Hello Wisconsin: Who Are the 2020 Green Bay Packers?

The Packers' mentality, a beer of the week and the best way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey, all in one column!

I’ve always felt that one of the most overrated terms people throw around when talking football is “identity.” The need to have an offensive or defensive “identity,” or a team “identity,” or anything like that… it’s just a word people use when they don’t know what specifically to pinpoint about a team, or how to quantify a certain issue.

Now, with that being said, this 2020 edition of the Green Bay Packers has certainly been confusing.

Twice in the last three weeks they’ve came out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field completely flat in bad weather against a bad opponent. This time, the Packers were fortunate enough to get away with a victory against the league’s second-worst team, but there’s no guarantees they’d have beat any team in the league that’s better than the Jaguars with the same effort.

But then, you’ve had moments this year where the Packers have looked like an absolute juggernaut. They wallopped the New Orleans Saints (now 7-2) on the road in the Superdome. They’ve cruised against other lesser competition at points this year, despite their hiccups at home against Minnesota and Jacksonville. Heck, in a single game in Tampa, they dominated the entire first quarter and looked en route to another blowout, before falling apart after a turnover and allowing themselves to be pushed around the rest of the game.

This is just an unusual season for so many reasons; there are very few teams that have been consistent week in and week out. Even the undefeated Steelers had some near-embarrassing losses. But there are few teams like the Packers who seem to oscillate so widely in terms of the quality of effort they put out on the field. 

Even Matt LaFleur admitted to the team having “low energy” during Sunday’s game. This is extremely concerning, because this is now the third time this season that the team’s energy or focus has been called into question, something that Aaron Rodgers said was an “anomaly” after the Tampa game. 

The Packers’ fortunes in the playoffs may hinge on their ability to stay on target and come out of the tunnel ready to push people around. They’ve got the talent to win against anyone. But once again against the Jaguars, I found myself wondering how this could possibly be the same football team I’ve seen demolish other opponents at times this year.

The Colts this weekend are as good a test as any for the Packers to see if they’re both mentally and physically prepared for playoff football, because you can damn well be sure they’re going to come out ready to make a statement.

Get Rashan Gary more playing time

I’ve seen enough from Preston Smith this year to know that he’s likely played himself off the Green Bay Packers’ 2021 roster. 

Smith’s contract is set up in such a way that the Packers can move on after this offseason without too much punishment, and save themselves some much-needed cap space in what will be a very tight year, with the cap lowering due to the COVID-related losses.

While it’s in everyone’s best interest if Smith suddenly turns it on for the rest of the year and plays to his 2019 standard, I’ve also come to the point where I’m ready to see Rashan Gary take a lot more snaps.

Gary was quietly the Packers’ best pass rusher on Sunday, with a team-high seven pressures (second was Za’Darius Smith with four) despite having a much lower snap count than the Smith brothers. While Gary did have a couple whiffs, he was generally quite effective in rushing the passer. He made his presence felt throughout the game, and made one of the game’s most crucial plays with a late sack that basically sealed the victory for the Packers in the fourth quarter.

Gary has done everything he’s needed to do so far this year to show he’s earned more playing time. While he’s not yet a superstar by any means, this is clearly a player on the ascent who’s putting it together and making the most of the opportunities he’s getting. 

For all the talk over the last year and a half about how Gary was a bust (laughably early for any such discussion) or a bad pick (see former), he’s improving at a steady rate and has been able to do so without the pressure to be an immediate performer. With Preston unlikely to be a part of the Packers’ plans moving forward, Gary is coming into his own just in time.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

I made a rare midweek trip to the liquor store this week rather than my typical Friday excursion, and came home with a variety of different Wisconsin brews that I’m looking forward to trying over the weekend.

On Tuesday night I cracked one of them, a new beer from Central Waters Brewing Company called “Laid Back,” a reference to Snoop Dog’s classic “Gin and Juice.” The name is fitting--it’s a New England IPA with some tangerines and gin flavoring. You can taste both the fruit and the juniper, while it still has a nice hazy, hoppy taste to it.

It’s not exactly a seasonal choice, but it’s a fun experiment from Central Waters that I think turned out quite well. While they may be known more for their barrel aged beers, they’ve also put out some cool experimental IPAs and other styles over the last several years, and it’s cool to see them branching out even further.

Laid Back comes in at a moderate 6.7 ABV and 37 IBUs, so it’s not too bitter or too heavy on the alcohol. Befitting of the name, if you ask me. It was just released within the last couple weeks, so if you’re in Wisconsin there’s a good chance you can find it right now at your local liquor store. I picked mine up from Woodman’s.

Around the NFC North

Once again it’s time for us to take a look around the NFC North.

So, I think I may have accidentally jinxed the CHICAGO BEARS a few weeks ago, and I’m perfectly okay with that. In this very space, here in this very column, four weeks ago today, I said I’d underestimated the Bears and hyped them up a bit (with the caveat that yes, the Bears will always still suck). But holy cow, since then they’re 0-4 and appear to be incapable of fielding a modern day offense. Their defense and special teams are great, but (and stop me if this sounds familiar) their quarterback play is atrocious and their offensive game planning is nearly as bad. That defense can give anybody headaches, but you can’t win games if you’re entirely incapable of scoring on offense.

The DETROIT LIONS got a much-needed victory against the Washington Football Team to pull themselves back up to 4-5, which means they’re still mathematically alive. Still, their defense allowed a career day to the old, broken down Alex Smith who hadn’t played this much football in two years. It took a 59-yard field goal to put it away in regulation. They have a favorable schedule in the next couple weeks, so it’s not out of the question that we’ll see them get a winning record by the end of the month, but don’t expect them to hang around and cause problems in December.

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS didn’t display nearly the same degree of explosiveness on Monday against the Bears that they had in previous weeks, but it didn’t really matter when you’re facing an offense as inept as Chicago’s. Perhaps my favorite little story to come out of this week is Jaguars fans lobbying NFC North fans to vote Yannick Ngakoue to the pro bowl so they can get a higher draft pick for compensation out of the Vikings at the end of the year, despite Ngakoue no longer being on the team. I encourage you all to go vote for the man!

Grilled turkey is the best, thank me later

We’re just a week away from Thanksgiving. While our celebrations may look different this year (please, please, PLEASE avoid your usual large gatherings, Wisconsin can’t handle much more of a COVID burden), many of us will still be cooking turkeys.

I’ve seen so many people over the years talk about how turkey is the most overrated part of a Thanksgiving dinner. While I will always agree with those who say stuffing is the best, I have to believe the people who find turkey to be “bland” or “dry” or “overrated” simply have not had it cooked well before. Because a properly cooked turkey can be very moist and have a ton of flavor. 

For me personally, I’ve always been a fan of cooking my turkey on a charcoal grill. This seems to be a surprisingly uncommon method--people are often surprised when I mention this is how I do it. But I’ve found it produces a much better result than roasting in the oven, and it frees up some all-important oven space for other cooking throughout the day.

The largest bird I’ve ever grilled was around 24 lbs. This year it’ll be much smaller, around 9 lbs or so. But the process is always the same, though the cooking time varies, of course, depending on the number of pounds.

For the uninitiated, here’s how I do it.

First, I set up the grill. I have a very large charcoal grill, so I can fit a pretty good-sized bird in there. I’ve got a couple charcoal baskets specifically designed for use on the sides of the grill--you want to keep the bird off direct heat. In the middle, between those charcoal baskets, I place an aluminum pan to catch drippings.

I light the coals, let them burn for a bit to heat up, and add more coal as necessary throughout the cooking process. Once the coals have cooked and warmed up enough, I add on the bird (after having fully prepped it and set it up to cook, as you would before roasting) directly on to the grill grate. 

Using a mixture of melted butter, olive oil and herbs (I like to go with the Simon and Garfunkel blend of parsley/sage/rosemary/thyme) I baste the turkey thoroughly and make sure there’s plenty of juice on the inside of the bird. I set a timer to baste once again every 10 to 15 minutes. 

I’ve got a set of BluTooth probes I insert into the bird to take the temperature, one right in the thickest part of the breast and another closer to a thigh. Using the Weber iGrill app on my phone, I can track the bird’s temperature as it cooks. You want to get it to about 160 degrees; I take it off as it gets close to 155 and tent it under aluminum foil for about 15 to 20 minutes to let it cook the rest of the way to avoid overcooking.

Really, it’s simple. Just make sure you stay on top of your basting and that you keep an eye on the temperature, and you’re good to go. Once you remove the bird, you can take the dripping pan out and use it to make your gravy. 

The big tricks are regular basting, making sure you don’t overcook, and keeping the bird off direct heat. I’ve been doing it for years now and was intimidated by the process at first, but it’s really not difficult at all once you actually give it a shot.

The combination of the basting mixture and the smoke from the charcoal give it a delicious flavor that soaks all the way through the bird, and keeps the meat moist and tasty!

Below you'll see a photo of the bird in progress (lots of cooking to go, but it gives you an idea of the setup).

Lazard may be off IR, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to go

Matt LaFleur seemed rather cautious about the status of Allen Lazard for this weekend’s game during his press conference on Wednesday. While Lazard has been officially activated off IR, that does not mean he will dress for the game on Sunday. He could still have some recovery to do, and the Packers are notoriously conservative with regard to letting players play through injury.

I’m really hoping he’s good enough to get back on the field this weekend, because the Packers could really use their offense at full strength against what could well be the best defense they’ll see this season (even better than the Bears and Bucs). 

But if he can’t go yet again, it’s another opportunity for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to prove he can be a consistent player for this team in a larger role. MVS is coming off a career-best performance, and if he can follow that up with another solid outing then it will go a long way toward him proving he belongs as a regular member of this rotation and on the roster in 2021. 

Ultimately, it’s probably better for MVS if Lazard does play, because then it takes some of the pressure off and allows him to thrive in a WR3 role. But either way, he’ll be given his opportunities, and if Lazard’s not on the field, it becomes even more important that he consistently take advantage of them for a second week in a row.

Lombardi’s Packers are leaving us quickly

The death of Paul Hornung came a day after publication of this column last week, so I didn’t have the chance to ruminate on his legacy in the green and gold and on the sport of football in general.

By now, everything that can be said about Hornung has been said; he was a true original, the “Golden Boy” of Lombardi’s Packers, a larger-than-life character off the field and a worthy Hall of Famer. 

In thinking about those who have left us within the last couple years (Jim Taylor, Forrest Gregg, Bart Starr, Willie Davis, Willie Wood, Herb Adderley and now Hornung), it is really stunning how rapidly we are seeing these heroes of a bygone era pass on. It is a harsh reminder of the fleeting nature of our lives here.

For someone like my father, who grew up watching the Lombardi Packers in the 1960s and idolized these men, it’s got to be a jarring feeling. It will be the feeling I get someday when I see the Holmgren Packers of the 90s, the heroes of my own youth, begin passing on as well.

As someone who was not born until the late 1980s, my exposure to these legends was through NFL Films, through books, and through my dad’s old electric football figures and copies of Sports Illustrated. Their preservation through these various media turned them into something larger than life, almost mythical. The way people talk about the Ice Bowl or recite classic Lombardi quotes or get all misty eyed when thinking about Bart Starr… that’s just something that’s really unique to being a Packer fan. 

Lombardi’s Packers weren’t just the greatest dynasty of the NFL’s first 75-plus years; they also came at a crucial time for the growth of the sport. The surge of the AFL, introduction of the Super Bowl and eventual merger legitimized professional football as a powerhouse sports league, and for the first time it was really beginning to compete with Major League Baseball as America’s true national sport of choice. The ultra-successful Packers were the standard bearers at that crucial time, and despite being so overwhelmingly successful still managed to have the charm of being a community-owned, small town team.

There’s such a unique combination of circumstances surrounding that team that is unlike anything else you can find in American sports, and that’s why there’s such a feeling of awe and wonder that surround Lombardi’s Packers. 

They may be leaving us now, but they’ve left a legacy that will never die.

Week 11 quick forecast

The Indianapolis Colts might pose the toughest test yet for the Packers--it’s very close with the Buccaneers, anyway. This is a team with a very tough defense and a capable offense led by a veteran quarterback who, while long past his prime and clearly on the decline, is still capable of reading and picking apart a defense (especially one led by Mike Pettine).

The Colts have been one of the best units in the league this year at avoiding giving up the big play, which may pose some difficulties for the Packers’ offense. This means they’re going to need to stay within the offense and in rhythm, and take what the Colts give them. It might be a frustrating day, as they may have to settle for death by a thousand cuts, but if that’s what it’s going to take then it’s a game the Packers need to be prepared to play.

I do not trust the Packers’ defense against basically anyone, but especially against veteran quarterbacks. Mike Pettine’s schemes have grown increasingly vanilla and he refuses to abandon his maddening tendency to send three-man rushes in crucial situations, even in goal-to-go scenarios. Philip Rivers is going to be very well prepared, so unless the Packers throw in some wrinkles and make the necessary adjustments it could be a long day for this defense. Oh, and did I mention the Colts can run the ball?

Playing in the Packers’ favor: this one isn’t at home, and it’s inside. It seems like the Packers have been having a hard time playing at home and in weather, so they get a bit of a vacation this week to go out and run their offense. Hopefully they avoid coming out flat for the third time in four weeks, because this is too good a team to sleepwalk through a game and hope to win like you did against Jacksonville.

Ultimately I’m too much of an optimist for my own good, so I’m taking the Packers, 27 to 23. But I was more tempted to pick a loss with this game than I have with any other one so far this season. It’s going to be a slog.

 

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Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Comments (45)

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 19, 2020 at 06:48 am

Thanks for the turkey cooking method advice Tim. This sounds much healthier than frying, which also produces a tasty bird.

Unfortunately, you will be "roasted" by the Gutekunst haters/would be GMs for promoting Gary. These geniuses are required to slam Gary at every opportunity in order to assuage their own delusions of knowing more than professional football administrators.

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Lphill's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:45 am

I have supported Gary from day 1 the more he plays the more he can define his technique, he needs to be coached and he needs to play.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:02 am

If you have a pair of eyes and take off the green and gold glasses you can see that Gary’s motor runs about 50% of the time. Giving him more snaps might give him more opportunity to make an impact or it might give him more opportunity to stand around and watch.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:13 am

If you were not a homeschooled moron you might have a chance of understanding what you are watching. The fact that you believe a NFL player stands around 50% of the time proves that your opinion is not worth any consideration.

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porupack's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:07 am

I agree, Tim...Identity doesn't count for much; like coming up with a name for an adopted animal. Its nice, but doesn't change how much and where he makes his deposits.

The identity, or name I'll give my adopted pet (packers) is softy.

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Razer's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:42 am

"Softy" Priceless.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:21 am

There is 1 common issue that hurt the Packers in the last 2 home games against the VIkings and jaguars. They both were high wind games. It seemed to affect the Packers passing game in both games. it wasn't as bad against the Jaguars, but sounds like the opening throw to Tonyan pushed the ball about 7 yards.

When I watched the game I didn't really see a lot of lack of energy. Maybe they felt it on the sidelines, but I didn't see it on tv. But I also didn't see the first 2 1/2 quarters live. I watched that a day after. I think it was some missed throws due to wind on offense. I think it was some dropped passes and some penalties at key points.

Gary deserves more playing time! Plain and simple. He has been hustling and he has been getting to the QB. Its time to get him on the field more. While we are at it, lets get more Adams on the field. He needs more playing time, and Lowry and Lancaster needs less.

If Alexander and King can both play, i feel better about this game. We can get by against Jaguars with our backups. I don't think we can get by the Colts without both of them. Maybe 1 but I don't know about both. If Lazard can play, i feel better about our offense as well. We will find out if those guys are able to play.

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porupack's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:22 am

Good points on Turkey, it IS the queen of the dinner! Yes, basting and not overcooking is top priority. But also presoaking for 12 hours in beer+saline+herbs is next, to dress that queen.

Agree on Gary vs PSmith, and all indications that PSmith cost/benefit value is no longer. (Linsley should be the key re-sign from PSmith savings) .

Low energy and lackadaisical pace is a leadership problem. Starts with coach, and leadership role players. For all of Rodgers' great attributes, being or generating intensity isn't one of them. Nor AJones. Nor, well who? Who on offense comes in to the huddle, or comes out of a play and inspires the whole team to match, or beat that statement effort? Adams did it at his last TD. You saw immediate impact to the whole team by his emphatic effort and emotional aggresiiveness. That is what is often lacking....and why the team just is flat. Zsmith and JAlex bring it for the D.

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fastmoving's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:26 am

Gary will only get better........

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Razer's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:40 am

Great read Tim, made better as you quickly steered away from the team identity topic. In my dreams I see a stout, run stuffing, aggressive team going toe to toe with all comers, who will beat you with Muhammad Ali-like offensive precision. I will settle for tough and multi-facetted. Finesse is what I am seeing. Should have good regular season stats.

The beer has me intrigued. The 6.7 abv is a little high. Like this Packers team, I don't take a punch as well as I used to - particularly since I am not afraid to go back to the well repeatedly.

No foil on the bird - interesting. Any smoke?

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TimBackes's picture

November 19, 2020 at 07:50 am

Correct, no foil needed until tenting, so long as you keep it off direct heat. There is a bit of smoke flavor that comes from the charcoal which is one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much, but if you're asking about how much smoke it produces, no more than anything else you'd cook onna charcoal grill.

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frankthefork's picture

November 19, 2020 at 10:23 am

Love the write up. I too like the Turkey on the grill. If your a Ribs and shoulder or butt guy, why not a turkey? What's wrong with people? I grill everything...i'm a caveman decedent!
I like the beers from MKE brewing co, but will give this a drowning.
AS for Packers I'm a realist and this game is a turkey that the Colts will relish. It will be a playoff team matchup of NFC vs AFC, close...Colts 27 GBP 24. Of course I hope i'm wrong...I want the Packers to always go 19-0; but as I said, this is reality. Pettine is not for moi and never has. As for all Gutek picks...it seems they need polishing time prior to starting. So Far Jenkins and Alexander are the day one staters and pro bowl exceptions. Gary, Savage, Keke, Sternberger and Martin are starters now; Runyan will start next year me thinks. So patience is required..ugh. GPG.

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joejetson's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:05 am

Lots of meat in this week's column. Including the turkey recipe.

Seriously, great perspective on the Lombardi Packers, as well as analysis of current defensive disarray. I think back to last year when the defense made Phillip Rivers look like the GOAT. Don't have a good feeling about this game.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:23 am

Rivers has been on target the past few weeks. Is Pettine capable of bring real heat?

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dobber's picture

November 19, 2020 at 05:40 pm

They've gotta find a way to get pressure on him...which will be hard with that tough OL.

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Thegravedigger's picture

November 20, 2020 at 11:48 am

If our big pass rushers actually play to their ability, especially kenny clark getting pressure up the middle, we will rattle him. A reporter from the colts was on locked on packers saying the main reason the colts are the number one d this year is because of deforest buckner blowing it up in the middle. K clark is getting healthy and had a solid game last week, its time for him to wreck the game. Hes due.

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Coldworld's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:12 am

P Smith probably isn’t being used as appropriately as last year. Z and even Pettine have alluded to him taking one for the team. That said, I think the whole balance of snaps and usage within the front 7 has been hard to fathom this year.

What we don’t have in the OLB stable this year is a Fackrell type to play coverage. We need to find one.

One hopes that a year in the weight room will help Garvin, who has rush potential but is too small physically to be any thing other than a speed rusher at this point.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:26 am

They were trying Burks outside for coverage, but that guy seems lost in the woods when he's on the field of play. P.Smith will be moved next season for the CAP savings.

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Thegravedigger's picture

November 19, 2020 at 11:34 am

Poor burks is so lost. Hes like a deer in nyc out there.

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Guam's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:13 am

Thank you Tim for the walk down memory lane on Lombardi's Packers. I was a kid who grew up during the Lombardi era with the Packers and like your father, it is difficult for me to see these legends leave us. I have wonderful memories of all-pros at every level of the offense and defense and as dominant a team as you will ever see. The Cap will prevent any team from ever again being so dominant.

I agree that Preston Smith is playing his way off the roster with his inability to hold an edge or generate much pass rush. Gary is coming into his own and deserves more playing time. While I hope Lazard is back, I really want to see MVS continue to build on the successes of the last couple of games. He could develop into a serious asset if he can gain confidence in himself.

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stockholder's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:30 am

I don't agree with dumping P. Smith. You want Gary to get more time. But it should not Come at the expense of P. Smith. You guys thought the same thing of Peppers. Get off his back.

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Thegravedigger's picture

November 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

P smith is having a down year. They just paid bakh and clark. They have smiths replacement in rashan gary. Smith will be gone next year. Wit that being said. I wanna see him succeed and in passing situations i hope both smiths and Gary are on the field. But you have to stop that run if u want obvious passing situations.

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CoachDino's picture

November 19, 2020 at 06:05 pm

Preston Smith is a good football player having a bit of a slump. Plus it should be pointed out that sacks are way down this year for a well known reason...They aren't calling holding in an effort to protect the high priced rating driven QBs as well as up ratings driven offensive shootouts. So it's not excusing Smiths play but certainly a consideration. Never want to cut good plays..

BUT - When the cap comes into play and the size of the salary and cap savings available by cutting Preston is so impactful it may be the way to go. I started mentioning this about a month ago. It really sticks out when playing with the packers 2021 roster on overthecap.com...I know Im a loser but w/o knowing cap ramifications making any sort of personnel statements is void of value in my opinion.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:32 am

Hey Tim, Great column this week, I love your structure and takes. I also want to compliment you on your writing style, you are right at the top of Cheesehead TV talent and I can see you moving to bigger and better pastures if you so please.

Your words concerning the Lombardi years, players and culture are dead on, you really captured the spirit of the thing (in Dickie Dunn fashion).

I do have a thought on the "energy" issue which has been brought up. Perhaps its not really energy so much as attitude. The Packers play soft, finesse and not angry, thumping football in all 3 phases of the game. IMO this will need to change if this team is to win meaningful games in either the regular season or the playoffs. Q: Who on the current roster could be the catalyst for such a shift? If none exist, who would have to go and who could replace them? Or are we, as Packer fans, doomed to rooting for a semi-successful NFL team that wins just enough but is a soft out in tough challenges/

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PeteK's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:36 am

Releasing Preston will save us 12 mill in cap space and allow us to sign Jones. While not in love with Gary's overall play, he's probably a wash compared to Smith at this point and has the upside of improving.

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stockholder's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:46 am

You just made the same case for dumping Rodgers and starting Love.

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Thegravedigger's picture

November 19, 2020 at 11:42 am

Except rodgers is the number one qb in the league this year. Jordan love is a kid. So no. P smith is not performing. Not consistently. . Hes played better the last two games. But so has rashan gary.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:30 am

They would be better off signing King with Smith's cash or offsetting some of Bhaktiari's hit. The League will provide some sort of CAP relief given the unexpected shock to the system brought on by Sars-Cov-2.

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Thegravedigger's picture

November 19, 2020 at 11:44 am

Yup. Cant keep everyone. Lets see what king does for the rest of the year tho. But if its the kk from weeks one thru 4. Ill take that guy if affordable. Kk and rashan gary is much more of an upgrade over josh jackson and p smith. Cus its one or the other at best case scenario. Worst case there both gone.

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Fire_Gute's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:04 pm

Why does anyone want King resigned. Last year was the anomaly, not the norm. Counting college, he's been hurt for 5 of the last 6 seasons. His unique skill set will always be intriguing, but it will also keep him from being a top flight corner even when healthy.

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jurp's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:37 am

Nice cooking instructions. Glad to see in the photo that the bird wasn't stuffed, and to read that you use probe thermometers. As I think you know, it's important when grilling turkeys that they are NOT stuffed or you risk giving your guests food poisoning (my family got poisoned by my brother-in-law one year due to the stuffing first being contaminated by the raw bird and then not being cooked hot enough). Just mentioning this as a clarification for other posters who may want to try your method.

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nygary's picture

November 19, 2020 at 08:52 am

Totally agree that Gary should be getting more snaps. Preston is so weak against the run. Especially trying to hold the edge. Like someone else text before Gary can only get better. Go Pack

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Bure9620's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:39 am

I don't like the "identity" mantra either.....I think teams that are dynamic and have a multifaceted approach and are able to win in many ways are the most successful....This is why the Patriots were dominant for a long time...Their identity was they could win in many ways and forced teams to defend and adjust to many different things.....Can you air out? Can you pound the ball? Use speed, pass rush, Force turnovers, keep teams out of the endzone? If you do many things well, your "identity" is you are a well rounded team which can win in many different ways. You cannot throw for 400 yards every game, so can you utilize other pieces in the run game, defensively to win??

Look at the Bears....they have great defensive personnel, strong special teams but cannot move the ball if their lives depended on it......So their "identity" would be a team that does some good things on defense but isn't very good at scoring points??

You have to be able to win in many ways and play different matchups in the NFL.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:36 am

“But I was more tempted to pick a loss with this game than I have with any other one so far this season.”
I’m with you on this, Tim. This one kind of scares be, so instead of a 45-7 game, I’m going to say Pack wins by an uncomfortable 34-17 score.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:48 am

I tried to smoke a turkey once but I couldn’t get it wrapped up in those little papers.

Cutting Smith creates $8 million in dead cap. It’s a bad idea. Signing vets to FA contracts and then cutting them sounds like people don’t know what they’re doing.

Who are the 2020 Packers? They’re the 2019 team with a better offense and more injuries.

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Thegravedigger's picture

November 19, 2020 at 11:47 am

And a worse pass rush. Went from first to last in pressures. Stepped it up last week. They need to keep it up.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 19, 2020 at 03:53 pm

Perhaps the pass rush is worse , but we’re still #15 in scoring defense and moving up. The same personnel as last year mostly. We’re 20-5

Last year, our offense was #14 in scoring or so, and now we’re #3. That’s the big change from last year. Defensively, we’ve held 5 opponents to 21 or less compared to 9 last season. Last year, two opponents went over 30 on us. This year, it’s been twice, both times on the road. We’re more similar to last season on defense than offense

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CoachDino's picture

November 19, 2020 at 06:54 pm

duplicate

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CoachDino's picture

November 19, 2020 at 06:06 pm

Good Points - Legit

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fastmoving's picture

November 19, 2020 at 09:48 am

First thought you try to "grill" it with pure electric power! But then I realised the wire must come from a thermometer.......!!

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Since'61's picture

November 19, 2020 at 10:28 am

I’ve posted since the Packers drafted Gary that they would bring him along slowly. At this point it’s going much slower than I expected especially given the level of play by P. Smith. Gary should be getting more snaps. I still believe that he can become a force in the league.

As for the Packers energy, it needs to pick up if nothing else than for their own protection. Too many players on defense just watching the play which is a great way to get seriously injured.

Two points about the Lombardi Packers. First, they remain the only OL that comes off the snap as one unit and almost never missed their blocks. Second, Jersey Al talked about the lack of hard hits or popping by the current Packers defense. Lombardi’s defense hit hard always. Dave Robinson said that he made the NFL HOF because of all the RBs who ran towards him to avoid being hit by Nitschke. But all of those guys, Willie Davis, Dave Robinson, Willie Wood, Henry Jordan, Lee Roy Caffey, Herb Adderley were solid hard hitting tacklers.

As I have posted before, lock the defense in a room and have them watch the tape of Lombardi’s defense until they learn how to tackle and how to hit people. It would be a good idea to do the same with the current OL and have them watch Lombardi’s OL come off the snap, especially for short yardage and goal line plays.

The Lombardi greats played as one and now they are leaving as one. At least we know we’ll have the greatest team in the next life. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm

They make too much cash now to risk injury with big hits and they wear smaller shoulder pads. If this defense would just swarm to the ball and gang tackle, I would be impressed.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

November 19, 2020 at 01:10 pm

Excellent summary! I would have preferred you use a different adjective "broken down Alex Smith" in reference to a player who has made a miraculous and arduous recovery to play this year. Thanks for contributing. Thumbs up from me.

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Fire_Gute's picture

November 19, 2020 at 05:09 pm

Who are the 2020 Packers. Thanks to a head scratching off-season, the 2020 Packers are the 2019 Packers. Can't stop the run, still waiting for MVS and ESB to step up, still don't have a legit 2 WR, still put way to much of the game on 12,still Charmin soft, still watching JK Scott kick like Sean Landetta part of the year and BJ Sander the other part, still have a defensive coordinator who's only accomplishment is not being born Ernest Dominic Capers. And more than likely still going to get their asses handed to them in the playoffs

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CoachDino's picture

November 19, 2020 at 06:20 pm

Couple things.
Identity isn't anything more than a way to describe the team in a word or two. Might not be what they want it to be but strictly a lazy way or elevator speech of describing a team. Which I'm fine with.
How often do teams come out flat? Can't really say it's an issue unless we can compare it to a norm.
This teams plays as Rodgers plays, is not showing to be effective in bad weather, high winds and it makes sense as Rodgers isn't necessarily going to have his best games in this weather. The interception was on MVS. Saw a film analysis showing poor route running which made it obvious. So who knows.

They had an int, ST td against, and fumble - that right there is the reason it was close. Turnovers are said to be the#1 determination of outcome so given all this and them still winning to me is a plus. PS having your starting corners out doesn't help....

As for Indy: Considering the Packers are underdogs in this game it's not hard to say its their biggest test and we have a bad feeling about it. I sure do. They are the underdog and aren't supposed to win. That said I think they will win this one, possibly big...

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