OK everybody, let's start right up. Murphy said he and Gutekunst are conducting the search. ESPN.com reported that Murphy is not hiring a search firm -- in the past he's used Jed Hughes of Korn Ferry to conduct searches to help fill executive positions, including when he hired Gutekunst last January. Istill wonder if Hughes is helping him some type of informal role, but according to the report Murphy did not hire Hughes or his firm.
Yeah, I wondered the same thing after reading Peter King's weekly column 1 1/2 weeks ago. Wonder how seriously Cleveland will consider him.
From what I can tell Evans decided not to play. I don't think any of the others were mistakes, though you can make an argument they should have kept Nelson instead of Cobb -- one of them had to go for cap purposes. Burnett was hurt with Pittsburgh a lot this year, just as he had been his last couple years with the Packers. In my opinion the Packers got a steal getting a fourth-round pick for Clinton-Dix, he just regressed so much his last couple years. I'm still wondering if something internally happened with Whitehead, and he played OK before they cut him but he had some real limitations also and it's hard to say cutting him made much difference.
Sorry, last answer was for this question
I don't think his rushing decline is much of a reflection on his teammates. I don't know the numbers but feel pretty safe in saying he wasn't doubled that much this year. He just can't win those one-on-one rushes like he used to. I just don't see the Packers paying him big. I'm just guessing here but thinking they might be willing to pay something in the $5M to $6M range and maybe use him more at ILB, like they did in '14 and '15. The question is whether another team will be willing to pay him more as a situational rusher. I just don't know the answer to that. They know he'll be 33 in May. But maybe a team with a really good outside rusher will think he can help them. We'll have to see on that.
Had a great Christmas, hope the holidays are treating all of you well also. I still don't think the Packers' defense played that badly and have to say I was pretty impressed with Darnald, he can throw really well on the run. Our Tom Silverstein said last week that he sees a little Rodgers in Darnold, and now I see what he was talking about. But didn't the defense get like three stops in the Jets' last four possessions, including holding them to a field goal after the long kickoff return in the last minute? I realize they gave up a lot of points but they did get the stops with the game on the line. Moore's fumbled KOR also gave the Jets free points. Not saying the defense played great, but I don't think it was quite that bad despite all the points given up. Remember they lost Alexander early too, and he was playing hurt after straining his groin on the first series. As for the draft, I realize they're better off drafting a few spots earlier, but IMHO the more important thing is for them to see Rodgers play well, that's the key to the next few years. So it's worth sacrificing a few spots in the draft if Rodgers closes the season with two good games.
BTW, though Chris Speckard's name and photo are showing up in the answers, this is me, Pete Dougherty, doing the chat. I had major computer issues in New York, and to fix it they had to re-do my log-in profile, and that erased all my saved passwords, including for ScribbleLive. So apologies for that, but it is me, not Speck, doing the chat.
I think it's this way for most teams, with the salary cap teams are younger than they used to be, and special teams is where a lot of young players have to first make their mark. The Packers have skewed younger than most, so I'm sure there's some truth to what you're saying. And the Packers have been hit harder by injuries late in the season, so that hasn't helped Zook either. I think the Packers use some starters on special teams. I think I remember Clinton-Dix playing on kickoff cover, or Brice when he was starting. I'll say this as well: I've been covering this team since 1993, and the most reviled coach among the fan base almost always has been the special teams coach. It's a hard and thankless job and is affected by injuries on both sides of the ball. They could use a Jarrett Bush kind of guy, agreed there. But finding the right special teams coach has to be a priority.
I think anybody who's watched the Packers all season wondered where that Rodgers was. It looked like he actually was having fun out there, too. It looks to me like he was so down on McCarthy's offense, including the revamping of the playbook last offseason, that it poisoned everything, starting with Rodgers' performance. Obviously if we could see it just watching the games, the players were well aware of it too. I think Murphy saw that, and that's why he fired McCarthy during the season, to clear the air in the locker room and football offices. As for Mack, I'm not sure even if they've offered their two first-rounders this year that Oakland would have taken it, because it sounds like Gruden assumed the Bears' pick would be higher in the first round. But I'm of the opinion now they probably should have offered three No. 1s for Mack, you just don't find guys of that impact available very often in this league.
On factor is that's the way Brees has to play. He's not nearly as mobile as Rodgers -- Brees ran a 4.83 40, which isn't that great. He's got to get the ball out fast, and a credit to his talents he's able to do it. He plays really, really fast. The other is that especially this season Rodgers has been too interception averse and sometimes holds the ball too long.
Agreed, I thought their claim on Swearinger was interesting too. He's a good player but now four teams have cut him or let him walk, and Washington cut him because he criticized the coaching staff publicly multiple times, including after being warned to stop. I don't see any way Thompson would have claimed him. So Gutekunst clearly has a higher risk tolerance on things like that. I'm not sure on Ansah. Talented guy, no question. He's had several injuries this year and has played in only seven games and has only four sacks, and he turns 30 in May. Those are red flags. Not saying they should just rule him out, but they really have to do their research there and project whether he has a couple good seasons left. It's not an easy call.
I have to disagree with you Carl, though we won't really know for at least one more season and probably too. I really like Alexander, he's fast and plays the ball and competes and is a physical and willing tackler, a real football player. He got worked over by Anderson of the Jets on Sunday, more than I would have thought. Then we find out after the game he hurt his groin in the first series, tried to play through and eventually left the game for good early in the second quarter. Jackson has struggled quite a bit after playing so well in the preseason, but there's still some ability there, at least with his ball skills. I wonder if he'll move to safety next season. Burks played his way off the field, you're right, but he has some explosive ability for that coverage linebacker position. Maybe he's just a little too light to play in there but I'd say there's still at least hope for him at this point. This will be a big offseason for him. Moore looks like he's going bust. The punter has been inconsistent but judging from training camp, when we saw him punt daily, I'd say he's the most talented punter to come through here in my time (my first year on the beat was '93) except for Craig Hentrich. Doesn't mean Scott will turn out great, but he has the ability and I can see why they drafted him. Let's see how he does next season. And I like St. Brown and Valdes-Scantling, there's a lot to work with there. So I'd say the class looks promising. That doesn't guarantee anything, but IMHO the early signs are pretty good.
If the Packers had beaten the Bears (and Rodgers had played well against that defense) I think Philbin would have at least had a shot. But without knowing what Murphy thinks, you'd have to think at this point that Philbin's odds aren't very good because he was part of the old regime, and I think many of us are thinking Murphy is going to want a fresh start. But even though that's my suspicion, I don't know it for a fact. Murphy and Gutekunst have seen Philbin work up close, and maybe there's something about him they really like. You never know. I'd have to think the odds are against him, but we just don't know what Murphy thinks.
Letting Cook walk and abandoning those negotiations and quickly signing Bennett was a big mistake. They played Hyde out of position, that was the mistake with him, he should have been a safety all along, and then he'd have been worth paying him what Buffalo is. On Hayward, I have to admit that at the time I thought they were right to let him walk, after a good rookie season he'd had injury issues and was only OK his last year in Green Bay, and with Randall and Rollins showing potential as rookies I thought they were right to move. My mistake was not appreciating how hard decent CBs are to find, and how important quality depth is at that position. It's really, really important. Banjo, Zombo, can't say losing either of them has made any difference.
If they have nothing has leaked out. They can only talk to college coaches and guys who don't have jobs right now. They can't talk to NFL assistants until the regular season ends. I've heard nothing about the search so far, no news at all. Might not be until next Monday.
As far as I know if they kicked a FG as time ran out they'd win.
Talked about Hayward and Hyde a couple questions earlier. Randall, too, was playing out of position. He wasn't a bad cornerback but is better off as a safety, he's a ballhawk, and that best takes advantage of those skills, and he also has decent speed to cover ground as a deep safety. I think he's one guy the coaching staff didn't handle well. From what I've heard he found injury excuses to miss a lot of practice and never paid a price for it. If they'd taken a little harder line with him early on, sat him when he missed practice, then maybe they wouldn't have had the issue with him later on against Chicago, when sulked on the bench after getting pulled from the game.
I certainly was of that opinion that they should do it now rather than wait. Maybe he'd have played better this year if they hadn't done the extension, that we don't know. And then it would have cost them more, because contracts only go up as revenue and the cap go up. No question he didn't play to anywhere near the value of his contract this season, no one would dispute that. If they hadn't extended him and he played like he did, then that would have been a tricky negotiation, they probably would have had to wait and then franchise him after next year, and in that case they'd have likely had a very unhappy player on their hands. With a QB, that could be just as poisonous as the issues he had with McCarthy's offense. Kind of a lose-lose for the Packers. So I'm not going to second-guess their decision, I think they did what they had to at the time. I'm sure some/many will disagree, but how many in Gutekunst's position would have actually waited? That could have created all kinds of problems with an unhappy QB. If he returns to MVP-type play in the next two or three years, it will have been well worth it. If not, then it was a mistake.
I would think low. No way he's back at his current contract ($9M next year), and I don't know if he'd accept the pay cut it would take to make it worth bringing him back. If I'm them I'd just start over at tight end, bring back Tonyan and that's it. I don't know their plans, that's just my opinion.
I don't see any way Wolf would take the job unless he were a true GM and at minimum had final say over personnel (and probably over football operations as a whole). I'm sure his dad has emphasized that to him. Ron Wolf was pushed out by McKay in Tampa (after the owner had promised Wolf total control), and Ron Wolf took himself out of the running when they hired Braatz in the '80s because the position didn't include full authority. When Harlan offered full authority in late '91, he took it.
I'd do as you suggest, though Davis probably can be re-signed cheaply to a one-year deal, so I might bring him back for a final look-see or fallback if they can't find another returner.
As I said earlier, I still think he's a really talented guy, seeing him in camp I can see why Gutekunst drafted him. His pooch punting has been shaky and it seems like he's had a bad punt almost every game for the last few weeks, so I don't blame you for questioning the move. But as I said, the only punter who's come through here since '93 who's looked more talented to me is Hentrich. Keep an open mind on him for another year, that's what I'd say to you.
Basically, yeah. Teams just don't let pass rushers get away -- Mack was the exception, of course. So chances of rusher being available are fairly slim, though you never know, maybe they can find a guy read to break out and be a decent rusher. But yeah, you have to think they could find a decent safety in free agency, at least a fallback guy, and same on the offensive line, a Jahri Evans type (former top player in decline but inexpensive), or a journeyman who isn't bad. I'm thinking they need to draft two rushers, including one early.
In case you missed it earlier, I had computer issues in New York and the fix wiped out my saved passwords, including ScribbleLive, so I had to use a colleague's in the office.
Interesting take. I've talked to someone who worked with McDaniels in Denver, the guy used the word "brilliant" as an offensive mind, and also thought he was simply too young for the job when he got it in Denver and thinks he'd be better now. But the point you raise about him is legit, and being a good head coach takes a lot more than just football acumen, as you suggest. Reading Peter King's story about Kitchens a week and a half ago, I have to say he looked intriguing to me as well. But I know nothing about him other than what was in that story. Williams would scare me. I think he's just a little too much of a loose cannon to succeed long term as a head coach. That's my guess.
OK, this has to do it, Packers have open locker room in a little bit so have to get out there for that. But just want to thank everyone for taking time out from their holiday week to stop in and share your thoughts and questions, a lot more of you were here than I expected, so very much appreciated. I very much appreciate knowing what's on your mind, so just want to make sure you know that and thank everyone for coming by today and all year. Kumerow might be able to do that. I isolated on him one snap last week and he had a little trouble getting off the line on that one, but at slot that wouldn't be an issue. I think Allison could be good in there too -- Rodgers mentioned that last week at his mid-week press conference. Who knows, maybe they'll find a candidate in the middle or later rounds of the draft, a smaller guy with some real quick-twitch who also could be a returner. I just wonder if Moore will ever catch the ball consistently enough to make it in this league. And with that, will call it another chat. Be sure to come back next week, there should be news on the coaching search by then, so plenty to talk about. Thanks again everyone, and Happy Holidays to all!