Could be the latter. When I re-watch the games Matthews usually has been good against the run, disruptive at times, stout at others. He's just not winning the one-on-ones outside as a rusher. I don't know that he'll be facing any particularly good tackles the next three weeks.
Forgot to address the Whitt part of his question, thanks for reminding. This comes up maybe every-other week because of the coverage issues. It's really hard to judge position coaches outside looking in -- so much of it has to do with the talent they have to work with. I do know Woodson routinely spoke highly of Whitt, unsolicited. Whitt helped develop Tramon Williams and Sam Shields into excellent cornerbacks. So there's some track record there. People I talk to with at the Packers speak highly of him. All those points makes me think he's probably a good coach. But the secondary has had issues for a couple years, so the question is legit. My take is it's more a talent issue. I could be wrong, but that's my take. I mean, the second half of last year he had LaDarius Gunter as his No. 1 CB, and Gunter ran like a 4.69. You can't play CB in this league with that speed, it's just too hard. I'd have liked to have seen how much King improved, but his injury prevents that.
I think he's been pretty good. I haven't asked any scouts this, but I'd suspect he's a legit Pro Bowler -- one of the three best DTs in the NFC. He and Clark are the reason the run D has been pretty good all season. He gets a fair amount of pressure as a rusher even if he's not getting sacks. I think he's had a very good year. Can you name three DTs in the NFC who are better? I can't.
Sorry if I've missed you Jce, I get a lot of questions, probably answer only a third of them, if they're at all redundant from something I've answered I skip them. Anyway, Rollins is on IR and is out for the season. But I do wonder if he's just not quite fast enough to be a good NFL CB, sure looks that way after three seasons.
Reporters have asked several times, especially earlier in the season, if he had an injury. Safeties coach Darren Perry had hinted he did. But he says no, the Packers say no, and I don't remember him being on the injury report. So that's all we can go by until something comes out differently. The one thing you have to say about him as opposed to,say, Perry, is that Clinton-Dix is available. He almost never misses practice let alone games. He's a durable guy.
I have talked to some people in football who think that scheme is a little too complicated for today's NFL, with all the roster changeover every year, and all the young guys that have to play over the course of a long season. But then others say it isn't. The problem he has is he doesn't have much pass rush, so he has to try to figure out how to manufacture, and that's tough to do without trying to disguise and taking chances, etc.
Don't be surprised at all if Thompson signs that kind of extension in the offseason. I'd bet on it.
Yeah, he'll crank out more first downs, which keeps the D off the field. When he's putting up points early that puts a lot of pressure on the opposing offense to keep up, so it might take some more chances, maybe turn the ball over. He doesn't play defense but he helps their defense, just like Brady does in NE, Brees in NO, and Wentz did in Philly.
That Jones-Freeman comparison is pretty good. They're styles are similar -- Freeman's got more power, but they're similar slasher types, both dynamic runners. Grant was faster and a little more elusive than Williams, he broke more 12-plus runs. I'd have to think a little about who Williams reminds me of. Nobody's springing to mind.
Smart bet, there are a lot of them.
Yeah, I'm curious to see if there are some differences from early in the year. I have to think they're going to run more, that should set up play action for Rodgers. And I'd think they'd want to get the ball out quickly. But he also plays the way he plays. He likes to escape the pocket and throw on the run to keep drives alive or hit a big play. Might be hard for him to suddenly stop doing that. But agreed, I'm thinking they'll try to run a lot, at least early and as long as they don't fall more than a score behind.
I've been watching that when I watch other NFL games, and I don't see inside rushers getting home too often unless it's a blitzing linebacker. It's tough for inside rushers to get to the QB, that's why few of them reach double-digit sacks -- I'd say six sacks is a pretty good year for an inside rusher. I haven't seen Calais Campbell yet, I think he has at least 12 sacks or so, and if he's getting all those as an inside rusher, that is really impressive. There's just so much traffic in there, and often three guys (a center and two guards) blocking two.
I don't see them getting there, I just don't think Keenum is good enough to get to the Super Bowl. Their defense is really good but it's not like Seattle a couple years ago, or TB when it won the SB with Sapp-Rice-Brooks and then Brad Johnson at QB, or Baltimore when it won it with Dilfer at QB. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but I'm not seeing it.
There's a real chance of that. This last CBA has been a boon for owners, the players definitely think they gave away too much. Goodell and D Smith are still the principals, and the relationship between the negotiating sides isn't good. So everything sets up for a possible work stoppage.
It might mean he's not real good at picking CBs. Could be some bad luck too. I still think luck is a bigger factor in drafting than most want to admit. I guess you can say he made a good pick with Hayward, though he let him leave. And full disclosure, I thought letting Hayward walk at the time was the right move after Randall and Rollins showed promise as rookies.
That's the argument for playing the Seahawks' single-high safety defense instead of the Capers system. I have to point out, though, that Pittsburgh uses the same system as Capers, and so does Tennessee with LeBeau.
He has to be an interesting guy for the NFL, because he's already done really well at Wisconsin and played in the NFL for a long time, so he knows the league. He obviously has a lot of talent to work with at UW, but there's no denying he's done well with it. I can't think of an example where a guy went from college coordinator to NFL coordinator -- not saying it hasn't happened, but I can't think of one. So that seems like a really big jump to me. But he has to be a guy NFL coaches are watching now. The more likely course would be to come to the NFL as a position coach. Or maybe he wants to stay in college, I don't know.
Yeah, that's a reason to think they match up OK. Carolina isn't built like other teams to exploit the weaknesses in coverage, not only because of the WRs but because Newton's accuracy is a little shaky. The big thing is keeping him from beating you with his legs. I think Olsen is back, too, which gives him his favorite target. And the screen game has killed the Packers, and they'll probably see a lot of it in different forms with McCaffrey.
I'm thinking that's not the reason, because when they go on the road they're only there for Saturday evening, then play the next day and fly home immediately after the game. Maybe he's more relaxed on the road, feels fewer expectations or whatever. I'm still of the mind it's a statistical anomaly because the sample size is so small.
I'm guessing McCarthy would be reluctant to bring that kind of chaos into the building. I realize Ryan wouldn't be the head coach, but he is who he is, and he's going to make news that you don't want your coordinator making. So unless McCarthy knows him personally and has good reason to think it will work out well, I don't think he'd do it. Ryan has been a really good coordinator, not doubt, but it's been a while since he's been a coordinator, and he's used to running the show. I'm not dismissing your idea out of hand, but I strongly suspect McCarthy wouldn't do that.
OK, this has to do it, other duties to attend to. Thanks for coming by everybody, way too many questions to get to them all, but as always, if I didn't answer yours, try again next week. As to your two questions woodson21, I have to file my pick tonight, and right now I'm leaning toward picking Carolina. I just wonder if Rodgers will have a little rust, and he can't afford to have any in this game. Newton's not a great passer but can beat you with his legs. So I'm leaning that way as of now. To your second question, if they win this one, I'm thinking their playoff prospects skyrocket. Rodgers will have had a game to get back to game speed. They get the Vikings at home. Many factors in their favor at that point. Thanks again everyone, always enjoy chatting and finding out what's on your minds. Take care and we'll talk again next week.