Offseason raising expectations for Packers

Judging from the likes of Peter King, Chris Mortensen and Mel Kiper, the Packers are the feel-good pick as a Super Bowl favorite in 2010. While it is two months before training camp, the Packers seem to have all the pieces in place. Granted there are some question marks, cornerback and left outside linebacker the most glaring, the Packers seem poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.

The locals might not feel the same way considering enemy number one Ted Thompson did sign any free agents again, even though there were none available. The people that cover the league and not just the Packers seem to see things a little differently. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm the sky is the limit for the Packers. While Rodgers didn’t win his first playoff game last year, he certainly proved he belongs in the upper echelon of QBs in the NFL. Rodgers bounced back from a horrible start put up 45 points and if not for one overthrow the Packers might have been in the Super Bowl.

I was going through my old video tapes and pulled up the Packers-49ers playoff game in which the Packers of the 90s had there coming out. The next year they won the Super Bowl. I think the Packers of 2010 are very similar to that 1995 team that advanced to their first of three straight NFC Championship games. The biggest difference is this team doesn’t need to sign a half-dozen free agents to fill holes in order to win now, this team has much more depth than that 1995 team did. I think that bodes well not only for this year but for the next several years. Will a Super Bowl championship be part of the equation? I believe it will.

While Rodgers will always be compared to Brett Favre, which is fine, the guy Rodgers reminds me of more is Joe Montana. Like Montana Rodgers is a cerebral quarterback who rarely makes a mistake and is a leader of men. Rodgers certainly has the stronger arm. Rodgers is also more mobile, which can be a blessing, and a curse. I worry about Rodgers trying to cash a check is body can’t cash.

If Rodgers runs his starting streak to 48 games, the Packers will be in good shape next January.

Elsewhere it was interesting but not surprising to see B.J. Raji moved to nose tackle and Ryan Pickett moved outside. Raji was drafted to be the nose tackle of the future but never made it there on a regular basis last year because of a holdout and injury. Pickett is the ultimate team player, the kind of guy you wish you had 45 of. With Pickett stuffing the run outside and Raji more comfortable inside, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers led the NFL in rush defense again this year. That would be a good thing considering the running backs in the NFC North division.

I can’t wait for more OTAs and mini-camp, but training camp this year should be electric. The Packers have a good team and a potential superstar at quarterback just entering his prime. This team should will be thinking Super Bowl this year.

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  • Steve Cheez

    “The biggest difference is this team doesn’t need to sign a half-dozen free agents to fill holes in order to win now, this team has much more depth than that 1995 team did.”

    Man, I hope you’re right, Al.

    It’s good to not have a me-first guy under center and a coach who hasn’t already moved on to his next team.

  • You overlooked the importance of special teams. And, I don’t see how being picked by the media helps other than putting a target on us. Did the media predict the Saints as champs, the Steelers, the Giants or the Colts. I expect us to improve and win our division for years to come. But the Chargers do that and like them we need some lightning to get over the top, like a Desmond Howard. I don’t see anyone like that on the roster. Howard was a draft bust that Wolf took a chance on. I hope TT isn’t so myopic that he won’t give another “bust” like Woodson a chance.

  • Steve

    Regarding the Pack’s depth; it’s scary considering how young they are. Look at Rodger’s numbers after running for his life in 2009. Imagine how good he’ll be with some continuity on the line and one more second on most of his throws.

    The D ranked overall at number 2. Insane considering they were learning a new defense.

    Time to go into the Cowgirl’s house and bring home a ring!

    GO PACK!

  • Deek

    I think we could have the best team in the NFC but if we continue to receive less then a stellar performance from the officiating crews,(Scott Green) who I thought was caught cheating by the NFL, with his lack of calls in the AZ play-off game, we’ll be hard pressed to win our division.

  • Scot

    Sam Shields needs to be our returner. We need someone with speed back there. Nelson, Blackmon, and Williams are pedestrian in that role. I just read that T.O. may be flirting with Chicago now.

  • iccyfan

    Now Woodson was a “bust” when the Packers signed him? I know what you’re going for with the “myopic” comment, but TT’s the polar opposite – everything he does appears to be for the “long-term”! Mark – you are the master of hyperbole… 🙂

  • Iccy, when Woodson left Oakland no one wanted him especially Oakland. His production had been falling for two years. TT wouldn’t have gone after him if we weren’t coming off a 4-12 season. We’re not desperate now but we should be every bit as aggressive this close to being on top. If Shields or anyone on the team can do the job ok by me, if not we need to make a move.

  • Steve Cheez

    T.O. to Chicago? Sounds great. He can ruin anything that has survived the Cutler fiasco.

  • Bob

    I would still feel better if we had a veteran Qb backing Rodgers up!

  • PackerPete

    Well, bust might be a little strong for Woodson, but he certainly was on the proverbial NFL scrap heap when TT gave him his only chance at playing CB in the NFL again (recall that Tampa wanted him at S).

    His injury history was checkered to say the least during his stint in Oak-town, but that didn’t hide his Heisman credentials and NFL productiveness when not injured.

    I am most concerned with these issues as the Packers move into the 2010 season prelude…

    McCarthy as a decision maker during games and as a scheme adjuster during games. Not a very good history in these areas, I certainly hope he has self-scouted and sees his opportunities for improvement and seeks help getting better.

    Slocum and the ST. I do not sweat Crosby, he is fine as long as the team doesn’t ask too much of him again with a plethora of 50 yd+ FG to start the season. The punting and the coverage teams as well as the return game are all suspect and are in need of significant attention. I believe the talent is on the bus (so to speak), I do not believe we have the right driver to get us where we need to be.

    OL is still a concern to me. I think we may have upgraded the talent level, but I still fear the coaching. Campen and Fontenot have not shown the ability to do more than ride the coattails of coaches before them in the form of Cliffy, Wells and Tausch. All of the OL additions came in with good enough pedigrees to be selected and placed in positions to perform (Klemm, Whittaker, Palmer, Coston, Moll, Colledge, Spitz, Giacomini, Barbre, ED-S, Lang to a lesser degree), the steps to the next level have not happened (with the lone exception of Sitton) and with the physical and mental tools these guys possess, I blame the coaching that our OL hasn’t advanced beyond inconsistent at the NFL level outside of the pro’s already trained by OL coaches that came before the current crew. One guy not getting it is an incident, all of them floundering is an epidemic and there must be a root cause. I do not think it is TT’s drafting, I blame the coaching.

    Injury is the only enemy that can decimate this roster, the Packers are built to win in today’s NFL and should do so if not on IR in bunches again.

  • PackerPete, you’re a little harsh on MM. His onside kick was a great stroke. His call for a deep pass in OT when the Cards were expecting a safe play was beautiful. In the Dallas game MM protected #12 with his play calling which really improved. As far as OL coaches they seemed totally unsure of what system we should run and were constantly moving players around like trying to force Spitz in at center. When that merry-go-round stops we’ll be ok.

  • Rick

    Pack Pete and Mark- You are both right. MM has shown very bad game calling and challenges in his time here at GB. Last year though, we saw a vast improvement in his game adjustments and play calling. Also he had a better handle on the team and what it can and can not do. He took about 3 years to grow as a head coach.

    Injuries will make or break our team this year. Healthy and we may be a favorite for the NFC championship, injured and with our tough schedule we can be 6-10.

  • Steve Cheez

    Which do you suppose will happen first: Jolly’s trial or the Williams boys’ suspension?

  • Steve Cheez

    It’s been too long since anybody brought it up, but the Vikings really do suck, don’t they?

  • Rick

    Vikings Suck FTW!!! @SteveCheez

    I think the Williams road to denial is ending. They should have the suspension first, otherwise one or both might retire before the suspension can take effect.

  • Oddball

    I don’t think we can count on Clifton, Tauscher and Wells for twenty games this year, and somebody aside from CM needs to get pressure consistently. CB is a worry, but they will look a lot better with the aid of a pass rush from both sides.

    Solid O-line play and a hellfire pass rush will mask a multitude of sins.

  • Tollsforthee

    MM should get credit for one major thing I appreciate about his play-calling:

    He’s not afraid to roll the dice. How about that on-side kick vs. the Cards?

    I couldn’t stand to watch play-it-safe, boring football. The games are too close and the point swings are too great to not try for the deep ball occasionally, or bring the house at a critical point on D.

    MM is well-above-average on this point.

    Also, at a coordinator level, he has some pretty creative packages. I love his quick toss play to the fullback, I like the 5-wide package (wish I saw it more), and the ‘Psycho’ package on D was brilliant (granted, that is DC).

    I think the dumb things are more like the lack of concern about penalties or the consistently slow start on the running game, or too much willingness to abandon the run late.

    I can live with the coaching–for now. Is it good enough to get us to the SB? Give him a couple more years, both he and TT have gotten better.

  • Sammy

    Mark correctly pointed out the weakness of a third of our game. Peeps seem to forget about special teams…as important as the defense and offense. When watching the Pack over the past three years, there seems to be holding or illegal block on every other kick/punt return. Defending the return, we seem to give the opponent the ball at midfield or close most of the time. Huge part of the game that is over looked too often. IT IS ABOUT PAD LEVEL AND FUNDAMENTALS PEOPLE…the train has left the station. Get special teams up to par, keep Rogers and our older CBs healthy, we are SB contenders, no doubt.

  • Rick

    It is amazing that special teams, which is lip serviced as a third of the game, is really a dumping ground for your second tier players.

    Now I am not saying we should have Raji or CM III or Woodsen running down the field on special team but we do need to look at those teams in the recent past that have had a returner that has caused the game to change.

    The Bears risked a starter quality DT(Davorchek), and starting LBs (Urlacher, Briggs) to make the best possible impact for their special returner Hester. They were special and went to the Super Bowl. The last time I saw that was the Browns using starters to help spring Cribbs last year and 5-6 years ago the Chiefs used to do it for Dante Hall.

    We had a special returner in Desmond Howard. Shortening the field hepled us during the regular season and his Super Bowl run back was almost the final nail in the coffin of the game.

    Offense we are in top 10 maybe top 5. Defense we were number 2. Special Teams 31.

    So what do the Packers do to shake up the NFC North??

  • Sammy

    I think special teams has a lot to do with coaching your guys up. Blocking in the back on a third to half of the returns is inexcusable. Three years now I have been screaming about special teams and the impact of good execution. My crew of boys watching each Sunday scream “just fair catch the damn ball” as we know the field position will be better than attempting a return with a bonehead holding or block in the back. It must improve this year as special teams is a very important part of the game….and it would be nice to have a real punter and hopefully Crosby is out of his slump…can’t wait folks!!!!! I guess it is the World Cup for distraction until American Football starts. Have a nice Memorial Day all and thank a solider for your freedom to bitch on this site.

  • Packer_Bob

    The last few comments about special teams are on point and need no expounding on.

    To get back to Al’s original post: To compare the Packer’s of last year to the 90’s Packers “coming out party” against San Fran is foolish. I assume Al is referring to the 95 Packer’s season, and I do agree that was an omen of things to come. We went into the Niner’s house and physically beat them down, when they were a perennial SB caliber team. And if I remember right, Holmgren had challenged the team prior to that game to beat them up, and that’s just what they did.

    They lost again to Dallas that year in the NFC championship game (in Dallas) but I do agree that was a game where you go “By God, we can win this damn thing!”

    It’s a little hard to figure for me how you get that out of our performance last year. The Packers were a trendy pick heading into the playoffs (not be me I might add, though I did not call Ari to win the game exactly) and we fizzled right there. The Cards went on to get annhilated by NO the very next game, so how close were we again?

    And may I remind everyone how hard we had to rally just to get there? We had in my estimation a very cupcake schedule last year, a luxury I don’t think we have this year. We are thin at several key positions; I don’t take it for granted that we will win this division or even make the playoffs. Much has yet to be seen.

    And does the fact that Peter King picked us as favorites scare the bejeesus out of anyone but me? There’s a stellar track record for you. I wish he’d picked the Bears.

  • Steve Cheez

    Yeah, PB, I wasn’t sure if the Peter King comment was supposed to be good news for us or bad nes.

  • Rocky70

    Per PB:

    ” I don’t take it for granted that we will win this division or even make the playoffs. Much has yet to be seen. ”

    This is the same sermon you gave last season & yet GB finished 11-5 ……….. Next you’ll be say’in AR still hasn’t proved himself to be an elite QB in the NFL ………. Regardless of schedule, GB is one of the top four teams in the NFC ……… Only massive injuries will keep GB from winning 12+ games in 2010.

  • iccyfan

    “It’s a little hard to figure for me how you get that out of our performance last year. The Packers were a trendy pick heading into the playoffs and we fizzled right there. The Cards went on to get annhilated by NO the very next game, so how close were we again?”

    We were one game from winning the division and getting home-field advantage. The Vikings got “gifts” at home from the 49ers (32 yard miracle TD pass) and Ravens (missed GW 44 yd FG). We played two stinkers versus the Vikes and a big one against the lowly Bucs. As everybody knows, it’s all about having home-field advantage in the playoffs, as evidenced by the 1995 game you cited versus the Cowboys, our 2009 loss at the Cardinals and the Cardinals 2009 loss at the Saints.

    The Packers were “one game” from being the #2 seed in the NFC while fielding the youngest team in the NFL for the fifth straight year. That’s “pretty close” and gives good reason for the excitement…

  • mel e mel
  • Rick

    mel e mel –

    Interesting article.

  • Mel e Mel

    Hopefully is true. No matter how much talent anyone believes is on the team, nobody can keep 3 fullbacks. Donald Lee has perfected the dropped pass in the endzone. Poppinga has had zero impact. Never mind how Clay Matthews was better, but Brad Jones beat this guy out. After this years draft its almost impossible that Babre can make the team. Jarrett Bush nuff said.

  • Packer_Bob

    I’m not saying the Packers didn’t have a decent season last year–they did especially after the poor 4-4 start.

    I just don’t see how you can compare losing in the first round to the 95 team, that won two playoff games (including a beat down of the at that time formidable 49ers in their house) and advanced to the NFC championship game.

    We got fricasseed by the decent offenses we faced last year, to wit: Bengals, Vikings twice, Steelers and the Cards in the playoff game. The only one I can think of off the top of my head that we did a really good job against was Dallas at home, which sparked the turn around of the second half of the season.

    While I’m excited about this team’s upside, I think calling us a SB favorite is very premature. I also think it’s short sided not to recognize that we have a much tougher schedule this year.

    Rocky, I never said anything about AR, so put words in someone else’s mouth. Clearly he’s an elite QB, although for a guy that always harangues against “fantasy football” you seem swayed by stats more than results. He needs to win a playoff game before I get too excited, but I’m more worried about defense, special teams and the O-line. We get that, and the skill position players we have will be just fine.

    Mel e Mel, thanks for the link.

  • Packer_Bob

    Back to AR for a second: I should have said he needs to help guide the team to a playoff win, as clearly it’s not all on him as to whether we win or lose.

    He is not a concern of mine, and neither is Jennings, Driver, Finley or Grant. I just think we had serious areas of deficiency from last year that are getting glossed over by many, and until I see otherwise, I have no reason to think they are going away.

  • Mel e Mel

    The games that bother me the most were Pittsburgh and AZ. Firstly because Pittsburgh practices against the defense we run and we had no answers for them. Whisenhunt with his Pittsburgh background simply repeated the formula Pittsburgh used. Clay needs someone to help with the pressure because teams will game plan for him. The main issue I see is that the Pack cannot defend Qbs who are willing to go to there 3rd or 4th read. The only way to counter this is more pressure.

  • Rocky70

    Per PB:

    ” Back to AR for a second: I should have said he needs to help guide the team to a playoff win, as clearly it’s not all on him as to whether we win or lose. ”

    Guide is definitely a better use of words ………… At the same time I’ll be happy if he doesn’t get into the habit of ‘choking’ in big games like QBs of the past ………… Nothing more frustrating than a QB who falters when it counts most.

  • Steve Cheez

    Mel e Mel, can’t we at least keep Bush around as a scapegoat?

  • Steve Cheez

    I am so effing sick of this Jolly saga crap.

  • Rock7, you have to understand that picking the Packers “not to win it all” because of this or that is a pretty safe bet since its a 31 to 1 shot in the first place. Secondly, all these experts, here, that will blame it on the STs, the OL coaching, TTs drafting or lack of FAs, ARs lack of winning the “big” one (so isn’t proven he can win) is nothing but pre-season grist. It will always depend on health, luck, and a lot of other factors in the mix. Yeah, a good team sure makes it easier, with a good bench behind the starters, but you’ve been around long enough to know what goes into the final package to win the SB.

  • Mel e Mel

    The Pack would be wise to sign Otogwe, especially since Bigby is a no show. OR just release Bush now. The Pack cant afford to have questions back there. Ototgwe played well on a horrid team.

  • Rocky70

    Have to agree ………. LT ………… Talent, coaching, scheme, timing, luck & the alignment of the stars all play a part in bringing home the trophy ……….

    Many on this board analyze the Pack with the precision of a nero-surgeon & as a result find all the ‘flaws’ ………. If these same people analyzed all 32 NFL teams with the same scrutiny & precision, they would have to conclude that NO team is ready or capable of winning the SB in 2010.

    However, (IMO) the real reason for downplaying the Pack’s chances in 2010 is a personal one for most of the posters here ………… Many here are lining up their reasons for a failed Pack season to protect their own expectations & level of disappointment ……….. You know, that same old line …………

    ” I want the Pack to win all their games & bull-rush through the play-offs & bring the Lombardi Trophy back to GB ……………. And if they don’t, I told you so. ”

    All of it is pure CYA.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Maybe they could design a three safety dime package, Mel e Mel.

    Is it just me or does it seem this year more than most, that the Pack have showed what they’re thinking more than ever. Everything they have and haven’t done says alot, I think!!!

    I see American Idol did a “Pants on the Ground” segment for the season final. Hope Butt Farve was watching. Hey Butt, I know you’ve probably been told this a bazillion, million times over your 16-17??? year career, but don’t throw back to the center of the field late or you might get intercepted, dumbass!!!!!

  • Rick

    PA- HAHA Dumbass.

    I just had the urge to go to Sizzler. 🙂

  • Rick

    Darn you Happy Gilmore…

  • iccyfan

    Many on this board analyze the Pack with the precision of a nero-surgeon & as a result find all the ‘flaws’ ………. However, (IMO) the real reason for downplaying the Pack’s chances in 2010 is a personal one for most of the posters here ………… Many here are lining up their reasons for a failed Pack season to protect their own expectations & level of disappointment ……….. You know, that same old line …………
    ” I want the Pack to win all their games & bull-rush through the play-offs & bring the Lombardi Trophy back to GB ……………. And if they don’t, I told you so. ”All of it is pure CYA.

    Why don’t you and LT take your mutual admiration society to personal messaging and discontinue this tired refrain of “we’re better and smarter fans than everyboy else”? OTA’s are on-going and there’s plenty of player discussion to be made – hope rings eternal, there’s been a Giacomini sighting and Brandon Underwood is running with the first team ahead of Pat Lee!!!

    Legitimate question(s) – when can we expect some draft picks to sign and when does lack of a contract become an issue? Obviously the rookies are at OTA’s (Morgan Burnett tearing it up) – do they sign “waivers” to participate while contract details are being worked out? I don’t really understand how the rookie contract process works – is it the agent who holds the player out of Training Camp as leverage (Raji last year)?

  • Rick

    The “Rookie Pool” is essentially a cap within the cap, where the NFL designates a club-specific value for each team, based on where the players are chosen. The rookie pool is a summation of each value for each selection that the team utilized during the three-day NFL draft. This allocation is determined by a veiled NFL formula, and all negotiated contracts must fall under this threshold.

    Teams are immediately charged the Rookie Minimum Salary ($230,000) the day the players are drafted, and the rookies will stay at this amount until the player signs, the team’s rights are relinquished through waivers, or until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season if the player remains unsigned.

    So they are not signed at OTAs for more the the RMS amount. If you are a heavy hitter you do not want to risk yourself on the field until the rookie contract is signed so if you are disabled you still get your signing bonus. THIS IS ONLY FOR DRAFTED PLAYERS. We had to offer an OTA/Camp contract to the three guys we brought in from Rookie OTA. I believe that is at least the practice squad amount of around $85,000 yr.

  • Rocky70

    Per Iccy:

    ” Why don’t you and LT take your mutual admiration society to personal messaging and discontinue this tired refrain of “we’re better and smarter fans than everyboy else”? ”

    Just WTF do you think an open blog is for? …………. Even Al in the blog itself is questioning the ‘vast’ wisdom of the locals …………

    ” The locals might not feel the same way considering enemy number one Ted Thompson did sign any free agents again, even though there were none available. ”

    Iccy ……… Pay the ‘blog bills’, then you can set the agenda ………… Otherwise, deal with it ……… Your constant bitching is also a ‘tired refrain’.

  • Rocky70

    Iccy & Rick

    Although I appreciate the info regarding the rookie salary cap, the truth is many don’t give a rat’s ass about the specifics because it will all be irrelevant in a few weeks & has near zero impact on TC & the 2010 season ………. If you persist posting irrelevant rubbish (to some), then I’ll have to insist you refrain from the practice & resort to personnel messaging between each other.

    Oh ……….. Wait a second ………….. This is an open blog ………… Nevermind.

  • iccyfan

    Technically, I didn’t ask anything about the rookie salary cap, but my question was ambiguous. Rick did address the mechanism whereby rookies are able to be present in OTA’s and it’s definitely relevant to Training Camp. I think we would all agree having rookies present for the entirety of training camp is desirable and generally that is made possible by having them under contract.

    I appreciate this site for what used to be many different individuals posting greatly diverse opinions. I may not agree with everything but I don’t doubt the veracity of anybody’s fanhood, other than Mark who openly celebrated when BF threw the last-second TD pass to lead the vikes past the 49ers. 😉

  • Oddball

    I saw Koonce formally left Marquette and wanted to share a remembered moment from what I’m thinking was the ’94 season. Packers/Lions – Barry gets a screen pass to the left side. Koonce steps up on him – one on one – and catches him flat-footed with what might be the best tackle I’ve ever seen. Shoulder down. Head up. Take him at the midsection, drive straight through and plant him. Freaking textbook.

    You don’t see that much in the pros, and I don’t know that I ever saw anybody else do it to Barry. Sounds like it’s been a rough ride for him since his wife passed.

  • Rick

    Rocky, do you need a nap? You sound a little cranky.

    There is no cap this year but it is still a covered year in specifics. The Final 8/Final 4 rule on RFA for example. In this case many people do wonder about players when they are not under a rookie contract.

    A question was asked and I answered. Sorry to offend but that is not irrelevent.

    It is an open blog as you mentioned , and I offer a thank you to Al for the site.

    If you wish to not follow the Packers until the preseason- so you do not have to listen to others talk about OTA, TC and personnel moves- then do so and we will hear from you in August. Until then I imagine that we will be blogging about each Packer related item as they occur.

  • Rick

    Have you guys noticed the news links about Jagz bringing in former Packer to Omaha for UFL action? It is like little Packers on the Prairie.

  • Iccy, you’re right, although celebrated is too strong a word. I thought it was neat that this old washed up guy could still make a great play. I honestly thought he’d be through by his first outdoor cold weather game. My bad. Now I feel if we can’t beat him we ought to be ashamed. Possibly ashamed enough to learn how important the return game is so that we can improve. I admit I didn’t always feel this way. When Unitas beat us with a late TD in 1967 I wanted someone to break his leg and I didn’t care about us getting better, so maybe I’ve changed.

  • Say, you know what iccy, since you’re such a great fan maybe you can let the rest of the guys know what your reaction to that Colts game in ’67. And, why it was such a big deal at the time. Because there must be a few fans on this site who were too young too have seen it.

  • Good grief, 1967 and I can’t even remember what the hell you guys are talking about.
    Meanwhile, back in the present, the Packers seem to have a bunch of new rookie corners in camp (Bush included). Unusual thing is that they’ve been on the roster for a couple/few years. Maybe they work out, maybe not, but if I recall there was great consternation before and after the draft about no new CBs in town.
    IF (note CAPS) they prove out TT can put another notch in his belt, and proves, once again, how much smarter he is than we are collectively.

  • iccyfan

    Sorry, Mark – I was born in December of 1962 so I don’t know the details of your Unitas game in 1967. I put a “wink face” at the end of my jab at you to indicate it was in jest – your serious fanhood is well-established and you long-ago explained your faltering moment. I’m no super-fan, just a guy who misses what used to be fifty or a hundred people posting regularly on this site. Now it’s seemingly down to about ten regulars and I can’t help but wonder why the others have vanished…

  • Oddball

    Well, iccy. I’m on my second incarnation here. Took a long break after the whole Favre ball-washing frackus and intend on staying out of the occasional piss fights.

    It comes down to the simple fact that a lot of the people here know a lot more than I do – reading is almost always an education, and I enjoy the games even more for what I’ve learned here over the years. That’s why I keep coming back.

  • Sorry, iccy. I actually had this great point about that season. We didn’t have as good a roster as the Cowboys or Colts. I afraid of Unitas and the Colts(they went to the next two SB’s). The Niners destroyed our OL and DL but we won anyway that game and the championship. Because we had veterans, a great positive coach and Travis Williams a KR who still has the record for TD’s from that year. Something no one remembers.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    I think the whole Farve brew-ha-ha brought out alot of people who wouldn’t normally post otherwise, Iccy. Hence, now that’s over, so are they. Alot of them posting from emotion rather than a good base of knoweldge. My knoweldge is pretty limited but I think I have a decent sense of things. All the negativity from the fan base is not good for the team and I hung in there to put stuff out there for people to think about. There were good points made by them but also by myself, I feel. Some were just plain mean………. The 6&10 team was not that far from 10&6. Their short comings reflected their injuries. I believe Farve wanted to do the right thing at first but then became the prick he is, somewhere along the line. He put TT in a bad spot. Then we had the mess that was. Annnnnnddddd there really isn’t much to post about this time of year anyways, really. I’m predicting 11-5 for this year again and the division title. I’m hoping that that speed demon will star in the return game. I’ve seen the MM show where he explains where the KR is supposed to run. I’m sure they can teach him that, and the rest is up to him. My biggest concern for this year is pass rush. We need two of them that can defeat one on one blocks to cause the right kind of havoc w/o weakening another spot. Seems pretty obvious w/the moves they’ve made or haven’t made, that they have faith in B. Jones as well as Underwood and Lee to step up as quality CBs. B. Jones was a 7th rounder for a reason, but Tausch and Driver were also, and look how damn fine they turned out!!!

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Speaking of Driver……………… those were a couple of the prettiest one handed catches he had last year, that I’ve ever seen. The guy is still super. He’s just going to look like he’s faded a little due to the fact that Finley is going to be sucking up more and more throws now and Jennings is no slouch either! TT is getting this club stocked. Keeping it together will become the hard part eventually.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    And just to clarify my statement “Farve wanting to do the right thing” doesn’t mean that I think he needed to retire. If they wanted an answer for the next season sooner than he was ready, he should have just told them, he’s a grown man (or his over paid agent could have) that it’s too soon, he’d need more time. That would have put things in the Packer’s hands and they could then decide to wait, trade or release him or choose whatever route they wanted too at that point. That would have been the proper route. He screwed everything all up when he went the route he did.

  • iccyfan

    PA – This is an exciting time of year – the draft is over and we get to see the newly acquired picks and free agent acquisitions! OTA’s with training camp around the corner – there’s plenty to discuss. I guess I have a different theory as to why we presently have such low participation numbers, with stalwart contributors from the past such as Reid and Jay entirely absent. Certain people don’t tolerate divergent opinions well and engage in thinly-veiled ridicule; why would somebody hang-around to get shit on every time they posted? To disagree and engage in healthy debate is fun – what goes on here, not so much….

    Oh well, if I don’t like the shenanigans, I can always limit myself to the news section…
    I don’t fund the site, but I’d make a contribution if Al would install an “ignore” feature (you never see posts from the people you have on your “ignore” list)…

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Safe to say I’m one of those people, Iccy???? I’m not sure of “what goes on here”? We’ve certainly have had times when there’s been a minority. And it’s flipped back and forth a few times. Not much fun arguing from that spot. When in that spot, gonna take a bit of a thumping….. Doesn’t mean there aren’t gems to be gleaned from posts you don’t necessarily agree with. Sometimes they’re able to tint my rose colored glasses…

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Just thinking about it a bit more…………….. Guess we all need to be careful of reading between the lines and putting words in someone’s mouth that they didn’t say. We all must realize that our perspective, is just that. Unless we’re in the locker room and business, there’s only so much we can know. Hindsight drives me nuts…. it’s not hard to figure things out afterward. We don’t need to be mean. Personally, I’m a bit rigid and probably shouldn’t actually engage in this, with my patience. It was just last year that we had the big discussions over TT releasing the RB (Sutton?) and S (Smith?) and yet what have they done? Hindsight now, I know, but at the time, I thought it was pretty crazy for a couple third and forth stringers to be such a big deal.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Anyway, to get this back to something else………….. Any guesses where the special teams end up in 2010?? Middle of the pack?? Still crappy. Near the top?? Does that speedster we got end up as the next D. Hester???? What are missing?? What do we need?? Off to the weekend!!!!!

  • iccyfan

    No PA – I don’t think you’re party to the diminishment of site quality, nor would you make my “ignore list” if such a thing existed. Other than his sub 4.3 speed, what makes you think Sam Shields will be part of the return game? If returns was part of his arsenal, don’t you think he’d have done it for the “U” (more than the one return he had on the trick play vs the Badgers)? I think they’re looking at him as a special teams weapon, just not with the ball in his hands. As a “gunner” he’ll hopefully be lethal…

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Likewise Iccy……….. Maybe one could say that what the site lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Sometimes addition by subtraction is good. A few good discussions are better than alot of crappy ones. But seriously, it pretty much is the slow time of the season, but it’s definately starting to pick up.
    I was just thinking about Lew. Almost never hear anything from him any more. But during the bashing TT times he was vocal and passionate. He wrote a HUGE piece on TT’s timeline with the Seahawks that I forced myself through. Unfortunately his timelines were incorrect in spots, but man, I give the guy alot of credit for all that typing he did!!!!
    As for Shields………. I just wonder if they can’t teach the guy to hold the ball good and tight then let his speed take over. Still have to be able to locate and catch it. But after seeing that MM Show episode, the return guy is running to a spot in the blocking which should be triangle shaped ideally, then he’s to run toward the point guy and make a break to one side or the other before reaching him. I’m just thinking ST needs some speed. As for the player, alot of you guys know alot more about that stuff than me.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Also thinking……. some of the post may tend to lend themselves to the author’s interest. I’m more sci-fi, future. I like the challenge of looking ahead. If a person is a history buff, his interest would be in analizing the past. I can’t relate to that, but it goes to show how all the post can end up so different with interest from the past, to the present, to the future, to everything in between.

  • You’re selling yourselves short, guys. Agree or dis-agree and this is a great site. I’m convinced, as I think you are too, that those who leave let their own ego get ahead of team discussions; and since they (yeah, I’m putting words into their mouths) think they have all the answers and TT can just snap his fingers and put a new OL in place through FA they can’t tolerate those of us who still think this is a first class organization with loads of potential. (yeah, again, I know bad grammar when I see it, ie a run-on sentance) In any case you’ll note a lot more civility in our conversations this year, compared to the last couple of years. Besides, with the team improving the Troika’s way how can they criticize constant winning.

  • Rick

    I agree. The drama draws out the emotions and the number of those posting goes way up.

  • Rick

    On to Packer Football.
    Sam Shields should be one heck of a special teams gunner. If he has the ability to avoid jamming on punts like he did in college, he has the speed to ruin returners day. I would love to see him be our own Steve Tasker.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    And if we dared take a poll, I would bet money that TT’s least enthrawled fans would have a gambler’s personality trait. I can totally see how they could look at him and not wonder “how is it you won’t even take a chance and try to get the player that could put the Packer’s in the SB???” And some have said as much. Fact is, TT’s gonna irritate the hell out of you “swing for the fence” guys. Won’t get a rush from him. No jack pots on the horizon…………. TT’s not a gambler!!! Won’t lose much either, though, as alot of people I’ve talked to only win at the casino. Still haven’t figured out how they pay the employees and bills if no one is losing any money???

    Love the site L-Tex. Been coming here a long time. Al’s had me in stitches before!! Guess I’m just musing a bit today on why there’s so many different opinions. Hopefully I’m better for it. Maybe others will take something from it, who knows. Not alot of other stuff to type about right now anyway………… Either way, we all want the same thing. A SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Is Shields as a KR just not in the cards, Rick??? I was really hoping they could get a speed guy back there and coach him up!!!

  • Rick

    He was a heck of a gunner and won their conference special teams award for it. Other than the reverse against Wisconsin, he never returned in college. He may be a Desmond Howard returner once we give him a chance but if I was MM I see a fast Tasker type gunner that can cut the edge and block punts and gun down the returner or make them fair catch. We really need that with our division and the returners present. Heck out of division too. Can you imagine the Bucs game if we gun down the returner and no TD. We win the Bucs game. We would have had the higher seed and played at home instead of Arizona in the playoffs.

  • Oddball

    LT – “Besides, with the team improving the Troika’s way how can they criticize constant winning.”

    Allow me to take the minority viewpoint. After five seasons, Mike Sherman was removed as GM (rightly in my mind). The team’s record during his tenure was 53-27 and 2-4 in the playoffs winning three Div titles. After five seasons with Ted Thompson as our GM, I think we’re 42-38 and 1-2 in the playoffs winning one division title. Yes, I understand 2005 overlaps, so this statement is not a matter of precision comparison. The point is that Mr Thompson’s results are not remarkably better than Mike Sherman’s – though his cap management is clearly better.

  • I would only add that TT has totally rebuilt the team other than the OTs, but I don’t want to split hairs. I just think TT is a better GM and McCarthy with all his faults is a better coach and developer of a QB. Thats a little like picking the better team among the ’60s Packers, ’70s Steelers, or ’80s SF/Cowboys; who knows?