Cory's Corner: Poor OL spells doom for Packers

Coming into the season, the offensive line was supposed to be a strength for the Packers.

Sports Illustrated ranked them as the No. 4 offensive line in the NFL back in August.

They sure don’t look like that now.

Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 10 times in the last three games. He was dropped five times and hit nine more in addition to being pressured on 40 percent of his passes on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. The Packers made the game interesting with a late comeback, but the 37-29 score doesn't highlight how bad it really was. 

“We have to get the mistakes corrected," said right guard T.J. Lang . “Too many guys doing the wrong thing, guys slipping up, taking their turns having bad plays. I think it's just bad timing. We have to get back to what we were doing in the first six games.”

Rodgers was running for his life during the whole game. The most exciting, (and perhaps lucky) play happened because the offensive line caved in. On fourth-and-14, Rodgers took the shotgun snap and surveyed the field. After a couple seconds, he was under duress and rolled to his left. He paused every so slightly and zipped a 36-yard pass to James Jones for a first down. Two plays later, the Packers got a touchdown to pull within eight.

Rodgers can still make magical plays. He has the arm strength, poise and knowledge. But there’s not much magic coming when his pocket gets pushed back to the point where he cannot even step up into the pocket.

And center Corey Linsley, who was clearly having a problem hearing or understanding Rodgers, couldn’t even get the ball snapped properly. And when he snapped it before the play clock expired, it was often low meaning Rodgers had to bend down, grab the ball and quickly straighten up before getting blown over.

This didn’t just translate poorly for pass-blocking either. Eddie Lacy and James Starks couldn’t find any daylight as Starks, the team’s leading rusher, only tallied 39 yards.

Everyone wants to talk about how poorly the defense played. And yes, they played bad. It’s a unit that must put pressure on the quarterback because the secondary continues to get exposed.

But the quick answer for this team is on the offensive line. Even quick three-step drops didn’t do much because Rodgers was already searching for daylight by then. The running game has been consistently inconsistent this year and since this is a offensively-dominated league, the line has to show up.

Just think if Rodgers wasn’t as active in the pocket as he is? He probably would’ve been sacked nearly 10 times. The Panthers did an excellent job of closing off running lanes, which forced Rodgers to stay in the pocket and run around while more Panthers joined in the chase.

And since Rodgers is the Packers’ best player, he needs to be protected. The more hits he takes, the greater chance he’s going to take a season-ending blow sooner or later. And when that happens, the season is officially off the tracks. They cannot score enough to make up for a poor defense now. What happens when Rodgers cannot bail them out late and make it a game?

The offensive line was supposed to be one of the bright spots this year. Josh Sitton and Corey Linsley were supposed to anchor a group that was supposed to give Rodgers enough time to pick teams apart.

The Seahawks just had a bye week and Russell Wilson still leads the NFL by swallowing 31 sacks. That’s why Seattle is barely keeping its head above water.

 And if the Packers want to make some January noise, they have to give their All-Pro quarterback time to work. Without that, he’s just another quarterback that will continue to “get scared” by a tidal wave of sack-hungry defenders. 

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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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Comments (70)

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Hematite's picture

November 10, 2015 at 06:31 am

The O-line is the biggest problem on offense.
No pass protection, no run blocking.
The draft and develop philosophy will provide no answer to the problematic tackle positions for 2-3 years.
The present backups would probably be a worse option.
Just duck and run Aaron!

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 06:41 am

Cory,
I get your point about Oline having such a rippling effect, and so you want to isolate the core problem. I'm not disagreeing that Oline play impacts everything else.

But here is why I disagree;
My career is assessing business, management and economic problems, and remedies. We can use tools to identify if these are isolated problems, or systematic problems.

As you correctly point out, the personnel is nearly same, and highly talented, and trends are clear that it is not 'a bad game', or they faced an unusually difficult match up. The solutions (which have been highly used by expert fans) over the past weeks isn't "gotta establish the run game' 'gotta get back their form', blah, blah. May as well just say, they gotta win.

The problems are clearly bad leadership-preparation and strategies to make those things happen. The patterns show all signs. It isn't particularly the player or their talent, not their system (basically all intact from last year), so the missing variables get narrow. It is coaches not having them in proper strategy and preparedness. Sure individuals can rise above any faulty system, but a great system/scheme is 80% likely to lead success. Coaches by my weird reckoning get 80% of my blame for poorly schemed games in past 4 games.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:02 am

While I often agree with you, Porupack, that doesn't mean I would want you to be the person writing my annual employment review! Unless you write everyone's review: then I might at least shine by comparison.

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:46 am

Actually TGR....a great review is one which has very few surprises, because all of the participants are part of the goal setting and monitoring their own performance, and its empowering and energizing usually. You'd probably have a better one than, uh, I think McCarthy would right now. But...to be honest of course, I'm seeing this from a non-objective, pissed off fan point of view and haven't had a one-on-one with the coaches, so there's that qualifier.

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Dan Stodola's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Unless you have the opportunity to talk to all parties involved at the business, and in this case the coaches, GM and players of the Packers, and the organization as a whole, I don't think you are in any way qualified to state definitively its a mgmt issue and McCarthy is at fault!

I wholeheartedly and completely disagree w/ your assessment. It has little to do w/ you being a pissed off fan, it has everything to do that you aren't qualified to make the assessment in the first place, w/o having any direct contact w/ the team!

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:22 pm

yeah. that's kind of what I said.

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:22 am

Seriously? Completely disagree? Wholeheartedly?
You can't see strong evidence and trends of poor leadership without an interview? I'm not that smart, but evidence is striking over multiple games. Even the cameraman understood the demoralized, leaderless sideline and gave us a good peek.

So if you completely disagree that the leadership is failing, please defend MM leadership in Carolina; he did everything he could to alter the players, plays and course of the game? He has no fault, and everything he did, the players just couldn't execute, despite his superior preparation all week (superior to Rivera at least).

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:35 am

i agree with what your saying.

A good game plan can alleviate a lot of problems you are having.

If the offense is having problems blocking, turn to shorter passes and get the ball out quickly. Don't allow DL time to get to the QB. That is exactly what San Diego and Denver did to our defense.
If they are having problems run blocking, then find other ways to still use the RB's. That doesn't solve the running game issues per-say but at the end of the day you are essentially accomplishing the same thing.

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:58 am

And once you neutralize through such a scheme, and begin to unsettle or tire the opponent, you can go back to more trad sets. But do SOMETHING to build energy/momentum at the first tick of the clock. A leader finds ways of getting sum of all parts more than the individual talents. That is MM and DC job to figure out, not just rehearsed refrain; "we gotta just execute".
Seems to me that players are losing confidence in coaches, and lost that extra performance that good coaches get out of their teams.
Not fair to compare to HC firings in Miami and Tenn, but well, seems like some disturbing similarity on team performance and coaching leadership. Sure can't compare to a Belichick team though. Those cats know Billy is going to put them in optimal position every game.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:10 am

As I am manager and doing lot of assessing business, managing my business and deal with personnel I have to heavily dissagree with you. People is known to relax themselves when they feel they are better in doing their job over others. In friendly surroundings, like we learned and convinced are in Packers team, it is hard to get edge at every moment. Those 2 losses may be the blessing for Packers team. That was reminder that nobody is larger than game! And I trully believe that was the problrem with whole team!

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

I can agree that adversity has its merits....but every Patriot player believes their team is better than everyone else. That is confidence in your team and leader. Its not hyping yourself ra-ra. They believe it because of results, performance and sustained excellence. Not just the score, but performance which attains the score. A professional can deliver at highest levels and sustain it. Of course there is the individual talent and motivation, and sometimes you just can't get that out of many individuals. They are (should be shown the door). But a good leader/good management knows how to vary the strategy to get the highest level possible when each situation (game) requires. Injuries and all are irrelevant. Do the most with the cards you have. Play the damn strategy well. MM and DC are failing, or otherwise prove to me why they are successfully leading and preparing the team each week.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

This is the most intelligent analysis I've read in a long time and it is spot on. Outside of losing the best player on a specific side of the ball, which is usually the QB, all teams lose players and have players playing dinged up. The Patriots, as you mention, have played 9 different offensive linemen this year. They've used 13 different line combinations. By all accounts, Brady should be on his back play after play. He's not. Why? McDaniels schemes to help his offensive line and their deficiencies in protection. The good coaches have a system that they emphasize. Coaches, like Belichick, have staffs that are flexible within their system to meet the changing demands from game to game based on available personnel. That's why, since 2000, the Patriots have been in 6 Super Bowls, won 4, and have appeared in 9 AFC championship games, winning 6. Every 2 years they are in a position to play in the Super Bowl with turnover at the skill positions and the offensive line.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

Totally agree.

One of the saddest aspects of many Packers fans is any attempt by them to compare the Patriots and Packers (as a whole) and by some insane rational have the Packers being better in any facet and that includes the QB's this season.but each season in regard to QB play for these two is of small variance,everything else is distanced to the greater for the Pats.

The Packers are now the tools hanging on the wall of 'Tim The Tool Man Taylor'... with no idea how to use them.

The Patriots never hang their tools on the wall for false admiration as their always finding a use for them in other manners.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:30 am

You said something very important to support what was my observation. The worst plays we got from what we and everybody thought is our advantage - from our OL and from our pass rush! Those last 2 games (we can include 3 games if you want!) We played with personnel who "statisticaly" was near top in the NFL. No many changes. We did not expect to much from receivers,. as they were injured, or ruinning game, as Lacy had/have issue(s). We were thrilled that we have rookie corners who can compete at the pro level, so we did not expect much of them neither. And our best part of the team melted down, which exposed all other problems teams have/had at the moment (that was the streit on the side line about!). It is not against my evaluation that the best plays are given by rookies through the games (or 2nd year players like Jeff and Abby on special team!) or ST stars who is fighting to have some playing time. When you have that much rotation Patriots had it is hard to go overconfident in the game. Because they all knows they have to deliver the best to made thair job - no possibility for playing on experience only! And that is the key!
We may accept that or not. That will not change a bit about team we are supporting. But I really hope and have confidence Packers coaching staff really understand problem and it will be fixed...
Sorry, maybe I am wrong, but I'm telling you from my life and business experience as I can 100% confirm that sports are imitating life in purest form... That is why sports are so fascinating about!

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brewers_rule's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

You sum up a lot of what I've felt regarding this regime & it's attempts to compare their model to the Patriots. Thank you for that.

I also think you bring up an important point about management strategy that's been on my mind since this season began: does MM's plans to be more involved in all things accidentally play into the failures we're seeing across the board? We see when coaches demand GM power, they spread themselves too thin so why not here? This is all conjecture so bear with me but we have Clements calling plays for the first time while MM oversees ST/DEF more from the get go. Now we're seeing issues with the play calling, OL, and run game at the same time defensive breakdowns emerge from Capers' of late fairly sound crew. Could this be a case of inadvertently micro-managing the team to death? Perhaps Mike needs to go back to offensive focus & let Dom do his thing?

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Geri's picture

November 10, 2015 at 01:14 pm

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

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dschwalm's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:21 pm

Let me try to understand your post, Croat. You are saying the Packers lost their edge because of being a little too comfortable and as a result, lost their edge and lost the games. Having coached football AND hockey at the Varsity level (everybody else is dropping their credentials and experience), if guys on my team lost their edge after getting whipped like the Pack did in Charlotte, I would have to take full responsibility for not motivating them to regain their edge for the next game. In fact, the coach shouldn't have to motivate them to retain their edge if they have championship aspirations. MM is dull and boring, loaded with hackneyed old cliches, and VERY predictable. I know Vic stated before each of the last 2 games: "MM will have this team prepared" What a load. IMO, he is incapable of leading the Packers to a SB. What a shame with one of the best QBs in the league and getting older.

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:33 pm

"MM is dull and boring, loaded with hackneyed old cliches, and VERY predictable. "

That's interesting to me. Sure, that's his public persona when dealing with the press. But who knows how he is behind the scenes with the players, at practice, in meetings. Bill Belichick is even more boring in public but he sure gets his team ready to play. To use a hackneyed old cliche, what the public sees of these coaches is just the very tip of the iceberg, yea?

I feel like judging MM's coaching based on the 10% of what the public sees would be like me judging your coaching based on your CHTV comments.

"What a load. IMO, he is incapable of leading the Packers to a SB."

Okay...but he did...so?

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D Ernesto's picture

November 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

This week they showed some game of Brady and the Pats and how he drops back and gets rid of the ball in about 2.2 seconds on average.In some cases the receivers were open and caught the ball in others they were not. In all cases he was never sacked and the D really didn't get near him.

Considering the O line, Rogers and mostly our current receivers haven't changed a whole lot, the problem lies elsewhere.

Someone pointed out last week in Cheeshead how the Packers tend to run straight ahead routes, not crossing, no slants and thus make it easy for defenses to cover. With that in mind Rogers holds the ball longer, the O line is asked to protect longer, the receivers are asked to shake off the defender. It ain't working.

Thus the cause of the problem is due to coaching. There is no time being spent in practice on developing more difficult running patterns to confuse defenses. If your not doing the work in practice then its not paying off in the game. The O coaches are not doing a good enough job being creative. That's the problem not the players.
If they are and the receivers are not capable of this or lack the speed to carry this out, then we drafted the wrong people, again the coaches are to blame. Not the players.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:01 am

The OL play has been terrible. No question about it.

It just feels like something is missing. I don't know what it is or how they will fix it but it just seems like there is a quite a bit of confusion going on. Guys are passing guys off to others and they aren't picking them up.

It doesn't help that the RB's are missing their blocking as well. Last week Lacy misses a blitz pickup assignment after Rodgers points it out to him. This week Kuhn completely whiff's on a block.

With the OL struggling, one thing that the coaches need to do a better job of is getting the ball out faster, and possibly moving the pocket in the passing game.

Also the long developing plays need to be minimized.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:17 am

I think it is primarily Bahktiari (Knee?), Bulaga, at least lately (knee?) and to a lesser extent Linsley (no clue). Linsley has gone up against some truly formidable DTs and NTs. I'd say that Sitton has not been as consistently superior as he has been in prior years. Same but to a lesser extent for Lang. That is why we've seen the edges crumble and restrict roll outs, and the middle on occasion give ground or whiff on a rusher. IMO.

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:48 am

So, it's primarily...the entire o-line.

ha.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 12, 2015 at 02:35 am

3 out of 5 will do it.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:13 am

There is something wrong with Bakhtiari. Though I think he has started playing better the last couple of games. Sitton hasn't been playing to his normal level. Linsley is in a slump right now. Lang has been banged up as has Bulaga.

I think the OL will get better. Also they have faced some of the best fronts in the league the last few weeks and against uncommon opponents. I expect them to get better.

But until then, I think the coaches need to do a better job of scheming around it.

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zoellner25's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:12 am

it sure would help if we had more than one TE that could stay in and chip outside the tackles. We can't help both tackles. When Richard Rodgers is your best blocking TE, you have a a problem.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

There are other ways they can chip and block outside players. They can always keep a FB or RB and have them chip on the DE.

Something we haven't seen to much lately is a RB/FB chip on a DE and roll off for a dump off pass. It seems when we have the backs blocking, that is all they do. They don't roll off for another player to weapon to throw to.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

That what demand the ability to 'dis-engage'....Breaking Up is Hard To Do...Neil Sedaka :)

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Bearmeat's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:09 am

Remember 1996? They looked SO BAD for THREE straight games. They were underachieving on both sides of the ball. It was clear they were better than everyone they were playing, and yet they lost to the Chiefs, Boys and Vikes.

Well, they've played like garbage for three straight games now. I think this team is too talented across the board (including the OL) and MM is too good of a coach to let this go on much longer.

They'd better start winning. 3-1 at minimum the next 4. But IMO thy will.

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:38 am

What you describe is still to me a leadership-planning crisis. Formidable and equipped armies have been pummeled because of being surprised, out-schemed and unprepared. That is what we're witnessing. You said it, the talent is there, but they're underachieving all year.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:00 am

Bearmeat, I was saying during the first half that we need a Doug Evans type INT to turn this slide around. Almost got it with the 4th Q comeback, but I bet we get back on track this week. A loss to the kitties at home and the wheels will have completely come off. Don't expect that.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:28 am

" A loss to the kitties at home and the wheels will have completely come off. Don't expect that."

Respectfully,a win over the Lions wouldn't necessarily mean the wheels have been aligned for the Packers.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:14 am

True that Tayrn. But they'll be one win closer to the playoffs. A lotta time left to get on a roll.

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brewers_rule's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:57 am

I remember '96 too. They got Rison off the scrap heap, Gilbert Brown, and E-Rob earlier to bolster the team. In '10, TT went and got Howard Green. Since '10 the mantra's been 'We feel pretty good about the guys we have' outside of Peppers and Jones. That willingness to NOT go get a guy like Vernon Davis for a song to fix a clear area of need is what separates this regime from the others and why this isn't going to get better any time soon, IMO.

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Does Guion count?

As for Davis, I was on the bandwagon to get him too. But I've cooled a bit since the trade went down. There has been a lot written about how Davis would likely struggle to pick up a new, complex system on the fly, about how in SF the offense always had to be simplified for him. It doesn't really sound like a recipe for success in GB and with Rodgers (see: Janis, Jeff).

So, while a 7th round pick is certainly worth the gamble, in my opinion, it's far from a guarantee that he would "fix a clear area of need."

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm

For me with Davis, i didn't really want him. While I think he maybe could have helped, I don't think it would have been much more of an upgrade over Quarless when he comes back.

Honestly I would prefer they start figuring out how to use the players they have versus trying to bring in more players and trying to figure out how to use them.

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 01:52 pm

Quarless is a good point. While he's no game changer, I'd be willing to bet he puts up better numbers/has a greater impact down the stretch than Davis in Denver.

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brewers_rule's picture

November 11, 2015 at 09:36 am

Guion is on the verge of being suspended indefinitely by the NFL for things the Packers KNEW when they brought him back this season with open arms. I saw an article from McGinn specifically saying the Packers are better than that & it was a poor personnel decision by TT. If TT is such a great personnel guy who doesn't take chances with a minor gamble like Davis (your claim for not picking him up is about learning a playbook? REALLY? I'd have more worry about motivation or health over that), why in God's name would he NOT draft a DL instead of Rollins in the 2nd round and replace a questionable guy like Guion right then and there? Davis, for all his flaws, has shown an ability to stretch the field which the Packers DESPERATELY need right now. Remember him killing us in SF just a few years ago doing that very thing as Kap ran read option over & over?

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Evan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 10:21 am

"Guion is on the verge of being suspended indefinitely by the NFL..."

I don't think that's true.

"your claim for not picking him up is about learning a playbook? REALLY?"

No. As I said, I think he would have been worth the gamble of a 7th round pick. But I'm just not sure he would have ultimately helped that much if the stories about his struggles picking up complex offenses are to be believed.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:35 am

We will get well this week vs. the Lions. Seems like we always have a stretch where we don't look great (like1996 as written above). Last two weeks we've faced undefeateds on the road. Always tough to win on the road. We will end up around 12-4. Vikes have a brutal stretch schedule and Teddy got banged up so they will fade.

Regarding line play, a few are hurt, but the real problem is we will probably not draft high enough to get a stud left tackle for many years. Same with a dominant DE. As long as TT, MM, and A-Rodg are here, we will be drafting in the 20's. The cumulative effects of drafting late in every round, year after year, means we need to be better than everyone else uncovering gems AND we need to coach them up better than the rest. The system is rigged this way.

After years of sucking, you get the Rams D-line, Cowboys O-line, etc. Even Denver and Seattle are still benefitting from early drafting after poor records a few years back. I'd rather do more with less as we have for years, and live with some crummy games. We need to be on every week with emotion, scheme, and coaching to make up for these draft-imposed disadvantages.

The Pats are the only team that comes close (and probably surpasses GB) in this area, but they bend the rules a lot more. Seattle looks to be following our lead as they have hired an ex-GB front office. Time will tell if they can have the extended success that we have, but we have recurrently proven our ability to stay at the top.

To have a consistently top performing O-line we will need to spend a few years at the bottom of the NFC North. I'm not willing to do that, so we will need to get by with Bahk and Lindsley and coach them up as best we can.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:03 am

"The Pats......... but they bend the rules a lot more."

Finding a chink in the armor of an opponent or the rule book is what wins battles,the Pats do it better and often.The only one's complaining about the Patriots are those that cannot do same.

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brewers_rule's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:59 am

If I could like that comment about 100 more times, I would.

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:33 am

DougiSP; respectfully I hear much the same by all posters, excusing away the performance;
1) just another bad patch like in year 19xx, (mystical trends we can't avoid)
2) not healthy, so hopefully (blame bad luck).
3) drafting (i.e., we don't have the talent)
4) others play bad, or will have tough stretch (we don't suck as bad as others.

Unbelievable. A manager would go nuts with such awful accountability. It is just bad coaching. Sorry to be on my pedestal today...but I'm irritated by the excuses.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:44 pm

Porupack, I guess it sounds like an excuse, but I meant to point out that the NFL system is designed for parity. It pushes down the above average and raises the below average mainly with the levers of draft seeding and revenue sharing. To be consistently bad (like Oakland, Detroit, and Cleveland), you have to have bad management and bad coaching. Teams that swing up and down having some great years and then terrible years (Indy, San Fran, Minneapolis) should be the norm.

Sustained success fights against the norm. The fact that losing seasons have been rare for GB, Pats, (and maybe the Steelers) shows that team management and coaching has been better here than elsewhere. You are constantly bucking the system designed to take you down.

The only way I can explain consistently exceeding the average is to 1) have superior team management that overperforms their draft position, 2) have coaches that can add value to the inputs to improve the players, and 3) recurrently inventing new practices (good schemes and building emotion) to succeed.

Overall, we've done pretty well. At this point it is tough to change 1 and 2. I think we've been woefully underperforming on #3 the last few weeks and that is on the coaches. Luckily that has seemed to be the easiest area for MM to affect. Let's hope he does.

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Thanks for the added. I agree. We're working against the parity system, but can do so with excellent QB and above average management/coaching. It seems we're witnessing a underperformance in the coaching. thanks

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:58 am

I agree about the parity driven nature of the NFL, and the comments by Porupack and Doug. There is a caveat though: the QB position is so important that once you have that filled with a really good or better yet, elite QB, the totality of the rest of one's operations can be roughly average and still produce consistent team success, though probably not Super Bowls.

Is that what we are experiencing in GB?

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 11, 2015 at 07:47 am

TGR, you may be right. Perhaps 12 pushes us above the average that we would otherwise be. But then again, A Rodg didn't just fall from space. He was an example of drafting better than our slot should allow (my #1 above), and then some good coaching early (my #2). He sat for 3 years and learned to be a great qb. I'm not sure he'd be a hof'r in Cleveland.

Bottom line for me is that we have enough talent that has been coached well enough for us to not get embarrassed like we have the last two weeks. We could have lost those two games without looking like we did, and we could have won one or both. For some reason we weren't ready emotionally or schemewise.

You see this all the time in sports and the NFL...it is something else at play that can only be called an off day. Hopefully it is short lived and not evidence of some huge structural flaw that we haven't noticed until now because of great QB play.

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zoellner25's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:02 am

Right now, they are the #4 O-line in the NFC North.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:52 am

Face it, take away the QB and Green Bay players are below average.

It's by design and happens because the Packers are perennially drafting in the bottom 5 slots.

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

"Face it, take away the QB and Green Bay players are below average."

Breaking News from "No Shit TV"

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4thand1's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:43 pm

How's it working for Dallas?

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lou's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:53 am

Lots of good posts on the O-Line issues but Bob McGinn this morning nailed it with the following comments;

Green Bay — Run the football. Stop the run.

Make big plays. Prevent big plays.

Protect the quarterback. Rush the quarterback.

The most important elements in a football game continued to elude the Green Bay Packers Sunday in their 37-29 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:07 am

Nothing gets pass Bob McGinn. :)

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:37 am

Win the game. Don't lose the game.

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porupack's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:39 am

Darn it, I gotta stop. But one more time....
Bob McGinn says nothing but cute little ditty. What does any of it mean? Make a big play? Run the ball? I think they tried that. Stop the rush. Yeah, check. Rush the QB, well, someone got in the way.
They didn't prepare the team with the strategy to get any of those things done. Thus, it sounds silly to isolate one issue such as Oline, or lack of big play, or not establishing the rush. Total lack of effective strategy.
Ok, ok, I'm going to turn off my computer, leave now..., leave my room slowly, steady.... I'll come back after Detro...

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lou's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:50 am

Check out Sundays Journal/Sentinel Column by Bob McGinn that provides direct detail on how Rivera and McCarthy each dealt with the loss of their top receivers. The quote from McGinn in todays paper was the opening to his extremely detailed grades of the Packers units/individuals performance vs the Panthers.

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WinUSA's picture

November 10, 2015 at 10:46 am

Yes Cory ...it doesn't take a sage to see that the O line is in dire straits. The offense starts there. We have the toughest SOBs in the league manning the wall to Rodgers.

There is one word that you should have mentioned:

INJURIES!

Bulaga is going against linemen that are at full fricken strength. You can't tell me Bulaga is 100 percent since is horrific injury and subsequent surgery.

The fact that he is on the field is testament to his love for football and his love for the Green Bay Packers..they said that they need him...and he has answered to the best of his ability.

Sitton has been playing with turf toe.... yeah I know it doesn't sound glorifying....but a normal human could barely walk to the bathroom with this malady...and this guy is out there every Sunday.

TJ Lange in October had to leave a game with a knee injury...the severity cleverly concealed in injury reports. One just had to see this warriors face as he limped off the field. He didn't even miss a game.

You can best believe that the other O linemen have injuries that they haven't uttered a complaint.

I just give them Kudos for their indomitable spirit and guts.

The quality of their physical fortitude and their heart cannot be measure by some ink drops from the pen of a bench reporter!

The season is long and these guys will line up every Sunday and give it their all, like always. They have played against some of the best linemen in the game for the last to weeks and you can best assure they will protect Rodgers with all they have.

GO PACKERS....WIN OR LOSE!!!!!!!!!!

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brewers_rule's picture

November 10, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Injuries shouldn't matter if our '10 Super Bowl win was NOT a fluke w/15 guys on IR and losing C-Wood mid game. Besides, the quotes from the OL themselves are that these are simple missed assignments that are getting repetitive. None of them are even hinting that they're limited, nor are their practices which the Packers have been more transparent about than almost any other NFL team. Blaming injuries feels like a cop out to me.

Fact is, they're not preparing well & executing well on OL or run game. That goes back to the coaching and why I think MM's attention elsewhere may be a huge factor in this as a whole. Sounded reasonable at the time but the results say he should get back to the offensive wheelhouse asap.

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WinUSA's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:56 pm

Injuries shouldn't matter???? Really.... You must be talking from some experience that I am unfamiliar ......missed assignments.....that is a company line....2010...was that a fluke? You darn right it was a fluke...how many teams in history with those type of injuries accomplished what that team did... that doesn't diminish the achievement what so ever...but it is rare.....

The O linemen I mentioned have been bested by some superior athletes that last year when they were healthy didn't happen.

One might look at Thompson for not getting more quality depth...but at the beginning of the season we were all fed...that our depth was phenomenal.... Maybe just superhyped?

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brewers_rule's picture

November 11, 2015 at 09:46 am

Injuries DO matter but my point regarding this year is that the claim the OL is somehow playing injured & that's why we're struggling is a cop out. Nothing in practice news or from the linemen themselves has indicated they're hurt. NOTHING. They've said over & over it's a technique problem they need to work on. That comes from coaching. Where is any of your evidence of them being injured from? I said before, the Packers are one of the most transparent teams in terms of injuries so where do you think they're hiding things now?

How can you say 2010 was NOT a fluke at this point considering the odds you mentioned being against them that year so badly? Yet the last few years, with the exception of 2013 when we went into the SF matchup hurting, we've been fairly healthy and still not getting it done when it counts. 15-1 and embarrassed by the NYG AGAIN at home. Worst collapse in NFL history last year. Destroyed at San Francisco in 2012. We've beaten the meek NFC North and had one good win vs NE but after that...?

The point about depth is a very good one. What do they constantly say when they don't address a need the fans scream about? 'We feel pretty good about the guys we have' and blah, blah, blah. From MM to TT to even Murphy they sit on their hands & refuse to address a need the fans, the media, and NFL experts agree they NEED TO to get over the hump. The Patriots do not do that, EVER. Ron Wolf & Holmgren did not do that.

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Geri's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:11 pm

Boo hoo!! They are getting paid millions to be such brave warriors.

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:16 am

WinUSA;
I hear you on injuries having impact. Sorry, but its another excuse to dismiss poor performance. All teams are injured. All businesses have weaknesses. All military units go into situations with deficiencies. All teams have weak links. A leader figures out how to get the best from the cards they are responsible for.
I challenge anyone to defend MM leadership in Carolina; he did everything he could to alter the players, plays and course of the game? Where did we see coaches rally the troops on the sideline, and install new solution? Cameras showed a demoralized sideline without leadership.

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brewers_rule's picture

November 10, 2015 at 11:43 am

I may have missed it but I haven't seen any discussion of the MMQB piece from last week that mentions simple things, including running the ball & OL issues brought up here along with the bigger point of passing route adjustments, MM & Co. could be doing to they aren't for some reason. Seemed like basic concepts such as running shorter routes and re-introducing the slant we haven't done in a while. I tweeted it to Carriveau but maybe he missed it.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

November 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

To me, the O line play is the most puzzling and disturbing part of our recent suckitude. Remember when we welcomed the blitz because Rodgers would make a mofo pay? Where did that go?

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Good coaches make their scheme fit their players. They adjust what they do to incorporate the strengths of each player and find ways to use that player in ways that will benefit the team.

Capers did this last year when he moved Mathews to ILB. He adjusted the way he normally had his ILB play to fit Mathews ability's.

Last year McCarthy did that when Rodgers was essentially immobile. He went to a short passing game which allowed him to get the ball out quick. He then went to the Pistol formation. It allowed Rodgers to hand the ball off without having to move around much more.

Now is the time that McCarthy does the same thing. He needs to adjust their scheme/game plan/play calling to fit the players they have and to their strengths. I am adding a few of my thoughts on how they can fix the offense.

First fix is to bring back the Pistol.
Lacy is a downhill runner. He needs to be receiving the ball headed towards the LOS.
Rodgers is great in the shotgun, because he can see the whole field. To blend each of their strengths the Pistol formation is the best to accomplish this. Defenses struggled to stop this because it provides a bigger threat of a run then in the shotgun.

Second fix, is to run shorter routes for the WR's.
Slants, double in's, posts, things like that. They started doing a little more stuff to get WR's open and it worked. They need to get back to some of the basics.
There is nothing wrong with throwing a 4-5 yard pass.

Third fix, is to have more options for check downs. A lot of teams use TE's or RB's to chip or block to delay to get Defensive players to commit elsewhere and then slip them out into the openings. Packers need to do this more.
Along with that, they need to use the RB's/FB's more in the passing game. Ripkowski has a great catch and run and excites the team by running a guy over. They need more plays like that. Kuhn for years has hurt teams with those types of plays.
Screen pass! Who would have imagined that a screen pass actually still works in 2015.

Fourth fix, stop using players in the wrong ways. Perillo out along the sideline? The defense might as well put a DL on him out there on him. He is no threat out there for anything. Then they put Janis in motion and he stops by the OL and blocks. In what offensive scheme is it a good idea to have a WR blocking next to the OL? They just freed up another DB to double another WR.

Fifth fix, is when they find something that is working use it. And then run plays off of those plays. I have brought it up a lot but that pass to Ripkowski worked well, then they never ran it again. Run the play again and maybe a defensive player comes up trying to stop Ripkowski and it opens up a play down the field. Or run variations of the same play if it works.
They finally did this in the 4th quarter when they ran a screen pass and realized the Chargers couldn't stop it. If they can't stop it keep hitting them with it.

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:11 am

Yep. Good coaches would have such a list and many more fixes.

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dschwalm's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:28 pm

All this analysis from fans who are so biased in favour of the Packers. Could it be that this team is just not that good for a host of reasons that I won't list here. BUT, I wonder if TT regrets not drafting a couple of LBs higher in the Draft. Is he still smarting from his other first round drafts in Datone Jones and Nick Perry?

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4thand1's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:45 pm

So we played some bad football. After reading all the posts, it seems everyone thinks its scheme. I agree, plus players making mistakes they don't normally make. I never expected 16-0 and knew there would be ups and downs. I'm not going to over react because I've seen this same ol song and dance many times before. When they can play like shit for 3 quarters, and almost pull out a win, they just have to change a few things up. They've done it before..............lotta football left.

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:09 am

You use another version of "shit happens, miracles happen" and not willing to identify particular cause for success or failure. They'll be fine.
Sorry, but there are bad performances, and worse yet, long trend of bad performance, it is leadership (coaching) failure. Its not over reaction if you hold a leader accountable in real time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling for firing...just accountability. MM and DC have done unacceptable work last month.

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MarkinMadison's picture

November 10, 2015 at 05:48 pm

You know, the whole problem I have with this "OL is the problem" idea is that there have been times where Rodgers has had all day and nowhere to go with the ball. I'm not saying that the OL couldn't play better - clearly we're seen more successful pressure up the middle this year than we have seen in recent years, and clearly the tackles are playing inconsistently - but I see it as part of a bad effort on offense all around, from the coaching staff on down.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:29 pm

The first six games, yes. The last two, he's lucky to get three seconds let alone all day.

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