OK, let's get started. There's probably not a single answer to that. Rodgers definitely is not playing as well as he usually has, it's a little reminiscent of that stretch he had at the end of '15 and first half of '16. I'm sure the knee injury is a factor there. The question is, how much? He obviously was really limited the first few weeks after the injury. Last week he played without a brace. That doesn't mean he doesn't have any pain from bone bruising, but it suggests whatever ligament damage there was is healed. Anyway, I don't doubt the knee has been a factor, and all the practice he missed earlier in the season. But more recently it just might be that he's not playing as well as usual, regardless of injury, just more up and down. I find it hard to believe he's in decline. These top quarterbacks just don't decline in their mid-30s anymore because of the training and diet improvements and the protection they get from the rules. His chemistry with McCarthy doesn't seem good either, which suggests he thinks the offense has gotten stale. I really don't know how much to divvy up the responsibility there. Some of it is Rodgers not playing as well as usual, and some because of the staleness of the system. I just don't have a definitive answer for you.
It might. Everything is still up for grabs right now. It's kind of amazing to realize we're only halfway through the season. Some teams might go on runs, or they might knock each other off.
I'm not sure, they seem to be in love with those throws behind the LOS. Like many I also wonder where the slants are, they used to be such an effective part of this offense, but you just don't see them much anymore.
The only thing I know about this is that a lot of teams are going without fullbacks now. When I asked a coach about having a FB vs. TE playing FB, he said they prefer the fullback because he's a little smaller and more able to change direction while blocking on the move. But the advantage of the TE is he's a true receiving threat. I don't think there are all that many FBs who are really good receivers. They're OK and catch the ball fairly well but aren't fast and are smaller targets. I really don't have the expertise to say whether they should or shouldn't have a FB. The fact that a lot of teams are going without one tells you something. Who knows? Maybe a few years from now it will swing back and FBs will return. But right now they're a dying species.
I leaned that way last offseason, that they could save a lot of money by cutting Cobb, move Montgomery to the slot and have extra money to sign a wide receiver. But I've also got to say, Montgomery was kind of underwhelming before they traded him. He's stronger than Cobb but not more elusive IMHO. He's OK but just not that dynamic a player. So I'm not sure they're any worse off going the way they did other than Cobb costs more. Cobb has injury issues, but Montgomery did too whenever he played a lot.
He looked good in camp, looked like his old self. I've been wondering if the collarbone has had any effect. I'm inclined to think not but can't say that with any kind of certainty. A doctor in the league told me that one of the reasons they do surgery on those (the throwing side) so the QB's collarbone doesn't change length and affect his throwing motion. I can't say I noticed any accuracy issues in camp, put it that way. Can we rule out it's a factor? No. The lack of practice and knee pain have to be factors. But he's playing without a brace now, so that shouldn't be in play anymore, especially if he practices all week full time.
He did not put in a claim on Irvin, no team did. Have not heard anything about trying to sign him since the waiver period ended. I wondered myself, because Irvin ha some talent as a rusher (40 sacks in 6 1/2 seasons). He had three sacks in eight games this year. He's 31, so maybe he's losing it. But he had some talent, so I thought maybe they'd go after him.
McCarthy said today that Davis will practice this week. He's eligible to come off IR next week.
There's real reason to wonder whether his body is going to hold up to the rigors of the NFL, that's for sure. He's a talented guy, and when he plays, especially when he and Alexander are out there together, the Packers are strong at CB. But availability is huge, and for 1 1/2 years he's proven to be fragile. He's got a slight build, so maybe that's a problem, though so does Tramon Williams, and he's rarely been hurt in his long career.
I don't get that feeling, no. I'm thinking they feel better about Josh Jones recently and plan on playing him more. They also might think that the safety they signed this week, Ibraheim Campbell, is a little better than Whitehead, and they might feel OK about how Tramon Williams played at safety too, so they have some flexibility there.
They have to be thinking about these things but I wouldn't think any decisions have been made. What if this team goes on a run like '16 again?
Good question, and I don't have the answer. They keep talking about running more but not doing it, and it wasn't like they were playing from a big deficit last week.
I can't say I do. Vadles-Scantling deserves to be on the field a lot, and St. Brown has improved through the first half of the season too. Sounds like they're going to activate Davis next week, and while he's mostly a return guy that also takes up a game-day roster spot. Plus they can bring back Kumerow if they want, or save the other IR-return for Allison at the end of the season. So no, I'm guessing they don't add a WR from off the street.
There definitely are a lot of fans down on McCarthy right now, at least the ones who bring him up in chat questions and emails. You present the other side to this, and there's truth to it just as there's truth in the questions about McCarthy and the team's performance to date. There can be a learning curve with a new coach and new system and all that. There usually is, though the Rams improved dramatically in McVay's first year last season, went 11-5. But that's probably the exception. That certainly is a risk of hiring a new coach. McCarthy's first year, for instance, was a learning season, and then the next year they went to the NFC championship game. These are all things Mark Murphy will have to think about depending on how the rest of the season goes.
That fast-tempo worked great for the Patriots against the Packers last week, that's for sure. There might be something to what you're suggesting. They've been doing a decent amount of no-huddle, but it's slow no-huddle, where they let the play clock run down and try to get the defense to get out of its disguise and declare its intentions. That hurry-up no-huddle really limits the defensive calls, as the Packers found out. I'm wondering too if McCarthy will try it. He has the quarterback with the experience to do it, and as you suggested in your other question (that I didn't post), their two-minute offense is usually effective, so maybe pushing tempo at times would help the offense find a rhythm. You don't want to play a full game that way, but mixing it up might work. It worked against them last week.
I can't imagine McCarthy giving up play calling. But he has to do something to get this offense in a rhythm and find an identity, because as you and many other questioners have pointed out, something clearly has been missing with this offense up to this point.
I have to admit it came out of the blue for me too, didn't see it coming because all signs suggested they liked Whitehead because he was smart and knew the defense. Yes, it is a sign of Gutekunst's control of the roster. What I don't know is how much McCarthy and Pettine were on board with this. I'd think they'd have a say as well but maybe this was Gutekunst exerting authority.
Yeah, this is a guess. I'm thinking Alexander and Breeland on the outside, Josh Jackson in the slot, and Williams and Jones at safety. When a safety goes to LB, I'd think Jones would go there and the new guy, Campbell, to safety. But it also could be Campbell and Jones at safety -- Campbell played for Pettine in Cleveland so knows the defense -- and Williams in the slot, with Williams moving to safety when Jones comes up to ILB, and Jackson playing the slot in those situations. Several possibilities there.
He probably needs to get the ball out quicker so he doesn't take so many hits, be a little more selective about scrambling, etc. But the rules changes protecting QBs should help him too.
They did seem to like Whitehead a lot, at least in camp and early in the season, because he's smart and knows the defense. But as Tom Silverstein said in his column about it today, Whitehead wasn't playing that great -- the Rams really picked him apart, for instance -- and they probably do want to send a message about accountability and the penalty/ejection. If he were playing better I'm sure they wouldn't have done this, but as Tom pointed out, his play left him expendable. They probably felt better about doing it because Josh Jones seems to be playing better and they want to get him on the field more anyway. And they might think Campbell (the safety they picked up this week) is better than Whitehead anyway, or at least just as good.
Sorry but this has to do it, Packers have open locker room earlier than usual today so have to head over to Lambeau. Very possibly not. Bulaga is just having too hard a time staying healthy, his body has taken a beating over the years. Spriggs was maybe a little better last week but is looking like a bust. And with that we'll have to call it a chat. Wish we could go longer but with the Thursday game at Seattle next week McCarthy is shortened the practice schedule today. Thanks to everyone for coming by. We'll let you know the chat plans for next week, with the short week and travel to Seattle those plans are up in the air right now. Take care and thanks again for coming by and sharing your thoughts and questions.