Monday, January 17, 2011

One of the marks of cornerback play is interception total. Williams has nine, including three in the playoffs. Neither Revis nor Asomugha had an interception this season.
Revis and Asomugha were joined by New England's Devin McCourtyon the AFC Pro Bowl team. The NFC selections were the Packers'Charles Woodson, the Eagles' Asante Samuel and the Redskins'DeAngelo Hall.
"Tramon is catching balls over receivers that are 6-4, 6-5," nose tackleB.J. Raji said. "I mean, who's really doing that in this league? Not many."
First ever: Counting playoffs, Greg Jennings has played 80 games with 71 starts. The first lost fumble of his career came on the Packers' third play from scrimmage.
Jennings broke free in the middle, turning a short third and 13 pass into a 30-yard gain, before he was stripped from behind by linebackerStephen Nicholas. Cornerback Brent Grimes recovered.
Asomugha would have to take similar $$$ that TW signed's possible...I bet they could get Champ Bailey for that price.
GJ's first ever lost fumble...that sucks for him.  GJ will play his @$$ off vs the bearz...could have a monster game (two TDs).  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

After further review...Pack still 48 & Atl 21

Box Score for the Receivers...

G. Jennings10810112.6030
J. Nelson88799.9114
D. Driver667612.7024
J. Jones447518.8134
J. Kuhn22147.017
A. Quarless22147.008
B. Jackson3177.007
D. Lee100000

Wow, those are some pretty good stats/production with the ball.  Only two missed targets by the WRs & GJ's fumble is the only black-mark.  I love Kuhn as a receiver & think that's where he's most dangerous.  B.Jack was a nonentity...

J. Starks25662.6013
B. Jackson11313.0013
A. Rodgers2136.517
J. Kuhn252.514
M. Flynn1-1-1.00-1

Starks, with his 25 carries pounded at the [F]alcons...I though the run was very effective in general regardless of the lack of yardage statistics.

A. Rodgers31/3636630

I thought going in that AR needed to play great...but he far exceeded my expectations...WOW!  3TD passes and one rushing TD...out-freakin'-standing!  I'm not sure what McGinn grades AR (0-5 footballs) but I'd give AR a big 5! WR/TE grade is 4.5;  RBs: 4.5; OL: 4.5

The offense totally controlled this game...but the defense was stellar & TW's pick-6 was a back-breaker.

On defense: the DL was very active & disruptive.  Raji, in particular, made his presence felt...dominating performance.  DL grade: 4

The LBs were very active & disruptive...especially CM3's domination.  LB grade 4.5

The DBs were outstanding in general, specific kudos to (obviously) TW...and of course CW was a play-maker in the box & contributed in coverage and shutting down Gonzo (non-factor).  DBs grade 5

My handwritten game notes/thoughts

  • Mutha F... GJ fumbles after a big catch...(F)alcons cash in for a TD drive; 0-7 Atl
  • AR to Jordy combo looks v.good as the Pack evens the score w/ #87 TD catch
  • WTF is up with the ST coverage unit?!...7-14 Atl
  • B.J. Raji @ FB w/ #45 to his right & #30 @ TB....PURE POWER!
  • Sack by CW, loss to 27 yd line, 3rd & 21...INT, Tramon Williams ends threat!
  • Great catch by #89 J.Jones for the TD
  • ...and Tramon Williams with a ~70yd pick-6 with seconds remaining in 1st half...icing on the cake!
  • AR runs for TD!...Pack 35-14 [8:28 left in 3Q]
  • Yet another long drive results in yet another TD [by Kuhn] 42-14 GB
  • 14:21 remaining in game; GB 42 Atl 21 [time to kill the clock]
  • Final score Packers 48 [F]alcons 21 1/15/11 tweet

Note: Part 2 of the CBA series is coming soon; I wanted to comment on a contract extension from yesterday for a player I knew and admired at the Packers.
It certainly came as no surprise that the Green Bay Packers came to terms on a four-year extension with cornerback Tramon Williams this week. Williams was five games away from being an unrestricted free agent at a high impact position in a year where -- if there is a new Collective Bargaining Agreement -- many teams may be coming out of their spending hibernation.
This guy can play!
Williams arrived in Green Bay to sign with our practice squad after being released by the Texans almost exactly four years ago today, on November 29, 2006. I remember hearing about him from our scouts soon after his arrival: he was smooth, had good ball skills, great rotation in his hips, and simply “This guy can play!”
Yes, TW can play, no doubt about it!  "he was smooth" is very representational of my perception WRT Tramon Williams' play for at least a couple of seasons now...and undrafted FA / street!
When players came in to sign their contracts, even those on the practice squad, I would always notice demeanor. Many players come in with some anger or entitlement, especially after being released by another team. Tramon was grateful to the Texans for the opportunity and humbled to be a part of the Packers, even as a practice squad player.
And Williams developed as a player as well. The more the players and coaches were around him the more they liked him as a player and person. And when preparation met opportunity with the injury to starter Al Harris last year, Williams had a chance to be a full time starter. He has taken full advantage of the opportunity and excelled in that role to the point of being mentioned as a Pro Bowler this year and allowing the Packers to release longtime fixture Harris.
Al Harris finished the 2010 season on Miami's IR...not sure I believe everything I read on this transaction either...I believe TT was up-front w/ Al...and maybe Al was being a little unrealistic w/ himself.
The Packers had to act with Williams before he hit an open market in March -- assuming there is a market in March -- that would have paid Williams far more money than the Packers would pay, and more than he is getting now. Williams' leverage point was about to skyrocket, but he chose the security and comfort of the team that gave him a chance as opposed to seeing what would be behind Door #2 in March.
CBA coming?
Despite all the talk about deals not getting done due to the impending labor uncertainty, this was a deal that was going to get done and was in the works for a while.
And it comes from the only NFL team required to "show its books", as the Packers are public, during a time when the NFLPA has been unsuccessfully requesting/demanding/crying that all NFL teams open their financial statements to them. Also, the message from the Packers financial report, echoed by NFL officials, is that player costs are outpacing team revenues in a way that is not sustainable.
Despite those comments, the Packers have extended Charles Woodson's contract, with $33 million through 2012, and now that of Tramon's. It is interesting to note that despite most teams' talk of labor uncertainty preventing action on the player contract front, Packers CEO Mark Murphy has been sitting in on many negotiation sessions with the union and (presumably) authorized the Packers to spend these tens of millions of dollars despite the labor uncertainty. A sign of progress on the CBA? Perhaps.
Number high, but could have been much higher
His deal is strong but, as noted above, not as strong as it could have been as a free agent. Williams will make an additional $11.1 million this year: $6 million in bonus and $5.1 million in additional salary. He'll make $3.5 in bonuses and salary in 2011 and $5.1 million in bonuses and salary in 2012, giving him approximately $20 million in new money over the next two-plus years. The deal also provides approximately $18 million in 2013 and 2014, although I give little credence to non-guaranteed numbers beyond 2012 at this point.
And as all Packer veteran contracts have been structured for many years, the deal contains (1) very little Cap acceleration should the Packers terminate Williams -- his contract, not him -- after 2011; (2) large per-game roster bonuses each year (up to $300,000) for staying injury-free; and (3) large workout bonuses (averaging $250,000 per year) each year, starting in 2011, for participating in 85% of the team's offseason workout program.
The question for Williams and his agent -- also named Williams (Rodney) -- was whether to turn down over $20 million between now and the end of 2012 for a bigger deal – and it would have been a bigger deal -- in what they hope to be an active market in 2011. Their answer was to take what was in front of them rather than wait for what might have been.
Cinderella lives
Tramon Williams is a shining example of what can happen in the NFL to a player that no one wanted. Signed as an undrafted free agent by Houston and cut at the end of training camp, the Packers gave him a chance three months after that release to show what he could do on the practice squad. While most practice squad players wash out at the bottom of rosters after a year or two, Williams flourished. And he has made the Packers proud.
Congratulations to a true feel-good story named Tramon Williams. We need more like him.
Follow me on Twitter at adbrandt.

Ya know ...

Ya know Dewey, after the Packers just totally dominated the (F)alcons, I'm not sure what/who we need to draft in 2011...I'm still leaning towards Jon Baldwin from Pit but I won't argue with drafting a big CB ~6'2" that can play zone...and decent match-up coverage .

James Jones made himself some $$ tonight but maybe not from the Packers because DD is still the #2 WR & Jordy is more than capable as the #3 Wr.  J.MikeFinley coming back next year...look out NFL!...that guy doesn't drop balls that touch his hands.

Offensive Line pending UFAs - #73 Colledge & reserve Jason Spitz...Spitz is most likely a gonner...but Colledge might be worth bringing back @ low-end starter's $$$.  Still should be some great competition in TC between #73, 70 & 75 (who's obviously a starter).  Can easily see TT drafting an OT in the 1st round...and the guy can be a 1-2 yr project if necessary.

I can easily see TT trading a couple of picks to move-up in the 1st or stay with their #1 pick and move-up into high 30's (~33-35).  Just don't need to exercise eight draft picks.  They can trade their 3/4/5/6 to move up!  Quality not quantity this draft TT...

I will piss my pants if Julio Jones is within reach for TT to trade-up for (from late 20's early 30's).-- I wonder if Braylon Edwards will be made available as a UFA?...not sure I'd want any other available UFA WRs (maybe Roy Williams after Dallass cuts him...).  TO or rANdy Moss might not fit w/ DD & co.  Would've liked to see Swain get a couple of tgts but it wasn't meant to be.

Will the Packers allow Mark Tauscher a chance to return in 2011?...$$$ shouldn't be an issue (he'll take a reasonable pay cut).  but ya know, his base 2011 salary will be <50% of Ryan Pickett's & Tausch's veteran leadership is very worth while [kinda like a player-coach].

OLB...I think we've found a combination of guys (starting w/ #93 Walden) at the ROLB spot...Zombo is my guy for #2 ROLB & Brad Jones/#49 Francois' as the #3/4 ROLB/OLB...QUESTION IS (is) Brady Popp worth bringing back for his ST PLAY (over #57 Wailheim).  I really like your boy from Wash (Mason Foster) @ OLB.  What did you (or anybody else) think of Markus White, FLA St.?

***** I'd really like to see TT dabble in UFA for another high-quality CB (Champ Bailey or Nnamdi).  

Packers in the NFC-Championship gm vs it don't matter 'cuz we're going there regardless...and we're gonna win!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Post game initial though/reply to a tweet

 Melinda B 
and yet another game where this team has not been down more than 7 pts the entire game.. first team since 1970 to do that!

Wow, what a game eh?...Packers' dominate on both sides of the ball; AR is the PotG!...big kudos to TW w/ pick-6!...& over-all great play vs Roddy White.  CM3 is the NFL DPoY.

I had a feelin' the Pack would win big...& wowzer did they ever!  On to Chicago (or we can beat Matt Hass in his house).

pre-game Twitter (Pack @ Atl in divisional 2010 playoffs)

@ "QJ & H.Green active" is no doubt good news for the Packers run games. I see lots of 3-DL on early downs (1&2).