Hi everybody, thanks for coming by, let's get started. Last week Adams had 16 targets, and Rodgers said after the game that that's more in the range of targets he should get every game. So I think you're on the right track, though 12 catches a game is a 192 for the season, don't think that's going to happen. But Rodgers saw that as a positive sign for the offense that Adams got that many targets.
Yeah, they should remain a part of the rotation. Their play time will have to decrease, of course. Allison is off to a good start and needs to play a lot, and Rodgers trusts Cobb. But I'd think they'll want to keep working the two rookies in regularly. They're both showing some talent, and with all the injuries in this game, they're going to need those guys in bigger roles again sometime before the season is over, maybe even at a really crucial time.It wouldn't hurt to get Adams the occasional rest too or he might be worn out by season's end.
No one's gotten around to asking Rodgers about the timeouts they've been burning, though everyone who covers the team is aware of it, just other more pressing matters at press conferences. There has been a lot more of that than in the past, I don't remember that often being an issue in the last six or seven years. So I don't have a good answer for you, but it probably is plays getting in late, or personnel changes, more than the revamped playbook. But that's only a guess. Definitely a lot fewer free plays than in the past.
Yeah, I thought about that too, and apparently Williams occasionally played some safety last year in Arizona from what I've read. Williams isn't real physical, though he did fill hard on a run I remember last week. Yeah, that could be something for them to consider as well. Even though he's 35 he's still a springy athlete. I went with Breeland because there were scouts in the league who thought he should be a safety coming out of college, and that maybe he could even be a longer-term answer there, not just a 2018 fix. But Williams is worth thinking about too. He knows the defense well, so that would help. I just wonder if he's quite physical enough to be a safety, though with the way the game is played today that might not matter as much as it would have 15 years ago.
From what I can tell Daniels has been very good but not great. He's good at pushing the pocket, very good generally speaking playing the run, only occasionally gets washed out or shoots a gap and misses. He and Clark are good players, but neither has that extra gear to not just push the pocket and get some pressure up the middle, but also to actually break free and get the sack, like an Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins, those dominant inside rushers. Those guys are rare. I'd say Williams has played fine. He's 35, that's incredibly old for that position. He got beat bad for a TD last week by Goodson, but that route by Goodson was impressive, an incredibly hard, sharp double move. I think he gave up a TD the week before too but it was called back because of a penalty. But I think he's been pretty decent. I do wonder if when all the CBs are healthy they'll occasionally give Williams a series off in a concession to his age. You're right on Father Time, neither of those guys is still on the upside, and with Williams especially, a big decline could hit at any time.
Yeah, I don't get why Jones didn't get more carries. He played more last week, at least early in the game, he started and they had that good first series. I remember a little later Williams had an outside run in the red zone that was pretty good, but if it had been Jones it probably would have been a TD. I did see that quote from Grant, it was telling. Although, Shanahan didn't have Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre in Washington, either. Jones is going to be an ongoing issue until he starts getting 16 or so touches a game.
That's among the things we should be looking for after the bye, to see what McCarthy learns from the self scout, and what changes he makes because of it. Agreed that a good running game helps your QB out a lot. Now, with Rodgers hurt, the run game suffered because he couldn't line up under center. From pistol or shotgun the RB has to line up on one side or the other of the QB, so that's a tell for the direction if it's a run. Last week, though, Rodgers was moving well and took a lot of snaps under center, so that shouldn't be an issue going forward.
Well, I wouldn't bet on them to win either of those games, if that's what you're asking. Can they win at least one of them? Sure. The Rams are going to have an off day somewhere along the line, and the Packers have an extra week to prepare for them, so there's a little advantage there. I'll have to go back and look, but I'm thinking McCarthy has done well against Belichick. But like you I wonder how they're going to get enough stops to beat either of those teams. Look, the feeling you get, or at least I get, watching the Packers right now is that it's just not quite there, something's off, that they're not a threat to make a deep run even if they get into the playoffs. Whether it's not having enough playmakers or a disconnect with the coach and quarterback, or a lack of chemistry, or staleness, I'm not sure. But I'm also trying to remember back to 2016 when they were 4-6. I remember thinking they didn't have much chance then, either, and they made it to the championship game. If Rodgers gets back to full health and gets really hot, like he did in '16, you never know. And maybe the young corners keeping improving and make a big play here and there to help the defense. You can't rule out those possibilities. We've seen things like this before. But for the first third of the season, it just feels a little different than past years. But none of us knows for sure how it's going to play out, regardless of our suspicions.
Can't say I ever thought of it that way Ralph. Who knows? He did do that swimming with the sharks thing in the offseason.
I'd have to do the research but my gut says you're very much right that first-year coaches don't make the playoffs very often. Most coaching changes, I'd guess, are with teams that don't have a premier QB. Now, Sherman and McCarthy took over Packers teams with Favre and didn't make the playoffs their first year, so your point still stands. The only counterpoint I'd make here is that McCarthy could make the playoffs and still get fired. I'm not saying that will happen, but it wouldn't be a surprise if it did. But there is a transition with a new coach, learning the system, the coaches learning the personnel, etc., that can take a year. Then again, the Rams made the playoffs last year with McVay in his first season.
I have trouble seeing any scenario where McCarthy would get fired during the season. That kind of thing works in baseball sometimes and the NBA occasionally, but off the top of my head I can't remember an NFL team that it worked for. There might be an example or two, but I can't think of them.
I can't say I disagree. I mean, at this point I wouldn't play him at WR, they have plenty of guys there and could be getting back Kumerow and/or Davis from IR. But I wondered in the offseason whether they should cut both Nelson and Cobb, use the money on a FA receiver and move Montgomery back to slot receiver. Too late for that now. For depth alone they need Montgomery at RB.
I argued against moving Matthews to ILB again, not because he can't do it but because they don't have any outside rushers aside from him and Perry. When they moved Matthews in '14, they had Peppers and Perry. If Matthews played a lot inside, then you're starting either Gilbert or Fackrell. That would be a big concern. Matthews still is their best outside rusher, and the drop to Gilbert and Fackrell is noticeable. But after watching the run defense get blown up last week against SF, maybe moving Matthews back inside has to remain on the table after all. Burks has never been an outside rusher, so I doubt he has the skill set, and they need him to be a coverage guy anyway, that's becoming an important position in the NFL. He's only 233 pounds and Jones 220, that's just too small for OLB in a 3-4 scheme.
Interesting question. In the two-minute offense, if I understand and remember correctly, they have a menu of plays to pick from but Rodgers actually calls the plays. They've done really well in two-minute with Rodgers at QB. Now, calling plays in two-minute isn't quite the same as the rest of the game, but still, maybe there's a way to give him more autonomy at times. Very well might be worth a shot.
Yeah, I'd say so. But the one thing about the NFL, rebuilding can happen really fast, especially when you have a QB. One great draft can do it. We've talked about this before, but look at NO last year. Three straight 7-9 seasons even with Brees at QB, then an outstanding draft last year and they're an instant SB contender.
Martinez isn't playing as well as he did last year, and it wasn't like he was a difference maker last year. I'd still be wary of moving Matthews because the outside rush, as bad as it's been, would suffer. But as I said earlier, if the run D issues continue then maybe moving him is something they'll have to seriously consider. I just don't know if last week was a one-week thing with the run D. It hadn't been that much of a problem before then.
There are plenty of things going against them making a big run. They haven't played like a good team very often through six games now, out of sync, shaky chemistry, spotty defense. The vibe between the coach and QB isn't good. They also have this really tough schedule, games at the LA Rams, at New England, at Seattle, at Minnesota, at Chicago all in the final 2 1/2 months. So plenty of reason to think it's not happening. But when Rodgers is your QB, you always are a threat to make a run, especially as his knee improves. And they do have some players, and maybe three or four from that group keep improving and start making plays that help win games as the season goes on (Alexander, Jackson, King, Allison, Valdes-Scantling, Jones, Burks). So you can't rule out. The hard part of figuring these things out is not becoming a prisoner of the moment. As we talked about earlier, don't forget 4-6 in '16 and how bleak things looked for that team. The schedule is tougher this time, though they're 3-2-1, not 4-6, so they have a little better starting point. I don't know how anyone could have watched this team through six games and predict something special is going to happen with it this year. Just no good reason to think that. But with this QB, you just can't say never, especially if a couple young guys develop quickly too.
I'd think this is likely Cobb's last year with the Packers. I mean, they have Adams, Allison, MVS and St. Brown, by next year the Packers probably are going to want those all guys on the field, so Cobb would be in the way. Maybe if he were, I don't know, I'm pulling this out of the air, but $3 million to $4 million a year they'd re-sign him, but he'd probably get more than that on the open market.
I can see why you see the parallel, some truth to that as far as the last-second wins. But there's still a big difference from where I've been observing. The Rhodes season was just so unorganized, it really was a disaster. In training camp, I remember them having substitution errors three or four times, at least, every practice, where they'd have to stop and get the right guys on the field for the practice script. When Holmgren was coach, that would happen maybe once, or at most twice, a week. That's rarely, rarely been an issue with McCarthy's practices, also. That's just a small example, but it was a clear symptom of how unorganized everything was under Rhodes. McCarthy's is a better run operation.
Matthews is a tough call at this point, because I'm not at all sure what kind of a market he'll have. Other teams have the video and can see he's not the player he was, so I'm not sure what kind of demand he'll have in free agency. I think it's safe to say he won't get a really big contract, he'll have to be a complementary player for a team that has difference makers. If the Packers aren't happy with their ILB play, maybe they'll want to re-sign him at a relatively cheap rate to play there. But there's also a decent chance they'll decide, like with Nelson this year, that it's time to move on from a player they really like who helped them win a lot of games but is in decline.
I will say that Kenny Clark is looking like a very good pick for late in the first round, and the early returns on Alexander and Josh Jackson are good this year. I'd agree with your thinking about turning over some of the D roster too. I'd bet Clinton-Dix won't be back, pretty decent chance Matthews will be gone too. Perry is due $11M next year, hard to see them paying that because of his health history and production.
Maybe Dom Capers wasn't so bad after all, right? The biggest problem is lack of playmakers, they just don't have any. They do have three interesting young corners (King, Alexander and Jackson), and King made a huge play last week, but none of them is yet a difference maker. There's nobody who just wins as a pass rusher. There's also a learning curve with the new defensive coordinator. The pass coverage looks a lot better this year than last. That's a low bar, admittedly, but it's still true. The start of games has been really bad. It's tough when you give up a TD right off the bat. Maybe that's getting out-game-planned. Look, this isn't a good defense, and nobody's suggesting otherwise. But at the same time, I have to say, look at the scores around the league. Does anybody play good defense?
I asked a scout with another team about that a week ago. He'd told me a couple years ago he thought Clinton-Dix was a player on the rise, a possible difference maker but now thinks he was simply fooled, that was his answer.
Not a coincidence at all. He's a dynamic player, highly competitive, physical, has ball skills too. Only think he lacks is height.
McCarthy said a week ago, referring to Jones' playing time, that there's more to playing RB than running the ball. That's what he's talking about. Though I'd still say, the threat he provides at RB changes the way defenses play, so there's some protection for the QB just by having him on the field as a threat to break off a good run.
McCarthy is giving them the week off. I don't know for sure if Rodgers stays here, but I would guess he's getting away for a few days, and that they set up physical therapy for wherever he goes. He's probably either in LA or Arizona, and has access to excellent medical care at either.
No. I think the reports from national reporters who have off-the-record access to Rodgers' agents have reported what you say, but Rodgers hasn't confirmed anything.
I still think the Vikings.
He's knocked plenty of KOs deep into the end zone, so I'm thinking when his kicks are short of the goal line he's doing it on purpose, that they think they can get the tackle inside the 25.
OK, this will have to do it, so many questions, probably got to only half of them. We'll do it again next week, so if I didn't get to yours, try again then. I noticed that with Perry too. It has to be at least part by design. I don't know if he was trying to maintain a rush lane to prevent a scramble, or what exactly goes into the decision to go for the batted pass rather than the rush, but it did seem purposeful. He had three of them, those are big plays, and it couldn't have been coincidental. Maybe it was something they saw with Beathard. And that does it for this week. Thanks everyone for coming by, enjoyed hearing what's on your mind, thanks for taking the time. Enjoy the weekend, and we'll chat again next Wednesday. Until then, take care.