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Packers by Position Offseason Preview Series

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Packers by Position Offseason Preview Series

This is your one-stop shop for our previously published position-by-position offseason preview series, checking out what's in store for the Packers in free agency and the NFL draft...

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tim's picture

Jairus Byrd or Linval Joseph are pipe dreams, so let's talk real FA possibilities. What do you think about these under-the-radar guys?:
ILB Arthur Moats (speed)
TE Ben Hartsock (blocking)
NT Paul Soliai (toughness)
DL Ropati Pitoitua (length)
S Chris Clemons (savvy)

Evan's picture

I'd be thrilled with Chris Clemons.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Another guy I would like to see them go after is Arthur Jones from Baltimore. He would be a good fit in the Packers defense.

Evan's picture

Ropati Pitoitua - 6'8", 298 lbs...damn.

ArodMoney's picture

Soliai at NT over Pickett anyday

jeremy's picture

Ron Wolf said it, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit".

It has been repeated over and over by veterans who know that it takes 2-3 years for players to be ready for Capers 3-4. The Packers only have one safety who belongs on an NFL roster. We have all seen what this defense is with poor safety play. If Teddy doesn't do something to bring in a legitimate veteran Safety he has chosen to waste the prime of Aaron Rodgers career. I'm generally a Thompson supporter but there are no two ways to say it, by being stubborn with his draft only principle he is choosing to fail on this one.

Pack12's picture

Totally agree Jeremy.

Digital Tucker Hero's picture

i think our safeties actually touched the football a total of one time the entire season...a deflection by Burnett in the end zone against Dallas.

marcopo's picture

If we have a "draft and develop" commitment, a la TT, then you need time to make chicken salad out of chicken chit. The problem was injuries depleted the entire concept, forcing the Packers to play 3rd and 4th stringers. The exception was safeties where the Packers didn't have one. If the Packers are going to compete, they need to find at least one EXPERIENCED safety. They don't have the luxury of waiting.

Hank Scorpio's picture

How do you fix a system that takes 2-3 years to learn in the here and now? The answer is you can't. You have to have anticipated the problem and fixed it 2-3 years ago.

I don't see how such a system can possibly be successful. How is a GM supposed to see & fill needs that are 2-3 years out? Even if the crystal ball is working great, he won't know if the player can play until he plays. If he can't (ala MD Jennings), you're in a world of hurt for 2-3 years while you try again. It's just a system set up to fail.

Evan's picture

I don't know if I buy that 2-3 year thing.

If it takes 2-3 years to learn Dom's system, then how is it that his 1st and 2nd year defenses in Green Bay were so good?

And how is it that at every stop he's had, his defenses start out great in year 1 and 2 then seem to fade in subsequent years?

RC Packer Fan's picture

The differences are all in the Players. Nick Collins, Charles Woodson, Cullen Jenkins, Johnny Jolly in his prime, also Pickett was in his prime, Raji played a lot better.

The biggest difference though is Collins and Woodson. Both playmakers. Collins covered up for a lot of mistakes. His speed and playmaking ability is sorely missed...

Hank Scorpio's picture

Excellent points, Evan & RC.

I would add to RC's point (in particular regarding Nick Collins and to a lesser extent Charles Woodson) that the Pittsburgh defense has always been at its best when there was a Safety wrecking havoc all over the field. Whether it was Troy Polamalu or Carnell Lake before him. It just doesn't work as well without a top-notch Safety.

Evan's picture

Exactly. Complex scheme or not, I think it all comes down to good players. And not just good players, but veteran players.

I'm sure I'm setting myself up for disappointment, but I'm holding out hope TT brings in a veteran safety.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, I agree with that.
Also, look at the difference Bob Sanders made for the Colts. With him they were a lights out defense and won a Super Bowl. Without him, they were a mediocre defense at best.

IMO, this defense really needs a great safety. I think Burnett would play better with a better safety next to him. Capers seems to call a different defense if he knows he can trust the safety's. That's why I think its the #1 need on the team.

Byrd could be that great safety next to him, but I think his price tag would be to high.

Right now the top 2 safety's in the draft are Clinton-Dix and Pryor.
I like Pryor's hitting ability. He will try to knock guys out. But in this league that can be a bad thing too.. With the rule changes he could be a player that could get a lot more penalty's with his play. Also he won't be able to come up and try to lay guys out like he could in college. I would like to see him wrap up better. I want to see what kind of speed he has too. If he runs a 4.5 40 or better he will be picked around 20-25 I think. If he runs a 4.6 or slower, I think he falls to the 2nd round.

Evan's picture

I think our respectful and well-reasoned discussion broke the site.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

RC Packer Fan, I agree with just about everything you have to say, but I don't think we can draft an immediate safety or corner. IMO, like it or not, I think we have to buy those positions, if you want to fix them right. You know more about this draft stuff than I do. I know we have to resign Shields, but IMO, only because we have too many spots to fix. I don't think he's worth a Franchise Tag. I think both of our corners are too small, & our safety's are no good. I admit, not knowing where to start in this draft, I guess I'd want the closest thing to an Impact Player on Defense. JMO

4thand1's picture

Look at the Steelers without Palomalu, they sucked with him out of the line up. Its a prime example of how 1 player , a great player makes a difference.

RC Packer Fan's picture

lol - Evan. So true right...

Who knew that fans could have rational conversations around here...

Evan's picture

I'd like to see them do both - buy a veteran (Clemons) and draft one (Pryor) high. The position needs a complete overhaul. (Though if they do get Clemons, they could probably go ILB/TE/DL in the 1st round and wait till the 2nd day to draft a safety.)

Those 2 new guys plus hopefully a rejuvenated Burnett and Richardson (and maybe Hyde serving part-time)...that should be well on the way to fixing the problem.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, I completely agree.. I would love to see 2 guys brought in. One Free Agent and one high draft pick.

I like bringing in a veteran because it allows us to look at other positions in round 1. Then in rounds 2-4 they could look at guys like Kenny Ladler, Dion Bucannon, Jimmy Ward as well as others.

I would like to see the 4 man group be Richardson, Burnett, FA, Rookie... I would be happy with that group.

larry valdes's picture

Agreed we need a veteran safety let raji and 8 millionsdollars walk and sign veteran nt (soliali) and draft a ilb or te on the first round and draft a safety 2 or 3 and let finley go to seatle with his frinds g tate.

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