Random Packer thoughts:
- Apparently Greg Jennings is close to signing a deal. This is very good. I could see Greg seeking exactly what’s fair and not being an idiot about negotiations because ultimately, he’s just a really good guy. The general number people are putting out there for him from what I’ve heard is $8 million per year. I think the only thing the Packers need to be somewhat concerned about frankly, is not giving Jennings too many incentives because he’s the kind of guy who will find a way to realize most of them! Let’s get him signed – I hope this happens soon.
- Aaron Kampman has quietly grown more comfortable in his new role. Relieving significant pressure from the whole transition is the fact that Brady Poppinga has been named his main back up – so there is virtually no competition.
- After reading Greg Bedard’s article last week about Anthony Smith – it really does seem as though he could wind up the starter. He understands the 3-4 scheme so well and would be a good defensive quarterback. (Though I will say I still have a fresh memory of Marquand Manuel – another guy who was supposed to have a great understanding of the scheme…) But what I like about Anthony Smith may in fact be something I didn’t like about Anthony Smith at all when we signed him: his trash talking. I saw the game when he played for the Steelers and talked some trash against the Pats. He was horrendous in that game – approaching the worst game I’ve seen from a safety ever. At the time, I hadn’t read his full quote (which to me is not nearly as bad as the few words the press ran away with). Anyway, I got to thinking the other day that maybe having someone who apparently speaks his mind like Smith does is not such a bad thing. A byproduct of drafting and acquiring “coachable” players is that the team can take on a bit of a boring/flat-character collective persona. While this team has some personalities for sure, I don’t think many would argue that it’s collective persona is that riveting. I think people like Anthony Smith and Jermichael Finley might serve to mix it up a bit – which could help remind teammates that football is fun and not so serious. This is another reason I want to see Desmond Bishop play more – I think the guy has an energy/excitement to him that most of the other LB options lack.
- On Sunday, Greg Bedard wrote a feature for jsonline about Aaron Rodgers (here). There was one small paragraph in this article that struck me more than anything else – quote from Rodgers: “There are always going to be distractions, we just have to manage them,” Rodgers said. “We have so much talent in this room; the only thing that can stop us is ourselves. And we stopped ourselves way too many times last year. If we can limit the distractions, I think we’re going to be in a position to make a big run.” It was this last sentence in particular that struck me – Rodgers saying they could be in a position to make a “big run”. As he admits earlier in the article, Rodgers is not one to stir the pot or make things particularly interesting for the media. So, to me, when he throws out there the possibility that the Packers could make a “big run”, this is significant. He could have said something a lot more tame, but he chose “big run”. My guess is that Rodgers indeed has fairly high expectations for this team – and that’s a good thing.He has to feel confident after demonstrating clearly last year that he can comfortably handle the hardest position in football. I’m glad he’s confident – I wouldn’t want it otherwise.