22

June

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

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers football

After the Packers lost to the 49ers (again) in the playoffs, I wrote this about another “ho-hum” playoff performance from Aaron Rodgers.

I was critical of Rodgers’ recent playoff games, while at the same time trying my best to make clear that Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league and shouldn’t be “blamed” for recent playoff defeats.

However, I thought it was fair to take a look at Rodgers in recent playoff games and at least offer some insight into how his play factored into the Packers coming up short. Of course, this set off a firestorm in our comments section. I even waded into the discussion and got all fired up at a couple of commenters.

Now that we’re almost six months removed from the playoff defeat, let’s re-examine my Rodgers-in-recent-postseasons post and see if we feel any differently about it. Do I regret anything I wrote? Do any commenters who accused me of trolling feel differently?

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

And I do feel guilty for writing a post that is critical of Rodgers when there are all kinds of other reasons why the Packers season has ended early three years in a row.

But ever since going on a tear and winning the Super Bowl in 2010, Rodgers hasn’t had another standout postseason performance — the kind of game that cements legacies and delivers memorable playoff wins that are talked about for the next 30 years.

I stand behind this. We haven’t seen a HOLY CRAP! playoff game from Rodgers since the Super Bowl run and the Packers have only won one postseason game since. I think what I wrote was a fair representation of how important Rodgers is to the team and how he’s been good, not great, in recent postseasons.

Now here’s a reader comment on the post from “Sportsfan1″:

This article headline feels like “click-bait” and the article itself tries to take advantage of Packers fans’ emotions after a loss, while presenting odd statistics and voicing discreet statements of disdain. Adam said he isn’t blaming Rodgers for the loss, yet the statement that Rodgers “needs to make plays on third down and deliver touchdowns when in the red zone late in close games” is a reproachable statement; one that places the loss squarely on Rodgers’ shoulders.

The comment from “Sportsfan1″ went on much longer and accused me of more trolling. I still disagree with “Sportsfan1″ click-bait accusations and generally wonder how someone who actually read my post could accuse me of blaming Rodgers for the loss when I clearly stated that I didn’t blame Rodgers. But I think the issue “Sportsfan1″ and other commenters had with the post is its general tone.

Perhaps I could have done a better job of lightening the mood of the post a little. I was not blaming Rodgers for any of the Packers playoff losses. I stated that clearly in the post, but the overall tone of the post had kind of an ominous feel. Even though I never wrote it, I could see how a casual reader might get the sense that I was pinning everything on the quarterback.

If I had a chance to re-write the post, I’d probably re-do the last paragraph:

Until Rodgers plays a $110 million game in the postseason instead of just making a few $110 million plays, the Packers will likely keep coming up short when it matters most.

Yeah, that’s kind of snarky. It’s still not blaming Rodgers, not even close, but it’s kind of a douchey thing to say and probably left readers with a bad taste in their mouth, leading to the misguided “Why does Adam hate Rodgers and blame the QB for the Packers playoff losses” sentiment.

Since I’m not a very emotional person, I can get too locked in on facts and statistics when making an argument and be oblivious to how the tone of what I write could cause people to completely misconstrue what I’m trying to say. In other words, sometimes I don’t realize when I’m being a dick.

Here’s another reader comment from “Razer:”

People are irked by the “ho hum” inference in the headline and the $110 million reference. Maybe we should focus on the fact that the Packers got the most out a injury depleted, rag-tag group of gutsy, blue collar players. It is the story of this team, this season and this game. All the rest is noise.

That’s accurate. But I feel we’re pretty level-headed here at ALLGBP.com when it comes to balancing criticism with giving praise and credit when credit is due.

In my opinion, a deeper and a more critical look at Rodgers was warranted after another early playoff exit.

Bottom line: If I could go back in time to Jan. 5, back to sitting in front of my laptop and feeling depressed after another Packers playoff loss, would I write the Rodgers-in-the-posteseason post again?

Absolutely.

However, I might change the title and try to lighten the tone a little. I stand behind my overall point, but the execution was a little “ho-hum.”

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • After a Packers minicamp practice this week, defensive lineman Mike Daniels went off about toughness on the Packers’ defense. He even said he might start beating up his teammates if he didn’t think they were being tough enough. Daniels’ comments are good for a laugh, but hopefully he doesn’t actually think this kind of stuff will actually make the Packers tougher. Toughness on defense comes from sound tackling, winning one-on-one matchups, being faster than the other guy, having a scheme that confuses the offense, and standing firm in the red zone. Chest-thumping, talking big and acting tough does not equate to actual toughness. But it is entertaining and fun to read about, so good on Daniels for adding some color to the normally mundane string of locker room quotes.
  • Jonathan Franklin’s career is over because of a neck injury and it makes me sad. He seemed like a good kid. Here’s a list of all the Packers players who have had their careers ended (or almost ended) by serious neck injuries. There’s nine players in all. That’s crazy. Perhaps Packers players are more susceptible to neck injuries because they’re always staring up at the championship banners hanging at Lambeau Field.
  • I was really upset that I couldn’t co-host this week’s No Huddle Radio podcast because of a work commitment. But Jersey Al, Kris and Jason do a fine job talking Packers with the co-host of ESPN’s Green & Gold Today, Bill Johnson. It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t be on the show because if I was, Bill and I would have probably spent 20 minutes talking about old-school professional wrestling jobbers.
  • Jason at Acme Packing Co. wonders if Nick Perry, who has missed the offseason program with an injury, is falling behind. Forget falling behind, Perry might be falling out of a job if he can’t stay on the field.
  • For a full Packers offseason and minicamp report, check out this post at ALLGBP.com from Jason Perone.

Non Packers links and other Nonsense

  • The comments section here at ALLGBP.com can sometimes get a little heated, but, um, nothing like this, thankfully.
  • Are there still people in this world who take what Dick Cheney says about Iraq seriously? Cheney makes Ray Rice seem self-aware. If you want to read someone who is actually credible on Iraq, Fred Kaplan is a good bet.
  • Was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at the center of a political fundraising “criminal scheme?” The whole thing is a little confusing to me, but based on what I read, and my limited understanding of it, I smell politics behind the accusations more than a legitimate “criminal scheme.” We’ll see, I guess.
  • Tony Gwynn sounded like a great guy. RIP.
  • Mastodon’s new album “Once More ‘Round the Sun” comes out Tuesday. If you don’t know who Mastodon is, they are the best rock/metal band going today. If the Packers defense listened to Mastodon, they’d be the toughest defense in the NFL and Mike Daniels wouldn’t have to beat anyone up in the locker room.
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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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17 Responses to “Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived”

  1. dobber says:

    “Toughness on defense comes from sound tackling, winning one-on-one matchups,”

    This is absolutely where it starts.

    I have no problem with Daniels calling out his teammates. While most teams don’t like to have players who are loose cannons with the media, I think a little fire of this sort is good for the Packers.

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    • Ed Schoenfeld says:

      Actually, I think it goes the other way around.

      Sound tackling and winning one-on-one match ups happen *after* players acquire toughness or, more accurately, make the mental and emotional choice to ‘be tough.’

      I think that is what Daniels was getting at, and it an attitude that the Packers need more players to have.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      • Stroh says:

        It does go the other way around. A tougher attitude is needed on the Packers D and Daniels was spot on. No one w/ half a brain seriously thinks he’s going to go around starting fights to make his point, tho that could happen once training camp starts and tempers flare on a hot practice field. I would have no problem w/ Daniels getting in a few faces if he doesn’t see the toughness and aggressiveness he thinks is necessary. Its part of being a leader… Not being afraid to say (or do) what others might be thinking, even if it isn’t PC!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        • Ed Schoenfeld says:

          I agree that Daniels statements seem to be part of him wanting to step forward as a vocal leader. Packers players have always tended towards the “I let my play do the talking” type of leadership, but you need a couple-three of the Nitschke types as well (lead by example *and* vocally).

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Nick Perry says:

    The Packers got beat by 3 in the last seconds of that game. We all know how many injured players the Packers had, and losing Shields and Neal in the first few minutes of the game didn’t help. At times they had Datone Jones and Andy Mulumba playing OLB. Rodgers and Cobb were playing in their 2nd games since missing 8 and 10 weeks respectively. Boykin and Quarless caught 1 pass between then and Jones dropped 2. The 49ers got back Crabtree a week or 2 before and it showed, he was fresh like Harvin was in the SB. While I never wish harm to another player, I wondered why the 49ers aren’t ever ravaged by injuries. For 3 of the last 4 years the Packers have been gutted by injuries, some career ending. I mean they couldn’t get out of “Family Night” without losing a starter for the season!
    Before last season Rodgers was at his best on 3rd down and in the Red Zone. In the last few years they’ve lost Jennings, Finley, and Driver, it’s going to have a effect. There’s not another QB I’d rather have than Rodgers in the NFL.

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  3. summerwood says:

    Fred Kaplan and Slate??? Write about the Packers and keep your other nonsense to yourself

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 10

    • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

      Slate and the HuffPo are liberal E-rags that have nothing more valuable to say than Fox News and The Blaze.

      I have many friends who read them. (on both sides) Most of them have real trouble seeing someone else’s POV….

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    • marpag says:

      Personally, I detest everything about the trend in “sports” journalism which says that it’s OK to ramble on about non-sports related stuff… as if the writer and his whims were somehow the important things. The worst offender is Peter King. Like I really care what his favorite beer is, or what burdensome hassles he manfully endured while passing through the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Drivel.

      End result: I don’t read Peter King anymore, and don’t miss it, either.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  4. Stroh says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  5. GBPDAN says:

    I wouldn’t want any other QB than Rodgers on the Packers. That being said, I get the point that with all the injuries (and lack of talent at curtain positions), that our ace in the hole is Rodgers. Ahuge part of our salary cap is payed to Rodgers and I don’t think it’s all that unwarranted to expect Rodgers to deliver a great (not good) performance in the playoffs. If Rodgers would have made one or two more big plays in this last 49er playoff game, the Packers could have won that close game. Why not expect Rodgers to carry the depleted team better than he did? He’s payed to do so . I do realize that the 49er have a great defense, but, Rodgers did miss on some plays. That being said, I don’t think Rodgers is the reason the Packers lost that game. There were other phases of the team that under performed ( mostly due to injury). But, I think Rodgers could have done just a little bit more to win the game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Curley says:

    Adam, this story was hilarious – “Rainbow-Cake Recipe Inspires Comment Apocalypse.” Thank you for the link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  7. mark in Portland says:

    I don’t think people are remembering the the 2010 Super Bowl run that well. In the SB the Steeler offense scored 25, the Packer offense 24. In the NFC title game, the Bears offense put up 14 and the Packer offense put 14. In the divisional playoff game, it was close until Tramon Williams had a pick 6 near the end of the first half. The difference was the great Packer defense of that year. If the defense played better in the last three years the Packers would likely have at least one more Lombardi Trophy and likely more.

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    • Stroh says:

      I agree that the D has been the difference between ’10 and the subsequent years. But think about what the Packers lost during that time. The injuries to Collins, Bishop and Tramon especially hurt since they were in the prime of their careers.

      In the 3 years since then the Packers lost Collins to a career ending injury, Tramon suffered debilitating nerve damage in his shoulder that lasted the better part of 3 years and lost Bishop to another career ending injury. That’s a lot of playmakers gone from that ’10 team. Also Woodson went from a playmaker, to a broken down shadow of himself. Those happen to be the 4 best defensive playmakers on that team, other than maybe Raji.

      No matter what the offenses scored, turnovers are the differences between winning and losing, more often than not.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  8. WKUPackFan says:

    Adam, if your knowledge extends to the old Memphis based wrestling we could spend hours talking about Jackie Fargo, Len Rossi, Bearcat Brown, Tojo Yamamoto, Stan Lane & Steve Kiern (The Fabulous Ones), Jimmy Hart on up Jerry “The King” Lawler. Lebron has never been the true king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  9. WKUPackFan says:

    on up [to] Jerry “The King”….(poor editing).

    A pop culture event had it’s origin in Memphis wrestling, Some folks may remember Lawler famously pile-driving comedian Andy Kaufmann on the Tonight Show, after Kaufmann was berating the The King about wrestling being fake. Kaufmann allegedly broke his neck. That incident culminated in couple of tag matches in Memphis involving Lawler and Kaufmann, including one where manager Jimmy “The Mouth Of The South” Hart masqueraded as Kaufmann throughout the match, unmasking at end to The King’s “surprise” allowing Kaufmann to crawl out from under the ring and attack Lawler with a chair. Somewhat weirdly, Kaufmann unfortunately passed away shortly after these events, if I recall correctly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  10. goalposter says:

    I don’t blame Rodgers, I blame the defense. If the “D” can get back to being a turnover machine like they were in 2010, they’ll be in the mix at the end…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. ted, of bill and ted says:

    Mastodon rocks. Red Fang rocks. Lol looking forward to next week’s band of choice…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

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