Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Thursday, Dec. 21 transcript

  • Good afternoon Pete, have you seen how Lawrence Guy is finally making his mark ?? Too bad he did not find his groove while still with the Pack.
  • Hi everybody, let's dive in. Yeah, he's been on NFL rosters for a long time now. He's on the Patriots, have seen him on the field a few times when watching them. He was one of those practice-squad guys who's gone on to have a career.
  • HI Pete, I know Capers is for now the DC .. Could Marvin Lewis be a potential DC ?? Any other good names out there for a new DC ??
  • I'd think Lewis would be a highly sought-after candidate for a DC if he's interested. He's been a head coach so long maybe he wouldn't be interested. There was a story early this week that he might want to be a GM. He denied it later in the week, but it rang true enough to make you wonder if that's the way he'd prefer to go. If the Bears staff gets fired, Vic Fangio, a Capers disciple, will be available. I'm not sure who the hot defensive assistants working the Seattle scheme are (Jacksonville and Atlanta run that D also).
  • Hi Pete,

    Now that the Packer's season is officially over although technically it was over when Rodgers got hurt in MINN what POSITIVES do you see from this team going into next year? On offense other than Rodgers and Davante Adams who I believe is a free agent after this year and as I commented to you several weeks ago, the future looks good for the rookie RB's Jones and Williams although Tom Silverstein had a good article the other day that Rodgers return next year could stunt their growth. And the defense (obviously) is a mess...Other than Josh Jones and LB Martinez and maybe Mike Daniels they could replace about 90 percent of that defense and does Capers come back? Thank you and Happy Holidays!
  • I can't disagree with your assessment. I'd definitely put Kenny Clark in that group too, he became a good player this year and has a bright future. Excellent against the run and OK as a pass rusher, and he's a young guy (I think he's only 22). If Kevin King's shoulder isn't a chronic problem, he appears to have a fair amount of ability. Lowry made a nice improvement this year. I'll be curious to see WR Michael Clark in the offseason, he's the ex-basketball player who played two years of football (one was a redshirt) at Marshall, flashed real talent in camp because of his height and length and jumping.
  • Pete, Matthews, 15 mil cap hit this year, Cobb and Jordy over 24 mil between them. Production is not there, would not be surprised to see Jordy retire. Cannot bring Clay back at them numbers, zero cap hit if he is released.
  • Agreed on Matthews, he will have to take a pay cut. I'd think he'd be open to it if he can earn some of the money back incentives. I'd move him inside if I were the Packers, he'd be their best ILB even at age 32 (next year). Almost anything could happen with Nelson and Cobb. Nelson has said he wants to play another couple years, but that was last offseason. Maybe this season will change his mind. I'm guessing the Packers keep him or Cobb but not both, and re-do the contract of whichever one they keep to reduce his pay for '18. They conceivably could try to do that with both, but really, I see both as slot receivers now, so not sure that would be a good idea.
  • Pete, in light of losing free agents last season - Peppers, Hyde, Lang, etc.) what's your take on how many compensatory picks they'll get?
  • Four is the max, and it looks like that's what they're going to get. There are a couple websites that are pretty good at predicting what picks teams will get, and if I remember right they've been saying a third, a fifth and two sevenths. Now, if I understand right, the Packers cut Martellus Bennett just before a deadline that means he won't count against their allotment. So maybe one of those other picks (the third or the sevenths) will move up a round.
  • Hey Pete, here is a trade idea, Randall Cobb for Taysom Hill .. do you think the Saints would go for that ? Do salaries need to match up in NFL trades ?
  • Can't imagine the Saints would go for that. They wouldn't want to inherit Cobb's contract, and it sounds like they like Hill.
  • I have been thinking outside the box. Pack exploring trade options for Rodgers? 6-7 yrs. for promising to build him a Super Bowl team. Is he going to go F.A getting tired of the same old same old? New G.M., old WR.'s older teammates...There comes a time. Be pro-active
  • Hey Rick, how are your brothers? I wouldn't do it. Six or seven years is a long time and QBs like this are really, really hard to find. And who knows, maybe Brady will show that will the rules changes for hitting QBs, it's now possible for these guys to play well until 43, 44. I'd ride it out with Rodgers and try to win a couple Super Bowls over the next six or seven years. The problem is, if they traded him now they could go through another 25-year drought without a QB, like they did between Starr and Favre. So I'd stick with it. Maybe if you get down to his last couple years and you've drafted a successor you really like, then you could do it. But you know what they say, the hardest time to find a QB is when you need one. So they might have an easier time finding a good one in the last few years before Rodgers retires than after.
  • Pete - Have there been any whispers about Rodgers' honest reaction to going on IR. I know McCarthy described him as "disappointed." Any idea where the QB falls within the range from "disappointed" to "extremely upset?"
  • I haven't heard anything, no. I could be wrong, but I'd think deep down he has to know this is the smart move.
  • Pete - Does the Pack have a legit GM in waiting? If so, who? If not, do you have any suggestions? Schneider from Seattle? Thanks.
  • Wolf, Highsmith and Gutkunst are all legit candidates. So is Russ Ball. Murphy hasn't named a GM in waiting and says he won't, he doesn't want to tie the organization's hands because circumstances can change. I'm not sure if Schneider would be available. I'm under the impression that he doesn't have final say on personnel in Seattle (Carroll I think has that), which should make him available, or at least would under the rules as I remember them. Some of the rules on GM hiring have changed over the last couple years, so I'd have to check on that. Also, Paul Allen has the deepest pockets in the NFL and could make Schneider an offer he couldn't refuse. I think Schneider signed a contract extension in the last year or so, so maybe there's language in there that precludes a move. If I'm the Packers, I'm promoting from within. All the guys who worked here under Wolf and Thompson who have gotten GM jobs (Schneider, McCloughan, Dorsey, McKenzie) have done well. Doesn't guarantee anything with this next group, but I'm not seeing a good reason to not hire one of them. You never know how they're going to do until they sit in that chair, but you can say that about the up-and-comers from all other teams as well.
  • Hi Pete. This season has got me thinking of life w/o Rodgers. The last time the packers went through prolonged losing and mediocrity, running a franchise was cheaper and tickets were cheaper. This year w/o Rodgers, u couldn’t give away tickets. Yes there is a waiting list for season tickets but I would argue at least half of those people just want to brag about being on it and with the high cost and poor play, retaining them would be more difficult. So could the packers survive a decade or 2 of losing in green bay in today’s NFL?
  • Not sure. A long run as bad as the '70s and '80s would be tough to weather. Now, they have a lot more financial resources than they had then with the stadium and atrium and Titletown district, so money and facilities and being able to hire the best people shouldn't be an issue. That's important. They have to do everything they can stay relevant and remain that way when Rodgers leaves. But they have a huge following around the country and world, so they'll have the resources.
  • This roster is bottom 10 talent wise, pro bowl selections tell you same. If Thompson is given extension time to find something else to do.
  • I'm not sure if they're bottom 10 in overall talent or not. I mean, it's probably borderline. Bakhtiari is a Pro Bowler even though he didn't get in. Daniels is right there but plays a position that's strong in the NFC. I mean, I get what you're saying, and maybe they are bottom 10. But they might be just a little better than that. I'll be curious to see how Philly does in the playoffs. I know there was a lot said about how good they are overall, and their defense, or at least their defensive front, definitely is better than the Packers.'. But it looked to me like Wentz's improvement was the reason they went from six or whatever wins last year to maybe best team in the NFC this year. I think they're done now that he's done. We'll see.
  • As the fire Dom drum beats louder than louder, can we remind everybody that today’s NFL is designed to allow the offenses more advantages. If we look at the statistics I think most fans would be surprised to see the compression of defensive rankings. The difference for GBP to move from 26th in Defense to top 5 is only 49 yards per game! And the top rated defense has given up 23.4 points per game where GBP has given up 23.8. I just hope they don’t think a change in Defensive Coordinator is going to mean we allow 70 yards and 3 points per game. We need more talent and playmakers but I also think as fans we need to be realistic on what Defenses in this day and age are expected to produce.
  • I did notice that the week before Carolina beat the Packers, it beat beat Minnesota by the exact same score, 31-24. So that Minnesota defense gave up the same amount of points as the Packers. I know that doesn't mean all's equal, not saying that at all. But it goes to your point.
  • I read your article on "roster questions."

    I'd dump them all.

    Turn that money into Rodgers' signing bonus.

    What do you have with those guys? the All-Injured-Reserve Team??
  • I know that it's easy for fans to feel that way in the moment, but of course it's not realistic. But to your point, one of the hardest things about personnel is knowing when to move on from guys. From what I've come to learn, Lombardi was a master at this. He was ruthless in that way and had no trouble dumping guys who had played well for him when he thought they were getting old. He generally was proactive in that way and got rid of them sooner rather than later (the old axiom better to part with a player a year early than a year late). The end often comes so suddenly for NFL players, one season they're pretty good, the next they're not. It can even happen during the season. So those are hard decisions. That's why I didn't argue with letting Sitton and Lang walk. They were excellent players but you can easily end up over-paying for declining guys, that's a real risk. Several big decisions for the Packers this offseason. There always are.
  • Hi Pete, although the defense gets the lions share of the criticism (and probably rightlfully so) I'm wondering why everyone seems to always make excuses for the poor play of the OL. Granted they experience injuries every year, but the fact remains that they are 3rd worst in the NFL as far as sacks allowed this season. Every team has injuries, the ones that win are those that control the LoS and have decent backups when injuries occur on the OL.
  • I have to disagree with you. I mean, early in the season the line definitely was an issue, when Bakhtiari was hurt especially, but with Bulaga out at the same time and I think Taylor missed some time too. That was a big problem. But after Bakhtiari came back I thought the line played fairly well. I think a decent number of those sacks are on Hundley too, he was learning game speed on the job and it showed. Usually (not always but usually) when sack numbers are high it's the QB as much as the line. Peyton Manning was always among the lowest-sacked QBs in the league, and his lines were never that good. I think you can fairly criticize Thompson for not having as much depth as he could have at OL, but I thought once Bakhtiari came back from his injury the Packers' OL was fine.
  • Pete, if you get chance to watch Panthers last TD, Ha Ha seemed totally out of it. Pass went right by him, same on contested TD. Something has to be going on with him.
  • Yeah, I saw that too, he just wasn't aware of the all. For some reason he's regressed this year and not sure what it is. He and the Packers insist he's not injured. I don't know what else it could be.
  • Hey Pete, Which is more likely this off-season: Mark Murphy (or whoever is calling the shots) decides that missing the playoffs isn't good enough and makes changes ... or ... blame goes to the inordinate number of injuries (#12 plus the defensive backfield) and sticks with the status quo?
  • Murphy's in charge in the sense that he fires and hires the GM. Thompson is in charge of football. I'd say the latter is much more likely. I don't think there's much if any chance Murphy fires or pushes out Thompson, and Thompson is not firing McCarthy. I do think Dom Capers' job is in jeopardy.
  • How could Thompson have so badly miscalculated on Hyde and Hayward?
  • As for Hayward, the miscalculation was as much Randall and especially Rollins. Hayward had a really good rookie year, then had injury issues and some up-and-down play the last three years. With Randall and Rollins showing promise as rookies, I completely understood why they decided not to pay Hayward. They wanted to get those two other guys on the field. Then Randall and Rollins had injuries last year and their play slipped for that and other reasons. Randall has finally recovered the second half of this season, but it's looking like Rollins is a bust, just not quite fast enough. Hayward, though, has shown the last two years he's a good corner. Hyde was really instinctive and played good football here but also had some speed issues. He was more a slot CB than a safety with the Packers, whereas he's strictly a safety in Buffalo if I understand correctly. They could have used him this season because of injuries, but I'm still not sure I'd have paid him $5M or $6M a year, either, if I were the Packers. But that's just me. He made the Pro Bowl, kudos to him.
  • Somehow, over the months and years, a perfectly valid assertion:
    "Without Rodgers, you don't have a chance at the SuperBowl"

    ...morphed into:
    "With Rodgers, you have a chance at the SuperBowl"

    With Rodgers, you may have a chance at the playoffs -- but without a defense, and a semblance of a running game and special teams, you don't really have a chance at a SuperBowl.
  • I disagree. With the way they played early in the season, before Rodgers' injury, they definitely were a SB threat. I think going into Minnesota their odds were second-best, behind only NE. Maybe they wouldn't have remained quite that high, but they were one of several teams that had a legit shot. They looked like a 12- or 13-win team to me. Yes, they'd have to overcome their defensive issues when they played someone like Atlanta or New Orleans or NE or Pitt. And I do think the King injury might have sunk them even if Rodgers played all year -- if you don't have enough decent cover guys it's tough to beat the best QBs in this league, and they had no depth there. But when they were 4-1, their chances looked as good as just about anyone's in my mind. I take it you disagree, but I'd be curious if you can remember what you thought going into Week 6.
  • I read Zimmer's comments yesterday about players looking out for each other and had to check again to make sure I wasn't reading The Onion. It's absolutely absurd that someone who has defended his team's over-the-line play all season is now preaching safety. In my view, the coaches (Zimmer, Rivera, etc.) who make excuses for their players in the face of obviously illegal and violent attacks are just as culpable as the dirty players themselves. Second to that is an NFL system that preaches safety, but is guaranteed to reduce a repeat offender's suspension. Especially with what we know about head injuries now. Rant over. Thanks.
  • I that it was absurd too, though for a slightly different reason. You just can't ask players to police themselves. They're fighting for jobs, and it's highly competitive, and some are going to do whatever they can get away with. So I don't think self-policing is the answer. It just won't work.
  • Pete, let’s discuss TT. Few impact players drafted in recent years (esp. considering the emphasis on defense); more misses than hits in free agency in recent years; and allowing good defensive players to leave and become Pro Bowlers elsewhere. Sure, it made sense to let Hayward go, for example, and to sign Bennett. But TT’s blown it badly, more often than not. What do you think, Pete? Are TT’s best days as a GM behind him now?
  • I don't blame him for the free agency moves that didn't work out this year, because none of the moves was reckless or a really bad contract, and this is the kind of thing he should have been doing a little more of. The way he handled last offseason is the template, add a few targeted guys, fill some gaps (Evans and House) with cheaper guys you think will do OK. There's a hit-miss element to free agency just like the draft, so you have to live with that and just not lock yourself into bad contracts. He just should have been doing this back in '12, '13, '14, '15 and '16. The draft is the big thing, he just hasn't hit big on any picks for the last four or five years, and that's a big reason why the defense struggles. Though the Clark pick is looking pretty good. Are his best days behind him? Might be.
  • When would they let Capers or any coaches go?
  • When they've been in the playoffs, it's usually taken McCarthy close to a week or even more after the last game to let go of any assistants. But with the playoffs off the table and two games to go, maybe this year will be different. I can't say for sure. If he lets any coaches go, my best guess is that it would be in the middle or end of the week after the last game.
  • Pete, I thought Kenny Clark deserved some Pro Bowl consideration. Which Packers do you think played at a PB level?
  • Bakhtiari comes first to mind. Maybe Adams. Larry Fitzgerald had a lot of catches but a low average (I think like 10 yards). I have to think Adams is the better player at this point. Daniels is right there but I can't argue with the DTs selected ahead of him (Cox, Donald and McCoy).
  • Hi Pete. Thanks as always for doing these sessions. If you were the Packers GM, would you look to find a veteran backup QB for next season? And what do you think TT will actually do?
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