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swede700

Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

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11 hours ago, swede700 said:

Which one, Favre or Rodgers?  I personally think Favre was light-years better than Rodgers is at improvising on the fly.  I'm just not sure that Rodgers is as good at that as he thinks he is.  He is far more talented than Favre was, but there probably aren't many QBs better than Favre at playground-style of football.  

Freedom at the LOS =/= playground style of football 

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1 hour ago, Krauser said:

Graham was 9th in receptions and 9th in receiving yards, for TEs.

But he played nearly 800 snaps on a pass-heavy offense with Aaron Rodgers at QB. He was 3rd in the league in routes run and 7th in targets, for TEs. He was was 29th in yards per route run (out of 40 qualifying TEs), and 31st in passer rating when targeted. 

You can put some of the blame on Rodgers or the offensive scheme but PFF graded Graham as mediocre: 59.4 overall (31st of 41) and 59.9 receiving grade (28th). 

That wasn't a one year blip either. Graham graded at 66.0 overall in 2017 (20th of 51) and 65.3 receiving (23rd). That was by far his worst year until that point. Until 2016, Graham graded no lower than the mid-70s in any single year. He had 2 years grading in the 80s (including an 85.4 in 2016) and another just above 90. 

So his last year with Seattle was a major downturn, and he took another step back in 2018 in Green Bay. 

I've watched Graham pretty closely for the last few years -- he's declining. He turns 33 in November. I wouldn't expect too much from him this year. 

Good.  Hope your Vikings players feel the same way.  Graham is good.  Look back through the Packer forum posts and I pointed out clear visual evidence where he got open frequently and Rodgers didn’t throw to him.  Rodgers sucked last year under McCarthy.

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2 hours ago, Outpost31 said:

Graham is good.  Look back through the Packer forum posts and I pointed out clear visual evidence where he got open frequently and Rodgers didn’t throw to him.  Rodgers sucked last year under McCarthy.

Graham hasn't been good since 2016. I watch the Seahawks regularly -- he fell off significantly in 2017. He wasn't any better last year.

He rarely beats coverage -- his big plays last year were almost all created by scheme (play action) and/or defensive lapses (as with the big plays in the home game against the Vikings, where the DBs lost him on a couple of wheel routes). He's not fast enough to be a matchup threat and he doesn't produce YAC unless he's wide open. Rodgers hit him with a couple of pinpoint throws in closer coverage (TD in the Pats game, for one), but that wasn't the rule -- Rodgers avoids throwing into coverage. 

Graham can still produce as long as he runs a lot of routes and the offense schemes him open (and/or if Rodgers changes his spots and becomes less fastidious in deciding when to target covered receivers), but just about any TE put in the same position would produce as much. He wasn't worth his big contract last year, and I doubt he'll be much more valuable this year.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, SemperFeist said:

Freedom at the LOS =/= playground style of football 

It may not be identical, since you're referencing just plain having the power to audible at the LOS, but I'm going even further than that with my comparison, which is still similar.  The freedom you're referring to is just basically going from a pass to a run, or vice versa.

Edited by swede700

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Freedom at the line of scrimmage was the subject of Rodgers’ comments. There’s no reason to go further than that. 

Favre very well was better at playground football/creating something on the fly. But since all of that happens after the snap, a coach really has no control over it. And it’s the coach’s control that seems to be the point of contention with Rodgers. 

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It's hard to argue that Rodgers is anything less than exceptionally good at improvising. The list of examples is too long to name, and he rarely (unlike Favre) makes dumb mistakes even when he's working out of structure. 

The question is whether he'll be willing to restrain himself to let the offense work as designed.

The Packers passing offense over the last few years (since 2015) has put up much worse numbers within structure (early downs) than in situations where the chips are down and Rodgers takes matters into his own hands (3rd downs, red zone, 2 minute drills). The blame for that fell on McCarthy, but it's obvious from watching the tape that Rodgers was part of the problem -- he basically refused to throw checkdowns, especially to RBs, and clearly played favorites for which receivers he was willing to target in tight coverage. 

The result last year was that Rodgers had an incredibly low number of turnovers but a high number of sacks and an incredibly high number of give-up plays (throwaways). He wasn't very accurate according to PFF charting, even excluding the throwaways. And the offense wasn't productive, despite Rodgers still putting up TDs and yards, and orchestrating several dramatic comebacks and long scoring drives with next to no time on the clock. 

Despite the ineffectiveness of the GB offense as a whole, Rodgers as usual got all the credit (playing through injury! limited by McCarthy's scheme! rookie WRs!) and none of the blame (aside from a few skeptics, none of whom are found anywhere near a mainstream NFL discussion show). 

This year, the ideal scenario for the Packers is that Rodgers agrees to color inside the lines and run the offense as LaFleur designs it, but is still willing and able to work his magic when the moment arises. 

But I don't know if he'll be able to rein himself in. The temptation to play the hero may prove too strong, when things aren't going well. And that could lead to a repeat of the inefficiencies that limited the Packers passing offense over the last few years. 

I wonder if Rodgers would even want to succeed as a system QB, working within structure, as Brady, Brees, Rivers and other older veterans have done in recent years. I wonder if he's willing to rise and fall on his coaches and his teammates, to win and lose as a team.

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After spending his rookie contract as a mediocre slot corner for the Packers, Micah Hyde moved on to Buffalo, where he’s turned into one of the best free safeties in the game.

This PFF analysis is brutal reading for Packers fans who’ve watched their secondary struggle for 3 years (pass defense DVOA 23rd in 2016, 27th in 2017, and 28th in 2018):

Finally put in a position to succeed, Micah Hyde is making a name for himself

Quote

Initially selected by the Green Bay Packers the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Hyde was handed the slot cornerback role straight out of the gate.  ... He was asked to line up at free safety on just 383 defensive snaps during his time with the Packers — only 14.5% of his total defensive snaps in that span.

The Iowa product was effective, yet unspectacular in this role with Green Bay. When lined up as a cornerback, either in the slot or out wide — alignments that accounted for 1,189 of his 1,879 coverage snaps over that period — Hyde allowed 165 receptions from 244 targets for 1,795 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His 66.2 coverage grade ranked 62nd among the 146 cornerbacks with at least 100 targets over that four-year span, while his 9.3% forced incompletion percentage and his 96.3 passer rating allowed ranked tied for 90th and 87th, respectively, among that same group of players.

Ultimately, the Packers chose to move on from Hyde at the conclusion of the 2016 season without ever really seeing just what he was capable of at his natural position — free safety.

...

Playing 733 of his 1,124 defensive snaps at free safety in Year 1 with Buffalo, Hyde ...earned a coverage grade of 91.6 — the seventh-best single-season grade ever recorded by a player with at least 300 snaps at free safety. Jairus Byrd (2012), Ed Reed (2009), Eddie Jackson(2018), Charles Woodson (2015), Devin McCourty (2016) and O.J. Atogwe (2007) are the only safeties who have recorded a better single-season coverage grade at free safety than Hyde did in 2017 — and that list spans 860 players across 13 seasons.

It wasn’t quite as jaw-dropping, but Hyde’s 2018 season still showed much of the same...

image_2019_06_21T04_04_54_425Z-1024x576.

From middle-of-the-pack slot cornerback to superstar-caliber free safety, Hyde’s work at the back end of the Bills’ defense has quite simply been the best in the league over the last two seasons. Over that time, Hyde’s overall grade of 91.6 at the position beats out a number of well-established stars, players like Earl Thomas, Eddie Jackson and Tennessee’s Kevin Byard.

As one of the league’s premier playmakers in coverage, the Iowa product has allowed just 18-of-31 throws into his coverage at free safety to be completed, and he’s yielded just 174 passing yards, two touchdowns and just seven first downs in the process. His 11 combined pass breakups and interceptions are the second-most among all free safeties in that span, while his defensive success rate (forced incompletions+coverage stops/targets) of 58.1%, his forced incompletion percentage of 22.6% and his 55.8 passer rating allowed over that span rank third, eighth and sixth, respectively, among players with at least 15 targets in that span.

On throws of 20-plus yards over that same period, Hyde has allowed a single reception from nine targets; three of those targets ended in interceptions, another one ended in a dropped interception and another two resulted in pass breakups — if that doesn’t tell you how much of a difference-maker he’s been for the Bills at the top of the defense, nothing will.

The free safety position has been home to many greats over the past decade-plus. The best of the bunch needs no introduction, while the Earl Thomases and the Eddie Jacksons of the world will continue to catch the attention of fans for as long as they can keep making splash plays. Cast in that shadow is Micah Hyde, but if he can keep up this incredible run heading into the 2019 season, he will, rightfully, finally get to be spoken about in the same breath as those greats.

The Packers safeties have been terrible over the past couple of years, including recent high draft picks (Clinton-Dix, 21st overall in 2014, Josh Jones late 2nd rounder in 2017) .

This offseason, GB signed Adrian Amos for $36M/4, the 8th highest AAV for a safety, and drafted Darnell Savage 21st (trading the 30th pick and two 4th rounders to move up, including the pick the Vikings later used on Dru Samia). 

Meanwhile, Bills signed Hyde in 2017 for $30M/5, currently the 17th highest paid safety in the league by AAV.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Bills get better safety play from Hyde this year than the Packers do from their major additions.

 

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Damarious Randall and Casey Heyward have been very good outside GB as well. 

At one time, Ted Thompson was lauded as a genius with his drafting by Packers fans, and then the team started coming apart around 2015 or so, and a different tune has been sung. Same with Mike McCarthy.

No doubt GB did do well with their coaching and drafting, which won them a SB nine years ago, but I don't think that team ever lived up to the hype.

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39 minutes ago, SteelKing728 said:

Damarious Randall and Casey Heyward have been very good outside GB as well. 

At one time, Ted Thompson was lauded as a genius with his drafting by Packers fans, and then the team started coming apart around 2015 or so, and a different tune has been sung. Same with Mike McCarthy.

No doubt GB did do well with their coaching and drafting, which won them a SB nine years ago, but I don't think that team ever lived up to the hype.

I would say you are half-right.  While GB has had difficulties drafting and developing DB's in particular, they have done well with their OL and WR.  We, on the other hand, have done well with DE and DB while struggling to find and develop decent OL.

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20 hours ago, perrynoid said:

I would say you are half-right.  While GB has had difficulties drafting and developing DB's in particular, they have done well with their OL and WR.  We, on the other hand, have done well with DE and DB while struggling to find and develop decent OL.

Agreed and its not like they haven't developed most have played CB out of necessity due to injuries or lack of talent. Its not that they weren't developing they were just constantly playing out of position. Both went to their new teams and instantly became good players. Hyde is not a slot CB. Randall is not a boundry CB.

Heyward was very good with the Packers. He just had a couple injury plagued seasons that you thought he wasn't coming back from or worth paying long term. 

Still an awful stroke of bad decisions considering the Packers secondary struggles.  

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There wasn't one person who thought that contract the Bills gave Micah Hyde was good. Everyone viewed that as an overpay. Hindsight is nice though, he is a stud at FS. 

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6 minutes ago, Cheesehawk said:

There wasn't one person who thought that contract the Bills gave Micah Hyde was good. Everyone viewed that as an overpay. Hindsight is nice though, he is a stud at FS. 

That's why we all don't work in front offices.  xD

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On 6/24/2019 at 3:59 PM, swede700 said:

That's why we all don't work in front offices.  xD

We should though.  ;)

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On 6/20/2019 at 6:55 PM, Krauser said:

It's hard to argue that Rodgers is anything less than exceptionally good at improvising. The list of examples is too long to name, and he rarely (unlike Favre) makes dumb mistakes even when he's working out of structure. 

The question is whether he'll be willing to restrain himself to let the offense work as designed.

The Packers passing offense over the last few years (since 2015) has put up much worse numbers within structure (early downs) than in situations where the chips are down and Rodgers takes matters into his own hands (3rd downs, red zone, 2 minute drills). The blame for that fell on McCarthy, but it's obvious from watching the tape that Rodgers was part of the problem -- he basically refused to throw checkdowns, especially to RBs, and clearly played favorites for which receivers he was willing to target in tight coverage. 

The result last year was that Rodgers had an incredibly low number of turnovers but a high number of sacks and an incredibly high number of give-up plays (throwaways). He wasn't very accurate according to PFF charting, even excluding the throwaways. And the offense wasn't productive, despite Rodgers still putting up TDs and yards, and orchestrating several dramatic comebacks and long scoring drives with next to no time on the clock. 

Despite the ineffectiveness of the GB offense as a whole, Rodgers as usual got all the credit (playing through injury! limited by McCarthy's scheme! rookie WRs!) and none of the blame (aside from a few skeptics, none of whom are found anywhere near a mainstream NFL discussion show). 

This year, the ideal scenario for the Packers is that Rodgers agrees to color inside the lines and run the offense as LaFleur designs it, but is still willing and able to work his magic when the moment arises. 

But I don't know if he'll be able to rein himself in. The temptation to play the hero may prove too strong, when things aren't going well. And that could lead to a repeat of the inefficiencies that limited the Packers passing offense over the last few years. 

I wonder if Rodgers would even want to succeed as a system QB, working within structure, as Brady, Brees, Rivers and other older veterans have done in recent years. I wonder if he's willing to rise and fall on his coaches and his teammates, to win and lose as a team.

8

Actually, I think it could be said that he does.  While he doesn't often make the mistake of throwing the INT, you could say that he often makes the mistake of being overly conservative.  I have seen a lot of plays over the last few years where he could have made a play to keep a drive going, but he chose not to throw the ball.  It may not show up in the stat sheet - heck, it actually makes his numbers look better in some ways, but when it comes down to winning games, I think his unwillingness to risk his INT numbers has cost the team games.  That is a mistake too.  

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On 2019-06-26 at 3:15 PM, Uncle Buck said:

Actually, I think it could be said that he does.  While he doesn't often make the mistake of throwing the INT, you could say that he often makes the mistake of being overly conservative.  I have seen a lot of plays over the last few years where he could have made a play to keep a drive going, but he chose not to throw the ball.  It may not show up in the stat sheet - heck, it actually makes his numbers look better in some ways, but when it comes down to winning games, I think his unwillingness to risk his INT numbers has cost the team games.  That is a mistake too.  

I think there are two different definitions of conservative in this conversation. 

Rodgers is a perfectionist -- fastidious and precise. He doesn't trust some of his receivers (last year, anyone except Adams) to win contested catches or adjust routes correctly based on DB positioning. That makes him cautious, in a sense: he often doesn't target tight coverage, even on scramble drills or when improvising. He'd rather take a throwaway or try to scramble than throw the ball in harm's way.

But he's also incredibly ambitious -- he wants to be the hero. He often turns down open receivers on short routes, waiting to see if deeper targets will uncover. He likes to break the structure of the play, looking for the home run. He basically refuses to throw checkdowns to RBs. Under McCarthy, he very often checked out of run plays, and very often changed plays entirely, so that he could sit in the pocket and survey the field, making it up as he goes along. 

That kind of individual ambition is the opposite of what I would think of as truly conservative QB play, where the play is run as scripted even when it's doomed to fail, and the QB willingly throws the checkdown even when it won't convert the down and distance. We've seen a lot of that with Teddy, Bradford and to a lesser extent Cousins. Rodgers is not at all conservative in that sense, he's almost the exact opposite. It's true that he does turn down open targets, but that's not because of anxiety or lack of imagination, it's because he's trying to be the hero. 

That combination of individual heroics and precision/caution/judgement has produced a Packers offense that's capable of amazing things: on 3rd downs, in the red zone, and in 2 minute drills, Rodgers is one of the best QBs of all time. And he's so accurate and careful that he hardly ever makes an actual mistake (sin of commission, not omission like turning down an easy 5 yard checkdown), even when he's improvising, even when the stakes are high.

But because he's so individualistic, even selfish (a much better pejorative for his style of play than conservative, IMO), the Packers offense has been boom-or-bust, and hasn't been able to reliably move the ball and put up points more conventionally.

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