Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - 2019 Game 8, Packers - Chiefs

The weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Polluted Mindset: As much as I love this term and poking fun at Mike McCarthy, I'm starting to think it might be time to move on. Maybe a tribute to our new coach, who I am now in a serious bromance with? Maybe something like, "Illusion of Complexity - Simple Thoughts on Packers vs. {opponent}." What do you all think about changing things up and my possible replacement title? Maybe you have a better suggestion? Please weigh in.

Aaron Jones:  A quick comparison:

  2018 2019
Games 12 8
Snaps  376 328 
Carries 133 114
Targets 35 42
Receptions 26 34
TDs 8 8
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A major thing I complained about last year was why McCarthy didn't use Aaron Jones more. The mindless rotation of running backs by series (and not scheme or play call) drove me batty. I've been full-blown "Team Jones" since he was drafted. Nothing against Jamaal Williams, but Jones had star potential in my eyes. SO SO SO thrilled that LaFleur saw it and is finding ways to get him the ball. 

Allen Lazard: A very stealth addition to the roster - got his chance when no one else stepped up after Davante's injury and has looked like a quality NFL player. AT 6'5" 227lbs, he's close to TE size (same height and 20lbs less than Jermichael Finley) and has been doing nice work in the blocking department in addition to catching passes. He ran a 4.55 40 yd dash - not great for a receiver but excellent for a TE. That would put him in the top 3 TEs in pretty much any year's combine (Finley ran a 4.67). So I guess what I am asking is - could Allen Lazard be the Packer's TE weapon of the future?

Bend but don't break: Oh how I hate that term. It brings about visions of Dom Capers' defense allowing opposing offenses big completions all over the field. If we're being honest, this defense has done some of the same. They can't exactly be blamed for giving up "explosives" (the modern term for big plays) against the Chiefs (even without Mahomes). There is so much speed and talent in that passing offense that even a pedestrian QB like Matt Moore can have success in it. But there has been one huge difference with this 2019 version of "bend but don't break" defense - they can actually execute the "don't break" part. They can get off the field on third downs in big spots, something as foreign to those Capers' defenses as interceptions are to Aaron Rodgers. Pettine played it very safe this week, with tons of zone, very little blitzing and predominantly in dime and nickel formations. The idea was to not give up "explosives" resulting in touchdowns, giving the defense a chance to show their chops in the red zone. It might have been a bit frustrating to watch, but it was the right move.

Return game: No matter what the Packers have tried, the punt and kick return game is a total mess right now. And we can't just blame it all on the returner - the blocking is non-existent, especially on kickoff returns. It's so bad, teams are now making the Packers return kicks instead of booming the kickoffs in to the end zone. And it's working. Only once in Sunday's game did the Packers advance the ball past the 25 yard line. And let's not talk about punt returners - Darrius Sheppard (not surprisingly released yesterday) had been brutal. Watching him, you would think he never returned punts in college, but that wasn't the case. He actually returned 44 punts over his four-year career at North Dakota State, with a 13.1 yard return average. Perhaps the NFL stage was just too big for him, but I hope he gets another chance somewhere.

Flashback: LaFleur and Rodgers discussing what to do on late third down and five reminded me of Lombardi and Starr in the Ice Bowl. Not nearly as dramatic or important, but I'm all about the "let's go win the f'in game attitude. 

 

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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Comments (75)

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Bure9620's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:15 am

Lazard is a true hybrid WR, and I have been most impressed with his blocking and how he uses his massive frame to box out defenders. Not sure I see him "in-line" as a TE though. He blocks in space well, particularly on the WR screen plays.

There is a Lazard Truthers anonymous meeting next week where will discuss what exactly Gute was thinking in putting Darrius Shepperd on the 53 man roster and cutting Lazard, exposing him to waivers and the ensuing undue stress this caused to us Lazard truthers.

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Guy's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:46 am

While we're at it, trading Davis and keeping Shep...

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Leatherhead's picture

October 31, 2019 at 09:42 am

I have a different view of our return game and special teams in general.

How many games this year has poor special teams play figured into a loss? Answer=0
How many games last year? Tramon fumbled two punt returns, we had Montgomery's Boner, and the game in Detroit.. And that was just the first half of the season.

We're not returning kicks and punts. Good. Catchthefrickin'ball and put our offense on the field. Our special teams are largely rookies and UDFAs......why let them take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands, or back them up with a penalty?

We're not getting called for those 'block in the back' penalties. We're not getting backed up. We're not getting guys hurt on a return that's probably going to be 7 yards or less.

Like everybody else, I enjoy it when we have a great return. It doesn't happen very often for us.....or anybody else. Most of the time it's a short return. And then sprinkle in the penalties and injuries and IMO, it's just not worth it.

On kickoff returns, if that ball is in the endzone, you're probably not going to return it past the 25. Just let the offense take over there. That's where we've put our money, that's the strength of the team. I think risking the turnovers, the penalties, and the injuries for what you get in return is a poor investment. JMO.

Our AVERAGE starting position for offensive drives is about the 27 yard line. A handful of teams are starting outside their 30 on average.....but they've all had a long return that bumps the average up. Generally speaking, the Packers are like every other team in terms of where the drives start.

I just think there's a lot of angst over an aspect of the game that isn't hurting us. I like LaFleur's strategy on this. I don't see a need to get some super-duper maybe return guy. Catch the ball. Put the offense on the field.

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DragonSilk's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:15 am

Lazard reminds me of Ed McCaffrey in how he uses his size to full advantage. Though he's a little bigger so most likely a little stronger. I remember McCaffrey made a lot of big plays in his day and Lazard can have the same type of career.

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Coldworld's picture

October 30, 2019 at 07:48 am

Lazard actually slimmed down during the off season, shedding weight to increase suddenness. While it tend to agree with most of Al’s takes, this one, for me seems stuck in McCarthythink.

Lazard isn’t a TE, and doesn’t need to be one. Of the TEs currently on the roster, only Lewis is a traditional TE really. The others are hybrids. Lazard is a WR who can do some TE things. That’s what he should remain.

It seems to me that the renaissance of this team is in large part due to using players to their strengths within the system and plan: exactly as you celebrate in relation to A Jones and, I think J Williams too. Lazard is one that will allow us to do things and exploit matchups. Doing so will maximize his potential. It’s the win win MM latterly refused to go after.

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Guam's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:22 am

I agree ColdWorld, let's not remake Lazard, but use him for what he is. I see elements of Keyshawn ("Just Give Me The Damn Ball") Johnson or Dez Bryant in his game and they were pretty good WRs. His ability to screen off defenders with his big body and snatch the ball with large hands make him a valuable possession receiver (particularly in the middle of the field) which is something the Packers don't really have otherwise.

I like the combination of Adams, MVS, ESB and Lazard as Packer WRs for next year. Lazard seems to be supplanting Allison and Shepard is already gone. That leaves room for a draft choice as well unless Ryan Grant shows something during the balance of the year.

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PeteK's picture

October 30, 2019 at 10:26 am

Kumerow?

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Guam's picture

October 30, 2019 at 02:38 pm

Good catch - I forgot about Kumerow. Have never been a big fan as I see him as another version of Allison, but he has contributed. There is room for him if he continues to prove he belongs.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 30, 2019 at 07:50 pm

He lost weight to get back to where he was in college. NO need for the Ted fan club to try to ruin him with weight gains to put him at TE. He is best at 220 -225# range. He is a true possession guy.

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JerseyAl's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:08 am

McCarthythink? Those are fightin' words!

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:31 am

Al, the "Confessions..." title has become a fixture here. It's almost your trademark. It gives you license to be as sour or as sweet as you choose to be. I'd hate to see it change.

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Guam's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:27 am

While I love "Confessions...' and look for it every week, I think it is time for an update. I think "Illusion of Complexity" would be a great ode to our new coach and the new leaf the Packers have turned over this year.

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Guy's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:44 am

I endorse "Illusion of complexity". Let's move on.

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ottscay's picture

October 30, 2019 at 04:27 pm

I also endorse Illusion of complexity. While I've enjoyed Polluted mindset, it becomes less relevant as time goes on, and holding on to something that is losing relevant is, well, something we were all accusing McCarthy of doing with his play calling. Change can be good!

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:08 am

As a bit of a superstitious fan Al, I say don't change a thing. We're 7-1 and rolling and actually a missed PI call against the Eagles from being 8-0. Never mind what happened against the Lions since they were awarded a TD on a run where they were STUFFED.

The ST are a mess right now. I wonder if Russ Ball has thought in hindsight perhaps he shouldn't have low-balled Rizzo so bad. I mean I understand he probably thought ANYONE would be better than Slocum or Zook, but Rizzo was the man he should have hired THEN and after 8 games it still holds true. But hey, Crosby and Scott have been EXCELLENT (Knocking on wood).

Watching that defense against KC I was screaming for Pettine to blitz, especially in the 2nd quarter. But as the game wore on and you watched the speed KC has EVERYWHERE I began to understand and actually appreciate what Pettine was doing. The Packers defense won't play another team with more team speed than KC the rest of the year. SF has some players that are sprinter fast but not EVERYONE like KC...Whew!

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cuervo's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:29 am

More soap opera stuff, I thought that would end...guess not. Russ Ball doesn't hire anyone, and to think he does is nothing more than "as the world turns" crapola.

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2019 at 07:17 am

Not on the football side, no. But he essentially hires and fires everyone on the off-field operations side of the organization.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:41 pm

A little noticed but very important detail.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

October 31, 2019 at 04:52 am

Not at all... There were several articles written regarding the Packer's reluctance to pay Rizzo's salary. Who in the hell do you think negotiates the contracts? HELLOOOOOOO...Russ Ball does.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 01, 2019 at 11:52 am

Right on. Lowballing Rizzo was an idiotic move. I honestly wanted Ball out the second that TT was removed from the situation. Clean house completely and move on.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:17 am

" The mindless rotation of running backs by series (and not scheme or play call) drove me batty. '"

Well, when you only run one scheme with only about ten different plays the value of rotation based on skill set is seriously diminished.

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2019 at 07:18 am

It takes you from the "illusion of complexity" to the "reality of simplicity".

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Since'61's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:38 am

Cookie!!! Thanks, Since '61

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Daren726's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:38 am

I’m ready to move on from the title. I’m not superstitious either. Time to pick something new and freshen it up. Time to move on from McCarthy. I wish him well, and maybe watching the Packers will give him some ideas to freshen up his approach if he gets another chance. I vote for “confessions of my Lafleur Bromance.” LOL

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:47 am

Polluted Mindset:
I personally just love the Polluted Mindset. But if you do change it Illusions of complexity has a nice ring to it.

Aaron Jones:
I still can't figure out how McCarthy was trying to rotate RB's. Doing it by series is to me the most idiotic thing still. I completely agree about Jones and being a star. After the draft and I was reviewing all the players college tape I fell in love with Jones. I knew he was going to be good. You could just see it. The difference this year is with LaFleur he is actually using him to his strengths. He has him being used in the passing game a lot more and getting him the ball in space.
I really wonder how good Montgomery would have been in this offense.

Allen Lazard:
While he is a really big WR, and he did tell teams during the draft that he would consider moving to TE, my question is why? I have seen this all over the place. Why just because we have a big WR that he automatically has to become a TE? He ran 4.55 40 at about 230 lbs. If he puts on 20 lbs, it will no doubt slow him down. So is it worth him to bulk up but to lose speed just to block more?
I don't get why he can't just be a big WR?
Honestly, I'm just excited to see what our trio of WR's will look like when Adams gets back. Adams, MVS and Lazard.

Bend but don't break:
I also hate this term.
But I do love that this team doesn't break. It does stiffen up in the redzone.
A couple of things that should help the defense. Getting Savage back to playing where he was at pre-injury. And getting a guy like Campbell back or playing Burks more. They need Amos to be S. Not hybrid LB/S. They really do miss Raven Greene. He was a key player that really was making a huge difference. They are missing a guy like him. Hopefully when Campbell comes back he could be that guy.

Return game:
I like Shepherd and do think he has a future. I just think he needs to spend some time on the PS. The last few weeks he has really struggled. I would like to see him come back to the PS.
I'm not sure who will return Punts. Tremon Smith will no doubt be the next guy up as the KR. But who do they use for PR?

Flashback:
LaFleur and Rodgers just seem to be on the same page. You can just tell that Rodgers has been rejuvinated.

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2019 at 07:32 am

". And getting a guy like Campbell back or playing Burks more. They need Amos to be S. Not hybrid LB/S. They really do miss Raven Greene. He was a key player that really was making a huge difference."

This thread--and we've seen it come up a couple times now--really does coincide with how this defense has changed just within the season. Greene seemed to be good in that role, and I hope that Campbell will be up to the task.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 30, 2019 at 11:26 am

Yep, there was as noticable dropoff when Raven Greene got hurt and an even more serious dropoff when Savage got hurt.

Here's to hoping Tony Brown and Campbell can come back soon. I think Greene was not "designated for return".

As for Burks and Jackson. I'm not convinced either will be around for a long time.

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JerseyAl's picture

October 30, 2019 at 11:34 am

You don't have to designate them for return ahead of time anymore. Thus, any two players on IR can be brought back after week 8.

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2019 at 02:47 pm

Tony Brown has played the last couple games, but the Packers have gone primarily with Alexander, TWill and King. Sullivan seems to have passed Brown on the depth chart.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:59 pm

Brown is the primary backup for Alexander and King. He subbed a lot for King in the 2 quarter at KC last week. T. Williams is a starter in Pettine's 3-3-5 and 3-4 playing the slot and sometimes the hybrid/SS. Sullivan is the primary backup SS behind Amos and Savage. Last week, both Amos and Savage played the hybrid position in the third and switching off in the fourth quarter with Sullivan playing Safety in the Packers 1 high zone coverage. Getting Campbell back will help. But they really miss Raven Greene, his ability to sort out misdirection was impressive.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 31, 2019 at 03:34 am

Something is off here. Worse, you didn't read my article!

Tony Brown did not play any defensive snaps against KC. [King played 100% of snaps as did Alexander.] Brown played 27 snaps in week one on defense; otherwise, he played one snap against Denver and one snap against Oakland.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/snapcounts?team=GB&week=8&positi...

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flackcatcher's picture

October 31, 2019 at 06:21 pm

I thought I saw Brown (no. 26) subbing for King. Nuts, got to look at the game footage again. Not doubting you at all. Could have spotted him in at hybrid/SS, but not his normal position. Second time in two weeks I blown up on player coverage. Only excuse, I have been hard on the move. (job. don't ask) Still, with Brown and Campbell just off IR.... well just have to wait and see. (Check game video, and get more sleep hah hah.) PS. I see TGR, you actually did a snap count. Wow...

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Minniman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 02:19 pm

Re "bend don't break" and the Packers having better red zone D than in the recent past:

As Dobber and JeremyBrown already in part posted....Do you think RC that this is because opposing teams are increasingly attacking the middle linebacker positions more, which is vulnerable with a full stretched field but can be better covered in a compressed Redzone situation?

Martinez is presently playing injured and while smart isn't the quickest. ILB2 is a work in progress (presently being trial replaced by nickel and dime packages).

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Cartwright's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:53 am

Glad to see your thinking abut changing titles.When I read your title for articles I think negative and of that stubborn coach who wouldn't change. We're half way into the season and we can see it's a lot different now and there's nothing polluted about it, a breath of fresh air in fact. Sine we know what we have now, and indeed it is different, out with the old and in with new isn't a bad idea.

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Coldworld's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:01 am

I like the title and the attitude. Nothing is ever perfect and when things go well, keeping perspective by critical but constructive analysis is perhaps even more important.

Here is to keeping Al’s approach and the title “polluted.” Thanks Al, this is my favorite weekly Packers read because it is always thought provoking.

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JerseyAl's picture

October 30, 2019 at 12:51 pm

"Thought provoking" is the goal - so I'm glad to hear that!

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Slim11's picture

October 30, 2019 at 02:15 pm

How about “Confession of a Complex Illusionist?”

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egbertsouse's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:02 am

Keep the title. You wouldn’t change the title to “Stairway to Heaven,” would you?

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:05 am

I always have loved this segment. But you're right, it was understandably geared towards the McCarthy regime which became problematic and frustrating.

Changing the title at this point seems appropriate, but the article must go on. I have always enjoyed your game observations . Thanks and GoPack

PS; I can't wait until Sunday as ill be at the game with all of the other Cal Packers fans and some of my back home friends who are flying out.

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Minniman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 02:23 pm

"I always have loved this segment. But you're right, it was understandably geared towards the McCarthy regime which became problematic and frustrating. "

........Under this context GBPDAN1 I'd be inclined to keep it as permanent reminder for GB to NOT ever allow that level of GM\Coaching dysfunction back into the organization!

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flackcatcher's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:09 pm

Add President/GM/Coaching dysfunction and I'm right there with you..

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:52 pm

Agreed Minniman, it's so refreshing to see our team under new management. The TT / MM show spun its course and crashed 5-6 years ago. Let's hope we keep moving in the right direction and Al's game observations are not puzzling madness that the last regime caused.

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Houndog's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:12 am

Sorry Al,
Jeez, I never knew the Polluted Mindset title was related to McCarthy, duh, now it makes sense. Guess I missed something.
Without a lot of thought and the Chiefs game still fresh, "Just go win the game" comes to mind, but no matter how you slice that we'll hear about it from the Al Davis disciples.. I'll be happy with whatever you decide.
Back to the Chiefs game; I was barking the past two days for Middle-D help and although my two Basset Hounds seemed to agree (wagging their tails and cocking their heads as I explained it to them) I guess Gutey wasn't listening.
For now bend but don't break is what we've got, and it ain't all bad, giving up only 7 points in the second half to a blazing fast Chiefs team. If we can get Campbell or Green (status report anyone?) back, the pieces we have in the right positions, and if ANYONE can step up to help Martinez it would be a big help.

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JerseyAl's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:16 am

For a time, "That's a Polluted Mindset" was McCarthy's favorite answer to reporter's questions proposing something he didn't believe in. He eventually stopped using it, but it has always stuck with me as a vintage McCarthyism, alongside "pad level" and "clean things up."
In addition, besides being a dig at McCarthy, it was also an appropriation of the movie title, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," one of my favorite under-the-radar movies.

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Spock's picture

October 30, 2019 at 10:56 am

Al, I knew the title was related to MM but I didn't know where it came from. Truthfully, I thought it was just your own phrase (sorry). Thanks for the explanation.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 31, 2019 at 08:01 am

Interesting. I thought it was MM left us to drink to excess to dull the pain.

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JerseyAl's picture

October 31, 2019 at 08:26 am

In addition, besides being a dig at McCarthy, it was also an appropriation of the movie title, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" One of my favorite under-the-radar movies.

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:19 am

Lazard as a hybrid, receiving TE isn’t a bad idea. He is actually the same height and just 10lbs lighter than Tonyan...a converted college wide receiver. And several teams are beginning to feature consistent 2 and 3 TE formations,

Expect both Graham and Lewis will be gone next year and a TE corps of Tonyan, Sternberger and Lazard could have exciting results. May as well experiment with Lazard as a TE now.

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BoCallahan's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:42 am

I must admit, I didn’t realize the title was a shot at MM. I thought it was some sort of sarcastic confession/admission of Al’s thought process. Sorry, my bad.
As for the name change, a new regime requires a new title. I like the suggestion given.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:59 pm

I thought it was both. Which came first McCarthy or the Polluted Mindset?

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PeteK's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:49 am

Illusions of Complexity is my vote; so that we can FINALLY move on from MM. I think Lazard could to be a terrific TE. It makes sense for the following reasons: most TE's in todays NFL are hybrid receivers, he has that aggressive nature after catching the ball, and most importantly we will need a TE next year. I'm disappointed that we didn't pick up Leonard Williams. A third next year ( which would bring back a low third if we don't sign) , fifth in 2021, and 2 mill is worth getting a player who could really strengthen our D line. I think Raven is eligible to come off IR in two wks. if he's recovered from injury.

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Handsback's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:05 am

First off, Al I've always enjoyed your articles and post...don't change!
Second...7-1 and I would never believe it.
Here's my response....
Green Bay is missing another ILB that can run w/ RBs and TEs on pass patterns. So far that guy and position hasn't meshed yet, but they will find a suitable match. I would like for people to see what Martinez is doing in his spot. He's a stud in that position. He's doing what he is suppose to do, not crash into gaps hoping to make a play while a RB runs free out of another gap. BTW, I doubt the Kelce TD was his fault. It looked like a safety went away from his area of responsibility and opened up a free receiver. Beyond all that, if Savage/Amos are healthy...then this defense will continue to be very good.

On the offensive side of the ball, I always like AJ, but his size bothered me. For him to do what he is doing this year...means he has to be in great shape. I wonder if him coming into camp in great shape has a bearing on his workload? Regardless he's playing at an All-Pro level right now. In watching college football I thought Lazard could contribute in the pro game because of his hands and size. He's big and fast enough...he will continue to make plays esp. against smaller DBs. Another guy to keep an eye on in college is a UT receiver name of Duvernay. He's not tall, but very stout and runs like the wind. Has great hands and runs pretty good routes for college receivers. Perfect for the slot and PR/KR positions in the pros.

Last and least impressive group for the Packers are the ST that aren't very special. A good punter, and PK but the teams as a whole need improvement. I don't know if over time and practices will help or not. It just seems that too many guys are not doing their jobs.

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OldPacker's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:09 am

Please don't bring up MM he was a fine coach UNTIL he won a superbowl the went 15 -1 .. after that his head got very big ,became lazy ..had one play ..AR go make a play ... AR would not even look at him.. ..please I'm finally able to enjoy the game again ..altogether this last game had MM written all of it.. 20 run play s will get AR injured!
No more MM I get convolutions when I hear his name....and for all you MM supports, so worried what we would do without him.. come out and be heard

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stockholder's picture

October 30, 2019 at 11:33 am

I will come out and tell you MM was a good coach. I will also tell you that MM took his time with Jones, because of his suspension. I will also tell you, That The press and TT screwed MM. That the players gave up. I will also tell you MM made a big mistake not firing Capers and others. That his heart got in the way of his ability. I Will also tell you that if Gute did not sign The Smiths, Amos, or Turner. WE would not be 7-1. And that Gute has made mistakes too. The press is good right now. For everyone. Only because were winning. You only have to look at the Bears to know thats true.

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PeteK's picture

October 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Noooo ,that's me getting sucked in yet again. In my opinion, perfect description of last seasons dilemma. Jones came to camp in excellent shape because he was working on his craft instead of toking and munching. MM lost the team and a change was needed. If it can happen to Holmgren it can happen to anyone. { mental note to self: DO NOT REACT TO MM BASHING}

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JerseyAl's picture

October 30, 2019 at 01:00 pm

I will come out and tell you that MM got stale and ceased being a good coach. It's no surprise that the players gave up. If you want to call the press pointing out his staleness as a coach "screwing him" then that's your choice. Capers, MM and TT all should have been gone sooner, but loyalty runs deep in Green Bay and while it's admirable, in the business of sports, it can hold you back, as it did. I'm thrilled with what I've seen out of LaFleur so far and how Rodgers has been re-energized by a new approach.

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stockholder's picture

October 30, 2019 at 01:45 pm

I'm thrilled with what I've seen too. Especially from Rodgers. As it turns out. Change was needed.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:14 pm

The guy was history after the Seattle meltdown. Everyone saw it but the Board of directors drinking brandy old fashions @ the Oneida Country Club.

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Swisch's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:18 am

I'm wary of Lazard being converted to a tight end, with him doing so well at wide receiver -- although at times he can be used in ways resembling a tight end.
The guy who has really impressed me is Marcedes Lewis, who seems surprisingly athletic, and seems to make at least one nice play catching the ball each week.
I wonder if he has been underrated and under-utilized as a pass catcher during the bulk of his career; and if we would do well to target him at least a little more often.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:04 pm

Lewis was buried last year.

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Samson's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:24 am

Why not keep it simple & easier to spot? -- Also, completely vanilla.. No connection to any personality, past or present.... Then it's yours, completely.

"Just Another Article - 2019 Game 9, Packers - Chargers"

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pacman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:37 am

Great article. I haven't seen a article recently where I agreed with virtually every word. The only thing you missed and that I have been harping on for weeks, is to get AR to stop underthrowing MVS. You send him deep and he takes 2 defenders with him, else he will be open.

But I too somehow missed the MM reference of Polluted Mindset. Can someone fill me in on when/where he said it and the context?

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JerseyAl's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:40 am

See my reply to Houndog above.

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pacman's picture

October 30, 2019 at 09:59 am

Thanks. I'm all for moving on from MM. While they kept him around, I was pretty mad him and everyone in the organization. But now that we have moved on, I wish him well in early retirement. I feel bad for all the fans but he and TT were well rewarded for the slow, painful, unnecessary deterioration of our team.

How about - 'New Winning Mindset'? Or the "1-0 Mindset"?

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Since'61's picture

October 30, 2019 at 10:07 am

Al - I think that you need to keep the "Confessions" part of your title whatever you ultimately change it into. While I appreciate the MM reference, Confessions takes me back to our Catholic school days and the guilt that the nuns were excellent at inflicting upon us. Of course, I am assuming that you went to Catholic school but you probably attended weekly "catechism" classes at least and were exposed to enough guilt to require our confessions every Saturday before Mass every Sunday morning. But I digress, what is important is that you continue the articles regardless of the title you choose.

As for Lazard I had hoped that he would be kept coming out of TC and I am very happy that he made back to the team and is contributing to our offense. I have always hated "bend but don't break" as well. I prefer the "make a stop and get off the field" defense.

I don't know why we can't get our ST's right. It's been years since we have had effective ST play. It almost cost us the game against the Chiefs with Sheppard failing to make the Fair Catch at the 15 yard line and allowing the Chiefs to cover the punt at the 2. Fortunately our OL and A. Jones were able to get us out from under our own goal post and close out the game. I'm thinking that we use Twill for PR and Tremon Smith for KR. Beyond that we still need effective blocking on our returns and more effective coverage on our KOs and punts. It shouldn't be this hard to have at least decent STs. On to the Chargers and to future Confessions!
Thanks, Since '61

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marpag1's picture

October 30, 2019 at 10:38 am

Aaron Jones out-tyreeked that schlep from Kansas City. This offense is going nuclear when Davante comes back.

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2019 at 02:50 pm

Gotta find a way to keep him healthy.

I think there was a collective cringe from Packers faithful when he went to the lockerroom to work on his shoulder on Sunday...

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splitpea1's picture

October 30, 2019 at 10:41 am

I still don't think the organization takes the kick return/kick coverage game seriously. They just stick any inexperienced body from the bottom of the roster back there to field kicks and hope they don't screw up. When they do screw up, they get released--and the whole process repeats itself. No wonder the opposing team makes it a point to do short kickoffs.

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Samson's picture

October 30, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Even better...
"Confessions From An Alternate World" ....or....
"Confessions From A Parallel Universe"

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Lare's picture

October 30, 2019 at 05:40 pm

On Lazard, I don't think he's someone that we have to get into traditional position playing with. I don't care if he's a TE or a WR, play him wherever he's the most effective on any given play.

On the "Bend but don't Break" philosophy, while I can't argue with the team's W\L success so far, it just looks to me like some defensive players are playing timid instead of smash mouth football. They're not flying to the ball, they're flying around the ball. I'll give MLF & Pettine another year to improve in that area as this year they're still dealing with new players learning the schemes.

On your article title Al, I suggest going with your secondary title "The weekly Packers Brain Drain" as it's still you unloading your thoughts on the Packers' previous game.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 30, 2019 at 06:59 pm

" Illusions of Complexity ". I like that. New title for a new era. (No more cheap McCarthy shots for you. Going to have to up your game now Al.) My latest Special Team theory is Rizzo is really Ron Zook in some sort of mission impossible mask. My wife ask where Zook was on the sideline after the fourth quarter punt that was downed on the two. She doesn't know any of the coaches by name, and call MLF "the cute one". But she knows Ron Zook... I told he he was fired at the end of last season. She turned and said "Honey, it still looks the same to me." Pulled last season play on video, and what the heck, she's right. It was like watching every single mistake being made over and over again. (Does Zook have video of Ball and Gute we fans don't know about) I don't get it, this is critical when they get into the playoffs. So just fix ST already.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 30, 2019 at 08:56 pm

I did think after the fourth or fifth game that it may not be a Polluted Mindset kind of year, and hopefully never again. Another great piece, so I'm good either way.

But I am sick of bend not break though.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

October 30, 2019 at 10:02 pm

Special teams will cost us a game this year, guaranteed. I hope it won't be a playoff game. I don't understand ever letting a punt hit the ground outside of the 10 yard line. Just fair catch the damn ball. I am so glad we called up T. Smith from the practice squad to return kickoffs. 3 straight games opponents have been kicking the ball short. Our coverage units need improvement too.

I am ok with no trades at the deadline. We will be adding 3 weapons with the return of Adams, Tonyan, and Sternberger. Campbell should help the defense. Can Raven Greene return this year or is he out all season?

It's time to put "confessions" in the past since it was in reference to McCarthy. How about " Allusions of complexity"?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 31, 2019 at 04:25 am

Confessions of a Crotchety Old Codger?
Mind-Numbing Stats and Lots of Math?

Wait, those are for me.

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Michael Hughes's picture

October 31, 2019 at 11:40 am

Definite No to me for Lazard at Tight End.

At Receiver, his height and strength creates a mismatch and a problem for defensive backs. If you stick him at Tight End you lose that and he just becomes another quick tight end which defences are used to dealing with. Plus he may have to bulk up a bit more to play the position so may not even be as quick.

The guy isn't an elite talent, he was undrafted and waived by the jaguars so put him into a spot that will cause defences problems instead of where that kind of body size normally goes.

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