OK, let's dive right in. I agree they played Hyde in the wrong position, he should have been a safety. I have no idea if Pettine will be better at matching skills to the way guys are used. My take was that the lack of true playmaking talent was the biggest problem on the defense, but maybe Pettine will find a way to get more out of what the Packers have. But I really don't know how good he is at that. We'll find out.
I can't say I'm seeing it with Fackrell. He's a good straight-line athlete, but it doesn't seem like his change of direction is real good, and he lacks strength. So I'd be really surprised if he makes a big jump. But he'll get the chance to prove it one way or the other on the field.
Murphy definitely has put himself on the line, because he's now the head of football in a way that the president never was before. He's said he's not going to be hands on, so that would make him a lot different than Jones, who is the GM. I'd agree that him having McCarthy, Gutekunst and Ball all report to him puts Murphy into a new level of accountability. No idea how the executive committee will react if this doesn't go well.
Don't know where you heard that, it could end up being true or could be total BS. With all the noise around the draft, a lot of times there's no way to know whether things being reported are real or just speculation based on pretty much nothing. I'm pretty suspicious of everything draft related.
If I remember right, that usually comes out at the owners meetings, which are in late March.
I don't know that, but it's a good question to ask. Now that you bring it up, I'm not sure what most DCs do. My guess is most are in the booth, but that's a wild guess.
Retirement is up to him. Whether to keep him, and what price, is up to the Packers. He's definitely slowed, no question about that. His chemistry with Rodgers is so good, though, that there still could be a role for him as a slot guy or almost a TE type catching passes over the middle. You're right, the deep stuff isn't there anymore. I'm still guessing he takes a pay cut (probably in the form of a contract extension) and plays next year.
Agree completely. Wouldn't be surprised at all if they took a receiver in the first two or three rounds. They needs speed and playmaking at that position.
When he first tore his ACL I was thinking they'd cut him. But I think his pay this year will be $6 million, $6.5 million, right in there. There's a pretty good chance he won't be ready until halfway through the season, but depending on whether they sign a RT in free agency, I could see keeping him on as an insurance policy in case the position ends up being a problem. Maybe they could even work out a contract adjustment, guarantee him some money then let him make back a fair amount with playing time incentives.
Personally, I'd ask both to take pay cuts. My guess is they'll ask Nelson to and he will -- he hinted during the season he'd be open to it -- but they'll bring back Cobb at his scheduled salary.
Funny you saw that, I wondered the same thing when I saw the score. The UWGB women have been dominant at their level for years, I think they're rated No. 17 in the country despite playing in a weak conference. They consistently beat teams from the major conferences. As far as Gutekunst, I've heard a lot of good things about him as an evaluator. Some people I talked to think Eliot Wolf is a better evaluator, some thought Gutekunst. Like everyone else, I'm really curious to see his first draft. I'd say the scouting department took a big hit when it lost Highsmith and Wolf, and that's a big drain of experienced, highly regarded evaluators. I talked to one person who knows about these things who considered Highsmith one of the best pure evaluators to come from the Ron Wolf tree. Gutekunst has a big hire or two coming up after the draft.
I can't disagree with your take. Based on what McCarthy has said in the past, he really likes Cobb, loves his toughness. But I guess in the end I'd answer by saying they can keep those guys and still add significant talent at receiver, either in the draft or free agency. If they signed a big money guy in free agency, then I'd think either Cobb or Nelson would have to go.
Does it matter one iota what anyone says a talk show? Do you really think the Packers' SB window is closed? Look how much New Orleans improved with just one good draft last year. If Gutekunst signs a good player or two and hits on a draft pick, the Packers could be very good. Didn't Vegas give them like the third-best odds to win the SB this year? That's putting your money where your mouth is.
I'd think it depends on the price. You look at it that he's just 29, but I look at it as, he's now 29. That's kinda getting up there for his position, not old but on the cusp. He's had some injuries, as you say, that takes a toll and also is a sign of age. I wouldn't make a big investment even though you're right, he was their most consistent safety by far. I'd just be concerned about age and injury.
There will be some news out of the scouting combine, McCarthy and Gutekunst will be available to the media there, first time in a while. The biggest news we'll probably see is maybe a contract restructure or two.
Yeah, I personally think that's crazy. The thing is, even with a king's ransom of picks you might not hit on a QB, and if you don't, well, I won't say all is lost, but things get really, really tough. That can start an awful cycle of drafting QBs high, watching them fail, then repeating. That can go on for years, decades. I'm in your camp on this one, especially because the rules changes are increasing QB's longevity.
No reason to do so now. He's cheap -- he's on the last year of his rookie contract -- and has some ability with the ball in his hands. Versatile, can play RB in an injury pinch. Maybe things will look different at the end of training camp, but his cost is so low no reason not to bring him back and wait until the end of camp to make any decision.
Injuries too can be a factor. They could sign a fairly prominent free agent, feel better about the position, and the guy could hurt in camp. Hard to predict the weak spots now because of what might happen in free agency and the draft. I mean, going into the season I though safety was maybe their deepest position, and look how that turned out because of poor play and injuries. I'd say cornerback could still be a concern come May. Backup offensive line possibly.
Just read something yesterday suggesting the Bears are a pretty good bet to re-sign him. He hadn't played well until last year. They're not exactly brimming with talent, so if he's pretty decent I'd be surprised if they let him walk.
I don't know if they will, but they definitely can if they make some good decisions. A good free agent CB or WR/TE plus two pretty good draft picks could make a big difference. Not easy to do all that but by no means out of the realm.