Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Nov. 14 transcript.

    Hi Pete, in recent weeks Gutekunst has either cut or traded Montgomery, Whitehead, and HHCD, All were regulars in McCarthy and Pettines rotation. I assume the coaches were consulted, we don't know how much they were onboard. The moves translated to more snaps for Aaron and Josh Jones, Raven Greene, and Williams move to safety. I have a sense that Gute is asserting his power to some extent. Any Power struggle here?
    The offense looked better for the most part and Rogers seemed a bit sharper. Every week NFL QBs have to make dangerous throws into small windows. It requires talent, confidence, quick decisions and often a short memory. Uncertainty or hesitation have no place here. It takes nerve. Rogers abhors interceptions and turnovers and I'm sure MM has reminded him a thousand times over the years. Is it possible AR has lost a bit of his nerve or confidence over the past few years? Every week their are times when he hesitates and passes on throws that appear to be available. McCarthy needs to express his unwavering confidence, give him a hug and tell AR to "let it rip". Thoughts?
    At the end of Mondays article (Packers need to see how far Aaron Jones can take them) your last line ended "McCarthy might just have to err on the side of incaution. You invent a new word there? Oddly I understood you perfectly.
    Hi Pete,, wondering to your eyes how Josh Jones is looking on the field??
    I have been hoping he would eventually become a credible player, with all his intrinsic talent he could eventually become outstanding as he learns the system.
    Hi everybody, first things first, I'm doing this on a layover on flight to Seattle and we were having some technical difficulties but think they're all worked out now. This chat will have to be abbreviated because of my next flight but we'll get as many questions in as we can.
    So we'll answer these questions in order. I thought Rodgers' accuracy was still off last week, missed a couple throws he hasn't in past seasons. I still think his knee hurts -- if he strained his MCL, that's probably healed, but the bone bruise from what I understand can take longer to heal, especially if he's playing and practicing on it, and it's painful -- and that's affecting his accuracy. But he also abhors interceptions, so he's probably not taking any or many risks, and yeah, maybe he'll need to up the risk level a little to help get the offense going.
    LeeAnn, my boss asked me the same thing that night, but I looked it up on Webster's online dictionary and it was in there, so as far as I know I wasn't inventing a new word.
    Jones has looked OK in that he's definitely fast and he'll stick his nose in there. Hard to be sure how he's doing on his assignments, that was the big issue with him, but can't say I saw a blown coverage that resulted in a big play last week, the Dolphins didn't really hit on any big passes that I recall. Brock Osweiler can't play, so even if there were some mistakes he might not have been able to exploit them. But I'm sure one of the reasons they cut Whitehead was they wanted to get Jones on the field anyway.
    I see I missed the first question, so we'll do that one next. I had a long conversation with a front-office executive with another team yesterday, and I basically asked that question, as in, how does it work if a GM wants to get rid of a guy and the coach wants to keep him? He said it depends on the organization but the teams he's been with the parties discuss it and see if they can come to an agreement. But if the GM  has say over the 53, the final call is his, so if they disagree and neither changes his mind, the GM very well might pull the trigger. He said GMs he's worked for occasionally have done that. I can't tell you what the case is with any of the Packers' particular moves. Judging from what McCarthy and Pettine said, my feeling was they wanted to keep Whitehead, but then I heard something this week  -- I can't confirm so won't say what it is -- that would suggest McCarthy was on board. So I just don't know. But I'm sure those things can be an issue if there's not good communication between the coach and GM, or they find themselves in serious disagreement a lot.
    Everyone thinks graham has not been worth the money. I am one that thinks it’s just taking time for them to click and get on the same page. Do you think they could be close and once they get there will stay there or it is what it is?
    I don't think he's been worth $13M, he just doesn't have the quickness and athleticism he did. That's not to say he hasn't helped the Packers, he's their best TE and is a good, experienced player. He's also occupied defenses some, especially in the red zone. But he hasn't been a difference maker or anything like that. Maybe with Adams scoring all these TDs the coverages will shift to him in the red zone and Graham might get a few more TDs. But I think we've also seen that Graham has limitations he didn't have a couple years ago.
    Read the review of the offseason FA moves. You and other writers frequently mention the Packers' "miss" on not re-signing Jared Cook. Things always look different in hindsight. The Packers were faced with a player wanting a large contract who was 29 years old, had pedestrian stats with two other teams and who missed 6 regular season games with the Packers due to injury in his lone season on the roster. In addition, they already had large numbers tied up with Nelson and Cobb, and needing to re-sign Adams. Hard to criticize the decision at the time and even now.
    The thing is, they tried to re-sign Cook and it sounds like they didn't because they haggled over not that much money. Now, you're right, it's easy to question it after the fact, and when they signed Bennett, it looked like they might have upgraded because he's a good blocker. But as we saw, Bennett had lost his quick twitch and his desire to play. But they paid more for Bennett than Cook would have cost. They obviously made the wrong call, and no, at the time I didn't say that. But it's clear now they did make a mistake, and it was costly, because Cook made a difference with them, he was a key to their late-season run in '16.
    I am amazed at how many times Rodgers takes hits when the outcome of the game has been settled. It happened not only Sunday, but many times before then. If he were injured, McCarthy would be out of a job. What the hell is going on here?
    I wonder the same thing, and I will say, all NFL coaches seem to do this, it's like they never feel the game is in hand. I guess it's because there are so few of them, they're not taking any chances whatsoever. But it's going to cost somebody their QB sometime.
    Hi Pete I think the Packers team need to sign a proven veteran WR. Cobb is injured so often Allison done for year and Adams the only vet out there make things unstale. If Adams goes down were are in a position of no veteran WR'S just rookies that Rodgers is forced to use. Rodgers has Scanling Brown and Grahm although there is a bit of potiential there not the veteran leadership that helps Rodgers get his passing game going. This team is hurting because of mistakes and stupid penalties and questionable play calling you may feel diffrent but what are your thoughts?
    The trade deadline has passed, so the only way now is via a street free agent or a WR getting cut by another team. I guess I basically disagree. You're right that if Adams goes down they'd be in big trouble. But I don't think anyone they add at this point would matter. Valdes-Scantling is a good and talented player, and St. Brown is showing some signs he can play too. So those guys need to play anyway. Cobb will be back soon. And if they really need it, they can activate Kumerow off IR or wait until Allison is ready late in the season.
    Thanks Pete. Would you resign Matthews for say for 6-7 million a year as a inside linebacker, playing next to Blake?
    Not sure but I'm thinking that might be a bit high. He'd offer some position versatility and veteran knowledge, but I'd be concerned that he'll decline some more and end up not being worth it. I'd want to talk to some scouts about that first, but that's kind of my gut feeling.
    Hi Pete, Thanks for the chat. Packers started using multiple TE sets. They should have used Lewis more for blocking with surprising passes. right? Is he too old to play more or it's completely due to MM's scheme/preference/game plan? I wanna see him more on the field.
    Yeah, he really can't run at all anymore. I'm thinking his value as a receiver is only the element of surprise.
    Hi Pete. From my chair it seems as if Cobb and Perry have contributed next to nothing this year and are totally replaceable. Bulaga when healthy is productive but is never healthy. Is it safe to say that we can finally move on from these 3 next year and free up significant cap space.
    I would think so. Cobb is in the last year of his contract. I think Bulaga has one year left and Perry a year or two also. But I would think none of the three will be back.
    Will limiting the amount or carries A. Jones has actually prevent injury? Seems like injuries just happen and can't be avoided. With that said how many carries are needed to balance the offense?
    It would drop the odds some, yeah, for two reasons. One, he'd just take fewer hits, and the injury can happen on any hit. Two, he'd be a little less fatigued, and guys are a little more susceptible to injury when they're fatigued. There's a real difference between a guy who runs it 25 times a game week after week and a guy who runs it 17 or 18, or 13 or 14.
    It looks like signing Jimmy Graham was effectively an even swap for Jordy Nelson, as both have lost a step and consequently aren't producing as they once did. Do you see Graham as a one-year experiment? Either way, tight end is still a position of need.
    Right now his contract for next season is for $9M. I have a lot of trouble seeing the Packers paying him that. Don't know for a fact they won't, but I'd be surprised. Don't know if he'd take a pay cut.
    Not as far as I know. There was a report early in the week that he was going to, but then whoever reported that retracted, and I haven't seen any reports he has retired. He'd be walking away from about half a season's base salary, something like $1.5M, so i'd be surprised he'd retire unless he was injured.
    Hi Pete, Thanks for the chat! I'm surprised at that Packers are on the league top of sacks. What is your take on our sack leader, Kyler Fackrell? Is he getting better as OLB or he simply got sacks due to some reason? We need him playing very well tomorrow without Perry. Can he handle a starter job?
    I'm surprised too and think the number of sacks is a little deceiving. I think they had, what, 11 or 12 against two bad QBs (the rookie Allen of Buffalo and Osweiler) and Miami was missing three starting OL (both tackles) to boot. Fackrell is playing a little better than in past years but he's still not a starting-caliber OLB. The Packers are going to have to draft a couple OLBs last year, like they did at RB two years ago and WR last season, but at least one of them needs to be a high pick.
    Hi Pete. Thanks for the chat. During Sunday's game I found myself struck by the thought that this team lacks a killer instinct. Allowing the Dolphins (a wounded team), to claw their way back to a 14-12 game was showing that this years version does not know how to close out a opponent. With the talent that they have they should have been leading the Dolphins by 21 at halftime. The offensive weapons are there yet it seems that Rodgers keeps misfiring. Your thoughts please.
    I don't know if it's killer instinct or they're just not that good a team, or at least they're not playing like one.
    Pete, I'm wondering if Rodgers' accuracy/consistency issues are self-inflicted.
    A. He continues to throw off his back foot and off of a discombobulated throwing platform, which, as he ages will be harder for him to excel at
    B. Has he bought into his own legend? It seems he continuously skips the sure thing completion and holds the ball forever looking for the highlight reel throw
    C. When he won the SB he passed into tight windows and threw WRs open. He doesn't seem to want to do that anymore
    D. He's despondent with lack of creativity from HC and OC and can't hide it any longer and it manifests in his play

    Thoughts?
    He definitely does not look like he's enjoying the game overall -- there are happy moments, but also plenty of times when he looks unhappy. It's clear from reading between the lines of some public comments he's not crazy about the offensive scheme. As I said earlier I also think his knee is one of the reasons he's throwing even more off his back foot than usual. But maybe the biggest thing is he's not making as many throws on the move, that's where he'd make those killer plays, escaping the pocket and throwing. He's healthy enough to escape now but seems to be running and sliding more, and not making those back-breaking throws on the run. If his knee improves down the stretch and he can start doing that, then maybe they can go on a run.
    Ted Thompson in the Packer Hall of Fame....what a joke. I guess Eric Torkleson is next!
    Disagree completely. Won a SB with a quarterback he drafted and team he built.
    Pete, who are the receiving threats for the Seahawks ? Can we keep Wilson in the pocket ?
    My apologies but this has to do it, my flight is boarding. Keeping Wilson in the pocket is the big thing. If he can turn it into a sandlot game, that's when he's at his best. You keep him in the pocket by having guys hold their rushing lanes and emphasizing that over getting a sack. Rush up the middle helps too if the ends/OLBs hold their lane so he can't escape outside. All easier said than done. And with that, we'll have to end this. Sorry about the shorter chat but an unusual week with the Thursday game. Check in to PackersNews.com for pregame and postgame coverage. Until next week take care everybody.
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