May Offseason Q&A

Maggie takes some Twitter questions for another offseason Q&A session. 

Occasionally I’ll take to Twitter to ask you all what topic you’re interested in reading about on a given day. But, there are also weeks during the offseason where a Q&A makes more sense so we can talk about a bunch of different topics in the same thread. Our last Q&A was in early March, so I thought I’d bring it back now that we’re into the middle of May with plenty of new things to discuss! 

Mark (@1dullgeek): Assuming a season, do you anticipate a better year in 2020 than 2019, about the same, or worse? Why?

I feel like this is really tricky because on paper, anything less than a Super Bowl appearance is worse, right? The 2019 Packers were blessed with some exceptional health as a roster, and it seems hard to imagine they’ll have that same luck in 2020. But that said, even if the record is worse, I think this team is still poised for a playoff push. On offense, the biggest loss is of course Bryan Bulaga, but the Packers got some additional weapons (though not the ones we maybe expected) for Rodgers in Devin Funchess, A.J. Dillon, and Josiah Deguara. The defense stayed mostly the same, swapping Blake Martinez for Christian Kirksey, but I hope the young corners take a leap now that Tramon Williams has yet to be re-signed. To me, still, the biggest hole is that run defense. Pettine is going to need some creativity in his personnel packages to fix that since the guys alongside Kenny Clark remain mostly unproven. 

Jimmy (@Jimmy_C08) Could the 2019 draft class be one of the best overall classes?

Elgton Jenkins is already a stud and a long-term starter at his position. Rashan Gary has a big opportunity ahead of him going into year two. Darnell Savage is a mainstay on defense, and Jace Sternberger is coming into his second season as TE1. So if all of those picks contribute meaningfully in this second season, then I definitely think there’s potential there. Especially if some of the later round guys like Ty Summers, Ka’dar Hollman, and Kingsley Keke see the field and make contributions in their limited reps on defense. 

Scott (@scottyd2413) I was always pretty high on Mike Daniels during his time in GB. He was a beast. How has he not been signed yet and I don’t even see him ranked among the top remaining free agents?

I think this pandemic has made medical evaluations exponentially more difficult. Daniels to me feels like someone that would’ve been signed if he could have an in-person workout with a team to prove he’s healthy. Once teams are back practicing and players are allowed to take visits, I expect Daniels to latch on with a roster before the season begins. Same with “Snacks” Harrison. Those guys will find their landing spots as unfortunate injuries crop up in training camp and the preseason. 

Joshua (jdkiskamp) Every year we see “I can’t believe Packers drafted X instead of Y” (example Kevin King over Watt). In the last 3-5 years are there any players taken after the Packers you say “thank God we took X instead of Y” in the first 2 or 3 rounds because Y didn’t pan out?

Is it a cop out to say the Kenny Clark first round pick here? I don’t feel like Clark was on everyone’s radar at the time, but he truly was one of Ted Thompson’s best first round picks. I know Packers fans wanted a linebacker like Jaylon Smith or Myles Jack, and maybe the middle of the defense would look different now, but the defensive line would also look lightyears different without Kenny Clark, who’s still an ascending player entering his FIFTH NFL season at only 24 years old. And this isn't to say Smith and Jack aren't panning out on their respective rosters, but Clark still has upside going into his fifth season. He was a homerun. 

DanLa (@lachad) M. Adams...total nothing arrest but will it cost him a roster spot?

I mean it’s certainly not ideal since Adams plays the position with the least amount of depth on the roster, but I don’t think the charges will have much influence on his roster spot. His performance will mean more in that aspect. He’s entering his make-or-break season and he’s got a huge opportunity to take those next steps. The coaching staff remains high on him. Hopefully competition from the back half of the depth chart will push him towards his full potential. A breakout season from Adams could likely be the missing piece on this defense. 

(@DraftHobbyist) How much will we see Jordan Love in the preseason? Will Aaron Rodgers get no playing time like last preseason? Will the Packers use the easing of anti-tampering restrictions to go get Mike LaFleur?

It’s hard to imagine Rodgers playing in the preseason, unless he’s in for a series or two to acclimate himself with guys like Devin Funchess, but they’ll do that more in training camp anyway. I think Tim Boyle will still get the start in at least the first few preseason games unless Love comes in and just lights up Ray Nitschke Field during training camp. Since he’s experiencing the virtual offseason and won’t have as much hands-on time to learn, I think Boyle at least gets those initial reps, but I’d expect Love to play more as the preseason goes on. As far as Mike LaFleur, I feel like he’s pretty set in San Francisco. While I’m sure the brothers would like to coach together, it’s possible Mike will get poached sooner rather than later for a coordinating gig. Unless Matt wants to move on from Nathaniel Hackett, I’m not sure Mike would want to move laterally and accept another passing game coordinator role. 

Brian (@BHarmz) Why do you think the Vegas odds for the Packers to win it all went down after the draft? Do you agree? Do you anticipate a significant personnel move between now and the season starting? Who on the Packers has the most pressure this season?

This is a three-parter but I really liked all three questions. For the Vegas odds, teams like the Saints and 49ers had strong rosters on paper and still took steps to improve. The Packers, while good on paper, didn’t have a dramatic draft that addressed the team’s perceived weaknesses, despite bringing in weapons that LaFleur and Gutekunst are excited about. With Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Jace Sternberger on the roster, it doesn’t feel like the team’s first three draft picks this year are in for hefty contributions in year one, which likely knocked down their odds. With roster moves, I don’t see any splash signings since the Packers need to make sure there’s enough cap space for the 2021 free agents (and there are some studs entering free agency), but I could see a surprise cut or two. I’m not sure moving on from guys like Lane Taylor or Jamaal Williams would surprise anyone (and I am actively against moving on from Jamaal Williams, for the record), but I’d expect a cut more than a signing. Finally, who has the most pressure. Aaron Rodgers? Is it Aaron Rodgers? His heir apparent just got drafted and that’s all everyone is going to talk about the second he looks less than godly on the field. I expect Rodgers to come out swinging in 2020 and hopefully win another MVP in the process (Super Bowl and NFL). 

Steve (@S_Johannes) Will the Packers keep Aaron Jones long-term?

I don’t think the A.J. Dillon selection spelled the end for Jones in Green Bay or anything, but I do think he’s insurance for the Packers if Jones prices himself out of GB. Jones and Dillon have such different running styles I’d love for them to be a long-term duo, especially if Jones gets more looks in the passing game, too. It’s kind of a non-answer to say it’ll all depend on the contract Jones wants, but that’s the truth. The Packers will prioritize Kenny Clark and (hopefully) David Bakhtiari, so they’re not working with a ton of extra cap space to handle Corey Linsley, Kevin King, and Aaron Jones. 

(@watchful_be) Could LaFleur consider using Love in the Taysom Hill-type role?

Could he? Yes. Will he? I don’t think so. I think Love is LaFleur’s future at the quarterback position, and LaFleur will make sure Love has all of the tools he needs to be successful learning from Aaron Rodgers. Maybe Love would come in for a trick play or two, but I don’t see him playing that running back, tight end, passing threat role that Hill plays for the Saints. 

Brice (@InterpretedByBC) Who’s your surprise 53-man roster prediction? Like Chandon Sullivan was last year and even Darrius Shepherd coming out of nowhere. 

I feel like Treyvon Hester doesn’t count here because he’s had some NFL experience, but he’d be my initial pick. Beyond him, though, I’m really rooting for Kabion Ento. He had a strong 2019 training camp and preseason and was on the Packers’ practice squad for the entire 2019 season. With opportunities presenting themselves at corner, Ento could take that next step and secure his spot as a rotational depth player and special teamer. I love that he’s a former wide receiver. The Packers have found success in the past at corner with converted WRs. As far as pure UDFAs are concerned, I’m a fan of Krys Barnes, the inside linebacker out of UCLA. Honestly though, I can’t remember a time when I’ve looked at the UDFA class and thought it’s been as strong as this current 2020 Packers class. Lots of names to keep an eye on.  

Thank you for the questions and I’m sorry I didn’t get to all of them! I love doing the occasional Q&A because it feels like a conversation and getting to talk to Packers fans is just about my favorite thing. We’ll do this again soon! 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (16)

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DraftHobbyist's picture

May 22, 2020 at 07:03 am

Nice write-up! I think the Packers could use Love in some Zone Read. Rodgers isn't a running threat anymore, so you can take out Rodgers and make the Defense worry about Love's running ability, his passing ability, and the RB. I don't see Love as a Taysom Hill-style QB, either, though. Love is really a pocket passer that always looks to pass even when he's scrambling, and Love runs in the 4.6s instead of the 4.4s. 4.6s isn't bad for a QB, but he's not much of a WR threat like Hill is. I'm really excited for Love long-term, and I can't wait to see him in the Preseason.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

May 22, 2020 at 07:03 am

Nice write-up! I think the Packers could use Love in some Zone Read. Rodgers isn't a running threat anymore, so you can take out Rodgers and make the Defense worry about Love's running ability, his passing ability, and the RB. I don't see Love as a Taysom Hill-style QB, either, though. Love is really a pocket passer that always looks to pass even when he's scrambling, and Love runs in the 4.6s instead of the 4.4s. 4.6s isn't bad for a QB, but he's not much of a WR threat like Hill is. I'm really excited for Love long-term, and I can't wait to see him in the Preseason.

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murf7777's picture

May 22, 2020 at 08:55 am

If he passing a workout I’m all for bringing back Daniels. He’s solid in both pass rush and run defending. An upgrade from Lancaster. One year prove it deal with incentives. Knowing Daniels, he is keeping himself in great shape. He recently was quoted as saying he would love to go back to GB.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 23, 2020 at 10:51 am

Think that the wear and tear as well as his age precludes picking him back up. And besides,there might be a consideration about his leadership and lockeroom fit.

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Handsback's picture

May 22, 2020 at 08:56 am

Love isn't a finished product. His preseason will be a little disjointed. His throwing motion is too long for the pros. I don't know how long that will take to fix. Rodgers had good throwing mechanisms but needed work on where and how he held the ball. That took a while for MM to fix so not holding out hope that he looks like a finished product in preseason.

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Frolio's picture

May 22, 2020 at 09:13 am

People need to let the "Is Love the new Taysom Hill" thing go. Hill's a nice gadget player, and I understand the affinity for "the one that got away," but the biggest reason I don't see them using Love in a Hill-type role is the investment. Hill was an undrafted free agent, signed as a guy who might be able to fill a depth role. McCarthy didn't see the potential for a non-traditional role and Payton did.

Love is a first-round pick, drafted to take over if Rodgers shows decline or if another team makes them an offer for Rodgers they can't refuse in a year or two. They won't willingly put his health in jeopardy by using him as a gadget/special teams player.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 22, 2020 at 07:16 pm

Mc Carthy saw Callahan and Kiser....no guru 4 you.

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Tarynfor12's picture

May 22, 2020 at 09:36 am

How can this team, while having such glaring holes at multiple positions, look good on paper?

Is this paper one that is written in the minds made of braille, while denying what they can see?

This paper is based on hope and conjecture and based on the over simplified 'jump' expected and desperately needed by those that wrote it and those that buy anything easily.

Seeing is believing but all that is seen should not be believed.

EX: Last seasons record, especially if you're using it as the foundation for the 'good on paper' projection.

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Lphill's picture

May 22, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Run defense is very questionable, starting receivers not solidified, these are two major issues.

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Duneslick's picture

May 22, 2020 at 01:06 pm

9-7 and next year we will have the all of the major positions of need we had this year. WR, ILB,, OT, DL

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cheesehead1's picture

May 22, 2020 at 03:07 pm

What is the plan to stop the run? Keep hearing scheme etc will change. Well, we couldn’t adjust last season so I’m not feeling too confident. Hope Gute has something up his sleeve for a run stopper or two.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 22, 2020 at 04:41 pm

I think the scheme may change some, but, the players more. The problem last year was that only Kenny Clark was a starting caliber DL. Lowry was paid like one but played more like a bench player. And Lancaster is a bench player that was thrust in a starters role. Need to upgrade the talent and change the chemistry - perhaps Keke (upon merit) and Daniels (upon a clean bill of health). I'd rather see Keke-Daniels-Clark next season than Lowry-Lancaster-Clark.

Also jettison M. Adams - addition by subtraction - by removing a lingerer.

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Packers0808's picture

May 22, 2020 at 05:13 pm

Lots of conjecture and arm chair coaches for in GB! Seems every one knows better than the coaching staff what their wants and needs are! Some of these WR are going to big surprises and just fine! And there will some good DL linesman let go the Packers will be able to pick up!

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TheBigCheeze's picture

May 22, 2020 at 09:23 pm

FYI.....any guy who calls another guy a "stud", is so gay....

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 24, 2020 at 01:02 pm

Have you always been homophobic? Or is this something you acquired later in life?

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ReaganRulz's picture

May 23, 2020 at 08:26 am

“The coaching staff remains HIGH” on MAdams made me laugh this morning.

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