I'm reading a book called "Low Collision Crossers" about the 2011 NY Jets. Rex Ryan allowed an author to embed himself with the coaches and scouts for the offseason and season, and a big part of the book is the interaction among the coaching staff. It's an important part of a franchise, and in fact McCarthy at the owners meetings said that Marty Schottenheimer told him that managing the staff would be his greatest challenge as a head coach. Long way of saying Philbin could make a difference. He's a good coach and McCarthy really respects him, so maybe he'll do something for the dynamic on the staff that will help with ideas and game plans, etc.
Could be almost any of them. Breeland might be back in play -- I don't know if it's a given he'll sign with Carolina after he failed a physical with them because of a foot infection. Rodgers-Cromartie? Breaux, who they had in for a visit?
I'd think it would be a pretty big jump for him to be a starter, but he should push to play a decent amount, at least based on the talent he flashed last year.
I know one of Wolf's regrets was not providing Favre with more weapons. On the other side, you have the Patriots winning in recent years without anything close to top talent at WR. A great offense helps the defense by putting great pressure on the opposing offense to keep, and allowing the defense to play with a lead. If they consider Ridley a special talent, then they'd have to draft him. But that's a big if. If they would have signed Robinson or Watkins, they presumably would have cut Cobb (or else not signed Graham). I'd be far more inclined to draft defense early if I"m them, but if a WR or TE they especially like is available in the early rounds, I wouldn't blame them for picking him. Is this year that much different than '08 when they drafted Nelson with their top pick? When it all shakes out I'm betting they go defense with those first two picks. But it's not a given. Cobb very well might not be back in '19, and maybe Graham shows decline and they don't bring him back. Then suddenly they're caught short-handed in playmaking in '19.
Because there's so much upside there as a pass rusher. Yeah, he's an inside rusher, not outside, but if by chance he's at or near double digits in sacks, that's an impact player for an inside rusher. The thing is, I still son't see why they couldn't have done both.
I don't. I'm thinking they'd have done it by now if they were going to. That's my best guess.
The problem with the line last year was depth. When the starters were healthy it was a good line. The Patriots do fine with lesser talent on the OL, and they just let their LT walk in free agency this year. The one thing I'm curious to see is what kind of impact Donald and Suh have matched together as inside rushers for the Rams. That could be tough to deal with. One thing about Thompson you have to give him credit for, he drafted great on the OL in the mid-rounds. Bakhtiari, Sitton, Lang and Tretter were all fourth-rounders, and Linsley a fifth. Gutekunst could use a pick like that at RT or RG this year.
Thought you all might want to see Bob's opinion. I'm sure at least some NFL teams think they can coach him up in a hurry.
Nothing's changed in my thinking. I still question it, think it's playing with fire not having the clear lines of authority in football and not giving the GM total power over football operations. That previous structure served the franchise well for 25 years, that's about five or six generations in the NFL. What's not clear is whether this current set up is short term until Gutekunst gets some experience, or if Murphy wants to keep the new structure for the rest of his term as president. Agree or disagree, we have to give him his chance to see how it works.
It will not reflect well on the staff, that's for sure.
I'd say he stuck with him for at least one year too long, maybe two. Easier to recognize in retrospect.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I was pretty impressed with Jones last season. He's a pretty dynamic player. The question is whether he'll stay healthy. Williams seems to be tough and dependable but not as talented. Yeah, I'd say they're in pretty good shape at that position. They don't have a Bell, Gurley or Elliott, but especially because of Jones, I'm thinking they're good enough at RB now, which wasn't the case for a few years.
I have to think it will be him. Jim Leonhard did that for Pettine with the Jets, Bills and Browns. His 40 time was 4.63, which is slower than HHCD's. So it looks like Pettine think smarts and reliability and communication are more important that pure speed, though speed always helps.
I think the estimates I saw for their rookie pool were in the $7M area. But they won't take up that much room on the cap, because until the end of training camp only the top 51 caps numbers count against the cap. So each rookie who signs will bump somebody else off, and by the third or fourth rounds, the cap numbers of the draft picks won't be much higher than the cap numbers of the guys they replace. Our Tom Silverstein calculated this stuff a couple weeks ago, and if I remember right the draft picks will take up only an additional $3 million, maybe even a tad less, in actual cap space.
I'd say that's the biggest thing, yeah. Thompson's early drafts were outstanding, but the last five or six he didn't select nearly as many difference makers. The early drafts had Rodgers, Collins, Jennings, Nelson, Matthews, Raji (for a couple years), Finley, Sitton, Lang. The only picks in that class the last five years or so are Daniels, Bakhtiari, Adams. Kenny Clark might become one of those guys too. Thompson also signed Woodson, who was a difference maker. Peppers was good but not the impact of Woodson. There are other factors too, I'm sure, but that's the biggest.
A little but really, they had a pretty good CB in Hayward, and they missed on Randall (temperament) and Rollins. That speaks to the issue to a large degree. That's three players.
My guess is no. I could be wrong, but I'm thinking if they drafted James, it would be primarily as a slot guy for the nickel, at least early in his career.
He turns 28 in July. Very talented guy, so he might be the rare CB who at that age has three or four very good years left at that age. It just might take a first-rounder. Or maybe two seconds, or a two and a three. Just my best guess, I've not asked any scouts that.
I think you answered your own question. Buckley was short and was basically a bust, Vincent was the much better player. Wolf violated his own standards and it cost him. I just don't get how you can call Wolf an average GM. He changed the Packers' culture and helped save a franchise that was in deep, deep trouble. He made a ballsy trade for Favre when nobody else wanted the guy. He made the ballsy move for White when nobody in the league thought the Packers had a chance for him. He built up the roster that won one SB and went to another. At the Hall of Fame selection meeting when he was voted in, one of the voters making his case characterized Wolf as maybe the best mid-round drafter in league history. He's in the HOF. Average? Really?
OK, went extra long because of the internet issues, again my apologies for the dead time there. I'd still argue that a tackle in R1 is too much of a luxury, too many other needs that are more pressing. You can't have everything in this league, the cap and free agency and draft setup just don't allow it. They need a playmaker on defense, and I'm still thinking that when it all shakes out they take a defensive player with that first pick. But we'll see. All drafts are interesting, but this year's especially because of what we'll learn about the new GM. Thanks everyone for dropping by and sharing your thoughts and questions. Only three weeks until the draft, it's getting close. Keep checking back to PackersNews.com, we're updating constantly with news and draft info and analysis. Take care and we'll chat again next week.