Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly chat at 1 p.m. Thursday ahead of the Ravens-Packers game Sunday.

  • Hi Pete, Regarding Bennet,as I recall, a very similar situation happened with Blount a couple of years ago. He was a top rusher for the Pats, then signed with the Steelers. He did very little for them, had a falling out with the coaching staff, and was cut. He then immediately re-signed with the Pats, and got a ring with them last season. The coincidence really smells. Is an investigation into tampering or collusion even being discussed?
  • OK, good day everyone, here we go. A league spokesman -- I think it was Joe Lockhart -- said the league is not looking into it. Unless the Packers file some kind of complaint/grievance it sounds like there won't be any kind of investigation.
  • Good afternoon, Pete, and thanks for the chat. I assume that the Packers will put Bulaga on IR and activate Spriggs, but what are they doing to fill Bennett's spot? How long can they go without a full 53?
  • They don't have to fill the roster spot if they don't want to. I'd think they will too, not sure why they don't, they've done this occasionally in the past. With Jones out and maybe Montgomery for a week or two, maybe they'll sign a running back. Tight end obviously would make a lot of sense too. Not sure what they're waiting for, though. I'd think they'd want a new guy practicing with them ASAP even if he's not suiting up on game day right away.
  • What do you think would be the magic number of wins the Pack would need to be in contention if they are deciding whether or not to bring in Rodgers, if available?
  • So if Rodgers can play after eight weeks that have him ready by Carolina. He had surgery late in the week, Thursday Oct. 19, so let's say he needs an extra week after that. That would have him available the last two regular-season games. They're probably going to need 10 wins to get them in -- nine sometimes does it, and it's still early to make these guesses, but if we had to guess now, I'd go with 10. So if they're 8-6 going into those last two games, then they'd have a shot, and maybe he's ready to go then.
  • Do teams give up too fast on young quarterbacks? If a player can play until almost 40 now (barring major injury) can't a player that struggles continually improve over the next 15 years - as long as they have the physical tools to succeed? Obviously good coaching plays a big part in it, Rich Gannon w/ Gruden vs Keenum+Goff w/ Fischer come to mind.
  • I doubt it. Yeah, QBs now can play into their early 40s, but that's just the elite guys. Gannon is kind of an exception because he was such a late bloomer, but he was an exceptional athlete -- had a great 40 time, was still athletic late in his career. He was kind of rare that way. But QBs usually get enough time with a team. Keenum looks to me like maybe a top 32 quarterback, so even though he was a backup to begin the season maybe he was better than a couple starters in the league. And he's doing the job now. But the Vikings are winning because of their defense.
  • Considering Bennett played for the Patriots last week, doesn't it completely undermine everything he has said about being pressured to play? None of his story seems to hold water.
  • Yes. Kills his credibility on this matter.
  • Hey Pete, in regards to the current feuding between Jerry Jones, Roger Goodell and the other owners, just how much actual "power and influence" does Jerry Jones have? Is his clout mostly behind closed doors (and maybe even under the table), or is it something more "legit"? Or is his "importance" mostly in his head? Thanks for the chats!!
  • I'm not very tuned into the league power dynamics, only know what I read. But I'd suspect he's pretty influential. When he was picked as the contributor committee's nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, I was thinking I'd probably vote against him. But then I talked with some people in the league I trust and was told that he's highly respected on all league business matters, that when he talks, everyone listens. So that suggests he has a lot of influence. It sounds like he's upsetting some and maybe many of the owners with what's happened recently, most notably the Papa John's criticism that he might have instigated. But I'd think he's still influential.
  • hi Pete, thanks for your time and I'd like your opinion on something.. I'm not suggesting the Packers tank or do anything like that but - this team likely isn't going to win enough games to get in the playoffs. Why not start thinking about the draft and how we could possibly use some higher picks to re boot this team, even if it only is one year? a pick in the middle of each round instead of the end could be the difference in charging up the last few years of Aaron Rodgers career and maybe jump starting the Packers to a Super Bowl or 2. Am I crazy Pete? or am I on to something? thanks.....
  • I can't disagree with that. The higher you pick, not just in the first round (though that matters most) but in every round, the better the chance of finding a good player. That's one reason why Minnesota has a better D than the Packers, it consistently has been picking higher -- not saying it's the main reason, but it's helped. However, they just can't tank. For one, it looks like Rodgers just might be able to come back, and if so, then there's still a chance for a Super Bowl run, as tough as that would be after he'd missed a lot of time. Also, there are jobs on the line -- coaches especially. So if the team plays poorly, some assistants could find themselves out of work. So they can't pull back at all. And finally, if they play well down the stretch, that might mean that some young guys have improved, which would bode well for '18. I get your point and can't disagree about the advantages of drafting higher. But they still have too many reasons to give it their best shot.
  • Hi Pete,
    Thanks for your time. I am troubled by this Bennet issue. If players start faking injuries so that they can be released or not have to play since they don't feel the team has a chance to win then the NFL is going to become the NBA. Shouldn't the league be looking into this more? If an NFL team lies about injuries I believe they are subject to fines. Should be the same both ways. I am not a New England hater but once again they seem to be in the middle of a strange situation. Some could surmise they put Bennet up to it knowing no one else would claim him and they could pick him up.
  • It's definitely fishy, not doubt about that. I do wonder if there was any contact between his agent and the Patriots before he was cut. That would definitely break all the rules. But it sounds like the league isn't investigating. The one thing I'll say is, the Packers didn't have to cut him, even with that designation to keep open the possibility of going after his money. They could have just said, "OK, have the surgery," and put him on IR.
  • Any predictions for contract extensions during the remainder of the regular season?
  • Maybe Linsley and/or Adams.
  • Hi Pete, Jeff Janis is really not contributing much to the team as we speak why is he still there? We could certainly use his space to get a productive player like a running back or an OL man. If all he can do is run down the field then he is not much value to an injury riddled team
  • I wouldn't underestimate the value on special teams, especially covering punts and kicks. Those are important jobs, and he's now an experienced guy on those teams. That's worth something. Who knows? Maybe they'll use him or Davis for a few snaps a game to at least run deep routes to clear some space underneath. Nothing they've done up to now suggests they will, but you never know. And as we've seen, injuries can hit at any time and come in bunches at a position. So they might need down the road. Still barely less than a half a season to play.
  • why does mm continue to call plays that don't work.example running the ball to the same hole or screen passes that really come up short. hundley needs to air it out not plink and putt passes for 4 yards. hundley looked more confident after he threw deeper down field i feel better with him but he needs more then ultra conservative offensive calls. opposing defenses aren't fooled by these calls in fact they are expecting them
  • You'd think Hundley's play in the fourth quarter last week will give the coaches a little more confidence in him, maybe open things up a little more. But it's easy to say a play is a bad one after the fact, because you can see whether it works. But it's not so easy before the fact. They have reasons for play calls, sometimes to break tendencies (the opponents study tendencies), or maybe Hundley likes a play, or they're trying to get the ball to a specific guy. But to your larger point, I'm guessing McCarthy is starting to get a feel for Hundley, for what works and what doesn't. We'll see Sunday.
  • hey pete,
    just thinking ahead, with his impressive run blocking and tenacity do you see mcrae as a legitimate replacement for evans next season?
  • Was thinking about that yesterday. Amazing it's even a possibility for a guy I thought was going to get cut at the end of camp and be a practice squad guy. You can't rule it out. Maybe you draft a guy in the fourth round and let him and McCray slug it out for the starting job, assuming Murphy is back playing tackle full time because of Bulaga's injury. I also wouldn't rule out re-signing Evans. You always worry about guys that age -- I think he's 34 -- but maybe he's got another season left in him.
  • we all know how loyal mm is to his coaches that sometimes it seems to blind him from reality. and the more people complain he digs in deeper. capers was a good coach at one time but football is an evolving game and he just is trying to play it like it is the 1980's i hope they would consider a younger coach for dc but i think mm wants to stay with older personal for what ever reason i wonder if lombardi or halas could coach in todays game and be successful
  • McCarthy has been willing to fire assistants -- he's let a lot go on offense and special teams. He and Shawn Slocum went way back -- I think they were entry-level assistants at the University of Pittsburgh in the '80s, but he still fired Slocum. He does really respect Capers and you get the feeling he doesn't like the idea of starting over defensively. But I'd say these last seven games will be really important to whether Capers is back next. It looks very much like an open question to me.
  • Pete, looking at the Packers schedule, 3 of the next four games are very "winnable." Could they be looking at 8-5 and if they can "steal" one in Pittsburgh against an average Big Ben these days and get to 9-4, with Rodgers potentially being ready for the last three games to get to 11-5 and make the playoffs? Am I smoking something or not Pete?
  • That's a pretty optimistic take. Could it happen? Sure. I wouldn't even consider betting on it, though. Ten wins might get them in, but I wouldn't bet on that either. But then, that's why they play the games. What we say or think doesn't matter. These things are settled on the field.
  • Hi Pete,
    Is Matthews play just a case of slowing down with age or are their other reasons for his decline ? Is there a plan to play Mays this week or is he just on stand by as an emergency measure.
  • Age and injuries. Those chronic hamstring issues have to take a toll on athleticism. As for Mays, a lot probably depends on Montgomery's availability. If Montgomery doesn't play, I'd think Mays would get some snaps. Even if Montgomery plays I could see Mays getting a couple snaps just to get his feet in case he's needed later.
  • Good afternoon Pete, there's been a lot of rekindled hope this week. The win over the Bears was a relief, but I remain skeptical. The next 4 weeks will define their playoff chances and I think they need to win 3 of those 4 games. Sunday looks like a must win to do that. First am I wrong in my thinking and do you think winning 3 of the next 4 is doable?
  • That's kind of the way I'm looking at it. You don't want to overstate -- they could lose two of these next four but maybe upset Carolina, for instance. Not likely but these kinds of upsets happen plenty in this league. But yeah, that's what I've been thinking. It's going to be a tough slog.
  • Hi Pete. Among the DBs, who has been the weakest link? House? Is it time, maybe, for Hawkins (with his speed) to get more playing time?
  • Of the top three -- House, King and Randall -- yeah, House probably has been the weakest link, though nobody's stood out as playing well. Joe Whitt has shown no compunction to play any of his guys, basically whoever he thinks has played/practiced best recently. So playing Hawkins more is at last a possibility.
  • Pete, what's your take on Flacco. A few years ago he was considered an elite franchise QB, now he mostly sucks. What happened?
  • He hit the lottery -- was in the last year of his contract, then played great down the stretch and won the Super Bowl. So he had all the leverage he could hope for and got a big contract. His overall body of work says he's a little above average QB who's paid like one of the better ones. His record is 87-60. He has a big-time arm. When you talk to coaches and scouts, they talk about QBs who can, as they say, spin it. And Flacco can spin it big-time -- he can make all the NFL throws. But he has limited mobility and is prone to throwing interceptions. So that's why he's not among the top guys, he just can't carry a team week in and week out. But he can light up anybody, any given week.
  • Pete, we’re you surprised Davis wasn’t replaced as punt returner after fielding a punt at the goal line? Who makes that decision to pull him anyway? And what did you think about Davis’s excuse that he had rain in his eyes?
  • Yeah, that was a first for me, seeing a guy catch a punt in the end zone. I was only a little surprised he wasn't replaced. He has caught and protected the ball well, and he's not a bad returner. He has some ability to break one. The only other person I'd feel OK about putting back there if I were the Packers is Cobb. Not sure what to make of the rain in the eyes thing. I guess he mean he was so distracted by that and trying to catch the ball that he didn't even notice how far back he'd moved.
  • what are the chances of recouping Bennet's signing bonus?
  • I really have no idea. That would involve lawyers and arbitration and all that. I have no clue.
  • How is Mays is the pass game? If Montgomery can't go it seems we won't have much threat out of the backfield, although I suspect they would just use Cobb in as that pass catching back.
  • I think that was a weakness for Mays, but he's had all season to work on his pass protection and catching. Cobb will get some snaps there I'm sure, and Rikpkowski can do one-back stuff too.
  • Hey Pete! First, nothing else matters when the Packers beat the Bears. That said, what would be the reason(s) for holding onto Capers after this season? I'm not calling for his head, but I am wondering what it is that Coach Mike sees to keep him on board. (I'm just a fan, not an expert, so I assume there's something that I'm missing.) His defenses have the occasional good game, and - in a couple instances - patch together good seasons, but overall it seems like they've underachieved throughout the years. Thanks for your insight!
  • I'm thinking it will come down to two things. One, how well the defense plays down the stretch. And two, how much McCarthy thinks the issue is talent on that side of the ball. I can't disagree with your overall assessment, some decent seasons but more bad than good. And a lot of high draft picks spent on that side of the ball the last six years. It's a big seven weeks for Capers and the defense.
  • I retired from a responsible position after 31 years of employment. I was confident that I had performed at a high level, but also confident that my successor would bring in fresh ideas, fresh energy, an enhanced knowledge of new technology, and an ability to communicate more effectively with a younger generation. Is there any thought as to how this might or might not apply to the NFL/Green Bay Packers?
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