Archive for the ‘Packer Opponents’ Category

Again – bench Poppinga

December 11, 2008

Tom Silverstein had an interesting article at jsonline this morning re the play of AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop. He argues that in one game at the weak-side LB spot, statistically Bishop pretty much played as well as Hawk ever has in his whole time here (at least that’s what I believe Silverstein was driving toward). It is a good article as it tackles head-on Hawk’s poor play this year.

After watching Bishop Sunday, though, my first thought wasn’t about him outplaying Hawk at Hawk’s natural position, it was this: how the *&^@%$) can Brady Poppinga still be starting? Both Chillar and Bishop are so clearly better than Poppinga. It just doesn’t make sense. Mason Crosby should be playing in front of him! I still can’t believe TT gave Poppinga a fat contract extension earlier in the year. We have 3 games left this year and Poppinga has started and played a lot in all 13 games. Give Lansanah a chance, give Chillar a chance, give Bishop a chance, maybe try Hawk at strong-side. Anything. But don’t keep putting Poppinga at strong-side game after game – there is no upside to doing this. And don’t give me this “we like him rushing the QB crap”. He has 3 freakin’ sacks in his…CAREER! Cut your losses TT – admit you made a mistake. The guy can’t play. And now is the time to learn about who can play. Hell, if Chillar is healthy this week, start Chillar at weak-side, Hawk at strong-side and Bishop in the middle – sure couldn’t be worse than any other combination used this year. Or, if Chillar is not healthy, try Lansanah at strong-side. Anyone other than Poppinga. Should the Poppinga and Harrell sagas continue to drag on (especially now that Harrell is hurt…again…with something different…again), I’ll really worry that TT possibly has Mike Sherman-like over-loyalty problems.

Also adding to the confusion:

  • why did we cut Abdul Hodge who looked SO good in pre-season.
  • why didn’t Chillar beat out Poppinga in the first place – Chillar is much better than Poppinga and this seems obvious.
  • why wouldn’t Bishop have been inserted as starting middle LB when Barnett got hurt. After all, HE was the back-up MLB, not Hawk – and while Hawk looked OK in his first game at MLB, he hasn’t looked good there since.

UPDATE: Thanks Aaron over at – the article mentioned above was written by Greg Bedard, not Tom Silverstein. Also, check out this recent update from the jsonline blog re possibility that Chillar may start this week – AT WEAK-SIDE LB! I just don’t understand this. Poppinga’s job security just baffles me, especially a week after Bishop made big plays. Chillar was brought in as strong-side competition – so why not bench Poppinga, put Chillar on the strong-side, Hawk on the weak-side and Bishop in the middle. Or, Hawk in the middle and Bishop on the weak-side. Any way they do it – GET POPPINGA OUT OF THERE! Though Bishop did make a few mistakes Sunday for sure, Poppinga makes many mistakes every Sunday but makes matters worse by having zero big-play potential. Sorry to get so worked up about this. I’m usually more measured. But I have tried for nearly 3 years (since Brady has started) to see what they see in this guy. Can’t see it. And I also do recognize that the porous D-Line makes linebacking signficantly harder. Still, now is the time to experiment so that we don’t waste time doing it early next year – and benching Poppinga is a great place to start.


Starting a rumor – Gus Frerotte faked injury

December 10, 2008

Read here about how Brad Childress suspiciously called a meeting with former starting QB Tarvaris Jackson late last week – after essentially not talking to Tarvaris since his benching after Week 2. In this meeting last week, Childress apparently told Tarvaris that he needs to be ready in case Frerotte goes down. (Or more exactly, he said this: “as sure as I’m sitting here talking to you, you’re going to be playing before we get to the end of the year.”) Seems simple enough – coach telling a back-up to be ready. While it does seem odd that he would call a special one-on-one meeting with the back-up QB like this after not talking to him for months…possible I suppose. But something seems fishy about this whole thing.

My underdeveloped theory has me believing that Frerotte was asked to fake an injury by Childress toward the end of the first half if he continued to struggle offensively. Frerotte obliged both by throwing another interception (not intentionally, remember, Frerotte is very bad) and then falling to the ground “hurt”. So Childress could put Tarvaris in. This way, Childress could act like the decision to go with Tarvaris is based on Frerotte’s injury, not so much on his realization that Frerotte could easily misfire the Vikings right out of the playoffs. This would add up from a PR standpoint too. Childress’ approval rating in MN is very low and this scenario would work better for Childress than benching Frerotte, going back on his word that Frerotte would be the starter for the rest of the season, only to see Tarvaris chunk it to end the season – that would all lead to his sure termination. But going about it via fake injury, if Tarvaris doesn’t finish well for the Vikings, Childress can point to Frerotte’s injury as an “excuse”. He can have it both ways.

I realize that all of this sounds like I’ve lost it and have slipped into a totally delusional state. I assure you, I remain only semi-deluded. But the fact that I thought at the time that the injury looked fake, that the injury is labeled an “undisclosed lower-back injury” and the fact that Childress had this “prophetic” meeting last Thursday with a QB he hasn’t spoken to since Week 2 leads me to wonder. Add to this that we’re talking about the Vikings and anything is possible.

Vikings D-Line to take big hit?

October 27, 2008

Thanks to reader DaveK for alerting us to this article on by none other than Jay Glazer. In the article Glazer contends that BOTH Pat and Kevin Williams on the Vikes vaunted D-line may face suspensions – possibly of up to 4 games – if they are found guilty of using the “water pill” banned substance. They are apparently in the appeals process right now with the league. If both were to be suspended, that could obviously have a significant impact on the Vikes’ season – though I’d argue the combination of Gus Frerotte at QB and Brad Childress at coach has already pretty much ruined their season.

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.

Is Kyle Orton…not bad?

October 24, 2008

I started writing this post about a month ago. Then I thought twice about it and decided to give it another month to see if Orton was still…not bad. Well, as my father would say, so far this year, Orton has been really not bad. At the beginning of the year, I was one of the many saying the Bears had no clue re their QB situation. I knew for sure the Grossman shouldn’t start (we all knew that), and despite not knowing for sure about Orton, I insisted that the Bears would have been better off cutting all of their QBs and starting over with the 2008 draft (and picking up a veteran free agent or two). In fact, at one point, I wrote a lengthy post re the Bears personnel decisions here, and in this post I ripped the QB decisions in particular. My argument at the time (I believe anyway) was compelling and backed by stats. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say at this point at least in 2008, Orton is proving me wrong. He looks quite good this year. Here are his stats for 2008:

  • 62% pass completion rate (about average)
  • 10 TDs 4 Ints
  • 91.2 QB rating
  • 1669 yards (6th in the NFL)
  • 4-3 record

Now, these aren’t exceptional numbers, leaving us all hope for a meltdown yet. And his career QB rating, despite his 91 rating so far this year, is still just 72 – so there’s plenty of room for him to screw up and we’re only half-way through a season. But so far this year, for the sake of accountability, I just want to put out an alert to folks that I may be having to eat some crow a little later this year if Orton continues to even be decent.

The Bears, however, still suck.

Did you know…

October 23, 2008

that the Detroit Lions have sold out 51 consecutive home games! They’ve sold out every game at Ford Field since it opened in 2002. I can’t believe this. Anyway, PFT points that out in an article here, which also says that they won’t sell out this week – thus ending a surprising streak.

Game Keys – Colts

October 17, 2008
  • Take away Dallas Clark as an option as well as possible. Like Romo/Witten, Clark is Manning’s outlet guy and the guy is just very good. It sounds like Chillar is going to get extra time Sunday to help cover him.
  • Woodson vs Wayne. Not sure how MM will line up our CBs but it would make sense for Woodson to cover Wayne and Williams to cover Harrison. Manning has been uncharacteristically shaky this year (last week excepted), and if Woodson can jump an early route for a pick, that could be a big psychological boost for the Pack.
  • Grant Grant Grant. I have been waiting with Packer Nation for weeks for Grant to break a run. It seems like last year, even in games where he was having a bunch of 1-2 yard gains, he at least always had a long run for a TD. Not happening this year. Even if the line is bad and even if defenses are plugging holes because they know what’s coming, Grant needs to step up here and make something happen. He really needs a statement game and it would be really nice if it happened this week.
  • Our TEs have not been as involved this year as I want them to be. Indy does have a fast LB corps/defense overall which might lead one to think our TEs would have trouble being a factor. But I think Indy will focus lots of attention on stopping the run and stopping Jennings/Driver leaving other receiving options open (especially our TEs, even our FBs).
  • Bigby needs to light somebody up early. If he gets in there and makes a play, I think it will get the crowd into it and give us serious momentum.
  • We need to remember psychologically that while the Indy D has caused 8 turnovers in the last 5 quarters of play (3 by a horrific Sage Rosenfels and 5 by a listless Balt offense), that the Indy defense is not very good. We should be able to run all over them and pass right through them.
  • Fluster Manning early with a pick or lots of pressure (or ideally, somehow forcing a WR to run the wrong route) so that Manning starts whining so much that Harrison and Wayne both gang up on him, break his nose. While I like Sorgi, I’d rather have him in there than Manning.

Lions give up Roy Williams – get new franchise

October 14, 2008

Wow – it doesn’t seem like a total crack deal, maybe just a regular crack deal that would leave Detroit with 1st, 3rd, and 6th round picks in 2009 from the Cowboys for the unhappy and lately, unproductive Roy Williams. I think this is a very clear sign that Matt Millen is no longer at the helm. Read here for the details.

While adding WIlliams certainly makes the Cowboys even scarier, (stop and think for a moment re their offense: Williams, Owens, Witten, Barber, Jones), the Cowboys sure gave up a lot to get him. Detroit did well to get rid of a player who didn’t want to be there.

Hasselbeck out Sunday?

October 10, 2008

Read here for thoughts that Hasselbeck may sit out Sunday’s game. I’m not sure this is good news for the Pack considering he has a QB rating of 57.7 and is completing 49.2% of his passes. He has been very bad – even taking into account a lack of receiver quality.

The Minnesota Tease

October 7, 2008

Not sure how Minnesota won that game last night against New Orleans…surprising. But one reason they may have won was the play of Gus Frerotte. I am on record (on multiple occasions) saying Frerotte sucks, the Packers should never have brought him in for a tryout earlier this year and the Vikings were nuts for picking him up and eventually handing him the starting job. Some might want to tell me to eat crow (strange expression, especially for those living along the Appalachia), but I refuse to do that and here’s why: Gus Frerotte is simply this year’s Minnesota Tease.

Every year, someone or something teases Vikings’ fans into thinking that their team may be legit. For a few years, especially under Mike Tice, they would start the year red hot and then fade in dramatic fashion at the end of the year, sometimes fading right out of the playoff picture incredibly. Other years, like with Cunningham/Culpepper/Moss, they would dominate the regular season – like when they went 15-1 only to lose at home in the playoffs. If you want to, go back to the 1970s when the Vikes had dominant players and should have won at least one Super Bowl. Nothing. Last year they had a rookie sensation running wild only to poop out at the end of the season. This year, Gus Frerotte may be stepping into the role of the Minnesota Tease. My guess is that he’ll thrive off the momentum gained from last night’s performance and possibly play another good game or two. But after that, the Vikings will realize why he was extremely available in the offseason and ultimately Childress will pay the price.

(Disclaimer: I didn’t write this post because I thought the Tarvaris benching was premature and still think he’s not horrible. I wrote this post because I’ve noticed a long-term pattern of collective team behavior and believe that history is bound to repeat itself).