Why ILB is NOT a problem for the Packers

March 24, 2015 by

Read here from Tom Silverstein at jsonline. He talks about why the lack of depth/personnel presently at inside linebacker could be a problem for the Packers. I get where he’s coming from for sure and there are pieces of the article I agree with. But the basic notion that this is a problem for the Packers right now, is something I disagree with. Why?

Because the Packers have been poor at the ILB position since Desmond Bishop left – so at ILB, there is nowhere for the team to go but up. Brad Jones and AJ Hawk were poor ILBs. Period. And they used up key roster spots and lots of playing time (until the end of last season). The emergence of Sam Barrington last year brought some hope to the position, as did moving Matthews to ILB on occasion. I am convinced that almost ANY combination we go with at ILB next year (likely Barrington, occasionally withMatthews and occasionally with a newer guy) will do more than Hawk and Jones have. Even if Capers’ scheme tends to render ILBs less valuable or something (as some have contended in the past), I am convinced we will see more productivity from the ILB position next year than we’ve seen since Bishop manned the middle.

Relieved that Cobb is back

March 9, 2015 by

I really like Randall Cobb and I have been monitoring the Packers offseason this year carefully waiting for news like this. The Packers would have been hurting offensively without Cobb. Yes Adams and even Janis show promise, but in today’s NFL, I think teams need at least 3 disruptive pass receivers to create the kinds of mismatches that win games consistently. (Yes, I think while Adams was decent this year and helped at times for sure, we were one major pass catcher short of having a totally unstoppable offense). Anyway, Cobb does something better than any WR on the team and really in the NFL (even Jordy – though Jordy’s good at it too), and that is simply that he has a telepathic connection with Aaron Rodgers. It is extraordinary to watch those to when the play is broken up. They know exactly what each is going to do. So many times Cobb has picked up a huge first down because of this (or scored season changing TDs against the Bears!)

This is a huge signing and frankly, it doesn’t surprise me that he may have passed up more lucrative offers. First of all, if you’re making $10M in a year, honestly, how much more does $1.5M really add? At $10M a year, wisely invested, Cobb and family will be set for not just life, but generations. Secondly, why would Cobb want to go to a (likely) weak team, learn a new offense and play with a QB nowhere near Rodgers’ level? Cobb signing this contract tells me pretty certainly that he is such a competitive player that he’d rather win than make a couple extra bucks. And lastly from perhaps a more selfish angle, if Cobb cares at all about his own legacy in the league – and his is shaping up to be a very fine one – then he doesn’t want to take the chance on having a rotten QB throw to him. Think about guys like Greg Jennings – when you go from Rodgers to anyone else, your numbers will suffer in part because you have to work that much harder to get open. With Rodgers, a defender can be inches away and he can wedge it in there – he is in the business of making WRs seem really good. Couple that with the already significant talent level that Cobb has, and you have a great combination.

Welcome back Randall!

Hawk and Brad Jones both gone

February 25, 2015 by

To be clear – I liked both of these guys as people. By all accounts Hawk and Jones were very good guys, well-liked, high character guys. And in the case of Hawk, he was also apparently a quality defensive leader (scheme-wise, not physically). I also do appreciate Hawk’s ability to stay healthy and his embrace of Packer-ness. I think that counts for something for sure.

But the truth is, neither of these guys has belonged on the team for the last 3-4 years. This move should have been made years ago and it has been rather frustrating to watch management’s willingness to let this go not just because they were under-performing but because they were eating up valuable roster spots – quite likely delaying the development of other potential studs. Barrington finally got his chance this past year and look what he did with it! He has a lot more to learn but he very quickly showed how much more effective he is than Hawk was.

Mark my words, as another young talent comes in and takes over at ILB or if Matthews makes more of a full-time switch, it will become evident quite quickly just how much we’ve missed a legit presence in the middle of our defense.

I also wonder if dropping Hawk today may mean that the Packers are trying to work something out with Peppers who I heard will count a bunch against the cap if he doesn’t restructure. With Hawk and Jones gone I think we recover $7-8M of cap space. I’d like Peppers to come back…

Lombardi Sweater

February 10, 2015 by

Great story here about a couple that found a Vince Lombardi sweater at a thrift shop – for 58 cents!

While I didn’t have a huge problem with the officiating…

January 19, 2015 by

There were 2 calls (1 call and 1 no call) I did struggle with – both of which had a huge impact on the game. Sweezy’s late hit on Matthews was ridiculous. The fact that we ultimately had to decline that penalty doesn’t make any sense. It was a late hit. PFT claims here that the NFL says that’s a judgment call. How could that be? Isn’t the definition of a late hit a hit after the play is dead? Wilson was down and Matthews was hit. That would have made it 2nd and 45 which would have made it virtually impossible for Seattle to go down and score a TD. That could have changed the game.

The other poor no-call was when Baldwin whipped the ball after his costly drop on that bloop pass from Wilson. That was a 15 yard penalty that again, would likely have stopped that drive. He was on the field when he did it and it is the definition of unsportsmanlike conduct.


Well written analysis of main reason Packers lost

January 18, 2015 by

Read here from Steven Ruiz of USAToday. Well written analysis contending McCarthy is primary goat here. What I like about this is that he doesn’t totally trash Mike McCarthy because the truth is McCarthy is definitely good at some things as a coach…in fact really good at some things. But managing the game, in the game, is not one of them. Ruiz points to a very troubling possibility – that McCarthy stuck with the run late for Lacy BECAUSE HE WANTED TO MAKE SURE LACY GOT TO 20 carries for the game! So he made play calls at the end of the game based on something he wanted to achieve before the game. Regardless of the situation. Again, read this article because it’s a well balanced, objective look at a big reason the Pack lost this game. And he fairly highlights both MM’s talents as an “offense builder” and his challenges as a game manager.

Game Thoughts Packers/Seahawks

January 18, 2015 by
  • Terrible coaching to end the game. This is the worst loss I’ve been a part of as a Packer fan. The better team lost today. And lost because of coaching.
  • Seattle is the luckiest team in football. They are not as good as the Packers and they didn’t deserve to win today. This is a ridiculous loss. Positively ridiculous. And in a sickening way, it reminds me of the ridiculous “loss” a few years ago on the terrible call – it’s just that this one hurts WAY more.
  • How do you lose a game in which you cause 5 turnovers. It is so ridiculous I am just stunned.
  • This is somewhat of a classic situation where we didn’t play the game through to the end. We stopped playing somewhere around minute 55 and it cost us.
  • Mike McCarthy lost the game today. He and Capers did an incredible job getting the team ready to play the first half and and absolutely flat out lost the game in the end. With just over 4 minutes left, the Packers just let them win it. We called horrendous play calls to Lacy on that series just giving them the ball back. We definitely didn’t have the game won at that point but we acted like there were only 2 minutes left, not 4. It was ridiculous coaching in there. You have the best QB in the NFL, you let him throw the ball and you let him close out the game. I know we wanted to eat up time but we also didn’t want to sort of give up offensively and leave the luckiest team in the NFL still enough time to come back. It’s just terrible.
  • I sensed early in the second half that the Packers were going to pull back. I just got that feeling that there was a “I can’t believe we’re winning right now” thought going on in the coaches heads. Rodgers, the MVP, threw 8 passes in the second half. Eight. That is so absurd it’s hard fathom. Even if you’re up by 28, the game is in Seattle, they are incredibly lucky and your team is incredibly unlucky. Why do you take the ball out of his hands? He was moving well and after the early picks he seemed to develop a rhythm. He wasn’t at his best today, no, but he should have been tasked with putting the game away and not just playing game manager.
  • Peppers was awesome this year and one of the brightest bright spots possible, but he made a costly mistake telling Burnett to go down after the pick. Burnett looked to have the whole left side of the field. Just terrible. Also an error of course on Burnett’s part.
  • That said, Burnett was a force today (2 sacks, 1 pick, 8 tackles).
  • Crosby was fantastic. I had a feeling he’d have a big FG today. He had the game of his life and unfortunately it too was squandered.
  • Tim Masthay should be cut. He was poor again today. Lots of line drive punts and a shank. Didn’t hurt us THAT bad but we may need to take another look at punting next year.
  • Clinton-Dix had a heck of a game but his miss on the 3rd pick and the whiff on the ridiculously lucky 2 point conversion would have changed the game. Hard to blame him that much though as he really played well for much of the game.
  • Rodgers could have been better today. He and WR were off a bit today. But he was good enough that he should definitely NOT have effectively been taken out of the game with playcalling – again only 8 passes in the second half.
  • Hawk was playing an awful lot in the end. What happened? Was Matthews or someone hurt? I can’t imagine why they throw him in there when it matters most. The personnel groupings that had been in throughout the game had done a heck of a job. He comes in and misplays the fake FG TD and then gets run over immediately on Lynch’s TD. He’s a very poor football player and should be gone next year.
  • The lesson here today is pretty simple – you have a better chance of winning if you’re aggressive and you stay that way. Seattle played awful today but hung in there in part because they didn’t stop trying to be aggressive, tried a fake FG and took advantage of playing against an opposing coach who was coaching afraid. Between the total whiff toward the end of the game with playcalling and the decision to 2x kick FGs at Seattle’s 1 yard line, MM coached scared. And importantly, it sends a message to the team that says ‘Ah, I’m not so sure we can do it”. What would Belichick, Tomlin, Carroll, Bruce Arians – what would they have done in those situations?
  • In my mind we don’t have the coaching skills to get to the Super Bowl again. We just don’t. Yes, these coaches have won a Super Bowl but that was a few years ago and I just don’t think they can do it again. They laid down in the end and let Seattle just roll over us. At the most critical time in the game, MM didn’t show up. He and/or Rodgers called the weak runs to Lacy and I really think that series right there was one of the most disappointing I’ve witnessed in a long time as a Packer fan. Capers D – as well as they played overall – looked completely out of sorts toward the end and seemed to shift to a textbook prevent D or something. And they allowed some monster completions that just killed us. (Though I need to be careful here to clarify – the defense did not lose this game. No way. They came to play.)
  • I hate to say it but Mike Holmgren or Bill Belicheck coaching the Packers wins that game 31-13 or something. No way they would have pulled back like that.
  • What is so incredibly frustrating is that this post was going to be very very different. Capers drew up an exquisite gameplan that was ruined by one of the most epic meltdowns in sports history, and by shifty and overly conservative playcalling. Not only did the Packers totally and completely outplay Seattle for 55 minutes, they played well enough that they would have had serious momentum heading into the Super Bowl. It is just sickening that this happened. The better team did not win today. That’s one thing I am absolutely sure of. But it’s probably safe to say the better coaches did.
  • Ugh – Please Share Your Thoughts. This is going to be a tough one to recover from…


January 18, 2015 by

Epic Collapse. More to come…just in shock right now.

Waiting on a sack fumble

January 18, 2015 by

Just waiting for it. Peppers, Burnett, Perry, or Matthews – come on. One more huge play guys!

McCarthy needs to rally the troops

January 18, 2015 by

Instead of worrying about his legacy being tarnished by iffy coaching. he need to pull these guys together and tell them to play as aggressively as ever. COME ON FELLAS!


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