Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

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

    I've seen quite a bit of talk on the Packers need to add a small quick slot receiver, agreed. I've also seen Randall Cobb mentioned as a good fit for other teams looking to add a small quick slot receiver? I think we can all agree Cobb has underperformed his contract over the last 4 years due to injury and loss of skills. Although he's taken a beating he's still only 28 and he Should still be in the prime of his career. I wonder if the big contract affected his motivation over the last 4 years and his offseason work and desire diminished? Bottom line, if he's available at 1 or 2 years at a reasonable price should the Packers keep the door open? Thanks Pete
    OK everybody, let's jump right in. I think the Packers should move on, they have other young receivers who need to play more, but if the price is cheap enough on Cobb, then I guess maybe. I doubt the price will be that cheap, my guess is somebody will give him an OK contract, though that's just a guess. I never got the sense Cobb became complacent with the new contract or worked any less in the offseason, it's just that he kept getting hurt. He's a tough guy and sometimes was able to play through it, but even when he did it affected his play. He's just a small guy, and smaller guys tend to get hurt, and he's a small target on downfield throws. He is good at getting open when Rodgers scrambles. But he's not as quick as he used to be, the beating he's taken has slowed him a little. I know Rodgers has said publicly he'd like Cobb back, but if I were the Packers I'd draft a guy to be a returner and possible slot guy. And I wouldn't rule out signing a stopgap guy as a possible slot receiver. Of course, a lot depends on LaFleur thinks now that he's had time to study last season's video.
    I get the sense that you are downplaying the need to rebuild the o-line. You've written repeatedly that the team could pick up a couple of mid-level guys in free agency and you tend not to prioritize the line for the draft. The 4 teams in the conference championship games all had very to to great o-lines. Don't you think the Packers need to make a big investment there?
    I don't think I've been downplaying the O-line, in fact wrote a column about it a couple weeks ago, the need to get stronger up the middle on the OL. I'm thinking they need to draft a tackle in the first three rounds -- wouldn't be shocked if one of their first-rounders was a tackle -- and maybe sign two guards, or draft one and sign one.
    I watched the AAF Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised. Some of the play was sloppy and the lack of practice time showed with completely new teams and coaching staffs. I liked the pace of the games and the new wrinkles like players, coaches, and refs miked up (the audio from the replay was great). And surprisingly I didn't miss kickoffs At All. Not having kickoffs seemed to save several minutes for each and I realized how boring they had become (not counting when the Packers screw it up). Your thoughts on the league and do you think the Packers and other teams have scouts at the games? Thanks
    I didn't get a chance to see any of the games but am interested in how the rules tweaks will work out. Kickoff rule is interesting, kickoffs can be exciting, or at least they used to be, but there are so many penalties on KOs anyway it does seem like a waste of time. Probably will want to give it half a season or so before weighing in.
    Hi Pete. Hard to tell how LaFleur will handle a smart vet like Rodgers, but might he give the QB even more leeway to change/adjust calls, like Peyton Manning did?
    Nothing in his background suggests he'll go that far, they didn't do anything like that at Houston, Washington, Atlanta, the Rams or last year at Tennessee. So I'd bet against LaFleur going Manning with Rodgers. But we'll have to see how that goes as they work together.
    Just read the Broncos traded for Joe Flacco, for a mid round pick. Elway keeps stepping to the plate and taking big swings and making big misses. I don't see Flacco being the answer either. What's your take on the Broncos over the last few years?
    Yeah, I'm not seeing it either. Maybe Elway thinks he can surround Flacco with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and that he considers Flacco an upgrade from Keenum and nothing much more than that. Be interesting to see if he takes a quarterback at No. 10 overall. I have to think he's still very very much in the market for drafting one. Maybe he'll even trade up. I find it a little hard to believe he thinks Flacco is the answer.
    The last few weeks much has been said/written on expanding replay to penalty calls. My thoughts...NO. That's a can of worms the NFL does not want to open. Unless the call is so obvious a chimp could make it and no one could argue the outcome the results of a revue will still leave one teams coaches and fans outraged and feeling they got screwed. On probably at least 75% of the plays a penalty occurs somewhere on the field or at least one of the teams thinks it's a penalty. Unless they can figure out a way to only look at the calls that fall under the chimp rule the NFL needs to keep the lid on the can. Your thoughts Pete?
    Yeah, that could be a real problem, going back and reviewing offensive holding, for instance. But if you have only two or three challenges, are teams going to spend a challenge on that when they might want to use it later on pass interference? The problem then would be the last two minutes of the game, when everything is booth reviewed. You're right, there would be a lot to work out to make that viable.
    Pete, I'm getting nervous. I've got a list of people that should've been shown the door by now. How long before they start getting rid of over-priced, oft-injured, has-beens? (pick any six...)
    These things could happen at any time. It could be later today, later this week, or in a couple weeks. The league year doesn't start until I think March 10, and some of these guys have roster bonuses due within a few days of the start of the league year, so theoretically they have until to make the moves.Some teams have already started cutting guys.
    I just read an article where Andy Benoit said Jadeveon Clowney is a perfect fit for the Packers and it got me to thinking? Gutekunsts pursuit of Mack tells me he's not afraid to pay the price if he thinks a player is 'special' and a good fit for the Packers. Signing Clowney would probably blow a big chunk of this offseason budget, but would he be worth it? Do you think he might be that 'special player' and how expensive do you think he might be? Thanks
    I didn't see the article, and yes, Clowney could add a lot to the Packers' defense and would be worth a big contract. I've assumed the Texans will tag him if they don't work out a contract in the next couple weeks. Is there any reason to think they won't tag him?
    Since the start of the current CBA with it's limitations on practices and practice time it's been pretty obvious the product has suffered both in terms of execution and development of players (I also think it causes more injuries that it avoids). Do you think the AAF can fill that void especially in terms of development for the young guys that have spent time in camps and practice squads and is it possible in the future that NFL teams become affiliated with a AAF team sort of like an NBA summer league agreement?
    Agreed that the CBA has affected the level of play. The AAF could help some guys stay sharp, help with tackling and many of the game's skills. But playing 10 games in the offseason and then a full NFL schedule would be pretty tough on the body, too. It sounds like the AAF is aiming to be something like you describe, a developmental league for the NFL.
    Theoretically, 22 "solid" starters equal 8-8. So, difference-makers and below average players should tip the balance one way or the other. I see Rodgers, Bakhtiari, and Adams as difference-makers on offense and (potentially) Clark and Alexander on defense. There are several players between the two that are probably below average or worse. With coaching, their talent level and its effect on getting the most of the players available has yet to be determined. But as usual, defense seems to be the neediest of the two approaching free agency and the draft. What are you anticipating would need to happen for this team to trend significantly upwards in 2019?
    Rodgers playing at a high level and hitting big on a draft pick.
    Edger rusher is a big need but I'd also love to see GB draft an o-lineman in first or second round. O line is key to protecting Rodgers and an effective run game. With a new coaching staff and GM are they going to continue the practice of drafting o line on day three and developing them?
    They did really well to get a top-tier LT in the fourth round a few years ago, you can't count on that. You usually have to spend a high pick at tackle, and yeah, I'm guessing they'll use a pick in the first three rounds on OL, probably tackle. Now, you never know who's going to be available when they pick and all that, so maybe it won't work out that way. But if I had to bet, I'd bet on a tackle in the first three rounds, regardless of whether they bring Bulaga back at RT.
    Do you think they double down and draft multiple edge rushers like they have in years passed with WR and RB?
    I do. Not saying they'll do it in the first two rounds, like they did at cornerback last year, but I'm thinking they'll take a rusher early and another one in the mid-to-later rounds.
    In the past you've said Mo Wilkerson didn't show much in the 2 games he played and you're right. I think Mo and Pettine were only scratching the surface of what he could and would bring to the table. Unfortunately it never got that far. Assuming he's healthy and ready to go I think about $4M and another $2M in incentives and roster bonus might get him back for some unfinished business. Do you think those numbers would do it and do you think the Packers should? Thanks
    I'm thinking $4M is too much. He had a pretty serious injury (broken ankle), so I wonder how much that will diminish his play going forward, and he'd already shown he wasn't the player he'd been a few years ago. I'm guessing he can be re-signed for cheaper than that, maybe half that plus incentives, without much guaranteed money. If they can get him basically risk free, I could see bringing him back, and then make the decision on whether to keep him until after camp.
    So with the Broncos trading for Flacco, looks like they are moving on from Keenum. Any chance he could be coaxed into being AR's backup for, say, 4-5 mil?
    I wondered the same thing. In part in would depend on their plans for free agency, and what other players they might want to try to sign. That's a lot to spend on a backup QB for a team that's already spending $26.5M in cap space on its QB.
    Hi Pete. With the game changing to a quick passing game, is an outside rusher still a premier position? Or is an interior rusher jus as valuable?
    I get your point, the best QBs are getting the ball out fast, that's for sure. But I think those outside rushers still have a lot of value because on any given play if the QB doesn't get it out really fast they can make a big play with a strip sack or even a hurry that can get the defense off the field or help change a game. And offenses still have to develop extra attention to blocking them, which helps everyone else.
    Do you think they hold on to Boyle another year and let him develop more or try and trade him this offseason? That's the plan, right? Does he have a chance to become the backup behind Rodgers?
    They definitely should hold on to him, and if he pans out he could be Rodgers' backup for the next three years. You're right that if he showed a lot they could trade him before his fourth season, but if they like him and he plays well they also could feel secure about the backup job for three years and then get a compensatory pick when he leaves in free agency.
    HI Pete, do the Packers help out coaches and players who leave the organization by connecting those selling houses with incoming coaches and players who want to buy houses , and such ?
    I know the Packers help coaches and players find places to live and help them get settled, etc., but whether they specifically get them in contact with the realtors for departing coaches' houses, that I don't know. I'd ask Rich Ryman, our Packers business reporter, he might know that, but he's not at his desk at the moment.
    Two questions. With the current personnel and the strength of the draft being defensive line. Why not go to a 4-3? Second. If the packers went relatively injury free in 2018. What would their record have been?
    When Pettine took the job as DC last year, he said McCarthy asked him if he ran a 3-4 or 4-3, and he said, "Yes." I think that scheme is flexible enough to do more 4-3 kind of stuff if that's their strength. They play so much nickel and dime defense -- I'd estimate at least 80 percent of their defensive snaps -- that it's really a 4-3 anyway. We even saw some of that last year, where he'd use three true defensive lineman and one OLB as the defensive line, and then either five DBs and two ILBs, or six DBs and one ILB.
    Pete, would you favor a trade up to the top 5 by using both 1st rounders?
    If there's a player there they feel strongly is going to be special? Then yes. That's a high standard, special players are rare. But they win games.
    HI Pete, Are the coaches, especially the new ones, now mostly grinding on the new playbooks, watching film to evaluate the current roster, or preparing for the combine ?
    I'd think they're doing all those things. They need to get to know their personnel, so I'd think they'd want to watch every snap from last season. They also have to get to know the players at the combine at their positions. It has to be full speed ahead, they have a lot to get done between now and the start of the offseason program in early April.
    As far as GB attracting free agents, do you think some of the luster has worn off due to the last couple seasons, bittersweet stuff concerning Rodgers, and the unknown of a very young coaching staff? Might it be harder to attract players than during the up-years?
    I get the feeling that a lot of people around the league still think highly of Rodgers' talent. The quarterback is a draw for some players in free agency, especially veterans, because guys want to win. The Patriots seem to be able to get some FAs at a little cheaper cost because of Brady and Belichick. But money still does most of the talking in free agency.
    An article recently came out that had assorted/multi sportswriters predicting the next 5 years of Super Bowl winners. The Packers were shut out completely. Is it too early to write off the next five years of AR as far as the Packers are concerned? The national feeling is that ship has sailed and the glory days with Rodgers are over. Thoughts?
    I put absolutely zero stock in those predictions. Nobody can predict these things. After the Packers won the SB in the '10, I'd have bet on them to make it back at least a couple more times in the next three or four years because so many of their best guys were 27 or younger when they won it. They haven't made it back since. Things change so fast in this league. One big injury, one great draft or even draft pick, can change the balance of power for a division, conference and even in the league. I don't blame them for doing that story -- I think it was ESPN.com but maybe it was SI.com -- it might have made for a fun exercise and it was hard to resist (I read it). But those predictions are worth absolutely nothing and tell us nothing about who's going to win the next five Super Bowls.
    What do you think about trading for AB from the Steelers for top 2nd round pick and or late first since we have 2. We then sign Bell for the money and release Cobb. We focus defense on the draft. We have the money to do all the above thoughts??? We need a difference maker and AB lined up with Adams will be fun to watch #12
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