What Exactly Is “Going All In,” Anyway?

One of the biggest themes of the offseason so far has been whether or not general manager Brian Gutekunst has gone or will go “all in” with his approach to team building. 

This stems largely from the method the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used to build their championship team this year of signing a bunch of veterans and banding them together with an already-formidble defense and an offense that was just missing a quarterback who was simply not a turnover machine.

It’s been a point at which fans have hammered away on Twitter, forums and conversations, and it’s even been the subject of some of your favorite national pundits’ marathon hot take rants.

This idea of “going all in,” though, is subjective in the very best of circumstances. While the cries from fans for Gutekunst to “go all in” have ramped up in volume of late, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of consensus on what that looks like, or even how the Packers could manage to make significant additions to their roster with their salary cap situation.

Even the most common definition, which seems to be “spending a lot of money and mortgaging the future for a shot at the Super Bowl now,” seems to ignore the fact that the Packers have… already done this.

When “going all in” fails

In March 2019, Gutekunst went on a spending spree in free agency the likes of which has never been matched in Packers history. 

Gutekunst managed to lure safety Adrian Amos from the Bears, guard/tackle Billy Turner from the Broncos, and edge rushers Za’Darius and Preston Smith from the Ravens and Washington Football Team, respectively. All four of these outside hires earned significant money to come play with the Packers.

This was just a year after the Packers made quarterback Aaron Rodgers the highest-paid player in the history of the league at that time.

It was more spending than we’ve ever seen the Packers do at any given time. It also came with a bit of risk; the Packers knew they would have some contracts coming up they’d need to take care of to remain competitive. Think Kenny Clark, David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley.

Aaron Jones’ breakout performance in 2019 only added to the difficult decisions the Packers would have to make coming up. By bringing in those four outside hires on sizable contracts, the Packers gave themselves less wiggle room to work with than they typically like to have in the salary cap, and little space to maneuver in the 2020 offseason, even after cutting Jimmy Graham.

Of course, no one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting effect it had on the league’s salary cap. Suddenly the Packers went from “tight but manageable” to “significantly over the cap.” 

Now, in the 2021 offseason after inking Clark and Bakhtiari to mega-deals, the Packers have even less to work with than they did in 2020. In fact, they still have a lot of contracts to clear before they even get to the point of being under the cap and able to sign any draft picks.

Gutekunst was banking heavily on his free agent acquisitions, combined with the improved performance of his key draft picks like Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, Rashan Gary and Elgton Jenkins, being enough to put this team on the top. More than the Packers have ever done, they placed a massive amount of chips in the free agency basket, knowing the salary cap would be an issue a year or two down the road, but committed to that route anyway.

If that’s not going all in, I’m not sure what is, exactly.

In January, the Packers came out and lost a winnable game at home with a Super Bowl trip on the line.

They lost a game they should have won. Not because the team wasn’t built good enough, but because the team failed to live up to its potential in the most crucial moment.

The 2020 draft

I would love to be able to eliminate any discussion of the 2020 draft from the web, but it feels like we’re destined to keep beating this dead horse for the rest of time. So let’s talk about the draft as it relates to “going all in.”

The most common rebuttal I’ve seen to all of this is that Gutekunst couldn’t have been that committed to “going all in” (whatever that means--again, purely subjective) if he spent his high draft picks on players geared toward future contribution.

If the Packers wanted to “go all in” (whatever that means), surely they’d have chosen a wide receiver! Surely they’d have picked a defensive lineman or immediate contributor!

I’m not going to pretend to have any special knowledge of the draft. These days, my knowledge of prospects is extremely limited due to my inability to devote the time to stay on top of anything football-wise that isn’t happening in the NFL.

But I do know that there are a number of different philosophies for how the draft works, and that successful teams build themselves with an eye on the future as well as on the present. 

Gutekunst followed a similar philosophy in his third draft that he’s taken in the past. In 2019, the Packers’ top selection was inarguably a project. Rashan Gary received a lot of criticism for being not NFL ready. Gutekunst took criticism for taking an edge rusher first when he’d just inked the Smiths to big contracts. 

The Packers’ other first-round pick in 2019, Darnell Savage, was expected to get a sizable chunk of playing time, but expectations are always low for rookie defensive backs. It usually takes a couple years at least for them to “find their legs” in the pro game. A high DB selection should never be counted on to be a valuable immediate contributor.

The Packers’ 2019 second-round pick, Elgton Jenkins, panned out in a huge way, but was not picked to be a starter. Jenkins was supposed to be a depth player before Lane Taylor’s injury thrust him into the limelight, and he outperformed anyone’s wildest expectations.

None of the “all in” enthusiasts would have looked at Gutekunst’s 2019 draft and thought “now here’s a guy who’s going all in to win a championship.”

Despite that, the Packers went 13-3 and came a game away from the Super Bowl.

Gutekunst trusted his process well enough that he believed his 2018 and 2019 draft picks would progress well enough that, combined with another year under Matt LaFleur, the team would be better in 2020 than it was in 2019, making it a Super Bowl favorite.

[He was undeniably right to believe that. The 2020 Packers were better on both sides of the ball, and should have represented the NFC in the Super Bowl.]

Immediate stud contributors are a rare find in the NFL draft. Gutekunst trusted in his starters and a lot of his depth to add pieces for the future, foreseeing some difficult contract decisions looming in the future and an aging quarterback likely in the final few years of his career. He followed the same philosophy in the draft that has produced some success in his career so far.

Time will tell what that decision yields.

###

There are certainly reasons to be critical of Gutekunst and his approach to building the Packers. The continued undervaluing of interior linebacker and defensive line befuddles me, and the signing of Jimmy Graham never really made any sense, especially at that price point.

But this whole idea of Gutekunst being unwilling to go “all in” is narrative-driven hogwash. It’s the kind of low-effort analysis that defines today’s current mainstream sports media landscape, which is why you’ll so often here this opinion propagated by NFL radio shock jocks and tired morning shows with screaming, red-faced personalities.

No one can agree on what exactly “all in” is. It’s purely talking point garbage that ignores context and provides the cynical fan with an easy criticism to lob at the team’s front office without having to do any actual thought themselves.

The facts are thus:

-Brian Gutekunst built a team that could, and should, have played in a Super Bowl

-The Green Bay Packers failed to play up to their standards in the game that would get them their

Ultimately, your football players have to show up and beat the other guys in front of them.

Had the Packers done that successfully in the last two games of 2020, does that mean Brian Gutekunst succeeded in going “all in” over the last two years? 

Or does it simply illustrate just how little margin for error there is in any aspect of building, playing and winning in the NFL?

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Comments (65)

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

March 04, 2021 at 06:24 am

Wonderful article!

I have always believed Gute is doing an amazing job. Almost everyone here thought at minimum it would take 3 years to build the team back up with talent after MM left. What we have seen is nothing less than amazing. We have been very fortunate and believe the Pack is situated for success for many years with Gute at the helm.

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egbertsouse's picture

March 04, 2021 at 06:35 am

They will never go all in. They aren’t built that way. They do just enough to get to the playoffs and then cross their fingers that their built-in weaknesses will not be exposed. I don’t understand why the fans and local writers never seem to get this. To my everlasting disappointment they will also never go all out. Trade Rodgers and cut all the high-priced dead wood and start a total rebuild. I’m tired of Groundhog Day. I’ve seen it before.

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Tingham's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:24 am

Plenty of room on the Bears or Vikings bandwagons if you are so sick of this team.

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barutanseijin's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:27 am

Ah, the ol’ “you must be a Bears/Vikings fan” nonsense.

It comes down to there being different kind of fans. Some support whatever the team does no matter what. Some are more analytical. For them the team is what they’re interested in when it comes to pro football, but it isn’t above criticism. And then there are all sorts in between.

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PF4L's picture

March 06, 2021 at 03:40 pm

Well said barutanseijin

" Some support whatever the team does no matter what (blindly). Some are more analytical (realistic)"

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cms's picture

March 07, 2021 at 09:53 pm

I hate this type of reply. I am, and will always be a Packers fan! AND some of decisions they make drive me crazy!

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:23 am

Until the league sets the actual salary cap, I don't think much will happen with the Packers. I believe their whole plan revolves around extending Adams. Until he signs and the Packers know how much they need in restructuring Z. Smith and Rodgers and releasing other players. I don't expect that they will release Preston Smith. I expect that their $12 mil deficit will be at least half of that before with the final cap number. With Adams extension, then they know how much they need to release and restructure. I expect the Pack will probably only sign one significant FA. For they need to get $!5 - $20 mil below the cap to do all they need to do this, sign their restrictive FA's and then sign their draftees. This doesn't leave us with much to discuss other than wild ideas.

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Razer's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:21 am

Not much room for a realist here :o)

It is scary how much money the Packers will have tied up in 5 or 6 players and how little there will be for signing all the "all-in" pieces. It is like living on credit - sooner or later you need to pay for the things you bought.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:27 am

Nice!

I too never like seeing so much capital tied up in so few players. QB I get as you have to have quality talent at the position.

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cms's picture

March 07, 2021 at 09:56 pm

Agree, but we have bet on some very solid pieces. Kenny, Bak, Rodgers and Z! Adams should be next.

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PeteK's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:21 pm

The vast majority of winning teams are in the same predicament. Case in point , Niners having to let Buckner go to free agency last year. Lets see how Bucks, Saints , Steelers, Rams, and Chiefs deal with their cap issues this year.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 04, 2021 at 06:01 pm

This is one of the best comments I've read on CHTV in some time. It is amazing that it got 4 downvotes.

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HawkPacker's picture

March 05, 2021 at 08:29 am

Sometimes it just takes on item in someone's comment that results in a down vote even if most of the comment is very good.

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stockholder's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:43 am

We will never ever win another super-bowl again. As Long as Gute is the GM. Praise him all you want. He's a salesman. And you just swallowed it. Hook line and sinker! He had to spend money. He had a MVP QB. He had a Piss Poor Defense. Winners know how to win. Losers don't. What did Gute win? Your Heart. The Blind, lead the Blind. When you fall in Love, your blinded by the Truth. How many holes did Gute make after he let the household names go. Cobb, Nelson, Daniels,CM3, and others left. Border line players that regressed. And what did he do when TTs developed? Expect players to give back. So they could keep their teammate and continue the status Que. You Hire a GM to win. The packers got themselves a manager/Salesman.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:27 am

LOL...if you disagree with someone, especially the author, you will get a bunch of thumbs down from the sheep.
.
You'll usually never see that followed with a counterpoint, because counterpoints take intelligence and thought.
.
A thumbs down (with no reason given) is the equivalent of a 2nd grader sticking their tongue out at you.

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PeteK's picture

March 04, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Baaaa Baaaa

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mnbadger's picture

March 04, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I like to vote up/down after a quick read of a fan's thoughts. I don't have time or energy to overly analyze and provide insigthful critique. I especially don't have the exposure, knowledge and experience to draft a well thought out response. Sometimes a quick up or down says it all. And I promise that I never vote based on personality or past posts, I just don't have the energy. Those points make me a fan, I'm not an analyst. Don't take it personally. We can disagree about things without having to ratchet up the heat. GPG

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Striker's picture

March 04, 2021 at 03:56 pm

Imagine being this tilted by a thumbs down because your takes are bad (and not worth actually replying to) on a Packer fan site that you have to draw attention to it multiple times. Yikes.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:20 pm

Imagine on 202 comments, i have over 300 thumbs up.

I guess because my takes were bad?

Makes sense Striker

Thanks for trying.

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CHESSEHEaADDALLAS's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:27 pm

Amen

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Fabio's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:49 am

Good article TIM. I only want to say one thing ...... A flaw that BG has had is that there are needs that have not been addressed (ILB DB CB) even though there were very clear signs of problems in certain specific areas.
However, I believe that any consideration and evaluation on Brian Gutekunst will depend a lot (if not all) on the evolution of Jordan Love ...
I always follow you with pleasure
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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Guam's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:10 am

I am reminded of the famous quote by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who said he couldn't define pornography in words, but "I know it when I see it". I think defining "all in" has some of the same issues. Gute has done a number of things that look like "all in" and the author did a good job of enumerating them. However the author avoided the elephant in the room which is Jordan Love, who is the opposite of "all in".

I think Gute has done an excellent job of revitalizing a moribund roster, both through free agency and the draft. However if Gute is "all in", the head scratcher is drafting a QB with a #1 and #4 when you have a HOF QB under contract for the next four years. That is a "futures" move if there ever was one.

I don't believe Gute is Tampa Bay "all in". He is trying to achieve a balance between "all in" and development for the future. Will the philosophy produce Super Bowls or just competitive teams? I don't know, but my fear is the it will be just competitive teams. Like Potter Stewart said, "I know it when I see it." and Gute looks "partly in" to me.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:30 am

You guys are rocking it today with great/funny posts!

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splitpea1's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:10 am

In my mind, the balance between "all in" and building for the future is the perfect approach. But you have to fix the ongoing weakness on the defensive interior. Like the author said, not prioritizing the ILB position is baffling; and K. Clark will be sprouting gray whiskers by the time we draft and develop another solid lineman to pair him with.

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rodgersrules's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:40 am

My god, what unmitigated bullshit. A whole, lengthy article about whether or not the Packers are "all-in" without even mentioning the point that everyone has been arguing over for almost a year. JORDAN LOVE! Not just picking a player in the 1st round who won't help the team win for years to come, if ever, but TRADING UP for him. This was a colossal mistake by Gutekunst, which even though its now painfully obvious, he refuses to admit. He thought Rodgers was declining, plain and simple. Wrong. I've also about had it with the Naglers and the Hermans and so on that everything is fine with GB. Its not. The Packer nation psyche is at a tipping point. "Gutekunst just wants to keep winning " News Flash, ending every season with a brutal loss is not winning.

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TimBackes's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:48 am

I spent a fair amount of time in this article discussing Gutekunst's draft philosophy, which encompasses the Love pick. And I'm not particularly sure you gathered the point of the article, which is that the entire "all in" debate is subjective and meaningless.

But thanks for reading!

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Guam's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:58 am

Tim: I agree that "all in" is subjective, but it is not meaningless. Tampa Bay proved that this year and Since'61 described their approach perfectly further down in this thread. Gute balances "all in" and "future" in his drafting and that may have been the difference in 2020 between a championship and tied for third.

Subjective evaluation, yes; meaningless, no!

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TarynsEyes's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:29 am

The whole point of your article is you pontificating the point made by Guam ( Potter Stewart quote) above using the ever pontificating of a point that all-others should accept as to the 'all-in' marker that you place it at on your slide rule of measurement. 'YOU know it when YOU see it'.

I believe Gute performed what he envisioned as an 'all-in' plan and tried to lock-in to the start of the future with the Love decision. This doesn't mean I agree with it, and I didn't.

The Smiths were moves to replace what was easily replaced with the too late releases of Perry and Matthews, and which was an easier thing to do than many will accept. The problem is they weren't the level needed to secure the over-the-hump need in playoff games, the killer instinct was missing, and proven true. Gute went all-in to the level he could, and the level that FA would allow. I will say it again, FAs do not pound the door to come to GB and that will make the all-in always lesser than other teams.

GB needs to over pay 2nd and 3rd tier FAs or sign past performing retirement ready icons that offer nothing more for fans than to say they suited up as a Packer. Even if GB had the money for Watt, fans would still be watching him elsewhere because Watt would have got another team to pay more. How do I know this, he said Murray gives him the best chance to win an SB. Now if that isn't a bs cover for taking the most money, then one has to believe that money isn't a factor for any player.

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PF4L's picture

March 06, 2021 at 03:46 pm

What's meaningless Mr. Backes is trying to argue they went all in, but in reality, they clearly did not.

You say the "all in" debate is meaningless, but yet you fight to defend it.

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PatrickGB's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:31 am

The team went from a losing season to the NFC championship twice. I call that two winning seasons. And the team did so with an expensive QB who many said was on the decline. The cap restrictions prevented the type and number of FA’s that we all would have wanted. I think that Gute did the best he could with what he had to work with. I can’t blame Gute for the success of other teams. I can only appreciate what he has done with what little he has to work with.

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Razer's picture

March 04, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Well said PatrickGB. The situation facing any franchise changes with time, particularly those with aging franchise players. Moving on from declining players (Cobb, Nelson, Matthews and Daniels) is necessary. Unfortunately for the Packers, too many missed draft picks never replaced the talent that was needed to keep the team competitive. Gutekunst has done very well with the empty shelves and limited resources at his disposal.

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:17 am

This comment made it onto Twitter. Which means you did something incredibly right or incredibly wrong.

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WMA's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:34 pm

Believe the point was that "All In" is subjective. Very little subjectivity in whether Tampa went "All In" - they did. Point made at the end of the article which I concur with is that the Pack easily could have won the game against Tampa and likely would have won the Super Bowl. Know it did not happen mainly due to King getting beat deep, Pettine not turning up the heat early enough, Rodgers 0-6 with two TD scoring opportunities, and two Jones fumbles. Seems like our difference makers did not make a difference when it most counted - somehow that is Gute's fault for not going "All In"

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fastmoving's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:01 pm

What a dramaqueen bullshit! Love was the right pick even no one knows if its works out. But what tipping point is this guy talking about? And why in the hell should this hillbilly and his cousin be "Packers Nation"?

You wont Know but before you got to the playoffs you must do a lot of winning. What did this crybabies ever do in here life like complaining? Go to the Vikes, to Dallas or to some other weak cowards. With such a sensless shit you even can go to the orange lunatic congang right into jail. Crazy stuff.....complains about winning from his basement.....

Tipping point my ass, as AR would say ......

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tonym's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:45 am

Packers were two or three plays away from easily beating the Bucs. They didn’t execute well enough. Aside from replacing KK who can’t cover or tackle this team can go all the way as they are. Keep Jones at all costs. Linebackers will never be David or White but our guys will improve. They all will come back next year hungry to win and play with focus. Just needed a year to gain experience. As the Bucs did when Brady joined.

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JoeyTheJaguar's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:00 am

This article was so great I even clicked on the ads. Hopefully the few hundredths of a cents help!

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Since'61's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:17 am

My criteria for going all in means that you find the best player available to fill in the obvious weaknesses on your roster.
Prior to the 2020 draft the Packers weaknesses were at WR, DL and ILB. Gute selected a QB, an RB and an HB with his first 3 picks.
Since Gute traded away the #4 for Love he couldn't use a 4th round pick to improve any areas of need.
After the 4th round the draft becomes hopes and prayers.

Gute has done a good job but not a great job to this point. He has built for the future by drafting a QB and RBs.
But how far away is that future? Let's assume Love becomes the starter in 2022. (Unlikely if Rodgers 2021 season is close to his 2020 season).
Even if Love's career trajectory follows Rodgers (again unlikely) we won't return to the SB until 2024 at the earliest. Gute's 2020 picks will be coming up for their
2nd contracts and possibly moving on. Here we go again.

Compare with Tampa's approach for the 2020 season. They needed a QB. They went out and signed the best player available, Tom Brady. Ready to play and win from day one. Then they signed a veteran WR, Antonio Brown, to support their signing of a veteran QB. Those are all in moves and they worked.

Now maybe if Funchess didn't opt out he would have been the difference. But we still needed to draft a WR early. Also, signing another DL to play alongside Clark may have provided the pass rush support to give King a chance to make a play on the 2 deep TD passes or maybe would have resulted in sacks instead of TDs.

To me that is going all in. Doing everything possible to win now, in the current season. That is what matters in professional sports. The Packers really did not need much to be solid everywhere in 2020. But they didn't get it done. The result was that our weaknesses remained and were exploited by a team which did fill the weaknesses in their roster. As I have posted before, if we keep building for 2-3 seasons in the future we will still be doing that 10 more years from now.
Thanks, Since '61

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Fabio's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:32 am

I'm Italian and I probably understand much, much, much less than you about football, but I totally agree
P. Smith's probable non-cut confirms that he doesn't want to move all-in.
You deserve a nice thumbs up since 61 (smile)
GPG

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Since'61's picture

March 04, 2021 at 12:16 pm

I appreciate your comments Fabio. You should know that my grandparents immigrated to the USA over 100 years ago. They came from Napoli and Abbruzzi on my mother’s side and from Tuscany on my Father’s side.

I have been fortunate to visit Italy several times for both business and pleasure. My wife and I love Florence and Venice the best. Stay well. Ciao. Mille grazie, Since ‘61

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Fabio's picture

March 04, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Think I'm from Siena .... if you come back to Tuscany let me know
A greeting

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Razer's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:57 am

Well thought out and well written article Tim - Thank You. You hit the nail on the head with the statement:

...They lost a game they should have won. Not because the team wasn’t built good enough, but because the team failed to live up to its potential in the most crucial moment...

Yes this team was re-equipped to win but didn't. More than anything, coaching errors/inexperience have undermined our ability to get over the hump. Matt's young and should learn from the mistakes. Pettine, Mennenga made a lot of game-time mistakes that, hopefully, the next guys won't repeat.

Overall, Gutekunst has done well in both the draft and free agency departments. We have been more competitive than the three years prior to his taking the reins. I can't say that his drafting is my drafting or that he values the trench and linebackers that I do but he is picking at the bottom of every round. He has refashion the scouting staff and is making solid steps every year. I was not a fan of the Love pick but I don't know what they saw or what they know. While I like Aaron Rodgers, he is flakey and has a huge ego. Gutekunst probably doesn't want to get held hostage and also knows that a messy end is near. Either way, Love didn't lose us anything this year - we did that all on our own.

The 'all-in' has and is happening in Green Bay. There were a lot of holes in this team prior to Gutekunst. He's patched many of them. This team could have easily been in the Super Bowl last season. Less than stellar play by QB1 and getting out-coached are not part of the 'all-in' discussion.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:54 am

A Blunt and honest assessment. Missing in a lot of these articles is the context of Gutekunst's moves of GM. Not acknowledging the Cap hit of the Rodgers extension, that Gute had to work around as GM. Or the major injury situations in both the OL and secondary. Gutekunst rebuild of the secondary in 2018 was remarkable, and the mark of a first class front office. The unanswered question for us fans, is how do the Packers define 'all-in'. That's one answer I like to know.

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Fabio's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:43 am

When you have obvious needs (ILB DB CB) that you don't want to address immediately (Draft or FA) this means you don't want to go all-in.
Moreover, I also believe that we could have (we should have !!! - I am always convinced that with decent referees we would have done it) win against TB. The problem is that throughout the season we have seen the problems that occurred against TB on time
So if we take the example of losing to SF in last year's Conference Final, Jordan Love may not be the answer to your need.
I'll give you an example:
If next season we lose the conference final again due to a mistake by Scott or the TS, who do you think it should be to blame?
That's all
The needs are clear. It is up to BG to try to cover them
For me, going all-in means this (which will never be a guarantee of success, but trying takes away the regret)
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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dobber's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:23 am

"If the Packers wanted to “go all in” (whatever that means), surely they’d have chosen a wide receiver! Surely they’d have picked a defensive lineman or immediate contributor!"

We ignore the possibility of dealing 2020 draft picks for higher-end vets who could have stepped in and played key roles on minimal camp time. Salary cap implications and all, but that's more all-in than just about any rookie contributor drafted at an equivalent spot would be.

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PatrickGB's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:40 am

Every single team in the NFL wants to go all in but they can only play the cards that they are dealt with. Some are are better at it and some are simply lucky. All the teams in the playoffs were a combination of both. The Packers had to overcome some deficiencies in talent to get as far as they did. It would have nice to be able to afford the players that others had but we could not.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

March 04, 2021 at 11:11 am

Definition of "Going All In". Just look at what the Bucs did last year. That is going all in!

It Just kills me that we have perhaps the best quarterback to ever play the game and and we have a GM who drafts a quarterback who may never start a game for the Packers. We sure could have used our top draft choice to get a defensive lineman, receiver, linebacker. We are the only team in the NFL whose 1st round draft choice didn't play in a single game. THAT IS NOT GOING ALL IN!

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Swisch's picture

March 05, 2021 at 08:31 am

The Spectacular Turnaround for the Packers
that has gone Astoundingly Unappreciated
***
Just three seasons ago the Packers had a dreary season of 6-9-1, with the last game a miserable 31-0 loss to the Lions. The season before was only slightly better at 7-9.
How soon we forget that the Packers of today are way ahead of schedule in an amazing turnaround of two consecutive 13-3 seasons -- each of which also featured a big win in the playoffs, and coming within one game of making it to the Super Bowl.
We also forget that in those two down seasons of not so long ago, Aaron Rodgers was injury-riddled and perhaps attitude-enigmatic. As I remember it, there were wonderings if he had, more or less, overruled and undermined our previous head coach, and in the process hastened his demise.
With the new head coach in Matt LaFleur entering the picture young and inexperienced, there were questions as to whether Rodgers would cooperate fully with a change of offense; even when the Packers far exceeded expectations with that first season of 13-3, there were questions as to whether Rodgers was at least somewhat resistant in dismissing sideline calls for shorter passes that would move the chains more consistently, in stubborn preference for the more spectacular throws farther downfield.
In addition to the concerns about Rodgers, there was considerable concern in general that the first season of 13-3 was more or less a fluke. Surely the Packers would slide a bit to around 10-6, and perhaps even lower and out of the playoffs. In that scenario, would Rodgers stay true to his new head coach, or go rogue as his dwindling number of seasons seemed to fall far shy of another Super Bowl.
***
All this is background for the pick of a quarterback last spring late in the first round -- when the possibility of finding impact rookies was getting fairly slim, and a project named Jordan Love seemed an elite talent at quarterback for a bargain price.
As it turns out, the next season, last season, Rodgers was at the height of his powers with an MVP effort, and the Packers were even better in their second straight 13-3 season. Instead of getting trounced in the NFC Championship Game as in the year before, the Packers came within 8 yards and then a stretched jersey away from winning the game and placing in the Super Bowl.
In congratulating Rodgers most heartily, I also wonder if the drafting of Love may have spurred him on to better coachability and greater performance. (Plus, how much did the connection between Love and a former high school teammate named Khrys Barnes result in us getting that guy as an undrafted free agent who performed at least as well as a 4th-round pick in becoming a solid starter in the midst of the season?)
I also wonder if in this past championship game against the Bucs that came up just short, Rodgers was all in with LaFleur during the drive that turned out to be the last opportunity for the offense. Maybe he was all in -- but it seems a lot of fans would have liked to see at least one more handoff to A. J. Dillon in those three failed plays after getting to first-and-goal.
The disappointment of our last loss so close to the Super Bowl still stings, but perhaps the truest evaluation of the 2020 Packers is simply to say that we lost to a team that was a little better -- and likely would have been even if we had chosen in the draft differently than Love.
The trouncing the Bucs gave to the Chiefs in the big game is further evidence that they were just a great team in 2020. That the Packers gave them such a tough game, despite some groaning lapses on our defense, is a striking credit to the Packers, rather than a rebuke of the players or coaches or administrators who astoundingly achieved so much and went so far.
***
No guarantees for next season. Yet if the Packers think that Rodgers is really on board with the direction of the team, then I'm excited about next season as another good possibility for winning the Super Bowl.
[A side note about Rodgers: As a sincerely big fan of his all through his career, I want the best for him and the team. To raise questions about him is not to say that I know the answers, only that I have reasonable concern for doubts. To wonder if even he can improve in his magnificence is not to expect him to be perfect, or to say that he should not have a significant influence on the offense. I try to keep in mind and truly appreciate his fantastic contributions to the Packers for many a season.]
Even with the probability of some significant losses in players such as Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley, we have a team growing in experience plus a big bundle of draft picks awaiting. A new defensive coordinator may be an important difference in bringing out discipline and aggressiveness and potential. I like that our GM is always bringing in new guys like Barnes and Lazard, but also seems to maintain a good measure of continuity.
I'm excited about our prospects next season of earning the triumphant trophy named after our own legendary Vince Lombardi.

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Razer's picture

March 04, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Well said Swisch. A lot of good to recognize over the last couple of years. It is hard to imagine that 6-9-1 and 7-9 preceded these last seasons. Thanks for reminding us of where we come from.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:36 pm

We came from Mike McCarthy.
.
Put the credit on team improvement where it belongs, on LaFleur, Hackett, and Rodgers.

It's the offense that improved by leaps and bounds. Some of the credit even goes to Gute for the O line additions.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:05 pm

Swisch.....

" the Packers came within 8 yards and then a stretched jersey away from winning the game and placing in the Super Bowl."
.
A Super Bowl appearance didn't come within 8 yards Swisch.
Did you even watch the game? Do you have an understanding how football is scored and what happens if they play to a tie?

CORRECTION: The Packers came to a 8 yard TD and a 2pt conversion away from tying up the game.

Stretched jersey: other wise known as a holding penalty. An obvious one where King even "switched" hands to hold the jersey.
(King giving up 14 easy points apparently wasn't enough for him.)

So, if you can score a TD, a 2 pt conversion and stop the Bucs from scoring. Then you still have to win it in over time.
.
Sincerely,

The voice of reason.

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Swisch's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:33 pm

Your point is well-taken PF4L. However, the larger point is we came very close to beating the Bucs, although maybe it wasn't quite as close as we remember it.
In other words, it doesn't really change the main observations and opinions of my comment. If anything, it adds to my opinion that the Bucs were the better team, and the Packers did well to give them a tough game.
I would have given you a thumbs up, but why would you have to question whether I even watched the game, or understand the basic rules of scoring?
I realize that as fans we can allow for some rough and tumble conversations here in the comments section without being too sensitive -- but let's not get carried away to the point of over-the-top insults that are demeaning.
Loyal and knowledgeable fans can disagree, and even correct each other, with a certain amount of sportsmanship.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:44 pm

It's all good Swisch....

I've voiced my opinions on it's own merit and i'll stick by them as always.

But i respect the fact you responded in thought.

TBH...I don't care if i get 500 thumbs down....as long as they reply why they gave a thumbs down. Meaning....tell me what i said was wrong.

Thank you Swisch....at the end of the day we're all Packer fans.

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Swisch's picture

March 04, 2021 at 02:00 pm

This one I liked.
If we can mix it up as fans and still slap each other on the shoulder in camaraderie at the end of the thread, then it's a fun and good experience here at CHTV.
I look forward to your thoughts in the future, PF4L.

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joefan's picture

March 07, 2021 at 01:58 am

I'm not impressed with back to back NFC Championship losses.

Rodgers was always good so I'm not surprised he's had two bounce back seasons. Maybe Rodgers did have a bad attitude in 2018, but does it make a difference? The 2018 team was absolutely terrible. The offense was bad both in scheme and players. The McCarthy offense was figured out already and there were no players left to make it work anymore.

I do think Gutekunst helped revitalized the team, but he's also made a lot of questionable moves. Ironically, a lot of the teams success has resulted from Ted Thompson picks. Who are the best offensive players? I'm sure everyone would say Rodgers, Jones, and Adams who are all Thompson's picks. Jenkins is the best offensive selection so far by Gutekunst. He's also managed to get another good defensive starter with Alexander, but his 2020 draft really knocks him down to me.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:11 pm

[He was undeniably right to believe that. The 2020 Packers were better on both sides of the ball, and should have represented the NFC in the Super Bowl.] - Tim Backes
.
Except for the fact the defense gave up more points in 2020, than 2019. But hey....stick with what sounds good though.
************************
Going all in...what does that mean?
It means having a short window of opportunity. It means using all resources to put the best possible team on the field.
Denver went all in building up their defense, it resulted in a Super Bowl win in 2016. With a underperforming QB at his stage in his career.
The Bucs also did it last season, and won.
.
To even get to the SB, what did the Broncos and Bucs do to win, and the Packers didn't?
The Broncos and the Bucs didn't have 2 def, backs give up 3 easy TD's and 21 points because of terrible coverage.
I suppose we could debate whether or not Gute should have known a year or two ago that King was more a hinderance, than an asset to winning. But why waste our time on something so evident.
*************************
With all due respect Mr. Backes...."Going all in" isn't defined because you went on a drunken free agent spending spree. They spent 182 in one off season, over 240 million on free agents since Gute was made GM.
Again.....Going all in?...
Means using all resources available.
News Flash: Gute did not do that.
.
BTW...How did those free agents do in the NFCCG?...The Smith Brothers were almost invisible. Amos looked like a fool trying to tackle Fournette on his 20 yard TD run in the 2nd quarter. Amos didn't have a clue to cover Brate on his wide open TD pass he gave up in the 3rd quarter.
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You don't... sign 2 edge rushers to over 100 million...then draft a project edge rusher to sit on the bench with the 12th pic of the draft....to go all in
.
You don't....draft a QB for the future spending a 1st and a 4th round pick on to sit on the bench for 3 or 4 years....to go all in
You don't draft a RB in the 2nd round to sit on the bench when we had no need for a rb at that time....to go all in
Drafting all bench players with two 1st round picks, and a 2nd round pick, plus giving away a 4th round pick is NOT....going all in.
It's drafting.....for the future. There is a difference

Lets stop with the...
"should have represented the NFC in the Super Bowl"
"They lost a game they should have won."
"Brian Gutekunst built a team that could, and should, have played in a Super Bowl"
No.....they should not have won.......because they didn't
Should the Packers have gone to the 2014 Super Bowl instead of the Seahawks?
NO!!....Because they didn't earn it!
.
Let's leave the "shoulda, woulda, coulda" scenarios and excuses to Bear and Viking fans.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:14 pm

For those still on the thumbs down parade.
.
Could you not only click thumbs down, but could you also leave a short reply, just type in .......Waa
.
Thank you for understanding.

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joefan's picture

March 07, 2021 at 01:47 am

I agree with a lot of this. "The Packers should've won." I also say why? They played the Buccaneers twice and lost both times. To me, that is plenty of evidence to show they weren't the better team. I don't see much value going back and saying this team or some team should've won based on hypothetical situations.

Sure, if King doesn't give up the touchdown and Jones doesn't fumble in the third quarter, the game plays out differently. But how do we know the Buccaneers wouldn't win anyway? They played a solid game overall. Even despite those two plays, the Packers still had a chance to win at the end but they came up short. On their last three drives, they only scored a field goal. So despite those mistakes that everyone keeps saying should never have happened, the Packers still had a chance.

However, if Gutekunst did get another receiver or a corner or defensive lineman then maybe those mistakes don't happen at all. All I know is Jordan Love sitting on the bench doesn't help.

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Swisch's picture

March 04, 2021 at 02:24 pm

Going all in seems to mean all or nothing.
It means we may win it all in the next season or two -- but there's still no guarantee we will, which could be considered nothing.
It also means that after the next season or two, our team may be terribly dismal for awhile, a state of nothingness.
It seems our GM is trying to balance the present and the future, and that seems a good thing.
***
Ironically, if the Packers would have gone 9-7 in LaFleur's first season, and then 11-5 last season, perhaps fans would have been happier in not coming so close to the Super Bowl.
Please excuse the length of my post above, but it's hard to factor in at least some of the nuances that go into making up a roster without taking up some writing space.
***
Looking forward, perhaps what most of us can agree upon is that our priorities in free agency and the draft are cornerback, defensive tackle, and offensive lineman -- although perhaps not in that order. We need guys in those places who can contribute significantly next season, and start by at least year two.
While wanting to address other positions throughout our roster as well -- perhaps we can also agree that focusing our salary room and draft choices for the most part on those three positions in particular is going all in for next season while also being good for our future.

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:04 pm

If going by the poker analogy of "going all in"
.
Yes, it's going for it....it's all or nothing
.
The reason a team goes all in, is because they have a small window of opportunity
.
There is no guarantee Jordan Love will be a Franchise QB, a Pro Bowl QB, a quality starter, or even.....a starter in this league.
.
The opportunity was/is 2019- ?

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PF4L's picture

March 04, 2021 at 04:09 pm

BTW...you can go all in without mortgaging the future....if you draft a receiver, lineman, corner, linebacker, whoever.
You still have them on your team, in 2 or 3 years you don't give them back.
.
Going all in doesn't mean you sacrifice the future, i mean...unless you trade away a draft class.....See Mike Ditka.

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PF4L's picture

March 07, 2021 at 05:44 pm

I understand

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Packers0808's picture

March 04, 2021 at 03:17 pm

"All in" seems quite simple this coming season, means as far the available money and cap can be manipulated is where Packers go!

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Starrbrite's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:10 pm

What ya'll know about risk...what definition are you using? I was a federal agent for 35 years and know a little about legitimate risk. Some here act like spending or not spending money on free agents (FA's), or restricted FA's, or unrestricted FA's is considered high-level risk management --- get over it! Whether we spend money now or later promises nothing under either choice. Maybe it mortgages the future and maybe it doesn't. I'm going to say it again, "The Future Is Now!!" Ron Wolf said, "if you really like a player, go get him"...and he did -- some players worked out and some didn't, but he brought us a - Superbowl and I'm not trading that in because he took too many risks and COULD have mortgaged the future. Let's stop fretting about the future and sign the people we believe will help us win now!! -- the future is now!!

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PhantomII's picture

March 05, 2021 at 08:20 pm

My version of going all in is using multiple year #1 RD picks ( 2021-2022 ) to move up and get a blue chip top 5-10 player that can start day 1. That's not going to happen here, but it should. Picking late RD is usually developmental players. It should get a top 2 CB in the draft or top 2-3 WR. Both would start, both are needs. I would not move up like that for a RT, but would for LT. I wanted the Pack to move up and get the Bucs ILB White, that would have been awesome. Gute has put a lot of drafts and money in the Defense, now it's moving up in the draft WR or CB, Maybe ILB.

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joefan's picture

March 07, 2021 at 01:36 am

I disagree with the notion that 2019 was an "all in" year. Yes, the Packers spent a lot of money in free agency. However, I thought they were doing so due to the fact the defense was terrible and had to be rebuilt. Clay Matthews contract was over, so they basically swapped out the money they were paying him and gave it to Zadarious Smith. Sure, Smith cost more by a few million, but he's making money that is inline with pass rushers and the growing salary cap as it existed then (this year being a down year for the cap). Then the same situation happened with Nick Perry except he was cut. It was nice they ended up going to the NFC Championship game in 2019 after back to back losing seasons, but I never expected that considering how bad the team was in 2018.

Also, it may be correct to say that people have been too critical about Gutekunst not going "All in". But I think the criticism is more about massive confusion that happened after the 2020 draft. Had Gutekunst made picks that made sense then people wouldn't be so critical. For me, it's not about going "all in" as much as it is ignoring needs for the next season.

Jordan Love like Rashan Gary in 2019 played 0 snaps in the NFC Championship game. Jordan Love didn't contribute at all this year. That is at the expense of someone else who could've played at a position of need. Say they selected a defensive lineman. That would've covered a current and future need, since the Packers are now weak there as well this year again. The Packers could've waited to see if Love fell to another round. Even Thompson waited for Rodgers and Rodgers is and was a far better player.

So far, Gutekunst has only drafted one starter per draft with Alexander, Savage, and Jenkins. I suppose you could add a couple more like Scantling and Gary. Overall, his drafts are not very good, and I don't see how it can be argued otherwise. AJ Dillon to me is the best pick of the 2020 draft, but for whatever reason LaFleur wouldn't give him a chance in the NFC Championship game even after Jones was hurt.

It felt like the Packers had a real plan to improve in 2019 and then in 2020 they took a step back for some reason. Obviously, they felt like they needed to get ready for Rodgers leaving despite the fact they made him the highest paid player in NFL history a couple years before, until Mahomes passed him of course.

Overall, I think people are right to be upset and confused. Right now it isn't clear what their goal is. I think Gutekunst felt like the team was good enough to get back to the NFC Championship, which he was right about, so he used the 2020 draft as a building draft.

The problem is that other teams in the NFL made moves to win for 2020 (Buccaneers), which the Packers didn't do. So I don't agree that they should've won the NFC Championship game. Yes, they could have won it, but they didn't so it doesn't matter. They played the Buccaneers twice and lost both times. To me, it shows they weren't good enough. In fairness, I do see why people are saying the Packers should've won. It was a closer game than the first one and without some big mistakes it could've been different. At the same time, you could also say the better teams don't make those mistakes or they force the other team into making them.

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