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swede700

Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

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27 minutes ago, vikingsrule said:

Would be amusing to see GB draft a QB at 12. Basically Favre-Rodgers all over again. Will see how Rodgers would handle that being the one eventually on the way out.

I wouldn't blame GB for considering their options. New HC may want to hand pick his QB to develop.

12 might be early but if Lock is viewed as a franchise QB, it would be hard not to think about it. 

They could also be drumming up interest in their own pick or trying to bait a QB needy team into trading up ahead of them so that another player falls. Could be a nice little strategy.

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Most teams would be smart to draft one of the top 3-4 quarterbacks, if they were to fall to them. 

But any of the teams that have a 35+ year old QB would be foolish to pass on one. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, SemperFeist said:

Most teams would be smart to draft one of the top 3-4 quarterbacks, if they were to fall to them. 

But any of the teams that have a 35+ year old QB would be foolish to pass on one. 

A 35+ yr Alex Smith, sure...but a 35+ Aaron Rodgers?  They can wait 2-3 years, because you don't want to spend half of the 5 years that you have a QB on their rookie contract warming the bench...or in some cases, his entire 5-year contract.  

Edited by swede700

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On 4/15/2019 at 9:42 PM, vikestyle said:

They could also be drumming up interest in their own pick or trying to bait a QB needy team into trading up ahead of them so that another player falls. Could be a nice little strategy.

Yeah, there's maybe a slightly higher than 0% chance that happens.  They're not taking a QB at 12.  People keep trying to make the comparison to Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers was viewed as a potential #1 overall pick who slipped to 24.  Lock isn't that case.  Maybe if he's there at 30, they'd consider it.  But it's more about creating the illusion that the Packers are interested in a QB.  Look whose drafting ahead of Green Bay?  Denver and Cincinnati are both likely looking for QBs either this offseason or next offseason.  If they like Lock, don't get cute and just take Lock there.

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2. I think for all of you, particularly in Packer Nation, who wonder why in the world Green Bay has never played in England or Mexico, you may not have to wonder that much more. I think Green Bay’s time is coming, likely as soon as 2020, to finally go on the road to play a game in London. The reasons why Green Bay has never had to make the trip are predictable—the Packers don’t want to give up one of eight sold-out home games, and no team hosting the Packers wants to give up that gate because the Packers travel so well and fill the stadium and local hotels with fans. But I think the NFL is conscious of not giving a prized franchise special treatment.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/04/22/nfl-mock-draft-fmia-peter-king/

I hope that's true, because it's pure nonsense that they haven't been anywhere yet.  

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2 hours ago, swede700 said:

I hope that's true, because it's pure nonsense that they haven't been anywhere yet.  

someone has to be the last team to go, just turns out they've held off as long as the league will let them.

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8 minutes ago, vike daddy said:

someone has to be the last team to go, just turns out they've held off as long as the league will let them.

Oh, I understand that, but the fact that they've been doing this consistently for now what's going to be the 13th year and you've had 5 teams that have been there more than twice (including the Dolphins and Patriots, who haven't had any serious stadium issues) is rather ridiculous.  I understand the reasoning, but with all the heavy-handedness the league offices have had on other teams, the Packers shouldn't have been immune as long as they have.  

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Michigan linebacker Rashan Gary enters the NFL with concerns about his shoulder. Concerns that have been downplayed by him and by his new team, the Packers. The downplaying continued on Friday, when Gary showed up for his first practice as a Packers with a brace on his shoulder.

Gary: “Yeah, when I got hurt at Michigan, I came back, and I wore the brace. I’m comfortable with it, wearing it. Me and the trainers decided just to wear it. I feel comfortable playing with it, so I’m rocking it.”

Matt LaFleur: “I’ll probably get more into that with those guys as we move forward. I think it’s just totally precautionary.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/05/04/packers-downplay-rashan-garys-decision-to-wear-a-shoulder-brace/

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On 5/4/2019 at 10:03 AM, vike daddy said:

Michigan linebacker Rashan Gary enters the NFL with concerns about his shoulder. Concerns that have been downplayed by him and by his new team, the Packers. The downplaying continued on Friday, when Gary showed up for his first practice as a Packers with a brace on his shoulder.

Gary: “Yeah, when I got hurt at Michigan, I came back, and I wore the brace. I’m comfortable with it, wearing it. Me and the trainers decided just to wear it. I feel comfortable playing with it, so I’m rocking it.”

Matt LaFleur: “I’ll probably get more into that with those guys as we move forward. I think it’s just totally precautionary.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/05/04/packers-downplay-rashan-garys-decision-to-wear-a-shoulder-brace/

He's destined for a career full of upper body injuries.  ;)

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Ordering Rodgers' seasons by RANY/A (relative adjusted net yards per attempt), his most recent 4 seasons are the 11th (2015), 7th (2016), 10th (2017) and 9th (2018) worst of the 11 seasons he's played as a starter so far. .

His first year as a starter, 2008 is 8th on this list. 

The top 6 spots on the graph are taken by 2009-14. That was his peak (and the peak of the Ted Thompson era team as a whole). It's now been 4 straight years that Rodgers has failed to match or exceed the lowest RANY/A he put up in that 6 year stretch, in 2012. 

Here's his career by RANY/A in chronological order: 

D5vtViGXkAANruC.png

 

 

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Packers coach Matt LaFleur has put together a coaching staff in Green Bay, but it may not have been exactly the staff he would have hired if it had all been up to him. LaFleur wasn’t the sole decision-maker when it came to hiring assistant coaches, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

That detail comes in a long story that is heavy on anonymous sources and short on direct quotes, but paints a picture of burgeoning dysfunction in the Packers’ front office, where LaFleur, General Manager Brian Gutekunst and director of football operations Russ Ball are all vying for authority under Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. The story hints at several issues in Green Bay, but the issue with assistant coaches is particularly noteworthy, because sources contradict the claim from Murphy that “Matt was allowed to make his own decisions.”

Instead, LaFleur reportedly tried to get Darren Rizzi as his special teams coach but was unable to land him because the Packers low-balled him on a contract. Rizzi, who had an excellent reputation from his years with the Dolphins, was one of the most highly sought assistant coaches in the NFL this offseason and eventually signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract to coach the Saints’ special teams. Instead, the Packers hired Shawn Mennenga as their special teams coach. Mennenga doesn’t have as strong a résumé as Rizzi, and according to the report wasn’t even LaFleur’s second choice after Rizzi. But Mennenga has previously worked for Mike Pettine, who was retained as the Packers’ defensive coordinator. The report says LaFleur was “strongly encouraged” to keep Pettine as the defensive coordinator.

The report portrays Murphy as getting more involved in football decisions than he did in the previous regime in Green Bay, when General Manager Ted Thompson had authority over personnel moves and head coach Mike McCarthy chose his own staff. Which could mean that if the Packers don’t get better under LaFleur, it would be Murphy on the hot seat.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/05/11/report-matt-lafleur-didnt-have-full-say-on-hiring-packers-assistants/

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7 minutes ago, vike daddy said:

a picture of burgeoning dysfunction in the Packers’ front office, where LaFleur, General Manager Brian Gutekunst and director of football operations Russ Ball are all vying for authority under Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy.

...schism?!? 

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Posted (edited)

More seriously, it's interesting how little change there's been in the Packers' approach to building their roster since Thompson left, compared to the last several years before that, during which the team's talent level and success noticeably declined. 

The top part of their draft was again devoted to the defense. Since 2012, they've exclusively drafted DL and DBs in the first round, all of them very good to superb athletes, but several of them with questions about their transition to the NFL.

They again drafted an athletic DB early. Savage is the 9th DB they've taken in the top 2 rounds since 2012, 14 DBs in total taken in the last 8 drafts. No Packers DB has earned a second contract in Green Bay since Morgan Burnett (drafted in 2010), though several have found more success after moving on: Hayward with the Chargers, Hyde in Buffalo, Randall moving back to safety in Cleveland, and now Clinton-Dix will have a chance to revive his career with the Bears. 

They again spent nothing at the top of the draft on receiving weapons for Rodgers. The Packers haven't picked a WR in the top 100 since Ty Montgomery late in the 3rd round in 2015. Davante Adams (2nd round 2014) is great but beyond that, Rodgers' targets this year will be Jimmy Graham (who's washed), Geronimo Allison, the trio of second-year day-three picks at WR from last year (Valdes-Scantling, St Brown and Moore) and 3rd round rookie TE Jace Sternberger. Two of the young WRs did put up decent yardage totals as rookies last year, but their stats were inflated by a high number of team attempts and little other competition for targets (with Cobb washed up and Allison hurt) -- by PFF grades and advanced stats like YPRR, they were mediocre even compared to the other rookies around the league last year. 

They again will be relying on Bakhtiari, Bulaga and Linsley (two 28 year-olds and a 30 year old, Bulaga) to hold their OL together. Bakhtiari and Linsely have been durable, while Bulaga has struggled with injuries, though he did play most of last year. The depth at tackle is suspect, as Spriggs has failed to impress when given a chance as a starter. Spriggs and Bulaga are both in the final years of their contracts, and there's no clear plan for a starter at RT next year beyond them.

The IOL beyond Linsley was pretty bad last year, and to that group they added only a mediocre UFA (Billy Turner, with a career best PFF grade of 64, got $28M/4) and 2nd round rookie Elgton Jenkins. It'll be interesting to see if Jenkins lives up to expectations, he was very good in college, a PFF favourite, and seems to project perfectly  to their scheme. The Packers of course have had incredible success developing homegrown mid-round pick OL over the last 10 years. But they lost their long-time OL coach, James Campen, with the staff turnover this year, and their last successfully developed OL draft pick was Linsley in 2014.

They again are building their front 7 around power rushing edge rushers with little bend. Rashan Gary is a freak but as an athlete and as a pass rusher he's very much along the same lines as Nick Perry and to a lesser extent Datone Jones. The UFA pass rushers they signed, Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith, are also in that model -- all of them 270-280 pounds and playing more with power than agility. Za'Darius is less of an athlete that the rest but he can win as a pass rusher with hustle and hand technique. Clay Matthews in his prime was a terror coming off the edge, turning the corner -- they've never replaced that. 

Za'Darius Smith's contract also risks repeating one of their mistakes from recent years -- paying Nick Perry as a top level pass rusher after a career performance in a contract year. Smith's sack total, pressures total, and PFF grades were all considerably better in 2018 than in previous years, much as Perry's were in his contract year of 2016. And he got paid: $66M/4, with cap hits of $17M in 2020 and $20M in 2021 and 2022. Perry had a similarly top end deal ($60M/5 signed heading into 2017) and ended up being released after 2 years, with a dead cap hit of $11M. 

Behind the big, strong DL they again will have a limited group of LBs. Blake Martinez is good coming downhill, and makes a lot of tackles when Clark, Daniels and company keep him clean. He improved considerably in coverage last year, after that being a liability earlier in his career. Next to Martinez, they don't have a clear 2nd choice at LB, with the most likely candidates being Oren Burks (who struggled as a rookie) and S/LB Josh Jones (who struggled badly as a safety and looked a little better in the box). 

The consensus is that the Packers made a smart hire in bringing in Pettine last year, and in keeping him on as the DC under LaFleur. But it's worth mentioning that the Packers defense was pretty terrible last year under Pettine: 29th in DVOA, including 28th against the pass, and 24th in PFF grades. They've certainly added more talent, with the 2 Smiths and Adrian Amos signed as free agents, and Gary and Savage in the draft. But they have a long way to go. 

Beyond that, the big question will be whether the change in coaching and scheme will revive Rodgers' career. The numbers I posted above show a dramatic decline in his production dating back to 2015. I think some part of that could fairly be blamed on McCarthy, but there has also been a significant change in Rodgers' playing style, all too often playing out of structure trying to create magical moments (to be fair, often successfully).

I still think the decline in the Packers supporting cast is a big, big part of the story, which has been relatively underrecognized. And I'm not convinced they'll be much better this year, unless Adams stays healthy, one of the 2nd year WRs develops, and Sternberger has a big rookie year. 

Rodgers still has the ability to win games more or less by himself, as he showed again last year. But without 3 miracle comebacks -- 21 points in the 4Q vs Chicago trailing 20-3, 18 points in the 4Q @ NYJ to tie after trailing 35-20 then a TD in OT to win, and 10 points in the last 2 minutes to beat the Niners 33-30 -- the Packers record last year would've been 3-12-1. 

As a team, I think they're closer to the bottom of the league right now than the top. 

Edited by Krauser

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