Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I really enjoy reading Ross' "after further review" blogs because he provides such a good perspective. Plus his use of NFL GamePass and opinions regarding his observations are valuable to me.  I concur 100% with Ross on Hundley.  I will never understand why some fans on cheeseheadTV were so critical of Hundley because they expected him to do well...they did a poor job of managing their own expectations which caused a bias of sorts IMO...regardless, I figured Hundley would have some serious struggles at times...AR12 did his 1st season as a starter.  3-4 isn't bad as a back-up!

Hundley's home/road performance splits continue to just boggle my mind.  

That's another comment by Ross and I definitely concur it's mind boggling!

Ross believes the Browns game was Josh Jones' best game.  Maybe it was...certainly one of his best games during his rookie season.  I think deep safety is a work in progress for him but he definitely came through in the OT with his athletic ability to jump for the ball and secure the interception.  I could be wrong but I think he's the first safety since Nick Collins to have 4.4 speed?  Jones could become a special talent and defensive playmaker...my hope anyway.  I would ensure he's one of the 11 defensive players on-field.  HHCD too.

Damarious Randall is making a Davante Adams-level jump in year 3

I know lots of people expect players to make that 2nd year jump and when they don't (for whatever reason) fans sometimes are too quick to judge and start saying "bust...etc.".  I think players, specifically drafted players, need to be allotted the 3-4 years of their rookie contract to develop.  By year four, you should know what you've got with the player.  If they're just a solid ST player, so be it because those guys are needed too.

With Randall, two things have held him back in the past...injuries (2016) and bad attitude and unwillingness to accept accountability.  He appears to have overcome these obstacles at-this-time (ATT) and that's a great sign in his development.  He really is talented and I think he's they type of defensive back that can play any position back there to include centerfield.

Blake Martinez is a Pro Bowler.

Unfortunately there's only so many MLB/ILB spots on the Pro Bowl roster.  I think the two benchmark guys are Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner...and not sure if they select three.  Blake Martinez has certainly solidified his spot as the main ILB on the Packers.  What I don't know is if he's got the headset to receive the play calls.

Davante Adams is the team's MVP post-Rodgers injury.

The only thing Davante doesn't have is really good speed.  His footwork/foot quickness is exceptional.  His short area quickness is exceptional.  His spin-move phenomenal!  The Packers will be paying him...they know it, and he knows it...it's just a matter of time.  I don't know if he's a top 10 WR but he's clearly the Packers #1 and I think he's destined for being their next WR with triple digit catches in a season.  ...so maybe he is a top 10 WR.  All I know is they need to extend him soon.

As I mentioned before, Clay's next contract probably won't be at the $13.2 Million AAV level, but he's still a useful part of the defense.

CM3 is still their most disruptive and main playmakers when he's healthy.  I concur his next contract won't have such high cap numbers...his contract was/is backloaded with high base salary so maybe renegotiation always was the intent?  Clay might not be able to play 16 games in as season but he'll be able to play the majority of them and he is a playmaker!  I also think he's got a lot of gas left in his tank and needs to stay in a roving LB role...he's still their best LB. 

I concur with Ross regarding his assessment of the DL.  I like the five they have but don't really know what Montravious Adams is capable of yet.  I do think they can employ a solid three DL alignment with Lowry as the 3rd guy.  Lowry is a DE/5-technique type player though and will get washed vs the double-team.  The more I see of Kenny Clark the more impressed I am with him. 

They desperately need that 3rd Edge pass rusher...and concur about Brooks.  Maybe his back is still a significant issue for him...who knows, but I agree I haven't seen much from him either.  I'm back to being on the fence regarding Fackrell but also need temper my expectations of him too. I think he's going to be a Rover LB type that needs a schemed pass rush to succeed but also appears to be very aware of where the ball is and has been involved in some turnover plays.  He is a good ST player.

Jamaal Williams is becoming a valuable workhorse and quite productive to boot.  I can't say enough positive things about him and he's definitely exceeded my expectations.  He's making #30 proud. 

If the Packers get more offensive snaps to play with then I'm sure Aaron Jones will benefit from it.  He definitely has a different style of play vs Jamaal Williams and will hopefully get some more touches in the future.  Hot hand wins.

  1. CM3
  2. Mike Daniels
  3. Kenny Clark
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Blake Martinez
  6. Josh Jones
  7. HHCD
  8. Damarious Randall
  9. Kevin King / Boundary CB
  10. Morgan Burnett
  11. ??? DL/LB/DB ???
Right now I don't know who that 11th defender should be because it's situational dependent whether they need to play nickle or dime.  

12.12.17 musings on PackersNews post-game grades

  • Hundley probably could be given a higher grade vs what PackersNews.com assigned.
  • Jamaal Williams is proving to be quite the combined rush/pass yards threat with his 3rd consecutive triple-digit yards game?  He's a workhorse that can easily handle 20+ touches/gm but isn't as explosive as Aaron Jones
  • The OL definitely had some problems vs the Browns so the C+ is OK by me.
  • The TE's grade of C- is also OK by me.  I'm hoping they can convert 6'6 basketball player Michael Clark into a TE or hybrid WR/TE
  • Davante Adams definitely deserves an A or A+ and he received great support from Jordy & Cobb, plus it was nice to see GMo get some action and produce in the short passing game.  I'm not sure how much $$$ Davante is going to get but he looks like a #1 WR in this offense so I say pay the man!
  • Defense gave up 21 points which should be enough...and it was.
  • The DL was average so I concur with the C grade.  However, I do think that Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels are becoming a very disruptive duo on the inside which allows them to only play two true DL.  However, when it's not one of those two, then the DL has issues.  I think I'd use more three DL with Lowry vs 2nd ILB with Ryan.
  • The LBs combined grade of C is probably fair but I think CM3 individually earned high marks, possibly an A for his sack and then the hit on Kizer's arm which forced the interception.
  • The CBs held Josh Gordon during the second half.  I'm very happy for Damarious Randell that he's playing so well.  He probably has the best hands in the secondary and IMO he could play centerfield because of his ball skills and range.  
  • The safeties, specifically HHCD and Josh Jones, played very well and I've thought that the position was the strongest on defense and key reason they consistently play three of them together -- Burnett, HHCD, and Josh Jones.  I recently read a comment by somebody regarding this game vs the Browns was Josh Jones' best game.  Maybe...certainly one of his best this season in pass coverage and the interception/jump ball was a terrific play.  Josh Jones is obviously very talented and I think he'll soon be our #2, if not #1 safety...which brings me to HHCD who made an outstanding interception near the end of the first half.  I've read lots of comments on CheeseHeadTV regarding HHCD's regression in 2017 and yes his numbers do indicate decreased production but I don't think the numbers drop is significant.  HHCD's responsibility has mainly been to play deep, sometimes single-high (not his strong suite) and sometimes two-deep (he can cover half the field ok).  HHCD probably has the 2nd best set of hands on defense.  I still think he was a good draft pick and worth his rookie option.
  • The special teams grade of A is spot on.  STs generated several big plays but Trevor Davis' individual effort on his 65 yard punt return was fun to watch!  I don't think there's anything wrong with having two WRs that are basically on the team for their ST skills.

Monday, December 11, 2017

12.11.17 (7-6 record)

  • 7-6 means there's still a chance at the playoffs if AR12 returns
  • I'm hopeful things will workout and we sneak into the playoffs
  • I'd draft defense heavy (again) specifically Pass Rusher (PR/Edge) and DB
  • CM3 looks pretty good moving around but mostly attacking the QB
  • Besides CM3, they need Nick Perry and find another edge rusher next draft / FA
  • Fackrell might be able to play ILB and as a spy / zone drop / delayed blitzer
  • Jury is pending regarding Vince Biegel but I'd still like to see him get more PT; Biegel appears to be a versatile LB that could play in space or rush the QB (hopefully)
  • Damarious Randall is playing good pass defense and is arguably their best at getting the interception; this defense lives and dies on the big play / turnover
  • Josh Jones finally had an interception…a huge turning point in the game
  • HHCD had a good game and nice interception…prevented a Browns scoring drive
  • Jermaine Whitehead is getting PT over Marwin Evans…Whitehead is playing slot as the 6th DB along-side Morgan Burnett as the other slot DB; Whitehead had six? interceptions as a senior for Auburn and has been with the Pack on PS for awhile
  • They have six players listed as CB & five as S & the dime contains a 4s/2cb configuration and the nickel contains a 3s/2cb
  • I hope Kevin King gets healthy and wish him well
  • Davon House was injured and it didn't look good at the time…not sure what his status is but wish him well; he's still a viable CB for next season but still need to invest a premium pick or two as well as Pass Rusher because PR is arguably their biggest need
  • Defense has allowed seven opening drive scores (TDs?) matching the Offense attaining seven opening drive scores; I would like to see a new defensive coordinator in 2018
  • What defensive players do I like and want to keep for 2018:
    • DB (11) - Hawkins, House, King, Randall, HHCD, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Morgan Burnett, Marwin Evans/Jermaine Whitehead -- leaves ~2 open spots for draft picks or Quinton Rollins & a draft pick; Demetri Goodson is JAG at this point; I'm not convinced resigning Morgan Burnett is the best option but he certainly could be considered a high priority by Ted; I like the three safety alignment & think the trio of HHCD, Josh Jones, & Kentrell Brice is the future.  HHCD & Jones certainly are but think both players play better closer to the LOS vs being the deep centerfielder type at safety; without have a reliable centerfielder they need to play two-deep with HHCD being one of the guys…currently teamed with Josh Jones who has great potential as a do-it-all DB; you need athletes at DB and I think the Packers have some that qualify but could use another playmaker or two; Lenzy Pipkins and Donatello Brown don't appear to be anything more than JAGs and are replaceable; DB is the last line of defense so it's arguably the most important position… Randall & King are they top two key CB type (boundary) but Randall is also good in the slot…he's become a good CB and playmaker like he was as a rookie but only better/more experienced now; I agree with those out there that believe that letting Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde leave were mistakes; both have above average ball skills / playmaking skills but think King & Josh Jones offer upside; I think Hawkins has the chance to become a player because of his speed; I also wonder why some people have said he doesn't have slot capability?  Who should/will the 5th & 6th DBs be (Burnett?, House?, a Rookie?, Hawkins?, Whitehead? UFA?); Is PR a bigger need over coverage?  Will Ted shy away from the FA market and will there be any worthwhile CBs available?
    • ILB/OLB (9) - CM3, Perry, Martinez, Ryan, Biegel, Fackrell - ~3 open spots with biggest need being Pass Rusher/Edge LB/DE - need to spend multiple picks on PR; they have not replaced Julius Peppers' production and playmaking; I don't think FA will provide solid options at acquiring an Edge/PR but who knows at this point; Joe Thomas has disappeared and so has Chris Odom; Ahmad Brooks is a pending FA  and might not be worth bringing back/is replaceable with a draft pick?  I'm intrigued by Vince but also by Fackrell especially if he can play as a stack LB
    • DL (5) - The pair of Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels is pretty good inside; I especially like Clark because he might have more upside than Mike Daniels; Dean Lowry is a nice rotation player and third DL when they play three DL (better when he's 3rd); Haven't really noticed much from Montravius Adams; Quinton Dial is worth resigning / extending -- I'm not inclined to spend draft capital on DL unless a potential Calais Campbell was there…or another Kenny Clark;
    • Which defensive alignment do they play the most?...appears to be the nickel approximate (WAG) 70% -- 80-85% if dime; 3dl is < 20% -- best defensive player is arguably Kenny Clark, who can handle double-teams better than Mike Daniels IMO; CM3 might be the most important in the front five/six; if he's allowed to be the 3rd dynamic PR from his rover position he's actually quite dangerous -- good in coverage too running with TEs; Having Nick Perry available at the right Edge position is real important too; need that 3rd PR guy but maybe Vince will pan out as a situational PR guy…or Fackrell or a 2018 draft pick (more likely?)
      • Clark, Daniels, CM3, Perry, Martinez, and if needing a 6th then go with Lowry, Biegel, Fackrell, Ryan (they played Martinez & Ryan a fair amount together these last couple of games) or a rookie draft pick (preferably a premium pick); Fackrell might still surprise in 2018 (potential late bloomer)…he's a good ST player and probably is more than a JAG because he's been at the right spot at the right time a few times in 2017 so why not give him another shot (besides he's still on his rookie deal)
      • HHCD, Josh Jones, Randall, King, & ?? (Brice/Burnett/rookie?/3rd CB) are the nickel and maybe somebody steps into the dime role as a playmaker; Will they bring Morgan Burnett back for a 2nd big contract (3rd total contract)?  I'm also intrigued by Josh Hawkins because of his speed
      • I would draft two Edge/PR guys & two DB playmakers (perfect scenario)
  • What offensive players do I like and want to keep for 2018:
    • QB1 is obviously AR12 and will remain that way until he decides to retire; Brett Hundley is a viable back-up for 2018 unless some team gets froggy with a 3rd or higher draft pick (I might even consider a 4th); maybe spend a day three pick for a number three if an intriguing prospect is available
    • RB/FB (5) - Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Devante Mays, Aaron Ripkowski - Mays is #5 and potentially replaceable/currently in dog-house; Joe Kerridge is currently on the roster as the #2 FB / ST player
    • WR/TE (9) - Davante Adams (must resign), Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Jeff Janis (#1 ST), Trevor Davis (return guy), Michael Clark (6'6); Lance Kendricks & Richard Rodgers -- it's probably a good idea to invest in a TE unless Michael Clark becomes a factor there…6'6 is very intriguing target size; going more four WR + 1rb could be the main alignment but McCarthy has options; they will need to address the cap space allocation at WR for 2018; having three guys accounting for double-digit million cap space might not be doable…but maybe it is; they obviously must resign Davante, no question!...I'd also consider trying to extend both Jordy and Cobb for two/three years each which would make it much more doable to keep these three WRs together.  Cobb is a good #3 option; they have speed at WR with Davis & Janis plus both play ST gunner
    • OL (9) - Corey Linsley, Bak, Lane Taylor, Jahri Evans, Bulaga, Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Adam Pankey, Justin McCray -- maybe replace Pankey but maybe not; OL is not a priority need IMO unless they lose both Evans & Bulaga; I'm not convinced they can afford to let Corey Linsley leave either but maybe McCray can handle the role
    • Which offensive alignment will they play the most?...NFI because I expect a change or two at WR/TE…but who knows; they have an interesting crew that lacks speed from the top four spots (Davante, Jordy, Cobb, & G-Mo); I would definitely use 1rb a majority of the snaps because they've got some intriguing options between Williams, Jones, and Montgomery; Ripkowski is an effective lead blocker and load to bring down when he has the ball; the Packers currently have 25 offensive players and 25 defensive players + LS/P/K -- Michael Clark intrigues me because he's 6'6 and athletic (basketball player); Davante has become the #1 option for Hundley but will he remain the #1 option for AR12?...maybe he will…and could become that triple-digit pass catcher/workhorse receiver; could/would McCarthy ever use Ty with either Williams or Jones on-field?
  • My preference for 2018 adjustments to the Packers roster and football management structure (coaching / GM) is for McCarthy to remain as HC, Ted decide to cede roster management/Director of Football Operations to one of the following:

  • Replacing Dom Capers as DC is pretty much a must do for McCarthy but maybe Capers will gracefully retire during the off-season; replacing other defensive staff is an option too;  Maybe one or both of the DB coaches need to be replaced along with Capers?  Same for the LB coaches…
  • Of the 25 defensive players on the roster as of 12.11.17 at least three DBs will be replaced because of returning IR players (Brice, King, and Rollins) which means D. Brown, Pipkins, Goodwin, Whitehead/Marwin Evans could be replaced plus Burnett is a possibility for leaving in FA; It's my opinion that D. Brown, Pipkins, & Goodwin are replaceable and will be replaced by King & Rollins, Brice can replace either Goodwin or Whitehead/Marwin Evans; Burnett's status is the key factor at DB…I would prefer to replace him with another variation of Josh Jones (i.e., size & speed); I also like Brice as #3 starting safety type that can play the two-deep safety role; the speed combination of Josh Jones & Brice is intriguing, plus when combined with HHCD they have three guys that can play the two-deep safety role and they can also play in the box; three safeties playing with one of them technically playing a LB role is in-vogue and the Packers have the players to do it!  The 3rd cover CB is the question mark?...but my money is on Hawkins or a 2018 draft pick; zero DL will be replaced, but a 6th DL could be added if he has PR ability; Edge/OLB/PR is arguably the biggest need; some fans are currently grumbling that the Packers should've drafted TJ Watt and I certainly think it's a valid gripe…I know I wanted the Packers to draft Watt but also didn't question moving down and taking Kevin King because he has special size/speed for a boundary CB…the only issue with him is the shoulder (labrum) which is a valid concern…
  • Of the 25 offensive players, Bulaga, Murphy, and Montgomery will be returning from IR; Monty should replace FB Joe Kerridge or RB Mays because they don't need four RB types because Ripkowski can fill a RB role if absolutely necessary plus he provides good pass protection…he's a four-down player as McCarthy likes to say; I really like McCray as a back-up OL because he's versatile and can play every position on the OL; Spriggs is getting valuable time at RT but prefer Bulaga manning the position; key FA decisions loom regarding Corey Linsley (must?) and Evans but McCray or Murphy could be viable RG unless Spriggs is worth starting at RT and then move Bulaga to RG?  TBD, keep James Campen as  OL coach; offensive coaching staff can stay status quo

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11.21.17 - Packers are 5-5

  • Packers are 5-5 after being shutout by the Ravens
  • Neither the Bears or Ravens games were televised locally & I didn't go to the bar to watch the games
  • I've seen high/low lights from each game.  Although the Packers' defense looked OK in both games, neither opposing offense was very good. 
  • Packers' offense is QB driven and it's been rough with Hundley at the helm while he's still learning how to steer the ship.  He pretty much lost the Ravens game with his four turnovers (3 int 1 fum).  I didn't know what to expect from Hundley but I also remember Aaron Rodgers' 1st season as a starter the Packers had a losing season…Hundley led Packers are 1-4 and I doubt they win more than two game the rest of the season.
  • Based on recent observations of bloggers at cheeseheadtv and various writers (blog & media sites), fans are not optimistic about the remaining portion of 2017.  I'm certainly not optimistic…and figured we were done when AR12 was hurt.  
  • I hope they can resign Davante Adams but he's not worth top 10 money.  Adams has been the Packers' leading receiver for much of 2017.  
  • Six more games for other players to step-up or down as the case may be.
  • Chtv fans have also clamored for Capers to be fired; as well as Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy.  I'd definitely welcome a change at DC.  While Mike McCarthy is extremely loyal to his coaches…he's fired coaches before!
  • Might have to wait out Thompson's contract but who knows, maybe they'll negotiate something with him to step aside.  My replacement choice is Elliot Wolf or John Dorsey.  I would like to see McCarthy stay.
  • Defensive Player wise…still have work to do at pass rush and CB.  I like what they have at safety even though they don't have a true centerfielder type.
  • Offensive Player wise…everything revolves around AR12; don't really have a back-up plan at QB unless Hundley improves drastically. 
  • This was/is supposed to be Hundley's audition time for a starting role with some other team in 2018.  It's not going so well.  He's caused a lot of sacks and has way too many turnovers.  At this point the Pack will be lucky to recoup a 5th for Hundley in a trade or compensatory pick.
  • The OL went through some early season injury struggles at OT and when things finally look to heal then Bulaga goes down with an ACL.  Justin McCray has been a significant find for the OL because he looks serviceable at all five OL positions.  Apparently, Jason Spriggs looked bad at RT.  I'm sure he'll get another shot to look bad vs the Steelers.
  • Right now it's starting to look like the Packers will be drafting in the top 15 and I'm hoping they'll have a good shot at drafting an EDGE player…maybe Arden Key, Harold Landry, one of the Clemson guys (Clelin Ferrell or Austin Bryant), or maybe Sam Hubbard of Ohio St.  I'd be OK with a top rated CB too. 
  • The Packers should draft at least two EDGE players and one of them has to be within our top two picks (if not both).  I wouldn't draft a safety unless he was a true centerfielder type with very good speed.
  • Offensive draft pick should be a skill player with breakaway speed…likely a WR.  The GM has a significant cap allocation decision to make at WR.  Davante Adams will require a cap number approaching what Nelson & Cobb are getting in 2018.  The Packers can't keep all three at those cap numbers.

Monday, October 30, 2017


  • Basically have had two games with Hundley at QB and things haven't looked so good…Brett has accuracy problems but hopefully he can correct them.  He's a good athlete and has a strong enough arm.
  • Hopefully Morgan Burnett will be healthy enough to play Monday night vs the Lions (on 11.6.17).  I agree with those that believe HHCD is very dependent on Burnett…but I also think HHCD is a better box player vs deep safety or single-high deep safety (i.e., centerfielder).
  • Josh Jones…why haven't they used him to blitz off the edge much since his 2-sack game?  I'm not saying all the time but I don't recall seeing it much recently…he has explosive speed…as does Kentrell Brice.
  • 2nd half defense vs the Saints was brutal…but then again, they were facing Drew Brees and the Saints have a pretty good RB duo.
  • I recently read a quote of some NFL personnel guy saying that Ty Montgomery is a fraud as a RB.  I disagree with the assessment but I'm also a fan…I think Ty can play but I'm thinking he's best suited as a pass receiving RB and think he could be used with Aaron Jones (who looks really good after having two 100+ yard rushing games).
  • Blake Martinez!...he's becoming a good ILB/MLB…and looks like he's able to play all 4 downs.  He still scares me a little in pass defense but he's usually around the ball and has good awareness…excellent tackler.
  • If the defense fails the rest of the season, will McCarthy fire Capers?  That seems to be the #1 question / comment of fans out there…  I think they can use more defensive talent but also think there's a serious communication / understanding of scheme (defensive play calls) issue(s).
  • Basically two games behind the Vikings in the standings ATT…with one game remaining with them at Lambeau…which will be hard to overcome.
  • I'm not optimistic AR12 will play again in the 2017 season.
    •  Probably means >.500 record
    • Top 15 draft pick in 2018?
  • They need at least one more pass rusher…but the more the merrier.
  • When will they play Montravious Adams to see if he can offer some inside pass rush?

As of 10.30.17 the Packers have 12 pending UFA + 9 R/ERFA:
  • Of the 12 UFA, only Morgan Burnett, Davante Adams, Corey Linsley, and Davon House are starters.
  • Linsley will cost considerably more than his rookie contract but arguably the number 1 priority resign.  IMO, the positional importance on the OL goes LT is #1, then C is #2.  but the other three cannot be slugs.  Jahri Evans was a good FA acquisition and wouldn't be a bad option to resign in 2018. 
  • The amount of injury the Packers incurred at OT in 2017 was unprecedented for the Packers (at least that I can remember).   Fortunately, Bak and Bulaga appear to be regaining their health for the 2nd half of 2017.
  • Justin McCray appears to be a solid back-up OL that has starting potential which IMO is why Barclay was released from IR.
  • How much $$$ will Davante Adams cost?  Is he worth paying $10m/yr ave?
  • Can/will they restructure/extend CM3, Jordy, and Cobb?  If not, will they release any of them?  IMO, 2017 is the last season we see Jordy, Cobb, and Adams together.
  • Can Geronimo Allison become the 3rd WR to replace Cobb or Adams?  I don't know…and I'm more intrigued by Michael Clark because he's 6'6/217 compared to G-Mo's 6'3/202
  • The Packers have approximately $12.2m available cap space as of 10.30.17 that they'll carry-over into 2018.

  • 13 drafts by Ted Thompson with his best being his first because of AR12.  Nick Collins is arguably his 2nd best pick (or CM3).
  • My biased draft grades:
    • 2005 - A+
    • 2006 - C
    • 2007 - C-
    • 2008 - B+
    • 2009 - A-
    • 2010 - B
    • 2011 - C-
    • 2012 - B-
    • 2013 - B-
    • 2014 - B
    • 2015 - C
    • 2016 - C
    • 2017 - ?

Monday, October 16, 2017

10.16.17 - My impressions after 6 games…

  • Things were going pretty good until the broken collarbone bone.
  • The OL has been decimated by injury!  Hundley could get pounded because of it.
  • Guess we'll see how good Hundley really is…see if he's starting quality.  I think it's going to be a rough go because of the OL.
  • The OL cannot perform well enough with 3 key starters out.
  • Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins are still so damn inconsistent it's maddening.  Lenzy Pipkins is intriguing and plays hard.  Josh Hawkins might be their 3rd best CB; he's certainly one of their fastest, which is important…
  • Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels appear to becoming a dynamic duo at DT/DL.  Daniels is obviously the key player up-front but Clark, IMO, is becoming a really good DL, and similar in style to MD.
  • Playing 3-DL more frequently isn't such a bad idea either…especially when it's Dean Lowry, Clark, and MD.
  • I'm not optimistic and think the Packers are a sub-500/.500 team without AR12…but maybe they will get a better read on some of their players and whether they're worth keeping.
  • …maybe they don't win again either…guess that's why they'll have to play the games!
  • Blake Martinez is becoming a good/very good ILB/MLB.  He doesn't miss many tackles; blitzes pretty good; has pretty good mobility and diagnosis ability.
  • Josh Jones is better suited to the in-box S/LB role than traditional deep safety ATT.  I'm not sure I'd call Josh Jones a safety per se or whether it really matters WRT a positional classification.  I do believe he's a player that needs to be on the field though and I also like seeing Brice on-field at the same time.
  • When Morgan Burnett gets healthy, the "Four Safety" line-up could become a common look.  I'm convinced #21, 27, 29, & 42 are four of the Packers better defensive players regardless of position.  Having them on-field together would be a good thing.
  • CM3, Perry, Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Martinez, HHCD, Burnett, Josh Jones, Kevin King, Davon House; or replace Lowry with Brice and play both Josh Jones and Burnett in the box.
  • Just got a Bleacher Report that Q. Rollins is on IR due to Achilles injury sustained vs Vikes.  Wonder if they'll use his roster spot for Vince Biegel?...does it matter?...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

10.11.17 - Four & one

  • I'll start out bullet style...easiest way to portray random thoughts about the game and season
  • Watched the Dal-GB game a second time just for the pure enjoyment...what a shootout!
  • Enough cannot be said about AR12; still hard to believe the Packers' have had such greatness at QB since Favre...Only the 49ers can say they've had back-to-back HOFers at QB
  • In shootout type games, if the defense can come-up with one or two big plays it can be the difference.  Say what you want about #23 Damarious Randell but that INT return was such a game changer...  I still don't know what to expect from Randell though.  He's very talented (physically) and has good ball skills.  Obviously he's immature...
  • I like the Packers' style of offense and how they're playing.  Obviously, AR12 is the key.  
  • Lane Taylor...he's becoming my favorite OL but I'd still rather see him at LG than LT
  • Aaron Jones...wow!  Now the Packers will have a real nice combo at RB 
  • I don't think the lack of game breaking speed at WR will hurt that much; besides, Jordy can still sneak deep on occasion as well as other players (Kendricks, GMo); the consistency of the passing attack has been apparent and will get a little better with time.  
  • Maintaining control of the ball is always a good thing; scoring is even better.
  • AR12 has a lot of toys at his disposal.  AR12 having 3 TEs to use is very interesting and they've got three that can catch the ball!
  • Yeah, Davante Adams is a stud...will Ted pay him Dez money?  Fortunately, the cap goes up next season, Ted will have roll-over $$ to spend on Davante, but will likely have to make decisions regarding Jordy & Cobb's 2018 cap numbers.  It's going to be hard from a cap perspective to pay huge contracts to three WRs...but they might be able to get away with it for one season.  Jordy's probably good for one more short term (e.g., 3 years) contract.  
  • Cobb hasn't been worth his contract payout the last couple of seasons but is is definitely valuable when healthy.  Extending Cobb a few seasons for cap relief is an option.
  • Whoever said that Mike McCarthy is a stale play caller / Offense Coordinator is clueless.
  • There's people out there who think Dom needs to go (i.e., be fired or needs to retire) I'm not one of them.  I'm not saying he's the best DC there is but I'm certain there are worse.  The grass isn't always greener on the other side.  I also prefer to stay with the "3-4" concept.
  • There's no doubt coaching plays a very important role in wins & losses but ultimately it's up to the players to make plays vs designed schemes that matters the most.
  • The defense needs Kevin King
  • I like Josh Hawkins but he's still very, very raw
  • I'm still amazed by the finish in Dallas...brilliant throw and catch for the win!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

10.4.17 - the defense's DBs & the front five

  • Here's an article from CheeseHeadTV that talks about Josh Hawkins' current opportunity for significant PT at the expense of D. Randall.  I've seen lots of opinions regarding what to do with Randall.  We'll see how things transpire... 
  • I've been intrigued with Josh Hawkins pretty much from the start.  I've read (don't have the link) where he patterns his game after Sam Shields.  Hawkins has good speed but he's not as fast as Sam was plus I think Sam's ball awareness was very good (CW's the best ever).
  1. CM3  
  2. Mike Daniels 
  3. Kenny Clark 
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Blake Martinez
  6. Josh Jones
  7. Morgan Burnett
  8. HHCD
  9. Kentrell Brice
  10. Kevin King
  11. Josh Hawkins / Davon House
It appears that using four safeties is becoming Capers' MO with this defense; I think it's a smart move & there's no doubt in my mind safety is the strength of the defense.  Josh Jones and Morgan Burnett are playing great in the box and Capers is scheme diverse for those guys.  It's also important that the defense can start out with two deep with HHCD & Brice and can also move these two around too.

I don't know if this four safety (4S) alignment is unique to the Packers or not but I don't remember the Packers ever using four at the same time.  I love it!  I think all four can/will be play-makers.

Because the Packers have four safeties good enough to start, they only need two CBs that can play the boundary.  Kevin King is obviously the RCB but IMO also the #1 CB.  The #2 is House when he's healthy and until then, it appears Josh Hawkins will get those fill-in snaps.

The front-five need to attack the ball/penetrate the LOS to cause as much disruption as quickly as possible.  The front-five includes an ILB/MLB type plus the front four.  The Packers consistently deploy a front four of 2 OLB and 2 DL or 1 DL plus 3 LB/EDGE guys.  

Can Blake Martinez be replaced with another LB (CM3?), Marwin Evans, or a 3rd CB?

Can Capers deploy CM3 as rover, Nick Perry at ROLB/edge, and three DL to encompass the front-five "heavy" -- the light version is 2 DL & 3 LB.  Here's my ranking of DL/LB

  1. CM3  
  2. Mike Daniels 
  3. Kenny Clark 
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Blake Martinez
  6. Ahmad Brooks
  7. #94 Dean Lowry
  8. #51 Kyler Fackrell
  9. Quinton Dial
  10. Montravious
  11. Ricky Jean
  12. Jake Ryan
  13. Joe Thomas
  14. Chris Odom
  15. Vince Biegel?...will he be off the PUP soon enough or will his rookie season be a wash-out?  Which player will Vince replace in the 14 above?  My guess is Ricky Jean unless the 3 DL is a standard or frequent deployment.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

10.3.17 - @ the 1/4 mark

  • A 3-1 record at this point is a good thing all things considered... It appears to me that ARod's patience has improved regarding accepting that using his quick-release is a good thing; that sustaining drives on a consistent basis is something he can do if he's focused on it.  It reinforces that he really can control games and help his defense out.
  • Playing four safeties -- HHCD, Burnett, Brice, and JJones -- is playing to a defensive strength and I love it!...plus they have depth with Marwin Evans
  • Starting four guards and a center...WOW...it worked!  TT's gut feeling on Lane Taylor is noteworthy because he's really playing good...and please no more OL injuries...
  • The offense is diverse and risk adverse because of ARod.  It'll be Jordy as his #1 & maybe it'll be Cobb @ #2...he's looking good ATT anyway.  Marty Bennett has had too many drops but I still think he's going to be a huge contributor the rest-of-the-way.  2-TE set will be a huge
  • Again, a  3-1 record at this point is a good thing all things considered... 
Coming up are two tough road games (Dallas & Minnesota)...very tough teams and very different.  Vikes defense is top 5 IMO & Dallas is all about their OL and Zeke running the rock.  Dallas will be a major challenge for the Packers defense to slow down, much less stop on a consistent basis.  The dynamic in Minnesota changes because of the injury to D. Cook...very unfortunate injury & significantly impacts their offense...he looked to be a very explosive runner.

The Pack will be extremely hard to beat if the defense limits its scoring allowed to the 17 pts range,
  • I think the 17 ppg/allowed is realistic IF the offense can control things and consistently score.
  • I think the offense is capable of scoring (at minimum) 26 ppg maybe 30.
If Cobb stays healthy...watch out, this offense will be exciting because of how he can be deployed...but he's already missed 1 game...and now Davante is in concussion protocol.  Jordy looks great...I like the 2-TE offense or even 3-TE.  Ty Montgomery has broke ribs?...not sure of his status for the Cowboys; Aaron Jones will likely be the #2 RB behind Monty.  Mays will be #3 

Monday, February 13, 2017

2.13.17 - Our pending FA & RFA plus dreaming outside FA?

There's an article @ Bleacher Report written on 2.13.17 by Gary Davenport that ranks the 2017 Free-Agent class by position.   It's an interesting read and covers the full-Monty.  The author states "it's a good year to be in the market for one of those pass-rushers."

Pass rusher will quickly become a huge need if the Packers lose two or more of their following u/rfa players: Nick Perry, Julius Peppers, Datone Jones, or Jayrone Elliott.

Pending 2017 FA (UFA/RFA) by position:

  1. Nick Perry - edge
  2. TJ Lang - G
  3. Jared Cook - TE
  4. Datone Jones - edge
  5. Jayrone Elliott - edge
  6. Julius Peppers - edge
  7. Micah Hyde - DB
  8. Eddie Lacy
  9. Demetri Goodson - CB
  10. Don Barclay - G/T
  11. JC Tretter - C/OL
  12. Christine Michael
  13. Jordan Tripp - LB/ST 

As I previously stated, maintaining a pass rusher presence is paramount; Micah Hyde should also be considered as a priority resign because of the amount of time he played in 2016 due to his veteran leadership and versatility. The only other pending defensive FA is Goodson and he might not be ready for 2017 camp because of the knee injury.

The above listing is my prioritization.  I'm indifferent WRT Christine Michael; would rather see Lacy back and also see if John Crockett can make a jump/return (I liked his spunk).  Doesn't matter to me whether they sign TJ or Nick first or second as long as they sign them both.  Barclay is strictly a back-up but maybe a decent veteran minimum back-up because he can play all the spots (like Tretter).  Only need to resign Tretter if TJ goes elsewhere.

Not being able to resign Nick Perry would be a bad thing; not sure what his open market value will be but acknowledge he'll be costly to retain.  Datone hopefully can be retained via a 1-year prove-it contract like Perry was for 2016.  I'd also love to have Peppers back and would take him over Datone.

Here's an "Ask Vic" question on 2.13.17:
Which free agent in the NFL should the Packers be aggressive to try to pick up in free agency?
I won’t brush off these types of questions this year. I acknowledge Aaron Rodgers’ career has reached the point that a premium needs to be put on the present, so if the Packers can find a difference-maker in free agency, I’ll sign off on taking a swing for the fence. Who is that player? We won’t know until the tags go out and potential free agents have re-signed with their current teams.
Read more: http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/article-insider-inbox/article-1/I-wont-brush-off-free-agent-questions/2ac1b956-f99e-4321-a938-26c47f89a266#ixzz4YbjyFYcn

Vic is right that before we can really speculate on "purchasing" outside FAs we need to know who they'll be and we're still a ways off on that.  I still think it's more important, especially going into 2017, to resign our own guys before thinking about outside guys...but they have recouped Sam Shields' $9m cap number and can/should use that for a veteran CB is one becomes available in FA.

That brings me back/full-circle to the Bleacher Report article.  In the article, Gary Davenport lists the following "top players available" at CB as: AJ Bouye (Texans), Trumaine Johnson (Rams), Stephon Gilmore (Bills), Morris Claiborne (Cowboys), and Captain Munnerlyn (Vikings).  Per Spotrac, there are currently nine CBs making $10m or more per season.  Bouye, Trumaine Johnson, Gilmore, and probably Claiborne will command that amount for 2017.

  • Trumaine Johnson was franchised in 2016 and would cost the Rams 120% of his 2016 contract to retain.  He's a big CB @ ~6'1"
  • Stephon Gilmore and Morris Claiborne are also intriguing
  • It's unlikely that all three hit the market
  • Bouye is the wild-card because he would be yet another high $$ investment for the Texans defense...but probably their top off-season priority too.  Bouye is 25.
  • I would resign Micah Hyde before Captain Munnerlyn.

Outside LB / Edge "top players available": Chandler Jones (Cardinals), Melvin Ingram (Chargers), Malcolm Smith (Raiders), Nick Perry (Packers), and Barkevious Mingo (Patriots).

Defensive End "top players available": Calais Campbell (Cardinals), Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants), Jabaal Sheard (Patriots), Andre Branch (Dolphins), and Devin Taylor (Lions).

  • Note: neither Julius Peppers or Datone Jones are listed in the "top players available" for OLB or DE...but Nick Perry is listed at Outside LB / Edge.  Perry is a must resign IMO...and slots $$ wise behind Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, Calais Campbell, and Jason Pierre-Paul.  The Packers also need to resign Julius Peppers or Datone Jones too...ideally both...but if they sign a 2nd premier Edge guy (i.e., Ingram or JPP) I'd be fine with that too.

Inside LB "top players available":  Dont'a Hightower (Patriots), Zach Brown (Bills), Lawrence Timmons (Steelers), Perry Riley (Raiders), and Gerald Hodges (49ers).  

  • I'd love any of the first three on the list but doubt those three will be available.
  • I would move CM3 back inside into the rover LB spot full-time / 100% of time.

Loved watching the 2016 season recap video:

Maybe in 2017 they'll be in the Super Bowl...hope springs eternal.

Go Pack Go!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

01.25.17 - Future at RB in 2017 -- other FA thoughts from an offensive perspective

Snippet from Rob Demovsky:


Eddie Lacy says he wants to come back, but at what price?
Ty Montgomery looks like a full-time running back, but can he handle more than a dozen carries per game -- something he did only once this past season after he converted from receiver
And who knows what’s in the future for James Starks, who hasn’t played since he suffered a concussion in a Dec. 12 car crash, or in-season pickup Christine Michael.
It’s why Lacy, whose rookie contract is set to expire, will be one of the Packers’ most important decisions in free agency.
==[end snippet]==
I think the above statements (by Demovsky) are reasonable at this time.  One thing I believe is we'll have three RBs (not including Ripkowski, who I like very much as a FB & occasionally with the ball).  Ty Montgomery is a given and definitely part of the equation at RB (wish he could keep his #88 as a RB).

I would cut James Starks.  I would consider resigning Christine Michael for veteran's minimum as the 3rd RB.  If not, then they'll either have to draft somebody (not a bad option) or bring in a FA, UDFA, one of their practice squad guys, or maybe even bring John Crockett back (2016 IR).

When last seen around the facility, he looked at least as big as he was at this time last year, when coach Mike McCarthy called him out publicly for being overweight. Perhaps the Packers and Lacy would agree on a short-term deal similar to the two-year, $6 million contract Starks signed last offseason. 2016 pay: $867,602 base salary, no bonuses
==[end snippet]==
I'd love to see Eddie Lacy resigned for the 2nd part of the equation at RB.  I suppose the key to resigning him the the financial aspect...what amount will Eddie resign for is the question.  I think he's worth considerably more than what they offered Starks...maybe in the ~$9-10m range but that's just a WAG at this point.  I think anything less than that is good for the Packers.

Demovsky also discusses other offensive players that are pending 2017 FAs (TJ Lang, Jared Cook, JC Tretter, and Don Barclay).  It's highly unlikely the Packers can/will resign all four of these guys. Barclay is JAG but might be worth while to resign as a bench player for minimum salary.  Jarred Cook is pretty much a must sign but the $$ needs to be reasonable for cap purposes.  I'd definitely resign TJ Lang who IMO is the #1 guy that needs to be resigned from an offensive perspective.

Bottom Line: resign TJ Lang, Jared Cook, and Eddie Lacy.

Defense is next to look at...at another time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1.24.17 - Things I think about the Packers after being blown-out

So much for posting more frequently...LOL.

OK, so it's now Tuesday, 1.24.17 which is a good ~40+ hours after the Packers were massacred in Atlanta.  I haven't posted anything in the CHTV blog responses regarding the loss.  No doubt the loss was hard for Packers' fans to deal with and witness.  Lots of scathing comments...  On the media end, Bob McGinn posted his usual ratings piece...and he was definitely scathing with his comments!

For example: STARS OF THE GAME: 1. T.J. Lang; 2. Jordy Nelson; 3. Don Barclay

OK, so he rates Don Barclay as the 3rd star...wow, that says alot.  Granted Barclay played much better than I expected and had to play quite a few snaps but it speaks volumes that nobody else was worthy of McGinn's star label.  His bottom line (last) sentence about Aaron Rodgers was: "Super Bowl berths are hard to achieve with a franchise quarterback playing well below par."

Yeah, not Aaron's best game during the 'run the table' stretch but he didn't have a ton of help from the skill position players either (sans Jordy early on, and Cook).  Cobb made a few plays but was mostly quiet during the game.  Devonte Adams couldn't do much with his bum ankle.  Monty only played 23 snaps due to injury.  Ripkowski's lost fumble was a killer...but I still love the kid!

The Falcons obviously killed the Packers with an air assault that was lightning quick (typically 1.5 - 2.0 seconds before pass release by Matt Ryan) and lethal -- especially on 3rd down.  Julio Jones was unstoppable...and I was expecting that from him because his talent level as a WR is #1 at this time IMO...the combination of his size, speed, strength, and hands is too much for top tier CBs to handle much less Ladarious Gunter or Damarious Randall.

Speaking of Damarious Randall, to say he had a rough and very inconsistent season would be an understatement.  However, he did flash a few times during the year, especially vs the Seahawks.  The deep ball interception show-cased his centerfield ability...but he was drafted to play CB and he really regressed in 2016 compared to his 2015 rookie campaign.  He consistently provided 5-10 yards of cushion which typically resulted in easy completions against him.  He also got caught peaking into the backfield by looking to see where the QB was going with the ball which also resulted in easy completions against him...several big gainers and/or TDs.

I don't think there's any question that the Packers' biggest need going into the 2017 season will be getting more talent at CB for 2017.  Sam Shields says he still wants to play...  I think even if Shields wants to play they'll need to add more talent to the CB position.  Here's the final listing for CBs on the roster for the Falcons game:

36 Gunter, LaDarius CB 6-2 20124 2 Miami
28 Hawkins, Josh CB 5-10 18924 R East Carolina
23 Randall, Damarious CB 5-11 19624 2 Arizona State
24 Rollins, Quinten CB 5-11 19524 2 Miami (Ohio)
26 Waters, Herb CB 6-0 18824 R Miami
33 Hyde, Micah DB 6-0 19726 4 Iowa

Wow...that looks brutal from an experience perspective...talent level needs improvement too!  Only reason both Hawkins and Waters were on the 53 man was due to injuries.  Available roster spots: 2

Injured reserve and practice squad:

37 Shields, Sam CB 5-11 18429 7 Miami
20 Dorleant, Makinton CB 5-11 18224 R Northern Iowa
39 Goodson, Demetri CB 5-11 19727 3 Baylor
31 Benwikere, Bené CB 5-11 19625 3 San Jose State

I hope the Packers let Shields come back if he wants to.  I'd still try to renegotiate his contract if he comes back and would prefer not to cut him if he wants to play.  If Shields comes back they still should draft a CB as early as possible...maybe even double-down at the position.  I also think they should continue to carry six CBs (including Micah Hyde or some other veteran FA).

Hyde is a pending 2017 FA.  I would consider paying him low-end starter's money because of his role in nickel/dime packages.  They shouldn't resign Goodson (pending FA).  Didn't see enough of Makinton Dorleant to determine his worth.

Quick look at the safety listing:

29 Brice, Kentrell S 5-11 20022 R Louisiana Tech
42 Burnett, Morgan S 6-1 20928 7 Georgia Tech
21 Clinton-Dix, Ha Ha S 6-1 20824 3 Alabama
25 Evans, Marwin S 5-11 21123 R Utah State

I actually like the safety group quite a bit.  Granted, the Packers need Cliton-Dix to step-up even more than he did (I think he deserved his pro-bowl spot) but overall, I was very happy with him and Morgan Burnett because they're turning into quite a good safety tandem.  Like many fans, I also like Brice and think he's got a bright future.  Marwin Evans dropped a gift wrapped interception from Matt Ryan that could've kept 7 points off the board.

The Packers obviously have needs at other positions.  Number two on my positions of needs list is at LB, where there are three pending 2017 FAs with Julius Peppers, Nick Perry, and Datone Jones.

95 Jones, Datone DE/LB 6-4 28526 4 UCLA
91 Elliott, Jayrone LB 6-3 25525 3 Toledo
51 Fackrell, Kyler LB 6-5 24525 R Utah State
50 Martinez, Blake LB 6-2 23723 R Stanford
52 Matthews, Clay LB 6-3 25530 8 Southern California
56 Peppers, Julius LB 6-7 28737 15 North Carolina
53 Perry, Nick LB 6-3 26526 5 Southern California
47 Ryan, Jake LB 6-2 24024 2 Michigan
48 Thomas, Joe LB 6-1 22725 2 South Carolina State
58 Tripp, Jordan LB 6-3 23425 3 Montana

Jayrone Elliott will also be a FA in 2017 but he's of the RFA variety.  He's a very good ST player so I'd probably make him an offer (lowest tender).  Perry will cost (and be worth) the most money.  I'd offer Datone a prove-it deal and bring back Peppers (at a reduced rate) if he still wants to play.  

Jordan Tripp is certainly replaceable (and should be) and probably Joe Thomas too.   Available roster spots: 2 

I'd draft another edge rusher and I'd use CM3 strictly in the rover role (his best role).  I didn't see enough from Kyler Fackrell to determine his worth or potential...but I'm hopeful.  If Fackrell can become a starter it'll be huge, especially if he can be moved around like CM3 can.

Offensive skill positions:

32 Michael, Christine RB 5-10 22026 4 Texas A&M
88 Montgomery, Ty RB 6-0 21624 2 Stanford
44 Starks, James RB 6-2 21830 7 Buffalo
89 Cook, Jared TE 6-5 25429 8 South Carolina
82 Rodgers, Richard TE 6-4 25725 3 California
17 Adams, Davante WR 6-1 21524 3 Fresno State
81 Allison, Geronimo WR 6-3 20223 R Illinois
18 Cobb, Randall WR 5-10 19226 6 Kentucky
11 Davis, Trevor WR 6-1 18823 R California
83 Janis, Jeff WR 6-3 21925 3 Saginaw Valley State
13 McCaffrey, Max WR 6-2 20022 R Duke
87 Nelson, Jordy WR 6-3 21731 9 Kansas State
40 Kerridge, Joe FB 6-0 24524 R Michigan
22 Ripkowski, Aaron FB 6-1 24624 2 Oklahoma
Injured reserve:
27Lacy, Eddie         RB5-11234264Alabama

14 offensive skill position players is a doable number.

RB - Both Starks and Christine Michael should be replaced and I'd bring back Eddie Lacy on a prove-it deal.

Max McCaffrey will almost certainly be replaced...but not sure they'll keep 7 WRs again.

TE/FB are treated similarly by McCarthy.  Jared Cook is a priority 2017 FA.

Ted Thompson's mantra is draft & the coaches develop.  Has signed two future HOF players via FA (Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers), other notable signing was Ryan Pickett.  No busts in FA based-on an expenditure perspective.

The Packers lost Casey Hayward via FA and should get a compensatory pick for him (5th?).

I'm not sure if the Packers will receive a draft pick from the Bills for the OLB we traded to them.  If so, that'll be an additional 7th round pick.  That would make nine total picks for Ted.

Speaking of Ted, I've been reading/hearing internet reporting/opines from the media and definitely blogs/tweets regarding Ted Thompson's future.  Expectations, wants, and WAGs abounded with the desired outcome of Ted stepping into a senior scouting role and somebody like Elliot Wolf assuming the GM role.  Other options could be John Dorsey (a long time favorite of mine for GM), possibly raiding Seattle, or maybe even Brian Gutekunst, Director of Player Personnel.  I'd be good with Elliot, John, or Brian taking over...or John Schneider.