Packers chat with Bob McGinnSkip to main content

Packers chat with Bob McGinn

Dec. 7 transcript

    Ted Thompson has take some heat for not augmenting the roster via free agency and rightly so in my opinion but I guess you live and die by the draft and develop approach. Do you give Thompson a little bit of leeway given that the Packers have lost so many high-level front office guys in John Schneider, Reggie McKenzie, and John Dorsey?
    OK, gang, let's get this exercise underway ... CSN: Ted Thompson should receive absolutely no leeway for the departures his personnel department has suffered. Many, many scouts would like to work for the Packers, and many are highly capable. Thompson is well aware of this. At the same time, he appears fully confident in the staff adjustments he has made to replace Schneider, McKenzie, Dorsey and others. There are no excuses in this regard.
    Thanks for the chat Bob. How much does the shorter offseason and training camp practices affect the "draft and develop philosophy" success? I wonder if guys like Janis get enough practice reps to really hone their craft, since so much time has to be devoted to starters, that draft prospects and backups get what's left over, which might not be much.
    Jesse: I just don't buy the argument that the new CBA-mandated reduced practice time affects player development. If anything, it might foster player development because players aren't overworked. There's plenty of classroom-practice-walkthrough time from April through the end of the season to develop players.
    I am still having a hard time assessing whether the Packers are a good team at this point. The positive view is that they beat what looks like a pretty good team on the road on MNF in the Eagles and a division leading team in the Texans at home. The negative view is that both of those teams are flawed (Eagles had suspect O-Line and WR's while Texans struggle on offense in general) so we can't read too much into either victory. I fall somewhere in between, how about you?
    CSN: Almost every team in the league is flawed. Injuries are widespread everywhere you turn. You play what's in front of you at the time and add it up at the end. It's next to impossible to assess where this Packers team is headed down the stretch. It could be 10-6, it could be 6-10. I have no idea how people can make money on a consistent basis betting the NFL. You've got to be really smart to see the black and white through the gray. Seattle has flaws but also more strengths than most teams. But GB beat the Seahawks at Lambeau 15 months ago and certainly should be in position to do it again.
    James Starks was never going to be the answer to the Packers' rushing woes. I cringe when I see him receive a hand off where he will either make the wrong cut or take the ball wide when he should stay inside the tackles. Say what you will about Montgomery unable to hold up against constant battering as a running back, but he has proved to be an effective weapon out of the backfield and can break tackles. Why the apprehension by the coaching staff to allow Montgomery to take on the feature back roll in this offense?
    TG: After Montgomery outperformed Starks Sunday it's possible it will be basically the Montgomery show against Seattle. I imagine the coaches have concerns about Montgomery's ball security and ability to run inside in winter weather. He's a West Coast collegian and hasn't played much RB. Maybe they think he'd wear down after 25 touches. No matter what anyone says, Starks does have value. He runs extremely hard and has helped the Packers win a Super Bowl. He's in a funk now, and I wonder where his confidence level is after being saved a fumble at the end of his botched short-yardage carry Sunday. I also wonder where Christine Michael fits in this picture. He doesn't have great vision but runs low to the ground, usually falls forward and is the fastest of the three.
    Ron Wolf was able to trade for Favre, sign Reggie White, and draft several back up QBs to Favre where the Packers were able to turn them into some value. Why has Ted Thompson deviated so much from this formula? I can't recall one back up QB that the Packers have been able turn into value.
    Tom: The Packers were keenly interested in selecting Russell Wilson in 2012 (D3, No. 75) but instead took Jerel Worthy (D2, No. 51) and Casey Hayward (D2, No. 62). In each case Thompson traded up for those players so they didn't have a third-round pick. Now they have Brett Hundley, whose development was cut short in August by injury. Give it time. Two years from now they should get something for him.
    can we contain Russell Wilson and not challenge Sherman up the sideline.
    Gerald: Russell Wilson will be scrambling like mad because his O-line is so poor. Two weeks ago Tampa Bay beat Seattle, 14-5, because of pass rush. However, I'm told a major reason for the collapse was the play of backup C Joey Hunt, who was starting for injured Justin Britt. Britt returned Sunday night vs. Carolina and the protection was somewhat better. The Packers' ability to contain depends to a large extent on the availability of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Green Bay has the athletes and speed on defense to chase Wilson if 52 and 53 are on the field. As for Sherman, his matchups against Adams and Nelson will be worth watching. He'll be jamming hard, and if the Packers hope to win they can't give away an entire third of the field.
    Bob, what's the deal with Kenny Clark? Haven't heard much buzz about him to date. Another so-so first round pick by TT?
    Car: Kenny Clark was playing better football near midseason. Then his playing fell to 13 snaps against Philly and a season-low seven against Houston. The coaches obviously believe in Letroy Guion at NT. Clark turned 21 in October. No one knows what he might become.
    Hey Robert. I've lost track of IR players. I know Lacy and Shields are on IR. Who else? More importantly, who is the one player they would reactivate as the final chapter of the season plays out?
    Tom: On Saturday, the Packers did activate a player from IR. It was CB Makinton Dorleant, who had been on there since Sept. 5. That means they're out of moves from IR. Only others on IR are RBs John Crockett and Don Jackson, and CB Demetri Goodson.
    Hi Bob, I enjoyed your column on lack of turnovers. But aren't talent and turnovers closely related? By that I mean, you show a defense with a lot of talent and I'll show you a defense that makes turnovers. You show me a defense that can't make turnovers and I'll show you a bad defense. Thus, doing strip drills can't really make a bad defense much better. Agree?
    Dig: You're right, but only to a point. Talented players create takeaways with good rushes leading to sacks, and talented DBs can make better plays on the ball for picks. However, takeaways can be directly influenced by culture and coaching. On offense, giveaways are even less a function of talent. Coaching/culture is the dominant mechanism in limiting giveaways. The more drills and coach talk in-house regarding turnover differential the better. It kind of is the game.
    Would it be correct to say that in order for the Packers to win on sunday, our defensive line must stay in their lanes when rushing Wilson, and our defensive backs and linebackers must wrap up when they tackle? If we fail to do this, I think we are in for a long game.
    Bruce: Russell Wilson is a wizard. I have such respect for his game. The Packers contained him beautifully for three quarters of the NFC title game 22 months ago before he got loose. It's inevitable that he will get free. You're right, the Packers can't afford to miss tackles against him when he does get out. He is a real treat to watch. His competitiveness and poise are remarkable.
    Is Tom Clements still part of the coaching staff...They were 6-1 last year when he had play calling duties taken away then the wheels started to fall off. If nothing else, didn't team chemistry take a hit when that happened ?
    Fredo: You know Tom Clements remains as associate head coach/offense. He was removed as playcaller by McCarthy after 12 games with the Packers sitting at 8-4. In those 12 games the Packers averaged 24.1 points and 341.4 yards. I doubt the change had much to do with team chemistry. Aaron Rodgers is close to Clements and probably was upset, but beyond that I don't think many players would have thought twice about it. Remember it was Nov. 16 that G Josh Sitton said the offense had become too predictable. He made that statement after the ninth game ... Well, I see my time has expired. Thanks for reading us and participating today//BOB McGINN
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