Archive for the ‘green bay’ Category

I wanted to extend Rodgers, just not sure about the contract

November 2, 2008

Aaron Rodgers looks very good so far. He appears to be a quality decision-maker, understands the offense well and his stats are very good. His 98.7 QB rating is not a fluke and there is strong reason to believe this rating will end up being fairly representative of the kind of play we can expect from him. Like the Pack did with Grant, I also like the idea of getting our younger players signed so we know we’ll have a strong nucleus for at least the next few years. I also recognize that we wanted to get him signed now so that it would count against our cap this year when we can easily afford it. For these reasons, I too wanted to extend Rodgers and I would have offered him a nice contract…just not this kind of contract.

I’m not writing this to be a poop or to be anti-Thompson or Rodgers – but the fact is, this is an extraordinary contract given to a player who has played 7 games. According to PFT here, Rodgers’ average annual salary will put him in the top 5 of all NFL players. (PFT also reports that the contract for new money is really 5 years at $63.5 million – a huge amount of money). Now I know contracts are all about the present and in 2 years, this may seem like a more modest salary. But the fact is, paying a guy who has played 7 games as a top 5 player is simply too much. When asked about the contract, Rodgers himself admitted he was surprised (I heard him say this in an interview picked up after the signing by WISN Channel 12 in Milwaukee). I’d say it’s usually a sign of overpaying someone when that person is “surprised” by the terms of an extension. Just reading the comments by Rodgers and his agent, it almost seems like they didn’t do hardly any negotiating because the Pack just came to them with an enormous offer. Now I realize, as PFT indicates, that the $20 million guaranteed is a bit less than what other elite players are offered, but it’s still a ton of money for a player with an injury history.

It’s hard for me not to wonder if this is also sort of an “I told you so” moment for TT. Fact is, he did tell us and if Rodgers remains injury-free and playing at a high level even for the remainder of this year, I would welcome any gloating. But Rodgers has only played 7 games and to sign him to this kind of contract seems to me to be a bit too much. I do recognize that with any contract there is risk, but again, this just seems to be a bit much. I’m just sayin’…


Rodgers signs long-term deal with Pack

October 31, 2008

I like extending Rodgers and any of our young players who are really good. I think that is a sensible philosophy – get them signed before their contract even comes close to expiring to avoid all the crap that comes with waiting until the last possible moment. Smart.

This has the feel of a Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun-type signing. (I’ve compared Aaron Rodgers to Braun before and here I go again). The Brewers were proactive extending Braun earlier this year and they did it at a smart time – before Braun had more opportunity to gain national exposure and accomplish more which most certainly would have made his stock rise (and his signing demands rise hugely). By getting Rodgers extended now, the Packers are able to get him by negotiating with just Rodgers and not having to worry about possible interest from other teams. Also, by signing Rodgers now, the Packers may have saved themselves money if Rodgers goes on to dominate in the 2nd half of the season – if they would have waited and Rodgers had done this, the Pack would be shelling out a lot more money.

Now, there is an injury risk and always the risk that Rodgers pulls a Cletidus Hunt and just sucks because he has a new contract. That latter seems unlikely to me at this point – the former is a concern. I don’t know any of the details of the contract like guaranteed money etc, but I would think the Packers would work in language to protect them if Rodgers gets a major injury. Will be interesting to learn more re the contract itself.

Overall though – I’m pleased. Go Rodgers.

Fired up for the 5 receiver set

October 31, 2008

Nice article here by Chris Jenkins (AP article picked up by the Chicago Tribune – they probably printed this article because more and more Chicago residents are apparently becoming Packer fans after realizing that being a Bears’ fan sucks – just like da Bears suck – go Lions). Anyway, the article should get you excited about a dimension of our offense that has been non-existent this year due to injury: the 5 receiver set. I like Rodgers’ breakdown of why this is a particularly difficult offensive set to defend. I’d add to his bright analysis that one additional issue for opposing teams is that once a pass is completed, opposing defenders have to contend with some decent downfield WR blocking (with Ruvell Martin leading the way – though I must say, I think Greg Jennings, as good as he is, could improve his blocking some).

It’s also just exciting to have James Jones back. Rodgers likes Jones a lot and Jones has to be about the scariest #3/4/5 (whatever he is now) receiver in the NFL. I get the sense with Jones that we’ve only had a tiny glimpse of his potential so far and that he could become a force for us in the second half of the season – as long as the knee injury hasn’t slowed him down. And his presence, instead of taking away opportunities from play-makers like Driver and Jennings, will actually just provide them with better opportunities for success because the defense will be (or should be) at least partially distracted by Jones.

In fact, thinking further, I’ll go so far as to state that if the Pack doesn’t use the 5 receiver set EARLY on in the game, that would be foolish. Tenn has a very strong defense and throwing something different/difficult at them early might make the statement right away that this is not another ordinary suffocate-the-opposing-offense type of day for their defense. And, the 5 receiver set, as long as Rodgers can make quick reads, doesn’t have much downside. I also think some no huddle work could be helpful against the Titans in the first half to catch them off guard here and there and to tire out fatter guys like Haynesworth. I guess my ultimate hope is that we can work some twists in like this early in order to help jumpstart the running game so that it’s functioning effectively for the 4th quarter when we are protecting our lead.

Bedard – good points re Packers defense

October 28, 2008

Read here from Greg Bedard this morning at jsonline. I like this article because it asks an important and difficult question: could the starting defensive players returning from injury actually disrupt the nice defensive rhythm the Packers have enjoyed for the last 2 games?

Now, I do think defense can be a rhythm thing and that it’s possible by starting some of these recently injured but now healthy players, positive momentum could be disrupted. But I don’t think it will. I would say that the time off for the starters mostly served to improve the play of the back-ups and give them very valuable live-game experience. As Bedard pointed out, Rouse, Blackmon, Williams, Jeremy Thompson – all these guys looked good and the defense as a whole seemed to really work well within Bob Sanders’ scheme. In particular, having A Rouse and T Williams playing well could be a quiet and massively important factor down the stretch here. If there are any injuries, or if a player needs a breather, or we want to go with more and more nickel packages like Sanders’ did against the Colts, having these guys available and playing well could really help us wear down/discourage opposing offenses.

This week, I would start Bigby, Harris and Montgomery if they are back to 100%. I would remove one starter from the starting line-up though: Brady Poppinga (no surprise to any frequent readers). Brandon Chillar has played well of late and again, if Bob Sanders continues to go with nickel packages more often (on run and pass plays as he did against the Colts), I wouldn’t be surprised if Chillar not only starts but plays more and more.

Let’s respond to Bearsfan

October 26, 2008

Not sure how many readers happened to catch some of the recent comments from a reader who happens to be a Bears’ fan – appropriately named Bearsfan. We at Packergeeks definitely welcome readers from opposing teams. Bearsfan initially commented on my post about Kyle Orton being pretty good so far. The post was an honest look at Kyle Orton’s season so far. It was a half-way-point, half-admission that I may have been off in my negative assessment of Orton. While I have no problem with trash talking and taunting because it’s a lot of fun, I must admit, I was surprised Bearsfan took to this after this particular post. Though maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. The comments for this post were eventually reduced to this gem from Bearsfan:

Yes, my plan worked to perfection. I noticed no Packer fan took the time to comment on the success of Orton so I knew all it would take was a short comment by a Bears fan . I’m just surprised that they had time to climb down from their tree stands to type something in. Maybe they have their lap tops up in the tree with them. Type quietly, you wouldn’t want to scare away the deer. Of course, only a backwoods Packer fan would be so superstitious as to believe that they can have an effect on the outcome of someone elses performance. I bet your still wearing that same orange jumpsuit that you killed that deer in five years ago (unwashed too probably).

I’ll let Packergeek Nation handle this one – let us know your thoughts.

Packers and the Presidential Election

October 24, 2008

Interesting article here from the GB Press Gazette. Ryan Grant, Poppinga voting for Obama. Some of the others, not so sure. Brother Steve, stop doing all that work on the election etc and start writing pieces like this. I think it would be fascinating to know which candidate players from throughout the NFL will be voting for.

But it was the end of this article, the last sentence, that seemed like an odd inclusion. Read below:

The Packers, as an organization, do not take a political position and Murphy said players are free to express their own political preferences.

It seems as though the article’s author (Tony Walter) must have asked Murphy if Murphy was letting the players make their own decisions or if the team would only allow players to vote for a certain candidate. This isn’t Russia Danny, is it?

Homer interviews Trent Dilfer re Favre – very interesting

October 22, 2008

Go to 540 ESPN Milwaukee’s website here to find this interview. I’d recommend it. Very interesting perspective. HOmer asked (in a leading way) for Dilfer’s thoughts on the Favre comments today and the overall Lions issue. Dilfer did not agree with Homer’s take it seemed (Homer was not supportive of Favre). In fact Dilfer, who is a bright guy, had a strong response. He said that for all the time that is spent assuming Favre is trying to get back at his old team, at least equal time should be spent thinking about the likelihood that there are (and this is a close quote if not exact) “those in the Packer organization who may want to see Favre’s legacy ruined”. He didn’t go so far as to wonder if info was planted by the Packers or distorted to make Favre look bad etc, but it was an interesting defense of Favre. It left me with this immediate thought: does Dilfer know something more re the Favre/Packer divorce that we don’t? weighs in on Favre comments

October 22, 2008

Read here for another take on the Favre situation. Again, I’m tired of disclaiming this all the time, but if it’s true, Favre’s explanation does seem possible. I still don’t think it’s appropriate to give info about your former team to a GM/coaches (especially after a bad divorce). He should have had the presence of mind to not divulge anything to Millen, if for no other reason than he should have been smart enough to realize that if this got back to the press in any way, it would blow up just like it has. But I also think it’s significant, again, if true, that Favre apparently didn’t call the Lions – they called him. At least then, we don’t run off with this impression that he’s just calling teams to give info because he’s pissed (which is what it sounded like initially).

For now, I’m ready to move on from all of this crap. Again, not happy about it though. What I remain most interested in w/re to Favre is what Leroy Butler could possibly be referring to when he says that there is more to come. This is the second time we’ve heard this ominous warning: remember the team hired Ari Fleischer to manage PR months ago for fear of what was to come.

Better news – congrats papa McCarthy

October 22, 2008

From Silvertstein at jsonline.:

It’s a girl

By Tom Silverstein
Wednesday, Oct 22 2008, 11:45 AM

Green Bay — Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a new addition to the family Wednesday morning.

According to the Packers, Jessica McCarthy gave birth to Gabrielle Kathleen this morning. Mother and daughter are resting at a Green Bay hospital.

McCarthy said on Monday that the birth could happen this week and joked that he had gas in the car and a bag packed in case the time came.

Different interpretation of Favre’s statements today

October 22, 2008

Read here from who took Favre’s comments this morning as another denial. Different from PFT’s take on the comments.

Of note in this update though is that Romo called Favre seeking advice. To me, that changes that whole story quite a bit. If Favre truly had called Romo I could see how some would be bothered by that (though I didn’t think it was a big deal), but if Romo called Favre, this is a non-story. Again though, not sure who to believe on that.