Packers lack a dagger

The Green Bay Packers played good enough to win in most areas yesterday, but like has been the case for them in close games, especially against quality opponents, the Packers can never deliver the knockout punch and always end up on the wrong end of a decision. No different yesterday against the Falcons. They are always the chasing somebody. For once it would be nice to be the Bandit instead Bufurd T. Justice.

Today head coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn’t worried about the Packers’ running game. Here’s a flash, 31 defensive coordinators aren’t worried about it either. If McCarthy thinks his one-dimensional offense can carry him through December I’d like some of what he’s smoking. Even if you are game planning to pass the ball more against an opponent, you still have to have enough of a running game to be able to do that successfully.

Without Ryan Grant everybody knows the Packers are going to throw the ball on almost every down. With as many empty back backfields the Packers use they for the most part don’t even try to hide it. That is OK against most teams considering the talent the Packers have at receiver, opponents can’t stop them anyway. But against good teams like the Falcons and in poor weather that is sure to come, you have to be able to run the football. The last time the Packers won a playoff game Grant ran for 200 yards, not a coincidence.

McCarthy may think Aaron Rodgers is good enough to do it all by himself but I don’t think it’s possible. While Rodgers’ final pass against the Falcons was the best of his career, what did it get him? A seat on the bench while his special teams unit blows another game. In fact, if the Packers had even a good special teams unit I would be more open to the abandoned running game approach, because a good special teams can cure of lot of ills. Just ask the Bears.

The combination of poor special teams and no running game will be a lot to overcome if the Packers are to make the playoffs. If the Packers lose even one of the next two games they can book plane tickets home for early January. A loss to the 49ers in Lambeau or at Detroit would be it for the Packers with the Patriots, Giants and Bears to follow.

The Packers need to get to 9-4 so they have a realistic chance going into those final three games. Hopefully they can get some practice dropping the dagger on two less fortunate teams, and then use it when they travel to New England to start that final stretch.

The Packers are good team, but they need to find the next level if they want to be great. Getting to where they are is the easy part, taking the last step is always the hard part. The Packers have five games to be great.

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  • @gbpackattack12

    im def worried now. we may not
    make the playoffs folks. ot gets tougher, not easier

  • Jeff

    What the hell is wrong with some of you people ! Everytime they lose one game you go crazy !
    They should have beat a team yesterday that has only lost one game at home in the last 3 years and if they play like that the rest of the year it will be good enough to beat everyone left on the schedule.
    The Packers are going to finish 4-1 with the loss being in New England ( although we beat Tom Brady in New England in 2002 and have won our last 2 games there )
    The Bears are not going to finsh any better than 3-2 .
    I see losses for the Bears to the Patriots and Packers for sure, they are going to have trouble beating Minnesota as Favre is 5-0 against the Bears on Monday night and the Bears are 0-3 in the dome against Adrian Peterson and coming of a divisional monday night game they will be playing the Jets.
    So the Bears are losing to the Pack and Pats , and the third loss will be either to the Jets or Vikings.
    If the Bears were to lose to Detroit this week , they would be done.

    • Jeff

      You really call a schedule with the 9ers and Lions , Bears at home , and a Giant team that fades every year a tough schedule ?
      Remember everyone , this team beat the Jets on the road and the Jets have only 2 loses all year long.

    • I’m with you Jeff, I think we are in the playoffs, that simple. Since the second MIN game we are playing for home field which ATL might have killed since we probably would have to meet them again. Reviewing those Turner runs wide I wonder what a difference Bigby and/or Smith might have made. Man, have you ever seen such a pair of legs on a back?
      Another three pointer that was lost in the last 56 seconds by bad performance on the ST.
      As usual, Slocum, MM, and TT get the rap for stupid, ineffective play on the field. What do you gain by firing a coach at this point in the year? Do the guys on the field suddenly start doing what they were told to do in the first place? This loss, after we had shown such improvement.

      • Pete H

        Larry, at what point do we get to hold Slocum responsible. The special teams inadequacies go back 3 years now. What we saw Sunday was exactly what we saw in 5 games during the ’08 season. During that span we have also had one of the continually worst punting units in the game, one of the most penalized untis in the game, a lack of return game, we get field goals blocked…..and on and on and on. Obviously Slocum doesn’t actually make the plays, but by those standards Forrest Gregg should still be our coach right?

      • Valid points Pete, I guess its a question of priority. Which come first when you rebuild? A WR stable or Return guy, a Bulaga or a Punter, Matthews or a Kicker? Not as extreme as you might think. On the other hand we had pretty good STs a few years ago until the Punter went awry, I thought the STs improved greatly the last few games, then this mess again.
        On a lighter side you’ve got to agree those Ditka/Gregg matchups were priceless.
        Back to reality, which do you want next draft, RB or KR and/or Gunner? I would think the STs would be the last thing you draft for. Easy to criticize when thats your weakest area of the team.

        • Pete H

          The Kenny Stills shot on Suhey was my personal favorite. I’m not saying they need to draft for it, and I understand that injuries cause shakeups in the special teams coverage units, but there needs to be some accountability at the coaching level. It needs to be stated somehow that the penalities, coverage breakdowns, and other mental lapses are just plain not acceptable. Its been better this year, yes, but its still not like they are a good unit. Their return game is average at best….You have Shields getting it out to the ten TWICE. You had Nelson coughing it up a few times, and penalties again. Crosby has been better, but he still can’t seem to hit the big one at the end of a game. The punting has come up to be an average unit. Their coverage unit has become average….There just isn’t anything that Slocum has done to warrant keeping him. Its not like they are great, and then have some breakdowns at costly times. They are average, and then have costly breakdowns at big times. Their only shining spot in the last three years was when Blackmon was healthy. Heck, Slocum is the moron who kept having Woodson return punts, even when he had a bum ankle, and they had no other CBs.

      • jimmyus333333

        There’s no guts in firing a MM/TT in midseason.

        The guts come when your team doesn’t get any better with high expectations then the prior year and you need to realize the people running it don’t have what it takes to make the decisions or instincts you need to make a true run…especially when you have an exceptional coach like Dom in your grasp and on the way out at the end of the year.

        • Steve Cheez

          Speaking of Dom, we obviously saw a glaring need to improve our defense so we went out and got a top-notch guy to turn it around.
          Would it really be so hard to do the same thing with special teams?

  • Packfan4life

    Look I know that this is a long shot at best but this Starks kid interests me! He has th size and speed of an AP style back and who knows maybe just maybe we could get our running game on track against the 49’s and the lions, or at least some sort of running game, something that would allow Rodgers to set up our play action passes! Here to hopping!

    • Pete H

      I agree. They are almost in a position of having to try him out. You just can’t go into a game with the opposing team knowing you can’t punch it in in a short yardage situation.

  • Pierre

    Packers have 5 skilled wide receivers for Aaron Rodgers to choose from and this is a strength that no other NFL team has. Rodgers is getting better as this season goes forward. They have to continue to use their passing game to control and win ballgames going forth. This includes spreading out the defenses inside the opponents’ 5 yard line also. This gives them their best opportunity to score TDs. Let’s face it, their OL is not an effective run blocking unit for any back, so looking for a running game to surface just isn’t realistic this year. They just have to mix up screens, slants, flare outs, and deep patterns to overwhelm an opponents’ defense and keep them guessing with all the receiver options they posses. The Green Bay defense also needs to step up and continue to be a force in limiting scoring by the opposition. Presently they have allowed the lowest point total in the NFL. This is also a strength of this team that will keep them in any game. Take no game for granted, starting with the 49ers next weekend.

    • Rick

      Good observations on what we have that works.

      In the wrinkle department. Do you remember the U71 package? We put a Dlineman ( Kevin Barry) as a third TE to load the right side and sweep behind it for goal line and short yard plays. It was power move that worked in only special yardage situations but we seem to find ourselves in them in multiple games.

      How about Howard Green DT as a O line Guard in goal line or 3rd and 1 to draw the attention of the D. We can then either follow him or counter off of his distraction to the defense. A 360lb man can be quite a load on the inside in special situations. Or Raji as a third TE on tight formation so he can man handle a LB and make a lane?

      • john jefferson

        Kevin Barry was an olineman; U71 was used all the time, and rarely stopped. Remember the time the Pack was on their own one, Flanagan tells the opposition that we’re running u-71, then we do = Ahman Green 99 yd TD. THAT was one for the ages!!

    • Oh shoot, give him the ball, like William Perry!

      • Steve Cheez

        Let’s not do anything “like William Perry”!

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Lets see…….
    Expecting a close game that could go either way……. check.
    I’ve correctly been going on about the reffing system being a joke….. check.
    Expected a whole bunch of guys to jump back in w/a lose….. check.

    So, here we are again wanting MM/TT fired. I’m not surprised.

    I would have been disappointed if the Falcons whipped the Pack and estatic if the Pack had whipped them, but it was close w/the Pack on the short end. I think if we had Finley, a couple of those drives would have ended a little different. I know the stats show winning turnovers and explosive plays (20+ yards) put you in the 90% + catagory for a win, and I don’t have the stats for games lost when a team gets to the 5 yard line or less w/a 1st down and doesn’t get a TD, but I think it’s pretty high that you loose and the Pack did that twice.

    As for the NFL and its officiating, I don’t know if I’ve seen a straight arm called as a personal foul before???? Gee, I wonder what the NFL should fine him for his “straight arm of death”???? And how about a system that gives a team two/three challenge flags to help in getting calls correct, but doesn’t give them the replays til after it’s too late, to do it with???? Pure genius………..

    Running out of time. Only 5 games left for Goodell to suspend God, will it happen…… NOT!!

  • GBDEFan

    I’m not panicked, but the lack of running game and the special teams play is definitely what will hold us back in the playoffs. The running game can’t be fixed with just a stud running back, I think the whole scheme needs an overhaul which is probably why Thompson didn’t pay through his nose for anyone that was available this year. The special teams can be fixed in the off season with a different coaching staff. The Packers will provide us with a few more weeks of exciting football, but I wouldn’t plan on them going deep into the playoffs unless something magical happens ie Andre Rison or Samkin Gado (spelling)

  • Well, anybody can rant, with justification, regarding 8-10 plays a game that change momentum and outcome. Reality is this is 6-10 all over again w/ a team much stronger to over come the injuries for the most part. I don’t thinkwe would be having this discussionwith Finley, Jones, Bigby, Smith, Grant, etc., etc., on the field. Seems to me a stretch to blame TT for not having two starters at every position. MM might leave some questions on play calling to the non-professional but judge him for results with what he has. I can’t come down to hard on Slocum if only ’cause I don’t know what he has to practice with each week or who is not available to him on game day due to the 42 limit and IR or PUP. I just cannot blame him for a bad punt, a “stiff arm to the head (?)”, or a clip from behind. Don’t know what will happen after the season, but he must be there for a reason other than a TT ego so many like to cite for personel moves made or not made.
    Strange game indeed when Gore’s replacement comes in and has a career day.

  • Monty

    Al You hit a home run, you must have tried my koolaid. Winning football three phases, well four, strong running game, passing, defense and special teams. Of course McCarthy is gonna say there is nothing wrong with the running game (remember that aunt and uncle with the push mower) he and Ted are blind, but then how many Lombardi trophies do they have. Any of you fans who think we can go deep into the playoffs without a good running game, or at least an average one are blind too (you all must have push mowers lol). You saw it Sunday (I watched it on my Mac laptop as they dont get AFN in a German hotel..oh yeah I m not in Japan anymore they moved me to Germany at, for those of you who have the same problem I do) Jackson is too slow, at least for this blocking scheme, maybe they ran something different at Nebraska, whatever it was we dont run it and to think we can win in the playoffs with Jackson falling down all the time is just crazy. Yeah Rodgers can run some, but come on thats so sissy…..if we end up 10-6 we will be lucky and with Tampa Bay hanging around dont think we make it yet. Four games, three points each….do I see a pattern or what. Nope dont see Ted and Mike with Champagne being poured on them like the San Francisco Giant’s GM who won the World Series with a rang tag band of weak sisters…..this is the NFL and in December the winds of winter come blowing in to GB and any outdoor stadium.

    • Never did understand how an American could afford to live in Japan, congrats.

      • Monty

        Government dol, I work for Uncle Sam

  • Larry

    Let’s get real here…no one is getting fired with 5 games left plus playoff’s. Slocum will be asked to leave once the season ends. If GB makes the playoff’s (very likely) MM will garner many votes for COY. Sorry fans he’s not getting fired unless we totally flame out.

    TT HAS put two starters at most every position EXCEPT running back. OL..Baluga and Lang, 5 WO’s, Lee (previous starter at TE) Green, Bishop, Zombo (3rd choice), Peprah (3rd shoice). These guys are all playing like good starters. IMO its the turnover and playcalling that lost this one not the personnel!

    Lastly, how many 8-2 teams SHOULD we beat. Right now we’re 1-1 and both games were away. We have 2 more (Pats and Bars) lets see how we compete!

    • Your pointing that out makes NE not such a reach. I’ve long tho’t NE was a given loss, but now I’m not so sure. While they have ATL balance in squad, Brady like Arod in that he spreads the ball aroun. Their run game led by -Ellis av 4.3 (same as the team as a whole), but their opponents average 4.2 so who knows. Looks like a repeat of the ATL game coming up.
      Sorry to jump ahead, but what do you talk about re SF and DET?

    • Pete H

      Just to be clear. I am a big fan of MM and TT. I haven’t always been, but have come around full circle on them both. And I do know that Slocum won’t be leaving this year. It is much more of a ranting wish than a realistic proposal. I’m just tired of soso with the occaisioonal complete breakdown being acceptable. Also dont get me wrong, I am not writing this team off by any stretch, I am just also niot thinking they can glide into the postseason and expect to do anything once they get there unless some issues get addressed.

  • Pierre

    On a positive note, what a couple of superb catches (and throws by Rodgers) that Jordy Nelson made against the Falcons. First one, 3rd and 1, and he catches it over the shoulder down the sideline for 28 yards; great play call and execution. The 2nd one, Atlanta had eight defenders in the endzone on 4th and goal, and somehow Nelson got open for a split second and made a great grab of a bullet pass that Aaron threading in to him. Nelson is a solid receiver who should continue to improve his skills and importance in the Packer offense.

  • Buffalo Jim


    • Steve Cheez

      Caps lock off, buddy.

  • Larry

    Playoffs seem a long way away but from an NFC prospective we will have played the top playoff teams at least once. Philly/NYG/Atl/Chicago/maybe SF . Haven’t played NO or Seatlle/St. Louis. There isn’t a team here that we’re not competitive with. Atl needed a near perfect game to win by 3 at the buzzer.

    Let’s hope we see what Starks can do or maybe Lang/Spitz at LG. It would be nice to have some options.

  • Rick

    Tramon signs $41million extension through 2014. We front loaded so we have him signed and we should be cap friendly if a salary cap goes back into effect in a CBA deal.

    Playoffs are not that far off and we have a real shot at the division crown..

    We root against the Bears as usual and root for the Packers as usual. All we need to do is Pack wins the division. Division and we are in, no need to stress overthe Wild card scenerios then.

  • cdk4205

    My thoughts ramble – I was a Ahman Green advocate when Grant first went down, but I read somewhere the UFL contracts didn’t allow leaving for the NFL during the season. He apparently didn’t do all that well in UFL, but now that there season is over, may be an option? At this point, with the blocking as is not sure it isn’t better to try Sparks or just throw short.

    Unfortunately this may be the Bores year – they have had no injuries of significance and now look like they get to play against a third string QB again this weekend. They seem to win on the strength of a return or defensive stop each game. Cutler is a head case waiting to blow, but he seems to have realized that 3 pts is better than nothing from time to time.

    Its a long way to the end, but the losses in the last ten seconds or OT should not happen to playoff caliber teams – the weaker teams (Was / Mia / Chi) shouldn’t get that shot but if they do the stronger team should be able to step up an persevere! GB may lead the team in scoring defense, but I never thought that odds were good to stop Atl in last 30 seconds last week.

  • cdk4205

    Sorry – Starks…..

  • Rick

    Chillar and Havner IR for a grand total of 13 players on IR. We are one game out of first place in the division and 2 games from 1st in the NFC.

    Tell me again why it is the end of the world…

    We now have active roster room and we can raid practice squads again if we want.

  • dave76

    The team we have right now is our team, it is what it is. The bottom line is, we left points on the field against one of the best teams in the NFL. Against teams like Cowboys, Queens, Lions, Bills or 49ers, you can probably get away with it and still get a win. Against better teams like the Falcons, Patriots or Giants coming up, especially road games, you probably won’t get away with it when any points are gold. We didnt, and we came up a little short. Everyone knows we dont have a running game, this has been going on since the Redskins. At this stage of the season, its not going to change. Offensively, were similiar to the Colts in the fact they dont have a running game either. Its the Rodgers show now that will end in triumph or disappointment. But whatever happens from here out, this is a team that has pulled together and perservered through alot of injuries and setbacks. The more I watch him, Aaron Rodgers is the next great Packer warrior who will always keep us within striking distance of a win.

  • If #12 becomes our primary run option like last week he won’t make it to the end of the season. MM simply has to establish some semblance of a run game. I understand Colledge missed a lot of run assignments. Maybe we have to make a change there.

  • Pete H

    This attitude that this team is what it is, its not gonna change, and has done pretty well so far is just plain silly IMO. So what, because we are in the playoff hunt…mind you not actually in the playoffs as of now…but because we are in the hunt we should just ride what we have done so far is what makes teams like Denver lose their last four and sit home in Jan. It will get more and more difficult to score when you have the same play options…see Peyton Manning the last two weeks…Rodgers will get killed as Mark said…and the Packers will lose some more just like Sunday. Hanging close to a good team at their place is not good enough. Was everybody here just thrilled at how last season ended…yeah, didn’t think so. Hey, we hung right with Arizona at their place right…..BS!! This team is on its way to getting solved if they don’t fix their problems.

    • All true, Pete, but other than maybe Starks what do you do? I’m sure the practice squads and waiver wires are being gone over with a fine tooth comb. Not much more you can do when the STs get decimated every week by injuries and you plug in new guys on Sunday. Could Lang sub for Colledge? Other than that it looks like we have no choice than to ride it out.

      • Pete H

        I don’t know LarryTex…..Maybe we do need to put a guard in the backfield for short yardage, maybe bring back ubacon….Barry was an offensive lineman btw. I wish I had a good answer. I do know that I don’t like hearing that they are satisfied with their running game……I hope its just public speak. And you’re right, the bodies just keep exiting to IR. I just fear that it just may be too much at some point. I mean they were in the game Sunday, but they were beaten in most aspects. There’s a bright side to that, but also a side that says it could just go downhill from there. In the NFL if you’re not actively getting better, you’re getting worse.

    • dave76

      How long are you going to wait for change, week 13. Ive been waiting since week 3. MM doesn”t seem that concerned with the running game. Last game is a perfect example, no balance in the attack. And Rodgers is not going to get killed at all, our pass blocking is better than last year by far(look at the sack comparrison) plus Aaron has a better timeclock in the pocket this year. Where were our FBs last game? Where is Kuhn on 1 to go? Goal line? I think the loss of Ryan Grant may be a bigger loss than we realized, MM probably knows this. Why waste plays, if you have a good feeling as a coach, that its not going to work. Go with what you have the most confidence in, our passing game. Like I sais earlier, against good teams, you can’t leave points on the field or it will haunt you. I was also talking about Peyton Manning in terms of doing what gives you the best chance to win in Indy, That was my analogy. Anyway, just my opinion or perspective. I want the Packers to win just as bad as anyone else does.

  • Whoa, conspiracy theory! What if MM and TT know that we have no chance and they keep putting guys on IR so that they can claim “injuries” for our ineptness, thereby having an excuse for failure and hence saving their jobs. Hmmmmm! Oh, Rush, that’s stupid.

  • Pete H

    Starks needs to play though

  • This is going to be interesting. Westbrook has killed us in the past, mainly as a receiver on the flank. See how Singletary uses him. At 31 I would expect Dixon to get a lot of carries, but he won’t kill us. W got what, 136 yds in relief of Gore last week? Talk about good fortune…..!

  • Monty

    I want to see what we have in the backs we have besides Jackson, sorry but our QB should not be our leading rusher. If we had anything like what we had when MS was coach as far as running the ball, Rodgers is that much better. Just imagine how much a better football team we would be if we could run like Baltimore or Atlanta. It just takes the pressure off the other parts of the team to have a strong running game, especially where we play. Im tired of watching Jackson either get to the line too late for the ZBS or he loses six or seven yards trying to out run the pursuit on a pitch. Lets face it we have never had a strong running game with these two at the helm. Grant was the best we had, I dont know why they didnt develop someone else behind him. Jackson has had four years to develop and this it, he aint getting any better. Its time for a change in the backfield if we are gonna go anywhare in Jaunary.

  • Pete H

    To be fair, I am sure they thought Jackson would be better than he is, and they thought Kuhn would be that short yardage guy……but they just haven’t panned out. You have to remember that its pretty hard to have 2 quality backs in this league. I think thats a testament to TT to even think that we should. We have been pretty spoiled here with the depth on this team that we get frustrated when there is a position that doesn’t step up. That all being said this team has some big issues to try to tackle before Jan….if there is going to be a January

  • You’d better believe it, Pete. 2nd rnd, 5-10, 216, really a returner and receiver out of the I in college. For 6 mos I, for one, was ecstatic with the pick – Harrell too, not realizing the seriousness of his (H) injury. But Jackson, can’t miss prospect to replace Green. As a rookie, game 3 first TD, first 100yd game in Dec. (a good foul weather back), Jan. ’08 Rookie of the week going 113yds for 20 carries w/ two receptions. The kid can do it all, and doesn’t fumble.
    Man, what the hell happened; its been downhill ever since. Just doesn’t make sense! From lofty expectations to got to replace him on the roster – quickly.

  • Pete H

    he is that classic third down back. there’s a place for him on this team, and in the league, but it ain’t staring halfback. He was great as the third down guy for Grant…perfect spot for him. They just thought that he would be able to fill the void if Grant went down………or maybe they didn’t, but just secretly prayed Grant would not go down…especially in week 1 for the season. Based on this season I think many a Packer fan, person etc. has greatly underestimated the value of Ryan Grant. I remember pissing and moaning about his half assed runnig early last year. Yeah..can I have that back please.

    • You’re right about being a classic. My problem is the exclusivity of that. If he were a gunner or some other highly need part of the STs I’d go along, but I don’t like the idea of devoting a roster spot to a one trick pony. I just can’t get away from my evaluation of that damned ’07 draft and he sure was an intregal part of it. Such promise and potential but isn’t this so easy, in hind site, that it was a lousy #2 pick.

    • I rather suspect that he might have been an insurance policy for Blackmon. But then we didn’t have anyone to backup Grant when B went down so could’t put him in as a returner. When Grant went down he was all we had – so here we are. At this point in the season we just have to hope for something from Starks. OR, maybe, just maybe, are there any other formations in the book that can open a hole you could drive a truck thru for him, that he can get to? Something like an old fashioned quick opener?

  • Pete H

    he’d still cut the wrong way

    • Pete, it’s not too hard to have two good running backs if you’re willing to pay for a veteran. The Chiefs got Thomas Jones to go with Jamaal Charles. And, the Jets got Tomlinson to go with Greene, etc. But you have to pay for and take a chance like the Niners did with Westbrook. Heck, we could easily have had Lynch who the Seahawks got even though Forsett was their main back.

      • Pete H

        you’re right…you can go get it, but there is a price. Those teams you mentioned also don’t have the depth this team does elsewhere…there is always a cost-benefit…we are pretty spoiled here with the depth this team has had.

  • roy jamison

    How’s our friend Marshawn doing? Uh, not so hot.
    CAR 125
    YDS 437
    AVG 3.5
    TDS 2

    • Roy, only a guess but I think Lynch would do better with our pass attack backing the safeties off. I personally think Grant was the beneficiary of our good pass attack.

  • Steve Cheez

    Nice write-up on Tramon by Andrew Brandt on the National Football Post.

  • Larry

    Marshawn Lynch would still be an upgrade over what we have now but I digress. What I have trouble with is why Starks was activated from PUP and not given some playing time. It would seem he could run the plays John Kuhn runs and be more exposive doing it. Hell, he might even get 4 yards a carry. Besides just maybe he’ll be really good!

  • MM is a WC O coach and TT bought into it. A quick look at history back to Walsh, the master, and how that team (SF ’80s) was constructed. Obviously excellent WRs and a reliable TE w/ a HOF QB. Did Montana make the system or did the system make Montana?
    Roger Craig would have been a journeyman RB in any other system given that his yearly averages ranged from 1 to 1.5k yds a year. He also averaged 500 to 1000 yds receiving a year. Craig was a 2nd rnd pick from Nebraska. See the comparison to the Grant/Jackson combo? I think this was all by design and did not just happen. I may be way off, but there is too much coincidence for me. Unfortunate was the Grant injury to screw it up before we could get one guy in there to be both G and J combined. At any rate, for my money thats the kind of O that MM and TT elected to build; they’re just not done yet, too many similarities.

  • Chapter Two:
    The loss of Wahle and Rivera and injuries delayed the development of a compatable OL and hurt the development of Jackson for why he was drafted (note the size comparison to Craig) as well. We detoured to the DEN ZBO to accomodate Grant and reduced Bjax’s role to a 3rd downer. Favre still had a Namath arm (I don’t like to refer to the former QB from DEN) but lacked a Montana head. However, I look at Arod as a clone of Young.
    It took Walsh 4 years to win a SB after a rebuild of the D starting in his 3rd year. They slumped in the strike year, but you all know the rest of the story.
    In sum, we probably are not totally strong enough to win a SB at this juncture given the RB situation and eratic ST play but I think this is a very good team that will be up there for a long time. So keep the faith and enjoy even with the hic-ups that define NFL football.

    • Rick

      The RB situation is not as bad as we think. I think Nance and now Starks will show that we have some big “hurt you” beef. Those big hits don’t hurt the D until later in the game as arms get tired and bruised from tackling.
      Look at our own D against the run attack of the Falcons. There were just to many tired arms trying to tackle.

      The injuires are completely throwing a wrench in STs though. Heck half the team we have has only had a few weeks to get themselves ready on defense forget learning block assignments on St coverage units.

      • I well remember what Brockington did to LBs late in the 4th quarter. Starks might be the second coming, who knows? If he doesn’t we’re passing thru West Coast to Air Coryell!

  • Rick

    I saw we signed Francios back to active roster so by count we still have one roster spot open and one practice squad spot.

    Here are two of guys that interest me to look at adding to the depth of GB.

    Prince Miller 5’9” CB/PR/KR Special teams ace from Georgia. Like Shields quick but with returner skills. Not quite a gunner though but he made a lot tackles for them. He was good enough to be signed by the Ravens to active squad from the Patriots practice squad until he was cut by the Ravens make room for Oline players due to injuries on the team. He was the Ravens returner and tackler on ST in preseason.

    Tyrone Miller 6’2” LB on Buccaneers practice squad. 3rd round pick of the Patriots last year he tore his ACL in preseason run in with a RB in practice. Even still Patriots signed him to 4 year deal and then IR’d him. He was grabbed off waivers this year when the Patriots had to shuffle to make room due to injuries. He is a great looking 3-4 ILB. He is a little rusty but almost back into full speed. Kevin Greene would have a lot to work with and he has coverage skills like Popinga against TEs.

    • McKensie?

      • Rick

        Mike is a little old but if we want to work him out, I guess so. I think we are set at CB but due to injuries a little thin at S. He looked okay for the A’ints last year, but they pLay 4-3 and cover 3. We are a base 3-4 cover 1.

        I am looking at depth adds for this year and next and on a budget too.

        A guy hanging in 45-53 roster range is almost a starter. The key is guys that are willing to buy in to what we are doing and are already comforatable with our basic Offensive and defensive schemes.

        In this case as a guy that played fast in a DB/S role during preseason on the Patriots w and was the leading ST tackler in preseason and the main Returner. He was activatited by the RAVENS to fill in at DB/S and mainly serve as ST ace. A solid quick returner and a capable cover tackler. Both are skills we could use. He is small but gets into to position.

        The Other is a solid ILB for 3-4 Defense and we have a ProBowler that keeps getting injured and on IR this season and a 5th round pick that is going to break the bank next season with his contract. I am thinking of having a depth guy that can challenge on the inside. Popinga is nice and that is why we brought him in as a FA when we did. This kid is much the same but still raw. His pay average around 300,000K per year for 3 more years. That is below rookie minimum now.

        • iccyfan

          From yesterday’s news:

          The Green Bay Packers promoted linebacker Robert Francois and cornerback Josh Gordy from the practice squad today to replace linebacker Brandon Chillar and tight end Spencer Havner, both of whom were placed on injured reserve yesterday.

          This is Francois’ second stint on the active roster this season. He spent four weeks on the roster earlier this year.

          It’s the first promotion for Gordy. The 5-11, 195-pound rookie from Central Michigan spent the last 10 games on the Packers’ practice squad. He had spent most of training camp with Jacksonville.

          To replace them on the practice squad, the Packers signed receiver Terrance Smith and linebacker/defensive end Curtis Young. Smith (6-0, 195) is a rookie from South Carolina State. He had signed with the Jacksonville Sharks of the AFL, but that season has not yet begun. Young (6-1, 270) is a rookie out of Cincinnait. He played in one game this season for Sacremento of the UFL.

          • Rick

            See what happens when I am housedad…. I miss all the news 🙂

            Good find Iccy.

            BTW – Terrance was rated the in 140’s of 167 eligable CBs and not even rated as a WR in this years draft. He had a 13 yd avg as a SCS Bulldog in college. A WTF call. He better have some Jordan juice in him. No game footage or practice video is availble anywhere I can find. Is the someone from our scouting dept that works in the AFL?? They have not played a game yet in the AFL. He was not even one of the 8 guys we tried out on Nov 10th on our bye week.

            Cutris Young we tried out as one of the eight. He was a LB at Cincy. Hurt his leg in college. He may be able to be hybrid DE/LB but I do not see him being the guy.

  • roy jamison

    Roger Craig could catch that swing pass play better than anyone and get what now called Yac. Green was the same kind of player. It’s obviously tough to find a back who can catch and run. If you could combine Grant and Jackson’s best skills you’d have something.

  • Rick

    True. I kind of hope we will some of the soft hands on Starks. If we can get him in the flat on a swing pass and let him run down hill we may have something. I am sure that is why he was drafted in the first place.

    • But how are you going to get any of our linemen out there? Seems to me it would have worked with Jackson if it would worked with Starks.

    • Rick

      When you play I formation you can bring the FB or if you are in 2TE I-formaton you can bring both a FB and TE out in the flat and not depend on pulling a Guard.

      Also counter run play action ( I think it is double 7 zebra slo go or something like that) so you can cut to the backside will work to get the RB out there.

      That is fake the hand off right side and FB and RB then cut left. QB pump fakes to right side WR and then turns and flicks it to the RB in the flat. Great play when the oppenent thinks you are in a passing mode against zone defense (which GB seems to be 80% of the time). The WRs should be causing havoc with their flag routes causing the zone defenders to hand off deep in their zones and it clears all but the OLB and maybe a quick MLB from the play. The play action should have helped hold the LBs inplace for a second though.

      • Rick

        Jackson is solid and just does not get enough reps and rest in a game. Starks should help that alot. Jackson’s production will go up again.

        • Pete H

          he doesn’t get enough rest? He gets like 15 touches

          • Rick

            HAHA true but I mean he is in on blocks on plays and we lose continuity.

            We really don’t give the backs much of a feel in the game. They mainly stay into block or the sit out on the 5 WR and 4WR + 1 TE formeations. When we do ride Jackson on a runnigng game (like twice all season) then we do it like 7 out of 9 plays and keep him in blocking. He tuckers out and we watch him or Kuhn from 3rd and 1 fall down.

  • Pete H

    you make some good points….although they seem to fall on 3rd and 1 regardless of whether we’re riding them or not. When I watch him, I just see him justv not hitting the holes. He bobs and weaves a little and then hits a wall. This running scheme is meant for one cut…ala Grant. Jackson just doesn’t seem to get it

  • Geez, Rick, I meant Tyrone McKenzie not Mike!

    • Rick

      Sorry, former Packers on the brain I guess 🙂