Author Archive

Bryan Bulaga

April 22, 2010

Great pick, great value.

That’s certainly our view. But it’s also the consensus of virtually everyone who has commented.

The Packers were surprised and thrilled to find Bulaga available. Watching the Ted Thompson press conference, it seemed clear that the pick was close to a no-brainer once Bulaga was actually available. Thompson told reporters that once the Packers were three or four picks away from Bulaga he couldn’t watch. Thompson also said he didn’t seriously consider trading back once he understood that he could pick Bulaga.

The one downside that draft experts have mentioned is Bulaga’s short arms. I would speculate that this concern is one reason that he fell from from very highest ranks of pre-draft projections. Gil Brandt, former Cowboys GM and NFL draft analyst, had Bulaga in his Top 10 overall picks. Draft guru Mike Mayock had him at #13 overall. Virtually every pre-draft assessment or mock draft had Bulaga going well before the Packers’ pick at 23rd.

One thing to like a lot: Bulaga is going to come in with the proverbial chip on his shoulder. He was the fourth offensive tackle taken and the 6th offensive lineman.

Congrats to the Saints

February 7, 2010

Drew Brees is a class act. Sean Payton’s onsides kick was a great call — because it worked. He would have been booed out of New Orleans if it hadn’t.

And Tracy Porter is just money (other than that ridiculous hair.) We liked him at Indiana and liked him on draft day — especially in the second round.  He was gone by the time we picked.

Dude, We’ve Been There…

January 25, 2010

Berry Fined for Helmet-to-Helmet Hit

January 15, 2010

See Greg Bedard here.


January 13, 2010

And let me preface this post by saying — in a declarative, upfront way, so that I cannot be misunderstood — that I don’t want people to obsess about the officiating in the final game of the season. My view is simply: There were missed calls, that happens, we discussed them, and let’s move on.

But I can’t let this pass. When people wonder why the NFL is getting an increasingly bad rap these days for its refs, having the head of NFL officiating tell people that they didn’t see what they saw is a good place to start. Via Greg Bedard, Mike Pereira used his regular Wednesday spot on NFL Network to explain that the facemask on the final play of the game Sunday was “incidental.”

I get that Pereira has an incentive to protect his refs, but that’s the kind of thing that doesn’t help his credibility…or theirs.

UPDATE FROM ANDY: Mike Florio from brings up a point that I wondered about myself concerning this whole situation. Isn’t it irrelevant whether or not the facemask was turned or tugged or whatever the rule is? Just the fact that Adams hand clearly was in contact with Rodgers’ facemask should have been enough to throw a flag because it’s an automatic penalty whenever a defender touches the head of a QB.

On the Facemask and Aaron Rodgers

January 12, 2010

A terrific piece by Jason Wilde, now with ESPN Milwaukee, on the game yesterday and the missed facemask call at the end. As Wilde notes, the non-call has been the subject of a rather intense national debate — from posts at PFT to discussions on several ESPN shows and talk radio.

It is certainly the case that the Packers did a lot to lose. And I’m certainly sympathetic to the argument that it doesn’t do much good to dwell on blown calls. But it’s also indisputable that several questionable calls affected the outcome of the game — two potential offensive pass interference calls on Larry Fitzgerald on plays that resulted in touchdowns, a horrendous roughing the passer called on Cullen Jenkins and, on the last drive, the missed helmet-to-helmet hit by Bertrand Berry and the facemask on Michael Adams. And it’s worth spending a moment on the last one.

Wilde quotes former NFL referee Bill Carollo, who now heads officiating for the Big Ten — a job that requires him to review and evaluate refs for a living. Carollo was interviewed by Steve The Homer True.

“Certainly (Adams) made contact, dislodged the ball, and continued and hit the quarterback. He did get him in the facemask; you can’t hit him above the shoulders with anything,” said Carollo, who watched the game on television. “In this case, probably a personal foul could’ve been called on that play. (Green) didn’t necessarily rule that it was a pass, so it couldn’t be roughing the passer, but he could have an unnecessary roughness on that play for grabbing the facemask…

“If a penalty was called on that play, you’d have to throw the flag, and then determined, when did the foul occur? That makes a big difference in this case because it’s really close,” Carollo explained. “In this case, though, when the facemask was grabbed, the ball was still loose, which means it was still in the Packers’ possession. So they have not lost possession. The foul happened before the ball was recovered in the air. If the foul happened after the fact, and the Arizona player had the ball, then Arizona would keep the ball with the penalty assessed from that spot.

“In this case, I believe the penalty occurred before Arizona recovered the ball in the air, so it would be a previous-spot foul: 15 yards from the previous spot.”

That means the Packers would have had the ball first-and-10 at their own 39-yard line.

Most interesting, though, were the comments that Aaron Rodgers made.  He told reporters that he didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the non-call on the last play.

I get paid to play. There’s always going to be one or two plays in the game where you wonder if there should have been a call or should not have been a call, but those are out of my control. The things I worry about are things I can control. I made some mistakes in the game, those are the ones I’m thinking about, not a potential facemask.

The one play I was thinking about laying in bed last night was the first play of overtime. Unfortunately, (I) just missed Greg on that one. That could have ended the game, potentially.

I’m glad he thought about that one and didn’t go whining publicly about the blown call.  But I hope he forgets it quickly, too.

A Couple Pregame Thoughts

January 10, 2010

I’m sorry I didn’t have this up earlier so that Mike McCarthy could have had the benefit of my vast football knowledge.  Apologies to the Packers.  If we lose, I’ll accept full responsibility.

We could offer a dozen platitudes about what the Packers need to do to win — control the line of scrimmage, win the turnover battle, win time of possession, get to Kurt Warner, don’t let Beanie wells get started, etc.  Those are all correct.  But let me offer thing that I’d emphasize if I were the head coach.

Start fast.

Nothing is more important on the road — and few things are more important in the playoffs — than starting the game fast.  A quick touchdown or a three-and-out followed by a score would do two things: 1) it would quiet what’s sure to be a rowdy crowd, and, 2) it would discourage the Cardinal players.

All week we’ve heard that the Packers domination of the Cards in the preseason and last week didn’t matter:  The starters didn’t play that much; the game didn’t matter; the Cards played vanilla on offense; the Cards didn’t bring pressure on Aaron Rodgers, etc.

Again, all true.  But a quick strike touchdown or a dominating start on defense would get the Cardinal players thinking that the Packers just have their number.  That wouldn’t necessarily mean a win, but it would go a long way.

My one thought for game-planning: Do something unexpected and do it early.  I don’t mean the Packers have to get cute.  They should do largely what they did to go 7-1 over their last eight games.

But I’d feature someone the Cardinals have not game-planned to defend.  Who?  Maybe John Kuhn or Jordy Nelson or Donald Lee.  If the Packers can sustain an early drive, why not throw three or four balls to Donald Lee?  If the Packers throw out of a two tight-end set, the Cards will likely be thinking run. Lee takes one beat, pretends to block and then flares out for a quick screen.  Or run plays for Jordy Nelson, who will be matched up on the Cards 3rd or 4th CB.  Nelson is good.  I still believe he was drafted in the second round for a reason.  He’s incredibly athletic and football fast.  Give him a chance.  And even if those plays aren’t successful, they’ll  leave the Cards D somewhat bewildered that the Packers are doing things they didn’t see all week.


More on the Books

December 15, 2009

I’m glad Andy posted links to those two books. I have had copies of both of them for more than a month now and have intended to post reviews here. (Things have been a little busy in our nation’s capital, though.)

I am pretty strict about my reviews: I won’t write up a book unless I’ve read every word. It might surprise some of you to learn that this is the exception, and not the rule, of book reviews — at least in my experience. And as the author of two books, I know how frustrating it is when someone misstates your case or mischaracterizes your narrative — even if the reviews are positive.

So I’ve been working my way through both books and will post something more when I’m done. But I will say that I wholeheartedly endorse Andy’s sense that they’ll make good Christmas gifts. Buy a couple copies of each and tell your friends, too.

Packer D is #1

November 30, 2009

According to, the Green Bay Packers’ defense is the top-ranked defense in the NFL.  The site’s default ranking measures yard-per-game in rating defenses and the Packers are tops at 281ypg.  New York Jets are second, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos.

The Packers rank 12th in points per game, at 19.5.



November 17, 2009

I don’t have an Iphone.  But I might have to get one.  There is a new Iphone app that finds wing restaurants.  And a website.

Why didn’t I invent that?  (Ed: Because you are a techno-moron.)

Just awesome.