OK, let's dive right in. I'm going by observation over the years and haven't asked this question specifically, but I think there are two parts to it. One is the play caller on either side of the ball calls for the personnel group, and there's an assistant coach (or several) who make sure everyone on the sideline knows. If you see the sidelines during the game, whichever side of the ball is on the field, the backups are bunched up waiting to go into the game. Then from what I understand the position coaches are responsible for deciding who's in the game at any given time, though the play caller sometimes says he wants a particular player in the game. They work out the general rotations in game-management meetings late in the week. The quarterback is supposed to stand back from the huddle to help make sure they don't get caught with 11 men in the huddle if there's any kind of hitch in the substituting.
Yeah, you have to think this will be an offense-heavy draft with the needs at WR, TE, T, and even possibly QB high.
I haven't looked at it but can't imagine they'll get anything because the signings of the Smiths, Amos and Turner will offset any losses in FA.
He does throw off his back foot a lot, he's been doing that for years so it's probably kind of ingrained. I do wonder if as he ages he might need to pay more heed to his fundamentals, even with his arm talent. Throwing flat-footed or off his back foot help him get the ball out faster sometimes and allow him to make some great throws, but it has to affect accuracy and velocity some too.
I don't remember the exact story but I know he had an injury I think from last year and signed with New England in the offseason. He went to camp with the Patriots but retired I think fairly early in camp. Then I think it was in November he decided he wanted to play, and the Patriots didn't want him anymore so they cut him. It was a really solid pickup, improved the quality of the depth at a really important position.
I still think there was a little something to it, but if your overall point is that talent matters more than scheme, I agree. We have to remember it's Rodgers' and everyone else on the offense's first year in the system so they still have some learning to do and presumably will be a lot further ahead next year, whereas they'd had years in McCarthy's system. I was reading something a couple days ago, can't remember who wrote it, but it was quoting an offensive coach as saying the big change in the offenses the past few years is all the jet-sweep action (fakes and handoffs), they make it harder on defenses. LaFleur has a lot of that, McCarthy didn't, though from all the studying he's been doing of offenses, I'll bet he does a lot more of it with the Cowboys. But yeah, talent is huge.
Yeah, Greene won that job and played well in the opener. Haven't heard anything this week other than he's been on the practice field. I guess I'd be a little surprised if he played this week considering how long he's been out, though maybe they'd bring him back to play special teams, as you suggest. I'd think it would be really hard for him to have missed all that time (nearly four months) and come back and play well on defense in his first game back. Not sure I'd be real comfortable with that if I were Mike Pettine. Then again, Ibraheim Campbell played a lot in his first game back after coming back from his ACL, so you never know. But Campbell has played well enough where I'd be surprised if Greene played much if at all on defense if he returns this week.
I don't see anything like James Starks in '10. He'd been hurt all season (hamstring I think) and returned really late, like maybe for the last game or two of the regular season if I remember right, and then played an important role in the playoffs. But he'd missed almost all season. Everyone on offense this year has played a lot already, and even Sternberger has had about half a season after coming off IR-return. So I lean against thinking anyone is going to make a big jump at this late stage. More likely, they'll have to hope one or two of the guys you mentioned makes a play or two in one game, and then if they move on one or from the group does it the next one. Ervin played a fair amount last game and is a good threat on the jet sweep -- having him and Jones on the field together can stretch defenses horizontally, with one going one direction and the other going the other way. So I could see his role even increasing slightly.
Yeah, and I think the coach I quoted as saying that even said something to effect of, "I realize it was a playoff game but it still was kind of a trap game." And I'm actually not a big fan of the phrase, because a lot of games could be possible trap games, it kind of dilutes the meaning. But I guess it was another way of the Saints maybe being a little complacent, looking ahead, being overconfident, whatever, and I do believe that can happen even in the playoffs. I"m not so sure it didn't happen to the Packers in the SB they lost to Denver.
Concerns for the Seahaws are Russell Wilson and their resiliency. Wilson is just a really resourceful guy who can beat you with his arm and legs, tough to keep him under control for 60 minutes. When he gets outside the pocket he can get you with big throws and big runs. And it just seems like they're never out of a game. Things can look really bad and they find a way to rally. Part of that is Wilson, and some of it must be Pete Carroll. If you're Seattle you have to be worried about Aaron Jones and the Packers' solid OL, and that Aaron Rodgers is capable of playing great any given week even if he's not the QB he was in his prime.
Can't rule it out, he does block well. Blocking as a TE is different than as a WR, but he might be able to do it if he added the weight. But he's their No. 2 receiver right now, so they'd need to add some people there to make the change. Something to look for and ask about this offseason. He'd have to be open to it, too. Moving a guy who doesn't want to move probably wouldn't work out very well.
Yeah on both. The Packers definitely will have to be really lane-conscious on their rushes, and Pettine almost surely will have to mix in some spying. They could mix up the spying, maybe use a DL when rushing four (which actually would make it a three-man rush and a spy). Maybe Campbell would be the best bet as the spy in the dime.
If they think he can win in the NFL and he's on the board or within trade reach, then yeah, by all means they should take him. It would be a good landing spot because he's probably not playing next season anyway. But I was just reading a couple evals on him yesterday, and unless his medical checkup at the combine and re-check before the draft have big red flags, it sounds like he's still a pretty decent bet to go in the top 10, maybe even top five. Things always can change between now and February, so maybe he'll be on the board longer than it appears right now. But he might be out of their reach.
The team I'm not sure about is San Francisco. They definitely didn't run it close to well enough against the 49ers earlier in the season, and the 49ers have a really good front seven, though they lost a good DT (Jones) to a season-ending injury since that game against the Packers. But I don't see why they can't do it against Seattle if they mix their calls well. The Packers' OL is pretty good, and Jones is excellent. The Seahawks have a good front seven but not dominant, nothing like their great defenses of a few years ago.
Both. Luck is definitely a factor, it's football and guys get hurt, it's a really, really rough game. But LaFleur's approach to shorter practices I'm sure helps too, fewer injuries that result from the cumulative effect of work on the field. The average of his camp practices were like 15 shorter than the average McCarthy practice. There's a downside of that, fewer reps, etc. But over the course of 20 camp practices, that's five hours less wear and tear on the practice field. We don't have times on the in-season practices but it seems like they've been routinely shorter too. That has to have helped on the injury front.
The defense can score. I think I remember a few years ago Kansas City winning a game by one point with the help of an INT return on a two-point conversion. You're going to have to pay up.
Yeah, I'd agree. I mean, you just don't know how long Rodgers is going to last. I'd be really aggressive adding players to augment the roster this offseason if I'm the Packers. They should be positioned to be good with a second year in LaFleur's system, but Rodgers needs more help than he used to on offense, and they need to add some talent there that can help immediately.
The emphasis will be talking to coaches, front-office executives and players he went against to get their testimonials. I know as a voter that always carries the most weight for me, not what teammates and their own coaches say, but what the people they went against say. I've started the process, already talked to a couple people and in fact am supposed to get a call at about 1 pm central time from someone in that regard, so when if the call comes on time I'll have to interrupt the chat. I think the time limit for the presentations is six minutes, so I'll have that much time to state his case and probably will try to make it a tad shorter and hammer home the main points, including that he and Atwater are the only two players from the '90s all-decade first team not in the HOF.
Well, there's a pretty strong case they should have kept them all. With where this team is right now, I'd say Cook. They need the help on offense. Remember what a difference it made when he came back in '16? Run the table pretty much coincided with his return from an ankle injury.
I wouldn't think they'd have any interest. They have Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.
I'd say health is even bigger. The Seahawks are missing three RBs, two TEs and their LT.
I'm still not that sold on him to be honest with you, and I thought the price they paid -- R3 and R4 for Sanders and an R5 -- was really steep for a 32-year-old receiver. I wouldn't have done it if I were Gutekunst. Kittle and that rookie Samuel are SF's guys who matter in the passing game. I didn't realize how good Samuel is until watching the SF-Seattle game a couple weeks ago. He's pretty impressive.
They did play terribly, completely laid an egg in SF. Maybe they learned something from it. No travel this time, and unlike the regular-season bye, when the team is off all week, they practiced twice last week (Thursday and Friday). It's the playoffs, and they did have to play to win their last game, so it's not like they've been off for a couple weeks. But we'll have to see Sunday.
If I were NFL czar I'd give each team one possession in OT. It's not a perfect solution, because the team getting the ball second would have an advantage -- if it gave up a TD on defense, then it be a given it would have four downs every new set of downs knowing it needed a TD to tie/win. But I still like that a little better than the way it is now, though the way it is now is still a lot better than the way it was before.
Sorry, I didn't read the earlier question carefully enough, thanks for pointing that out. Yes, it's worth two points, not six. And that call I"ve been waiting for came in so i'll be back in a few minutes. Sorry and thanks.
OK, I'm back, time for a couple quick questions. Again, apologies but that was an important interview in building Butler HOF case for the presentation I have to make at the selection meeting the day before the SB, so hope you'll forgive me. I think the fines usually come out on Thursday.
Because it's only a one-play thing, you don't get possession of the ball. The extra point is over when the play is finished, and then there's a kickoff.
I reserve the right to change my mind with any new info that comes this week concerning injuries, etc., but I'm pretty sure I'm picking the Packers. It figures to be a tough game, there's just something about Wilson and Seattle, they're never out of a game, and they play good defense even though they're not as talented as they were on that side of the ball a few years ago. But the Packers have the edge in health and playing in the relative cold, and I'm thinking they'll be able to run the ball at least OK on the Seahawks, which should help Rodgers.
I'm pretty sure Austin Hooper will be a FA this offseason. Don't know if he's a candidate to get franchised -- I wouldn't think so but you never know. But he's a pretty good tight end, someone to keep a watch on if he doesn't sign an extension before the start of free agency.
OK, this has to do it, I have to get out to Lambeau for open locker room. As for sitting those guys, no, I wouldn't consider it. They've had all those snaps all season together with the rest of the line, that group has been really really healthy, and all that work helps with timing and communication at the line of scrimmage, which really pays dividends at this point in the season. Plus, Bulaga and Linsley are talented players. The line is better with them than without them. Bulaga especially, Clowney plays left end mostly, I believe, so he'll be matched up with the RT most of the time. The Packers very much need Bulaga in this one, because Clowney was really disruptive last week against Philly. And with that, we'll call it another chat. Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and questions, always good to know what's on your mind. Obviously a huge game this week, so we'll have plenty to talk about next Wednesday regardless of the outcome. And thanks especially to our subscribers, we couldn't cover the team in-depth like we do without your support. If you're not a subscriber, remember you can get the Packers News app for only $4.99 a month, that's a great deal for all our Packers coverage. Look forward to talking with you next week, until then take care everybody.