Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Sept. 5 transcript

    Not at this point, I think he missed a couple weeks because of a thigh injury, hardly played in the preseason games. But it appears he's healthy now.
    Pete, one would think Pettine will come all out Sunday against Trubisky. What experience are the Bears sporting on their O line this year? I predict 3 INTs for the Pack and a 27-13 Victory
    I think they've upgraded their line a little in the last two or three years, though I don't think it's a strength. It really comes down to the QB and how he handles the different looks and blitzes and disguises. Trubisky is really mobile, so the Bears probably will be counting on his feet to avert problems. I'd think Pettine would want to throw a lot at him and take advantage of his inexperience.
    Sounds like our tackles are going to play. But how healthy are they really?
    I'd think Bakhtiari is fine, his ankle injury didn't seem at all serious, and they limited his work after that with the regular season in mind. Bulaga came back from ACL reconstruction pretty fast, so I don't know how he'll hold up. It's the second time he's been through ACL surgery, and it sounds like that helps in the recovery. He seemed fine in camp, professed to feeling good, though you never know, if he didn't feel good he's very unlikely to say so publicly. He's a guy to watch, to see how his knee holds up early in the first month or six weeks of the season.
    A big gamble releasing Ripkowski?
    I don't know that you could ever call releasing a fullback a big gamble. That position seems to be going extinct. Maybe something will happen in a few years that will bring it back into vogue, but right now it's trending the other way, more and more teams seem to be willing to go without a FB on their 53.
    Afternoon Pete-
    Two very quick questions:
    1. Why do the fans think you know the intricate details of projected trades, roster decisions, etc.? They ask you like you're sitting next to Brian G.
    2. In general, is it difficult to constantly put up with the glass-half empty attitudes of most of the fans as soon as they perceive a "negative" scenario (we have the thinnest depth in the league, our pass-rush will stink, we don't have enough RB's, etc.)?
    Thanks Pete!
    Yeah, I do hope everyone realizes I'm just making educated (and sometimes not-so-educated) guesses, and there often are times where I have to say I just don't know. This is my 26th year covering the NFL, so I've seen enough to know that I'll think it's kind of obvious the team will make this or that move, and they do the opposite. Happens all the time. So I've tried to stop making some of those assumptions over the years. Players go from being good to bad in a heartbeat, and sometimes they're only good for a year or two or three. Things change so fast it can be mind-boggling, and there are so many moving parts and it's not easy to distinguish which ones matter most. I'll talk to scouts and ask about something, and it's not unusual to get three different answers from three different guys. So this is very, very, very much a gray-area world. But like all of you've I'm trying to make real insights and determine the signal from the noise, and I have the time and access to experts to help with that.
    How has Justin McCray looked up to this point? I would think no news is good news with him, but is he at least an average starter at right guard?
    That's how it looks to me. Not ready to say he's another Lane Taylor -- Taylor stepped in for Sitton a couple years ago and did just fine. We need to see some real games to be sure on McCray, but he's looking like a guy you can win with in the starting lineup.
    Pete, it appeared some of reporters were frustrated in the past with Ted Thompson's disdain to address the media. Even if Brian Gutekunst is still somewhat vague in his responses, his willingness to speak to you, and even some of the little 'hints' like the one that seemed to indicate the Kumerow to IR move must be refreshing.
    There probably are idiosyncrasies with every GM job in the league, and one here is that there's a little greater obligation for the GM to explain his thinking to the fans. The public ownership of the franchise makes this place different. That doesn't mean revealing any state secrets, but the GM can talk publicly and provide some insight without harming the team competitively. Ron Wolf did it. So while overall I think Thompson was a good GM -- his early drafts were outstanding -- he failed badly in that regard. Gutekunst's approach has been much more appropriate and benefits the people who follow this team. There are plenty of questions he doesn't really answer, but that's the way it is in this business. At least he's there to ask the questions, and there are going to be important moments when he's there and where Thompson wouldn't have been. For instance, when Sitton was cut, Thompson never really addressed that publicly, I think it wasn't until the following scouting combine in February when he was available to ask -- more than five months after he'd made the move, and with the season over. So yeah, Gutekunst has handled this very important part of the job well.
    Hi Pete...O line could be a disaster this year with an injury or two...should we have any confidence in them keeping ARod upright? They're my biggest concern going into the year.
    An injury at tackle could be a big problem, but a lot would fall on Rodgers to handle that also. The best QBs and coaches have to find a way to make it work. Now, if they lost both tackles for an extended period or the season, I doubt Rodgers could overcome that.
    It seems like the two high draft choices in the secondary last year (Jones and King) are an afterthought. Is it odd that the hype around the secondary are the two rookies versus the two second year players who were drafted high? Help me understand why Jones and King are not in the conversation to help our defense?
    I wouldn't call King an afterthought. The injury to his  shoulder sidelined him in camp for a while, but they're looking for him to be a good player this season. He just hasn't played a lot in camp because of the injury. He has a rare combination of height and athleticism, so there's a lot of ability to work with. We'll see what kind of player he is. Jones had a quiet camp, you're right there. I can't think of many plays where he did something that stood out. Usually if guys are going to break out, you see signs of it in camp. So that doesn't bode well for him having a big impact this season. But we still have to see things play out, you never know if the light might go on. He'll get his chances, either as an ILB in some nickel groupings, or at safety if there's an injury.
    One of the big unmeasurable aspects to team success is cohesion. Do you have a feel for how the team chemistry is and Team character?
    That's something I always have trouble getting a handle on. I know some reporters say they have a feel for it, and maybe they do, but I'm a little skeptical. Sometimes there are obvious issues, but I still think you need to be around the team behind the scenes to know these things. And let's face, as much as chemistry helps winning, winning helps chemistry, or at least camouflages issues. I'm not saying chemistry isn't important, because it is, it's very important. But having good and great players, and coaches who game plan well and call good games, is more important, even if there's some grumbling and dissension. Is there a group of 85 or so humans (in this case players and coaches) in the history of the world where there wasn't dysfunction and dissatisfaction? I don't think so.
    One thing about Mack vs White that no one is talking about, is that Reggie came from a northern climate team and moved to another northern climate team without a dome. Mack may be an exceptional player but my thoughts are that if you are northern team and was looking at him--I would want a dome stadium to get most bang for my buck. Your thoughts?
    Mack played in college at Buffalo, so I'm not seeing that as an issue. Explosive rushers are better on turf than grass, and the noise of domes for home games always helps the rush, but that applies to every rusher.
    We're hearing/reading a lot about the RPO (run pass option) since Philly used it in playoffs & SB last year. The difference between a standard QB handoff to RB and an RPO is that the QB has to make a quick read of the D after the snap, to decide whether to keep the ball or handoff. Is this understand correct? & would you add anything to that description?
    From what I understand, that's correct. There are two-play options that the QB takes to the line of scrimmage, looks at the defense and then calls either the run or pass. Then there's RPO you're talking about, where the decision to handoff or pass is made by the QB watching the defense react after the snap.
    Pete: what player do you think is dropped when Aaron Jones returns in week 3?
    My first guess would be the RB they picked up this week, Jackson. But I can't say for sure, maybe they like him and want to keep him. That decision also could be made by an injury that lands someone on IR.
    Aaron Jones seems to have the potential to be the best Packer RB since Ahman Green...if he can stay healthy. When he's back from suspension, how many touches do you think they give him? Is he going to have to leapfrog Williams by earning it in practice, or does the coaching staff have confidence in him enough to give him a bigger workload?
    My guess is that because of his already lengthy injury history -- both MCLs last season, a hamstring in camp this year -- they'll limit his workload and have him split time with Williams. Agree completely, Jones is a dynamic guy with the ball in his hands and really threatens defenses, which among other things is a big help to Rodgers and the passing game. But he doesn't do them any good if he's hurt, so they probably need to limit his touches. That could mean an even split with Williams, something like that. But I can't say I know their plans, and they're not sharing them.
    What do you see in terms of production from Jordy Nelson this year. Obviously he brings all of the intangibles but can he still play on Sunday?
    OK, this has to do it, other duties to get to. But thanks to everyone for dropping by. We'll do it again next week. He might have a good year, but I wonder if he'll fade as the season goes on. That happened last year, by the end of the season there was no run after the catch with him. I don't blame the Packers at all for moving on. Of course there's a chance he has a pretty productive season, and as you say, he has an abundance of intangibles, good size, all that. But it looked like he was hitting the wall by the end of last season, so they played the percentages and moved on. Oakland is paying him $7.4 million this year, that strikes me as too much. Wild guess? If he plays all 16 games, 60 catches and 6 TDs? Keep an eye on his average per catch, that will tell you a lot about how productive he is. And with that, we have to call it another chat in the books. Thanks again everybody, lots to talk about next week with the real games starting. Until then, take care.
Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform