Packers Stock Report: Red Ass edition

The Green Bay Packers fourth-quarter comeback against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday was:

A) A sign of hope that the Packers offense is coming back to life

B) Meaningless since the Panthers were sitting back in a prevent defense trying to kill the clock like the Packers typically do once they build a nice lead

C) I have no idea. It was just nice to see the Packers actually put up a fight and come back.

My answer to that question is "C."

The offense is still in some state of disarray. When Aaron Rodgers & Co. finally got rolling in the fourth quarter, they used a strange combination of screen plays that Carolina had no interest in defending and sandlot-style run-around-and-make-something-happen passes.

It's not like the Packers designed offensive plays suddenly kicked into gear and began spitting out wide-open receivers. It was all still very disjointed. (And Mike McCarthy has used some form of the term "ass" during a news conference two weeks in a row now.)

The defense finally got aggressive late in the game, but if Cam Newton wasn't one of the most inaccurate passers in the league, the Panthers would've hung 50 on the Packers and that comeback probably never happens.

The first half of this Packers season has been just plain weird. The team has some gigantic flaws (defense, offensive line, playing on the road), underperforming stars (Eddie Lacy, Josh Sitton, Julius Peppers) and major injuries (Jordy Nelson, Sam Shields, Lacy).

Yet the Packers are 6-2 and in prime position to make a run once the real season kicks in after Thanksgiving. Rodgers is on pace for nearly 4,000 yards, 38 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Mike Daniels is a monster on the defensive line. Damarious Randall makes his share of rookie mistakes, but also has moments where looks much better than a typical rookie.

Imagine if some of the underperforming players find their groove again. Or the offensive line snaps out out it. Or if the trend of losing at least one starter per week to injury ends.

This season still has great potential to be a very rewarding one. It also has potential to drive all Packers fans insane. Right now we're being fitted for straight jackets, but it's not time to lock us in a padded room just yet.

On to this week's Stock Report:

Rising 

James Starks
If Starks keeps this up, he might earn himself a decent free-agent contract this offseason. Not sure if it will be in Green Bay, though...

Damarious Randall
Yeah, Randall gave up the long pass to Devin Fuchness and had the pass interference on Greg Olsen, but both of those plays seemed fluky. Overall, Randall stepped in and covered for Shields just fine.

Mike Daniels
The defensive line has taken a major step backward, but Daniels is still plowing straight ahead. Pay the man, Ted.

Steady

Nobody
This is part of the Packers' struggles. They need more steady players, more players who are simply doing their jobs and not screwing up. If the offense gets turned around, you'd ideally like to see a bunch of offensive lineman filling up the steady category.

Falling

Josh Sitton
Not sure what's going on with one of the best guards in the league, but lately Sitton hasn't looked anything like one of the best guards in the league.

Bryan Bulaga
Bulaga has never been the most nimble of tackles, but he rarely gets bulled back into the backfield. Too often over the last two weeks, Bulaga has ended up in Rodgers' lap. 

Eddie Lacy
It's looking more and more like a lost season for Lacy. Ugh.

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Comments (54)

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zoellner25's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:11 pm

Agree completely on both Randall and Sitton. Randall's coverage has been excellent but of course, he'll get some penalties. I think Randall Cobb will be up as well.

Sitton somehow got a high grade from PFF, but nobody here agrees with it. He hasn't been himself. In fact, I don't recognize the entire O-line lately.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:19 pm

I would throw Ryan in the Rising category. He came in and played really well.

Falling then I would put Palmer in there. For losing playing time to Ryan.

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Packer_Pete's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:23 pm

Steady I'd put Crosby and Masthay. Overall that's how I'd describe their play this season.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:27 pm

Brett Goode has been steady as well... we have that going for us.

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Point Packer's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:38 pm

Agree on Crosby, but as a punter, Masthay has not been steady by any stretch of the imagination.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:31 pm

Steadily shaky.

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davy jones's picture

November 10, 2015 at 03:42 pm

Masthay had a 26 yd punt...26 YARDS!! From GB end of the field as I recall...not exactly a "placement" 26 yds...a real live kicking for the fence 26 yds. NOT steady.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 03:48 pm

I'm guessing his leg was about to fall off from punting so much that last couple of games.
I'll give him a pass on that one.

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4thand1's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:35 pm

Usually it seems like bad teams have good punters. Lots of game time experience.

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Point Packer's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:30 pm

Agree on all three in the "falling" category, but would like to put emphasis on Bulaga. Not sure if it is by design to take advantage of the apparent strength of our interior line or if he is just getting his ass whooped, but Bulaga is clearly forcing his man to the outside forcing Rodgers to move up in the pocket or escape between the guard and tackle. If that's part of the offensive strategy or simply the only way that Bulago can be effective, I have no idea. Regardless, the outcome seems to be that Rodgers "pocket" is ridiculously small and that his vision is severely impacted. A potential rational for his missing what few receivers are able to get open. Not sure what the PPF focus rating was, but Bahk seemed to be much better the last couple weeks than Bulaga.

Sitton I have no clue.

Lacy looks slow, fat and still somewhat injured. Not sure how the coaching staff can't keep rolling with Starks.

We lose to Detroit and I'm going to have a massive drunken melt-down.

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Evan's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:42 pm

"but Bulaga is clearly forcing his man to the outside forcing Rodgers to move up in the pocket or escape between the guard and tackle."

It's been pointed out the last few weeks that DEs have been careful to stay outside and not rush too far up field in order to keep Rodgers in the pocket.

So, is Bulaga forcing his man outside or is that where the DE is going on his own in order to contain Rodgers?

Also, I feel like an OT should be trying to force the DE outside...but I'm not o-line expert.

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Point Packer's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:43 pm

Good question. Perhaps the latter?

I should have added that not only have Bulaga's opponents been consistently going outside (by design by the O or the D), but Bulaga has been, more than not, pushed back into Rodger's lap. Wouldn't be an issue if was holding ground. He's not and our running game has not been able to take advantage of an opened B gap, which is somewhat astounding and surprising that our coaching staff hasn't figured out a scheme to take advantage of a clear and consistent tendency by opposing defenses.

But what the hell do I know?

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Dan Stodola's picture

November 10, 2015 at 04:52 pm

Bulaga had torn miniscus repaired surgically. That is definitely his issue and will probably continue to be for another month. Its a painful injury and the fact he's playing is a testament to his toughness. I won't put much blame on him for having issues from that. It affects his ability to push off and generate power.

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Point Packer's picture

November 10, 2015 at 05:55 pm

Better to have a hobbled Bulaga? Or a healthy Don Barclay?

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4thand1's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:37 pm

Hobbled Bulaga, hands down.

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 05:36 am

As many hands as we can find down.

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omega's picture

November 10, 2015 at 08:35 pm

"We lose to Detroit and I'm going to have a massive drunken melt-down."

Win by less than two scores and there should be concern for the upcoming Vikings.

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Point Packer's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:24 pm

Regardless of outcome, I am already concerned about that game.

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Nick Perry's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:24 am

I'm not so worried about Detroit, I'm worried about Minnesota. The offensive line hasn't shown it can slow down a decent pass rush, move the ball and score on offense away from home.

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Archie's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:38 pm

Pack is favored by 11.5 at home v DET. If they cover that will reaffirm that they can still play well at home. The week after that they will travel to MN. I'm expecting spread will be 6.5, 7 or even 7.5. If they cover that spread too, they will win the Division once again but alas, w/o home field advantage thet will fall like Marty Schottenheimer's CLE Browns of the 80s in the playoffs. Flipside is they eke out a win v DET and get beat by the Vikes. Then they could be reduced to the wildcard hunt by falling 2nd time to Vikes and DAL, OAK and AZ. So lots of suspense as TT treads water for the 5th or 6th straight year following their surprising SB season.. Does anybody really still think TT/MM can get us another SB win during AROD's tenure? I don't.

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 02:25 am

I predict the future, based on trends and evidence of recent performance, which leads me to predict;
1) a close win v Detro,, but Stafford and Calvin Johnson return to glory and put up huge numbers, and they have breakout running game that has been non-existent year-to-date.
Fans on CHTV will say, "good we learn to win the ugly games"

2) loss at Minne.
Torched by AD, prolific TE yards, and QB rushing.
Fans will say; "we gotta get that run game goin, and get that run defense to step up", and "of course GB doesn't draft high" and "just gotta heal"

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 05:50 am

You all must be watching a different Minnesota team than i am. Other than adding Diggs and getting TCB (the child beater) back, not much has changed for the Vikes. Their OLine remains suspect (Teddy is taking some huge hits). The back 7 on D remains weak. TCB is having a good, but not super human, year.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:50 am

I have to admit that you are really down with your support. You are affraid to be confident in team you are supporting?
OK. Lot of comments everywhere was how it is not good to peak out to soon. December is the most important month as you all knows. I still claiming that those 2 losses was blessing for the Packers!
I see relativelly easy win over Detroit at home (hopefully Sam will be back as well as Ty!) and epic battle against Vikings, which I believe we can win. If we lose it will be very close...
Btw, Teddy got concussion, so it is not clear yet if he will play against Raiders...

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EdsLaces's picture

November 10, 2015 at 02:46 pm

Sadly HHCD is falling .....he's way to athletic to get beat like he has been. Get Ur sh#t together HaHa!

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4thand1's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:39 pm

He has been up and down, more down it seems. Maybe the ass chewing last game will get him going back up.

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Dan Stodola's picture

November 10, 2015 at 09:52 pm

HHCD is going t be a really good safety. But he's still making some mistakes, which is part of the learning curve IMO. It shouldn't be too surprising, since Collins made a lot of them in his 1st 3 yrs as well. A perfect example is the deep ball that Randall gave up to Funchess. Randall actually played that ball to his help from the safety, but HHCD bit on a shorter route (or got baited) and didn't stay deeper than the deepest receiver. That is his job on that play, and it wasn't the first time he's made that mistake. Part of the learning curve of a young safety. Just like Collins, he'll get it figured out.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:07 am

I agree. It took Collins a long time, as well as Burnett. He is going to be really good, but like most players there are going to be growing pains along the way.

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Nick Perry's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:34 am

Burnett was no defensive power himself out there. I've never saw a team that seems to NEVER help CB over the top or leave 20x20 yard gaps in the middle of the field.

Is the defense to difficult, where we have to dummy it down so more? Maybe!

Are Burnett and HHCD to dumb to lean the dummy downed version? Possible!

Could it be part of that AWESOME Defensive staff put together by Dom Capers and MM, more specific Darren Perry? Damn good chance since they've been leaking since 2011. I mean can the guy coach ANYBODY up?

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:57 am

I am not sure what the answer is.

The thing I don't get is why don't CB's press WR's at the line? The last 3 games we have seen our CB's playing 5-10 yards off the ball a lot, which has been making it really easy for WR's to catch a lot of underneath stuff.
And also why is it that there always seems to be open spots right in the middle of our defense? That has been happening for a long time. I really don't know the answer to this. To me its more on coaching then anything.

Last year they simplified the defense in the second half of the season and there was a lot less miscommunication's. Perhaps they need to do it again.

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Dan Stodola's picture

November 11, 2015 at 08:02 am

On most plays, its the CB decision whether to play press or off, assuming man coverage. Hayward is the primary culprit when it comes to playing off. Shields plays almost exclusively in press, tho he doesn't necessarily press, he most uses his speed to run w/ the WR. Randall from what I've seen plays mostly in press position. I haven't been able to notice whether he actually presses the WR at the LOS or not.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 09:35 am

I just noticed that the CB's never actually get up and press the WR. Shields i get it because he can use his speed to stay with WR's. I just don't really see any of the other CB's doing it.
Randall would be a good one to learn to do it. He is a physical player.

I just don't know why they don't do it. It can really throw off the timing of the QB. which might allow the pass rush to get to them.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

November 10, 2015 at 03:30 pm

Yeah it pretty much covers it, Nasty has not been to good, see what I did there lol.

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Mebrooks5291's picture

November 10, 2015 at 04:05 pm

what is a red ass

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ray nichkee's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:01 pm

If you don't know what a red ass is have someone kick your ass till you can't take it anymore, scream uncle, then moon yourself in a mirror and get back to us with what color it is. I hope you are smart enough to yell uncle before it turns purple.

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4thand1's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:40 pm

Ask AP

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Chutler's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:30 pm

I'm just thinking about the offensive line performance, has anyone looked at Rodgers average time in the pocket (although he's also out of the pocket) last year vs. this year?

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Since '61's picture

November 10, 2015 at 04:57 pm

Definitely agree on the rising, steady and falling. I'm just hoping that the Packers return from their bye week for the Lions game. Thanks, Since '61

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Lphill's picture

November 10, 2015 at 07:38 pm

Maybe the Mcarthy and Capers era is over . Josh McDaniel is looking for a head coaching job , the Packers should call him after this list season.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:13 am

I agree with the comments regarding Daniels, Starks, and Bulaga. Otherwise, I didn't agree with much of this article.

I think Ryan and Adams should be in the rising, with Dix, Raji, Guion, Goodson and Linsley in the falling.

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 02:39 am

Nice job Adam. I agree, probably (C). But I'd venture (D) See what could have been with a up-tempo pass attack at beginning of the game with timing routes, screens and crossing patterns.

My rant yesterday was all about failed leadership (coaches). I'm not letting up. Naming any player as falling is pointless. They're all falling b/c of failed leadership, strategy and remedial action. DC and MM have been the red-ass chumps.

I challenge anyone defend how DC and MM have done all they could to rally the sidelines, get receivers and QB in sync, Oline blocking assignments clarified, new play adjustments, etc, etc.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 05:06 am

What were your comments when the Pack were 6-0?

Did they mention any of the coaches then?

Compare the first 2 games to the last 2 games; what's the difference in offensive play and defensive play? Is it the "play calling"???

Now, could the coaches do a few (minor) things different here and there? Of course. Personnel, clock management (coaches and QB share blame), and changing up formations (looks). But what's happened these last 2 weeks are not their fault.

A coach can only do so much. We don't know what's going on in practices or meetings, but we do know coaches aren't on the field whiffing on blocks, dropping passes, fumbling, missing tackles, not hustling to the ball carrier, missing assignments, giving half-assed efforts etc.

Go ahead and say," it's the coaches job to have the players ready...", but what does that say about the players who've been winning with the same formula?

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 05:52 am

^^This-100%

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:47 am

I agree with you that its the job of the players to make plays, and they have to execute whatever the play call is called.

This being said, its still the coaches job to put their players in the best position to succeed. I don't think the coaches have been doing a good enough job of this. They need to use its players strengths better.

This hasn't just been about the last 2 games either. They haven't got the offense going to what we are used to seeing all year. A lot of it is due to injuries. However the coaches need to do a better job of adjusting to the personnel it does have.

Right now I think the coaches just haven't done a good enough job of using the players strengths. They haven't adjusted to the personnel it has.

They need to do a better job.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

@RC

I absolutely agree with you on using player's strengths better. I don't think that is critical though. I think if those games didn't play out so badly then this wouldn't be such a reach. I mean, we don't see much of Janis, but when Ty's healthy we see him doing everything we love to see Cobb do.

This Offense has been up and down all season. There are drives where the Pack makes it look easy (usually first quarter) and then there are times the Offense just looks awful. I just don't see how that is more coaching than player fault.

31
27
38
17
24
27

Weren't people also saying how tough this first half of the schedule is? That scoreboard looks nice.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 11:55 am

The biggest reason why I think the offense has been up and down all season is because they haven't managed the games as well in their game plans and play calling... They haven't made enough adjustments as were needed as well.

They call a number of plays that are designed to go for 10+ yards. Where they don't have plays underneath to dump off or take advantage of what the defense is giving them. It seems like most passing plays have had Rodgers holding onto the ball longer then he should.

They have started almost every game really well. Getting a TD within their first 2 drives in most games. But then they don't do much else for the next 2 quarters and pick it up in the 4th Quarter. What that is telling me is that the in game adjustments aren't being made to the defenses adjustments.

Yes, players haven't played as well, and have had injuries. I do blame them for not doing their jobs. I just place more blame on the coaches for not finding ways to use the players it has, and to overcome players shortcomings.
That's just my opinion though.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I respect that.

But there are checkdowns in plays that are called and the plays that are ran. If you mean more like drag routes, I've seen some of those as well. The routes are just being ran poorly. It looks as if the WRs are jogging -- or calling it what it is, half assing. I seen R.Rodgers and Adams do it last game.

I do agree with the adjusting part of your comment. 2nd half (3rd quarter mostly) adjustments always seems to be nonexistent.

Personnel/formation designs
Halftime adjustments
Play clock management
(Things the coaches should work on)

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porupack's picture

November 11, 2015 at 07:39 am

DrealynW;
I posted my skepticism after every game that I watched. I felt all the hype on D was premature b/c of poor olines. I didn't think there was really performance at high level in any game yet this year. Seattle was the most complete, but you still had to discount b/c of Seattle oline debacle.

There is a difference b/w play calling and game planning. My criticism is the game planning strategy.

Just b/c you win doesn't mean you play excellent or even good football. Yielding 500+ yards of opponent offense is crap football. Chigo held Chargers to far less.

We're not talking a few things here, a few things there. We're talking multiple breakdowns all over the team.

A coach can do so much. The good ones have their team ready. Cover the details. The individuals who aren't then sit on the bench. Why do you excuse the leader who allows poor results week after week (yes 7 out of 8 games were poor)?

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 10:50 am

If I'm excusing the coaches then you're excusing the players and we are at a stalemate.

I strongly believe that if the players had the exact same play calls and game plan, but the PLAYERS played up to their potential that things would have went totally different.

Sadly, I can't give many examples in Denver because the TEAM totally laid down. But in Carolina...

Let Rodgers connect with Cobb on that deep pass...
Let Rodgers connect with Adams (Maybe Tillman tipped it)
Let the O-Line run block better...
Let the O-Line pass block better...
Let the DBs cover much better...
Let the inside pass rush show up...

Much different game?

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 11:33 am

@Poru - I'd like your thought on this as well.

I don't know if you follow all football or just the Pack, but do you remember the week after the Dolphins fired their head coach and ESPN insinuated that the Defense was playing better because of the change? Well, where was that same Defense against Patriots and Bills? Same coaches and same players.

New coach won his first 2 games (38-10 & 26-44)
Lost his last 2 games (7-36 & 17-33)

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 11, 2015 at 06:09 am

Adam -How did the corn harvest go in your area?

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egbertsouse's picture

November 11, 2015 at 08:42 am

I've been calling for Dum Capers to get fired for the last 4 yrs; win or lose. He's had consistently crap defenses during that time with multitudes of different players. If it's the players fault and not Dum's coaching, then fire TT for getting consistently bad players. Somebody in management has to be held accountable. I ran a dept for 25 years and if it didn't produce, I'd have been fired. No whining about my employees not performing.....

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egbertsouse's picture

November 11, 2015 at 08:46 am

On another note, has anybody read Doug Farrar's piece on si.com analyzing the Packer passing offense? A huge indictment of MM's abilities to create a modern passing offense. It seems as though the "offensive genius" might be running a stone-age passing game and relying on AR to make super-human plays. Good read!

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 11:21 am

So what's the solution,guys?

Fire all coaches?
Wipe all of the coaches philosophies and start over?

What?

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DrealynWilliams's picture

November 11, 2015 at 02:20 pm

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