Cory's Corner: Joe Barry Needs Defensive Weapons

Defenses can still win championships — Tom Brady proved it. 

Tom Brady proved it can be done. 

The 43-year-old quarterback was OK, because he knew he didn't have to be great. 

The Buccaneers claimed their second Super Bowl title because of a defense that will be talked about for many years to come. 

Tampa Bay had one of the best March's of recent memory. Back on on March 16, 2020 they re-signed Jason Pierre-Paul and 12 days later, the Bucs signed Ndamukong Suh. And if that wasn't enough, Tampa picked Vita Vea 12th overall two years earlier — making that defensive line easily one of the best in all of football. 

The Chiefs came into the game with an offense compared to a high-wire act that many folks claimed was unstoppable. But the Bucs hurried Patrick Mahomes 35 times as the Chiefs failed to score a touchdonn since he became a starter. 

I guarantee you Aaron Rodgers was watching that game and screaming, "I can do that!" 

The Packers just hired a new defensive coordinator. Might as well get him some toys to play with. That could be defensive tackle Shelby Harris, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson or corner Desmond King.

It would be awesome for the Packers to sign every member of the offense, but that just isn't going to happen. The last thing the Packers want to do, is spend a bunch of money on a running back, only to see him get injured like Christian McCaffrey did this past season. 

The Bucs and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles proved that Patrick Mahomes, along with every other quarterback on the planet, cannot handle consistent pressure. You can look up stats that say that he can still make the off-platform throws, but Mahomes traveled nearly 500 yards on Sunday night — and none of those yards were in front of the line of scrimmage. Mahomes was running for his life and in turn, the entire offensive rhythm went completely sideways.

The reason Packers coach Matt LaFleur likes new defensive coordinator Joe Barry is because he is versatile, energetic and willing to do what it takes to win. He has toggled between 3-4 and 4-3 schemes and will continue to keep offenses guessing. The reason Bowles' defense looked the 1985 Bears was because he did things in that Super Bowl, that weren't on tape yet. He dared Andy Reid to run the football early, but Reid's love affair with the foward pass won out in the end. Even with a healthy offensive line, Patrick Mahomes would've had a tough time.

Defense hasn't been as stressed as it once was, but defense won Super Bowl LV. Green Bay was a mere 26th in quarterback pressures with 131, but the Buccaneers were second with 192. That's why the Bucs were able to beat Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes in succession. 

Getting to the quarterback still matters in this league. Go get Barry some weapons. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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16 points

Comments (144)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

February 09, 2021 at 06:30 am

If you go back and look at the Bucs drafts the last 3 years or so, you'll see just about everyone of those Defensive players as one of their picks. Same thing with the WR's and O-Line for the most part. Obviously drafting near the top of each round year after year helps a great deal, but you still have to hit, and the Bucs HIT...Big Time on their picks.

Gutes drafting 29th this year but can still get upgrades. Obviously the Packers need a CB, D-Lineman, and an OT. I'd add in RB as a later round need too. Personally I'd LOVE Demetric Felton in this offense but I think the 3rd round would be the latest they'd have a shot at him unless Gute moves up in the 4th.

Interesting thought...WHAT IF Terrace Marshall is sitting there at 29...Do you take him? What about Kadarius Toney who IMO again would be lethal in GB? My thinking is this, with all the WR picked early last draft, especially early, could the Packers steal a guy late in round one and do they take him?

Now I know how great the Packers offense was all season with guys that did their jobs and Davante Adams. BUT against the Bucs didn't it FEEL like another WR with abilities close to Adams was needed? I LOVE Allen Lazard and the way he plays week in and week out and I hope he's a Packer for years to come. MVS is a nice piece but does he feel like a full time answer?

CB, OT, DL, are all needs for GB...BUT if THAT WR is sitting there at 29, I'm not going to be mad at Gute for taking him...

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Guam's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:08 am

I will be mad at Gute if he takes a WR at #1. Remember that the Packers will be adding Funchess to an already decent group. There simply aren't enough snaps available at WR (at least in MLF's offense) to warrant adding another high caliber player. The Packers would wind up mostly wasting their #1 pick (again).

The Packers have much greater needs (and snaps available) at CB, DT and OT to spend a #1 on WR.

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:04 am

It's all about the value. If that player at pick #1 represents the greatest value and happens to be a WR (and there isn't a trade-down that makes sense), then I'm OK with that. If LaF and Hackett are good at what they do, they'll find ways to utilize the best skill position players and combinations of those players.

I would argue that a quality WR creates alternatives if they can't get a reasonable extension on #17 this off-season or are put in a position where they can't push his cap hit out over the next several years. But that was the primary reason why I thought that pick should've been last spring.

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Guam's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:04 am

It should be pretty easy to trade up or down this year since Gute has extra day three picks to work with. I agree with the BPA philosophy, but I just don't see the value of adding a player to an area where there won't be many snaps available. The pick won't be displacing snaps from Adams and will have to fight Funchess, Lazard, MVS and ESB for snaps at the #2 and #3 WR spots. Is that really the place to invest your #1 pick? Of course given the Love pick I am probably dead wrong on this........

I would much rather see a CB, DT and OT during day one and day two.

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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:45 am

If a top ten receiver as the Packers assess him falls to the end of the round or within trade reach, that would change the equation. However, that is very unlikely. It would, in my view, need a value proposition of that magnitude to justify a WR with other more pressing needs even while accepting the point about bargaining position during future negotiations with Adams.

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Guam's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:15 pm

And if that top ten receiver fell to the Packers draft spot, don't you think a number of other teams would give a windfall in draft choices to move up to take him? Get superior value from a trade down and draft the players you need.

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Minniman's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:48 pm

Stand pat with BPA Guam.

We saw the Packers go from an abundance of options in the Secondary in 2014 to one that got bullied in 2016.

Draft to a drafts strengths.

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:14 pm

When everybody and their sister supposedly drank from the WR fountain LAST year? Maybe. Maybe not.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:17 pm

FWIW, PFF thinks WR is the way to go and presents an unflattering view of the present WR room. Not so sure I buy it but that's just because I see some gaping holes in the roster at multiple other places.

Not sure I buy the argument that TB had a great defense vs. KC had 4 of its 5 preferred OL on IR. GB was missing Bakh and Taylor, so the equivalent would be subtracting 2 of Jenkins, Turner and Linsley.

No question TB went all-in for 2020. Let's be clear: going all-in can only be done when a team is already pretty close to contending. In 2019, GB needed to buy four starters just to be a good team.

A) Tampa Bay did go "all-in" for 2020. 1) They gave Brady $50M and every nickel is guaranteed. 2) They sent a 4th round pick for Gronkowski and then paid him $9M. 3) They used the franchise tag on Barrett. 4) TB re-signed 31 year old JPP for $25M over 2 years, $20M guaranteed. 5) TB re-signed 33 year old N. Suh for $8M, with every nickel guaranteed. 6) TB traded a 4th rounder to move up to 13th in the draft to get Wirfs. With the 45th pick, they selected and hit on Antoine Winfield, a 16-game rookie starter (rather like Jenkins who went 44th in 2019). They did some depth things like signing LeSean McCoy and CB Ross Cockrell. 7) A week before the trade deadline they traded a 6th to the Jets for NT Steve McLendon (one year rental), who started the next 6 games for TB and played 21 snaps per game in their four playoff games (remember - TB's DL is pretty good without another rotational guy). 8) TB signed Antonio Brown on Oct. 27 for 1.25M for the remainder of the season. All Brown did was get 60 yds/game (483 for TB) which over a 16 game stretch = 960 yards, and an 85.8 PFF grade. Nice pick up and a risky one. Dec 18 they signed Punter Justin Colquitt to the PS. In January TB signed RB CJ Prosise and ILB Deonne Buchanon to the PS. Prosise did nothing but Buchanon played in all four playoff games.

That sure looks like they went all-in during the 2020 season to me. They traded three draft picks for guys who could step in and play right away. They also didn't lock up some players. TB has UFAs like Godwin, Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Suh, Gronkowski, McLendon, Antonio Brown, and some lesser guys like McCoy, Fournette, Buchanon and kicker Succop. TB does have $15.2M in cap space, but I don't see too many guys they can cut to make more cap space. Some of those FAs will have to leave unless TB does some funky contract structures.

B) Strictly speaking, since only one team can win the super bowl, only one team that went all-in arguably won their bet. That might not be true: NO might think it was worth riding Brees but the team got jobbed by the refs. Buffalo might be fine with their decisions. Other teams that went all-in and didn't come close lost their bets (say MN and Philly, possibly LAR which just double downed on it).

GB should have gone all-in (which probably meant trading a pick for a plug and play rental). I fear that the Packers won't be as good in 2021 as it was in 2020 absent some great drafting and decision-making. That meant moving a pick for a rental at a position of need. We shall see what happens.

Very unhappy with Murphy's column at packers.com as well.

6 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:10 pm

I think you overrate Lazard, who has his strengths, and I wouldn't be surprised if St . Brown is cut after training camp this year.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:35 pm

I get your point of view, but Funchess is on a one-year deal, Lazard is a ERFA this year, and MVS is an unrestricted FA in 13 months. I'm not going to be mad if a talented WR drops in Gute's lap and he decides to build for the future.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:56 am

I love Lazard as well, but really feel (begrudgingly) that Troy Aikman was on to something when he was saying all our WRs are tall "long-striders." MVS and Lazard can make big plays, and Davante can murder any DB one-on-one, but we need more quick slot types with that explosive ability to break free early in the play so Rodgers doesn't have to wait for our long-striders to get open.

Thankfully, there's plenty of guys like that in the upcoming draft!

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Minniman's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:13 pm

A good point re size of the WR’s.

My thoughts are that if the Packers take a WR then it will be a small, slot type guy with knockout 10 yard and 3 cone type numbers.

Packers had Ervin and Austin this year - with Ervin being a favorite of MLF until he went on IR (and being quite effective too in motion).

This is a skill set that MLF covets and I firmly believe that he will look to assure this role in the draft

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:22 pm

Tutu Atwell at 5'6" and 156 pounds? Drops and fumbles are also a major problem. I gather he combines stone hands with butterfingers. Day three flyer perhaps.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:57 pm

Rondale Moore

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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 06:47 pm

Not on that bio!

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:50 pm

oops, appeas to have been a double-post

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:58 am

I'm hoping for the same in the draft, namely any of those smaller, quicker slot weapons like Toney, Rondale Moore, Elijah Moore, Demetric Felton (Swerve, new and improved), Tutu Atwell, and on and on.

CFB seems to produce these guys at a similar rate they used to produce shifty, pass catching RBs, perhaps because the same body types are being used in different ways in the spread offenses the teams now run?

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:58 am

Perhaps, but "small and shifty" certainly doesn't seem to fit in the WR paradigm for BG and LaF. The only WR on the roster and or practice squad who comes in under 6'1" is Tavon Austin, and I wouldn't expect him back.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:53 pm

I totally disagree about Gutekunst and LaFleur not wanting slot reciever types.

They had high hopes for Tyler Ervin, and used him a bunch until he got injured. His loss was felt in that we missed key elements of the scheme, certain motions and jet sweep actions. Gutekunst took a flier on Tavon Austin, even though he's passed his athletic prime, in the hopes that he might fill that role. Unfortunately, he just didn't have the same juice, and averaged about 4 yards a catch

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Minniman's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:01 pm

I replied to you similarly above - MLF NEEDS a shifty hybrid slot / rb type to make his scheme work effectively.

‘Rome to a brick’ the Packers look at one of these types in the middle\late rounds

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Tundraboy's picture

February 10, 2021 at 07:45 am

A masterpiece NP. Totally agree.

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blacke00's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:14 am

When all is said and done the Packer's lost to the Bucs was due to Bad defensive play calling and Davante vision. Granted there was other minor issues. But those were the main issues and that's what needs to change.

8 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:26 am

We were out prepared and out thought in the day. We should have won, we lost it in a first half of mistakes and execrable defensive calling. The defense was better than its driver. We still nearly reeled them in.

Had Pettine gone after Brady from the start and let his D play it might have been 6 picks and a whitewash. I’m so glad Pettine has gone even with the questions about Barry. We all feared Pettine would ignite the recipe for beating a Brady team. He did until too late and he had no option.

4 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:55 pm

LaFleur had enough of Pettine, and Pettine could see the writing on the wall, if the rumors are true that he declined a contract extension before the season.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:02 am

Tampa Bay scored at least 30 points in each of their postseason games, after averaging 30 points in the regular season.

The Packers only managing to score 26 points in the NFC Championship Game, after leading the league in scoring during the regular season, should give us pause while we consider blaming the loss soley on the defense, as is the usual habit of Packers fans in the wake of postseason disappointment.

In my view, it was a team loss, just like our win the weekend before was a team win.

LaFleur took responsibility for the whole team in his season ending press conference, in a way McCarthy sometimes avoided, making the point that all defensive and special teams calls go through his head set and he has authority to veto them, or call time out.

Ready for a more cohesive team, where the offense capitalizes on the play of the defense, and vice versa, as we dominate all the way to a Super Bowl LVI win.

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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:50 am

How were the points scored against the Packers? What caused us to be in the hole? Sorry, that wasn’t an offensive led defeat despite some poor play calling trying to claw back out if the hole.

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Razer's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:16 pm

As [kbrinkmann] said ...it was a team loss, just like our win the weekend before was a team win...

The defense didn't do us any favors in the 1st half but it did stiffen and handed the ball over repeatedly to an offensive line that could block and offense that didn't couldn't sustain drives. The bottom-line is that not one of our team phases played to championship level including our coaches. As the Super Bowl showed, the better overall TEAM won the game.

3 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:58 pm

My point exactly, Razer. If either the Offense or the Deffense had played up to a Championship level, Mark Murphy and company might've been planning a Super Bowl victory parade this week and not wondering how to get the team over the NFCCG hump.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:26 pm

I think GB wins:

if Bakh had been available and full strength; OR

GB wins with a better cornerback; OR

Maybe if Pettine doesn't blow the def. call with 8 seconds left.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:00 pm

Is this a therapy session?

2 points
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Tundraboy's picture

February 10, 2021 at 07:49 am

Yes

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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:49 am

I submit that it was two sequences: The TD to end the half, and the fumble/TD to open the second. Minus either of those, the Packers win the game.

We passed for 350 yards and 3 TDS. The passing game wasn’t perfect, but it was damn good.

2 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:00 pm

I would argue that if those plays don't happen, the entire second half plays out differently, but the same arguments we used to prop up the Packers aggregate defensive numbers (too many yards/points given up with big leads) hold up here too. I'd like to hope that the second half still tilts to the Packers, but we just don't know. I like their chances better, though, if they're only making up 4 points instead of 18.

2 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:01 pm

Totally agree, dobber. It's hard to say with any confidence that the Packers would've won without those two plays in a game they never lead. If it wasn't for those two plays, perhaps the more aggressive and physical Bucs would have outplayed us in another, even more excruciating manner.

1 points
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4thand10's picture

February 10, 2021 at 09:09 am

It wasn’t just scheme.....they need a DL, possibly 2. Not much middle pressure all year and some teams ran at will on them. I’d say DL is the priority in this draft.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 am

Not going to happen Cory. We now have a splitting headache. And you can blame Gute. Yea. GO get Barry weapons. With What? Rush the QB. Sounds Great! Gute threw a Hand Grenade at this team. It was Love and his vision for the future. Gute is a dreamer. And we are now in cap hell because of it. Your getting ahead of the damage reports. "WHO's Leaving". Whats left in the piggy bank. And the new League Cap number. Gute must deal with the harsh reality he's messed up. The holes never changed. And he's become SHERMAN. So how does he get Barry Weapons. Well the #1 weapon is the fan Base. Gute must WIN THE FANS AGAIN! The 2nd weapon is the Draft. And instead of just plugging a Need. Like RT. Maybe CB. Go after the game changers regardless of position. That does mean WR. RB and DT. Notice I said DT. Clark is a game changer. We need another Clark! TB showed you why! WR- PR -= Field position. RB- So many late. But to get Barry the weapons. Start with the fans. Then the DL!!

-7 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:02 am

Thanks for the infusion of reality. It seems like a rare trait around these parts.

0 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:02 pm

Always a pleasure to encounter a citizen of Entitled Town in cyberspace.

-4 points
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nostradanus's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:30 am

Defense

CLARK
Z. SMITH
GARY
ALEXANDER
SAVAGE
AMOS
P. SMITH
KINGSLY
BARNES

Do the Packers have talent on Defense? Hell yes
Do the Packers need to add some pieces? Hell yes
Will the Packers add pieces to both the offense and Defense? Hell yes
The Packers will be ok, Gute has got this and just because he drafted a QB last year doesn’t mean jack squat.The Packers should have been in the Super Bowl, they just blew it and we’re out coached not out talented in the Championship game at Lambeau.

With just a few tweaks the Packers will be right back in it.
Trust in Gute

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:32 am

We saw the talent on D in the second half, when the game forced Pettine to let them play. This D needs an infusion at CB, DL and maybe an OLB (if Preston goes) and ILB/hybrid, depending on how Barry wants to play. It’s biggest need was a DC who had not lost his nerve. Pettine’s showed he had all season yet operated a D designed to win by disruption. He was hamstringing his own players.

4 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:09 am

Agreed. Gute will be forced to add a bargain, veteran CB (like Bashaud Breeland a couple years ago), even with the cap mess being what it is. That's even if they draft a guy (which I think they will...two, actually). They can't go into 2021 with a team that has been an NFCCG team two years running and have their only recourse opposite Jaire be a guy they just drafted and hope can cover enough to not cost them games week after week.

4 points
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CheesyTex's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:18 am

Super post, dobber. Always appreciate the depth of perspective in your posts.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:19 pm

So in other words, Kevin King is worth #29, and a veteran CB ? That’s what it takes to replace him?

A lot will change with the scouting combines, but right now you could get one of the top CBs in the draft at #29. Surely that’s not a huge downgrade from King.

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:31 pm

You could say that. Or you could say that the Packers would be foolish to put all their eggs in the basket of a rookie. They would have to really trust their depth (Jackson, Hollman, etc.) to do so if that #29 turns out to be Josh Jackson 2.0 or Jeff Gladney 2.0. What I'm saying is, they'll find a veteran CB to compete in camp to cover their bases--someone who will be available after the draft shakes out and essentially a zero-cost cut if he gets beat out...it won't be a high end guy, and it won't be someone that they don't feel can still play on the perimeter.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:08 pm

How about Gutekunst takes a shot at Patrick Peterson? A year older than our last big FA CB when Thompson signed him in 2006. That guy just made the Hall of Fame a few days ago. He was drafted 4th overall, was a rare athlete, and yet most of the league thought he'd lost a step and was only an option at Safety. Peterson was drafted 5th overall, returned 4 punts for TDs his rookie year, and hasn't missed a game due to injury in his career, which couldn't be said for our new Hall of Famer. Haven't seen anything tying Gutekunst to Peterson, but there is precedent for such a move.

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:40 pm

Given the cap situation, it might be moving a pick for a veteran CB for a year depending on how the draft falls. We all thought Jaire, King and Sullivan = a thin room. It kept getting called a sneaky need.

I do like Hollman and Samuels but I didn't see enough to rely on them. Maybe the coaches did.

3 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 10, 2021 at 05:03 pm

Has Gute made a notable trade since the Damarious Randle for Deshon Kizer swap? I can't recall. Definitely an avenue he's so far not utilized enough, in my view.

1 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:30 am

@ nostradanus......
.
So it was LaFleur's fault?
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How did Jordon Love help Lafleur in the NFCCG?
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How did the 4th round pick for Jordan Love help LaFleur win the NFCCG?
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How did Dequara help LeFleur in the NFCCG?
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How did Kingsley help LaFleur win the NFCCG?
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How did Amos help LaFleur on completely whiffing on Fournette's 20 yard TD run, win the NFCCG?
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How did the Smith Bros help LaFleur in the NFCCG?
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How did Krys Barnes 1 solo (clubbed) tackle help LaFleur win the NFCCG?
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How did King and Amos poor coverage resulting in giving up 21 points help LeFleur win a NFCCG?
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How did Rashan Gary's 1 solo tackle help LaFleur win a NFCCG?
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"The Packers should have been in the Super Bowl, they just blew it and we’re out coached not out talented in the Championship game at Lambeau."
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Seriously, not out talented......you really believe that?
Those coaches better get to work on Kevin King, they've only had 3 years.

-3 points
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nostradanus's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:31 pm

Good points, but every team is going to have warts due to salary cap. My point is the Packers have been good enough to get to the Championship game 2 years in a row. Not bad.

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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:29 pm

What did you say after the NFCCG with Seattle......Not bad?
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"My point is the Packers have been good enough to get to the Championship game 2 years in a row. Not bad."
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Well...my point is they lost in the Conference Championship game 2 years in a row.
Not bad you say? I don't know about you but, i'm not out bragging about it.
The only thing they proved to me was they are not a Championship team. Even with an MVP
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Lets print up the NFCCG participation T-shirts!!
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What would Vince Lombardi say about it? Not bad?.....Lets find out.
"Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. In our business there is no second place, either you're first, or last."
(Jump to 2:25)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=il2YyCTpIQI
.

-2 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:36 pm

BTW....this year and last years team weren't affected by the salary cap.
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Gute spent 182 million in one off season on free agents. 240 plus million the last 3 seasons.
If there was any salary cap warts, they were/are a result of that spending spree.
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5 of the Packers top 8 highest salary cap numbers right now, are Gutes free agent signings.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:42 pm

True enough, but Gute hit on the big 4 in 2019. Graham was a miss, and Wilkerson an injury. Tramon was good, and Wagner was good. Kirksey was a miss. 6 out of 8 is good and those 4 in 2019 made GB a good team.

1 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 05:35 pm

Wilkerson was no picnic when he was healthy. He hadn't proved he got back to form from over 2 years before we signed him. He was a lot of hype because he played for Pettine.
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I'm not so sure Preston Smith is a "hit". he was decent for his 1st year, and thank God he was for what he was paid. He wasn't worth the 18 million dollars he was paid his first year, but at least he showed up in shape.
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Gil Martin graded Preston Smith an "B" December 2020. I wonder if he's sticking with that grade.
Smith's PFF grade = 53.1.....Not exactly an B.
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Wagner is decent as a band aid. As long as he wasn't playing the Bucs.
Amos was the real deal after 2nd year improvement. Good thing, as he was paid 14 million his 1st season. Missed Brate in the NFCCG (TD). Whiffed on Fournette's 20 yard TD run.
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Tramon was Tramon.....a band aid slot corner/ 2 years = 2 picks, 10 passes defended...big deal.
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I give Gute credit for Amos, Z Smith, Billy Turner (except when playing against the Bucs).
All 3 failed in the NFCCG. Not just them, there were others.
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Did Gute find some players....sure. But put it in perspective
I'll tell you what...give me 240 million to spend in free agency and i'll find players also.
A NFL GM damn well better find some players spending 240 million, or he'll soon find himself cleaning bathrooms at Taco Bell on the late shift.
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And now what?....5 of our top 8 highest salary cap numbers come from his free agents.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 10, 2021 at 01:53 am

Fair enough on Preston. Smith was very good in 2019 but subpar for that kind of money in 2020. Not a hit, but not a swing and a miss either.

Tramon got 2 years for $10M. He was worth that fairly easily. Solid signing. 63.3 and 75.1 grades while in GB in over 700 snaps/season.

Wilkerson showed he was stout against the run but didn't show he could still pressure the QB in 3 games in a new system with new teammates. For $4.75M, your expectations are very high.

Ricky Wagner: PFF grade 77.0 well above average for $5.2M. That's a triple in my book. If you're going to use PFF to support your arguments, be sure to refer to PFF when it demolishes your argument.

GB didn't sign Turner as a LT. No one should belittle him for his play at LT. I am not the biggest fan of Turner (I think Wagner was obviously the better RT) but he's been worth every penny.

Smith x 2, Amos and Turner = $46M AAV. Yes, with $184M to spend, GMs can find players, but a remarkable number manage to misspend the money.

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

February 10, 2021 at 07:34 am

Gute spent like that on NEEDED talent infusion due to TT's failure in previous drafts to bring in players worthy of re-signing to second contracts when the time came.

0 points
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PF4L's picture

February 14, 2021 at 10:36 am

Gute NEEDS to do things to improve the team.
.
Not draft people we don't have need for a year ago..RB..TE...Back up QB we won't see for 3 or 4 years for a 1st and a 4th.
.
Not draft a project Edge rusher 2 years ago after signing two edge rushers for over 100 million.
.
We have 3 starters from 3 drafts. Not exactly a great batting average.

-2 points
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2
kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:19 am

I agree with the notion that, A) we had enough talent on the roster to win the Super Bowl if Pettine and Mannenga were better coaches, and if Rodgers and LaFleur didn't abandon the run inside the 10 yard line and in the 4th quarter.

However, it's also true that, B) Gutekunst was scrambling at the end of the year to beef up a roster that he could've been more aggressive building. Signing Austin, Snacks, Veldheer, and Tramon showed that he was aware of the team's shortcomings. It's possible Gutekunst didn't forsee Rodgers returning to dominant MVP form, while expecting some improvement in year 2 with LaFleur.

What about this offseason? We all heard Gutekunst hint at possible aggressive moves in his end of season press conference. Where will he look to upgrade the team? Look no further than those 4 veteran free agents he signed late last season. We may not keep those particular guys, but expect Gutekunst to target:

1. a quick slot weapon like prime Tavon Austin, or suped up Tyler Ervin.
2. an IDL in the mold of Snacks, if not more dangerous rushing the passer so as not to need constant subing in and out. What if Gutekunst really made an unexpected move and acquired JJ Watt? Thomspon shocked us all when he signed Julius Peppers on the verge of our last best run at a Super Bowl.
3. another OT, for depth, but also so as not to rely on rushing Bakhtiari back from his ACL tear. Convincing Veldheer to stay around, on his terms, doesn't seem out of the question. Let him skip most of training camp! He seemed more than capable of keeping himself in shape last year while not signed to any team.
4. another CB. While some seem to be targeting this postion for rounds 1 or 2 in the draft, I'm guessing Gutekunst fills this like he did the ILB and OT positions last year. Grab a veteran free agent and draft some mid round guys for depth. Technically, Gutekunst added interior OL for depth, but his pick of John Runyan jr. helped us cover for injuries and Kamal Martin probably would've gotten the start next to Kirksey if his injury hadn't slown down his learning process.

Only time will tell, but that's what I've been thinking these last few weeks.

1 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:06 pm

"2. an IDL in the mold of Snacks,"

Until Snacks became available at the end of the year, BG has shown repeatedly in the draft and FA that he had no interest in players of that body type (e.g. Michael Pierce). Even after bringing in Snacks and Price, neither played a large number of snaps. Maybe the new DC will have something to do with changing that, but they seem to prefer 6'3" and 280-310 as opposed to your traditional tree stump (Pierce) or long, lean 5 tech.

2 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:13 pm

I think you're right, so maybe it was Pettine or LaFleur who said "OF course we're struggling to stop the run! We lost Montravious Adams for the season and Dean Lowry can't get it done." Who knows. I personally would prefer they get another tall 5 technique, especially after watching a little of Brockers in preparation for the Rams game.

2 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:18 pm

"I personally would prefer they get another tall 5 technique,"

You're preaching to the choir!!! :)

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2021 at 03:07 am

Lancaster cannot be placed in a DE spot. He is a backup NT at best if he is retained. He could help in 4-2 sets.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 06:54 pm

If you are saying Pettine didn’t want to use bug guys, that was shown consistently over the entire season.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:02 pm

Nostradanus, I agree with everything you said. It would have been nice if one of the chickenshit downvoters had taken the time to explain why they disagree.

Most of the team that has gone 28-8 comes back. We get to add some pieces in the draft..

I gotta tell you, this turn of events at DC has me shaking my head. But I have no doubts about this offense if the blocking is there, and we’re going to be good next year, too.

-2 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:14 pm

We will be good next year, Leatherhead. We will win the game played on February 6th in SoFi stadium.

0 points
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nostradanus's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:33 pm

Thanks and yes I am underwhelmed by the DC hire, but hey what do I know, he could be great.

1 points
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4thand10's picture

February 10, 2021 at 09:12 am

They were short on quality DL....they didn’t even have enough pieces to rotate a 3-4 properly. When you have to sub Lowry or Lancaster at nose to spell Clark...you have a problem.

0 points
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Fabio's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:36 am

Great corner Cory. But there are things that make me think ....
Everything you say is pretty much right, but I still think that if the referees do their duty Tampa would go out against New Orleans (or later against GB) and we wouldn't be talking about the GOAT, and everything else that followed in the SB the referees clearly influenced the final outcome - then maybe Tampa would probably have won anyway, but everything was terribly addressed). Furthermore, I have always been a bit doubtful to always look at who won the last SB as an example to follow considering that in the case of Tampa everything was made possible also by situations of salary cap that are difficult to replicate. Anyway, I credit Tampa for how they built .. (maybe we should learn something - like who to draft in the first round ???)
But some things are certainties ....
You hardly get to the SB with defenses like GB's and if you get there you don't necessarily win (Maybe this was a good year, but a lot - also applies to Tampa - was favored by the two injuries of the DL owners of KC)
However, there is no doubt that the first priorities this year should be ILB - CB - DL not necessarily in order
Greetings from Italy
Go Pack Go

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:35 am

The officiating is a real embarrassment. Almost as if Brady gave them a script for all 3 games. I love football but this is becoming a farce. I guess the owners don’t care.

8 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:10 am

They do care. Their pockets are full...that's what they care about.

6 points
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Since'61's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:46 am

Coldworld, the owners care but what they care about is the money. Without fans in the stands they biggest revenue stream is their sponsors, read as TV ratings. While KC and Tampa are medium size markets they have larger viewing fan bases than Green Bay and Buffalo. Plus Tampa has Tom Brady to draw a significant TV audience.

Where big money is concerned and the SB is huge money I don’t put anything past the Goodell and the owners. The Bucs had timely calls throughout the playoffs and the SB.
Although the Packers beat themselves with poor coaching decisions and poor execution at critical times much more than poor officiating.

Credit to the Bucs, especially Todd Bowles who had his defense well prepared to slow down three of the best offensive teams in the league. Just supports what I have posted here for several years. Give Rodgers a defense like Tampa’s and the Packers are undefeated SB champs, probably a few times over at least.

Given the 2021 cap considerations the Packers should have gone all in for 2020, rather than looking 2-3 years down the road. Rodgers 3rd MVP award is proof of that. The Packers will look different in 2021 and we won’t know if we have all of the pieces until we get well into the season. There are no guarantees for 2-3 seasons from now. In professional sports if you’re not in it to win it all now why be in it at all? There are no tomorrows and hope is not a plan. Thanks, Since ‘61

9 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:26 pm

Should have? Probably. As far as the 2021 cap is concerned, show me a contending team that will be flush with cap money to spend. Most of the league will be figuring out creative ways to make space for this year and the more aggressive ones will find plenty to sign the players they want. Will Gutekunst find his inner Ron Wolf and stock the team with enough veterans to beat the Rams, Bucs, 49ers, Panthers, Vikings, or whomever stands in our way in the NFC? I'm thinking he has shown signs of that ability, that acceptance of necessary risk, that the late Ted Thompson (great as he was) usually avoided.

The window has not closed. It's wide open. Might we lose Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley this offseason? Perhaps. I think they could find a way to keep at least one of them, if LaFleur thinks his offense needs either of them to reach a Championship level. They could decide to tag one of them, sign the other to a long contract with money pushed a few years into the future when a new TV deal will make the cap explode again. They coud decide instead to use whatever money than can find on veteran defensive players.

The amature "cap gurus" are usually unnecessarily pessemistic about the possibilites under the cap and often expect us to let guys go whom we re-sign at the last minute. They are also shocked, again and again, when other teams manage to find ways to play free agents even though they're always pushing the cap envelope. Don't be shocked if we're one of those teams this offseason. Gutekunst hinted as much last week.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:49 pm

We will find out in six weeks.

1 points
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Nate-1980's picture

February 10, 2021 at 04:37 pm

I haven’t seen a single instance where Gute has been all in, why would he change now ?? Christ look at his last draft, it’s the complete opposite..

-1 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 10, 2021 at 04:51 pm

He made several bold moves to improve the defense in 2019. A return to that would be enough of an "all in" for me

1 points
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Nate-1980's picture

February 10, 2021 at 02:36 pm

CW I don’t know why they’d want Brady to win yet another SB, but damn it sure felt like that.. Tampa Bay mugged every opponents receivers on every play in the post season.. Watching the SB it was no different, the blatant holding that was allowed was maddening !!

0 points
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Razer's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:39 am

Joe Barry is a run around with the guys coach. Nothing that he has done indicates that he has any coaching genius other than his ability to hop around the league and get a job without posting results. He is familiar with coach Lafleur and works off of that trust. I like Matt Lafleur but I think that this is another inexperience mistake.

We didn't land a top DC because the good ones, the smart ones, evaluated what we have on the defensive side of the ball and stayed away. Even Jim Leonhard saw that the pieces are not there and, with Rodgers at the end of his career, realized that the stint would be a short one.

Without signing any one of our current free agents we are $15-25 million over the cap (depending on new cap). We have to shed players just to be able to sign the next draft class. How big a mortgage do you want to take?

-4 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:55 am

Razer makes good point and i'll add one
.
The Aaron Rodgers window is a short one. The offense took 2 years to come together.
What's the timeline for a new defense coming together?
Hint: It's usually longer than 1 training camp
.
Also.....the uncertainty about the salary cap didn't help. Whoever accepted the Def. Co. job had to know there is a possibility of losing talent already on the team in cost saving measures.
.
Yes...Defenses can win a Championship, but lets not pretend the Bucs offense and Brady's performance had nothing to do with their win.
.
Lets look at the Packers post Rodgers.
.
If you have a game manager type QB. Yes, you can still win a Championship. But you better have a high turnover top 3 defense to get you there.
.
Having a strong defense is great. but 80 - 90% of SB's are won with a franchise QB. That isn't by accident.
.
Think Rex Grossman and the 2006 Bears.
The offense was rated 15th, the defense was rated 5th. 5th....wasn't good enough.
.
So what does history tell us?
It tells me that after Rodgers is gone, you can kiss any dreams of winning a Super Bowl goodbye until...........Jordan Love has become a franchise QB...or the defense is top 3.
Good luck with that.
.
Don't blame me people, i don't write history.
.
Thumbs down all you want if that's what makes your simple mind feel better.

-2 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:54 am

"Also.....the uncertainty about the salary cap didn't help. Whoever accepted the Def. Co. job had to know there is a possibility of losing talent already on the team in cost saving measures."

Recent sentiment seems to imply the FA departure of King (the only FA starter, if you discount Lancaster), and potential cuts of Kirksey and Lowry will be addition by subtraction. A cut of P. Smith could be a tougher pill to swallow, especially if he comes to camp in shape next fall.

Otherwise, the key pieces--the pieces that an incoming DC would be scheming around--will all be there.

3 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:24 am

It's a shame those key pieces (sans Alexander) couldn't help win a NFCCG.
.
Since 2015 the Packers have drafted 5 cornerbacks in rounds 1 and 2. We have one left "starter" standing.
Now...we once again have to go back in the draft with a priority at cornerback, instead of using that resource on a O or D lineman, ilb, etc.
If we draft a corner within the first 2 rounds. It will be the 6th time we try since 2015 in the 1st or 2nd rounds, to get it right.
.
Now, how long will it take to find a starting cornerback. Since 2015 we found one, worth keeping.
.
I've said it before, and i'll say it again...it takes the Packers years to address a position of need.
See Cornerback...ilb...receivers, tight ends.
.
But at least we have Jordan Love.

3 points
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1
dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:22 pm

"It's a shame those key pieces (sans Alexander) couldn't help win a NFCCG."

It doesn't change the fact that those are the pieces an incoming DC is going to have to try to win with.

"Since 2015 the Packers have drafted 5 cornerbacks in rounds 1 and 2. We have one left "starter" standing.
Now...we once again have to go back in the draft with a priority at cornerback..."

Since 2018, when the current draft braintrust was put in place, the Packers have drafted exactly 2 CBs in rounds 1-2. One is a Pro-Bowler and arguably one of the best cover corners in football. The other...is still on the roster, and probably is actually now #1 on the depth chart opposite Alexander (for good or for ill) with King as an FA. I don't expect that to be the case when they open in September...but it might.

We can go back to 2015 if you want, but to pin a declining TTs misses on BG seems more than a little disingenuous. I wouldn't go any further back than 2018 to project forward.

3 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:08 pm

Well...i would make a list of all Gutes hits and misses, starting with his first move of getting rid of Jordy. But i figured i'd wait and see if he has more than 4 good moves total.

0 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 05:04 pm

In hindsight, Jordy Nelson wasn't a mistake. It sucked, but wasn't a mistake.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Jackson should have been cut ,yesterday.

0 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:41 pm

dobber...the last i checked Kirksey, Lowry and Preston Smith are starters. That's 4 starters.
.
Addition by subtraction? Is that guaranteed? That may hold true for Gary replacing Smith (maybe), but that would be admitting Preston Smith was a mistake.
.
Lets see how this thing shakes out.

-1 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 05:08 pm

"dobber...the last i checked Kirksey, Lowry and Preston Smith are starters. That's 4 starters."

...Um, OK. But not FAs. The point being that Kirksey and Lowry are not highly valued by the fan base. Might be true that coaches love them, but "sentiment" is that they wouldn't be hard to replace.

"Recent sentiment seems to imply the FA departure of King (the only FA starter, if you discount Lancaster), and potential cuts of Kirksey and Lowry will be addition by subtraction. A cut of P. Smith could be a tougher pill to swallow, especially if he comes to camp in shape next fall."

1 points
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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:49 pm

Fair enough dobber. Keep on keeping on.

-1 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:41 am

You are right about Barry being a "run around with the guys" coach. Just like Matt LaFleur is, if you've bothered to pay attention. I agree that Barry is not to be likely to be a coaching genius, but I've had enough of cerebral Defensive Coordinators who can't get their guys to play with any passion and toughness, while still managing to mismanage units that are also undisciplined and situationally inept.

If you have a Packersnews subscription, take a look at Silverstein's recent article on the hiring. While somewhat critical, as Mike is wont to be, there are some great nuggets in it, such as that Joe Barry helped Brandon Staley prepare the scheme to fit the Rams players over the offseason, according to the instructions and desires of Sean McVay. He also said that the plan is for LaFleur and Barry to work on their scheme this offseason.

That may seem unusual because the previous head coach basically hired two former head coaches as defensive coordinator and split the team responsibilities in two. LaFleur may have kept on Pettine for the first two years on the recommendation of Mark Murphy, so as to see if this arrangement worked for him. It was clear, based on LaFleur's frustration with the defense all year, not so much because of flawed scheme or bad play calling (though that came after the last game) but the nonchalant play style of the defense, which until the end of the year, couldn't manage to come out of the gates with passion and energy.

Many of the Badgers/Packers fans seem to think LaFleur wanted Leonhard for his schematic acumen. Are you sure about that? Are you positive Leonhard is a football genius, and not more of a master motivator, "run around with the guys" coach? It could be that Leonhard was more prized for his ability to teach a complex scheme to college guys, and get them playing fast and confident in a way Pettine and Capers struggled to do without Hall of Famers playing in their defenses. LaFleur already had Leonhard's scheme. Would it be that difficult to see any unique wrinkles Leonhard has developed in Madison on film? Do you think Pettine would've been unable to decipher the complexity? It's not out of the realm of possibility that LaFleur would've gotten together with Leonhard this offseason, if he'd accepted the job, and they would've figured out how to replicate some of the ideas Staley and Fangio had developed. Perhaps LaFleur would have hired an assitant coach from the Rams staff for more of the details.

LaFleur hired Barry, and not some defensive mastermind, because he doesn't think that's what he needs. He needed a great teacher and motivator to get the most out of a talented roster and whatever innovative scheme he wants the coordinator to run. LaFleur didn't need a coaching genius because HE is the coaching genius.

1 points
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Razer's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:39 pm

If Joe Barry had demonstrated consistent results implementing a DC strategy, I wouldn't have suspicion about the hire. He's popular and can find jobs throughout the NFL. I am just not seeing a strong results history that would warrant this elevation. If you like what you see in his resume great.

As for Leonhard and the others who applied, I don't know what their strengths and philosophies are on defense. I would think that any good coach/DC should be a good teacher and communicator - beyond that I don't know what LaFleur was looking for.

A couple of things do stick with me:
1. The pickings were slim
2. Given Barry's history - he won't be here long.

0 points
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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:51 pm

I would argue that teaching and motivating is more the domain of position coaches than DCs and OCs.

0 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:38 pm

This is where we must part ways, dobber. Do you not think Robert Saleh, LaFleur's best friend and probably the best coordinator of the past two seasons, is a rah-rah guy? The scheme in San Francisco wasn't complicated. The players were fantastc in 2019, but when he lost most of the stars to injury he still had a competitive unit that played the fast and physical style they played with several Pro-Bowlers. Do you not see him on the sidelines, getting his unit fired up and playing with passion? I understand we haven't had a coordinator like that in some time, but Defensive Coordinators especially often show that kind of emotion. That's mostly because, apart from what many seem to think about Defense, it's not really not as important what scheme or what plays a Defensive Coordinator calls. That's more important for offense.

Listen to what LaFleur said about what he's looking for in a coordinator, in his press conference a week ago, and you'll hear him describe it better than I can. He want's those players to play faster and tougher and with more confidence.

2 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:17 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:17 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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0
ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:18 pm

I agree. I think a lot of guys turned down interviews because they saw the major rebuild and Rodgers going about the time said rebuild is done and said no thanks!

0 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 10, 2021 at 05:08 pm

HOLY TOLEDO

0 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:50 am

But, hasn't the song been that it wasn't the Packer defense that lost the game to Tampa Bay, and the Packers defense was ranked as very good, even though its shortcomings were witnessed and denied all season, although that part is of no matter in the eyes of the blind optimist. There are a few that actually believe GB would have been able to get the same pressure on Mahomes like Tampa Bay did. Isn't that a great comedy shop line for the laugh track?

Don't worry, as long as the NFCN is in disarray, the Packers should be alright and win another Division Title, maybe. The problem is with the plausible loss of some key players, as the Packers go back to being a team with an average player grade of C+ at best. Who remains is not known, but who won't do appear closer to a lock than not, and that spells trouble, and the salary cap is still an issue after their departures. This makes the likelihood of Rodgers having a better team unlikely, and a lesser team the more probable.

Joe Barry will have less to work with than Pettine, SPTs promoted an underling, and the offense will be stepping backwards, and even if Rodgers replicates this seasons numbers, unlikely, it won't be enough. I know it, they know it, and the blind optimist here should simply accept it, and curb the heartbreak that will rear its ugly head yet again, though much sooner than as late this season.

-3 points
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Guam's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:22 am

I'm probably not quite as negative as you Taryn, but I agree with your principle point - given the cap issues and associated player losses, it will be hard for the Packers to be as good as they were this year.

In all likelihood the Packers will be losing at least Linsley, Jones, Williams, King, P. Smith, and Kirksey with the potential for more. That's five starters and a key reserve at a minimum. Yes, Gute started drafting replacements last year, but it is a lot to expect first and second year players to replace starters and be just as good if not better. And there will be no substantial free agent additions given the cap.

I don't see the Packers improving next year. They may not fall far, but get better? I doubt it.

3 points
4
1
Tingham's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:58 am

It's hard to be as negative as Taryn. Extremely high bar.

5 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:12 am

I'm not the one looking for the excuses for the yearly replay loss. The excuses being sought or talked about are most of what I'm accused of using as basis for my perceived negativity. Why am I never crying foul at the end of the season?

0 points
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4
kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:47 pm

You say, "looking for excuses," and dwell on past failure, unable to find hope for success in the future.

I say, "looking forward to opportunities," and move on from disappointment, knowing that there's nothing a fan can do to fix what happened in those games, and the power to improve our chances of being triumphant next season are out of my hands.

-2 points
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2
TarynsEyes's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:48 pm

Past failures seem to repeat themselves in the present which was the future at one point.

The incessant replay of FO doings year after year creates the same excuses from fans, which you attempt to turn into hope, which you and others succeed in doing by watching the same again, and again result. Déjà vu or Groundhog Day, either works, and is accepted by you and others of that blind optimism, as success.

My last strong optimism was the 2010-11 season, and the 2011-12 season result began my endeavor to share my reality mindset of this team, and I haven't been wrong yet.

2 points
3
1
jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2021 at 03:05 am

The pressure is on Gutedkunst to get it done this off-season. The CAP will probably have a one year float with a bit of reduction from 2020, but I do not see the NFL going all low-ball mode.

1 points
1
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Fabio's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:26 am

Ciao Taryns.
A volte sono d'accordo con quanto scrivi ed altre no .... ma non importa. Il fatto è che secondo me è sempre interessante quello che dici e ti leggo sempre con piacere anche solo per il fatto che inserisci argomenti di discussione. Molte volte il nostro amore per la nostra squadra ci fa vedere cose che sono diverse dalla realtà .... ma a volte, il nostro perenne pessimismo, ce ne fa vedere di altre sbagliate.
Credo che, visto la prestazione in CNFC contro Tampa (e contro gli arbitri ahime!!), il nostro distacco dal SB non sia così ampio come sembra ... E' vero.... ogni anno è diverso e ci sono squadre diverse, ma forse la nostra base non è poi così male..... Certo il draft di quest'anno e lo sviluppo dei già presenti diventa fondamentale ......
Ti saluto dall'Italia
Go Pack Go

0 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:29 am

Fabio, le opinioni contano e le tue sono sempre benvenute. Tuttavia, sono confuso sul motivo per cui hai commentato in italiano. Era per proteggerti, per essere d'accordo, con me, e per soffrire l'ira degli altri per questo. Il mio percepito perenne pessimismo non è un evento da calendario, ma piuttosto derivato dalle interazioni di tutte le decisioni di FA, Draft e FO, che cambiano stagionalmente. Mi percepisci come una predilezione, non lo sono. Vedo quello che vedo senza alcun pregiudizio concepito in un modo o nell'altro. Io invece so che molti qui sono di quella natura, e c'è il problema. Non è insolito che uno chiami un altro quello che loro stessi sono.

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Fabio's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:33 am

Hi taryns. Sorry for the language. I don't speak English well and for this I use the google translator. So forgive me if I use sometimes inappropriate words or if there are language errors. You probably have a football experience that I (from Italy) clearly can't have, so I always try to examine every aspect you criticize about the team and management. I just think that sometimes, when a person constantly sees what they think are mistakes being repeated, they unwittingly lose a fair judgment on the value of their players. I'll give you an example (of football where I am most likely more competent than you) I am a Juventus fan and we now have Cristiano Ronaldo in the team (I think you know him). Every year expectations increase and individual players are criticized more and more from season to season. But their value (individually) I realized is always good. With all this I just want to say (going back to talking about Green Bay) that in my opinion the defensive talent is not that low. It is true it is not comparable to that of Tampa, but it is otherwise good (perhaps in different hands .....) I cannot say the same about the offense, where it is fundamental (for Rodgers always older and an attack with little talent) have a very effective running game. This is why even though with free agency and roof issues we will lose some players (Linsey, Kirksey, King, Williams, Jones, Wagner ...) they are not so damned determined to lower the quality level. of the team. Sure they will need to be replaced well, but what worries me most is Jones (for his various receiving abilities as well), but I think Dillon is a good sequel. You are absolutely right that the choices we make will become decisive. In this sense, I think Love's choice was a disaster for our ambitions to win this season. I also believe we should extend Rodgers to make room on the roof (get rid of Love) and try to get a player who elevates the quality of our D.
I salute you and kindly ask you to criticize me when I say blatantly wrong things so that I can understand that I said nonsense.
Forgive me again for the language
Go Pack Go

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:50 pm

A lot of fine perspective Fabio, especially as Ronaldo is a similar once-in-a-lifetime talent in the twilight of his career.

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Fabio's picture

February 10, 2021 at 04:18 am

Rodgers too ....

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Tundraboy's picture

February 10, 2021 at 08:05 am

I understand you much better in Italian Grazie!

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stockholder's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:15 pm

As long as the NFCN is in disarray. Excellent!!!

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:43 pm

I'd rather be accused of blind optimism than be an unselfaware blind pessimist.

If you prefer, feel free to give up on the 2021 season before the League year even begins, but don't think dismissing the understanding of fans who believe in their team and are excited for the possibility of another run with a fine head coach and a Hall of Fame QB makes you somehow more intelligent or insightful as a football hobbyist.

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Bruiser's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:20 am

Barry has had two forgettable stints as a DC. The Packers have plenty of talent on defense but just need a competent coordinator which Barry is not. This was a very poor hire by the Packers when there were many other better choices. Just because he is friends with LaFleur isn't a good reason to hire him. It looks like another average or worse defense in 2021.

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:23 am

Then based on public opinion, the defense will look like it did in 2019 and 2020...because apparently they can't do worse than Pettine.

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dblbogey's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:50 pm

I'll wait and see how he does, before ridiculously calling this a bad hire 8 months before we play a game.

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PF4L's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:26 am

YES!!!…….After using the 1st 3 picks for offensive players to help us win a Championship in 2021
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Can we get back to drafting for defense? We’ve been doing it since 2012 and…..we’re not finished yet.
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You can never have enough corners, ilb’s and D-lineman….Lets do this!
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You can never spend enough money on 3 def. players in free agency at one time…154 million
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Enough attention has been given to the offense, receivers and O lineman, isn’t that what UDFA’s and 5th – 6th round picks are for?
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Can we finish building the defense we started building in 2012?
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Mel Kipers Mock Green Bay Packer defensive completion date……2029

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Duneslick's picture

February 09, 2021 at 03:10 pm

And the first 3 picks for the offense had really no effect on the season or winning games. 2 didnt play at all and 1 was a 3rd string backup.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 09, 2021 at 08:32 am

While the Bucs defense was really good in the Super Bowl, lets also point out that the Chiefs were playing with 2 backup OT's. The Bucs outside rushers are really good, but going against backups is like taking candy from a baby. The biggest issue IMO was the Chiefs chose to not run the ball at all. Had they tried to stay more balanced who knows what happens. I would put most of the blame on the coaches for that game. They didn't adjust to what was happening on the field and didn't adjust to the players they had on it.

Out of the names mentioned I was not very intrigued with the idea of Barry. After hearing a bit more though I have started to warm up to the idea for a bit. When he was the DC for the Lions, the defenses before and after him didn't change at all. All ranked the same. When he was a the DC for The Football Team, the defense was at the bottom before he was there. He had them ranked like 17 & 19 and they dropped down after he left. This was what I had heard from a Packers reporter yesterday on the radio. Lets face it too. Neither place to work is a great place. They each have a history of poor teams. So i will give him a chance.
The Rams had the number 1 defense last year. He was a part of that. He was a part of making the ILB's much better. We have 2 rookie ILB's who could really benefit from that. He was originally came through learning the Tampa 2 defense. But the last few years he has worked in the Vic Fangio style of defense. So it will be interesting to see what style of defense he is going to run.

If he runs more zone principles like they did with the Rams, it could mean a good thing for Josh Jackson. Remember when Casey Hayward went to the Chargers and became a really good player. Well he went into a scheme that fit his abilities more. Maybe this can be the case with Jackson?

What this defense needs regardless of what style Barry will run, is DL, CB and pass rush.
We need more DL period! They clearly knew this because they brought in Snacks late in the season. Keke I really like, but he may not be more then a rotational type of player. Lancaster and Lowry are just guys. We need an improvement from them. Adams was really playing well this year until he got hurt. Maybe they sign him cheap, but either way they need more DL. They need more guys that can rush the QB. Which maybe if Barry chooses to blitz more often, we will see our ILB's used in that role more. Martin seems like a guy that could do that well. It would be nice if they could get a faster OLB. Someone who can put pressure on the OT's with speed. Basically a 3rd down specialist. Gary and ZaDarius are really good, but they aren't a speed rusher off the edge. It would be nice to add that element to the defense. I don't see them really doing that, but it would be nice if they could find someone in the draft that could do it.
They also need CB help. King will likely be gone. Even if he returned, they need more help. Sullivan was really good last year, but took a step back this year with an increased role.

I really don't expect them to go wild in FA with potentially being in trouble with the cap, but I could see them adding a couple of pieces. Possibly just some role players. Maybe a DL.

This is a very important draft though. I am willing to bet they come out of this draft with a CB and DL at least on the defensive side. We do need more weapons on defense. Guys who can fly to the ball and make plays! Hopefully we can add a couple this offseason. But we really need to improve our trenches. That is where most games are won and lost. The super bowl was the prime example of that.

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Packer_Fan's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:10 am

I was hoping that the Pack would pick Leonard. But alas, he turned it down. Barry to me is a retread. But let's hope he does well. The Packers have some good to great players, but not consistent sections. The secondary was close, but King was not a very good corner.

Tampa played a 4-2-5. The defensive line was great and two great LB's. That allowed the secondary to be aggressive. The Pack scored 23 points, but was not efficient two times inside the 10 yard line. A thought here, the pass that was picked off just before the half was completed in the third quarter. Why? Speed. The difference between Lazard running it and MVS running it. The CB could not hang onto MVS because of speed. MVS will be the next great Packer receiver. You have heard it here.

Barry has a dilemma. The Packers play a 5-2-4 or a 5-1-5. I count the OLB in the 5. They are not too good against the pass. Tampa Bay rarely deviated from their base set. Reminds me of Seattle in the legion of doom. Play simple and execute well. Their ILB's were fast and good. But the Pack has too many players on the line of scrimmage.

So, this is I think what the Packers need... And the salary cap is going to make it difficult.

Jettison Preston Smith. He didn't play well this year and Gary is ascending. Then sign a good CB and yes, draft another CB in the first three rounds. If we think Alexander is a shut down corner, then Barry needs to leave him on an island and rotate coverage to the other receivers. KIng is also gone and Sullivan is not that good enough. Then sign a good ILB. I don't know yet if Barnes and Martin will be good enough. Then pick up another good DL person. Then play 4-2-5. With Z Smith and Gary at ends, Clark and the new DL as down lineman.

Perhaps there is too many veteran players to sign with the cap issue. And I don't know if Barry will be a schemer and adjuster like Leonard has demonstrated. Just think to the bowl game. Leonard's defense was picked apart the first two drives. Somehow he adjusted and by the second half, had his guys jumping the routes that led to four straight interceptions. Pettine never had this success and crumbled with bad judgement against Tampa Bay. And I dare say bad judgement with how he rushed three and played third and long. Never very successful. But I hope Barry can rise to having some really good defensive games.

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:32 am

"The Packers play a 5-2-4 or a 5-1-5. I count the OLB in the 5. They are not too good against the pass. "

It's been pretty widely reported that after Leonhard came off the board (and there's now some contention as to whether there actually was a real offer on the table...this is probably controlling the narrative on the part of the Packers), LaF wanted a guy who comes from the Vic Fangio/Brandon Staley tree. I don't know how others would characterize this, but it's essentially playing from the middle out on defense, and they have the DT (Clark) and S to make those parts go.

How that translates in GB where the ILBs are not versatile, speed demons (which some relate as being the key part) remains to be seen. You do refer to this later in your response, but I don't think there's a signing on the horizon at ILB. Barry is going to have to make do with what he has, unless they use a higher pick...but that guy would have to leapfrog Martin and Barnes.

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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:50 am

The Bucs are a 3-4 team. They call Jason Pierre-Paul (DE with the Giants) an OLB. It's basically like when we signed Peppers, gave him number 56, and named him an OLB. An EDGE is an EDGE is an EDGE.

Pettine, and Capers for that matter, ran plenty of "4-2-5" over the years and Bowles doesn't need to play Dime because his linebackers are so fast, just like Fangio didn't need to when he was 49ers DC and had NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis.

You're mistaken if you imagine the problem with Pettine's defenses have been a lack of knowledge of scheme. Pettine's problems were elsewhere.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2021 at 04:14 am

P.Smith is a probable move. If Collins from Tulsa is hanging around he could be a guy to fill that spot as the #3 rush LB with Za and Gary starting. Collins plays with passion and can cover better. I believe Barry should be able to develop Barnes and Martin inside. Seems like Kirksey picked up his game down the stretch. I would retain him and see if he would accept a renegotiated deal to save a couple M and use some cash to bag a veteran CB to cover the nickel spot. Sullivan is a dime guy at best. Move back into the first or high #2 pick to bag a CB. OT or center with a #3 pick. Looks like they don't want to pay Lindsley.

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Handsback's picture

February 09, 2021 at 09:50 am

My biggest question is why did the Packer's pass rush disappear this year? Same guys and same coaches so I doubt the scheme changed. Last year the Smith brothers were making pressure every game. They were beating their man and had some games that totally wrecked the opponent's passing game. Whatever changed, needs to change back and bring more stoutness to the Dline.

On the offensive side, the line isn't that bad and help may be on the way with who they have on the roster. For the past two years Taylor beat out Jenkins for the left guard spot and won the right guard spot. Both years he got injured and spent most or all of the season on IR. This year, his injuries should be healed and can be a very cheap, and effective starter at right guard. Keeping the Oline intact and effective will keep the offense rolling except for brain farts from the coaches and Rodgers.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 09, 2021 at 11:57 am

Pettine tried to convert a disruption driven offense into a conservative one. The result included less big plays but overall was contrary to the system design and the aptitude of the players within it. When we were attacking on D we were a good defense. We saw that against Tennessee and in the last half against Tampa. Pettine always dialed that back though. Perhaps he lost confidence, but he ended up getting less not more from Players and Scheme. It caught up with us in the first half against Tampa. The second half showed what could have been from both system and players.

2 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 01:56 pm

To be clear, when you say "attacking on D" do you mean blitzing, as in sending more than 4 rushers? If so, you probably will be disappointed in the Fangio/Staley/Barry scheme. You can find a lot of information online about how the Rams became the number 1 defense last year, but it wasn't by blitzing a ton. I agree though, that Pettine wasn't getting enough out of the players. We all saw how good Gary was and he didn't give him nearly enough chances to succeed. Look at how Barry coached Leonard Floyd to a breakout campaign and have hope for Gary to explode next year

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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:28 pm

imo the change you mention was due to teams shifting to the pass from the run to catch up. when they found success moving the ball, Pettine dropped backers deep to try and help in pass protection. by then our pass d were gassed. they seemed to tire easy.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2021 at 04:11 am

Didn't really beat out Jenkins from camp. LaFleur used the veteran in part because they opened with the Bears on the road and against the viqueens top-rated D, next game, then took over the job for good when Taylor went down game two. You could see Jenkins was the better player in the pre-season games and at camp. Can Taylor play again with two bad knees? I would be looking at Runyan and Patrick to fight it out and let Runyan compete a bit at RT. It will depend on the miracle cure for Bhaktiari. We do not know the severity of his ACL tear. The center position is an open question. I would leave Jenkins where he is at LG. Maybe they go Center in the draft early with a three pick and hope Turner and Wagner can hold down the fort until Bhak returns.

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Cheesehead_in_Boston's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:04 am

Tampa Bay didn't win the Super Bowl because of Tom Brady. At this point in his career, he is not as good a QB as Mahomes or Rodgers (and others). And Tampa Bay didn't win because of great coaches.

Tampa Bay had a great defensive line and KC had a bad O-line that day ... due to playing backups. Tampa Bay won because Mahomes was running for his life on almost every pass play. Nothing else really mattered. It helped that the defensive coach had defensive backs sitting on fast developing routes and safeties deep to limit Tyreek Hill. But that wasn't a stroke of genius ... it was just recognizing that Mahomes would have very little time to throw.

What does this say about the Packer's roster? I don't think it means to go all-in on the defensive line. Even a great D-line can be neutralized by an above-average O-line. In the NFC title game, Aaron Rodgers was under a lot of pressure behind an average O-line (due to backups that day), but not as much as Mahomes. Even so, Green Bay managed to out-gain Tampa Bay in yards. If Bahktiari had been healthy, Green Bay probably scores over 30, instead of 26.

If Green Bay could upgrade one player on offense, I think having a better WR2 would make more of a difference than anything else ... such as an upgrade at RT. With Davante Adams demanding double teams on one side, imagine having a receiver on the other side who could get instant separation against single coverage. This is not an original thought ... it is the consensus opinion.

What about upgrading on defense? It would be nice to have a pass rush like Tampa Bay. You might say Green Bay just needs another very good interior DL to run with Z, Gary and Clarke. But, do they have the draft slots or cap space to do this? And, even if they did, against good O-lines and decisive QBs (like Tampa Bay), the rush wouldn't have time to get home if wide receivers are open early.

In the NFC title game, Green Bay's weakest link on D was CB2. While it's great that Jaire can lock down top receivers, QBs can just target the other CBs ... and the areas covered by the ILBs.

If the Packers could upgrade one player on defense, I think having a better CB2 would make more of a difference than anything else. Imagine if Jaire was locking down WR1, and CB2 was defending WR2 well enough to make the opposing QB hesitate. Then the rush could get home even with the current DL group. Of course, CB3 and the ILBs would be targeted next. But, I hope that more experience and better schemes could bring these positions up to average.

Which brings the discussion back to Joe Barry. Like all fans, I'd like cause for optimism based on past performance ... and didn't find it. But, so much of his future success or failure depends on things we fans don't have access to. This includes his knowledge of diverse schemes, his rapport with players, and how he will work with MLF to jointly develop plans. We will just have to wait for the 2021 season to see the evidence ...

7 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2021 at 03:45 am

Can they afford Barrett and JPP this year? Trench warfare, but having guys like White and David gives them the edge. They can move to the ball fast and can cover. Tampa was fortunate to face two opponents dealing with attrition of their top OTs. That's the way the cards were dealt.

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Nate-1980's picture

February 10, 2021 at 05:26 pm

I agree, a second receiver that can get open quickly is exactly what the offense needs, we have the chain mover( Laz), and deep threat( MVS).. We need the fast shifty guy that can get RAC..

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Nate-1980's picture

February 10, 2021 at 05:26 pm

I agree, a second receiver that can get open quickly is exactly what the offense needs, we have the chain mover( Laz), and deep threat( MVS).. We need the fast shifty guy that can get RAC..

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:37 am

The weapon the Packers needed was Jim Leonard. Alas, not to be. I just hope Murphy and/or Ball did not low ball Jim hoping for a home state discount the way they did with ST coach Rizzi who got insulted and when ML convinced Murphy call him back to up the offer, Rizzi said, "no thank you, I am moving on." So Rizzi went to the Saints to lead excellent STs.

Barry is a bit of a head scratcher. He has mostly failed as a DC. Granted he did have mostly bare cupboards with the pitiful Lions and Redskins...but the needle barely moved. His defenses were terrible.

Getting him weapons? Sure, but it wasn't like Pettine was playing with duds. Clark, Z, Alexander, King, Savage and Amos....plus Preston Smith's pass rush talents were misused by Pettine this year when he made him cover like Fackrell last season. Fackrell was pretty good at it...Preston isn't.

So that core of 7 D players is solid. Granted King is probably gone and Preston may be a cap casualty, but there will be good D players cut from other teams due to the cap as well.

I hope Barry can energize the D make them game changers for the positive. By all accounts he is a good communicator with high energy and work ethic. I will feel better if he keeps Montgomery, Smith, and Gray on his staff.

-2 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 10:55 am

Leonhard would've probably been a good coordinator under LaFleur since he could've helped him along as he learned the NFL coaching ropes. I do think Badgers fans are overrating how devastating it is Leonhard wasn't interested in the NFL at this time, as he wasn't when Sean McVay came calling last offseason. LeFleur can get whomever coach he hires to run whatever scheme he wants. He's the boss. The scheme Barry helped Staley mold to the Rams personnel last offseason was number 1 in the league in many major categories.

The sky is not falling, Badgers fans. Take courage and have confidence in our 28-8 head coach.

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dobber's picture

February 09, 2021 at 12:38 pm

I think it's become clear that unless he messes up, Leonhard figures into the Badgers coaching plans for a long time. Who knows how long Chryst will continue to coach, but Leonhard has spurned all comers--high end SEC and NFL teams looking for coordinators, and needy college programs looking for a hot name at HC. He makes buckets of cash as far as college assistants go (esp. in the Big Te-fourteen). I think it's likely he's got something lined up and it's exactly what he wants.

1 points
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kbrinkmann's picture

February 09, 2021 at 02:01 pm

No doubt. By considering the opportunity, which he says he was close to taking, he reminds Barry Alvarez not to take him for granted, and maybe even secures some assurances that he'll succeed Chryst when his contract expires.

I have no doubt that Leonhard is a great coach. But I think it's simpleminded to think it's because he designs plays no one else can, or has some schematic knowledge that other coaches don't. Rex Ryan's playbook is freely available online, and every college could hire a former Ryan/Pettine player to implement that scheme if it was simply a matter of plays. Leonhard is a great coach, because he understands how players think, and what he needs to teach them to put them in the best position to make big plays.

1 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

February 09, 2021 at 04:48 pm

"Getting to the quarterback still matters in this league. Go get Barry some weapons."

Pass rushing weapons? Like Gary? The Smith Bros.? Clark? Pettine had weapons with proven abilities to get to the QB from the outside and the inside. On the back end Gute brought in Amos and drafted Savage, along with one of the few true shut-down corners in the game - Alexander. There were enough playmakers there. With the possible exception of Preston Smith, they will all be back in 2021. Yeah, there were some holes. Everyone's got holes. But, "Go get Barry some weapons?" I guarantee that Barry did not get the job by talking THAT line.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2021 at 03:56 am

They need two more CBs and one has to be a starter on the perimeter. I really don't want to hear anymore Jackson projections. Another SS type guy from the fourth round and a DT from the other fourth rounder?

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4thand10's picture

February 10, 2021 at 09:30 am

There was not enough quality DL to spell Clark....his snap count was way too high this year. Lancaster and Lowry are not the answer. They need to Draft another nose type. And if they plan on running a 3-4....they need to keep the actual 3 part of the DL on the field. As in years past ...they don’t get enough middle pressure with 2 DL. First pick of this Draft should be DL.

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ImFubar's picture

February 09, 2021 at 07:35 pm

let's keep in mind 4 people were putting pressure on mahomes and the two outside rushers had speed and size. this left backers to drop back and cover the middle with the corners? Pettine often sent the farm in hopes the QB couldn't get a pass off, ya that mostly didn't work.
we don't have d players like this. they are mostly bull rushers who lack speed.

1 points
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4thand10's picture

February 10, 2021 at 08:52 am

Great article.

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