Hey guys, thanks for stopping by today. The Packers didn't really have any other options yesterday. Julius Peppers and Datone Jones were healthy, but Jayrone Elliott (hand) had a club by the end of the game. Kyler Fackrell is still hurt. Nick Perry was out. There just weren't a lot of choices if Clay didn't play a few snaps.
I say true, this year's team will only go as far as the defense will take them. If the pass rush vanishes in the coming weeks — Perry, Matthews, Elliott all hurt — or if the secondary collapses, then the Packers will be in big trouble against a good playoff QB. Their best cornerback right now is LaDarius Gunter, a player who hadn't even really played at this point last season. Damarious Randall has been very inconsistent after a strong rookie season. He seems to be making mistakes in coverage and shying away from tackles. When he does square up to hit, he gets bowled over like we saw a couple times yesterday. Quinten Rollins has bounced back pretty well after a really bad stretch of play in the middle of the year. It's interesting because all three — Gunter, Randall and Rollins — have been benched at least once this season.
I'm not sure if they're ready to play him at corner, but it's pretty clear they like him on special teams. He was active instead of CB Josh Hawkins yesterday. Hawkins had been a key special teams contributor all season. Dorleant must give them something they like better. Both guys are undrafted free agents. I've seen him take a few reps in practice, but it hasn't correlated to game time. He did take the field at the end of the first half yesterday for that hail mary heave by Barkley. But that was just because they wanted as many DBs as possible.
Thanks Ben, appreciate it. It certainly seems like Montgomery could be a regular contributor at RB. The two questions I have are 1) Can he hold up for a full season if he were to average 15 carries per game and 2) How many times would he fumble as a full-time running back over the course of 16 games. Montgomery has had some fumbling issues at times during his first two years. He's been much better in recent weeks, though.
Offensively: Continue to avoid turnovers like they've been doing and score points in the first quarter to help their defense. Defensively: Put heat on the opposing quarterback to help a struggling secondary and don't bite on play-action fakes, which has been a problem at times this season.
I don't know the extent of Cobb's ankle injury but I saw him in the training room after the game. However, he has underachieved all season relative to other slot receivers in the league. I did a few comparisons last night on the way home from Chicago. Just three games with 60+ receiving yards this season and only one since Oct. 20. That doesn't cut it when you get paid as much as Cobb does.
Before Eliot can be offered a job he would have to interview, and Ted Thompson has a history of denying interviews for his subordinates. Eliot was the first choice for the Lions' GM job last year but was not allowed to interview. Thompson and the Packers denied the request.
I can get on board with this theory.
I'm not sure what stories you've been reading but I have not been "making an issue" about Randall getting benched. It makes no difference to me who gets benched and who plays. Randall was playing poorly, and the coaches went in a different direction. Joe Whitt expressed regret about not playing Gunter against the San Diego Chargers last year. That was the only time I heard him make such a comment. That was the game in which Keenan Allen destroyed the Packers and had the chance to break Packers opponent franchise records if he didn't get hurt. Whitt wanted Gunter's jamming ability against those receivers. That was the only time I heard him say it.
I can't comment on every penalty that occurs around the league, but you're right, some of them are silly and needless. However, some of them are necessary. If you have a choice between holding a defensive end or allowing Aaron Rodgers to take one in the chest, you hold the defensive end and take the penalty. On a punt return, if you have a choice between blocking your man in the back or allowing Micah Hyde to get absolutely drilled when he isn't looking, you block your man in the back and take the penalty. So while some of the penalties are needless, some actually do serve a purpose.
Matt Barkley played a tremendous game for a career backup QB. Even if you count his interceptions it was still a tremendous game given the conditions. What did he do? He picked apart a questionable secondary, so in that regard I think it is something the Packers need to be worried about moving forward. There's no question this secondary can be picked apart in certain situations.
Hey Mike, I think this is a misconception. Or maybe other writers have made different comments than what I've said from the beginning. Montgomery is not small. He is proper size for a running back position. But as a wide receiver he is used to getting tackled maybe 10 times a game at most, and most of those tackles are by smaller players like corners and safeties. It's a totally different feeling to run between the tackles and get smashed 15 times a game by defensive linemen and linebackers. Think of it this way: If you weighed the same as Eddie Lacy and both of you got 15 carries yesterday, I think you'd be a little worse for wear than Lacy, whose body is accustomed to taking lots of hits each week. So it's not Montgomery's weight or size that I questioned, it's his durability due to inexperience.
I don't think the Packers have one specific person whose job is to advise McCarthy on game management situations, so most of it falls on him. However, other coaches can certainly chime in on the headset if they have ideas.
I'm not really capable of diagnosing his technique or anything like that. But the one thing I have noticed is an inability to create separation. He rarely gets open anymore relative to other receivers. I'm not sure if that's a skill thing, a technique thing or something else. But that's just my eye-test evaluation.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is not among the most media-friendly guys on the team. That doesn't mean he's rude or a jerk or anything. It just means he doesn't enjoy the interview process as much as other players. However, he's made an effort this season to be more open with the media than he was last year. That's something he's talked about before. He cares deeply about football, and his teammates like/respect him.
Thank you very much. It was actually pretty funny because when the Packers put 3 WR to one side of the formation I turned to Bob McGinn and said, "Here it is, watch for the crossing route or short curl by Jordy." And sure enough he crossed from left to right and Rodgers threw it to him for a completion. I think it gained a first down. It's tough to defend.
Trevor Davis seems to be deep in the dog house at this point. He's been a healthy scratch the last two (or maybe three) weeks, and that's never a good sign. I was a little surprised McCarthy didn't try the jet sweep with Janis against the Bears. I wonder if it had anything to do with the field conditions. Soldier Field isn't known for great footing, although it was very good yesterday.
Can't comment on his game overall because I have not re-watched the tape yet. But I can definitely say that he is a poor blocker. He misses blocks every game. The Packers do not have a good blocking tight end on the roster. Cook is not great either.
I see it playing out similarly to yesterday. Montgomery will be the starter the rest of the season, and Michael will come in for a handful of attempts each game with the hope that he can break a big one.
Mike Zimmer is a fiery coach. You know he was pissed and probably embarrassed about his team's performance at home yesterday. They will come into Lambeau ready to play, in my opinion. And technically they are still alive in the playoff race, so Zimmer will stress that all week I'm sure. They came here in Week 17 last year and won. They won't be afraid.
Absolutely not. It's on you guys if you don't like the Backstreet Boys. They have nothing but jams.
I agree with everything in this question. Montgomery is tremendous from what we've seen so far. Color me extremely impressed. But I want a larger sample size. How would he hold up in a full 16-game season? That's something we don't know yet. I also think bringing back Lacy at a bargain rate, if possible, is not a bad idea. He was playing very, very well before he got hurt.
Yes and no. It's huge that the Packers have those wins on their resume, but the Giants and Lions didn't find their grooves until midseason, more or less. So did the Packers beat two teams at their best? Or did they beat two teams who hadn't figured it out? Flip the script: The Packers are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. But were any of their losses quality wins for the opposition? Or was it before the Packers figured things out? Hard to say.
From what I've seen, Gunter is the only CB who can play aggressive press coverage effectively on a regular basis. I agree with that.
He hurt his hand and came back on special teams with a giant club. He had a cast on the hand after the game. Nick Perry lasted five plays with a club on his hand against Houston, so I wasn't surprised they kept Elliott off the field on defense.
I'm a grammar nut, so yes.
Reported by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. You need to read our paper more!
It's not open as often when the Packers play a ton of man coverage, which would be their preference if Shields is on the field. Instead, they've played a lot more zone this year. Zone coverages have soft spots, and the middle of the field can be one of them. That's why you hear announcers use the phrase "find the soft spot in the zone" or "sat down in the zone" fairly often during broadcasts.
All right, guys. That's all I've got for you today. Thank you very much for stopping by. See you all soon. Happy Holidays!