Blake Martinez Finishes 2017 as One of NFL's Most Efficient ILBs

Very few players in the NFL can say they've matched the tackle production that Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Blake Martinez has this season.

Martinez, 23, just reached the culmination of his second season in the NFL and in the midst of what was an otherwise disastrous defensive year for the Packers, earned an impressive accolade.

He finished 2017 tied for the league-lead in tackles (144), putting him in the same company as Cleveland Browns linebacker and Wisconsin Badgers standout, Joe Schobert, as well as Buffalo Bills linebacker Preston Brown. Martinez has the edge out of the trio, however, with 96 solo tackles. 

To pile on the already-impressive numbers, he has eight defended passes -- also leading the group -- and two fumble recoveries, which also puts him ahead of his competition.

According to Pro Football Reference, Martinez finished 2017 with the third-most solo tackles (96) in team history amongst inside linebackers, and his 144 combined tackles give him the most of anybody to play the position in Green Bay.

While Martinez didn't exactly shatter any records he did show why Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews referred to him as "Mr. Consistent" in November

In just his second season, Martinez either led or finished second on the team in tackles on a weekly basis in 13 of Green Bay's 16 games. A major attributing factor to that is the fact that Martinez has been able to stay healthy and remain on the field. He led all linebackers on the team in snaps played, being on the field for 92.6 percent of the defense's snaps.

"I think [Blake] Martinez is having a heck of a year," said coach Mike McCarthy in early December. "You always talk about the leap from year one to year two, and that's what you're looking for. That's exactly how you want to see guys come back and take advantage of your opportunities."

Martinez is one of the two significant pay-out picks from the 2016 Draft. The Packers' haul included nose tackle Kenny Clark, who has suddenly jumped out to an All-Pro level in performance in 2017 despite not earning Pro Bowl recognition. 

What to watch for now is if Martinez's ascension as one of the Packers' premier defensive players continues into 2018 with changes happening all around him.

On top of defensive coordinator Dom Capers being relieved of his duties on Monday following the Packers' loss to the Detroit Lions to close out their season, Martinez's positional coach, Scott McCurley, was also fired.

McCurley could certainly be credited with Martinez's rise to prominence in his sophomore NFL season, but Martinez's ability to still play at an efficient level in Capers' seemingly advanced defensive scheme can't be overlooked. A new coordinator may very well have Martinez's shifted into a new role with different responsibilities than what he was used to the last two seasons.

Whoever takes Capers or McCurley's place, Martinez is without a doubt one of the core players to build around and use as a focal point of the defense. It's isn't exactly protocol for a second-year player to handle the communication helmet -- a duty that typically falls on safety Morgan Burnett -- in a regular season game, but when Burnett was out, Martinez took the reins.

The Packers, who currently employ a base 3-4 defense, will be able to seamlessly transition to a 4-3 if need be. Thanks to their hoard of versatile players -- Martinez being one of them -- they'll be able to use them as rotational pieces rather than repetitive defensive looks in nickel coverage.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (66)

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HankScorpio's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:04 pm

I would argue that Clark's development was critical to Martinez's banner year. LBs that are kept clean of OL by beast DTs are much more likely to be consistent tacklers.

I'm not trying to downplay the year he had. He's one of the reasons I think they can rebound effectively on defense with a new voice at the front of the room.

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zoellner25's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:33 pm

But he is at least waaaaay better than Jake Ryan

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:23 pm

Martinez, Clark, Daniels, King, the “new” version of Randall, and the upside/athleticism of Josh Jones. The Green Bay D has some pieces for the new DC to work with.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:50 pm

Jones was a disappointment in my opinion. A lot of hype. Always out of position. He was a player other teams targeted. He has a lot of physical ability, but it has definitely not clicked yet. He can be a stud or out of the league in 3 years and I wouldn't be surprised either way. I'm hoping for stud, but idk.

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zoellner25's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:56 pm

could have been partly due to scheme

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:04 pm

Agreed. He’s got tools to work with. Kinda like Nick Collins did. It took Nick a couple seasons to put it together. Plus Woodson reportedly helped. Maybe GB will acquire some of this type of veteran leadership in FA. Or maybe Burnett is (can be) that guy.

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:42 pm

Sorry guys, I saw the dude play in college as I'm living in Raleigh. I've said this before the season, you can look up my posts - great athlete, undoubtedly. But not a football player. Was very simple to see. Has all the physical tools that one would need. Athleticism off the charts. But simply cannot diagnose plays and doesn't have the instincts to play at a high level in the NFL consistently...

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croatpackfan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:37 am

Thanks Pete for insight... I was not aware of your previous comments on Josh

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:18 am

My thought has been that in an attacking, downhill scheme, he's going to be able to do things to help the defense as the other traits (hopefully) develop. It's going to be a matter of how they take advantage of what he CAN do.

Whatever the case, he's likely to get a new position coach with the new DC who hopefully knows how to work with guys like him.

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Jamie Freier's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:07 am

What always struck me at games was the defense looking confused on a lot of plays. A lot of looking at each other and pointing at each other, not even looking at the offense for the snap. They must have had decision trees 16 deep or something.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 04, 2018 at 03:35 pm

Yes!!!

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zoellner25's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:30 pm

Not the biggest, fastest or sexiest ILB, but I love Martinez and how hard he works. And smart too

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Turophile's picture

January 02, 2018 at 05:17 pm

.......and after his rookie season several posters thought he was a bust - tough crowd !!

His strength was in reading a defense, he was never an elite athlete. All it took was one year to get things down and 'BOOM'

That was Ryan's strength as well, which was probably why the Pack went for greater athleticism and speed with Jones, even though they new at draft time he never had Ryan's or Martinez instincts. Different but comlementary players.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:09 pm

Who says he ain’t sexy??

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Lphill's picture

January 02, 2018 at 03:55 pm

I guess he is one of Teds last positive draft picks, maybe Biegel also but we don't know yet.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:02 pm

Martinez is a very good backer. He makes the right decision as much as you can ask a starting linebacker to. Best mike backer green Bay has had since desmond Bishop flashed. Very assignment sure player. Better than barnett. Hawk had about a year and a half where he was playing pretty well. Martinez is much more productive with his opportunities than they were. Less flash, more production. He will get better, and he will start getting national media recognition pretty soon. Not Sean Lee/Bobby Wagner good, but close. Glad green bay has him.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:25 am

If Martinez turned out to be a Sean Lee (which I think is a good comparison for what his ceiling is likely to be), I'd take it...minus all the injuries, of course.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 09:51 pm

Lee is a stud when he plays. We would be very lucky.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:04 pm

I'm glad Blake is playing well. He is a good SILB for us. Can thump well, tackles very well, diagnoses very well and can cover ok. But no, he would not be a good 43 LB. He's not fast enough to many either OLB or the MLB role.

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stockholder's picture

January 02, 2018 at 04:43 pm

Right so Trade him to a 3-4-4 team? Value may never be higher.? Then put Mathews in the middle? ( Can't see the speed there either. ) Mathews needs to stay behind Perry on the Outside. WHY? I JUST REMEMBER TED HENDRICKS. This year has several good ILBs. And a couple OLbs could make the switch easy.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 02, 2018 at 05:46 pm

But why go through all that trouble when you have plenty of very good personnel for the 34? We need a lead dog pass rusher and another CB. That's IMO just as easy to find as 2 43 OLBs.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:55 pm

He would do fine as a 4-3 Mike. He did very good in agility drills and he is pretty much never out of position. That means he isn't taking wasted steps. Young players don't usually have those fundementals. Good footwork with good agility makes up for top end speed, especially for a middle linebacker. People see uncertainty and start over thinking it. He will be fine regardless of system.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:37 am

I don't buy it. His worst part of his game has long been pass coverage. He's just not fast enough for a 43 MLB. Not in his 10 yard split, his 3 cone or his 40 yard dash.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 10:01 pm

Lol. He had the fastest 3 cone drill for linebackers at his combine and tied with stud speedster darren Lee in the 20 yard split. Those are agility drills.

Whatever he is doing, he is doing it right. If there is no athleticism, then his decision making has been tremendous (which it has) because he is always in position. He was projected as a 4-3 backer with the ability to play in a 3-4. There is zero worry about him as a 4-3 backer. His coverage isn't there yet, but he still covered better than any of their other linebackers. Burnett as a 3rd down backer is a good decision.

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stockholder's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:13 am

Chris spellman the ILB for the lions is a good comparison. He wasn't fast either. The packers beat him.

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Packer Fan's picture

January 02, 2018 at 05:50 pm

Martinez was a standout on a defense that underwhelmed this year. There were a few other players that played well, but as a whole, they played poorly. The back end needs a lot of work. We need a lock down corner. A DB that will play man to man for all situations and that allows the defense to be more flexible. Neither House, King or Randall have shown to be a lockdown corner and expecting a jump in their performance next year will end up just like this year. Let's build a defense around Daniels, Clark, Martinez and a new corner. We still have quality players to fit it and wherever possible, perhaps either King or Jones make the second year jump.

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A Pickled Packer's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:23 pm

Could it be in Blake Martinez we have the second coming of Ray Nitchke? Sounds blasphemous, but those numbers are impressive. With those tackling numbers, why is he not in the Pro bowl as a first selection. I guess when your defense is one of the worst in the league, your individual achievements aren't recognized, no cookie for you, you get nothing. It was guilt by association.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:12 pm

Hate to say it but maybe the tackle total is partly inflated due to the defense’s inability to get off the field.
But 50 had a good season and is a bright spot for the new DC.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:26 am

More snaps...
Teams running out the clock with big leads...
I'll buy it.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 10:13 pm

According to football outsiders, Martinez had the 12th most defensive snaps for a linebacker in the NFL, with the top snap recipient having about 200 more snaps. Green Bay was middle of the road for actual defensive snaps played, but martinez had a pretty high usage rate at 93% of the total defensive snaps for the season. He also had one of the highest special team snap counts for linebackers in the NFL. I believe he was second in total snap counts in that category. Just data for thought.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

January 02, 2018 at 06:45 pm

There are a few good pieces on D but no great ones. Blake and Clarke are the best at this stage, Daniels was a disappointment. Mathews is just slightly above average now, Perry just a guy even when he does manage to play. There's no star CB or pass rusher and every great defense needs at least one if not both of those. I doubt the draft and a new DC is enough to fix the D in one year. I think at least two big free agent signings are needed.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:47 pm

Wasnt Daniels a little banged up this year? Didnt he have a leg or foot injurt he was dealing with. I believe he was out 2 weeks.

Lastly, i saw some mock drafts for the Packers and the drafta are saying we should take def.lineman or def linebacker. shouldnt we get a #1 WR like Calvin Ridley or James Washington ?

Anyones thoughts? I know we will have holes all over.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:57 pm

Or what about WR Courtland Sutton? They say he maybe the next Julio Jones. Im just sick and tired that this the 8th straight year we are once again talking about drafting another defensive player in the 1st round.

Can we please go offense at least 1x and Aaron Rogers another WR? They can take 2_3 years to develop.

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Handsback's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:47 pm

Sutton has two legs, is a football player that plays the position of WR. He's no JJ. His speed will be in the 4.6-4.7 range and doesn't have a lot of body control. That being said....I agree that the Packers should look at offense in the first round if a great player falls their way.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:42 am

Courtland Sutton*, WR, SMU
Height: 6-4. Weight: 216.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2.

Read more: http://walterfootball.com/draft2018WR.php#ixzz538HyNR2z12/30/17:
In 2017, Sutton totaled 68 catches for 1,085 yards with 12 touchdowns. He played well for SMU and continued to be a dynamic point-scoring threat. Sutton wisely decided to skip his final year of eligibility to enter the 2018 NFL

Read more: http://walterfootball.com/draft2018WR.php#ixzz538IIYAj7

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:44 am

Calvin Ridley*, WR, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 188.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2018): 1.
12/30/17: In surveying sources from five teams, the most common name that came up as the top receiver was Ridley. The talented junior gets a lot of praise for his route-running, quickness, and generally having good hands. Ridley has 55 catches for 896 yards with three touchdowns on the season, but his production is held back by Alabama featuring its ground attack while using a running quarterback

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:02 am

Equanimeous St. Brown*, WR, Notre Dame
Height: 6-4. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3.
12/30/17: St. Brown has 31 receptions for 468 yards and four touchdowns on the year. Throughout this season, St. Brown has gotten open while also seeing a lot of double teams, but the immense struggles of Notre Dame's quarterback play and passing offense have limited him.

Above are top 3 wideouts in the NFL draft. Randa

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:19 am

Well the Packers better get a wide receiver Randall Cobb is going to be gone Jordy Nelson only has 2 years left of full production and it takes two to three years to develop a wide receiver . Whose going to take the number 3 spot? Geronimo Allison? Do we try and get a Jarvis Landry? Do we put Ty Montgomery back in the slot? We need a receiver we have to keep giving Aaron Rodgers some weapons Mike McCarthy didn't even play Allison during the year so we don't even know what he can do. Either way we have to get another wide receiver and the Packers are pretty good at picking wide receivers in the first round and or the second round and we need a tight end we have not been able to address that situation for years. I thought we had that finally solved in 2017 with Martellius Bennett, Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers but it was a flop. We also need a tight end and we have to have a tight end especially for 3rd down conversions we have no one unless we spend some money for a 31 year old Jimmy Graham so we will have to get a tight end in the second round I wish we could draft more people on defense but we have sacrificed our offense year after year we have not drafted a first-round offencive pick since Bryan bulaga in 2010. We are also going to need a right tackle Bryan bulaga will have to take a pay cut he's been hurt all the time he's probably a solid backup now but we have to address that situation as well I think Kyle Murphy probably more of a solid guard to take a slowing down Jahari Evans. I just don't think Jason Spriggs is a right tackle. Number one concern of every team is to protect your quarterback and we see what happened to Rogers this year and what happened to the team because of it Also I'm still a little concerned about our running back position I mean I love Jamaal Williams he ran hard d Aaron Jones was real fast but he had 2 knee injuries already this year maybe not that serious but it concerns me and what do we do with Ty Montgomery will he be a 3rd down back or do they put him back as wide receiver he's been injured two times as running back in the past 2 years so I don't know if he can handle the running back position I don't understand he's 6 foot about 220 lbs. I just don't know if we have a true three down running back. I know nobody's going to like it but we're going to have to spend our first three or four picks on offense in the 2018 NFL draft, unless we get some free agent help we should have the money if these guys like Clay Matthews Jordy Nelson Bryan bulaga Randall Cobb take pay cuts.

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stockholder's picture

January 03, 2018 at 10:54 am

No To Wr. Adams was signed. They have 3 - 6 round picks. More than likely all Wrs. ( The main reason is Defense and Back -up QB.) Hundley isn't it. We all know that now. So Nelson ,Cobb, And Adams are it. Davis will overtake Allison. He's starting to show things. Nelson will retire a Packer next year. But the new DC is why Defense would be taken. The draft= [The best DEs or Pass Rushers will be gone by pick #10.] The secondary will only get depth. That leaves a LB/DT as the best possible pick. Or QB!!!!! I believe the Packers take a QB at 14. One with touch and laser precision. But lets see if they change from the 3-4-4 first. If not, QB should be the pick.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 04, 2018 at 01:32 pm

Im very very upset mcarthy did not play allison more...i guarantee you Allison would have protected that ball if he would have taken more hits in REAL games. I blame mcarthy. No Davis is not going to pass Allison. Mcarthy is just a jerk !!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 04, 2018 at 01:36 pm

Cobb will be gone !! He is making 10_11 million per year..snd so is Clay matthews...we will be cutting their pay from 1_3 million dollars per year.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:31 am

Wow Doug Niemczynski, thanks for taking up space regurgitating all that verbiage from Walter's website. Obvivously no one is capable of going there and reading the sections they want to.

Also, although some of Walter's work is very clever, he has zero football background. Charlie Campbell, who also writes on Walter's site, seems to have more direct access to NFL sources.

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stockholder's picture

January 03, 2018 at 10:57 am

Walters always wrong.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:06 am

Looks more like an AJ Green than a Julio.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 02, 2018 at 07:39 pm

I know this is off the subject, but does anyone think the packers should attempt to sign Jimmy Graham at 31 yrs old?

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Bedrock's picture

January 02, 2018 at 08:06 pm

If the price is right.

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 02, 2018 at 09:43 pm

no way...

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CAG123's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:19 am

Rashan Evans and Blake Martinez oh the possibilities the Packers could use his speed and tenacity at the ILB position and he could complement Blake very well. I know a lot of people are saying we should draft an OLB\DE edge rusher but after Chubb and Ferrell everyone else is meh so why not bring some athleticism to a position they have neglected for quite some time and I don’t want to hear that “it’s a sub package league” crap because we saw the consequences of having our smaller strong safety in the box and taking on blockers.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:37 am

I am always amused by the McGinn haters. IDK if they are right or wrong. IDK if McGinn is a bitter old guy who hates GB management, or if his sources are solid gold, not credible people, or completely made up by McGinn. I do think he knows football, and is (or was) a member of the media, and one of the few that looks at the Packers through a suspicious lens looking for flaws, and then finds sources to back him up. Packer fans are not used to that. Republicans are used to it.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 03, 2018 at 03:45 am

TRG, at least I respect Bob McGinn's football knowledge and his preparations for articles when he was working for Journal... Problem with McGinn is that his bitterness and age change his excellent analysis in the area of imputations. That is sad.

You, as clever man will know that you'll never ever work for organization that fires or blackmailed you. Neither that organization will allow you to have any influence on their future decisions. How that comes together with Bob McGinn's "insider" report that BOD fired TT or blackmailed him to step aside?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 03, 2018 at 05:39 am

Again, IDK how credible his sources might be. Seems like there just might be one or two insiders in the FO who have knowledge of what really has been happening that just might talk to McGinn. Highsmith just got passed over; it may be that Ball, Gutekunst, and/or Eliot Wolf already know whether they got the GM job. I'm told that these are classy people, so I would not expect it of any of them, but I don't know them either. There are 45 people on the board of directors, and more in the front office. That is a lot of people who might not be able to keep a secret. If someone told me that 50 people know a really interesting secret, I'd predict that someone would not be able to keep it secret.

I don't know.

I would like to know if TT got the BOD's approval to extend MM for a year, or if he did it on his own authority. I'd also like to know if the decision that TT should step down at the end of the season had been made and was known to TT by the time MM was extended. I'd be curious to know whether MM knew TT would be stepping down when he fired Capers as well. I think any competent reporter would have asked these questions, but we don't have many sportswriters who qualify as normally inquisitive and questioning reporters.

I suspect that McGinn does go looking for flaws in the Packers. Whether he actually found a flaw is the question. Even if McGinn is biased, it doesn't mean that his accusations are not spot on. We should take his reporting with all due reservations. I do pay attention when he evaluates current players on the packers, and when he does his draft prognosis and ratings.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 10:22 pm

I'm assuming Mike got an extension because no top coordinators want to take a job knowing their head coach might not be there next year, essentially making it a 1 year gig. I'm surprised he wasn't extended further. If you notice in Chicago, the bears just extended pace for 3 more years even though he hasn't done much. That's for the new coach.

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Jamie Freier's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:13 am

McGinn is great, he is a homer without the homer myopia, and that is the best kind. He loves the Pack.

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:24 am

I think of him as the anti-homer. He seems to start from the premise of "everything is wrong" as opposed to "everything is great" and needs to be proven that it's not wrong. I'll be honest, the only reason I would have to believe that he loves the Pack is that, after moving off on his own, he continues to focus on the team.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 03, 2018 at 08:51 am

McGinn....Cow??

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dobber's picture

January 03, 2018 at 09:04 am

Moo.

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Bob drives me nuts. I don't know how somebody could be so negative. It's not healthy. I can't stand people like that. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. Finding everything wrong with everything takes the fun out of it. He might be more negative than my wife. And she is great at sucking the fun out of stuff lol.

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Ryan Graham's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:26 am

It's hard to argue against Martinez after the year he's had. definitely a key piece to a new a new look defense, he's got the gap discipline to operate on the inside in a 3-4 or a 4-3, not to mention he clearly works well with Daniels Clark, and Dean Lowry. Personally I don't see any specific reason to stick to a 3-4, but considering the releasing of both the DL coach and backers coach no one really knows. Teams gonna look very different next year that is the only certainty

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Handsback's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:31 am

Agree with that. I just hope that LOOK is good enough to get the Packers to the playoffs.

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Ryan Graham's picture

January 03, 2018 at 07:42 am

Handsback you and I both know we can leave that DC spot vacant, and that defense will improve...I am not gonna get hung up on the talent those guys have. some additional young guys in the draft, I am confident they will start to find themselves coming together under a new regimen.

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EdsLaces's picture

January 03, 2018 at 10:14 am

I'd take 11 blakes.

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canadapacker's picture

January 03, 2018 at 12:00 pm

There are players who play for stats. There are impact players who make splash plays. I think that we need to get more splash players on the inside linebacker position. Martinez and AJ Hawk are stat players. I think that was TT s mantra - and the selection of Biegel over Watt was typical of his process. If we want to get this defense over the top we need more impact players. As far as Jones and King go they will come along - but I hope they dont play this keep everything in front of you mantra - that may have gotten Dix a probowl selection ( again stats over real impact plays). But that is not good enough for long term success.....

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 11:30 pm

It seems like when you listen to the media hype, it's all just hype and no substance. I used to break down film for pro football focus. It is insane how long it takes to break down film of one football game. Watching every player on every play at least 5 times each play and writing down everything for every player. One game is easily 15 hours of data. Just nuts and absolutely not worth the money making guys rich at the top while you don't make crap. But you have to watch the film to see what a player really is. That's how you know Clinton dix is just a guy. He got a little bit of hype last year because of some big INT's, but they were all lucky plays, not plays he caused to happen. He isn't a real difference maker for the defense at all. He is aj hawk at safety (the few good years he had, but still lol) Burnett is better, and he isn't a stud either. Burnett is in the top third of safeties in the league. I've called a lot of stuff in the past from what I have seen when not many were talking about it. I'm not trying to toot my own horn to anybody. Unfortunately it's usually negative stuff I see about over hyped players. Hawk was one I called early in his rookie preseason as not being the guy we thought he could be and I got into a lot of arguments over that at the time.

Next player to really watch as fans is Josh Jones. Josh Jones needs a light to turn on big time or he will be out of a job in about 2 more years. He was a big time liability out there. You can't have it. Terrible coverage. Nick Collins was the same way, but his was mental and Nick flashed greatness a little in his first three years. Granted Jones was used different than Nick. But Jones's issues are fundamental and mental. He doesn't even challenge the guy across from him right now. He has the uncanny ability of always being in an ok position, but never being in position to make a real play even though he is right there and has the physical tools to do it all. If you gave martinez the physical tools jones has, he would be an all pro every year. He would challenge Luke for best Mike backer. We need some flash from Jones. I don't think he figures it out. I hope he does. But he needs better instincts, and nobody can help him with that. He is a one dimensional athlete right now. I am hoping he takes Blake's leap next year, but that is a rare leap. I wouldn't count on him as a difference maker.

Clark's a stud, Daniels is a stud, Lowry is just a guy. Their entire linebacker corps are just guys except Martinez. Clay has lost about a step, and that's how close you are from being a stud and being just a guy. His flexibility makes it seem like he still has some athleticism left, but he just doesn't have the wheels anymore. Looks faster than he is. Their corners are sub average except king. They are always out of position and easy to pick on. Might be better suited for real press man, not the soft coverage they have been playing under capers. Some physicality at the line of scrimmage would be nice. Burnett and martinez keep the defense from being a total loss. They weren't good as a whole obviously. But those guys kept them from being in the bottom 3.

It's a ramble, but that's what I saw on defense. I don't work for Green Bay so I'm just a guy like anybody else. Everybody has their opinions. I just have a little bit of experience from breaking down film for PFF if it means anything to anybody. Right now, green Bay is flat out lacking talent on defense. They need 2 to 3 real players before their defense becomes anything. The only players I see on the defense as having the ability to be those types of players are Jones and king. I would bet on king over Jones, but not by much. I hope Jones proves me wrong because the team needs more plus players from their recent drafts. He didn't show any of it this year. King flashed. Jones made a couple good plays, but he only flashed in one game early in the season. Atari Bigby used to flash more than that.

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4thand10's picture

January 03, 2018 at 02:34 pm

I think Martinez would do well in either system. He gets his hands dirty and is a football player. As for a 3-4 or a 4-3. To me if your playing Run-offense teams that use a lot of double tight end sets or sub an extra lineman in there in the TE position...you would want a 4-3. More big body's to stuff.

You also want a safety to shadow the pass catching TE....Not a linebacker. There are so few linebackers that can stuff the run AND cover tightends that are built like WRs. Drafting one is always unlikely, you hope for it but the odds are slim.
Look, I'm just happy Capers is gone because I just can never see how 2 DLs can generate a pass rush or stuff the run. At least consistently. Even when we have a new DC I hope we see less of that.

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rstain99's picture

January 04, 2018 at 08:37 am

first and foremost they need football players guys willing to buy into the system, they just are not tough enough in GB. I am stuck in NE every year the Pats have just above average defenders but they make it work, they all drink the koolaid that BB serves. The guys fall inline a lot of scrap heap players start for them. sure it helps they have Brady (so sick of hearing about him GOAT my ass, Rodgers every bit as good. ) Martinez had a good year but before we put him in HOF lets gets some players around him so he does not have to make so many tackles, 5 yards downfield I might add. Should have made Capers gone 4 yrs ago MM too stubborn

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Branden Burke's picture

January 04, 2018 at 11:43 pm

His garbage tackles we're not nearly as bad as AJ.

New England is a machine. They build their team around their system, and their system is extremely flexible, efficient, and balanced.

Just look at their offense. Designed for pure efficiency. Every team throws big money for big time talents at outside wr. Not new England. They got Randy Moss for garbage, but usually only have replacement level guys outside. They spend their money and resources between the numbers and usually within 20 yards down field. They beat you from the inside out. Studs in the slot. Big athletic bodies at TE. The most efficient passing game you can design. Ball comes at at 2.5 to 3 seconds. You take away the middle and they hit you on the post and eat you up with their slot guys, who have the entire field available to them. And they always have a run game. Because some games they will attack you 60 times through the air, and other games they attack you all day on the ground based on your weaknesses.

They get big time players when they are available, but they emphasize player types and focus on those player types that are readily available. As long as bill is building their team, they will be successful regardless of their QB. Very smart guy and very cool to see. Just a sweet system. Defense is the same.

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