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When You\'re Going To Go 11-5...

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When You\'re Going To Go 11-5...

...you have to lose five games.

Took a day away from the blog yesterday and I have to tell you, it did a world of good for my outlook on the rest of the season. Yes, the loss to the Bengals was as demoralizing as it was unexpected, but people need to get a grip on reality. Yes, Daryn Colledge will have his hands full until Clifton gets back - but I share McCarthy's belief in his ability to get the job done. I went back and watched the Tennessee game from last year again and Colledge does an excellent job. Yes, he was, even in that game, prone to getting put on his heels, as he was against the Bengals on Sunday. But he is not going to be overwhelmed. I guarantee it. The Packers' offense can function with the offensive line they are planning to send out on Sunday.

On defense, the safety dance is disconcerting to say the least. Thompson's decision to keep Aaron Rouse over Anthony Smith can not be classified as anything other than a blunder. Yes, there's no telling how Smith would have played in the regular season, but it was obvious after his time with the Packers and the beginning of training camp, before he got hurt, that the organization was simply treading water with Rouse. I'm glad Thompson at least recognized his mistake, but the pattern of keeping his own draft picks over guys the pro personnel people bring in has once again set the team back. Smith was not Ed Reed or anything, but he could and can play. Rouse was an accident waiting to happen, and they happened repeatedly on Sunday. All that said, Dom Capers and his defensive staff will do what they have to with what they have, be that Jarrett Bush or Derrick Martin.

I found McCarthy's comments at the end of his press conference yesterday interesting. After watching the video, I'm not sure I completely agree with Bedard about it being a Fassel-type moment if only because McCarthy didn't seem as confident as Fassel did when he made his playoffs proclamation. I did find it to be more of a "I am sick and tired of answering questions about the offensive line"-type thing that morphed into a statement about his overall approach and football team. What worries me is that...it's Week Three. A coach getting that defensive after one loss, sitting with a record of 1-1, is not a good sign. And I'm on record as saying that SOMETHING has to change. McCarthy can't continue to call long developing pass plays with limited numbers of receivers out in the pattern. He needs to flood the field with receivers and work on all sorts of underneath, West Coast Offense stuff all the way down the field, with the occasional deep shot thrown in. (And I literally had this pop-up on my TweetDeck as I was writing this post. I'm glad to see Rodgers agrees with me...)

The bottom line is that the team needs to play better. Period. That is the head coaches' responsibility. For all his talk of availability and accountability, the time to hold McCarthy accountable is here.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

retiredgrampa's picture

And MM MUST hold Campen accountable for the OL play. Many teams already have injuries on their OLs so he can't depend on that excuse. Results are what count in this league.

RockinRodgers's picture

The Pack are gonna dink and donk to a big victory this weekend.

CSS's picture

I'm actually processing the cut of Anthony Smith a bit differently than most, opposite actually. The Steelers let the Packers sign their young, former second round pick at a bargain price without making a serious attempt (any attempt?) to match. Look at how bad the safety play was last week when the Steelers played the Bears and Troy P. was out (Cutler and Olsen certainly enjoyed it). Point is, Steelers don't have depth behined Polomalu and they were willing to part with Smith.

Then the Packers, who have the benefit of coaches film and daily practice, but Smith as well. I have no problem with Smith being cut after not responding emotionally to the original cutdown.

Packnic's picture

your so right about the offense. stick to the WCO, why with our ability to run it beautifully would we ever leave it? I think it was you a couple days ago that said, that it seems like Mike got caught up in the preseason games and figured he could go all "New Orleans" on everybody. we can't...yet. Stick to what we know, get some control of the game and then bam, go crazy.

I think your making a bigger deal about the safety situation than it really needs to be. 1. We're talking about back up safeties, not starters. 2. Smith was signed by the Rams. It's not like hes a superstar or even starter material. I think they did the right thing, stick with the draft pick and his potential over the middle of the road "able" player and his attitude. I mean its really low risk. He either blossoms or he doesnt, but losing Smith is not the worry for me. We may have gotten lucky and Giordano might be better than both anyway.

Ron La Canne's picture

The O line problem wasn't restricted to last week. It was present in the first game. Actually, it goes back to the first Detroit game last year. Look at the depth chart then and look at it now. Can anyone tell me how we've improved?
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That said we're stuck with what we have. There is very little of substance that can be accomplished at this point in the season. At best, you could add a journeyman or two. That would add some strength to the depth but wouldn't impact the starters in any significant way.
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So, you are right Aaron it is now time for MM to stepup and take some personal responsibility for the results on the field. He must accept the fact that the O line he has starting cannot do the job in his complex multi-receiver sets alone. Or with help for that matter. He has to adapt the offensive scheme now. 3 step drops should become the rule not the exception.
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To summarize, it is what it is. TT and MM are now totally responsible for what happens on the field. As a GB fan for life, I want them to succeed. If they don't, I believe Murphy and the Xcom need to deal with it after the season. I think it's time to tell MM and TT there will be no more Mulligans.

CSS's picture

For those asking the questions like: "Why haven't the Packers brought in a guy like Jon Runyan yet?" Chris Mortenson makes a good point yesterday in saying every team is looking for offensive line depth throughout the year. Several have brought in Runyan for tryouts and nobody has tenderd an offer. That should tell you something....

Holly's picture

I'm going to be honest, Aaron, I wasn't expecting this measured and rational response. I actually thought that you might pull a Mitchell from over at Acme Packing Company and <a href="http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/2009/9/23/1051781/green-bay-trades-in-... rel="nofollow">go all CAPSLOCK OF RAGE</a> on us. That said, I like where you're coming from. I hope that you're right about Colledge, and I look forward to a much more efficient WCO passing game from MM on Sunday. I'm more hopeful than confident that the Packers can bounce back big this week, but I also have a tendency to swing outside the band of rationality when it comes to this team.

Mr.Man's picture

Is it wrong to want someone out there to start a "Fire James Campen" website? I mean, I still have an old Favre poster with Campen crouched down in front of Brent, ready to snap the ball. He's a guy with a lot of history. But the O-line has really only looked good during his time here for about 2/3s of one season. And the guys he's developed exclusively still aren't showing it.

CSS's picture

Mr. Man, professional players need to show up. I think it's premature to call for Campen's head. Some of Barbre's mistakes were absolute brain-farts. Arm extension, kick-slide, punch, things you learn year one in college. Should they continue to make simple, fundamental mistakes then I think it goes beyond Campen and straight to MM and TT.

AndrewInAtlanta's picture

I'm not going to draw any conclusions from the Rams game. After MN (1/4 thru the season) we'll see how adjustments have fared.

nerdmann's picture

Barbre has only played poorly for one game.
However, the Oline was called out after the Chicago game and were under scrutiny against Cincinnati. And guess what. They sucked. Barbre was all right, though.
The fact is, we've got "smaller quicker" linemen, and MM's sticking with the zBS. They've come off of that a little, but not nearly enough for me.

packeraaron's picture

Barbre did play marginally better but he also got a ton of help. That worries me.

alfredomartinez's picture

asides from the o-line talk, im glad the pack dropped aaroun rouse and signed matt giordano, i dunno exaclty what he'll bring to the table, but hopefully cannot be any worse than what rouse or bush have accomplished so far.

Oppy's picture

Aaron,
Your criticism of his pass-play calling is justified, to be sure.
However, I feel his biggest failing as a play caller, this year so far, and years past, is his blatant failure to commit to the ground game. More disconcerting is the fact that year after year, McCarthy has commented on this failure to commit to the run game himself, and year after year he's stated it's a area he needs to get better at in his play calling.
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McCarthy needs to follow his own advice and start actually running the ball. I don't care if we only break off 3 yards a carry, the offense needs more balance.
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Tying into your sentiment, If McCarthy hasn't the fortitude to commit to the run, you're right- he needs to fall back into a conventional west cost offense running game- in other words, throw screens, inside slant quick hitters, and 3 yard outs.

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