The Worst of the Best: Who is the Packers Least Valuable Player (LVP)?

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Mason Crosby is the Packers LVP.
Mason Crosby is the Packers LVP.

Lets take a couple of minutes and get negative. I know we’re all fired up for the season and ready to see if the extremely talented and deep Green Bay Packers can repeat as Super Bowl champions. The Packers proved in 2010 that depth wins titles, and they look almost as deep in 2011.

But no team is perfect. Every team has a couple of players that make you groan as soon as they run onto the field. Who is that player for the Packers? Who is their Least Valuable Player (LVP)?

First, some ground rules:

  • Only starters or players fighting for a starting job can be considered. I’m not going to break down how terrible Jarrett Bush is compared to Pat Lee. Nobody cares.
  • Only kickers, punters and returners are considered on special teams.
  • Just like the MVP, the LVP can mean different things to different people. Some analysts base their LVP votes on statistics, others on boneheaded plays or failure to reach potential. Selecting the LVP is not an exact science.

Without further ado, here are the candidates:

James Jones
Forget about concussions on the field, how many Packers fans will have long-term health issues due to concussions suffered after smacking their heads every time Jones drops an easy TD pass? Jones’ talent exceeds the level of a typical LVP candidate, but the drops and failure to utilize all that talent puts him on the ballot.

Quinn Johnson
Fullbacks typically go unnoticed, but Johnson has been invisible his entire career.

TJ Lang
This is a controversial nomination. There are high hopes for Lang and he appears to have the edge in the LG position battle. Lang is probably a decent enough player, but he’s the most replaceable players on the OL. I’ll be nervous if Chad Clifton, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton or Bryan Bulaga goes down with an injury. I won’t be as nervous is Lang goes down.

Frank Zombo/Brad Jones/Erik Walden
All three of these guys get a single nomination because if one of them goes down, the other one will likely step in and play at a similar level. We also are not really sure if any of these three are any good in the first place.

Charlie Peprah
Peprah played himself into a contract extension last season, but are we convinced he’s any good? I’m not, so he gets a nomination.

Mason Crosby
C’mon Jersey Al! I told you not to tamper with my list! Actually, Crosby deserves a nomination. Like Jones, he’s messed up critical scoring chances. Like Johnson, he’s never done anything memorable. Like Lang, Zombo, Jones and Walden, he’s replaceable. And like Peprah, he got a contract extension even though few are convinced he’s worthy of it.

After much deliberation, my vote goes to Crosby. What can he do that a kicker off the street couldn’t do just as well? I didn’t select Jones because he’s too talented. There’s hope that he’ll start hanging on to those easy catches eventually. I didn’t take Johnson because he plays a low-impact position and might not see the field much. I almost took Lang, but do we really want to see Derek Sherrod play LG for the first time in his life?

The logical choice is probably Zombo/Walden/Jones, but I felt like picking three players to win LVP was a a cop-out. Peprah is deserving of the award, but he’ll likely be a backup this year and with Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson and Sam Shields covering receivers, Peprah’s job is to support the run defense.

That leaves Crosby as the winner. I’m sure Jersey Al will personally deliver the award the next time the Packers play in the Northeast.

Sure, you could probably pick the kicker as LVP on a lot of teams. But Crosby earns his award on the Packers. When you’re on a team that is deep and talented, you have to pull your weight. Up to this point, Crosby hasn’t.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • PackersRS

    I vote for Cutler.

    What? He’s not a Packer? But then why he keeps throwing to our guys?

  • http://CheeseheadTV.com/eat_more_cheese John Rehor

    As much as i want to go with Crosby, I must go with Johnson. Has he done anything in his career? Has tremendous ability as a blocker, but just can’t get in the field.

    At least Crosby does his job 78% of the time. Johnson isn’t even close to that

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      John, I actually have to agree with you on this. As much of a hard time I give Crosby, he has a much more important role than Johnson. It’s not that I think Johnson doesn’t do his job, but in the overall scheme of things, they don’t have a very big impact.

      • http://CheeseheadTV.com/eat_more_cheese John Rehor

        Al and I agree on something? Miracles never end ;)

    • MCS

      I had such high hopes for Johnson too. He has been a major disappointment.

  • Arlan Beckman

    I think you are being a bit hard on Mason. MM has him attempting a lot of 50+ in a year. Last year if you take those 50 plus out would have been 83% which would have ranked him 13th in the NFL..maybe Mike should quit trying those 50+ yarders as much especially from Nov on in GB.

    Peprah wins this hands down IMO but it isn’t even close to him fighting for a starters position so he is ineligible. Brings us to me to Quinn.. what has he done? I know can’t think of anything so there is my vote

  • Adam Czech

    Two votes for Johnson, one for Peprah, one for Crosby (me), a write-in vote for Jay Cutler and talk of moving Brad Jones onto the ballot by himself. This is a heated battle.

    On another note, we should be lucky that this discussion involves a K, low-impact FB and a (more than likely) backup safety. If the list included more WRs, DL and a QB, we’d be hurting.

  • iccyfan

    I’d vote for Quinn Johnson. If you’re a little-used fullback, you need to do two things for a team. 1) Be a devastating lead blocker; 2) Play special teams well. JMO, but I don’t think QJ meets either of these criteria. He seems to be on his feet at the conclusion of most plays when I want to see him on the ground with a linebacker under him. His best block of the year was taking out two team-mates on the Dan Connolly 71 yard kick-off return! QJ for LVP in a landslide!!!

  • Dan “FireMMNow” Blakley

    Quinn Johnson – not because he does not do his job, but because he does not have a job to do.

    Quinn Johnson is the equivalent of a rotary phone repair man.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      ha!

  • Ron LC

    Missing game tieing, game winning, and game clinching FG’s accumulate negatives at a greater rate than not having a real job (Johnson). Crosby all the way.

    We all better hope that Lang proves you wrong Zach. Without him on the line AR is going to have to practice escaping to the right much more.

  • Mojo

    Easy question – Quinn Johnson. Sucks on ST. Does little on offense. Comes to camp overweight. Good chance he won’t be around in September then you’ll have to find the next LVP.

    • Dan “FireMMNow” Blakley

      I can picture a scenario where for everyone on the list I could see myself saying, “geez, I wish we had joe shmoe right now” I cannot ever picture myself saying, “Geez, I wish we had Quinn Johnson right now.”

      • Mojo

        Good way to put it Dan.

        With QJ I would say this describes his GB career:

        1. Has done nothing.

        2. Is doing nothing.

        3 Will do nothing.

  • The Delivery Guy

    Is nice when we’re arguing that the LVP is either a) a strong legged kicker, b) a little used fullback who last year in the preseason managed to block three guys on a TD run or c) three LB’s duking it out for roster spots…

    I’m going off the grid here… and I think I’ll get some bandwagon jumpers, and go with Pat Lee as LVP… a 2nd round pick that is battling for his spot as a 6th DB and losing that fight… that’s a LVP.

    • Adam Czech

      Lee is not on the ballot because he is not in the mix for a starting job.

  • Old Will

    easy case for crosby; though i broke a bone in my hand when jones dropped the perfect throw in the eagle game, which prevented me from breaking it when he dropped the one in the superbowl, etc. but why is peprah on this list at all. he came through very nicely last year, and made some real gutsy plays.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      I kind of agree with you on Peprah. He did a decent job lest year when the Packers needed him. On the other hand, Adam did need more than just a handful of players to make this interesting.

  • Mr. Bacon

    Simple. Anyone who plays Starting Cornerback, and is not named Williams, Woodson, or Shields.

  • homerunsimpson

    yeah. charlie peprah was a solid fill in, i dunno where you can find a fault with him. Brad Jones is fading into the background, more so than Johnson

  • Ron LC

    Zambo played the game with a broken Scapula. Out for substantial period.

    TJ has the LG position. Has to fight to keep it – MM.

  • http://httl bill from jersey

    with kickoffs at 35 i think crosby becomes very valuable.johnson is the only guy on this list thats not valuable

  • barutanseijin

    Quinn Johnson. What has he done besides take up roster space? I can’t think of anything.