Pat Lee: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Packers defensive back Pat Lee
Pat Lee

1) Introduction: Excuse me for sounding like Jon Gruden, but here’s a guy that really needs no introduction.   Pat Lee has emerged as a convenient scapegoat for Packer fans ever since his embarrassing performance against the Detroit Lions.  Throw in multiple mishaps the past couple seasons, and this is likely the final time AllGreenBayPackers.com will be evaluating Lee.

2) Profile:

Pat Lee
Height: 6’0”
Weight:  196
AGE: 27

Career Stats

3) Expectations coming into the season: Lee was expected to be nothing more than a contributor on special teams.  While he’s no Jarrett Bush,  Lee was expected to step it up on a special teams unit that notoriously stuggled throughout 2010 (Dan Connolly anyone?)

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights:  Highlights? Well, he recovered a fumble  against the Chiefs in the preseason.  That about covers it.

Now there are plenty of low-lights. Let’s start with the game in Detroit on Thanksgiving.  Before the famous Ndamukong Suh stomp, Lee was ejected after a punt return when he supposedly took a swing at Aaron Berry of the Lions.  It was a classic case of the second person getting caught, but it still stung to see a Packer player.

Lee also made the blooper of the season in the season finale also against the Lions.  Lee ran out of the end zone to recover a kickoff at the one yard line and then kneeled in the end zone. POOF! Instant safety and an instant “face palm” for Packer fans.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: I’d say he was more of a detriment when he actually sniffed the field.  The Packers special teams were much improved this season but that may have been due to the presence of Randall Cobb.  Many hoped Lee would evolve into another Bush, but his season (and his career thus far) ultimately proved disappointing.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Like most of team, he didn’t show up to play.  The Packers needed a big game from their return teams and just like the defense, they were flat.  The Giants won the battle for field position and that’s part of what led them to win the game.

Season Report Card:

(D) Level of expectations met during the season
(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: D

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com.

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  • Barutan Seijin

    I think the safety in the Lions game sealed his fate. He won’t be missed.

  • Lucas

    Lee was drafted before the defensive switch to a 34, back when we only desired corners that could bump and run. Although TT has a penchant for getting football players able to be coached up, Lee only seemed to work hard at proving him wrong.

  • Oppy

    Lee is a superb ST player on coverage units, second only to Jarret Bush, and he’s trailing all that far behind.

    As a defensive player? Yeah, he’s not really a guy you want out there.

    • Oppy

      *not* trailing all that far behind

  • Ron LC

    Pat Lee can’t be given any pay increase to resign him. He is one demensional, kick coverage. He can be replaced by a UDFA, easily.

  • Dan

    And to think we invested a 2nd rd pick on this bum, one of TTs wasted high rd picks

  • GCinRichmond

    Do you even watch the games to come up with these grades? Lee was easily our 2nd best ST player and one of the best coverage unit guys in the NFL. A D grade? For what? If we don’t re-sign Lee he’ll get calls from 20 other teams immediately. These grades are an exercise in uselessness and are sullying what is otherwise one of my favorite Packer blogs. Please end this grading series!

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Relax there, GC. We’re all allowed our opinions. I happen to agree with this grade. Lee has shown nothing on the defensive side of the ball. The 4-5 opportunities he gets to run down the field as a ST guy does not make him that valuable, if that’s all he can contribute. And then there was that ridiculous safety. A pop warner kid knows you can’t do that. I don’t automatically agree with all the grades here myself, but this one I do.

  • Pete Kliman

    True ,he was a GOOD coveage unit guy ,but he could’t cover his own shadow on D.We can’t sign Lee to a veteran’s salary ,when we have to deal with the cap, just to be a good one way special.

    • Oppy

      While I disagree with the comments that label Lee a complete waste of a roster spot- ST play is valuable and Pat Lee HAS been a very good ST’er for the Pack- I do agree that Pat Lee hasn’t done anything for our defense and that makes him potentially expendable if the Packers see a UDFA or even a mid-to-late round defensive player in the draft who can immediately contribute to STs and be a project player in the secondary or LB corps.

      However, I disagree with the concept that the Packers hand is somehow forced in terms of releasing Lee because they financially can’t afford to pay a ST player a “veteran’s salary” due to cap restrictions.

      The difference between the lowest pay scale for a rookie who makes an active NFL roster and the level of Vet’s minimum salary that Pat Lee would command is marginal in the terms of NFL salary cap- it would likely be a difference of roughly $100,000 to $150,000 dollars a year (without checking the numbers). I know that not too long ago absolute league minimum was $325,000/year and a 4-year veteran’s league minimum contract was around $430,000 dollars.

      Yes, to us average joe’s that seems like a huge chunk of change, but it’s literally a drop in the bucket in terms of NFL salary cap.

  • Dan

    I like this grading the players series, keep up the good work….Pat Lee is not a valuable cog in the system and can be replaced

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Thanks Dan!

  • Shavager

    Being down here in Fla. we don’t get a lot of Packers games unless it’s a game of the week for FOX or Sun/Mon nite game on other stations. Did get a chance to see 7-8 Packers games, the only contribution I could see from Lee was speed on STeams play, as for secondary I didn’t see him much at all even when he was on the field–that tells you Capers doesn’t use him much, he definitely didn’t upgrade secondary play which could not have gotten any worse at 32nd out of 32 teams. He’s likely gone especially if Thompson goes for secondary pick in early rounds.