OK everybody, let's get this chat going. I don't think takeaways was the problem last year. They had 25, which was tied for eighth in the league. The problem was getting stops. And yeah, I have to think that if they stay relatively healthy they'll get more stops this year with the improvements they made in coverage. Don't know if it will be a few more stops or a lot more, but they almost have to be better on pass defense than they were last year.
Yeah, I think they schedule time every week to meet extra with the youngest players. That falls on the position coach if he's the only one, but I think assistant OL coach Jeff Blasko handles that for that position. Not sure if they do any extra on-field drilling with those guys.
Looked to me like Rollins played well early, but as camp went on other guys caught up to him. I'm guessing the top three will be House, Randall and King, but I don't know that. Maybe Rollins will be in there if they're worried about House's hamstring, or if they want to bring King along a little more slowly. If I'm them, King's playing. He has a lot of talent and needs to play, he could improve a lot between now and January if he's on the field a lot.
McCaffrey signed with the Saints' practice squad. I couldn't remember if Dupre had signed with someone, just did a quick Google search on him and nothing came up, so looks like he hasn't been picked up yet.
I would have thought he'd appeal to them, I believe he's played guard and center. But the Packers must like Patrick and McCray more than outside observers. The roster really isn't set yet, either. When Allison comes off his suspension next week, someone will have to be released, could be one of those two, I would guess McCray.
Yeah, I see it similarly. There is one big difference though, and that's Aaron Rodgers. Even with a lesser line he can still make everyone on the line better by getting the ball out fast, making plays outside the pocket, etc. It would be harder for him but the offense still could function well. The equivalent on defense would have been if the Packers had a great four-man pass rush last season, which they didn't have. So the coverage shortcomings were fully exposed.
I don't know. Don't know if it was Murphy, or Thompson's top scouts (Wolf, Highsmith, Gutekunst). Or maybe it was just his observing how teams like NE and Seattle have augmented their rosters with targeted signings, and he decided he could be more active without sacrificing his general draft-and-develop principles. But he definitely is operating in a different manner this year. Started in March and has carried over to the end of training camp.
I can't say I've seen much of it. They did it occasionally the past few years with "elephant" position, where a third DL would put his hand down. Matthews had his hand down on one snap in the preseason -- that's the first time I can remember ever seeing him put his hand down. I don't know what they'll do with Ahmad Brooks and Odom, if either prefers to put his hand down, maybe they'll let him do that some. I think guys do get accustomed to rushing from a standing position and maybe like it better. They can see what's happening in the backfield better, and it might help them set up some moves. And as you say, they can move around more pre-snap. I'm sure you're right that for pure explosion, starting with the hand down is better. Sometimes what they've done the last few years is put the two down rushers (Daniels and whoever) over the tackles, and have the outside linebackers standing between them, sort of an inverted look. But something to keep an eye on in the opener.
It seemed that way to me, I really thought they'd pick up an interior OL after final cuts. I don't know if they had some targets and those guys didn't get cut, or if they think highly enough of Patrick (and maybe McCray) that they didn't think they'd find better on the waiver wire.
Yes. You want good players at both, but a good pass rush can do more for coverage than good coverage can do for a pass rush. That's why I thought the pass rush would be an equal or really even slightly higher priority than coverage in the draft. Thompson saw it differently, or at a minimum though the coverage guys available when he picked in the first two rounds were clearly better prospects than the rushers available.
Randall's blown coverage fits the narrative, not sure the onside kick did, Bostick wasn't that young, and the secondary was simply overmatched against Atlanta. Still, I get your point. It could make a difference. I'm not entirely sure which would be more important, just that the veterans brought in are a little more talented than the young guys they're playing ahead of, or whether it's their experience that makes them better. Either way, they should help.
I wondered about that, asked around. Sounds like Dial might be a better player than Price, can play more positions and is a bigger, longer guy, at least for the Packers' system. I don't think they planned it this way, they couldn't have been sure he'd be available when they decided to cut Price. But they have might have come out of it a little better off anyway. We'll have to see how he plays and how Price plays in Dallas.
The one thing I wonder about with short yardage is that Guion was really good there. So they might miss him in that way.
That's correct. They can't practice or play for the first six weeks of the season, then there's a three-week window in which they can begin practicing, and once they start practicing, there's a new three-week window in which they can be activated, cut or placed on IR. So theoretically a PUP guy could debut on the 53-man roster in Week 13 at the latest.
Sounds like Bulaga practiced and should be able to play, at least based on practice reports yesterday. House (hamstring) and King (groin) were listed as limited participants also, so I don't have a good feel for what their status will be Sunday.
At some point I'd think so, if for no other reason than the inevitable injuries that will come along. He's the No. 4 receiver this week with Allison out, the No. 5 when Allison returns. He definitely looked better at WR this year as camp went along.
It's gotta be a concern, but Brooks might help some there. A lot depends on how much Matthews has left in the tank. He's had a lot of injuries over his career and is 31, all that takes a toll. But he's also a talented guy. Does he have another double-digit sacks season in him? I don't know.
That would take some zip out of the offense, though with Rodgers and a pretty good receiving corps and the run-catch threat of Montgomery, there's still a lot to work with. But Bennett is really important, as we saw last year when Cook came back from injury and the offense took off. And the Bennett-Kendricks duo could be a really good run-pass package if they're both good players.
Maybe a little. Sounds like McCarthy did it because they have a couple new important players on offense -- Bennett, Jahri Evans -- but it's not like Rodgers played a lot. I think it was, what three series? This is a tough early schedule with Seattle and Atlanta to open the season. So be it. Have to play'em when they're scheduled.
Bradford is their QB. Bridgewater still is on PUP, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's never activated to the 53 this year. The Vikings probably are the biggest challenger for the Packers in the division. They have a lot of talent on defense, and while Bradford lacks mobility, he can sling it.