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Is This Offseason Going According to Plan?

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Is This Offseason Going According to Plan?

My typical optimism about the Packers is struggling a bit.

The image often portrayed of and by Ted Thompson is of a manager who carries out his vision for the Packers with a completely disciplined and long-term plan.

I don’t doubt the discipline part. I doubt whether or not this offseason is going according to Thompson’s plan.

It is hard to believe the Packers envisioned, or planned for, some of the players who have walked to do so.

I thought perhaps the Packers wanted to get faster at cornerback and so they let Micah Hyde leave. Then they brought in Davon House, who isn’t exactly known for his long-range speed. I like House’s size, but is it a vast upgrade? Cornerback is still a significant item on the list of draft needs.

Mike McCarthy stated early in the offseason he would like to see Eddie Lacy back. The reports about his weight surely shook their confidence in him, but the Seahawks have the weight incentives in the contract one would expect and the deal won’t hurt them if Lacy doesn’t live up to it.

Lacy left. The Packers are bare bones in terms of depth at the running back position. Add multiple running backs to the draft needs list.

I can accept that the Packers did not want to pay 9.5 million per year to TJ Lang. However, there is no clear replacement unlike when Josh Sitton was cut. Why not bring in a cheaper option to compete? Add offensive line depth to the draft needs list.

The decision to let Datone Jones and Julius Peppers walk from a position with such little depth? Add outside linebacker to the draft needs list.  

Maybe Thompson just really enjoys the challenge of having no room for error in the draft, and banking on at least one undrafted rookie per year to become a steady starter.

However, I suspect they wanted some of these players back. They didn’t think the draft would have this level of pressure on it.

If some of what we have witnessed this offseason has not been according to the plan the Packers set out with, wouldn’t you expect a shift in the plan to make up for the losses? There remains still the possibility that could occur, but that’s the optimist in me fighting back right now.

The trades executed by the Patriots showed that they are more creative and a step ahead. They had a vision and executed it to perfection. I wonder what Thompson thinks when he sees New England going all in to capitalize on the great fortune of having a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback. I suppose he takes comfort in the fact that the team has so much cap space. And then he remembers New England has more.  

The narrative always is that leaving significant room under the cap is necessary to keep your own players who become free agents in the future.

Well, what about when you don’t even keep your own players? Can one draft provide the abundant talent this team lacks?

The Packers will play with some holes on the field. Seeing as it happens year in and year out, that apparently is the plan.

Of course free agency isn’t over, and I’ll happily admit I was wrong if I am, but I hold out little hope of Thompson doing more this offseason to help the team and little hope that the draft will plug all of our holes.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (76) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ben's picture

Yup, Right on track for NFC North runners up.

KenEllis's picture

Of course the offseason is going to plan.

We will have one of the YOUNGEST rosters in the NFL for 7th straight year.

And we definitely will once again have the FEWEST players who ever been on another NLF roster.

What else could a TT fan want?

Rossonero's picture

Said the Vikings fan. That's like the Browns criticizing the Steelers and giggling. Nice try Ben. Let me know how that trolling works out for you.

ben's picture

In the face of dumb luck and terrific opportunity, TT and his fanbase somehow manage to maintain their commitment to mediocrity

Bearmeat's picture

You are a Vikings fan now Ben, so why do you still come here to troll? Stay in the purple area of the internet. You know, with your pathetic franchise history loving, Favre-only-fellow-fandom. And stay away from here.

Ryan Graham's picture

What does that say to play second or even third fiddle to mediocrity year after year?

dobber's picture

It says that hope springs eternal for all fans when there's no way to prove yourself.

Nick Perry's picture

I asked you LAST week what the Vikings had done that's got you so excited about 2017 and you didn't comment for a week. I'll ask again, what has Minnesota done that tells you they will win the division?

The tackles you signed are both below average, Remmers is barely a back-up, somewhere around Barclays level. Is it Latavius Murray who's got you jacked up and spunky? He's not terrible but he's far from good as a receiver and could only run for 788 yards behind one of the BEST O-Lines in Football last season. He doesn't break tackles and is actually one of the LOWEST ranked RB in YAC (Yards after Contact). How is it possible a man that size can be taken down so easily? Because he's NOT real good.

Then there's last years NUMBER ONE PICK Mr. Treadwell. He played in 9 games caught ONE pass for 15 yards. Are you kidding me???? Look what happens when Minnesota didn't draft in the top 10. Common Ben say it with me. 1, 2, 3, BUST!!! Maybe it was Minnesota's complicated offense and he makes a jump this year. I mean he does have Sam "I can't move" Bradford throwing the ball. Mr. Accuracy at over 70% with those passes 5 yards downfield. He picked right up where Teddy dropped off and at the price of a 1st and 4th was it? No matter Philly has the 14th overall choice for Sam. Good job Spielman!!

You lost Captain and brought back Newman who's what 40? I'll even say the Queens defense should be pretty good. But that Offense will do SQUAT and the defense will wear down each and every game. I don't want you to go away "ben"...You give me reasons to be optimistic about the Packers defense.

ben's picture

I've never been a fan of treadwell, although a physical possesion receiver is exactly what they need and he very well may just work out.

But I am a fan of latavious. He's more talented than any RB the packers will have on their roster. He's very good in pass protection, versitile out of the backfield, and unlike AP, a perfect schematic fit.

Also, The vikings lost all 5 starting lineman last year, both murray and bradford will be playing behind an improved line this year.

Thats an upgraded offensive line and major upgrade at running back, not to mention upgraded chemistry between a 1st year qb and his young receivers.

At the same time the packers have managed to downgrade their offensive line and running back positions.

The vikings will have a top 3 defense this next year and defense wins championships.

How's yours? They suck and your defensive coordinator is even worse.

And since I've become a viking fan a couple years ago, to your suprise but surely not mine, they've split NFC North championships as well as split head to head.

At least somebody's heading in the right direction here. And if you weren't such a homer you'd have noticed the Packers have flatlined. Thats why you and your homer buddies here have to talk history when refering to packers success.

Pathetic

Spock's picture

Ben, you've become the latest "bovine" commenter. Not exactly "a badge of honor". How, exactly, do you change from "A packer fan of (what was it? Supposedly 27 years or something like that) x years to a Vikings fan? B.S., B.S., B.S., B.S., B.S., B.S. You are an insult to real Packers fans (and you know it). I have NEVER called someone a troll on any site, but you, sir, are a TROLL and a pathetic excuse for a fan (of ANY team, if you are that fickle). Please, sir, go away. I am an ACTUAL fan of the Green Bay Packers. If you really "were" a Packers fan for as long as you claim: give us your shareholder number. (Mine is GB049918, purchased on December 2, 1997). Get your PURPLE ARSE off this site, TROLL!!!!!

dobber's picture

At least it's recent history.

The Vikes haven't won a playoff game since 2009 and have won exactly 3 in years that start with a 2. Given the collapse we saw in 2016, I think you're treading on thin ice by saying they're trending in the right direction.

Nick Perry's picture

"He's very good in pass protection, versatile out of the backfield, and unlike AP, a perfect schematic fit."

You do understand he was used pretty much EXACTLY like Peterson was right? He a good blocker, especially when compared to AP but he came out on most 3rd downs in Oakland.

"The vikings lost all 5 starting lineman last year, both murray and bradford will be playing behind an improved line this year."

Refer to my first comment. Clearly you have no clue who Remmers is and Reiff is NOT a good LT, at least in Detroit he wasn't. Remmers was one of the worst RT in the NFL last season.

"The vikings will have a top 3 defense this next year and defense wins championships."

Yes ben, defense does win Championships but you at least need an offense that is capable of scoring points. A RB who is tackled at first contact, a OL which REALLY won't be much better, and a expecting Bradford to make through ANOTHER season without injury (Not that it matters) is a bit much. So is expecting much from Treadwell after that first season but he can only go up.

History is all we have? No ben , the reality is the Vikings are 4 SB losses 40 years ago from being the Browns or Lions, the Packers have 13 Championships. Some old, in the middle, and one just a few years ago. They've split NFC North Championships the last 2 seasons ben...WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at who won the previous 5 before the "Split". Besides the Vikings haven't won a playoff game since Brett Favre was there in 2009. Calm down ben, you're digging deeper.

Tundraboy's picture

LMAO

"they've split NFC North championships as well as split head to head.

At least somebody's heading in the right direction here. "

Now that's Pathetic.

Since '61's picture

The Viqueens are working on their 57th season of being 0 and forever for an NFL Championship. That's a pretty big commitment to mediocrity and futility. Enjoy being a Viking fan and never winning anything. Thanks, Since '61

ben's picture

Now u know "since'61" here is living in the past.

Such a lame excuse for failure

Spock's picture

Ben,
You don't have a future as a Vikings fan. Live with it, troll.

dobber's picture

What?

Spock's picture

dobber, to clarify I meant to say the VIKINGS don't have a future, deal with it. Poor sentence structure (it was late in the day and my pain meds were kicking in). Sorry about that.

dobber's picture

You're okay, I was responding to Ben...his statement doesn't make any sense.

Tarynfor12's picture

Yes it is.....Thompson allowing other teams to dictate what they let him do...nearly nothing.
Thompson is the card player who throws away two pair with an ace kicker in hopes of drawing three more aces.

Bearmeat's picture

I actually think the only thing TT did that wasn't originally according to plan was to pay Martellus Bennett rather than Jared Cook. I fully expected Cook to be overpaid, just like Perry was. From all reports, that was where negotiations went and Cook's agents wanted too much, even from GB, who likes to overpay its own players.

No. I think we are without the players TT didn't want in the first place. Or at least the players TT didn't want to spend significant money on.

TT is executing his plan. I just don't buy that plan's wisdom.

BELIEVER's picture

I believe this is TT's plan. The players that are gone have reached their potential. That was not good enough. I would have liked to see Lang and Cook back but other then that nope. Lacy can not be counted on, Jones is what he is, a bust. Hyde too, the Pack can do better, Sometimes take a step back to get better.

Michael Grunewald's picture

To say that these players have reached their full potential disregards the real issue.... the fact that these players were brought in by Teddie Thompson....most via draft to the adoration of the same fans now defending their departure haveung defended the picks in the first place.

porupack's picture

Believer: Not to rag on you particularly, but I think its premature to call DJones a bust. People all said that about Perry, and now he becomes a key piece for TT. We can argue whether Perry has reached his potential...but I think DJones has not reached his...and it was worth the risk/reward to keeping him in for another couple years.

If TT wants to clear out the DE/LB cupboard fine. Then bring in a #1 CB vet....so he can get multiple picks on the DLine....and hope for upgrade according to the odds of 2 or more picks.

Tundraboy's picture

"Then bring in a #1 CB vet....so he can get multiple picks on the DLine....and hope for upgrade according to the odds of 2 or more picks."

That's what I'm hoping for.

Bearmeat's picture

Oh Stroh, don't make me regret defending your football intelligence during your fight-of-the-week with a variety of other die-hard Packer Backers over the years.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

There was nothing wrong with Bearment's arguments, Stroh. Do try not to be a jerk.

slit's picture

So fans should switch teams if they dare question almighty Ted's "plan"? Would you like a pair of kneepads, to help with your everyday?

Nick Perry's picture

BM.... How dare you question the man who brought us Woodson in 2005, drafted Rodgers that same year, and won a SB in 2010. Ted HAS a plan!!

In 2017 the plan is for Rodgers to play even better than ever before, score close to 40 every game, and HOPE we have the ball last 75% of the time in the regular season and every game of the playoffs.

PS.. If it goes to OT in the Playoffs we MUST win the coin toss based on previous experience....

Bearmeat's picture

... I'd LOL if reading that sarcasm weren't so upsetting.....

Tundraboy's picture

Maybe that's why they are considering a 10 minute OT.

Aaron Ausmus's picture

I wish we could knock off this whole "RB is a giant hole" crap. Ty has proven capable as a runner. We cant afford an elite RB and our offense isnt run-first (or second or third)

We need nothing but defensive players in this draft. Chalk up every single drafted offensive player as a loss. Our entire defense is garbage or overpaid.

Razor's picture

Aaron - I agree with your post, especially the not run first and nothing but defense.

My crazy idea - get as many 3rd round draft picks as possible. Then draft nothing but linebackers and cornerbacks. And only draft players who actually played the position in college.

Stop goofing around trying to find players that no one ever heard of who played soccer or tennis.

C'mon man - it's not rocket science!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Did you watch the carousel of non-entities brought in to play RB last year and not come to the conclusion that having a decent Back-up RB is a good idea? Knile Davis and Christine Michael types aren't good for the health of this team. Monty does seem capable, but finding another RB seems like an obvious thing to do, whether it be through the draft or other means.

Tundraboy's picture

One would think. Let's hope they learned that lesson.

Since '61's picture

I don't know if this off season is going according to plan or not but I do know that we have four players who can vie for Lang's OL spot and we can add a mid-round pick as well. As for RB a draft pick and a UDFA can provide the depth we need. That leaves us 6 picks plus UDFAs for CB, OLB a DL and an ILB. Will any of these new players be able to start right away, probably not, but they should be able to contribute at least. Can we get to and win as SB with so many apparent holes on the defense? No way to know at this point. We still have enough cap space to add a veteran FA or two to the defense. I would not automatically assume that nothing else will be done with FAs. Until September we'll live with uncertainty over who will actual be playing on defense. At that time we may have better answers about the off-season plan. Thanks, Since '61

zerotolerance's picture

Bravo!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

USFA - I translated this as Un-Sung FA, like it is a new category. It just amused me; I realize it is just a typo and I am not really replying to the gist of your comment.

Since '61's picture

Thanks Reynoldo, I've made the correction. Since '61

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nah, if TT is really interested in Josh Hill, a 27 year old former UDFA, we need a new category, and I'd nominate Un-Sung FA for that designation. Maybe WIFA: Wildly Improbable Free Agent?

Spock's picture

Since '61:
I always enjoy your posts. I just want to add to your comments. Even if we for some reason can't get a GUARD who is at least 'okay' (seriously, a guard?) I would like to summit that having two (2) BLOCKING tight ends might mitigate that problem. I personally think that MM got his juices flowing with his need to overcome the RB situation last season, and I think THIS SEASON'S offense will be quite different then we have recently seen - and that excites me!!

4thand1's picture

His plan is draft and develop.................DUH. He'll draft a CB or 2, an OLBer, a gaurd/center, RB. What's left on their board???? who knows.

Michael Grunewald's picture

Obviously....the "development" phase hasn't met with much success on the defensive side of the ball. 11 of 19 defensive picks in rounds 1-4 lone haven't earned a second contract.

stockholder's picture

TT should retire. But I got to say his plan is RIGHT. I believe the 2 TEs are going to give this offense what it lacked for years. Monty was the start of it. They finally figured it out! Dorsey Levins with the TE's gave them something no other team had. Guys to fast for Lbs. and that could catch. So to extend A-Rods career, you get players that can get open. It'll make this offense dangerous........... Someone will always be open. And the best thing for the defense, is to run the points up. He needed HOUSE. In case Rollins or Randall Bust out. He now can take the player that fits the offense for the future. He also can take the player that drops. He now can take the player thats best for the defense. He's Right. Now look who he could take. Watt, Davis, Peppers,McCaffrey,Melifonowu, Jackson, Conley? And he opened up his second round to trade up again.

Kimbo9571's picture

TT is lucky that the Vikings and Lions always finds a way to screw it up and Chicago hasn't been good since the 80's as they pick up their next QB disaster. So we'll win the division as usual and then win a hone wildcard game only to be trounced in the next round.

The sad part is that we'll call it a successful season again.

Also, I love Viking fans who call it dumb luck for winning the division. What's your excuse...just plain stupidity?

Lphill's picture

Another good inside linebacker off the market Sean Spence . To the Colts on a reasonable contract. Ted just refuses to bring in Veteran Help , I guess he is happy just making the playoffs every season and hoping for a miracle.no other reason .

MITM's picture

Where did he say Spence was "soooo good" and "would make an impact" or did he say as veteran help? Spence started 9 games as a rookie in Pittsburgh i believe right? Joe Thomas would have started 0 games for the Steelers ever.

MITM's picture

Get a clue? 4th string ILB? Who is second string ILB, who is 3rd string? Spence and Minter can both come downhill and fill a God damned running lane at the very least, something Thomas and Martinez never did last year, save for that one play in Chicago where Thomas knocked the C off Careys helmet. If that was Thomas' one highlight last year then Spences was his scoop and score TOUCHDOWN. And signing one of them means we wouldnt have to "take one in round 5" and use that pick on one of the many many other positions we also have no depth at! Look i can use exclamation points too!

MITM's picture

Sean Spence as a DEPTH signing would have been nice, yes. Before you get roasted on here for saying that I just wanted to make that clear because I know thats what you mean. Sean Spence, Kevin Minter guys like that are not going to change the makeup of this defense but it just would not have hurt to bring in an extra ILB with 34 experience who can make some tackles if called upon. Signing one cheap would allow us to use a draft pick on an extra OLB or an extra CB etc. I still think that Minter actually would have supplanted a starter in our defense at least to start the season. Luckily this draft is somewhat deep at ILB, would love Jarrad Davis Raekwon Mcmillan Alex Anzalone to name a few in green and gold.

pooch's picture

Ted's a turd

MITM's picture

You're*

4thand1's picture

Is it just bad luck that defensive players haven't panned out? How can TT hit on OL in late rounds? Maybe the scouts on the defensive side should hit the road.

Free agent's picture

TT loves players from the PAC 10..... I like to see more SEC players drafted by the Packers. Especially on defense.

dobber's picture

Good players come out of every conference. A GM can overdraft from any of them.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Since good players come from every conference, I'd expect a more even distribution. I've little doubt that there is something in our draft personnel that is skewing our selections towards the PAC 12, and I am not at all confident that it is a good thing.

GB Jacker's picture

Honestly, people on this forum act like we're the fucking Jets. Get some perspective people.

So we're not the Patriots, deal with it. We're in with a shout every year. And when A-Rod goes, maybe we'll be a mess, but most organisations are. Maybe we won't be - I mean, people thought that when we had Brett. Just be thankful for 30 years of decent football.

croatpackfan's picture

Oh, how many tears you will have to cry after TT left the Packers. I know. How? Because every time when people spit that much on one person who is doing his job very well, thinking they would do it better disaster waiting behind the corner.
I really can not get it. I think it is very positive that Packers GM is known by his unpredictability. That is excellent, because other teams can hardly predict what will Packers do. That is pure advantage.
But for many Packers fans that is disadvantage. Why? Because they do not understand TT. Wow. How selfish is that?

slit's picture

Seriously, what the F are you trying to say?

croatpackfan's picture

I'm trying to say that many Packers fans do not appreciate how good GM Packers have. It is not accidentally that Packers have many years of success (I'm refering regarding years from 1992) because in that span Packers was leading by 2 excellent GMs - Wolf and Thompson. I would like to remind you on brief 4 years period when Sherman, as GM was ruining Packers and who was able to brought Packers from 12-4 team to 4-12 in just 4 years...
When Ted Thompson will go, it is very likely that someone else will ruin his work. That will be the time for crying... I'm saying f that!

akeemthedream's picture

"The trades executed by the Patriots showed that they are more creative and a step ahead. They had a vision and executed it to perfection."

I would have been pissed if the Packers had given up their 1st round pick for a pain in the ass wr.

The whole Patriot offseason has been overrated.
-Burkhead is just a guy... whoopie
-Giving up a 1st rd pick for a wr is dumb
-Ealy was garbage last year
-Bennett > Allen
-Gronkowski is a liability injury-wise
-They should trade Garappolo
-Gilmore's good but they're paying him like he's Revis in his prime... which he's not.

So sick of the Pats.
They've had a horseshoe up their ass for a decade.
They play in the worst division IN SPORTS.
Hell - go look at their schedule last year. They played nobody. Then they played the Bills (with no qb) and the Steelers (with no Bell). And then Atlanta pissed away the Super Bowl. Run - Run - Field Goal - Game over. Idiots.

The AFC is pathetic.

akeemthedream's picture

As for this article -

Jones is bad
Lang is worn out
Bennett>Cook
Hyde is slow
Tretter wasn't even a starter
Lacy might bounce back somewhere else, but it wasn't going to happen in GB
Peppers is done

That roster went as far as it was going to go. Glad the Packers recognized it.

Change is good.

Overpaying regressing and/or average players is what bad teams do.

dobber's picture

Whether TT intended for this to happen or whether the flow of FA forced it, I think this retooling is needed.

JacFrost's picture

I too waned some house cleaning with ted going all out in fa and a solid draft. Oops. Now too many holes not enough picks

Spock's picture

JacFrost,
Not so sure about the "not enough picks" part. TT could very well trade down in a (supposedly) loaded draft and pick up more picks. Frankly, that is my expectation.

dobber's picture

I would argue that it's not that there are too many holes but, rather, too many leaps of faith to fill them.

croatpackfan's picture

Excellent conclusion!

lambeauguy's picture

I am glad that Thompson actually did reach out and try to improve the team. Bennett was the first true Unrestricted Free Agent signed since 2013. Kendricks and House were good signings of street free agents that provide depth and did not break the bank.

As far as not re-signing players I would have liked it if the could have kept Tretter for depth on the line. Lang contract was too big to match.

Hopefully Thompson can still find a front seven defensive player and/or O-Line to add to the competition from FA. For the first time in a long time I finally have reason to believe they are legitimately exploring free-agent options.

JacFrost's picture

Whenever I see a picture of ted it makes me think of a doofus who just spent his life savings on Arizona ocean front property. Now that ther is puny!

Dzehren's picture

Mark Murphy appeara untouchable Relative to criticism

febnyc's picture

I just wish TT would retire - period
I'm so sick of his philosophy
This front office is satisfied with being profitable
What a terrible waste of AR's career!

egbertsouse's picture

I love it!! Packer fans that are so delusional they've conVInced themselves that the Patriots are no good. Wow!

PatrickGB's picture

The point of this article was that TT's plan was "not going to plan" and I agree. In fact it started to go a bit haywire some time back. Draft and Develop is a pretty good plan. However, if developing players are lost by career ending injuries, legal or personal issues, or a crazy $ bid in FA wars, then that messes up the plan. We have lost very good players that could have put us over the top if they had remained. They did not and we limp along waiting for the craziness to subside. If it does then Teds plan may start to work again.

Tundraboy's picture

Maybe but the following is too familiar.

"The Packers will play with some holes on the field. Seeing as it happens year in and year out, that apparently is the plan."

Perhaps this year will be different.

Sign a solid veteran RB
Draft yields 1 or 2 immediate impact Defensive positions.
Matthew plays 14 games.
Perry plays 16 games.
Montgomery, Bennet and Kendricks are available all season.
Two or three players make the jump.
No major injuries to any key starters (virtually entire team)

Is that too much to ask? Not like we are not due.

BTW where's Cow? Witness protection.

dobber's picture

Cow got muzzled.

4thand1's picture

I had cow for dinner. 2 1/2 pound burgers, yummmmy

Shavager's picture

Packers fans--you'd have to be DRUNK on that green and gold koolaid IF you think this team's gonna outperform last year's playoff disaster--giving up 23 points before barely beating the Cowboys and their rookie QB before getting TORCHED by Matt Ryan/Falcons. They've now lost BOTH of the best O-linemen they've had in years with Sitton and Lang gone. Lost their starting RB with a converted WR, Ty Montgomery, as starting HB and he's only had a game or so of success. Packers putting Don Barclay on O-line's like starting Marshall Newhouse again, how'd that disaster work out for ya'? Fastest DB is gone, and you're replacing him with Davon House--who wasn't good enough to resign two years ago? Yeah--Ted "EL CHEAPO" Thompson signed TWO FA TE's--last time I checked--TE's DON'T PLAY DEFENSE, D-E-F-E-N-S-E has cost this team SIX CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF YEARS! Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendrick CAN'T STOP opposing offenses, neither can DUMB Capers' DEFENSE and it's only gonna be worse this year! Just don't see how Packers management expects to compete for a playoff this season--no matter how well Aaron Rodgers plays--Capers defense has always found a way to keep opponents close--and Rodgers has LOST more close games than he's won with a Capers DEFENSE.

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