Takeaways From The 2013 Green Bay Packers

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2014 Green Bay Packers
McCarthy faces a big offseason and many personnel decisions

The 2013 Green Bay Packers season is unfortunately in the books.  I have already read a bevy of Packers-related news, tweets, Facebook posts, you name it.  There is much speculation as to what the Packers are going to do in preparation for the 2014 season.

If it is not already posted, our own Adam Czech has an upcoming piece on the Packers’ free agents heading into this offseason.  It is sure to be a good read so stay tuned!

Obviously and any time a season ends with a playoff loss, there is a degree of disappointment.  While it’s impossible for a team to win a Super Bowl every season, that doesn’t stop avid fans from hoping that their team can get hot and make a run through the postseason.  For Packers fans, 2010 was all that it took to recalibrate their hope-o-meters and create a “never say never” mentality.

So now for all intents and purposes, it’s the 2014 season.  There will undoubtedly be changes via free agency departures and (dare I say?) gains, the draft in May and possible coaching changes.  Below are some of my biggest takeaways from this season with some thoughts heading into next.

Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in football right now.  He’s worth every penny that the Packers are paying him and for the next six years, the Packers will be contenders because of it.  That is assuming that Rodgers is healthy, of course.  Every bit of excitement that you felt during yesterday’s game is thanks to Rodgers.  His timely return in week 17 against the Bears probably single-handedly catapulted the Packers into another division title and postseason.

The Packers need to re-sign Matt Flynn.  Scott Tolzien might be a nice project that Mike McCarthy can work with, but we all saw what happened when Rodgers and backup Seneca Wallace went down.  Green Bay needs a proven backup.  Flynn led comeback efforts in four of his five starts and which led to two wins and one tie.  They were within a single better decision on a last play of beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The safety position was near putrid this season.  That the Packers won eight games and made a playoff appearance was no thanks to this group of guys.  Most disappointing was Morgan Burnett, who was re-signed during the offseason and who underwhelmed time and time again.  It’s only fitting that he had one last near miss on an interception that led to a 49ers touchdown on Sunday.  M.D. Jennings surely needs to clear out his locker.  While Chris Banjo was a great story, I’m not sure we will see him back next season.  I like what I saw in Sean Richardson if he can improve his cover skills.  He cannot remain stagnant in that area, however.  If he sees significant playing time and doesn’t improve, the Packers will have more issues on the back end of their defense in 2014.  Lastly, this position needs to be addressed sooner than later in this upcoming draft or in free agency.  Don’t expect too much from Ted but for those looking for some popular names in free agency at safety, there’s the ever-popular Jairus Byrd of the Buffalo Bills and Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints.  Some mock drafts in 2009 had Jenkins going to Green Bay, although that doesn’t necessarily translate to the team’s interest level in him at the time.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson needs to use free agency this offseason, and I don’t just mean bringing back his own free agents.  I’m not suggesting that he make a splash or over pay for a guy on day one, but I’m inclined to think that this team would benefit from some more experience on the field.  I keep going back to the New York Giants acquiring Jon Beason mid season.  It’s that type of player that this team needs.  Smart, veteran and plays hard every snap.  Hopefully healthier than Beason, too.

Speaking of free agency, the following players have a decent chance of needing to be replaced next season, either because of an expiring contract or because they are released:  Ryan Pickett, BJ Raji, James Jones, Marshall Newhouse, MD Jennings, CJ Wilson, John Kuhn, Robert Francois, James Starks, and Jermichael Finley.  Not all are listed and not all will be gone, but those are my top picks to be elsewhere in 2014.

The Packers need to study up on and seriously look into their injury trend.  There is nothing that can be done about helmets crashing into shin bones or collarbones breaking on a tackle.  The events that cause these injuries are unpreventable.  But there has to be more to the story than just “dumb luck”.  Is it the team’s ultraconservative approach to getting players back on the field?  Does the strength/conditioning program need another look?  All possibilities should be exhausted.

The Player Personnel department is under the microscope.  The Packers lost nearly 60 years worth of scouting experience with Reggie McKenzie, John Dorsey and John Schneider all departed to their current roles as general managers.  Eliot Wolf needs to channel his best impression of his Dad in this upcoming draft.  No one is perfect, but the Packers can ill-afford another draft like 2012.

I’m still on the fence with Dom Capers as defensive coordinator, and I’m sure most of you just threw something across the room in disgust and are shouting profanities in my name.  I’m just not convinced that Capers is at fault when Burnett can’t reel in a single pick all year or is constantly in the wrong spot in coverage.  It’s also not his fault when defensive backs are dropping interceptions all year long.  Micah Hyde’s drop yesterday kept a 49ers drive alive that eventually led to their scoring and taking the lead, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.  Many have been calling for Capers to get the axe for the last two years.  Fine, but keep in mind that even another coordinator well-versed in the 3-4 scheme is going to bring his own staff and changes with him.  Will it really make things better?  Remains to be seen.  Let’s not forget what Capers did get from fill-in’s such as Andy Mulumba and Jamari Lattimore while dealing with the absences of Clay Matthews and Brad Jones.

Johnny Jolly needs to be back in green and gold next season.  He may get a look from a few other teams who are willing to throw some more money at him, but Jolly just sounds like a man who is truly reformed and happy to be a Packer.  If the team is interested in him, I would bet that he’s back for at least another season.  Not only did Jolly improve greatly and contribute much to the team’s run defense but he became one of the emotional and spiritual leaders off the field.  You can’t find that in just any guy.

Shawn Slocum should have the hottest seat of any assistant coach on the current staff and that includes Capers.  Green Bay’s kick return unit was horrific this season.  I don’t need stats to throw at you here, the eyeball test said enough and my eyes hurt.  A zebra never changes his stripes and so there’s no reason to think that if Slocum is back that this area will improve at all next season.  As good as Mason Crosby and Tim Masthay were in the kicking game, it wasn’t enough to overcome and redeem Slocum for the the field position problems the coverage team gave up time and time again.  When John Kuhn, one of your most seasoned and wise veterans, muffs a blocked punt and gives the opposition the ball back, you know special teams are jinxed.


There are more takeaways and thoughts on each of these areas but these immediately came to mind.  Chime in with yours and your thoughts, of course.  Stay tuned for more offseason coverage at allgbp.com as always.


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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67 thoughts on “Takeaways From The 2013 Green Bay Packers

  1. It’s going to be an interesting off season to say the least. One thing I will say is that MM needs to still be our head coach. Some people were saying to can MM in the off season early this year when things weren’t going so well. I too was critical , and still am, about some of MMs game plans and play calling. But, one thing that MM has never had happened is losing his team.This rag tag bunch of players never quit on him. He’s a good motivator. The team didn’t quit , without Rodgers, in the 2nd half of the Atlanta or Dallas games. They also gave everything they had yesterday, missing 7-9 starters?, to one of the most physical teams in football.

    If MM had his full team , the play calling wouldn’t be so noticeable because this team scores when healthy. Here’s to Bulaga , Tretter and Sherrard coming back fully healthy next year to shore up the O line.

    The D is another story

    1. Gameday management is the most visible duty of a HC but it might be among the least important duties. Far more important is preparing a team through the offseason for a successful year and then week to week for each opponent. If those things are done well, chances are not a lot of games will be affected by the occasional hiccup on gameday. And every HC has those hiccups on occasion.

  2. GB players missing multiple games this year: Buluga, Barclay, GVR, AR, Dejuan, Starks, Franklin, Kuhn, JJ, Cobb, Finley, Taylor, Bostic, Quarless, Jolly, CM3, Perry, Neal, Shields, Hayward, Burnett, and Bush. Probably left a few out. Not included: Richardson, Worthy, Tretter, Sherrod.

    That’s my biggest takeaway from the season. No team can encounter that many lost games and hope to win the SB. It’s a miracle to achieve 8 wins under that scenario.

      1. Left Lacy off because technically he only missed one full game, but it might as well have two, and that one game probably cost a victory at Cincy. Staggering is an excellent word to describe it.

  3. Regarding Dom Capers – you cannot excuse Capers for the bad play of the Players and then turn around and credit him for the production for the “fill-in’s”

    1. I didn’t refer to bad play by the defensive players, I was talking about missed opportunities, aka the dropped INT’s. Those particular instances are controllable and up to the players.

      Last week vs. Chicago, did Andy Mulumba go rogue and get the only sack of Cutler on the day by doing his own thing vs what was called? I doubt it and Capers is tasked with scheming to the strengths of the guys on the field. He isn’t going to get the same results from a Mulumba or a Neal that he would with CM3.

      Now, am I saying that Capers calls a flawless game every week or even most of the time? Hardly. The zone coverage and playing no press coverage is a cop out, to me. He takes far too few chances.

      If the Packers go in a different direction and let Capers go, I’m OK with it and if he stays, I’m OK with it, for different reasons. We should know sooner than later.

  4. — I’d like to see Pickett, Jones, and Finley back, somehow.

    — It wasn’t just the 2012 draft… except for Randall Cobb in the 2nd round, the 2011 draft was even worse!

    — Capers is NOT the problem. The personnel is the problem.

    1. Yeah, it dawned on me watching the game that maybe we need some smarter & better players on D. When certain players keep making the same mistakes, what else can one conclude?

    2. I am not a fan if capers. A change may benefit players simply with a fresh feel whether it’s a 3-4 or 4-3 – different ways to play both.

      Players play and coaches coach right? Capers and the players over the last FEW seasons have displayed it’s not working.
      -My main question would be to any player or coach in defense of Dom, what has he done scheme wise to impress or warrant keeping???

    3. Pickett has been a nice player for us. He probably is past his prime. He played less than average this year. Especially the last half. Probably old and tired.
      Jones is a decent WR and rates as a starter by PFF. The other three rate high than Jones so he should not get too much money.
      Finley has been paid way too much according to his value. If he played for 2-3 million keep him, otherwise let him run. He has been a disappointment.

    4. Oh and I love your Capers comment. He may or may not be a problem, but how can one know with such putrid talent supplied by Thompson that he has to work with.

      1. Name one player TT should have picked up from the FA wire when injuries decimated the team. Can’t blame TT for injuries.

        Why do we feel we need to blame a human?

        The season can be summed up in one word: injuries.

      2. I don’t buy that Capers had nothing to work with. There was outstanding depth at CB and DL. A scheme not so dependent on the areas of weakness on D (Safety, LB) could have been very successful. At least significantly better than 25th ranked.

        It’s up to the coordinator to maximize what he has. I don’t have much use for guys that are slaves to a scheme that is destined to fail based on personnel. It would be like McCarthy insisting on power run game with all those pass game weapons.

  5. I I disagree with you I will keep starks pickett jones kuhn francois and finley if he is healthy.

  6. Even TT has to see that he has to go out and sign a FA or two. According to the “Experts” this is not the year if your looking for a safety, last year was. The best safety is the kid from Bama, Dix I believe. Most mocks have him going to St. Louis. They could use a TE inside and outside LB, WR, and DL.
    Do the Packers retain Raji? Obviously some team will throw a ton of money at him and TT will let him walk, and probably should. He didn’t do to much to excite us other than turn down $8 million a year. No way is he worth that kind of money.
    The Packers have lost Driver, Bishop, Woodson, Collins, Wells, Jennings, and Jenkins to name a few since the SB. Obviously they haven’t been replaced on the field, at least most of them. But more importantly the Packers lost a lot of leadership when those guys left that hasn’t been replaced. Instead of trading back 3 times a round to get a extra pick or two, stay where you are Ted, draft the best player you can and go find some leaders, especially on defense.

      1. Yeah, I think we are all fed up with TT’s drafting style, his draft picks and his refusal top compete for solid FAs. He’s not going to change and when it comes to finding defensive players I don’t think he can change if he wanted to. Only choice is to can the ass-clown.

    1. Gotta think Raji’s agent is going be on the phone with New England, both NY teams and Philly as soon as the Free Agent bell goes off. I would guess he’s as good as gone! I hope Ted T can swing a deal for James Jones, always liked the guy.

  7. On the fence concerning Capers, are you kidding me. He is horrible.

    First move has to be his firing.

    What do you think marpag?

    1. It’s awfully difficult to judge Caper’s with the putrid talent supplied him by Thompson. He has only 5 players who would start on other teams. No DC could excel in this environment.

      1. The uninformed agreeing w/ the uninformed!! How enlightening… LMFAO

        Capers Scheme is very complex, a la Pitts… Pitts rarely if ever plays, much less starts rookies! Polamalu didn’t start a single game as a rookie. LaMarr Woodley didn’t start a game as a rookie! Ziggy Hood didn’t start a game as a rookie! Lawrence Timmons didn’t start a game as a rookie! All were 1st rd picks, except Woodley who was a high 2nd!

        Anyone Seeing a trend anyone? Its a scheme that takes a couple years to learn and for DL and OLB usually 3 years to become quality starters!

        Its not a lack of talent on the Packers! Its a lack of experience and too many young players making mistakes that put players that do know the scheme in no win situations and making them look bad in the process.

        If you want to fire Capers, I’m not against it simply due to the fact that such a complex scheme shouldn’t be used on a team that wants to play rookies a lot. But its not all Capers fault and its not a lack of talent! Just a lack of experience and skill development by young players being forced to play before they should!

        1. Burnett, Williams, Hawk, Shields, Matthews, Pickett, Raji, Neal, Jones, and Jennings. All players with 2 plus years in the system. You keep comparing Capers and Lebeau, WHY? Lebeau’s defenses have finished no lower than 9th in total yards before this year. Lebeau took over in 2004, they finished 1st in total yards! Followed by years of 4th, 9th, 1st, 1st, 5th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, and 13th this year!!! Talken about the uninformed Stroh. Once more foot placed firmly in mouth! Oh, and just more stats to show you’re full of it (Like everyone doesn’t know already). His defense, since he got there finished 1st, 3rd, 11th, 2nd, 1st, 12th, 1st, 1st, 6th, and 13th this year. All these stats are from the time he took over in Pittsburgh. I’m just curious of when you’re going to quit looking like a total boob! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. I didn’t compare Capers to Lebeau. I mentioned the Packers scheme coached by capers to Pitts scheme precisely due to the FACT that Capers and LeBeau utilize the SAME SCHEME! Its not that hard to figure out if you try. Please TRY!!! Yes we have SOME experienced players and as I mentioned we also have a lot of Inexperienced players playing, which puts the rest of the players in position to have to try to cover their mistakes. It takes ALL the players on D doing there jobs correctly for the scheme to work! One guy w/ a missed assignment creates havoc for others! Why don’t you try something new for a change? Try to LEARN a little before you spew your complete lack of understanding of the FACTS! Either that or do everyone a favor and don’t SPEW at all!! We would all be much happier for it.

          2. You never read the article I posted and you said you were gonna read did you? If you had you would have learned something. I guess you prefer being uninformed and wrong don’t you! Really go read it, you’ll learn something for a change!

            1. A front office philosophy of constant roster turnover for younger players is at odds with a defensive scheme that is suited to a more veteran team.

              The presence of the Salary Cap is a built-in disadvantage for the vet-heavy approach. Vets cost more.

              The complexity of the scheme is all the more reason to get rid of Capers. It’s just not a fit with the overall organization approach.

        2. And THIS hits it on the head.

          Ted is the issue because he is almost pathologically incapable of considering the possibility that 1) some players do actually deserve the money they make and B)occasionally, another team might know something about personnel too. It should not necessarily be a goal to fill every position with UDFA, rookies, and DIII rejects. When that’s your plan, your team is always at the bottom of the learning curve. (And the fact he did sign Rodgers to a well-deserved bajillion dollars is the exception that proves the rule)

          Capers is the other half of the issue because when it it clear that the calculus of his defensive scheme is beyond the experience and ability of the players he has, he nonetheless refuses to adjust the scheme. His defense relies on every player performing his job to the maximum expectations of the position he plays, thus the reliance on the big play and our constant frustration with missed assignments and blown coverages.

          Capers scheme assumes every player makes the play exactly as it is designed – a very house of cards sort of approach – and so he needs superior players to make his D work. Ted refuses to do what is required to get those kind of guys, instead opting to hope he will “discover” them on a practice squad or “steal” them in the draft. When the players don’t materialize or are too green to provide the level of play Capers’ system requires, Capers doesn’t change the system. He plows ahead and we watch MD Jennings get burned again or someone else miss another tackle.

          Capers and TT need to figure out how their philosophies can meet somewhere and work together. Hoping that the next Sam Shields is sitting on your own practice squad or is playing in the Italian football league is NOT an overall team strategy. It’s impressive when it does happen, but if you only ever “draft and develop” then your team is always waiting for the next guy to develop and the next draft.

          Let’s not go all Redskins in FA, but maybe just because we drafted and developed a player doesn’t make him the best player. I’m not sure having 47 of 53 guys (or whatever the number) come up through only through your system is always a good thing or the only way to do things.

          1. The house of cards is a good comparison. Take out one card and the house crumbles. I disagree about a couple minor points you made tho. THompson doesn’t refuse to bring in superior players, but the Packers draft and develop philosophy brings in young players who usually get playing time. Capers scheme doesn’t require superior players, it requires experienced players who know their jobs under all circumstances. With a lot of young players come mistakes. Especially in a scheme so complex.

            I like the draft and develop model since it is the best way to stay w/in the salary cap continually. Its just that Capers scheme and the draft and develop model aren’t good fits. One relies on experience and the other on youth. Its 2 models that don’t mesh, or at least won’t till about the time those young players become experienced. But if Pitts can do it… Which it has for about 20 yrs so can the Packers. We’re just going thru the growing pains w/ the young players still learning. Pitts tries to give till the 3rd season before players play meaningful minutes. We have Datone, Perry, Worthy, Jennings, Richardson, Hyde, Lattimore, etc among other players w/ less than 2 yrs expeience at their positions. Pitts is a draft and develop team too BTW.

            1. Pittsburgh is in deep cap trouble and has been for a few years. According to overthecap.com, they are at 131 mil right now for 2014. Brett Kiesel, Ziggy Hood, Emmanuel Sanders and Jason Worlids are among their FA needing a new contract, with them or elsewhere.

              This isn’t the first time Pittsburgh has gotten themselves into cap trouble requiring a purge of player/salaries.

              1. Their in cap trouble due to keeping the experienced core togethrt too long. Especially on defense.

  8. Wow Jason. What an on the point article. Tell all your co-writers to go home. You need to write them all for this site. Thanks.

    1. I’m not sure if this is meant as genuine or if there’s an element of humor but I can assure you that we need every one of our team writing here. My viewpoint is hardly the best or only one.

      As always though, I appreciate all of you reading!

  9. Results, Results, Results those are the three things that should be the determining factor in the decision to keep players and coaches employed. Not almost caught passes not almost intercepted ball not “can’t perform because of injuries”. Results that is what there paid for. Capers may not be at fault but his results stink. Most of players up for free agents should be let go. If they pay Raji Millions of dollars they should have their heads examined, he was awol all year. The other players are no better than average and can be replaced easily.

  10. Humor as far as you being the only writer, except I do sometime wonder what planet the other writers are from. Truth as to how on point this article is. It articulates the problems better than any article from any paper I have read yet. Great job and Thanks.

  11. When an opposing QB has almost 100 yards rushing (98) it is an embarrassment. Injuries or not. Not enough talent on D.

    Nice going TT, lets pull your head out of your ass and sign some FA talent.

    Any comments marpag?

  12. I agree with most of the article, especially about Rodgers being the best QB. However, does anyone know if a team has won a Super Bowl with $100 million player. In this salary cap age it seems like a lot of money to lock up for one player, especially when there are so many other needs. Over all I am proud of this team. 3 straight division titles, 5 straight playoff appearances, and winning the last division while sustaining all of these injuries. Losing Shields and Neal right at the start really hurt on Sunday. If the 49ers had similar injuries I think the Packers would have won.

  13. Thank you for calling out Slocum. Those consistently horrible units better not get swept under the rug with all the Capers-hate. He had backups, yes. Most teams’ special teams are made up of backups. If they’re good enough to be on the roster of an NFL team, they better at least be able to contribute on special teams. Putrid.

    1. I totally agree, but unfortunately I will eat my hat if Slocum is fired. Have we seen one iota of evidence that MM will fire a member of his coaching staff? Special Teams has been horrible for years, and Slocum hasn’t been replaced. Why would he do it now, this year? It’s a blind spot — one of few, maybe, but a blind spot.

      1. Who was MM’s orgiginal DC (prior to Dom)? There was one, and there was a defensive house-cleaning in 2008. It’s happened before.

        The answer to the question is Bob Sanders.

        1. MM’s biggest weakness as a coach is his loyalty to subpar assistants. MM talks about accountability all the time but I see little evidence he practices that approach with regards to his staff.

          In a draft and develop philosophy, what developmental successes have Winston Moss, Darren Perry and Kevin Greene had? I can’t think of any. At least not many. So why are they still employed in GB?

          James Campen was in that group but has improved a little in the last few years. I’m not sure he’s improved enough to be retained if there was true accountability among the coaching staff.

          In terms of coordinators, Slocum and Capers don’t seem capable of stopping the assignment breakdowns that have plagued ST and pass defense for years. Isn’t a coordinator responsible for, ‘ya know, coordination of the players into a single unit?

    2. Slocum wasn’t playing with backups. He was playing with cast-offs and FAs from after the start of the league.

      I still don’t think he’s that good, but he was playing with spare parts.

      1. Special teams are always populated with castoffs and rookies. Ours were just worst than most, or they ended up playing on D and O. Look at how many TD saving tackles were made by the punter/kicker this season.

        Just because a player was drafted and developed by Ted Thompson doesn’t make him the only possibility. The only guy that doesn’t see that is Ted Thompson.

        1. The great majority of special teamers are guys trying to earn playing time at a Off. or Def. player having gone through training camp as a draft pick needing time to learn the system. They are not guys picked up after the season has started.

  14. I expect MM to give all his coaches big raises and to fire nobody. Why? Because he’s MM the ass-clown, that’s what he always does. TT does same for him and Mark Murphy does the same for TT. They’re all on the Packer tit and won’t let go. Milking us dry while giving us the worst defense perhaps since the mid 1950s. In Ted We Trust! Bullcrap. Send him back to SEA or Houston or wherever he calls home. He gave us his best no doubt but it simply wasn’t good enough. The ass-clown seems to know nothing about picking players to play defense. Just think if he hadn’t traded for CMIII?! Jerel Worthy?! I won’t even bother naming all the ass-clowns we have on defense. And he tries to pay fat-ass Raji $8MM/yr?! TT is clueless! To expect him to change and get better is insanity.

    1. There should be a revolt against TT for offering Fat blob Raji $8million… what is wrong with that jackwagon?

  15. My take aways from this season is that while you can’t use injuries as an excuse, any team, like any person has their breaking point. This year for our Packers it was the loss of Rodgers for 8 games. Next take away is that we need to get some linebackers, if we are going to continue to play the 3-4. CM3, Perry, and Malumba are Good to great on the outside, but we need some intense players at ILB. We desperately need a safety who can play the position and deliver a hit. The DL can be figured out based on who gets resigned and who leaves. For me Raji can go. Jolly may or may not be back due to his injury. I also believe that we need a Defensive coordinator who can give our defense a sense of urgency and a nasty attitude. Both of these “intangibles” have been missing from the defense for a while now. Another takeaway is terrible field position for much of the season due to poor special teams play. Slocum should be replaced as well. Our offense, when healthy can defeat any defense in the league. However, we probably need a TE to replace Finley, another OL to make sure that Newhouse is not kept and possibly a replacement for James Jones. I would resign Jones. Hopefully, with a healthy Bulaga, Sherrod and Tretter the OL will improve next season, because right now they are the only weak spot on the offense. I would keep Starks and Harris to go with Lacy. Not sure about Kuhn, but tough to let him go after his great block against the Bears. Last take away, looking forward to a great 2014 season with a healthy Packers team. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. “Next take away is that we need to get some linebackers, if we are going to continue to play the 3-4. CM3, Perry, and Malumba are Good to great on the outside,”

      You meant ‘Fair to Good’…right!?

      1. Taryn – thanks for your feedback. I was trying to say that with CM3, Perry and Malumba, when healthy, they are capable of having a good to great game, especially when CM3 is 100% and having one of his better days. Basically, my takeaway is that we are OK at OLB. I realize that keeping them all healthy has become a bigger challenge than playing the games. ILB is where we need better players. Thanks, Since ’61

        1. Completely agree. Dom has said he needs OLBs for the defense to work. He really hasn’t had that for any length of time.

    2. If every player had Kuhn’s attitude . . .

      Thought Dom was the problem and then saw Bush screw up a good call . . .

      BTW nice article Jason, seemed to hit all the points. There is a lot of work to do.

  16. If the Bears fix their defense even a little, they are going to be pretty damn good. If the Lions are smart enough to hire Ken Whisenhunt, they’ll be exponentially better. Winning the division is gonna be much harder next year.

  17. And that picture of McCarthy is hilarious. Thanks, we need to laugh at the season a little and move along.

  18. TT got the team talent. They filled up the IR bench admirably. Somehow we’re blaming him? All of the coaches tried squeezing blood from a turnip. Once the regulars of special teams became starters, everything suffered.

    Capers said from the very beginning he needed two good OLBs. How much has he actually been able to field a squad with what he said he needs?

    We need health, a safety, general depth, and an answer to Finley’s injury situation.

  19. Didn’t like Raji this year…But, in college he was used as an aggressive penetrating Dman and excelled. Capers has him doing the opposite, Stand his ground and occupy the Olineman while the LB’s fill the hole. With another team and different scheme I think Raji would be a better player….with him I blame Capers.

  20. No one mentions Darren Perry. He coaches the safeties. Although I concede that there is not a superabundance of talent at safety, the biggest problem I see is mental mistakes. That has to be on either Capers or Perry.

    If Stroh is correct and it takes 3 years in Capers’ system to fully understand it, that is very concerning. It means that all of the players in the secondary will be on or close to their 2nd contract before they perform well. That is expensive, and it makes those players hard to replace if injury or age strikes.

    I like Joe Whitt, and I don’t know what to make of Greene and Trgovac, but otherwise I don’t see any stars on the defensive coaching staff. Overall, while I don’t blame Capers particularly given the injuries and complete lack of a pass rush, it appears to me that a change of scenery for Capers might be in order. I have no idea why Slocum wasn’t fired years ago.

    1. Perry, Moss and Greene have done next to nothing in terms of developing players. Their guys make up for it by blowing assignments and being out of position. None should retained, IMO.

      Trogovac and Whitt have developed players and had productive units on the field. They are the only 2 guys on the defensive staff that are worth a darn, IMO.

      Whitt developed Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. Davon House is still a work in progress but shows potential. Casey Hayward made plays last year. I see no reason to believe he won’t do so again next year. Micah Hyde looks to have a bright future. He didn’t develop Charles Woodson but Woodson was terrific for GB with Whitt as his position coach.

      Trgovac had Mike Daniels playing very well this year. Josh Boyd was productive by year’s end. When Jolly and Pickett were both healthy, the run defense was in lock down mode. I know a lot of people are down on Datone Jones but he managed a few sacks as a rookie despite DL being notoriously non-productive as rookies. I think he wrung out everything CJ Wilson has to offer. Trgovac rotates his guys to keep them fresh, which is the best approach to DL play. Getting 6 guys that can make a play or two a game is easier than finding one dominant player and often just as effective. Given that, I think Trgovac got the job done, at least this year.

  21. Anyone still using the injury excuse is a complete jackwagon. It is a total copout. Anyone remember what Holmgrem and Wolf would do? I know pick up a Keith Jackson or Eugene Robinson and go out and win a superbowl. Firing the strength and conditioning coaches about 3 years ago might have helped too…

    1. Wolf and HOLMGREN (sheesh) were way ahead of the league in using the new CBA rules of their time. The rest of the league (other than the Bills) have caught up.

  22. Wolf and Holmgren won one Super Bowl in their time with GB. The cap rules, CBA and the game itself was different then. Today if you sign FAs like Robinson, Jackson, Andre Rison, etc…, you would blow up your cap for years, especially with the way we are now paying Rodgers and CM3. Don’t get me wrong, Wolf and Holmgren did a great job, but they worked under different circumstances and different rules. MM and TT have one SB win and still counting. It’s more difficult to build and keep a team together in the current rules. The league wants it that way because as more teams reach parity the league generates more and more revenue. It’s all about the $. Thanks, Since ’61

  23. Injuries aren’t an excuse, they are a reality. Wolf and Holmgren operated in a totally different era. Regardless, in season, what players was TT supposed to obtain to replace Finley, Cobb, AR, Hayward, and CMIII, not to mention the others?

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