Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Oct. 17 transcript

    In all seriousness, if Davante is as incredible off the line getting separation as everyone talks about, why is Rodgers not throwing to him 20 times a game? If he's always open shouldn't he be getting 12+ catches a game?
    Hi everybody, thanks for coming by, let's get started. Last week Adams had 16 targets, and Rodgers said after the game that that's more in the range of targets he should get every game. So I think  you're on the right track, though 12 catches a game is a 192 for the season, don't think that's going to happen. But Rodgers saw that as a positive sign for the offense that Adams got that many targets.
    Hi Pete, Thanks for the chats! What is your take on our rookie receivers, MVS and St Brown? Should they keep playing after the return of Cobb and Allison? Can MM mix them?
    Yeah, they should remain a part of the rotation. Their play time will have to decrease, of course. Allison is off to a good start and needs to play a lot, and Rodgers trusts Cobb. But I'd think they'll want to keep working the two rookies in regularly. They're both showing some talent, and with all the injuries in this game, they're going to need those guys in bigger roles again sometime before the season is over, maybe even at a really crucial time.It wouldn't hurt to get Adams the occasional rest too or he might be worn out by season's end.
    Hi Pete, thanks for the chat. I see indecision and confusion coming from the sideline and the huddle when the Packers are on offense. They are late getting to the line and getting the play call, Rogers has little or no time to make changes and this leads to wasted TOs or delay of game penalties. Rogers was usually good for 1 or 2 defense two many men on the field penalties a game or at least forcing the defense to scramble or call a TO. That's gone. I don't know if the 'new revamped playbook' or the addition of Philbin has contributed has to the indecision to get the play called and get to the line with time to spare, but? Your thoughts and do you think the coaches will address this and get it fixed during the bye?
    No one's gotten around to asking Rodgers about the timeouts they've been burning, though everyone who covers the team is aware of it, just other more pressing matters at press conferences. There has been a lot more of that than in the past, I don't remember that often being an issue in the last six or seven years. So I don't have a good answer for you, but it probably is plays getting in late, or personnel changes, more than the revamped playbook. But that's only a guess. Definitely a lot fewer free plays than in the past.
    Pete, you wrote earlier this week about changes that need to be made at Safety and Tight End. You floated the idea of moving Breeland from corner to safety, what do you think of moving Tramon Williams to Free Safety? They're virtually the same size. I don't know how their 40 times compare, but Breeland is much younger, so I'm assuming slightly faster at least. Micah Hyde is listed as a Strong Safety on Pro Football-Reference and he's only an inch taller and listed as 8 pounds heavier than Williams. If he plays SS, Williams should be able to hold up at FS imho.
    Yeah, I thought about that too, and apparently Williams occasionally played some safety last year in Arizona from what I've read. Williams isn't real physical, though he did fill hard on a run I remember last week. Yeah, that could be something for them to consider as well. Even though he's 35 he's still a springy athlete. I went with Breeland because there were scouts in the league who thought he should be a safety coming out of college, and that maybe he could even be a longer-term answer there, not just a 2018 fix. But Williams is worth thinking about too. He knows the defense well, so that would help. I just wonder if he's quite physical enough to be a safety, though with the way the game is played today that might not matter as much as it would  have 15 years ago.
    After 6 games and now a bye week, my biggest disappointment in this Packers team is a lack of productivity from Mike Daniels and Tramon Williams. Daniels has appeared quite ordinary and blocked one-on-one consistently and Williams is still getting burned on double moves, much like 2014. Is this bound to change in 2018, or have the ceilings been lowered on these two players by injury and Father time?
    From what I can tell Daniels has been very good but not great. He's good at pushing the pocket, very good generally speaking playing the run, only occasionally gets washed out or shoots a gap and misses. He and Clark are good players, but neither has that extra gear to not just push the pocket and get some pressure up the middle, but also to actually break free and get the sack, like an Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins, those dominant inside rushers. Those guys are rare. I'd say Williams has played fine. He's 35, that's incredibly old for that position. He got beat bad for a TD last week by Goodson, but that route by Goodson was impressive, an incredibly hard, sharp double move. I think he gave up a TD the week before too but it was called back because of a penalty. But I think he's been pretty decent. I do wonder if when all the CBs are healthy they'll occasionally give Williams a series off in a concession to his age. You're right on Father Time, neither of those guys is still on the upside, and with Williams especially, a big decline could hit at any time.
    How can you script Aaron Jones with success and then give up on him? Did you see that in Aaron Nagler's interview with Ryan Grant, Grant said that they spent more time on the running game in a single day with Washington than all week in Green Bay? Can you elevate the play of younger athletes on offense when there is no system beyond the 2 minute offense?
    Yeah, I don't get why Jones didn't get more carries. He played more last week, at least early in the game, he started and they had that good first series. I remember a little later Williams had an outside run in the red zone that was pretty good, but if it had been Jones it probably would have been a TD. I did see that quote from Grant, it was telling. Although, Shanahan didn't have Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre in Washington, either. Jones is going to be an ongoing issue until he starts getting 16 or so touches a game.
    I think the bigger problem with the running game than Jones number of carries is the lack of balance overall. I know this is who McCarthy is after all these years, but his love of passing continues to put this team in tough posistions with imbalance and an inability to hold onto the ball. Is there any chance he’ll finally figure this out and help his defense with some run game?
    That's among the things we should be looking for after the bye, to see what McCarthy learns from the self scout, and what changes he makes because of it. Agreed that a good running game helps your QB out a lot. Now, with Rodgers hurt, the run game suffered because he couldn't line up under center. From pistol or shotgun the RB has to line up on one side or the other of the QB, so that's a tell for the direction if it's a run. Last week, though, Rodgers was moving well and took a lot of snaps under center, so that shouldn't be an issue going forward.
    Hello Pete, Well another predictable, scripted and improbable outcome on Monday night for GB vs. SF and as usual Aaron Rodgers comes to the rescue! But let's not sugar coat this WIN too much as our defense is soft and porous as usual and with too really tough road games after the bye week (LA and NE), GB's going to need to score at least 40 points in each of those games to keep up with those two high powered offenses, so do we realistically have a chance to beat either team? And ex-Packer Mark Chmura said that in order for Mike McCarthy to keep his job after this year, GB will have to at least make it to the NFC Championship game. Even in a perfect world that's NOT going to happen this year with this team! Your thoughts? Thank you.
    Well, I wouldn't bet on them to win either of those games, if that's what you're asking. Can they win at least one of them? Sure. The Rams are going to have an off day somewhere along the line, and the Packers have an extra week to prepare for them, so there's a little advantage there. I'll have to go back and look, but I'm thinking McCarthy has done well against Belichick. But like you I wonder how they're going to get enough stops to beat either of those teams. Look, the feeling you get, or at least I get, watching the Packers right now is that it's just not quite there, something's off, that they're not a threat to make a deep run even if they get into the playoffs. Whether it's not having enough playmakers or a disconnect with the coach and quarterback, or a lack of chemistry, or staleness, I'm not sure. But I'm also trying to remember back to 2016 when they were 4-6. I remember thinking they didn't have much chance then, either, and they made it to the championship game. If Rodgers gets back to full health and gets really hot, like he did in '16, you never know. And maybe the young corners keeping improving and make a big play here and there to help the defense. You can't rule out those possibilities. We've seen things like this before. But for the first third of the season, it just feels a little different than past years. But none of us knows for sure how it's going to play out, regardless of our suspicions.
    Pete, just a FYI.
    For me Aaron Rodgers situation is simple to understand. I think he is a adrenaline junkie. Always was looking for the highlight reel deep pass and ignoring the Tom Brady type 10 yard pass to move the chains. (See Tom Brady in Super Bowl after Super Bowl with multiple short quick passes and not being sacked)
    As a lifelong adrenaline junkie myself I see the same traits in Aaron Rodgers, always swing for the fences.
    Look at the facts. When he throws it as short quick passes he's on fire and fans love it. But then he soon goes back to holding the ball looking for the deep pass just about every time.
    The deep pass always brings the fans to their feet and adulation to Aaron Rodgers which he craves apparently.
    Can't say I ever thought of it that way Ralph. Who knows? He did do that swimming with the sharks thing in the offseason.
    For all of those who are eagerly wanting / waiting for MM to be fired- stop and think a minute. Virtually no team makes the playoffs with a first year head coach. So firing MM at the end of this year means, at least statistically, no playoffs last year, none this year (otherwise why would he be fired this year), and no playoffs after the 2019 season. So the fire MM crowd is looking at no playoffs again til Jan 2020. You all ready for that?
    I'd  have to do the research but my gut says you're very much right that first-year coaches don't make the playoffs very often. Most coaching changes, I'd guess, are with teams that don't have a premier QB. Now, Sherman and McCarthy took over Packers teams with Favre and didn't make the playoffs their first year, so your point still stands. The only counterpoint I'd make here is that McCarthy could make the playoffs and still get fired. I'm not saying that will happen, but it wouldn't be a surprise if it did. But there is a transition with a new coach, learning the system, the coaches learning the personnel, etc., that can take a year. Then again, the Rams made the playoffs last year with McVay in his first season.
    Do you think Mike McCarthy is auditioning to keep his job coming out of the bye week?
    I have trouble seeing any scenario where McCarthy would get fired during the season. That kind of thing works in baseball sometimes and the NBA occasionally, but off the top of my head I can't remember an NFL team that it worked for. There might be an example or two, but I can't think of them.
    I'm going to keep it simple, Pete. Why hasn't Ty Montgomery been moved back to WR? To be honest from what I can recall, he was much more effective at the wide out position. Also MM and Rodgers need to get this game management under control. They are constantly figuring things out until there is :01 on the game clock and it is having a bigger effect on the game/game plan more than people realize.
    I can't say I disagree. I mean, at this point I wouldn't play him at WR, they have plenty of guys there and could be getting back Kumerow and/or Davis from IR. But I wondered in the offseason whether they should cut both Nelson and Cobb, use the money on a FA receiver and move Montgomery back to slot receiver. Too late for that now. For depth alone they need Montgomery at RB.
    Greetings. There was an article detailing some in-house options to possibly change trajectory on offense and defense that the bye week could test out. Breeland at Safety because of communication, Tonyan at TE to separate better and open up offense, etc. Do you think Pack try new approach to OLB? I think Matthews is better suited for ILB and speed of Josh Jones and Burks could do something for pass rush on outside, although containment of edge could suffer. It was troubling seeing both Martinez and Burks unable to stop run inside. Won't fixing a couple of issues with what we have if help isn't coming strengthen the team? Thanks.
    I argued against moving Matthews to ILB again, not because he can't do it but because they don't have any outside rushers aside from him and Perry. When they moved Matthews in '14, they had Peppers and Perry. If Matthews played a lot inside, then you're starting either Gilbert or Fackrell. That would be a big concern. Matthews still is their best outside rusher, and the drop to Gilbert and Fackrell is noticeable. But after watching the run defense get blown up last week against SF, maybe moving Matthews back inside has to remain on the table after all. Burks has never been an outside rusher, so I doubt he has the skill set, and they need him to be a coverage guy anyway, that's becoming an important position in the NFL. He's only 233 pounds and Jones 220, that's just too small for OLB in a 3-4 scheme.
    hi pete i wish that aaron would call his own plays. i think it would be better then the coachs choice. i think the coach is hampering this offense and needs a fresh look. also it may stop the team from using timeouts or penalties what are your thoughts
    Interesting question. In the two-minute offense, if I understand and remember correctly, they have a menu of plays to pick from but Rodgers actually calls the plays. They've done really well in two-minute with Rodgers at QB. Now, calling plays in two-minute isn't quite the same as the rest of the game, but still, maybe there's a way to give him more autonomy at times. Very well might be worth a shot.
    Hi Pete, Are we in a rebuilding mode? Much like a recession, you don't realize you are in one until after the fact. When we look back on this year will we recognize this team was rebuilding and cleaning up after the last few years of Ted's transactions?
    Yeah, I'd say so. But the one thing about the NFL, rebuilding can happen really fast, especially when you have a QB. One great draft can do it. We've talked about this before, but look at NO last year. Three straight 7-9 seasons even with Brees at QB, then an outstanding draft last year and they're an instant SB contender.
    I asked you last week about Blake Martinez? I indicated he always seems to be a day late and a dollar short - making tackes 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Do you think he is any good? I really think they should move Clay inside to shore up the run defense which is atrocious.
    Martinez isn't playing as well as he did last year, and it wasn't like he was a difference maker last year. I'd still be wary of moving Matthews because the outside rush, as bad as it's been, would suffer. But as I said earlier, if the run D issues continue then maybe moving him is something they'll have to seriously consider. I just don't know if last week was a one-week thing with the run D. It hadn't been that much of a problem before then.
    I know you have been critical of the team. Do you honestly see a run in this team or are they too far off?
    There are plenty of things going against them making a big run. They haven't played like a good team very often through six games now, out of sync, shaky chemistry, spotty defense. The vibe between the coach and QB isn't good. They also have this really tough schedule, games at the LA Rams, at New England, at Seattle, at Minnesota, at Chicago all in the final 2 1/2 months. So plenty of reason to think it's not happening. But when Rodgers is your QB, you always are a threat to make a run, especially as his knee improves. And they do have some players, and maybe three or four from that group keep improving and start making plays that help win games as the season goes on (Alexander, Jackson, King, Allison, Valdes-Scantling, Jones, Burks). So you can't rule out. The hard part of figuring these things out is not becoming a prisoner of the moment. As we talked about earlier, don't forget 4-6 in '16 and how bleak things looked for that team. The schedule is tougher this time, though they're 3-2-1, not 4-6, so they have a little better starting point. I don't  know how anyone could have watched this team through six games and predict something special is going to happen with it this year. Just no good reason to think that. But with this QB, you just can't say never, especially if a couple young guys develop quickly too.
    If the rookie WRs (MVS and St Brown) continue to produce as they have, does that mean we've seen the last of Cobb in a GB uniform? What yearly amount do you think would work for both sides for him to stay beyond this year? ?
    I'd think this is likely Cobb's last year with the Packers. I mean, they have Adams, Allison, MVS and St. Brown, by next year the Packers probably are going to want those all guys on the field, so Cobb would be in the way. Maybe if he were, I don't know, I'm pulling this out of the air, but $3 million to $4 million a year they'd re-sign him, but he'd probably get more than that on the open market.
    Hey Pete, This season has a feel of Ray Rhodes... a coach depending on his QB to pull the rabbit out of the hat and win. Specifically recall... Corey Bradford receiving a Favre pass to win in the final seconds, (a game I attended). And it happened several times that season. Sure felt and looked that way on Monday night too. Your thoughts?
    I can see why you see the parallel, some truth to that as far as the last-second wins. But there's still a big difference from where I've been observing. The Rhodes season was just so unorganized, it really was a disaster. In training camp, I remember them having substitution errors three or four times, at least, every practice, where they'd have to stop and get the right guys on the field for the practice script. When Holmgren was coach, that would happen maybe once, or at most twice, a week. That's rarely, rarely been an issue with McCarthy's practices, also. That's just a small example, but it was a clear symptom of how unorganized everything was under Rhodes. McCarthy's is a better run operation.
    What’s it going to take to sign cm3 next year? Along the same lines, does 53 take a pay cut?
    Matthews is a tough call at this point, because I'm not at all sure what kind of a market he'll have. Other teams have the video and can see he's not the player he was, so I'm not sure what kind of demand he'll have in free agency. I think it's safe to say he won't get a really big contract, he'll have to be a complementary player for a team that has difference makers. If the Packers aren't happy with their ILB play, maybe they'll want to re-sign him at a relatively cheap rate to play there. But there's also a decent chance they'll decide, like with Nelson this year, that it's time to move on from a player they really like who helped them win a lot of games but is in decline.
    Good afternoon Pete, For the last few years our defense has been aweful. No matter who we draft it just turns to slush. The lack of first round picks either not living up to their potential or being released has put this team behind 3 years. Do you think it;s time to blow up this defense and start over? Clinton-Dix, Clay, Williams, House, Fackerell and Perry all seem to be prime candidates to be released they seem to be past their prime. Why do we hang on to these people when its apparent our defense is lousy. By staying with the status quo we are never going to be champions. Our best defensive player is AAron Rodgers keeping the other teams offense off the field your thoughts
    I will say that Kenny Clark is looking like a very good pick for late in the first round, and the early returns on Alexander and Josh Jackson are good this year. I'd agree with your thinking about turning over some of the D roster too. I'd bet Clinton-Dix won't be back, pretty decent chance Matthews will be gone too. Perry is due $11M next year, hard to see them paying that because of his health history and production.
    Hi Pete! Thanks for the chat... At times it seems mind-boggling to consider how porous the defense seems. All through the 1st half of several of our games, oppoents are getting 8-10-12 yards on the ground and receivers seem wide open, sometimes with no defender within 10 yards! What's going on with that? Seems hard to believe that, at the professional level, someone could be that wide open. Even more of a concern, they seem completely unable to adjust or correct it, at least until halftime.
    Maybe Dom Capers wasn't so bad after all, right? The biggest problem is lack of playmakers, they just don't have any. They do have three interesting young corners (King, Alexander and Jackson), and King made a huge play last week, but none of them is yet a difference maker. There's nobody who just wins as a pass rusher. There's also a learning curve with the new defensive coordinator. The pass coverage looks a lot better this year than last. That's a low bar, admittedly, but it's still true. The start of games has been really bad. It's tough when you give up a TD right off the bat. Maybe that's getting out-game-planned. Look, this isn't a good defense, and nobody's suggesting otherwise. But at the same time, I have to say, look at the scores around the league. Does anybody play good defense?
    How does HHCD go from Pro Bowl in’16 to how bad people say he is now? Had he really regressed that much?
    I asked a scout with another team about that a week ago. He'd told me a couple years ago he thought Clinton-Dix was a player on the rise, a possible difference maker but now thinks he was simply fooled, that was his answer.
    The defense seems to have played much better with Jaire Alexander on the field. Is that coincidence or do you think he really has that much of an impact?
    Not a coincidence at all. He's a dynamic player, highly competitive, physical, has ball skills too. Only think he lacks is height.
    How bad is Aaron Jones in the pass game? He had a bad drop that almost led to a pick and potentially missed the block on the Rodgers grounding penalty that likely took points off the board if I remember correctly. If he can't be trusted in that area I can see why he doesn't play more especially with a hobbled Rodgers.
    McCarthy said a week ago, referring to Jones' playing time, that there's more to playing RB than running the ball. That's what he's talking about. Though I'd still say, the threat he provides at RB changes the way defenses play, so there's some protection for the QB just by having him on the field as a threat to break off a good run.
    Is McCarthy giving the team a week off ?? If so, does Rodgers stay to get treatment or will he get to leave also ?
    McCarthy is giving them the week off. I don't know for sure if Rodgers stays here, but I would guess he's getting away for a few days, and that they set up physical therapy for wherever he goes. He's probably either in LA or Arizona, and has access to excellent medical care at either.
    Have we ever found out the exact injury Rodgers is dealing with? I've heard a sprained MCL and bad bone bruise from reports but don't know if those we're actually from the team or just speculation.
    No. I think the reports from national reporters who have off-the-record access to Rodgers' agents have reported what you say, but Rodgers hasn't confirmed anything.
    Are the Packers just an ordinary team wirhout Rodgers?
    On the plus side the team really can't play much worse than it has. If they start scoring some TDs in the redzone the offense can turn this around and the defense has played at least one really good half in every game so far. Who do you think is the biggest threat in the division right now? Bears, Vikings, or Detroit?
    I still think the Vikings.
    Is Crosby purposely kicking short of the goal line, or does he lack the ability to kick it deep for the touchback? I don't have confidence in the kickoff coverage team so it seems like an unnecessary risk to allow a return, despite the fact that it did result in a fumble recovery against SF.
    He's knocked plenty of KOs deep into the end zone, so I'm thinking when his kicks are short of the goal line he's doing it on purpose, that they think they can get the tackle inside the 25.
    Hi Pete. I noticed every time Perry batted a ball down he was pretty much right at the line of scrimmage. Was that by design or is he literally getting stood up at the the line that often that that's all he can do at this point?
    OK, this will have to do it, so many questions, probably got to only half of them. We'll do it again next week, so if I didn't get to yours, try again then. I noticed that with Perry too. It has to be at least part by design. I don't know if he was trying to maintain a rush lane to prevent a scramble, or what exactly goes into the decision to go for the batted pass rather than the rush, but it did seem purposeful. He had three of them, those are big plays, and it couldn't have been coincidental. Maybe it was something they saw with Beathard. And that does it for this week. Thanks everyone for coming by, enjoyed hearing what's on your mind, thanks for taking the time. Enjoy the weekend, and we'll chat again next Wednesday. Until then, take care.
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