Packers chat with Pete DoughertySkip to main content

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Wednesday, March 28 transcript

    Pete, seems like $3.5M guaranteed is a lot for 35 year old Williams. Your thoughts?
    Hi everybody from sunny Orlando. Let's dive right in. I thought the same thing. I think it reflects two things: One, Williams played surprisingly well for a player his age last season, and the Packers had a certain level of desperation after all the top CBs went off the board and their shot at Fuller didn't work. Williams is a really springy athlete, sort of a CB version of Donald Driver, so he might be the rare, rare player who can play pretty decent CB at his age. But age is brutal and there's always the chance he could hit a wall soon. That said, I can't blame them for signing him if that's the price it took. He's played in GB, played for Pettine in Cleveland, and is a great guy to have in the locker room. He probably was as good as any option out there.
    Derwin James in the 1st and Isaiah Oliver in the 2nd? I know that may mean moving up in either round, but GB has the ammunition to make the necessary moves to get both. This would solidify the talent in the back end. HaHa/Jones at safety, King/Oliver in the outside, and James in the slot/hybrid position. I think that would make GB pretty competitive in the secondary. What say you?
    James is an interesting player. From what I can, he's not as effective a deep safety as he would be as a slot guy, so if they drafted him I'd think he'd be their nickel corner, and they'd use him as a blitzer from there too. At least right now it's looking like they'd probably have to trade up to get him, but you never know, a lot of smokescreens and uncertainty always accompany the pre-draft process. But the nickel position is so important, it's basically a starter, and lining up near the middle of the field plays a big role in the run game and as a blitzer, along with coverage. So if they think he can be a real difference maker in that role he very well might be worth trading up for. My opinion on whether they should do it or not isn't worth much, I have no expertise in projecting players from college to the NFL and basically haven't seen him play anyway. I'll be asking a few scouts about him over the next month, so I can offer what they have to say as we get closer to the draft.
    Rumors are swirling about the Cowboys cutting Dez Bryant. Any chance the Packers kick the tires? Or do you think he'll be too expensive/a problem in the locker room.
    Wouldn't be surprised at all if they kicked the tires, though whether they'd make a hard push is the bigger question. I'm sure they'd have concerns about the locker room. I also doubt they'd be willing to pay much. He's scheduled to make $12.5M, which is why the Cowboys are going to either cut him or get him to take a pay cut. Would it be worth paying him half that? I could see it.
    Do you think there is any chance that Rodgers will opt to extend his contract at a lower value in order to give the Packers more cap room for flexibility to obtain better players to build a stronger team around him?
    I wouldn't think he'd do it grossly so, like, for instance, Brady, whose wife from what I've read routinely makes $30M or more a year. Rodgers became the highest-paid player in the league at his last contract but in my opinion could have easily squeezed more money out of the Packers. That suggests he might do it again. So I'm thinking his new deal will be worth $30M a year or a little more with a lot, lot of guaranteed money (maybe $100M?). I'd think that would be a pretty fair deal for both sides.
    Any new information regarding upcoming FA visits with players (Ex: Breaux, Matthews, etc.) Also, hard to really know who Gutekunst is thinking about taking at 14 (if at 14), but if you had to guess, would you say the Packers have to be leaning a DB at that spot, or a pass rusher? (I realize, it comes down to who is available and at the top of their board.)
    Nothing more as far as info on free-agent visits, but FWIW, my guess is he'll sign at least one more veteran CB, maybe even two, and then draft two as well. That's just a guess. Outside looking in, it's a coin flip on whether he goes DB or pass rusher with his first pick, in part because of the reason you suggests. So much also depends on what he thinks of James and Jackson at CB, for instance, and Davenport and maybe even Landry at outside rusher, and whether Chubb gets within striking distance because of the QBs and maybe even Nelson at G possibly going in the top five. I'm sure he'll play his thoughts on those things as close to the vest as his former boss, Ted Thompson.
    Thanks for the Chat Pete! A question here about the job security of McCarthy. How much is on the line this year for him with the new management structure? What kind of record would it take for them to move on from him next year 9-7 8-8? Feels like we are squandering our time with Rodgers year after year.
    I'm sure a lot is on the line for him. From what I can see and have heard, things worked about the way he hoped with Gutekunst getting the job and all three FB guys (MM, Gutekunst and Ball) reporting directly to Murphy. With that comes plenty of responsibility and accountability. But I'm not sure  you can put a record as make or break, because you never know what the circumstances will be. But the expectations should be high, so the bar is high.
    After seeing how well hyde and hayword played after leaving grenbay and reaching their potential, is it fair to say ted didn’t do as bad of a job drafting recently as everyone says he did, And the blame should lie more on capers and possibly mccarthy?
    Sorry about the delay, had to attend to something for a minute. There's some truth there, Hayward especially has thrived, though Thompson also is the one who allowed him to walk in free agency. There's a pretty strong argument the coaching staff erred by playing Hyde at CB instead of full time safety. Thompson erred in letting Hayward walk, though I have to admit that at the time I understood why he let him walk and thought it was the right move. Looking back, CB is such an important position, you just don't let decent ones leave. Hayward didn't play as well with the Packers as he has in SD, though injuries played a part in that too.
    The free agent market for safeties has been slow and the signings have been reasonable (e.g. Honey Badger, Morgan Burnett). Do you think NFL teams under value safeties? Will this mean Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick falls to #14? Would the Packers take one of these guys over Marcus Davenport or Harold Landry?
    It actually seems to me that the safety position is making a comeback because of the need for guys who can cover but also help on run D, and as possible slot guys in the nickel or dime, or even in an LB role. Burnett and Honey Badger got the deals they did for a reason. Burnett isn't young anymore and has had some injury issues the past couple years. He's a real pro and all and can help run a defense, valuable qualities for sure, but he's not a playmaker and then there's the age. Honey Badger hasn't been the same since his injuries -- he's had both knees reconstructed, if I remember right. Still a good player but not the field tilter he'd been early in his career.
    Do you think Gute was trying to save face by saying that the first wave of free agency didn't catch him off-guard? The fact that his boss had another take makes me wonder.
    There probably was some of that. Things happen incredibly fast in free agency, and I'm sure it seems even faster if you're sitting in the captain's chair for the first time, as Gutekunst was. I got the sense that what surprised them was the cost -- they'd set prices on guys going into free agency and pulled out of the running when the price went beyond that, and the price got too high on a lot of guys. I have to think that going in they thought they could sign one of those top CBs or maybe one of the WRs (Watkins or Robinson). The move for Fuller felt like a Hail Mary after all the other CBs fell through. They had nothing to lose going after Fuller, but the odds of the Bears not matching were almost zero.
    Please explain why Cobb is still on the roster?
    Most analysts point out his versatility. However, his production from the backfield was painful to watch with rushing averages in the hole . He has no speed to play outside. In the slot he usually draws the 3rd corner and is somewhat effective but hardly electric. So why keep a guy that scares the defense into assigning their 3rd corner to him at a cap value of 10 mil when he could still be cut replaced with Montgomery and possibly Jordan Matthews and a another free agent corner?
    From what I can tell, McCarthy really really likes him because of his toughness (playing through injuries) and the versatility you mention, though I also question whether it's really that valuable, especially now that they have a couple real running backs. If I were the Packers I'd have asked him to take a pay cut, but my best guess is that they think if they did, Cobb would refuse and then they'd have to be willing to cut him, and they think that even if they're overpaying him they still need him. Having Graham to pair with Adams should help Cobb, as will Jones at RB if he can stay healthy. Cobb is a good player and has a good chemistry with Rodgers when plays break down, which is a big part of the Packers' offense. He's quick but not super explosive -- not a Percy Harvin-type for sure -- as you point out. He's a small target, so throws to him have to be right on the money, just not the catch radius of bigger guys. I see both sides and there's room for reasonable people to disagree, but I'd have gone for the pay cut if I were the Packers. That said, maybe playing with Graham and Adams will open things up for Cobb and he'll be more productive this year.
    Mike McCarthy seemed to be in a healthy mood at the owners meeting. What vibe did you get?
    He did seem to be. It's a looser atmosphere than at the scouting combine and much, much looser than during the season. I don't think the coaches have that much responsibility at the owners meetings, a few meetings and the coaches breakfast. Murphy and Gutekunst I think had more to do, but even then, the owners meetings aren't as hectic as the combine.
    With multiple holes and needs, do you see the Packers trading back for extra early picks? Seems to be depth at CB, WR and OL in the draft that would allow for that making sense.
    My apologies, I like to go longer on these chats but have other duties to get to here on the final day of the owners meetings so time to end this one. Thanks everybody for coming by, we'll go longer next time. As to the question, if you're talking about the first-round pick, my general feeling is they should pick where they are or move up, but not back unless there's a really, really, really good reason to. They don't get the chance to pick this high very often, and the farther you move up in the first round, even a few spots, the more your chances for finding a really good player increase. Of course there's still a big element of luck, and picks even in the top 10 and five can bust at a fairly high rate. But the chances of finding a difference maker go up as you move up the ladder in the first round, and they need a difference maker badly. So if I'm them I'm probably not moving back, even with all those needs. Thanks again everybody for taking the time to come by and share your thoughts/questions. Sorry if I didn't get to your question but try again next time and hopefully I'll get to it. Take care everybody.
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