Brian Gutekunst: 'If you don't perform, there will be consequences'

-- At the end of the day, what was the message Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was trying to convey to his locker room?

There wasn't one. At least according to him.

Gutekunst and coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media on Wednesday, one day following the NFL's annual trade deadline. This year, the Packers saw two of their own shipped off to other organizations: Running back Ty Montgomery to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round pick and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins for a fourth.

Albeit the timing was coincidental considering Montgomery's biggest career whiff to this point occurred this past Sunday in Los Angeles against the Rams, Gutekunst insisted that "sending a message" was the least of his intentions.

“I’m not really into sending messages to the locker room," Gutekunst said. "I think anyone who has played in the NFL understands this is a performance business, so if you don’t perform, there will be consequences."

Montgomery's debacle came after he fumbled on a kickoff return that he was directed to kneel in the final two minutes of Sunday's loss against the Rams. What transpired were insider stories that included anonymous quotes from supposed teammates who questioned Montgomery's decision-making and loyalty.

"I don't necessarily think there's a message it sends to the locker room," Gutekunst said. "I think the decisions that we make are always in the best interest of our team, not only in the short term but in the long term as well.

"But I think our locker room knows where we're headed and, like I said, I think we're humming at the right time and I think there's a lot of positive things going forward."

The Packers had a couple of options on how to handle Montgomery. They could've turned the other cheek and, in the process, looked weak for essentially promoting insubordination. Or they could've either traded -- if they could find a partner -- or released him.

They were able to net decent compensation for Montgomery considering he was far from an impact player at a premier position. 

Clinton-Dix, who said in recent weeks that he expects to be playing elsewhere in the offseason like the defensive backs who have come through the Packers' secondary in the past, was also likely not going to be re-signed after the season was over. That gave the Packers even more incentive to try and seek compensation while they could.

While sending a message may have been the last of Gutekunst's concerns, that isn't to say how a player carries himself -- both on and off the field -- plays a moderate role in making these types of decisions as well.

"I think you take everything into consideration when you make these kinds of decisions, but performance comes first," Gutekunst said. "That's always the major factor in these decisions. Everything's taken into account, but it's never usually just one thing."

Gutekunst and co. are likely stockpiling for the player acquisition market after the season. But for now, the Packers have a few options to choose from when it comes to replacing Clinton-Dix. They also have multiple players in their secondary -- both safeties and cornerbacks -- that could function at different positions.

Gutekunst also noted that the Packers would very much like to be active in free agency this coming offseason, and they're estimated to have over $45.6 million in cap space to play with.

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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 (121)

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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2018 at 05:17 am

The departures of Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward seems to have really affected HHCD........so much that it became a self fulfilling prophecy that he'd leave too.

http://www.espn.com/blog/washington-redskins/post/_/id/37523/redskins-ha...

My thoughts - he has the same conundrum as Nick Perry......Surround him with good players and they lift, but they aren't quite that alpha peerless player at their respective positions to lift others.

I'm tipping that he forms a good Safety partnership with DJ Swearinger as the competent side-kick

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:31 am

I think that there are very very few players who can shine without decent support in closely associated roles.

I think your observation is an acute one.

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Point-Packer's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:56 am

"If you don't perform, there will be consequences"

Hopefully Gute will use that same thought process when evaluating the Head Coach at the end of the season..

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GB Jacker's picture

November 01, 2018 at 05:25 am

I think HHCD is a smart guy, he seemed to know how to play at a level that would not get him dropped, that would allow him to make some plays that look good on the stat sheet, but ultimately to stay healthy into his contract year and find a way to get paid. (although that might not explain his obsession with throwing his head and shoulders at ball carriers knees).

In many ways you cannot blame him if so, it's a brutal career and he might well get a good payout from somebody next year. Maximising his career earnings seems more important to him than being a great safety. If he'd got hurt this year, who knows. Look at Breeland, went fron 24 mill over 3 years to league minimum. You're only ever one play away from losing a shit ton of cash.

Or maybe he's just not that great. But overall I'm pleased with this move by Gute who has been excellent so far. The upcoming draft & free agency will be vital to how the Packers and he fair in the coming years.

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Pauly's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:55 am

I have thought all along That a top, elite, FA safety, in his mid-20s is that Way to go. Prices are cheaper relatively, and experience is needed to play the position at a high-level.

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:24 am

I am confused by the "prices are cheaper" part of your statement.

Prices are cheaper for a top, elite, free agent in his mid-20's? Those are the earmarks of the most valuable players in the league..and the freedom to play the market and take the highest bidder that being a free agent affords them means they are going to get top-dollar in a bidding war.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:10 am

I think we are assuming that safety salaries will continue to be depressed unless you are Earl Thomas or as good. I'd be willing to bet that strong safety salaries will be depressed.

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:36 am

Safety salaries have historically been "relatively" low in the NFL. Never been a premium position in terms of pay grade. However, re-reading Pauly's comment, I understand the intent, now- signing a FA safety at the height of his career is, relatively speaking, more budget-friendly than signing a FA DE/CB/LT/WR at the height of his career. Gotcha.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:34 am

They need to find an Earl Thomas just before he BECOMES Earl Thomas...just like they found Bakhtiari and paid him before he BECAME Bakhtiari (if that makes sense). His contract might go down as one of the greatest second-contract steals in Packers history.

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:40 am

That's tough to do via free agency. That's one of the pros to draft and develop..

You have a pretty good idea of what you have and see the trajectory, and players typically would rather have security and stay where they are, than pick up and relocate and go into an unknown situation.

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:37 am

Safeties generally take time to become good. That makes it harder to obtain one via the draft to plug in straight away. We also have to look at who we have with that in mind. Perhaps the evaluators see things we don’t, or hope to now the position has opened.

If it takes time to mature, that perhaps may make it easier to find one already in the league but not starting or quite ready to shine. Would be a good question for a pro scout I think

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:25 pm

Looking at the top 10 safeties in the league, you'll find most of them stepped in and were impact players during their rookie or sophomore year. Of course, they ARE the top ten safeties in the league, but the point is, they didn't take a great deal of time to become good.

Even when you drop down into the middle of the pack, most seem to get it going by the 2nd or 3rd year. However, there are some safeties in this group that were CB's earlier in their career before making the shift to S. I don't know how you'd judge those players, as they've got experience from playing CB under their belt, but when they've moved to S, within a year or two they're settled in. I think 2-3 years experience before you start making a mark is fairly typical of most football players in the NFL regardless of position, with some exception. I don't think there is evidence that it takes Safeties longer to develop than other positions. Experience helps everywhere.

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packerbackerjim's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:13 pm

Your assessment is astute. His calculus of risk/pay ratio resulted in less than stellar play the past two seasons. He absolutely failed the eye test, but I wish him well and I’m happy he’s gone.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:30 pm

"Maximizing his career earnings seems more important to him than being a great safety.

And that is exactly the problem I had with Dix. As a sport, football is the ultimate team game. One where separate groups have to work together for a common goal. Sacrifice is necessary but if each individual does not take individual responsibility and pride in what they do, your just going through the motions and the team suffers. As an individual athlete or anyone in any profession, money is great but if you don't want to be great and give it your all, what are you. Reputation matters too.

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Grandfathered's picture

November 02, 2018 at 07:42 pm

The same is true in any job or career.

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jh9's picture

November 01, 2018 at 05:50 am

"..if you don't perform there will be consequences."
The elephant in the room: Does that go for the HC too?

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:57 am

Making the playoffs is not going to do it for MM.

They will have to make a deep run and if they miss the SB or NFC Championship game, I don't think Gute will be missing MM in 2019.

MM is facing "free agency" in the last year of his contract.

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jh9's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:15 am

We can only hope...

A team can release, trade, acquire, or draft any player. But if there's poor organizational leadership the level of play will always be unsatisfactory.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:39 am

I think his team needs to be playing well (likely from here on out) and it needs to make the post-season. I think an MM team that doesn't make the playoffs will cost him his job.

People will confuse this with me saying, "I'm satisfied with just making the playoffs." I think the characterization of that kind of fan is not going to represent many people here. Everyone here but the trolls wants to see the Packers win it all. What I AM saying is that I don't think a deep run will be necessary if only because chance dictates so much of what happens in a tournament of one-game match-ups. They might lose before the SB and his job will be OK depending on how they lose.

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jh9's picture

November 01, 2018 at 04:56 pm

McCarthy should have been replaced after the 2014 playoff loss. This is after we witnessed the Packers unprepared to play the Giants in 2011 and totally beaten 37-20. In the 2012 and 2013 playoffs McCarthy was out-coached by Jim Harbaugh and embarrassed by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers. And, of course, managing to blow a 16-0 halftime lead against Pete Carroll and the Seahawks in 2014.

Since then, this team has never been the same. In 2015 we saw Aaron Rodgers throw a IPad on the ground and almost have a complete breakdown in his play in the last half of 2015. AR has taken verbal pot-shots at McCarthy from then to this year.

This is not a personal attack on Mike McCarthy. He seems like a nice enough man. But from what I have seen over the years, he is like a nice farmer who inadvertently got to ride Secretariat (Aaron Rodgers) in 2010. And, yes, we won the SB but we can't win the Triple Crown (or multiple SBs) with him as the jockey. I believe Mike McCarthy is doing the best he can. However, he is not talented enough to do what could and should be done.

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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2018 at 02:19 pm

It begs the question - if this is MM's last year in GB then who replaces him?

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jh9's picture

November 01, 2018 at 02:23 pm

It is not your job or my job to find a new HC. It is the GM's job. You and I and any other "fan" do not know all the quality up-and-coming coaching candidates throughout the NFL. Identifying and hiring those talented individuals is the measure of a talented GM. Who knew how good Sean McVay would be before he became the Rams HC? Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy could have replaced Mike McCarthy with Sean McVay, but they didn't.

Whether Sean McVay would have been the right replacement for the Packers isn't my point. The fans didn't know who Sean McVay was but the GM for the Rams, Les Snead, did.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 03:38 pm

They took a flier on McVay just as the Packers did on McCarthy. It paid off for the Packers with a SB. We'll see if it does for the Rams.

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Minniman's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:13 pm

Some good points jh9.

I've posted this a number of times that it's one thing for people to suggest that a player or coach needs to be replaced but there must be a replacement-in-waiting.......That was the main intent of my comment

.... But it has started me thinking about the type of coach that could come into a team like Green Bay and work with a player like Aaron Rodgers to success.

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:41 am

I am not so sure. I think the true view would require us to know exactly how they appraised the roster as a whole and performance expectations resulting from that.

One could read Gutekunst’s actions as lending weight to the view that the roster had too many holes to repair in one season because of poor drafts and TT not giving or retaining the coaches the types of players they wanted. That was certainly rumored in the off-season.

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SpudRapids's picture

November 01, 2018 at 03:52 pm

I don't think any coach would be successful with draft classes like 2015

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:49 pm

Spud the entire 1st round of the 2015 draft was terrible with 2 exceptions 1 being Gurley. It was TT's worst draft but it was a bad draft class overall.

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.si.com/nfl/2018/05/29/nfl-draft-grades-20...

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:24 am

"I don't necessarily think there's a message it sends to the locker room," Gutekunst said. "I think the decisions that we make are always in the best interest of our team, not only in the short term but in the long term as well.

Its good to know that he isn't sending a message to the locker room. Even though he is sending a message to the locker room...

I truly think that Gutekunst and the other decision makers truly believe that they won't be that much worse by trading Montgomery and Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix was a good player, not a great player. He could make big plays, but he also gave up big plays. His tackling became suspect and he shy'd away from contact way to often.

I think the final decision came when they looked at the last game when everyone was healthy, they had Breeland and Jackson on the bench. Josh Jones was also basically on the bench. I think they said we have enough depth we can afford to get rid of him now.

Williams has lost a step and can't cover the faster WR's. Williams was said to be taking some reps with the safety's this week.
My guess is they will put Williams at Safety in at least some packages which also, allows him to come down and cover when needed. By putting Wiliams at Safety they can either put Breeland or Jackson at CB, which honestly maybe an upgrade.

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The TKstinator's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:52 am

Very interested to see what goes on at safety the rest of this season.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:00 am

Agreed.

And honestly I don't think what happens this week will be what happens the rest of the season.

Just my opinion. I think they will do different things. I think WIlliams will essentially be a Safety, and they will either start Jackson or Breeland at CB.

But I think they will do different packages. Some will probably have Whitehead at S, some will maybe bring Jones in at Safety. I think it will be more of a package thing then just inserting ___ player...

Ideally, Jones would come in and be the guy. But according to him he is still on the scout team, so who knows.

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:17 am

CD played exactly the way he did at Alabama:

Smart and understood schemes. Status was elevated due to outstanding teammates surrounding him. Timid tackler, certainly not an enforcer. Shied away from contact and let others "clean up" on a play.

OK speed but not elite speed that allowed him to close on receivers when out of position. Too often takes bad angles to the ball. Good interception numbers and many were due to being out of position to collect an errant pass.

His best year was in 2016 when Burnett also had a good year. It seems other good players around tend elevate his play. After 2016, PFF has him rated the 13th best safety in the NFL. After 2017 when Burnett was hurt a lot, missed games and played a lot of hybrid ILB, PFF had CD rated 40th best safety.

Maybe Swearinger will do that for him in Washington.

I wish him well.

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The TKstinator's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Swearinger was also great in the old HBO series "Deadwood".

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Cubbygold's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:36 pm

I'm just curious. PFF has Dix ranked as the 4th best saftey in the NFL this year. Is that poor analytics, or are packer fans significantly undervaluing his play this year?

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:26 pm

I go by what my eyes tell me.
I have no clue how they grade players nor do I want to even try how to figure it out.

He has made big plays this year. No question. He also has given up big plays. Honestly for every one of his big plays you can probably find a play equally as bad.

The problem with him is he has been inconsistent. He avoids hitting people if he can.

While some fans overreact I think for the most part most are realistic with how he has been. A good but not great player.

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The TKstinator's picture

November 01, 2018 at 04:29 pm

What really chafes my administration is the wimpy tackling.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2018 at 06:11 am

Even more so is when you go back to his first couple of years in the league he wasn't that way. He was physical and made big hits. He was a really good tackler.
All of a sudden somewhere he switched.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:52 pm

RC,

You just described Darren Sharper to my eyes. Sharper went on to play a lot of years elsewhere. Made some Pro Bowls and played on very good teams. Maybe HHCD will too.

I never missed Sharper. I never forgot that while he appeared in a lot of "poster moments", the majority did not have him as the star. I can't imagine I'll miss HHCD either.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 02, 2018 at 07:16 am

I tell you what I won't miss. Him lackadaisically coming up to where the runner is and not do anything. And taking a horrible angle to only get burned. Also going to tackle a guy with the ball only to get stiffed arm to the ground.

I liked Clinton-Dix don't get me wrong. But somewhere along the time he was here he basically got I'm not sure how to say it, but lazy, soft and unwilling to hit someone.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 02, 2018 at 07:33 am

Pete Dougherty wrote a column that i think sums up HHCD's departure nicely. In a nutshell, his theory is that HHCD bought into the Pro Bowl hype of a few years back and has been coasting every since. A lot of the column rang true to me.

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dobber's picture

November 02, 2018 at 07:22 am

Analytics has its limitations.

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rstain99's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:35 am

Its a shame Ha Ha never lived up to hype, came in with great expectations. He was never the tackler a good safety needs always a step late certainly is not worth what he was expecting. Never hurt but that might have been a reflection of his style of play. Reid was out there wish GB had looked into him but understand political direction. Too bad. Season is on the line tough games ahead.

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stockholder's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:49 am

Dix was no Nick Collins. The film didn't lie. The speed is slowing. Monty was slow too. The puppy whining sounds from both said it all. After 8 years of bad safety play, the sign still Says "Help Wanted". Gute may just have removed some pressure on the CBs. Gute wasn't sending a message. He got something in return. Picks and cap room. Gute is putting this secondary first. It's about Time.

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The TKstinator's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:54 am

If the secondary comes first, what comes second?
(Third base?)

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:41 am

Winner!

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JimR_in_SoCal's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:45 pm

Maybe Gute can corner the market!

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Roadrunner23's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:57 am

Obviously Dix wanted to be paid like a Pro Bowl Safety and he made it known that he had one foot out the door. Thats what he expressed publicly and who knows what he was saying to the mostly very young DB's in the locker room privately.
Haha has talent however he sure didn't have an appetite for tackling, he always seemed a step slow and for a 5th year veteran blew way too many assignments.
The Packers will not miss him much, in fact the secondary will have to grow up fast and that is a good thing.
While a fourth round choice isn't great compensation it will provide Gute some extra ammo for next years draft. Iv'e said it before, this is a two year re-build and next years draft and free-agency will put the Packers right back where they belong, in Super Bowl contention.
Next year.

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stockholder's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:23 am

I've said it before, this is a two year re-build. ==== This team has been in a re' build for 5 years. Remember when A-Rod wanted the offense re- Loaded? Well who won since then. Adams,Allison, No Te, Rb by Committee. And back-ups on the OL. So what are you looking at. Is Graham a rebuild. No. The offense puts people in the seats. The defense wins championships. The packers need safeties. Jones must step forward. Nick Perry is Gute's problem #2.

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Razer's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:11 am

Totally true about the rebuild. This team hit its peak in the missed opportunity of the 2014 season. Gutekunst will need to address, Oline, Dline depth, pass rush, safety, TE and RB depth going forward. Ted left a lot of holes and dead wood for this GM. I hope that coaching doesn't need to be redone as well. We'll see if Mike can get this team performing for the rest of the season or there may be wholesale changes on that front as well.

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Lphill's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:06 am

This is not a rebuild there is a learning process and a tweaking going on the Packers exposed the Rams and the league has taken notice , Pettine is finding the right combinations finally and so we are seeing the results ,I liked the D line rotation also against the Rams with 95 and Adams in there , Clay had a lot of energy , I don't think anyone has given up as of yet , as long as 12 is playing anything is possible.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:43 am

If you go back to the depth chart on opening day 2016 and compare that to opening day 2018, I think there's little doubt that there's certainly a defensive rebuild going on. Part of what we're unhappy about now is that the inefficiency of the defensive rebuild stunted the rebuild on the other side of the ball.

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:49 am

Don’t think they have given up, but I do think they know that they can get better, and that in the NFL it is foolish to sacrifice the future without a very strong case for immediate glory. If this team were to win out, would we really argue that it was the elite NFL squad? The point is that you don’t have to be the best, but close enough to get into the post season and compete. Knockout competitions like the playoffs are often not won by the best team on paper.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:39 pm

I think a lot of what you say is true. However, HHCD played basically every snap this year. It would be a tweak if he was rotating with other players and GB thought they'd be better off without him rotating in. Creating an absence for future draft picks, that has to be filled with someone who has barely seen the field this year, is more than a tweak. It's too bad too, because it really seems like the packers defense had been coming together nicely.

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NickPerry's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:30 am

How REFRESHING is it to not only have a GM who not only doesn't put up with comments like Dix did in the first month of the season, but also doesn't continue to waste a roster spot just because he was a 3rd round draft pick. Or give Dix a contract that would harm the teams cap in the coming years like Thompson did with Perry.

I LOVE this GM so far. He's definitely got a game plan and is going about it. He's showed he'll be active in trade and FA. He nailed his first draft IMO with players who not only have contributed THIS year already, but (Alexander, Jackson, MVS) but also some others who I think will be solid additions moving forward (Burks, St. Brown).

AND how awesome is it to actually have a GM who TALKS to the media during the season? Keep it up young man, I know your not close to being done. He's acting just like a GM who I'd like to see him model himself after...Bill B

No Nonsense, No BS!

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Bearmeat's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:17 am

Agreed. I've loved everything he's done except not getting an OLB who can win 1v1s semi-regularly through a trade or free agency. This roster really needs that.

Every other complaint against the personnel staff I have (so far) is small potatoes... Now, about the RB usage, coach... ;)

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:27 pm

" except not getting an OLB who can win 1v1s"

Yep, but.... They are paying 2 guys to do that already. I don't blame BG for seeing if yhey where going to step up under Pettine. Also, OLB is devalued in Pettine's scheme compared to Capers. Pettine does not require stud OLB or else the D gives up 60 points. Pettine wanted DL pressure which we would be well set up for if Brice didn't hurt more Packers than opponents and Adams wasn't a loaf.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:12 pm

I respectfully disagree. CM3 has been on the wrong side of 30 playing-wise since 2014 at the latest. And Perry? Well, when he's fully healthy (which is hardly ever), he's an HHCD - worried about staying clean and getting paid more than getting to the QB.

So glad HHCD is gone before re-signing him even became an option.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:46 pm

Gute had a lot of work to do on the roster this offseason. He looks to have effectively overhauled the DB group and pass catchers. He didn't do as well overhauling the pass rush. But in the process, he picked up an extra 1st in what I've heard is a pass rusher heavy 2019 draft.

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NickPerry's picture

November 02, 2018 at 05:18 am

Many wanted Gute to sign Dante Fowler and he was in the running. But congrats to Gute for not bringing in a problem child who couldn't crack the starting line-up and got most of his stats because of all the great defensive players he plays with.

I'm still cringing about taking Biegel over Carl Lawson in 2017...Thanks Ted...UGH!

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Roadrunner23's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:10 am

Gute the great! Refreshing indeed!
Maybe he's not quite to that elite level just yet, but he has an eye for talent, he isn't afraid to cut bait when needed, he is accessible to the media and shows he will go after free agents when it makes sense. Gute was a gute get. Go Gute!

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Razer's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:53 am

As RCPackerFan said ...Its good to know that he isn't sending a message to the locker room. Even though he is sending a message to the locker room...

This team is under-performing from the coaches down to our QB. He has sent a message to the team, a message that our head coach should have sent a while back. Unfortunately, Gutekunst will need a couple of years to refashion this roster and the coaching staff. Still, I think that he is THE MAN.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:42 pm

Me too.

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arthurl's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:01 am

Montgomery was let go because of his decision to disregard the coaches decision and Dix wasn't going to be re-signed anyway after the season and he was marketable to point where a team was willing to trade a draft pick. The Redskins are 5-2 and looking to win their division is why they made the trade. If Dix was crap or under performing, the Skins would not have given up the pick. They feel his talent and play helps them. So what does Pack have at safety now?

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:27 am

Pettine will play the 5 or 6 best DBs who's skill sets best match the opponent for a given game.

If Tramon plays FS for him on Sunday, the speed at the position will be upgraded and the diagnosis on the pass play will improve. I would not call Williams a devastating tackler, but he will stick a guy...so I see little drop off in that area.

Key will be who else Pettine plays. Will he again go with 3 CBs and 3 Ss or mix it up all game? How he employs Breeland will be interesting.

Subtraction by addition? Will Breeland improve the DB group on the field sans HHCD? Very possible.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:43 pm

I realize a lot of packer fans want to see this in an optimistic light, and certainly there is an opportunity to give playing time to a guy that otherwise would have been on the sidelines... but, if HHCD wasn't the best player at his position, why was he on the field for practically every play this year? If there were better players to fill the role, then that means Pettine and MM were so scared of benching him that they needed Gute to do the job for them.

I don't buy that, I think Pettine is smart enough to put the best players on the field. I don't think he believes he has a better DB group today than he did last week.

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:58 am

I share the same concern.

Hopefully we do see the insertion of Tramon Williams at safety.
He is the only player I would feel comfortable with back there, until proven otherwise. None of our young stable of safeties have shown enough to make me confident they could fill the void that HaHa's departure creates without a drop off in performance at this point.

Hopefully the team is seeing great talent from one of the youngsters and feels he just needs play time to develop and grow. I would be very disappointed if the Packers knowingly weakened a position mid-season to either "send a message" or simply get a pick for a player they were not going to retain.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:46 am

" So what does Pack have at safety now?"

A wild card with virtually no film that could either help them surprise and beat New England, or (just as likely) allow them to get completely pummeled by New England.

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Since'61's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:32 am

Gute's message is that he is not going to let negative or divisive situations fester. Dix was not helping the team with either his level of play or attitude. Monty obviously hurt the team and could have divided the locker room.
Both are gone.

Gute knew he wasn't going to resign Dix so why not get something for him now. Additionally, he leaves Pettine with enough depth to audition a few of the current players for both safety roles. This could help Gute decide if he needs to draft or sign an FA safety this offseason. Maybe at least one of our current players is a safety for the future. It's a very smart move that could end up costing the Packers nothing while gaining a draft pick.

Once Gute addresses our Edge rusher situation we could actually have a pretty solid defense. Thanks, Since '61

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Barazinho's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Good point about evaluating current safties - if HHCD had stayed for the whole year, eval is minimal.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:46 pm

This is giving way too much credit. GB would have got a compensatory pick when HHCD left next year anyways, so they don't 'gain a pick'. The comp pick would have been lower, so Gute got a better pick than he likely would have.

The move looks a lot less attractive if giving up your best saftey for the second half of the year and the playoffs only nets you a move up from the end of the 5th round to the back half of the 4th round. That's not worth much.

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Guam's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:19 pm

Not at all convinced we would have gotten a compensatory pick for HHCD. Under TT, yes we would have, but under Gute, who is much more active in free agency, more likely not. Remember the formula for compensatory picks - the NFL nets free agency additions against subtractions and awards compensatory picks based on NET losses. If Gute is active in free agency next Spring (and we all want him to be), he may add more free agents than we lose and that would result in no comp pick for HHCD. At least with the trade we are assured of a draft pick.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:29 pm

Ah very true, good point. It'll be interesting though. If GB lets some of the big name players walk (matthews, cobb) they may not necessarily bring in more than they let go. I guess we'll see, but like you said, gute guaranteed a pick which I hadn't factored in

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Guam's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:35 pm

Agreed Cubbygold - we won't know until next Spring whether we would or would not have gotten a pick for HHCD. I do take some consolation that Gute has publicly stated he wants to be active in free agency next Spring. He has freed up enough cap space to do so. Let's hope we get some serious help.

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JimR_in_SoCal's picture

November 01, 2018 at 08:58 pm

In addition to the 2019 4th rounder, the Packers have gained about $3.5M in cap space, which they can use this year, or more likely, roll into 2019. All this for a player they weren’t going to re-sign anyway.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:46 pm

Best safety? Like Perry or Matthews are our best OLBs. Low bar.

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Guam's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:30 pm

I am wholly supportive of the HHCD move, but it nonetheless may cost us this year. I am sure Gute wouldn't have made the move without support from MM and Pettine and I'm sure there is a plan to replace him, but that plan has to include a learning curve for whomever is the replacement. I think out safety play may deteriorate for a couple of games at the least. The bright side is that the Packers were going to suffer through this learning curve either now or at the start of next year and I would prefer it now.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:38 am

I wonder if safeties will be completely phased out and teams will be playing essentially 6 CBs? Probably not since safeties still rack up big numbers of tackles.

If Josh Jackson gets moved to safety (something some scouts mentioned in his scouting report) and plays well, that certainly would affect our draft priorities next April. We might still need one, but not perhaps with as much urgency. It is easier to find strong safeties than free safeties. Silverstein reported that Tramon got some work at safety, which is interesting but not enough perhaps to hang one's hat upon. When we're talking about moving someone to safety, I am assuming we're talking about FS.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:49 am

"I wonder if safeties will be completely phased out and teams will be playing essentially 6 CBs? Probably not since safeties still rack up big numbers of tackles."

I would argue that as time has gone by, S has become a position that's more about mental aptitude, vision and attitude than about a physical prototype. I think the modern NFL asks for S who can play like CBs anyway, so why not try CBs who can play like S?

"If Josh Jackson gets moved to safety (something some scouts mentioned in his scouting report) and plays well, that certainly would affect our draft priorities next April. "

If Brown can clean up the mental errors, he seems to be a promising CB prospect. Finding guys like him make drafting much easier...

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stockholder's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:19 am

The safeties=. I see Williams maybe. To get Jackson on the field. But the guy that does have some experience is Jones. His coverage skills are to slow in the box. Stick him back further at FS. He'll pick up the TE quicker than Dix did. Has the speed to the corners. And loves to hit.

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Chuck Farley's picture

November 01, 2018 at 06:58 pm

I get the feeling he ain't cutting it in practice and it could be mental. He plays slow because he is not sure what to do. They could have moved him back and did not yet this is year 2 and he was a 2 pick. Something ain't right,

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stockholder's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:12 pm

He wasn't Burnett. The scouting on Jones is correct. The packers moved him trying to make him Burnett #2. If they don't try him at FS he will be a bust. He's not a cover guy. Can't blanket.

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CheesyTex's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Excellent point, Reynoldo. As the game evolves, so too must the traditional skill sets.

My hope rests with Pettine's ability to translate the youth and speed into a dominant secondary defense. Rams game looked like a good start to me.

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zoellner25's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:57 am

Finally a message of accountability from the top

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:09 am

We’re dealing with Millenials here in HHCD and TM (no offense if you’re one). The attitude is, “I’m great, everyone has always told me so. If something goes wrong, it’s your fault!”

MM catered to this attitude. Big mistake.

Just look at the Gen Z’s/Post-Millenials like Clark, Jaire, and Jones. No BS. No whining. Just get the job done!

My kids are Gen Z, and they have zero respect for Millenials.

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:29 am

What is your reasoning in believing tha HHCD and TM think "I’m great, everyone has always told me so. If something goes wrong, it’s your fault!”"

What is your evidence that "MM catered to this attitude"?

Lastly, do you really believe that there's some sort of magical generation gap that separates HHCD and TM (both 25 years of age) from Jaire ALexander (21), Josh Jackson (22) and whichever of Aaron Jones (23) / Josh Jones (24) you were referring to?

Your Gen Z kids most likely have zero respect for Millennials because they grew up hearing you complain about millennials. As a middle aged man who has been going back to school part time over the last many years, I'm surrounded by people ranging from 18 to 40 who I often have to work closely with. While I see trait differences in individuals, I do not see much in the way of a significant shift between "millenials" and this so-called "Gen Z" that broadly falls along generational lines.

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:37 am

MM felt the need to spread carries around. When TM didn’t get his “fair share” he threw a tantrum which ultimately cost the Pack a chance to win.

My kids are 16 and 14. They are academically advanced, and so are both in college. The see Millenial attitudes every day.

My son witnessed a student who failed a physics test yell at the professor, “F___ Y___! You’re a terrible teacher!” He then stormed out. The student never did the homework. Never studied. Never went to office hours. Always smoked marijuana. Yet, it was the prof’s fault!

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:48 am

Sonomaca, Brett Favre, clearly not a millenial, regulary defied Mike Holmgren's direct orders, sometimes costing the Packers wins, and we know he threw tantrums later in his career (I'm retiring <because I don't wanna go to OTAs>).

As to the anecdote about your son's experience at school, that's an individual, and I'm assuming, one of your son's friends, since he knows an awful lot about the details of his personal and academic life. At any rate, am I to believe that all of the kids that age act this way? Most of them? Half of them? a few of them? Has no student born before 1995 ever acted in this fashion? How is it we're attributing this to generation gap?

Does this still mean that overall behavior of two 25 year olds is significantly different than that of young men who are between 1 and 4 years younger?

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:28 am

Definitely not friends. Just a small school where everyone knew what everyone else was or was not doing. We are friendly with the prof.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:59 am

Let's not lose sight of the fact that young adult/student/(in this case) millennial attitudes and behaviors are commonly learned from their parents.

In Edit: As a college prof, I've never been cussed out by a student. Only very rarely have I ever been shown up by a student. I get cussed out more by faculty colleagues than by anyone else...even my wife. That's saying something!

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:57 am

You mean the parents and other role models overcoddled the Millenials? Parents should say, “you can improve at (sports, school, arts, tech, etc...) if you work hard at it.”

They should not be told, “you’re the greatest!” (Unless they’re Aaron Rodgers, but even he shouldn’t be told that).

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:59 am

I would argue that my generation isn't making the best parents, yes.

But I think every other older generation has said that about the next generation...kids or parents.

GET OFF MY LAWN!!! ;)

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:01 am

Aaron Rodgers did have a bit of Millenial in him. He thought he was the greatest, and should have been drafted #1 overall. Of course, he wasn’t worthy at the time. Had he not shed the Millenial attitude, he probably would have sulked rather than worked hard.

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:24 am

In the end, the student’s parents complained, and the untenured prof, a young woman with B.S. from Stanford and a PhD from Rice, was not rehired. This was a small liberal arts college with many wealthy students. We decided to switch after that.

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:46 am

I do see broad patterns. Gen Z’s are reacting to bad Millenial behavior, just like Gen Xer’s reacted to bad Baby Boomer behavior.

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fastmoving's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:07 pm

but this attitude has nothing to do with Millenials. I know guys born in 1946 (no offence if your know some too) they are fare worse, far more millenial than Millanials like you describe them.

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sonomaca's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Baby Boomers. These are the people who reacted to their “conservative” and “boring”
parents, you know the ones who made it through the depression and won WWII.

What would the Greatest Generation have thought of the Millenials? To phrase it another way, what would Vince Lombardi have thought of HHCD and TM?

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 01:38 pm

Much of the "attitude" that these professional football players have about being "the best" and "special" has zero to do with the generation, and everything to do with the fact these are, in fact, world-class athletes who have dedicated their entire lives to the sport, and are among the relatively small group of men who are the best on the planet.

Their entire lives they have overcome obstacles, worked very hard, and dominated opponents.

They are professional sports stars. They are competitive and they believe there is nothing they can't do.. mostly because, they have always been able to do with hard work and dedication.

Certainly, these sports figures, by and large, have been treated differently and often told they're the best. There have been exceptions made for them. All of it. However, they also work hard for what they have, generally speaking, with dedication and commitment that not many "regular" folks have. And also as certainly, they carry themselves differently than most regular folks as a result.

None of that has to do with being a Millenial vs. being a Gen "Z". Certainly not when comparing young men who are only 4 years or less apart.

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fastmoving's picture

November 01, 2018 at 03:58 pm

the far more important question would be "what would Vince Lombardi had thought about what our country had became?"

and if you know a little bit about Lombardi you will know the answer. other than that, how could you compare generations??

since 10000 years the older generations think the next one is worse. strange if you see how fare mankind came.
maybe its not a straight line, like you see since 2016. but our kinds will be better than us, mark it down....

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:09 pm

Funny how people bag on millenials for their attitude and their parents for how they raised, yet older folks claim the title of greatest generation. Sorry sonomaca couldn't help it.

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Lphill's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:07 am

Tramon played safety for the Browns under Pettine and actually graded out pretty good , Breeland also has experience at safety , it used to be that when a corner lost a step they got moved to safety so it's not unreasonable for either one or both to rotate at safety.

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Lare's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:13 am

i.e. Charles Woodson

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:52 am

True, but let's not expect either TWill, Breeland, or any other CB conversion project to be the resurrection of Woodson...Rod or Charles.

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:55 am

Well that would be a high bar! Not unreasonable to believe one or both could be decent in coverage roles though. I would expect Burks/Whitehead/Brice/Jones to be candidates for box roles as a hybrid S/LB. Bigger and harder tackling.

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cheesehead1's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:28 am

Nice to see Gutekunst giving press conferences, hope he does it from time to time. Like what he’s done so far. If we have malcontents on this team, then time to move on. Good for our GM to make these moves now. I see Perry is hurt yet again. I can’t see him as a Packer beyond this year. One and a half sacks! Very disappointing to say the least.....Go Pack and get it done against the Pats.

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Lare's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:39 am

The Packers can save a few million dollars by releasing Perry after this season. I suspect they'll do so, sign Matthews to a reasonable incentive-based contract and add addition OLBs through the draft and free agency.

If you take into account the pass rush they're getting now (tied for third most in the league), this defense could be scary good with a couple of effective, quick outside pass rushers.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:54 am

If CMIII plays like he did Sunday the rest of the way, I think maybe they could bring him back, but remember the recent rumors contrary to that path.

I understand the wanting to save a buck but I really see no way Perry is not a Packer in 2019 unless he's physically unable to play football anymore or does something that is very bad for the shield.

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:57 am

I wonder if Perry is being used differently? Pettine is not Capers and hasn’t always looked for Perry types of player to rack up sacks but rather to assist others in getting home.

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Minniman's picture

November 02, 2018 at 12:06 am

Yes I thought that Perry played a solid game against the rams. I'm looking forward to seeing how he and CM3 back up against NE.

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byu.tech's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:49 am

MM will be next browns coach.

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JimR_in_SoCal's picture

November 01, 2018 at 09:02 pm

Excellent.

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Oppy's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Gary Ellerson today on 1250 am Milwaukee's "The Big Show" said he's been "keeping an ear to the ground" and all he keeps on hearing is Mike McCarthy will be coaching the Browns in 2019.

People have a lot of opinions on Ellerson, but I've learned over the years that he still does have connections all over who are reliable sources. He is typically pretty tight lipped about what he knows, he skirts around many things a little bit.. but when he comes out and makes a proclamation, he's usually on the level.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 01, 2018 at 10:56 am

After the trade dead line and trades Packers made there is 2 possible outcome for Mike McCarthy:

1. Everything is already settled down and Mike McCarthy goes to Browns, to work with John Dorset and the rest of the crew;

2. Mike McCarthy will stay for another year as Packers HC, but this time he will need to win SB with renewed roster to get more chance with Packers...

In both cases result Packers achieve this season will not influence the decision...

Also, I understand and support Gutekunst idea of rebuilding team in short terms (in 2 years) and his activity in replacing (e. g. Jordy), cutting (e. g. House) or trading (Ha-Ha, Ty) players he believe they can not or will not give everything from themselves to help the team (for whatever reason is).

And I do not think he is replacing TT players. Do not forget, Brian was part of the last 5 drafts under TT.

Brian is younger, and, probably more willing to change the way of doing business...

So, if you do not give team with enough quality to HC, you can not put blame only on him for failure. But, when you get the team (players) at the level you believe is above average, than you will have all the rights to ask from your HC to deliver final reward...

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:01 am

"And I do not think he is replacing TT players. Do not forget, Brian was part of the last 5 drafts under TT."

I think he's systematically removed the TT projects that he doesn't support.

I think he's also kept an open eye to cutting bait on players that, yes, he probably promoted on draft day who haven't gotten it done. Cold? Nope. Business.

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Coldworld's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Per rumor, Ball was the secondary driving force in the last two or three years of TTs reign in terms of roster decisions. No guarantee Gute was in sympathy with what was done.

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dobber's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:15 pm

True, but BG was the head of college scouting, wasn't he?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Gute was director of College Scouting from 2012 to 2015 (assuming that TT wasn't the real director like Bennett wasn't the real OC under MM). Gute was Director of Pro Personnel from 2016 to 2017 until elevated to GM.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:52 pm

I agree with your conclusion that this is the business. And, yes Brian is cutting players he thinks are not good enough, better to say, w/o them Packers are not necessarily better or worse, they just did not fulfilled expectations. So, not only TT picks, but picks from last 5 seasons of TT regime... Some of those picks might be his own picks... That is what I wanted to point out!

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4thand1's picture

November 01, 2018 at 11:13 am

The path to the playoffs this year will be to win the NFCN. The most important games are going to be at the queens and bearsstillsuck. When they traded Dix, I'm sure they talked to Pettine and got his take on him. There's a reason Dix never missed a game, he shys away from contact. Gute probably sent a message to MM by trading Monty, start paying AJ you dumb dick.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

November 01, 2018 at 12:31 pm

talk about a total waste of comments

14 year olds in college and tramon is faster than Dix

there should be a "TROLL" button somewhere

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Point-Packer's picture

November 01, 2018 at 02:36 pm

Meanwhile Ted's still staring into space.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

November 01, 2018 at 07:12 pm

Hopefully with his mouth closed.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 02, 2018 at 05:40 am

At his intro press conference, Gute said something along the lines that he believes in moving on as soon as you know a guy isn't going to help. Apparently he made that determination with both of departees. I agree on both counts. Neither are anything special.

Next man up. In Monty's case that likely means more snaps for Aaron Jones. In HHCD's case, that likely means more snaps for Jackson and Breland. In both cases, I think the Packers are better off now.

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