Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Noon Thursday, Sept. 29

  • What actually happens to the Packers when they have large leads? Why not turn Aaron Rodgers loose and keep scoring? Something must happen because the loss of big leads occurs again and again.
  • Hi everybody, let's get started. Probably the mind-set of a team changes, probably more subconsciously than consciously. You definitely want to see a team step on its opponent's throat when it gets ahead like that, so that's something they need to combat. But I don't think it's that unusual for teams in the NFL to come back, either. Even the Bears kind of came back against Dallas on Monday night, not to the degree Detroit did, but still, the Bears are not a good team and at least kind of got back into it. But yeah, when teams are really good or playing very well, they get a lead like that and put the game away for keeps.
  • Pete...what's the difference between a team waiving a player and releasing a player?
  • I think I have this right. When a player is waived it means he's subject to the waiver wire. So for now, the only players subject to waivers are players with less than four accrued seasons. Players with more than four accrued seasons can sign with anyone they want; players subject to waivers can be claimed by any team, and if not claimed then can sign with anyone. After the trade deadline, the players with more than four years then are subject to waiver claims also, if I remember correctly.
  • Is it too early to say Quinten Rollins is a bust? It looks like he doesnt have the quickness or instinct to keep up with receivers? Also is it just me or did the packers not get that much pressure on stafford without Clay Mathews even with Perry's big game?
  • Definitely wouldn't say that about Rollins at this point. He played basketball in college until his BB eligibility was used up, so he's only played two-plus years of football since high school. If you mean Randall, who's been smoked several times in each of the last two weeks, I'd still argue no. He's given up far more than you'd want or expect, but I still think he's a really good, quick-twitch athlete with good ball skills. Let's see how he's playing in November and December. But yeah, he's had two really, really rough weeks. That can happen to young CBs in the NFL though, tough position to play. We'll keep an eye on him.
  • Why can't McCarthy see that Lacy does much better with Rodgers under center, taking the handoff after he has got himself moving toward a pre-determined hole, as opposed to taking the handoff from a dead-stop in the shotgun where he has to decide or dechipher which path to take. Do you find McCarthy's dominant "finesse" personality to be a hindrance to Lacy's success as an alpha power running back? Talk is cheap...but McCarthy has a wealth of it.
  • I'm sure McCarthy is well aware of it, but there are other considerations, ie, the passing game. Rodgers probably likes playing out the shotgun much better because it's better for reading defenses, etc. So it's going to have to be a mix of shotgun and under center. And maybe McCarthy will come more to your way of thinking and do more under center. But it does hinder the passing game.
  • How young and deep the Packers are in secondary, that was a storyline going into the season. Lately, with Shields out, the storyline has shifted more towards how many big plays the same secondary has given up. What is your take on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's play during these first three games? I was kinda expecting him to be more of a difference maker in the pass defense this season.
  • your observation is right Robin, but the one thing I'd say is it's a long season, and one of the reasons for going young is that young players improve more over the course of the season. So kind of along the lines of what I was saying about Randall and Rollins applies to Clinton-Dix, though he's in his third year, so it's time for some bigger results from him soon. He looks pretty good to me overall but hasn't made any big plays yet and hasn't been the difference maker you and I thought he might be at this point. But it's still pretty early in the season so let's give it a few more weeks to see if he starts making some big plays.
  • Do you think janis gets a lot of playing time at wr once he gets club off? when I saw davis doing some things on sunday I couldnt help but think that should be janis. I think he will bring alot to the group and will play well when not having to be the primary receiver with jordy back.
  • I don't know, he's got a lot of bodies to get over, he's been out as far as playing receiver for a long time, missed all the preseason games and at least three regular season games. He was doing only OK at best when he got hurt. Looked pretty interesting in the offseason stuff but then suffered from some drops in camp and wasn't making plays downfield like he did in offseason. So he's going to have to play well in practice to get his chance. They could use his speed though, both for taking short crossing routes for long gains and on deep routes. Same with Trevor Davis.
  • How come no one is giving TT credit for his spectacular move getting rid of josh sitton, taylor looks just as good if not better especially in the run game
  • Yeah, I heard from a lot of people criticizing Thompson in a big way, and ripping my defense of the move, but haven't heard from any of those people for the last few weeks. Taylor has been better early than I would have expected and I'm sure there are some rough days ahead against guys he doesn't match up against as well. But yeah, hard to argue there's any difference in the offense because of that move.
  • How many years do we have to wait for the corners to do there job? Is it Capers scheme or Whitt's coaching?
  • I think Whitt has done a really good job in his time here developing corners. I addressed the Rollins/Randall stuff earlier. Maybe the season will prove me wrong, but I still think those young CBs are talented and will be playing much better sooner rather than later. Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see.
  • Why don't the Packers get Eddie Lacy 20 plus carries a game? I think Starks is used way too much. Lacy only has 42 carries this year and should be well over 60. MM play calling and personnel decisions are very reflective of his stubborn attitude. It seems like the Packers have lost the rhythm on offense because MM unwillingness to be creative. Open up the passing attack with running lacy or screens to him. If Rodgers is in a groove, keep him going on quick hitters to set up the long ball.
  • They want to keep Lacy fresh for late in the game and late in the season. Generally I'd say that's sound thinking. But a guy like Lacy probably needs the carries to allow his physical style to wear on a defense. So I'm beginning to to come around to your way of thinking.
  • Fisrt of all thanks for these awseome chats i really love your in depth answers! Secondly, Do you think the offence showed enough against the Lions that we shouldnt be nervous anymore?
  • That's the big question, because that will determine how the season goes and ultimately how far this team goes. I'd say last week's game bodes well for the offense, it could be a huge step toward finding the offense's identity and getting Rodgers back to an MVP-type player. But one game doesn't do it, it's something they're going to have to show over the next several weeks or more. But my take was that it bodes well. They returned to a more pure West Coast, quick-rhythm offense, and then let the big-play stuff come off that.
  • Will u be watching football on Sun. afternoon? or avoiding it? Anything new on Sam Shields progress on concussion protocol? We're really missing his coverage ability.
  • I'll watch a lot of football. Might DVS so I don't have to sit through the commercials, that's brutal. But it's a rare chance for me to watch other teams, I don't get a lot of that during the season because Sunday is a full day's work most weeks. Haven't heard much on Shields. As you know, NFL teams are secretive on injury info, and the Packers aren't saying much. McCarthy has been saying that he expects Shields back and suggesting it could be right after or shortly after the bye. But this is his fourth concussion in the NFL and fifth going back to college, so there have to be long-term concerns there also.
  • Hi Pete. I still can't figure out why TT passed on CJ Spiller. We have no speed in the backfield and he would have been ideal. Any ideas why we wouldn't want him?
  • I wonder the same thing. They definitely could use a little more explosiveness back there. Last week they needed to promote a DL (Price) because of the injuries there, but they still could sign Spiller and cut someone else. I still doubt that anyone would put Joe Callahan on their 53 if the Packers cut him, but they obviously think differently. They do also need to open a spot for Pennel after next week's game -- he's eligible to come off his suspension then. But I agree, I think they could use Spiller.
  • Hey Pete. I was noticing that all of Jordy's TDs so far this season have come from inside the 20, and it got me to thinking that perhaps the biggest effect his loss last season was as a red-zone option. In close losses to the Bears and the Vikes, we had good chances late in the game to take the lead or tie, but failed deep in enemy territory. I think this had a bigger effect on our offense than the lack of a deep ball threat. Thoughts?
  • A good point. He's a big receiver, 6-3, that's a nice, big target, and he's really good at finding openings when Rodgers stretches out plays by moving around. The deep threat is a big thing too. But after last season McCarthy said they missed Nelson as much as a guy over the middle as they did as a deep threat, and that goes to your point.
  • Hi Pete, my question is ,the Packers want to get the playmakers on the field. Why don't they try Montgomery at tight end ? He can stretch the field and is a great yac guy.
  • He's way too small to play at TE, he's 216 pounds, decent sized for a receiver but tight ends need to be, I don't know, at least 235, and preferably closer to 250, and also at least 6-3 and preferably 6-4 or more. But that doesn't mean they couldn't go four WRs more than they do, and that would allow Montgomery to get on the field. So if that's what you mean, I agree, I think that could be a bigger offensive package than they've been showing so far. Maybe they're waiting to show some of those things until later in the year. Teams do that, they save stuff for later in the season.
  • Hey Pete. As a subscriber to JS I can't tell how thrilled I am to have you on board. Pete, I have a question I hope you can answer since you have better access. We fans our our idiots if we think that what we see going on with Rogers - not taking what's there, holding the ball too long etc - the coaches don't see. Which means one of three things. They're either ok with it, he's ignoring them and feels he's above coaching or they're actually calling for it (not likely). Can you please offer your best educated guess. Thank you.
  • I've tried to ask about that and am not at all convinced I'm getting straight answers, so I'll have to speculate. A lot of it probably is just Rodgers wanting to make big plays, and the best way to do that is break the pocket, he's proven really good at that. I think he probably started relying on that too much. And I'm sure the coaches to a degree encouraged it because the ability to make plays outside the pocket makes him the player he is. So they probably thought they were walking a fine line between wanting to allow him to be himself, and convincing him to take what's there. They didn't want to inhibiti the playmaking too much. But then the Minnesota game was so obvious, though, that it probably drove home the point to both parties. For the coaches to really emphasize getting it out even more than they were, and for Rodgers that they're right.
  • Very objectively speaking, I'm not a fair-weather fan nor am I "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" person. I'm sure my comments will infuriate some Packer fans. But here goes... Has Aaron Rodgers really already punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame? Don't get me wrong. He has played very well, and Packers fans are SO fortunate to have him immediately following Favre. But how can anyone make such a guarantee at age 32. There are some who were virtually guaranteed a spot in the HOF at this age. But Aaron has played at a very mediocre level over the past 1+ years. Last year, everyone's excuse was that Jordy was injured. Absolutely, he already seems to have made a difference this year (although he doesn't look as fast as he did prior to the injury). But what if Aaron continues to play at or below this level for the next 4-10 years? Is he guaranteed an HOF induction?
  • I'm an HOF voter, and I'd say he pretty much already has. The first thing you look to with QBs is winning. And his winning percentage is outstanding. He's 82-40 for his career, that's a little better than .667, which is excellent, definitely HOF caliber, and he's in his ninth season as a starter, so that's already a significant track record. He's won two MVPs, so that puts him on a really short list of guys. He's won a Super Bowl, which while not everything does matter. He's the all-time passer rating thing. That's not nearly as important but doesn't hurt. So while I get your point, yeah, I'd say he's already done enough. If his career ended tomorrow I'd vote for him for HOF in five years. The Packers are a contender because of him, that's basically the definition of HOF. Your right about the struggles, but even last year, a bad year by his standards, they still won 10 games plus a playoff game. That's my take.
  • Hi Pete,
    O. Beckham-V. Cruz-S. Shepard, are these three the best three receivers any team can put on the field at one time? Is there a better combination in the league?
  • Pretty talented with Beckham and Cruz, especially, though I don't know how Cruz is playing coming off his long injury layoffs. Yes, that's a really big challenge. Plus, the Giants' coach worked for McCarthy for a long time, so he knows the Packers' personnel and their offensive and defensive systems. So this will be a tough matchup, especially is Shields can't play.
  • Pete, I'm wondering about injuries specifically FB & TE. If Cook's high ankle sprain keeps him out 4 weeks, (which is possible with that type of injury), will another TE be added to the active roster or do they roll with what they have? McCarthy likes using TE's and FB's at the same time, and if Cook and Rip cant go they only have 2 healthy bodies there.
  • They've got a TE, Cajuste, on the practice squad, so maybe they'll bring him up. I wonder if they're better off doing more four WR stuff instead while those guys are out, but McCarthy loves playing TEs, and Perillo has done at least OK even if he doesn't offer much as a threat down the seam or downfield. I really don't know what he'll do. Bringing up a TE would mean cutting someone, so they might just try to make do until Cook and Rikpkowski come back.
  • Pete. Wondering if McCarthy will re evaluate his not playing Aaron & Jordy during the pre season next year ? Seems the timing was a little off early.
  • It was, though a lot of that, IMHO, was because Nelson didn't practice for most of camp. He came back the week of the third preseason game but only did individual work in practice, then the next week did only scout team. So that was part of it too. Judging by what I hear my colleagues say and from what I hear from fans, a pretty good sized majority thinks Rodgers should have played more in the preseason. I seem to be in the very small minority who think the way McCarthy handled it was fine. He hasn't said what he thinks now, and I doubt we'd get a straight answer out of him during the season. Maybe he'll answer honestly in the offseason, or maybe we won't know until we see how much he plays those guys in camp next year.
  • Pete,how long much longer can they keep Abby on active roster as he does not play on special teams?Tight end down,need to activate one off practice squad.
  • He does play on special teams, I think they've used him some on punt and kickoff coverage, but he hasn't done much if any returning yet.
  • Went to the game last week and had a great time. We tailgated just south of the south end zone. I am 61 and have been going to Packer games since 1968. It is starting to get more difficult to find a tailgate spot around Lambeau. Some of them we could have gotten into but they said no grilling. That is almost UnAmerican at a Packer game. My question with the new title town going up I am concerned it is getting too commercialized around Lambeau and someday we will all have to have a special pass to get a spot. What do you think?
  • That's a really good question, and I don't know the answer. That would be criminal if it got a lot harder to tailgate in the coming years, that's such a big part of what makes going to the game special. I have to think they know that and will preserve it, but you never know. The NFL is a big money chase, the league and teams are doing everything they can squeeze every penny they can get from fans. But at least through this current administration they've seemed very mindful of holding on to traditions that make this place unique while also trying to make a lot of money and keep up with the rest of the league that way. If you or anyone else out there detects significant changes that way, make sure you let us at the PG/JS/PackersNews know.
  • Pete, wouldn't it seem logical for a team struggling offensively in the first 2 games to continue to work on your offense, in spite of a big halftime lead ? Instead, it appeared that Mighty Mike put the playbook away for the day and just tried to hold on.
  • Yeah, I know what you mean, but I'm not sure they think that way. Winning the game is the thing. The thing that really hurt them was giving up that long TD at the end of the first half, you just can't do that. That was an undrafted rookie CB (Hawkins) and safety (Brice) who allowed that. They're both talented players with interesting futures, especially Brice, but that was a really costly play, allowed for the double-up (score at end of half, then get kickoff and score to start second half). Yeah, they probably should have attacked more on that three-and-out possession in the fourth quarter. But the main thing is to win the game. I"m not convinced Detroit is that bad a team, though it was missing its two best defensive players.
  • Hey Pete
    When the pack go into their zone coverage on defense is it lack of talent or lack of coaching? We get lit up every time we go into that scheme. I know we are missing some guys but!!!!!
  • Randall played poorly in zone, that's for sure, came off his guy a couple times looking to jump routes underneath that allowed completions to his guy.
  • Hey Pete love the chats, One thing no one has mentioned as far as the offensive woes is all the turnover in the coaching ranks. GB has lost a lot of top brass guys as well as coaches like philbin and mcadoo leaving for head coaching jobs. Do you think losing these offensive minds Has led to the day old bread type offense we are seeing? thanks pete
  • Could be a factor. I'm sure Philbin was a great guy to have around as far as someone McCarthy could bounce ideas off of, a guy with a deep knowledge of the offense. But McCarthy has Clements, who's been around a long time, and Bennett, who from what I can tell was excellent running backs and receivers coach. And Alex Van Pelt is highly respected. Plus the offense is McCarthy's, it's his area of expertise and the reason he's a head coach. So while those coaching losses had to hurt, there still are plenty of coaching resources at 1265 Lombardi.
  • Currently the Pack has 3 RB's including Rip and none on the practice squad. Wouldn't you agree they are putting themselves in a scary situation if there is an injury?
  • They are extremely thin there, yes, though they do have a running back on the practice squad, Don Jackson. With Cobb and Montgomery they have two WRs who can take some snaps at RB, and they can use their TEs as FBs or just go one-back with a TE. So that's why they think they can get by. But it's not unheard for two RBs to get knocked out of a game, so that could really change the offense for a game if it happens. And that was the case even before Ripkowski's injury, because unlike Kuhn, Ripkowski isn't a guy you'd want to line up a lone RB.
  • Pete, is there such a thing as a "good" interception. I keep hearing about the lack of separation the Pack receivers get but elite QBs should be able to throw people open. It seems like the infatuation with minimal interceptions limits some "good" risk taking by Aaron. What are your thoughts?
  • You might not find any offensive coach in the NFL who'd say there is, because TO stats overwhelmingly say that INTs lose games. But I get what you say and am inclined to agree at least a little. Quarterbacks sometimes have to take chances to win games. You can't do it all the time, and you can't be throwing a lot of interceptions, or then you'll hurt your team. But to make plays that win games against good teams, sometimes you have to take some chances, and those chances can lead to interceptions. So I get what your saying and have to agree.
  • I am confused with Jared A. We heard all summer how much Coach and QB loved him, yet we never see him. Is anything going on internally that we do not know about?
  • Not that I know of. Until last week they weren't playing any of those backup WRs -- Nelson, Cobb and Adams were getting almost all the snaps. This last week Montgomery and Davis rotated in, and Adams didn't play as much as he had. I suspect we'll see more of Abbrederis as the season goes on, but Davis offers more flat-out speed, and Montgomery offers more playmaking after the catch, so that probably is why Abbrederis is behind them at this point. It's a long season, so I'd guess he'll get some time as the season goes on. Janis probably will have the club off next week also, so there's another WR fighting for playing time.
  • From ESPN's Rob Demovsky yesterday "Four bye-week workouts for the Packers: DT Brandon Bryant (Florida Atlantic), DT Lars Koht (Florida International), DT Joey Mbu (Houston), T Lawrence Walker (Minnesota-Makato). Bryant was in camp with the Seahawks, Koht with the Broncos, Mbu with the Falcons (he actually played in two games in 2015) and Walker had a tryout with the Vikings."
    Koht and Mbu are surely the final pieces to the puzzle, right? Texans lose Watt, sign a vet, Seattle lose Rawls, sign Spiller. Wolf used to bring vets in all the time during the season, how can Koht and Mbu help us win a championship this year? What am I missing here?
  • Can't give you a good answer. Thompson doesn't churn the bottom of his roster like Wolf did. It's relatively rare that teams help themselves with in-season pickups, but sometimes you can find a stopgap where you have injuries. I do wonder why they didn't sign Spiller, I thought he was a guy who actually could help them a little.
  • I know its early but do you think it would be wise to re up nick perry during the season? He is a young tt draft pick and with peppers in his last year along with Jones I think it would be wise and we could probably get a bargain price?
  • OK everybody, this is going to have to do it, thanks for all the great questions, sorry I could get to only a fraction of them, but I'll be doing this every Thursday, so try again next week if your question didn't get answered. As for Perry, he has played really, really well so far, been kind of a difference maker. Now, the Packers probably should exercise some caution, because until this year he's had significant injury issues every season. They very well might want to see him get through a full season healthy before offering a longer-term contract. That said, he's 26, so he has a couple prime years left, so he's made himself into a good candidate for a big contract. My guess is they'll wait until he got through the season, then try to sign him before free agency starts. But maybe they'll do it earlier to get him a little cheaper than he could end up costing in March. Thanks again everybody, really enjoyed talking with you. See you next week.
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