Hey folks, just got back to Green Bay from Philadelphia. Looks like we have something new to talk about this week. The Packers, get this, actually won a football game. And it was a huge win, their biggest of the season to this point, not to mention perhaps the best they've looked on both sides of the ball. Let's get to your questions.
This is actually something the Packers offense does quite well, when they do it. I've been writing about the need for the Packers to ditch their worthless run game for a spread, quick-pass attack for about a month. Go back to the second half against Chicago ... this is the offense that helped them snap out of a funk. Go back to Atlanta ... this is the offense that allowed them to score 33 points on the road. Go back to Tennessee ... this is the offense that allowed them to rebound from a bad first quarter. Then they tried to rely on their hardened philosophies, establishing the run to set up the pass, finding some semblance of balance, and it failed miserably. This is not an offense capable of achieving balance. When the Packers move the football and score points, they do what they did Monday night. If they continue it this week, I see no reason why their success wouldn't continue. Let's see if Mike McCarthy keeps going to what works.
It's not that Ted's philosophy is archaic. Draft and develop is still the best way to build a football roster. It's not close. The problem is too much of anything is a negative, even a good thing. Ted Thompson has the right philosophy, but it should be argued he carries it too far to the extreme. There is a time for everything, including plugging a roster hole through free agency. Bad teams rely more on free agency than the draft to build their roster. That's true across the league. But it's important for any GM to have at least some flexibility, and Ted Thompson doesn't appear to have much of any.
Ted Thompson actually speaks to media only as much as the NFL requires. No less, no more. That means before the draft, at the combine, at the owner's meetings, and during training camp. I really don't know what it's like across the league. I doubt Ted Thompson is the only one who uses the NFL's less-than-demanding rules. Now, you're right, plenty other GMs do speak publicly more. There is a public part of being an NFL general manager, and even more so as the Packers GM. In his job, Ted Thompson is the face for the football side of one of the league's most popular franchises. Thompson clearly fails to fulfill the public side of his job, which is mostly a disservice to fans but also doesn't help his coaches and players during a season like this. But, we just talked about flexibility. That isn't Thompson's strength.
Fat chance of that happening. Nor should it. He's still their best defensive player.
He was inactive with a hamstring injury.
Just posted an article about this you should read at PackersNews.com. In short, he's showing the same reliability, the same hard hits as a ball carrier, even the same nose for the end zone after last night. Not hard to see him achieving folk hero status with fans. But it is early, just his first year as a full-time starter. So we'll see.
Prayer? Seriously, it ain't happening. This team can't run the football. I'm not so sure they need to. Every time they ditch the run, no matter the opponent, they move the ball.
Good list. Would throw Aaron Ripkowski in there. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, though maybe not as much as expected, is certainly playing his best football. And don't forget Lane Taylor. Who knew of all the problems the Packers would have this season, left guard wouldn't be one of them?
Hope that Damarious Randall plays better in his second week back, which is certainly possible. Or that the Packers get to play Philadelphia's receiving core each week.
I wouldn't call Spriggs a brawler. He most definitely isn't a guard, but you can play him on the interior when you drop back as often as the Packers do in their spread offense. Spriggs is able to overcome weaknesses with his athleticism, which helps him recover. As for next season, I could certainly see the scenario of moving Bulaga inside at guard and putting Spriggs at right tackle. They didn't trade up in the second round to not play Spriggs. With that said, I do wonder whether it would be a mistake to let T.J. Lang go. It's not that he's indispensable. I think Lane Taylor's ability to hold down Josh Sitton's old spot shows guards can be replaced. But Lang fills a veteran leadership role in that room that I think could be difficult to replace. So it's a tough decision.
Certainly possible. It depends on how well he learns the playbook. But if they're focusing on improving the running game, it's a waste of energy. It's clear what this offense does well. Stick to it.
I'd flip the order to best player available among RB/TE/WR, with CB as the top defensive need.
He definitely helped them in Washington. His snap count diminished from 64 to 46 percent last night, mostly because Aaron Ripkowski played more. That's going to be a delicate balance between playing the 20 personnel that was successful last night, and keeping Cook on the field. I could see it fluctuate week to week depending on the opponent.
Good defense. Bad offense. A very winnable game, especially at home. But, boy, have we seen the Packers lose winnable games this season. So hold your breath.
Great question. I think the way this season played out gave the most likely chances Lacy will stay in Green Bay. If Lacy had a big season, he would have been too expensive. If he had a bad season, the Packers would have just started fresh at the position. But Lacy was off to what Mike McCarthy said was the best start of his career, then he fell on IR. His injury has to have some impact on his market across the league. Now, could he still have a market? Sure. It's not like the RB free agent class is loaded by any means. Still, RB prices typically don't go very high, and that's for the elite players at that position. I think Lacy's figures will be in the ballpark, and if the price is right why not bring him back and (most likely on a short-term deal) and draft a running back of the future high? That would be my guess as of the end of November. Still a long way to go.
If he could, I think the Packers might have tried it by now.
There is absolutely no reason to do that.
Injury. Clay Matthews has 4 sacks in 7 games played this season, and he was less than 100 percent in most if not all of those games. He's still an explosive player. Not an elite player, but plenty productive when on the field. Injuries have been the issues, but he played all 16 games each of the past two seasons. It's just one of those seasons for Matthews, but any notion that he's not a good player is just crazy.
I'm sure getting Damarious Randall back helped, and Clay Matthews playing ILB probably helped. But the biggest help was the Packers ball-control offense. The Packers controlled time of possession 35:23 to 24:37. Hard for a team to score when it can't get on the field, and the Eagles couldn't get on the field.
Actually, I think there's a decent chance. Martinez has had a fine rookie season. Look at how much Jake Ryan improved from one season to the next. I expect the same will happen with Martinez. These are young guys in the middle. Allow them the chance to grow together, and I think it'll be worthwhile.
They've been switching personnel since Week 3. That wasn't new. What changed was Mike McCarthy's contentment to ditch the run game from the start. That made all the difference.