Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly chat at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

    Pete, I was at the game on Sunday. It was extremely HOT in the stadium. I mean, really hot. So, two questions: 1) does MM have the choice to wear their away white uniforms? and 2) do you think wearing those dark green jersey's had any more impact on them vs. the Vikings in their cooler white duds? It sure seemed like GB ran out of gas in the 4th quarter and OT. Lots of guys dragging around, hands on their hips, etc. Am I on something, or onto something?
    OK, let's dive in. Yes, McCarthy does have the choice to wear white, a few teams do that, Dallas for one, I believe Miami too, I'm sure others as well (Rams?). The Packers have never done it that I know of. I don't know if it makes any difference or not. I don't doubt the Packers' D wore down some but I have to think Vikings' D did too. I don't have a good answer for you,, I always kind of felt the jersey thing was more psychological than real but I can't say that for a fact.
    I must have misread the inactive list the first two weeks, clearly Nick Perry was on it (sarcasm). Where is he?
    I'd say the Packers' outside rush as a whole has been absent. It's worth noting the OLBs are playing a little less, or at least it seems like it, I'll have to add up the snaps, because Pettine a fair amount of the time is using three DL and only only OLB. But that also should mean that when they're out there the OLBs should be fresher and better. Not a lot of playmaking from the OLBs in the passing game, that's for sure. They were good against the run last week, don't know if you noticed that, but they held the edge well, and Matthews was pretty active in coverage when asked to do that. But the outside rush is pretty thin.
    This is one I'm not seeing. He's an outstanding player, no doubt, and would help the Packers. But the cost would be too high. Running backs' careers are so short. Bell is 26, he might have only a couple really good years left, but he's probably going to want/get a contract that pays big guaranteed money. Plus whatever you have to give up in draft picks. If he were a defensive player of that quality, I'd say go get him. But the Packers have Rodgers to carry their offense, and they're pretty decent at RB now that Jones is back too. I just don't think Bell would be worth the cost in picks in money when the Packers already have Rodgers (and the big investment in him). Not that he wouldn't help them, obviously he'd help a lot. But the trade-off would be too great unless they could do a year-to-year contract with him, but that's why he's holding out, he wants a big contract with a big guarantee.
    Greetings! Two games in, I’ve noticed two things. One, Secondary is a lot more dynamic than its ever been. Two, pass rush doesn’t have enough juice to give them a break. With Gutey’s aggressiveness, is there a pass rusher worth giving a draft pick up for before trade deadline? MLB and NBA does this well; teams with title chances beef up. Ajayi was example of eagles doing this last year and it was only a 4th rounder I believe. Is it worth watching teams that are guaranteed to be bad to get worse by giving up a rusher who won’t sign with team afterwards? Win win; they improve draft position, we get motivated guy for playoff push. Jerry Hughes from bills for example. Thanks.
    It's definitely worth watching and all that, but I don't know of anyone specifically who's available. Hughes, for instance, is 30 and had four sacks in 16 games last season. Is he really any better than what they've got at this point? I don't know, I haven't watched him and am not a scout. But I'd be skeptical. The trade deadline is Oct. 30, so as we get closer to that, you're right, some teams will have fallen out of the playoff race for sure and might be willing to deal a decent rusher with an eye toward the future. Or maybe a team will just want to get rid of a guy, like the Dolphins did with Ajayi, because the player is a problem in their eyes. So yeah, it's always possible and I have to think something Gutekunst is working, because the Packers' rush needs help. But teams generally aren't looking to move good rushers, those guys are hard to find. The NFL isn't like baseball in that way, where teams routinely look to move guys as the deadline gets near. But yeah, Gutekunst seems more open to these kind of things than Thompson was, so I suspect he and his staff are looking at rosters around the league for pass rushers they might be able to get.
    Hi Pete. Thanks for the Chat. Do you see a problem with Rodgers' penchant for calling early TO's needlessly in each half, which leaves the team without them when it counts? I get the whole "trying to pull them offsides" thing, but honestly, wouldn't we be better off having Time Outs late in the game (or to a lesser extent, the half) when the game is on the line?? We end up having zero left too many times for my taste. It also helps to get the Time Out granted late in the game when you actually have a few left, but I guess that might illustrate the point of my question.
    I don't remember that being an issue in the opener, really last week was the first time I remember him burning a lot of timeouts. And yeah, it came back to bite them. But I don't know if it was because he'd used time trying to get the Vikings to jump offsides. With everything else there was to talk about -- his knee, everything that happened in the fourth quarter and overtime -- nobody got around to asking Rodgers after the game about burning the TOs. So I'm not sure why used so many because the play clock was about to run out. Agreed that they could have used a couple of those TOs late.
    Hey Pete, Have you looked closely and seen stills of Kendricks tackle compared to CM 3. Imo it's not close. The angle downward on Kendricks is way sharper and how was there a scoop when Cousins feet barely left grown. I'm really disinterested in the NFL now and may not watch a full game until the snow flies. Not to mention the PI missed against Graham and then the offensive PI on Adams... 100 yds of field position. I'm like many of fans I talk too... disgusted with it.
    Still photos can really be deceiving, so I'm not real keen on going by those. But I slowed down both plays and just don't get why the NFL won't say they were mistakes by the refs. Matthews briefly put his arm under Cousin's thigh, so I'm sure to the ref it looked like he scooped him up, but if you watch the replay it's pretty clear to me that Cousins jumped as he threw, and that's why he went in the air. Kendricks' hit as well, no scoop there that I saw. The PI on Adams was weak but the ref saw Adams' arm extend and called it. The Graham one, in slow motion it was easy to see the guy grabbed his arm but at full speed it wasn't nearly as clear, so while it was a missed call, it's the kind of call that's missed a lot because of all the hand fighting they allow between WRs and DBs. They Taylor holding penalty was weak, but Minnesota was called for the same thing that called back a third-down conversion. I just don't think the tie should be pinned on the refs. The Packers needed to win this game when it was there for the taking, which it was with three great TD chances in the final 8 minutes, including getting the ball on the 13 after Clinton-Dix's interception. They knew at the time they needed touchdowns, not field goals, that's why McCarthy threw twice in a row after the two-minute warning. And Adams had a good shot at catching both of them. So I think it's misguided to blame the refs. The game was there for the taking, where they could put the game away and a bad call wouldn't be a factor, and they didn't get it done. Even if the Vikings got more calls than the Packers in this one, there will be a game or two where the Packers will be the beneficiaries. The Packers have nobody but themselves to blame IMHO.
    Hi Pete,
    In your opinion, does this team (the current 53) have the capacity to grow and develop (ie get better) in any significant way during the course of the season? I don't see where current backups will contribute in this regard, but how about the starters? Assuming no significant losses due to injury, can this be a notably better football team at the end of the season?
    Yeah, those two rookies CBs can get better, maybe quite a bit better as they get more experienced. Oren Burks hasn't played, and judging by camp and preseason he's got some ability to be a fairly dynamic ILB, looks like he can run with guys in coverage and get to the sidelines as a run defender. Kenny Clark is still a young guy (turns 23 in a month, if I remember right), so he could improve during the season, and he's already pretty good. Kevin King if he can stay healthy, which is looking like a big if at this point. Maybe Josh Jones. So yeah, it could be a noticeably better team at the end of the year. Doesn't mean it will, but there are reasons to think it could.
    Pete: I know Clinton-Dix has made a good number of plays so far. But to my eye, he's also blown an equal number of plays he should've been in position to make. (Example: Over-running the play on 2nd & 13, allowing Jordan Howard to bounce outside and nearly pick up a first late in the game). Thing is, I had a similar feeling about Nick Collins, who I know was great. My question: Is Pettine putting Clinton-Dix in positions to make plays, and he's failing to do so; or is just that that position asks a lot of player, and an imperfect success rate is to be expected?
    I have to agree with you Matt, he's made some plays but also missed his share, too. Collins was a lot better because he was so much faster and more explosive. Clinton-Dix has to rely on taking good angles and making great reads. Sometimes he does -- he had a good tackle or two against the Vikings -- but for instance on the TD to Treadwell he didn't break on the ball but instead drifted in the end zone like he thought the ball might get through to him for an INT. I'd say he just has some limitations.
    Why are only 46 players active on game day?
    The owners don't want temporary IR lists because they'd end up having to pay more players, so they use the 53-man roster but 46 game-day actives as a sort of a substitute for temporary IR. Most teams have at least a couple guys who can't play any given week because of injuries. Rarely is that more than five or six. They want things even for both teams, so they don't want one team to have more actives than the other, so they set it at 46 with the idea that both teams will have at least that many healthy  players, and that that's enough players to get through a game. It's all basically because the owners don't want to pay more players.
    Pete, much has been made about McCarthy's play calling after the late Ha Ha interception. While I recognize that scoring a touchdown would have ended the game, it also seems that McCarthy underestimated the physical toll the game had already taken on his defense at this point. Running the ball and forcing the Vikings to take timeouts would have given the defense at least a couple more minutes of precious rest before returning to the field, which is a positive even without a touchdown. I can see one quick strike into the end zone, but two?
    I just have to disagree on that one. At that point, the scoreboard was still more the enemy than the clock. Even if they'd forced Minnesota to take those time outs, the Vikings wouldn't have needed them to get downfield for the touchdown. They did it anyway and used only one TO and had 31 seconds to spare. I personally would have considered the TD of more value than the rest for the defense. And the defense had just had a lot of rest. The Packers had a long drive and kicked a FG, then Minnesota scored a TD on two plays;then the Packers had another long drive and kicked a FG, and Cousins threw an interception on the first play. So the defense had had a ton of rest.
    Hi Pete,
    The defense in the 4th QTR looked just like a Dom Capers defense we have watched since 2011 (terrible). They are so close to 0-2 instead of 1-0-1. Why is #52 still on the outside? Letting the Jets outbid you for Mack is forgivable, letting the Bears beat you out should lead to a GM firing!
    I also think Matthews is more impactful inside, but I'm not sure who else the Packers have after Perry who's better than Matthews on the outside. I also agree that Mack was worth offering more than two first-rounders. Can't say for sure what more than two first-rounders it would have taken to get Oakland to take that deal rather than gambling that one or two of the Bears' first-rounders might be top-10 picks, but I'd have pushed the envelop too, he's a real difference maker at the position they need the most.
    The Bears Defense looked great last night. Any chance they win the Division?
    I highly doubt the quarterback is good enough.
    I am really confused. And this is not about the Packers not tetting a W on Sunday. They had plenty of chances to win despite that play.

    If the NFL is saying that Matthew's hit on Cousins is a text book definition of how not to hit a qb, what is the textbook definition of what is to do when hitting the qb? I want to see that. Because I don't know how to gently tackle a player who is trying not to be tackled.
    Agreed, I just don't get it. It might have looked like a lift to the ref at the time and from where he was standing, but on replay it's clear it wasn't. I don't get it either and think they're going to have to somehow rectify this via the competition committee in-season, because IMHO Riveron is completely wrong here, and I find it a little hard to believe the competition committee as a whole agrees with him.
    Have been to both games this season, and I have to say that to the uneducated eye, I just do not see what the excitement is over Jimmy Graham. Yes, he is large, but the guy I'm watching is not going to be a stretch the middle type of receiver. Looks like he gets bumped off his routes easily, doesn't even try to block and is not going to run away from too many safeties. Does he look like a $10 million a year guy to you?
    Agreed that his blocking is bad and he's not so fast that he stretches defenses. But he still has decent speed and great size and catching ability. He's such a big target with a large catch radius, that makes him a huge weapon in the red zone. Teams will either have to risk giving up easy TDs to him or doubling him in the red zone, either way that's good for Rodgers. And he showed some athleticism when he hurdled that tackler against Minnesota. He's not the guy he was five years ago, but he's still pretty good, looks a lot faster and more athletic than Bennett was last year. I think he's worth the money, at least for this year. Will he still be worth $10M in 2020? Maybe, maybe not.
    It's too bad with Aaron Jones coming back that play action won't be effective because Rodgers has to stay in pistol/shotgun and can't be under center. However, with Jones back and running game cranked up we see Mercedes Lewis more often, and him leaking out for passes in middle of the field with result similar to play action?
    I'd think so. And Jones is a bigger threat as a runner, so defenses will have to honor him more as a runner than they do Williams or Montgomery.
    The quality of PackersNews coverage of the Matthews hit on Cousins -across the board - is the *worst* sports coverage I've ever seen in my life.

    The rule, and the video are *crystal clear*: Cousins right leg came up when he threw the ball, and at that point Matthews grabbed the back of the right thigh and pulled up. Now think about all that this entails, and has led to:

    1. Matthews knew the ball was out, otherwise he'd have attempted to strip it. He didn't even need to tackle Cousins,

    2. McCarthy said that what Matthews did was exactly what he was taught. This means that he was taught wrong, which includes during the week following his illegal hit that nearly cost them the Bears game. Then Matthews does it again, and it *does* cost them a game. And the head coach can't own it.

    4. None of the PackersNews reporting that I've seen mentions these simple facts. The ref saw the violation instantly, and flagged it. But days afterward, no one in the Packers camp - not the coaches, not the players, not the media - can see it or own it. How is that?

    5. Silverstein (which doesn't surprise me) and my favorite guy LeRoy Butler (which does) display a shot of Matthews left hand floating in space *before* he grabs the thigh! Why do that?

    A whole lot more could be said about this wasted game, but let's summarize: McCarthy's gone at the end of the season.
    I addressed this a couple times but wanted to give you your say. From the ref's point of view, I can see why he might have been fooled into thinking Matthews picked up Cousins. On replay it's pretty clear to me he didn't. Not sure what more needs to be said. I'm sure McCarthy thinks it was a bad call, in fact, he essentially said so today in his press conference when he said they aren't changing the way they're teaching how to tackle the QB. That means he thinks Matthews' tackle was good. They can get fined if they criticize the officiating publicly, so that's one reason McCarthy hasn't come out and explicitly criticized the call. Also it's telling that McCarthy hasn't even suggested that the officiating cost them the game. That would be a victim's mentality, and in sports that's a losing mentality. McCarthy knows they had their chances to nail that game down and didn't do it, and he wants his team to have the same mind-set, that's my take.
    Did Clay look better to you in the 2nd game, yes or no? What about Wilkerson? Clark and Daniels have looked pretty good in my opinion (outside of Daniels missed sack against the Vikes).
    I thought Matthews looked a little better in Week 2, especially in chasing down plays outside, reading swing passes, etc. But as a rusher only a tad better, he helped Clark get his sack by getting close enough to take a swipe at the ball, which forced Cousins to re-load and step up and get sacked by Clark. Wilkerson has great size and pretty good power and can be a factor in there, but it doesn't look like he's going to be a big sack guy. All three (Wilkerson, Clark and Daniels) are good against the run, it's looking like the Packers' run D should be pretty good this year, in large part because of them. They're inside rush as a group is good, but it's not dominant or anything like that. They don't have an Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox or Geno Atkins.
    It seemed to me that it was poor X's & O's to have House covering Diggs 1 on 1. Felt like a Caper's move. And why not assign Brice to double rather than giving him the 'choice'. Do you suppose that play alone ought to leapfrog Jackson over House? I thought that was the case anyway but do they not like him on the outside yet? Based on what you have seen through 2 games can you rank our DB's in coverage ability? To me, Alexander already looks like the best.
    It sounds like Brice should have been shading that way on that play. And yeah, it sure looks like they're better with Jackson out there. I'll bet this week when they go with three CBs  -- assuming King doesn't play -- that the three will be Williams, Alexander and Jackson. That's how they ended the game. When they go with those three, from what I've seen they put Alexander outside and keep Jackson in the slot. The bigger question is whether they'll play House in dime (and move Alexander to the other slot) or use Whitehead as the sixth DB even though he's a safety. I'd agree, Alexander probably is their best cover guy already. Not so sure Jackson wouldn't be No. 2 and Williams No. 3.
    who goes off the 53 when Aaron Jones is reinstated?
    if that guy goes to the practice squad, who gets bumped?
    Maybe Darius Jackson gets bumped from the 53, he's the third RB on the roster right now.
    Hi Pete. Any update on Kevin King? Is he likely to be in the line up this week?
    McCarthy said this morning that King will be hard pressed to play this week.
    How much did Marcedes Lewis play against Vikings?
    Not a lot, I think it was only about 10 snaps. He's limited as a receiver, but he really can block when needed.
    Hi Pete, at what point when the QB leaves the pocket does he lose the Pink Skirt (Opps I mean protected QB) status. When he scrambles to the side? When he crosses the line of scrimmage? etc.
    When he gets outside the tackle box or crosses the LOS.
    As a follow up to my previous question. Would the hit by Barr that broke Rogers collarbone outside the pocket be a penalty? Would it be if Rogers was a RB? Is football still football?
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