Hi everybody, time for the 2018 NFL season to get going, let's dive right in. I'm sure there will be a lot of questions about Rodgers' contract, and just so you know, I'll be writing a column about that tomorrow, so I'm still formulating my thinking. They could do that, but if read Andrew Brandt's column for SI.com that came out yesterday, even then it gets complicated. Top two or three contracts based on cap numbers that year? Or average for the entire deal? Or average for new money for guys who signed extensions? I'm sure the Packers want to avoid that if at all possible, and because Rodgers has two years left on his contract, the Packers have their share of leverage on this. Looks like this is proving to be a tough negotiation.
Based on what we saw at the OTAs, it looks like in that way it will be similar to under Capers, with two true defensive linemen and two outside linebackers who in many ways are defensive ends. Teams play mostly nickel in the NFL, with a some dime mixed in that for a 3-4 team also has only two DL and then the two OLBs. The base 3-4 with three big defensive lineman, basically the body types of defensive tackles, and then two outside linebackers playing outside them, is becoming more and more rare. I don't know the exact numbers but I'd guess the Packers will play the base 3-4 only about, I don't know, 10 or 15 percent of their defensive snaps. The value of the depth of the DL will show mainly in being able to rotate guys and keeping them fresh for the fourth quarter, and for putting four or five of them out there in goal line and short yardage.
This is in line with the last question. That's what I'm really interested to see in camp and the preseason games. In the three OTA practices that were open to reporters, the personnel groupings didn't look any different, and for the most part they seemed to line up the same. But that was only three practices, and I'm sure we'll see the differences with practice being open almost every day in camp.
That revenue is not shared. The shared revenues are the national TV and radio contracts, tickets (the luxury suites are not shared as best as I remember) and merchandise. And they can use the revenue from things such as Titletown in any way they want. That's the great advantage of that kind of revenue, you don't have to share it.
I didn't see the drafting of those guys that way. I'm not even sure those three drafted receivers played much special teams coverage in college (pretty sure St. Brown didn't at Notre Dame, for instance). I think it's more they had a shot to get some really big receivers and took it. Those guys are such huge targets, so the ball doesn't have to be as much on the money with a 6-4 or 6-5 guy than a 6-0 or 6-1 guy, the catching radius is a lot bigger. That makes it easier to complete passes and to have a guy make an extended catch and keep running as opposed to having to lay out. And with St. Brown and Valdes-Scantling, their 40 times were good -- Brown in the upper 4.4s if I remember right, and Valdes-Scantling in the upper 4.3s. So from everything I could tell those picks were all about adding size to the receiving corps. Really not sure if any of them will do much as rookies. Based on the limited view we got of them in camp, J'Mon Moore looked the most advanced, even though his 40 time was slowest of the group he looked like the quickest off the line and the quickest in and out of his breaks.
My suspicion is that camp injuries played at least part of the role in the decision for McCarthy to have a regular-season practice schedule -- that is, starting practice somewhere between 11:15 and 12:15 every day -- from the start of camp. Previously, he'd practice at 8:15 for the first six or seven practices. Now they'll be on the same schedule from Day 1, which means they'll have more consistent sleep times, which plays a big role in recovery. McCarthy was asked about the change at his press conference this morning but really was vague, just kind of talked around it. I'm sure other factors could have played into the decision to change the start time the first week, but my suspicion is that injury prevention was part of it. They have all kinds of injury and GPS data going back a lot of years now to figure these things out.
I'd have to check online, but I'm thinking they have like $7 million in cap room, something like that. So they have some flexibility, though they also could end up using some of that room for contract extensions.
Not that I know of. He should be fully recovered from the injury. McCarthy today said they'll be monitoring how much Rodgers' throws but gave no indication he's on an actual pitch count.
I haven't heard anything one way or the other on how far along he is, so I'd think there's a chance. But you'd have to bet against him being on the roster Week 1 at this point. He had the surgery I believe in mid-November, so he's maybe 8 1/2 months into his recovery. From what I've seen over the years, with big guys such as offensive and defensive linemen especially, the recovery from an ACL is 11 to 12 months. I'm assuming he'll be on PUP to start camp, and if I were a betting man I'd bet he'll stay there all camp and thus open the regular season on PUP, which would mean he'd have to miss basically the first half of the season. You never know, maybe he'll have a faster recovery than most. But I wouldn't bet on that.
Not sure I'd bet on him making it, but it's a close call. Special teams matter, so it depends who else shows up in the return game, whether he proves to be much of a gunner on punt coverage, and whether he's improved at WR. Plus, how do all those rookies plus Michael Clark play? Alexander returned punts in college, so he could end up with that job. I guess I'd lean against Davis making it at this point, but that's a wild guess. Rookie WRs often struggle, so maybe none of the picks will do much.
Just looked it up, from what I can tell he's attempted one pass in the NFL. I don't know, if I have Aaron Rodgers at QB I'm not sure I want anyone else throwing the ball. I guess maybe it could get you an easy TD or two-point conversion like the Eagles had in the SB because of the huge element of surprise, but I'd hate taking the ball out of Rodgers' hands.
That's exactly what it is. Their dynamic will change in a huge way in a couple years if Goff plays well and gets a big contract. Look at what's happened in Seattle since Wilson got paid a few years ago.
The reason they're still one of the favorites is they have one of the two best QBs in the game. It's that simple. Thompson definitely slipped in his last few years, but I do have to say that the Kenny Clark pick is looking pretty good right now, and Kevin King looks like a talented guy though we'll have to see how his shoulder holds up over the long haul. In retrospect, yeah, they waited at least one year too long, and maybe two, to part with Thompson. But that takes nothing away from his overall body of work. He drafted Rodgers, that alone is a quadruple grand slam. Look at his first maybe four drafts: Rodgers, Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, Sitton, Lang. Thompson's early drafts were outstanding. He also signed Charles Woodson. So he's a no-brainer for Packers Hall of Fame in my book, very deserving.
Yeah, I'm thinking through all that myself. If he were unhappy enough and inclined to do it, he could blow things up in the way you suggest or even create a lot of problems just by skipping all the offseason stuff. Would he actually do it? That's the big question. But yeah, the Packers have plenty of reason for keeping him feeling appreciated and having him fully engaged. The clock is ticking on his career.
Sure, there's reason for hope for getting the tickets, though that would rest on the team declining. Once Rodgers retires they could fall to average or worse in an instant, and stay there a few years if not longer, maybe a lot longer. That waiting list could shrink incredibly quickly. Pretty sure there was no waiting list in the '70s and '80s.
I'd wait and see how he plays in the new defense the first half of the season.
Yeah, agreed on that range, though the odds are long for him being the No. 3. Rookie receivers, even talented ones, often have a rough time in the NFL, though they've been a little better the last couple years. I'm curious to see if Michael Clark has improved much. He flashed some talent last year, an ability to get jump balls in the red zone and down field. But there's more to playing receiver than that. Who knows? Maybe he takes a big jump and becomes the No. 3. If I had to bet now, I'd bet on Allison or Moore, but really that's just a wild guess. That's what camp is for, to answer these things.
Not crazy, no. I don't think it will come to that, and if I'm the Packers I don't want it to, because it doesn't seem to work out well when the QB is playing on the franchise tag, at least it didn't with Cousins, there was always controversy because he was playing on the tag. And you're risking rupturing the relationship with Rodgers, and all that could entail. But you can't rule out the play-it-out scenario.
I'd maybe guess Murphy over Bell, but we really haven't seen Bell play so it very well could him. They signed him as a possible fallback starter.
Strength has definitely been an issue, and his athleticism hasn't translated like projected either. He definitely looked thicker at OTAs, so it looks like he's added strength. But will that show up enough on the field? We'll see.
I guess I do, mainly because he's more physically talented. Kizer is a huge guy, like 230 or 235 pounds but moves really well, and he has a really live arm. But there's more to playing QB than that. When Hundley and Kizer went head to head last year, Hundley made the plays at the end to win, and Kizer didn't. So I guess I lean Kizer but that's just based on physical talent. The preseason games will tell the tale there.
Touched on this earlier, but I'd think a big part of it is run after the catch. A bigger guy can catch a slightly off-target pass still in stride where a smaller guy has to extend and getting thrown off stride. Or the bigger guy can extend and keep his feet after the catch on a ball that a smaller guy would have to lay out. Plus they're such big targets over the middle and catch the ball against tight coverage just by going over the CB or posting him up like in basketball.