Packer Update

A Little Perspective On The Packers

In early November, Bob McGinn wrote a column suggesting Green Bay would be just fine should something happen to star Aaron Rodgers. “The Packers possess the coaching, the personnel, the chemistry and the backup quarterback to win.” Those were his exact words. A day later something did happen to No. 12, and as we all found out, the team was anything but fine. OK, McGinn was very wrong. It happens. But the point of the column was that general manager Ted Thompson had put together a coaching staff good enough and a roster talented and deep enough to still win 11 games without its best player. Well, that coaching staff and that roster remain. What doesn’t remain, however, is McGinn’s unbridled optimism. Here are his words from this morning: “The Packers can take a long look at themselves, admit to their many shortcomings and failings and come back as a more vibrant organization under old standbys Thompson, [Mike] McCarthy, Rodgers and Dom Capers. None of those four men has any reason to feel good about the recent past.” Ouch.

Other than Dr. Henry Jekyll, has any human being ever changed so dramatically in two months? In November, according to McGinn, the Packers were such a smooth-running machine that even the loss of Rodgers couldn’t derail them. Two months later, according to McGinn, the Packers are such a mess that the only thing keeping them from being the Bears, Lions and Vikings are the Bears, Lions and Vikings.

Here’s what I think (and what I’ve been writing for the past two years). The Packers simply aren’t good enough on defense to make a long run in the postseason, and things won’t get better on that side of the ball until Thompson adds veterans in free agency and McCarthy replaces Capers. That’s it. In my humble opinion, the rest of McGinn’s rantings are bullshit. The head coach is fine. The offense is fine. The drafting, while not great in recent years, is fine. This organization doesn’t have “many shortcomings and failures.” Sure it has some, but what organization doesn’t? Unlike the Hall of Fame scribe, this lowly blogger feels exactly the same way about Green Bay today that I felt in early November. There’s absolutely no reason for such gloom and doom. If Rodgers stays out of harm’s way, the Packers will win 10 or 11 games and make the playoffs in 2014. Heck, they may even win a game at Lambeau Field in January for a change. And while that might not be good enough for some, it’s a far cry from the Armageddon being predicted by Bob “Chicken Little” McGinn.

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10 Comments to "A Little Perspective On The Packers"

  1. Hands says:

    I’m a huge Packer fan and just as fanatical as anyone who lives in Wisconsin. I read as much as I can from Green Bay’s hometown papers and die a little every year they lose in the playoffs. All that said, I’m not surprised that the article McGinn wrote hasn’t come out earlier. I have been expecting it and as a fan have the same questions, but I think it’s way over the top.
    The article makes an assumption that Green Bay doesn’t ever try to sign FA. Wrong! TT makes an effort every year to sign players that fit into the organization. (Lots of times living outside Green Bay they will tell you who made offers and often Green Bay is mentioned but another team sweeten the pot.) The problem is they don’t want to sign w/ Green Bay at below or equal their perceived market value. TT could just go and sign some big name guys, pay a premium and go into cap Hell but to date he has refused to go there.
    I know Green Bay has lost more players to injuries for the past two years than any other team. I bet if you go back 4 year the Packers have lost more players to injuries than any other team. McGinn is obviously frustrated by that and so is the Packer Nation, but what can anyone do about it?
    To me the article points out a few things that probably do need to change;

    1. Better game-plans. If a team is only rushing 4-5 guys, a game-plan should be in place to address that. With Lacy, that may have been solved but the need exist for better Oline.

    2. Better player selection in the draft/FA. Seems that this should always be on a list because nobody is perfect.

    3. Replacing key players. You can’t replace a Collins, Trauman Williams(include him because he’s hasn’t been the same player for two years. The end of this season he seems to be finally 100%), Clifton, Finley, Bulaga, Bishop, Woodson, etc. in one year or even three years. You have to find adequate players to fill the gap until the drafted players take up the slack.

    TT will probably need to find an experienced FS/SS in FA along with another wide body to replace BJ and maybe Pickett and Jolly. Easy to say but not so easy to do when the cap is against you.
    In conclusion, TT has done a good job. MM has done a good job. My belief is that good jobs probably aren’t good enough to win the SB. Maybe this year the team stays healthy and makes a statement. That’s my hope but if I get frustrated; I’ll look at the local team, the Cowboys, and thank my lucky stars for TT and MM.

  2. Nerd says:

    I think they need to do SOMETHING about the injuries. That, in and of itself has harmed this team over the past decade, more than anything. Especially this year.

    In fairness to McGinn, the defense was playing GREAT up until Aaron went down. For whatever reason, they were never the same after that.

    I also think on offense, if they would have had Flynn, or if BJ Coleman had taken a step up, we’d have gone 4-4. Mike will always have someone in development at that position, this year was just a fluke in that regard. Worst case scenario meets perfect storm.

    • JonnyinNJ says:

      I don’t think the defense was ever playing great. Gave up 34 to 49ers, 34 to Bengals and 31 to Vikings. Defense did OK against awful Redskins and Browns offenses and against Lions without Megatron.

  3. Saguaro says:

    I don’t know whether the problems on defense are only players or coaching as well, but what I saw after Rodgers went down was a unit that could not tackle, could not cover, could not rush the passer and could not hold the point. It looked like a unit that was not much good to start with and quit when they had to step up. And did I mention the sad repeated fourth quarter beat downs? It didn’t look to me like coaching could have solved those problems. And those problems were there from the start of the season before injuries took their toll. That side of the football needs a major overhaul, and TT will be lucky to keep the same level of talent next season with all the players who are FAs this off-season.

    • Nerd says:

      It did seem to me that they had QUIT. However, to my astonishment, the D actually did man up later in the year. They showed up and although they got beat, they at least TRIED.

  4. Nate says:

    I am glad Bob tore them a new one. They deserve it, especially TT. He has become a predictable one trick pony. The packer players know he will never bring in a vet and will resign the bums like Raji but not Jenkins even though they don’t deserve it cuz they are HIS guys. This is all his fault, not capers, not MM, and not they players. TT should just drop the GM from his title and hire a true player acquisition guy to shake things up. I think his title and responsibilities are way too broad. This is not the same organization it was when Wolf was running things. TT still has value to the organization but he is 60 years old and the other guys like Eliot Wolf are not ready.

  5. Nate says:

    BTW it was no coincidence that the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl in 2005 after Tim Ruskell came in and started signing free agents.

  6. Stanislaw says:

    C’mon Nate, it was basically a team that Thompson built

  7. Joe in Madison says:

    I had no problem with the substance of McGinn’s article, except for the ridiculous comments about getting tough guys who don’t get injured (like Cobb, Mathews, Bulaga, Rodgers, Finley all were injured because they weren’t tough enough), in general I think he pointed out the areas that needed to be addressed and was pretty accurate about some of Thompson’s flaws as a GM BUT I did have a big problem with the tone of his article. IMO it was way too pessimistic and bitter, it made wonder if he was embarrassed by the first article and took out his anger in the second.

    As for the offseason, I’ll judge that based on what the Packers do rather than dissecting comments made at their end of the year press conference. IMO it is possible to be proud of winning the division under tough circumstances and still recognize the problems that need to be fixed. If they enter next season with no major changes on Defense then I will join McGinn in his bitter criticism of Thompson & McCarthy.

    Lastly, I have no problem with calling out Thompson when he screws up, IMO he screwed up at BU-C, S & BU-QB this season and deserves all of McGinn’s wrath for those decisions. However, I do not understand the need of many fans to minimize his accomplishments – he did draft Rodgers & Mathews, he did sign Charles Woodson, he did win a Super Bowl, he did put together a 15 – 1 team, he did build a large part of a Super Bowl winning Seahawks team. Those things do not make him beyond reproach but why can’t fans accept that he has accomplished something.

  8. Archie says:

    “C’mon Nate, it was basically a team that Thompson builtThe head coach is fine.”

    Nope. The offense was TT’s but all the FAs, 8 I think, were defensive players. TT left them with a good offense and a nothing defense. Sound familiar?

    > The offense is fine.

    Yes it is Michael. A decent everything surrounding a franchise QB, what’s not to like?

    >>The drafting, while not great in recent years, is fine.

    No it isn’t. Other than hitting on a R2 pick in the last three drafts, not much to show. Bakhtiari and Hyde were good R4/R5 picks this year and Daniels was a good R4 pick last year ….. 2 keepers per year is not enough to sustain a good team. Players get lost each year to injury, age and free agency. To rely of draft and develop you need at least twice as many as TT is finding.

    “This organization doesn’t have “many shortcomings and failures.” Sure it has some, but what organization doesn’t? ”

    You don’t like their DC. They don’t really have an OC since losing Philbin, who was better than most realized. And I detest MM as stupid. He has not developed any QB other than AROD (see long list of failures in GB, SF and even in NOR with Aaron Brooks fizzling out under his tutelage. Certainly he gets no credit for coaching Joe Montana in his final years.) and it is very questionable that he deserves much credit for AROD’s accomplishments. The man is stupid as a rock. He butchers the English language. His game plans are atrocious and predictable. His play calling is uninspired and predictable. His strategy at the end of games is mind-boggling bad. Yes he has a good overall W-L record despite a perennially bad defense and until this year, no running game. Even his OL sucked till this year. His W-L record is due to back-to-back franchise QBs. When AROD went down this year we got to see it in spades. The Thanksgiving game was the worst Packer performance since Vince Lombardi took over the reigns in GB. I’m sorry Michael but I think you are dead wrong about MM. MM/TT are assclowns and they gotta go or we will be doing a rinse/repeat for as long as the eye can see. I must say, you and I are equally critical of the Pack and in agreement on most things personnel-wise, though I have heartily disagreed with you re: Newhouse, yet in terms of the big picture you are happy with the work of MM/TT and I am not. Quite strange indeed.

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