Packers Stock Report: Season’s Over Edition

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Sam Shields was one of the bright spots for the Packers against the 49ers.

The Packers season is over. They got smoked by the 49ers in the NFL playoffs on Saturday night.

I’m sick of writing about it. I’m sick of talking about it. I’m sick of thinking about it.

On to the stock report:

Rising

Sam Shields
The combination of Shields getting healthy and realizing he’s a restricted free agent really got him going. Shields will likely get a first-round tender and I expect the Packers to open their checkbooks and lock him up for the next few years. Let’s hope he stays motivated, keeps improving, and plays like he did down the stretch.

James Jones
With Greg Jennings likely gone and Jermichael Finley possibly following him out the door, Jones can establish himself as an upper-echelon receiver next season. Jones came to play on Saturday night. It was nice to see Jones use his size a bit this season. I always thought he played smaller than he was, but he went up and got a few balls in traffic this season and played angrier.

Marshall Newhouse
How often did we hear about Newhouse down the stretch? Hardly at all. And that’s a good thing. Jared Allen and Aldon Smith didn’t do much against Newhouse in the last three games. I was thinking about the offensive line today. Would T.J. Lang have any trade value? He’s young, decent enough, and has a favorable contract. Perhaps the Packers could move him for an extra pick and the line in 2013 could be Newhouse at LT, Barclay at LG, Dietrich-Smith or a rookie at C, Sitton at RG, Bulaga at RT, Sherrod as the backup T and Dietrich-Smith or a rookie at backup G. Who knows. This is just me daydreaming and pretending I’m Ted Thompson.

Steady

DuJuan Harris
Another solid game for Mr. Car Salesman. I have no idea why McCarthy ignored Harris in the second half against the 49ers. Look for Harris to be in the mix for the starting running back job next season.

Clay Matthews
Matthews probably belongs in the rising category. He closed the season strong and I’m looking forward to getting Nick Perry on the other side once again for next season.

Falling

Dom Capers
It’s like nobody told Capers that Colin Kaepernick took over for Alex Smith a couple months ago. Hey Dom, might want to assign someone to keep an eye on the quarterback that is gashing your defense for 200 yards rushing.

Erik Walden
Another flameout for Walden down the stretch. Walden should not be a full-time player, but the Packers didn’t have much of a choice after Perry got hurt. I’m not sure my television will survive many more plays where Walden loses contain. There’s only so many times I can hold myself back from throwing my remote through the plasma screen.

Tramon Williams
This last month hasn’t been the finest of Williams’ career. I like this Packers secondary if Tramon can get back to being Tramon and the young guys keep improving. Now the Packers need to get Desmond Bishop back so they can get more nasty on defense.

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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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  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    Personally I’d rather see Shields, Hayward, and House out there than see number 38 back for another season. He’s not going to grow a pair over the winter and the fact is, he’s disappeared after he got paid in 2010.

    • NYPACKER

      I agree 100%…having a defensive player on the field who runs away from contact can not be tolerated…in addition he runs his mouth the entire game, even when giving up over 100 yards to the receiver he is “shutting down”…

      • Adam Czech

        Tramon is going nowhere.

        • Lars1

          No, he isn’t as you say. But that doesn’t mean his play is acceptable. He’s not the same player he used to and the sooner his contract expires the better.

          Letting Ted Ginn Jr. block him for several seconds so he didn’t have to engage Kaepernick was a disgrace. That shouldn’t be tolerated. Same thing v. AP twice a year.

        • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

          Why Adam? Didn’t he run his mouth on how to stop Calvin Johnson, yet give up like 300 yards in the two meetings? Reggie Wayne took him to school. So did Blackman, Crabtree, a few Vikings receivers in week 17 that are such obscure names I can’t think of one of them. That was him sticking his hand out like a little school girl, and then get out of the way of Adrian Peterson right? For 5.9 million, I could think of some positions we could upgrade with that. I know, cut Hawk AND Williams and go sign a real difference maker at MLB or Safety.

    • Pack Fan in ATL

      Tramon isn’t going anywhere, but I would expect to see them do what they did to Shields at the beginning of this year: Sit his behind on the bench until they see progress in practice that justifies him returning. Worked wonders for Shields who has bounced back to be one of, if not the best person in our secondary. If he steps up, we get another good corner back. If not, he walks in free agency the next year and we draft/find another UFA corner.

      • GBslacker

        the key difference is that one has been paid, one has not…

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    If you look at the last 4 years in the playoffs and how the Packers defense was thoroughly whipped, I don’t see how Capers can be kept. Mike M should be in the falling category as well. Three 3rd and less than 3 and what did the Packers do? The same thing they’ve done all year, throw deep. If not for Jones amazing catch, the Packers would have been 0-3 instead of 1-3 in those situations. Where did Harris go in the second half?

    • Adam Czech

      The Packers seem to struggle on third and short whether they throw it deep or not.

    • Mark gast

      If Lovie Smith doesn’t get a head coaching job I would love to him get a shot as the defensive coordinator for the Packers.

      • Pack Fan in ATL

        I’m skeptical of this. Our best defensive player (Clay Matthews) would be wasted in a 4-3 system in the way Aaron Campman was in a 3-4. This move would likely have a much bigger impact now than the move to the 3-4 did because CM3 is a much better player than Campman was then.
        I’m ok with looking for a new DC, but make sure its not going to set us back several years while we have to get new pieces.

        • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

          I love the idea of Lovie Smith or even Romeo Cornell. They could use Matthews like they did Tim Harris years ago and blitz him or just line him up. If you look at the 2012 draft, Perry, Daniels, and Worthy are all better suited for a 4-3. I’d love to see a line of Raji and Worthy as tackles and Neal and Perry as ends. Bring in Daniel and maybe a free agent for extra bodies and juice.

    • Brian Lee

      Throwing deep on third and short is Rodgers’ fault. He is the one that decides which receiver to throw to. Often as he is trying to do deep you can see a check down receiver wide open for the first down. Rodgers needs to be more patient!!!

    • Since ’61

      Is that MM’s call or Rodgers seeing the matchups he likes and going for home run?
      Just a thought/question.
      Thanks

    • frozentundra91

      It would be really interesting to see the how the Packers ranked in the nfl this year on third downs of three or less yards. I have no clue where to find those stats. It seems like McCarthy/Rodgers love throwing the deep ball when a first down has a much greater chance of success. But maybe the stats tell a different story.

  • johnny d

    seems Packers have many ‘good’ DB’s , still could use another Nick Collins type, 49ers db’s good, fast and very hard hitting! thanks for the coverage from your site!

    • frozentundra91

      Good points. One thing in my mind that every good championship-caliber Packer’s team has had is a good hard-hitting safety. Didn’t have that this year. McMillian has potential, MD Jennings has looked nothing more than average, and Burnett has improved but I’m not sure he’s a long-term solution. Sean Richardson?

      • Gary

        I wouldn’t count on Richardson. He is reportedly having back surgery to repair a disc this week.

  • Razer

    Great points about Newhouse. Stepped into a tough situation and stepped up.

    I too will add McCarthy to the falling list. I have never been a fan of his play calling and I too wonder what happened to a relatively successful 1st half running game. More important how come this offense doesn’t include TEs or any short, over the middle stuff. Surely, Aaron Rodgers can do what Bradey does. The 49ers have pretty good talent on defense but we could have taken what they gave us and made it a game – at least on one side of the ball.

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      I’d with you Razer, with D.J. Williams and Finley I would think that the Packers would give that a try with 2 TE’s.

  • Savage57

    TT needs to “strongly encourage” MM to delegate play calling to someone who is more creative. MM is a great Monday to Saturday coach, but he needs to turn the reins over to someone on Sunday who has a quicker mind, isn’t so predictable in his play calling and is a better manager of the game situation. Simply stated a more adept and agile tactician who can modify his strategy when it isn’t working.

    Capers has to go because he hasn’t figured out yet that he doesn’t have the players here that he had in Pittsburgh, yet he tries to run the same defense.

    Going to be one of the most interesting and polarizing drafts and off-seasons in a long time with all the changes that are going to be coming.

    • ELo

      Quicker mind? LOL

      • Lefty

        M3 goes into processor overload on a regular basis

  • cdk4205

    Not sure if Tramon was trying to do too much or what – knowing there were lots of holes to try to cover for, but he had a couple very poor games on big stages. Shields, House, Hayward and Tramon form a pretty good group. Jennings seems to be in the right spot but just can’t quite make the plays. Another year could help? Would be nice to have Woodson try to keep these guys together, but not sure there is room?

  • Brian Lee

    For the DBs next year, I would love to see Shields and House at the corners, Hayward in the slot and Tamron Williams in the dime. If House fully recovers from his shoulder injury and looks like he did at the beginning of the season this year, this would be the best set up for the DBs.

  • GCinRichmond

    Good managers and coaches don’t overreact to small sample sizes. Dom’s gameplan may be the single biggest reason we lost that game. Still he brought our D from 32nd to 11th in points. As for our roster, it’s still one of the youngest most talented in the league. I’d put EDS in the rising category as well. With young players pushing established vets at OL WR & LB, future pro-bowlers like Hayward, an MVP QB and CMIII on the D, the glass is definitely half-full. Now all we need is to find a Vince Wilfork in the draft and we’ll be back next year!

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Look at what the better teams in the NFL did against the Packers. Hell, look at Andrew Luck did to Capers defense in the 2nd half of his 5th NFL game. Same thing with Jacksonville. The Packers had a very EASY schedule this year. I’m already starting to cringe with what might happen next year under Capers with the schedule they have to play.

      • Oppy

        Packers actually had one of the tougher schedules in the NFL in terms of opponents combined Win-Loss record, for what it’s worth

  • Big T

    The Packers are feared by no one… We need big changes all the way around. The soft playing Packers have been figured out for 2 years now… There is alot of talent there, just misguided…

    • Lars1

      Very true. That’s a reflection of Capers and the man with the big salary in the middle.

      However, TT drafted several harder edge, aggressive defenders in 2012 like Daniels, McMillan, Perry, Manning. Keep this up, switch back to the 4/3 to get Perry on the line and CM 3 to roam like Von Miller and you will see improvement.

  • Since ’61

    Tramon bashing has become pretty popular and I agree that he has not been the same player that he was prior to his shoulder injury. However, he is usually matched up against our opponents best wide received. I am not yet sure if he should be gone or if he needs to be sat down for a while and let House or Hayward take his place. In any case he needs to get the message that his level of plays needs to step up or he will be gone for sure. I agree with Adam’s other comments so far in the stock report. But Capers needs a comment or two. We will probably never know if it was the defensive game plan that was lacking or the lack of execution by our players on Saturday evening against the Niners. Capers may have had spies on Kaepernick and it wasn’t executed, e.g., Walden failing badly on outside contain, is that Capers fault? Would Nick Perry have played it better if he were not hurt? We can’t say for sure. In the four seasons that Capers has been here the Packers record is 51 – 21 including the playoffs, with a Super Bowl win. You can say that it is all Rodgers and the offenss but I think that over the course of 51 victories the defense probably made a few plays along the way. We have a high number of takeways each season. Admittedly, sacks and the rushing defense could be better. However, compared with the 4 years prior to Capers the Packers record was 32-34 including playoffs with Brett Farve as the QB and 1 season with Rodgers. Which would you rather have? Capers may not be the best Defensive coordinator in the league but would another DC be that much better? He has to work with the draft choices he gets and due to the Packers success they are usually from the lower half of the draft rounds. When was the last time the Packers had a chance to draft one of the top ten defenders in the country? Maybe a more flexible approach to free agency could work such as the success we have had with Woodson and Pickett. Capers stock should fall with the loss to the Niners but I am not sure that we should sell him short, just yet. Thanks, Since ’61

    • White92

      I agree. Tramon is matched up twice a year vs. Megatron and Brandon Marshall. He seems to be able to largely shut down Marshall, but struggles at times with megatron (but who doesn’t?).

      Tramon may be on the downside of his career, but is still an above average DB IMHO.

      I’m willing to give Capers one more year. Maybe some better personnel without so many injuries helps. If it doesn’t, then go another direction.

    • skyler

      Ray Horten is better than Capers. He is the DC for the Cardinals and he is a student of the Steelers system. He runs the Steelers system much better than Carpers.

      • Since ’61

        If the Pack were to make a move on Capers, I agree that Horten would be someone the Pack should consider as a replacement. However, it does not appear that TT or MM will move on Capers and I do not know if Horten is available, or would consider a move or maybe he will end up with one of the many head coach vacancies this year. Keep in mind that Horten has good talent on the Cardinal defense given their consistently poor record and their higher draft positions than GB. But I could support a switch to Horten if it were feasible.

  • povertyrich

    The secondary wouldn’t have been so exposed if the Packers had any kind of consistent pass rush. The elephant in the room is the invisibility of Clay Matthews on Saturday. He was consistently beaten one-on-one by #74, including being pancaked on one play and looked just as lost as Walden was on at least one of Kaepernick’s runs. He batted down a pass, but other than that, the Claymaker was as owned as the rest of the defense.

    • Lars1

      No, the elephant in the room is AJ Hawk and his ridiculous salary. Hawk seems to get the kid glove treatment in forums though and so does Capers.

      The stat regarding the defense finishing 11th in yards allowed is meaningless when you consider it’s against the likes of JVille, Tennessee and other bad teams. Look at the playoffs and Capers ‘ incredible stubbornness in adapting his scheme to any given situation, the opposing QB or even his own personnel.

      Scapegoat Mathews and Walden all you want, the ILB’ers were even more awful and Capers, a disaster.

      • povertyrich

        An elephant in the room is something nobody’s talking about, but is plainly visible. People have been talking about Hawk’s inflated salary for years. By definition, that ain’t no elephant in the room.

        And scapegoating? I didn’t blame the loss on Walden and Matthews. Just pointed out that Matthews played no better than anybody else on Saturday.

      • danno

        I completely agree, Hawk has been a liability on this defense for at least two years. If the packer could find a vince wilfork type for picket and a patrick willis for hawk we would have a real defense to compete in the playoffs

      • skyler

        Right on, Lars1

        Just look at the points we have given up against good offensive teams. I am with Lars1,stop making excused Packer Nation. The current Defense of the Green Bay Packers is majority sub-par. Is TT to blame or Capers. Someone must be held accountable. The excuses will get us back to the post 1992 years, two decades of poor football. If you want the real scoop on AJ Hawk read Bob McGinn’s article earlier this season. Cover my mistake, TT

        • Dobber

          “If the packer could find a vince wilfork type for picket and a patrick willis for hawk we would have a real defense to compete in the playoffs”–well, that’s not too much to ask for, now is it?

  • http://allgreenbaypackers.com Long time packer fan

    M.McCarthy is NOT a great coach. Think of the MANY mis-called plays over the season he as made to cost the packers! Please start looking for new leadership, like a Bill Cower!

    • Oppy

      Um, check the Packers W-L ratio since MM took the reigns. Then compare that to the rest of the league. Then get back to me.

  • ELo

    It seems odd to me that Kevin Green isn’t more of a factor in our defensive coaching. He was an incredibly aggressive player that put it all on the field. Maybe he doesn’t bring this attitude into his coaching career, but I would think he would have more of an impact on the aggressiveness of our defense.

    • danno

      Ya, I was thinking the same thing about K Greene. Maybe it is simply the fact that the key players cannot make the plays? I really wish we would have had Perry and Worthy for the entire season to see if that made a difference. It is clear Walden and Hawk are not the answer. I think Picket is getting slow as well, no push up the middle

    • Oppy

      Greatness as a player does not mean automatic greatness as a coach.

      If it did, coaching staffs would be full of great retired players.

      More often than not, the players-turned-coaches that are on NFL teams are either guys who never played pro ball or were journeymen footballers… Usually not elite talents.

  • White92

    I have to say, even with a limited sample size, I’m excited about this Harris kid. He hits the hole hard, has great vision, good burst, good speed, and he always seems to push the pile and fall forward.

    I think he has a chance to be a poor man’s MJD or Chris Johnson. His height doesn’t scare me in the least, and I think can even be an advantage at times.

  • ELo

    Agree that Hawk is a liability. He seemed to have some better games this year where he actually moved side to side, but that’s not saying much. He hasn’t been involved in a turnover in 2 years. He is always late to the ball, unless the runner happens to run into him. Not a Hawk fan.

  • joua

    I have to disagree on Newhouse. His pass pro skils are decent enough but his run blocking is crap. When is the last time you saw him get to the 2nd level? He can’t be there next year as a starter. We need Sherrod to pull through.

  • Lucas

    A defense of 11 needs to work together. Hawk may not be a playmaker on his own like CMIII or Hayward. But, add an improved Worthy and Perry, along with a rookie and Bishop, and they’ll collectively create more stress on the offense and opportunities for bigger plays.

  • FITZCORE1252

    I see a lot of talk about heading back to a 4-3, and bringing Lovie in. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but just thinking about it, a vision popped in my head…

    As far as the Tampa 2 goes, what do you “NEED” above all else? Sure you need a Sapp. Sure you need a Lynch. But you “NEED” a Derrick Brooks!

    Lovie never had a Sapp quality guy in Chi. He never had a Lynch quality guy either (maybe Brown… Briefly), But, he did have a MLB who impacted the game like Brooks, in Urlacher.

    We have that. I’m not saying it’s the way to go, but I got semi-wood when I thought about CM3 roaming in Earlickers spot. He wouldn’t get as many sacks, but he would have JUST AS BIG of impact on the game. We wouldn’t have a “soft underbelly” with him manning it. He’s every bit as athletic as Earlicker ever was. He’s got the size, speed, desire and talent to thrive in that position. Will it happen? Unlikely. Could Clay thrive (in a different way than sacks) as a MLB in a Tampa 2? You betchur ass he could.

    Just a vision that I thought I’d share, don’t mind me. :-)

    GBP 4 LIFE

    • White92

      I don’t disagree here in a big way, but..

      I think CM3 would be better suited in the ‘playmaker” spot of that D or the weakside LB similiar to what Briggs plays..but in that case, you still need the MKE.

      The one standout year Lovie had Tommie Harris and they got to the Super Bowl. After he got hurt, he was never the same..

    • Oppy

      CM3 is not a tampa-2 MLB.

      Those guys are coverage first linebackers. First responsibility is drop back and cover the deep middle of the field.

      I can accept Clay dropping into hook zones and the like from time to time, it’s what adds unpredictability to the 3-4.

      I NEVER want to see Clay’s first and foremost job description as “Dropping 10-15 yards into the zone between the two deep safeties”.

  • FITZCORE1252

    “CM3 is not a tampa-2 MLB”

    No, no he’s not. But he absolutely could be. He would be awesome in the Earlicker role… Hovering… Enforcing. Of course that lowers his % of rushing the passer.

    Like I said, I’m not saying that’s the way to go, but he’s more than capable of playing that role. He would be ridiculous back there.

  • Dobber

    I have a hard time getting too down on Tramon simply because he was hyped up playing opposite a potential HOF CB in CWood. He didn’t have to line up against top-flite WR every week over there. Ask him to be a shutdown corner? It just doesn’t look like that’s what he is. I’m not saying the Packers don’t need better, but rather that this might be all he ever was.

    You can put a pretty dress on your cousin and take her to to prom, and she might look nice, but at the end of the night, she’s still your cousin.

  • Shavager

    I can’t say how much JJones has improved, I was all for cutting or trading him last year, it’s obvious Jones is the MOST improved player on offense-by far more focused than Finley-who’s a JOKE after 5 seasons with Packers and not improving. Walden is a backup at most, Tramon “Chicken” Williams acted like he’s made of glass-he RAN AWAY anytime APeterson of Vikings ran in his direction and Vikings knew it from the first game earlier. IF this is how he’s gonna play–Thompson should consider trading him for a pick and get some help that will TACKLE!