With the NFL Draft only three days away, Packer fans everywhere have visions of new linebackers and defensive backs being added to the roster and making a not-inconsiderable difference right away, most hopefully in the area of pass defense, what with the much-publicized problems Dom Capers' unit had against "veteran quarterbacks" that spread the team out and threw all over the yard last year.
Some new players will help, it's true. But more importantly, Capers having a full offseaon to evaluate the talent on hand and match their talents to what he asks them to do will have just as much, if not more of an impact.
As indicated above, Packer fans can recite by rote the phrase that appears in almost every season recap of the 2009 Green Bay Packers - "they had trouble against teams with savvy veteran quarterbacks that spread the field". This is true of course, but going back and rewatching the season (as I am prone to do) something jumped out at me.
First of all, the problems to come were foreshadowed in the 49er game especially after Al Harris went down. And as far as I know, Alex Smith has never been confused with a "savvy veteran". Now, yes, it's hard to blame Capers for what guys like Jarrett Bush and Brandon Underwood do or don't do well when thrown into the middle of a game and where he is forced to gameplan on the fly knowing what he does about their capabilities. But watching that game again, I was reminded how Capers, at times, could really struggle to find a playcalling rhythm once Harris went out. And it may have affected his ability to recognize what the 49ers were doing.
Been meaning to post this for awhile, pretty much since Jason Wilde mentioned it on one of his many radio appearances shortly after the NFC Coaches breakfast. Of course, waiting has meant that I've been beaten to the punch, so to speak, by Brian - among others. Yes, Mike McCarthy mentioned having Brandon Chillar (been there, done that) and Nick Barnett rush the passer from the outside.
We’re going to try to be creative with those guys, keeping those guys on the field in sub. I think both Nick and Brandon Chillar have outside pass-rush ability. I’m not saying we’re going to do it all the time, but it’s definitely an option for us that we’ve talked about.
I'm not sure I'm completely sold on Barnett rushing from the outside linebacker position. What I like about what Barnett does in the A Gap blitzes is how he uses his athleticism to weave through the wash and get to the quarterback. When presented with a one-on-one matchup, he rarely wins and usually does his best A.J. Hawk impression, giving his man a shake - which does nothing - and then barreling into the guy, completely negating himself in the process.
The obvious parallels between the Packers trading Brett Favre to make way for Aaron Rodgers and the Eagles trading Donavan McNabb to make way for Kevin Kolb have analysts reaching something fierce in their quest to provide the masses with content.
You'll hear lots of propaganda from both sides over the course of the coming year. Just keep this post in mind and remember that it's highly, highly unlikely football doesn't get played in 2011 and beyond.
Yesterday, Aaron pontificated via Twitter that the longer Brian Westbrook remains on the free agent market, the greater the chance that Ted Thompson would take a look. Someone at ESPN was apparently listening...
The National Football League is trying to create more interest in the draft by going to a different format.What will that mean for the Green Bay Packers? Ted Thompson has some interesting things to say.
Mike McCarthy confirmed this morning, in a breakfast with reporters at the owners meetings down in Orlando, that FB John Kuhn is the only restricted free agent who has not signed his tender that has been in attendance so far for offseason workouts
The Packer Ranter is a must-read for any true Packers fan if for no other reason than for a little bit of levity in a blogosphere that perhaps takes itself a tad too seriously at times, with Cheesehead TV no doubt being a chief offender.
No particular order, no real rhyme or reason, Aaron presents eight books that have greatly influenced him over the years. Inspired by Chris Brown over at Smart Football, we hope you'll leave your own list in the comments section.
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."