Packers chat with Pete DoughertySkip to main content

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly 1 p.m. Thursday chat ahead of Aaron Rodgers' return and the Packers' game at Carolina Sunday.

    Pete I read an article in SI this mourning titled "how Aaron Rogers can save the 2017 NFL season (no pressure there right). How do you think Carolina and the Panthers will react to that kind of talk?
    OK, let's dive right in. I didn't see the article and don't know how many Carolina players saw it. The thing is, Carolina is fighting for its playoff life, it could win the NFC South and it could finish out of the playoffs. So the Panthers should be plenty motivated without anything extra.
    Is Packers defense good enough to win last three games?
    Sure. It was good enough to win the final six games last year, and I think it's a little better this year -- or maybe the same now that King is out for the year. It all depends on Rodgers playing at a high level.
    A key component to stopping Carolina and getting Newton to make mistakes is pressure on the QB. If you're Capers how much do you risk by bringing extra blitzers? If he brakes containment he'll kill you with his legs. Do you commit to making him beat you with his arm?
    Yeah, you have to make him beat you with his arm. Rushing to contain is huge, whether it's with four or five, you can't leave your rushing lane because if he breaks contain that's where he beats you.
    Is it possible we could see a breakout performance in the next 3 games from Josh Hawkins. Theres been so much concern about the secondary and I could be being optimistic, but this is when stars are made.
    He's young and fast, and he could improve with more playing time. I don't know that I'd bet on it, but sounds like House won't be playing, so Hawkins is going to be starting opposite Randall. I'd think Carolina would go after him.
    How come there are just certain coaches who when they show, they automatically have a legitimate defense. Love Smith shows up-defense, Wade Philips shows up-defense, Mike Zimmer shows up-defense. What is these guys know that they do so well. I think McCarthy is a good coach, but my guess is he will never field a legit defense in his career. He just doesn't have defense mindset. He will always rationalize these sub par defenses he puts on the field. I am sure Capers is a smart coach but you can not deny his defenses just for lack of a better word "suck". Al I ever hear is how great a coach Joe Whitt is but his secondary is lost a good portion of the time. If Wade Phillips showed up next year with the exact personnel, we'd have a top 10 defense. I have no doubt. So what is these guys have that makes their defenses great. Does Green Bay even realize how bad they are on defense.
    The three guys you mention are all really good defensive coordinators, especially Phillips and Zimmer. I'd agree, seems like wherever they are, their defenses are good. The one thing I'll say for Capers, if you look at his  record he usually does really well his first couple years with a team. That was the case with the Packers. They were a top 10 defense his first year ('09) and a top five the next. Some coaches are just kind of special, and I'd say Phillips and Zimmer fit in that category as defensive coaches. Look at Belichick, how many of his proteges have gone on to become successful head coaches? None really, not yet anyway. It's clear there's just something special about him. Same with Lombardi. Those two are the ultimate example. If you're an offensive coach like McCarthy, you have to get the best defensive coordinator you can. He really respects Capers, but he's also made his sharing of changes on the coaching staff over the years. We'll see if he makes any changes after this season.
    Pete. What defensive changes whether scheme or personnel do you think the packers have to try to control the panthers
    The hard part with this matchup is how to play Newton. How much do you spy him? Normally you spy with a linebacker, but I'd question whether Martinez is fast enough to spy Newton. So do you play nitro and spy some with Burnett or Jones? But then stopping the run gets tougher. That's where defending Newton presents some problems. We haven't seen much nitro lately, maybe we will this week.
    Hey Pete -- A few weeks back, you declared the packers season over. Then you declared the #3, or 4, running back was the best, and he proceeded to fumble his first 2 carries. Now the sky is the limit? What gives? You just publish random thoughts based on the latest emotion? yikes
    First thing I'll say Jack is I think your misrepresenting what I've written. I said the Packers season is over if Rodgers doesn't come back this year. I still think that's true, they'd have no chance at the Super Bowl or event he playoffs if he doesn't come back. He's come back. Now they have a chance. I also said that we don't know who the best of the three rookie RBs is, because each time one of them had to play, he played well. Williams was the top one coming out of camp, then Jones played and was better. Then Williams played a lot and did well. When camp ended I didn't think much separated the three and if I had to pick one I liked the best, I'd have picked Mays. So I wrote that for all we know Mays might be the best one, and that we won't know until he plays. I never said he is the best one. Look, I'm wrong plenty --- we're all wrong a lot. But I really think you did a poor job of representing what I wrote in those particular instances.
    Pete, thank you for the chats. I can't remember a healthy third-round pick in recent years who has played as little as Montravius Adams. While I know that defensive lineman are often slower to adapt to the NFL than some other positions (witness Kenny Clark's massive growth from his rookie year), is it early enough to worry that his might be a key missed opportunity for a more helpful player for the Packers? I'm guessing many third-round picks around the league have made a much greater impact for their teams.
    I'm wondering what's going on there too. This guy can't get on the field. But too early to write him off. I think back to Gilbert Brown. He was a third-round pick by the Vikings, they cut him at the end of camp and the Packers claimed. He hardly played that rookie year -- he was inactive for a lot of games if I remember right. Yet he became a really good player. But yeah, I'd have thought he'd have helped them some this year, and he hasn't at all. They needed all the immediate help they could get from their draft on that side of the ball.
    Pete I've felt that every week since the Pack lost in Pittsburgh that every game is 'do or die'. For some reason this one feels bigger. Like if they can win in Carolina that the next 2 weeks just became much more do-able and anything is possible. Do you 'feel it'?
    Yeah, that's my thinking too. This is the hardest one because it's on the road against a good team fighting for its playoff life, and it's Rodgers first game in two months. If Rodgers has any rust, this is the game it will show.
    I'm very concerned that Kizer who has a 61 QB rating for the season nearly hit 100 against us last week. How well does the Packers defense match up against the Panthers offense? Without House and King, do we stand a chance of slowing them down?
    The big thing is containing Newton, keeping him in the pocket. If you can do that -- and it's not easy, he's a really big, really talented runner -- you have a chance because he's not a pinpoint passer. He'll miss some throws. But he makes big plays and converts first downs with his legs. That's how he really hurts you, keeping a drive alive with a scramble on third and 10. The harder matchups with the injuries at corner -- King is out for the season -- are if they make the playoffs and face one of those top quarterbacks like Brees or Ryan. Those guys are masters and exploiting matchups.
    They might, or at least have a couple guys who could. Perry could be a 4-3 end. Matthews can play any linebacker position.
    Do you think after watching the run game preform to a high level the last 8 weeks, Aaron will have more confidence in the play calling, and change fewer plays at the line of scrimmage than he would have before the injury?
    Hi Pete, after looking at the Packers needs for next seasons roster they sure have a mountain of needs. Pass rusher, Wide outs Tight end and OL to name a few. While Rodgers injury exposed allot of needs it looks like the front office has allot of work to do. Outside of Pass rushers what else on Defense needs updating? Also same question for offense. Do we need to draft a QB high and start grooming him for the day aaron retires like we did when Favre was still here, we sure could use a solid back up what do you think?
    After pass rushers I'd say cornerback is their next biggest need, probably over anything on offense. Those are the two positions I'd concentrate on if I were them. Agree on the needs you point to on offense. I would not take a QB high to groom as Rodgers' successor, too early for that in my mind. He's 34 and is hoping to play until at least 40. So the earliest I'd draft a QB would be the fourth, and I'd prefer to wait until the fifth. Brady was 37 I think when Belichick drafted Garoppolo in the second round as Brady's possible successor. That's proven to have been a tad early. But that's about the earliest I'd start considering drafting a QB high if I were the Packers, when Rodgers hits 37, 38. I might be inclined to wait a little longer if his health is holding up and he's playing well and wants to keep going into his 40s. Brady probably will show over the next few years what's possible as far as how well guys can play into their 40s.
    I see we lost McCaferry this week do you think he really didn't want to play here or was the chance to great to play elsewhere i believe he is on new teams practice squad why would he leave to stay on another practice squad? He may have had a future here
    No, McCaffrey was signed to the 49ers' 53-man roster.
    So, Russ Ball becomes President, Eliot Wolf becomes GM and Jon Gruden becomes HC.
    Am I delusional?
    That's a wild one, not sure what to make of it. Would be academic though if Gruden becomes Tampa Bay's coach in the offseason. I also don't know if there's much reason to think Murphy is leaving the president/CEO job any time soon.
    Merry Christmas Pete,
    Although King looked like he could eventually be a good player i really felt that the packers should have targeted a pass rusher with their first pick. first round corners have a high bust rate and I feel you have a better chance of finding one in the later rounds then you do a legitimate pass rusher, and an impact pass rusher will improve the secondary as well
    I kinda felt the same way, all things being equal or even close I'd take the pass rusher. But if they thought King had a shot at being special and Watt didn't, then taking King was the way to go.
    Is there anything that can be done to get another starting CB at this point? Are trades not longer allowed? It doesn't exactly inspire confidence to have a Safety masquerading as a CB.
    The trade deadline has long passed. The only way you can add players now is sign them off a practice squad, off the street, or claim a player who's been cut.
    Pete, you're a pretty reasonable guy, but today's article about GB's defense playing well enough to get them to the playoffs has me worried you're under the influence of some hallucinogenic drug. Did you watch that Dolphins corner take Cooks out of the game. We have NO ONE like that in our secondary. And we can't talk about the pash rush, because there isn't one.
    Haha, no hallucinogens here. You're right, they don't have anybody like that. But they didn't last year either yet won their final six games, then two playoff games to get to the NFC championship. LaDarius Gunter was their No. 1 CB for that run. Think about that. The pass rush wasn't very good last year either -- a tad better because of Peppers, but still not good. So if they did it last year I don't see why they can't this year. Rodgers has a run game now. In the end, it all depends on Rodgers playing at an MVP level. Might be asking too much from a guy who's been out two months, but I'm sure not ruling it out.
    Hi Pete. Thanks for the chat. When does Dom Capers decide to take more chances on defense? ‘Bend but not break” (given the defense’s inability to get off the field) will play into the opponents’ hands (who will be hoping to control the clock and keep Rodgers off the field).
    That's what Tom Silverstein wrote this week, that Capers is going to have to take some more chances. And having Rodgers back makes that easier to do, because Rodgers is there to erase big mistakes.
    Hi Pete. Was disappointed Dorsey went to the browns in terms of a Thompson replacement. Even though it is the Browns, don't you think that was a great place for him to go? Those draft picks and cap space must be a dream come true for a guy like him.
    I agree, for exactly the reasons you cite. He has all sorts of resources to work with to turn that around. Now, finding a QB is essential, but if he likes one of the QBs in this class, he'll have the first pick, so the guy is his. And if he turns around that franchise, which has been a disaster since it re-formed 18 years ago or whatever it was, he'll be a hero. The thing he had to make sure about is whether the owner will give him enough autonomy, and whether he can fire the coach if he wants. I'm assuming he wouldn't have taken the job unless he could check both those boxes.
    Pete, had it not been for Antonio Brown’s terrific catch at the end of the Pittsburgh game, the Packers might’ve played three straight OT games. Do we make too much of the “fight” this team has in it? Isn’t this how most NFL teams perform when the season is on the line? Or is there something different with “our” team?
    A lot of teams and players have fight. But teams also collapse down the stretch and lose games they have to win to stay in the playoff hunt, sometimes lose those by a lot. It's not just fight but poise too. I thought those last three games revealed some character traits in Hundley -- perseverance, poise, toughness. You're right that the Packers aren't the only team that shows fight, but they did show it. And for all the criticism McCarthy takes, deserved and not, the one thing that's been consistent throughout his tenure is that his teams hold together and don't unravel when things turn bad.
    Can you explain to me why Ha-Ha is considered to be a ProBowl-caliber player? I live in Seattle, and I get to watch Earl Thomas play free safety. Thomas seems to have a difference making play every defensive series, whereas when I watch the Packers HaHa usually can only be found making tackles 15-yards downfield. Is this a scheme thing? Shouldn't HaHa be around the ball more as a free safety that is seen as a franchise-type player?
    Earl Thomas is exceptional, the best free safety in the game, maybe/probably a Hall of Famer. Agree that Clinton-Dix isn't in that class. He doesn't have anything like Thomas' speed, for starters. Thomas is the perfect guy for that scheme, because Seattle plays mostly single-high safety, and his speed and instincts allows him to cover all that ground back there. But I'm sure he'd be a star in any system. Clinton-Dix has had a tough year, missed more tackles in the open field than I'd expect, hasn't made a lot of plays. I don't doubt some of that is luck of the draw, but some of it has to be on him too. Put it this way, if he were going to be a free agent next year, the Packers wouldn't be using the franchise tag on him. Doesn't mean he's not or won't be a good player. Last year he deserved to go to the Pro Bowl, but this year he hasn't had anything like a Pro Bowl season.
    Pete. What is with Perry. Injury prone? He has been a huge disappointment since TT threw $$ at him. Always on the injury report. I say get rid of him next year.
    He is hurt a lot, and they knew that when the re-signed him two years ago. I wouldn't move on if I were them, only because they don't have any better options. But they failed to plan for the likelihood that he'd be hurt some, and haven't been developing OLBs for when he's hurt or needs reduced reps. It's not good relying on a player who's hurt as much as he is -- McCarthy always talks about availability being the most important ability -- but at least for now I don't see a lot of options. When he's healthy he's good. But agreed, his healthy issues are a problem.
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