Adjusting Expectations, 2009 Edition


It’s a blog, so I can be self-referential, right? Good.

Last year, after the Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I wrote a
post entitled “Adjusting Expectations.” Basically, I took a wide angle look at the Packers and concluded that they weren’t going to meet the high expectations many of us had for them before the season. I was scolded by other Packer bloggers for doing this. Our friend Aaron at said I should know better. Even Brother Andy chastised me for “jumping ship.”

But I wasn’t jumping ship, I was just making some fairly obvious — if painful — observations.

And here we are again. The Packers lost to a Tampa team that earlier this year put up 86 yards on offense. They hadn’t won a game. They were ranked 28th on defense. They had 11 sacks. They were ranked 28th on offense. They were 28th in points scored — a total of 96 points.

Today, the Bucs had 38 points. They had 6 sacks. Their offense moved the ball easily. Their defense was stingy.

And the Packers flat-out sucked.

For the most part, I’ve been a defender of Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson. No longer. McCarthy’s playcalling sucks. Yes, the players have to execute. That’s the smart-guy way of defending bad playcalling. It’s not convincing.

Our offensive line is atrocious. It was atrocious last year. It’s on Ted Thompson that it still sucks.

The irony is that the conventional wisdom held that Thompson and McCarthy jeopardized their futures in Green Bay because they refused to put up with Brett Favre’s antics. And it turns out that their decision there looks good. Yes, Favre has played well. But Rodgers is a future star. Amazing to me that they wouldn’t come up with an offensive line to protect him.

But the Packers right now are a bad team that sometimes plays good defense. But they are a bad team.

It is the job of the head coach to prepare teams to play. McCarthy has failed in that task repeatedly. And he failed this week.

Jermichael Finley didn’t play against Tampa. But earlier this week he wrote this on “twitter.”

“Where my pack fans that are traveling with us to Tampa. We need this game not a big one but we need it.”

Not a big one?

Ask Mike McCarthy in January if this was a big game. It may be one of the major reasons he find himself among the ranks of the unemployed. Ted Thompson, too.


19 Responses to “Adjusting Expectations, 2009 Edition”

  1. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    once green showed effectiveness running the ball, he didn’t get the ball anymore. once grant showed he was wearing down the d, the calls shifted back to deep throws only.

    mccarthy adjusts – he just adjusts as if he were coaching against himself. shockingly well, i might add.

  2. Ax in Dallas Says:

    Anyone will be able to ask him in January…..because he’ll be working at Home Depot in Sheboygan.

  3. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    i picture mm mining for gold, and every time something turns up, he quickly covers up the hole, and moves on to less promising plot of land.

  4. TheChoj Says:

    remember how exciting this team was to watch in the preseason? I know it was just preseason, but still, the sky was the limit….my, how this have come crashing down

  5. Ron La Canne Says:

    NFC North – worst division in NFL. And Detroit is going to move up. I have no expectations except I’ll need my liver transplant shortly after this season.

  6. bucky Says:

    Hell, I’m not sure my liver will last until morning, thanks to Mike McCarthy and Don Fulano.

  7. campbell Says:

    “…they refused to put up with Favre’s antics” blah-blah. “…Rodgers is a future star” blah-blah.

    Gesu Cristo! You guys are as obtuse as congealed bread pudding. The last year of “Favre’s antics”, this team was 13-3, I REPEAT, 13-3. “Favre’s antics” gained TT and MM contract extensions

    Apart from Driver, this team is bereft of personality, heart, joi de vivre and most of all, the will to win. They mirror the impassivity of their Coach, GM and QB.


  8. sfhayes Says:

    Campbell, You make a good point about the personality of the team. I agree entirely.

    Sorry if you find the analysis obtuse. Search “Favre” and read the archives if you want more context. But let me try to be more direct.

    Favre is good. And he has personality. It’s the personality of a prima donna jackass. He retired twice and after the Packers drafted two quarterbacks and gave the job to his understudy, who is now a Top-5 passer, decided to come back. That’s a jackass move. Because he’s a jackass. And if his jackassness — if you will — wasn’t clear before he left the Packers it’s sure clear now. Maybe this will work for the Vikings and he’ll win a Super Bowl there. I still doubt it. If you think the GM and coach are impassive now what would you have been saying about them if they’d given in to their prima donna quarterback?

    You can focus on the Favre comments, but they were an aside. And if you think that Brett Favre’s absence is why this team is struggling, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  9. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    this team is losing in spite of its quarterback play. fouled that one off there, campbell. try keeping your eye on the ball next time.

    the only possible benefit of having favre at qb with the current playcalling – he might, every once in a while, run the play he wanted instead of mm’s play. and i’d be fine with that at this point. even brett might choose to stop throwing 15-25 yard routes, and hand the ball off to his old battering ram buddy green. the same green who is, by the way, the biggest reason he’s still upright and playing. because while sherman was here, all he had to do was hand it to batman 30 times a game, throw some touchdowns to the tight end, and maybe a pick 6 or two.

    A STRONG COMMITMENT TO A RUNNING GAME AFFECTS ALL OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR GAMEPLAN – and it affects injuries to your qb, fatigue to your already crap o-line, it affects crap defenses teeing off on you every down, it affects time of possession, it affects defensive playcalling, it affects the GOD DAMNED SCORE, YOUR RECORD, YOUR HOPES FOR A PLAYOFF RUN, AND MOST OF ALL – IT AFFECTS MY SUNDAY!!!!!

    new coach please, my sundays suck this year.

    • Kozak Says:

      There’s no way to have any kind of running game with that POS offensive line the Packers have. This team can’t do anything till that is fixed. When and if it IS fixed the Packers will have one of the top 3 offenses in the league, whether they run a West Coast or a run based offense.

  10. Packers Daily Links 11.9.09 - Railbird Central Says:

    […] is adjusting their expectations for […]

  11. Cindy V Says:

    With the offensive line as bad as it is, I’m not sure Brett Favre could survive 38 hits at his age. So I don’t think our problem is the QB. Our problem is an o-line that can’t protect the QB and can’t run block. Our problem is a special teams that give up the big run too often. Our problem on defensive is that we don’t have all the players to properly execute a 3-4 scheme. Our problem is play calling by the coach. Some of these thing could be “fixed” in a week or so but haven’t been “fixed” all season. Some will require the acquisition of new players, either through the draft or free agency. In any case, the promise of the preseason has crashed dramatically. The season is now lost and they will play for pride—-if they even know what that is.

  12. campbell Says:

    My initial reaction to the game was a bit extreme. It gives credence to the adage of sleeping on something before offering criticism. Speaking of adages, “Hell hath no fury like enraged Packergeeks. I guess I deserve “the slings and arrows” of those same Packergeeks.

    But in the sharp sobering light of monday morning was a just another loss, wrenching of course, but another loss. So I simply shrugged, pondered on the vagaries of life and hoped for a better result vs Romo & Co.

    Packers still have an outside shot at a wild card.


    • Kozak Says:

      EVERY single aspect of the Packers game came apart yesterday against a team that had lost 11 in a row. Offense, defense, special teams all contributed mightily to that lose. The Packers are at best a mediocre team, and until that fact is grasped by the fans and the Board, there’s no where to go but down.

  13. 56Coop Says:

    Campbell, if you are not, you should be—

    a Poet.

  14. sfhayes Says:

    Campbell, good stuff. Aside from the Favre stuff, I thought your analysis was exactly right. It’s a problem that they’re as impassive as they are. And Mike McCarthy saying he has confidence the O-line issues are “correctable” — sheesh. We just disagree on the Favre decision.

    BTW, “obtuse as congealed bread pudding” — brilliant.

  15. campbell Says:

    56Coop.. My teacher, Sr. Mary Evarista thanks you. She believed that meter and legato were essential in life and work as well as poetry….are you listening TT and MM?

    Poise and execution. (not my words, writer/quoter unknown, to me at least.

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