Like myself, Aaron Rodgers calls things as he sees them, maybe in a little more subtle way, but his point gets across nonetheless. When Rodgers says this is going to be a big offseason and everybody needs to be “all in” it most definitely was a shot across the bow of Ted Thompson. Rodgers is sick of seeing his defense fold in the playoffs and he’s not getting any younger, either.
The Packers’ defense has been the main reason why the Packers haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since 2010. Their 2011 defense was dead last, in 2012 they got blitzed by the 49ers in the playoffs, giving up 45 points. In 2013 they couldn’t come up a stop in the final minutes and lost again to the 49ers. 2014 was the epic fail in Seattle when the defense blew a 16-point lead in the last five minutes. Then you have last years choke job in Arizona and this years blowout in Atlanta.
Either Thompson can’t draft or Dom Capers can’t coach. While I would prefer new blood at both positions, I really think the time has come for Capers to step aside, and Rex Ryan would be the perfect replacement. If a change is made it has to be new blood.
Capers has been a defensive coordinator for 15 years in addition to eight years as a head coach and has had five top ten defenses. Two came with Green Bay in 2009 and 2010 but for the most part he has fielded middle of the pack units. It’s no coincidence they finished fifth in 2010 and won the Packers won the Super Bowl. It’s been the aforementioned disaster since.
Other offseason priorities in my mind are signing Eddie Lacy and Jared Cook to multi-year deals. If the Packers would have had Lacy down the stretch they probably would have been playing in the Super Bowl. Yes, the Packers won with Ty Montgomery playing running back, but it was a major stress on the offense outside of his one blowup game in Chicago. Plus, Montgomery showed he can’t take the pounding of being an every day running back. I blame him for Aaron Ripkowski’s fumble against Atlanta. Seems like every time Montgomery gets up he has a new injury and has to come out, he should have been on the field.
I don’t think there is any way the Packers let Cook go, it is too good of a match with him and Rodgers. This is a no-brainer.
Elsewhere on offense I would love to see T.J. Lang come back, he clearly had his best year and is the heart and soul of the offensive line, if not the offense itself. The Packers got lucky with Lane Taylor, I wouldn’t press my luck with Lang. And if you think Jason Spriggs is ready I would not agree, in fact I think Spriggs will probably end up replacing Bryan Bulaga at right tackle.
I don’t even know where to start on defense. Other than Mike Daniels, Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, I could care less if any of them came back. I guess Blake Martinez showed promise until he hurt his knee, and Joe Thomas made some plays, but for the most part there is not a lot of talent on that side of the ball. The draft can’t fix that and there are some good free agent defensive backs out there this year. If Thompson is all in he will get one, or two.
I also think if Clay Matthews is back he should be moved inside if the Packers keep Capers and/or continue to run a 3-4 defense. He can’t get home from outside anymore and would be more effective inside.
To get over the hump requires brass balls, we are about to find out if Thompson has them or not. Thanks Aaron!