Confessions of a Polluted Mindset 2020 - Packers Jar the Jaguars

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

BIG HITS?: 

I touched on this in my "3 plays..." post from yesterday. I've been able to watch a lot more non-Packers football this year than usual. Pretty much every game, I find myself asking, why don't I see/hear big hits like this from the Packers like I'm seeing from these other teams? I keep seeing running backs get blown up by vicious hits, and I see it happening to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams but the favor never seems to be returned. There's just not enough "nasty" on this defense. Kamal Martin and Krys Barnes offer some future hope in that department, but it's just not enough.

Punt Return TD: 

For those of you not on twitter or who haven't seen this, former NFL punter Pat McAfee naturally defends his profession in pooh-poohing the "he outkicked his coverage" trope. But the guy has a point and personally, I've always felt this was a bit nonsensical. Other than kicking it out of the end zone, why wouldn't you want your punter to kick it as far as possible? Does doing that guarantee a long return is coming back? Only if your coverage teams screws up and plays it like the Packers did.

 

 

Lack of Pursuit: Watching the game back a second time, something that I don't normally focus on became very noticeable when comparing the Jaguars' and the Packers' defensive lines. Watching the Jags, I saw several plays where Jones or Williams were brought down by defensive linemen on outside zone runs. The DL's were going hard down the line of scrimmage and eventually making a tackle when the RB makes his cut. The Packers defensive line plays between the tackles - ONLY. They pretty much stand there watching the play develop instead of getting on their horse and hustling down the line in hopes of getting a shot at the RB. I'm speaking specifically about Lowry and Lancaster. Clark will always hustle but he's usually being double-teamed which holds him up. I noticed Montravious Adams hustle to make a tackle off the edge, but he only got 14 snaps. It's possible they are told to do this to tie up blockers and keep the linebackers clean, but I don't really think so.

Lack of Pursuit, Part 2: The Jacksonville defense is 31st in the league in points allowed AND yards given up. Yet did you see how they played with effort, enthusiasm and swarmed to the ball? Did you see them have multiple defenders blowing up those WR screens the Packers love? Meanwhile, the Packers defense stands around and watches Jags RB James Robinson fall down and get back up and run some more because he wasn't touched down. There's no reason to sugarcoat it, the mindset of this defense is SOFT, and rather POLLUTED.

Game Plan: Was it just me or did you get a "Packers offense under Mike McCarthy " vibe during parts of this game? The Packers went five wide on 6 plays by my count - have they done it that much all season previously? The McCarthy second and 10 run plays showed up on Sunday, although to be fair, that's not unique to this game. Rodgers on several occasions had no one to throw to when he was under pressure and all the routes were deep ones. We saw Rodgers ignoring the easy completion on third and three in search of a bigger play that wasn't there. (Showed this video in my "3 plays..." yesterday). We had the super-creative third and one handoff into the middle of the Jags defense to a running back starting out a good seven yards deep in the backfield. We saw the stubburn overuse of the WR screen against a team that was easily diagnosing and blowing up those plays. This just had an eerie 2017-29018 Packers vibe to me.

2020 NFL Draft: I get his non-stop on twitter and here as well. Complaints about the Packers choices this past draft and how it's not helping the team now. If you want to say the Packers should have drafted a Wide Receiver, I can accept that. I was certainly on the "draft a WR in round 1" train, not so much because I thought they desperately needed to but more because that was the unquestionable strength of this draft. I'm always a fan of drafting into that strength in early rounds. Alas, they would not have gotten my #1 choice, Justin Jefferson, but my second choice, Laviska Shenault would have done just fine. But if you're going to complain about not drafting an interior lineman somewhere in the first three rounds, as the person in the tweet below does, you lose me. I went back and found seven interior DL that were drafted in the first three rounds after the Packers first pick. Only one of them has made any kind of impact on his team.

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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 (72)

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jh9's picture

November 18, 2020 at 06:17 am

“There's no reason to sugarcoat it, the mindset of this defense is SOFT...”
How right you are, Al. And it will be the reason why this team doesn’t make it to and win the SB.

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BBlake's picture

November 18, 2020 at 06:55 am

There's all kinds of stats out there, too bad there isn't one for "toughness". If so, I think the Packers would rank at, or near the bottom for quite some time now.

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mnbadger's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:10 am

both defensively and offensively.

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NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:04 am

The Packers haven't been a hard hitting defense for years. Dating back to MM and Capers and now Pettine. There was 2010 when we had Bishop who knew who to hit, and Matthews from time to time.

BUT I wonder how much of it is also on the penalties given out anymore. I don't want to say that's the reason because this defense IS soft. I honestly believe MLF was STUCK with Pettine and was strongly urged to keep him another year. I don't think that will happen in 2021 again and Pettine will be gone.

When MLF hired Shawn Mennenga from Vanderbilt my first thought was really? When I looked at Mennenga's ST rankings while at the Football Powerhouse Vanderbilt my next thought was WTF!!!!!! Last season before the Packers brought in Ervin, they actually had NEGITIVE 8 yards in punt returns with a long return of only 3 yards. Now that was 12 ( TWELVE) weeks into the year. Personally I'm shocked the Packers don't have a KO or punt return against them every week with that type of coaching on ST. Ervin really is that good and might be superman had the Packers hired Rizzo instead of lowballing him! Just my opinion...

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:05 am

You left out some facts about Coach Mennenga. For example, he has extensive NFL coaching experience. He was a special teams assistant with Cleveland for 2011-2017.

You also left out the fact that, under Mennenga, Vandy's punter ranked 4th in the SEC , averaging 44.9 yards per punt on 51 punts, and Vandy downed 19 punts inside the 20-yard line. Not sure what the other Vandy special teams stats were that you referred to but, as you said, the Commodores are not exactly a powerhouse. It doesn't take much to imagine that they were being "out-athleted" on special teams.

Regarding Rizzo, no one knows what the true story was. Perhaps Rizzo was using the Packers to get a larger offer elsewhere. Perhaps there was never any interest at all. The most probable truth is that the entire "lowball" narrative was something being propagated by the Murphy haters and never really happened.

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:11 am

Impressive response. Thank you

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Lare's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:57 am

One article I read about Rizzo at the time was that his family preferred living in Florida and refused to move to Green Bay.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 18, 2020 at 01:39 pm

Vandy's punter, Parker Thome, was a 5th year transfer student attending grad school at Vanderbilt. He punted for Columbia in the Ivy League the year before where he was named to a first team All-American. Thome was a finished product.

It is true that Thome averaged 42.9 yards per punt for Columbia, which is in New York and that he averaged 44.9 yds/punt for Vanderbilt. I'd note that Vandy played games in Nashville, Nashville, at Notre Dame (Sept. 15 so probably still warm), Nashville, Nashville, Athens, GA, Nashville, Lexington, KY, Fayetteville, AR, Columbia, MO, Nashville, Nashville, and Houston, TX. When Thome played for Columbia, he played 4 games in NYC, 3 more games in New York State, a game in NJ and NH, and Yale in New Haven, CT. I think the 2 yard difference in average is explained well enough. I can't find how many punts Thome put inside the 20 for Columbia.

I see no less than 8 punters in the SEC who averaged over 44 yards per punt. Looking at those eight guys:

Corey Fatony (MO) 24 punts inside the 20 and netted 39.4 on a 4-4 team. He had 23, 25, 21 and 24 punts inside the 20 in his 4 seasons. Now he's a grad student.
Braden Mann TX A&M (5-3) 51 gross, 44.7 net, 19 inside the 20 2018
Braden Mann TX A & M 47.7, 40 net, 26 inside the 20 2019.
Tommy Townsend* FL 24 and 20 inside the 20 2018/2019
Joseph Charlton* SC - 16 and 28 inside the 20
Jake Carmada GA 25 punts inside the 20, 46.8 average Soph.
Jake Carmada GA 15 inside the 20 in 6 games so far, 48.6 Av Jr.

I'm not so sure that 19 punts inside the twenty is that unusual but it has to be a pretty good number.

Darren Rizzi has his kicker at 18/19. The punter, Morstead, has a gross of 41.5 and a net of 39.5 with 14 punts (46.5%) inside the 20 yard line, and just a 3.6 yard average allowed on punt returns. Only 9 of 30 have been returned and those 9 went for just 32 yards total. JK Scott has a gross of 45.5, a net of 35.6, 9 of his 27 punts were inside the 20 (33%), 11 of his 27 were returned for a whopping 189 yards and a TD, a 17.18 yard average! Yikes!! Even without the 91 yard TD return, Scott would be at 10 returns for 98 yards, a healthy 9.8 yards per returned punt. Whether it is Scott's fault or the coverage unit, ultimately it is on Menenga. To be fair, the coverage unit allowed over 10 yds/PR in 2018, and 8.96 in 2019. No improvement under Menenga at all.

The NO kickoff returners are averaging 26.0 yards per return. Even the 6 kickoffs main KR Deonte Harris didn't return were returned for a 20.83 yard average. New Orleans is allowing opposing KR to average just 17.69 yards. Harris's PR average has increased from 9.4 yds/punt to 12.8 this year.

GB has kicked off 39 times with 30 touchbacks. Crosby is averaging a career high (by a large margin) 65.1 yards per kickoff. Of the 9 that were returned, they averaged 25.33 yards per return. That's not good and it is worse that 2019's 24.2, and not far off from 2018's 25.97. Yes, we're in Zook territory.

Townsend and Charlton are the main punters for KC and Carolina - both averaging over 47 yards/punt as pros.

Menenga's punt returner have averaged 11 yards per punt. That's good. The kickoff returners averaged 19.64, decidedly pedestrian, and the team allowed a 4.9 yard average for the opponents punt returners.

Rizzi was a veteran and proven top ST Coordinator. It is possible that Rizzi didn't want to coach in a cold weather city and/or used GB as a negotiating tool. Tom Silverstein reports otherwise. Zach Kruse suggested that Russ Ball was the financial impediment and that supposedly Murphy eventually okayed Rizzi's salary demands. Our own Aaron Nagler on his podcast indicated with 100% certainty that money was not the reason Rizzi wasn't hired.

Menenga was the asst. under Chris Tabor in CLE (now in CHI 2018 to present). Tabor is a respected ST Coordinator from the Dave Toub coaching tree. Menenga was a coordinator for one year, and that was at Vanderbilt. Promoted to his level of incompetence? I guess we can give him yet another year.

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NickPerry's picture

November 19, 2020 at 05:38 am

OMG...NEGATIVE 8 yards in punts returns after 12 weeks!!! Sorry but that's just awful. Does anything really need to be said after that?

As far as Rizzo maybe you're right, maybe not. But IMO Murphy has his hands in the cookie dough a little too much for my taste. Personally I think Murphy had done a pretty good job in GB, BUT I don't want him involved in player personnel decisions. Not even a voice.

Under Wolf and then Thomson the Green Bay GM had full control over player personnel. Does it feel or seem Gutekunst has the same? THIS is where I have a problem with Murphy.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:18 am

Regarding pursuit, at least one player who does it with great hustle is Rashan Gary. There have been many plays where Gary has pursued the ball carrier to make a tackle. Perhaps not always horizontally across the line as Al refers to, but definitely down the field. Even if he does not make the ultimate tackle, Gary can be seen aggressively hustling after the ball carrier.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:54 am

He hustles on about 50% of the plays. He also stands around a lot. Just like college.

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PF4L's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:53 am

Sometimes playing with "hustle", is correlated with..... has a player gotten paid yet? (unfortunately).
Think Nick Perry...contract year..11 sacks.

Think Randall Cobb...contract year...1,287 yards and 12 TD's.

Both of those players...never got close to those numbers, after getting paid.

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:12 am

Remember also that Nick Perry's 11 sack year was his fifth year AFTER his fifth year option had been declined. So it was really his second contract year...and his first contract year he had 3.5 sacks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 18, 2020 at 01:44 pm

Agreed on Gary. Clark too. Greene seems very active.

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PackfanNY's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:34 am

Thanks Al. A fair breakdown of what we are seeing.

Hard to be negative when you win but I hope the coaching staff is taking a similar approach. This was a game that the Packers should have won. No offense to the Jags but they are 1-8 for a reason.

The proof comes Sunday. Nationally televised game. The Packers are heading into a game they will probably be the underdog in. On the road, tough Colts team. They are good on defense and can RUN the ball. Physical team.

This can’t be a no show week or the Packers will lose big. I would call this a measuring stick game. No excuses about not being physically or mentally ready. Looking forward to Sunday.

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PeteK's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:10 am

Absolutely , I know it's an out of conference game, but we're healthy and should remember what Rivers did to us last season.

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Minniman's picture

November 18, 2020 at 01:54 pm

Agree, with Lazard coming back off IR and the likelihood that Alexander and King will be active, this is about as ‘full strength’ as the packers are going to get this year

The relatively soft strength of schedule for the packers this year is also well known.

Time for a statement game boys.

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MemphoMike's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:38 am

Great stuff, Al! The final line in your "Lack of Pursuit Part I" comments caught my attention. Specifically, in questioning if Lowry and Lancaster lack of movement is to purposefully "keep the linebackers clean".

Am I right....does this also describe what Blake Martinez said in his closing interview last year. I recall he said something like his responsibilty was not to attack but rather to "clean up" behind the DL......it was met with a "he's just bitter bc he not being re-signed/he's not a playmaking LB" reaction from Packer Nation. I'm beginning to think Blake was being truthful and gave us a peak behind the curtain of Coach P's Defensive Line Philosphy .....or it's further exposing the obvious limitations of two very mediocre players in Lowery and Lancaster.....

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:35 am

Pettine is holding a lot of talent back with that scheme. Martin needs to be on the field. Winn should be in the rotation. Lowry's snap counts should be limited to passing downs. Lancaster is a NT, period.

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:41 am

I didn't see the game but I read many of the CHTV articles and comments. Saw the usual critiques of our defense and inconsistent play, as well as the defenders of "isn't winning good enough". It was Matt Lafleur's post game press conference that really got my attention. He knows that this team is playing sloppy, uninspired ball and he wasn't afraid to call it out. Not sure what more to say about this average team without sounding ungrateful. Glad that Al shines his spotlight and recognizes the "polluted mindset"

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Packer_Fan's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:48 am

Agree on the soft defense. They don't hit hard, they don't play down hill and look to stack the line and don't pursue much. I think that is taught.

Yesterday you showed Rodgers passing us MVS short on one third down and then having to throw the ball away. That may be a tendency from years past. This offense goes when Rodgers goes to the short game and then once in a while take a deep shot. Its not the other way around. And going five wide and having most of the routes be long routes has been troublesome. And painfully so given the McCarthy years.

And running on third and one at the end of the game was predictably stuffed. The running game had never worked much all game. Why rely on it now when a first down would have put the game away. Too critical to go predictable. Earlier in the season they were not predictable in these situations.

These are all fixable. Perhaps not the defense and the downhill play.

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Turophile's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:54 am

There are certain 'triggers' that fans fall back on (most especially after a loss) and playing soft is a common one. Another example is blaming the DC when they go prevent defense (even if the result is a win). A criticism often levelled at a team after a loss, is that they were not trying hard. Many fans also find it hard to tell the difference between a failure by players to execute and poor game-planning by the coaches (I struggle with that one myself). What I'm getting at here is that it can be tricky to find the root cause of a problem.

While it is all too easy to trot out some of these tropes without bothering to think it out, or even watching the game again to see if it is true, there can also be some truth in these claims. I do think Jersey Al has a point about the Packers being a bit soft on defense. I don't want to see it tilt too far the other way, because an overly emotional defense tends to be an undisciplined and sloppy one, with too much freelancing of the foolish variety, but a gentle tilt towards a tougher defense is fine.

I've always thought of the Packers as a pretty clean and professional team (Chuck Cecil and Wayne Simmons were a very long time ago and in a different era), but that 'clean' professional attitude can often lead to being a bit soft if you aren't very careful. Playing clean but hard is not an easy thing to achieve. I remember it being said just how hard Reggie White could hit you, but he wasn't even close to an overly-emotional undisciplined player, his hits were fair................but OUCH !

If you want to see a change, then it comes first from the choice of coaches and how they coach. They (mostly the HC and coordinators) will be talking to the GM about the kind of players that they want, which should affect GMs choices............which finally feeds into what you see from players on the field. Many think it's all about the players (which is at least a part of it), but it STARTS with coaches coaching.

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PeteK's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:54 am

DL just catch blocks instead of shedding. I wanted Hamilton or Fotu (injured) which would have helped, even a sack of potatoes can at least create a pile. Let's be honest , we should be able to gain a yard on third down against a poor D with a supposedly top rated O line and save the creativity for the important games.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:42 am

They ran to the right side, not the left. Did not leverage to their strength. I would play-action and hit the TE. A play most of the NFL offenses have mastered.
No doubt, the Mc Carthy "mystique" was polluting some of these play calls.

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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:56 am

Hustle is a coaching phenomenon. Let’s face it, the Packers have come out flat twice in all phases in the past three games. Teams that have that problem aren’t going to be full of hustle. There appears to be a problem here. Coaches that can’t motivate dont generally thrive. Is LaFleur too close to his players? Is the emphasis on being clever not on being determined? Are his coaches letting him down?

If this continues, it may become a bigger problem than run defense. Let’s see if the situation improves.

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:23 am

...Is LaFleur too close to his players?...

This is a good question. I was glad to see him call out the uninspired play after the Jags game. I doubt that he can do much about the talent gaps on this team but he can hold coaches and players accountable for contributing factors such as practice and effort.

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marpag1's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:45 am

LaFleur is 21-6 as an NFL head coach.

Does someone have evidence or reason to believe that LaFleur is "too close" to his players? Are we just assuming that LaFleur is a young guy and not particularly ugly and therefore he must be "soft?" Can it be proven that "players' coaches" will always have teams that are lazy, unmotivated and lacking in toughness?

21-6.

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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:41 am

No proof, just wondering how we ended up coming our noticeably flat 2 weeks out of 3. Where there is a symptom there is a cause. What that cause is I don’t know, but it needs to be fixed.

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:13 am

How many "flat" weeks did they have in 2019? They played a bunch of games in 2019 that looked like the Jax game this season.

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Lphill's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:56 am

Al if you noticed on film on run downs for the Jags which was often they had a tight end on each side for blocking, the Packers countered with 3 d lineman , 2 inside linebackers and the Smiths lined up wide on the outside and the safeties back deep, so basically 7 blockers against 5 defenders , so please tell me how this is effective for stopping a run between the tackles?

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PeteK's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:19 am

You still have to protect for a possible play-action, but on my count it was seven on seven. It brings us back to not being able to shed blocks or at least create a stalemate.I watched Preston on a few plays Sun and many times he just took a hard rush to the outside which created a natural running lane.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:44 am

He watched a lot of Clay's film.

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PeteK's picture

November 18, 2020 at 03:58 pm

However, Clay had the quickness to close ground and make the tackle , similar to the fumble he caused in the SB.

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Minniman's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:28 pm

‘Young’ Clay Matthew’s, yes.

Older, post Aljazeera Clay Matthew’s who lost a 1/2 step and the upper body strength to swim-move through a tackle would get redirected out into the ‘scenic way’ way too many times.

Go back and have a look at those 49ers games, it actually became a weakness of his.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:16 pm

That is the play style I was referencing. When he started to run the line and got caught out of position with the over-run. Teams would blast past him off tackle on the edge. P. Smith showed this crash and whiff 2-3 time vs the Jags. If these dudes resist holding the edge, try another guy at that spot.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:58 am

This is normally my favorite article of the week. This may be my favorite of all time.

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Guam's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:15 am

Not sure I agree with your assessment of the 2020 draft Al. To me the critical question was not about which player could have been selected than what is the better drafting philosophy with an aging HOF QB. I have a hard time accepting not "going for it" with Rodgers as opposed to Gute's choice of drafting for "after Rodgers". I don't particularly care if the Packers had drafted a WR or IDL or ILB with the first and fourth round choices they spent on Love. Any of those choices would have contributed more to this season than Love who will never see the field this year or next year.

Would those extra two picks have made a significant difference in 2020? IDK. But I do know they at least had the potential to make a difference which Love doesn't. And it would be sad if those two draft picks actually were the difference between a SB win or not.

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:38 am

I agree Guam. I was not a fan of the draft approach for various reason - the biggest of which was not helping this team win sooner rather than later. At this point, Jon Runyan may be the best pick. I still see a lot of Ted Thompson at work here and I still see a team with the same gaps.

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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:46 am

I’d go with Martin, but all of the later picks have shown some promise absent Stepaniak, who was picked to redshirt.

I wish we hadn’t lost Deguara and I wish we’d had Dillon last week. Deguara I think was intended to add a dimension and got a lot of playing time.

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Archie's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:55 am

'....Gute's choice of drafting for "after Rodgers".

If Gute told you that Rodgers has one more year in GB (2021), you might think this was an entirely logical draft. The structuring of the recent Bak and KC extensions suggest the same thing. 2022 is the first year that GB can get out of AR's contract while saving considerable money. And if he keeps playing well, they will likely get a handsome trade offer as well.

So It's very obvious when you stop to think about it, the Pack FO chose a smooth transition rather than to go all-in for a SB now i.e., Rodgers is not here for much longer so enjoy him while you can.

Too bad for GBP fans. But good for ML and the front office, who figure to reap big time pay raises in their next contracts just like MM/TT. The difference is MM/TT parlayed their SB win into riches, whereas this group will do it w/o a SB appearance. Now maybe down the road, if Love pans out, we may see another SB but will we still be alive to enjoy it?

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Guam's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:16 am

Good points Archie and I would have agreed with you about Gute's obvious philosophy until he signed Bahk to a big, four year deal. Why do you sign an older, pass protecting LT to a long term deal if your soon to be QB is young and fleet of foot (think Lamar Jackson or Kylar Murray)? You need an LT like Bahk only if you are going to keep Rodgers.

I just can't seem to get a good read on Gute's philosophy and am frustrated by that. Or maybe Gute's philosophy is just that inconsistent.

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:25 am

I agree. The inconsistent messaging in the moves made is maddening. I would argue that the Packers were backed into a corner on Bakhtiari--and will be with Davante Adams: there's no clear heir at LT (or at lead WR), and they've leveraged too many needs into the draft to bank on finding a plug and play guy this offseason. Draft analysis shows that guys like Bakhtiari--elite LT who were NOT drafted on day 1--are anomalies. None of Turner, Jenkins, or Wagner are the long term solution. I don't think they really had any choice but to sign Bakhtiari, and they've structured a deal with a big, down-the-road hit, but lots of money in roster bonuses.

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/david-bakhtiari-12390/

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 18, 2020 at 02:31 pm

Guaranteeing money two years out is really out of character for GB, but probably Covid/Cap related. Nothing up on OTC yet but this is in line with Joel Cory's tweet on cash flow and another on $30M in roster bonuses in the first three years and the $30M signing bonus.

Whatever the philosophy is, in very limited samples Deguara, Martin and Runyan look like they can play and the game doesn't look too big for Scott. I haven't really watched Garvin much for some reason. A couple of posters who are smarter than I am like Dillon a lot. It might turn out to be a decent draft though the jury is obviously still out. 3 starters out of each draft, and better if one or two turn out to be plus players.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:12 am

With the # 30 the best option was Edwards-Hillaire and Andy Reid is using him all three downs. He is as dynamic as A. Jones, so who gets the reps? A move toward him would have opened the two spot away from Dillon to a guy like Willie Gay to fill the ILB, but they are allergic to bad-asses in Packertown and Spags is running a 4-3/4-2 letting his guys play downfield, not putting a CB in a run stop gap. The other option was Higgins. Would he have gone to the #2 spot right away? Winfield was the blue chip guy to move on, but they paid Amos. As AL stated none of the D line group drafted high are doing anything and that verifies the assessments noted at mock draft time. Gutedkunst had to get an extra DT from last year's deep pool of free agents. He let his feet stay in the cement, probably following the outline for the D prescribed by Pettine and his two down linemen scam. Cannot argue about Deguara. He will be a solid player. MArtin and Runyan saved his draft. His best move was signing Krys Barnes right away. A guy dis-respected by the league's coven of scouts and pro evaluators? BG would have had to move up to # 20 to beat out Philly for Reagor , then Jefferson to the queens. Murray was scooped up and his outlier target, Aiyuk was plucked by Lynch in a sell off to Spielman. Love was the best Value remaining on the board. Queen can move, but big bad Bill ran guard s on him all day last Sunday. I'll stick with Martin inside.

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:18 am

It was clear from the start of FA that this was not an all-in year. No meaningful cap juggling to clear room for FAs, no targeted signings of higher-end vets, no re-signing of key players...we got Wagner and Kirksey, two mid-lower tier depth/stopgap FAs on two year deals that essentially structure as one-year deals. Wagner never made it out of camp as any more than a depth piece.

The draft brought more of the same: drafting complementary pieces (Dillon), developmental players at QB/OL/LB, and longer-term projects (Deguara, Scott, Garvin). We can quibble over those groupings, but the bottom line is that a team in all-in mode would likely have bottled up picks to move up for impact rookies at immediate positions of need, or traded away picks for vets who could step in and make the team better now.

After the 2019 off-season brought in the Smiths, Amos, and Turner, and the draft featured a trade-up for Savage, it was reasonable to believe that this team was all-in on 2020 and we'd see aggressive moves this past off-season. That never happened, and it leads one to wonder what the actual plan was. I think the signing of Bakhtiari and the structuring of his deal points to what was said above: this team is transitioning to life after ARod, and hoping he has enough pieces in the now to make some noise while it happens.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:30 am

BIG HITS?:

If you want big hits you have to draft big hitters. Plain and simple. One of the biggest positions for heavy hitters is ILB. Martin appears to be one of the guys that can be a heavy hitter. He has a bit of Desmond Bishop to him. But it will take him a little while to feel more comfortable playing. He has only played in 3 games so far.

Punt Return TD:

It was pretty easy to see that the coverage did a horrible job. I never did check it out, but were there substitutions in there? Were there some guys playing that, that don't normally play?

Lack of Pursuit:
The Packers need to invest in DL. If they want to make a deep play off run they really need to find their next Howard Green. Lowry might be better as a 4-3 DE. He gets washed out to much on the inside. Lancaster is basically a NT only. He will take on the blocks on the OC and/or OG and that is it. I honestly don't get why he gets as much playing time as he does.
Adams deserves a lot more playing time. I don't get why he gets little playing time compared to Lancaster and Lowry.

Lack of Pursuit, Part 2:
The mindset starts with the leaders. The top leader of the defense continuously wants to play a soft defense. Doesn't like to blitz and likes to run a lot of 3 man lines when its 3rd and long. Infact they called a timeout on the 4th and 26 to go from a 3 DL to a 4 DL. Was that LaFleur that made that decision?

Game Plan:
I didn't get the vibes of a McCarthy ran offense. I mostly got the vibes of an offense that was just off. Rodgers missed some throws that would have been first downs. Adams dropped at least 2 passes, 1 for sure would have been a first down. And he has the fumble on a huge gain. There was just a lot of missed opportunities.
Lets be honest. Its a good thing the defense only gave up 13 points in this game. Had they given up more, I'm not sure we would have won this game.

2020 NFL Draft:
I wanted a WR and/or a LB with the first pick. When it got to pick 20 and Murray, Queen, Jefferson, Aiyuk, Pittman were on the board I felt we had a chance to come away with one of them. Then quickly 3 of them went and we traded up. When we traded up I thought it was maybe for Queen. Just seemed like the top player on the board at the time. And they took Love, which lets be honest. If he is the next Rodgers, then it is the best move we could have made. We will see in the future how that works out.
The WR that I thought they were going after was Pittman. I just felt he was going to fit into our offense really well, and was the body style that they have been going after of late.

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Archie's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:02 am

Good points all.

I think Adams and Lowry are gone after this year. Opens space for two day1/day2 type DL. Leaves one pick for WR or CB.

I also think Amos and P Smith may see their contacts terminated unless they are willing to take big pay cuts.

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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:46 am

Doubt Amos or Smith go. The packers need to change their DL front. They need more beef up front freeing up Clarke to move around. Pettine is no different then Capers.. He's just got a better secondary.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Move them out.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:27 am

Thanks,

I can definitely see Lowry being let go. Next year he is set to make 6.3 million and that next year 7.3. I don't know what the dead $ would be if they released him, but I could see him being let go.

I could see them possibly resigning Adams to a small contract. But we will see. He has played well this year when he has been on the field. Problem is he hasn't been on the field enough.

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PeteK's picture

November 18, 2020 at 04:09 pm

Lowry 3 mill dead cap, 4.8 mill savings .

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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2020 at 09:38 am

Big Hits- The safeties and LBs were the key to them. ( Since 2010- No. ). Punt return - Being soft just isn't on the DL! Lack of pursuit. Lowrey! Bench him. LanCaster does not use his pads. Adams takes plays off. KeKe is to light. I just don't think any of these guys are GOOD ENOUGH! Part 2- The LBs. They play like Safeties, and not LBs. They just don't diagnose the plays soon enough. Leading to bad angels and giving the RB yards. game plan- Was don't get hurt. They all played like it. And when they do. Rodgers goes deep. 2020 draft. Yes- Wr was the right call to win the draft. Love wasn't. Taking the BPA is the key to success. Not fit. Why try to out think it. I hate to bring up Watt. But why can't the packers take the guy who Loves to play football? Bgs job was to finish the building of this Defense. He didn't!

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:02 am

...I just don't think any of these guys are GOOD ENOUGH!...

Pretty hard to scheme around that fundamental truth. You play a 3-4 where the big bodies muddy-up the trench and our guys aren't even in the trench. At least two years until this gets rectified - if - the front office knows what to look for.

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Lare's picture

November 18, 2020 at 12:15 pm

IMO, you're never going to see smash-mouth, good defensive football in Green Bay as long as Gutekunst & Pettine are making the decisions.

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PeteK's picture

November 18, 2020 at 04:01 pm

Even that method is not fool proof, Gary was the best player available.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:24 am

AL,
The list of DL guys that haven't made an impact is missing the point of why, less Davon Hamilton. Are they stuck behind solid starters or on teams that have depth and can wait patiently for them to grow and are they more specific run stoppers, which is the attribute GB needs in a DL guy.

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JerseyAl's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:36 am

That's a fair point. There just isn't enough time in my day to investigate all of those guys. If someone else wants to do it, I'd be curious to know...

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:45 am

Al,
If you post the list of guys you spoke about, I'll look into it as best I can.

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JerseyAl's picture

November 18, 2020 at 12:42 pm

ok.

Ross Blacklock, Houston
Raekwon Davis, Miami
Justin Madubuike, Baltimore
Davon Hamilton, Jacksonville
Neville Gallimore, Dallas
Jordan Elliot, Cleveland
McTelvin Agim, Denver
Leki Fotu, Arizona (my pre-draft choice)

The last two went in the early fourth, so they could have been our third-round pick. Snap counts in addition to stats would be very useful.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 18, 2020 at 02:42 pm

After a quick look and for a comparison, I used the top three Packers DL for Snap counts, Games, Tackles, Asst, Pdef, Sack

Player Snaps Gms Tac Asst Pdef Sack
Lowry 292 9 7 8 1 1
Clark 176 6 15 5
Keke 243 9 12 7 1

Davis 205 9 18 11
Blacklock 116 6 4 2
Gallimore 156 7 9 6
Madubuike 97 5 10 5
Fotu 154 6 2 3
Agim 45 5 2 3 1

Considering a few of these teams have good defenses and starters, the snaps and results , a couple for sure and a couple with likely appear to have made an impact of some nature when compared to Lowry, equal or better than Keke, based on stat comparisons, which you need to filter the team and players they play with in games. This is why film watch is an absolute must. But most here live in a stat world.

I hope it is readable as it appears I can't post a picture here and the numbers won't stay in the columns.

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JerseyAl's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:11 pm

The main thing that stands out to me is Keke with five more tackles than Lowry in 50 less snaps. Otherwise, Raekwon Davis is the only one making an impact. He was drafted 56th, six spots before the Packers took AJ Dillon.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:23 pm

With a snap count difference of 90-120 with each compared to Keke, each would have better stats if all had the same snap count. By that measure, anyone of these guys would have a greater impact that Keke. In comparison to any other DL on GB, it would be a no-contest that any of these 6 would probably alter the defense to the better from a stat view. What Pettine would do with these guys is of course an unknown and the likely plausible scenario is he'd find a way to negate any positives.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:34 pm

I'll add this also. How can you say Madubuike wouldn't be more of an impact when his tackles and asst number are near equal to Keke with 150 less snaps, and he'd likely have 2.5 times the numbers of Keke when reaching equal snap counts. The impact he is making in Balt may be minimal because of the strength of their starters, but his numbers for 5 games are huge compared to what we have and that speaks huge impact for GB. You may want to revisit the numbers again.

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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:53 am

We also need to play run stoppers and use disruptive types in the 3 more than OLBs. Just seems like Pettine is averse to doing that. So that remedy requires a new DC to be viable.

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scullyitsme's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:30 am

We all liked Pettine when he was hired because he had the look of an aggressive, maybe even rah rah, type of guy we all wanted after capers. Turns out looks are deceiving. Pettine has been just as cerebral and conservative as capers ever was. That’s why defensively we look so similar. You just have to look at Zimmer coming in and kicking our butt or Jacksonville almost kicking our butt( for some reason the head coach decided they where running all over us so he should start throwing with a rookie qb, down 4 with 1:30 left). They have less talent, better coaching, period. Pettine isn’t the answer

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Lphill's picture

November 18, 2020 at 12:22 pm

So the Packers drafted for the future thinking Rodgers had nothing left in the tank and here is Rodgers having a pro bowl season as the picks watch from the sidelines. now just imagine had they drafted A receiver and either a D lineman or inside linebacker, major miscalculation by the front office, Favre and Rodgers have one ring because in both cases management failed to surround them with talent, we wait for draft and develop while every year with Brady the Patriots did what was needed to win today , not tomorrow.

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Turophile's picture

November 18, 2020 at 05:19 pm

This is just dumb. You need to let things play out before you call "Failure !" on the picks.

As for Rodgers having nothing left in the tank, I think it VERY unlikely Rodgers is gone before at least 2022, meaning he has at least two more years (this year and next year) as a starter. Would he still look good starting in 2022 ? Maybe. I don't really know when Father Time catches him up and neither do you. The Packers conceived a plan for their future and executed it................so yet again, let's wait and see how it plays out.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Lack of pursuit, softness, etc. Some guys really love tackling, and some don’t. Draft tacklers. It’s more important than RAS.

Our 2020 draft will be key figures in a top offense in few years.

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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2020 at 01:20 pm

Jellyfish

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Packers0808's picture

November 18, 2020 at 04:06 pm

Packer D has little to no enthusiasm it almost seems week to week except in occasional spurts! The dire for improvement seems to be of no great interest and rely on the offense to score big leads!

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Qoojo's picture

November 18, 2020 at 08:14 pm

The soft defense is particularly striking if you happen to catch one of those throw back games and see the defense from 94, 95, 96. The LBs had a meanness that you just don't see at any point in the past 20 years except for brief flashes.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2020 at 10:34 pm

RIP, Wayne Simmons

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