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