I keep telling a close friend of mine that every time we converse via phone, facebook, email, etc…. He happens to be a Bear’s fan. Just a nice friendly reminder that the Packers won the Superbowl AFTER beating the Bears in the playoffs. He doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the topic.
Dave K—Living in the Chicago area I also like to remind Dud Bear fans we’re the SB Champs.
Here’s another one to tell your friend. Lovie Smith said at his inaugural press conference his goal was to beat the Packers and then win the division and SB. Well, he’s 8-7 vs the Packers, 0-1 in the playoffs…”Hey Lovie, how’s that working for you?!?!”
I was talking to my Dad on Friday and not many people know that the Packer players can’t even get their Super Bowl rings because of the lockout. That just plain sucks. However, I was please to see that the Packers are going to continue the Tailgate tour again this summer. Dorsey Levens, Antonio Freeman and Gilbert Brown will join Desmond Bishop, Josh Sitton and Matt Flynn. GM Mark Murphy will be there as well. I wasn’t sure how that could be, but it is. The Tour’s evening tailgate parties will be in Marquette, Mich., (May 10), Ashland (May 11), Eau Claire (May 12), Wausau (May 13) and Green Bay (May 14). The parties will begin with Tour celebrities arriving at each location by 6 p.m. and will run until 8:30 p.m.
Remember what the big knock against the Packers was, particularly early in the season? They couldn’t win close games. I think that’s one big reason why winning the Super Bowl is so amazing. Besides everything else, 3 of the 4 playoff wins were by 7 points or less–pretty much a complete turn-around from the regular season.
BTW, another reason to hope the 2011 regular season gets played on schedule: it will be the 50th anniversary of the ’61 Championship season (the first with Lombardi).
Article on PFT talking about Finley and his future in Green Bay.
It’s definitely a good question, on what will happen after next season where his contract runs out. If he has a monster year next year (he could), his price tag won’t be cheap. If he gets hurt again, I think he’ll still demand a fair amount of money, and we all know there’s at least one team in Free Agency who will pony up big money for top Free Agents.
So my guess is, if Finley can have a very strong year next year, and be a huge part of this team and offence, I think Ted tries really hard to lock him up. It would be a lot of money, if he can stay healthy and put together a season some are expecting him to do.
Letting him go will hurt. The only way I see it happening if he does get hurt again, and is still looking for big money. There is no way for sure TT will give big money to Finley after a big year, never mind if he gets hurt again.
Personally I think we should retain him, if he makes it through the year next year and is a dominant force. The things he can do for our offence would be outstanding. Put him with Jennings and Jordy, and have Grant and Starks at our running game, we should be able to move the ball with our eyes closed.
I’d hate to see him go. He looks like he could be one of the best TEs in the league, with his size and physical capabilities. And great hands, making huge catches over any defender across from him. This guy, can tear apart a defense himself.
(We just gotta use him more smartly, and stop forcing it to him. Teams will adjust coverages and account for him big time, so get it to Jennings one on one)
What are you guys thoughts? I love the kid, watching him play, its fun. I know TT aint the spending type of GM, but he does pay out big contracts to those who deserve it. I just hope we can somehow lock him up, having him here can make a huge difference. We won the superbowl without him, imagine if he was here the whole time. Could see a couple more rings real soon.
I think it’s going to depend a lot on what Andrew Quarless and Tom Crabtree do this year as well. If they continue to develop next season (or they draft a rookie that does well), it will make it a lot easier to let JF go to another team.
On the other hand, if JF stays healthy, and he plays a big role in helping Packers offense puts up points and yards like 2009, it will make it easier for TT to lay out the kind of money it will take to keep him.
your last sentence to me is the most important one – we won the superbowl without him, imagine if he was here the whole time.
that’s the thing — no one has any idea if it would have been a positive or negative impact – that sounds silly, but finley is not a predictable player in my mind. or person. ideally, you don’t pay people/retain them for what they can do individually, you pay them/retain them because they have a positive impact on your team as a whole — i think it’s likely finley will, but we don’t know that yet. finley having a huge year doesn’t translate to the offense having a huge year, or success. if finley’s success diverts the packers from continuing to pursue a healthy ground game, that affects the whole team – especially the defense, who will be tired as shit when every drive we have, scoring or not, lasts 2:34.
Totally agree, but thats part of the offensive game planning too.
Last year, when Finley was healthy, we were not playing smart offense. We force fed Finley the ball. It was like we HAD to get him the ball each play. I don’t know why, I don’t know if MM was just making it a 95% Finley gameplan, or if Rodgers was getting too excited and just wanted to give Finley the ball each play.
We know he’s got talent. His size, physical abilities and his hands, being able to make very athletic catches over defenders. It doesn’t mean it’s him or nobody. If teams want to double, triple cover him or scheme however way against him, thats fine. We got other guys more than capable of making huge, explosive plays, and can go the distance. It only gets easier when teams divert less attention to our other guys.
Rodgers is smart enough to know where to go with the ball. If the coverage is tight on Finley and no room to throw, get it to the other guys. And when it’s loose on Finley, he’ll be catching passes all day.
Finley has the talent. No one can question. There are concerns about his attitude and stuff, but he’s on the right team where it can be held in check. The only thing that makes him a weak point is if we don’t use him properly. Use him wisely, and your not stopping this offense. Period.
Unless he was a 10 game wonder who just for some reason decided to show crazy athletic ability. But I’m going to continue to think, this guy is a freak, and one if not the best TEs out there. Pending his health. Hopefully his body doesn’t let him down, like some players out there who unfortunately, can’t shake injuries. It happens, sadly.
Clearly Finley has the talent to be top tier TE in this league. But, some questions about Finley deserving a top tier TE contract:
1. Can he stay healthy? If he misses games next year again it diminishes his value as I think he might viewed as a guy who can’t stay on the field.
2. Character. TT the Packers know this far better then we do. He seems like a decent guy but I do see some ego and maturity issues with him. If Finley has a good year and gets PAID my gut tells me with a mini-T.O. on our hands. MM and TT manage a locker room better then any team in the league and I trust them on evaluating and managing Finley.
The franchise tag would also be an option for him if it still exists. Last year the tag $ was $5.9 million for a TE. Probably be pushing $6.5-$7 million a year from now. Not a huge number for an impact player. The last two elite TE’s to sign contracts were Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates. Davis signed a 6 yr deal worth $42 million. ($7 million a year) Gates signed a 5 yr deal worth $36 million. ($7.2 million a year) So….a top tier TE is currently worth about $7 million a year.
If injury and character are not an issue I can see TT extending Finley during the season for around a front loaded $6 million per year contract which would be below market value. Finley would get his money early which would remove the risk of losing the big contract because of injury and would give him a BIG pay bump in 2012. He is set to make $1.2 in 2012 and with a $6 million base and big roster bonus he probably get a $10 million raise in year one. Hard to turn that down even if under total contract is under market value for an elite TE. Same thing Jennings and Rodgers did with their deals. It’s just a matter if Finley wants to stay in Green Bay and if his ego allows him not to be the highest paid TE in the league.
On another note, I don’t want to be a wet blanket but the Packers and fans can’t have the attitude that we won it all without player X so we don’t need him. The 2010 Packer team was good enough to win a Superbowl but it wasn’t because they were clearly a superior football team in comparison to the rest of the league. They certainly didn’t march over a pretty anemic NFC. This team was 8-6 at one point and it took an incredible run and some luck (thank you DeSean Jackson!!) to get it done. They let the Eagles and Bears and Steelers hang around in those playoff games and it isn’t a huge leap to say they could have lost any of those games. They will need to get better to repeat.
If we could get him for that cheap it would be awesome. Just kind of worried if he stays healthy and has an incredible 2011 campaign, he’ll be looking for some very good coin.
I don’t know how much he likes it in Green Bay. It would help if he loves this team and where he’s at.
Also I agree on the “we don’t need him cause we won superbowl without him.” People need to realize it would be near impossible to repeat the season we had last year. With the injuries etc and still going the distance.
We got through it last year, but its not an easy task to bring home the Lombardi. You want to have everything you got, do everything you can (as long as your smart about it like TT has been), to win championships.
Honestly, it would probably be smart to offer him a contract once the CBA is figured out. You would have to bank on him not having recurring injury issues, but you may save yourself a lot of money by doing so.
I think Finley’s future has less to do with the other TE’s and more to do with James Jones’ future with the Packers and any potential WR’s that fill in that big 5 role. If you think about it, any big 5 is hard to defend if there is talent on the field; regardless if you have a beast TE or not. Finley helps, but if you have Jennings, Driver, Jordy, a player with similar skills as Jordy/Jones, and a random TE – youll look ok. That’s why we continued to play so well on offense last year.
Dont get me wrong though – I’d love to have Finley around for a long long time. He could be the most dynamic TE the Packers have ever had.
Last – I dont think he turns into a TO. Driver, Jennings and Rodgers and too humble to let that happen. There is a reason we dont have any primadonnas on the team (on offense) – and its because of their leadership.
That being said – TT and MM get a five year pass (excluding superbly boneheaded moves – then we can criticize; after all, whats the fun of armchari QBing if we cant do that?) because they won the Super Bowl.
I trust whatever they would like to is for the betterment of the team.
My thought on Finley is that he will be a huge asset in the coming years. I agree with Nick, we should consider signing him early if possible because it will be much cheaper than waiting. We should take a gamble on his future health because I don’t think anyone doubts how good this guy can be (though I hear Joshy’s concern re his “fit” with the team…something that matters and something we should monitor). Our offensive balance, especially with WRs, was off last year when Finley was healthy. But the team was still 3-1 with him in there. I think the responsibility for incorporating Finley without disrupting balance frankly falls on McCarthy and the coaching staff. And, with a whole offseason to prepare and a massive injection of self-confidence from winning the Super Bowl, my guess is the staff figures it out and Finley AND the WRs cause massive headaches for opposing teams in the years to come. Having a different wrinkle in there offensively (like Finley) will make it extra hard for opposing defenses to stop our offense. And if we improve the running game even a little bit – look out.
That is the percentage of passes caught that are thrown to you, not just drops.
% passes caught
Finley – 80.8 (6th in NFL)
Driver – 71.8 (12th in NFC)
no one else above 67.7%
Passing the ball as much as we do, there will be drops. The fact that Jones has dropped some balls after obliterating coverages is beside the point. I can guarantee you that our WRs are more upset over a drop, any drop, than all of our fans combined.
Sure, Nelson has a better catch rate than Jennings and Jones, that doesn’t change the fact that James and Greg have better YAC numbers.
Jennings (76 catches/125 targets) was 4th in the NFL in YAC last year, Jones (50/87) was 55th, Nelson (45/64) was 70th, and Driver was 73rd (51/84). As you can see from the targets, Jordy may have the best hands of the WRs (Finley has the best hands on the team), but he gets open less often than many of them do and/or is targeted less often than many of them are.
I think we should hold onto Jones, he is a very good route runner, blocker, and opens up a lot of underneath stuff for Jennings and Driver, with the amount of coverage attention he demands