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Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's live chat Wednesday at noon CDT.

    Hi Pete! Fun times at 1265. Please help me understand something. When the Packers were close to the goal line at the end, running out the clock, Rodgers took a knee and then let the clock go down to about 4 seconds. That left us at 4th down. If there had been a bobbled snap, game over, Packers lose. Why not stop the clock at 3rd down, even though there might be 10 more seconds remaining, and allow for a time out to recover from a bobbled snap? Or do they just have so much confidence in Crosby et al. that they run out the clock?
    OK, let's dive right in. I was thinking about that myself as it was happening. In thinking it through, I'm leaning toward thinking that's the way to do it. You have to have a TO in the bank so if you blow the snap you can call time out and kick again. But yeah, if you're kicking off with eight to 10 seconds left in the game, you should be in really good shape to win. The risk is, if you kick a touchback, then they hit one play to your 45 or inside, there's probably enough time left to call TO and try a 60-yard FB. If you squib  kick it there's always the risk of a return to FB position, though I'm not sure whether that would run out the clock, depending on how much time is left. It would take more studying than an off-the-cuff answer here, but I'm thinking you might be right.
    Do you have any insights about what collegiate quarterbacks might be worthy to consider in the upcoming one or two drafts? And, your four guys make weekly game picks; why not include Olivia-- if she would agree? Thanks, Rich.
    I don't know anything about the college QBs other than what you could find on ESPN or As for the picks, much agreed, I've been lobbying that Olivia should have to put her neck out there by making picks too. The reason it's been that way isn't a particularly good one -- the pre-set format for the picks in the newspaper was good for four people. But that's not a good reason, and even if that's the case she (and my boss, Packers editor Stu Courtney) could pick for onlilne. We'll do what we can to make that happen. They should have every opportunity to be wrong as the rest of us on the beat.
    Really appreciate the chat. I am sure you have gotten quite a few similar questions. It is my opinion that this team can potentially win a game or two in the playoffs; but only if they bring in a true number 2 receiver. A healthy MVS can be a number 3, but the rest are just yuck. Any chance Gutekunst won’t be second fiddle again at the trade deadline?
    I tend to agree that the offense needs help in playmaking -- TE, WR, even RB if the guy is good enough. I wouldn't say winning more than a game or two would be out of the question, but they're definitely shy on weapons. The difficulty of finding a true No. 2 is the cost. Teams aren't just giving guys away. If the guy is young and ascending, a team won't want to part with him or will want a lot in return. If he's an older guy, he could be on his way downhill, and is a half-season rental going to be worth what it takes to get him? Those are the questions Gutekunst has to answer to his own satisfaction in making or not making a deal. But I have to think it's something they're exploring hard. Look at the move the Rams made trading for Ramsey. Wow.
    I realize it was one game, but Lazard needs to be on the field as the Packers 3rd receiver. His ability and attitude jump of the screen. How many more drops will Allison be allowed? Kumerow is Jeff Janis at best. Also, how can a team with a 100+ million payroll not return kicks past the 25 or field punts properly? Why are special teams so hard for the Packers???
    I'm not ready to say Lazard is the No. 3 but agree completely he needs to play more to see if he can be, because that's at least a possibility. I don't know what's up with Allison's drops, I don't remember him having issues in previous seasons or training camps. Just not sure what's going on there. But he hasn't been the player I or I'm sure many of you thought he was going to be so far. We're not quite halfway through the season, so he still has time to rebound, but he hasn't produced like he did early last season before he got hurt. As for as KOR, they traded their best one, Trevor Davis, a couple weeks ago, then cut Tremon Smith last week to make room for the TE Baylis. I though Davis was pretty decent, and Smith looked at least OK. Shepherd just isn't fast enough to be a KOR.
    Going into the season there was a lot of talk that this team would "reveal it's identity". I'm still not sure they have, especially on offense. What's your take Pete?
    I'm going to kind of address that in a column this week, so I don't want to get too much into it here. I guess in part you alluded to it by implying that the defense is a big part of their identity this year. They're a team that can play pass defense. They can rush pretty well with four, have a good blitz package, and have some cover guys with ballhawk skills. So they can get off the field on third-down passing downs, they can take the ball away some, and they seem pretty decent in the red zone. They kind of feed off their defense. On offense, it's starting to look like it will be running the ball a decent amount, and if teams take that away they have more trouble dealing with Rodgers, who's playing a little more in rhythm this year than the last couple. A little more of a ball-control. methodical offense. That's kind of my early take based on the last three or four weeks.
    With all the talk of the refs ‘Stealing a win from the Lions’ I see no one talking about if the penalty wasn’t called Packers still had the ball at 20 yard line about 1:45 left all lions timeouts gone. Pretty makeable FG still and no guarantee Lions March down for FG with that time and no timeouts. Without a doubt thats not a gimme especially the way the D held them in 4th qtr. Perhaps they lost a chance but certainly didn’t steal a win right? Horrible narrative imo.
    That's a different way of saying what Eric Baranczyk and I said for the game video review that ran online today. There's no question in my mind the refs were wrong on two significant calls that favored the Packers: The non-call on an interference by Redmond downfield in the fourth quarter, and the second hands-to-face penalty. But you can go through games and find other calls made and not made, and there's no telling how those changed the game. The calls generally even out over a game, and definitely over a season. And as you say, there's no guarantee Detroit gets the winning FG. With the way the Packers' D is playing, it might have gotten a big sack, or an INT, or a stop. We just don't know.
    Hi Pete. Nice job. OK. we all agree that the phantom penalties aided the Packers Monday night. Lets call it a gift. More importantly this was a team victory. This team is for real, 5-1 is way above expectations. Any idea when Adams returns? Also St. Brown, Savage? Lets enjoy what is happening and hope it continues.
    No clear indication on the injuries. Based on the practice schedule the Packers gave to the media this week, they're not practicing today -- I'm assuming they're just having a walk-through after having played on Monday night -- so there's no media availability to see who's practicing today and who isn't. They'll release an injury report with estimated Wednesday participation later in the day. Meaning, there's not much to go on for predicting Adams' and Savage's returns. If I had to guess, I'd say both are at least three-week injuries, maybe four or five. That's just a guess, no inside info there. Maybe Adams will be back this week,but if I were a betting man I'd say next week or the week after would be more likely. For Savage, those high-ankle sprains are serious too. He's missed one game, and I'd guess he'll miss a couple more. As for St. Brown, he's done for the year. They put him on IR before final cuts, which means he's not eligible for IR return. To be eligible for IR return you have to be on the 53-man roster first, so they'd have had to have kept him on final cuts (and cut someone they kept), and then put him on IR the next day.
    I have a few questions for you, good luck. What number did Curley Lambeau wear and why wasm't the founder of the Packers number ever retired? Secondly Did the team ever replace that missing 1931 championship trophy yet? and thirdly when Tony Canadeo retired I read in a Packer press guide he never had his number retired in a public ceremony. He was given his stuff on the way out of locker room on his final day. Do you think that a half time ceremony could tie these things together and honor these great men. the HOF will return my call or email trying 4 years now your thoughts please thank you
    OK, diving deep into Packers history. I just glanced at the Packers press guide numbers section, and Lambeau happens to be first because he's the only player to have worn No. 1, in 1925 and '26. He also wore No. 14 (later Don Hutson's number) in 1927, No. 20 in 1929. I don't have to time to carefully go through it, so I don't know what other numbers he's worn. But I do wonder if they won't give out the No. 1 because he's the only person in franchise history to have worn it. They never did have a ceremony for Canadeo, Packers historian Cliff Christl has done the research on that. I don't know the franchise's stand on conducting a ceremony for him going forward. I'll check into it.
    What is the state of the rookie tight end Jace Sternberger? Is he out for the year? On injured reserve?
    He's on IR with an ankle injury. He is eligible to be one of their two IR-return guys..
    Hi Pete,
    I’m curious if the Packers reevaluate MVS as their#2 WR at some point. His talent is obvious but he doesn’t seem to be very reliable. (he’s had three receptions in the past two games combined)
    I thought he'd be more impactful than he's been as far as a consistent receiving threat. He's definitely a deep threat and can stretch defenses, and that deep ball he caught against Detroit was a really good play. But agreed he needs to make more plays in the intermediate areas. I'd still say he's their second-best receiver, though, at least as of right now. And remember, young guys can improve a fair amount over the course of the season. Lot of games left.
    Has Kenny Clark made a play all year? I think it's safe to say that he's not his normal dominant self when he doesn't have another dominant lineman next to him to eat up double teams, i.e., Mike Daniels. Can we admit now that it was a mistake to cut him with no compensation? I don't want to hear yet again about his "recent injury history, prior to playing in only 10 games last year, he played in 14 games in 2017 and all 16 games the previous 4 years, and the fact that he's injured this year should not be taken into consideration because if he were still here instead of Detroilet, he may not be injured, different circumstances. If you do want to argue that he's hurt again this year and maintain your argument it was the right move to let him go, I would argue yet again, that I'm not against the move to get him off the team, I'm against getting him off the team without any compensation. Just like with Josh Sitton, G.B. obviously had no intention of bringing either player back, they knew this when their seasons ended, they had a whole offseason including perhaps the best time to move a player, during the draft, to trade both players, instead they get diddly squat for two pro-bowl players. That's simply bad business.
    I thought Clark played great early, then had a bad game against Philly, was fine against Dallas and played well this past week against Detroit. He's playing a ton of snaps -- he's out there on third and long with three OLBs as the other pass rushers, so they might need to cut back a little on his snaps. But aside from the Philly game I'd say he's having a good year. I think it's wrong to just dismiss the injury concerns, those things are real. That often happens in this league -- not all the time, but often -- players get older, usually around 30, and they start getting hurt, and it affects their play, and they go downhill fairly fast. It remains to be seen if that was the case with Daniels, but he was already declining last year even before the injury. He wasn't quite the pass rusher in '18 that he'd been before then. Still very good against the run, but his pass rush was slipping a little. Gutekunst decided to be proactive and move on before it got worse and to save a lot of cap money. Also, Daniels had missed all the offseason work recovering from I think it was ankle surgery, and there's a real chance the Packers' medical staff was concerned about his recovery. Look, my take earlier this year was that if it had been my call, I'd have kept him, that at some point injuries would hit and they'd have wished they had him. But with each passing week I'm thinking it's more and more likely I was wrong. I don't know this for a fact, but I'd guess they might have had trouble trading him because he wasn't cleared to play in the offseason. I think he even missed early camp practices with the Lions. As for Sitton, yeah, they'd have been better off trading him in the offseason, but I don't think they knew then they were going to get rid of him. I think the problems arose when they were unwilling to extend Sitton's contract during camp. They considered it addition by subtraction because they thought he was becoming a problem in the locker room.
    Thanks for the chat Pete. Wondering if you share my opinion that LG Jenkins was a steal in the second round. He is a huge man, doesn't get walked back by power, understands combo blocks, gets off them easily to get to the second level, and seems to be a road grader in the run game.See him as a big improvement from a pretty decent player in Lane Taylor. Do you see him as a future pro bowler and line fixture?
    The aforementioned Eric Baranczyk thinks Jenkins is a stud, and Eric has a great feel for line play. It's early, but yeah, Jenkins is looking like a fixture, he can really run block.
    Pete, the aftermath of the hands to the face penalties causes me to ask why is it EVER legal for any offensive blocker or defensive player to grab the shoulder pads of another player to control that player. This different than grabbing a handful of jersey and should be classified as holding IMHO.
    I was wondering that too. I looked at the play right before the first hands-to-face penalty, and Flowers basically grabbed Bakhtiari by the top-front of his shoulder pads -- sort of the opposite side of a horse-collar -- and then pushed him basically in the throat while  holding the pads and jersey. That looked like a penalty to me, either illegal hands or holding.
    Have you heard any rumors about possibly bringing in Deion Buccanon since his release from T.B.? Seems like he'd be a perfect fit for the hybrid safety/linebacker role in Pettine's defense. On another personnel note, which position do you think the Packers would/should be most likely to attempt to fill before the trade deadline? I think the obvious answer is WR, but I would put equal importance on TE because the guys we currently have simply are not getting the job done. I heard Tyler Eifert may be available, if healthy, he could be a huge upgrade.
    Haven't heard anything on Bucannon though I wondered the same thing when he was cut. Two thing son that, I guess. One, Oren Burks' return should mean they'll play less of that S/ILB package, and two, maybe they think Ibraheim Campbell can help in that role when he comes off PUP. If they added Bucannon, they'd have to cut somebody, so they'd have to be sure he's an upgrade. He's 27, so age shouldn't be an issue yet, and he's played that position -- when he was with Arizona, their regular defense lined him up at ILB. He's been cut a couple times now, so maybe he's lost something. As for WR or TE, I'd say either. They just need somebody who can help them out in the passing game. The problem with trading for Eifert is that his entire career has been an injury waiting to happen.
    Thanks for the great columns Pete! An article in The Atlantic by Ben Baldwin states that Rodgers passer efficiency declined drastically in 2015. Other articles by a former JS writer make similar claims. My observation is that Rodgers has not been the same QB since the Game vs the Broncos November 1, 2015. He was repeatedly sacked and one time drilled into the ground on his shoulder by Von Miller. I have suspected a level of shoulder injury since that time. His recent collarbone injury also involved being drilled into the ground on the same shoulder. Your thoughts, do you believe this is a possible reason for his lapses in accuracy?
    I think he's playing really good football right now, throwing the ball with excellent accuracy. They all miss some throws, I watched the Patriots the other day and Brady had a couple passes that were off. I just don't know if the collarbone injury on Rodgers' throwing side has affected his throwing at all. I've said this on here before, but a doctor with another team told me that one of the reasons you put a plate in there is ensure the bone doesn't lengthen or shorten and thus affect his throwing. This doctor said Rodgers should have come out of it without any issues. I'm guessing if it has affected him, we won't find out until late in his career or after he retires. It seems plausible it could have cost him some arm strength. But all I know is, to my eyes he's playing really good football right now, and throwing the ball accurately and all over the field.
    Good morning Pete! Well the Packers are now 5-1 as this nice and improbable season continues. At this rate TEN wins is very doable which should get them at least one (home) playoff game, but LOTS of football left. In going forward what concerns you the most about this team? The Defense is better, but still gives up too many big plays. The Offense has had it's moments and as along as # 12 stays healthy and with the exception of Crosby and Scott, the Special Teams have done nothing and again why did they get rid of Trevor Davis? Thank you.
    The run defense was a big red flag, but Pettine seems to have adjusted and gone to more of a sound approach to stopping the run, with the linemen holding their gaps at the line rather than trying to get up field and be disruptive. Now, it worked against Detroit, but the Lions' RBs aren't very good. We'll need to see a few more games to know whether the adjustment is for real and improves the run D. So that's something to watch. I'd say the biggest concern for them at this point is making sure key players get or stay healthy. Either of their tackles, but especially Bakhtiari, would be a big loss, as would Aaron Jones. They have several guys on D (the Smiths, Alexander, King, Clark) who need to stay on the field. And they need somebody to emerge in the receiving corps (MVS, Tonyan, Allison, Lazard) to give them something to go with Davante Adams. I'm assuming they traded Davis because they got more than they thought they could (a sixth-rounder) for him, but it did cost them their best return guy, and somebody who could have helped them in the jet-sweep game. That could be a mistake. I realize they really like Shepherd, he had a good camp and is smart and reliable and all that, but he's ordinary as far as talent goes.
    Hey Pete, always enjoy the analysis you and Eric post after each game. You guys talked about Rodgers showing he’s buying into LeFleur’s system. I think having a defense that gets him the ball back without allowing another score goes a long way in helping ease the pressure on him. What are your thoughts?
    Agreed, that has to be part of it. In past years he knew he had to go outscore teams to give his defense a chance, there was a lot of pressure to get points on every possession because the defense was going to give up a lot. That's not the case anymore, this defense has shown it can get off the field (with the exception of the Philly game). That has to play into his mind-set, and I'm sure he and LaFleur talk about it.
    Have some fans been too critical of Rodgers play this season? It seems like he’s played winning football and aside for the lions game, has been playing with a lead. It also seems that the defense has given up a lot of yards but they have been playing teams desperately trying to get back in the game. With that perspective in mind, I think the criticism is unwarranted. I’m curious as to your opinion on these subjects?
    Have people been that critical? The offense struggled early, but the odds of that were pretty good with learning a new offense and the new coach and his staff adjusting to new players. But they found a way to win early, and as I said earlier, to me it looks like Rodgers is playing great, regardless of what his passer rating is. If he keeps playing like this, he'll at least be in the MVP discussion, though obviously Russell Wilson is the front-runner at this early stage, with Mahomes a good bet to make a run when his ankle gets healthy.
    Does Jamaal Williams' performance against the Lions give you more faith in the Packers' running back depth? A good dose of Williams could keep A. Jones fresh for later in the season.
    He had a really good game, and he's a solid inside runner. And agreed they need to play him more to increase the odds that Jones stays upright. Two RBs still isn't enough in this league, they really need one more guy, because injuries happen at that position, it's almost inevitable. And I'll be more convinced about Williams if he runs like that again. Up to now, he's struck me as a solid, strong runner who will get what's there and will pass protect well, whereas Jones can create yardage and spring a big play at any time. I'd still say the offense is a lot more dynamic with Jones. But they do need to play Williams a fair amount to keep Jones healthy.
    It’s seems with all the controversy surrounding instant replay that the most reasonable way to modify it would be to have a third party view the play with no knowledge as to how it was ruled and make an unbiased decision on what the appropriate call should have been. I believe this would be a much better system than the current one which requires assumption that the original call was correct to begin with. I’d love to hear your take on this.
    I like they eye-in-the-sky idea. have a video official who's part of and hooked up with crew to step in and say, there was a penalty there or pick up that flag, it wasn't a penalty. I know Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is a big proponent of that, and I agree it's probably the best solution and where we're likely to end up somewhere down the line.
    What struck me about the ref controversy is how much it is driven by TV choices. I feel like there was a possible DPI on Alexander on a second down in the third quarter that was much more blatant than Redmond’s use of hand. But one was commented on more and shown in slowmo more. Is reffing really worse or just more slow motion?
    No question in my mind that super-slow motion and high def TV means there's a lot more scrutiny on calls, and easier to pick them apart, no question about that. I did see a stat from Rick Gosselin that compared with I think it was five years ago, they're calling about three more penalties per game. That's a big increase, so the game has become more officiated. And it does get tiresome to see all these flags. The replays and slow motion probably affect the way we (and the league) think the games should be officiated too. It's all very fluid as the league figures out what works and what doesn't, what's plausible and what isn't. I do think they need to make these guys full time, that's one thing I just don't get. It's not like they can't afford it. I'd fault the league for that more than anything. Pay them more and have them study their craft year-round and get paid for it.
    What is your quick-take on ML through 6 weeks of the season? In my opinion, this is the best Rodgers has looked in a long time. Sure, he may not be putting up 400 yards & 4 TD's every game but he is being extremely smart with the ball which is translating into wins. The penalties in Detroit are overshadowing the Packers' last drive of the game was. They drove - 90+ yards? - and chewed up over 6 minutes of clock to ice the win. That was the most impressive drive I have seen out of the Packers since their win in playoff win in Dallas.
    OK, this has to be the last question, many other duties to get to. My quick take is, so far, so good. LaFleur certainly was helped a lot by the moves the GM made to improve the defense, that was huge. But the players seem to respond to and like him, he seems to encourage positive self-expression as a way of the players taking ownership of the team, and that contributes to their vibe so far this season. We'll learn more when harder times hit, which they inevitably will. But his job No. 1 was getting Rodgers playing like an MVP-candidate type player again, and things appear headed in that direction. Rodgers is playing really well. Lot of football left. And with that, we'll call it another chat. Thanks again for everyone stopping by with your thoughts and opinions and questions, so many responses today I didn't have time to get to even half of them. But if I didn't answer your question (or one like it), try again next week. Thanks also to all our subscribers, your subscriptions help make possible our thorough coverage of this team. And remember, anyone not subscribing, you can get the Packers News app. for $4.99 a month, it's a great deal. And with that, we'll put another chat in the books. Until next week, take care everybody.
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