Time for Packers Bye Week Awards

May I have the envelopes please.......

It's way too early to make sweeping judgments about anything or anybody on this 2020 version of the Packers, but that never stops me from over reacting or offering knee jerk opinions.   So in that spirit I present to you the Bye Week Awards.

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Aaron Rodgers

When you are paid an annual average of around $33 million per year, you are being paid to be the most valuable player, and Rodgers has lived up to the title. Not only is his play on the field as good or better than anyone in the league, but his leadership and attitude have been exactly what he needs to exemplify. Those who thought he would come in peevish and petulant couldn't have been more wrong. Is he motivated by the drafting of Jordan Love? Undoubtedly, but he has channeled his emotions to be constructive, supportive and encouraging. By all appearances he is having fun and we are all having fun with him.

RUNNERS-UP:   Aaron Jones, Zadarious Smith

 

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER:   Jamal Williams

During his first three seasons in Green Bay, Williams seemed to be not much more than a change of pace power runner, a between-the-tackles guy who can get you the first down when it's third and one.   But the change in him this year is obvious and stunning.   He is faster and more elusive in the open field.   He is breaking tackles and making acrobatic catches.   And his easy going jocular attitude is infectious and helpful in the locker room.

RUNNERS-UP:   Alan Lazard, Robert Tonyan, Kingsley Keke

 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:   Krys Barnes

The undrafted inside linebacker out of UCLA was a surprise starter in week one and has responded with 25 tackles, 14 of them solo.   He has also demonstrated some range and coverage ability.   He's not there yet, but if he continues to improve he could be a godsend to a unit that is one of the Packers most glaring weaknesses.   That being said, don't be surprised if Kamal Martin comes off IR to win this award at season's end.

 

MOST VERSATILE PLAYER:   Elgton Jenkins

The coaching staff thought so highly of the second year offensive lineman that they moved him from left guard to start at right tackle in the season opener after Rick Wagner was injured in the preseason.   Jenkins proved he could play tackle as well as guard, and don't be shocked if he becomes the starting center next year, should the Pack not have the money to bring back Corey Linsley. 

RUNNER-UP:   Zadarious Smith

 

MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER:   Mason Crosby

He's been so reliable for so long that we take him for granted, but he's having another outstanding year.   He is a perfect 8 for 8 on field goal tries, and ranks 4th among NFL kickers in points scored with 40.   Seems we only notice him when he misses an extra point, as he did against the Falcons, the one blot on his impeccable 2020 season to date.

RUNNER-UP:   Kevin King

 

MOST OVERRRATED PLAYER:   Preston Smith

Perhaps his disappearance from the stat sheet is not totally his fault.   He is being asked to drop into coverage much more this year.   But even so, his total of just 5 tackles and one-half sack through four games is a notable downshift from last year, when he and Zadarious were the most terrorizing pass rush combo in the NFL.

RUNNER-UP:   Jace Sternberger

 

BEST FOOTWORK:   Davante Adams

Is there anybody better at the juke and deke off the line of scrimmage?   Or the toe drag and tap dance on the boundary?   Come back soon Davante.   Your choreography is a thing of beauty.

 

BEST HAIR:   Robert Tonyan

Hard to beat that George Kittle-style man bun.

RUNNER-UP:   Billy Turner

 

MOST LIKELY TO BREAK OUT AFTER THE BYE:   Marques Valdes-Scantling

Once Davante Adams returns and starts forcing the defense to lean its coverage toward him again, look for MVS to feast on single coverage, particularly on deep patterns.

RUNNER-UP:   A.J. Dillon

 

BEST PLAY OF THE SEASON:   Chandon Sullivan pick six

RUNNERS-UP:   Aaron Jones sideline catch, Adrian Amos end zone pass break-up

 

BEST JOB ON THE TEAM:   Jordan Love

The first round draft pick will make over three million dollars guaranteed this year and probably never have to suit up for a game.   All he has to do is watch and learn.   Enjoy the ride Jordan, because in two or three years you will be expected to replace one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.   No pressure.

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (44)

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Bure9620's picture

October 12, 2020 at 06:14 am

Very nice list, my post bye breakout player would have probably been Deguara, but unfortunately the season ending injury ends that which really sucks.

I really Hope AJ Dillon starts getting implemented into the offense more, particularly with leads.....use Williams more as a receiver...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 12, 2020 at 06:47 am

The most important category after AR returning to elite status is "most improved player" category due to the sheer number of candidates. I'd add Lucas Patrick to that list. I could probably also add M. Adams though the snap counts are pretty low, and Lancaster, but he really just returned to his level of play in 2018. Bakh as well is back to dominant. Wide zone runs to the left behind Bakh, Jenkins and Linsley are pretty to watch.

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Bure9620's picture

October 12, 2020 at 07:54 am

Agreed on Lucas Patrick. He has been solid in pass pro and has real nice block in the run game. My honorable mention for most improved would be Kingsley Keke, the light seems to be coming on for him, he has shown are year 2 leap for sure

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2020 at 05:27 am

Keke was listed as an honorable mention in the article by Ken Lass or I, too, would have suggested him.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 12, 2020 at 07:35 am

I'd like to add a sub category under the Most Likely To Break Out After The Bye.
I'd like to add Players to watch. Players that might play a vital role down the stretch.

1st - Raven Greene. This last game the defense just looked and felt different to me. One major reason was becasue of Greene. He played 50 snaps (71% of the defensive snaps). When he plays the defense is just better.

2nd - AJ Dillon. Dillon is being groomed. He hasn't been needed yet, but likely will be at some point. In his limited reps thus far he has shown some really good skills. He is one to really watch late in the year.

3rd/4th - Kamal Martin/EQ - Both of these guys are on IR. Both likely will be coming back sometime soon. Martin was playing really well during camp. He is a guy that could come in and by the end of the year be one of the starting ILB's. Perhaps next to Barnes.
EQ could really earn some good playing time if he can get back and going before Lazard comes back. EQ would add another big target for Rodgers to use. He has been a bit forgetten it seems with Lazard, and MVS but he could definitely help this offense out.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 12, 2020 at 11:54 am

I really like items 1 and 3. Greene is important for the defense to play well. And I hope that Martin gets healthy. He may make a big difference. But I really want Lazard, Tonyan and Keke to keep playing well. And Sullivan. These guys are making jumps and making a difference.

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pacman's picture

October 12, 2020 at 07:40 am

If AR keeps playing like this, there is no way Love ever sees the field in GB. Lighting a fire under AR might have been Love the best draft pick Packers ever made. Or maybe 2nd to picking AR.

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Bure9620's picture

October 12, 2020 at 07:56 am

Love will be the guy... even if he sits for 3 years instead of 2 like Rodgers did....

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Lphill's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:42 am

Love may be the guy eventually but he will be a disappointment , big mistake, if he is so good why did so many QB needy teams pass on him?

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dobber's picture

October 12, 2020 at 10:19 am

Why did so many teams pass on Lamar Jackson?

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packerbackerjim's picture

October 12, 2020 at 01:31 pm

For a Heisman winner, he was grossly underestimated and underappreciated. Maybe because he was “skinny”?

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Coldworld's picture

October 12, 2020 at 12:27 pm

You have zero way of knowing if Luck will be good or bad. None of us do, so pretty asinine comment.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 12, 2020 at 03:05 pm

I can tell you that Andrew Luck was good and the Colts squandered him. I also predict that Love will be good. He was fantastic in 2018 and is in a great situation learning NFL football from Rodgers, Boyle, and MLF. Kid has all the physical tools. Can't wait to see him in action.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

October 12, 2020 at 02:17 pm

Why did so many teams pass on Aaron Rodgers? There was supposed to be something wrong with his delivery and his cocky attitude. The Vikings passed on him twice in round one. How'd that work out?

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jurp's picture

October 12, 2020 at 05:39 pm

Why did 22 teams pass on Rodgers (MN twice LOL)?

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Since'61's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:45 am

Bure - Just a reminder, Rodgers sat for 2005, 06 and 07.
Three seasons. Stay safe and stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Bure9620's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:51 am

Yes 3 years, which was too long imo, even then.

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Bure9620's picture

October 12, 2020 at 11:40 am

People can downvote that all day long, not really my opinion, it has been decided by the franchise and Gute.....

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Leatherhead's picture

October 12, 2020 at 02:13 pm

The same people who extended Rodgers are the same people who put this offense in place and are the same people who drafted Love. If you assume that these people know what they’re doing, then it’s pretty apparent what the plan is.

This is an offense built for a smart, deceptive QB who makes accurate throws and protects the ball. If they didn’t think Love was that guy, they wouldn’t have drafted him. Rodgers tenure with the team isn’t about his performance, it’s about his cost, and the competitive advantage you have with a QB on a rookie deal. Looking at the contracts, if Love is ready to play, he’ll play. I’d say 2022 or 2023.

If he’s not.....then the 1265 brass have failed and we’ll still need a QB. We can ride Rodgers a while, but he has to be replaced sometime. I’m hoping the 1265 brass knows what they’re doing......I think they do.

If you’re pulling for Love to fail so Rodgers can play longer then you’re a kind of fan I don’t understand.

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Bure9620's picture

October 12, 2020 at 04:24 pm

My guess is it's most of the same folks who were beside themselves when Rodgers was drafted and were with team Brett until the end and rooted for Rodgers failure.....it seems to be a characteristic of many Packer fans...denial is a powerful drug

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2020 at 05:44 am

Nah.

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Minniman's picture

October 13, 2020 at 05:15 am

Just posted something similar, then expanded all the comments and read this. Totally agree with you leatherhead on the style of player the coach is looking for. It’s up to love to show that he can be that QB.

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Minniman's picture

October 13, 2020 at 05:02 am

That’s what I’ll be keenly watching next years (and the year afters) pre-season.

Love isn’t just going to be given the reigns - he’s going to have to earn it....... and prove that he’s better than a HOF caliber QB.

Also, MLF’s offense needs a smart + accurate QB over a gunslinger or a jackrabbit - like I said, he’s going to have to earn it

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Archie's picture

October 12, 2020 at 11:18 am

Maybe because, like everyone else, QB-needy teams recognized that Love was a great developmental prospect at QB but not an answer anytime soon. It makes perfect sense that a team that is stable to great at QB would see more value in Love than a team that needs QB help now. If you review tape on Love you will see he has great tools (Mahomes like). He is currently learning how to read a defense and how to operate the LaFleur offense from the Rodgers, LaFleur et.al. Chances of him being ready when we need him are extremely high IMHO.

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Guam's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:11 am

I think the evaluation of Preston Smith as overrated is incorrect. Kyler Fackrell went from 10.5 sacks in 2018 to 1 sack in 2019 due to a shift in responsibilities - the same shift Preston Smith is making this year. Both went from rush OLB to coverage OLB, a move forced by the capabilities ((or lack thereof) of the other players at the position. I think Preston Smith is being a consummate pro by moving to coverage OLB without whining or complaining about his loss of statistics. Don't knock the guy for being a great team player.

My own vote for most over rated would be a tie between M. Adams and J. Jackson - two high draft picks that continue to occupy spots on the roster while producing very little.

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Coldworld's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:25 am

I agree on P Smith.

I thought I would agree on M Adams, but although seemingly still on a snap count he has been effective when in.

Jackson had that one perfect pass coverage then reverted in the last game. For me, the decisive factor was that Hollman looked a lot better when given a chance. Hollman may end Jackson’s chances on the edge for positive reasons.

My nomination for underperformance (sadly not invisibility) is Dean Lowry.

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Guam's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:59 am

Lowery would be another good candidate. He is certainly not performing to a starter's contract.

I haven't seen as much improvement from M. Adams as you have - maybe I wasn't looking closely enough. Jackson got my hopes up with that one pass defense and then dashed them (again) last week. Hollman is a better player than Jackson and deserves playing time as the third boundary CB.

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Coldworld's picture

October 12, 2020 at 12:42 pm

I’m not celebrating Adams emergence, just noting that, after going back and looking, he actually made positive plays. I’m pretty sure he is on a snap count, but I now agree with PFF that he has been decent when he has had snaps.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 12, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Loved seeing Fackrell's pick 6 qgainst the Cowboys yesterday. I always cheer for former Packers especially when they're going against a former Packer HC and a team I don't like.

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BradHTX's picture

October 12, 2020 at 03:06 pm

Has that happened in recent memory? Trying to think if there were any former Packers on the Seahawks during the Holmgren years...

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jurp's picture

October 12, 2020 at 05:42 pm

Matt Hasselbeck.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

October 12, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Spot on, Guam.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2020 at 06:03 am

Preston Smith Advanced stats:

2018: 32 blitzes, 26 pressures
2019: 36 blitzes, 34 pressures
2020: 4 blitzes, 3 pressures.

Yup, Preston is being used differently but when he rushes he has been fine so far. Z is down a bit on these advanced stats but is recovering.

Spot on, Guam.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 14, 2020 at 04:01 am

LOL, posted the above and then read Andy Herman's tweet:

"Preston Smith coverage snaps per @pff
through 4 games:

2019: 45/242 (18.6%)
2020: 44/223 (19.7%)

This notion that Smith is just struggling because he's dropping into coverage so much is complete and total b/s."

The halving of Preston's blitz attempts might still be a factor, but I confess that I thought he was dropping into coverage a lot more, which apparently is BS per Herman/PFF. Oops.

https://twitter.com/AndyHermanNFL/status/1315726303505637377

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dobber's picture

October 14, 2020 at 05:39 am

I will admit to being wrong on his usage. It sure seems like he's off-ball more.

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Since'61's picture

October 12, 2020 at 08:48 am

I would add Rashan Gary as a player to watch once he returns from his injury. Hopefully that will happen this week. He was making an impact on defense before he ankle was injured.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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CoachDino's picture

October 14, 2020 at 01:11 am

Saved nme an original post

Gary, Lancaster,Keke, Tonyan.

I thought Jamal was good for a #2 last year and I still think he's a good #2.

I'm not so impressed with Patrick or Turner. They are benefiting from the quick release. Neither is grading well on PFF.

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CoachDino's picture

October 14, 2020 at 01:14 am

I stand corrected, Patrick had a terrible game last week but overall his pass grade has been good and run poor to mid.

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Crazytim87's picture

October 12, 2020 at 09:59 am

Great list! GO PACK GO

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stockholder's picture

October 12, 2020 at 10:44 am

I think everyone is doing good. 4-0 can't find fault with anyone.

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ricky's picture

October 12, 2020 at 11:57 am

The entire OL should get recognition for doing an outstanding job of protection for Rodgers, and opening holes for the RB's. Jenkins at center? How about LT, if Bakhtiari can't be re-signed? And a special award to MLF for being in sync with Rodgers, being innovative and calling a great offensive game that finds ways to exploit weaknesses in defenses, no matter how many of his key players are missing. Finally, dismissing Tonyan's performance so far this year with "Best Hair" seems extremely flippant.

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Minniman's picture

October 13, 2020 at 05:23 am

Throw some kudos to the o-line coach Adam Stenavich too. He’s working wonders with that group..... not one first rounder in there....amazing!

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splitpea1's picture

October 12, 2020 at 03:30 pm

In a variation of "Best Job On The Team", how about a nod to MLF? After watching some of the harebrained strategies and play-calling from our division competitors in recent games, I'd say we have a sizeable advantage in the head coaching department.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

October 12, 2020 at 07:11 pm

Worst pornstache: Aaron Rodgers

Love the guy, but that mustache! lol

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