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The Packers Will Be Fine

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The Packers Will Be Fine

Deep breath Packers fans.

Yes, losing Ryan Grant for the season is a blow. But say it with me - The Packers will be fine.

They will not be trading for Steve Slaton or Marshawn Lynch. Or DeAngelo Williams. Or Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. Stop with  all the silly trade scenarios.

Do I think losing Grant is of no consequence whatsoever? Of course not. You don't lose 1,200 yards worth of production and not blink an eye. But you also don't panic, especially when you have plenty of talent elsewhere to pick up the slack. McCarthy will lean on the strengths he has elsewhere on the roster. And yes, it's almost as simple as "He'll just throw the ball more."

But Brandon Jackson will be asked to run the way he did this past Sunday, with power and purpose. John Kuhn will continue to ram it down the other team's throat on the fullback dive and newly signed Dimitri Nance will no doubt enter into the equation at some point as well.

Another thing to remember is how the Packers offensive line looked so shaky in pass protection at the beginning of the game this past week. And how it got better as the game went on. That wasn't just because McCarthy started going to the ground game and Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher played better. No, a big part of it was because Brandon Jackson was in there on first and second down. He is just light years better than Grant in pass protection. And on a team that passes this much that is a huge positive.

Going back to the year 2000, look at who has won the Super Bowl and tell me which of those teams relied on their running game to get there. The Ravens and the 2006 Steelers. Maybe the Giants. Yes, you need the running game for balance - but that's it. And sometimes, you don't even need that. The 2009 Steelers and Cardinals were the two worst running teams in the league. It just has to be there to take some pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and the rest of McCarthy's high-flying offense. It has to be there to do what it did against the Eagles - put on the snow tires and churn out some clock when the team is winning in the 4th quarter.

This team is way too talented and versatile for this to be the stroke that keeps them from contending for a Super Bowl.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (72) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Max's picture

phew... thanks Aaron, I knew we'd be fine (didn't I say that before?)

alfredomartinez's picture

i agree with you, proof of this is last yrs game against seattle, B-jax showed me right then and there, that he could def be a diff maker when needed to balance out the offenese...

Ruppert's picture

My only question: Will Nance be better than Willie Parker, or anybody else we can name who is on the street?

Thompson did manage to pull Grant out of... ...nowhere 3 years ago. I'll have faith until I can see Nance run the ball.

packeraaron's picture

"Will Nance be better than Willie Parker?"

Yes.

Chad's picture

From someone who lives in Pittsburgh, the LAST guy you want is Willie Parker. His best days are long gone.

Ruppert's picture

Really? I gotta admit, I haven't seen the guy play in a while, so I'll take your word for it. I'm more worried about Jackson getting injured.

MLecl0001's picture

Ya I am worried about Jackson now too. I would hate to lose his 3rd down ability. The ability to pass protect, pick up blitzers, and catch out of the backfield if needed. I think his 3rd down play is under rated, and severely under appreciated by the fans. There are quite a few teams who would love a steady 3rd down back. A team like the Vikings maybe, I promise you halfway through the season Vikings fans will be lamenting Chester leaving. Peterson maybe an explosive back, but I have seen him get blown up in pass protection.

PackerBacker's picture

Agree 100% on the Chester Taylor comment. I think that's going to be huge for the Vikings. CT was one of the unsung heros of that team, and that's coming from a guy who hates their guts.

j4a1's picture

Well said Aaron. It's the next man up philosophy. Jackson! Strap on your helmet!

DBH's picture

With Grant out, we'll see more screens and running back passes now that we have to play to Jackson's strengths - which are significantly different than Grant's strengths.

Future question - will Grant come back from this just fine, or will RB become our "most pressing need" for the 2011 offseason?

lebowski's picture

"And with their first round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select, Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State."

DBH's picture

I've been paying attention to him a little bit. Thomas seems like the kind of guy that TT would go after from the few things I've read and seen...and he should be rated in the 20-50 overall range. Hmmmmm

Idiot Fan's picture

He'll need to be there at pick number 32!

Brando's picture

*Puts the paper bag and gun down*

o-okay. yeah. we'll be okay.

Max's picture

LOL

jack's picture

does anyone have an update on the james starks injury? any chance he'll be ready to practice 5 weeks from now?

WoodyG's picture

We'll be alright .... Easy to say but not always the truth ..... GB has to have a respected running game to maximize the passing game ..... If good defenses don't respect the run (at least some), they can key more on the passing attack ......

At the same time, if BJ can stay away from nagging injuries he may very well be a 1000+ ...... He's a 2nd rounder who really has never had the opportunity that's before him now.

bryce's picture

Except for when he started in 2007.

Asshalo's picture

I wouldn't throw out a trade, just maybe the people mentioned earlier. Remember Ryan Grant himself was a trade.

Jackson has shown he can pick up a load, just not Grant's load-- both in total carries and possibly yards per carry. So I expect the back-ups to carry a bigger load. I don't think it will put that big of a strain on the pass-game, as the run game will adapt to Jackson.

Tthe packers ran the ball the vast majority of the time Grant was on the field in comparison to other teams (nod to Carriveau). Due to Jackson's superior pass catching and blocking skills, there's more mystery with you're number one back. Yes this puts more pressure on the back-ups, but who is to say an Undrafted Free agent in Dimitri Nance can't fill in the depth chart fine?

Remember the last time the packers had an undrafted free agent picking-up the void in the run game? I do. It was 2007. His name was Ryan Grant

hyperRevue's picture

That's a good point about the mystery of passing vs running situations with Jackson now back there full-time.

Jordan's picture

It's about time. I knew I could count on you Nagler, to quell some of the more emotional fan's concerns. Here's one of the biggest positives i see coming from this (other than me taking bjax in my fantasy league), defenses will not be able to key in on a pass or screen any time that Jackson's in the backfield. Furthermore, I think we'll see a lot more of the screen pass, Jackson has always seemed to excel in that department. He's not the same runner Grant is(that's for sure) but he'll open up options that Grant didn't. One door closes, another opens, I'm still thinking super bowl.
Cheers.

PackersRS's picture

Who the hell panicked? I've said all along, we'll be fine!

Geez, some Packers fans...

ZeroTolerance's picture

Sleep well.

thepretzelhead's picture

Jackson on first down is a pass threat as well, something RG wasn't. Also like the idea of more Kuhnbell. And Atlanta cast offs have worked for us before....

packeraaron's picture

Nice.

afrenchpackersfan's picture

;-)

FITZCORE1252's picture

We do need more Kuhnbell.

thepretzelhead's picture

And...linemen make running backs...rarely the other way around.

PackersRS's picture

We're doomed, you say?

AJKUHN's picture

Seems to me we keep finding a running game no matter who we have, I think Edgar Bennett does a great job developing whatever the personnel department gives him. Remember, like others have said we need functional not awesome (though I like awesome)

Doug In Sandpoint's picture

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

jack's picture

doug, do you like movies about gladiators?

ray goel's picture

have you ever been in a cockpit before??? lol greatest movie ever. anyway, the pack is back with or without ryan. no worries here. pack is super bowl bound... GO PACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

bryce's picture

Disagree. Jackson's too small. I think we need to go get somebody. TT never will, but it needs to happen. We'll all look back on what could have happened in '10 if Grant hadn't gone down or if we had signed someone decent. Lightning doesn't strike twice, there's no way TT picked another Ryan Grant off a practice squad. We're screwed.

bryce's picture

Oh, I forgot to mention: I hope I'm wrong. I hope you're right Nagler.

WisconInExile's picture

Jackson is bigger than Maurice Jones-Drew, who has met with some small success carrying the pigskin in Jacksonville. Just sayin.

jeremy's picture

Does anyone think we'll see the Big 5 again?

ZeroTolerance's picture

We saw it a time or two Sunday.

Jer's picture

Put it this way, I'd rather lose Grant than any of our starters on defense. And most on offense as well.

The bad news is it's only week 1 and more injuries are inevitable. Hate to lose a couple solid contributers already.

ZeroTolerance's picture

At this rate we would loose 32 players by season's end.

The bleeding will undoubtably stop.

Max (ukpackersfan)'s picture

From Falcons blog ~ "Nance, who’s listed fifth on the depth chart, behind Michael Turner, Norwood, Jason Snelling and Antone Smith, has to still be considered a super longshot to make the team." - Ted and his scouts must have seen something, cause the Falcons didn't.

WisconInExile's picture

He was longshot to make the Falcon's team because of their stellar depth in the running back corps. The Falcons still tried hard to keep him on the practice squad, according to reports. He realized he could actually be active for real, live, genuine NFL games if he signed with the Packers.

Wiscokid's picture

Aaron, I wouldn't call trade talk "silly". How did that not giving up a fifth round pick for Randy Moss work out. Maybe trying to trade for Lynch the week before we play the bills isn't the best timing but the guy has skills.

Who the hell is Dimitri Nance? Does he even keep a roster spot if Starks gets healthy?

PackersRS's picture

How did that work out? The Patriots didn't win the SB, The Packers didn't win the SB, and the Raiders didn't win the SB. How did that work out?

Or are you actually going to make the case that, if it wasn't Driver, but Moss, that Favre completes that pass, and doesn't turn it over?

Wiscokid's picture

Nope, what I was saying is he was a quality player that we could have gotten on the cheap. Look, I never liked Randy Moss as a person but he put up some very good numbers. I feel the same way about Lynch. Why bring in some guy that likely won't be able keep his spot on the roster?

Hey, I could be wrong about this and I hope that I am.

MLecl0001's picture

And why bring in a guy thats going to bring your locker room down? It takes a lot more than talent to win the SB. It takes chemistry and a whole hell of a lot of luck. I would rather they get good players to fit their system, then go out of their way to get some one who has talent but could just as easily be a detriment to the team.

Wiscokid's picture

That is supposition on your part. His getting shipped to Green Bay maybe the wake up call that he needs. The next stop is out of the league. Andre Ryson wasn't everybody's darling when we picked him up neither was Charles Woodson. The thing they all have in common is talent.

If you believe in this move you should be out buying up all of the Dimitri Nance rookie cards that you can get your hands on.

CSS's picture

Based on the NFP article today Moss's camp wanted only a 1 year deal, nothing else. They wanted to drive up his value, assuming he performed, and create a bidding war for the following year. I whole-heartedly agree with TT.

Wiscokid's picture

Please don't get bogged down in the Randy Moss thing.It was only an example that sometimes it's possible to get some help from a source other than another teams practice squad.

Back to the start of this thread I was taking umbrage at use of the idea of trading for a player as "silly". A GM should do whatever he needs to do that results in making his team better. To me that includes the possibility of trading for an existing player on another teams roster. To me that is not silly.

If Aaron Nagler was as good as he seems to think he is, he'd be GM for an NFL team instead of just some guy with a blog.

Packergeek's picture

Aaron - when an important starter goes down, I think it's "silly" NOT to talk about lots of different trade/free agent scenarios. I think a team/GM needs to consider all the options.

I'm not as comfortable with our RB situation as you seem to be. I know you're a B-Jack fan and think he could even be as good as Grant. I hope he can be - I don't think he's bad. My bigger concern is depth. If Jackson gets hurt (which is part of his history), we have John Kuhn and some random rookie with no NFL experience who doesn't know the offense. I agree that we still have plenty of talent elsewhere to carry us deep - my concern now is that we have less of it at a position that is more important to the overall function of our offense than most will admit.

Oh well, now that the day's drama has subsided, I'll at least raise a beer to B-Jack and his health and hold out hope that he can take advantage of this opportunity.

MLecl0001's picture

Yes because TT did not consider all the possibilities. He just had the scouting department put up a board full of no namers and he pulled out a dart and thats how we got Dmitri.

Vrog's picture

Nice one

lebowski's picture

The point about Jackson being so great in pass protection is my main concern. We desperately need him for that. He's a smaller guy, the every-down pounding may very well take a toll on him. Our running game has been average for what seems like forever, may as well be again. But if Jackson gets hurt, and our pass protection suffers greatly as a result, bye bye season.

PackersRS's picture

Jackson is 5-10 216.
MJD is 5-7 208.

I don't think the size is a problem. He has been injury prone so far, though.

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah, I understand Nagler's point. We'll probably do ok. But, There's no denying the scare factor of our run game will go down though. Grant has always had his haters, and he was bad in '08 BUT he was pretty darn good in '09 and seemed poised for 1500 yds this year. Small sample, I know, but I was buying the "more explosive" 2nd level talk...
-
Note that we didn't have a long run after his departure... this is gonna hurt.

Iced Borscht's picture

Good point about the pass protection improving with Jackson in there, but I don't like him as a runner at all. I don't see him running with power -- it's almost like he tries to glide around too much. Grant had much more "oomph."

Jersey Al's picture

off-beat question. Is "We'll be fine" a Wisconsin thing? Whenever something negative happens in the Green Bay world, I hear those words from so many people. Just curious.

packeraaron's picture

Lol - for me, it's a London thing. My father-in-law always talks about how his mother would say "We'll be fine" during the blitz. Huge bombs going off all around and someone would say "I'll put the kettle on."

SpiderPack's picture

If its a WI/Midwest thing its more like Marge from FARGO. "I'm pregnant & I'm Sheriff, all kinds of shit goin on, there's Ms. Lundegaard on the floor and a dude in the wood chipper and . . . Oh, everything's just fine there now don't ya think there Norm? Just 2 more months now on the baby" WI/Midwest people just don't let it get'em down-zenlike with maybe a touch of psychosis. LOL.

WisconInExile's picture

Absolutely! Just go to a Wisconsin funeral and ask anyone how they are doing. Everyone will say "good." Including the deceased. ; )

cow42's picture

jackson
kuhn
nance

let that sink in.

ouch.

packeraaron's picture

Rodgers
Finley
Jennings
Driver
Jones
Nelson

OK

Kevin47's picture

There comes a point and time when you need to run, so you can rant and rave about how great the passing situation is, (it is), but your gonna have to run at some point if they plan to do anything this season, and I dont see that happening succesfully with the current backfield situation.

Cuphound's picture

It's far too soon to believe the sky is falling. We're not a huge running team to begin with. I remember Jersey Al starting a very interesting talk about Grant last year, stating that Grant's fast, but only really effective when holes are opened for him. He didn't have Ahman Green's gift for making his own opportunities back when Ahman Green was #30.

So there was talk about being less than satisfied with Grant's performance. Some of the other players can step up and take a chance. That's often how star players are made.

Sure, it sucks that he's out, but it's not the same as if Rodgers were out for the season. I for one have always wanted to see John Kuhn get the ball a little more often.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"The Packers will be fine."

I needed that. Thanks.

GBP 4 LIFE

PRC's picture

Aaron your right, the Packers will be fine with Jackson...unless he gets hurt to...but we all know how reliable he is so we know we have nothing to worry about right?

Tarynfor12's picture

"We'll be fine" but not from anything BJ does or doesn't do.The Pack will be fine due to the schedule over the next few weeks even with BJ as the #1 RB(grimmace).
These next games should finally show all those BJ bandwagoners just how little he has especially after waiting 3 years.How can anyone think a RB needs that much time time to show his talent.
He can block but he can't run for the production we'll need.I predict alot of falling down with ease.
Hell,he should look like Sanders and Payton against Buffalo.I can't wait for the BIG SHOW.

Chris's picture

I am worried about Jacksons durability though. If he gets injured the Packers have a converted fullback and a rookie who was not with the team at all.
Who do you expect to see as the 3rd down back? I cannot believe that Jackson is able to play all downs all the time. If it's Kuhn, has he shown anything for the neccessary blitz pickup?

davyjones's picture

Thank you Aaron for your fine work.

Let's just look at the math for a moment (God, did i just say that?? I avoid math at all costs most of the time). Let's assume Grant would have carried the ball 20 times a game and lets assume BJ gets the same amount of carries. Let's also assume BJ averages a full yard less per carry (say, 3.5 YPC vs 4.5 YRC). We're looking at 70 YPG vs 90 YPG---again, on average with some reasonably cautious assumptions. Can this offense not manage that? Working in some screens? With a little improvement in the return game on top of that? With one of the premier rushing QB's in the League? Yes, defenses will plan for us differently...heres where the coaching staff really earns their paycheck.

If we look at the last 7 games, from Nov 21st on when weather becomes more of a factor, it doesn't look that bad. 4 of the 7 are on the road. SF, NYG & Chi are in GB. That is when a weaker running game could really hurt. However, if we see an average per game drop of 25-40 yds per game, I am hard pressed to think this offense and this coaching staff can't make that up--especially if Jordy keeps doing what he did Sunday with the average starting field position.

It's all good.

Wiscokid's picture

Of course "we'll be fine". Nothing works like a simple platitude such as "duck and cover" or "just say no". Yup, that should do it.

braden's picture

i was wondering if anyone thinks i should put jackson is as my running back in my fantasy team

fish's picture

Nance on NFL.com

A Short Goal Line Run, But he looks promising.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-preseason/09000d5d819bc246

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