Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Thursday, Dec. 7 transcript in advance of the Packers-Browns game Sunday.

  • Not the way I want this to happen, but if the Browns win on Sunday- will the Dr.s not clear #12 for action. What is the point in bringing him back for an 8-8 finish? If no playoffs, I prefer 6-10 or 8-8.
  • Hi everybody, let's dive right in. If the Packers lose Sunday they'll still mathematically be in the race. I guess part of the answer to your question will depend on what happens with the other contenders. The Packers will have to assess their chances of getting in with only nine wins. But I'm thinking if it's not a ridiculous long shot then Rodgers probably plays if he's cleared, even though the odds will be much lower than if they win.
  • Montravius Adams?? I know he hurt his foot but he was activated weeks ago and still isn't playing much at all.
    Can you explain why he's been inactive so much?
  • I really can't and am wondering the same thing myself. They need game-day roster spots for special teams players, etc., but I'm really surprised he hasn't been able to get on the field. When he has played he hasn't done much, so maybe that's the reason plain and simple. They'll never say that. But I don't know what else it could be.
  • Pete...do/did you consider Jordy Nelson to be a true #1 wide out? If not, who was the last Packers great #1? Sharpe...Lofton?
  • He was a true No. 1 but not anymore. The one before him? I think you could call Jennings a true No. 1 in his prime. Before that you'd probably have to go back to Sharpe. Maybe Freeman was for a season or so.
  • Do the Packers need to hire some scouts that specialize in evaluating defensive players? Is this a possible explanation for their below average success in drafting on that side of the ball in recent years?
  • I still would argue that luck is a fairly big factor in drafting too, more than scouts/GMs would ever admit. What you suggest is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure it would be the answer, only because when you set up a draft board you have to grade all players against all other players, so that means comparing offensive and defensive players and deciding where each should be on your board. Maybe it would help to have a former defensive coach on the scouting staff. Might be worth thinking about. But scouts have to be able to scout all positions.
  • Hi Pete looking back at all the defensive draft picks that TT has spent on defense and their rating tells me a couple of things Either TT isn't the defensive evaluator or Capers has lost it ,or both. Over the fast 4 years our defense is not getting better in fact it's worse. Can we afford more rookies on d that don't do anything? It's time for a major change the osterich has to get his head out of the sand and make several changes. I will admit that at one time Capers was well respected but time is passing him by. Were so obvious in scheme so scrap that aweful 3-4 defense and try something else what do we have to lose? I know it takes time but how much time have we wasted on this 3-4, well at least 5 years and if Capers can't change his scheme then it's time to go. You don't hear allot of other teams knocking down Green bays door for his service or any of his d coaches. With MM as coach this change should happen and this is why our d will never get any better your thoughts Pete
  • This question comes up every week in some form or another. Thompson's greatest failing is he's hit fairly big on only one defensive pick the last five or so years, and that's Mike Daniels. That's a big reason why the defense continues to have its issues. You need about three difference makers to play good defense in this league. Capers is a respected coach in the league. He also has to bear responsibility as well for the defensive struggles. Has he not adjusted to changes in the game? I've asked around, some think maybe or at least that the Packers need new blood, others say he's kept up with the times just fine. This is obviously something McCarthy has to think long and hard about in the offseason. I'm going to let the season play out before weighing in. First things first, we have to see if this team gets into the playoffs. But what you're asking is what everyone who follows the team closely is wondering and thinking about or already has an opinion on. It will be a big question of the offseason.
  • Hi Pete, Not sure if I will phrase this well enough to be understood, but it seems like every time a suspension is handed down, the player appeals, and the suspension is reduced. Why??? What is it in the players' appeals that make for the suspension to be reduced? It seems to me a 2 game suspension should be a 2 game suspension. Your thoughts?
  • The NFL -- that is, the league office -- determines the initial suspension. But the appeals process, per the collective bargaining agreement with the players union, has two independent arbitrators who have been agreed upon by both the league and the union. So there's a very strong argument that by allowing the neutral third part to make that final decision is more fair than having the league make the call, because the league might have an outside agenda with some suspensions (PR concerns, etc.) that is unfair to the player.
  • I was proud of the way we played this last weekend considering our QB situation we played our hearts out. Maybe Hundley will develope into a very good QB but for now he is very very raw. I admire Mikes loyalty to Brett but I think he did a disservice to our team by at least not trying to get a veteran QB and using him when we still had a chance of winning games. He was firm in his decision and loyal yes but somewhat foolish. We were considered a super bowl team in preseason now were fighting for a playoff slot. Yes Hundley has 3 years but what is he showing for it today? He is a rookie QB maybe a veteran could have been a better choice but we will never know he placed all his eggs in one basket. Look at Minn they didn't stand pat when Bridgewater went down they tried to upgrade and it worked out well for them
  • I just don't think there was a veteran QB out there who would have done any better, at least if you mean bringing in the guy after Rodgers got hurt. Any new QB -- unless it was Matt Flynn, who hasn't been on an NFL team for a couple years -- wouldn't know McCarthy's system, and McCarthy wouldn't know his strengths and weaknesses. That means you're starting at a huge disadvantage. There was no training camp to iron out those things. During the season the focus is game planning and winning the game, not teaching a guy a new system. So I don't think he did it out of loyalty to Hundley, I think he thought Hundley gave him the best chance to win. Bridgewater got hurt in camp two seasons ago, so the Vikings were able to get Bradford while camp still was going, and they knew Bridgewater was out for the season (and possibly career). It also cost them a first-round pick if I remember right. No way the Packers could spend anything like that for a backup QB. The Vikings signed Keenum to backup Bradford because they knew Bridgewater would be unavailable for at least half this season as well. You can  criticize the Packers for not trying to bring in Keenum in the offseason and mis-evaluating Hundley. But at least in my opinion, there was nobody out there on the street who was going to do any better, for the reasons stated above, and that includes Kaepernick.
  • The last time Rodgers broke his collar bone there were multiple x-rays to determine if the fracture was completely healed. Has that been done this time?
  • I'm sure they've X-rayed it a couple times, but the big thing is the CT scan. They did one right after the injury and they're going to do another one next week (eight weeks after surgery). They don't do more because 1) that exposes him to a lot of radiation, which isn't good, and 2) the radiation can slow the healing. So from what I understand they'll do an X-ray, and if it looks promising that he'll be enough healed to be cleared, they'll do the CT scan.
  • Hi Pete, I don't remember much about Josh Gordon, all pro talent?, great speed?, great hands? It seems the browns are determined to get the ball in his hands. What, Who are the Packers best options to cover him?
  • I think he ran in the mid-4.4s and he's a pretty big guy, like 6-3 and 225 big. Big play threat for sure. Lot of talent. With King out, I'm guessing they'll put House on him because House is their biggest CB.
  • Pete, assuming the Packers run the table (and that is definitely a long shot) and get to 10-6 the Packers would need to pass 2 of the 3 teams that are currently in the wild card positions. The Seahawks and the Panthers are 8-4 and the Falcons are 7-5 with the tiebreaker over the Pack. At 10-6 the Packers would hold the tiebreaker over the Seahawks and the Panthers. Of the 3, which 2 do we have the best chance to catch?
  • Yeah, those are the teams to watch. I'm not positive any one of them is easier to catch than the others. Maybe Atlanta because the Falcons have two games against New Orleans and one against Carolina among their final four games. The Seahawks have games left against the LA Rams, Jaguars and Cowboys (with Elliott back from suspension, so Dallas will be better than it's been recently). As you say, the Packers have the tie-breaker, so Seattle has to win three to pass a 10-win Packers team. In assuming the Packers get to 10 wins, that means they'll beat Carolina, which gives Carolina a loss and the Packers the tiebreaker, as you noted. Carolina also has games against Minnesota this week and Atlanta in the finale. It would have to win both those plus it's other game (against Tampa Bay) to get finish ahead of a 10-win Packers team. So I'm not sure what's most likely to happen, but it just looks to me like if the Packers get to 10, odds are pretty good they'll be able to pass two of those teams.
  • Hi Pete,
    Not too much was said regarding Don Barclay's release. Was it not odd that the Packers would carry him on IR so long and then at a time when they were thin on the O line, they release him and he shows up active on the opposite sideline that week. Were they trying to release him and resign later to avoid an IR move or were they just done with him?
  • That might have been what they were thinking, though NFL rules would have forced them to wait several weeks to sign him after releasing him from IR. More likely they probably decided that the injuries had diminished him, and that they liked McCray and Patrick, and were ready to move on.
  • Hey Pete-
    We know Jordy has an uncanny feel w/Rodgers. I feel Hundley is awful overall, but in Jordy's case, don't you think it exposes to some degree how far Jordy has slipped?
  • Agreed it's shown that he's diminished athletically, he just doesn't get open by a lot anymore. His value to the Packers is when Rodgers is playing, their chemistry is off the charts. That's why my guess --- and it's only a guess -- is that after they sign Adams to a long-term deal (sometime before the start of free agency) -- they'll release Cobb in the offseason and keep Nelson. Nelson is the bigger target, and that chemistry with Rodgers is special. So that's my best guess. But yeah, Father Time is making his move on Nelson.
  • What's your personal feeling on a better outcome in this scenario: Loss to the Browns and the Packers end up with a top 10 pick. Or, Packers win out, go to 10-6, but miss the playoffs and have a pick ranging from 18-22.
  • For the long-term good of the franchise, going 10-6 but missing the playoffs would be the worst of both worlds as far as building future rosters. So the top-10 pick would be much better. But for the coaching staff, finishing with a bad enough record to get a top-10 pick could jeopardize more jobs. So it depends on your perspective.
  • Jason Spriggs showing improvement? Or does it seem the Coaching staff is giving him a lot of help still?
  • He definitely played better the last two weeks. Now he'll be in for a much tougher test in a couple weeks against Carolina (Peppers) and Minnesota (Griffen), so we'll have to see how does in those games. And yes he's been getting some help. But you do have to say he played better the last two weeks.
  • Hi Pete! If ever there were a trap game, the Cleveland game must be it. What would cause the Pack to lose this game? Overconfidence? Looking past the Browns? The Browns having weapons they're only now starting to employ? Or?
  • I don't see how they can look past anybody in their current position. I think the issue here is exactly what LeRoy Butler told me yesterday that I put in the column I wrote. The longer the winless Browns stay close or hold a lead, the more the pressure moves onto the Packers. Nobody wants to be the team that a winless Cleveland beat this late in the season. If this game is close later in the third or early fourth, the Browns will smell a chance at a win, and the Packers will feel that pressure of not to lose to a bad team.
  • hey Pete Why in the heck does the NFL have 53 man rosters if you can only play 47 on game day? This is so ascinine if you have injuries obviously you don't play them but these guys went through camp and made the team this rule seems nuts to me
  • The reason is they don't want to have temporary IRs like baseball and basketball -- probably to keep costs down for the owners -- so this is a substitute. Every team has injuries, so injured guys (even if they're going to miss a month) are inactive each week. Now, they don't want teams with more injuries to be at a disadvantage, so they set a number for how many players a team needs on game day and came up with 47. That way, even if you have six injured guys,  your opponent doesn't get an advantage by suiting up more guys than you have. It's basically a cost-saving measure by the owners.
  • Pete, I'm surprised at the patience the coaching staff has with Davis on returns. It appears that if any thought is required he's going to make the wrong decision. Sure, he's got the speed to break one, but even then most big returns are called back because of a penalty.
  • I think he's a pretty good kickoff returner, he's fast and fearless even though he has a slight build. I'm sure you're talking more about punt returns, and I get what you're saying, he seems to make at least one bad or at least questionable decision a game. Maybe they should use Cobb on punt returns, that's worth considering. Not sure they have anyone else worth putting out there than him, though.
  • why is jeff janis on the active list every week? he never plays anymore why keep someone inactive if they can play and keep janis who is not going to play? is he in mm's dog house?
  • He's active because he's a core special teams player. He's very good at covering kicks and punts -- watch him on punt coverage at gunner if you can, and watch other gunners for comparison. He's a big, fast, strong guy who usually beats his blockers. So he's active for good reason. I still sometimes wonder why he doesn't play a little bit at receiver. He didn't do anything in camp to distinguish himself as a receiver, but I sometimes wonder why they don't at least put him out there for a few plays to clear run deep patterns and clear out space underneath, maybe occasionally take a shot with him deep. But the coaching staff (and probably QB) clearly don't trust him enough.
  • Who should we be rooting for in tonight's game?
  • The Packers have to be pulling for the Saints. A loss drops Atlanta to 7-6.
  • Hey Pete...If that Pack were to lose to the Browns and Hundley throws for less than 100 Yards will we finally see Callahan play?
  • I would bet no on that.
  • How much does the loss of cb Kevin King hurt the D?
  • Quite a bit in my opinion. He's a talented guy who without the injury was a good bet to have improved over the second half of the season. He's still on the raw side but could match up with big receivers. Yeah, I think it will hurt them, and if by chance they get into the playoffs, it will hurt more.
  • I'm sure you'll get a number of Kevin King questions today, but here's mine: Is this injury fixable by surgery, or will it be something that is an issue throughout his career? The fact that it dates back to college is worrisome.
  • I have no idea on that. I don't know exactly what the injury is. I'm sure that's at least of some concern though, it seems like some shoulder injuries have tendency to recur. Then again, if I remember right Mike Daniels had shoulder surgery after his senior season, and he doesn't seem to have had any major issues with it since then.
  • I'm putting the Packers chances to 'run the table' at about 20%. Am I being too optimistic Pete?
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