Archive for October, 2008

I want to be a long snapper

October 31, 2008

After dinner with my wife and parents tonight, my dad and I were discussing the profession of long snapping. We did some very questionable math to determine that a long snapper essentially makes (earns is probably a bit generous) in the neighborhood of $30,000…per minute played. We reasoned thusly: 8 plays per game (which assumes 3-5 punts and 3-5 field goals/XPs), 8 seconds per play, 16 games per year (assuming one playoff game) and a $500,000 salary. Again, I know this estimate is not scientific but it’s probably not too far off.

This led me to think a bit more about long snapping and the possibility of getting my son involved in this profession early on. In fact, I came across an article that has positively inspired me.

Read here from the Onion.

Rodgers signs long-term deal with Pack

October 31, 2008

I like extending Rodgers and any of our young players who are really good. I think that is a sensible philosophy – get them signed before their contract even comes close to expiring to avoid all the crap that comes with waiting until the last possible moment. Smart.

This has the feel of a Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun-type signing. (I’ve compared Aaron Rodgers to Braun before and here I go again). The Brewers were proactive extending Braun earlier this year and they did it at a smart time – before Braun had more opportunity to gain national exposure and accomplish more which most certainly would have made his stock rise (and his signing demands rise hugely). By getting Rodgers extended now, the Packers are able to get him by negotiating with just Rodgers and not having to worry about possible interest from other teams. Also, by signing Rodgers now, the Packers may have saved themselves money if Rodgers goes on to dominate in the 2nd half of the season – if they would have waited and Rodgers had done this, the Pack would be shelling out a lot more money.

Now, there is an injury risk and always the risk that Rodgers pulls a Cletidus Hunt and just sucks because he has a new contract. That latter seems unlikely to me at this point – the former is a concern. I don’t know any of the details of the contract like guaranteed money etc, but I would think the Packers would work in language to protect them if Rodgers gets a major injury. Will be interesting to learn more re the contract itself.

Overall though – I’m pleased. Go Rodgers.

It’s Halloween – is dressing up questionable or just fine?

October 31, 2008

I have struggled with this for a few years now. Every Halloween, my workplace encourages employees to dress up. Innocent enough. My first year or two, I did dress up mostly because I was new (only explanation I can come up with). But the last couple years, I haven’t. This morning I sit here not dressed up because I have to wear a suit for an off-site meeting – and I’m glad I have this off-site meeting because it gives me an easy out.

Anyway, the issue for me is this: I’m in my early 30s (an optimist might say – a pessimist would say late 30s, and I suppose a truthful person would just say “I’m 35”) and I’m just not sure dressing up is OK anymore. When I consider this question, part of me feels like Scrooge or just a big poop when I conclude that it’s really lame and it’s childish behavior. The other part of me thinks it’s no big deal at all and that if people want to do it, why not just have fun with it.

One thing I have always wondered about is for those who do dress up, how do they decide what to wear? It is always kind of funny to see the quiet, unsuspecting person with an outrageous costume. And overall, I should add, that the people who tend to get really, really into this, in some ways, can be downright scary – though scary in a different way than Halloween fright. Some people get so excited about dressing up as someone else, it begs the question: do they prefer this character to their real self?

Anyway, it’s equally funny to me to see the people who are obviously conflicted about dressing up in the first place who barely wear a costume (like a doctor’s coat and a stethoscope or something lame like that). I imagine the thinking for these people might be that it’s better to wear something than to be one of those non-participating, stuffy people who don’t wear costumes…like me the last few years.

One factor that might change my thoughts re dressing up: Pabst. Actually, while I still champion Pabst, I must say that I haven’t been drinking it much lately –  have Schlitz and High Life Light in the fridge presently. Anyway, I’d find wearing a costume a bit more understandable when alcohol is the beverage of choice rather than coffee because the coffee people drink during the day makes them talk a lot and then they talk even more about costumes in focused, uncomfortable conversations.

What are your thoughts?

Fired up for the 5 receiver set

October 31, 2008

Nice article here by Chris Jenkins (AP article picked up by the Chicago Tribune – they probably printed this article because more and more Chicago residents are apparently becoming Packer fans after realizing that being a Bears’ fan sucks – just like da Bears suck – go Lions). Anyway, the article should get you excited about a dimension of our offense that has been non-existent this year due to injury: the 5 receiver set. I like Rodgers’ breakdown of why this is a particularly difficult offensive set to defend. I’d add to his bright analysis that one additional issue for opposing teams is that once a pass is completed, opposing defenders have to contend with some decent downfield WR blocking (with Ruvell Martin leading the way – though I must say, I think Greg Jennings, as good as he is, could improve his blocking some).

It’s also just exciting to have James Jones back. Rodgers likes Jones a lot and Jones has to be about the scariest #3/4/5 (whatever he is now) receiver in the NFL. I get the sense with Jones that we’ve only had a tiny glimpse of his potential so far and that he could become a force for us in the second half of the season – as long as the knee injury hasn’t slowed him down. And his presence, instead of taking away opportunities from play-makers like Driver and Jennings, will actually just provide them with better opportunities for success because the defense will be (or should be) at least partially distracted by Jones.

In fact, thinking further, I’ll go so far as to state that if the Pack doesn’t use the 5 receiver set EARLY on in the game, that would be foolish. Tenn has a very strong defense and throwing something different/difficult at them early might make the statement right away that this is not another ordinary suffocate-the-opposing-offense type of day for their defense. And, the 5 receiver set, as long as Rodgers can make quick reads, doesn’t have much downside. I also think some no huddle work could be helpful against the Titans in the first half to catch them off guard here and there and to tire out fatter guys like Haynesworth. I guess my ultimate hope is that we can work some twists in like this early in order to help jumpstart the running game so that it’s functioning effectively for the 4th quarter when we are protecting our lead.

2008 Week 9 picks

October 30, 2008
  • GB @ Tenn (-4.5) – Pack to win, Pack better team, Tenn overrated, Fisher mullet in past – looked bad.
  • Hou @ Minn (-4.5) – Minn good 1st half, bad 2nd, Dunta 2 picks, Frerotte terrible, new QB contro
  • Jax @ Cincy (+7.5) – Jax to run wild; did Maurice keep his married name?
  • Balt @ Cleve (-1.5) – Still anti-Balt, Cleve is back, Crennel getting fatter as I write
  • Phi @ Sea (+6.5) – Done picking against Phil every week, so Sea likely to win outright
  • Det @ Chi (-12.5) – Orton must have puke game soon – this week? No, but close game.
  • AZ @ St. L (+2.5) – No idea here. None. Take St L because they have a giant arch.
  • Dal @ NYG (-7.5) – Brad Johnson very bad, but team still good – Johnson kind of looks like Ernie Els.
  • NE @ Indy (-5.5) – Peyton Manning #22 rated QB right now – whining not helping.
  • NYJ @ Buff (-5.5) – tough game – Favre turnovers the difference? Rian Lindell the difference
  • Atl @ Oak (+2.5) – Tempted w/Oak, but Atlanta got screwed in Philly, might have won.
  • TB @ KC (+8.5) – KC looked very good last week. Tyler Thigpen looked really really good.
  • Mia @ Den (-3.5) – Ricky Williams likes Denver – it too is a mile high.
  • Pitt @ Wash (-2.5) – Portis monster, Moss monster. Campbell, cool. Cooley, cool…ey. Andy, lame.

2 expressions that need to go

October 29, 2008

The other day, I heard 2 expressions over a short period time on some TV show. I’m not even sure what show it was, but it was drivelrous, if you will. I wasn’t really paying attention to the show as I was evaluating stats to make a few fantasy football moves. Anyway, the female character, who labeled herself eccentric (just as most eccentric people do) was adorned with lots of beads and loud jewelry and bright colored clothes, which was just about right, used both the expression “in my heart of hearts” and the expression “in my mind’s eye”. I have decided to ban these expressions – if you hear someone use one of these expressions, it is officially within your new legal right to levy a $20 fine against these people and collect it immediately.

Bedard – good points re Packers defense

October 28, 2008

Read here from Greg Bedard this morning at jsonline. I like this article because it asks an important and difficult question: could the starting defensive players returning from injury actually disrupt the nice defensive rhythm the Packers have enjoyed for the last 2 games?

Now, I do think defense can be a rhythm thing and that it’s possible by starting some of these recently injured but now healthy players, positive momentum could be disrupted. But I don’t think it will. I would say that the time off for the starters mostly served to improve the play of the back-ups and give them very valuable live-game experience. As Bedard pointed out, Rouse, Blackmon, Williams, Jeremy Thompson – all these guys looked good and the defense as a whole seemed to really work well within Bob Sanders’ scheme. In particular, having A Rouse and T Williams playing well could be a quiet and massively important factor down the stretch here. If there are any injuries, or if a player needs a breather, or we want to go with more and more nickel packages like Sanders’ did against the Colts, having these guys available and playing well could really help us wear down/discourage opposing offenses.

This week, I would start Bigby, Harris and Montgomery if they are back to 100%. I would remove one starter from the starting line-up though: Brady Poppinga (no surprise to any frequent readers). Brandon Chillar has played well of late and again, if Bob Sanders continues to go with nickel packages more often (on run and pass plays as he did against the Colts), I wouldn’t be surprised if Chillar not only starts but plays more and more.

Vikings D-Line to take big hit?

October 27, 2008

Thanks to reader DaveK for alerting us to this article on by none other than Jay Glazer. In the article Glazer contends that BOTH Pat and Kevin Williams on the Vikes vaunted D-line may face suspensions – possibly of up to 4 games – if they are found guilty of using the “water pill” banned substance. They are apparently in the appeals process right now with the league. If both were to be suspended, that could obviously have a significant impact on the Vikes’ season – though I’d argue the combination of Gus Frerotte at QB and Brad Childress at coach has already pretty much ruined their season.

Let’s respond to Bearsfan

October 26, 2008

Not sure how many readers happened to catch some of the recent comments from a reader who happens to be a Bears’ fan – appropriately named Bearsfan. We at Packergeeks definitely welcome readers from opposing teams. Bearsfan initially commented on my post about Kyle Orton being pretty good so far. The post was an honest look at Kyle Orton’s season so far. It was a half-way-point, half-admission that I may have been off in my negative assessment of Orton. While I have no problem with trash talking and taunting because it’s a lot of fun, I must admit, I was surprised Bearsfan took to this after this particular post. Though maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. The comments for this post were eventually reduced to this gem from Bearsfan:

Yes, my plan worked to perfection. I noticed no Packer fan took the time to comment on the success of Orton so I knew all it would take was a short comment by a Bears fan . I’m just surprised that they had time to climb down from their tree stands to type something in. Maybe they have their lap tops up in the tree with them. Type quietly, you wouldn’t want to scare away the deer. Of course, only a backwoods Packer fan would be so superstitious as to believe that they can have an effect on the outcome of someone elses performance. I bet your still wearing that same orange jumpsuit that you killed that deer in five years ago (unwashed too probably).

I’ll let Packergeek Nation handle this one – let us know your thoughts.

Tyler Thigpen…not bad?

October 26, 2008

Wow – hard to believe I could write this but Tyler Thigpen looks pretty good for KC vs the NYJ. Though I’d much rather be watching the NO vs SD game in London like most CBS markets, the KC/Jets game has been entertaining. Just a few days removed from totally ripping on him, I must say, in the first half today anyway, Tyler Thigpen looks like a real pro. The guy has a classic, almost artful throwing motion – and the amazing thing is I’m not totally joking about this!

Too bad the Jets will likely make Thigpen and the Chiefs look silly in the 2nd half by running the ball like they should have been doing the whole first half.