Hi everybody, let's dive right in. Obviously that's the reason that Montgomery and Clinton-Dix are gone, McCarthy wanted to send a message to the locker room about accountability with the former and didn't want a guy in the locker room who didn't seem to really want to be there with the latter. The point you raise, though, is probably one of the reasons people like Bill Walsh advocated a coach staying with a team for only about 10 years, the message can get old, though the turnover of rosters is a little higher now than 30 years ago too. These are all things Murphy will have to consider at the end of the year, depending on how the season goes.
He didn't do much of anything on Sunday. He's been on the injury report with an ankle injury, don't know how much that was a factor. But you're right, he was a non-factor in that game.
They haven't said and probably won't so as to not give New England a heads up. Among their options is moving Tramon Williams or Bashaud Breeland to starting safety; move Whitehead there full time and have Josh Jones play the ILB spot that Whitehead had been playing in sub packages; or playing Jones as a deep safety. I'd think one of the first two scenarios is more likely.
That's very possible, though I wouldn't be surprised if 9-6-1 got in the playoffs, either. Only even teams above .500 in the NFC, and three of those are either 4-3 or 4-3-1.
They have a good safety in McCourty and a good corner in Gilmore. Chung is a versatile, smart safety. I don't think it's a great collection of talent as far as coverage goes, but it's not bad. The last time these teams played Davante Adams was the Packers' No. 3, and the Patriots couldn't cover him, that was the difference in the game.
Not sure about this but could be scheme, those teams are known for doing a lot with their scheme to get guys open as far as bunch formations and the like. I think the Packers are end the other end of the spectrum as far as using bunch formations, though I think they're using them a little more this year.
Yeah, right now he's not looking like a very good pick, the undrafted rookie Lancaster is playing ahead of him. Adams has had a whole offseason in the Packers' program, so he had time to get stronger and learn the defense and techniques better. Not a good sign. He plays high and gets washed out too easily, too often.
No one has reported that the Browns have contacted him as far as I know, and that would very much be tampering, which is against the rules and would subject the Browns to a major penalty if discovered.
When you're on the outside looking in, it's always hard to judge a coordinator whose not calling the plays, because you can't be sure how much influence he's having. I thought Philbin would be a good for the offense as someone who could disagree with McCarthy and have enough credibility for McCarthy to listen. Also, having coached elsewhere, I thought Philbin might bring some new things into the offense. When I asked Rodgers about that at the start of the season he said Philbin in fact had brought in some new ideas, as had Jim Hostler. But so far the offense has been really up and down. I'm still open to the possibility that Rodgers' knee injury is a factor there, too, but I can't say the offense itself looks much different than what they'd been doing in previous years.
It's possible, yes. Maybe the addition of Mack will be a big reason the Bears finish with a good record. I can't say I blame the Raiders, though, because Trubisky is such a wild card, whereas with Rodgers and Mack, the chances of the Packers finishing .500 or worse would have been pretty small. With Trubisky that was and remains a decent possibility, he's still very much an unproven QB.
I would never rule it out, it would depend in large part on what kind of contract Matthews thinks he could get from another team in free agency. Or maybe this will be one of those where he tests the market and then goes back to the Packers to see what they have to offer. But at some point soon age is going to affect his ability to cover, too, and that's a huge part of playing ILB in today's NFL. Maybe he'd have a better shot playing as a part-time pass rusher.
They very well might. At a minimum they must have seen it as using incredibly bad judgment at a time when he knew not to bring the ball out if it all possible. Maybe they thought he was being defiant, or maybe they thought his anger affected his judgment, but either way they decided to send a message to the rest of the locker room.
I don't know if he'd do it to the extent the Rams are, they really are going for it by trading a 3 (in 2019) and 5 (in 2020) for Dante Fowler. Maybe he'd go for it more if Rodgers were closer to 40, kind of like the Saints seem to be with Brees getting older.
I'm not sure what I'd do because I don't know how Josh Jones has been looking in practice at ILB, if he's been more assignment-sure than he'd been. If he has, I'd say him at ILB and Whitehead at safety. But I'm kinda intrigued by Williams or Breeland playing safety, too. They'd have good ball skills, and that would allow Brice to play near the line of scrimmage more. Williams isn't real physical, so they'd lose that dimension in run defense, but he knows this defense well, he played for Pettine in Cleveland. And when I asked him last week he said he'd played some safety in Arizona last year.
Yes, I'll never understand the personal attacks.
It's interesting, I think earlier in his career he was leader but that didn't seem to be the case anymore. I'm sure a big part of it is he was upset because he felt unappreciated, that he deserved a lucrative contract extension and the team wouldn't give it to him. So that seems to have affected his leadership. He was unhappy. He still had reason to play well, because he was playing for a contract from somebody, but he wasn't a leader. We saw that in the last game last year when he mailed it in against Detroit. As for the compensation, I thought Gutekunst did well to get a fourth-rounder. Clinton-Dix has talent and makes his share of good plays, but his performance was so uneven the last 1 1/2 years, that's not how good players play. So I'm not sure he would have gotten a contract on the open market that would have gotten the Packers a fourth-round compensatory pick. In fact, I don't think he would have. Maybe I'm wrong and somebody would have paid him big. But I'd have bet against it. Plus, they'd have to wait until '20 to get that compensatory pick, this way they get it next year. But yes, they definitely wanted him gone, they clearly felt he was an unhappy player, and they thought that was hurting the locker room and team chemistry.
You never know for sure how these things will play, but I'm thinking it would have been more fracturing if they'd stayed on, especially Montgomery after he said he didn't know which teammates he could trust.
I don't. If anything, they had to be encouraged by their performance against the Rams. I think trading Clinton-Dix was for the here and now. It reminds me very much of when they cut Sitton. A player with some talent who wasn't playing as well as he had earlier in his career and who was unhappy and hurting team chemistry because he didn't get a contract extension. Pretty much the same scenario.
Scott had a bad game Sunday, I will not argue with you on that point. And his pooch punting needs work -- Hekker showed what a weapon that can be. But I have to say, Scott sure looks like a really talented punter, the most talented I've seen come through here in since I started covering the team in '93. So while I questioned the pick at the time, I'd say the early read is that it was a good pick, his poor game Sunday notwithstanding. Drafting a long-snapper, on the other hand, I still don't get. Look, Bill Belichick drafted a long-snapper a couple years ago, if I remember right, so if he did it, it must be OK, right? But I don't know that I'd ever draft a long-snapper unless maybe he ran a 4.6 and was a great tackler. And if that were the case he probably wouldn't be a long-snapper.
What we don't know is what they offered for Fowler -- the Packers reportedly were in the running for him. He'd had a couple assault arrests and got in a fight with a teammate after practice in camp, so there are some issues with him that might have caused the Packers to draw the line and not offer what the Rams did (a third and fifth). I don't claim to be a personnel expert, but the sense I got asking around about Joseph is that he's just not that good. So I question whether he would have been worth pursuing. I do wonder what it would have taken to get Oakland to trade Bruce Irvin, for instance. Maybe too much, I wouldn't give up a first-rounder for him. But he's a pretty talented outside rusher. I don't think it's right that they didn't go after anybody. What we don't know is what they offered. I really thought there was a decent chance they'd trade for a rusher but obviously it didn't happen.
Jones had to have been the most attractive rusher out there, he's one of the best rushers in the league and plays for a team that's already out of it. But I saw a report over the weekend that said the Cardinals informed teams he wasn't available.
I don't think so, I'm thinking McCarthy very much had a say and wanted both guys moved.
I wonder how many teams Shields approached. Maybe the Rams were the only one that even entertained his return. Good for him that he's back doing something he loves -- I'm assuming that's why he came back but don't know that for a fact -- and doing well. But if I were him I would never have considered playing again, and don't blame the Packers for a second for not clearing him. After the hell he went through for months and months of post-concussion issues, I would never expose myself to that possibility again if I were him. And if I were a team I wouldn't want to feel responsible if something like that (or worse) happened to him again, because it's foreseeable.
I gotta say that I disagree with you on this one. I was underwhelmed by Montgomery. He occasionally made some plays, and he was good in the two-minute offense, I'll give you that. But he was not a good running back. When they were wiped out at RB a couple years ago, he at least could play the position, so he helped them in a pinch that year. But as a runner he was just too hesitant, probably lacked the vision or instincts or whatever to be decisive, and that never improved. We just saw that in the Rams game. After watching Jones burst through the hole on several or more carries, Montgomery came in and had a carry and pitter-pattered his feet and picked up probably three yards where Jones would have had seven to 10 yards. It was so obvious seeing it in person. He was playing too much, IMHO, and taking away chances from Jones and to a lesser degree Williams. Maybe Montgomery should have just played mostly in the slot, like Cobb. But the only role I thought he looked good in was two-minute and maybe as an occasional, change-of-pace guy for a snap here or there. I did not think it worked well when he played for a series at a time.
No news there. Maybe he's just given up football, or maybe he's going to give it a shot again next year. But it doesn't look promising that he's sat out all season for personal reasons.
I just saw that they've activated RB Lavon Coleman from the practice squad and signed RB Tra Carson to replace him on the practice squad. So Coleman is their No. 3. That doesn't guarantee he'll be active Sunday, though you'd think it's likely. The Packers can use Cobb as their emergency No. 3 RB if need be.
Yeah, they obviously will have a big need for safety in free agency. I will say, it's easier to find help at safety than at pass rusher in free agency, so that's a possibility too. And you can find good safeties without using a first-round pick. So I still wouldn't rule out them using a couple high picks (a first-rounder and another in the first three rounds) on pass rushers. They have plenty of other needs too, of course, including tackle and tight end.
Yeah, haven't seen many of those, maybe in part because Cobb had been out with a hamstring injury.
OK, this will have to do it for today's chat, other duties to get to. Even more questions than usual today, so thanks to all for dropping by, much appreciated. With Hayward, they just didn't appreciate the need to have great depth at cornerback (I must admit to making the same error at the time regarding him). Hyde and Randall both were playing out of position, in part because of the lack of depth at CB, though they just failed to see those guys' best positions and could have adjusted accordingly by acquiring other CBs. I suspect Thompson has to bear a lot of the responsibility there. Not re-signing Burnett still looks like the right move, I think he's been out injured much of the season, and that was his issue his last couple years with the Packers. But I agree, they're paying for the mistake on Hayward, you just have to have four or five solid CBs to play in this league because of inevitable injuries, and they're paying at safety for playing Randall and Hyde out of position. Now they have a big need at safety heading into the offseason. With that we have to put another chat in the books. Thanks for coming by, we'll do it again next week. Until then, take care everybody.
That is correct, my apologies. Carson had been on the practice squad and he moves to the active roster, and Coleman replaces him on the practice squad.