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Confessions of a Polluted Mindset: A Packers Brain Drain

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Confessions of a Polluted Mindset: A Packers Brain Drain

Matt LaFleur: There is little doubt in my mind - the fact that LaFleur had Mike Pettine on his short list of potential DCs accelerated his ascension to the top of the Packers' list. 

MM Part 2: There are so many similarities between this hire and the Packers' hire of McCarthy back in 2006. Young offensive coach, not an obvious choice among a large pool of potential candidates, first-time head coach, only one interview needed, history of working with quarterbacks and other intangibles.

Way too early draft wants: won't get into specific players yet, but with the first four picks, I'd love to see an edge rusher (preferably #1), a guard or tackle, a safety, and a TE. Speaking of the draft, the 2019 CHTV Draft Guide project has been launched - which means I will have even less of a life than usual for the next few months. So many people put so much work into it...

Going to the Dogs: Here's a quote from Jets safety Jamal Adams after Todd Bowles was fired: " We have a lot of talent on the team, but we don't have a lot of dogs on the team. We just don't." This is exactly how I've felt about this Packers team the last few years. Some talented players, but not enough warriors that scare the opposition. Gute has his work cut out for him.

Philbin: Nothing against nice guy Joe Philbin, but I want no connections to McCarthy's offense on this staff. I want a clean slate.

More LaFleur: I'm not going to pretend to have known a lot about Matt LaFluer before he was hired. But I did know he was the QB coach when Matt Ryan had his MVP year (and crushed the Packers in the playoffs) and he ewas the OC when Jared Goff went from draft bust status to a very good NFL QB.

Back Shoulder Throws: I'm officially done with TV announcers lauding great back shoulder throws anytime a receiver turns to make an adjustment on an inaccurate throw. If they can't tell when it was planned versus an inaccurate throw...

__________________________

"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.  

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (117) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Savage57's picture

I get the clean slate desire on offense. If you're bringing in fresh ingredients to make the meal, why use stale garlic?

In that same vein, I'd like to see the Packers shed the QB coach and pass game coordinator on that side of the ball.

There are a lot of people who think Joe Whitt, Jr. is something special as a DB's coach, but for several years running that unit has been a liability exposed despite investments to prevent that. I'd like to see a new voice and approach to how the Packers secondary approaches defending the pass, including things like, oh, I don't know, looking for the ball once in a while.

splitpea1's picture

And how about being in the right position and tackling?

Rossonero's picture

The "investments" included a converted basketball player (Quentin Rollins) and a safety who was forced to play CB and turned into a locker room cancer (Damarious Randall).

Joe Whitt has worked miracles for years with duct tape and boogers. His #1 CB during our 2016 playoff run was none other than LaDarius freaking Gunter.

Whitt needs to stay. He actually has some better resources now with Alexander and Jackson, and probably will get a safety in the first three rounds in this upcoming draft.

packerbackerjim's picture

I have to vehemently disagree with you. What miracle? You think Gunter did well? Great effort, but a real plodder. If players didn’t already come to GB with inherent skills, they weren’t developed under Whitt’s tutelage.

HankScorpio's picture

"What miracle? You think Gunter did well? Great effort, but a real plodder. If players didn’t already come to GB with inherent skills, they weren’t developed under Whitt’s tutelage."

That's right. Gunter was a plodder that filled the CB1 role on a team that played in the NFC CG. That's the miracle. He didn't have much talent at all but somehow came reasonably close to getting the job done. Whitt wasn't going to make him run faster. That's out of his hands.

Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hawyard, Micah Hyde and Davon House all parlayed their time under Whitt into millions on their 2nd contract. I don't place the blame for letting Hayward and Hyde getting away at Whitt's feet. That was Capers not understanding what he had.

Charles Woodson revived his career under Whitt. There was literally one team that wanted him to play CB. If there had been 2, he never would have signed in GB. From that low, he became DPoY while playing for Whitt. Certainly Capers deserves some credit for using him correctly. But it was Whitt that took him from that low to a position where Capers could use him to do anything

Pat Lee (2nd), Brandon Underwood (6th), Demetri Goodson (6th), Rollins (2nd) and Randall (1st) were the others drafted since Whitt was hired. I'm not going to make excuses for the failures. He did fail with 3 premium picks, including 2 very recent ones. So I get why people would want to move on. But there is no doubt that he has some significant success stories on his resume.

Rak47's picture

Whitt has helped develop Tramon, Sam Shields, and done well as Rossonero said with boogers and tape. As to the secondary's overall performance this past year they played well ranking 7th in passing defense with some talent and a coordinator who could scheme pressure. Two things can be truly said of Whitt's time while TT was GM and Capers was DC, and that is TT gave them shit to work with and Capers was a has been. No matter how much you love Shepherds pie it not going to be edible using horse manure as a filling instead of beef. Whitt has always been good at preparing players to play and once he got a bit of talent to work with it showed even though there were tons of injuries to the secondary this year.

packerbackerjim's picture

Heyward has been way better since leaving GB. Shields played at same high level since they plugged him in by default. How about Hyde? He flashed at GB, all-pro at Buffalo.

Bad angles abounded, miscommunications between CBs and safeties we’re common. WRs running by Randall on the way for TDS was a regular occurrence. Despite throwing numerous draft picks at the problem it remained a problem. Finally this year some promise finally emerged, but no way was it satisfactory.

Rak47's picture

And you haven't seen a quarter of all that since Capers was fired Jim. Nice to see you payed attention before this season, so you must have obviously seen the difference in schemes and results this year, correct? After all Capers schemes is based in stopping the run and Pettines is based in stopping the pass. Hayward and Hyde benefitted from a scheme switch not because they left Joe Whitt.

packerbackerjim's picture

You did read my last sentence right?

Jonathan Spader's picture

Hayward had 6 int in his rookie year with GB. In 2018 he had 0 after 7 in 2017. He had some down years in GB when he was injured. He didn't magically become better because he left. Hyde was good in his time with GB as a punt returner, safety, and slot cornerback. GB was just too injured to leave him in 1 place and give a better supporting cast.

packerbackerjim's picture

Hayward got better because he had better coaches to perfect his talent. I’m not sure your point about Hyde is helpful to your case. He was used as a Swiss Army knife, goes to Buffalo and All-Pro play ensued.

Rak47's picture

That is partially true in a sense Jim. Hayward's rookie year he played exclusively outside for the Packers. After his successful rookie campaign Capers got the bright idea to move him to the "star" position in his defense which was the slot position. They pigeon holed him there til he left and the Chargers moved him back outside where he immediately paid dividends. So in a sense he did get better coaching in a coordinator who actually recognized his skill set. Joe Whitt did not make the call the stick Casey Hayward in the slot. Nor was it his call to play Hyde at CB, it was just his job to get him ready and he did as Hyde played well wherever they played him. And Hayward just didn't fit well in Capers slot/star position, he's a much much better outside corner.

holmesmd's picture

Liability exposed? Really? When the opposing QB has 6 seconds to throw the ball, that’s pretty rough on the cover guys. Shields, Williams, Hayward, Woodson, Randall, King, Jackson, and Alexander have all been pretty solid and were all impacted by Joe Whitt. I’ll mention Pipkens in that group as well, in addition to Gunter & House. He’s a very good coach IMO. It’s not his fault that his players had to be MENSA Members to play Caper’s schemes. Joe Whitt is a great position coach and will be a DC in the next year or 2 if he wants to. Joe Whitt is not part of the problem

packerbackerjim's picture

Did that time afforded the opposing QB affect their ability to tackle? I’ve never seen such timid play. No wonder shoulder injuries occur, throwing their body in front of the player instead of tackling. I will trust Pettine to confer with LaFleur on which assistant coaches will be retained.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"I'm not going to pretend to have known a lot about Matt LaFluer"

Wilde kept bring him up as intriguing, but never I never caught him say exactly why. So, I wnet and looked, but I kept getting hung up on that 27th ish offensive ranking and going back to Mac2.0 and the Saints boys. But now looking where that offense ended up and how they hung one on the Patroits and then hearing LaFleur talk I think I get why they where so enamered.

dobber's picture

"Philbin: Nothing against nice guy Joe Philbin, but I want no connections to McCarthy's offense on this staff. I want a clean slate."

Yep. LaF's specialty is offense. He should have no problem assembling his own offensive crew to support his planned scheme and tendencies. He shouldn't try to bend an 'out-of-place' coach to try to match what he does. Keeping Philbin is nothing more than a nod to placating #12. Be your own guy, LaF, do your own thing, and don't look back.

Let...Philbin...go...

Razer's picture

Painting Philbin with McCarthy's brush is natural. Fresh start is our theme here. But good coaches who teach and communicate well are valuable resources. LaFleur will introduce new concepts and will need guys who get those messages across. Does discounting Philbin in favor of some 'young' new guy get us ahead? Philbin can help LaFleur on many fronts and allow our new HC a distraction free (reduced) path to revamping this offense.

dobber's picture

But who is ultimately going to be responsible for the offense? Sure, the buck stops with LaF, but the OC (and position coaches) is the one installing the O and putting together game plans, no? I'd rather have someone who cut their teeth on the principles I want to see run in my offense than having to take Philbin and teach him what I want done (OK, that might be a little strong) so he can teach it to everyone else.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Razor said: “But good coaches who teach and communicate well are valuable resources.“

I agree with your point, Razer; however, from what we saw from the Packers’ offense this season, are we sure Philbin gives the team these qualities?

Razer's picture

Not being in the room makes it difficult to know Philbin's role. Mike McCarthy versus Aaron Rodgers was the biggest issue. Mike's inability to incorporate a run game, use his TEs and generally update his play calling was his undoing. Philbin took over when the season was lost. Not sure we saw much beyond a pissing match and hanging.

fastmoving's picture

Im for Philbin to stay 100%. and for the clean slate stuff. What does that mean? After the first day the slate is not clean anymore, anyway. I got that people want to start fresh, but thats just a feel good phrase. One way or another, nobody knows what works out better. But I see more upside than problems with Philbin

CheesyTex's picture

How about Philbin in some role other than OC? IMO he was an excellent O Line coach, and he does relate well to the players.

Probably dreaming that he would step down vs. outside opportunities, but he does like GB.

Skip greenBayless's picture

How about tour guide at Lambeau? Philbin would be perfect in that role.

Swigganz's picture

I'm hopeful GB will add FA help at safety and on the O-line. Come draft time, there should be some big time defensive talent that slips through the cracks available at 12.

Guam's picture

Totally agree. I think FA help at safety and RG will be available and the draft should focus on defensive help which is the deepest part of this draft class.

Jersey Al's picture

I've said this before, but more than ever, this year it has to be "best available pass rusher" with their pick. Other times their pick was in the late 20's so we ended up with the likes of Nick Perry. This year we should be able to get a legitimate stud at #12.

dobber's picture

If I'm sitting at #12 and an OL prospect of the caliber of a Quinten Nelson slides through, I have a hard time saying 'no' to that.

Guam's picture

Sorry Dobber but I am with Jersey Al on this one. I could easily pass up Nelson at #12 for a quality pass rusher. Good guards can be had in the fourth round or in free agency, but good pass rushers are much harder to come by.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Any GM who would pass at Quinton Nelson at #12 would be immediately banned from football.

r/BetterEveryLoop/comments/9wbr4y/nfl_guard_quinton_nelson_pancakes_a_man_while/

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"the caliber of a Quinten Nelson"

Um, that's like a once every 5 year OL prospect.

sheppercheeser's picture

So was Tony Maravich...

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Thanks for the Red Herring, but Nelson made 1st team All Pro his rookie season.

Coldworld's picture

If he is that good in the eyes of those who make a living making these calls he will not be there after 11 teams have picked.

The TKstinator's picture

Aka “Pistol Tony”Maravich

Helluva scorer

sheppercheeser's picture

Ooops, Tony Mandrich….

TheBigCheeze's picture

you know....you didn't have to re-post....there is an "edit" option....just sayin'

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Why post nonsense just once though?

Coldworld's picture

True nonsense.

stockholder's picture

Who is that stud at #12? I see no Mack. No one is going to let you have a reggie White.

HankScorpio's picture

You don't have to be the equivalent of Reggie White, or even Khalil Mack, to be worth taking at 12. I've done a fair bit of looking around at different opinions and run the fanspeak draft simulator on several dozen occasions. The 5 pass rushers I see grouped at the very top are: Bosa, Josh Allen, Jachai Polite, Brian Burns and Clellin Ferrell. Bosa is seen as the best of the bunch. The order of the other 4 is personal preference. One or more ought to be available at 12--at least that was the case in every single simulation I ran.

I suppose it is up to Gute and Co to determine if all are worthy of being #12. Or if there is someone even better available, perhaps one of the great interior DL prospects or Jonah Williams or other. If they want a pass rusher, they can get one that the Draft Industrial Complex stamps as approved. My working theory now is that edge will be the choice at 12. It's been a need for so long. It would be nice to finally get it addressed in a class that is deep with prospects and the Packers having their earliest selection since they took BJ Raji.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree with Al. But as Dobber said, an OL prospect is tempting, but it would have to be a can't miss one. Suppose that's true either way, Safety is next IMO.

Minniman's picture

With so many legitimate positional needs, the draft could go many ways.....
The other weird thing is that draft day never goes as anyone expected!

I truly think that the Packers won't get particularly focused on a position or player (outside of typical pre-draft due diligence) until the first few weeks of FA play out.

I see Gute swinging at a number of FA's this year and then reassessing things after that.

A cursory glance at the FA market and I see some interesting o-line, safety and TE options available.

Also with it reportedly being a deep EDGE and D-line draft there's a high chance that he may try FA for O-line, Safety and TE then hit the draft for Edge?

Community Guy's picture

the pass rusher.. totally agree that the Pack should get a stud.. a guy with All-Pro outlook. personally, i am in love with 3 EDGE guys.. you can probably guess who they are. i am really hoping the Duke QB, Daniel Jones, can work his stock into the top 10.. with Haskins, that would be 2 QBs in the top 10. probably all of the other top 10 draftees will be defenders. that means it is extremely likely that the top 3 EDGE guys will be gone by #12. so, there needs to be another surprise riser.. a cb, a safety and that usual over-drafted OT to sneak into the top 10 (Buffalo at #9). if the Lions don't take our EDGE guy with pick 8, i think we will get our stud.

Oppy's picture

Why do people capitalize EDGE?

No one seems to have an answer, except that other people do it.

Since '61's picture

I’m with Al. If a stud pass rusher is available we take him. Also we take an OL, a Safety, and a game break WR with our first 4 picks.
2 players on offense and 2 on defense with the first 4.
Thanks, Since ‘61

stockholder's picture

Were Fans , Not management. Thomas wants 14 mil. Collins will get close to that. Byrd broke the bank getting his. TT dumped his guards, and wouldn't over-pay them. TT passed on Watt. Gute took need last year. Don't be surprised if he does it again. I say safety rd. 1. Thompson will be his [email protected] (If he runs 4.5 he'll drop). So I see a trade down coming again. Nasir Adderly is climbing fast, fast. If he has a great senior bowl it's rd.1 Otherwise I like Rapp, Thornhill and Abram later.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Since 61,
I agree with the exception I'd take an edge rusher 1A and then OL with 1B (preferably OT).

Following that for rounds 2 - 3 - 4A - 4B I would take BPA for the following positions depending on FA:

-Edge rusher again
-OL (to some extent this would depend on Madison returning, and FA pick-up)
-Safety (need depends if Jackson takes one spot or not and Williams stays at other?) If both these happen then a DB instead of Safety.
-Believe Tonyan is answer at TE, so either TE but more likely a jitter bug/scat back type who can work out of back field, the slot, but who can also return kicks.

Coldworld's picture

Spot on except for the scat back perhaps

Since91's picture

But Al what if I was to tell you your Right Tackle for the next 8 years is available at 12???

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Teams can find RTs in the twenties and even into round 2 and 3. Pass rushing OLBs only come in round one, and generally in the top 15 or so. And I hope not to be drafting in the top 15 for the next several years. There is a chance RT Edwards, for instance, is there at #28.

Take the OLB unless the disparity in pure talent is just huge.

Lare's picture

I can see where keeping some coaches helps with team continuity, but for the most part I agree with making a clean break from the McCarthy era.

Looking back at the last two seasons I don't see any area of the team other than DL that excelled, especially when injuries occurred. And to me, good (and bad) coaching shows when backups are forced into playing.

It's probably best for LaFleur and Pettine to Just move on, if McCarthy's coaches are any good they'll get jobs pretty quickly elsewhere.

dobber's picture

"And to me, good (and bad) coaching shows when backups are forced into playing."

My question is: what if the coaching was really pretty good...it's just that the players were that bad?

Lare's picture

I think that evaluation is what's going to take up much of LaFleur & Gutekunst's time the next week or two. There's probably a number of obvious answers right off the top, it's the tweeners that they'll have to decide on one way or another.

Guam's picture

I have the same feelings Lare does about Philbin. Philbin may provide good support and continuity for LaFleur, but keeping him could also signal business as usual to an offensive unit that underperformed this year. I believe keeping Philbin will ultimately make it more difficult for LaFleur to implement change and re-energize a stale offense. Make it a clean break and find a new OC.

dobber's picture

More and more, I'm finding myself hoping that Adam Gase gets left out of this year's HC carousel and lands as the OC in GB.

Guam's picture

I like that idea!

TheBigCheeze's picture

"..... if McCarthy's coaches are any good they'll get jobs pretty quickly elsewhere."-------why should we be concerned about whether or not these coaches get jobs elsewhere?....

LeotisHarris's picture

Because they're human and probably have families depending on them?

Coldworld's picture

MM didn’t have a mean streak. Teams resemble coaches. I don’t know LaFleur’s make up, but one hope is that the core mentality culture is part of the change resulting from a new regime.

Jonathan Spader's picture

MM had a mean streak go back and watch his reaction to some of the bogus calls the refs made. It always made me think back to CHTV followers that referred to him as McPuffy. He got red in the face literally while screaming at the refs on the sideline. He just kept his mean streak pointed at the refs. Being mean isn't enough I've worked for bosses that were mean didn't motivate me as an employee just made me find another job.

MM's problem was his stubbornness, misplaced loyalty, and that he got complacent. The NFL is constantly evolving and MM didn't keep up.

dobber's picture

"ve worked for bosses that were mean didn't motivate me as an employee just made me find another job."

The 'mean' boss or 'angry' boss just wears out his/her staff if they don't focus their anger in a meaningful way.

LeotisHarris's picture

Agreed, dobber. Remember Forrest Gregg's Packers? His tough guy image and tough talk translated into cheap shots (Kenny Stills on Matt Suhey, Charles Martin on Jim McMahon) by immature players.

Dungey's Tampa Bay defenses were intimidating with Lovie as DC. Neither Tony nor Lovie were cigar-chomping snarlers. I agree, we need some "dogs" on both sides of the ball. Haven't had a player to truly strike fear on the defensive side of the ball since Wayne Simmons. I know, I know, Reggie was awesome and could change a game, but Simmons was a Bill Romanowski-type who would mess you up and not give it a second thought.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Leo,
How many great Chicago LB's over the years have struck fear, or at least had huge reputations? Once again over past 2-years Chicago has picked up 3 big name LB's thru draft and FA.

Who with Pack over past 30 years? Ok....#52 and who?

Skip greenBayless's picture

Tim Harris

Coldworld's picture

Mean streak was not meant to imply violence or physical intimidation of yore, but to reference the instinct to drive it home, to give no quarter and so on. I could have called it killer instinct but that has baggage too. It is not limited to the field but addresses tolerance for underperforming versus loyalty, for example. Think Bellichek if you must and his never take the foot off approach. Or Lombardi. just win ...

Razer's picture

Every off season I get this optimism that colors my view of this team and its talent. By the end of September I am back to earth as competition reveals the deficiencies and projects on the roster. I don't know what we have in LaFleur. I do know that he needs some big holes filled if he is to be successful. Oline, pass rush, safety and one more offensive weapon come to mind, Still finding 'our' guy is exciting.

To my point about unrealistic expectations for all things Green Bay, I am surprised to see Mike McCarthy floating around with all these open HC jobs. Everyone kept saying "be careful what you wish for" prior to his firing. You'd think he would have been snapped up by now?! Maybe he was another of this Packers-best colored glasses. My polluted mindset - go figure.

Guam's picture

Very interesting that MM has only gotten one interview (with the Jets I believe) and even the Browns with a heavy former Packer management team didn't offer an interview. It also isn't entirely an age thing since Bruce Ariens was hired as head coach of the Bucs.

Pretty strong indictment of MM's last couple of years in Green Bay as well as his stale offensive philosophy.

Coldworld's picture

Or his perceived interest in coaching next year among those who know him personally.

Guam's picture

Then why did he take the Jets interview?

badaxed's picture

McCarthy is a very sucksessful coach. Just ask him. His time has passed. He will get no more Favres or Rodgers to create his " winning coach" legacy.

Jonathan Spader's picture

"I don't know what we have in LaFleur. I do know that he needs some big holes filled if he is to be successful. Oline, pass rush, safety and one more offensive weapon come to mind, Still finding 'our' guy is exciting. To my point about unrealistic expectations for all things Green Bay..."

You do know Gute has to fill those holes and MLF is tasked with fixing the offense and Rodgers right?

Razer's picture

Yes, "I do know that he needs some big holes filled" was a statement about management doing their job to help LaFleur be successful.

Bert's picture

Yeah fixing the offense and Rodgers are just two of MLF tasks. He is mainly tasked with winning football games.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Bert: Fixing the offense and Rodgers is the key to winning football games Bert. The Packers can only go as far as Rodgers can take them. By retaining Petting we could have a better defense but without the support of a better defense that will only take us so far.

Razer: Wasn't being critical you often post a lot of what I'm thinking. I was just looking for some clarification. Your post sounded like the draft was somehow on MLF and not Gute eith the way I read it. I'm really excited for the 2019 offseason can't wait to see how FA, draft, and FO shake out.

Razer's picture

No problem. Writing with clarity is a work in progress and it is slow going.

Bert's picture

True. But he can't just focus on the offense and AR. He needs to set a new tone for the entire team. That's really the tough part of being a successful HC.

Since '61's picture

Razer - based on what we hear in the NY media, MM is likely to sit out this season. Which makes sense to me.
The NY media really likes him for the Jets to develop their young QB Darnold, but the Jets have yet to make an offer.

As I have posted before MM would not do well with the NY media, plus the Jets have not been very well run for a long time. He should stay away but time will tell.
Thanks, Since ‘61

Jonathan Spader's picture

I'm guessing MM has his eye on another opening he thinks might be available in 2020 but who knows. Maybe after 13 years he just needs a break for a year. Either way he's no longer a Packer aka our concern. He has a street named after him that's enough for me.

dobber's picture

"Some talented players, but not enough warriors that scare the opposition. Gute has his work cut out for him."

How many 'tone-setters' does it take to change a culture?

ShanghaiKid's picture

I'm not sure if the number is as important as the position. The fastest way to change a soft culture, is up the middle. I've personally wanted a nasty ILB pairing for some time. You put a dynamic guy there and you'd most certainly see a night and day difference in how the defense plays.

PeteK's picture

SS can also serve that purpose and gives us a better coverage option than an ILB, plus we have a very solid ILB already.

blacke00's picture

IMHO the Packers need to draft exclusively (in the higher rounds) for the front 7 of the defense or for the 6 OL (including TE). Forget skill positions until the lower rounds.
Don't give me the "BS" about drafting the "best available"...NO one does it! Example, if the highest rated person on the Packers draft is QB. Are you really going to draft at that position right now....No! Would you draft another Left Tackle? Would you move a blu chip LT to the RT? Move Bakitari to RT after being a ALL Pro LT....No! We have drafted for the defensive back field repeatedly over the last few years and see where that's gotten us. Maybe some lower draft slots but NOT in the higher rounds.
As I have said previously and even Bill Michaels acknowledged, solidify the TRENCHES! After that everything else will fall into place.

dobber's picture

I might draft that LT if he projects well to the right side (meaning: can upgrade the right side and play right away) AND gives me a credible game-day backup to #69. Bakhtiairi's got 2 years left on what's been a bargain of a contract (for LTs). When he comes up in 2020, the Packers are going to have to decide whether to give him a fat third contract...having that guy who can swing from the right to the left side fairly seamlessly might not be a bad thing.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes, a backup for Bulaga ,and eventual in season replacement, that could also down the road, switch to left tackle or wherever needed would do wonders.

Since '61's picture

Another possibility for drafting a player who can play RT is that we could move Bulaga to Guard. Which would shore up 2 positions with one pick. Sign a tackle during FA and we’re good to go. Thanks, Since ‘61

Barnacle's picture

Oops

Barnacle's picture

Ya, more versatility.................mediocre at several positions...........rookies should easily master several positions their first year?

It will be so easy they can take a couple of training camp days for bowling and paintball.

Thanks Mike McCarthy.

HankScorpio's picture

I want to join the "Draft for the Trenches" club, too. The possible exception might be ILB. The Chargers using a 4-7 defense against run-heavy Baltimore might have been the wave of the future.

DL, outside pass rush, OL and TE--all day. I've read the draft is deep in all of these areas, too. So you have to believe it can work to not have to bypass a vastly superior prospect to concentrate on those areas.

dobber's picture

We give out secret decoder rings to new members.

PeteK's picture

Not too many run heavy teams out there anymore.

dobber's picture

They used that 4-7 defense against a rookie QB who is strictly a runner (so they had the legs to run him down) and can't read an NFL defense, yet. I don't know if this is 'wave of the future' stuff...

HankScorpio's picture

Maybe not. But 7 DBs are not going to hurt coverage over 5 + 2 LB or 6 + 1 LB.

Coldworld's picture

If they are a pass only team, we have run that type of coverage, but it is just that surely: situational max speed/coverage?

4thand10's picture

“Not too many run heavy teams out there anymore.”

All of the Rams offense is around Gurley...many passes are set up by the run. The Pats....invested in RBs yet again, because the play action sets things up. If the bears didn’t have Howard...Turdbiskut would only be throwing 100 yards a game because the rest would be incomplete if it wasn’t for the play action. “ Passing league “ discussion came about because Warner, Big Ben, Rodgers , Brady, Rivers, Manning (Eli) were all throwing 350-400 yards a game because of not really having a quality rushing attack during certain periods of those years.

In later times or more recently...the run sets up everything for successful teams and many times with 2 TE sets....it’s why the Eagles picked up Ajai,, Why the Pats picked up Sony Micheal and also why the Steelers were going no where without Bell. Where would the Rams be sitting right know without Gurley?? They would be doing what a lot of teams are doing right now and watching the playoffs from their couches. Every team needs a Frank Gore or Marshawn Lynch type RB...because it opens things up. Now that Rodgers is getting a little older...not that he can’t throw, but getting older...you have to put a good Oline in front of him and a RB that scares teams. You ALWAYs have to accommodate an aging QB with a quality RB and a good OL....
If anything comes out of the LaFleur hire, I hope we can run better ( without relying on disguise) , Play better special teams, and keep Pettine. Lots of needs on this team... Outside pass rush as Al noted ( priority 1) and I say DL because with out Clark and Daniels and Wilkerson the middle was getting pushed around too much, OL , RB, TE and maybe a legit free agent #2 WR.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Great post, 4thand10! I only differ in that I would prioritize OL before DL. We should try to retain Wilkerson, and the rest of our DL looks above average. AR needs to be protected...not take off running and play sandlot football.

PeteK's picture

I love Lafleur's pro coaching tree and his early bio. He struggled but showed determination and love of the game . I talked myself into accepting his young age. I'm older and always thought that the father to son relationship between coaches and players was the proper way to go ,but it seems that the older brother scenario has also proven to be successful in the NFL.
Totally agree with your order of needs in the draft. I took a look at Titans free agents G -Spain and S- Vaccaro are available, and could fit.

rickhenderson33's picture

I am excited for change. Keeping an open mind that our administration has picked the right guy, and hoping that we don’t make the mistake of letting impact free agents get away. Good picks in the draft are needed. Change is good if all buy into those changes. Go Pack Go!

Handsback's picture

Thank you Al for the work you have done and will do on the draft guide.
ML will be a solid coach and I think will win a SB within 5 years. I also think that there are multiple coaches on the market you could say that about and see their progress. The Packers have a strong organization and they will make this time of rebuilding short and sweet.
Guam's comment about MM is very telling to me. It appears that many have seen his offense decline over the years and are steering away from him.

PeteK's picture

It has been reported that he wants his children to finish high school in Green Bay and doesn't want a coaching job too far away.

Coldworld's picture

Heard that as well. His wife is from here I think too. I wouldn’t blame him and he could certainly afford to if he wants to.

Lphill's picture

Montez Sweat should be available hopefully at at 12, watch his film, cant pass on him.

CAG123's picture

I know they better stay away from Deionte Thompson after those OU and Clemson games that guy was looking real pedestrian.

Rossonero's picture

I'm iffy on him, still need to do more research. He has good sack numbers, but his pressures wasn't all that impressive based on PFF's metrics. I don't have PFF in front of me, but they made an interesting point that over the years, the number of pressures has been more indicative of great performance in the NFL, rather than having a lot of sacks.

Remember - Carl Bradford had 20 sacks in his last two years at Arizona State, but bombed once he got to Green Bay. He's obviously not a perfect comparison to Sweat, who has much longer arms than Bradford's T-Rex arms, but I think you get the point.

4thand1's picture

So Mike M was 42 when he was hired? He must have been born with his stubborn mindset. Or he got lucky as hell going from Bret to AR, I say luck, because without AR this team was pure shit. Lafleur is 3 years younger at 39 when getting his 1st HCing gig. How much credit does he get from working with Goff? I'd like to hear something from Goff himself, but he is going from a very young QB to a 35 year old QB. This team is going to depend on AR and our new HC being on the same page.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Excellent take 4th and 1.

Dash

4thand1's picture

ty

RCPackerFan's picture

Matt LaFleur:
LaFleur was my darkhorse candidate. The main reasons was that he was a former QB coach, and OC. He worked in offenses that were more updated and more versatile.
But the main reason why is because it reminded me of last year. When everyone was talking about Ball or Wolf as the top GM candidates Murphy went with Gutekunst. This year everyone was talking about McDaniels or Gase. And LaFleur just fit the darkhorse candidate.
I do think that wanting to keep Pettine was a bonus in his favor but I don't think it was the main selling point.

MM Part 2:
This hire does remind me of when McCarthy came on board in 2006. A lot of similarities. This was another reason why I thought LaFleur was the darkhorse candidate.

Way too early draft wants:
Your wish list is about the same as mine. Mine is Edge rusher first.
-Edge Rushers is pretty stacked at the top (at the moment). Get one of the top pass rushers should be top priority.
-TE is another position that is pretty talented. Get one to develop!
-They have to improve the OL. I personally keep Bulaga for next year, but they have to improve the backup. Hopefully they can draft his replacement. They need better OG's too.
-They absolutely need safety's. I'm not sure of the candidates right now in the draft, but I will look more into it.
I would not be surprised at all if they took a WR and/or a RB higher also. LaFleur's offense uses the RB's a lot more. I could definitely see them add another RB. WR, with Cobb gone, who knows about Allison. That leaves EQ and MVS behind Adams. While I like both, they need more top end talent. If a top WR is available I say go for him!

Going to the Dogs:
Completely agree. We need more play makers. We need a play making OLB (pass rusher) and S on defense. We need a TE that can be a mismatch too. We have a really good core but need more play makers.

Philbin:
While I get what you are saying, I am fine either way. I am fine keeping Philbin, IF its LaFleur's choice. I in no way do I want him if he is forced to stay.

More LaFleur:
I didn't know much about him before the draft process but got looking into him during the search. That is where I learned he was RG3 and Cousins QB's coach their rookie year. (back when they were good). He was Ryans QB coach during his MVP year. Then he became the OC for the Rams then took the same job but got to do the play calling for the Titans. He has been moving up the charts. Thats what I had noticed.

Back Shoulder Throws:
I love the backshoulder throws when the receiver has to jump over the CB to catch the ball. I didn't know back shoulder throw meant the receiver had to jump for the ball over the DB..

badaxed's picture

We need people who can tackle and I do not mean tackling donuts. Too many players on the current team do not have a clue how to tacklr.We also need people who can block and I do not mean just pass block. If you cannot run block you are going to lose eventuslly. You run block and that controls the clock and opens up the passing. I hope the new head coach will implement these basic principles to his team.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Jumping is not an element of the back shoulder throw.

scullyitsme's picture

Just a soon move on from Philbin but if LaFleur wants him fine. Can’t imagine it’s not best to start over though. I’ll take a pass rusher in the draft if one falls at 12, but unlike last year not many qbs will be gone by then, lowering our odds. In that case take offensive line or trade back a bit and double down on offensive lineman. Also I think Earl thomas should be a priority free agent. He’s a “dog”. With what good safety’s where signing for last season we shouldn’t even have to over spend. Fills a huge need, no brainer.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I concur. If the Packers can get at least 7 good players in 2019 with a combination of both free agency and quality draft picks, then we are back in the game. Looking at the draft I think we can fulfill those needs.

We have a legitimate #1 starters:
#1 QB-Rodgers
#1 LT - Baktari
#1 RT- Bulaga ( If Healty)
#1 WR - D.Adams
#1 RB - A.Jones
#1 C - Lindsey
#1 LG - Taylor
#1 NT - K. Clark
#1 DT - M.Daniels ( Needs to pick it back up)
#1. CB - J. Alexander
#1 CB- K. King ( If only could stay healthy..ugh)
#1 Safety (Potentially- Josh Jackson )
#1 CB - Breeland
#1. ILB - B. Martinez
#1 K - M. Crosby (Maybe a Little Questionable this.
year?)

And some good up and coming players like RB -J. Williams, WR- EQ, and WR- MVS, P- Jake Scott

Doug Niemczynski's picture

"Way too early draft wants: won't get into specific players yet, but with the first four picks, I'd love to see an edge rusher (preferably #1), a guard or tackle, a safety, and a TE."

Well, I gotta tell you Al that I agree with your article and you are finally coming around to my way of thinking, which could be a bad thing, but we root for the same team and that's a good thing.

I feel a whole lot better with Petine and LaFleur than with McCarthy and Capers.

croatpackfan's picture

Al, I thought Joe Philbin was coach when Mike Sherman was HC and Mike McCarthy just inherit him...

But I agree with your thoughts regarding Joe Philbin. I'm also more for new guy at OC, as well as at QB coach...

Rossonero's picture

LaFleur's hire just fits the mold of the current NFL: young offensive mind with fresh ideas, mentored by some of the most revered coaches in the NFL (Shanahan and McVay).

I don't know much about him either, but anyone who just points to Tennessee's pedestrian offensive stats and says it's a bad hire is full of it. We won't know if it's a good or bad hire until the season plays out.

Mariota missed a number of games, and keep in mind that Mike McCarthy came from one of the worst offenses ever after leaving the 2005 49ers. That team also had little to no talent (the 49ers one), but MM obviously was the young mind with fresh ideas and leadership potential that impressed the front office then, just like LaFleur did now.

stockholder's picture

You win the draft with edge rushers. You fix the team with safeties. You go to the super-bowl with Football players. Mathews and Perry are your edge rushers. Ryan and Martinez ILbs. Wilkerson will be signed. Rodgers is our QB. You may hate it. But Just for a second , Forget the upgrades. We have a new coach. Weren't the packers favorites in 2018? We found new players, and more will be coming. The pay scale isn't the problem now. Taking chances, and making changes, are not always worth the risk. The packers just don't make changes until they have too. And thats why it's been 8 years. We think the wait is over. It may have just begun. Time is the wrecking ball of this club. Relaxing is not what I see. I see panic. Give LeFluer his way with coaches. He must show people what he learned. He was the packers choice. Gute must turn this roster into a winner. Soon! I'm more worried about what Gute does. Then some staff pick that LeFleur retains.

Oppy's picture

Al, I feel the exact same way about the misdiagnosis of back shoulder throws.

I'll even one-up you and say I see many people, sometimes in film review, talking about a "perfect" back shoulder throw.. and while it may indeed be an intentional back shoulder throw, the location of the ball is on the wrong side of the WR where the defender has a shot at it.

I think people just like to use the term 'back shoulder throw' as much as possible.

Since91's picture

Men we have one thing going for us....when was the last time a draft pick or picks came in and made a record altering impact? WE R DUE!

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