Gutekunst Has Improved the Roster, But......

Comparing Green Bay's current team to the one he inherited.

Brian Gutekunst took over the position of General Manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018.  He inherited a team that had gone 7-9 the previous season and was thought to have suffered a serious decline in the quality of its roster. 

 

Now in his fourth year of retooling the team’s personnel, has Gutey made a significant improvement?  Let’s compare the roster of the 2017 squad with the one that exists right now, preparing for the 2021 campaign.  Such a comparison is tricky.  It comes with many assumptions and caveats in an attempt to compare apples to apples.  For example, I have assumed Aaron Rodgers will still be on this year’s team.  I have not taken injuries into account, though I have noted them.  The comparison assumes all players are and were healthy, even though that was certainly not the case with the 2017 team which was riddled with injuries.   

 

The comparison judges players by how good they were at that time, not at their peak.  I took into account only starters and other key contributors, as it is impossible to know how good many of the young players on the current roster will turn out to be.  The comparison does not take into account coaching or coaching systems, since Gutekunst didn’t hire Mike McCarthy, and had only partial input into the hiring of Matt LaFleur.  The comparison does not take into account win-loss record, as we don’t know what the record of the current team will be. 

 

The comparison is completely subjective.  My evaluation may be different from yours.  The goal is to come up with a broad conclusion as to whether Green Bay’s roster is appreciably better now, than it was on January 8, 2018. 

 

 

QUARTERBACKS 

 

2017 Team:  Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley 

 

Current Team:  Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love 

 

Advantage:  Current team.  Love would certainly appear to be a more talented prospect than Hundley, but he still has to prove it on the field.  Rodgers was hurt in 2017 and missed 9 games.  It was also clear by this time that he was growing impatient with Mike McCarthy’s predictable offense and not executing it well.  He seemed rejuvenated in the LaFleur system and his play ascended back to MVP form. 

 

 

RUNNING BACKS 

 

2017 Team:   Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Ripkowski 

 

Current Team:  Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor, Dexter Williams, Kylin Hill 

 

Advantage:  Push.  Again, injuries played havoc with the 2017 team.  Montgomery, a promising versatile receiver/running back, missed eight games while Jones missed four.  That team could go four deep at this position and still have adequate ball carriers.  The current team has question marks beyond the top two, but if Taylor, Williams or Hill blossom it would certainly change this rating. 

 

 

RECEIVERS 

 

2017 Team:  Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison 

 

Current Team:  Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Amari Rodgers, Devin Funchess

 

Advantage:  2017 Team.  Although Nelson and Cobb were in the waning years of their careers, and Cobb had recurring injury concerns, as a group they were more dependable and consistent than the current team’s pass catchers.  Adams was just beginning to come on with 74 catches and 10 touchdowns.   

 

 

TIGHT ENDS 

 

2017 Team:  Martellus Bennet, Richard Rodgers, Lance Kendricks

 

Current Team:  Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Jace Sternberger, Dominique Dafney 

 

Advantage:  Current team.  Bennet was a free agent signing that turned out to be a bust with just 24 catches.  Rodgers had that moment of glory when he caught the famous Hail Mary pass, but never became a key target.  Kendricks, the former Wisconsin Badger, was also disappointing.  Tonyan has broken out as one of the better receiving tight ends in the league.  Lewis remains an effective blocker.  If Deguara gets healthy he could be the best of the bunch. 

 

 

OFFENSIVE LINE STARTERS 

 

2017 Team:  David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Jahri Evans, Bryan Bulaga 

 

Current Team:   David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner 

 

Advantage:  2017 Team.  Bakhtiati, Linsley and Bulaga were/are three of the best in the business.  Bulaga missed eleven games with injury that year.  This year’s line has many question marks.  In fact, my listing of the starters at center and right guard are just a guess at this point. 

 

 

DEFENSIVE LINE STARTERS 

 

2017 Team:  Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels 

 

Current Team:  Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark, Kingsley Keke 

 

Advantage:  Push.  Daniels had five sacks but was waning.  Clark was not yet in his prime.  The current team has high hopes for T. J. Slaton who could push the rating past the 2017 group. 

 

 

STARTING LINEBACKERS 

 

2017 Team:  Clay Matthews, Jake Ryan, Blake Martinez, Nick Perry 

 

Current Team:  Za’darius Smith, Kamal Martin, Krys Barnes, Preston Smith/Rashan Gary 

 

Advantage:  Current team.  Tough call here.  Matthews had 7.5 sacks.  Perry had seven.  Martinez was a tackling machine.  But Za’darius is entering his prime as one of the top pass rushers in the league, and Gary is not far behind.  The recent signing of veteran De’Vondre Campbell should help the young, promising ILBs. 

 

 

STARTING DEFENSIVE BACKS 

 

2017 Team:  Davon House, Damarious Randall, Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Cilnton-Dix, Kentrell Brice 

 

Current Team:  Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Chandon Sullivan 

 

Advantage:  Current team.  House and Clinton-Dix weren’t good enough.  Randall was out of position at corner.  The Packers didn’t think enough of Burnett to re-sign him.  Alexander is an All Pro.  Amos is an upgrade.  Savage is up and coming.  Rookie top pick Eric Stokes will challenge King and may be an improvement. 

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS 

 

2017 Team:  Mason Crosby, Justin Vogel, Trevor Davis 

 

Current Team:  Mason Crosby, J.K. Scott, Kick Returner? 

 

Advantage:  Push.  What can you say?  Green Bay special teams were mediocre as usual in 2017 and unless the current team stumbles upon an effective kick returner, there isn’t much reason to expect improvement.  It is encouraging that there was an emphasis on good special teams potential in the 2021 draft.  But new coordinator Maurice Drayton will have to prove he can pick this unit up.  

 

 

CONCLUSION 

 

Overall, Brian Gutekunst has improved the roster, but not across the board.  By my subjective  analysis, the Packers are more talented today at quarterback, tight end, linebacker and defensive back.  They are less talented than four years ago at receiver and offensive line.  The talent level is roughly the same as four years ago at running back, defensive line and special teams. 

 

Other aspects of Gutekunst’s job, such as player relationships, were not considered here.  Some may hold him responsible for the whole Aaron Rodgers drama.  That’s a well worn out aspect that has been addressed in many other places.  My objective was to look at the big picture to see if this team is getting more talented.     The answer is yes, but only to a limited degree. The record on the field has certainly gotten better, but if the Packers are to bring another Lombardi trophy to Green Bay there is more work to be done. 

 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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7 points

Comments (77)

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Crankbait's picture

June 14, 2021 at 06:14 am

Agreed.
That is why I feel that the Packers are doomed this year without Aaron Rodgers.
Our trenches have not been substantially upgraded.

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Coldworld's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:37 am

If there were even a modicum of validity in this hypothesis or your comment, we would be doomed even with Rodgers playing at his peak.

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BrettGB's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:11 am

One thing that I think is key is the depth of the two teams. You did the only fair thing by only comparing starters, but IMO the issue with the 2017 team was not the starters, it was that due to missed draft picks, plus not great FA moves, the depth of the roster evaporated. I think today they're better off in that regard today than they were then. And that's a big part in having a good team. That or just getting really lucky with injuries.

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dobber's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:15 am

We were watching the same things that happened under Mike Sherman's watch: there were quality starters, but the depth on the roster was woefully inadequate. Sherman's lousy calls as GM (he was in way over his head) ran that team into the ground.

How many key players above are noted for having missed a handful of games or more in 2017? That's hard to get over by itself. Add in McCarthy's relatively inflexible scheming and they don't look very good.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 14, 2021 at 06:47 pm

The guy was fired in his every coaching stops.

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BrettGB's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:33 pm

Almost every coach is. Unless you're a legend and you just retire when you're done.

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PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Bang! nail in. The offensive line was banged up last year, but we hardly felt it (until the last game). If I knew ahead of time of the line injuries , I would have guessed an 8/9 win season.

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BrettGB's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:36 pm

The first game the starting OL played together all year AT ALL was the game Rodgers got hurt in like week 6. Yeah, they were real banged up. Honestly, they did a great job considering. Justin McCray played RT for a lot of games. He was a UDFA rookie guard at the time. I think he was a rookie at the time at least.

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Minniman's picture

June 15, 2021 at 03:22 pm

Add to that BrettGB the number of players in that 2017 team that weren’t even picked up by another team when they left.

Special callout to the 2017 WR group who, if we remember correctly, couldn’t separate to save themselves - or their QB.

Another callout is to the coaching staff: the consensus view should be that the current crop are FAR superior to their 2017 counterparts (at least in the HC, DC and OC positions)……. Ken, this is actually a HUGE piece of this comparison. I’ve seen enough to gauge that I think that MLF will at least design plays to a player and teams strengths. MM and Dom wouldn’t do that, and the players got crucified on the field for it (see the WR’s that couldn’t separate and the DB’s who couldn’t do press coverage - or tackle).

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BrettGB's picture

June 16, 2021 at 10:39 pm

Mostly agreed. I will say though, there were many times a guy was open but Hundley didn't let the ball go, as a young quarterback, he probably didn't trust what he saw, but either way i remember a theme of Cobb or Adams being open on like a slant and Hundley not throwing the ball.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:21 am

It is as simple as the win loss records of 2018, vs 2019, and 2020. That is botomline! All the other comparisons are subjective and noise!

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BrettGB's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:35 am

That's kind of the point of the article, though. There are many factors that lead to the "bottom line", and while some of it may be subjective, these are good topics to think and talk about when evaluating a GM, rather than only looking at the bottom line and nothing else.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:21 am

Disagree. Today's roster is clearly superior.
Waning Jordy vs. prime Adams = Adams, Injured/waning Cobb vs coming-into-prime = Scantling, improving Adams vs Lazard + Funchess = wash, Allison vs Amari = Amari.
Advantage Current Team
Injured/inconsistent Montgomery vs. Pro-Bowl/prime Jones --You kidding? Early Jones/Williams vs. Dillon/Amari--Give me Dillon/Amari. Ripkowski vs DeGuara = DeGuara.
Advantage Current Team
LBs "Tough call?" Really?! Zadarious is at LEAST Matthews equal. Gary is at LEAST Perry's equal. Barnes is equal to Martinez. and you still have P Smith--no one close to him on the 2017 squad as depth, plus Martin et. al. are superior to the 2017 depth.
The only part of the roster where 2017 was MAYBE better was OL, and that's only because we don't know how good Myers will be compared to then-Linsley (He wasn't All-Pro at that time). Jenkins/Patrick is way better than Evans/Taylor, and Turner isn't far behind injured Bulaga. I'd call OL a wash, unless Myers fails. Even then, I'd expect Jenkins or Patrick to be the C and be as good as Linsley was, with good G potential on the current roster.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:23 am

PEO,
Agreed!

Compare the win loss records as that is bottomline.

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BrettGB's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:29 am

The depth of the 2017 OL was shaky, too. It's fair to say this current OL is a question mark 100%, but there are a LOT of guys there competing for spots, a lot of them they drafted. I think it's also worth mentioning that it's quite possible that the current team's 2nd team CBs are about as good as the starters back in 2017.

12 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

June 14, 2021 at 11:41 am

Spot on Brett!

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GregC's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:39 am

Thanks Optimist, running back was the one that really had me scratching my head. I think the team is much better off there now than they were in 2017.

12 points
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mnbadger's picture

June 14, 2021 at 12:18 pm

totally agree with PEO. Plus, I love the Optimism. GPG! FAS!

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LambeauPlain's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:26 pm

Agree! How can you compare starting groups without evaluating the W/L records of those starters? 6-9-1 vs 13-3? Injuries and depth must also be compared and it is not even close. And this is why the coaching staff has to be included in the performance of the GM. No comparision.

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CoachDino's picture

June 14, 2021 at 06:48 pm

Thank-you, saved me some typing!!

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RCPackerFan's picture

June 14, 2021 at 07:55 am

I agree with most of this but I will argue that the current RB group is better then the 2017 group. Jones then was not the Jones now. Williams really wasn't much of a factor either. Jones now is by far greater then Jones and Williams back then. Dillon is better then Montgomery. The rest of the team we really don't know about, but I really think Hill is a guy to watch. He might be our next Jamal Williams.

WR's I think could be a push or even better for the current team. Nelson was not the same that year. Cobb was really not that great either. Adams now is better then he was then. The more I think about this the more I will take the current group over that group. Adams this year is by far the best WR in that group. Lazard is a good number 2 or 3. MVS is as good as any of those guys in that year. I don't know what Funchess will offer this year but I'm willing to bet that he will be then Allison was. And I think Rodgers could have as good of an impact as Cobb had his rookie year.
I would definitely take this years group over that years group.

The DL group you could possibly say that the current team is better. Lowry is basically the same. Keke I think is as good as Daniels was that year. The greatest difference is Clark. This years version is a lot better then that years version. To me I think that is the difference.

Overall. I would definitely take this years roster over 2017's. I think this team is much deeper and better then it was when Gutey took over. Gutey has done a really good job. That is something that we can't lose sight of when we talk about the job he has done. The team is a lot better now then was then!

10 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:21 am

Amen!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:33 pm

I generally agree. Clark was an absolute stud in 2017 and 2018. He had a down year in 2019 when he forgot to play the run, and 2020 was injury-riddled: he got better in the second half of the year but he was not elite overall. Lowry earned his contract in 2017 and has not been anywhere near the player since then. Daniels was in my view still a plus player in 2017. 2017 >> 2021 and I don't think it is close.

QB: 2021 >> 2017
RB: 2021 >>> 2017. Williams wasn't Williams yet either.
TE: 2021 >>> 2017. Not close.
OL: 2017 >>2021.
WR: 2021 >> 2017.

DL: 2017 >> 2021
OLB: 2021 >> 2017.
ILB: 2017 > 2021
CB: 2021 >>> 2017
S: 2021 >>>>>2017.

LaFleur >>>>>>>>> MM
Capers = Pettine (Barry ???)
Anyone >>>> Zook

2 points
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Minniman's picture

June 15, 2021 at 03:35 pm

Good assessment TGR - Adding the orders of magnitude +/- was what Ken needed to do. That 2017 DB group’s play was terrible to the point of being an open liability.

Also the coaching - FACT, MM and Dom, given the 2020 Buccs or Chiefs, would not even make last season’s SB, let alone win it.

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dobber's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:11 am

I think the key difference is one you don't even look at and that's the coaching staff. McCarthy and his band had run their course and outlived their shelf life in GB. The schemes had become calcified and predictable. While there were deficiencies in the roster (as clearly noted), the staff couldn't elevate the starters (or line them up) to a point where they could make them better than the sum of their parts.

So far, LaF and his group is way ahead. So while we might want to compare personnel, you can't do it in a vacuum. You've got to look at the whole...not just players and individual skill sets, but how the game-planning and staff are making the parts fit together.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:31 am

That is a huge missing link. MLF has done a fantastic job so far tailoring this offense to the individual strengths of his roster and has proven this team can still win games if they are missing a cog. Granted, he hasn't had to face the kind of issues the Packers faced in 2017-18, losing the starting QB for a large chunk of one season and playing the entire next season with a hairline fracture, but I have no reason to believe he would take the MM approach of continuing to do the same things and blame the players for not executing his vision.

7 points
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dobber's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:04 am

I think the key evidence for this is how this team played with one of its best offensive playmakers (Adams) on the shelf. They've never really missed him over those short spans (key phrasing being short spans). I agree: when your QB goes down--and the stepdown in quality is as precipitous as it was from ARod to Hundley or Kizer--that's a whole different matter, and we'll have to see if LaF can pass the test if/when that time comes.

But I would argue that MM never really gave Hundley a chance to be successful. One game--the second half of the TB game--and half of another (the first half against Pittsburgh) when Hundley was playing did he look capable.. In each of those, MM cut down the number of reads and moved Hundley around and let him make some decisions to pull the ball down and run. Otherwise, Hundley was terribly overmatched in a scheme designed for #12.

4 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:39 am

I was going to mention the TB game, actually, as I was at that. It was like a light went on toward the end there, and the read option stuff was both getting positive yardage AND opening up some passing lanes. I still don't think Hundley is/was a bad QB, but he didn't have the field vision AR has, and he didn't know the offense well enough to anticipate what his receivers were going to do if they adjusted their routes based on coverages.

MLFs system is scripted enough that any QB under center should know exactly where everyone will be, and that makes it much easier to hit your reads and make decisions.

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PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 12:35 pm

Plus an arm that could not break a pane of glass.

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Minniman's picture

June 15, 2021 at 03:39 pm

Agree Dobber, posted similarly above, then read your post.

The detrimental effects of poor coaching must not be understated

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Break7bg's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:10 am

What I am reading is a historical performance versus a projected starter performance. This is apples and oranges. If the draft choices and acquisitions turn out as a plus, this 2021 team is vastly superior to the 2017 team. If only 50% perform better than the existing vets, then the 20121 team is better only slightly. This also means that the 2021 team gets to the playoffs regardless of whether Rodgers is in GB or not.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:41 am

Looking at this, there is only one area that is clearly better, the starting O Line with Linsley and Bulaga. Today’s O Line is in flux at C and has yet to find a regular of equivalent talent to Bulaga. That said, Jenkins is probably better than anyone not named Bakh on the 17 line up.

WR. However, that was a WR lineup that was at the end of its time and was really the only source of offensive threat under the then system. The names look great but in practice it’s nearer to a wash than people think. And one has to take account of the different emphasis in the current system. The TEs were awful in 17 and Jones really was yet to develop among the running backs.

On D, the DL is not a lot stronger but there is the decline factor versus upside today. I’d give that a push, but the cause here is Lowry, why? Outside that the OLB corps is stratospherically better and Alexander, Savage, Amos had no comparatives in 17. ILB, we did have Martinez, but nothing else. What we lose on him we gain on the second, so I’d say a push. On ST, we had Vogel. That hands that to the current team.

The biggest difference though is depth and potential. In 17, the back end of the roster was weak to just bad. For the most part we are a lot deeper now, and that’s without considering the potential of the last two drafts.

We have much more potential that I’ve ignored here than we did in 17. We all know that was an aging Swiss cheese of a roster and utterly threadbare in places even at starter level. It also lacked difference makers on both sides of the ball, though Jones would become one later ( despite MM) and Adams would far surpass then expectations subsequently.

2017 was a bad, aging group of starters with little behind them and some massive holes at TE, CB, S, OLB at least.

Even allowing for subjectivity, comparing perhaps the worst roster this century with what we have now is sufficiently ridiculous to wonder if you aren’t just out there to bait clicks.

To be clear, if you really think the current roster is even close to the quality that 2017s was shown to be with the benefit of hindsight, we have no business seeking to pay Rodgers and should be in full gut and rebuild mode.

It isn’t, it wasn’t last year and most of our stars are at peak or ascending and there are promising players behind. Subjectivity isn’t enough to shield the fact that this comparison is not even close.

In addition, this piece panders to the tendency to forget just what a mess Ball/Murphy had made of the roster in the 3 years or so when TT was no longer the driver. That helps no one, particularly now.

8 points
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HarryHodag's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:50 am

A specious argument. It looks good but misses some facts.

1)The Packers have been drafting in low position for awhile due to overall success. It's more difficult to find turnaround players in that draft position.
2) The Packers don't operate in a vacuum. There are 31 other teams with excellent personnel evaluators.
3) Memories are short. 28-8 over two years says much of recent play. When Ted stepped down no one thought the Packers were contenders even with The Diva at QB. This team, with The Diva, has a shot if The Diva decides to give up his temper tantrum and play like he's capable.
4) Back then I couldn't think of more than one 'Blue Chip' player--Diva. Now the Packers have many.
That is the true upgrade of a roster.
5) Free agency. If there was no salary cap, Linsley and Bulaga would still be playing. Can't blame Gute with that.

Overall analysis is flawed and for that I give the column a D+.

-2 points
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Coldworld's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:32 am

I think this is a tag team article to the one yesterday saying we are playoff bound without Rodgers. That said, there are some who read this and know no better. For that reason I wish this kind of stuff carried a fiction warning.

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Swisch's picture

June 14, 2021 at 04:24 pm

It's not fiction, but simply opinion -- which is why we come here, I think.
By the way, my opinion is that Blake Bortles seems as good as Kirk Cousins or Jared Goff. I'd rather have Jordan Love than Justin Fields.
Between the two of our QBs, with LaFleur's offense, with the surrounding talent on that side of the ball, and with good hope of better defense and special teams -- I think the Packers have a shot at 10 wins and a playoff position.
Then again, you're entitled to your opinion, too, Coldworld. I wouldn't label the above article as fiction, though, even if you disagree with it.
To close on a positive note, I'm glad to have you here at CHTV to read your comments.

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Coldworld's picture

June 14, 2021 at 04:33 pm

I label comparing and claiming that the two rosters are approximately even in quality sufficiently far fetched to be fiction. It is not even close.

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PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Bulaga and add in Daniels were great no signings . Bulaga missed 6 games with Chargers and is always banged up.

3 points
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Swisch's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:00 am

This evaluation of our GM seems a very good idea -- but not unless we make a huge deal about the outstanding and astounding improvement from Gute's first team of 6-9-1 to the following two records of 13-3 and a playoff win each season, both of which ended in the final four of the NFC Championship Game.
I think if we fail to marvel at this achievement, we are really taking things for granted and being unappreciative of all the good things we've enjoyed over the past two seasons. As much as it hurt to lose to the Bucs in that playoff matchup last season, to focus on that more than all of the positives that preceded it seems to be the kind of thinking that can make for an unhealthy outlook on life.
Sadly, it seems one of those who don't get it is Aaron Rodgers. Instead of being ecstatic with this amazing turnaround and an opportunity this season to seize a Super Bowl, he is apparently throwing it all away for no good reason. Maybe there's still time for him to admit that he got carried away with himself, and to come back with a real appreciation for his bosses in the front office and on the coaching staff. He would also do well to reaffirm his commitment to his teammates and the fans.
Lighten up, Aaron, and take the first step with genuine humility. We like you, man, and we're forgiving. One last season of going all in with the Packers. Whatever happens, you can go on in life with there being good feelings all around.

6 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 14, 2021 at 11:06 am

Even without Rodgers, there is much to be enthusiastic about this team. Of course, with Rodgers their SB chances are enhanced. Still, without him, I'm expecting the Packers to be a playoff team - which is a testament to the overall strength of their roster.

P.s. For what it's worth - as much as I would like to see Rodgers sold in a land far, far away - he may very well appear for Day 1 of training camp. It's dawned on me that this entire off-season melodrama has been just one continuous misdirection play.

4 points
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CheesyTex's picture

June 14, 2021 at 12:57 pm

And, the "melodrama" has kept the NFL, the Packers, and #12 at the forefront of national sports news during the NFL's "dead time" between the draft and training camp. Hmmm.

3 points
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PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:10 pm

After the Niners draft, losing Rodgers became much less of a possibility. If he precipitates a trade to Denver his future intelligence and health will take a big hit.

1 points
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PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:07 pm

It will be more difficult for me to forgive Rodgers than Favre. Favre's play was diminishing and a younger more cost effective QB was needed. Rod leaving us after an MVP season and on the cusp of another SB run is tough to forget.

2 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:10 pm

That nail was hit on the head!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:04 pm

GB started 4-1 in 2017 and then lost Rodgers. With Hundley, the team was 3-6 with his wins coming over the then hapless Cleveland Browns (they went 0-16) and Chicago (5-11) and Tamp Bay (5-11 - still drafting high!) and all were close games.

I see no reason to think GB would not have won 10+ games in 2017 with AR as the full-time starter. Hundley got his feet wet in 2016, but there is good reason to think Love would be better than Hundley was in relief of AR, should that come to pass.

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:22 pm

TGR,
Good information! Thanks!

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

June 15, 2021 at 08:32 am

McCarthy's team vs MLF's team.

I vote overwhelmingly for MLF and Love.

2 points
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jhtobias's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:32 am

In a way without rodgers playing this yr we will really see if the roster has improved from 2017.

We have a base comparison with 2017 when rodgers played 6 or 7 games. This will be interesting to monitor this yr.

3 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:47 am

In 2020 the Packers were the fourth youngest team in the NFL. In 2017 they were 12th but several of their players were at, or, past their prime. I would not be surprised if the Packers were even younger this year with their pool of young players competing at virtually every position. I think it is fair to say that the 2017 team was seen as a descending team - while Gutekunst teams have been ascending.

Also, in contrast to pre-2017 teams - Gutekunst has improved the overall properties of team - bringing in younger, more athletic, bigger and faster players - on both offense and defense. Thus creating more competitive teams.

Nor has his improvements been limited to the roster - as he's also brought in younger, more dynamic coaches - who I think can relate better to today's players.

IMO, there is little doubt that Gutekunst has vastly improved the roster, including coaching. There are few similarities between a 2021 Gutekunst team and a 2017 Thompson team. And it appears that the best is yet to come - for years to come.

6 points
8
2
NitschkeFromTheGrave's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:13 am

Roger's can POUND SAND !

I don't care if we go 6 and 10 without him.

He rose from the ashes of #4 who also spit on the team and the fans. You would think Roger's would be smart enough not to go down the same path, yet he is.

Let him ROT on the bench next to Kampernic !!!

-1 points
9
10
PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:12 pm

Interesting, look who's kneeling. LOL

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:07 pm

At no time should the Packers lose sight of the main chance: GB is better with AR at QB.

1 points
1
0
Johnblood27's picture

June 15, 2021 at 08:39 am

TGR, I absolutely love your contributions here at CHTV.

That said, I do not agree with the statement above.

AR has shown himself to be a petty, arrogant, passive-aggressive spoiled child with a mean vindictive personality.

Even if the GBP pay him or give him input, he has been "hurt" and will never stop trying to repay that hurt.

If he were to suit up for the GBP this season, I do not expect to see his best effort put forth.

He has shown he is more than willing to tank plays and make games closer than need be or to allow losses as well as undercut his coaches and teammates with passive-aggressive veiled comments post-game.

I am completely convinced that he will be a huge detriment to any aspirations this GBP team has going forward.

He has shown how he feels towards the franchise and it is not good.

Absolutely time to move on. I will take Jordan Love for 500 Aaron... just sayin!

-1 points
0
1
BJP's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:23 am

Above my pay grade but I don’t think you can really make a credible comparison without including cap management. Ted Thompson probably didn’t spend enough. The question is has Gutekunst spent too much of the Packers future dollars?

4 points
6
2
Alberta_Packer's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:58 am

Not if Rodgers is gone after this year. He takes up the most salary cap space of any player in the NFL at about 20%.

5 points
5
0
PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:19 pm

Two successful seasons and on the eve of another SB attempt with a possible improved roster. I would say it was well worth the money.

2 points
2
0
Alberta_Packer's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:45 pm

For this year, "Yes." For next year "No."

And the Packers knew this was coming 2 years ago. Eventually, something's gotta give or someone's gotta go. This is one of the laws of the (NFL) jungle.

0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 03:01 pm

Preston, Turner and others will be gone which will create some cap space. However, drafting well is always the best way.

1 points
1
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dobber's picture

June 14, 2021 at 03:13 pm

Agreed: whether ARod is with the team in 2021 or not, they'll be shedding contracts next winter.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:12 pm

I don't agree: Gute reasonably expected to have at least $35M more in salary cap space when he signed the four free agents in 2019.

If GB had $35M more in salary cap space to play with over 2021/2022, we would not be having this conversation.

1 points
1
0
TarynsEyes's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:23 am

Whether this or that position is better, deeper this year than any other for comparative sake, the only comparison that will prove the truth in such an endeavor is whether it can withstand the proverbial 'punch in the face' being the loss of Rodgers.

I believe many don't quite understand how awesome Love will need to play to overcome that which crumbled teams the fan base deemed SB level, if only because the Division was a lock due to the other teams in it. I read often here the point that Rodgers wasn't any good for three seasons but shown his coming worth in 08' when he went 6-10, but Love is going to replace Rodgers contribution in a manner of weeks after wearing street clothes 95% of his time in GB since being drafted.

Do some of you really believe this team can survive the loss of Rodgers to a better degree than those that couldn't? If yes, then you're denying the fact of how much some of these players won't be doing without Rodgers, and the few games that Adams missed aren't near enough to think he doesn't need Rodgers is the mindset of a fool.

-3 points
5
8
PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 03:04 pm

It was very sensibly pointed out how much better and deeper this roster is. You forget how well a very good roster can perform. I have a memory of a short statured backup QB that performed well in Rod's absence. Survive absolutely, SB run ...waaa, waah! Broken hearts are for.... waaa , waah!

2 points
3
1
Since'61's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:27 am

The problem with this analysis is, as Dobber correctly pointed out above, that MM and his staff were still in place for 2017/18. MM was going through the motions and should have been replaced after 2016. We know the problems with TT's health beginning in 2015 if not earlier.

It would be a more accurate comparison if MLF had been brought in as HC in 2017 or with Gute in 2018. Also as has been pointed out the team dealt with injury plagues during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Under MLF the Packers have remained relatively healthy for his first 2 seasons as HC. Hopefully that will continue.

If I go through the position groups I would say that if Rodgers stays and remains healthy our QB situation is improved. Our RB situation is a wash because we only really know what Jones brings to the field. Dillon had 43 carries in 2020 which is not enough for me (at least) to assess what he brings over a full season and after him nearly no NFL experience. The WR group was better in 2017/18 with Cobb and Jordy. We still have Adams but after him a mediocre to average WR group.
TE is definitely stronger for the 2021 season thanks primarily due to Tonyan. The OL for 2021 is a huge question mark. How long will Bak be out? Will the OL hold up without him? Will there be a drop off from Linsley to Myers assuming that Myers earns the starting role at Center? How effective will the right side of the OL be? Who will ultimately become the starters on the interior of the OL; LG, C and RG, while Jenkins is at LT? We may not know until Week 1. Plenty of questions there. Because of that I give the 2017/2018 OL the advantage over the 2021 edition until we see them play.

OUR DL is weaker without Daniels. Clark plays basically alone unless Keke or another DL emerges during the season. OLB is improved with the Smiths and Gary but ILB is no better as of today. CBs are better because Jaire Alexander has been improving with every season. If Stokes can take over for King we'll be in great shape. Our safety play is much improved for 2021 versus 2017/18 as well. We need to see how effective Barry's scheme will be before making a call for the defensive unit overall.

Except for Mason Crosby our STs are still a mess unless the new ST coach can bring some consistency to the other areas of our STs. I'll call STs a wash.

Losing Rodgers will immediately offset any benefits potentially gained from roster improvement at other position groups. The drop off in QB play will be dramatic whether Bortles or Love is the QB. Rodgers ability to improvise and make throws on the run will be lost as well as his ability to read defenses. Those qualities are only replaced with time and experience regardless of the player's talent level.

Bottom line is that this roster if different, for better or worse, than the 2017/18 rosters. What matters is will they remain relatively healthy and will they execute better than the previous rosters when the games count? As someone commented earlier this year, "It's all a beautiful mystery." Thanks, Since '61

1 points
5
4
GregC's picture

June 14, 2021 at 05:41 pm

I think we have a pretty good idea of what A.J.Dillon brings to the table. The one game he played full time he was great, and it sure didn't look like a fluke. Jamaal Williams eventually became a good #2 RB, but he never looked like the game changer that Dillon did in that game. And of course Aaron Jones is now one of the best RB's in the league, while in 2017 he was just a promising young player who was somewhat injury-prone.

1 points
1
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Alberta_Packer's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:23 pm

Dillon's game against the Titans is reminiscent of his coming out game in 2017 - Boston College vs. Louisville - that launched his excellent college career. Just a note of interest - Dillon planted Jaire Alexander at the line of scrimmage - on way to his first college TD.

I fully expect A.J. to have a similarly excellent career in the NFL.

1 points
1
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Since'61's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:00 pm

Dillon had 21 carries against the Titans for 124 yards. The titans were the 28th ranked defense in 2020 and 19th against the rush. I would not base my expectations of a full season on that game alone. I expect Dillon to be an effective RB for the Packers but let's see how he does over a full season. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
2
0
VinceL's picture

June 14, 2021 at 05:54 pm

Plus, historically Love and Bortles are interception machines. That's not all on them because of the lack of talent around them, but at least Bortles has had eought NFL experience to read defenses and anticipate routes etc. We really don't know if those skills have been picked up by Love. Rodgers' absence will be felt, and the drop off in total offense team play could be significant. We'll see.

0 points
1
1
Archie's picture

June 14, 2021 at 10:55 am

MLF is the key to the Pack's recent success. Gute's close working relationship with and belief in MLF is the key to his success.

Roster

OL - E. Jenkins was a home run. Billy Turner was OK but probably leaves after 21. Who will that RT be? Jenkins? As to the interior line positions, they were forced by the cap to let Linsley go. There's a chance Meyers will be a satisfactory replacement. Who will be the Gs of tomorrow? God knows we have a lot to choose from as Gutey has been on a shopping spree at G.

DL - Kekey and Slaton are the two guys we are hoping can make a difference.

QB - MLF's system looks like a dream for QBs. Rodgers/Love is a lot of talent.

RB - We have two #1 RBs!!! And we have depth. What's not to like.

TE - No comparison - we are loaded compared to all those years when the cupboard was bare.

WR - Very good in this scheme. Now we add Rodgers and Funchess and maybe others!

LB - So much better than the past. And depth too.

SEC - Definitely the most talented secondary since Collins/Woodson/Williams era.

This team is ready to win now. Why Rodgers wants to be an ass is beyond me. Pack and AR should agree on a one year "arrangement" and then call it quits i.e., trade. One last go-round in GB with the table set.

4 points
7
3
stockholder's picture

June 14, 2021 at 11:08 am

My Conclusion is this. That we gave Gutey 3 years to get to the super-bowl. Not Remake the Roster. Several of the players let go, did play for other teams. And I'm sure that if you look at players around the NFL; Very few are still NFl players too. So it's unfair to say Gutey had a crystal ball. The thing I'm seeing is the constant turn over for Rodgers. That Nelson offered to play for much less, just to stay with him. It wasn't about the money for some. Gutey made it more difficult for Rodgers. The chemistry between Rodgers and this offense suffered. Capers should have been fired sooner. And Pettine's leaving; makes this still a merry-go round. Are hope has always been Rodgers. He was the bright spot. Not Gutey as you want us to believe. If you have to make excuses for a GM. You have the wrong GM. Please bring back Ron Wolf before it's to late.

-4 points
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10
PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:43 pm

As usual it was a combination of all involved. Rogers was given a roster that his great ability could improve, a scheme that he finally bought into and took what was given instead of holding onto the ball too long, and an O line that even super human Mahomes cannot succeed without.

4 points
4
0
greengold's picture

June 14, 2021 at 02:42 pm

You would have fired Ron Wolf after 3 years.

It took Ron Wolf 6 years as Packers GM before he won a Super Bowl...

2 points
4
2
Ferrari-Driver's picture

June 14, 2021 at 08:19 pm

I felt that the team that Ron Wolf took over was one that did not have a winning culture and not many difference makers. Wolf adding Both Brett Favre and Reggie White were bold moves which turned heads around the league for prospective free agents.

3 points
3
0
PeteK's picture

June 14, 2021 at 03:07 pm

......holder you sure do get the juices flowing and are not dismayed easily.

1 points
1
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Johnblood27's picture

June 15, 2021 at 08:51 am

Jordy decision was not about the money.

He quit on Hundley and the team when AR went down.

On the upside, that allowed Adams to emerge, but Jordy laying down immediately upon catching a pass and his reluctance to go all out on many routes seemingly soured management on keeping him around.

Go back and watch the games if you doubt my words.

Capers? That is on MM. Capers was a member of his staff and he had total control of his staff when TT was GM. There was far too much "good-ol-boy" and job security on MM's coaching staff. ...and yes, Capers certainly should have been fired sooner, as MM should have been by TT.

Guteys biggest mistake has been not rubber stamping MLF's choice for ST coach instead of playing economics.

0 points
1
1
splitpea1's picture

June 14, 2021 at 02:34 pm

The overall advantage goes to the current team. Gute has done a solid job replenishing the talent on this roster, although I would have liked to see a little higher priority given to the middle of the defense. Even here, though, we do have youth and hopefully ascending players. Whether or not this is good enough to reach the Super Bowl, either now or in the not-too-distant future, is yet to be determined.

4 points
7
3
CheesyTex's picture

June 14, 2021 at 01:27 pm

IMO this is a one dimensional view of Roster improvement. Some other "layers" to consider:

It is generally accepted that TT left an aging roster with little quality depth, perhaps because of his health issues.

The new GM was challenged to build a younger roster and improve depth at the same time. It is generally acknowledged that has been accomplished. (Are younger players less susceptible to injury?).

#12 negotiated hard for his contract extension that takes up about 20% of the team's cap space, limiting $ the Packers have available for free agency.

There was no COVID in 2017 to further handicap GM's from building their rosters.

Conclusion? Apples vs. Oranges.

3 points
3
0
Lare's picture

June 14, 2021 at 05:54 pm

I don't feel you can make an adequate evaluation until after this season.

0 points
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Gman1976's picture

June 14, 2021 at 09:08 pm

The bottom line is Gute’s record. We went 13-3 the last 2 years and have been 1 win away from the Super Bowl. He has reassigned Rodgers who said he wanted to be a Packer for life, resigned some great players, brought in some great free agents, added depth, drafted some very good rookies, added quality depth to the roster, and brought in a new coaching staff all while staying under the cap. He has been wildly successful by most measures. Sure, he hasn’t been perfect, but this team’s record and potential is light years better than the 2017 team. It is not even close.

2 points
2
0