Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

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

    Pete, really appreciate your usual candid assessment of Packer football. Is it your judgment that the current Packer receiver corps capable of a dynamic passing game or do we need a high draft selection receiver to make that happen?
    Hello everyone, let's dive right in. As for the receiving corps, it looks to me like there's talent to work with. Adams is a top guy, Allison looked pretty good until he got hurt last year, and Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown showed some talent last year. Not saying they couldn't get better at receiver, but they've got some big guys with ability to work with. I don't think they need a high selection at WR though if there's a WR they like a lot relative to the board in the first two or three rounds they should take him. TE is a much higher priority in my mind.
    What are your thoughts on McCarthy’s comment that his release was handled poorly by the Packers?
    I'm sure he's telling the truth about how it went down, so it sounds like the firing was cold and impersonal. He deserved better than that. I'm sure firing someone can be hard, but Murphy owed it to him to be direct and honest and also to express his deep appreciation for what McCarthy had done for the organization. McCarthy won a lot of games and had to be the face of the organization during bad times even more than most coaches because Thompson failed to fulfill that part of the GM job. McCarthy took all the bullets answering the questions publicly during the whole Favre parting, for instance. I might be in the minority for thinking that I don't blame Murphy for firing McCarthy with for games to go, the vibe around the team a was bad because of the Rodgers-McCarthy disconnect and it served no purpose to keep going when it was obvious McCarthy was going to get fired anyway. But McCarthy served the organization well and deserved to be notified in a more personal and for lack of a better word grateful way.
    Isn't the 12th pick a bit soon to take a TE? Especially one that didn't knock everyone socks off at the combine?
    It's really high for a tight end, yes. But if a young Gronkowski were available at No. 12, you wouldn't think twice about doing it. So there is always room for exceptions.
    Hi Pete, Last week I wrote you about reading an article about the Pats trading for Jimmy Grahm. The author of the article is John Breech at cbs sports.com The article is titled 7 trades that need to happen before 2019 draft it is still playing as of April 3 2019. Sorry I wasn;t able to get you this sooner.
    This is for those who read last week's chat. Someone posted a link to it on Twitter, it was just this reporter's speculation that New England should trade a third-rounder for Graham. I don't think there's any way NE would do that.
    Pete, thanks for the chat. I can't be available "live" so hope you see this question and respond. Several stories indicate the Packers coveted Z. Smith long before he became a UFA, perhaps even as far back as the 2015 draft. Is it common for personnel guys to closely follow players they were unable to land in the draft?
    It is. A lot of times when they claim a young on waivers, it's someone they really liked coming out in the draft.
    Pete, do you think Josh Jones makes the 2019 53 man roster?
    Yeah. I have to think they want to give him another season to fulfill his potential and figure out the best to use him, etc.
    I have read that Gutekunst will have his big board completed two weeks before the draft. What exactly is this? Does each player have a numerical rating?
    I can't tell you exactly how it works, and I'm sure every team has its own idiosyncracies for how they do it. But I think the big board is just listing guys by round, and I think for the first couple rounds (maybe just the first) they have tiers within the round. So they have X number of players listed for each round, and then within that they have guys rated in order. They do have a numerical rating based on several factors (production, talents, acumen, etc.), plus they have medical ratings as well.
    Hi Pete
    Why does the NFL have the draft after the offseason programs have already kicked in? Seems like it would make more sense to have it before and include the rookies. Not like they are still going to school.
    I'd agree there, and it sounds like at the owners meetings that was something the coaches are pushing for. At this point, I think they main reason they have it in late April is so they can keep the NFL in the news for more of the offseason, helps maintain interest in the league and ratings on the NFL Network. Their goal is to stay in the news year round. So I doubt the coaches will have much luck getting the owners to move the draft to March or early April.
    Hey Pete! Sounding like the culture in Green Bay got a little sour towards the end of McCarthy's tenure?, eh I'm referring to Tyler Dunne's piece in B/R Mag, "What Happened in Green Bay." A "checked-out" coach. A "tuned-out" quarterback. Just curious, being around the team the past several years, did you ever have a hunch that the culture in the locker room had taken a turn for the worse? Did McCarthy seem a bit, "high on his horse" about himself and complacent? Was there always the feeling of some sort of, "elephant in the room" that there was more going on than the Packers let on?
    I'm sure there are more questions about this too, I'm still early in the scroll of questions. That was quite a story, well researched, all over the map. My overall take is, there was a lot of truth in it, and many of those things can be true all at the same time. I also want to say before I forget that I don't doubt it's like this to a large degree with every team (and pretty much every big business out there). It's just human nature. I'm sure all that stuff about issues between Brady and Belichick are true in New England, but winning ultimately cures all. Last season the vibe in the Packers' locker room wasn't good as the season wore on, and that became especially obvious after McCarthy was fired, you could feel that next week that a pall had been lifted. Rodgers' mood clearly was lighter. There was plenty of reporting about the disconnect between Rodgers and McCarthy, so I think people who followed the team had a feel for that, but this story had more details and plenty of opinions with varying points of view. It's telling that the opinions were all over the map about who should bear the responsibility for the problems, shows how complex these things can be. McCarthy had his shortcomings, no doubt, and I'm sure some level of complacency had set in -- that's not inevitable (as Belichick and Brady have shown), but it's highly likely. I'm sure Rodgers, likewise, was difficult work with for McCarthy. But as that story showed, it depends who you talk to, everybody has a different take. What's definitely clear, and was clear as last season went on, was that the Rodgers-McCarthy relationship was irreparably broken. For me the most obvious sign was when they shutout Buffalo in Week 4 and in his postgame press conference Rodgers criticized the game plan and play calling. The thing you never know at the time was whether that was a sign the season was headed down the tubes, or just a big bump in the road. It turned out to be the former.
    Hay Pete, well that huge can of worms that is PI got opened and it's gonna be hard to get the lid back on. It's amazing what one terrible missed call with a SB on the line can do. In your opinion did the NFL make the right call opening the can? This may open questions of "what is PI" that make "what is a catch" look like no big deal IMHO.
    I'm still a little ambivalent and share the same concern you do that this could end up creating more problems than it solves, because when you slow those plays down it usually looks like interference. But I think I read the CFL has had PI replay for a few years, so that suggests it can be done if they keep the standard for overturning a call pretty high. I do like the idea of the sky official who watches the game on TV in a booth at the stadium and is part of the crew and can either call penalties that were missed or have the referee pick up flags erroneously thrown. I'm still thinking the NFL eventually will adopt it, but not for a couple years or so, the owners seem to want the changes to be gradual.
    I heard the Packers can hand out playbooks (tablets) next Monday. Other than the strength and conditioning coaches what contact from the coaches are permitted in the next 2 weeks? What good would a totally new playbook be if coaches aren't able to sit down with players and go through it?
    Don't take this as gospel, I'll need to get it confirmed, but I believe they can do classroom work starting next week, the coaches just can't work with players on the field.
    Hi Pete, let's stay with the strength of the draft which is defense and not simply fill spots on offense. My guy last year was Derwin James. Considering our D line could see vacancies in 2020 lets go with Ed Oliver and come right back with Clelin Ferrell or Christian Wilkins at 30. I like Adderly in round two . Every year I attempt to find the sleeper pick and I believe Mack Wilson LB is going to be that guy this year on the D and David Montgomery RB on O. If Gute lands any of these we would be in good shape. Tight Ends are a dime a dozen so let's not reach 👍
    Just letting The Doctor voice his opinion. One thing I'll say is, I doubt Adderly is on the board at No. 44.
    Since no NFL team can be strong across the board, all teams have no other choice than to adjust their own strengths and weaknesses accordingly. In looking at the Packers current roster and the upcoming draft, which positions would GM Dougherty feel most comfortable leaving at the level of "solid" or even a little less than solid entering the season? Any specific matchup problems anticipated with the upcoming schedule that may prompt you to pick differently, i.e., not choosing the BPA in lieu of taking the best player needed?
    At the high end of the priority list I'd put edge rusher, S, TE and RB. At the low end I'd put WR. They have a need just about everywhere. Inside linebacker, for instance, is a need, and even assuming Devin White is gone by 12, Devin Bush still could be a possibility if they think he's a special talent. But that's a slightly lower-value position, and I'd think they still have hope for Oren Burks as well. OL is a need, they definitely need a backup swing tackle and someone to replace Bulaga in 2020, but after signing Billy Turner the OL is a little less a priority than it was. But for the first three rounds, probably four, I'd take BPA without thinking twice. Any position.
    What do you think of this first round strategy:
    #12 - Pick the top TE. If top TE is not available then pick best available pass rusher or take Devin White if he's available.
    #30 - Pick TE if one was not taken at #12. If TE was taken at #12, pick best available pass rusher or offensive lineman or safety.
    If I'm them I'm taking the guy at No. 12 that I think has the best chance to tilt the field in their favor, no matter the position. The one thing they might have to do is draft a potential starting safety, but that doesn't mean it has to be with one of their first-round picks. They have Tramon Williams as a fallback, but they still need a draft pick who can compete for that job.
    Pete, PFT made some good points on the McCarthy ESPN interview, especially on the apparent lack of interest in McCarthy's services by other teams. Do you have any insight on how MCarthy is perceived elsewhere? Seems in the last year there was opinion he didn't keep up with current offensive trends and relied too much on Rodgers to work his magic.
    I don't know how he's perceived around the league, but I'm sure the opinions vary. Don't forget there were credible reports that Arizona wanted him but he turned them down -- I've heard independently that that report was true. Just like in the draft, all it takes is one team. We'll find out next January when some jobs open up.
    Pete I'm with you that Boyle could be the new #2 at QB. He looked good in his limited opportunities and Kaiser didn't look good in any of his. So if that's the case, what do they do with Kaiser? Keep him on the roster as the #3? He's the only thing they have left from the 1st two rounds of that terrible draft.
    My guess is, if Boyle wins the No. 2 they'd cut Kizer and keep a rookie as the No. 3 on the practice squad. That's just a guess.
    For the past several seasons, Rodgers has proven to be more susceptible to injury. How do you feel LaFleur's offensive philosophies will directly benefit Rodgers to miss fewer games in the future and to also play healthier when he remains in the lineup? Is Rodgers getting too old by NFL standards to absorb the same physical punishment that he was able to take when he was younger? Most important, do you think he recognizes this and will be willing to adjust his game as needed?
    If LaFleur really wants to run the ball as much as he says he does, that could help Rodgers' health a lot. Fewer throws equals fewer hits, plus if they run effectively enough then play action should help with pass protection too. As guys get older they are more prone to getting hurt, no question about that. He's not as fast as he was, so he's going to have to be more careful about choosing when to break the pocket, because that's when he's most likely to get hurt.
    Since day 2 of FA I continue to read-hear how the Packer FA signings will allow Gute to address "other positions" or luxury picks in the draft. Really? The strength in this draft is very much the defensive front 7 and best-available shouldn't be ignored. They have considerable needs on the OL and signing one OL who may or may not be a starter? One starting safety only solves half the problem. The glass is still only half full, To fill it up they need to hit big with significant contributions from half their draft picks. Thoughts?
    Agreed they need to hit big. But let's say they like Hockenson better than any of the outside rushers. If they hadn't signed the two Smiths, they'd pretty much have to take the rusher. Now they don't. I think that's what's meant by that more than anything. You're right they still have many needs, including a starting safety. But the thinking is, if you draft less for need and more just based on guys you really like, then you increase your odds of finding a good or great player.
    How much locker room or player access will the media have next week and through OTAs? With coaches? How will affect your schedule? Thanks Pete
    They presumably will make several players available on Monday for the start of the offseason workout program. Then at the rookie minicamp the draft picks and undrafted guys will be available probably two days. Also forgot they have a voluntary minicamp the week of the draft, so the veterans who show up for that will be available each day. OTAs begin -- they're full-team practices for the final three weeks of the offseason workout program -- are open once a week to reporters. And then the final, mandatory three-day minicamp in June will be open.
    I heard coach LeFleur talk about a certain play where AAron Rodgers stood tall in the pocket and waited for the receiver to get open in which he took a big hit that crumppled him in half.
    Is coach looking for him to take more hits like that? He was younger then. Why that play what did it mean to you?
    That caught my ear, too. No, I don't think he wants Rodgers to take more hits. But I think the lesson there is that to make a play sometimes quarterbacks have to stand in there and make the throw and risk taking the shot, rather than reflexively breaking the pocket.
    I think Josh Jacobs RB Alabama would be a great pick late in the first round(requiring slight trade up from 30). I think people are underestimating the need for a RB that can stay healthy.
    I have to think that's at least a possibility, unless they think there's more value in this draft taking a back in the third round, I read this week where the strength of this draft at RB is around the third round.
    What do you think the chances are of Jordy wearing Green and Gold again this season, and on the field during a game?
    I'd think fairly slim. But you never know with injuries and all.
    Hey Pete. Is it worth a shot at #12 if you can get the top wide receiver out there ?
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