Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly chat at noon Wednesday.

    Kyle Shanahan was Mike Pettine's OC when Pettine was head coach in Cleveland. Is that a good or bad thing for Monday nights game?
    OK, here we go. Interesting question, not sure if the advantage goes to either. Both know how the other guy thinks, but they're both with different teams, so they don't have any added insight into the other guy's personnel.
    Pete...Do you think the multiple losses in the scouting department over the years have played a part in the multiple miss-fires in both the draft and free agency in recent years?
    They've lost a lot of talent over the last however many years: Dorsey, McKenzie, Schneider, Highsmith, Wolf. That hurts, that's a lot of experienced guys who have proven good at their jobs as they've moved up the ladder. But they got their opportunities in GB when others left, so replacing personnel guys is just like replacing players. All I can tell you definitively is that Thompson's last few drafts weren't nearly as good as his first few.
    It's not that difficult to look through all the miscues yesterday, to see the core issue. It's not talent (tho they could use some pass rush), it's not injuries, it's not the defense, it's not Crosby, it's not the officiating. The heart of the problem is the persistent refusal of Rodgers and McCarthy to establish a rhythm on offense, which is what they need more than anything right now. The opposing defense usually - maybe always - gives you something to work with, and they just won't leverage those openings. Instead, AR holds the ball too long, trying vainly to do what he at his best would do - going for the long strikes. But he's not at his best, yet. So we own it, and adjust.

    Monty especially, but Williams & A Jones too are v good receivers, and superb with the ball in space. Why not use them, as a first read occasionally, to help move the chains, and force the defense to open something else up? Why not *start* A Jones, to provide another dilemma for the defense? Why not quick hitters to Adams, Monty, Graham? Why not get the AR - receiver connection in tune, both during the week and during the game, before trying to stretch the plays? Why not keep AR on his feet SO HE CAN PRACTICE THE NEXT WEEK? Then, instead of the rhythmical 'thousand one, thousand two', it's 'thousand one, thousand two, thousand three' opening up, and lo, the long strike is there for the taking. Then, AR isn't taking hits and giving up fumbles. Then, the WR's are getting some help from the TE's and RB's. Then, the defense is getting some rest. Then, when AR is fully back, add that AR magic back in.
    That definitely was an issue last week, no argument on that here.
    Hi Pete being a Packers fan since 1962 I have seen allot of football. The packers of the 60's were legendary the 70's and 80's were a disaster then came the 90's and finally the team played like we fans expect. Fast forward to this year many changes happened a new play book new coaches and a new GM. and once again that sliver or hope for another championship. But I think this team maybe over rated, there is no disapline no leadership just 11 guys on the field not totally being in sink. This has been the problem for a few years now and in my opinion it's time to part ways with McCarthy. Allot of the greatest coaches have left teams after their time was up. Lombardi, Shula. Holmgren and even Lambeau left after they knew it was rebuilding time. Our defense is terrible the offense is stagnet and now Crosby has fallen apart. This Pete is coaching, and since everyone was replaced that leaves McCarthy. In my opinion we will never win another Super Bowl under these conditions. Please Mike call it a carreer in Green Bay you were a great motivator at one time but that was long ago you could probably be successful in another city you have lost your locker room we need new fresh 2018 ideas not the same old predicible recycled plays. your thoughts Pete
    There is a school of thought -- I know Bill Walsh was a believer in this -- that a coach's shelf life with an organization is about 10 years. There's probably quite a bit of wisdom in that. On the flip side, Bill Cowher won his first Super Bowl in like his 12th year with the Steelers. But I did some research a couple years ago, and even if you look at the records of most of the legends (Halas, Lambeau, Shula, Landry, Noll) they're records in their first 10 to 12 years were outstanding, but after that was close to .500 if I remember write. (I used the data in a couple columns over the past two or three years if you want to do a Google search for exact numbers). These things aren't hard and fast rules, but those numbers are hard to ignore. I'd still say we need to see how this season plays out, but your point, as is Bill Walsh's (and I know Wolf is a general believer in this too) is well taken.
    Hi Pete,
    Multiple choice. 1. Lots of speculation that MMc has lost his voice, edge, whatever. However I was struck last night watching the Saints as Sean Payton started with NO the same year as MM w/GB (and wanted the Packer job badly). He seems to be thriving after several down years. Any insights, opinions on what he has done to revitalize his teams fortunes vs GB. Maybe just a few good drafts? 2. If the Packers fire MM after the season do you think Aaron will complain that they didn't consult him (slight sarcasm alert).
    Very interesting question and a good case study. A couple points worth making. One, as you note the Saints had three 7-9 seasons in a row before last year, and that was with Brees at QB. Now, I thought they were the best team in the NFC last year, and the point about drafts is a good one. They had an outstanding, outstanding draft last year. Lattimore is a CB who can take away half the field. Kamara is a true difference maker at RB. They also got a legit starting RT (Ramczyk) and a good safety (Marcus Williams). That's a fantastic draft, especially Lattimore and Kamara, those two guys really made a difference. The Packers don't have any having that kind of impact, though let's see how Alexander and Jackson develop. So it's not even a few good drafts, it's one great one. I don't think we can understate how important that draft has been to where the Saints are now (and that Cam Jordan is a really, really good pass rusher). I don't doubt that Payton is a really good offensive coach, as well, but he was coaching two of those three 7-9 seasons (suspended for the other).
    Has Roger's lost accuracy with his shoulder injuries and age? He doesn't seem as accurate as he has been in the past. Or, are his current receivers not running the correct routes/ not where they are supposed to be at the right time? Thanks for taking my question.
    Seems like he's missed as many throws through five games as he normally does in a season. Can't say I noticed the issue in camp, so I don't think it's his shoulder after the collarbone injury last year, though I guess we can't rule it out. I'm still thinking it has more to do with the injured knee (pain planting his front leg on the throw) and not practicing much. But can't say I know for sure.
    Hi Pete, Mathews is not getting much pressure fro. The outside .. is it time to move him inside and give Gilbert some more playing time? Mathews can have a bigger impact from inside and I think I would rather have Gilbert on the field over Morrison or Burks
    He's not getting much pressure, though from what I've seen Gilbert isn't doing any better than him. Matthews might be more impactful inside, he's been really disruptive playing in there in the past -- even if he occasionally is too aggressive or impulsive and gives up something, it's worth it because he also blows up plays from that position. The offseason would have been the better time to make that move, but it's something worth considering. The one thing I'm not sure of is how good in coverage he is at this point in his career. That's such an important part of playing ILB in today's NFL. I do think they need to play Burks, he needs the experience and has the athleticism to be a pretty decent cover guy. He could improve a fair amount between now and January if he plays a lot.
    Pete...to the best of your ability, could you please try to explain how the Packers front office structure works. If the GM wants to make a trade or sign a free agent, does he need approval from the "Salary Cap Guy" (who coincidently was passed over for that GM job) or if the Head Coach inquires about a position that needs attention, can either one or both of the other 2 guys veto his request, ending with them all rushing to the President's office to sort things out ? Is that the front office setup ?
    I basically asked Gutekunst that before the season started, and he said that any player he'd thought about or wanted to go after he was able to, which meant that Russ Ball did not have veto power over him. I don't know exactly how it works if McCarthy wants someone. The roster is Gutekunst's purview, that's in his contract I believe, but I'm sure if McCarthy wants help at a position or a specific player who might be available, Gutekunst would try to make it happen. Murphy has made it sound like he views his job as making sure everyone is communicating, but if there were a big difference of opinion, Murphy has final say. That's one of the problems with going away from the GM having full authority over football, the lines of responsibility and who has the final say blur.
    I’ve often thought that it would be interesting to see if a very very smart and experienced quarterback could do better by calling the plays themselves. I’m never played quarterback, but have the sense that on the field they would have a better feel for the game then somebody on the sideline staring at a chart. If given the opportunity, do you think Rodgers would choose to call his own plays? He did have a very high wonderlick score!
    I was thinking about that yesterday, as a matter of fact. I don't know exactly how it worked with Peyton Manning, but I think he had a lot of autonomy at the line of scrimmage. Still, I think that might be asking a lot for a guy to play the position, make all those decisions on each play on where to go with the ball, etc., and then call the plays too. It's pretty tough for the QB to always be thinking a play or two ahead while also carrying out his duties each play. I realize the guys in the '60s did that, but they were going against a player caller (I think it was usually the middle linebacker) who was doing the same thing. Now it's a D coordinator who doesn't have to worry about playing as well. It's an interesting question, though, and you do wonder what would happen if you let a Rodgers or Brady or Brees call his own game, how it would turn out.
    Pete – did it seem like the Packers lack some energy Sunday? With both head coordinator’s in the box, Rogers on the bench and McCarthy staring at his play card… There seem like no one was left fire up the team. Did you see this?
    I can't tell you the exact reason, but the facts are they've started really poorly in three of their five games, and that goes for both sides of the ball. That's a pattern, and it's a killer, because it's hard to play from 17 points behind. I don't know if there's complacency or staleness, players making a mistake early on a third down or whatever. But in the end, yeah, you have to put it on the coaching staff.
    Hi Pete, the play of the Packer safeties has been atrocious so far this season. Do you see a path for improvement of the group this year or are they what they are and any help will have to come next year? Thanks.
    Probably more the former. Brice is younger and could improve with more playing time. Clinton-Dix is in his fifth year, so he pretty much is what he is at this point, and that's really inconsistent, makes some good plays (that interception against Buffalo was an excellent play) but then has feet of clay on others (basically responsible for I think it's three red-zone TD passes).
    What is your grade for the head coach for the Lions game ? Rodgers has been taking a hell of a beating from all sports writers. I feel he didn’t have a great game but doesn’t deserve it . Yes he held the ball and fumbled . However we don’t know how much input he has in the playbook or the plays sent in. But receivers lining up wrong and consistently in the same areas , it appeared quite disorganized and poorly coached. What 15 penalties with 12 accepted for maybe 140 yards . And on the punt recovery, doesn’t anyone teach these kids to get away from a loose ball. I know even in high school if the ball hit me or not and it was live , I would have gotten my but chewed.
    The poor start and the penalties come back on the coaches, especially because this wasn't the first time this season those things have been issues. Rodgers had by his standards a bad game, though, there's no getting around that. For this team to win he has to play well, that's just the way it is. The one thing on the punt that I'm not sure of is, how well can a blocker hear in a loud stadium on a play like that? He's concentrating on blocking a guy, so he can't see what's going on, and I don't know how well they can hear while running and blocking and with all that crowd noise. I don't know exactly how they teach that, but I'm going to ask some of those guys what they're supposed to do, so if you ask again down the road I hope to have a better answer for you.
    Thanks as always Pete for chatting with us. Do you think Joe Whitt Jr. is or should be on the hot seat? McCarthy routinely compliments his coaching abilities, but the performance of his units has been sporadic at best, often terrible. Of course, players have to play, and he’s coaching young players, but the NFL relies on youth. Your thoughts?
    Whitt is the passing game coordinator on D, so his responsibility is the coverage part of things. I'd still argue that overall the cornerbacks are playing OK, and that Alexander, King and Jackson all show real promise. I don't think they're the problem with the team, and in the end they're going to have to be the solution, because that's where the majority of talent is on this defense. The safety play has been shaky, but Clinton-Dix has been up and down for a couple seasons, and Whitt was coaching the CBs last year. All I know is, Whitt is held in pretty high regard over there.
    Why can't Packers get the safety play coached up?
    They changed safety coaches this year and it doesn't seemed to have improved that area, so maybe it's more of a personnel thing than coaching.
    Pete,,, good morning. t'is a sad day in Packville, chaos reigns.
    Couple of questions for your opinion?
    1. As difficult, rare and expensive as a elite pass rush is to find. Is a FA elite Safety every 3 yrs a good compromise? Allowing single high S and more blitzing to harass a QB.
    2. OLB Fackerell is looking more like a good ILB. 6'5", 260, good coverage and open field tackle skills. Can you see him move inside next year if the OLB is improved?
    1. That kind of safety would allow more blitzing, etc., but I have my doubts whether you could find an elite S in free agency every three years. Earl Thomas was elite and was available this year and I argued they should go after him, but even he was in decline at age 29 and that showed up when he sustained a broken leg recently. So they made the right call in not trading for and paying him. Guys like him rarely come available, and when they do it's usually risky because of age/injury. If you can't find the pass rusher, then I'd agree you really need that safety, especially in Pettine's scheme. But I'd be doing everything I could to add rushers.
     
    2. I just don't think Fackrell has the change of direction to be an ILB in coverage. He has good straight line speed as you note, and the proof of that is the play he consistently makes is chasing down the QB outside the pocket. But I doubt he can cover well enough to play ILB, that's a huge part of playing that position now. 
    I try and maintain patience because it's a long season, but this year feels different. McCarthy and Rodgers seem to be at odds, our defense is still average and the management of our RB rotation is questionable at best. In your estimation, is this the year we don't make the playoffs with a healthy Rodgers (knock on wood)?
    I wonder. This season does feel a little different to me too, but then, back when they were 4-6 in '16 I remember thinking things were falling apart and that they weren't going to make the playoffs, and I also recall getting questions in these chats about whether McCarthy had lost the team. Then they ran the table. But this year does feel different, and that difficult schedule coming up (at Rams, Patriots, Vikings, Seahawks and Bears) is a big challenge. But this too will be decided on the field.
    Hi Pete, I'm never quite sure how to handle your Wednesday chat. Monday and Tuesday we focus on the success or failure of the previous game, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday it's on to the next. Just wondering what your preference is for questions and topics to deal with on Wednesday? Thanks for the chat.
    They're all worth exploring, so feel free to ask whatever is on your mind.
    Kentrell Brice is a very poor excuse for a safety. He make a better spectator than a tackler. Very seldom is he in position. Why not give Josh Jones a chance? He can't be any worse.
    That tells you something about how Jones is doing. I know they think Brice has a better grasp of the defense. To me Brice's issues have been less that he's out of position and more that he doesn't play the ball well in the air. Sounds like Jones' issue is not being in the right spot, not making the right reads. But maybe he'll get his chance at some point. I do know that dating back to college he's been at his best as a box safety, not playing deep.
    If someone had told you 6 weeks ago that the Packers would have 2 wins and AR would start and finish each of the first 5 games, what would your response have been to them? And then your forecast for the rest of the season?
    I would have been surprised. I'd have thought they'd be 4-1. I was talking about the rest of the schedule with Eric Baranczyk on Monday, and we were going through scenarios, etc., and I'm still hesitant to make big predictions because it's conceivable 8-7-1 could win the division. It kind of looks like there's the Rams and everybody else at this point. But I'm thinking they'll probably have to be 9-6-1 to have much shot at making the playoffs. That means going 7-4 to finish out. And it very well could take 10-5-1. And really, the goals for this franchise are a lot higher than just making the playoffs.
    It's still early in the season and I hope Rodgers & Graham can start connecting. But if they can't, what would be the cap hit if the cut Graham at the end of the year? Same question for Perry and Matthews.
    Cutting Graham next year would save $5.3M in cap space (he's schedule to make $9M in salary and bonuses in '19). Cutting Perry next year would save $3.6M (he's scheduled to make $11M in salary in bonus in '19). Matthews is in the final year of his contract.
    Good day Pete, I am hoping that rookie receivers having to play now will be beneficial later in the season. I see the same for our young DB's. That said, is Rodgers missing more passes, and not seeing open receivers more so now than at any point in his career ?
    He definitely did last week. I do remember him having a really, really bad game at Minnesota in Week 2 in '16, as bad a game as he's had a starter (except for maybe his first year starting). He missed more throws in that game than he normally misses in a month, and didn't see some open guys also. But he went on to have an excellent season.
    What do you make of the story coming out where Clinton-Dix stated he doesn't think he'll be here next season? He's been up and down, probably would demand to be paid but starting over wouldn't be ideal.
    I think he's probably right. I don't think he's done enough for the Packers to invest in him long term.
    The Packers seem to lack focus until their backs are truly against the wall. It feels it's to early to call week 6 a "must win", but their backs are firmly against the wall and this is "must win". At the Rams, at the Patriots, at the Vikings, and at the Seahawks in a 5 week stretch after the bye. If the Packers can't win Sunday the hole they've dug will be too deep. I wouldn't want to accept the Packers season being in the toilet after week 6 but reality can't be overlooked. Thoughts?
    It's not a must-win mathematically, but I agree with you, it's about as close to a must-win as you can get for Week 6.
    I'm not sure about the personal or the professional status of Cole Madison at this point but I'm wondering about his options with the Packers. If he were interested in getting back on the field this season, does he still have that option? Could he just call BG and report? Would he be welcomed? Encouraged or discouraged?Thanks
    As far as I can remember, he can report at any time. I'm sure there's an exempt list they could put him on for a few weeks before they'd have to either activate him or sit him for the season. I'd think they'd welcome him. They drafted him and need help on the OL going forward even if he wouldn't help them this season.
    Pete, do you think MM submitted that play where the ball supposedly touched Kevin King to the League office for an explanation of how they determined that the ball touched King ?
    Kind of doubt it. I think the ref on the field simply thought it went off King's back, and while the replay seemed to show it went off the Lions player's wrist, it wasn't definitive enough to overturn. I doubt the league could tell them more, unless the Packers felt the replay was definitive and just wanted a clearer explanation of why the Al Riveron didn't think it was definitive.
    Hi Pete--
    It seems to me the best hope for this team to make a surprising, unexpected jump to looking more like a contender would include a combination of Rodgers playing lights out AND King, Alexander and Jackson showing dramatic impact jumps in performance. Does that seem right to you?
    That's pretty much how I see it. There would be some other things mixed in. Jones having a greater impact at RB, Graham making some more plays in the red zone, maybe Burks playing more and better, or maybe someone unexpected adding something. But yeah, you pretty much hit on the nub of it from what I see.
    I saw a number of games last weekend and a bunch of hits on the QB that weren't penalized, hits that would have drawn multiple flags in the first 2 weeks. What's up, has the NFL got this figured out or are they still in throw enough s***t against the wall and hope something sticks phase of the 'new rules'.
    I think they're figuring it out on the fly. Now they've got to aim for more consistency with all the officiating crews, which in this case means with all the referees, since the referee (i.e., the white hat) is the one making that call.
    Pete,

    Let's dive right in.

    I've started seeing another team... I've fallen hard for the Los Angeles Rams.

    I wanted to tell you before you heard it from someone else.

    It's not you; it's me.

    I can't help it -- I just want some offense and defense in my life.

    As much as I want real football, I don't want any more empty platitudes.
    "Accountability," "fundamental cleanup," and "silos (of bull-stuff)?"
    Pete, I know they're not your words... but you'd have to agree they ring fairly hollow.

    Just leave my comments at reception.
    I'll pick them up later, when you're not around.

    Remember: We'll always have XLV.

    This is a good place to stop. I've got other duties...
    Yes, those platitudes ring hollow. All coaches have their sayings for public consumption, and they're empty and hollow. That's by design. For the most part they don't see the value of criticizing players publicly. As for the Rams, no question they're fun to watch. I had no idea Goff was this accurate a thrower. Cooks has always been a playmaker but there are concussion issues there. Kupp looks really good, better than Cobb, for instance. And of Gurley probably is the best RB in the game. So they have real talent. I'm surprised their defense was scorched like it was against Minnesota, but they do have a game changer in Donald, that guy is a threat to get a big sack or QB hit on any play that might help win a game.
    hi pete looking back at the first round picks you can see why the team isn't as good as it should be going back to 2011 sherrod 2012 perry (decent player but always gets hurt) 2013 datone jones, 2014 clinton-dix (a falling star) 2015 randall beyond this point the players are incomplete. they also lost rollins in the second round. the draft is the most important thing for a team but looking at this class it's no wonder why the packers are not world class. this lack of quality players and poor coaching that this team is over rated what are your thoughts pete?
    A lot of truth there about the first rounds of drafts, though if you look at Wolf's first-round history, it wasn't very good. He just found ways to make up for it with great later-round picks and some key signings. It's also a lot harder to find good players picking in the bottom 10 of the first round every year than picking in the top 10 every few years. Think about NE. How many great players does NE have besides Brady? Maybe Gronkowski? Anyone on D? It's just harder to find a great player picking later in the round every year. Not that it can't be done. But  it's on the front office to find another way when the picks don't hit.
    I don't have time to study All 22 game film or cut-ups; would just like to know how Tramon Williams has performed this year. Hopes were high after his performance last season, but my Gestalt is he has regressed.
    He's been pretty decent from what I can tell. I don't think he's been a problem at all. Remember, pretty much all corners get beat in this league. But I don't think it's been a problem with him.
    Would the surgery for House indicate he's not coming off IR this year? And on a related note do you expect to see Breeland play on Monday? Thank you
    Sorry but this will have to do it, time to get to other duties. Didn't get a chance to see even half the questions, sorry about that but quite a few today. We'll be chatting again next week, so just try then, with no game next week will go for a couple hours if there are enough questions. I haven't seen a timeline on House's injury so not sure on that, but gut feeling is he's not coming back this year. I don't know Breeland's status because he had a hamstring injury last week, and with their game on Monday nigh this week they're not practicing today, so tomorrow will be the first injury report of the week. I'd think they'd want to get him out there, though I'd also think it would be on special teams, especially if Alexander is back. They want King, Alexander and Jackson on the field, plus Williams is doing fine and knows the system. But with the way injuries are in this league, they're going to need Breeland sooner or later. Maybe sooner. And with that, we'll call it a chat. Thanks everyone for coming by, always fun and interesting to see what's on your mind, so that much appreciated that you took the time to ask a question or share a thought. Until next week, take care.
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