OK everybody, let's jump right in. Montgomery's got enough running back ability to call him a running back, but he's a super explosive back. The thing he brings is decent RB ability and an then an element in the passing game that RBs normally don't. I really don't know if they'll take extra time with him so they can get a look at the young RBs, but they might get that longer look regardless if Montgomery can't go this week. I'd think it would be tough for an RB to play only 10 days after a rib injury, but we'll see. He's had his share of injury issues, so I'd think they'd play it on the cautious side, and all this talk of playing Sunday could be smokescreen. But I'm in your camp that they need to get a longer look at the rookie RBs so they can get a better feel for whether one or two or all of them can add some change-of-pace to their run game.
Yeah, I found that a little surprising also, that they didn't add a tackle or OLB with one or two of those picks. On the other hand, one of the philosophies with later-round picks is that you look for players who have a characteristic that jumps out and makes you think they at least have a chance to develop into good players even though they're not prospects for the first four rounds. So in that case, you're looking a lot less at position than traits. That gives you a better chance of finding someone who will help you or even a Donald Driver-type -- the odds are longer with later picks, but it improves them. So drafters have to keep that in mind too, as well as positions of need. And with Nelson's age, they're going to need more receivers soon. So there's need there, just not need for this season. But it does hurt when neither of those picks panned out. I guess the question is whether they had a tackle whose grade was really close to one of those guys. Either way, I was surprised too that they didn't take a tackle or OLB with one of those two picks.
I don't know how much downfield stuff we'll see from Bennett. He's not straight-line fast. Earlier in his career he stretched the seam, but he's 30 and doesn't appear to have that kind of speed anymore. He looks like more of a short and intermediate guy to me. But if the tackles are back than he'll be out on routes more, he won't have to help nearly as much in protection, that's true. Looks to me like his value will be in keeping the chains moving with third-down catches and as a big target in the red zone.
Looks pretty good to me. Seems like he has kind of shank at least once a game, but he's also hitting several long, high punts a game. Looks like he has a fair amount of talent from what I see.
I don't think it's time to move on if you mean by outright cutting him. But I wouldn't be surprised if Hawkins starts ahead of him this week, Hawkins played OK in his place last week. Last year I thought as the season went on there were plays where Randall just didn't compete hard, but I do wonder how much of that was the injury. This year it's looked to me like his effort in tackling was pretty good, though he has missed some, can't disagree with you there. He has talent. Maybe he's more a zone guy than man to man, or maybe he's better suited for centerfield safety, I'm not sure. But I wouldn't cut him at this point. Give Hawkins a shot at that starting job? Sure. The bench is a good motivator, and maybe Hawkins will prove to be the better player. But they're probably going to need Randall before the season is over regardless.
Yeah, the two-game suspension seemed about right to me, maybe could have seen three purely for the deterrent factor for other players. That was an egregious hit regardless of his intent.
Sounds like a lot of it comes down to pain tolerance, but I too would think it's a stretch for him to play so soon after the injury, because at that position he's subject to hard hits from any and all angles. I'll be surprised if he plays. The early info on Twitter from reporters who were at the early portion of practice say Montgomery wasn't there, so that could be a sign he's not playing. Today is the only padded practice of the week.
I'm sure he would have. From what I heard the Packers made him an offer at least in the ballpark of Carolina's. I never disagreed with the Packers moving on from him, his age finally was starting to show last season -- he really is a remarkable athlete to play as well as he did for as long as he did. But I thought they'd put more draft resources into OLB than they did.
It's Devante Mays. If Montgomery doesn't play then I'd assume all three RB picks will be active. Whether Mays would get any snaps at RB, though, I don't know. Jamaal Williams (knee) was a full participant yesterday, so looks like he has a good chance playing. He and Aaron Jones are ahead of Mays at RB, so I don't know if Mays would get any snaps unless one of those two gets hurt.
I'd guess no on Montgomery, especially based on the reports that he didn't practice today (or at least wasn't there for the early portion of practice). Don't really know on Adams, you never know for sure with the concussion protocol, but the fact that he was taking part in some parts of practice yesterday and today means he's advanced pretty far in the protocol and has a real chance.
I'd think there's a decent chance Hawkins gets the start unless House is full strength. Hawkins played well enough last week to get real consideration after the Randall benching. Could be any of those three starting opposite King, but my wild guess without having any idea what their plans are is Hawkins.
Nothing more than what's been reported. He's practicing in pads today, so that's a decent sign. We'll have to wait for the injury report this afternoon to know whether he was a limited or full participant. During the regular season reporters are allowed to watch practice in the early drills (mostly individual), but once team drills start then practice is closed.
Yeah, he's been really good against the run, very disruptive. I'd think they'll need to go nitro because Dallas has good receivers and a good young quarterback. The Packers could get away with playing base to stop Chicago's run game because Glennon was their QB. But this is why Dallas is a tough matchup, because Elliott is a premier runner, but they also have talent in the passing game.
I really think their cornerbacks coaching is good and probably better than that. Joe Whitt developed Shields and Tramon Williams, remember, both undrafted guys who became really good players. From what I can tell Whitt has an excellent reputation, and when I've asked around about possible coordinators on the D staff, his name comes up quickly. Hayward played really well as a rookie and then had injury issues after that. They drafted Randall and Rollins, and both showed enough promise as rookies to let Hayward walk. I couldn't quibble with that decision at all at the time. Now, with the way things have gone, yeah, you'd much rather have Hayward. And I'm sure Hyde is doing in Buffalo what he did here. He was a good player, a guy with outstanding instincts who occasionally made big plays. That interception he had in the playoffs at Dallas last year was huge. He could do that. But he has his limitations too, namely, he's not that fast. He got picked on at times last year in that slot role. If he were on the roster this year, maybe he'd start at safety ahead of Brice in the nitro, but he wouldn't be ahead of Burnett or Jones in the LB/slot roles. I get why you'd ask the question, and a lot of times it's hard for us as outsiders to accurately judge position coaches. But everything I've seen and heard suggests Whitt is a really good coach.
Biegel is eligible to come off PUP after Week 6, so in a little less than two weeks. They then have a six-week window to activate him. He hasn't played football in pads since last season, so I'd think it would take a while for him to make any kind of impact even if he start playing early in that six-week window.
I have to think a lot of it has to do with pass protection -- both skill in the actual blocking, and knowing who do block against all the various blitzes. That stuff is really important for helping the pass game function and keeping the QB healthy. But they need some help in the run game, some change of pace. Jones showed a little something last week, and there was a time or two in the preseason where I thought Mays might be the best runner of the three rookies. But the injury to Montgomery could force them to play Jones and maybe Mays too.
It's his fourth year, but it looks like he's the last receiver on the depth chart. He just didn't do a lot in at WR in camp -- he did next to nothing early, then started making some catches in practice as camp went on. At some point they might decide they want him on the field to try to stretch defenses, so that's always a possibility. But he's the No. 6 WR from what I can tell.
That's been the case the last few years. They went 15-1 in '11, so that doesn't fit the pattern. But the "R-E-L-A-X season and last year suggest that's true. It definitely seems to bring out the best in the QB.
You have to account for both, that's what makes Dallas dangerous. But I'd think it starts with Elliott. He was the difference when Dallas won at Lambeau in the regular season last year.
It was vulnerable against Atlanta, so there's reason to think that. Jones didn't play slot/LB in that game, so maybe he'll make some difference there -- he did against Cincinnati, that's for sure. I don't think it will take 35 to beat the Cowboys, but this is a much tougher test for the D than Cincinnati and especially Chicago were. I don't know that the run game will for sure be weakened without Montgomery. Jones might end being a better pure RB, though not as good in the passing game. They have Rodgers and plenty of good-enough weapons even without Montgomery.
I'd argue no. Earlier in my years covering the team I thought it was a good idea to trade up for guys you really like. Not a big advocate of that now. Never say never, but I wouldn't do it often. Even with all the resources put into scouting the draft, there's still too big an element of luck to trade up very often. The more bites at the apple, the better chance you have to find a good player. When you trade up, if the pick is only average or busts (and a pretty good majority of picks are either average of busts), then you've wasted two picks, not just one. So even if you have a good, deep roster, I wouldn't trade up unless you have a really strong conviction on a guy. Every team has its share of undrafted guys who make it, the Packers might get a few more, but I'm not sure they're that much better than others at that. And I don't think you want to rely on finding undrafted guys to be important parts of your team. That's tough to do year in, year out. That's my take, Mr. McShay.
If they go nitro, which I think they would because they'll want safeties in the slot to help stop Elliott, then it's Burnett and Jones. That's kind of a big change in position emphasis. It always was a cornerback in the slot before, and two traditional linebackers in the nickel. Now it's two safeties up there and only one traditional LB, and only two CBs.
I'd agree that Clinton-Dix hasn't played as well as he did last year -- he's missed a couple chances for interceptions, and missed a couple tackles I would have thought he'd make. But he's still a pretty talented guy and is really sound back there. It's a long season, remember. King looks really talented to me, I can see why they liked him and am a little surprised they took the risk of trading back to 33 rather than taking him at 29. But he's going to have some rough moments, that's a tough position in the NFL and he's a rookie. But by December and January he'll have benefited a lot from the snaps he's getting now. The other corner is a little shaky, agreed, but they can keep working those guys in there (House, Hawkins, Randall, Rollins) to find the best one. Yeah, they can win with this secondary. But the offense still has to carry the bulk of the load for this team, especially in the money games.
I'm afraid this is going to have to do it, the locker room opens in a few minutes so I have to go out to Lambeau, have to talk to some players. But thanks to all for coming by, great questions as always. We'll do it again next week, so if I didn't get to you -- and there were a lot of questions I didn't have time to even see -- then try again next week. As for Daniels, he has a hip injury. He practiced in pads today but don't know if he was a limited or full participant. That will come out later today, and it will be on the Twitter feeds of all members of our Packers team. Sorry but time to go. Thanks again to all, look forward to chatting again next week. Take care.