Coming into the preseason, the Packers were pegged to have the best offensive line of the Aaron Rodgers era.
However, since then guard/tackle Don Barclay blew out his right ACL and is done for the season. Center JC Tretter suffered a “significant knee injury” during the third preseason game on Aug. 22 and will be out at least eight weeks. And in the season opener at Seattle, right tackle Bryan Bulaga sprained his left MCL — the same knee that had an ACL tear during last year’s Packers Family Night.
Bulaga will miss a few weeks, which is devastating given that Derek Sherrod showed the world that he is not an adequate pass blocker.
It’s amazing where it all began. The Packers had the core of its offensive weapons return. The defense was to be upgraded with the addition of Julius Peppers and for the first time in a long time, the offensive line appeared to be stable.
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked an average of 32 times a season since he became the Packers’ starter in 2008. And that counts last season in which he only played nine games and this year, which is only one game old. With a little luck, he’ll be able to crack the top 50 career sacked leaders as he passes David Carr’s 267 sacks. Jay Cutler has started 104 games in his career and he’s been sacked 218 times and the more nimble Rodgers has started 88 games and has been sacked 235 times. Figure that one out.
I’ve been saying this for awhile now, but Rodgers’ time is limited. Packers fans have been more than blessed by getting back-to-back future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in a sport that is ruled and won by the position. If Ted Thompson really wants Rodgers to remain healthy for the duration of his contract, which expires in 2019, he is going to have to go out and get somebody.
Offensive line depth was a huge concern coming into camp and now it’s in bold-face font with exclamation points. I don’t see how Sherrod is still on the team through the weekend let alone to see Week 2.
The Patriots traded Logan Mankins for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth rounder in 2015. I realize that Thompson isn’t too keen on trading away picks but if the Packers can package Andrew Quarless and a pick for a solid offensive lineman like Joe Barksdale from St. Louis, New Orleans’ Zach Strief or Tampa Bay’s Demar Dotson they have to do it.
The window for winning in the NFL is very finite. Obviously don’t tell the Seahawks fans that, because the way they’re playing at home, nobody will be able to beat them. But when Russell Wilson signs his first big NFL paycheck, the Seahawks will have to make the same salary cap choices that the Ravens, Giants and Packers all had to make following a title run.
This is Green Bay’s window. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a running back that defensive backs do not want to tackle and a pair of wideouts that gave the highly respected Seahawks secondary fits.
It’s time for Thompson to go all in and go after it. And if there is any doubt that Randall Cobb is not on the roster next year, then he should most definitely do it. It may be hard for Thompson mainly because he spent a 2011 first round pick on Sherrod and by going after another offensive linemen, that would signal that he made a mistake.
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Rodgers are bar none the best quarterbacks in the game. Every other team has solidified its offensive line in effort to not only keep their best asset upright but to also help their team win.
It’s time for Green Bay to do the same by reinvesting in their best asset.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn
37 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson must reinvest in Aaron Rodgers”
I’m with you on that. But they have very interesting player on PS – Vujnovich. I read lot of good things about him. He can be back up till Brain is back, but we need somebody more experienced!
I realize that Vujnovich’s grandfather moved from Croatia and settled in Louisiana where his grandfather started the family’s oyster-farming business. But I am not sure he can back-up RT until Bulaga gets back. My father-in-law fled from the Russians during WWII, and settled in the US. The family is still fluent in Latvian, and I do root for people of Latvian descent, so by all means go ahead and root for Vujnovich. I will, too. He made the PS. He is 6’5″, 300 lbs, 35 reps on the bench press, and ran a 4.87 40 yard dash (pro day), so he looks to have some talent that can be developed.
Well I did not know that story. By family name I supposed he has origin from this region, but this is not why I mentioned him. He is on PS and I read some very nice comments about his playing abilities. So if he is Croat by origin, that would be just another plus.
There were a few picks I was against the last 3-4 years and Sherrod was one of them.I thought he was a reach then and even though injury has sidelined him,I don’t think we would see much better from him if he remained healthy from the start.He couldn’t beat out Newhouse and looks as though he still couldn’t today.
Another issue is the trading of one for another as suggested here with Quarless.I’ll not stand here and boast of Quarless as a great TE or player but being short at TE,why would you give one up for another OL guy who,considering the history of injury in GB,has a much greater risk and chance of meeting a similar fate and now be a TE and OL guy short.
Sure,bring in a veteran guy as like was mentioned with Winston,but don’t give away another from any position for what appears to be inevitable mishap to another on the OL.
A face really does get mad when its nose is cut off even if not in spite.
Trading away any TE we have is doing just that and the face(Rodgers) isn’t going to like it,regardless if not done in spite.
I think it’s too early to give up on Sherrod. This was his first NFL start in several years. He was matched up against a great pass rusher who beat him to the outside a couple of times. Otherwise he did fine. You have got to look at Sherrod like a rookie or even worse, because he was out of football for so long. He’s intelligent and he’s a hard worker. He has the size. Shouldn’t we expect improvement from him? I do. I think it is great he will get a few weeks to start and show us that he is better than what he showed THU night. Hell. we’ve lived with Hawk for a decade and his rule is not to make a tackle until the guy is at least 7 yards past the LOS.
Did you seen him in preseason? Agaist 2nd and 3rd string OLBs? Same thing – he is to slow. You can not learn to be faster!
“Well. we’ve lived with Hawk for a decade and his rule is not to make a tackle until the guy is at least 7 yards past the LOS.”
Using Hawk as the scapegoat to justify any attempt to garner confidence in Sherrod is a charade or perhaps a ‘Sherrod’. 🙂
I see what you did there. Well-played. 🙂
The notion that we should bench or cut Sherrod after one game is like saying we should’ve cut Bulaga after he got abused by Seattle 2 years ago. It’s ridiculous. Sherrod is a large, athletic man that needs reps and needs to work on his technique. OL play is about technique, not speed (to croatpackfan). How do you think Barclay has survived this long. Sherrod can improve.
To Cory’s other point that OL depth was a huge concern coming into camp, that’s just flat out false. He stated it in the first sentence of his article. We had great depth at the beginning of camp. 3 knee injuries later and now it looks bare. Sherrod needs reps and now he will get them. There aren’t good tackles just sitting out in the street for us to sign.
Coaching decisions before/during the game hurt. Why we didn’t have a larger NT(Pennel) activated when playing a heavy, run based team falls directly on MM. Not letting your best receiver go against their best DB and cutting your field of play in half falls on MM.
We got drilled by a better team, at their house and looked bad. No question about it. Let’s not overreact, however, and suddenly assume that all is lost. A lot can happen between now and December. GoPack!
Scheny – excellent points, agree completely. I am more concerned about MM admitting that there were communication problems on defense and that the players were unsettled and did not get into the flow of the game. MM admitted (correctly) that it is on the coaches, but my concern is why does that happen? This is an experienced coaching staff. Communication issues and settling players into a game should have been addressed during the pre season and the game preparation. To me there is something unsettling about MM and this coaching staff not being prepared for these issues going into the game, again given the years of experience on the Packers’ staff. Is something wrong at a very basic level? There is plenty of time for the Packers to improve as the season goes on but I think this is a legitimate question about our team. Thanks, Since ’61
I believe that Packers will improve a lot before December, but there is one thing nobody can improve. Speed. If you have lack in speed there is no way you can improve that. This is limit you have. That is why I saying that Sherrod can not play NFL. He does not posses necessary speed (reactivity if you like) to be able to perform well. He did well under heavy rain, because all players played slower. 2nd preseason game he showed he has not speed to play. That continues to be exposed through 3rd and 4th preseason games, as well against Seahawks. I will be the first to tell that I was wrong if he will show himself different. But we will see…
100% agree with you that we had great depth at OL in the beginning of camp. Cory stating that it was a concern is crap. Any team that loses it’s starting Center, RT and best backup tackle, is going to have some OL issues. Teams just don’t carry 4-5 good tackles. They’re too hard to find.
I agree with your view funcrusher, anytime you lose that many players from a single group there is going to be trouble. I also agree that its too early to pass judgement on Sherrod. It hasn’t been pretty so far, but lots of guys in his spot have a rocky start. What disturbs me is why they run into these injury issues year after year. Do other teams experience this? If not, what could the packers be doing differently?
Coming into camp, the starting offensive line was arguably the best for Aaron Rodgers. But, the reserves were a huge concern. Having depth means more than just the starters. It’s a cross-section of the offensive line as a whole unit.
Obviously! They have a solid LT in Bak. Great RT in Bulaga. Barclay’s a very good back up. And, Sherrod’s a first round pick who’s healthy for the first time since his rookie year, as the number four tackle. How much depth do you expect them to have? They’re not going to have starting caliber tackles hanging around on their practice squad. It’s just not realistic.
I wouldn’t count on Sherrod for much of anything. The guy has been severely injured and likely will not be able to play up to his first round expectations.
It’s easy to say that now that he’s had some poor performances.
If GB had “great depth at O line” then GB would be able to plug in reserves w/o noting a drastic drop in quality. Having people in uniform does not equal “great depth”.
Not to mention that a player who has managed to play one season in his career should not be counted on to play a full season. Bulaga is treated life he is Anthony Munoz because he never plays long enough for fans to compare reality against the hype. If Bulaga was truly a stud …. HE’D BE PLAYING.
Excellent points. You and I sometimes disagree, but you are spot on here. Once we got behind, I thought it would have been a good idea to line up a TE next to Sherrod to chip or take away the pass rusher’s outside move, but I didn’t see that happen. OL depth did look pretty good, although Sherrod was the wild card. I advocated taking a RT no later than the 3rd or 4th round in the draft because it was a deep draft for RTs and should have been a value pick, and because I was looking forward to next year since Sherrod and Bulaga were both in contract years, not because I thought GB had insufficient depth on the OL for this year. I do think Sherrod can get better with more reps and technique. I would have liked to have seen Pennel gets some exposure to the NFL in this game, at least during garbage time, but he was inactive – coaches decision.
This is the big leagues not training for possible linemen while paying them big bucks. Sherrod is not capable of playing end he is a lummox. Slow and not agile enough to slide with the defenders. I don’t think he will every be able to stop people from running around him like his feet are in cement. He may have some value as guard but I think he is a project at best. Rodgers need to buy more health insurance if this guy is protecting him.
too early!!! hahahaha….your right there with “Ask Vic” with that comment….too early…hahaha…yup, strange Ted will hang on to his boys right to the bitter end…as in Jones…..how much would it cost to get Jon Schnieder back..
Sherrod is a stone. “Give up”? do you mean give up on Rodgers staying healthy? I would not give up on him I would not let him anywhere near the game until he can move enough to stop looking like a post.
This is when a team gets into trouble, when they have multiple injuries within the same position or position group. This year for the Packers it’s the OL with 3 injuries already. Last season it was the QB and LB groups. Yes, they need to add some depth to the OL at this point, but is there any quality depth out there? Also, we not only have a window with Aaron Rodgers but also with Lacy. As we saw on Thursday evening, if those 5 guys up front can’t get the job done he won’t be running very far either and Lacy is now a big part of the Packers’ window which exists with Rodgers. I would not trade a TE for an OL at this time. At lease wait until Bostick returns and see what we have with him before we create another thin position. Now if you want to trade Brad Jones and Burnett for an OL I would be all for that. But I’m sure no other NFL GM would want either of them. The reinvestment in A. Rodgers will need to come after the season via Free Agency and the Draft. As will investments in an NT and ILBs. Thanks, Since ’61
I couldn’t disagree with you more Corey. “Coming into camp, offensive line depth was a concern.” No. No it was not. Then Barclay went down. Then Tretter. Then Bulaga. NOW it is a concern. Not before.
But it’s not like quality OL grow on trees. What do you expect TT to do mid season? Who would give up a starting caliber OL for a 4th round pick? No one. The Pats only did because Mankins is expensive, a POTA to the front office and he had a promising rookie behind him. Oh, and Tim Wright has promise as a TE to an offense that would love to have another one when Gronk gets himself injured again. It was a pretty rare trade.
At this point, we have to hope Bulaga gets better quickly, the rest of the OL stays healthy, and Sherrod gets better. Perhaps we kick the tires on Eric Winston – but he’s been released from 4 or 5 teams now. Why do you suppose that is? Perhaps because his usable career is gone.
Plus, lets give credit where it’s due. Sitton is a 4th round pick. Lang too. Langly is a 5th rounder. Bakh is a 4th rounder. Before he got hurt, Tretter was a 4th rounder. Only Bulaga was a 1st rounder on the starting OL. How about we give credit where it’s due and applaud TT/MM and one of our favorite whipping boys in years bygone, James Campen for developing such a good OL with such limited investment?
One last thing – you mentioned that ARod has been sacked more than Cutler in less games. That’s because of one thing and one thing only – the way they play the position is 180 degrees different from each other. Cutler is a poor man’s Favre. Always has been Always will be. He gets rid of the ball into double coverage and throws stupid picks all the time – to avoid sacks. Because he’s a scared little girl. ARod learned how NOT to play the position from Favre too well. So he rarely will throw into double coverage, holding on to the ball too long as a result. 1/3 of the sacks in ARod’s career are on him. It’s the price he pays for playing the way he does.
There. Rant over.
I agree with Bearmeat. Depth wasn’t really a concern until all the injuries happened. And as far as the quality of the o-line starters, it’s been perhaps the best since Rodgers took over the offense. That being the case, I don’t think history has any bearing on the conversation, because there has been such an improvement.
If TT deserves criticism for line players, it’s on the defensive side of the ball.
Bearmeat – nice job! Thanks, Since ’61
WHAT “Good” O line? The GB O line plays like the collection of draft-day afterthoughts they are. They have done so every year. Rodgers is getting sacked about 50 times a season.
Look past the homer-style hype.
Lets not panic! It really feels BAD because we are not used to this type of ass whoooopin. For the 1 loss and that NO doubt will be the ONLY loss this year … Arrow points straight UP! The fire it has built under this group of fine young men will only help them NEXT match-up. So much more learned from a loss. – And lets NOT forget – NEXT MAN UP!!! … WITH THAT “ALL IN” ATTITUDE!!!
hey, your not on Packers.com and the Ask Vic pompom wavers here…calm down and try to make sense…
Different year same formula same results. A great quarterback has five draft-day afterthoughts protecting him and virtually no one to back up the starting five. But there’s always room on the roster for another TE.
A leadership team that refuses to or is incapable of learning is a leadership team that needs to be replaced. But that’s not gonna happen. Too many new contracts for that to happen.
Well, I work Sundays and now I know I won’t be missing anything.
Although Rodgers is paid what the going rate is, I do think that if the goal is to win SBs, that position is over valued. When he negotiated his contract he could’ve said he would take less money (it would still be over 10 million per year) and in return have the money saved put back into the offensive line. There was a story recently that pointed out that the team with the league MVP rarely wins the SB. The worst offensive year during Rodgers tenure was 2010, the SB year. Their defense was outstanding that year. I haven’t looked it up but I wonder if they spent a higher percentage of their cap space on defense in 2010 than they have since. With Cobb’s contract coming up they will have to think about cap space for O linemen versus keeping highly talented people in the skill positions. Since I am not a GM, I don’t have a good answer. I do know that I would rather have the Packers win SBs than be very entertaining offensively.
Um Cory no offense, but you realize this is Packer GM Ted Thompson you are referring to, right?
Ted Thompson does not do trades, because those are for silly teams like the Seahawks (Marshawn Lynch, Percy Harvin), 49ers (Anquan Boldin, Stevie Johnson), and Patriors (Aqib Talib, Mankins).
Ted Thompson selected Derek Sherrod with a 1st round pick and by God he is a great player who just has not had the opportunity to put his talent on display yet.
If Ted doesn’t draft them, he don’t want them. His ego is going to waste the prime of Rodgers’ career. He doesn’t make trades, like Belichick, or bring in veterans when needed, like Wolf. I wish we could trade Thompson for John Schneider.
TT is incapable of doing this. He would much rather spend a 3rd or 4th rd Draft pick on a guy like Bradford or Thornton then trade for a proven player. By the way, why is TT’s mouth always hanging open when they pan a camera on him? I can’t watch the guy try to speak when he’s being interviewed anymore, also.
If the packers plan on playing Sherrod they should plan on Having their QB’s being injured. Sherrod may as well be sitting in a lawn chair on the end because he is that easy to run around. This guy needs to be sent back to the showers and kept off the field.
They hype is all just that Hype. The packers added on reject has been from the bears that looks good next to the duds they had at linebacker. They drafted rookies (college boys) that May help someday if they survive. Except for that there are still the same with the same loosing coaches and head coach. You can’t expect them to change by doing the same thing over and over. Capers should have been let go last year and some new blood brought in. MM should be put on notice if you can’t improve then move on. Sometimes change for change sake is necessary to shake things up. RESULTS are what its all about.
I agree but this also means (1) Getting more WR talent (although I think Janis will be a player next season) and (2) Hiring a competent offensive coordinator. You’d think the Packers would utilize Lacy and Harris catching passes more but Mike is so enamored with his west coast offense he can’t see the fact he doesn’t have the talent to run it anymore. Unfortunately, easier said than done.
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