Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday as the Packers prepare for the New England Patriots Sunday night.

    Pete, I'm increasingly thinking McCarthy is losing the locker room. The decision by Montgomery never should have been a debate. All he had to do was take a knee or let the ball bounce into the end zone. To ignore coaching though shows poorly on McCarthy and the coaching staff. Combine that with Clinton-Dix's comments earlier this year, Rodgers shwing frustration with playcalling etc. Perhaps its time to move on thoughts?
    Hi everybody, let's dive right in. Obviously that's the reason that Montgomery and Clinton-Dix are gone, McCarthy wanted to send a message to the locker room about accountability with the former and didn't want a guy in the locker room who didn't seem to really want to be there with the latter. The point you raise, though, is probably one of the reasons people like Bill Walsh advocated a coach staying with a team for only about 10 years, the message can get old, though the turnover of rosters is a little higher now than 30 years ago too. These are all things Murphy will have to consider at the end of the year, depending on how the season goes.
    I never heard Nick Perry's name on any of the plays last Sunday. Was he on the inactive list or just inactive on the field? Seems like we're paying him an awful lot of money to do nothing.
    He didn't do much of anything on Sunday. He's been on the injury report with an ankle injury, don't know how much that was a factor. But you're right, he was a non-factor in that game.
    What is the plan at Safety if HHCD is traded?
    They haven't said and probably won't so as to not give New England a heads up. Among their options is moving Tramon Williams or Bashaud Breeland to starting safety; move Whitehead there full time and have Josh Jones play the ILB spot that Whitehead had been playing in sub packages; or playing Jones as a deep safety. I'd think one of the first two scenarios is more likely.
    It looks like the Packers can only afford 2 more losses the rest of the way to get a wildcard spot with 10 wins. They could win the division with 9 wins, but would need to run the table and get a little bit of help. What do you think?
    That's very possible, though I wouldn't be surprised if 9-6-1 got in the playoffs, either. Only even teams above .500 in the NFC, and three of those are either 4-3 or 4-3-1.
    How good is the Patriots' secondary? I remember a game (was it against them or some other team that was perceived as a defensive powerhouse) we went 5 wide almost the whole game and won. The run/pass balance was totally out the window by MM found some mismatches and abused the 4th & 5th corners. Could that be possible this week?
    They have a good safety in McCourty and a good corner in Gilmore. Chung is a versatile, smart safety. I don't think it's a great collection of talent as far as coverage goes, but it's not bad. The last time these teams played Davante Adams was the Packers' No. 3, and the Patriots couldn't cover him, that was the difference in the game.
    Hey Pete .. in watching other teams, KC & New England for example, and there seems to be a lot more receivers running free for mid range passes than you see with the Packers. Is this a function of scheme or talent .. or maybe I'm just wrong. Thanks.
    Not sure about this but could be scheme, those teams are known for doing a lot with their scheme to get guys open as far as bunch formations and the like. I think the Packers are end the other end of the spectrum as far as using bunch formations, though I think they're using them a little more this year.
    What's up with Montraveus Adams? Never hear his name and thought in absence of Mohammad Wilkerson he might get in more? So much for year two jump in becoming a playmaker. These Thompson led drafts are catching up with us----Adams, Josh Jones, Dix, Biegel, Fackrell, and Cole Madison the no show.
    Yeah, right now he's not looking like a very good pick, the undrafted rookie Lancaster is playing ahead of him. Adams has had a whole offseason in the Packers' program, so he had time to get stronger and learn the defense and techniques better. Not a good sign. He plays high and gets washed out too easily, too often.
    Is it tru the Browns have all frady contacted MM's agent about him as next coach of the Browns good place for him he can not screw them up any more
    No one has reported that the Browns have contacted him as far as I know, and that would very much be tampering, which is against the rules and would subject the Browns to a major penalty if discovered.
    Thanks for the online chat, Pete. I enjoy it very much and look forward to it every week. Something I have not seen or heard discussed much if any is the role of O.C. Joe Philbin. He doesn't seem to be as large of a factor as he was when last with the Packers. To what degree are the offenses' woes and seeming "dis-harmonies" his responsibility. And just what are his responsibilities on this team? Loved what he did with the team last time he was here, but what do you think of the job he's doing here this year?
    When you're on the outside looking in, it's always hard to judge a coordinator whose not calling the plays, because you can't be sure how much influence he's having. I thought Philbin would be a good for the offense as someone who could disagree with McCarthy and have enough credibility for McCarthy to listen. Also, having coached elsewhere, I thought Philbin might bring some new things into the offense. When I asked Rodgers about that at the start of the season he said Philbin in fact had brought in some new ideas, as had Jim Hostler. But so far the offense has been really up and down. I'm still open to the possibility that Rodgers' knee injury is a factor there, too, but I can't say the offense itself looks much different than what they'd been doing in previous years.
    Pete:
    Did Gruden outfox himself a little bit when he traded Mack to the Bears? I'm assuming the Pack made an aggressive offer of their two #1's next year when I say that. The Bears gave them a #1 in 2019 and a #1 in 2020, correct? That's better than two #1's in 2019? In addition, we're all assuming the Bear picks will be better, i.e., closer to a #10 pick or lower, because the Pack will finish higher in the standings. While that may be true for the New Orleans pick, that may not necessarily be true for the Packers pick. Thoughts?
    It's possible, yes. Maybe the addition of Mack will be a big reason the Bears finish with a good record. I can't say I blame the Raiders, though, because Trubisky is such a wild card, whereas with Rodgers and Mack, the chances of the Packers finishing .500 or worse would have been pretty small. With Trubisky that was and remains a decent possibility, he's still very much an unproven QB.
    While it seems CM III doesn’t have enough bend to get to the QB from the edge, he still seems to have plenty of speed to play sideline to sideline in the middle. Any chance the two sides come together to keep him in GB as an ILB to finish out his career?
    I would never rule it out, it would depend in large part on what kind of contract Matthews thinks he could get from another team in free agency. Or maybe this will be one of those where he tests the market and then goes back to the Packers to see what they have to offer. But at some point soon age is going to affect his ability to cover, too, and that's a huge part of playing ILB in today's NFL. Maybe he'd have a better shot playing as a part-time pass rusher.
    With the number of other players committing knucklehead plays this year, doesn’t the release of Montgomery validate that the Packer brass regarded his decision to return the kick Sunday as a case of insubordination?
    They very well might. At a minimum they must have seen it as using incredibly bad judgment at a time when he knew not to bring the ball out if it all possible. Maybe they thought he was being defiant, or maybe they thought his anger affected his judgment, but either way they decided to send a message to the rest of the locker room.
    Rams are selling future for the present and honestly with players that have sketchy history. Would Gutenkust ever do this next year with Rodgers having few years left?
    I don't know if he'd do it to the extent the Rams are, they really are going for it by trading a 3 (in 2019) and 5 (in 2020) for Dante Fowler. Maybe he'd go for it more if Rodgers were closer to 40, kind of like the Saints seem to be with Brees getting older.
    Who do you think are the premiere safety pairing on the Packers now CD is in Washington?
    I'm not sure what I'd do because I don't know how Josh Jones has been looking in practice at ILB, if he's been more assignment-sure than he'd been. If he has, I'd say him at ILB and Whitehead at safety. But I'm kinda intrigued by Williams or Breeland playing safety, too. They'd have good ball skills, and that would allow Brice to play near the line of scrimmage more. Williams isn't real physical, so they'd lose that dimension in run defense, but he knows this defense well, he played for Pettine in Cleveland. And when I asked him last week he said he'd played some safety in Arizona last year.
    This is a comment, not a question. I was appalled and saddened to learn that Ty Montgomery and his family were subject to hate messages and even threats of violence. Of course, he made a big football mistake and trading him, as the Packer did, was a good move. But expressions of hate and threats of violence should be far beneath any true Packers fan. In fact, that stuff is a form of criminal assault. C'mon people, let's maintain some perspective. The guy screwed up in a football game. Life goes on.
    Yes, I'll never understand the personal attacks.
    Pete- Was Ha Ha a cancer in the locker room? A 4th, when we'd probably get a good comp pick even if he left as free agent means we wanted him gone period...right? With 5 very good corners, who ends up being our Safety group?
    It's interesting, I think earlier in his career he was leader but that didn't seem to be the case anymore. I'm sure a big part of it is he was upset because he felt unappreciated, that he deserved a lucrative contract extension and the team wouldn't give it to him. So that seems to have affected his leadership. He was unhappy. He still had reason to play well, because he was playing for a contract from somebody, but he wasn't a leader. We saw that in the last game last year when he mailed it in against Detroit. As for the compensation, I thought Gutekunst did well to get a fourth-rounder. Clinton-Dix has talent and makes his share of good plays, but his performance was so uneven the last 1 1/2 years, that's not how good players play. So I'm not sure he would have gotten a contract on the open market that would have gotten the Packers a fourth-round compensatory pick. In fact, I don't think he would have. Maybe I'm wrong and somebody would have paid him big. But I'd have bet against it. Plus, they'd have to wait until '20 to get that compensatory pick, this way they get it next year. But yes, they definitely wanted him gone, they clearly felt he was an unhappy player, and they thought that was hurting the locker room and team chemistry.
    Pete...how’s this team going to react to Dix and Montgomery departing? Unite them or divide them?
    You never know for sure how these things will play, but I'm thinking it would have been more fracturing if they'd stayed on, especially Montgomery after he said he didn't know which teammates he could trust.
    By trading Dix & not acquiring any pass rush help is BG basically saying he believes the Pack is at least a year away from contending?
    I don't. If anything, they had to be encouraged by their performance against the Rams. I think trading Clinton-Dix was for the here and now. It reminds me very much of when they cut Sitton. A player with some talent who wasn't playing as well as he had earlier in his career and who was unhappy and hurting team chemistry because he didn't get a contract extension. Pretty much the same scenario.
    J.K. Scott choked with the game on the line and has a worse net average than Justin Vogel had last year. He is also on pace to have fewer punts inside the 20 than Vogel. There had to have been a lot of position players available that could have actually helped the team this year.
    Scott had a bad game Sunday, I will not argue with you on that point. And his pooch punting needs work  -- Hekker showed what a weapon that can be. But I have to say, Scott sure looks like a really talented punter, the most talented I've seen come through here in since I started covering the team in '93. So while I questioned the pick at the time, I'd say the early read is that it was a good pick, his poor game Sunday notwithstanding. Drafting a long-snapper, on the other hand, I still don't get. Look, Bill Belichick drafted a long-snapper a couple years ago, if I remember right, so if he did it, it must be OK, right? But I don't know that I'd ever draft a long-snapper unless maybe he ran a 4.6 and was a great tackler. And if that were the case he probably wouldn't be a long-snapper.
    Could you tell me why we didn't go after anybody to improve our team (Dante Fowler) (Karl Joseph)??? Nobody to replace Clinton-Dix, & could have gotten an edge rusher, but no they sit on their A-- & do nothing!!! Don't tell me Ted doesn't have any influence!! 3 receivers drafted, just like Ted did with 3 RB's.
    What we don't know is what they offered for Fowler -- the Packers reportedly were in the running for him. He'd had a couple assault arrests and got in a fight with a teammate after practice in camp, so there are some issues with him that might have caused the Packers to draw the line and not offer what the Rams did (a third and fifth). I don't claim to be a personnel expert, but the sense I got asking around about Joseph is that he's just not that good. So I question whether he would have been worth pursuing. I do wonder what it would have taken to get Oakland to trade Bruce Irvin, for instance. Maybe too much, I wouldn't give up a first-rounder for him. But he's a pretty talented outside rusher. I don't think it's right that they didn't go after anybody. What we don't know is what they offered.  I really thought there was a decent chance they'd trade for a rusher but obviously it didn't happen.
    Was hoping for Safety Karl Joseph from Oakland or Chandler Jones from Arizona.
    That would help us fill another spot of weakness before the draft comes. Your
    thoughts please.
    Jones had to have been the most attractive rusher out there, he's one of the best rushers in the league and plays for a team that's already out of it. But I saw a report over the weekend that said the Cardinals informed teams he wasn't available.
    Was trading MontgomeryGutenkeits way to make McCarthy play Jones more?
    I don't think so, I'm thinking McCarthy very much had a say and wanted both guys moved.
    Any thoughts on Sam Shields? Why the Rams were willing to take a chance on him, and the Packers were not? He appeared to return to his original form last Sunday.
    I wonder how many teams Shields approached. Maybe the Rams were the only one that even entertained his return. Good for him that he's back doing something he loves -- I'm assuming that's why he came back but don't know that for a fact -- and doing well. But if I were him I would never have considered playing again, and don't blame the Packers for a second for not clearing him. After the hell he went through for months and months of post-concussion issues, I would never expose myself to that possibility again if I were him. And if I were a team I wouldn't want to feel responsible if something like that (or worse) happened to him again, because it's foreseeable.
    One could say that this mess with Montgomery started with the Vikings game, when Mike Zimmer said "He walks on water." An absolutely brilliant move. McCarthy, the sportswriters, the fans - not sure about Rodgers - bought it, and the Cult of Rodgers was 'Established'.

    The thing winning teams have always done - diversify the attack on offense - went against this new religion, so the proven and complementary talents of Montgomery and Aaron Jones, were left to rot on the vine. Aside from the fumble, Monty made good things happen whenever he touched the ball. But the Cult couldn't have it, so he (& A Jones) mostly sat.

    Monty screwed up the ko by fumbling, to be sure. But his real sin was that he was in a uniquely qualified position to save the Packers from the Cult, and he tried to do it. And for that, they - Gutekunst and McCarthy - crucified him.
    I gotta say that I disagree with you on this one. I was underwhelmed by Montgomery. He occasionally made some plays, and he was good in the two-minute offense, I'll give you that. But he was not a good running back. When they were wiped out at RB a couple years ago, he at least could play the position, so he helped them in a pinch that year. But as a runner he was just too hesitant, probably lacked the vision or instincts or whatever to be decisive, and that never improved. We just saw that in the Rams game. After watching Jones burst through the hole on several or more carries, Montgomery came in and had a carry and pitter-pattered his feet and picked up probably three yards where Jones would have had seven to 10 yards. It was so obvious seeing it in person. He was playing too much, IMHO, and taking away chances from Jones and to a lesser degree Williams. Maybe Montgomery should have just played mostly in the slot, like Cobb. But the only role I thought he looked good in was two-minute and maybe as an occasional, change-of-pace guy for a snap here or there. I did not think it worked well when he played for a series at a time.
    Dear Pete, Any updates on the status of Cole Madison, OG and 5th round pick in the 2018 draft? As one peruses the OL "depth" it easy to see where they had him slotted in. Thanks, Jon Armstrong, Columbus, Ohio
    No news there. Maybe he's just given up football, or maybe he's going to give it a shot again next year. But it doesn't look promising that he's sat out all season for personal reasons.
    I just saw that they've activated RB Lavon Coleman from the practice squad and signed RB Tra Carson to replace him on the practice squad. So Coleman is their No. 3. That doesn't guarantee he'll be active Sunday, though you'd think it's likely. The Packers can use Cobb as their emergency No. 3 RB if need be.
    The problem with messing around with the safety position so often; letting Burnett go, letting Hyde go, playing Randall out of position and then trading him, and now trading HHDC is it squarely puts safety at 1A or 1B in this coming draft. So again- when a teams play screams the need is on edge rusher / pass rusher- the draft may once again end up taking a non rusher early. Would have been great this draft to use both #1s on pass rushers.
    Yeah, they obviously will have a big need for safety in free agency. I will say, it's easier to find help at safety than at pass rusher in free agency, so that's a possibility too. And you can find good safeties without using a first-round pick. So I still wouldn't rule out them using a couple high picks (a first-rounder and another in the first three rounds) on pass rushers. They have plenty of other needs too, of course, including tackle and tight end.
    Pete,, Jet sweeps? What happened to using them? Last 2 I remember were 2 years ago with Jeff Janis, both over 20 yds and a touch down.
    Yeah, haven't seen many of those, maybe in part because Cobb had been out with a hamstring injury.
    I am completely OK with trading Dix - he wasn't going to be here, and getting a 4th round pick for half a year is more than he is worth. But man, the Packers have let go of a lot of talent out of the secondary over the last 5 years or so: Heyward, Hyde, Burnett, Randall, and now Dix. (not counting Shields since nobody really thought he would come back from his concussions) In my mind, both Randall and Hyde were played out of position. Can you give any insight as to 1) Why it played out that way, and 2) How on earth in the modern NFL that is a passing league you can let that much talent walk out the door?
    OK, this will have to do it for today's chat, other duties to get to. Even more questions than usual today, so thanks to all for dropping by, much appreciated. With Hayward, they just didn't appreciate the need to have great depth at cornerback (I must admit to making the same error at the time regarding him). Hyde and Randall both were playing out of position, in part because of the lack of depth at CB, though they just failed to see those guys' best positions and could have adjusted accordingly by acquiring other CBs. I suspect Thompson has to bear a lot of the responsibility there. Not re-signing Burnett still looks like the right move, I think he's been out injured much of the season, and that was his issue his last couple years with the Packers. But I agree, they're paying for the mistake on Hayward, you just have to have four or five solid CBs to play in this league because of inevitable injuries, and they're paying at safety for playing Randall and Hyde out of position. Now they have a big need at safety heading into the offseason. With that we have to put another chat in the books. Thanks for coming by, we'll do it again next week. Until then, take care everybody.
    I think you may have it backwards. Didn't they sign Carson to the active roster and Coleman to the practice squad?
    That is correct, my apologies. Carson had been on the practice squad and he moves to the active roster, and Coleman replaces him on the practice squad.
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