OK everybody, let's jump right in. I think the Packers should move on, they have other young receivers who need to play more, but if the price is cheap enough on Cobb, then I guess maybe. I doubt the price will be that cheap, my guess is somebody will give him an OK contract, though that's just a guess. I never got the sense Cobb became complacent with the new contract or worked any less in the offseason, it's just that he kept getting hurt. He's a tough guy and sometimes was able to play through it, but even when he did it affected his play. He's just a small guy, and smaller guys tend to get hurt, and he's a small target on downfield throws. He is good at getting open when Rodgers scrambles. But he's not as quick as he used to be, the beating he's taken has slowed him a little. I know Rodgers has said publicly he'd like Cobb back, but if I were the Packers I'd draft a guy to be a returner and possible slot guy. And I wouldn't rule out signing a stopgap guy as a possible slot receiver. Of course, a lot depends on LaFleur thinks now that he's had time to study last season's video.
I don't think I've been downplaying the O-line, in fact wrote a column about it a couple weeks ago, the need to get stronger up the middle on the OL. I'm thinking they need to draft a tackle in the first three rounds -- wouldn't be shocked if one of their first-rounders was a tackle -- and maybe sign two guards, or draft one and sign one.
I didn't get a chance to see any of the games but am interested in how the rules tweaks will work out. Kickoff rule is interesting, kickoffs can be exciting, or at least they used to be, but there are so many penalties on KOs anyway it does seem like a waste of time. Probably will want to give it half a season or so before weighing in.
Nothing in his background suggests he'll go that far, they didn't do anything like that at Houston, Washington, Atlanta, the Rams or last year at Tennessee. So I'd bet against LaFleur going Manning with Rodgers. But we'll have to see how that goes as they work together.
Yeah, I'm not seeing it either. Maybe Elway thinks he can surround Flacco with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and that he considers Flacco an upgrade from Keenum and nothing much more than that. Be interesting to see if he takes a quarterback at No. 10 overall. I have to think he's still very very much in the market for drafting one. Maybe he'll even trade up. I find it a little hard to believe he thinks Flacco is the answer.
Yeah, that could be a real problem, going back and reviewing offensive holding, for instance. But if you have only two or three challenges, are teams going to spend a challenge on that when they might want to use it later on pass interference? The problem then would be the last two minutes of the game, when everything is booth reviewed. You're right, there would be a lot to work out to make that viable.
These things could happen at any time. It could be later today, later this week, or in a couple weeks. The league year doesn't start until I think March 10, and some of these guys have roster bonuses due within a few days of the start of the league year, so theoretically they have until to make the moves.Some teams have already started cutting guys.
I didn't see the article, and yes, Clowney could add a lot to the Packers' defense and would be worth a big contract. I've assumed the Texans will tag him if they don't work out a contract in the next couple weeks. Is there any reason to think they won't tag him?
Agreed that the CBA has affected the level of play. The AAF could help some guys stay sharp, help with tackling and many of the game's skills. But playing 10 games in the offseason and then a full NFL schedule would be pretty tough on the body, too. It sounds like the AAF is aiming to be something like you describe, a developmental league for the NFL.
Rodgers playing at a high level and hitting big on a draft pick.
They did really well to get a top-tier LT in the fourth round a few years ago, you can't count on that. You usually have to spend a high pick at tackle, and yeah, I'm guessing they'll use a pick in the first three rounds on OL, probably tackle. Now, you never know who's going to be available when they pick and all that, so maybe it won't work out that way. But if I had to bet, I'd bet on a tackle in the first three rounds, regardless of whether they bring Bulaga back at RT.
I do. Not saying they'll do it in the first two rounds, like they did at cornerback last year, but I'm thinking they'll take a rusher early and another one in the mid-to-later rounds.
I'm thinking $4M is too much. He had a pretty serious injury (broken ankle), so I wonder how much that will diminish his play going forward, and he'd already shown he wasn't the player he'd been a few years ago. I'm guessing he can be re-signed for cheaper than that, maybe half that plus incentives, without much guaranteed money. If they can get him basically risk free, I could see bringing him back, and then make the decision on whether to keep him until after camp.
I wondered the same thing. In part in would depend on their plans for free agency, and what other players they might want to try to sign. That's a lot to spend on a backup QB for a team that's already spending $26.5M in cap space on its QB.
I get your point, the best QBs are getting the ball out fast, that's for sure. But I think those outside rushers still have a lot of value because on any given play if the QB doesn't get it out really fast they can make a big play with a strip sack or even a hurry that can get the defense off the field or help change a game. And offenses still have to develop extra attention to blocking them, which helps everyone else.
They definitely should hold on to him, and if he pans out he could be Rodgers' backup for the next three years. You're right that if he showed a lot they could trade him before his fourth season, but if they like him and he plays well they also could feel secure about the backup job for three years and then get a compensatory pick when he leaves in free agency.
I know the Packers help coaches and players find places to live and help them get settled, etc., but whether they specifically get them in contact with the realtors for departing coaches' houses, that I don't know. I'd ask Rich Ryman, our Packers business reporter, he might know that, but he's not at his desk at the moment.
When Pettine took the job as DC last year, he said McCarthy asked him if he ran a 3-4 or 4-3, and he said, "Yes." I think that scheme is flexible enough to do more 4-3 kind of stuff if that's their strength. They play so much nickel and dime defense -- I'd estimate at least 80 percent of their defensive snaps -- that it's really a 4-3 anyway. We even saw some of that last year, where he'd use three true defensive lineman and one OLB as the defensive line, and then either five DBs and two ILBs, or six DBs and one ILB.
If there's a player there they feel strongly is going to be special? Then yes. That's a high standard, special players are rare. But they win games.
I'd think they're doing all those things. They need to get to know their personnel, so I'd think they'd want to watch every snap from last season. They also have to get to know the players at the combine at their positions. It has to be full speed ahead, they have a lot to get done between now and the start of the offseason program in early April.
I get the feeling that a lot of people around the league still think highly of Rodgers' talent. The quarterback is a draw for some players in free agency, especially veterans, because guys want to win. The Patriots seem to be able to get some FAs at a little cheaper cost because of Brady and Belichick. But money still does most of the talking in free agency.
I put absolutely zero stock in those predictions. Nobody can predict these things. After the Packers won the SB in the '10, I'd have bet on them to make it back at least a couple more times in the next three or four years because so many of their best guys were 27 or younger when they won it. They haven't made it back since. Things change so fast in this league. One big injury, one great draft or even draft pick, can change the balance of power for a division, conference and even in the league. I don't blame them for doing that story -- I think it was ESPN.com but maybe it was SI.com -- it might have made for a fun exercise and it was hard to resist (I read it). But those predictions are worth absolutely nothing and tell us nothing about who's going to win the next five Super Bowls.