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That Guy

That Guy




In the midst of the Leroy Butler interview last night on Cheesehead Nation, I think the most important point of the night was made by the esteemed Mr. Greg Bedard. The Packers don't have "that guy."





I was asking Bedard about the lackluster performance by Greg Jennings this season, and the Del Re eating pen warrior made a pretty valid point.


"The Packers have a lot of talent when they play together, but they don't have a guy who can take the team on the shoulders."


As much as I hate to admit it, it's the truth. There isn't a single player on the present squad that has elevated his play to a level that can singlehandedly take over a game.


Packer fans had hoped that Greg Jennings or even Aaron Rodgers would reach that point, but it's fairly evident at the halfway mark that no one on the current roster is a bonifide superstar. The Packers have a lot of individual talent, but no one that can dominate consistently week in and week out.


All the elite teams have that guy right now. The Patriots have Brady and Moss, the Colts have Manning, and the Saints have Brees. The Cowboys have Barber, the Cardinals have Fitzgerald, and as much as I hate to say it, the Vikings have the last "guy" the Packers ever had that could truly take over.


In order to be elite, you need "that guy." I don't know if anyone is going to able to step up and fill that role, but if not, the Packers will only play as good as the combined sum of their parts.


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Greg C.'s picture

Charles Woodson is the best player on the team, but it's too easy for opponents to work around him. And Jennings has mysteriously turned into a possession receiver this year. So Aaron Rodgers has to be that guy. I think he is close. He's got the arm and the mobility. That 12-yard TD run on Sunday was impressive, in spite of the fact that he had a substandard game. He needs a better line, obviously, and I'm beginning to wonder about our receivers as well. Not to mention the mediocre running game.

FJ Dan's picture

Agree with you Greg. Rodgers inevitably needs to be that guy.

I think the closest we have to it is Driver when he's on. He has the ability to strong arm the other team and bring the intimidation factor. It's not always out for show, but he has the ability. Unfortunately, someone needs to get him the ball.

Kampman used to have "it". That disappeared with the 4-3.

Who else could be "that guy"? Or, is "that guy" not on the roster? Opinions?

Alex Tallitsch's picture

That guy is either Aaron Rodgers, or is not on the roster. I think Clay Matthews might also have "that guy" potential.

Brady Augustine's picture

1. In football, the designation "that guy" which is awfully well chosen here, will inevitably fall on the quarterback by virtue of his position when no one else fits the bill. Charles Woodson is a great example of a guy who has the skillset and mindset to be "the guy". Just look at how he played during the Cinci game if you have any questions. But did we win that Greg is right about teams being able to scheme away from Woodson. The quarterback position is like the queen in chess, position that exerts the most force in any direction and can attack any other piece on the board. Unfortunately in football, that powerful piece is not on the board all the time. That is why sometimes great defensive players can be "that guy" too. Defense wins championships precisely because it puts the offense back on the field.

2. In the absence of "that guy" on the field, there has to be one off the field. I credit my friend Ross Janes at Packershow for this idea. In the absence of players taking the team on their shoulders, the coach HAS to. He has to motivate them, teach them, correct them, and scheme to their strengths while being perfectly realistic about their abilities both in general and on a play-by-play basis during the games. Why the heck did our quarterback -who was wearing orthotic plates in his shoes because of injuries have to run a TD in a game where our non-injured running backs went for 170 freakin yards! This leads me to my last point:

3. I think the deeper question here (and I think this is what we all want to know) is not really about who is going to be "that guy". I think we should push on that question and if we squeeze it, another question beads up and drops off...and that question is: "Why are none of the talented, capable (veteran or not) players in this team developing into the leaders of men that we need them to be? Is it a) They are not capable, b) they are not in a position that makes it possible, c) they are playing out of position in a new scheme, d) they are too young and/or inexperienced to lead, e) they are not being developed as players AND leaders by the coaches.

OK, I have turned this comment into a blog post, sorry. I am going to go on with this in a note on the greenbaypackernation fanpage on FB where it will be more appropriate. Alex, please forgive me was your great post that brought all this on!

GreenBay Packer Nation's picture

You beat me to the Charles Woodson mention Greg C. I would definitely add Woodson to this list and name him as "the guy."

I agree, Greg, that teams work around him, but despite that he's there every game doing his job exactly as he's supposed to in an effort to do his part in winning the game. He's got 4 INTs, one for a TD, and 33 tackles. The guy is just flat doing his job.

He doesn't, however, have the charisma of a LeRoy Butler or a Reggie White. That was a critical factor in those two guys being "the guy" for the team.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Reggie was definitely that guy, his play in the Super Bowl showed he could do it at every level. Physical skills aside, that guy has to be able to elevate his teammates as well. Reggie and Brett were the last guys to ever do that.

PackersRS's picture

"and as much as I hate to say it, the Vikings have the last “guy” the Packers ever had that could truly take over."

The Packers never had Adrian Peterson.

And I just disagree with the whole deal. We don't have an OL and a Coach. I can see that Payton Manning can overcome teams dificulties, and Rodgers can't, but that was a pretty good team in all phases, that 2006 Colts. Bob Sanders will tell you that. No "THAT GUY" has ever won a SB without a GREAT team all around.

And the goal is to win SBs, not division titles.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Not defending Favre, but no one elevated the level of the guys around him more than he did. Favre made superstars out of average players.

Asshalo's picture

"There isn’t a single player on the present squad that has elevated his play to a level that can singlehandedly take over a game."

This is part of the reason Thompson has been criticized for his free agency practices.

Rodgers may be that guy one day, it's just not possible with his current OL.

Gordon Winslow's picture

As much as I love Woodson, "that guy" can't and won't come from the defense. There is only one Troy Polomalu. And it can't be a wide receiver, because wide receivers are dependent on others. Therefore, it's a running back or the quarterback. I think we can safely eliminate the running backs, so it's gotta be Aaron Rodgers.

Jersey Al's picture

It has to be Rodgers...

Remember this?

It was tongue in cheek humor, but the underlying message was, we need Rodgers to be "The Man" or "That Guy".

RonLC's picture

Agree Al! Two things, however, work against that happening for a couple of years. First, he needs to get a record of accomplishment on the books. Next, MM prohibits that sort of internal development. Everything must be done his way, regardless of outcome.

Paul W.'s picture

I don't think what we need is a free agent "That guy"

What we need is a coach that will turn some of our players into "That guy" There is no reason that Rodgers couldn't be at Brady, Manning or Brees level. He has all the tools, the talent and has more mobility then all three put together. What he needs a coach that will help put him in that position to succeed and get some fire into the team.

It would also help a hell of a lot if he actually had some time to throw the ball without getting pressure on him. Blame him for holding onto the ball to long but would you really want him just throwing it up to no one instead? Another thing that separates those guys is that the have great RB's to keep the pressure off. Well maybe not Brady but he has an Elite O-line and Moss to play catch with.

I guess in all that rambling what I'm trying to say is that football is a team sport. You have to be able to put your elite players in the right position to be "That Guy". You have to protect Rodgers, you have to get Kampman with his hand on the ground, You have to have big DT's to keep blockers off your LB's. You need pressure from your D-line to help out your CB's.

When your LB has a guard in his face or a CB has to cover a guy for 5-10 seconds or your QB has to spend his time looking for the DE instead of his receivers you will have a hard time having any of your players blow up and be "That guy".

Now the Question is the problem talent or is the problem coaching. From a fans perspective it's really hard to tell but I believe we have the talent. What we lack is the desire by the team to win and that's the coaches job to get the players to play with fire and passion. If only we could have a guy like Lombardi...or hell Gruden is unemployed ;)

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