Packers vs, Cardinals: Second Thoughts

I laid awake in bed for about four hours Saturday night after the game. As my wife will tell you, I'm usually asleep within five minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Not this time. I kept going over the crazy events of this incredible game. Two or three times I almost got up to go start writing. But I resisted and decided to wait until the next day.

So here they are - just some random thoughts and topics for discussion. I'm very curious to get your opinions in the comments section.

Sam Shields - It was great to have him back, and I wouldn't want to change that. But two of the INTs he dropped immediately led to 10 points for the Cardinals. Take 10 points away from Arizona and none of the drama that unfolded happens and the Packers are playing in Carolina next weekend.

Five of the Packers' seven playoff losses under McCarthy have come on the very last play of the game. Incredible coincidence or symptomatic of McCarthy's teams not being able to close the deal when they have a chance?

I've been a frequent critic of Mike McCarthy and his game plans. But I believe anyone putting forth the "horrible play calling" narrative on this particular game is WAY off base. I challenged McCarthy earlier this week to give this offense a different look, do things they haven't been doing much. Despite losing Randall Cobb, which I'm sure took away a lot of his game plan, he accomplished that.  You saw crossing routes, slants, corner routes and some deep shots (way before the desperation attempts at the end). As the most interesting man in the world might say, " I don't often defend Mike McCarthy, but when I do, it's because he deserves it."

Dom Capers had the right plan. My feeling all week was the best thing Green Bay could do is go after Palmer hard and make him uncomfortable. His past history will tell you that getting to him results in poor throws that become turnovers. The plan worked perfectly. Two interceptions in the books, plus three from Shields that should have been, one by Hayward that I remember and probably some more. At some point, the players have to make the plays. 

You couldn't have asked for a better job by the Packers' run defense. There was NOTHING there all night. They gave up 40 total yards (2.1YPC avg.) to a team averaging 120 yards a game. 

On the Fitzgerald catch and run. By now, I'm sure you all know Peppers had responsibility for the back side zone. Peppers saw Palmer scrambling to the right and did what his instincts told him - go to the quarterback. That, of course, left Fitzgerald with no one even remotely in his area and he just made a great run to effectively end the Packers' season. I can't blame Peppers that much - coverage is something he's never had to do before coming to the Packers. In the heat of the moment, his instincts took over. 

After the game, I had a long Facebook "discussion" with a few "Packers should have gone for two after the Hail Mary" yahoos. I call them Yahoos because their entire reasoning was that the Packers lost in overtime, anyway. Give me some real reasons and logic and I'll listen. But if "How did the overtime work out?" is the basis of your reasoning, please turn in your football fan card. 

And you thought the Jeff Janis hype was overdone before... You're going to hear his name non-stop all offseason.

BJ Raji played upright way too much and subsequently got manhandled (often the sign of a tired player). On the handful of times he got penetration and made a play, his pad level was much lower.

I'm having a hard time finding something to hate about this Arizona team. They play hard, clean football. No cheap shots, no fighting, I respect the coaching staff, and then there is Larry Fitzgerald.

I was tweeting all night about what an ultimate gamer Larry Fitzgerald is. Little did I know he would wield the dagger that would end the Packers' season. Regardless, I admire the way he goes about his business and his leadership stamp is all over that Cardinals team. Mad respect.

Ted Thompson is going to earn his money this offseason. Looking at the list of  contributors that will be free agents and potential holes to fill (since he can't resign them all), it is not going to be easy, folks. 

Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Bj Raji, Letroy Guion, Casey Hayward, James Starks, Mason Crosby, John Kuhn, Add the possibility that Peppers may not be brought back for the final year of his contract and the existing holes at TE and ILB, and you've got some major work to be done.

This may sound crazy, but from that list, I'd say my priority re-signs are Crosby and Starks. I'd have to go with Neal over Perry, because Perry misses so much time with injuries. I'd be ok with the likely cheaper (for 2016) option of Guion over Raji for NT. 

For a lot of this season, the Packers would have had NO running game if not for James Starks. His slashing style is better suited to the Packers blocking schemes, and he does a MUCH better job than Lacy finding a hole when there appears not to be one. Add his tremendous improvement this season as a receiver, and I consider him an essential re-sign. 

Speaking of Ted Thompson, if you didn't see this WSJ article titled, "Why the Packers promote from within," it's very worthy of your time, so give it a read. Besides the topic mentioned, there are some interesting tidbits about some of the Packers' coaching tactics with young players.

That's it for now. In the upcoming weeks. we'll be doing season reviews, position reviews, individual report cards and more. We are also planning ramped up NFL draft coverage with rankings and profiles of draft prospects and how they might fit with the Packers.

Go Pack Go!

 

 

 

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

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Comments (171)

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:34 am

In case this got lost in the sea of after game comments:

Game balls to the entire CHTV group. The go to place for Packers info. Expert handling of combining with Al and carrying on after Brian C. departed.

Well done, and thanks!

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porupack's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:16 am

Take a bow CHTV. I came to the site from the Allpackers-JerseyAl side of the merger, and it was great move, great place to visit and vent/gloat.

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Handsback's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:31 am

Second this!

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JerseyAl's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:20 am

Thanks guys!

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paxbak's picture

January 18, 2016 at 06:12 am

Before they scored the TD I thought they should have gone for 2. The offense couldn't sustain a legitimate drive and the defense was finished after the third quarter. Arizona all year was the most explosive offense in the league and our offense was very average. Our only chance (other than a fluke play in OT) was to line up our best 2 point play and see what happens. With the review, we had plenty of time to plan the play. Besides, this team is the worst OT playoff team in the history of the league. Zero for our last five... WOW!! Watching a Packer playoff loss is like having your finger nails removed.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:30 am

Going for 2 at that point in the game is the ABSOLUTE dumbest thing the Packers could have done. There's not an NFL Coach past or present who'd go for 2 there. The Packers just went 94 yards in 2 plays, 25 seconds (After Sack) to get within one. Your ONLY play there is to kick the extra point and play OT.

Nebraska went for 2 in the 1984 Orange Bowl for the National Championship. They were the BEST Team in College Football that year and they MISSED! If it's THAT Painful to watch the Packers, perhaps you should STOP.

Personally I was proud of the Packers Saturday Night. I'm never happy when they lose, but the defensive effort for most of the game, the offensive effort without Nelson, Cobb, Montgomery, and Adams was something I wouldn't have ever imagined would happen against that defense. They held the "Most Explosive Offense In The League" down pretty well Saturday Night, right up until Micah Hyde went down. Maybe it was just a coincidence maybe not, but as soon as Hyde went down and Capers started to play Zone, the Cardinals began to move the ball. Fitzgerald caught a few balls and Capers switched. Personally I'd have continued to play Man coverage and take my chances. Capers Zones never seem to work out against an Elite QB and good WR Corps.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:08 am

Imagine if McCarthy decided to go for 2, and they didn't get it... Imagine that...

No, there was no reason to go for 2.

Its insane the injuries they had at WR. Again going back to Training Camp before Nelson's injury if you would have said we would take the number 5 ranked defense to OT and nearly win, without our Number 1,2,3,4 WR's, It would have been unbelievable.

Completely agree on Capers and his zone coverage's. I posted the same thing below.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:07 pm

"Imagine if McCarthy decided to go for 2, and they didn't get it... Imagine that..."

Imagine if they lined up to kick the PAT...and missed...

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:06 pm

I honestly thought that too...

If he missed the PAT how badly would everyone be talking about him not going for 2.

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cheddarhead's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:14 pm

Think this, the team that wins the coin flip wins adout 90% of the time. If you go for 2 your team has the best chance at giving your offense a chance to score. If you go to overtime u first have to win the coin flip (GB did not) then guess what chances are ( baring a good return which doesn't happen since the rule change) u have to 80 yards to score a touchdown. If you get 3 the opposing team gets the ball( providing u make the FG). And can win with any score. Plus your defense is winded from playing four quarters of football.
It's 50-50 proposition either way. Win or lose simple as that. You've already deflated them carry the momentum while u are hot.

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porupack's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:25 am

yep. the extra point was surest way to play odds to stay in the game first, go for win second.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:44 am

"the extra point was surest way to play odds to stay in the game first, go for win second."

Nicely stated. Many would say that's not "aggressive play", but the price of failure on the 2pt is a loss, and the conversion rate is monumentally lower than kicking the PAT.

Imagine how people would be screaming about the 2pt if AZ had blocked the PAT, the snap had been bad, or Crosby flat-out missed?

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Portland Mark's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:55 am

I hope I don't get flamed for saying this but... After three straight OT playoff losses I would have liked to see them go for 2. Arizona seemed to be shocked by what just happened and the Packer offense was rolling. Either call was a gamble but I like the Packer offense for 2 yards than the chance of OT. Also, the most iconic moment if Packer history is Starr sneaking in for the TD in the Ice Bowl. Lombardi passed up a chance for the tie went for all the marbles with 16 seconds left and no time outs.

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zeke's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:22 am

I think if you're at home you absolutely play for overtime, but I would have had no problem losing on a failed 2-point try there (unless it's Kuhn on a stretch play).

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:22 pm

Completely agree. I think its absolutely true that very few coaches would have gone for two there. So I'm not going to rail on McCarthy for making the conventional decisions.

But the Packers were on their last gasp at the end of the game. I'd have rather seen them put their whole season on that one play. If you lose you lose.

On the other side of the field, the Cardinals won so all is forgotten, but Arian's "aggressive" play calling when the Cardinals were in FG range and had the game all but locked up almost cost them the season. Now THAT was stupid.

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Idiot Fan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

I really like Bill Barnwell as a football writer because he analyzes things based on probability, not based on the outcome that actually happened, but I think he's wrong in his article about how MM should have gone for two. I think we need to consider the probability of a successful conversion. Consider this:

- Earlier in the game we had two 17-play drives that ended in FGs because we couldn't punch it in the endzone.
- We've sucked in the red zone all year, and even last year.
- We were down to our 5th, 6th, and 7th receivers, who aren't as practiced at the playbook.
- Lacy had shown zero ability to pick up two yards so far in the game.

I think the odds of a successful conversion were probably around 25% personally. In that case, I think OT was the right play.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:14 pm

Aren't probabilities based on outcomes that actually happened. I'm confused.

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Idiot Fan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:23 pm

The probability of something happening is an unknown number, and data can help us estimate it, though with some degree of error. For example, if you flip a coin 10 times and get 7 heads, that doesn't mean that the actual probability of heads is 70%, even though that may be the best estimate given the data that you have. With more data (flips) you'll get an estimate that is closer to the real probability, though not exactly right. With 100 flips you may get 55 heads perhaps. With 1000 flips you might get 510 heads. With more data, you are likely to get closer and closer to the real probability.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:48 pm

Thanks. I have been out of school for a very long time. Now I remember.

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WinUSA's picture

January 21, 2016 at 09:11 am

Say what you will Nick...but the dagger was there to plunged. Sure maybe we didn't make it...that certainly was a possibility...one has got to consider what was happening to this point of the game. Number 11 was on fire, our D was exhausted, Names are made and ridiculed on decisions like this.

When playing away, in a hostile environment and you have a chance to put the game away, you have the offense, you have the ball in your mvp's hands and, THEIR 2 best players are on the bench, Palmer and Fitz.......you TAKE IT! PERIOD.

It was a paradigm...they did it your way.......well the results are the evidence.

I wouldn't be so non nonchalant as to say that kicking the extra point was the ONLY way to go....it comes back to my main criticism of McCarthy and how the game slipped thru our fingers...McCarthy did it the way he ALWAYS does, like he did in Seattle last year and now against the Cards....he played not to LOSE!

Personally I am sick of this same old shit. And don't think I am NOT a Packer fan because there isn't anyone who is MORE of a Packer fan than myself...but I just couldn't see why they DIDN'T go for the two.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:18 pm

Win USA. You sold me. I have been going back and forth.. First thought after Hail Mary was 2pt,then I was afraid to lose so soon after Hail Mary, then day later thought of the fake kick. Now after feeling empty and reading POCs comment and now yours, Should have gone for it. Would rather have lost knowing we went for it than lose and live with what if. I have learned from it and hope MM has as well. No need to be conservative, doesn't work.

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WinUSA's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:20 pm

Thanks bud...I just call them the way I see em.....

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:52 pm

Thanks. Here's to next year, with better results.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:22 pm

I agreed. I was calling for the 2 because I felt like the last several series had either ended in a score or a turn-over - but the defense could not get the Cardinal's O to 4th down. They were gassed. They did their best, but they were gassed.

That said, I don't fault MM for NOT going for two. Both ways it is a crap shoot.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

Us going for 2 is and would have been crazy. But in hindsight now.,maybe a fake field goal. I do not think anyone would have expected THAT from US. Talk about a surprise play. .

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:38 am

I thought about the idea of a fake too - but the Cards were rushing so hard to try and block it, I don't know if any fake play would have had time to develop.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:28 am

I know but I was thinking maybe it would surprise them as much as it would SHOCK us. Would have been so out of MMs character.

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Idiot Fan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:59 am

I thought about that too, but keep in mind that it would have been from the 15, not the 2.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

Thought about that afterwards, so it would have to be perfectly executed, and probably a pass play. Then again maybe that's not a bad thing, given our short yardage problems.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:32 am

I know on the last play of a sudden death playoff game, I want the ball in Tim Masthay's hand...lol.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Lol. Can stop laughing on that one.

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paxbak's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:49 pm

While it would have been tough to go for two as a coach given the hell you would pay if you missed it, I still think it was our best chance to win probably 50% 2 Pnt try versus 15% OT. How do I know 15% OT? Before yesterday, we were 0 - 4 in the previous playoff overtime games with a zero point zero OT winning percentage. 15% may be generous. Fake Extra Point? Are you kidding me? 2.3% on that one.

Look at the game. We were doing nothing in the 4th quarter on offense (other than luck) and they were kicking our tails right down the field. I don't think I am alone in thinking that going for a point conversion was the right thing to do. Although I see where it could cost a coach his job if it failed.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 06:46 am

"I'm having a hard time finding something to hate about this Arizona team. They play hard, clean football. No cheap shots, no fighting, I respect the coaching staff, and then there is Larry Fitzgerald."

100%. I'm rooting for them here on out.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 06:51 am

Agreed.

To be honest, I'm ok with either Carolina or Arizona. But to be honest I would rather see Arizona win it all...

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:46 am

Aside from Patrick Peterson (whose actions are more comical than self-promoting), there aren't the flambouyant egos on this team (at least obvious ones) like what we get from Cam Newton. I just don't like his posturing and strutting...pretend you've played the game before...

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:22 pm

Agree. Denver is even worse. Watching Pittsburgh games last night, and all the posturing, dancing and self promotion by Denver was as classless as it gets.

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GVPacker's picture

January 19, 2016 at 12:45 am

Agree with you on Newton's Jackass Antics. I'd would really enjoy seeing him shit the bed in the NFC Championship Game. And add Jared Allen to that!

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

Personally, I like the coaching staff of Carolina much more than the one of Arizona. Then you have Newton vs Peterson in player personalities. To me, it's a wash. As far as good guys go, you have Greg Olsen vs Fitzgerald, but you also have nobody on the Cards squad who is similar to Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. You also get no fighting, no cheap shots, and just a hard playing football team with the Panthers. I am rooting for them from here on out, but that's my personal preference.

I did love that they kicked some Seahawks butt. And I did not understand how there was a warning for the continued unsportsmanlike conduct of Pete Carroll, I wish at some point there is a 15 yards and the head coach getting thrown out and having to watch from the stands. What a douche bag, constantly whining, being in the ears of refs, constantly being on the field, and in my opinion really not having any respect for the game. No matter who they play, I am and will always be rooting for that opposing team.

I certainly will not root for any of the AFC teams. The only player I really could root for there is Manning. I certainly could not stand the NE Cheaters winning the SB again. Let's hope that won't happen.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm

True, but Ariens challenge on the safety in the first game pissed me off.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 06:51 am

Al, you weren't the only restless one Saturday night. It was well after 1 before I attempted to go to bed.

My random thoughts 2 days after the game...

So close... So freaking close... 1 or 2 plays goes our way, and we are playing this coming weekend.

Shields: If he makes that last Interception, that changes the game. He not only would have had a big return on that play, he possibly could have returned it all the way with his speed. Either way, he intercepts that pass, Cardinals don't score a TD.

I thought Capers had a great game plan. That was until Fitzgerald made a couple of catches and he switched from mostly man coverage to mostly zone coverage. I really like Capers. I like our defense. But the fact is Capers is at his best when he is being aggressive. I hate when Capers plays soft.

Al, you bring up Janis. I don't consider myself a Janis nut. But I have said pretty much all year that they had to use Janis more. I didn't say he had to be used the whole game, but used in the offense yes. He brings something that none of the other WR's had. Size and speed. I get that he isn't a finished product and is very raw in his route running and whatnot. But in the 2 games he was forced to play extended amount in he had a total of 9 receptions, 224 yards, 2 TD's. Can't tell me they couldn't have found ways to use him more.

I really do like our WR's going into next year. Getting Nelson back will be huge. Also getting back Montgomery will help. But then add in that Adams, Abbrederis and Janis will all be another year in the system. We should expect to see a big jump for those 3 players. Our WR's are set.

Things we need:
We need a big athletic pass catching TE. OJ Howards name will be brought up a lot, but honestly he is a guy that we could use. We have Rodgers so we don't need a guy that has to come in to block down after down. We need a guy who can stretch the middle of the field.
A lot of people will say we need an OT. I agree that we need a backup OT. I am fine with Bakhtiari. But we need to upgrade our backup OT.
On offense I would like to see a pass catching RB. Perhaps that is the roll that Montgomery can fill, but I would love to see a better receiver out of the backfield.
Also, Lacy has to lose weight.

Defense, they have a lot of work to do. Just looking at the current roster (not looking at FA's) they need an ILB and another pass rusher. Looking at the FA's. I think they have to bring back Raji, and Guion. I love Pennel, but those 2 guys are a step above Pennel. And I think they have to resign at least 1 between Perry and Neal.

The most important Free agent right now IMO is Crosby. Followed by Raji, Starks, Guion, Neal/Perry.

Its going to be a long offseason.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:31 am

Hey RC, I don't know if you saw my post in yesterdays comments, but as Janis was taking it to the Cardinals I couldn't help but think of you and others here at CheeseheadTV. All season long several of us suggested to Janis a try, you more than anyone. You were met with a chorus of "He's not ready", "If he was ready the coaches would play him", "Rodgers doesn't trust him".

We've watched Janis a few times this year do something with the ball when they throw to him. He may not be the most polished WR but at least the few times he's been thrown to he's delivered. Something Adams can't say after this season.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:22 am

Honestly I was not on here at all yesterday. I had to get away. So i went and continued working on finishing off my basement and working on my Packer Room.

I honestly don't consider myself a crazed Janis super fan. I just saw no reason why they couldn't have found ways to use him. I mean the stats speak for themselves. In the 2 games that Janis was forced to play he made plays. We could have used that all season.
And its not even just about Janis. Abbrederis looked really good. Why wasn't he used more down the stretch?

My biggest problem with McCarthy this year is that he didn't do enough with the players he had.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:34 am

I understand what you mean and agree 100%. Good luck luch with "The Packer Room"! : )

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:48 am

Thanks.

Its coming along nicely. I'm looking forward to watching Packer games next year in there.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:18 am

It was pretty much the same with 52 at ILB. Several here suggested it only to be met with a chorus of pooh poohing from the MM & TT über alles crowd. Lo and behold, they put Matthews at ILB and it works ok. Same thing with Janis this year: he can't run routes, he's a football moron, etc. But when he does get in a game, it works out ok. More than OK in fact. And we're still hearing that he can't run routes, that he's a dope, etc. etc. etc.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:29 am

To be fair, his two big catches were hail marys and he did seem to run the wrong route in the end zone earlier - he seemed to run a dig while Rodgers threw it to the post. Would have been an easy touchdown otherwise.

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Idiot Fan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:05 am

I agree. Though I will say that I don't think we need to draft any WRs. JA showed that he can be a quality possession receiver. Adams showed last year that he's got some talent. Montgomery still intrigues me. Cobb should be better with Jordy back in the fold. And Janis is still a wild card. There's still the question of whether JA can stay healthy or Adams gets his head on straight, but I think the future at WR is still bright.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:08 am

Agree - and if they're able to get that athletic TE early, that'll open things up for everyone.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Absolutely. Some have said it will take away opportunities for the WRs but the benefits outweigh that.

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Agreed - unfortunately, this does not seem to be the year for drafting TEs... but what do I know?

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:11 pm

It means that this will be the year TT decides to do it....

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JerseyAl's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm

unfortunately, most of the top TE prospects in this draft have chosen to return to school. Will be slim pickings...

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:16 pm

Yeah, a lot of us brought up moving Mathews around more.

I mean, I get it that Janis wasn't ready for a full time role. He was forced into action and was forced to play a full time amount due to injury. He even did struggle during the game, with route running and whatnot.

But IMO, there wasn't any reason why they couldn't have played him 5-10 snaps a game. He has the physical tools they needed. Same with Abbrederis.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:21 am

Could not agree more. Thanks for laying it out better than I could have written. I was up til 3 and I am paying for it now. Tough tough loss, because not only were there so many chances and what if's, but because of the way they played. How hard they fought. They not only surpassed ours and everyone's expectations, we came so close,almost won. Moral victory yes but better yet there is so much to hold our heads high about and a brighter hope than we had only a couple of weeks ago. Instead of going into the off-season with doubts and frustration like last year, we have postiives to build on. Defense is definitely championship caliber. Aaron will certainly have a better year. Tretter provides depth at LT and elsewhere and improves the running Abby and yes, Janis are what we hoped they could be. I for one am happy about Janis, especially because we go into the off-season knowing that he and Abby bring more talent and depth instead of wondering. It is a blessing that we were "forced" to use them. Even MM now says Jeff has to play. That alone is huge. Maybe even Ripkowski will now play. Arrow is pointing up.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:20 pm

lol. i try.
Man, it was brutal that night. I'm still paying for it too...

I went into the game seriously thinking they were going to win. So it definitely was a tough loss.. The only thing really saving it for me was how great that Hail Mary was.

I agree we have a lot of positives to work on in the offseason. Our WR position will be better then it has been in a long time. (assuming everyone is healthy). I think forcing Janis and Abbrederis to play a lot in this game will have a positive affect on them going into the offseason. And Adams played really well the last 2 games until he got hurt.

I like the direction of our team.

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MissKathy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:09 am

All good points and I echo the suggestion of giving a game ball to the Cheesehead staff. This has become my main destination for balanced, non-company line commentary and reaction. Usually hit this first then go over to the Packers site to hear/see reactions, mostly because I like to read facial expressions and body language.

I have one signing suggestion, however. One thing that kept gnawing at me during the last few games - we need John Kuhn and I think they need to bring him back, yet again, for one more year. His directions to the backfield & line after Rodgers goes under/behind center are priceless. It's on the field coaching at it's best, imho. If they don't bring him back in to play or even coach, they'd be missing a huge opportunity to retain his knowledge and leadership.

I also agree Mike Neal is a necessary retention. He and Daniels are beasts and my favorite moments from some games are when I can holler, "YAY! A Mike sandwich! " as both envelop the opposing QB.

Want to also give Larry Fitzgerald a shout out. The man willed his team to that win - plain and simple. I hope he can finally get the ring he so richly deserves before he steps into the Football Haall of Fame.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:35 am

For me the only reason to bring Kuhn back is for his 'on field coaching'. I think Ripkowski can fill in as the FB and do much of the same stuff that Kuhn does, but the difference is Kuhns knowledge of the offense.

I can see Kuhn coming back, but I can also see them moving on and going with Ripkowski.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:37 am

I agree that the writing is on the wall for Kuhn. With the transitioning that needs to happen on this team, I don't see how they can give a second roster spot to a FB for a second year in a row. Unless Ripkowski proves to be a veg or gets hurt in the offseason, I think Kuhn's days are done.

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4thand10's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:40 pm

I hope Kuhn gets into coaching when he is finished. I, as many as you all, have seen the way he has directed other players on the field...and at one point he was a big part of directing special teams guys. Just such an awareness of what's going on.

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ray nichkee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:42 pm

Kuuuuuuuuhn!

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm

From a pure talent point of view, Nick Perry is better than Neal. I know his availability is not where it should be, but when Nick Perry is on, not many OTs in the NFL can consistently stop him.
I am wondering whether both Neal and Perry can be kept, and we'd see more of Jayrone Elliott. I think that will be the case if Peppers will be gone, which I suspect will happen.

Good comment on Fitzgerald, even though I'll root for Carolina now.

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porupack's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:11 am

Al, I agree on nearly all points;
1) MM had a great plan, and good play calling, and had to make adjustments for Cobb injury. He set the team up to succeed. Kudos.

2) Shields had the opps to change the game. Too bad.

3) Run D did their job.

4) The extra point vs 2 pt conversion was the right call. It was the surest way to stay in the game.

5) Tip of my hat to all the Janis advocates all year. I thought they were all just presumptious...but they proven right. Cheers.

6) Lacy just wasn't a weapon really. I like Starks, but I think there has to be more speedy option, and have a more Lightning-Thunder in the backfield. Lacy has to change up his attacks more. Doesn't burst enough.

7) Arizona is an admirable team, and Fitzgerald is class. Not long ago, he was the only star on the team and never clamored for trade IIRC.

8) Ok, so Peppers has his excuses...but I say the memo should have gone to everyone and reinforced each time D was on sideline; the only single guy that can beat GB is Fitzgerald. Stick him, bait Palmer....the opp will be there.

9) Yeah TT needs Crosby. Totally great story w MM sticking with him and being rewarded. What a great year.

10). Perry is showing something....so I would like to see him signed. "injury proned' is as much impression as anything...so I don't buy it.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Agree on Perry, can't go with label. Have to see it that he is now justifying our faith. Gut feeling is we would regret not keeping him. Of course it has to be at a fair price based on performance and potential. Hope he realizes that and does not go for just money. Gotta think noone will overpay for him.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:18 am

Free Agent Priority

1. Crosby - no brainer he's back, though maybe he gets swayed by a dome team like Longwell did?
2. Starks
3. Neal or Perry (I'd probably go Neal)
4. Raji or Guion (I could actually see both re-signing, neither will command top dollar)
5. Hayward gone - too much depth and Joe Whitt could turn me into a serviceable CB.
6. Kuhn gone - Rip's turn

I could also see James Jones being re-signed to a 1-year deal as insurance, but getting cut in training camp.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:26 am

I agree...

I would like to see both Raji and Guion return. They do form a really good duo at NT.
I like Hayward, but honestly I Rollins might be a better player. They also have Gunter to play outside.
If they do let Hayward go, I do want to see them find another slot CB though. I don't want to be left with Hyde as the only backup slot CB.

I could see Jones possibly resigning basically just to be sure there are no more injuries to the position. Also to be sure there aren't any setbacks with Nelson/Cobb, and others.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:02 am

Many of these guys will like get the chance to test the open market. Hayward had his chance to show he was a big-money, high-impact CB, and he showed at times he could handle good WR/TE, but he's very replaceable. He might get good money somewhere else, but my guess is that he'll have to come back at TTs price, if at all.

As you say, Whitt does really good things with Packer CBs and I expect TT to grab another CB in the upcoming draft. Goodson gets some recognition for his ST play, but he's a liability in coverage...he can go, too.

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:50 pm

For Starks to be the no 2, he sure has to improve his ball security...

Personally I think Perry is just much more talented than Neal. But I think both will stay if Peppers will be gone.

I don't see Raji being gone. Guion is cheaper, but Guion is just a guy, IMHO. Raji can be a difference maker.

Hayward is not fast or quick enough to be an NFL starter outside. His big plus was his big play ability and constantly being around the ball. He doesn't make enough big plays to warrant that. So I agree, he will probably be gone, and we will see more of Rollins, and possibly another young draft pick in 2016 draft.

I think they will find a way to keep Kuhn. Just a gut feeling. But personally, I would like to see more of Rip.

And if all WRs come back healthy, I just can't see how Jones sticks around. I am not even sure there will be a spot for Adams.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 02:15 pm

Agree on Perry. Unlike other years he overcame and played with his injury and at year end was playing his best. Have to sign him because he is our best chance to improve. Not many options. Draft is hit or miss and FA is not an option. Yes It's a gamble but I think he is reaching his potential and my hunch is he has finally arrived. After all the time we invested in him already, why not reap some benefits. Hope a 2 or 3 year incentive laden deal does it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:31 am

1. Shields: good cover CB - bad hands. That is why he is not elite (and he is not quite a shut down CB). Deal with his bad hands.
2. OT Losses: Some correlation. Causation? MM lets up and Dom tends to go prevent. Does this in the regular season as well as the playoffs. It is who MM and the coaching culture is.
3. Run D was great. Kudos to Daniels, Raji and some to Guion/Pennel. Surprised you criticized Raji - AZ could not run, could they? I didn't expect much rush from Raji. I am not a Raji fan as many here know. Maybe I need to watch the game ... no, can't.
4. I know we are blaming Peppers, and probably rightfully so, but hard to believe that a DB didn't shift as well towards Palmer when he rolled to his right.
Can't go back and look....
5/6. 2 pt. conv. No. Root for whomever ya want.
7. Free Agents - UFAs aren't the problem in and of themselves. Only Hayward, Perry and Raji get big raises ($4 -$6 mill more/yr? $2.5 and $2.5?). Rest will command cap inflation only.

The real problem is that many signed guys are getting raises that add up - Here is my list per over the cap:
Cobb: +$3.8 million;
Jordy: +3.7 million;
Daniels: +3.4 mill ($2.4 reduction in 2015 carryover
Shields: +3.0 mill
Bulaga: +1.8 mill
AR & CM3 - both increase $1 million (total $2 mill)
Burnett: +785K
Datone: +415K
Dix: +375K
Adams: +178K
Total: $19.453 million in contractual increases

Richardson: -2.55 million (assuming he's gone)
Peppers: - 1.5 Mill
Sitton: - 400K
Lang: - 381K
Decrease: $4.831 ----- Net Increase: $14.622 mil.

Last I heard the cap is predicted to increase from $143 to $160 million, or +$17 million.

GB has $7.59 million rollover. If the cap is $160 mill, we'd have about $29 million more, minus $678K in dead money already incurred, minus perhaps $4 million for the rookie pool total space leaves about $31.9 million, very roughly. [Each person can guess how much money TT will want to keep as a carry over into 2017. I'd guess $10 million myself.]
Estimated cost to re-sign UFAs:
Neal, Perry $5 million each = $10 million.
Raji: $4 million. Crosby $3.5 = $7.5 million.
Starks: $2 mill; Guion $2.5 mill = $4.50 million
Tolzien: $1.4 million, Barclay $1.0 $2.4million
Hayward: $6.0 mill Kuhn $785K = $6.85 million
James Jones? $635K = $.635K
Banjo, Mulumba, Taylor RFA tenders $4.6 million
Perillo ERFA $435K = $.435K
Estimated total to resign all = $36.92 million.

I'd guess GB lets Hayward, Perry, and JJ walk at least.

http://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2015/09/17/packers-s...

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/cap/

http://www.packernation.com/daniels-deal-good-for-2015-cap

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CallingIt's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:06 am

If cap goes up 17 mil, and roll over is roughly 7.6 mil, that makes an increase of 24.6 mil. Subtract the roughly 14.6 mil increase in contracts this year and that leaves 10 mil for FA and draft pool.

Where do you come up with 31 mil?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:16 pm

Sorry, Callingit, I knew this needed an edit but it was already 7:30 a.m. The increases in salaries for players already signed is just for general interest.

Overthecap and Sportrac (linked above) both indicate GB has $131 million committed for players signed through 2016. If the projected cap is right at $160 million, that leaves $29 million net. Per the packernation article, GB has $7.59 million carryover, so $29 + $7.59 =GB about $36.5 million in cap space, minus $678K in dead money already incurred for cut players. Net is about $36 million. Need something for the rookie pool, maybe $4 million, so somewhere between $31 and $32 million.

I am sure that TT will make sure to have a substantial carryover for 2017, but GB is in good shape under the cap. They could probably resign all or practically all of their FAs. My own guess is that TT will keep $10 million or so unspent, but that is just a guess. The $160 million cap is projected - it could be less or perhaps more.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:06 am

If Hundley continues to show well, do you think we see Scott Tolzien come back?

I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers cut Barclay loose with the expectation that a draft pick or developmental guy can offer at least as much as Barclay does now and has the chance to be more.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:26 am

Barclay has shown nothing. They won't put him in anymore for fear of getting Rodgers killed or maimed, so there's no point in keeping him on the roster.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Never thought I would ever say this but I think we have to find a way to keep Neal and Perry. Barclay, Richardson leaving will help.

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bucky dont care's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:50 am

The case for going for 2 has less to do with the result than the circumstances.

You have the most prolific offense in NFL history (yes look it up) that has started to roll against a defense that just cannot avoid the big play and that looks dead tired after going all-out all game.

On the otherside you have green bays offense that has been pedestrian at best that has just made plays for the first time in a quarter in a half and forced Arizonans entire defense to run 100 yards in just a couple of seconds after a long bruiser of a game, dog tire, out of breath, confused, demoralized, and probably ripe for having a let down on the next play. To me that says go for 2.

I don't know the number off hand, but what is the probability of converting a 2 pt conversion? It's 50% that they would lose the coin toss which, how the game had played out, my feelings were that losing the toss was the same as losing the game.

The last part of the argument to go for two was the old football how-to book. You go for the tie and home and the win on the road. To understand this you just have to look at Vegas betting lines in the NFL, the home team is nearly always favored.

So, I am okay with them going to OT, though in the moment I said "I hope they go for 2." I feel like not going for 2 took the team from a favorable 1 play to win situation to an unfavorable session of OT.

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Packatron's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:52 am

I agree. The "going for 2" argument is more of a "feel of the game" argument than anything.

The situation is this: We're down our top 4 WRs. We've just completed yet another season saving impossible hail mary (what are the odds of THAT?). Our O-Line has been playing banged up for weeks. Or D is tired and our secondary is banged up as well. Personally, I would much rather go for it all than try to just "survive" for another quarter against a team that has their full arsenal of offensive weapons let alone hope for a favorable coin flip.

No, just give me the ball, one play and #12. I like those chances better. And if we don't succeed, at least we can say that we had the ball in our best player's hands at the end of the game. It's cliché but it's true.

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Crackerpacker's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:48 am

Why did the Packers practice so many 2 point plays in pre season if it wasn't for a situation like that.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:55 pm

I NOW know I could live with that better than being lulled in to the belief that we might get the ball back in OT. In essence I would rather control my own destiny than to depend on a coin flip.

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CallingIt's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:54 am

Tough game to comment on without some time to regain perspective. Good read, balanced and not half cocked.

FA with go a long way in determining next year. Crosby is a must. Starks and at least one of our DT's. Would like both if possible.

We seriously could use a mismatch TE, backup OT although Tretter is proving a VERY versatile asset and a difference maker at LB, inside or out. If we could have as good a draft in rounds 1 & 2 this year as last with a TE and LB, this could bring us to that next level.

There are going to be some really great players available for us in round 1 this year. The question as I see it is what positions see a run early and which ones are left pretty much untouched. Will be interesting.

Its TT time again. The way guys picked things up the past few weeks will make it harder but, with a lackluster late season, some signings could be easier to make. I guess we"ll see how the front office views things in the weeks to come.

We are going to probably lose one of our receivers this year besides Jones unless one gets injured in camp and goes on IR. Can't see us carrying all 6. Will be an interesting camp position battle next year.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:59 am

It is interesting how one game completely changed the outlook of the WR group going forward - even Peter King focused on that in today's MMQB. He says they're set. Hard to argue.

Nelson
Cobb
Monty
Adams
Abby
Janis

That's a very, very good group. I'd probably still draft a speedster somewhere between rounds 4 or 5. But the need certainly seems less dire than it was this time last week.

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bucky dont care's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:18 am

I am already salivating over the prospect of going 5 wide next season with Janis and Jody on the outsides, essentially forcing 2 high safeties, and then letting cobb, Montgomery, and adams work an unclogged middle. If they choose not to double Janis or Jody... Bomb! Lol, sounds nice today anyway

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:30 am

Yeah, I am very excited for next year. Assuming all the guys come back healthy and can stay healthy...

I hope next year they find a way to use all their WR's too. And to use each one's strengths. Create different packages that allows them to use their strengths and create different looks.

For example each players strengths are:
Nelson - Everything... He needs to play ever down regardless.
Cobb - Versatility. Moving him around getting him the ball in space, but mostly use him in the slot. Getting Nelson back will open up a lot for Cobb.
Adams - After a sophomore slump, he was turning it on late. He is really good at breaking tackles. He also does have really good leaping ability.
Montgomery - Like Cobb his versatility is what sets him apart. For him I would like to see him be our receiving threat at RB.
Abbrederis - Slot WR. He is our version of Julian Edelmen. His route running creates so much separation.
Janis - Big play ability. He showed that he is a big play waiting to happen. Need to find ways to use his size/speed and explosiveness.

I would love to see them come up with different packages to use all their weapons. How about one where they have all big WR's (Nelson, Janis, Adams) on the field at the same time. How about another where they have Nelson and the 3 slot type WR's together (Cobb, Montgomery, Abbrederis). How about a 5 WR set with Montgomery as the RB.

IF they added a WR I either want a speedster, or one with great size (6'-4" +) A speedster with PR ability would be nice. I'm getting kind of tired of Hyde as a PR. My guess is they won't add a WR until late in the draft if at all. Probably bring in a few as UDFA's.

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Packatron's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:03 am

One game does not a season make. I'd like to think there was a reason why Janis and Abby couldn't get on the field. Prob because they aren't that great.

On top of that, Adams is below average and Montgomery is an unknown talent at this point.

I'd feel more comfortable drafting at least one more WR this year to see if we can't upgrade the position. Either that or upgrade the TE to take some pressure off the WRs we do have.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:29 am

"One game does not a season make"

Bingo. That's a key statement, right there.

If I'm TT and I'm hearing Nelson's rehab is on or ahead of schedule, I can't afford to throw another pick at WR. Two big contracts and two early draft picks at the position, all have shown ability--at least at times--at some point, you need to let it ride and work on other things. TE would be great, but if your WRs are better than any TE you might add, you play to the WRs and make do with your TE.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:30 am

They need to upgrade at TE regardless of what they do at WR.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:12 pm

Yes Please. Can't not go another year without one.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:10 pm

That one game was a high stakes playoff game against a solid AZ secondary.

Agree on TE to take pressure off, have a safety valve and because shit happens.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:02 pm

Yes a tall speedster.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:04 am

As for ILB, I really like how Arizona converted Deone Buchanan. That was always my dream plan for Richardson. I'd like to see TT/Capers explore that option later in the draft.

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bucky dont care's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:12 am

I agree. Having Barrington back should be a big life there as well. This team will have few needs heading into the draft if everyone is healthy. I'd like them to hang on to nick perry. But then if they are able to draft an impact MLB, you could move clay back outside. Then ilbs would be barrington/draft/ryan and olbs would be clay/pep/lerry/mulumba/Elliot I think both of those groups are upgrades.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:32 am

yeah, i agree again... That was my dream with Richardson as well..

I might be in the minority but I do like Joe Thomas as our Dime LB. He has speed and does a good job in coverage.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:33 am

Yes, but Deone Bucanon was a first-round pick. He was one of those physical safeties who is going out of vogue in the current, less combative NFL. I think this kind of idea is great, and I agree that Richardson had that potential, but do you burn day 1-2 pick on a guy at a position where you have players on the hope that you can turn him into an ILB?

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:51 am

"but do you burn day 1-2 pick on a guy at a position where you have players on the hope that you can turn him into an ILB?"

Oh, no. Like I said, "later in the draft." I'd be looking in the mid-rounds.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:47 am

I wish you'd have stayed dead. :P

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:16 pm

That was a great comment!

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:58 pm

yeah, just what we need. a guy too small to play MLB, not enough strength to play OLB.

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ray nichkee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:04 pm

Cow, You need to get out of here or admit you are a jackass. You didnt give the pack a chance in the playoffs. You need to own up to LVTs bet. Your opinions need to be flushed down the commode before you post them. Admit it and turn over a new leaf or GTFO.

BTW, you are less than 800 away from winning the prize for the first to reach 10,000 dislikes. What a winner!

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:52 pm

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

He scores off the charts on the name test.

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mrtundra's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:08 am

I cannot root for Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals. I live in western WI where we were inundated with "a former Minnesotan helps defeat the Packers" after the Packers' loss in AZ. One and Done vikings fans finding some solace in their own demise with the fact that Larry Fitzgerald is from Minnesota. It's as if the vikings won by proxy. Pathetic!

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ray nichkee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:08 pm

I am a packers fan first and a huge football fan. Dont let idiot queens fans spoil your view. Larry fitzgerald is a class act and a great player.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:11 am

Al, very good review. I'm proud of Packers. I was thinking about how deep would Patriots go without Gronkowski, how deep Steelers went without Antonio Brown, how deep will go Cardinals w/o Larry Fitzgerald, how deep would Panthers go w/o Olsen etc. All those players are man to go for their QB. Aaron lost his man to go on the beginning of the season. He tried to find another one. For short time it looks like it will be Ty, then Ty went down. James Jones filled that role for one or 2 games. Randall Cobb was injured and later he was playing constantly under double coverage... Davante was forced to become one , RR too. Nobody responded well. Well, until Abby showed up. He played well against Minnesota, he played perfect against Cardinals. Why wee did not see him in the 2nd half? Because he was taken away bay double coverage. To adjust to that Jeff started to fill that role... But it was to late...
Well, we have to turn our hopes to the new season. I already can not wait...

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Rossonero's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:29 am

From ESPN: " For the Packers, there’s just no getting used to that numbness, either. In head coach Mike McCarthy's 10 seasons, the Packers have lost seven times in the playoffs. Of those losses, an astonishing five -- five! -- have come on the final play of the game.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, McCarthy's five playoff losses on the last play of games are far and away the most of the Super Bowl era. No other coach over the past 50 years has more than two."

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Packatron's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:55 am

Glass half full translation: McCarthy keeps his players in every game.
Glass half empty translation: McCarthy can't win big games.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:03 am

Outlier stat. There is not enough data to draw conclusions.

The better stat would be: How many other NFL coaches in the past 50 years made the playoffs 8 out of their first 10 seasons?

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croatpackfan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:06 pm

That was exactly my first thought when I read that stat! Take off from Mike McCarthy back people... He made this Packers... And he is not guilty for dropped passes, missed tackles, blown assignements...
He is the most obvious target, but those are cheap shots. Do not be cheap!

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4thand10's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:16 pm

I'M NOT, but if I was a Bills fan...going to the super bowl 4 times and losing....yeah, I would not feel terrible about that. How many teams were at home watching games this weekend while looking at their draft prospects. It's football, anything can happen. It's a competitive league and a competitive sport with no guaranteed outcome no matter who is on your team. Otherwise we would all be able to quit our jobs and just make a living playing fantasy football. I get kinda tired about hearing about a mythical magic player who will get a team over the hump. Any given Sunday any team is capable of getting it handed to them.

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Rustyweezee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:58 am

It's too bad for this team's defense that they couldn't have a healthy offense to go with them. I'd love to say "keep this D intact, give them another shot", but they'd probably be changed with age anyway. Peppers is the biggest question mark. I'd feel bad for him not getting another run at a Super Bowl, but he did disappear for long stretches, whole games even. We're going to have to wonder if he's worth the risk that he hasn't yet reached his inevitable expiration date. Probably not, he hasn't flashed any "unstoppability" for quite some time anyway. They could do well with Matthews, Neal, Elliot and my sleeper OLB, Datone Jones. I saw him fill in there 2 or 3 years ago, and he looked good. There's got to be video out there of him dropping into coverage on a zone blitz a year or two ago, when he showed better hips than any LB on the roster.

If Raji doesn't find any team to pay him a boat-load, then Ted might be able to bring him back, but I agree with Al, Guion will do. If Pennel can play NT effectively, good, he's flashed some, and William Campbell on the practice squad (6'5", 330) is an interesting prospect to watch. Hayward's going to get paid elsewhere. And note to, Dom; play Gunter in the WR's face, not 5 yards off the line.

Earlier this season on Twitter, I and Jay Hodgson agreed Ted would have to draft a tall, fast WR just to tamp down the outcry for Jeff Janis. Things changed, quite dramatically. Now, they'll need to dress 6 receivers every game. Or not, but their receivers might be the best way to address the lack of production at TE. Plus, I remain the lone, steadfast believer in practice squad TE Mitchell Henry, a 6'4", 250 guy who ran a 4.69 40 before the draft.

If I could submit an off-season plan to Ted, it would look like this; Re-sign Crosby, period. Also Neal, Starks and Guion, just like the Jersey Al plan. Besides Perry, Raji, Hayward and Kuhn, let Peppers go also. Get one of the 2 or 3 top ILB's in this draft. They won't make it to 27, so Ted will have to, (gasp!) move up. It worked to get Matthews, maybe it could work to replace him. In the 3rd round, maybe 4th but probably 3rd, draft an OT to play OT. The backup OT spot has been tenuous long enough. Ted can fill in the rest, (better than faux GM's like me,) but two more items on my wish list are a RB with speed who can catch, and a FS. Hopefully one who can cover better than Hyde, who's not terrible, but allows receivers to get open as much as not.

Lastly, Al didn't address the coaching staff, but they didn't do the job when the offense started circling the bowl. There's one too many guys overseeing and one too few coaching QB's and WR's. Hopefully Rodgers is okay if Clements leaves and Bennett is okay with a bigger title like Associate Head Coach/Offense/Wide Receivers. The receivers were great when he coached them, and that, in my estimation, was the worst problem they had this season.

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dobber's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:35 am

The run D, at least as the season wore on, was very good. People point to the per-rush average, but by and large they were very solid. How much of that is due to the return of #90 to NT?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:15 am

I wouldn't let Peppers go until he has an average season, I doubt Ted will either.

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GRB1531's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:30 am

Is there anyone else that thinks that we should find a competent wide receiver coach?

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:36 am

It seems like we used to have one in Bennett. I do think they definitely separate that job from Van Pelt, though.

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NoCal Packer Fan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

Regarding McCarthy experiencing 5 of 7 playoff losses at the last play, 37.5% of each season's teams qualify for the playoffs. The Packers have qualified 7 consecutive years. The average probability of a NFL team to accomplish that is 0.1% (37.5% to the seventh power).

Yes, this is a very limited way of quantifying McCarthy's results; but (having gone for decades between Lombardi and Wolf / Holmgren) I cherish every playoff game the Packers play, win or lose. Sure, I want the Packers to win the Super Bowl every year; but evaluating the Packers on what they have not accomplished rather than what they have to me renders the "5 of 7 playoff losses occurring on the last play" question as being intended to incite disharmony among a fan base known for its perpetual ebullience.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:17 pm

If you include fact that both McCarthy and Capers have a undeniable history to go completely soft at the end of games as parameters I wonder how much the Baysian probability of this increases.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

Good article and insight.

While I too would like to re-sign Starks, the running back will be 30 years old before training camp so I'm guessing that Thompson will be judicious with any contract offers.

I also like the Guion option over a higher priced Raji who is no spring chicken and has had both performance and health issues all too often during his stay with the Packers.

Keep up the good work

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 10:48 am

Questions about going for 2 - say the Packers lined up to go for 2, but were just trying to see if they could draw the Cards off-sides. Without any timeouts, if no one jumps, they'd have to take a delay of game to reset.

1. Would the game have just ended on the offensive penalty?
2. If not, and they then line-up to kick - the penalty would be assessed from the kicking spot then, yea?
3. Are teams allowed to change their PAT choice like that?

It would be all too fitting for the Packers to have won on a free play.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

You think Henry lasts till 27? It seems like it's him then a big drop off. Maybe Bryce Williams in the 3rd.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:37 am

Charlie Campbell at Walter Football currently has the Packers taking Hunter Henry. Scooby Wright has also occuppied that place.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Daniel Jeremiah at NFL.com has Henry going to the Steelers at 26. It seems like it'll be very close...like with Ryan Shazier two years ago. And again the Steelers stand in the way.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Love Daniel Jeremiah! Great analyst.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Stupid me, double posted again.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Tyler Higbee!! Now there's a Hilltopper to get excited about. Would make up for letting Mitchell Henry get away to the Broncos.

How about QB Brandon Doughty also? I know, there's more pressing needs.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

I agree with a lot of this.

I would like to see them resign both Raji and Guion. I really like the combination of the 2. Raji on run downs, Guion on passing downs. They form a good duo.

The early targets for the draft should be TE, LB, RB, Backup OT, DL.

They have to find a big athletic pass catching TE. Imagine how much better our offense would be with a Finley or Jordan Reed or someone like them. Need someone to stretch the middle of the field, and a big TE would be great for the Redzone.

They need help at LB, whether Inside or Outside they need help.

They will be needing another RB. A faster type of RB with receiving skills would be great. Our rushing attack was a lot better when Starks came in then when Lacy was in there...

Our Starting OL is good. But they have been getting hurt more. They are pretty good at Interior OL, but need a good backup OT.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I think if MM doesn't like Rotheram (which it sounds like he does), then it's time to groom another OG to replace Sitton. He's going to be 30 next year. He's expensive, and he was definitely injured more this year than he was in the past.

Tretter should be given every chance to be the 6th man. Another T project would be helpful as well.

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Evan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:37 pm

"Tretter should be given every chance to be the 6th man. "

I think he has that locked down. He's the top backup at all 5 spots. TT does need to draft a more prototypical LT at some point.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:26 pm

Yeah hopefully Rotheram can be backup OG. Both Sitton and Lang seem to get injured a lot during the season. Having good backups at those positions will be huge.

Tretter should be our 6th OL.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:31 pm

RC, Totally agree with your logic.

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Brian's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Even if they have to trade a pick, they have to move up and get a tight end. It will have the largest impact on the passing game with the group of WRs we have. Nelson may not be back to his old self for 2 years and the rest of them proved they struggle with separation. Need an OT as well because Bulaga has had so many injuries and Baht did as well this year. Tretter may show some promise as a back-up but he isn't the long term answer. Janis has speed and size but has a lot route running improvements to make. If they don't get a different RB, lacy needs to be ridden hard during the off-season so he comes into camp in shape. Gotta have a better solution than this, tho.

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Flow49's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:12 pm

I want Eric Striker bad he flies around like a missile

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:33 pm

Like Chuck Cecil

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ray nichkee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:39 pm

Chuck cecil is a legend but his playing style has been removed from the game. Back when the packers sucked i loved seeing him come from nowhere (on tv) and make a huge hit. Those days are gone.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:08 pm

Those days are gone is right. My first thought when I saw the word Missile was Chuck Cecil.

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Curry Rambeau's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:25 pm

So Thompson will let his first round draft pick, Perry go? I guess he made, a big mistake on that pick. Lacy's too slow and doesn't like football. Let's see 2013 Offensive rookie of the year, 2nd round draft pick, had a bad ankle towards the end of 2014 season , still had 1500 total yds (run/rec) and 13 tds. 2015 had injuries all year behind a messed up offensive line, stats down considerably and missed curfew, overweight and slow. I guess Thompson will take your advice and cut him because Crockett and a draft pick are enough. Maybe not though. Remember, this is a 11-7 team with tons of talent and always an overtime loss away from greatness!

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Bearmeat's picture

January 18, 2016 at 11:58 am

Looking towards next year, I think the team is going to be VERY good. That said, let's not put the expectations on them like we did this year that is was a Superbowl win or bust. SO MUCH happened that changed everything: The coaching changes were a mess. The offense was a MASH unit all year. Rodgers was not himself for much of the year.

If you'd have told me before the year that we'd get 2nd in the division and lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs, I'd have said that the year was an epic fail. But, knowing what I know now about the injuries and how hard this team had to battle with limited talent outside, I'm not awesomely pleased, but I'm ok with it. It was a close loss against a team that has arguably been the best team in the league all year. They were deeper and more talented than us and our guys fought their tails off. Plus, the good guys are still going to own the NFCN for years and have a shot at it all annually.

The point is that this year has taught more more than ever before that we just can't know what January will look and feel like in August. As a fan I was absolutely miserable from the first Lions game until the win over the Redskins - with the notable exception of the win at Minnesota. (Those 3 divisional losses at home still burn me up though)

I don't want to do that again, so I'm going to hope for a super bowl win, and enjoy the ride more next year.

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ray nichkee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:11 pm

I know a good labotomist. I'll give you his contact info. You can take it from there.

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Handsback's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Last year I thought Green Bay had the better team vs. Seattle. Predicted a win in double digits. Didn't happen because of a very unpredictable collapse.
This year against the Cards, I thought the Pack would keep it close but lose and they did.
Unlike many, I thought MM had the team ready to play and a solid game plan that would bring home a win. To lose both games the way they did doesn't point to a coach breakdown, but individuals not able to finish. The problem is LOFT (Lack of freaking talent) to grab a lead and play to the end. Seattle almost won the game in Carolina because they have enough talent to put their foot on the gas when they need a win. Same with the Cards. This year, Green Bay didn't have enough play makers to close the deal. Maybe next year.

I see Perry, Raji, and Hayward leaving in FA. Raji may be back, but doubt it. I think Peppers does another year. He's still got some gas left in the tank and knows Green Bay is close. The guy I don't know about is JJ. I think Janis and Abby were restricted in their development because of Jones. So looking at all the healthy WRs it would appear that there's no room for Jones.

I think the coaches see Tretter as the primary replacement for any of the Oline positions including LT. They will need to find another OT, and G that can be counted on. Practice squad tackle Vujnovich could be a surprise reserve.
TE, 3rd down back, and ILB/OLB will be a positions where TT spends some time evaluating FAs and draftable players. I think Thomas didn't impress enough and there are questions on Barrington for the ILB spot. Maybe Elliott or Mulumba can make a difference in the OLB position. It could be that Peppers was brought in until one of the two could develop into starters.
The one thing that I don't understand is why Green Bay always seems to have so many injuries. Last year was different except it hit Rodgers. If the injuries stay away from Green Bay next year......The Pack will he holding up the Lombardi Trophy.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:31 pm

CHTV is the one and only site to go to. Thanks, I especially have grown to love the live Game day blog. It was the next best thing to be with my fellow Packer fans, outside of being at the game. Only Jersey AL was close and now it's all in one. All other sites pale in comparison and it's not just the intelligent informative articles, it is the true fans on this site. We have our differences but we are true fans, and I look forward to coming here as much as watching my Packers. Thanks everyone.

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JerseyAl's picture

January 18, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for the kind words...

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:37 pm

No thanks necessary, but your welcome. Well deserved.

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Flow49's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:03 pm

I would have been equally satisfied with MM choosing to go for two or kick the xtra point. There's a lot to be said about the wave of emotion after a Hail Mary that could have had the defense reeling on the 2 pt conversion. Not to mention we were kind of playing with house money at that point why not go all in and give your MVP qb the chance to close out the game. Granted I get conventional wisdom say kick the xp and go to overtime. I'd be satisfied with either choice.

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ray nichkee's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:32 pm

Al, you have a great observation. I myself will be rooting for the cards. If it aint the pack, i want to see bruce arians and larry fitzgerald do it. Its damn cold out and i have to cheer for somebody. I can accept an OT loss this year. What you said about the game is right there. Thanks CHTV. This is a new year to look forward too. I'm excited. Can't wait.

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4thand10's picture

January 18, 2016 at 01:55 pm

I was OK with the kick it and overtime call. Because I felt at the time the D had a better chance of closing it out. I look at this game as a deflected pass away from a win. I mean tipped to Floyd in the endzone, I mean c'mon...thats crazy football God type stuff.
I would keep Starks, he is showing no signs of wear. We will see what a non-injured Lacy looks like next year. I do advocate for a scat back Sproles type player...I feel every NFL team needs one of those.
Tight End is a hard one, I mean RR is capable of gaining and losing weight, a his speed changes accordingly (at least that's the way he was in college) He doubled his yardage from year 1 to year 2 and quadrupled the amount of TD's...he had 8 o so this year I believe. I will say for as big as he is...his blocking needs serious help, hasn't been very good at blocking. As hard as it is to believe RR out performed Eric Ebron.....and who saw that?? But with Quarless unknown etc..it is a need.
I think as long as the long routes are going to continue on offense and the time that they take to develope...drafting another Guard/Tackle should be a priority along with WR. We have Aaron Rodgers....give him time in pocket and talent to throw to. No guarantee Nelson will be 100%.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 18, 2016 at 02:14 pm

I could go on and on about play design on the second to last drive for hours on end. I won’t. The approach speaks for itself. The best option was James Jones against All-Pro Patrick Peterson on a backshoulder? Gotta love all those vertical stems in to the teeth of the coverage. But seriously, McCarthy did call a pretty good game, with the exception of that drive. It was just brutal. But I digress.

I want to focus on the two point conversion. Now, most fans and “experts” are going to suggest that kicking the PAT was the right thing to do. On its face I can’t disagree with that. If your goal is to extend the game then kicking the PAT seems like the safest bet. Success rates with the adjusted PAT distance have shown a decline from 99% to 94%, although, to the best of my knowledge, this isn’t final data. Either way, it’s still not a guarantee to winning the game simply by forcing overtime. It’s not even a guarantee to make it in the first place (oh the agony you must feel Vikings fans!). Conversely, going for 2 points appears to be a 50/50 proposition. Certainly the odds of converting on the 2 point conversion are lower than kicking. Here’s the rub and why McCarthy, while not wrong for kicking, should have seriously considered attempting to put the game away by going for 2. Sans the 3 plays prior to the Hail Mary possession, the Packer defense was struggling to hold down the Cardinal offense. Casey Hayward was routinely getting exposed in man coverage by Fitzgerald, thus the switch to more zones. The defense gave up numerous 3rd downs on the touchdown drive in which Floyd caught the ricochet. In essence, the Cardinals were starting to have success and it showed no signs of slowing down. I won’t even touch the overtime defense. It doesn’t factor in to this decision. Players were out of position and left their top receiver open, couldn’t tackle Palmer and couldn’t tackle Fitzgerald. Understanding that the defense was on the ropes a little bit prior to the Hail Mary, speaks to McCarthy’s awareness of the current dynamics of the game. While some will most assuredly argue that kicking to force overtime communicates faith in the defense it neglects current realities. Furthermore, what does it communicate to Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense? “Hey Aaron and Jeff, great job. We’ll let the defense take it from here.” This brings me to my biggest point. In the same manner as he did in Seattle, he took the ball out of his best player’s hands in a situation where the best player could have iced the game. Notice I didn’t say would have. This isn’t about guarantees. It’s about giving your best player, who happens to be the QB…..who has his hands on the ball every snap, an opportunity to perform and create. Instead he left the decision to chance via a coin toss. It certainly doesn’t express confidence. But then again, I wouldn’t call McCarthy a confident coach. Going for 2 points and a chance to seal the deal with your best player at the controls and letting the chips fall where they may speaks to confidence. Choosing a play to beat man press with pressure would have fallen on McCarthy. Kicking the ball absolves him of that responsibility in the moment and shines the light somewhere else. For a guy who talks about not being an underdog he certainly doesn’t show up in the big moments. He gets awfully chippy and defensive in pressers when asked about scheme, approach and philosophy. That’s another topic altogether.

At the end of the day, McCarthy wasn’t “wrong” for kicking and he wasn’t “right.” Both arguments for and against kicking and going for 2 points have validity. You can look at statistics until the cows come home and argue either way. Those statistics aside, the Packers were on the doorstep to put the game away, with the ball in the hands of their best player…..the 2x MVP of the league. They had just made a momentum swinging play. They had a receiver with the hot hand going up against their worst corner. The offensive line exceeded expectations in their protection all game. The team had shown life in the redzone following the Lacy romp, scoring from the 8 yard line. The Packers were playing with house money. McCarthy had an opportunity to look at his playsheet and dial up a play to beat man press and blitz during the timeout for review of the Janis catch. As a coach, he had an opportunity to put his players in a position to win the game right then and there and took a pass. If Rodgers gets sacked so be it. If he overthrows Starks on a swing pass so be it. If he schemes to get Janis open and he drops it so be it. Instead he left it to chance that his best player would get the ball again. Again, it’s not what cost them the game……BUT…..it didn’t win them the game either. Ask yourself this question: Would you give Steph Curry the green light to shoot the 3 in game 7 of the Western Conference finals knowing he only needed a 2 to force overtime? Would you be confident in drawing up a play to get him the ball in a position to execute the shot? Could you, as a coach, live with that decision if he missed the 3? For some these are tough questions. Did McCarthy struggle with it? Who knows. That’s speculation. What isn’t conjecture, is the fact that for 2 consecutive seasons he took the best player on his team and quite possibly the league, out of the equation in pressure situations. I wonder how Michael Jordan would feel about Phil sitting him on the bench or making him be a passive participant in crunch time? Again, not wrong or right. But since many of you are so extremely stat driven, what do they say? Since 2012, with the implementation of the new overtime rules, teams that have won the coin toss and elect to receive the ball, win 50.7% of the time. Those of you who are so dismissive of those who suggested going for 2….well, your stats don’t bear out. Green Bay was 4 of 6 on the season for a 66.7% success rate. That’s a far better probability than taking your chances with a coin toss you can’t control. So, you can have Crosby kick with 94% certainty in order to give the team a 50% chance of getting the ball on the toss so they have a 50% chance of winning the game or you can give Aaron Rodgers the ball with 100% certainty with at worst a 50% chance of winning the game and at best a 66% chance of winning in regulation. If you’re using stats, the 2 point conversion was statistically better given Green Bay’s situation. Not advocating it but just pointing out the foolishness of those who are so certain and cling to those stats.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:02 pm

The answer regarding Curry shooting the three is no. Simply because in overtime Curry has more opportunities to shoot twos and threes, and when you have the best player you want more chances.

The same is true regarding AR. The possibility of not getting the ball in OT adds a variable, but I would still rather have AR with more than one chance.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:13 pm

OT in basketball is not sudden death though.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:29 pm

That 2nd to last drive may have been the worst series of plays I have ever seen play call wise.

That was bad..

But what maybe worse was Cardinals deciding to throw the ball on 2nd down.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:32 pm

Glad to know I'm not the only one who felt that way. Maybe not worst ever but awful.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:00 pm

oh definitely not. It was terrible. I said right after it happened, that McCarthy just threw the game away. Luckily the Cardinals messed up worse.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:16 pm

RC, I felt and said the same thing. The Hail Mary was like rising from the dead.

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paxbak's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:50 pm

Well thought out and you are correct, although hard to do, 2 point play was the move given the situation at that time in the game.

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Idiot Fan's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:38 pm

What gives me pause is that, aside from the surprising 2-pt conversion percentage on the year, the Packers were really bad for much of the year from the 5-yard line and in. Three of our losses - CAR, CHI, and MN - we had first and goal at the end of the game looking to tie or win, and in every case, even with four downs, we couldn't get in the endzone. Earlier in the AZ game, we had two 17-play drives that stalled just shy of the endzone. So I'm not sure that I would say that the 2-pt conversion was "at worst a 50% chance of winning." I wouldn't have blasted MM for doing it, but personally I liked kicking it.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 19, 2016 at 12:23 am

I understand your position but only to point. Chicago situation took place at the 8 yard line with clock considerations. Playaction wasn't available due to this fact. Wouldn't have been the case on the 2 point conversion and untimed down at the 2. Not sure what you're talking about in the Minnesota game. Packers never had opportunities from 5 in in that game, let alone the end. They were at the Minnesota 38 yard line at the end of the game. Carolina? The two point conversion design worked. Rodgers got pressure and dropped his head. He stays up that's a touchdown. Keep in mind, the Packer line protected quite well against Arizona.

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Idiot Fan's picture

January 19, 2016 at 10:42 am

Fair enough points. I think I brain-farted on the MN game. I was thinking of the second-to-last drive where Rodgers threw the endzone INT on fourth down, but that was first-and-goal from the 10.

I did see MM say that he considered going for two, but when he thought about their 2-pt plays and the receivers he had available, he opted to kick. That also sounds kind of reasonable to me.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 19, 2016 at 01:19 am

My personal guess is that if GB had gone for the 2 point conversion, that MVP QB would have looked first for JJ, just like he did on the 4th and 5.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 02:44 pm

Excellent analysis. I felt at the time that the second to last series was probably going to be our best and last chance to win the game,but what do I know. I do know I wish MM gambled more.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 02:59 pm

"For a guy who talks about not being an underdog he certainly doesn’t show up in the big moments. He gets awfully chippy and defensive in pressers when asked about scheme, approach and philosophy. That’s another topic altogether"

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this one!

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marpag1's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:44 pm

One more thing about coaching. I know it's just a very small part of a long season, but in my mind you can't attribute two astounding Hail Marys merely to great good luck or even to the miracle arm of Aaron Rodgers. It's a great play design executed by players who have been coached to know what they're doing. Arizona saw it on the Detroit film and they still didn't stop it. It may just be two plays, but it won one game and almost won another, and it says something about the current coaching staff. We're not just chucking it up there and hoping for the best.

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paxbak's picture

January 18, 2016 at 03:54 pm

If it's not luck, lets run it more often!! They won't, because there is a lot of luck involved. While there was some skill involved (not many QBs could do that), there was probably more luck. Apparently Rodger's luck ran out.... see coin flip.

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marpag1's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:01 pm

Im certainly not saying that there's no luck involved, or that Rodgers' arm isn't awesome. I'm saying there is more to it than that. Hail Marys aren't just sandlot ball. They are carefully planned and practiced. It's hard enough to get just one. But two??

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pacman's picture

January 18, 2016 at 04:04 pm

I don't consider myself a Janis nut. But I was calling for him to be used at least a little when Adams was dropping everything. I think this game proved that MM (and maybe AR) were wrong to not give him a chance. I like loyalty but their loyalty to Adams went too far.

Yes, MM might have accepted the challenge. But what took so long. Same old complaint. He takes to long to adjust. Next time, it will be something else.

Lastly, after last year, I hated when MM said we are going to put that behind us. It should have been - 'we will not let that happen again'. But it did! If someone kept saying all year, 'never leave your coverage location when the qb is still upright', maybe Peppers would not have had his instincts take over.

Asking again - do you trust this coaching staff to take the Packers to a SB next year?

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:37 pm

I certainly have my doubts.. He didn't accept the challenge of using Abby and Janis,he had no choice. So next year I trust he will remember that, for his own good and the good of the team. Hope Ripkowski is used.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:41 pm

Here's a hypothetical situation/question: If Thompson had to decide between Rodgers or McCarthy at this stage, who stays and who goes? In other words, can the Packers remain competitive without Rodgers or without McCarthy?

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zeke's picture

January 18, 2016 at 06:53 pm

Rodgers over McCarthy, and it isn't close. I like McCarthy, but good coaches seem to be easier to find than franchise QBs.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:16 pm

That's for sure.

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pacman's picture

January 18, 2016 at 07:04 pm

Who said anything about a choice between MM and AR?

When has any team ever let an MVP QB walk? I don't expect MM to be fired. But I might not mind if he took a leave on his own.

I was calling for Capers head also 2 years ago. But he mostly redeemed himself (or rather CM as ILB did). But if he showed just one more of those 3 man rushes on 3rd and long, I would have to say he goes too.

But the buck stops at the top and it's been 5 years without a SB for a team that has been pretty solid throughout - this year is the exception. I just don't see that MM has what it takes. Reading and thinking more about the going for 2 - especially the Lombardi analogy - I changed my mind. I would have applauded the effort though I don't know what play I would run.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:19 pm

I woke up and changed my mind as well. Better to have gone for it. I would be sleeping better if we did win or lose.

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alaskan tundra's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:10 pm

Well I wanted him to go for 2. Yes I know its not the popular or statistical choice but true champions believe in themselves and take chances. Lombardi did it. Nobody argued with him about it, he would have told you that you only play to win. Not not to lose like last year and not for the safe OT. When you have a chance to put your stamp on a team , a game, and a season you do it. Dont tell me that Ariens or Carroll dont go for it there.....all the momentum, the confusion. Etc. And if we lose that way I wouldnt say a peep. I would appreciate that the Packers and MM had a set.
No guts no glory. Still proud of my team and it was one of the best playoff games in history. Im just tired of coming out on the wrong end of so many of them.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:50 pm

Well said. Thanks for reminding us of how we should have approached it.

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alaskan tundra's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:10 pm

Well I wanted him to go for 2. Yes I know its not the popular or statistical choice but true champions believe in themselves and take chances. Lombardi did it. Nobody argued with him about it, he would have told you that you only play to win. Not not to lose like last year and not for the safe OT. When you have a chance to put your stamp on a team , a game, and a season you do it. Dont tell me that Ariens or Carroll dont go for it there.....all the momentum, the confusion. Etc. And if we lose that way I wouldnt say a peep. I would appreciate that the Packers and MM had a set.
No guts no glory. Still proud of my team and it was one of the best playoff games in history. Im just tired of coming out on the wrong end of so many of them.

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alaskan tundra's picture

January 18, 2016 at 05:12 pm

Dang double post sorry

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alaskan tundra's picture

January 18, 2016 at 08:16 pm

And to Jersey Al. Thanks for all the great insight. I followed you here from AllGBP and its been a good move. Plenty of true Packer fans here a few misguided lol but most good guys.

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Oppy's picture

January 18, 2016 at 09:13 pm

I love Starks. but I believe he might only get a deal done if it is:

1) A VERY Packers-friendly home team $$ deal for a few years

2) a high priced short term (2 year with option out)

He's going to be on the wrong side of 30, and even though he doesn't have every-down starter tread wear, I could see Ted moving to Crockett if one of the two above situations don't go down- home town deal to get the Packers to sign him for 3, or a "Thanks for your service" 1 or two year deal with a relatively high price tag to get Starks to stay and reward him for his loyalty and production while the young back(s) further develop.

Raji probably fits the same bill, I feel Mike Pennel is ready to take the jump to starting NT if need be. It might be rocky at times, but he's a beast in the making and frankly, he plays with better technique that Raji frequently.

I see Mike Neal getting resigned. Transitioning him from an extremely strong and relatively quick but undersized DLman to a larger OLB has really worked out for him. While I think Perry is actually a pretty good player, like Al mentioned, always on the sideline with injury, and I think when push comes to shove, Ted lets him test the FA waters and sees what shakes out.

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