Weekly Column: Packers Need Hawk, Depth

The Packers shouldn't trade for a running back only to lose A.J. Hawk and the depth they've built.

My newest weekly column on the Green Bay Packers focuses on the need to avoid temptation trading for a running back at the expense of losing A.J. Hawk and the depth the Packers have worked so hard to build.

The column appears in the Bliss Communications platform of newspapers including the Janesville Gazette, Janesville Messenger, Stateline News and Walworth County Sunday.

It also appears in the Reilly family of newspapers including the Dodgeville Chronicle, the Pecatonica Valley Leader and the Democrat Tribune of Mineral Point.

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Comments (22)

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Bearmeat's picture

September 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

Brian - have to disagree with you on this one. Yes, they need depth - but they'll also need a running game this year too in order to keep teams from just teeing off on ARod or just sitting in coverage. Grant didn't scare you by putting together a ton of 60 yard runs, but he was quite capable of putting together a ton of 8-10 yarders in the 4tg Quarter. That would force teams to at least respect the Pack's running game, because we could just bleed them to death very slowly.

Injuries can and do happen, but the team isn't balanced well... short on Safeties, OLB's, DE's and RB's... REAL long at TE, OL, WR, ILB

BJax just isn't going to get it done. Not in the short term. Not in the long term.

I hope the trade happens.

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lars's picture

September 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

Hawk usually comes up "big" vs. the NFL's 'weak sister' offenses like Buffalo and then disappears against better competition. That said, the Packers would be foolish to trade him. He's better than Bishop, who's hobbled, anyway.

The bigger question is: Will Ted resign the mediocrity for $$$ close to his ridiculous salary or let him walk? $5 million per year for this very average backup ILB is extravagant.

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andrew's picture

September 22, 2010 at 02:06 pm

he isnt a backup.. just so you know.. technically chillar is the backup

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Brian Carriveau's picture

September 22, 2010 at 03:26 pm

Whoever doesn't start is the backup. In Week 1 Chillar started, in Week 2 Hawk started.

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dilligaff's picture

September 23, 2010 at 04:26 pm

Chillar in 2 games has more reps. Define starter??

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Brian Carriveau's picture

September 23, 2010 at 04:28 pm

The person who plays the first snap is technically the starter.

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Chad's picture

September 22, 2010 at 11:29 am

If you want the trade to happen, then why does it have to be AJ Hawk? Aren't there other places we can spare some depth that would be just as desirable for the Bills?

Aside from that, I don't believe this is a trade that should go down right now. The Bills will try to scoundrel too much from the Packers, since they know it's a position of immediate need.

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Chad's picture

September 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

Also...

If the Packers trade Hawk for Lynch, then they would be sitting on a roster of 3 running backs and 3 fullbacks.

What would you then suggest Thompson does to balance out THAT situation??

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PackersRS's picture

September 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

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Wiscokid's picture

September 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

The Bills need help everywhere and they aren't getting "blow your socks off deals" from anyone. We all know TT doesn't give anything away. I just have to believe there could be some common ground that may or may not include Hawk. If Lynch really does give us an instant starter at the position, that has to be worth something to Ted. How much, only Ted knows. He's never going to give up the farm for him but Lynch will definitely be an upgrade to the running game. If they are really are going to make a run at the SB, you'd think they would want put the best possible team on the field.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

September 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

And Hawk is part of that best possible team.

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Wiscokid's picture

September 22, 2010 at 01:24 pm

Brian, I'm not locked into having Hawk as part of the deal. This could be done with future draft picks or other players. We all know how much Ted values draft picks but it's unrealistic to expect something for nothing.

We have a problem with the running game no matter how anyone wants to down play that. Ted's has two choices, live with what we have or do something about it.

This just looks like too good of an opportunity to pass by but I'm not Ted Thompson.

Knowing how much of a crap shoot the NFL draft is and knowing I could get a 24 year old guaranteed starting running back that I might have drafted in the first round when he came out of college for a third round future pick, I would make the deal. Just an example.

It's hard to say what the real price tag would be. Each side is going to want the most they can get but what you have is a motivated seller and customer with a need with ability to pay. That three quarters of the deal right there. The only thing left to agree on is the price.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

September 22, 2010 at 01:34 pm

Very true. I'd be more open to a draft choice being part of the deal.

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Flatty's picture

September 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I agree on the Hawk front as I like the depth he adds and run stopping ability. However why not throw a draft pick at the Bills who are obviously in a rebuild mode rather than a player. The Packers have every opportunity for this to be a special year. I'd sacrifice a draft pick next year for an opportunity to bolster this years running attack. Ted has shown before he can wheel and deal in the draft to get extra picks when the time comes to make up for the lost pick.

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Keith's picture

September 22, 2010 at 07:09 pm

Do Packer fans only pay attention to the Packers? Time and again we have seen that RBs are the most eminently replaceable position on the football field. This is especially the case in GB because the offense isn't built around a premier runner like Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson.

Remember how bad the running situation was in Brandon Jackson's rookie year when they grabbed Grant from the Giants?

Brandon Jackson has improved markedly since his first season and he deserves a chance. If he can't cut it, let's see what Dmitri Nance can do. If he can't cut it, then there's Andre Brown, Gartrell Johnson, Justin Fargas, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, Dede Dorsey, etc.

The most important thing for the Packers to focus on is getting their best offensive lineman on the field. This will go a lot further in establishing the running game than trading for Marshawn Lynch. Finally, like Aaron said on Packer Transplants, John Kuhn's 3 yards and a cloud of dust is all this offense needs from the running game.

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Wiscokid's picture

September 22, 2010 at 07:55 pm

Three yards and a cloud of dust leaves you fourth and one. That expression used to be used to describe a "bend but not break" type of defense. Not something you want in your running game.

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Asshalo's picture

September 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm

No one even considered this but it makes sense. Be careful what you wish for. If Barnett or Chillar go down, does anyone really trust Bishop?

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duffmon's picture

September 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

I don’t know how long we have before the trade deadline but….

First, the 3/4 defensive teams needs a lot of good linebackers in it. Not for trading Hawk with Bishop already hurting. One more linebacker goes down and we are in a world of hurt.

Second, with Brandon Jackson just one game as the starter and our new acquisition! Dimitri Nance. I am willing to wait a few games to see just what we have.
At the same time see how much work Lynch gets and how he holds up against New England, Jets and Jags.

I’ll give Coach Edgar Bennett and Mike McCarthy the time to push
Brandon to stop shudder stepping and hit the open holes! I saw McCarthy
Fist pound Brandon on the way out of the lineup and said; “LET’S GO” or
“Hit the hole” I am not sure. But the point is we have time and if Dimitri can get it going I think with Kuhn pounding away we’re fine.

If not we can think of alternatives then. Right now work and improve what we have.

I would agree that the run game will have to improve before week 6. Without a good and effective run game it will be hard to make any good run into or in the playoffs. Also James Starks will becoming off the PUP list although I don’t see him helping until the later part of the year if at all and I wouldn’t think it would be this year, but who know?

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dilligaff's picture

September 23, 2010 at 04:35 pm

IMO if Hawk is traded for a RB, then I would expect TT to pick up a serviceable ILB also.

Hawk is replaceable.

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Black Hawk's picture

September 23, 2010 at 09:54 pm

I believe October 19th is the trade deadline. I like the idea of keeping the depth and trading a pick for Lynch. I really like the fact that Arod has lobbied for his former Cal teammate and TT goes out and gets him, unlike when Favre lobbied for Moss or other vets and TT ignored him....

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chris's picture

September 23, 2010 at 10:53 pm

I mean seriously cant you Packer fans give Brandon Jackson a little more time to get into a groove before you start throwing him under the bus. One game and he is the worst RB ever to play for the Packers and Lynch who has had problems in the past is the savior? Let Brandon have a little bit of time, besides we really really do not need anything special from our rbs we just need them to be able to run competently.

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Wiscokid's picture

September 24, 2010 at 01:37 pm

Lynch has a different running style than Jackson. He's better between the tackles, more like Grant. You can still use Jackson as a third down back. Frankly, I think you need them both.

What I don't think you want, is to look up at the standings in the middle to late part of the season and say "we would have done better if we weren't so one dimensional". One dimensional teams get killed in the playoffs because they are much easier to game-plan against.

Your passing game works better if your running game works. Your running game works better if your passing game works. Since the passing game is pretty good, why does the running not work? The answer is we don't have the right personnel at the running back position. Before you say it, the run blocking could be better but you aren't going to do a lot of impact changes on the line at this point. However, an impact runner could make a very big difference in the running game.

Let's face it, three weeks into the season there generally isn't an available player sitting out there that doesn't have something wrong with him (i.e. banged up, washed up or off field baggage)from which to choose. Sadly, the NFL doesn't recruit that many Boy Scouts that are capable of rushing the ball for over 1,000 yards in a season.

I just think Lynch would improve the team. He runs with power, can break tackles, he's young and not banged up. Kind of a rare find in week three. If he can't clean up some of his personal issues, then he won't be around very long but I believe that he's worth taking the chance.

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