that because of football we are so blessed.”

Just another reason why you can never say enough good things about Kurt Warner.

NFL coaches on the way out

September 30, 2008

Scott Linehan, St Louis (gone) – Obviously he’s already gone. Good move. I’m not sure what happened between he and Bulger, but that was the last straw (or perhaps just having zero success was the last straw, not sure).

Marvin Lewis, Cincy (should go now) – Marvin Lewis has to go. It appears as though there has been a disconnect between he and the front office for a few years now. Earlier this year, shortly after Marvin Lewis essentially declared that Chris Henry would never be a Bengal again, Henry was re-signed by the front office. Lewis, touted as a defensive genius when he took the job, has led horrible Bengal defenses in each of his years there. He needs to go now.

Brad Childress, Minn (should go now) – Brad Childress is a very bad coach. There is no reason he should stick around in MN right now. While some believe it is the QB situation that has caused the Vikes to under-perform, I believe it is the coach. If you watch a Vike’s game carefully, you will come away amazed at the weak play-calling and the lack of creativity on offense. Their defense is good for the most part, but the offense is quite weak and this is because Childress is there. It will not improve – though they’ll win several game this year simply because their talent will overwhelm a few teams. When I picked them to win the NFC North this year, even I, a Childress detractor, underestimated his horribleness and the impact he could have on this team.

Lane Kiffin, Oak (1 more game) – Al Davis is a jackass. This whole will he/won’t he fire the coach drama is 100% about Al Davis wanting to direct more attention to his ugly self. That said, Kiffin hasn’t exactly knocked ‘em dead out there in Oakland. But I’m not sure Kiffin is a bad coach. In fact, were it not for consecutive 4th quarter meltdowns, Kiffin and the Raiders could well be 3-1 right now having beaten two very good teams.

Mike Nolan, San Fran (a few more games) – somehow, this guy keeps getting his job back. I think he gets his job back each year because his dad once coached the 49ers (successfully) and they don’t want to be mean to him. But the fact is, with a .346 winning % – an 18-34 record – this guy should have no more than a few more games to turn this ship around. If he can’t, I’d recommend they just bump Martz up to head coach (and then hire an assistant to handle timeouts and challenge decisions).

Romeo Crenel, Cleve (end of the year) – Crenel had a decent season as a coach last year leading the Browns back to credibility, but something is going on this year. He has made questionable coaching decisions (that field goal against Pittsburgh???) and he’s apparently had a history of this. My guess is that the ugly victory over Cincy might help the Browns get going a bit, but so far, not good. If they don’t make the playoffs, he should be gone.

Rod Marinelli, Det (end of this year) – While part of me thinks it’s fair to see if Rod can turn it around by the end of the year, a much bigger part of me thinks that Detroit would be best served by cleaning house. He hasn’t proven to be a great coach in his time there, though obviously he’s had to deal with Millen personnel and I’m sure Millen input. (Though I did hear that Marinelli himself has helped with some of the recent draft mistakes).

Herm Edwards, KC (possibly end of this year) – Edwards may not be someone many would be thinking should lose his job. After all, he got KC to the playoffs unexpectedly in his first year and he hasn’t been blessed with high level personnel to work with (Brodie Croyle) since that time. But he strikes me as a guy players either respond to or they don’t and if things go south this year, his chances or getting his team back would be slim.

Really? Frost Still Around?

September 30, 2008

I’m sorry, this is really stupid. Ted Thompson made a significant mistake by cutting Jon Ryan and signing Derrick Frost. Now, he’s wallowing in his own waste.

In Greg Bedard’s postgame chat Sunday he was asked to assess the possibility that Frost would be back punting for the Packers this week. “Zero,” he wrote. It was the logical answer. But Thompson appears determined to show that he was right to make the change and the Packers may pay for it again.

Frost had a 30.2 net punting average on Sunday. Like most thirtysomething males, when Andy or I want to emphasize just how much some aspect of a team sucks, we say that the other guy could even succeed in such-and-such a scenario. So, for instance, I said even Andy could have run through the holes the Cowboys made for Marion Barber against the Packers.

Usually it’s an exaggeration. But I truly believe that Andy might have been able to finish Sunday’s game with a 30.2 net punting average. I’m serious.

Maybe the Packers should sign him.

ANDY ADDS: While I freely admit I am somewhat of a wuss and would be a liability at most positions on the football field – I will say that if I were the punter/kicker, my deficiencies would be less obvious. Having played soccer through college with some degree of amPEDextrousness (new word meaning both-footed), if you will, I would go out on a limb, pun intended, and say that I could have bested Frost’s 30.2 net-average-no-hangtime-punts…LEFT-FOOTED! Also, having played soccer, I may have more natural skills at faking even marginal roughing the punter scenarios. That said, as much as I would give anything to punt for the Packers, if the team found out about my not-so-secret desire to go for it or at least fake punt/FG on most 4th downs, they may not want me.

Grant to run wild against the Falcons

September 29, 2008

Just putting this up here now to be on record early saying Grant and the Pack will run wild this weekend despite the possibility that Atlanta could put 8-9 players in the box if Matt Flynn ends up running the show. Grant is hungry and was really ticked off after the game yesterday. While part of his frustration may have been with the 4-5 inch holes he had to run through, I think he was mostly mad at himself for not breaking any good runs, for fumbling and overall, for just not playing like he knows he can play. Michael Turner is good (though only at home in Atlanta), but Grant will steal the show this coming Sunday.

Rodgers has “sprained shoulder”

September 29, 2008

According to Mike McCarthy’s press conference today, Aaron Rodgers has a sprained shoulder. The guys at profootballtalk liken it to Big Ben’s injury in Pitt – not a major injury but more discomfort it seems than anything. Perhaps it’s not as bad as some of us feared, but it’s difficult to say. If it is true that Rodgers will indeed split reps with Flynn this week, I’d say that’s a good sign. Also, read here from Greg Bedard at jsonline – similar update. I’d say from the what I’ve heard so far, it would be likely Rodgers would play on Sunday. If not, at least Flynn would get to face the Falcons who do not appear to be very good despite their 2-2 record.

Response to “Rodgers out – sign Tim Rattay”

September 29, 2008

I too am aware of the championing of Tim Rattay over at cheeseheadtv. And I’ll say, I’ve been in line with signing him (or another veteran QB) for a while now myself. We debated the idea of picking up a veteran QB ferociously before the season began here on Packergeeks. While my initial post lobbied for the Pack to consider Culpepper, my larger argument was just getting a veteran QB. Counter arguments said that any old vet won’t be any better than the back-ups we presently have. I still disagree with this. Having some NFL experience is critical. The NFL game for a rookie QB in his first few games looks and feels like you at the end of an all night party in college moments before the spins and just after you went sliding down the big hill on campus using cafeteria trays…just because. At the very very least, having a veteran back-up could be helpful to Flynn if he did have to play – for mentoring.

Yesterday on NBC, Chris Collinsworth, someone who knows his stuff, said that the biggest mistake the Packers made before the season was going with 2 rookie back-up QBs. He said that if you already have a good team surrounding even a mediocre veteran QB, you have a better chance of success than if you try to bring along a rookie QB. He then went on to declare that if Flynn or Brohm has to be the guy for any extended period of time, “the Packers have no chance”.

One other option the Pack might consider is what Carolina resorted to before the season: trading for a quality back-up (they traded for Josh McCown). There are some good ones out there who at least have some game experience.

(One thing Steve and I will admit though at this point, is that Flynn didn’t really have much of a chance to show anything yesterday. Still, I’d be more comfortable if TT signed someone who at least has experience).

Can Linehan Punt?

September 29, 2008

Scott Linehan is out as the Rams head coach.  He’s a smarter football guy than his woeful record would suggest and if anyone in St. Louis thinks their problems are behind them because they’ve fired their coach they are wrong.

The front office in St. Louis has been a mess, especially over the past year.  (With some of the “front office” actually in Los Angeles.)

My favorite line from this article, though, has to do with the description of the Rams training camp this year.  “Other changes were made, with training camp moved to a remote location in Mequon, Wis., and Linehan attempting to inject more energy into a his low-key personality.”

Does Concordia University even have electricity?

A Perfect Storm of Bad Cliches

September 29, 2008

I don’t mean to throw Tom Oates under the bus, but at the end of the day he’s left me no choice.  Now it’s the Green Bay quarterback situation that is the “perfect storm.”

En route to a 30-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Packers flew directly into the Bermuda Triangle for quarterbacks. In what had to be their worst nightmare, general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy saw all three of their quarterback moves form into a perfect storm, one so strong it even managed to drop a little rain on the Milwaukee Brewers’ parade.

I don’t disagree with much of the analysis here, but please can we rid ourselves forever of the dumb-ass “perfect storm” cliche?

Frost “Might” Be Gone?

September 29, 2008

So reports the JS Online today.  I hope they’re just being careful — they can’t report that he will be gone unless they have someone saying he will be gone.  But he needs to be gone.

Derrick Frost was an average punter with the Washington Redskins, no better.  Redskins’ fans — or the ones I talk to anyway — were happy to see him waived.  And when he whined publicly about his ouster he lost many of the remaining fans he had.

What matters most, however, is his on-field performance and it has been bad.  Check out the numbers — both gross and net — in this story.

Unfortunately, there are slim pickings in the free agent punter field.  The JS reports that Jon Ryan has been struggling in Seattle and that the team has been giving tryouts to other punters, presumably because they’re thinking about getting rid of him.

I’d welcome him back.

I’ve come to the opinion over the years that Ted Thompson is a very, very good general manager.  Just look at how many NFL teams are now trying to model their draft strategies — and their salary cap strategies — after the Packers.

But this was a boneheaded move, plain and simple.


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