OK everybody, let's get right into this. The couple stories I've seen about the Saints say Bridgewater is going to be the QB. It sounds like Brees might be out long enough (six weeks?) that if Bridgewater struggles for a couple games maybe they'd give Hill a shot. No, Wilkins is not like Hill. Hill is quite a bit bigger, stronger, faster and has a stronger throwing arm. Wilkins is mobile and slippery and resourceful seems like a pretty accurate thrower, but he doesn't have Hill's physical talent.
I'd say inside linebacker and tight end.
Not sure I'd use the word lucky, because Gutekunst went out and signed and drafted these guys on defense for a reason. But yeah, it definitely is giving the offense some time to find itself, no doubt about that.
I'm thinking 15 to 18 touches would be ideal, maybe 20. I'd try not to go above that if I were them. It's got to be tempting to just keep feeding him, but you're right, it does no good if he's not on the field in December. Going back to the previous question, backup RB is a need too, you really have to have multiple running backs in today's game. Williams is a good football player and tough inside runner but isn't going to create yardage like Jones can. They really could use another guy like Jones. Maybe D. Williams can be that guy, we'll have to see when he gets playing time, but I would not say that right now.
Probably not one that makes sense if Oren Burks is going to be back in a few weeks. I thought Fitzpatrick might have been interesting but then when I saw what Pittsburgh gave up for, that was pretty steep. Who knows what position they might need their first-round pick for next year. Really surprised Pittsburgh did that deal, what if they have a horrible season with Roethlisberger out? That could be a top-10 pick. They must really like Fitzpatrick.
I read today that Jacksonville is looking for two first-rounders.
Yes, we did. I never would have guessed they'd be 2-0 right now, I was thinking 1-1 at best, maybe 0-2. So Tom and I could end up being very wrong. But it is a long season and it's very early. Just as a poor start doesn't ruin a season, a good start doesn't make one.
This is along the lines of the last question. With the fast start you can't rule that out, but the offense still has to pick up quite a bit, and a couple playmakers on offense are going to have to come through as the season goes on (someone from the group of Allison, MVS, Kumerow maybe Tonyan) or it's going to be tough sledding. But that could happen, one or two of those guys could really start producing as the season goes on. Like I said, though, lots of season to go, injuries, etc., can happen. But agreed that at least from what I see the D isn't a fluke, even if's it's going to keep teams under 20 points every week. The Smiths are good players and in are a really good tandem, Alexander and King are a really good cover duo, and Amos and Savage are a major upgrade at safety.
I'm not there yet. I still think there's some talent there that could start blossoming as the season goes on. Graham obviously isn't anything like the player he was in his prime. He's not going to be making many plays downfield, or turning short throws into big gainers. But I could see MVS making more plays as the season goes on, maybe Allison becoming a better threat (though he's been a little invisible to this point). Who knows, maybe Kumerow will get some more time and catch some of those intermediate throws. And I still wonder if Tonyan won't become more of a threat as the season goes on. Remember, this offense is new to the players, and the players are new to LaFleur, so this could take some time for them to get a good feel on both sides of that equation. Let's see how they're looking around Week 8.
I didn't see that during the game but read about it. I can't say if it was a factor or not, but it's possible. Or maybe he just hit that ulnar nerve and needed a few minutes for the tingling to go away. Hope someone will ask him about it at open locker room, he talks to today. I can't because I'll be here chatting with you when the locker room is open.
I too thought Jones was going to be good after the offseason practices his rookie year. I do wonder if his thyroid condition is also an issue, teams might be wary of that at this point. I don't know any details but maybe his doctors are still trying to get his medication dosages right. Or maybe teams just don't like his game.
I can't tell you for sure because practice isn't open for team drills once the season starts -- it's open only for the first 20 to 30 minutes, but once they start 11 on 11 it closes (it's that way all around the league). But I believe the general way teams do things is the starter takes all but maybe a handful of snaps when they're doing the offense against the scout team defense, and the No. 2 takes the other few snaps (I think it can be as few as just a couple a practice). Then the backup takes almost all the snaps with the scout-team offense, with the No. 3 taking only a handful. So Boyle is getting a lot of snaps as the scout-team QB, unlike last year, when (unless Rodgers wasn't practicing) he was getting only a few scout-team snaps a practice.
Pretty much agree on all counts. Tonyan's blocking has improved from last year, and he runs OK and seems to catch well. In the longer haul of the season he strikes me as their best hope at that position.
Remains to be seen. Turner has struggled at times, seems like he can be bull rushed at times. He can play tackle, which helps him, but his $7M a year average salary is really high for a backup Next year he's due $5.35M in salary and bonus, so maybe they'd be OK keeping him as a backup basically across the line, or maybe as a possible starter at RT if they decide that Bulaga's health is too precarious to re-sign him. I do know LaFleur really likes Turner as a locker room guy, leader, good work ethic for young guys to emulate, etc. Is the scenario you sketch out possible? Sure. So much can and probably will happen between now and January-February, when they'll have to make those decisions.
I'm sure Zimmer made at least some adjustments that made a difference, and it did seem like the Packers' offensive tempo wasn't as good in the second half as the first. I also think this kind of how it's going to be the first month to six weeks, the offense will perform in fits and starts, look really good at times, then bad for long stretches at others. I still think that's probably fairly common when you're putting in a new offense and have a new coaching staff on one side of the ball.
He is an outstanding CB, that's for sure. If the price were one first-rounder I'd look pretty seriously into it. He seems like kind of a volatile guy, so you'd have to do a lot of research to make sure he'd be OK in the locker room. The Packers are really good at CB, but King has injury issues, and they could just play nickel almost all the time and have three excellent CBs on the field at the same time, it really would be an off-the-charts secondary. Two first-rounders though is getting pretty steep. I'd want to ask some personnel people what they think, it's an interesting questions. Is he the CB equivalent of Khalil Mack? Not sure about that. If the Packers were hurting at CB it would be an easier call, but they're pretty good there already, though with King's health history as a caveat. So yeah, two firsts is really steep. Is he worth a one and a three a big contract next year? Not sure.
Very impactful. I'm curious to see if they keep Amos in the Greene role as that S/ILB position, and replace him at deep safety with Redmond, or if Pettine has something else up his sleeve. Savage is a rookie, he's going to make some glaring mistakes before the season is done, but he's also an explosive player and seems pretty decent at playing the ball in the air too.
I was on record saying that last February and haven't seen anything to change my mind. Probably would be fair to give LaFleur a few more weeks to show he can get more out of him, but you know the story about Father Time and all.
Agreed, this is a tough one, because Martinez is a solid player and smart and from appearances is excellent at running the D and getting guys lined up and communicating and all that. That counts for something, probably a lot. But he has his limitations, he's not the dynamic guy that many of the better defenses have at that position. I'd have to do some research to make an educated guess on what he might get next year. You get much above $5M a year, that's a decent amount of money, though the cap keeps going up $10Mm a year. I read something in the offsesaon that caught my mind, it was a quote from a scout, said something to the effect of, if you're slow at MLB, you're slow on defense. Probably a lot of truth there, it's become such a coverage position, offenses looking to get that guy matched with a good receiving RB or a TE, but they do need to be able to play the run too. I guess the thing is, if they decide that they're not going to pay him what he can get on the open market, they better have a good plan to replace him with something better. That could mean using a pretty high draft pick.
Definitely worth exploring. Now, you gotta be careful and smart. He's 31 and has a significant ankle injury (torn ligaments), and if I remember right he's had a significant injury before (ankle maybe?). So age and possible decline could be coming fairly soon. So you'd have to be careful what you're willing to give up. But he's also a rare talent, so he could have a little more longevity that most WRs. I can't say I know enough to tell you what he'd be worth trading, and I don't know what the Bengals would want for him at this point. Without knowing that, it seems like a first-rounder would be too steep a price. A second would be worth thinking about, but I don't know if that would get a deal done. But yeah, if I'm Brian Gutekunst I'm definitely looking into it. How could he not? If the Packers' offense picks up they could be a good team.
It was a costly mistake, no question. Rare error by Rodgers there, he historically has been a super-aware player. Considering his history, I'd say it's a Mulligan. LaFleur said after the game he should have called timeout. LaFleur is a rookie head coach, he's going to make some rookie mistakes. Going back to an earlier question, one of the reasons I picked the Packers to go 8-8 was I thought LaFleur's rookie mistakes would cost them a game or two.
I have to admit I was surprised NE paid him a $9M bonus. If I had to bet, I'd bet the Patriots will end up eating that money.