Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions in advance for Pete's chat at noon Thursday.

  • Hi Pete,
    I was wondering ,with all the trouble with the receivers have getting open ,why the receivers coach hasn't been held accountable. The problem has existed since early last year. Is it a hard thing to teach ? Is it a problem with the lack of real talent. It makes you wonder what the coaching staff does from week to week as this problem still exists despite our recent success.
  • The new receivers coach is Luke Getsy, and he is accountable to McCarthy. We have no way of knowing what goes on behind closed doors there. McCarthy thinks Getsy is an up and comer, a young coach with a lot of promise. That said, your point is legit. They sure seem to have missed Edgar Bennett at receivers, he appeared to do a great job there, and interesting enough, he was a running back in the NFL, not a receiver. But he was really diligent about teaching and emphasizing fundamentals. But yeah, that warrants watching as the year goes on. But like I said, it's McCarthy's job to work with Getsy and set standards, etc. I don't know what goes on when they meet one on one.
  • After last weeks game is it fair to say that the Packers can win without a great running back but not without good corners in this pass happy league, and therefore, given the chance they should choose sheilds over lacy?
  • Maybe. I've been wrestling with the Lacy-Shields question for a few weeks and keep going back and forth. Last week I said I'd take Lacy, this week I'm leaning your way. The decision this week to cut Knile Davis is an indication to me that they think Lacy is the guy who will be coming off IR, not Shields. So the question might be academic at this point. I have wondered all along if Shields was done for the season.
  • How involved is MM involved in personnel decisions? It seems like he has been hamstrung on RBs and CBs since TT won't make any moves (Knile Davis certainly does not count). I can't believe MM wouldn't lobby for some serviceable players, is he being ignored?
  • I can't say exactly, him and Thompson might be the only ones who truly know that, though a few others on staff might have a decent idea. I know Wolf always had a deal with his head coaches that he'd never give them a player they didn't want, and Thompson I believe has the same deal. Outside looking in, I'd think McCarthy would have a pretty strong say on a lot of things, like who makes the final 53, and whether to get rid of someone, and that they'd try to reach agreement as much as possible. Push comes to shove, Thompson has final say, and when it comes to free agency in the offseason it appears he's the captain there. Whatever McCarthy's feelings are, he does not complain publicly.
  • What are the nuances that need to be learned at the pro level as compared to the college level for receivers?
  • I'm not really qualified to answer. But in a general sense I think it's just more complex. I think there are a lot more route adjustments based on coverages, and a much bigger playbook. More techniques to learn as far as getting off jam coverage, etc. I'm guessing the route running requires more precision too.
  • Has there been any word whatsoever as to the status of Cook? Also, do you know whether the Pack is continuing to look at options to add some speed/quickness with a 3rd down type back? (I was hopeful that Kniles Davis was the answer, but apparently he wasn't capable of tying his shoes based on his being sacked more quickly than Sam Bradford on a 3rd and long).
  • Not much on Cook. He didn't practice yesterday and McCarthy made it sound like he won't this week, so he's out for this week. Based on what McCarthy said at his Monday press conference, Cook might have a shot at returning next week. The trade deadline passed this week, so they won't be adding anyone via that route. I wonder if they're going to use Montgomery as their third-down back the rest of the season. Starks could be back in the next few weeks, and it looks to me like Lacy will be the guy coming off IR eventually, so they will be options as well. But the chances of picking up somebody who can help aren't very good unless there's a surprise cut like Andre Rison in 1996.
  • We have a great coach/teacher but that's not leadership. After a decade plus do we need to continue the draft develop and teach philosophy, and trade our Coach/OC for a leader of the entire team? Sometimes it looks like our coach is more focused on showing his ability to call a game and have balance than the overall result.
  • Well, McCarthy tried to go with the overall coaching thing last year and it bombed because the offense tanked. So McCarthy took back the play calling late last season, and I doubt he'll ever give it up. There's pat answer to your excellent question, because these guys get head coaching jobs because they excel as a coordinator, so if they give up play calling, they're taking away one of their strengths in exchange for having a more panoramic view of the team and game. I generally don't think McCarthy is a showoff as a playcaller, but I do agree with what you suggest that he might have to abandon to a degree his desire for balance because he's got to play the cards he's dealt this season.
  • Hi Pete thanks for takin ag my question. Why can't the packers always be in 4-5 wide sets and still run in it. The te's and 2 wo set does not work.Whoever is the running back our line is good enough to open lane. Also I feel that Davis,Montgomery and Adams should be on the field more than Jordy and Cobb. At least the young guns and faster and can get open more.
  • I have to agree with you, I'm not sure why not. Coaches are big about putting a hat on a hat, meaning having a blocker for each defender, and there's something to be said for being able to slam the ball at an opponent. But that's hard to do in the NFL, and the Packers' tight ends are poor blockers, so like you I don't see the advantage. In fact, if you go four WRs, the defense almost has to go dime to match up, so that leaves only one linebacker on the field. If you have a good receiving/blocking tight end, yeah, there's a great advantage there because of the flexibility in play calling and uncertainty for the defense, and matchup advantages. But the Packers don't have that. So I agree, spread'em out and run. It might not be ideal, but from where I'm sitting it's their best chance.
  • Tretter has being doing fine, but do you think the run blocking will be improved with Linsley in for Tretter? Do you see Tretter returning to a backup role when he returns from injury?
  • That's something to watch this week. I don't know if Tretter is going to play. Linsley is stouter, he gets more push as a run blocker than Tretter does, but Tretter probably is better at getting out to the LB level. Yeah, I think the run blocking probably gets a little better if Linsley is the center. But Tretter has been fine. If Tretter doesn't play this week and Linsley plays well, I don't know what they'd when Tretter was ready to play again.
  • Pete - why hasn't anyone commented on Jordy having lost speed. I realize he's coming back from injury, but he used to have separation speed that is no longer visible.
  • I think many members of the media have written and said he's not been the same guy, not as explosive as he was.
  • I am surprised lack of criticism on Matthews,when he does play lucky to get 50 percent of snaps.Always hurt,ever since he took himself out of Seattle playoff game,I lost a lot of respect for him.Lot of money for a part time player.
  • I think he's played pretty well this year. He has been hurt a lot, no question, and he is paid a lot, you're right on both counts there. But he's still a really important part of the defense, and when he doesn't play they usually feel it. I guess your point my be that they might need to replace him soon, find another difference maker for that spot. Can't argue with that. Maybe they'll try to adjust his contract in the offseason.
  • Pete,were you surprised Packers hired a receivers coach with no experience this year?
  • At the time I wasn't because McCarthy spoke so highly of Getsy. But maybe they needed to hire a more experienced guy to help train him a couple more years.
  • Pete, Does this remind you of 2010 at all? I have this feeling they are building confidence and a lot of depth during this adverse time. Do you see any similarities?
  • A little bit with all the injuries, though right about now they went on a mini-run in '10 -- they were 3-4 and then won four straight. So there could be some similarities. I remember after they lost back-to-back games to go 8-6 I got a lot of email saying Thompson and McCarthy needed to be fired. Then they went on that run to the Super Bowl. Been getting a fair share of those emails this year, too. I've covered this league well enough to know how much things can change over the course of the season -- several times for any given team, in fact -- so I'm not ruling out that it happens again.
  • There's a big assumption regarding Shields that he ever gets cleared to play again. Traumatic brain injuries are as serious as Nick Collin's neck, Shields may have played his last game. That said, as a fan, I sure would love to see Sam back at #1 corner.
  • Yeah, that is a very dangerous injury, and he's had four concussions in the NFL, and he missed a month last season with one, and this last one happened on a relatively innocuous play. Those are all red flags.
  • When starts come back, will he be the starting RB? Or they going to keep using TY and Cobb ?
  • Can't say I know for a fact, but I'd think that when Starks comes back they'll still use Montgomery there some. It's worked fairly well so far.
  • From an organizational standpoint, the Packers really need to look at either player training or types of players they bring in. Yes, we may have talent but when year in and year out our injured list is longer than the majority of the teams in the NFL something is not right. Talent does not add value when dressed in street clothes.
  • I've been covering this team since the early '90s and this comes up all the time, and I'm not sure I have a good answer. They really, really, really study this stuff now. They have all that GPS data for how much players expend each day, and all the timing of all the injuries. McCarthy gears most of what he does to try to get his team in optimal health. In '14, they were incredibly healthy. This year has been bad. A lot of other teams have had major injury issues -- the Bears and Colts immediately come to mind, and if we followed other teams as closely as we do the Packers, there's a pretty good chance we'd be thinking the same thing. I think a big part of it is that football is a really brutal game, and guys get hurt a lot.
  • How likely is it that Starks might be washed up? And if he is perhaps Mongtomery would be a better fit until Lacy comes back? I know McCarthy wants to run the ball more but if Starks doesn't look good maybe just maybe Montgomery and his third down/ catching abilities might make the offense more successful?
  • Wondering the same thing myself. He doesn't have a lot of miles on him as far as playing time, but he's 30 and coming off a knee injury when he returns. There is a possibility he won't be real effective. And if that's the case then yeah, more playing time for Montgomery. Don Jackson didn't look to bad either. He does appear to run hard.
  • Thanks for the chat, Pete. Necessity is the mother of invention. Mike McCarthy has responded to injuries with a more creative game plan. There was no guarantee it would work, but so far so good. What about on the other side of the ball? Do you think Dom Capers should take more chances? Or is he wise to play it safe until some of the injured players return?
  • All in all, I thought Capers' game plan worked OK last week, at least for the bulk of the game. Atlanta was the No. 1 offense, and the Packers had them kicking field goals instead of scoring TDs a couple times early. But it did break down in the end. They didn't get much pressure on Ryan on that last drive, and they paid the price. So maybe they have to just play the way they were and trust the young CBs to hold up OK. Pretty risky though to get too blitz heavy.
  • What has been the biggest difference in the last few weeks for Devante Adams compared to the prior 20+ games going back to last season?
  • Really not sure. He has looked much better the last two games. He's probably getting some confidence making all these catches. Maybe it's the case of Rodgers looking for him more almost by default. Maybe the short passing game fits with his skill set -- he's not a speed guy so doesn't separate downfield.
  • How do you think the Offensive Coordinator resigning at Minnesota will effect the Vikings short term and long term.
  • That really was a shocker. Turner is really well respected around the league, at least among the handful of coaches and scouts I talk to. It's disruptive, no question, and has to have players wondering what's going on. A lot depends on how it affects Bradford. Shurmur is a pretty accomplished guy too, and he's been a coordinator and even interim coach in the past, so he should be up to the task. That helps. A lot of it comes down to Bradford, and also if Shurmur can find ways to compensate for the major issues at tackle better than they have the last couple weeks.
  • Do you think its time for Joe Thomas to see more time in the base and nickel and not just the dime? He has proven he has taken a big step and I think he could be a difference maker in the second half. I think he fits perfectly with Ryan. Dont you think they should give Martinez more time to develop?
  • At times, yeah, depending on circumstances. He probably should have been on the field for that final drive against Atlanta, though I'd have had him in there for Ryan, not Martinez.
  • He was a limited participant in practice yesterday, don't know if he's doing the same or more today. So that suggests he has a chance this week.
  • Hey Pete. Any worth to my anxiety that MM will regress back to his style/format of offense when he had all his personnel healthy?
    Although, I know we need more ground solidarity, but .....
    Please tell me I'm over thinking. MM sees what has been clicking.
  • I'm wondering the same thing myself. He wants balance as much as possible to help protect the QB with play-action, and he thinks it's the best way to function playing in a cold climate. But like you I question whether he has the personnel, mainly at TE, to play that way this season. The current receiver-heavy stuff and using the short passing game as an extension of the run game appears to be helping Aaron Rodgers. It might not be the ideal way to play, but you have to play the cards you're dealt. We'll just have to see how the receiver-heavy stuff does until the RBs come back, and then what McCarthy does.
  • Why doesn't Knile Davis count for a move? Why do some fans just not get it? TT didn't trade for Zeke Elliot so the move isn't good enough. He tried something..didn't work out. Maybe that's why he doesn't do a lot of those type moves. Maybe, just MAYBE TT knows more about football operations than you so called "fans" do. Sigh...
  • Here's another perspective. I know New England brings a lot of guys in during the season, but they let go a lot of those guys too. I also think there were some similarities between Thompson cutting Sitton and Belichick this week trading a guy a lot of people thought was his most talented defensive player (Jamie Collins). I don't know what the reaction of New England's fan base has been to that move.
  • Did you see Jordy on the ground on a lot of his routes. It seems its more of a rustiness with getting off the jam more than speed.
  • Yeah, I did, that jumped out last week. Now I did notice that on one of them it was a touchdown pass to somebody else in the red zone, and the guy covering Nelson grabbed him by his facemask and threw him to the ground with no penalty. But yeah, he was on the ground a lot last week.
  • I'm thinking about putting my mortgage on the Packers to cover 7 points... ThoughtS?
  • One of the biggest problems with the Packers strategy and continued success has been the lack of access to top of the first round talent. With Lacy's future uncertain and the mass amount of RB talent at the top of this draft do you see the Pack trading up to grab a RB?
  • Not trading up, no. The cost is too, the risk too great. If the guy is only OK or a bust, you've wasted two picks, not just one. But I'd think RB will be among the highest priorities in the Packers' '17 draft.
  • Is Clay Matthews a Hall of Famer or too injured for Canton?
  • Interesting question. Without having thought about it a lot or talked to any experts, I think he's already got a pretty decent argument. A couple more strong seasons would help him a lot. He doesn't have his dad's longevity and good health, but he's been more of an impact guy. His dad is borderline.
  • Red zone TDs seem so hard. What happened to Holmgrens Favorite play where chewy or any TE would play on the line, farve would roll right and chewy would brush off a blocker and run to the right corner of the end zone. It was nearly automatic. (In fact, the Badgers did that play recently for the win!). What do you think?
  • Packers were 4-for-4 last week, Rodgers was at his best in the red zone against the Falcons. He and Favre are both exceptional at slipping out of the pocket, usually to the right, and just sliding or drifting or running, depending on pursuit, until they find a throwing lane, and throwing an accurate dart on the run. Watch other games and see how many other QBs do that. It's not that many. A huge edge for the Packers for putting points on the board.
  • As a fan the Packer injuries always seems to last longer than originally thought. If it's 2-4 weeks, we're always on the 4 weeks. If it's 4-6 weeks, like Montgomery last year, then it's season ending. I tend to think it's more of the doctor than the training staff...not letting them play until they're 100% healthy where other teams guys go out there at 85% and gut it out. Your thoughts?
  • This is going to have to be it, always enjoy going overtime but have to get to other duties too, so time to go. As to the question, from what I can tell many teams, including the Packers, rarely say how long a guy will be out, and when they do they usually understate it. I think they do it for competitive reasons, so opponents think a guy might be back, and maybe also to keep the player optimistic and of the mind-set to get back ASAP. The Packers like to say they're conservative, and maybe they're a tad more conservative than some other teams, but in reality I doubt there's much difference. They're trying to get guys back on the field as fast as they can. Now, the doctors have an obligation to the patient, and I think the Packers' medical staff takes that obligation seriously. But as in other things, I'll be if you followed a different team you might be thinking the same thing about that team. OK, that does it. Thanks everybody for coming by, much appreciated, great questions. Still a lot of season to play. Next week you get to chat with Bob McGinn, so take advantage of that. Take care everybody, we'll talk soon.
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