Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly chat at noon Thursday.

    Will Hackett be on the sidelines during the game? It seems like we would benefit by having a coordinator talking to the players during the game.
    All that remains to be seen, we'll probably find some of it when he introduces his staff to the media, which I'm guessing will be next week. He also needs trusted eyes and ears in the booth upstairs. I guess it depends on whether there's a QB coach and who that is. Seems like for head coaches who call plays they often have the coordinator in the booth and the QB coach on the sideline to talk with the QB.
    Could the Packers experience in changing coaches be similar to the Bucks? The Bucks fired Jason Kidd and hired Coach Bud and now suddenly have the best record in the NBA. They only tweaked the roster slightly. I think the Packers can get a similar upgrade from McCarthy to LaFleur with only minimal roster upgrades. McCarthy just didn't understand how to utilize the talent on the roster, just like Kidd didn't know how to utilize the talent on the Bucks roster.
    I think McCarthy was/is a very good coach, it sounds like Kidd probably wasn't. But it does appear as though they got complacent and comfortable in the last several years, very hard to avoid. New England is about the only example that I can think of that's avoided it. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, they've been a lot like the Packers, probably some complacency issues there too. That's one of the reasons Walsh and Al Davis were proponents of coaches staying only about 10 years with one team. LaFleur will bring a new mindset, young and energetic, hungry. Now it's a matter of how good a coach he is, and getting Rodgers back playing at an MVP level.
    How would you compare #12 to where #4 was at a comparable stage of his career?
    Lots of similarities it seems.
    Both won SBs and MVPs early on, had sustained runs of great play and then went down a bit in their mid 30s. Favre recovered and played well until age 40; can AR do the same?
    Very similar up to this point. Only difference is injuries. Rodgers has missed a lot more games -- Favre didn't miss any of course. You do wonder what kind of physical and mental toll that could take on Rodgers, two broken collarbones.
    Pete, Glad to see Pettine getting a second year. Will they help him out with some edge rushers in the draft? Reports are there will be a slew with high draft grades. Maybe they grab two?
    I don't see any way they don't draft at least one rusher high -- I'd bet in the first round with one of those two first-round picks. And yeah, definitely could see them taking two, in fact, I'd think it's more likely than not they'd take two.
    Wouldn't it be better for AR's longevity if he really focused on getting the ball out faster and not taking so many hits?
    Wouldn't Brady be a good model to try to emulate?
    Very much agreed. Judging by what LaFleur has said publicly about his offense, it sounds like he feels similarly.
    Pete,

    In a recent post I mentioned McCarthy being "highly successful."

    I wanted to underscore the fact that a SB-winning coach will become egotistic -- perhaps less willing to change previously successful ways.

    I also wanted to emphasize that Thompson was entering a do-nothing phase -- where he essentially drafted-n-delegated, and little else.

    My point was to say that all of this happened on Murphy's watch.

    While the media pick nits about a coach/QB controversy -- Murphy watched it all unfold as Titletown burned.

    He needs to face at least as much scrutiny as McCarthy or Rodgers.
    I think he is getting a lot of scrutiny. Did you see Tom Silverstein's column on our website late last week? That was one of his main points, that Murphy has to take full ownership because he's hired the GM and head coach, and he's the head of football operations.
    Pete, Got a question from left field. How about offering The Special Teams coaching position to Joe Philbin? I’m not aware that he’s ever coached special teams but he has a wealth of football coaching experience and special teams is all football. He is well respected on the team by both management and the players and I understand he has 2 years left on a guaranteed contract with Packers.
    That is out of left field, hadn't thought about that. I guess my initial reaction is, if I'm Philbin I probably don't want to coach special teams. It takes some time to build up the expertise, among other things.
    Hi Pete. You wrote about how the Packers should purse Jared Cook, a 32 year old TE. Isn't that just repeating what they have done the last 2 seasons with Graham and Bennett? Maybe if their isn't an opportunity to use both 1st round picks to trade up, the 2nd 1st round pick could be used on a TE or a trade for a TE?
    On the surface, yes, and I still have the same question. Just to be clear, I didn't really advocate signing him but did quote a scout whom I know well and highly respect that he thinks Cook is worth signing for at least one more year, that he can still run and had an excellent season, and that if the scout were with Oakland he'd put the franchise tag on him (the TE tag isn't that expensive). I was very much surprised to hear the scout say that for the reason you cite, it seems like it would be repeating the same mistake. But it sounds like Cook is aging much better than Graham and Bennett. That said, I'm guessing the Packers won't go after Cook, but you never know. Regardless, agree completely that TE should be a draft priority, they need to get a young, talented guy in to develop. I've heard the TE group isn't great at the very top, as in for first-round talent, but if there's not a guy there in the late 20s, maybe there will be one in the second round.
    Pete, has Mark Murphy gotten feedback yet that he talked too much in the initial LaFleur presser ? If not, please pass that on to him that he needs to let Gute and The Guest of Honor Coach Matt speak more in the future and to turn off his own microphone..
    I suspect he's read-heard some of that. I agree that he dominated the press conference too much, but I disagree with the criticism for the opening monologue. I thought he showed an uncommon level of transparency about the search, which is a benefit for Packers fan to get a peak in that window and an idea of his thought process. It was long -- I think around 10 minutes -- but provided a lot more info than most teams would have provided, obviously way more than Thompson would have provided. That's important, especially for this organization with its public ownership setup, so I think he should be commended for that.
    If in the draft, the Packers are unable to trade up from 12, and the top rated pass rushers they have ranked are off the board, what position would you draft?
    First off sounds like this is a really good draft for DL (both inside and outside), one of the scouts I talked to this week said there could be 10 among the first 40 picks. But let's say what you suggest happens, I'm thinking the next priority would be OL. There's always the possibility of best player available if there's a guy still on the board that they think is really special.
    I understand LaFleur needs to get a staff that is the right fit but I like the idea of bringing in veteran coaches. Keeping Pettine is smart. What are the chances we can sign Rizzi or Pollack? I think they would be great additions to the team.
    When teams bring in FA players for a visit, especially early in free agency, if the guy leaves without signing then he's probably signing elsewhere. I don't know if it's the same for hiring coaches, but if it is than Rizzi leaving town is a sign he's going elsewhere. I don't know much about Pollack. But the ST hire is big, that's an important position and one that's really, really difficult to coach. Seems like so few do it really well, a lot of  moving parts, a job where the first order is the old medical oath: First, do no harm.
    Hi Pete. With Mark Murphy now functioning more like an meddlesome owner than the traditional role played by Bob Harlan et al, have you heard any rumors of push back or questioning coming from board/executive committee? Is that too opaque of a group to get any feel for? Or is it a "well this is his team now, and if it doesn't work then he has to go" thing?
    I have not heard of any push back from the executive committee and have to think that they're on board with what he's done, because they have the power to stop it if they were against it. But as mentioned earlier, Murphy has put himself directly on the line. If LaFleur doesn't succeed, Murphy can't say that the GM made a bad hire. Murphy made this hire (and hired the GM), so the success or failure will be his.
    Will they re-sign 52 and cut ties with 53?
    I don't have any inside info on this, so it's just my opinion and best guess. I'd think they'll for sure cut Perry, he just can't stay healthy and they'll pick up about $3M in cap room (he's set to make $10.7M in salary and bonuses, but prorated bonuses from '20 and '21 will accelerate to this year's cap, meaning net gain of about $3M on cap). I could see them offering Matthews a contract for, I don't know, $5M or $6M, and play him inside more.
    Which current Packer vets/free agents do you feel would make more sense to retain rather than dismiss, at least for another season or two? Too much addition by subtraction would leave the team weaker than it is now.
    I'd let Cobb walk, cut Perry and probably Bulaga, he's a good player but his body is just breaking down, not sure he can stay on the field, that back injury has to be a concern. I'd bring back Tramon Williams for another year. He's ancient for a DB 36 in March but can play CB and safety, a great veteran for guys to observe on how to be a pro. I'd cut ties with all the TEs except Tonyan. Those are the main things that come to mind. If you have any specific guys you're thinking of, let me know.
    Pete, thanks for taking the time to do this. Haven't seen much reporting on replacements for Whitt and Graham. Are there any possible candidates floating? Also, is LaFleur letting Pettine pick these guys on his own or will LaFleur have final say over defensive coaches?
    I don't know the answer to either of those. I'd think Pettine would have a lot of say on defensive coaches, it's his system. He and LaFleur have the same agent (Trace Armstrong) so that presumably will help with communication between the two. The one reason I could see LaFleur choosing a guy for the defensive staff if there's a coach he's worked with who's available and LaFleur thinks he's a potential coordinator down the road, then he might want to groom the guy. Regardless, LaFleur has final say, it's his coaching staff, but I have to think if Pettine wants a guy he's probably going to get him.
    Taking a glance through those likely to hit free agency... True or False: Anthony Barr is a starting OLB for the Packers next season. Follow up question: If that hypothetical were to take place, how would something like that play with Rodgers and the locker room?
    I'm going to say false. Sounds like he's best suited as a 4-3 OLB. I asked a scout this week if he could see Barr playing OLB in a 3-4 and being a good sack guy, and his feeling was no. So if he's right, then Barr wouldn't have the value for the Packers.
    While I think a coaching change was needed, I think the Packers issues were less related to coaching than the fact that there wasn't much talent brought in during the last three years of the Ted Thompson era. What are your thoughts?
    Thompson's drafts came up short the last few years. There were some good picks -- Kenny Clark is about as good as you can hope to get picking at the bottom of the first round. But a few too many misses and not quite enough really good players. He also didn't adjust and use free agency as a fill-in, as other teams have done in the last five to 10 years as they've learned to manage their salary caps better. That was an avenue to incrementally improve a couple positions that he just didn't use. But I also don't doubt that complacency had set in with the coaching staff, it's just so hard to avoid. Although it had to be a big blow to McCarthy, getting fired probably was good for him too. He can start anew, and maybe he'll be like Andy Reid and be revitalized when he goes to a new team -- I'm assuming he'll get a job next year.
    Hi Pete, thanks for taking time to do this chat.

    Where do you think Matthews and Cobb will be playing next year? Any big FA names being kicked around as potential targets for Gute to go after?
    I don't know what Matthews' expectations are or what his market will be -- all it takes is one team that thinks it can get a lot out of him as a part-time pass rusher and he'd be in business. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd like to return to the West Coast, he's from Southern California. I don't know where Cobb will be playing but my guess is not with the Packers. I just don't know that there will be any pass rushers available in free agency. A scout this week said he wouldn't tag Dee Ford if he were KC, so maybe Ford will be available, though costly I'm sure. I still wonder if they'll make a run at Le'Veon Bell. If LaFleur wants someone like he had in LA with Gurley, Bell would be that guy. But LaFleur might be just as happy with a really fast back, like Kyle Shanahan has in SF, and have outside zone runs be a basis of the offense, with a lot of the passing game working off that. In that case, paying big money to Bell wouldn't make much sense. This is all speculation on my part.
    Hi Pete, do you think LaFleur will wait until next week or until after the SB to finalize his staff and he has a chance to talk to candidates whose teams might still be playing?
    I can't say for sure, there might be a guy or two on the Rams' staff he'd want, maybe a quality control guy. But I could just as easily see him having his staff wrapped up by next week.
    Pete - Do you think Campen's leaving is a big deal? I do not. OL coaches are a dime a dozen. They need players. Thoughts?
    I don't think they're a dime a dozen, that's a really important job, it's basically coaching a team within the team. Campen by all indications is a good coach, the title Cleveland gave him (assistant head coach-OL I think it is, something like that). But I'm sure LaFleur is looking for someone who knows something about his system and the way he runs it, that's why he's interviewing the SF assistant OL coach, Stenavich, who works for Shanahan. That's the same system LaFleur runs.
    Hey Pete-
    Just a quick question...which position could be a surprise and be drafted higher than assumed? I think it might be CB and/or RB.
    Sometimes positions of "depth" (safety and TE going into last season) look pretty bare by seasons end. Thanks Pete.
    Either of those, especially CB. One thing I've learned in the last few years, you can't have enough decent CBs. And if they move one of their CBs to safety (Jackson? Breeland if they re-sign him) then they'll definitely need another CB. But with all the passing in today's game, you have to guys who can cover, and with injuries and nickel and dime personnel, that means going several guys deep at CB.
    Pete, does Green Bay have the right running backs and OL to run the Shanahan offense?
    It depends on whether LaFleur goes Shanahan or McVay -- McVay has Gurley, so it's a little different than what Shanahan does. Aaron Jones fits either, I think, but his health is so shaky (three MCL tears in 13 months) they can't count on him carrying the load. As mentioned earlier, Shanahan likes really fast RBs because he does a lot of outside zone, and he needs fast backs to get outside and stretch the defense. Jamaal Williams is an NFL-caliber back and good in the passing game and a guy you like to have on your team, but as far as a pure runner, he's just OK, a power guy.
    Hey Pete, Could you help me understand why people are so high on King? I live in an area where I don't get to see many games, so I'm sure I'm missing something. All I see is a guy who has one measly interception in his two year career (during which he has missed 17 games), but we're supposed to think he's the second coming of Richard Sherman...
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