Packers A.J. Hawk: 2012 Player Evaluation and Report Card

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A.J. Hawk
A.J. Hawk

1) Introduction: Everyone knows the story of A.J. Hawk, because it’s how people have measured his reputation and performance. As the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, Hawk was supposed to be more than he has been. Being “assignment sure” has become more of a condemnation of his skills than an emblem of solid play. Still, Hawk has been the consistent force at inside linebacker. In his seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Hawk has only missed two games.

2) Profile:

Aaron James Hawk

  • Age: 29
  • Born: 01/16/1984, in Centerville, OH
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 242
  • College: Ohio State
  • Rookie Year: 2006
  • NFL Experience: 7 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: A.J. Hawk has never been much of a playmaker. While Dom Capers would argue that Hawk’s role is to make sure other guys can make plays, it doesn’t quite appease the desires of Packers fans. The dismal performance of the 2011 defense also didn’t help Hawk’s cause, especially as the “quarterback” of the unit. After six years of seeing him play, was there really much more we could expect from A.J. Hawk in 2012?

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: We just recognized the lack of game-changing plays made by A.J. Hawk in his career, so it should come as no surprise that his 2012 highlight reel leaves something to be desired. He did boast two sacks against the Tennessee Titans, though it’s not much to brag about considering the opponent. On the flip side, recent memory always shines brightest, which is why it’s hard to forget the 44-yard reception by Vernon Davis in the playoffs. The 49ers were able to create the right match-up in that situation, but it just highlights the coverage deficiencies of A.J. Hawk.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: By all accounts, A.J. Hawk actually seemed to do better this season than he did in 2011. He started out relatively strong, making more aggressive tackles than usual. There were times when he was exposed in both run and pass coverage, though he did perform fairly consistently, not having a lot of highs and lows. Hawk’s 120 tackles tie his highest since his rookie year, he stayed relatively penalty-free, and he nearly doubled the amount of offensive stops he had from last year, with 57.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Against the Vikings, A.J. Hawk was relatively invisible. He posted a mere two tackles and not much else. Granted, the way Minnesota and Green Bay attacked each other, there wasn’t really a chance for him to do too much. The front defenders concentrated on gap control and maintaining Peterson, and that’s mostly all Hawk had to do. As for San Francisco, Hawk was about as hopeless as everyone else to stop Kaepernick, despite making three stops for the team.

 

Season Report Card:

(B+) Level of expectations met during the season

(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: B

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • Derek

    B is waaaaaay too high. more like D+ or C-.

  • Brian

    Wow, you must be a gen X or Y, grade inflation … a C is now a B

  • JimR_in_DC

    OMG. I think I’d better hold my tongue.

  • AlMatthews

    A B grade seriously? Are you grading on a curve for AJ?

    I cannot believe how Hawk apologists such as Mr. Toporski make excuses for GB getting so little production from one of the highest-paid players on the team. Like the one that fans should not expect much out of Hawk because “he has never been much of a playmaker” and “it should come as no surprise that his 2012 highlight reel leaves something to be desired.”

    Well, Hawk’s pedestrian play continues to shock me because he has been paid >$50,0000,000 by the Pack and players selected right AFTER him in the draft were making plays all over the field on Super Bowl Sunday – Vernon Davis, Donte Whitner, and Haloti Ngata.

    For all those making excuses for AJ Hawk you get what you deserve a mediocre D led by one of the most overrated and certainly overpaid players in Packers’ history.

    • CSS

      Where above, anywhere in Chad’s qualifying remarks leading up to issuing Hawk’s grade, is he apologizing for Hawk’s play? Where did he make any excuse whatsoever in his assessment? Can you even find a Hawk apologist on the internet?

      • cow42

        he did all of that by giving him a B.

      • AlMatthews

        Rather than grade Hawk as if he is one of the highest paid players on the team, which he is, Mr. Toporski grades him as if he is an undrafted free agent playing for the veteran minimum and insists Pack fans should not expect that much out of him.

        For example, he states “While Dom Capers would argue that Hawk’s role is to make sure other guys can make plays, it doesn’t quite appease the desires of Packers fans.” Could you, Mr. Toporski, or any other Hawk apologist please provide a source for this quote?

        Is Dom and by extension Mr. Toporski really contending we are paying AJ in excess of $7,000,000 NOT to make any plays? Or that Hawk is really worth that amount of $ just so others can actually make plays? And if those other players are not making plays like they have not the past 2 years is that AJ’s fault?

        • CSS

          You keep on saying this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          You should, however, look up the word ‘strawman’, because your entire last paragraph is attempting to tear down an argument that Chad simply didn’t even erect to begin with.

          Wow. People get so emotional over subjective grades tied to players they desperately want to be scapegoats for seasons that didn’t meet their expectations…

        • Chad Toporski

          http://espnmilwaukee.com/common/page.php?feed=2&id=861&is_corp=1

          “You know, sometimes the perception of defensive players (is skewed),” Capers said as the Packers prepped to open training camp Thursday. “There’s going to be guys who make flash plays, big plays. And those are important. But there’s also, for us to be the kind of defense we want to be, you have to have guys who are really steady doing their job. There’s a direct correlation between the amount of big plays and the amount of points on the board. I know league-wide, if you have a play of over 15 yards in a drive, it quadruples their chance of scoring.

          “So A.J.’s been a steady guy who’s been accountable, and accountability is really big in terms of taking care of your job. We’re going to ask different guys to do things. Many times, for the average person watching the game, they might not be totally clear on what we’re asking a guy to do. So if you’re pressuring the quarterback, many times there are guys who set things up and guys you try to design to get freed up one-on-one. Those set-up guys are just as important as those guys who are free.

          “As we go through this and the amount of time we spend together, it’s extremely important to me to know who you can count on play-in and play-out. And A.J.’s been one of those guys you can count on.”

          Would you like me to answer anything else for you?

          • AlMatthews

            Good quote. No doubt AJ is assignment sure. But do you really thing that Dom’s statement means he really believes Hawk’s only “role is to make sure other guys can make plays?”

            And again, if AJ’s chief role is supposedly to make others can make plays and those other guys did not make those plays in 2012 (say the final game against the Vikes or the playoff loss to the 49ers) is that not then AJ’s fault?

            Or does AJ only get credit when others make the plays he never makes?

            • Chad Toporski

              I actually don’t believe Dom has much confidence in AJ as a playmaker. If you remember, Hawk wasn’t a starter in 2011. In fact, against the Eagles, he saw very little (none, maybe?) snaps.

              Hawk is also not the ILB used in the dime package. That and other statements by Capers have led me to believe the defensive coordinator wants to see in improvement at the position.

              Also, Hawk got a C+ for the playoffs. Had it just been the 49ers game, it would have been lower. But I did have to take both games into account.

              • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

                The problem is Chad, Hawk hasn’t made a impact play in 2 straight years, 35 games including playoffs and I’m sure there were a few games at the end of the 2010 SB year he didn’t make impact plays to make it more than the 35 games. Not one FF, INT, or fumble recovery. As a matter of fact Hawk has forced 2 fumbles, his ENTIRE CAREER and last recovered one sometime in 2010. Are you serious! Our middle linebacker, the man that’s supposed to thump the ball carrier, lay the wood, and only 2 FF his whole career. Sorry, that takes the meaning of pathetic to new levels. But hey, he’s assignment sure 8 yards down the field when he might make the tackle. I’m sorry, but signing Hawk to that deal was one of the most boneheaded moves Teddy has made. Trust and believe he wasn’t going to get another offer like Ted made him. Hell, he may not have got another offer period. The sad this is Thompson will keep him around and the Packers defense will continue to suffer, instead of cutting him and taking the cap hit.

            • Oppy

              I’ve actually commented more than once that watching AJ Hawk play closely, it sure seems like he is often assigned with taking on the lead blocker to clear up the lanes for other to get to the ball carrier on run plays, and he’s definitely used to “suck in” pass protectors in many of the QB pressures to free up the edges or spring the delayed rusher in a cross-dog blitz.

              I think why the coaches rave about AJ Hawk is simple: He takes the completely unheralded, selfless, and thankless(and often stat-less)job of being a set-up man or a block sponge play after play, and he does it willingly without a single gripe. He’s the epitome of a ‘team player’ in that regard.

              He’s not a great, playmaking LB, but he’s taken on an important role that most NFL starters would rather not take and most NFL starters would probably complain to high hell about… I think Hawk is just happy to do the dirty work so his team mates can make plays.

              • Stroh

                The strong ILB in Capers scheme takes on blockers. FB and in many cases OL also to keep the Weak ILB free to run to the ball. No doubt Hawk has a role in the D to take on more blocks and the other ILB is supposed to be the more athletic playmaker. Not saying that absolves Hawk for lack of impact plays, but its a more difficult role.

                IMO, they should cut ties w/ Hawk this offseason and move Bishop to Hawks role and start Manning at weak ILB to more of the playmaker. Manning is faster and a better athlete, so he should be able to make as many plays as Bishop. Manning and Bishop are more physical players than Hawk too, so it should help the D a great deal to be able to play w/ more physicality. Hope thats what happens, but we’ll see.

              • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

                Can’t agree more. Manning sure has the confidence in himself claiming to be the best LB in the draft. Ted moved up to get this guy for a reason. He had some decent stats in college. He’s more athletic then both Hawk and Bishop. With a full season under his belt and a full off season to get back what he lost while sick last year, I’d think he’d be a huge upgrade over Hawk. Bishops position blitz’s and Manning is supposed to be a excellent. If Manning was able to step in, Perry comes back and plays like the Packers hoped he would coming out, that would be a huge upgrade over Waldon and Hawk and add speed to the defense.

  • CSS

    Bob McGinn gave him a B-, so you’re both in the same ballpark. I don’t see how a ‘B’ is grade inflation. Hawk actually attacked the line of scrimmage for once and was decisive more often than not in committing to the hole. He had a career high in tackles for loss. Leading the team in tackles despite not being part of their dime package (which they played a ton of) was impressive.

    Did he earn his actual paycheck? No. Did he exceed my expectations this year considering the lack of depth at the position, absolutely. Sometimes people are blinded by the ‘I hate Hawk’ rhetoric to actually give him credit for a productive, above average season. Which exceeds a ‘C’.

    Fair grade.

    • Ron LC

      CSS, don’t taint AJ’s grade with anything Mc Ginn says. :)

  • JimR_in_DC

    To those that have been more positive about Hawk’s performance, I have this response:

    – Former 5th overall pick in the draft
    – Salary of $7M+ / year

    I can’t stop shaking my head.

    • CSS

      Because the season review is strictly based on performance. Chad’s not performing a cost-to-benefit or return on investment analysis.

      • AlMatthews

        My bad, I thought Mr. Toporski had a category “EXPECTATIONS COMING INTO THE SEASON.”

        Or perhaps you are one of the Hawk homers who think that he played like one of the highest paid ILBs, which he is.

        • CSS

          Show me one person that had high or even moderate expectations coming into the season for Hawk. Everybody, everywhere and especially on these blogs were expecting Smith to supplant Hawk and Manning to become the nickle/dime back. The only thing keeping readers, writers and bloggers from cutting Hawk when rosters were trimmed to the 53 were his cap restrictions and the cap hit.

          I’m a Hawk critic, and I had no expectations prior to the season. That’s why he exceeded them by being ‘above average.’ Any other meltdowns you want to have about fictitious events?

          • AlMatthews

            So TT, MM, and Dom were paying AJ $7M+ and EXPECTED him to be supplanted by Smith and Manning?

            While “your” expectations may have been exceeded by AJ’s play this season (which included ZERO FUMBLE RECOVERIES, ZERO FUMBLES FORCED, and ZERO INTERCEPTIONS for a second straight year and ZERO PASSES DEFENSED), I cannot fathom that the GB brain trust is investing one of the team’s highest salaries on a player the EXPECTED to be no more than a backup to Smith and Manning.

            • CSS

              Can you even recognize your own argument any longer? Look, Chad is offering a really simple concept to you. Chad had no expectations for Hawk prior to the season, like most Packer fans. Chad, along with everybody else, expected Hawk to be supplanted by an incoming player or a 2nd year D.J. Smith. So when Hawk is forced to play with more frequency, and does so at an above average pace (game over game) it far exceeded Chad’s expectations. Hence, a B+ for meeting expectations. Because there were none.

              As for the money, it was a sunken cost from 2011. That’s on TT, and you can’t just cut Hawk prior to 2012 due to the cap hit you will take and nobody wanted ‘dead money’.

              Get it?

        • Chad Toporski

          “The dismal performance of the 2011 defense also didn’t help Hawk’s cause, especially as the “quarterback” of the unit. After six years of seeing him play, was there really much more we could expect from A.J. Hawk in 2012?”

          I thought that made my expectations of Hawk pretty clear for this year…

  • cow42

    #26 Ogletree OLB UGA
    #52 Jones G/C ‘Bama
    #78 Michael RB TA&M
    #104 Cyprien S FIU
    #130 Logan DT/DE LSU
    #156 Geathers DT UGA
    #182 Williams TE ‘Bama

    GET.
    SEC.
    PLAYERS.

    • cow42

      probably won’t be picking in those exact spots… but you catch my drift.

  • Epy

    Point is we need better linebackers. I think a B is fair as it is average; Id rather a 7m a year player be A or A+. This was probably Hawks best year

    • Chad Toporski

      “Point is we need better linebackers.”

      Bingo.

      • Ron LC

        Amen!

  • SDPackfan

    If Hawk is to be graded based on the very low bar he has set in his 7 seasons a C+ would be about right.

    If he is to be graded as one of the Pack’s highest paid players and one of the highest paid inside linebackers in the NFL he gets a D.

    No way Hawk deserves all that money when he simply never makes an impact play. He is the most overpaid player on the team.

    • Chad Toporski

      You could convince me of a C+ or B-… I generally waffle between grades as I try to decide what fits the best. Sometimes certain things end up bumping the grade one direction or another. In this case, it was the fact that is probably one of best seasons for Hawk. (Granted, his “best” is limited…)

  • Chad Toporski

    Thank you, CSS, for understanding my approach. In fact, this is the approach I’ve taken with all of my grading. (This being the first evaluation of mine that you’ve seen, I hope you understand as more get released.)

    My goal is not to evaluate a player for his entire career. If that were the case, then yes, Hawk’s grade would definitely be lower. My goal is to grade a player based on his production for this year and this year only.

    As well, the expectations for a player are not influenced by his paycheck. For you they might, but not for me. (We can agree to disagree there.) His expectations are set at the beginning of the year based on his past performance and what went down in training camp.

    Finally, if you care to argue about something, I have absolutely no qualms. But please do all of us the favor and provide some clear arguments and evidence. We’ll probably disagree about some things, and that’s ok. It’s the nice part about living in a free country. But don’t just sit there and take the argument to a sub-intellectual level. It doesn’t help anyone’s cause.

    (Oh, and for the record, I don’t think Hawk should be back next season unless his salary is reduced. In fact, maybe not even then… Sorry if I just caused your head to explode.)

    • CSS

      “Finally, if you care to argue about something, I have absolutely no qualms. But please do all of us the favor and provide some clear arguments and evidence.”

      My user handle is the only one you reference in this post, is the above directed at me?

      • Chad Toporski

        Heavens no!

        • mike sherman

          Thank you for clarifying that you don’t think Hawk should be back next season. I think if you added that to the article (although i have no idea where that fits in) more people would understand the point and grading system your making. I think the problem many people have, as well as myself, is the level Hawk is beloved by so many Packer fans that don’t seem to understand football well. I can’t believe how many Hawk jersey’s i see at packer games and parties, it makes me physically sick. I get it, he was a high profile college player drafted high, has the long hair, and a great football name. However, for all of us that pay attention, Hawk has been very average LB that had a good season in 2010 and played that into a big contract. Now he is back to the same average player but he looks even slower than he did before, almost like he is carrying all the money he is being paid in his back pocket and its weighing him down. Last point- I’m really getting sick of people saying “oh its not Hawks job to make plays, he takes on blockers so that other people can make plays”. If you say that, you know nothing about the scheme the packers are playing and football in general. In the 3-4, the DL are expected to occupy blockers. Even then, most are expected to be able to rush and make a tackle from time to time. Good LB’s, especially one’s paid the level AJ is being paid, are expected to be able to take on a blocker and still make a tackle from time to time. Hawk almost never makes it happen and never hits anyone hard enough to force a fumble. He won’t be back next season.

    • Brian

      Do you and CSS have a man-crush?

  • SDPackfan

    I don’t want to bash anyone else’s grading but if B means above average I find Chris’ giving AJ Hawk a B to be higher than any grade I’ve seen on him anywhere else. I know McGinn gave him a B- (after trashing AJ for years maybe he just felt sorry for him) and I thought Demovsky gave him a D.

    Anyway, I just don’t see anything from Hawk that is above average and plenty that is below average so on my scale there is no way he could be above a C.

  • BartyS

    I confess I am having a hard time following the author’s grade of B for AJ Hawk’s season. I thought a player gets a grade based on how they play so for example Rodgers gets an A because he played like one of the best QBs in the NFL.

    But the author believes Hawk is worthy of a B because he met or exceeded his expectations (even though the author’s expectations were pretty low for Hawk coming into this season). Or maybe I am just not getting it.

    Anyway, if the expectations for Hawk are laughably low then yeah I guess I can understand how he met them. Why one would set such low expectations for a highly-paid starter is what boggles my mind.

    I am also confused about why Zombo would get a D. Did anyone expect him to play much behind Perry, CMIII, Walden, or Moses this year especially when he started out on the PUP list? I mean, my expectations were very low for Zombo and he certainly fulfilled them, so why does he get a D?

    Color me confused.

    • CSS

      Chad did give Zombo a ‘D+’ for fulfilling expectations. He was injured prior to the season and expectations were low. Outside of one game-ball and some limited special teams his injuries kept him from even fulfilling ‘low expectations.’ Hence the D. Was the opposite for Hawk.

      • Chad Toporski

        Jason actually graded Zombo. He had the OLBs, I had the ILBs.

        • Stroh

          Different graders seems like completely different scales. Not your fault but makes grade really inconsistent and nonsensical.

          • Chad Toporski

            We’d be crazy to have just one person do all of these evaluations. We do have other jobs and lives outside of this.

            What we do, though, it split it up by position, so at the very least, player grades are consistent within the unit. Which means a whole lot more than anything else, really

          • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

            Stroh, if you have the time to do 53+ of these yourself, let me know and you’re hired!

            • Stroh

              Like I said… I wasn’t being critical or blaming anyone. Just that it makes the grades harder to understand! I understand the situation just letting you know. Don’t take it personal for gods sake!

            • Stroh

              You paying? Then I’ll consider it.

      • http://allgbp.com/category/authors/jason-perone/ Jason Perone

        Zombo was on me, CSS. I did the OLB’s

  • Oppy

    Everyone loves to hate Hawk.

    I bet Jarrett Bush is Hawk’s biggest fan.

    Somewhere, Justin Harrell is getting an AJ Hawk portrait piece tattooed on his back..

    I know this is hard, but forget what the players get paid, forget when they were drafted- it simply doesn’t matter. Some guys are going to “play under” their salary, some guys are going to “play over” their salary.

    Hawk is clearly overpaid, (grotesquely, even, and he’s not a game-changer like you would want a 5th overall to be.. but he’s not a horrible LB. He’s just a decent one. That’s not a crime.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Those first couple of lines really made me laugh…

      +2

  • SDPackfan

    So we should forget about Hawk’s enormous contract but apparently it is relevant when considering the likes of Cullen Jenkins, Scott Wells, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, etc.

    Sorry, others may be pleased that Hawk is a “decent” player. As for me, I cannot ignore the fact the multiple millions Hawk has been and will continue to be overpaid could have and could be paid to better than decent players.

  • Ron LC

    Grades should be based on a clear standard. AJ is not a star quality ILB, he too is a situation player. A job he does very well. If you watch his play he is doing everything he is schooled to do. In Capers system he is doing fine. Not worth the huge salary but you need to grade TT for that. Hopefully, Bishop can come back strong and act as a complement to AJ. What is needed is to cut loose all the sub-talented ILB’s and OLB’s and start fresh. Line Backing was the D’s biggest WART. It needs to be cauterized.

  • Scott 1956

    All Hawk does is not be able to cover ANYBODY, tackle runners 5-8 yards down field, never make an impact play, and cannot rush the passer. And you consider that playing at a level that you would grade a “B”? Instead of trying to find reasons to give him a high grade, try honestly looking at the tapes of his play! I’m glad that you aren’t a talent evaluator. We could have a defense full of Hawk’s, they would all grade out at a “B”, and be the worst defense in the league!

    • Chad Toporski

      I’m glad a lot of people on here aren’t professional scouts…

    • http://fox Clint

      Yes, I am glad you (Chad) are not a professional scout for the packers. We would probably have a lot more AJ Hawks with your generous grading system.

      • Chad Toporski

        The team would suck if I was one of their scouts, because that’s not what I’ve been trained to do. I am a music teacher who blogs about the Packers. Simple as that.

        Although, I’m guessing you wouldn’t do much better. Even pro scouts get it wrong. So unless you are, in fact, a professional scout, then I fail to see how your opinion is more right than mine is.

  • Chad Toporski

    Just a general comment… This debate is good, but the real point of these evaluations is not nearly just the letter grade you see at the end. What’s written in support of these grades is the real heart of the matter. While it’s my hope that people are actually reading the content, I am resigned to the fact that a lot of people just scroll down to the final grade and judge everything on that.

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    Can I remind everyone all these grades are for the 2012 season ONLY. Not their whole career. What Hawk has done in the past and where he was drafted is immaterial. that is why we have the “expectations for this season” – that can change dramatically from year to year.

    • Barutan Seijin

      But the problem is that where a player was drafted, his past performance & probably his salary all play into the “expectations for the season”. A player’s past creates expectations.

      • Chad Toporski

        After six years of watching Hawk play, you suddenly think he’s going to start playing like the 5th overall pick?

        And how would his salary change that, especially in a “non-contract” year?

        • Barutan Seijin

          I’m arguing the general point, that you can’t pretend you’re throwing out everything that came before 2012. Even in your reply you’re bringing up Hawk’s career performance as a reason to lower expectations. That’s entirely reasonable. But if you’re going to make that point, you can’t say that Hawk’s past is off limits.

  • http://allgbp.com Charlie B

    Being “assignment sure” doesn’t mean much if one can’t carry out the assignment.

  • SDPackfan

    Given that AJ is one of the highest paid players on the team would it not be a reasonable expectation that he play like one?

    I think having low expectations for an undrafted free agent (and low paid player) like MD Jennings makes sense.

    I think having low expectations of a player who is still paid like he was the 5th overall pick in the draft is nonsensical.

    • Chad Toporski

      Question: How did you expect that he would perform this year?

  • SDPackfan

    I expected Hawk to play as if he was one of the highest paid players on the team not as if he was a 6th round pick making a modest salary.

    IMO if you do not expect the team’s big salary players to perform up to the level they are compensated then you are in trouble.

    No NFL team has unlimited resources given the salary cap reality and to give a B to a high-priced player who underwhelms year after year is just puzzling to me.

    • Chad Toporski

      Let me rephrase, since that word “expect” seems to get misinterpreted…

      How did you *think* he would perform this year? What kind of a projection would you have made for his performance level?

    • Chad Toporski

      Another way to look at it…

      In 2005, before Donald Driver signed his contract extension, would you have expected him to play as a 7th round pick at his salary level?

  • SDPackfan

    Did you expect Aaron Rodgers to play like a top 3 QB this year? I did and I think he met those expectations and deserved an A or even A+ for his stellar play.

    If you expected Hawk to be mediocre based on his previous 6 years of mediocre play and he met your expectations by playing mediocre football yet again in 2012 I just don’t see how he deserves a B (or above average grade).

    I suspect we are talking about foreign concepts regarding how one should grade a player’s performance and thus concede that while I do not understand your system in the least it is your system so no sense in my criticizing your grading of AJ Hawk.

    Ifhe had a B season in your mind then he deserves a B.

    • Chad Toporski

      I’m pretty sure I laid out my expectations as written above. I’m assuming you read the text and not just the grade. (Though I could be wrong.)

      In fact, I’m starting to think you didn’t quite look at everything, since I gave him a “B+” in regard to meeting his level of expected performance… not a “B.” The latter was his overall grade, which takes into account multiple things.

      “If you expected Hawk to be mediocre based on his previous 6 years of mediocre play and he met your expectations by playing mediocre football yet again in 2012 I just don’t see how he deserves a B (or above average grade).”

      Because he exceeded what I expected him to do this year. I didn’t think he would play as well as he did. (Is that a hard concept to understand?)

      If you don’t think AJ Hawk played beyond the performance expectations he has set over the past six years, then there’s plenty of room for discussion. But I don’t see how this process is so inconceivable to you.

      • Oppy

        Chad, it’s time to give it up.

        I don’t see why it’s hard to understand that the grade is, in actuality, based on exactly what you say it is: “Level of expectations met during the season.”

        You lay out the expectations, you give a
        grade based on if they meet, exceed, or fall short of said expectation.

        Pretty straight forward, some people just can’t stand to see anything next to Hawk’s name that doesn’t read “Cut” or “Strung up in a tree”

        • Barutan Seijin

          No.

          I think what people object to are: 1. the whole idea of grading on expectations, 2. the arbitary definitions of expectations (some are legit, some are off limits.) & 3. the inconsistent application of method.

          Hawk exceeded my low expectations, but it only by a little. (And they were low!) It’s not like he had an All-Pro season or even a Pro Bowl season. On the other hand, Zombo greatly exceeded my expectations by making the team. Zombo should get an A+.

        • Chad Toporski

          Agreed, Oppy… Walking away…

  • SDPackfan

    The grader gave Hawk an above average grade and is doing mental gymnastics to justify it.

    For proof his Hawk deserved a B because we all should have had minimal expectations for our $7M+ a year ILBer explanation does not ring true check out his grade of Lattimore. Who had any expectations he would do anything this year? No one and he did nothing and he gets a D.

    Meanwhile, AJ causes no fumbles, recovers no fumbles, intercepts no passes, and is credited with no passes defended yet he had a B year. Unbelievable.

    • Oppy

      For the record, I’m giving AJ Hawk a perfect, 5-star, A++, 103% grade, just to piss all of you people off.

  • mike sherman

    let’s just be glad Hawk is gone after this year. His contract was the worst thing i’ve seen since I gave Joe Johnson and Cletidus Hunt big money to play at a AJ Hawk level. cant wait to see one of our younger guys on the roster- Manning or Smith, get to play with Bishop. We could also draft a MLB high this year. Its exciting for the Defense. A good MLB next to Bishop, Perry and Mathews would give us a tremendous LBing group.