Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Thursday, Jan. 18 transcript

    I think you can make a good argument for either. If forced to answer, guess I'd probably say a tight end who can run. Good tight ends have become really valuable weapons in the NFL. Look what Cook did for the offense in 2016 when he was healthy.
    Do you think the Packers organization has a lot of dissension from people being passed over and leaving. It seemed to have some turmoil.
    That's one of the problems when you have so many viable internal candidates for the GM job, the ones who don't get it will feel spurned. Most of that fallout has happened -- Highsmith and Wolf to Cleveland. Ball got a promotion so that might assuage him. On the flip side, those departures create opportunities for others.
    Pete, just wondering if you have gotten any reaction from other teams around the league about the Packers' management changes?
    Not much yet, I've been talking to mostly people involved with or close to the Packers to find out what was going on. But I'll be curious to hear from others in the coming weeks.
    Where do you think McCarthy ranks in terms of head coaches in the NFL? I tend to think he's probably one of the 7 best head coaches in the league, but constantly see hate for him and I don't understand why.
    I'd have to take some time to really think this through for a good answer. I'll start by saying this: To a large degree in this league, there's Belichick and everybody else. There are things to criticize with McCarthy, as there are with all coaches in the league, but overall I'd have to consider him one of the better coaches in this league. Yeah, he's had great QBs. But what coaches with long histories of winning haven't? I remember being really impressed with Bruce Arians, but then he had a couple bad years when his QB got hurt. Zimmers seems like a good coach but Minnesota had a bad season in '16 despite all that defensive talent. Tomlin wins year in and year out but is catching a lot of flak in Pittsburgh for not even getting to the championship game this year. McVay had a great year and maybe he'll be special. But let's give a few seasons before putting him in the Hall of Fame. Let's put it another way: Aside from Belichick, who's clearly better than McCarthy? Probably not a lot separates these guys, they have their strengths and weaknesses, just like players. I can't disagree with your assessment putting him in the top seven in the league.
    Do you have any thought as to why Elliot Wolf wasn't offered the GM job? His age? Did Murphy want to get away from the past, Thompson/Wolf eras?
    Sounds like age was a big thing.
    Pete - By Ron Wolf's comments did you get the sense he was pissed that Eliot did not get the GM position?
    TT was notorious for drafting early round players from a certain part of the country and conference. Was there some frustration within the scouting department where certain scouts didn't feel as listened to without naming names?
    I asked about that, obviously a lot of guys from out West in general and the Pac-12 in particular with those high picks. Didn't get much answer other than he seems to like guys from that league. Never heard anybody give a particular reason why he liked them, just that he did. Maybe we'll learn more now that Thompson is no longer GM.
    Hey Pete, in your opinion which position is more likely to be filled with free agency more than a draft pick? i think CB and Tight end have to be free agency fills...
    Yeah, maybe throw receiver in there. I'd think pass rusher would be hardest because teams generally don't let even decent rushers hit the market unless there's an extenuating issue, such as injury history, or locker-room or off-the-field problems.
    Pete- Is it even possible to have a shut down defense with a franchise QB payroll. It seems something has to give salary wise. That said, the Packers defense does not play with gusto or a swarming mentality. They just don't and what concerns me with this knew DC, it is said you have to have a very smart player to run that defense and not saying we are dumb with our secondary guys, but receivers ran wild against them and they were wide open and uncovered a lot. A big payroll to the QB and a complicated defensive scheme for players that seem to need simplicity and I wonder how much improvement we can expect defensively?
    Yeah, that's a good point and one worth bringing up regularly. When's the last time a team had a premier QB and a great D? I'd say Dallas in the early '90s. Even the Packers in '96, who finished No. 1 in defense for yards allowed, they were an excellent defense but not a great one, if you understand the difference. The QB money plays a big role. Seattle built up that D when Wilson was on a rookie contract, now he's been paid and age and injury are diminishing that D. Minnesota doesn't have big money invested at QB, even with Bradford there the Vikings didn't pay his big bonus a few years ago, Philly did. Jacksonville could pay Campbell and Bouye in part because Bortles is on a rookie contract. We talked about the complex D scheme earlier, and I have the same questions you do. Will be interested to hear what Pettine and McCarthy have to say about it, and more importantly, how the defense performs next season.
    Hey Pete, I'm wondering what you think about going after a FA receiver since often times it takes a year or more for a rookie receiver to blossom? Perhaps someone like Allen Robinson who may be available. Although not a burner, he has a lot of talent and would make a potent pairing with Adams. If they were to cut loose Cobb and Nelson they should definitely have the money to sign an established player for the second receiver spot.
    Agreed, that's why I threw WR on that list below. Rookie receivers are doing a little more now than even a few years ago, but the point remains and seems to especially hold true for TEs. So I'd think WR and TE are good targets for free agency, and without knowing all that much about Robinson, he has to be worth looking into. There's also Landry from Miami, but he seems to carry some big red flags, seems like he can be really difficult for coaches to deal with. He had problems with the Dolphins staff early in the season, then he played well and they started talking contract extensions, then there were more problems after that. It's a bad sign when a guy is difficult to deal with when he had a contract on the line. Once he's paid it only empowers them. It's something teams will have to look hard into before deciding whether to commit the money to signing him.
    Hey Pete,
    Obviously, the Packers need a pass rusher (possibly in the first round) with Matthews' age and recent decline in production, CB, WR and TE help as well. If the Packers part ways with Burnett, does S become a priority in this draft as well or do you think Gutenkunst is okay with Clinton-Dix and Brice on the back end next season? Also if Roquan Smith drops to GB, do they take him even with Martinez coming off a super year?
    Don't forget Josh Jones, either. I don't know if Pettine would want to play him more in a linebacker-type role or if he likes him as a box safety, but Jones is a safety by trade.
    Why doesn’t AR do a cap friendly deal like Brady, take less money and allow the rooster to be filled with more premium players? I would like he would prefer another ring than just more money.
    I thought on his last deal Rodgers easily could have squeezed a couple million dollars a year more of the Packers but didn't. Peyton Manning always seemed to get every penny he could from the Colts, for instance. You have to remember Brady's wife makes a lot more money than he does, so that makes it easier for him to take less. I'll be curious to see Rodgers' next deal, but if he does like it his last one, he'll be the highest-paid guy but  leave a little money on the table. I don't know that he'll do that, but he did the last time. Maybe the change at GM will give him more incentive to do it again. I still have to think he'll come in at at least $30M per year in new money. Definitely worth every penny.
    Everyone talks about how important it is to have "difference makers" on your team. But in the current day-and-age with such a high probability of your key players being injured wouldn't it be better to save the money by not signing difference makers and using it on quality backups?
    I'd say no. Because it's the difference makers who win games. You just kind of have to roll the dice, because you're right, injuries are often decisive in this league, it's kind of ridiculous that way.
    Pete, do you feel like Jimmy Grahm would help our offense more than Cobb?
    If so, couldn't the Packers cut Cobb and pay Graham with cap space?
    Unfortunately I'm going to have to cut it off here, have some other work to get to. But really appreciate everybody coming by and sharing your thoughts and questions, always enjoy chatting with you. We'll be doing it every week, so if I didn't get you this time try next week, I made an effort to pick through the questions so I wasn't just answering the early birds this time. As for Graham, I want to call around on him. Obviously a talented guy. I just looked it up yesterday, he turned 31 in November. That's a concern because he's also had kind of a chronic knee issue for a couple years, though it seems like it wasn't as bad last season. So you have to wonder how much he might be in decline. But obviously worth a good hard look. The Packers are so thin at tight end right now, they badly need an upgrade. I'll be curious to see what kind of offers he gets considering the age-knee issues. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on. OK, that will have to do it. Lots of news to come this offseason, so check back with PackersNews.com a couple times a day, we're always updating and adding. Thanks again everyone, and take care.
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