Lots of good comments on the post below about Ryan Grant and the offensive line. I’m posting my response here to keep the conversation going and, mostly, because I wrote a lot of words and it’ll make it look like I’m posting a lot more than Andy, who is a scrub
Let me say, too, that I’m a big Ryan Grant fan. I liked him after seeing him in the preseason last year before he signed with the Packers and I was thrilled when we acquired him. And I touted him all last year and thought we should sign him to a big contract. So, yes, I’ve got a rooting interest.
But I find it amusing that some people thought it was too early to sign Grant to a long-term deal after his extraordinary ten-game stretch last year, but now seem ready to declare him “average” after six games this year. Maybe I’m wrong, but that feels a lot more like someone trying validate their previous skepticism than giving us dispassionate analysis.
Responding to this post, PackerAaron wrote: “So when McCarthy was talking up Jackson, it was obvious coach speak. But when he’s supporting your argument, he’s telling it like it is? Please.”
Umm, yes. That’s exactly what it was because the situations are completely different. Before the season, McCarthy and Ted Thompson were trying to get Grant into camp and, in my view, using Jackson as a threat. It was smart. That doesn’t mean Jackson wasn’t playing better, it just means that they were touting him publicly in order to pressure Grant (and his agent) into signing. It’s a tactic that teams use every year. It’s hard to believe that anyone would doubt that that’s what was happening.
Now, McCarthy is grading his players and, most important, he is calling them out when they don’t grade out well. He’s done that this year with Clifton and Rodgers, and if memory serves, even blamed Greg Jennings one time for running the wrong route on a Rodgers pick. So McCarthy isn’t afraid to tell us when his players — even his stars — are not playing well.
I went back and watched most of the Grant carries. I suppose if some of you Grant skeptics are watching coach’s film you saw holes that I did not. But watching it on TV, there were very few. The worst came on a handoff to the left in the third quarter, when he missed a cutback that would have gone for huge yards — maybe a touchdown — if he had beaten their corner (who was coming on a delayed blitz).
As McCarthy explained this morning on Sirius NFL Radio, after explaining exactly how the grading system works, Grant graded out well. The line simply didn’t create holes.
If any of the Grant skeptics have the game DVR’d and can point to specific plays, I’ll be happy to take another look.