Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. I'm live at Lambeau Field, ready for some Packers talk while the Brewers and Cubs start off. Plenty to chat about after yesterday's 22-0 win.
The Packers signed him midway through the week. Just not enough time to get ready. I'd expect him to be active in Detroit.
Mike McCarthy has always considered the season as a whole when deciding how many snaps and touches to give a running back in a given week. His goal has always been for the first four weeks to not subtract from the last four weeks. That's how he used Eddie Lacy in the days when he was a featured back, and the Packers always had Lacy at his best for the stretch run. I suspect McCarthy is doing the same with Aaron Jones. Not saying he shouldn't get more carries, but the most important thing is for Jones to be fresh in December. It seems McCarthy believes limiting his play time now will pay off in the long run.
The interception he made yesterday was a vastly better play than the first two, which were practically gift wrapped. Ha Ha made a great break on the ball, and it was a difficult catch given his crash with Kelvin Benjamin. Other than the two easy picks, he didn't play well in the first three weeks. It's too early to say he's officially turned a corner, but yesterday was a promising sign.
I think it had way more to do with playing the Bills putrid offensive line and a rookie quarterback who had that deer-in-the-headlights look for four quarters. Go back and look at the Bills protection woes throughout the season. The Chargers sacked Josh Allen five times. The Vikings got to him three times WITHOUT Everson Griffen. The Ravens got to him three times despite Allen only playing half the game and throwing 15 passes. They haven't protected the kid one bit, and he hasn't helped himself any. Yes, seven sacks are a lot, but the Packers had almost no pass rush against more experienced quarterbacks and better offensive lines. If they go out and get after Matthew Stafford, that could change how I look at it. Right now, I think yesterday just underscored how bad the Bills are in protection.
It was strange. Really strange. I was standing there in the press box during the national anthem wondering if anyone else thought it was strange, and sure enough, I wasn't alone. In case you missed it, the banner looked like the French flag turned sideways with stars over the blue stripe. They had less field to work with because of the Badgers marching band. Regardless, my suggestion would be they use a smaller, actual American flag to cover a quarter of the field, rather than whatever it was they used instead.
You know what I saw yesterday? Poor execution. Five drops. Bad turnovers. I don't know how good or bad the game plan was, but I do know it wasn't executed well. And no game plan has a chance without execution. Just how I saw it during the game.
If there's a rift between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy, I'm sure it's no secret to either party. I'm never going to criticize and athlete for speaking his mind. Since, you know, that kinda helps me do my job.
So, here we go. I think it's a byproduct of two massive egos -- and rightfully massive egos, to be sure -- being together too long. As our columnist Pete Dougherty wrote today, they always chalk it up to creative friction. At what point is it simply two talented people who can't get on the same page? Are we at that point now? I'm not sure we can answer the second question yet, but we're at least getting close to considering the possibility. Is it still possible for them to turn their relationship around? I suppose it is. But in order to stay connected, they're going to have to. It'll be interesting to see the damage control from this. If their relationship can be salvaged, would think it has to start today.
Well, the question the Packers have to ask is this: if not Mike McCarthy, then who? You don't just fire a coach without believing you can find someone better. I'm not much of a believer in change for change's sake. That said, let's be real here: so long as Aaron Rodgers is in his prime and playing quarterback, the Packers are going to be contenders.
Yeah, there are a lot of things the flag code says that aren't necessarily followed. Pretty sure you're not supposed to wear American flag clothing either. Regardless, I think people want to see an actual American flag, not a patriotic banner. That'd be my guess anyway.
He had five sacks before yesterday. In two years combined. I'd hold the horses on that notion.
He had a clutch third-down catch for first down, too. I think the Packers are going to stick with him. For now.
Haven't even gotten there yet, honestly.
The Packers could go in a couple directions. Perhaps more multiple tight end sets. If not, that's when you start not only seeing Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but either J'Mon Moore or EQ St. Brown.
Because they think Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice are better.
Yeah, if things go really south in a hurry, there's no question Mike McCarthy's job is on the line. And the reason you know that is because his contract only extends through 2019. Job security is as long as the contract in this business. That said, there's a long way to go.
Haven't gone back and looked at the film yet, so I'm not sure. But Byron Bell wasn't a problem yesterday. At times, Justin McCray has been a problem. So you're probably onto something.
As I see it, there are two primary possibilities. Either September is the new preseason -- let's not forget the starting offense got all of six snaps in August -- and the Packers will round into form in a week or two, or the offense is just going to be what it is, which is underwhelming. I don't know we know yet. We'll know soon though.
Well, Mike McCarthy ain't no dummy. He's got to praise his quarterback. The moment he poisons that relationship is the moment his tenure ends. As far as Rodgers' perspective, yes, he apparently is that unhappy.
They've been overall very healthy, yes. Still 12 games to go. A lot can change, and quickly. But, goodness, this team is due for some good luck with health.