Hi everybody, let's jump right in. I don't know that Philbin was the key to the offense when it was humming in '11 and '12, etc., but I did wonder if he at minimum helped things as a sounding board and trusted voice for McCarthy. And I did think he was going to have more of an impact than he's had this year. Things don't seem much different than last year before Rodgers got injured. So I'm wondering the same thing. Also agree that Bennett was a very good receivers coach, or at least it seemed that way.
That is something to think about. Sometimes you just have to make a change, either because the coach is performing poorly or things have gone astray for whatever reason, but if it's a gray area decision then you have to at least think about that. And even if you feel like you have to make a change, there is a chance you could end up with someone who's not as good. Look at the teams who get in the cycle of hiring and firing coaches every few years.
While nothing is absolutely cut and dried, I'm guessing the Packers have to at least make the playoffs for McCarthy to be back. But circumstances matter, and you never know what Murphy and Gutekunst are thinking.
Well, they played the Rams and were what, three or four points behind when Montgomery fumbled a kickoff return with a couple minutes left in the game?
I wonder the same, seems like he's not a bad receiver, young legs, good hands. He probably doesn't get the practice reps the other TEs do, I'm sure that's part of it. Maybe with Graham's status in doubt because of his broken thumb, Tonyan might have gotten more work in practice this week and thus might play a little more. He doesn't block real well either. But yeah, I too wonder if he could help in the passing game, a big target over the middle.
It is tough to play two rookie WRs at the same time for the reasons you say -- one is OK. But you have to remember they had two starters out -- Allison is on IR and Cobb was inactive. You take two of the top three receivers off just about any team and you have some issues.
The answer to that isn't clear because Rodgers isn't saying anything publicly in that regard. I'm sure he looks at the stuff that the Rams, Chiefs and Bears are doing and might like that. It's worth pointing out that those teams have good personnel, too -- the Rams and Chiefs have the best offensive personnel in the league, and the Bears with Cohen, Howard and their new WRs are much improved too. Philadelphia was supposedly on the cutting edge last season, now this year the Eagles are 4-6. But I'd guess it's all the bunch formations and misdirection and all that, that you see the Rams, Chiefs, Bears and maybe Patriots doing.
They could probably use a little more of that.
Interesting question. With the games King has missed, I'd maybe just put them each on a side and have them stay there. But your idea makes sense too because of the matchups, Alexander is a smaller but quicker guy to cover Diggs. I also wonder who will play where at CB in nickel. Assuming King plays, will Alexander be the slot guy or Breeland (assuming Breeland's groin injury is healed)?
The frustrations of the season are showing, no question. He said after last week's game in Seattle that it's just from not winning games. But you wonder if some of it is not liking the scheme or parts of the game plan or specific calls or whatever.
I wonder about that too and don't have a great answer for you. When you get into play calling and play designs and all that, you're getting way beyond my areas of knowledge and expertise. But from a layman's perspective I agree, where are the slants that used to be a big part of this offense? The quick stuff? When you ask McCarthy these kinds of things he just says they're doing some of that and there are numerous factors in play calls, and he talks almost in circles. I'm assuming he does that because he just doesn't want to reveal anything about his thinking or his offense that he doesn't have to, he doesn't want opposing coaches to glean anything from what he says publicly. So I can't give you a decent answer on why we aren't seeing more of the slants and quick stuff, but I also wonder the same thing.
There's a good chance Perry will be expendable or at minimum have to take a pay cut no matter what. He's due $11M in salary and bonuses next year. With his inability to stay healthy I don't see how they can pay him that.
I agree that free agency can help this team, no question about that. But I disagree on the draft picks. Not to say that it's easy or likely, but a couple really good picks in one draft can make all the difference in the world. Look at New Orleans last year with Lattimore and Kamara. Those two players have made a huge difference. New Orleans was 7-9 for three straight seasons, then they bring in those two and they're back in SB contention.
If they lose this week they'll be 4-6-1 and still mathematically be in it -- if they finish 9-6-1, they'd probably have, I don't know, a 33 percent chance of making the playoffs. So much would depend on what other teams do. They also have a favorable remaining schedule, with Chicago the only other good team remaining. So it's not an absolute must-win, but really, it's close to it. Their prospects brighten if they win, that's for sure. As for McCarthy's fate, it's pretty tough to say they have to go so far into the playoffs for McCarthy to retain his job. It will depend on what Murphy and Gutekunst have seen in observing the team and see down the stretch too, along with the results. Will a loss to Minnesota finish off the season? Not 100 percent, but things will look really, really bleak.
That's kind of what I see, though the one thing I wonder is if two or three straight wins changes that.
It probably is. I remember the Brewers changing managers in '82, and Harvey Kuenn's loose,confident approach seemed to really help that team turn things around and get to the World Series. If I remember right, one of the years the Sonics went to the championship series in the late '70s they had an early season coaching change when they hired Lenny Wilkins. But it does seem like football is different with all its moving parts, the big organization, etc., it's more like trying to steer a battle cruiser, tougher to change course. It's probably happened, but I can't off the top of my head think of a football team that made a midseason coaching change and then made a deep playoff run. If someone out there has an example, please share it with us.
I'd have to look it up and don't want to take the time. But it's really obvious that the defense is noticeably better when both play.
You never know, and if he's having issues like that he probably wouldn't say until after the season, if at all. I still think it was the knee -- those bone bruises when you tear a ligament apparently are very painful and slow to heal. But the knee doesn't explain that throw in the dirt last week.
I wonder too, just as when watching baseball with everybody covering their mouths when talking at the mound. So they must think someone in the press box can glean something worth noticing. I do know that one reason they do it is the opponent's can't see how long they're talking. If I understand it right, run calls are generally short, whereas a lot of pass plays are longer calls with a lot of words. So just by watching how long it takes the play caller to make the call, someone on the defensive side might be able to tell whether a call is a pass or run. With audibles and all that I still wonder how much it matters, but everybody does it, so they clearly think it matters.
Yeah, in my opinion anyway. He's a really talented guy from what I can see, the most talented punter I've seen come through here since '93 with the exception of Craig Hentrich.
Just wanted to give Steve his say. There's truth there.
He was asked and talked about it a lot right after last week's game. Basically said he likes them and thinks they're talented but that they do make route running errors, and that that was one of the reasons why he was sacked five times against Seattle.