Category Archives: NFL Network

19

July

Cory’s Corner: The NFL is killing its familial identity

DirecTV will stream its popular Sunday Ticket package to people that don't need a satellite subscription. This will turn the wheels for the NFL to start charging for more and more of its televised product.

DirecTV will stream its popular Sunday Ticket package to people that don’t need a satellite subscription. This will turn the wheels for the NFL to start charging for more and more of its televised product.

I noticed a lot of people were happy about the news that DirecTV would offer streaming options for Sunday Ticket without a satellite subscription.

But this is just the beginning of the end folks.

Televising football games has come long way since Pat Summerall and John Madden started calling games on CBS in 1981. With the dawn of the NFL Network in 2003, and Thursday Night Football three years later, fans would be forced to pay for a higher cable tier just to see a mediocre night of football.

The NFL is taking in nearly $10 billion in yearly revenue right now, which is an astronomical number if you’re name isn’t Warren Buffet. But the NFL suits want to make more. The NFL has a goal of making $25 billion in revenue by 2027.

Of course, they’re not going to make all that by selling its most prized possession for television viewers as a stand-alone product. People living in urban areas paying approximately $20 per week to stream games at home instead of going to sports bars may be a small step, but it’s a step toward something bigger.

It won’t take long before the NFL puts the clamps on a full Sunday Ticket streaming package and forces fans to only pay for an a la carte package. Meaning, you would only pay for the games you want to see. That is music to a lot of fan’s ears because why in the world would a Packers fan care about the Cardinals?

A few years after the NFL institutes the a la carte package, the NFL will want to go all-in with a pay-per-view package. Obviously, the broadcast networks will balk at this. The networks hemorrhage money each year on non-football programming, but the NFL is a cash cow for them and changing the current model would be terrifying.

But no matter how much resistance the broadcast networks put up, the NFL will want pay-per-view. The current TV deals with CBS, Fox and NBC are worth $27 billion and the agreement expires after the 2022 season. I doubt that pay-per-view will be in play when the next contract is signed, but it will be discussed.

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5

July

Cory’s Corner: Aaron Rodgers will prove ranking was wrong

Aaron Rodgers was ranked No. 11 by the NFL Network. He currently ranks No. 1 in career passer rating and career interception percentage.

Aaron Rodgers was ranked No. 11 by the NFL Network. He currently ranks No. 1 in career passer rating and career interception percentage.

I was surprised to see how many Packers fans were upset about Aaron Rodgers’ spot in the recent NFL Network Top 100 rankings.

First of all, Rodgers is a better overall player than No. 11. Heck if I was Matthew Stafford, I would be really ticked about being ranked last.

But based on last year, when Rodgers missed seven games due to a broken clavicle, wasn’t that outrageous. But it was still wrong.

Rodgers is in the same tier as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Period. Those four make up the best collection of talent at the most important position in sports.

And there’s nothing to say that Rodgers’ skills are diminishing. The crux of his game are his analytical skills. He will outthink you to death and just when an opponent believes they have outsmarted him, Rodgers will bring out his physical tools, which includes his escapability.

According to the NFL Network, Rodgers may not be the best player in the league, but he is the most important. Last year proved that the Packers not only need him, but he’s vital to the team’s success.

Rodgers has proven that he is still successful no matter who he’s throwing to. Greg Jennings left and this coming season James Jones will play for a new team. Yet, Rodgers will develop another receiver.

So don’t worry about the rankings. Did Rodgers have a down year? By his standards, yes. But, that was because of injury and he is the last guy that I would want to tick off.

He remembers all of his slights. He knows the people that wrote him off. He catalogs all of these life-humbling events and uses them as fuel.

He came into a tough situation following a legend. And now he’s 58-29 as a starter and he’s won at least 10 games four times in six seasons as a starter. Brady threw 50 touchdown passes at age 30 and Rodgers turns 31 in December. He’s got plenty of great football ahead of him.

After Rodgers glanced at his NFL Network ranking, I would say that he has enough fuel for the season.

3

July

NFL Network: Packers’ Aaron Rodgers not a Top Ten Player

NFL, Aaron Rodgers, NFL Network, Green Bay Packers, NFL top 100 of 2014, Aaron Rodgers top 100 of 2014, NFL Top Players

Guessing Aaron Rodgers had the same face yesterday when he found out he was not one of NFL Network’s Top Ten players of 2014

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is no longer among the top ten players in the National Football League.

Before you ready your pitchforks and torches to throw at this writer, this is not my own opinion. Even placing bias aside, Rodgers is easily one of the top FIVE players in the league. To suggest he’s not even in the top ten is ludicrous.

Well, that’s what this year’s NFL Network list of Top 100 NFL Players did. Rodgers ranked number 11 this year versus number six last year and. number one in 2012.

Normally lists like this mean absolutely nothing, but this list is voted on by other NFL players though who those players are and how many are surveyed has not been disclosed. The fact Rodgers ranks that low amongst even some of his peers is mind blowing.

Before going off on too much of a tangent, let’s try and see what those players were looking at when they placed Rodgers where he was. This is supposed to be a listing of the top players of 2014. So if those voters are basing their numbers off of 2013, then they are taking his collarbone injury into account. That makes some sense.

Then again it is a list for 2014, so the votes should be based on what they see Rodgers doing this coming season. Are they predicting a dip in performance because of all the new talent at wide receiver or could they possibly have concerns about Rodgers’ durability thanks to last season’s injury?

Also, Rodgers’ ranking isn’t the only anomaly on this list. The player ranked directly below Rodgers at number 12? JJ Watt of the Houston Texans.

Perhaps the players who voted just hate Wisconsin? Who knows?

Rodgers ranked as the fourth best quarterback on this year’s list with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady presumably ahead of him. Those are the top four quarterbacks in the league but is Rodgers really the lowest ranked of those four?

That’s another debate for another day.

That isn’t all the bad news for Rodgers, either. The fan vote portion of the list (which doesn’t count towards the list broadcast on NFL Network) had Rodgers ranked 14th. It’s amazing what one injury can do to a player’s reputation.

15

February

Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson will stick to his script

Ted Thompson is preparing for his 10th NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers.

Ted Thompson is preparing for his 10th NFL Draft as general manager of the Packers.

Now I don’t want to totally dismiss anything that NFL writer and analyst Ian Rapoport said…but I don’t believe any of it.

For those that missed it, Rapoport said that the Packers could sign as many as five free agents to take advantage of the Packers nearly $28 million in cap space.

Anyone who has been around a stale Ted Thompson press conference knows that the Packers general manager prefers to assemble his team through the lower risk, higher reward of the draft, which actually suits a small-market team just fine.

The Packers have not and are not in a position to be like the Redskins or Cowboys who routinely throw money at free agents just because they can. Washington and Dallas are more suited to sign high-priced free agents because they can absorb more mistakes than a team like the Packers.

But that doesn’t mean the draft is an exact science either. There are guys like Brian Brohm, Justin Harrell and Javon Walker in every draft. Obviously the key is finding out which one truly loves the game of football and which one just loves being the star.

The most important free agent signing Thompson has made was Charles Woodson back in 2006. That pales in comparison to Ron Wolf who brought in the hallmark free agent of a generation in Reggie White and then smartly paired him with free agents Sean Jones and Santana Dotson.

Of course Thompson could try and lure the top defensive end in Greg Hardy who has said is looking for a “crapload of money.” Hardy and agent Drew Rosenhaus have already turned down a contract for four years and $32 million. The 25-year-old wants security after netting 15 sacks, which led to his first Pro Bowl bid.

But Thompson cannot do that because dropping that much this year will severely hamper Green Bay’s chances of signing both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, whose contracts expire after the 2015 season.

Basically what Thompson has to weigh is Aaron Rodgers. The Packers’ best quarterbacking mind has a limited window of dominance. He will enter his seventh season as a starter next fall and will turn 31 next December. He has four years of being a game-changing quarterback in the NFL. In that time, the roster has to evolve. It not only has to get better around him, but also must prepare itself for Rodgers’ inevitable diminishing return.

13

February

World to Spin Backwards, Packers Ted Thompson to Delve into Free Agency

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson

A report last night from NFL Insider Ian Rappaport claims sources within the Packers have told him Green Bay will reverse course this off-season and look to put together a more dynamic defense via free agent signings.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Wednesday on “NFL Total Access” that the Packers plan to take advantage of their nearly $30 million in cap space and acquire outside free agents, according to sources informed of the team’s thinking. Rapoport reported on NFL Network that the Packerscould sign as many as five players, which would be the most for the team since 2006.

 And who will Green Bay target? According to Rapoport, the team is committed to rebuilding its defense in a way that best suits the philosophy of defensive coordinator Dom Capers. That means getting more athletic and versatile along the defensive line. A major goal is to improve their ability to blitz and get after the quarterback. Green Bay finished with 44 sacks last season, tied for eighth in the league.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

My initial reaction is: NOW you want to tailor your defense to Dom Capers’ philosophy? So what have we been doing since the Super Bowl win? Is this saying that the drafting of such players as Mike Neal, Morgan Burnett, Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy, etc, has been a mistake?

Is this purely a reactionary move after watching the dynamic Seattle defense destroy the Broncos? As in, “yeah, that’s what we should do?”

Then there’s the question of how accurate this information is. And what level of free agency are we talking about? Will the Packers actually participate on day one or two?

I suppose if this is true, I should just be happy. But I can’t shake the feeling that things got a bit too comfortable for everyone the last few seasons and opportunities were squandered.

In any case, time for everyone to man the battle stations – we’re sailing through uncharted waters here…

Without this becoming a flaming Ted Thompson hate fest, I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts:

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He is a PFWA member who can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

19

October

Cory’s Corner: NFL Network should own the weekend

The NFL Network began in 2003 and Thursday Night Football started in 2006. The NFL wants to add another Thursday game due to sagging ratings

The NFL Network began in 2003 and Thursday Night Football started in 2006. The NFL wants to add another Thursday game due to sagging ratings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Football League is always looking for ways to gloss the shield.

And they really don’t have to try very hard because the NFL product is by far and away not only the most watched pro sport in this country but also the most beloved.

For example, NBC aired a mediocre Washington-Dallas football game which usurped Game 2 of the Detroit-Boston American League Championship Series. Wait, let me rephrase that, the NFL didn’t just usurp the MLB postseason, it obliterated it. The Redskins and Cowboys had 19.3 million viewers compared to just 8.3 million for baseball.

Recently the NFL said it wants to have add another Thursday football game to the schedule because it is disappointed in the sagging ratings. Now, I know that when the NFL Network was rolled out in 2003 at a cost of $100 million, the end goal was to get legitimate games (which of course means sans preseason) on the station.

And three years later, it happened. Thursday Night Football was born. It began as a novelty that started after Thanksgiving, but since 2012 it has shown Thursday football from Week 2 through Week 15.

But despite the NFL’s gorilla shadow over the rest of the sports world, as of August 2013, only 62 percent of households with TVs get the NFL Network. I’m glad I didn’t subscribe this season because the games have mostly been discarded waste that none of the networks wanted.

And the reason the games lack energy is due to the fact that players have none. Players are only getting a maximum of three days off after taking a physical pounding. And coaches must burn more midnight oil than they ever have in order to make a quick turnaround and hope to not get humiliated because of something that was missed in haphazard preparation.

But after showing its disappointment with the NFL Network, the NFL opened the door for another cable channel to cover the best meal ticket to be put on HD. And they even teased the idea of having Netflix, YouTube or another Internet carrier stream the game.

15

October

Hit that Injured Packers WR Randall Cobb wasn’t Dirty

Packers WR Randall Cobb was injured in Sunday’s win over the Ravens and will likely miss 6-8 weeks.

It sounds like Packers WR Randall Cobb fractured his fibula on this hit from Ravens S Matt Elam and will miss 6-8 weeks.

As Cobb withered on the ground, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers raced to the scene and expressed his displeasure with Elam for striking one of his favorite targets low. After the game, Rodgers had this to say:

“I just thought from my vantage point, he had plenty of time to not take out a guy’s legs in that situation. I thought he could have hit in the proper hitting zone and that’s what I told him.”

It’s good to see the former MVP all fired up, but his ire is misfocused in this situation. The hit that Elam laid on Cobb wasn’t dirty.

Elam, a rookie, is listed at 5-foot-10, 206 pounds. Cobb, in his third year and known for being fearless inside and dangerous after the catch, is listed at 5-foot-10, 192 pounds.

This wasn’t a linebacker lining up a defenseless and diminutive wide receiver. This was a rookie defensive back trying to stop a legit NFL playmaker. From a very young age, football players are taught to get low when tackling. It’s a lot easier to bring down a guy roughly your size or bigger if you go at him low instead of high.

Leverage wasn’t the only reason for Elam to go low in that situation. There’s also the issue of a blow-to-the-head penalty and fine. If Elam hits Cobb high and there’s even the slightest appearance that a blow to the helmet area occurred, it’s 15 yards extra yards an automatic first down for the Packers. Not only was Elam making a logical decision to tackle Cobb low on the play, he was also taking the necessary precaution to avoid a blow-to-the-head personal foul that would’ve hurt his team, and a possible fine that would have shrunk his bank account.

To Rodgers’ point about having plenty of time to hit Cobb in the “proper hitting zone”: Since when are a wide receiver’s legs not part of the proper hitting zone? It’s fine to hit a player with the ball low as long as it’s not the quarterback while he’s in the pocket. It’s unfair to ask Elam to decide in a fraction of a second that he should aim higher, but not too high.