Hi everybody, lots to talk about it, let's dive in. You could make that argument, but Kizer had been the No. 2 all season. The fact that Boyle wasn't active tells me they were planning on playing Rodgers the whole game. FWIW, at the end of camp I thought Boyle might be the better player, or at least had the better training camp. Kizer had played a full NFL season, so that might be why the Packers went with him as the No. 2. Put it this way, I'm betting Boyle, not Kizer, is the No. 2 next season unless they sign a veteran.
No question there's a big advantage to having a good QB on his rookie contract. But I still think this will prove to be more of an aberration. Garoppolo got hurt, so you can't count him, and Cousins benefited from being not good enough to get a long-term deal from his team but good enough to get overpaid in the FA market. Other QBs are going to move up the list in the next couple years as their contracts come due. You can't win with any consistency in this league without a good QB, and once they're off their rookie contracts they cost a lot of money. I just don't see any way around paying them, because they're so hard to find. Look how long the Packers went between Starr and Favre. It does cut into a team's quality all around and its depth, there's no getting around that. But if you want to be good year in and year out, you have to have a QB, which means you have to pay them.
I thought he was very good at ILB. He takes some chances but also makes tackles in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage when he plays there. When they moved him to ILB in the second half of 2014, they gave up an average of a touchdown less per game than they did in the first half of the season. I'd say that's a pretty big impact. I'm thinking it's his better position at this point.
You're right that the skills of a good coordinator don't necessarily translate to a head coach. Same for a position coach. So that probably is why some teams go for the retreads. But where else are you going to look for a head coach? Not saying that hiring a guy who's been fired as a head coach somewhere else is inherently a bad idea -- good coaches get fired a lot in this league. Belichick was fired from Cleveland, Marv Levy by Kansas City. But a lot of those fired head coaches failed for the reason you say -- their skills didn't translate to head coach well enough to make them any better than anyone else. If you're aiming for better than that, you have to take the risk of hiring the unproven. The advantage of hiring a good coordinator -- and just because a guy is a hot name at any given time doesn't mean he's actually better than other coordinators -- is at least you have a good coach on that side of the ball. I saw a report that said Elway is looking for a coach with great expertise on one side of the ball. Other teams might prefer more of the CEO-type head coach who has coordinators calling plays on both sides of the ball. There are a lot of ways to do it. I guess what it comes down to is most coaches in the league end up failing, that is, they last only three or four years tops. So they all fail -- the coordinators becoming head coaches, the retreads, the offensive guys, the defensive guys -- a lot more than they succeed.
That's the big problem with the Packers' current setup. Things can start out great, everybody gets along, but they rarely stay that way. And with this structure, you open the door for a lot more back-stabbing and in-fighting and under cutting.
He did not need the approval of the board of directors. The board really doesn't have much power or influence. The power is with the president and executive committee (the president is one of seven members of the executive committee). And the president essentially runs the committee and steers them, not vice versa. I think Murphy essentially appointed either all six or five of the six other members on the committee. If a couple members were adamantly opposed to the idea they might have been able to stop him or talk him out of it, but that obviously didn't happen, and they do have the power to replace the president. Murphy decided to change the power structure after interviewing the candidates but Gutekunst has said he was informed of the change when offered the job, and he accepted it.
I wouldn't put Robinson in those others' class, not even close. There aren't many impact safeties in the league. Earl Thomas when he was younger and healthier, same for Eric Berry. Landon Collins is pretty good. Harrison Smith. I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody. Maybe the better athletes are playing corner and WR. But safeties are becoming a more valued position because defending the pass is getting tougher and tougher.
I haven't talked to anybody in the league about him yet but will be doing so this week. So much depends on how they come across in the interviews with Murphy and Gutekunst.
All these guys have their pros and cons, including, what kind of coaching staffs they'd put together. Gase seemed to get more out of Cutler in Chicago than anybody else did there, so that's a track record of some success. I would think he's worth a look. Not sure I'd say anything stronger than that without knowing more about him. I think he had final say over personnel in Miami, so maybe if he just concentrates on coaching he'd do better. Or maybe he'd chafe at not being able to make the personnel decisions.
If he's that good, sure. Maybe it's something they're thinking about. I don't know if he's that good or not.
Eight is a little on the high side I think, but it seems like there are usually four or five at minimum. I'm thinking if any other GMs were going to get fired, it would have happened by now, but you never know. KC fired Dorsey in the summer.
It's possible, sure. Now, it would take first of all getting Rodgers playing at MVP level again. And it would take hitting on a couple draft picks and signing some free agents who upgrade the roster a little at multiple positions. That's a lot but wouldn't be unprecedented (the Saints of 2017 are the prime example of that, one good draft and they were back in business). But a lot of it is just getting Rodgers back to a high level. The thing that will make it harder is getting a new coach, learning the system, etc., especially if the coach has a defensive background, because then they'll for sure be learning new systems on both sides of the ball.
My best guess is they'll let Cobb walk and offer Matthews in the $5M or $6M range to return and play more as an ILB than OLB.
I don't know how it's going to go. The last time they were in this position was '06, when they were coming off a 4-12 season. They hired McCarthy, went 8-8, then played in the NFC championship game the next year. No idea if history will repeat itself.
No news, they don't have to provide any injury info after the season, and I'm not sure I'd trust what they said on it anyway.
Yeah, we can say that the change at QB coach and adding a passing game coordinator did nothing to help the offense. I still find one of the toughest things is to do in observing the NFL is evaluating assistant coaches from the outside looking in -- not saying it's impossible, but so much depends on the talent they get, and how that side of the ball is run by the coordinator/head coach.
Those are the arguments against him, and they're legit. The arguments for him are he was too young (I think 32) when he became coach in Denver and shouldn't have been given control over personnel, and that he'll have learned from that experience, but that he's an excellent offensive mind based on the Patriots' success (they've been a top-five offense since he rejoined them, I think).
I don't know how high on the list he is, but I do know they want to talk to him. From what I've heard it's not just Murphy who likes him, but that Gutekunst does too, that Fitzgerald has an outstanding intangible quality as a leader, which is the most important part of being a head coach. That said, I'd be wary because he's never worked in the NFL, so there's much about the league he'd have to learn, and he probably doesn't have the connections for hiring a staff that coaches who've worked in the league would have. But it does sound like he impresses scouts from the NFL who go through there when scouting players.
I thought he was better than Wilkerson. But he doesn't rush as well as Daniels. Not saying Daniels is Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox, but he's been a pretty decent inside rusher. But agreed that Lowry has become a solid NFL interior lineman.
Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell are really talented players, highly doubt they could afford both, and that would be taking on some baggage. Sounds like Brown is a handful and will be 31 next July, so he might not be worth the cost and trouble at this point. I'm intrigued by Bell, think he could help the Packers a lot because of his skill in the passing game. Would depend on his cost. If they could get him in the $13M-14M range a year for two years -- I don't know what he'll cost, could be cheaper, could be more -- I'd take a good hard look if I were the Packers.
I probably wouldn't unless he's really cheap. I thought Lowry was the better player this year.
He was very inconsistent, no question. Watching him punt pretty much every practice in camp, and take this for what it's worth, but he looked to me like the most talented punter to come through here in my time (since '93) aside from Craig Hentrich. Wouldn't be surprised if they brought in some competition for him, but he has ability and I'd bet pretty strongly on him being their punter next year.