Archive for the ‘Ted Thompson’ Category

A subtle factor in the Favre divorce?

August 31, 2009

Here is a question: what role did Aaron Rodgers’ high football IQ play in the Brett Favre divorce process? At one point I believe in 2007, McCarthy said that the offense under Favre had only learned 1/4 of his total playbook. McCarthy didn’t say this as a crack on Favre – more as a matter of fact. Was Favre reluctant to learn the other 3/4 of the playbook? It’s well documented that Favre has a narrowed preference for all things West Coast and that learning new plays especially later in his career was not something he was much interested in. Did MM ever feel like the true potential of his offensive ideas could only be realized with a potentially more cerebral (or at least more willing-to-learn) QB like Rodgers? Again, I’m not saying Favre is dumb, I don’t think he is, and I know there were lots of other factors in the divorce – but I wonder if this was even a small part of the discussion.

This year, my guess is that we’ll see Rodgers run a huge variety of plays – leaving defenses often guessing and fans once again praising McCarthy’s creativity. While there were times last year when the playcalling was poor/predictable, that seemed to me to be toward the beginning of the year when I think MM was trying to make it easy for Rodgers. But starting with the last 4-5 games of last year through this preseason especially, it seems Rodgers has grown more comfortable calling a greater variety of plays. Perhaps he’s now tapped into the other 3/4 of MM’s ideas.

Your thoughts?

Just pick-up Mitch Berger

August 6, 2009

I agree with Trav, Mike Vandermause (GBPG) and others who are concerned about our punting situation. I agree especially when Vandermause seems to question what TT is thinking re the punting. He blew it with Jon Ryan and it’s possible he’s blowing it now too when he could at least pick up a veteran guy who won’t totally suck.

I must confess, I have not seen Durant kick but if he’s not impressing in camp so far by most accounts and he certainly didn’t impress in Washington last year, I say cut the guy now. Just don’t waste any more time. Kapinos should have the edge if only because he’s lefty and that different spin that lefty punters impart on the ball apparently can be really hard for returners to adapt to.

But I would also bring in Mitch Berger. As far as I understand it, he is still a free agent. In addition to still being a serviceable punter, historically, he has been considered a fantastic holder too – another bonus. And his NFL experience may help Crosby a bit considering Ks and Ps hang out together all the time. (By the way, I have a feeling Crosby’s kicking woes last year were due at least in part to Frost probably sucking at holding like he sucked at punting, and then Kapinos being so new. Though Crosby, unlike Longwell, didn’t make a public deal out of it.) Anyway, Berger kicked adequately in relief duty for Pittsburgh last year – at least he didn’t mis-punt them out of the running for a Super Bowl. Just pick him up if he’s still willing to punt so we can have someone in camp who’s not so new to all of this.

TT actually considering Michael Vick?

August 6, 2009

Somehow, Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal, has learned that TT may in fact have genuine interest in signing Michael Vick. He indicates his non-comments the other day weren’t necessarily trademark, TT non-comments and that there may have been something behind them. We’ve been surprised by TT before, but this would be quite surprising. Read here from Wilde’s column today.

Thanks, by the way, to DaveK for finding this article.

Should the Packers consider Michael Vick?

August 5, 2009

Greg Bedard was right in predicting that there would be some noise about Ted Thompson’s recent non-comments on Michael Vick. Here’s what TT said. (si, pft, nfl.com others have already run with this story). For most Packer fans, this looks like very typical TT rhetoric – non-committal, saying mostly nothing. But it seems to me that if 24 other teams have already weighed in stating convincingly that Vick is not in their plans, if TT were not interested, it would have been far less of a headache for him to just do the same. Now, he’s let loose the hounds. While this may all mean absolutely nothing, I guess I was a little surprised that he chose to handle it this way.

This is an intriguing question and one I hadn’t considered much before now. Not sure what exactly I would do as GM. I suppose if I were forced to render an opinion at this moment, I would say we should definitely consider it (because I actually do agree with TT, we should consider lots of possibilities all the time), but in the end I would say no. The major reason I think we shouldn’t pursue Vick much further is that the smoke is just now clearing from a very high profile/media-hyped divorce with Favre. We don’t need any more fire/smoke right now and the fact is, wherever Vick goes he will carry with him some degree of flammability (to continue on way too far with this whole fire/smoke metaphor). I also don’t think Vick would be a huge contributor on this particular offense (though that may not be giving McCarthy enough credit – he could probably figure out some creative things to do with an athlete like Vick).

Now, if the Favre situation hadn’t just happened, I might be more inclined to consider Vick, but I’m still not sure I’d sign him. Some reasons for considering him seriously follow. First of all, the salary he’ll command likely won’t match his talent level – he just went through bankruptcy and he’s desperate for money/an opportunity. Second, he is one of the more gifted players out there. Third, we all know he can play at Lambeau. Fourth, though I’d have some misgivings about signing a convicted felon, and his crimes were vicious and profoundly stupid, I do believe he has served his time (unlike Donte Stallworth). Fifth, he would be a great player to have on the roster in case something happened to Aaron Rodgers. Sixth, even if he we couldn’t find a huge role for him on our offense, if he made some plays and proved to the world that he avoid getting involved in inane activities off the field, he could become good trade bait – especially for a team desperate for a QB.

Regardless of the real meaning behind TT’s comments, I put the question to you all: should the Packers consider signing Michael Vick?

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.

Packers add DE Wynn and CB Underwood

April 26, 2009

I’m glad we picked up a DE, but my hope would have been that he would have been a bit bigger (he’s only 275lbs). It’s interesting, the more the draft plays out and the more I think about the Pack’s roster, the more I wonder if they are going to use a somewhat improvised 3-4 line-up. I am wondering if they are thinking about pairing Raji with Pickett and Jenkins on the line and going with 4 LBs. It would be a bit different from other 3-4 line-ups in that either Raji or Pickett (probably Raji), whoever plays DE, would be quite a bit bigger than most DEs in a 3-4. I also wonder if Capers’ system will be much more of a hybrid 3-4/4-3 that has a bunch of sub packages – one that brings a ton of different looks.

We do have future needs at CB so I don’t mind grabbing one here.

Pack add OT Lang and FB Johnson

April 26, 2009

Nice additions again. I’m not sure about how quality these two guys JT Lang or Quinn Johnson are – but Quinn Johnson does come from a newer football powerhouse in LSU. Wonder if Matt Flynn knew this guy.

One reason why I’m feeling pretty good about this draft – is that TT appears to be drafting for need positions more than in the past. While I understand the philosophy behind “best player available”, I think it’s best when that philosophy is blended as well as possible with team needs. I think TT would have a hard time arguing that this year, he hasn’t been focused a bit more on team needs. (By the way, I think FB was more of a need than others. Korey Hall and John Kuhn have been OK, nothing special, and I’d go so far as to say that they played a part in the weaker running game last year (as did Grant and the O-Line).

Was move for Matthews worth it?

April 25, 2009

That is the question of the hour. My initial reaction was very positive until I heard about what we gave up (#41, #73 and #83 picks – and getting some later round pick back from the Pats). I had told Steve shortly after taking Raji that I wouldn’t mind trading up to get one of the high profile LBs who were still available. So, I actually don’t really fault TT for trading up to get a LB he apparently really wanted. And, I also just like that he did something a bit different, a bit unconventional for TT. Really, he’s taken a decent gamble here because we gave up a lot for this guy. One thing I suspect is that TT thinks there are likely to be some decent players available still in the later rounds. Prior to the draft he disagreed with some of the other GMs who thought this was a weak draft. He said he thought it was actually quite a “deep” draft.

While I’m not sure I would have given up quite so much, in the end, I have to say I’m pleased with Day 1. A fair # of the draft “experts” had both of these guys ranked within the top 20 – so having 2 top 20 guys is a good thing.

B.J. Raji Packer’s #9 pick

April 25, 2009

B.J. Raji is a solid pick. While I’m not exactly sure how they will work this out with Ryan Pickett (could Pickett lose 20 pounds and move to a DE spot in the 3-4…doubtful?), for the team’s future, by all accounts, it does seem to be a good pick. In some mock drafts, Raji was put as high as 4-5, so it’s generally recognized that the guy has some special talent. Brother Steve doesn’t mind the pick either.

To be honest thought, I must say that I find myself a bit less pumped than if we would have been able to land someone like Eugene Monroe – Steve just said the same thing. Oh well, again, not a bad pick in an area that definitely needs some quality depth.

2009 Packer draft needs

April 25, 2009

Here are the areas of the team I hope are addressed in the draft (in order of priority):

  1. Offensive Tackle – One of the biggest concerns I have going into the 2009 season is offensive tackle. Both RT and LT are very important positions for any offense. A shoddy player at either post can really interfere with the effectiveness of an offense. I’ve been saying for a few years now that I think Chad Clifton is pretty much done. He was very good at one time, but the last few years (even during his “Pro Bowl” year – that was a you-should-have-been-in-previous-Pro-Bowls nod), he’s been borderline bad. We may be able to squeeze another year out of him, but I’d be doubtful beyond that. And if Tauscher doesn’t come back, I have concerns about any existing players taking over. Maybe one of them would do fine but I think it would be smart to strongly consider taking a quality OT with one of our first 2-3 picks in this draft. (I’d be happiest with any of the b ig 4 – Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe, then Jason Smith or Michael Oher).
  2. Defensive Line – I’ve noticed a good number of Packer fans are lobbying for BJ Raji. I wouldn’t mind that pick, but I don’t think it’s as much of a need as OT or LB…or DE. I still think Ryan Pickett will end up doing well as THE guy in the middle of the 3-4. He was not great last year but I think he’s the kind of guy who will play better for a better coach – and I’m pretty sure Capers will be better than Sanders. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to add depth behind Pickett – I just would do it with a later round pick. I am presently more concerned re the DE position. Right now, we have a recovering-from-major-injury Cullen Jenkins and I don’t know, probably Johnny Jolly as our DEs. Jolly seemed to take a step backward last year and of course, the uncertainty with Jenkins is a concern. I think we should consider taking a DE with one of our first few picks. (I’d watch for Tyson Jackson here).
  3. Linebacker – Considering we’ve switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4, I’d also like another LB or two in the mix in case any existing players really struggle with the transition. I also just think we need a better overall selection of players because the present group is average at best. One thing I do feel better about now with Capers at the helm is the likelihood that he’ll offer a more honest assessment of the LB talent we have. I think Poppinga and Hawk got free passes last year (actually Poppinga for 3 years now) despite really weak play likely because several loyalists were being stubborn. I’m hoping Capers may be more willing to look harder at Lansanah and Bishop. Still, I think we should draft 1-2 LBs in this draft and maybe even use one of the first 2 picks for him. (Guys to watch for are James Laurinaitis and Larry English and Rey Maualuga – by the way, this post was drafted initially before reading Bob McGinn’s 4/25 article stating that these 3 guys are guys TT likes. The other guys I have to think will beĀ  tempting for TT is Connor Barwin and Clint Sintim. Barwin is the tallest LB at 6’4″ and was one of the fastest at 4.56. There is some thought that he would be an ideal OLB in a 3-4.)
  4. Running back – there are some good RBs in this year’s draft apparently. I think Grant will bounce back this year and his part of the running game will probably be good again. But I’m not dazzled by his back-ups. Brandon Jackson isn’t terrible, and it could be argued that Wynn may in fact have the most potential. But based on the decent possibility that Jackson and/or Wynn don’t progress this year, I think this group could use more competition – ideally in the form of a very fast/shifty scat back type. If Grant can wear defenses down, this guy could tire them out by making them chase. I wouldn’t be too surprised if TT drafted a RB on the first day. (Cedric Peerman or Andre Brown).
  5. Cornerback – draft for the future here. We need a another CB or 2 heading into this year because it’s possible Woodson/Harris may see a decline in their play soon – and because as olders guys, they may be more prone to injury. I’d take a CB in mid to later rounds as the CB group this year is not considered to be that great. (They apparently like Bradley Fletcher from Iowa.)
  6. Tight End – This may seem to be too high a priority for TE, but the reason I placed it here is because this is a year there seems to be major talent at the position. Donald Lee is a bit above average, Humphrey may still be good but doesn’t seem to get the chance and Finley strikes me as one of those guys who will continually frustrate. Again, I can admit that overall, TE is not a desperate need, but I think it would be smart to use a mid-round pick on TE. (People will mock, but I would take a chance on Travis Beckum. He has great hands, he’s fast and he benched more than any TE at the combine. While blocking needs help, he has the strength and athleticism to learn how. I’d also look at Chase Coffman – he was very good in college and of course his dad Paul rules).
  7. Safety – I have concerns about Bigby’s injuries from last year and his overall lack of contribution. I felt like Rouse took a step back last year when he had the opportunity to shine and Collins’ frequent injuries concern me (though he often bounces back). I have heard that newly acquired Anthony Smith has at least the physical talent to be quite good, but I wouldn’t bank on it if Pitt didn’t think retaining him for a relatively low salary was worth it. I would look for a safety in the middle rounds and I would place a specific emphasis on finding a heady player – one reputed to pick things up quickly (though Marquand Manual was supposed to be like that and he sucked). (That’s why I wanted to pick up Jim Leonhard earlier – he’s a smart player whose consistent playmaking is not a coincidence – the guy is very good.)
  8. WR – again, considering Driver and his decent contract may not have much time left in Green Bay, I can see the team looking for another Jennings-like steal at WR in the middle rounds of the draft. (Watch for 6’6″ freak Ramses Bardin).
  9. Punter – while I doubt TT would use a draft choice on a punter, we could use competition here to ensure that we don’t have another disastrous year at the position.
  10. Fullback – We could use a later round pick on FB – not convinced our two FBs do as much to help the running game as they could. (Watch for Tony Fiammetta only because his name sounds like a FB name and someone TT would like.)
  11. Offensive Guard – If McCarthy stops shuffling everyone around this year, I imagine Colledge and Spitz (or Sitton if Spitz moved to center) may end up being at least serviceable. And the addition of Duke Preston may end up being a wise, quiet move as he could find himself a starter. Still, I wouldn’t be bothered if we used a pick on an OG.

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