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Bet Against Favre

Bet Against Favre

Someone asked me who I thought the best player on the team is so I decided to expand on it. The top ten players on the team.

Now what do I judge by? Stats? Athleticism? Playmaking? I’m going to go with all three. We all know good players when we see them, despite possible lackluster statistics. We also know average players when we see them, despite awesome statistics(hey, Nick Collins, how are ya)

This list ought to anger a lot of people and I look forward to other’s opinions in the comment section. People might want to go “LongtimefanAssahlo” on me. We’ll see. Enough talk. Here’s the top ten Packers players in 2008.

10. A.J. Hawk – He didn’t have an amazing year but he’s still a hell of an athlete and I am glad he is on the team. He was consistent all year – even in the bad areas. He at least wouldn’t shock you with greatness one day and then turn around and play like a CFL linebacker. He was consistent, for what that’s worth. Don’t worry about ol A.J. though, he’s going to be just fine.

9. Nick Barnett – he had a disappointing year as far as being Nick Barnett goes. Other middle linebackers would have loved to have a “bad Nick Barnett” year though. When he was playing, he was good enough.

8. Al Harris – I can’t say enough about Al in 2008. Even after his spleen-ectomy he was money. Like Hawk, he was consistent – good and bad. He would be a shut down corner and be a pretty sure tackler, but he would also get owned by bigger receivers and get needless penalties. Overall, the 2008 season would have been better had he not missed time from his injury. I never thought I would say that.

7. Tramon Williams – “The Future” is a name I sometimes call Tramon by. Yes, I’m the only one who calls him that. When Al stepped out, Tramon stepped up. We barely missed a beat, which makes you wonder how good we could have been had all three been playing together all year.

6. Will Blackmon – What a good year for Blackmon! When he was out there at corner, he wasn’t too bad. He’s a darn fine dime back. He had 35 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Not too shabby at all, but Blackmon gets on the top 10 because of his punt returning. 2 return TDs and five times he got more than 20 yards on a return. Field position is key, and Blackmon is the keymaster.

The other keymaster

The other keymaster

The other keymaster

5. Aaron Kampman – Wow, Aaron barely broke the top 5. He didn’t have a great year though. He didn’t have much help, but he didn’t seem like the Kampman we’ve seen the last two seasons. Even so, he was a BEAST. I love when our guys do great, but it’s still not good enough. We have so much talent. Seriously though, Kampman needs to step it up next year.

4. Greg Jennings – Yes, Greg is not #1. Shut up. Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver both had better catch percentages than Greg. I know Jordy’s time was limited but Greg is supposed to be better than Driver, right? Greg’s lack of productivity and seemingly passion in the last quarter of the season rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I still love the man, but not “tongue down the throat” love like it used to be. Still, Greg got 9 TDs and over 1,000 yards and is awesome.

3. Donald Driver – That’s right, Donald is ahead of Greg. This is one of those “It’s not all in the statistics” things. Greg has Driver beat in just about every area, but Driver has heart. Driver has fight. He fights on every play as if the clock just expired and they need him to go the distance or they lose the superbowl. I love Driver as a person and a player. You know what you get from him every season, every game, every snap. Sometimes I think it might be easier to kill him than to tackle him, and that’s why Driver is #3.

2. Charles Woodson – My goodness. Someone tell this guy he’s supposed to get worse as he gets older, not better. And he did it all with a broken foot. This all helps my theory that Charles Woodson is in fact, a zombie, but one of those zombies that run like in 28 Days Later (and if someone tells me they weren’t zombies but infected people, I will punch you in the cheek). I’m curious to see how Woodson does next year, but he definitely earned the #2 spot, maybe even the #1 spot, but that spot goes to…

1. Aaron Rodgers – Yeah yeah, this doesn’t shock you. What can I say, the kid was money. Statistic wise he was money. Intelligence wise(throwing the ball away is something I haven’t seen in hears) he has it, and he gets extra points for picking and choosing spots to run the ball. Aaron Rodgers might be our best player for a while and in no way is that a bad thing.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

IronMan's picture

Al Harris did not have his spleen removed. It had a small tear and healed. I would have put Woodson #1, but I pretty much agree with your list.

Paul (Cubanpenguin)'s picture

When I saw Kampman at 5 and Jennings at 4 I thought you were crazy...but looking at the rest of the list it is really hard to argue, after an amazing start to the season Jennings did tail of which was disapointing and he was dropping alot of passes.

But it's so hard to knock Kampman, if you go back and watch just him, almost on every play no matter if he was double or triple teamed he came as hard as he could an would always shrink the pocket on his side big time.

I think you have to go the same way you did with Driver where statistics don't tell the whole story, it's tough to get pressure when all 5 guys on the line are most worried about you and not another guy on the line.

But I have to say great list and you should do something like this for the 10 worst plays for sure.

Aaron's picture

Will Blackmon being on this list as anything but a return man is a gross miscarriage of justice.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Hmm. I might actually agree with CheesehatTV here. I thought Blackmon did okay returning, but when we really needed it he never delivered. I don't remember a whole lot of good at corner.

I would have used that slot for Jordy I think. He picked up Jones' slack from day one.

Dale Z's picture

"Blackmon gets on the top 10 because of his punt returning"

Pack93z's picture

Come on now.. Blackmon on the list.. but Nick Collins.. the glue in the back-end of the defense is omitted?


Where is Cullen Jenkins.. before getting injured he was the most dominate Dlineman we had in both pass rush and run.

But one thing you nailed.. not an offensive lineman is sniffing at the top ten.. kind of scary that we put up those offensive numbers behind a very average to at times slightly below average group. And people wonder why we can run the freaking ball with consistency.

Ya get a B Trom.. two major omissions.. and I agree that Hawk belongs on the list in terms of talent.. but it is sickening that he doesn't utilize it to any measure of full extent.

Aaron's picture

"When he was out there at corner, he wasn’t too bad."

Yes. He was. (Go back and watch the Atlanta and Jacksonville games if you need a refresher ;)

Greg C.'s picture

Great list Dale, although of course my own list would be different in some ways. You know it was a crap season when two guys who had crummy seasons (Hawk and Barnett) still made the top ten. I would put Collins on the list, myself, and I might actually put Brandon Chillar on there because even though he's not as talented as Hawk or Barnett, he had a better year than them (which isn't saying much).

I don't know why people are giving you grief about Blackmon. For the first time since Allen Rossum, we finally have a return man who can take one to the house. Let's all treat him right so he will stick around. Whatever he contributes as CB is a bonus, and I thought he played alright considering that he's just the dime back. Alex criticizes him for not delivering when we needed it, but what about his TD in the game at Minnesota?

I would put Woodson at #1 because he was awesome in every way, while Aaron Rodgers did struggle at times late in games. Driver over Jennings is a gutsy call on your part. I guess I would put Jennings just aheaad of Driver, but you make a very good case. They are closer than their stats suggest.

I disagree with Pack93z on Cullen Jenkins. If he had played the whole season, he would've at least been in the top five, but four games just isn't enough for him to make the list. Pack makes a great point about the O-linemen, though. None of them were even close to being in the top ten.

Franklin Hillside's picture

Any punt returner who catches a punt while on his back should not make the list. I believe at that point of the game we were not beating Detroit by much. Could have been ugly.

Didn't he also catch a punt in the end zone one game too?

He has brain lapses.

Daryn Colledge? Anyone? Anyone?

Pack93z's picture

Greg,,, If the list is based solely on overall season performance, then I would agree with you that Jenkins isn't on the list.

But Barnett is on the list and missed considerable time.. so I looked at the list as per game impact.. Jenkins almost finished second in sacks on the team is what 3 games?

That is why I like Greg.. has no problem disagreeing and backs up his points with reason.


Alex Tallitsch's picture

You do not know how much seeing a +1 pleases me right now.

badmoonrison's picture

hell no not Will Blackmon...

Greg C.'s picture

"Any punt returner who catches a punt while on his back should not make the list. I believe at that point of the game we were not beating Detroit by much. Could have been ugly."

It was a wacky play, but I judge players by results, and the result of that play was that he caught the ball and set up a field goal attempt that just barely missed. No harm no foul.

In fact, I don't think Blackmon mishandled a single punt or kickoff that came his way all season, nor did he fumble, in spite of making some catches in traffic and taking some hard hits.

Here is a list of NFL return stats, ranked by punt return average:

Initially it looks unimpressive, because Blackmon is #22 on the list. But take a closer look. Return averages are always skewed because the highest averages almost always belong to players who have very few returns but still managed to break one or two big ones. So take a look at how many punt returners with higher averages had more returns than Blackmon, who had 36. There are only two. Most are not even close to having his number of attempts.

An 11.1 yard average with 36 attempts is more than respectable. Also, only two players had more punt return TD's than Blackmon, and only one other player matched his total of two. It is hard to return punts for touchdowns, and our guy did it twice!

I don't know what more we can ask for from this guy as a punt returner.

Dale Z's picture

Nobody respects a returner until you have an Antonio Chatman back there. Suddenly you realize the importance and talent of other individuals.

Greg C.'s picture

Yeah, once Allen Rossum got away, Mike Sherman was always happy just to have a guy who could catch the ball. He didn't care if the guy could actually make some yardage. And it had to be a guy who could contribute on offense or defense.

mark's picture

OK some very good points here ! I think 93z said something we all take for granted what if we had a top notch offensive line ! Talk about scaring the hell out of defensive coordinators !

As a former college DB I completely disagree with Tramon Williams on this list..the kid gets lost and zone and has had more then his share of mental lapse. Yes he did a nice job when Al was out but after that ...well nothing stellar.
Prediction here Williams will wash out in this defense.
But overall I think Trom did a nice job. B +

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