Bucs are much needed fodder

One thing about the Packers’ schedule so far this year is after each heartbreaking loss there has been a crappy team for the Packers to take out their frustrations on. Sunday should be no different against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are starting a rookie QB and up until now have only moved the ball on offense by accident. Firing Jon Gruden has worked out real well so far the Bucs. Not!

The Packers are going to be in an angry frame of mind after getting ripped up by Brett Favre for the second time in a month and because of that the season hangs in a balance. The Packers character will be revealed in the next few weeks. What should be a sure win at Tampa is followed by home games against Dallas and San Fran. If the Packers want to be the team they think they can be then 3-0 over that span is a must.

The first seven games of the season hasn’t really defined the Packers if you ask me. I think because of the new defense and the Favre crap we haven’t seen a Packers’ team that is playing without distraction and focused on the task at hand. Hopefully the two butt-kickings Brett put on the Packers lights a fire and I think it will. Like I said before, the schedule makers did the Packers a favor by getting the Vikings games over early in the season. Now we can focus on the task at hand.

It starts Sunday with a 27-10 win at Tampa.

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  • packer_bob

    I agree, Al, it’s great that we have a scratching post with which to sharpen our claws.

    I also agree that the games in the week after this one will be the ultimate decider of our season and where we are at as a team at this point.

    But this is bullshit:”I think because of the new defense and the Favre crap we haven’t seen a Packers’ team that is playing without distraction and focused on the task at hand. Hopefully the two butt-kickings Brett put on the Packers lights a fire and I think it will.”

    We’re still “distracted” by BF? Wasn’t that the excuse last year? You’d think if that were the case we’d have had a fire burning when we actually played against him. If they were “distracted” the entire coaching staff needs to be fired post haste. Absolutely lame, imo.

    Anyways, let’s kick some Buc ass and see how we shape up against some good/decent teams over the next month! That will tell the story, for good or ill.

  • packer_bob

    Noodling around Packernet, I found this article which I hadn’t seen before. Pretty apt description of the mistakes by both sides, and as it lays clear, it takes two to fuck up a tango.

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20091030/PKR07/91030158

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Did a quick check on TT activity in Seattle and during the period ’02-’04 he brought in 28 FAs and 3 via trade. That does not include the usual practice squad guys after the draft.
    There were no “names” other than has-beens like Jeff George, ugh. One of the trades was for Jerry Rice from OAK; a name but a no-counter I’d say.
    Now, given that history, it was fully understood by the Packers when they hired him what his MO was and his approach to a rebuild. You can well bet that it was discussed during his interview for the job.
    Excellent article p_b.
    Still think we should start Lang and Barbre with a quick hook against CLE. BUT, maybe we should start Cliffy and Tausch and use as a warm up for DAL where their experience might be more needed.

  • jonnyfootballhero

    Hard to argue with you LT that the Packers did their homework on TT. I still don’t think draft only is the way to go. It basically handcuffs you to only one way to build a team instead of using all tools available. Isn’t that the job of the GM, to put the best possible team together using all available resources? Why wouldn’t someone do that? Does he get a bonus if he can keep the spending to $20mil under the cap? I would totally leave the topic alone if TT could give a reasonable explaination on why he basically avoids FAs. But the standard “I believe you build a team through the draft” speech isn’t cutting it. Sure, you build your core players through the draft, but supplement the holes with quality FAs and let the draftees sit back and learn the system (ala Aaron Rodgers) so when they are called on, they can contribute at a high level. What doesn’t make sense about that??

  • jonnyfootballhero

    just to clarify, when I said fill the holes with quality FAs, I meant the high quality higher priced FAs that have played at a very high level, not just filler guys that are medicore. The money is there, use it.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Agree totally, jfbh, our arguments on TT FA activity (or lack thereof) always come down to the same half dozen players not brought in over the last 4 years. As if they wanted to come here and we refused. That cannot be a given.
    The other argument is that TT should have brought in “somebody”. Well, the fact is that none of us know whether TT tried to bring in “somebody” or not. The lack of bringing in Smith the second time is known, which is a rarity.
    Point is none of us know who or when TT tried to make a move; if he released all of the names he has tried to aquire (in advance) he would be tipping off too much strategy, ie, $$ offerred, etc. Can you imagine the impact on cost if word was made public that TT is looking for an OG as an example. An agents dream.
    I have no problem whatsoever with bringing in a high priced FA at all in concept, but it still has to be the right guy at the right price, reputation, skill level, chemistry, – all those things we’re not privy to. And don’t forget the agent’s role, and how the guy would fit into Green Bay vis-a-vis NYC, FLA, LA, or how about competing with a team like the Patriots who have been on the cusp for several years
    The only comeback is that a player will come simply for the money, or that TT hasn’t done it. Its more complicated than that.
    aleased all the names of

  • Jeremy (from Chicago)

    The biggest problem with these bounce back games is the teams we’re playing (Rams, Browns, Lions & Bucs) are so bad they give the team a false sense of confidence and feeling that problems are resolved. I think the team starts to think they’re better than they actually are. There is nothing wrong with confidence. I think it is an essential ingredient in the formula to make a winning team. I just think the game next week against the much hated Cowtippers will give us fans and the team a better sense of where they actually are. That’s assuming they don’t look past this weeks game against the Bucs. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m sick of losing the games that matter the most. At least we’re winning the games we should. I also feel we should win these next few games that matter seeing that Dallas, SF and Baltimore are all at home.

  • jonnyfootballhero

    All great points LT. It looks like the end of your post got cut off. But, you’re right that we don’t know whats going on in the background. It’s entirely possible that TT is trying to wheel and deal behind the scenes. It just seems peculiar that if he is, he hasn’t landed a single high quality FA with Woodson being the exception and at that time I believe a lot of people thought he was injury prone and washed up. I also understand that a player may want to play for a certain team in a certain geographic location, but when money talks, people listen. That is as long as the money is big enough. TTs predecessors didn’t seem to have a problem signing FAs (though Sherman’s didn’t turn out very well), so I have a hard time believing that is the case.
    But again LT, you made a good argument and have me starting to think a little more objectively about the state of the team. That is until their next loss and I’ll be ready to run TT and MM out of town again. Damn emotions!!

  • jonnyfootballhero

    I found this interesting…

    http://packerchatters.com/?p=8283

    -jfh

  • PackerPete

    Jeremy sure described my feelings about the Packers over the past 4-5 years.

    They never seem to win the games that matter the most. Always a loss when the chips are in the middle of the table and the Pack has a chance at a “big pot” while they clean up on the “ante only pots”. When the “season result” or “respect” games roll around, the Pack sometimes gives a good showing, but never close the deal.

    I think this is at the heart of almost every post here and elsewhere around the internet, in essence the reasons that drive fandom. As men we all root for our team in the hopes of a championship, we dont tune in each week and throughout the off-season simply to have our team “compete” and leave it at that. We want to WIN.

    With that psychology, we are disappointed when the “big pot” winning doesnt happen and we look at possible reasons why and what can be done about it. This is a male issue, women can talk with each other about their problems and discuss issues without trying too hard to absolutely resolve anything, simply be good listeners for each other while men always try to take an issue and resolve it to a more satisfactory outcome. In short, we can all enjoy football, men because it gives us reasons to celebrate when our boys win, satisfying our competitive drive, and hubris for “issue resolution” when they dont. Women can discuss the “issues” and not care as much about the outcomes as long as there is drama to dissect.

    In the context of the above observations, see where the “issue resolution” involving players, strategy and management (both coaches and administrators) is the root of all blog-posts on internet sites?

    Go Pack Go

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Yep, have we all not been there, done that? If I was positive that that 20-25M isn’t in reserve for our own FAs I’d be there right with you, jfbh. The other aspect that goes thru my mind is that after the end-of-season evaluation of our own, then the roster will have been filled w/ our own draft picks and there will be more trade-offs than last year.
    TT surprised us with draft day moves last year, he surprised SEA when he let Hutchinson go, and he may well surprise us with FA moves next year. Who knows? He has to improve this team, either on the field or on the sidelines, as I see it.

  • Three Lakes Terry

    I have some problem with the free agent knock on TT. Of our 22 starters, three are TT free agents: Woodson, Pickett, and Chillar. Is that enough or not and I think its not bad. We have a ton of our own coming up this year and the uncapped year will be huge in the next year. I think that the players are not that big an issue…..I worry more about them being ready to play…..i.e. the first half last week and in other games.

  • packer_bob

    Thanks for the article jfh. Very good read and I concur with most of the points.

    It really is ironic to look at how many of the players we are counting on on offense are Sherman era when one considers we’ve had 5 years of the “build through the draft” philosophy.

  • Reid

    We need to use the Tampa game to learn how to run a screen pass. If we can’t run the ball effectively, we have to be able to run a screen effectively. Right now, we can’t do either, that’s why our QB is getting killed and we can’t beat the upper level teams. How about looking at the tape of Holmgren’s teams running screen plays and replicated it?

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    I get the sarcasm, p_b, but Driver, like Favre, is an anomaly. Why would we get rid of Clifton and Tauscher before they can’t play anymore? Wells; regardless of the fact that he is starting because of injury, is still too small. You draft backups to long time starters in hopes that they eventually can take over – it hasn’t developed yet.
    I haven’t heard much hue and cry re the Corey Williams trade lately (another of those trade-offs I was referring to). Is it because he isn’t a starter at CLE no less?

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    Do the Bucs creamsicle uniforms scare anyone but me?

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    Thinking of a whole team in those things, made me nauseous.

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    Thats talking about the Bucs creamsicle uniforms, don’t know what happened to the post.

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    And I hope to god we make Bucco Bruce go back into retirement, forever!

  • packer_bob

    LT,

    No sarcasm intended. Did you read the article? The point was that after 5 years of re-building we are still dependent on Sherman era players, kind of a Back to the Future approach.

    The article raises some good points, every one should read it. Some select quotes:

    “But, regardless, there is little excuse for there not being talent on the roster acquired by Thompson over the last five years that would supplant two injured, aging, and declining offensive tackles, and a running back that was discarded after the 2006 season. And yet, here we are, watching TJ Lang and Allen Barbre each take a seat for the old veterans to come back in and try keep defenders out of reach of their quarterback.”

    “This is a sign to me that the cracks in the armor are starting to grow. While we never get to see all the reasons and rationale for personnel moves transparently, one can easily surmise that the Packer brass is starting to backtrack and cover for their errors.

    Like, drafting one second-round running back covered with injury red-flags, and populating the rest of the backfield with undrafted rookies and an overpaid guy that cost us a 6th round pick.

    Like, building your offensive line with mid-round draft picks hoping that competition would somehow make their fifth-round talent play like top-tier talent.

    Like, cutting conceivably the second-best safety in your training camp in order to keep project guys and special teams players.”

  • Sammy

    The Queens turned it around in less than two years with a new owner and GM. They were mediocre 3 seasons ago and now….

    This is a win now league and TT has had his shot…the train has returned to the station. All aboard?

  • Sammy

    Thanks guys, both links were very interesting reading. Stuff that is usually banned here or ridiculed.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    p_b you totally ignored my post of 11/3 regarding who we took in each draft as opposed to OL in the top rounds. Further, I responded to that article before the article was written, again you ignored it.
    The biggest mistake was the ’08 draft wherein (8) OTs were taken in the first and (7) of them are starting, albeit only (3) by teams with a better record than ours so far this year. You will recall Nelson, Brohm, and Finley in the 2nd and 3rd. (2) out of (3) I don’t think is too bad.
    Cherry picking after the fact is like shooting a deer tied to the fence. Leave some room on the plate for your crow if Barbre and Lang make it.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Sammy-and if MIN doesn’t win now? How long will it take them to recoup? The Bearse don’t seem to being too well and they did the same thing.

  • packer_bob

    Yes, LT, the future is yet unwritten. Perhaps some of the young lineman we have will develop—let’s hope so anyway so AR doesn’t get hurt or turn into the next David Carr.

    You’re right about cherry picking after the fact–but how else do you do it? I don’t have access to the info an NFL GM does, and I don’t get paid an exhorbitant amount of money to build a team’s personnel. GM’s do, and all I can do as a fan is judge the results I see on the field.

    I remember when Sherman got Joe Johnson. I didn’t have a wealth of information about the Saints because I don’t really follow them–why would I? But I did catch a couple of games where Johnson was tearing it up, so when we got him I was in favor of it.

    Nevertheless, it turned out we spent alot of money on a broken down DE whose best days were behind him. So, in hindsight, I had to say Sherman screwed up. Obviously, that wasn’t his only mistake, and it first cost him his GM job and then a year later his job as coach.

    Let’s say we lose AJ Hawk after this season. I agreed with the pick at the time, but we’d all have to admit it was a mistake to spend a #5 pick and all that money vs. what he produced wouldn’t we?

    I’m just saying it comes with the job that you have to be accountable for the results. How or why we should still be “building for the future” after the 2007 campaign is beyond me. If we put together a good run against the better teams we’re about to play over the next five or six weeks, I’ll be happy to eat crow. If we prove to remain the mediocre team I’ve seen for the last year and a half, then that falls on the GM and HC.

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    Larry, I do not understand what you are saying be recoup. Recoup? Are you saying that it is better to be mediocre forever than to take chances at winning it all? You have to take chances at some point. THE REASON FOR BEING IN THE NFL IS TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP, THAT IS WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME! If you are never going to try to win a championship, than there is no point for you to exist. So you are really saying that the Pack are in a better position than the queens? A team that might not make the playoffs is better than a SB contender? I would rather know why are trying to win, than building a long term “maybe we will maybe we won’t” make the playoffs team.

  • packer_bob

    And LT–I didn’t ignore your posts. I had to serve out my suspension from posting on Packernet because I was caught using finger enhancing substances on some of my posts.

    A stern sentence to be sure, but as my old buddy Baretta used to say, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    The contender is ALWAYS in a better position than a non-contender. Teams practice, coach, work, and play to be contenders. If you not a contender, you on the verge of being a failure. SB= complete success. Missing playoffs= complete failure.

  • packer_bob

    25YP,

    The part I don’t get is the idea that if the Vikings don’t win a SB this year, somehow that’s a failure. My position is that all you can do is try to assemble the best team you can, and then the chips fall where they may. You have to make the playoffs to win, and as the Giants showed two years ago and the Cardinals last year a team peaking at the right time can pull it off, or in the case of the Cards, damn near pull it off.

    I also don’t see where the Vikings have necessarily mortgaged their future. Are all their good players leaving after this season or something?

  • 25 Yrs Pack

    I only seeing the vikings failing if they don’t go further than they did last year, if the loose their first playoff game, i see that as a failure after what they have done to get to this point. That would still be better than not making the playoffs obviously.

  • packer_bob

    Yeah, I would agree that if they somehow lost their first playoff game that would be a downer for them. So let’s hope that happens!

    A pissed off Vikings fan is a happy Packer fan in my book.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    25 gave my answer, but losing in the playoffs is a worse feeling in the gut than the dull ache of not reaching the playoffs.
    If MIN doesn’t make it this year they’ll go into next yr with a 41 yr old QB and the Williams’ with another year w/o the ‘roids. MIN was horrible for many, many, years.
    The team that Sherman inherited was a contender for several years until all of Wolf’s FAs pooped out. Exactly what happened to Bengston.
    I’m convinced its cyclical because of the design of the NFL to share the wealth, and the NFL would prefer two new teams in the SB every year. Hence, no more dynastys.
    In any case I gather we all agree that our most pressing problems are the OL and RBs and that won’t change (at least unlikely) for the rest of the year.
    Like I’ve said before, I don’t think TT would hesitate to dump MM if he doesn’t coach-up TTs drafts. Thats not to say that Harrell, Jackson, and trading out of the first round in ’08 weren’t mistakes, they clearly were (again, in hindsight). But I think the positives are greater than the negatives on TTs part. I don’t feel that way about MM.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    Larry, the positives may outweigh the negatives but after 5 years how would you rate TT. Outstanding, better than average or mediocre. Also TT picked MM so you have to put that in the equation.

  • kevin

    Go Pack!

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Ouch, Mark, this hurts. Compared to other GMs out there, better than average. Based on results thus far, mediocre. The pick of MM, I agreed with at the time, but am very disappointed. As I see it MM has nine games to make a statement as to how good a head coach he is. TT has until March to show how this gets improved.
    Rather than the continual rehashing of past mistakes, I’d like to see more positive suggestions from all these experts as to what difinitive changes they think we should make. You guys know the waiver wire, who do you want to bring in? Trade deadline is past, but who do you want to trade for over the winter? I want names, not generalities like an OL or a TE. You tell me what TT should do, I’ve already gone to great lengths showing you why I think he did or did not make certain moves. Also, cost out all your suggestions because we’ve got a lot of our own FAs comming up.

  • PackerPete

    Is there a Packer game this week?

  • http://Orlando Mark

    First, I’ve said I believe TT is average. I don’t give him any credit for #12. If he’d moved up to get him I would but he fell into his lap as surely as #4. He’s made some good moves and has been very thrifty but he’s let good opportunities slip through his fingers and has made as many bad moves. Trading high picks for Matthews was the first indication that he might be willing to take a risk and be more than just a caretaker.
    As for next year it’s very important that the management makes a good evaluation of our current players and that will change with the next 8 games because our team is so young. Anyone can see at this point that our OT’s are old or incompetent. Running back needs to be addressed and safety. Like TT we’ll all just have to wait to see what’s available in the draft or FA.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    PackerPete, I hear there’s an exhibition game vs some triple A team in Florida.

  • packer_bob

    LT,

    Yeah, it hurts to lose in the playoffs: the pain of the NFC championship loss and the SB loss to the Broncos spring to mind.

    But I’d take that anyday over say last season. Those were still very successful seasons and the joys of them far outweigh the negative of losing a big game at the end. Only one team ever finishes the season completely satisfied.

    As far as plotting out a particular strategy for exactly who we should trade for and at what cost, doesn’t an entire staff of people already get paid good money to do just that? I don’t much see the point in investing time and effort into playing fantasy GM to that extent.

    I appreciate your honesty in ranking TT’s results as mediocre. Mark says average, I say average, so I guess we all agree on that point.

    As far as Minnesota, they may go into next season with a 41 year old QB, but he sure isn’t playing like it. They’ll also go into next season with the best RB in the league, a receiving corps on the rise, a very high caliber pash rusher, etc. As much as I hate to say it, they at least have created a window of opportunity for themselves to win it all. I can’t say that about my team at this point.