No, they're done for the year, the Packers already used their IR-designated return on CB Mackinton Dorleant. I don't have any inside information, but it seems pretty unlikely Shields will play again. Last year he missed a month with a concussion, then this year in the first game on a normal-looking tackle he suffers a concussion that ends his season. That's a bad progression. I doubt the Packers would risk bringing him back -- what are the chances he'd make it through a season healthy? -- and I don't see why he'd want to play again. He played three years of a four-year, $40M contract, so he's made about $30M. Why would you risk your brain health if you're him? I know I wouldn't.
I have no idea on that. I'd think the injuries are spread evenly. It does seem like offenses find their identity and improve their timing, etc., as the season goes on. At least that's my general perception. But that might be a misperception, and maybe some defenses go through the same thing.
I don't see McCarthy firing Capers, from what I can tell he has all the respect in the world for him. The secondary has had its issues, no question, but there's a good argument that over the past few years their CB coach, Joe Whitt, has been one of their best position coaches. He developed Shields and Tramon Williams, among others. Maybe there's something going on behind the scenes, a staff chemistry issue, that could lead to a change. But absent that, I don't see it. The sense I get is that Whitt is highly thought of at the Lambeau offices.
I can not. Detroit easily can win this game. The Lions have a good quarterback who's having his best season, he's carrying that team. They're going to have a great home-field advantage, if Washington wins earlier in the day this will be a de facto playoff game, so the Lions' starving fan base will be wild. This will be a very tough game.
Some of it is, that's the NFL. Around the league every week there are games where a team gets up big a decent margin, and then in the fourth quarter the other team comes back. Urgency on offense, trying to avoid giving up the big play on defense contribute to that. But the Packers' secondary and pass rush have had big issues at times, too. No question. That's why I think CB especially and outside rusher are big priorities for the offseason. The Shields loss has been more costly than I would have guessed.
I don't think so. Seems like whenever this offense is at its best, it starts with the short passing game and then everything plays off that. This year is a prime example. What got the offense going finally was going with receiver-heavy packages and throwing short, rhythm routes. Then it's evolved from there, until last week, when they were hitting a lot of 10- to 30-yard plays. But the quick-rhythm stuff still is the foundation of the offense.
I didn't see any of his press conferences this week, only read the transcripts, so I don't know. Haven't talked to any reporters who have said he's been unusually testy. Those things ebb and flow during the season, sometimes he's terse and testy, sometimes not. At least judging by the transcript today it looked like he was loose, sounded like he was joking with some of the reporters.
I'm not ruling out anything. Dallas is the clear NFC favorite in my mind because of all its talent on offense. I'm not sure how good Atlanta is, have to ask around about that. I know Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are playing great, and the run game is pretty good. Not sure about the D. The way the Packers are playing on offense, they have a chance against anybody. The question is as you suggest, can the D hold up well enough? I wouldn't bet on them to win the NFC, but I wouldn't call them anything like a long-shot either. Continued good offense, a few good bounces, and who knows?
Bob McGinn did a column on this a few weeks ago, and I agree wholeheartedly. Hayward is having a great year, and good for him. He seemed like a good man the little I knew of him in the locker room. But I don't blame the Packers for letting him walk. You can't pay everybody, and he'd had his share of injuries, and while he was a good player, he didn't play like he is this year. The Packers had two high picks (Randall and Rollins) they had to get on the field, they'd shown promise and the team had to find out about them. Hard to foresee the Shields injury. They also liked Gunter as the No. 4 CB. So I don't blame them for a second for letting Hayward walk. As I said, you can't pay everybody, so you have to make some hard choices. I'd have done what they did.
Yeah, I've heard of it, would have to look it up to remember how it works, know it has something to do with giving two guys' choices on penalty for a crime, and how it's easy to make the wrong choice because you don't trust the other guy. But yeah, these teams will be playing to win.
Yes, this is Thompson's roster. If he missed on either of those picks, it's on him. I still think Randall is a talented player, and he's shown glimpses. We'll see how he plays for the rest of the season, however long that is. Rollins hasn't shown as much as I thought he would. The season's not over yet. But as I've said a couple times, I'd say CB is the highest of several offseason priorities.
I still think Randall will end up being better than Gunter, but we'll see, maybe he won't. I could see signing a free agent CB, even a mid-level veteran just for depth, but as you note, that hasn't been Ted Thompson's way. Maybe one of his subordinates will convince him to be different this offseason.
I'd guess because in college you can recruit, so Alabama is getting top-tier guys at almost every position and can overwhelm opponents with their overall talent, especially on defense. Guys like Wenz are diamonds in the rough and just take off sometime in college. And top QB prospects probably want to go to a school where they're going to throw a lot. Alabama's a run-oriented offense. That's my off-the-cuff guess.
No, I doubt we have much affect on decisions. But we still can make our own judgments, that's what I meant. The team will do what it does, but we can agree or disagree.
Yeah, I'd think this is it for him. He was a really good signing, has helped this team a lot, a rare talent indeed. And if they're going to do something special from here on, he'll probably have to play a role in it. But Father Time ....
I'm sure he would. He won titles in '61 and '62, and then didn't play in the championship either of the next two years. I'm sure some fans would have been wondering how he couldn't have won those titles too, with all the talent he had.
OK, went way overtime but have to go now. Thanks for all the great questions, always good talking with you. We'll end on a question about this week's game. Yeah, I could see attacking him early to test his leg, see how well he's running and how the injury will hold up. He's definitely a guy to keep on eye on this week, first to see if he plays, then how he plays if he does. Thanks again everybody. Take care and talk with you soon.