Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's regular 1 p.m. Thursday chat in advance of the Packers-Lions game Monday night.

  • I appreciated the article on Capers but how do you think the Packers stack up talent wise on D? Below Average? Everyone raves about Daniels, Clark, Burnett, Martinez, Perry, Matthews and the rookie class, so is it Capers? I think he got too much credit for 2009 given the playoff game and outside of Big Ben having a bad super bowl in 2010, the Pack played average QBs to get there.
  • OK everybody, let's get started. And just to let you know, only going one hour today, the Monday night game changes our schedule this week so have other responsibilities today. The article Jack refers to was written by Tom Silverstein, not me, and it was a good one. You get at the heart of an issue that doesn't have a clear-cut answer, at least in my mind. The talent definitely isn't what it was in '09 and '10, when they had three stars: Matthews, Woodson and Collins. That's what you need to play really good defense in the NFL. Daniels is at that level, but Matthews, while still a good player, isn't at that level anymore. Nobody else is either. Clark is ascending and is looking promising but has to continue improving as a pass rusher to get there. So that's a big issue. Could the way they're used help anyone else on the current roster get there? Maybe. Depending on how things go the rest of the season, Thompson and McCarthy are going to have to take a good, hard look at that question themselves.
  • Pete, Micah Hyde was just named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in Buffalo. Casey Hayward leaves Green Bay and takes his game to a whole new level in San Diego and has been fantastic for them. Yet, our secondary is mostly in shambles. There should be no doubt that these two guys can play at a high level. Yet, this only came out after leaving Green Bay. To me, this is indicative of either 1) the coaching staff not knowing how to use them or 2) the front office drafting players that don't fit the scheme.
  • I know a lot of people who agree with you, including Eric Baranczyk -- he and I co-author a weekly video review of the game column. I'm less convinced -- not dismissive of the point, but less convinced. Hayward had a really good rookie year but had injury issues and didn't play quite as well thereafter. Is he better than what they have now? Yeah, hard not to conclude anything else. But he played really well as a rookie. Maybe there's a scheme issue there, he's probably better in zone, and the Packers play a fair amount of man to man. Hyde played a lot of good football for the Packers. He had speed limitations but was instinctive and smart and a really solid player. But he wasn't an outside cornerback, didn't have the speed for it, so where would he have played for the Packers this year? At $6M-plus a year, he'd have been a backup safety. You'd probably rather have him the slot in nickel than Randall at this point, but I'm still not sure that if I'm the Packers I'd want to pay him what Buffalo did for that role. So I don't think it's so cut and dried, but if Hyde keeps this up all season he'll prove me wrong. He's been really productive.
  • I know MM thinks Callahan is a viable NFL backup but I just don't buy it, what are your thoughts?
  • I agree with you. I mean, it's hard not to impressed with what Callahan has done. A DIII guy who's been able to stick in the NFL? He runs only a 4.9, so it's not like he's this great scrambler-runner. He's just resourceful and a gamer and all those things, and the fact that McCarthy likes him says a lot, too. But in the end, I'm still thinking his upside is just a little too limited to be a No. 2. Maybe he'll get a chance to play this year and prove that wrong.
  • I get the extreme positions people are taking about whether or not the coaching staff would have a job still if it wasn't for Rodgers. I wouldn't say I agree with them, but what's the deal with having 10 people on the field after a timeout or consistently having a defense that can't get off the field on third down? At what point does that become unacceptable as a football team? I saw Tom's article this morning, and I get that a pass rush is important, but we have talent on defense and still got beaten on the ground by a mediocre New Orleans rushing attack. Is it time to go back to 4-3 and do away with the creative packages that haven't seemed to work?
  • Capers is a 3-4, that's what he knows, so for him to become a predominant 4-3 guy probably won't work, if you mean making that change over the bye. The 10 guys on the field is really bad, and no one calling TO is even worse. The recent third down issues are just like last year. I'm sure McCarthy was appalled by the second half against New Orleans, and I suspect the coaches meeting the day after wasn't pretty. But I have to think you're on the right track in that they have to make some adjustments over the bye if they're going to win some games from here on out, because the defense has to play better than that to have much chance without Rodgers.
  • While our Season doesn’t hinge on Monday Night beating the Lions, don’t you think this game could tell us a lot about this team going forward. Certainly for Hundley, but a healthier team could and should compete, if they don’t, what’s the end game?
  • For a mid-season game it's pretty big. The Lions have the best QB in the division by far now, but they've lost three straight. So they really need a win and surely smell blood with Rodgers out. Hundley's debut was unimpressive so there's a lot riding on this game for him and McCarthy as well. And as you say, the Packers could be at or really near full health (minus Rodgers), and they've had the bye to regroup. So lots going on in this one.
  • Pete-
    I always thought Jim Bates had a solid disciplined defense. He never tried to fool anyone, but guys were in their right zone fits. He's the last d coordinator I remember where communication didn't seem to be an issue. Also, the good QB's never seemed to fair as well against Bates as Capers. Maybe it's a case of revisionist history, but it seems like the good QB's figure out where the blitz is w/Caper or just exploit weakness or confusion in the secondary. I was pro Capers until this year. You think since they have a bunch of young guys that maybe they need to go with a guy that will be around 4 yrs or so?
  • Bates was a good defensive coordinator. I don't blame McCarthy for not hiring him, that had potential for problems because Bates was interviewed for the head coaching job as well that year. But Bates' record as a DC was pretty good. The NFL, while always a young league, seems to have gotten younger because guys on their rookie contracts are cheap, so it keeps costs down so teams can keep their stars and good players. That means coaches have to walk a tight rope between keeping up with the growing sophistication of the game and keeping things simple enough so there aren't too many mental mistakes. Maybe Capers hasn't simplified enough. McCarthy talks about simplification a lot, and while he's usually been referring to Hundley there, he also could be talking defense too.
  • Pete, I read an article that asked the question of a number of sportswriters that cover the Packers, yes or no will the Packers make the playoffs? It was unanimous, NO. They appear to have given up hope. In spite of the fact that I recently learned that without Rogers the Packers are basically the Browns, I have not given up hope. I know it's just the 8th game, But Monday's game feels like a 'must win' to maintain that hope. My question is if the Pack wins Monday and Hundley plays well, will the perception of the people that follow the team change and the rest of the schedule look more due able?
  • I can only speak for myself, and I think their odds of making the playoffs are fairly low. If they win this week it probably won't change my mind. It will take more than that. But the great thing about sports is, what any of us thinks and says doesn't matter. It will be decided on the field. The Packers' schedule isn't bad for the rest of the year, so the opportunity is there if Hundley finds his way.
  • TJ Watt has more sacks than any of the Packers OLB's.......... I like King quite a lot, but Biegel obviously hasn't been able to contribute yet, so should TT have taken Watt? Gotta think the howls will only get louder as the season progresses.
  • I'll probably wait until their third season to make a fairly hard judgment there. Things can change so fast. One of them could suffer a really bad injury and never be the same, or be hurt often and miss a lot of games. Next year at this time King might be one of the league's better corners, or Watt might be one of the top rushers, or both. So far, advantage Watt. But their rookie seasons aren't going to answer this question.
  • If Jones (RB) can keep up the pace and the OL can get healthier, won't it open up more play action passes for Hundley? It still hurts they don't have any elite speed opposing D's have to respect and adjust for.
  • Very much so. I have to think Jones will be a huge part of the game planning from here on out. Sure looks like he's a real RB. That will help Hundley a lot. Lacy was a huge factor in Flynn playing well enough to go 2-2-1 back in '13. Same will apply here.
  • Pete, I know they're not required until tomorrow but do you expect to see the Packers release an injury report today?
  • They have to file an injury report today. Just checked my Twitter feed. The reporters covering practice say Spriggs is practicing today, so he's going to be one of the two IR-return guys. The five guys not practicing today are: Brice, Thomas, Brooks, Bennett and Dial.
  • Hi Pete
    The packer organization has refused to acknowledge the window of opportunity they have with Rodgers. If life without him leads to missing the playoffs this year, does the pressure start ramping up on ted and mike to get another ring or 2 in the next couple years? Does capers finally get shown the door if the defense continues on it’s current path? HOFer Bill Polian lost his job when his colts tanked w/o manning so please tell me something changes.
  • Yeah, I think the pressure keeps building as the Rodgers' window shrinks. Funny you mention Polian. I contacted a long-time Colts reporter about a week ago to ask if Polian was fired because they went 1-15 or for some other reason. He basically said it was just time, that Polian's history is he can be tough for owners to work with and over time the relationship wears out. So I don't think Polian was fired for 1-15. Hell, that was the best thing that could have happened to the Colts that year, it got them Andrew Luck -- this is, best thing if his shoulder ever heals.
  • Pete, the lack of pash rush has been an issue for a few years. I sometimes wonder if the focus on finding guys of a particular size has led to some of the draft misses on pass rushers (looking at Jones and how long it took for Perry to blossom). Is that a preference of Capers or Thompson? Is that rigidity a part of the problem?
  • I think that explains the miss on Fackrell. He has the length you look for in a 3-4 OLB, and pretty decent measurables, but he just doesn't make plays. Jones was drafted as a DL but the mistake there was that he was a 'tweener. Thompson drafts the players, so any mistakes with not fitting the system are more likely his.
  • What is your true assessment of the Packers with Brett Hundley going forward for the rest of the season. That of coarse is if me st if not all players remain healthy. One last thing is do you think Dom Capers or McCarthy will remain with the team for the 2018 season
  • It could be a tough final nine games. If they finish 8-8 they'll have done OK in my mind. It's just really tough to replace a QB of Rodgers' caliber, he's their LeBron James. I'm about as sure as you can be without knowing the future that McCarthy will be back. Dom Capers, I'm less sure about. A lot depends on how the rest of the season goes. McCarthy has all the respect in the world for him, but he has made plenty of coaching staff changes in the past.
  • What’s goin on with montavius Adams ? He play this week maybe ?
  • I'd think the odds for Adams being active this week went up first when they cut Ricky Jean Francois to make room presumably for Biegel. Now, Dial is on the injury report, and if he doesn't play, then it's a given Adams will be active. Adams is healthy and there's no indication he's in the doghouse or anything.
  • This offseason - if Ted needs to choose between Nelson and Cobb, which one will he keep?
  • Yeah, if they re-sign Adams, which I have to think is going to happen, then it comes down to those two. I'd think they'd go with Nelson. He's older and nearing the end, but he's a much bigger guy than Cobb, so he can do more over the middle, and his chemistry with Rodgers is off the charts.
  • Wow long pauses... you must have been sick like me this past week.
  • Just to let you know, on a lot of these I have to look up a fact or two (like Hyde's contract, for instance), it takes longer than you might think. So sorry for the delays but that's the way it is.
  • And hope you feel better soon, Rodger.
  • So, after yesterday's Brian Hoyer fiasco, do you think we will look for a different Qb in Free Agency or maybe give Callahan a chance or maybe the kid from the practice squad a look?
  • Don't know if you say, but Jason LaCanfora had a report today saying the Packers' interest in Hoyer was cursory. I don't doubt that's true.
  • If the Packers end up with a 2018 top ten draft pick, would you go best available, or fill a need? If so, barring injury, which position as of today?
  • Need would have to play a big role. I mean, if you see a guy as a tremendous prospect and a cut above everyone else, you have to take him regardless of position. But I'd be looking more for need. In the first round I'd be looking to get the best pass rusher I could, though if there were a clearly better CB prospect, or WR or TE, I'd probably take them instead.
  • Do you let Adams walk after the season, and start using Montgomery as a Wr again?
  • No, I'd re-sign Adams. I'd probably move Montgomery back to WR, but I'd still re-sign Adams. Montgomery is a slot guy.
  • Pure hypothetical here. Let's assume Rodgers is done for the year. Which of the following two scenarios is better for the Packers next year and beyond? 1. Hundley plays extremely well and the Packers are on the boundary of being a playoff team, so perhaps Hundley can be traded for a mid-round pick. 2. Hundley and the Packers stink so in the 2018 draft they pick about a half a round higher than they normally do.
  • That's a tough one. I'm inclined to think they're better off with the top 10 pick, but that brings some baggage. Turmoil from fans who want everyone fired, maybe poor play on defense. If they finish on the fringe of the playoffs, it could mean that a few of their young guys on defense play well, which would bode well for next year. And if Hundley plays well, then there's the trade value that you mention. So there's upside either way. Push to shove? If I'm management I'd probably rather have the higher pick, but that's just me. They'd also have to weather the fans' storm, and it could cost some coaches their jobs, so easy for me to say.
  • Are pass rushers that hard to find in the draft? Matthews had a couple of big years, Perry has had one good year, but they've zip from so many players drafted to rush the passer, but it seems pass rushers are really hard to find, or the Packers are not skilled in evaluating college rushers.
  • Yeah, they kinda are. That's why I'd draft three of them next year. You never know which one will pan out. Go to drafthistory.com and look at the first round of drafts starting maybe two or three years ago and working backwards. You'll see a lot of missed picks on rushers (and at a lot of positions).
  • I saw McCarthy denied knowing about any interest in Hoyer, but I'm sure there was some interest in signing him. If the reports are true, do you think they were more interested in him as a backup to Hundley or as a replacement for him?
  • I'm thinking they were looking at him as a backup.
  • What's your game prediction for Monday Night, Peter?
  • OK, gotta go, other pressing duties. Sorry about the short chat, blame the Monday night game. But thanks everybody for coming by, many excellent questions. I'm probably going to pick the Lions, don't have a score yet. Thanks again everyone, we'll chat again next week. Until then, take care.
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