Surviving Sunday: Packers news, notes and links for the football deprived

With Packers minicamp now finished, prepare to enter the true dog days of the offseason. Also, prepare for noting but manufactured "news" stories and pointless speculation, much of which you can read right here at CheeseheadTV!

Before the dog days get too mind-numbing, lets try and determine who the top 5 most important players are to the Packers at this particular moment. When training and the exhibition season begins, this list will likely change based on injuries and how various players look in camp. But as of now here's my top 5 (excluding Aaron Rodgers, because, obviously, he will always be at the top of the list):

LT David Bakhtiari
Remember how amazing it was watching Rodgers operate behind a healthy and high-performing offensive line in 2014? I miss those days. Bakhtiari didn't play poorly last season, but I think even he would tell you he didn't progress like he would have liked. If Bakhtiari can cut down on penalties, tighten up his pass-blocking a bit and stay healthy, this o-line could be dangerous again (and Bakhtiari will become a rich man in free agency). 

WR Jordy Nelson
Oh Jordy, we didn't realize how lucky we were to have you until you hurt yourself. The Packers offense had more issues than simply missing Nelson last season, but there's no more doubting Nelson's importance after the Packers struggled so badly in his absence.

OLB Clay Matthews
I still contend Matthews should not be used strictly as an outside pass rusher. When he rushed from the outside last season, I saw too many times where he simply crashed into a larger offensive tackle and got stonewalled. At this stage of his career, I think Matthews is best used as a piece to move around the front seven, sometimes lining up inside, sometimes outside. But since it appears he'll remain on the outside this season, he needs to step up. Do we really want to rely on Nick Perry and Datone Jones to apply pressure from the edge?

CB Quinten Rollins
The Packers let a solid slot cornerback walk in free agency in Casey Hayward. Time for Rollins to not only fill the void, but develop that same nose for the ball that Hayward had during his rookie season where he picked off six passes. Plus with the Packers sole reliance on the draft to build their roster, it's essential that players like Rollins make the leap from year one to year two.

DL Mike Daniels
The Packers are a bit thin on the defensive line. Daniels can help cover that up by being his usual dominant self.

With the exception of Rollins, my top 5 are veteran players. Rest assured, some other younger player will kick one of the veterans off the list by the first exhibition game.

Packers news, notes and links

  • Can we at least wait until training camp before starting in with the Jeff Janis-Aaron Rodgers trust stories?
  • Mike McCarthy says he supports the idea of going for a 2-point conversion after every touchdown. Um, Mike...you had a chance to actually put that theory into practice in the playoff loss to Arizona and you chose to kick the extra point and play for a tie instead. The conservatism of NFL coaches knows no bounds.
  • Alex at Packerstalk.com wonders aloud if the Packers offense is a juggernaut. It seems like it should be. Rodgers, Lacy, Nelson, a veteran offensive line have plenty of talent to be a powerhouse. We'll see if it all comes together and if injuries are manageable. 
  • Freddie at LombardiAve.com says it's time to get behind Davante Adams. I think we're all behind Adams, we just want him to play better.
  • If you're looking for another Packers podcast to add to your listening collection, the Acme Packing Company (APC) Pod is a good one. This week featured Tex talking about Brett Hundley's play in minicamp.

Non-Packers links and other nonsense

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Comments (30)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Bearmeat's picture

June 19, 2016 at 06:43 am

Your caring bridge post last Thursday wasn't crabby. It was authentic. Whatever administrator of public spin at MD Anderson thought it was a good idea to make smiling happy faces from all walks of life the dominant theme of every page of their frigging website, when their business is centered around very sick people should be smacked.

And your list is good. But because of Spriggs I'd replace Bakh with HHCD or Lacy.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:56 pm

I'm thinking this is the year HHCD makes the Pro Bowl or at least is seriously considered.

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NickPerry's picture

June 19, 2016 at 07:27 am

I completely agree with Adams thoughts on Matthews, just look at his stats for the first 8 games of 2014 and the 8 games after the move inside. Matthews had 2.5 sacks while playing only outside, after the switch he had 8.5 in the final 8 games and 1 more in the Postseason. Clay is much more productive when moved around. If Perry, Jones, and others at the LB Position stay healthy this year the Packers should be able to send a rotation of players to pressure the QB.

Rollins was actually my Favorite pick between Randell and Rollins last season. This kid is just going to get better and better. Rollins posted the 4th best QB rating when throwing against him in the NFL Last season, obviously a reason to be optimistic. Plus Rollins is a good physical tackler, this secondary is going to be good this year.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-ranking-all-32-nfl-cornerback-groups/

I'd definitely add Eddie Lacy to the list too. With Eddie in the shape he was last year it surely didn't help the passing game. Hope Eddie visits with Tony Horton again before TC.

Keep it up Adam, 11 rounds of Chemo and you're still here for us every Sunday, even after Chemo where I'm sure you're not feeling the best...Awesome!

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Tundraboy's picture

June 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

Agree NP on all points. Matthews in particular, he still has a lot of speed but on outside it is negated to a large degree as he is often set up so that he runs himself out the play. Last year illustrated how that speed is better utilized in the middle. And by lining him up anywhere.

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NickPerry's picture

June 19, 2016 at 09:34 pm

Yup and I think were going to see more movement among all the LB'ers this season. Ryan played some OLB at Michigan and Fackrell could really line up at ILB or OLB. The Packers look like they have some options this season to move guys around a little more.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 19, 2016 at 07:28 am

Articles on Janis and the trust issue are like this clip from Bill Burr (at the 57 second mark):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsWY6BOIO9I

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WKUPackFan's picture

June 19, 2016 at 08:27 am

I have the OJ documentary on my DVR. Allegedly it also explores racial relations in the late 60s as well as other issues, in addition to the trial. With Ali's passing still fresh on the conscious, at least here in Louisville, it seems like something to at least check out,. Things were pretty crazy back in 1968: The Chicago convention, MLK and RFK assassinated, Vietnam, etc. I can still remember the scenes from the hotel where Robert Kennedy was killed,. Rosie Greer (sp?) was part of RFK's entourage, if I recall correctly.

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Tundraboy's picture

June 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

Watched some of it, OJ back at USC, the 60s angle was a welcome addition. Those of us who lived through the late 60s know what a historical period it was and those who didnt can gain an appreciation of how it changed this Country. Worth watching after Game of Thrones and NBA game 7 are over.

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Rossonero's picture

June 19, 2016 at 09:33 am

I don't blame you for being salty about the smiling photos, sometimes you just gotta vent. Like you said, they are survivors and someday you'll be smiling as well. Here's hoping that Thursday goes well.

I read the Janis article on the link. While that storyline gets stale, I didn't realize that after the Arizona game he had bad back pain and was wrapped in ice. It didn't sound serious and perhaps was just a precaution after he landed after making those big catches, but back injuries are nothing to mess with. My guess is it was just muscular and not a herniated disc, so that's a good sign.

Agreed on Matthews. I'd prefer McCarthy not telegraph so openly how he's going to use Matthews. I'd rather him moving around and keeping the offense guessing.

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Tarynfor12's picture

June 19, 2016 at 10:19 am

" Do we really want to rely on Nick Perry and Datone Jones to apply pressure from the edge?"

I can imagine the wrath that would befall me had I said this. Wait, I have many times. I'll just sit back and watch how this plays out. : )

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ray nichkee's picture

June 19, 2016 at 10:54 am

We know you'll be there to say I told you so when kyler fackrell kicks some ass.

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Tarynfor12's picture

June 19, 2016 at 11:32 am

I only stand up for my thoughts and hardly ever rub salt in a wound...unless extremely provoked. Which I'm sure those who do are ready to appear, right Ray. : )

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Teflon Ted's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Taryn, no worries. I'll stand up for you and your thoughts.

Ted

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Tarynfor12's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Please don't !

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Teflon Ted's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:41 pm

lol..Holy Fackerell Batman!! You try to help people and they don't even want it. Ok Taryn, I understand you have pride. Continue to get beaten down by these men here. If you change your mind, let me know. I'll be here for you always.

Ted

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dobber's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Most people here don't measure their value or self-worth based on ups or downs...

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ray nichkee's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:17 pm

No need to be like that, I was just pointing out your love for him. I'm glad he's on the team and he was a great value pick. You sound kind of salty. There was nothing wrong with what i said, it's the truth.

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ray nichkee's picture

June 19, 2016 at 10:52 am

I totally agree about Matthews. I'm pretty sure Capers will mix it up good with formations before and during the snap count. This could be exciting. This is the most promising group in a long time. DL is the biggest question right now.

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Tundraboy's picture

June 19, 2016 at 11:39 am

Keep hanging in there Adam. Better days are ahead.

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dobber's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

"Round 11 of chemotherapy starts on Thursday. Yippee. I put up a crabby Caring Bridge post earlier this week as well. "

I think you've earned that right. Keep on keepin' on!

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DrealynWilliams's picture

June 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm

I think the decision to go for 2 would come down to how the Defense looks more than the percentage of the Offense being successful.

(more) Resemblance of 2013 - definitely go for 2.

(more) Resemblance of 2010 - No need.

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Denver's picture

June 19, 2016 at 01:45 pm

Watched all of the OJ 30 for 30...thought it was excellent and highly recommend it. The interviews with a couple of the jurors were outstanding.
And I still wish they had gone for 2....

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ray nichkee's picture

June 19, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Adam clearly states hayward was the best slot cornerback. I've read too quickly too and I'm sure I'll do it again.

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ray nichkee's picture

June 20, 2016 at 12:19 am

Ok, my bad.

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NickPerry's picture

June 20, 2016 at 06:08 am

Agree on all points D Thomas. I'm new to PFF, I never really read it much but some like it here and some don't. I think where they have them ranked is about right until we see what Rollins, Randell, and Gunter do. I really like the Packers secondary this year though someone will need to step up for depth. Sam S doesn't seem to get through a whole season very often.

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dobber's picture

June 20, 2016 at 09:36 am

A few bloggers have been raving about Gunter during this pre-preseason workout schedule. They say he's been in the right place, knows his assignments, and has always had a knack for playing physical.

I'll admit to being one that was particularly concerned about Hayward's departure and the lack of "experienced" CBs on the Packer roster, but I'm feeling a little better with the early returns on Gunter. Here's hoping he doesn't have to play outside on an island, though...

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PaulRosik's picture

June 19, 2016 at 09:48 pm

Going for two is an interesting idea. Of course as a math teacher I can't resist not pointing out that as long as you convert more than 50 % of the tries you are better off than kicking it every time. So the question becomes can you convert it half the time or not? Since teams almost never try it the data is limited so far. In the entire NFL in 2015 there were 94 two point attempts and 45 of them were made (48%). The Steelers made 8 of 11 tries. The Packers made 4 of 6 - but the misses were at critical times. Is there an NFL coach wild enough to go for it every time, or is it only going to continue to be used during late game comeback attempts?

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dobber's picture

June 20, 2016 at 09:39 am

"Is there an NFL coach wild enough to go for it every time, or is it only going to continue to be used during late game comeback attempts?"

It's a curious idea. Certainly when they moved the PAT back there was speculation that it might lead to more 2pt attempts. I'm reminded of the HS and low-college coaches who never punt. It's a similar kind of idea (based on the fact that per-play averages and conversions indicate that you're going to make more 4th downs than you think you would). The first coach who does it and makes it work will likely start a "revolution" of sorts...

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PaulRosik's picture

June 20, 2016 at 07:30 pm

There have been a lot of statistical studies that say teams should go for it more on short 4th downs. But what they aren't able to take into account is the risk and the consequences of failure. Plus it also can give a message to your defense that you don't trust them and need to take those chances. So the mathematician in me wants to say 4th and 1 you would make about 70 % of the team but the risk of giving the other team the ball already across the 50 if you fail is still a bit risk to take.

But 2 pointers are another matter. What is the risk of missing the one point? And if you score 4 times in a game, and make the 2 point twice you are even and if you make it 3 or more times you are ahead of the game. But no coach appears willing. Even Chip Kelly who did it in college doesn't go for it in the pros.

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ray nichkee's picture

June 19, 2016 at 10:16 pm

This comment section was worse than yesterdays. Let's all try to clean this up. I've tried hard to except for the occasional humor driven comments. Adam and his column I look forward to every sunday deserves much better than this. Good luck on thursday adam.

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