Archive for May, 2009

Tramon signs – nice

May 28, 2009

Read here from Packers.com. Tramon Williams has signed 1 year contract. While I wouldn’t mind locking a player like Tramon up longer term, it probably is smart to give it another season to make sure he truly can be a long-term replacement for Al or Charles at CB. Still, I’m glad this is done.

Is Bedard reaching on Kampman?

May 28, 2009

Read here from Bedard’s latest jsonline post. Greg Bedard offers up the possibility that Kampman’s unwillingness to talk to the media may be an indication that Kampman is quite “uneasy” with his position change. Bedard notes that several times, Kampman has said he would interview and then ended up canceling. I do find it somewhat curious, like Bedard, that Kampman wouldn’t be willing to talk to the media about this. Kampman isn’t someone who shies away from media coverage. He doesn’t invite it either, but his refusal to speak is at least interesting.

However, I would be surprised if his refusal is due to having major problems with the switch to a 3-4. Kampman has done whatever he can over the years to talk about the team and to make it very clear that he is a team-first guy and not a me-first guy. If Bedard is right, that there is reason to worry about Kampman’s uneasiness with the switch, that would indicate to me that Kampman may be taking a selfish approach to this – concerned about how he’ll look, his upcoming contract discussions, etc. I doubt this. My guess is that he may just want to learn the scheme better and get to know the coaches etc better before going public. He has to know a ton of questions will be directed his way re the switch, so perhaps he just wants to make sure he knows what he’s talking about first.

Optimism for Pack from USAToday

May 28, 2009

Read here from Jeff Zillgett and Nate Davis. They approach the Pack’s 2009 season with some optimism it seems. Essentially, they argue that the offense is likely to continue to be quality and the changes on defense will probably make the defense better than last year. I agree with this assessment and it seems like AJ Hawk, for one, does as well.

I do think adding a respected member of the NFL’s defensive community in Capers was smart, but also, filling in other defensive coaching vacancies with quality guys who make sense was smart – like Darren Perry and Kevin Greene.

Anyone else surprised to read that Ryan Grant actually rushed for 1203 yards last year? For some reason, I thought it was much less than that. I confirmed this over at nfl.com – 1203 yards. I do think he will be even more of a factor this year.

A Favre conspiracy theory worth reading

May 20, 2009

Please take a moment to read this well-written, hilarious conspiracy theory re Favre/Thompson from frequent commenter Joshy. Made me laugh…will make you laugh.

Hymn lyric frustration

May 20, 2009

Will someone please tell the writers of hymn lyrics (though most are no longer living) that the word “heaven” is clearly a 2 syllable word. Just because a ” ” is added making the word read “heav’n”, doesn’t mean that this word should suddenly be read/sung as a 1 syllable word. (In fact, “heav’n” still has 2 syllables). Of course, I wouldn’t mind this at all if the lyric writers followed proper verbal immunity etiquette by adding “if you will” or “as it were” or “if you like” or “for lack of a better way of making this word fit the musical measure…”

Rodgers calling plays?

May 20, 2009

This morning on 620 WTMJ radio, I heard an interesting quote from Aaron Rodgers. He was talking about how close he and Mike McCarthy are and how he feels confident that McCarthy has lots of confidence in him. Rodgers said something to the effect of “he trusts me to call the plays…”

While this may not be a big deal really, and it may in fact be a simple reference to him being granted the ability to audible when he sees fit – it make me wonder if Rodgers may have more of a role in play-calling than Favre ever seemed to. I wouldn’t be surprised because I think Rodgers has a very good understanding of the offense, the coaches clearly have lots of confidence in him and  he is very bright and quick to diagnose. I wonder if Rodgers may get to a point with McCarthy like Peyton Manning in Indy: where he knows the offensive system so well he’ll be able to call most plays. Anyway, I just thought this was an interesting comment for a 1-year starter to make when his predecessor, outside of an occasional audible or freak play, seemed to take most offensive play-calling direction from the sidelines.

Favre to have surgery

May 18, 2009

Thanks to 56Coop for pointing this story out. Looking like things are lining up indeed for Favre to join the Vikings.

The over-participator

May 15, 2009

Ever notice the person at your work, at your church, in your neighborhood – wherever – who seems to have waged a not-so-secret campaign to out-participate you and everyone you know? Most of these people got their start back in the junior high/early high school period when volunteering comes out of nowhere and suddenly becomes the rage (mostly because colleges overemphasize its importance for admission). Anyway, I’m not ripping here on people who are active, support causes or especially on people who volunteer. In doses, these are very healthy things to do for others and for oneself. I am, however, ripping on the over-participators who are so focused on participating in things that they seem to forget about other important things – like say, making time for their family. You know who they are. They are the ones who make you feel sort of guilty that you haven’t run in a charitable 5K recently, or that you aren’t at all active at your church, or that you don’t coach your child’s team, or that you aren’t a highly ranked PTA member, or that you aren’t on multiple committees at work, or that you don’t attend most class field trips with your child’s class, or that you don’t support the local art museum, or that you weren’t answering phones at the local PBS fund drive until midnight last night.

I have learned that in order to best deal with these people, it helps to simply state “you’re so…capable” . First of all, this is exactly what they are longing for you to say (though “you’re so…altruistic” may also be a winning comment). And secondly, there is a chance that by making them feel good about themselves in this way, it may distract them at least momentarily from guilting you into participating in something that you really have no interest in participating in.

Chicago thoughts on Capers

May 15, 2009

Interesting article here from Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. Pompei essentially argues that of all the off-season activity in the NFC North, the Packers hiring of Dom Capers may have the biggest impact. I think he may be right – and of course, I really hope he’s right.

In January, I argued that the Pack ought to move to a 3-4 defense. I’ve felt this way for a while now primarily because it’s been quite a while since a Packers defense has been really good several years in a row (and we’ve played a 4-3 now for years). I think there are several advantages to moving to a 3-4 – and I’ll throw it out there again, so does LeRoy Butler (who remains a close follower of the team). One big advantage, as Capers notes in this article, is that there are only a few NFC teams right now playing a 3-4. So, for most weeks, NFC teams will be preparing for 4-3 defenses, which may make having to prepare for our unique/hybrid 3-4 a bit more challenging – especially in its first year when opponents won’t have the luxury of hours of tape and a sense for our defensive tendencies.

As Pompei also writes, Packer fans should take some comfort in the fact that Capers has had solid success in helping 4-3 defenses transition to 3-4 defenses. My guess is that at least part of that success is attributable to his willingness to be flexible. As he notes in the article, forcing your existing players into a certain scheme is not the way to go about this. Instead, he and the staff need to flex some and figure out ways for the existing personnel to contribute their strengths to a 3-4 scheme that is not rigid.

That said, one thing I do wonder about is how flexible he will be with Harris and Woodson. His quote in the article (indicating that it’s easier to learn zone coverage after playing man-to-man than the other way around) suggests to me that he actually is planning to play Harris and Woodson a lot in zone coverage. Maybe Harris and Woodson will do fine with that – they are gifted, instinctual players. But I’d be a bit concerned about pushing them too far away from something they are uniquely good at – bump and run man-to-man coverage.

We’ll see in the end – but I am beginning to think we’ll see a very active defense that will rotate a good number of players in and out keeping everyone fresh. My guess is that it won’t take long for this defense to come together and be quite effective (especially if Raji can adapt well enough to start at DE within the first few games). I can envision a few coverage lapses due to uncertain communication in the first few games, but I also can see that Capers will make sure that gets cleaned up (vs. the previous defenses led by Sanders who had communication issues right through to game 16 of last year). I also believe that Capers will prove he is capable at making adjustments on the fly (far more capable as a D-Coordinator than he was as a head coach).

Packers pursued Jason Taylor?

May 14, 2009

Read the following from the Miami Herald:

Jason Taylor returned to the Dolphins on Wednesday, a hero who turned down the temptations of more money and grander promises from those villainous New England Patriots and New York Jets. Taylor accepted a bargain-rate contract to play for the Dolphins. He basically forced his way out of Washington this offseason and forfeited his $8.5 million salary in the process. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder flew to South Florida and met with Taylor at Joe’s Stone Crab to try to convince the player to stay with the Redskins. It didn’t work. Taylor turned down promises of a bigger contract offer from the Patriots and didn’t even let the Jets or Packers get deep enough in conversations to talk money.

I was surprised that there weren’t any reports prior to this one indicating the Pack had taken an interest in Taylor.  I just figured with his relationship with Capers etc, that Capers would have wanted to try to get him for a bargain. My interest in Taylor has declined throughout the off-season, but if we could have picked him up for a bargain (like Miami did), I would have been pleased. At the very least, I’m glad the Pack apparently looked into it.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.