I think Mike McCarthy believes in the value of continuity. It's difficult to change coordinators, a risk many Super Bowl contenders don't want to take. Not to mention this little question: what if firing Dom Capers doesn't make the defense better? Any time a decision of that magnitude is made in the NFL, it's rarely an open-and-shut, simple case.
I'm sure it'll be a fourth rounder.
Yeah, Kenny Clark showed potential in the playoffs. It's something to build on. Even more, the Packers can feel good their defensive line is not the issue. There's a foundation to build on with Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, Clark and even Dean Lowry.
Tackling has become perhaps the largest obstacle for player development after the new CBA,which limits contact practices and developmental time during the offseason. The Packers tackling hasn't been that bad this season. It was a problem Sunday, especially on that Julio Jones touchdown, but there are bigger problems to focus on ... like the lack of pass rush and lack of covering receivers.
I haven't looked at the open market to see who's likely to be available yet, but I don't think the Packers have any choice but to sign a veteran corner this offseason. I'd be surprised if Sam Shields returned to the Packers, even if he hasn't given up on his career. In his absence, the biggest problem the Packers had was a lack of veteran experience on the perimeter. You'll hear people say corner is a high draft priority, and it is. But the Packers don't need another young corner on their roster. They have plenty of young corners already. They need veteran experience at that position, the kind they're missing without Shields.
When eight straight playoff and two conference title games in three years is "not enough anymore," I think you've lost sight of context. Nobody, short of the Patriots, goes to eight straight playoffs and advance to the conference title game more frequently. It's sickening that the Packers haven't matched the Patriots? Take a deep breath now.
T.J. Lang's broken foot never healed, but he said yesterday set him back to the beginning. He pulled out of the Pro Bowl, which is unfortunate for him. He'll also have his hip scoped soon, which we reported last month. As for the others, I'm not sure.
Speaking of the Pro Bowl, David Bakhtiari was just named to his first Pro Bowl as a replacement for the Philadelphia Eagles' Jason Peters. That's well deserved. Bakhtiari already a 2nd-team All-Pro.
It says something when a blah (let's go with that word?) inside linebacker group isn't among the biggest problems on a defense. Yeah, if there's a possible upgrade, the Packers should take it this season. But Jake Ryan, Blake Martinez and Joe Thomas are serviceable, something you can't say about the cornerbacks or edge rush. So the Packers will have biggest problems to focus on.
Yeah, it's easy to lose sight of when you get blown out of the NFC title game, but the Packers had a remarkable season. They were left for dead at 4-6, and that ultimately came back to bite them. Know what this team really needs? To play a conference title game at Lambeau Field, instead of on the road. With a better start, they get yesterday's game at Lambeau Field ... and who knows what happens. But nobody had them reaching the NFC title game in November, certainly not me. They should get a ton of credit for their midseason turnaround, even if it did lead to yesterday's meltdown.
That's not how this scheme works. Pressure comes first from the outside rush. When that doesn't get home, nothing gets home.
OK, let's not act like free agency isn't a big risk. From year to year, the biggest free-agent spenders are usually bad teams. Draft-and-develop is the way to build a roster. Ted Thompson does it better than most. A little flexibility means bringing in a cornerback this offseason to give that group some veteran experience, not overhauling the roster with five free agents.
That's actually not true. Tom Brady has the league's top scoring defense. That's better than good. The Patriots are a machine nobody in the NFL has matched, not just the Packers. To expect the Packers to match the Patriots is unrealistic. It isn't going to happen.
That Dom Capers' continued employment should be evaluated this offseason, though firing him isn't something the Packers absolutely have to do. And it's not something I expect them to do.
If that were to happen, the one Super Bowl title will be fondly remembered. Those 15 years will also be considered underwhelming, not what it could've been, and that will be disappointing. We don't know yet if that's going to be the case with the Packers ... we're in the middle of those 15 years. But there's one big problem with your Dan Marino comparison you neglected to mention ... the Packers won their Super Bowl appearance.
Hey, the Atlanta Falcons fan decided to join today's chat. (I can't resist.)
The failing, and it might be a tad unfair, is that Ted Thompson didn't realize the fragility of Sam Shields' health. There's a reason very few people thought the Packers had to re-sign Casey Hayward this past offseason. Cornerback was expected to be a strength of this team. With Sam Shields playing even 12 games this fall, it's a different season. If Sam Shields were healthy enough to be active yesterday, I do believe the Packers would be in the Super Bowl. Should Thompson have predicted Shields wouldn't have lasted the season? That's why he gets paid the big bucks. But it's still a difficult prediction to make.
No, the real problems with trading up in the draft is you're using two draft picks to acquire one player. Drafting is a guessing game, even for the best. Thompson drafts better than most, if not all, but it's still a guessing game for him. So what happens if the player you traded up for fails to make a dent (as plenty of first rounders do), and you've spent two draft picks for him? You want to compile as many picks as possible to give yourself the best chances. It's like buying multiple lottery tickets.
No. I'm saying it's unreasonable for Packers fans to demand their team make seven. And plenty of fans do. If the Packers get through the entirety of Aaron Rodgers' career with just one Super Bowl trip, history will judge that accordingly.
Free agency isn't too expensive. It's too risky for Ted Thompson's taste. He likes to know what he's buying, so to speak. There are a lot of unknowns with free agency. Also, the cost isn't just money. More free-agent activity leads to fewer drafting resources. So there's a lot of things to consider, and there's good reason draft-and-develop trumps the free-agent model. But too much of any good thing can be a bad thing.
Probably not. The fans who think the Packers should be headed to their seventh Super Bowl will still be angry.
The Packers started 6-0 in 2015, went 4-6 the rest of the way. They started 5-2 in 2014, lost a key, late-season game in Buffalo that could've swung home field. I don't know that you have much facts to form an opinion on.
Should be this week sometime. We haven't been told the day yet.
I don't find it disheartening. I get it. When you get 60 minutes from a Super Bowl trip, you expect the team to at least bother to show up. The frustration today is justified. But there's a fine line between disappointment and being spoiled. To discredit eight straight playoff trips and two conference title games in three years is nuts. To not find joy in the Packers near-miraculous turnaround from a 4-6 start is nuts. Things could be much, much, much worse in Green Bay. Yes, you should take stock of your blessings as a fan base ... starting Tuesday.
Judging from some of the comments from opposing players, I think there is a perception that this defense, if not the team, is finesse. That's a nice, please-don't-slug-me way of saying soft. You can point to the GM or coach, but doesn't that fall more on the players?
That's a really good question, Tim. I can't figure out the wide receiver position. At least right now. If you'd asked me in, say, October, I'd tell you it needed to be their first-round pick. You ask me now, and I'm tempted to say the Packers are set at receiver. Jordy Nelson isn't getting younger, but he should be better a year removed from the ACL. Randall Cobb needs to stay healthy, but he proved to still be capable of making plays when he is. Davante Adams was the team's most improved player by a mile. And Geronimo Allison should give them a good fourth receiver. Jeff Janis provides depth as a 5 and special teams ability, and Trevor Davis enters his second season as a good developmental guy. So maybe they don't take a receiver. Tough call there.
Nick, that's the way defenses are going these days. With the pass-happy league, defenses want to match with speed guys over bulk. It provides better matchups.
Anyway, fun chat today. Thanks to everyone who participated and followed along. If I didn't get to your question, make sure you scroll back through the transcript. Until next time, take care everyone.