Category Archives: Contributors

23

July

What Packers Rivals Really Think – Bears Edition

Packers, Bears, fans, interview, NFC North, rivalryAs Packers fans, we know how we view our team and their NFC North Rivals. But I’d guess most of us are curious as to how opposing fans view the same subjects. So to find out, one of our regular readers/commenters here, Jesse Cook (aka Bearmeat) contacted a few friends who are (somewhat) sane fans of our Division rivals and peppered them (pun intended) with questions about our team and theirs.

First up, Chicago Bears:

1.     Let’s start big picture here: What is the fan perception of the Bears organization in the next 5 years? Where is the arrow pointing? Do you approve of the job Emery and Trestman have done so far?

  • “In Emery we Trest”.  That seems to be the motto amongst most Bears fans in town these days.  I would say that the fan perception of the Bears is that this organization has finally joined the modern era of football, both from a General Manager and Coaching standpoint.  As every failed player from the Lovie/Angelo Era is shed, more positivitiy takes its  There is much optimism for the near future of this organization as Emery and Trestman continue their growth together.

2.     What do Bears fans think about the Cutler contract? Seems like a t for (so far) middling production?

  • Cutler has and will always be a polarizing topic in Chicago.  There is some reason for optimism for his 2014-15 season.  Another year under the high-powered Trestman offense, an improved offensive line, most of his top offensive weapons back.
  • In regards to Cutler’s contract, I think it’s beneficial for both sides.  For the Bears, it gives them options on how to handle their future at QB.  It’s basically a 3 year deal (average $18 mil a year *cough*), giving the Bears the option to turn it into a 4-7 year deal as they choose.  If they like what Cutler is doing, they can stick with him, or if they don’t they can cut him. Or maybe they bring him back for an extra year as they groom a potential new QB.  So yes, there’s a lot of money to be handed out the next three years, but they have plenty of wiggle room after that.

3.     A lot of Packer fans wanted Shea McClellin at ROLB 2 years ago. Yo got him and he hasn’t worked out at RDE, so he’s now moving to SLB. How does he look?

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20

July

2014 Packers ILB Position – Last Year’s Safety?

Brad Jones and AJ Hawk

Brad Jones and AJ Hawk

Won’t be long now! We can stop speculating on all things Packers in a few long days from now.  This offseason has been very good, talent has been added in Peppers and Guion for Defensive line.

There is a ton of talent heading into their second year. Baktiari, Boyd, Lacy, Jones, Hyde, Barrington, Palmer, Mulumba and White all earned playing time last year.  Every NFL coach and GM will tell you the biggest jump is going into that second year.

You add the players returning from injury in Bulaga, Sherrod, Matthews, Tretter, Worthy and getting players that were just banged up for most of the year like the Jones, both Datone and Brad were hampered with injuries, Perry played on a broken foot. These returning players account for five first round picks a second and a 4th. Not having those players on the field hurt the Packers in 2013 and will add a big boost for 2014.

You add another draft class to increase competition and this camp will be fun to watch.

I have heard more about the Packers not drafting an Inside Linebacker then about getting the best all around safety in the draft. From a lot of comments through out the Packer world, many think the defense is doomed because of not getting an ILB.  I am not one of those.

Safety was a bigger need, Changing the lineup of the Defensive line was a bigger need, Wide Receiver was a bigger need. When you are one injury away from Miles White being your #3 WR, it is a big need.

The situation at ILB is far from bad or will even be a hindrance to the 2014 defense. I have never understood the crap piled on Hawk for his eight years with the team. In 2013 Hawk became the Packers All Time Leading Tackler. When you look at the history of the Packers that is no small feat. That record stood for 24 years and that player took 11 years to do it.  He again lead the team in tackles last year, had 5 sacks and one Int with 5 passes defensed. He has missed 2 games in 8 years and yet so many just plain hate him.

27

June

2014 Packers Roster Analysis June 2014: Youth Will Be Served Again

packers roster I printed up a copy of the Green Bay Packers roster last Saturday, the 14th of June. After looking through the 90-man list I came up with a few information odds and ends that might interest their die-hard fans who don’t want to comb through and spend their time accumulating such mundane numbers. I confess I am a detail geek, which is part of having an anal personality. So let’s get on with it.

Did you realize:

The current roster contains only 6 players who are 30 or older. A few more will turn 30 between now and the end of the season, but not many my friends.

There are only 2 players with double digit years of playing experience on the roster. JULIUS PEPPERS, who you will get used to as DR PEPPERS in my writings, is entering his 13th NFL season, and AARON RODGERS who is about to start season 10. My how the time does fly. I certainly realized RODGERS sat some seasons while getting ready to replace FAVRE, but a 10-year vet already?! No wonder I feel old most days. As another aside it should be noted that RODGERS is still only 30, turning 31 late in the upcoming season.

In keeping with the age/experience theme I will also note that of the 90 current roster members, 27 are Rookies and 26 are entering their second NFL seasons. I should point out that I consider these 1-year vet listings as second year guys, because that’s how long most have been out of college. That means that 53 out of 90 players (59%) have been in the League less than 2 years.

Most of the above numbers are far from the NFL average for age and experience, especially on a perennial Play-Off team like the PACKERS. During the TED THOMPSON regime the roster has been one of the 5 youngest teams around every season, once the SHERMAN era roster purge was completed. They have ranked youngest overall on multiple occasions.

As any good PACKERS fan realizes, the team also prides itself on acquiring and keeping their own players. No change in that regard this year. I count 71 of the 90 players on the present roster as having been originally signed or drafted by the PACK. MATT FLYNN/QB was their draft pick, went away and came back, so he counts. And a few current players like AARON ADAMS/OT, CHRIS BANJO/S, JARRETT BOYKIN/WR and others never played a down for another team, but did originally sign elsewhere. They aren’t even included in this count.

24

June

Super Bowl Odds to Consider on a Summer Evening

2015 Super Bowl oddsFresh into Summer 2014, my thoughts turn not to the escaping the humidity “down the shore” as we say in NJ, or enjoying a sticky, dripping soft serve cone at our favorite ice cream shop. No, my thoughts turn to Super Bowl XLIX and what the Packers odds are to win.

Hey, don’t judge…

While not an avid gambler, I’ve always been intrigued by the so-called “futures” bets. Instead of betting on the winner of this weeks’ game or who wins the coin toss (a “prop” bet), I’d rather take a chance on predicting some huge future event, like a Super Bowl, for instance.

Anytime I’ve made it to Vegas, I’ve always put some money down on the Packers to win the Super Bowl. I just missed winning on Super Bowl XLV, having unfortunately just visited Vegas the year before and bet on the Packers to win at 15-1 odds.  That was the year of that crazy playoff loss to the Cardinals that still burns whenever I think about it.

But back to this year. Looking at the latest odds at http://www.bettingsports.com/nfl/, I’m a bit surprised that there is no team under 6-1. With the NFL Champion Seahawks the deserved favorites, I’m also surprised that the team they dismantled in the Super Bowl, the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos, are right behind at 7-1. Are they calling the Seahawks rout a fluke?

The top five is rounded out by the Patriots (9-1), 49ers (15-2), and Packers (10-1). Personally, I’d have the 49ers as the second favorites to win it all. I felt last year that Seattle and San Fran were the two best teams in the NFL and nothing has changed in my mind.

I’d also rate the Packers third, overall. I’m building more and more confidence in this team, especially with the improvements to the defense and the reported vigor the players are attacking OTAs with.  It’s been my contention that Mike McCarthy teams have been a bit too “professional” in temperament and needed a little more attitude. Enter Mike Daniels. With his recent comments about the need for more nastiness, especially on defense, I’m hoping his attitude is contagious and this is a different defense in 2015.

Should you find yourself in Las Vegas this year, be sure to head on down to the Sports Book in your hotel and place a few ducats on the Packers to win it all. I think you’re getting a good deal at 10-1.

17

June

Breaking Down the Odds on the Packers’ Tight Ends for the 2014-2015 Season

Packers Rookie TE Richard Rodgers

Packers Rookie TE Richard Rodgers

NFL Football is coming, folks. Catch a few World Cup games, maybe nap through a baseball game or two, and boom: the preseason starts. In the meantime, it’s time to breakdown one of the most interesting positions for the Packers ahead of the coming season: tight end.

After the 2014 NFL Draft, Green Bay is solidly amongst the favorites for the coming season, with the fifth-best 2015 Super Bowl odds. But after Jermichael Finley was only able to play six games in 2013, putting up 300 yards and three scores, the Pack’s management has left door open for a new tight end to step in as a legitimate short route threat.

With that in mind, here is a look at the three names that could define the discussion for the green and gold going into the preseason.

Anthony Quarless

Green Bay is coming into training camp with a variety of question marks at tight end that could end up producing in a major way in the NFL. Quarless is not one of them.

We all know what he can do. Quarless started 10 games last season (32 catches, two touchdowns) after missing 2012 due to injury. He can block, and stay on the field in a variety of situations. His dependability made him an asset that as many as eight teams were interested in this offseason before the Packers resigned him.

Quarless’ general consistency puts Mike McCarthy and his staff in the position to be a bit more risky with the depth chart below Quarless in an effort to find a more dynamic offensive threat.

Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers is the most reliable bet for the future. The University of California product brings a so-so college resume to the table, having put up 39 receptions for 608 yards in 2013. Still, Rodgers will have every opportunity to succeed in camp, as the Packers picked Rodgers below the rank many draft experts expected him to land at.

Pessimism aside, Rodgers has earned the respect of perhaps the most important voice in the discussion: the pre-eminent Rodgers in Packers territory. Aaron Rodgers has been repeatedly quoted as loving what the rookie tight end can do, and that enthusiasm alone would be enough to push most contenders onto the opening day roster.

Colt Lyerla

16

May

Closer Examination of the Packers Picks on Offense (with video)

Davante Adams, WR Fresno State.

Davante Adams, WR Fresno State.

I am going to start this with saying the WR position was a bigger need then most seemed to think, with all the focus on defense and that was warranted, the offense also needed work.  The Packers were one injury away from Miles White or Kevin Dorsey being the #3 WR.

With the number of three and four wide receiver sets and adding the loss of Finley, WR had to have a influx of talent and competition.

Now I like Boykin and how he has developed, but the Packers have the #1 QB in the NFL and he has to have weapons and the position needed depth.

Center was another position that needed added competition. I think Tretter will be the starting Center and be a very good one, but he should not just be handed the job. Behind Tretter there was only one real Center, Garth Garhart a UDFA from Arizona State last year. To go with that, I would love to see Barclay added to the mix at both Center and OG, I think he could be a Pro Bowl Level OG. He is not a NFL OT.

TE would be the last stop. A lot of post draft Blather has been spewed about not taking Niklas or C.J. Fiedorowicz.

I happen to like Richard Rodgers and will start with him for a review of the offensive picks.

A lot has been made about his weight by the Fan GM’s and pundits and most of based on bad information.  I see a prospect that was asked to play multiple roles, in two different systems and he did whatever was asked of him. That tells me a lot about his love of the game and how much he is willing to work to help his team. He is a fluid athlete with great hands and body control. He being asked to fill different roles in college as a in-line TE, spread out in the slot as a WR has given him experience that fits the Packers use of TE’s well.

He is 6-4 257#, he played at 270# in one offensive system at Cal and under 250# in another. I think the Packers will keep him in that 255# to 260# range. He had a 4.82 40 time and a 1.69 ten yard time with a 32” vertical, none of those are great by any means but when you watch him play he looks faster and quicker. He comes off the line very well. He runs really well after the catch.

13

May

Closer Examination of the Packers Picks on Defense (with video)

New Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

New Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Well kids it is over, the draft has finished. Ted Thompson has done something he has never done before in the draft, he didn’t make a trade. I am a bit shocked by that.   From all my research and reading in the post draft hullabaloo, I see the usual bitching, the fan GM’s crying that I would have taken this or that player, this one was rated higher, could have got that player later. And my favorite, the post draft “grade”, which has about as much NFL relevance as what I had for dinner last night.

But overall I like this draft, and the players taken. I don’t really care where a player was drafted or signed. I look at the tools the player has, how they fit the Packers and how they might project into the future for the Packers, that is really what the draft is all about.

I really have got to laugh at what I have read about the first pick from the fan GM’s and some of the Draftniks. Not exceptional at anything, not fast enough, not a big hitter well you know the drill.

HaHa Clinton-Dix was rated the #1 safety in the draft.  And no position got more play by fans leading up to the draft.  Clinton-Dix is the most complete and ready to play in the NFL safety in the draft. He does every thing well, coverage deep,  can play quarters, thirds, half of the field along with at the line, yes he can cover in the slot. What I like most is his size at 6’1 and change 208#, He had a 1.60 ten yard time, better then Pryor and just a tic slower then Jimmy Ward at 1.58 who is 5–10 and 198# and which the 49er’s are going to use as a slot corner.

Clinton-Dix had a 4.58 40 time, far from blazing but not slow by any means either.

Clinton-Dix also had a better short shuttle then Pryor and Ward, Pryor and Ward both had better 3 cone drill.

Clinton-dix also had a longer arms and a wider wing span then the other two.  As I stated IMO the best all around safety in the draft and the most NFL ready. The following video shows both good and bad.

 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-combine/0ap2000000329017/Clinton-Dix-40-yard-dash