Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Sept. 5 transcript

    Hi Pete, Thanks for chatting with us! I enjoyed your article about "need significant contribution by rookies". How much possible given recent GB history? It's quite low, right?
    Guy from Japan, love how we have chatters from all over the world. The possibility is fairly low but not ridiculously low. Last year the Saints' rookie class was incredible, made a huge difference. Lattimore at CB and Ramczyk at tackle in the first round, Kamara in the third or fourth round, that safety Williams in the second round. Those guys, especially Lattimore and Kamara, were a big reason NO made a big jump last year. It was kind of the same story with Atlanta the year before, the Falcons' defense improved because of the two ILBs and S Neal they drafted in '16. So it can happen, and it doesn't take a miracle. But yeah, it's hard to do.
    Hi Pete. Are the Packers going into Sunday's game with only 2 running backs?
    They signed RB Darius Jackson off Dallas' practice squad, so now they have three on the roster. Not sure if he'll be active or not, but they have three now.
    In your article on 9/1, you stated the Packers should have given up two first round picks, and if needed a 2020 pick. What would that 2020 pick have been? 2nd round? 3rd round? If Gruden is coveting veteran players, couldn't we have moved a DL? Maybe Wilkerson?
    I'd have offered at least a third-rounder from 2020 and maybe a second. Now, that still might not have been enough, because Gruden might have rather had the Bears' picks on the chance that Trubisky isn't very good, and at least one or maybe even both of the picks will end up in the top 10. The Bears should have a very good defense now, so they might be a decent or better team. But if Trubisky busts -- and he's still very much an open question -- then the Bears still might go only 5-11 or 6-10, and their first-rounders could be pretty valuable, arguably more valuable than two Packers' first-rounders and even a second-rounder. But it at least would have made things more interesting. I'm still not sure what the Packers offered. I heard two firsts on the day the trade went down, then that night I heard a first and some other picks, then today from someone else I heard two firsts again. So I don't know for sure what they offered.
    Hi: I find it hard to believe that among all the players let go by other teams, the Packers do not think more than 1-2 of them has as more promise than the players GBP kept at the cutdown. Do you think such inactivity is reasonable?
    Can't say I have a strong opinion on this year, so that's a sign that it does seem reasonable to me. I never saw what players they made waiver claims on but didn't get, but it sounds like they did make a claim or two. The problem is, where the Packers needed help most was at backup tackle and outside rusher, and teams so rarely cut guys at those positions who show much of anything. They did pick up a linebacker, Korey Toomer, for inside linebacker, another weak position.
    If the Packers and the Saints finish somewhere in the mid (23) to upper 20s (29) in the draft order, will the two first round picks be enough to move up and get a/the premiere rusher in the 2019 draft? So somewhere between picks one and three.
    I looked this after the trade, don't have the exact numbers in front of me, and also remember that there are different trade charts, four available publicly that I know of: Jimmy Johnson's from the '90s, Jimmy Johnson updated, one by a group from Harvard, and one by a blogger who has a background in analytics. They all yield different results -- not night and day, but meaningful differences sometimes. That said, it sounded like the two firsts as you describe probably gets them in the top 10 but top probably not the top five. It also depends on the trade market at the time of the deal -- if there's a QB still on the board, for instance -- and the trade partner. The trade charts are a good guideline but not a hard and fast rule, teams will deviate from it if they think there's a good reason to. So I don't think those picks would get them in the top three.
    Pete, any insight into how James Crawford made the team over Greer Martini and Ahmad Thomas? it seems very strange that he leapfrogged them that far on the basis of one special teams game after they played 4 times as many snaps from scrimmage.
    Sounds like it really was special teams. They need guys to play them well, and they liked him him better than the other two in that role, and didn't see enough difference in their play on defense to choose Martinin or Thomas.
    Hi Pete,
    Muhummad Wilkerson seemed invisible all offseason, as no on really mentioned him in practice writeups and he didn;t really flash in any of the games. Had you noticed anything so far that would get you excited?
    They didn't do many one-on-ones in camp this year -- I'm thinking they did them in only three practices, whereas in the past they did them on most days. So we didn't get a look at Wilkerson much in that drill. He did not jump off the field. We didn't see any signs that he's going to be the double-digit sack guy he was for two seasons in with the Jets. He flashed every once in a while, knocked down a couple Rodgers passes if I remember right, put on some pressure, occasionally. He didn't do much of anything in the preseason games but it looked like his effort level was really uneven. I have to think he'll crank it up a notch when the games are for real. He looks like a good player, and the Packers' run D could be pretty tough with him, Clark and Daniels. Wilkerson had only 3 1/2 sacks last year, I could see him getting more like six or so this year, but that's just a guess. You're right that he didn't do much to get noticed, so the hopes of a 10-sack season aren't good. But he does look like a good, solid player.
    I know the concept of "base" defense is murky now since most teams have to play so much nickel and dime. Still, wouldn't it make more sense for the Packers to take advantage of the their d-line depth and play more 4-3? Wilkerson and Lowry on the ends, Clark and Daniels inside, which also means we can get away with just Martinez in the middle.
    They did ja little bit of three DLs and one OLB in the preseason games, and with the way Pettine likes to mix up personnel, I'd think there's a real possibility we'll see more of that in the season, especially if he tries it and it's effective. Not sure if he'll put four out there except in short-yardage and goal-line.
    Hi Pete - what's your take on the Davis trade rumors? And if even remotely true, would you expect to see a bit more of him as a receiver Sunday night in hopes he has a play or two that could boost trade value over & above just his return skills?
    I'd think it would be hard to trade him, I don't know why anybody would give up anything for him when they know the Packers could end up releasing him. They've got a game to win and he missed most of camp, so I don't see them playing him at receiver this week. His value for now is returning punts and kicks. I mean, if he made a play or two that boosted his value, they probably should hang onto him and see if he can do that some more. They're looking for a No. 4 WR.
    Hi Pete! Well just 4 days now until REAL football & amen! When I last wrote, you expressed concerns about the OL depth and our injury-prone LB's going into the 2018 season although getting the LB Morrison from Indy looks like a decent pick-up, but he's obviously NO Khalil Mack. Your cohort Rob Demovsky yesterday predicted GB to go 11-5 this year which I would agree with IF # 12 starts all 16 games. Obviously great players like Aaron Rodgers make lesser players BETTER players as Rodgers will once again have to cover up the shortcoming's on both sides of the ball this year as I'm sure LeBron James will do the same for the Lakers this year. Do you have a prediction yet for how many wins GB will have this year and again IF # 12 plays in all 16 games. Thank you.
    Our predictions will run this weekend, haven't made them yet. But yeah, I'm sure I'll go 11-5 or 10-6 -- probably 11-5.
    Why are these TV broadcasts comparing Mack to Reggie White. Mack first 4 years 40 sacks White first 4 years 67. Not even close
    Mack's no Reggie White -- that's not a slam, I'd guess that White was the second-best defensive player ever, behind Lawrence Taylor. But remember, White was 31 when the Packers signed him, no longer in his prime, though he was still a great player. Mack is 27, so he's in his prime. So Mack at 27 might be as good as White at 31, or at least close.
    Do your or Baranczyk think that the D has any chance of improving?
    Yeah, A lot has to happen, but yeah. Maybe Pettine improves them. If two of their first three picks (Alexander, Jackson and Burks) are good right off the bat, that could help their defense a lot, especially if one of them proved to be a real difference maker.
    Is there any sinerio where you could see the Packers pick up Levion Bell from Pitt.?
    I'm not seeing it. Just as I thought Mack had more value to the Packers than to just about any other team, Bell probably has a little less value to the Packers because they have an elite QB, and the cost to get Bell just isn't worth the payoff. While Bell is a great player, they still can have a top offense without him, and the money and picks it would cost to get wouldn't be worth it IMHO. It's just tough to make that big an investment in a running back, especially one who's already 26.
    Hi Pete, Thanks for the chat. Do you consider yourself an entertainer or journalist or both? In the recent world of sports reporting it seems like it is all about entertaining versus reporting.
    Journalist. You hope to entertain along the way, but journalist first and last.
    Besides Rodgers being healthy, what do you see as the big reasons for optimism this season?
    That's the bulk of it. But they have a good OL if the tackles stay healthy. Jimmy Graham is a big, talented guy. The running game can be a legit threat if Aaron Jones stays healthy. And there's a chance they get better on defense with some combination of Pettine, the top three picks and Wilkerson/Tramon Williams. There are some ifs in there, but those are some of the reasons they could be good.
    A concern about DeShon Kizer. Teams don't let QBs get away if they think one has No. 1 potential. But the Dorsey/Wolf/Highsmith team was willing to give up Kizer for Randall - a questionable locker room guy. If they thought it was just Hue Jackson's coaching (lack of), they still entrusted Mayfield to him.
    Right. Kizer has some talent. He's a really big guy, a pretty good athlete and has a really strong arm. But there are red flags, too. Notre Dame went 4-8 his last season there. He went 0-15 as a starter as a rookie. So yes, the jury is still very much out on him as an NFL prospect. A lot of people seem to think they chose him over Hundley as backup, and that might be the case because of upside. But it also might be the case that the Packers tried to trade either, and the offer they got was for Hundley.
    How many WR will be active for week 1?
    I'd guess five, with Davis likely one as a returner, along with Adams, Cobb, Allison and Valdes-Scantling.
    Is josh Jackson ahead of house in the depth chart?
    Hard to tell from practice, guys have been hurt so that makes the rotations tougher to read. So we won't know for sure until Sunday. I wouldn't be surprised if he is, and that's the way I'd go if I were the Packers, though coaches, especially early in the season, often opt for experience over a rookie. But Jackson clearly has good instincts playing the ball. An interception can win you a game, and Trubisky is a young QB, so it's not like the Packers are going against Brady or Brees.
    In terms of the backup OL spots, where do you see things falling? From the preseason it seems like Spriggs is the backup at both tackle spots, Bell and Patrick more interior, and I'm not sure where Light fits in.
    You've got it about right. Light is a backup tackle. I do wonder, though, if Taylor might bump out to left tackle if Bakhtiari has to miss a game or two. Last year Bakhtiari missed four games, and they tried a couple different guys there, then finally moved Taylor there and it worked out OK. So maybe they'd bump Taylor to LT and play either Patrick or Bell at guard if Bakhtiari has to miss some time.
    The ILB position without Burks is a disaster waiting to happen. even the Bears will exploit Morrison a guy with 5.0 speed. How in the world did this position not be addressed in the off season with little more than one draft pick?
    You can only put so many resources into each position, and using a third-rounder there was actually a big move I thought. The other option they have is playing a safety at ILB a lot -- either Jones or Whitehead. Especially if they put three defensive linemen out there to eat up blockers, that might work. Some teams (Arizona, the Rams, Atlanta) have a safety at ILB in their standard nickel. But agreed, the Packers look very, very vulnerable there in the passing game.
    Hi Pete, Thanks for the chat.....I'm just not feeling it. I'm also tired of the old stand by "well as long as A-Rog is upright" GB will be in contention. That's great, but I don't see the impact players that would push this team beyond an early playoff exit. No pass rush, shaky O-line depth, tell me why I'm wrong?
    I can't disagree with your points. The strength of their defense is the interior DL, but while those guys are good, there's more that offenses can do to prevent them from dominating (three inside blockers versus two DTs, running outside the tackles instead of between, etc.). No, the Packers don't have a great pass rusher. Maybe Pettine has a way of exploiting the inside rush better than most D coaches -- he said he values inside rushers at least as much if not more than outside. But to have a really good rush that can bother the best QBs, you really need at least one true stud. The depth at tackle is really shaky, no arguing there either. But the QB can cover up a lot of weaknesses, and Graham could bring something a little different to the offense with his size and athleticism. We saw in the Super Bowl you can win it all by just scoring and scoring and scoring. Hard to do but can be done. I'm not picking the Packers to get to or win the SB, but I can't say I'd be shocked if either happened.
    The defense has played vanilla thru the pre season. Are they going to be able to operate with all the schemeing and stunts without any issues come Sunday. Or do we expect alot of missed assignments and confusion? I just worry without any active game reps. That things could start out badly. I hope not!!!!
    Not sure, Capers for that very reason blitzed a lot in his first preseason, '09. But McCarthy ran camp this year with that in mind. I think he said the starting D got something like 17 percent more snaps in camp against Rodgers than in previous camps. I'm sure that was part of his thinking, that they weren't going to show anything in the preseason but needed to work on these things, so they did more of it in practice.
    Any concern we haven't really heard much about Mike Daniels in the preseason, is he ready to go?
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