Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

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Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football
Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

With NFL draft now behind us, I’ve found myself asking one question about the Packers over the last week: Do the players Ted Thompson selected make the Packers a more physical team?

The answer I come up with is…maybe?

  • First-round pick Datone Jones is 6-foot-4, 280 pounds. When you see him play, you think long and lean instead of tough and mean. But a player’s height and weight doesn’t tell you much about how physical they’ll play. I’m sure Jones will add some weight. If he doesn’t, sometimes smaller guys play with such an attitude that they might as well be 320 pounds of brute force.
  • The first thing that comes to mind when I watch Eddie Lacy run is physical. You can automatically place Mr. Lacy in the immediately-makes-the-Packers-more-physical category. The catch with Lacy is his health. One of his big toes is fused on, he’s got screws in his hand, he can barely bench press because of an old pectoral injury and he’s had hamstring issues. It’s hard to help your team be more physical while riding an exercise bike on the sideline. Let’s hope Lacy is able to use his aggression on the field instead of in the team’s rehab facility.
  • J.C. Tretter and David Bakhtiari are two offensive linemen that were not projected to be drafted because of their physicality. The Packers like drafting athletic college tackles who can play multiple positions in the NFL, and that’s what Tretter and Bakhitiari are. I suppose they could develop into maulers, but neither one makes me think they’ll immediately make the Packers more physical.
  • When you think of being physical, do you think of riding a Jetski? Probably not, but that’s the nickname given to Packers fourth-round pick Jonathan Franklin because of his ability to leave defenders in his wake. Franklin does little to make the Packers more physical, but I don’t really care. You don’t draft speedy running backs to batter the other team. You draft them to run away from the other team once they are already battered.
  • Fifth-round pick Micah Hyde probably won’t get an opportunity to make the Packers more physical on an every-down basis, but he should get his shot on special teams. The Packers could always use more physicality on their special teams. Josh Boyd, the Packers other fifth-round pick, is 6-foot-3, 310 pounds. He at least possesses the measurements to make the Packers more physical.
  • I don’t know enough about the late-round picks to speculate either way. Nate Palmer is intriguing, though.

Regardless of how Mike McCarthy and the Packers try to spin it, they need to play more physical in 2013. Third-and-1 shouldn’t have to be a nail-biting adventure all the time. Adrian Peterson shouldn’t run for over 500 yards whenever he plays against Green Bay. Quarterbacks, regardless of how mobile they are, shouldn’t be able to move and dance around the field whenever they feel like it.

Staying healthy will go a long way in improving the Packers’ physicality (I love that word). I hope the draft class does too, but I’m not quite sold yet.

Of course, it’s silly to judge a draft class on their physicality before any of them step foot on the field, but the NFL draft wouldn’t be as fun as it is without the prognostication, speculation and analysis that comes with it.

When it comes to the physicality of this Packers’ draft class, let’s hope my “maybe?” turns into and firm “YES!”

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • The folks had Cheesehead Radio had a nice chat with Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett this week. Make sure to give it a listen here.
  • The Packers offensive line, it’s a shufflin’. Check out the changes here, then read the words I wrote about it here.
  • Al Harris officially retired as a Packer this week. Jason Wilde always had interesting interviews and stories on Harris, and Wilde’s blog post this week was no exception.
  • Evan Western at Acme Packing Company breaks down the Packers wide receiver post-draft.
  • Could the Packers add a veteran safety? Brian Carriveau at CheeseheadTV has a nice breakdown of that situation.
  • Quick shoutout to Packerpedia’s twitter account. They’re always tweeting useful news and nuggets of information on the Packers that are great for people on the go (also check out their fine blog here).

Non-Packers Links and Other Nonsense

  • Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died this week from liver failure. People always laugh at me when they learn I’ve listened to Slayer since I was 10 years old, but I don’t care. There is more emotion and feeling packed into a Slayer song like “War Ensemble” than most of what passes as acceptable or safe music that the “cool” people listen to these days. Hanneman’s death bothers me. I know, he’s just some quasi-celebrity that I’ve never met and probably have little in common with, but when you’ve connected with a band’s music for 20 years, it stings a bit to see one of its members die. It’s an odd sense of feeling old yourself, knowing you’ll never get to hear him play again, and hoping he’s up in heaven (or hell, he played in Slayer, after all) at peace and with a clear understanding of all the lives he touched through playing loud, obnoxious, fast, and just plain awesome music. I guess I would compare the feeling to how I felt after Reggie White died, even though I was much younger when White passed on.
  • That’s all I got this week. RIP Jeff Hanneman \m/ \m/

 

 

 

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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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  • Tarynfor12

    So…we have a pieced together RB,a jet ski,two more bullyable OL men,a ‘ditto’ replica coming to the DL and some who a few whose profiles are sealed.

    As to getting or being more ‘physical’ based on that..did any co-star in this video…isn’t this why our guys get injuries.

    • Tarynfor12

      ‘who a few’ sorry,I thought I edited that out..should be..”and some whose profiles are sealed”

  • Dobber

    People talk about physicality as being important. I don’t see that as being as important as being able to dictate play…whether that’s by playing fast or by controlling the ball. The Packers are built to play fast on both sides of the ball.

    The draft and recent changes on the OL don’t necessarily indicate a change in how the Packers want to play. I think they still want to play fast, given that they’ve got arguably the best passer in the league locked up for the rest of his productive years, but they want to be able to threaten defenses with the run. When you go back to the 15-1 2011 team, they could still keep defenses honest. The 2012 team couldn’t do that.

    As for Lacy…
    “One of his big toes is fused on…”
    What? You mean with, like, a soldering iron? He played all last season with it, no?

    • Adam Czech

      He’s had fusion surgery on his big toe and that’s the reason the Steelers (and I think Denver) gave for passing on him.

      Whether a soldering iron or medical instrument was used, it doesn’t sound good!

      And yes, he played through all of that stuff last season. Hopefully he stays healthy for the Packers…..

      • Dobber

        If you don’t want to do something, you can come up with a million-and-one reasons or excuses why it didn’t happen. People are excellent rationalizers. They just didn’t like Lacy as much as the guy they picked. This might just be the party line to appease their fans.

        Sure, flexion in the big toe is important in pushing off, but a good athlete will get around it. I like Lacy’s toughness. He plays, hurt or not.

  • PackersRS

    Is that a Dylan reference, Adam?

    • Adam Czech

      Not sure what you mean…..so I guess the answer is no :)

      • PackersRS

        “The Packers offensive line, it’s a shufflin’”

        I’m sure that expression is from before him, but reminded me of the times they’re a-changin’

        • Adam Czech

          Nah, that was just a cheesy way to say the Packers made some changes on their offensive line.

  • cow42

    “Do the players Ted Thompson selected make the Packers a more physical team?”

    no.

    hopefully a healthy Bulaga, an experienced Barclay, a healed Sherrod,a reincarnated Bishop, a second year McMillian, and a brand new Perry can take care of the physicality void.

    one thing i will say – athleticism plays into physicality… example: while Hawk is big and strong, I don’t consider him to be overly physical. his lack of athleticism prevents him from getting his body into an explosive position… before a player can apply his strength, he’s got to be able to “load the gun”, if you will.

    with that in mind, i think Jones may have a chance to make physical type plays despite his slender build.

    • Adam Czech

      I see what you’re saying. The bottom line is can a guy play at a high level or not, regardless of how he’s built or how “physical” he might be.

    • Dobber

      Why do we think physicality is primarily about hard hits and pancake blocks?

      A team only needs to be “physical” enough to allow it to execute its game plan better or more effectively than its opposition. We’ve decided that physical is the be-all and end-all, but it’s execution that matters. You can be ridiculously physical, but if you can’t execute a lick, you probably aren’t going to win much.

      When we say, “are the Packers more physical”, the comparator is the important part. More physical…than the Giants or the ‘9ers? Hell no. More physical than they were in 2012? I think they are. Will that be enough for them to execute and dictate game play more effectively against those teams? That’s why they play ‘em on the field.

    • Oppy

      Funny thing is, Hawk was one of the more athletic LB’s to come out in a quite a while when he entered the draft. He set some high marks at the combine that few reach, believe it or not.

      • Dobber

        I never cease to be amazed by the Hawk-bashing in these discussions. The guy is exactly what he was billed to be coming out of college, and was a consensus top-10 pick according to all the pundits: most of whom loved the pick when it was made.

        I have had very little issue with Hawk’s play. His draft status, role in the defense, and the relative need the Packers had necessitated the big contract he was given. Even now that the Packer defense has evolved and grown (remember, he was drafted to play inside in the 4-3) and he sees where he fits, he’s accepted a contract that could mean he’s playing his last season in GB.

  • Oppy

    Lacy has had numerous injuries, but from what I’ve read, he’s a psycho that plays through the injuries regardless. One NFL personnel guy was quoted as chuckling and then saying “He’s a different cat” when asked about Lacy’s injuries, referring to Lacy’s disregard for pain and injury.

    Nate Palmer:

    One of the more interesting factoids I read on Nate Palmer was that he led the NCAA in QB hits.. This tied in with the article detailing how Kevin Greene seems to think Palmer has all the tools to have Clay Matthews type success (if Nate Palmer is willing to, and capable of, working as hard as Matthews does), has intrigued me. I’ll believe it when I see it, but previous to finding these two little snippets of information I had no optimism about Palmer at all. At least now my interest is piqued.

    • Dobber

      I like to think that having a guy like Matthews in the locker room forces other guys to try to measure up. It doesn’t help some players, but I can’t help but think it gets more out of others than they would have ever shown otherwise.

    • Dobber

      ” I’ll believe it when I see it, but previous to finding these two little snippets of information I had no optimism about Palmer at all. At least now my interest is piqued.”

      Ditto. I’ve warmed to this pick since the draft.

    • cow42

      anyone able to find palmer highlights? all i can find is the wr w/ the same name who the 49’ers signed as an undrafted – who looks good, by the way.

      • Dobber

        I searched for Palmer videos and spent the next 20 minutes watching “Simply Irresistable” over and over again.

    • PackersRS

      Nick Perry and Clay Matthews. These are the 2 promising guys that management has given Greene to work with.

      The rest are 7th rounders and UDFAs.

      One is already a stud. If the other guy can flourish (he was playing better later on before being lost for the season) the Packers’ OLB coach will have quite a track record.

  • Mudduckcheesehead

    \m/

    • cow42

      /w\

      • Mudduckcheesehead

        Oh Cow, you’ve got a contrary opinion on everything…

  • Chad Toporski

    Would love to see some people’s definition and quantification of “physicality” in reference to football.

    Because I think some people don’t really have any clear idea of what they actually mean when they use that term.

    • cow42

      for me it’s making the line of scrimmage go the direction you want it to go.

      • Chad Toporski

        Then what does it mean for a safety? A running back? A wide receiver?

    • Dobber

      Physicality is like art: you know it when you see it. Is it quantifiable? Only partially and only for some positions (someone mentioned RAC/YAC). So much of physicality is also motor and drive.

      How about this: the ability to play effectively to–and through–contact?

      • Dobber

        We have to be careful in that so much of YAC/RAC is really bad tackling as opposed to physical play on the part of an offensive player.

  • Holmesmd

    That’s easy. Physicality is playing explosively and aggressively. For offensive players it’s RAContact. For defensive players its striking offensive players violently and making sure tackles. CMIII is a good example on defense. AP is a violent physical RB. Christian Okoye is another example that comes to mind. Bishop is our most physical ILB. Physicality also requires a bit of a “mean nasty” attitude. I don’t think the Pack are nearly nasty enough. We need some guys on D that like to kick a**. I don’t think too many players in the league fear anyone on our defense except CMIII. That’s not gonna get it done in the NFL. Paradoxically, the league has decided to cripple defensive players by not allowing them to play with physicality without being penalized. It’s a strange paradox but everyone who enjoys watching football misses some of the big hits that are no longer allowed. I know I do! That’s what physicality is to me and the Pack need considerably more of it than they have. Draft may have helped a bit but we shall see. GPG

    • Dobber

      I remember a clip of Christian Okoye, hitting the hole with a head of steam, being knocked flat on his tail by a LB…geez, I wish I could find that. Great hit.

      • Dobber

        Found it…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvPxzQBIafo

        Not a LB, either, it was Steve Atwater…who might have well been an LB with how he played.

        • Holmesmd

          Yes, this is exactly the collision I was referring to. Both players were tremendously physical players. We just don’t get to see play like that much anymore!:(

  • FITZCORE1252

    Christ, Atwater could hit… I liked watching that dude play.

    • Dobber

      How many concussions do you think that guy had in his career?

      • http://www.gayboystube.eu Daren Chitty

        ZOO gay porn!

  • Big T

    Physicality – An O-line that knocks the D-line on their azzes repeatedly throughout the game. Or you could say any O-line that is playing against the Packers…

    • Holmesmd

      LOL! They zone block too dang much and the game has changed a lot. I miss the days of the old school game when a massive bulldozer OT or OG would plow through the D-line and into the second level…flattening anyone in their way!:) Those were the good old days. You just don’t see that anymore…not even AGAINST the Pack;)Remember Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen?! I used to love watching those guys kick the crap out of people!! The game is just different now. All this zone blocking and 3 second QB release stuff doesn’t seem to allow for the same type of line play. I for one miss that aspect about the old game…. a lot!!:/

      • Dobber

        Remember that the game has evolved because that’s what the management-types believe we, as the consumers, want to see.

        I actually love watching teams with great running games. When the Badgers have a good line and a decent back, it’s a thing of beauty. That game just doesn’t translate to the NFL anymore unless you have a lock-down defense to go with.

        • Dobber

          I don’t care for the spread, and really dislike the read-option (which looks like the NBA philosophy of offense creeping into the NFL). And I dislike it even more after last January.

  • Holmesmd

    Physicality? Here is what I mean:

  • http://TalkinPackers Yoop

    Two Linemen that were “two offensive linemen that were not projected to be drafted because of their physicality”?

    Bakhtiari adequate athleticism and toughness, he ranks as one of the more underrated offensive linemen in the 2013 draft and a likely Day Two selection, Shows some nastiness to his game, looking to knock defenders to the ground when he can.

    Overall, Bakhtiari shows the strength and smarts to play at the next level and showed signs that he can be physical and can be explosive and he will need to utilize those consistently to have success at the next level.

    3rd or 4th round grade.

    Tretter

    Possesses an athletic frame with room for additional muscle mass. Quick off the snap, demonstrating light feet with lateral agility and balance. Shoots his hands into the chest of his opponent and flashes some nastiness to knock defenders to the ground when he senses them off-balance. Shows surprising football intelligence considering his lack of experience. Recognizes blitzes and adjusts to stunts well, showing the ability to slide off of double-teams and take on the defender looping around. Takes the game seriously, showing the attention to detail to improve. An ascending talent who is just scratching the surface of his potential.

    Size, has nothing to do with Physicality, Physical ability has nothing to do with it.
    I think it is interesting that fans think that physicality is nothing more then a player being for lack of a better word Dirty. If you don’t throw player to the ground, don’t make some big blow up hit you are not physical.

    • Dobber

      Just because a player doesn’t drive a ball-carrier into the turf or try to take the head off every receiver that runs across the middle doesn’t mean they aren’t physical.

      Solid tacklers? Ability to shed offensive linemen and get into plays? Effective at knocking receivers off their routes and disrupting timing? Plays hard through the whistle?

      All traits of physical defensive players that don’t get seen on SportsCenter. I’d take a defense full of those guys in a heartbeat.