Hi everybody, let's get started. So Bruce, what about Mike Daniels? B.J. Raji? Johnny Jolly? A little early to write off Clark also. You're right that he's fanned a couple times, the Harrell pick is the glaring one. But all GMs miss on a fair number of picks. Maybe Thompson has too much emphasis on taking big guys early? I'm not sure, seems like a decent philosophy to me, but maybe he's reached on a couple guys because of it. But overall I don't think his history is as bad as you do.
Yeah, I'd think so, there's a lot of motioning and things they can do out of that, makes it tougher for the D to know where guys are going to be, how to match up with them, etc.
He might be there already. He's really come on in the last month. I still think it's telling that Washington didn't feel the need to match up Norman with any particular receiver, it meant that DC Joe Barry didn't think any of the Packers' receivers warranted that kind of attention. But Adams really has come on the last few weeks.
Maybe not, you're right, he made several really big plays scrambling. Would have been tougher. Maybe he still would have found a way to make the quick throws, etc. to win. But his ability to run is a major weapon.
I too wonder whether Davis and Janis can be used that way, though I suspect McCarthy would say that guys have to be able to run all the routes because there might be an audible, and that audible could make them a primary receiver on a play, so they have to be ready for that too and not just running downfield. But I'd think they could have an occasional role as clearout guys and maybe try for the home run every once in a while. It didn't help that Janis misplayed the deep shot when he got open a couple weeks ago.
It was from 2010 through '12. That changed a little when Lacy came in, but I'm with you. I get that they need to run, especially playing in Green Bay now that winter is here. Balance always is preferred. But yeah, pass early, and if that gets the offense moving, then you can run off that. That trying to run early contributed to the slow starts against Tennessee and Washington. I wonder if the Philly game, where they threw early and ran later, was another one-off, or if that convinced McCarthy that that's the way to go with the team he has.
I lean toward talent being the biggest factor. They miss Shields a lot, even more than I would have guessed. He's not a shutdown corner -- there almost is no such thing -- but he's really good. Matthews' injury issues have diminished him. Age if finally slowing Peppers. Randall and Rollins being out hurt because they didn't get a chance to develop -- we don't know how much they would have improved, could have been a lot or a little, but they didn't get that chance. Perry has played well, especially against the run, but he's not a star. They really need to hit big on a defensive draft pick, a Matthews/Daniels/Collins type pick.
This really was the next question, great timing Jeff. Interesting point, and that's one way to do it. The problem with trading up is that if you miss -- if the guy is only OK or busts -- then you've wasted two picks, not just one. But if you feel really good about a player, it might be worth a shot. I generally ascribe to sitting where you are and picking rather than spending the extra pick, but that's a guideline, not a rule. Thompson had a strong feeling about Matthews and made the move, though I also wonder how much need played into it, because they were switching to a 3-4 that year.
Bradford is the only one I'd put in that category. Let's see what happens the rest of this season first.
My guess is they'll play it like they did Philly, lot of emphasis on the quick-rhythm passing game, etc. But I thought that after the Atlanta game and they strayed from it, at least early, for three weeks. So we'll see Sunday.
Yeah, the rush hasn't been good. It's going to take Matthews getting healthier -- you can see he's still not himself from the hamstring, and now this shoulder injury doesn't help. I'm sure Capers would like to blitz more, but with how vulnerable the secondary has been, that's risky. They could use Nick Perry stepping it up like he did early in the season.
I thought the hit was clean.
I'm not sure, there was no indication he was injured, he wasn't on the injury report. Special teams must be part of it. Joe Kerridge was active, so he might be playing better on ST than Fackrell. They also had all seven receivers active.
I'd agree on running back, not sure I'd say below average at receiver or average, I'd have to take hard look at the rest of the league on that. More likely it's average. But they definitely don't have a true No. 1 WR, and that's a big deal. I wouldn't include secondary, although the injuries have made them average or a little worse. Like I said earlier, Shields' injury hurt more than I even would have guessed. I still think Randall and Rollins have plenty of talent, but maybe I'm wrong on one or both. They'll get a chance to get healthier and back in the swing down the stretch here, so that might give a better indication. The O-line is a little better than average, D-line probably is average, though Daniels is really good. They also have Aaron Rodgers. He always gives them a chance to elevate their play, depending on how well he's playing. But I get what you're saying, and the Tennessee and Washington games were eye opening. I thought those teams were more talented than the Packers at some key positions. They had better playmakers on offense, for sure.
Interesting thought. I've never seen them try such a thing. The weakness would be that if Houston comes out with three WRs, you'd still have a little trouble matching up in the passing game. Yes, you'd have Burnett, and that would be better than a linebacker matching up with the slot receiver, but you'd rather have Rollins or Hyde doing that than Burnett. But it is an interesting thought. Maybe Capers has considered it.
Not sure, I'd guess not, I'm not convinced Tretter is quite stout enough for guard. If they felt strongly about getting someone else at guard besides Spriggs or Barclay, they also could put Tretter at center when he's healthy and try Linsley at guard. But maybe Lang will be back sooner than later. Spriggs seemed OK even if it's far less than ideal playing him at guard.
I don't think so. It seems like Murphy is a believer in the franchise's separation of powers, and that he's going to let his GM run things the way the GM wants to run him. But if things don't go as well as Murphy thinks they should, then he'd have to make a move. But I don't think he's going to tell Thompson what to do. I would think they'd discuss it, and he might recommend it, but I don't think he'd give Thompson that kind of ultimatum. Maybe I'm being naive, but that's the way it looks to me.
Not much news there, you know how it is with injury info in the NFL. Sounds like it probably will limit him some but that he's going to be able to play.
Sorry, that previous answer for Mark's question on Rodgers.
I didn't see or hear it, so I don't know exactly what he said. I don't know if he knows anybody here and is getting that from someone in the organization, or if it's just his opinion based on observing from afar. I'd guess it's the latter. I'd have trouble calling any NFL coaches lazy, it would be hard to stick in the league if you were. But I could say them becoming hard headed or set in their ways. We're all at risk of that.
I'd guess not. Just like Linsley didn't get the job when he was healthy because Tretter was playing well, I'd think the same here. They're both good players. I think Linsley is a little better, he's just stronger, stouter. But Tretter is a starting caliber player and he's really valuable because as he showed last year, he was able to slide out to LT and do OK in a pinch. That's no small thing in this league.
An improved player from last year, for sure. But the more he has to play, the more his lack of strength -- even if improved from last year with the 10 pounds he put on -- shows up. Appears his ideal role is rotating in the nickel, depending on opponent and game plan, and playing some dime.
I just don't know what they will do. It's something Mark Murphy and probably even Thompson have to think about, because one of these offseasons someone's going to make Wolf an offer he can't turn down. We don't know if Wolf will be a good GM -- you never know until the guy sits in that chair -- but there's a lot to like about him as a GM prospect, no question. This is up to Mark Murphy, and I don't know his thinking on the matter. I suspect he hasn't shared it with many people, if anyone.
FYI, just got a notice from a colleague, my apologies on the Fackrell question, he had a hamstring injury last week. He's not on this week's injury report.
The counter argument is they've made the playoffs seven straight seasons, which I think is tied with NE for the longest streak in the league, and that basically everyone (except NE) has a down year every once in a while. I get what you're saying, but reasonable people and experts in the field can look at it differently.
That's what I'd do if I were them.
There's a lot of truth there. I'd say that Daniels is carrying his weight. Matthews costs a lot and the production isn't there because of the injuries, but they don't have any other options there, he's one of the most talented guys. Rodgers played great last week and is capable of going on a big run, though he had too many ups and downs for a good chunk of the season. Can't disagree on the others. There are five games to play, let's see what happens.
Wolf's name got his foot in the door, but it didn't get him the promotion after promotion he's received. Everything I've heard from people who have worked with him is that he's smart, hungry, professional, good with people, and a good evaluator. So a lot to like. You're right in that there's no way to know how he's going to perform as a GM, because he's never been one before. You only know after they sit in the captain's chair. It's also really tough to know how much he's responsible for the roster as is. Maybe he's been a big influence on draft picks that have missed. But for all we know, he's been advocating moves that Thompson has decided not to make. The reason people with the Packers and around the league are intrigued/excited about him as a GM prospect is for the reasons cited above. He's kind of the personnel equivalent of a coach's son in basketball. Born and raised in the game.
With that we'll have to call it a day, other duties to get to. But thanks everybody for coming by with all the great questions. Hope all's well. Bob McGinn will be chatting with you next week, then me the week after. Take care.