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Packers 2018 Mock Off-Season V1, Free Agency

December 29, 2017 by  
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From Brian E Murphy, Packers Insider Senior Editor

~For the first time since the 2008 season, the Packers didn’t make the playoffs, thus their off-season began a lot earlier than usual.

I will be taking time to do a mock each week between now and late April, when the 2018 NFL Draft commences in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium.

For this first one, I am going off the guess, assumption, that Mark Murphy will let Ted Thompson make the calls, and thus not fire himself. And I am guessing he will choose to keep his head coach, Mike McCarthy. I am assuming that Dom Capers is let go.

As to who fills Capers job, I nominate Gregg Williams, he of the BountyGate scandal in New Orleans.

A year ago, when the Rams fired everyone from Jeff Fisher on down, Williams was let go as their defensive coordinator. The Browns made him their defensive coordinator, so he’s suffered through a 0-15 season. It’s possible he wouldn’t leave Cleveland for a similar position. But Ted Thompson did try to hire Williams in 2009, but Williams’ wife didn’t want Green Bay, so he went to New Orleans, where they won the Super Bowl that first season for him. That season, of course, was famous for the Bounty Gate.

Remember, that was the playoff where Capers’ Packers defense got torched by Kurt Warner, who had more touchdown passes than incomplete passes, in the Cardinals 51-45 overtime win. The next week, Williams’ Saints’ defense battered and bruised Warner, blowing the Saints out. The next week they battered, late hit, bruised the Vikings’ Brett Favre, who had torched Capers’ Packers’ defense two times during the season.

Given a choice between Green Bay and Cleveland, perhaps now Williams’ wife will find Green Bay to be suitable. And Williams has to be smart enough to know that if he could just field a decent to good defense, he’d have a chance at a Super Bowl every year as long as Number 12 remains unbroken.

That being said, onto the players.

The biggest question in the off-season was impending free agent Davante Adams.
UPDATE: Adams has chosen to re-sign with the Packers, inking a rich 4-year deal to remain with Green Bay.

Next up will an attempt to reduce the cap numbers to Jordy Nelson and/or Randall Cobb. Those things are sensitive, but both players are unselfish, non-divas, and I expect them to make something work. Nelson has mentioned the look-ahead thought of “retirement” already, which is never good. Cobb is much younger and is a good complement to Adams.

The Packers still have a whopping 10 free agents. By salary, they are:

  • SS Morgan Burnett
  • OLB Ahmad Brooks
  • CB Davon House
  • RG Jahri Evans
  • LS Brett Goode
  • DT Quinton Dial
  • TE Richard Rodgers
  • C Corey Linsley
  • CB Demitri Goodson
  • ST Jeff Janis

All of them are in their 20’s, except Brooks, Evans, and Goode. I think those three are gone. The others will be brought back. Linsley will get a significant raise, although his play has been below average. He should not get a huge deal like the Browns gave to J.C. Tretter. But you never know.

Nobody else wants House, Dial, Rodgers, or Goodson. Someone might throw a nice offer at Janis knowing his special teams prowess. And someone like Arizona, might believe in his abilities as a receiver, since they saw it first hand in that playoff game in January, 2016.

That being said, let’s dive into FREE AGENCY before the DRAFT.
Remember, last year when the Falcons eliminated the Packers in the NFC Title game, Aaron Rodgers talked after the game about making sure we go “all in” every off-season. Whether that was the reason, or if Eliot Wolf is doing more of the personnel stuff aside from the Draft, is it a coincidence that Thompson “went wild” in free agency, signing four guys?

He signed two tight ends, the guard Evans, and the OLB Brooks. Brooks had been very durable, but of course, once he put on the mustard G, he broke down and missed all kinds of time. Still, he was decent when he did play. The Packers pass rush has been awful, with starters Clay Matthews and Nick Perry always hurt. Contrast that to Pittsburgh, where their starting linebackers Bud Dupree and rookie T.J. Watt never missed any games. That’s why James Harrison never played, and why he got mad and forced his release, ending up with the Patriots.

The Packers did okay with their free agent signings last year, but the huge miss was Martellus Bennett of course. He has always been a racist, malcontent. I saw it first-hand in Dallas where he was drafted. He didn’t get along with, nor like Jason Witten. Anyone who doesn’t like Witten has a problem. Lance Kendricks was a disappointment too. Jahri Evans stabilized the offensive line, and would be considered a decent signing. Still, he’s really getting up there in age, and I expect the Packers to go cheaper and younger there.


Last year, Thompson added four, and I will keep it at four again. I will be realistic, and not dip into any guys who will be huge ticket purchases. So cross off the top five guys at each position.

I also am not adding anyone who is close to 30 years of age.

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, Rams, age 25.

Smaller than what we’re used to seeing in Green Bay, with a new coordinator comes significan changes, and that includes the “CB criteria” that has crashed and burned too many times, from the 51-45 Arizona playoff loss of the 2009 season, to making Kaepernick look like a Hall of Famer two times, to Hai Mary allowed to Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks in the 2011 playoff loss, to letting Larry Fitzgerald go 75 yards on the first play of overtime in the 2015 playoffs, to barely covering anyone on the Falcons in last year’s playoff loss. Things have to change, and perhaps an inch or two isn’t that significant if it means getting someone who knows how to cover and tackle.

Very interesting highlight here, from last year (2016). Play one, you’ll notice Ted Thompson’s 2nd rd pick from a few years ago, Jerel Worthy (did not know he was still in the league wow) being given a free sack, or TFL on Todd Gurley. Then the next play, NRC will take a pick to the house, off Case Keenum, now of the Vikings. 

Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman among most underpaid veterans in NFL

With Lamarcus Joyner moving to safety in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’s defense in Los Angeles, new addition Robey-Coleman has a chance to make a big impact as the team’s primary slot cornerback. The former Bill was a mainstay at that spot in Buffalo, where he racked up 160 tackles, five sacks, and three interceptions in 64 appearances over his first four seasons. But the undersized nickelback (who measures in at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds) didn’t see much demand on the open market, and was forced to take a one-year prove-it deal with the Rams.

CB E.J. Gaines, Bills, age 25.

The cornerback has been a great fit in Sean McDermott’s zone coverage scheme.

In 10 games this season, Gaines has recorded 51 tackles, seven passes defended, one interception and two forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus (PFF) also has Gaines having a strong season. Gaines is currently listed as PFF’s 29th ranked cornerback with an 83.0 grade.

I like both of these cornebacks with experience from the Rams and Bills defenses. Those defenses are always better than the Packers, and they seem to know how to cover a lot better, and tackle.

TE Luke Willson, Seahawks, age 27.

Everyone else will be salivating over their other free agent tight end Jimmy Graham. Seattle was rumored to be dealing him midway through this season, then he caught fire and scored in almost ever game.

They’ll pony up to keep him, even if Russell Wilson has to chip in. Willson will add more juice than either Bennett or Kendricks offered as free agents this season, and surely more boost than the lumbering Rich Rodgers provides.

TE Troy Niklas, Cardinals, age 25.  6-6 1/2, 270

Four years ago, there were quite a few national mock drafts that had the Packers taking Niklas at the end of the first round. He ended up going to Arizona in the second round, where I thought he’d become a stud in the mold of Gronk. But he’s had a few little injuries like fingers and a hernia, and has had three or four surgeries, causing a lot of missed time. Sounds like he should have been a Packer.

None of his injuries were knees, achilles, or legs, so he should still have his legs left. And with the massive size, can be the weapon in the red zone that the Packers wanted from Bennett.



Davante Adams avoids free agency, signs multiyear extension with Packers

December 29, 2017 by  
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Packers’ Davante Adams avoids free agency, signs multiyear extension


  • Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer, Jan 29, 2017, 5:16 PM CT


GREEN BAY, Wis. — A little more than two weeks after Aaron Rodgers made a plea for the Green Bay Packers to sign wide receiver Davante Adams, general manager Ted Thompson got the deal done.

Adams, 25, signed a contract extension, the team announced Friday. The deal is for four years and $58.75 million, with $32 million guaranteed and an $18 million signing bonus, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

19 adams almost td

“He’s making a lot of money this year,” Rodgers said Dec. 12. “Hopefully we pay him sooner rather than later. He’s a talented guy who has just proven it week after week. He’s tough to guard. It’s tough to guard him one-on-one.”

At $14.7 million per season, Adams would rank fourth among all NFL receivers. He will be the third Packers receiver to average around $10 million per season; Randall Cobb has one season left on his four-year, $40 million deal, and Jordy Nelson has one season remaining on a four-year, $39 million contract. One or both players could be in danger of being released or having to take a pay cut this offseason.

Adams leads the Packers with 74 catches for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games, surpassing Nelson as the team’s No. 1 receiver.


Adams did not play last week against Minnesota because of a concussion, his second this season and third in 14 months. Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan served one-game suspensions for concussive hits on Adams.

(BY DEFINITION, based on the penalities, BOTH of those were DIRTY HITS, as illegal. Tony Barr’s hit on Aaron Rodgers was later and dirtier, with pure intent to injure, which it did, but someone the nonsensical NFL didn’t call that late hit a penalty, nor fine or suspend Barr. Payback will have to come from the Packers in 2018)

Adams won’t play in Sunday’s season finale at Detroit because of the concussion he sustained on Dec. 17 at Carolina, and he has not been available for interviews since that game. But teammates and coaches said he had wanted to come back and play this season.

Davante Adams has shown he has the ability to step up big in the biggest games. He was a key cog in big close wins over New England and over Dallas in the NFC Divisional game.

Davante Adams has shown he has the ability to step up big in the biggest games. He was a key cog in big close wins over New England and over Dallas in the NFC Divisional game, in his rookie year on the way to the NFC Championship game.



The Rodgers Clock Is Ticking: Time for Josh McDaniels

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under News


From Brian E Murphy, Packers Insider Senior Editor

~You’ve been told by many in Packer Nation that if you criticize anything Packers-related, or call for a change either in player personnel or the coaching staff, that you are a “hater“, or worse, a “fair-weather” fan, like a Viking fan.

Oh gosh, compared to a Viking fan is a low blow, so you learned to not say anything negative and just keep drinking the kool-aid, pushed to you by all the local media in Green Bay.

But many fans, as early as after the 2011 season, were calling for a new defensive coordinator, thinking he didn’t know what he was doing anymore out there and that the defense needed to be better in order to win another Super Bowl.

Well here we are, six-plus years later, and the same things are being said about the defense, despite Ted Thompson investing heavily on defense. He even used a tool he seldom uses, free agency, bringing in Julius Peppers before the 2014 season. Peppers played well and should have helped get that team to the Super Bowl that first year.

Thompson has drafted defense with all his first picks since Derek Sherrod in 2011.
Nick Perry, Datone Jones, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Damarious Randall, Kenny Clark, and Kevin King are the top picks Thompson has made since that 2011 draft. True, maybe some of them were poor picks, but we’ve seen Capers lose guys and become studs elsewhere.

From Casey Hayward in San Diego/Los Angeles (Led NFL in Ints last year with Chargers), to Micah Hyde in Buffalo (AFC Defensive Player of the Month last month), to Peppers still this year in Carolina. These players produced after leaving Green Bay, moving into a new system. Even Frank Zombo, a starter on the 2010 Super Bowl Team, still plays the Chiefs, a better defense.

To many, it was clear years ago that Dom Capers is a weakness, not a strength. Even though yesterday’s loss to the Ravens was not the fault of the defense, it’s clear to almost everyone now that Capers is a weakness and the time has come to replace him.

Think about the overall results of Capers’ defenses. Year one, the playoff loss in Arizona when Rodgers passed for 423 yards and had five touchdowns, but Capers defense allowed five touchdowns by Kurt Warner while he only had four passes hit the ground, in a heartbreaking 51-45 overtime playoff exit. That was in January of 2010.

In 2011, Rodgers set records and was the MVP, but the defense was horrible, and they both failed in the NFC divisional against the Giants.

The 2011 Packers should have been Super Bowl repeat winners, but this Hail Mary to end half 1 proved too much to overcome

The 2011 Packers should have been Super Bowl repeat winners, but this Hail Mary to end half 1 proved too much to overcome


In 2012, Capers prepared his defense against San Francisco to face a quarterback like Bernie Kosar or Troy Aikman, instead of a speedy, run-first quarterback named Colin Kaepernick. That was another historic embarrassment like the Cardinals loss, but on the ground instead of the air.

49ers vs Packers 2013: Behind Kaepernick's Record-Setting Night, San Francisco Trounces Pack 45-31

49ers vs Packers 2013: Kaepernick’s Record-Setting Night, San Francisco Trounces Pack 45-31


The next year, the 49ers also eliminated the Packers and while it wasn’t all Capers’ defense’s fault, Kaepernick did win the game in the 4th quarter with both passing and running. Capers’ defense failed to shut the door. Jarrett Bush made a horrible error, Morgan Burnett was in the wrong position here below, and Micah Hyde wasn’t able to grab the potential game-ending interception late.

Poor coverage, and Capers defense couldn't hold a playoff lead, and another season ended

Poor coverage and Capers defense couldn’t hold a playoff lead, and another season ended


In 2014, the loss was in Seattle where Capers defense gave the Packers offense many chances to blow the game away. I can’t rehash that whole thing because it’s still too painful for all. But safe to say the defense wilted from the moment Morgan Burnett got the interception but slid down on Peppers’ stop sign.

In 2015, it was the Hail Mary game in Arizona. I blame that one on injuries, but the Packers should have gone for the win with a two-point conversion on the Hail Mary. McCarthy didn’t, instead going to overtime and losing another season in overtime where Capers’ defense (bad draft pick Damarious Randall) lets the team take the ball and march down the field for the win.

Last year, 2016, Rodgers was MVP caliber again and red-hot into the playoffs. But of course, the Packers defense couldn’t come close to slowing down the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game, so another year and another miss due to bad defense.

When is enough “enough” to make a change at the top?

I don’t have a list for you of the qualified candidates and the Rooney Rule list, but it’s time to raid someone from a good defense with modern schemes which aren’t so complicated, and bring him in and get a top-ten defense for once.

Again, there is talent on this defense, with this year’s top picks all being on that side of the ball, as well as Kenny Clark last year.

Eliot Wolf (left) is likely to continue his father's legacy in Green Bay

Eliot Wolf (left) is likely to continue his father’s legacy in Green Bay


At the top, it’s time to retire Ted Thompson and promote  Eliot Wolf.

Wolf is ready, and has been groomed for this role. It needs to be in Green Bay, not somewhere else. The time is now. Thompson has had more than enough time.

Thompson has missed on too many picks, as evidenced by the product on the field this year without Rodgers, and in 2013 without Rodgers. It was actually worse in 2013 than now, until they admitted their errors and went out and brought back Matt Flynn to save the season until Rodgers came back in the final week and pulled out the division in Chicago.

Well, maybe it wasn’t worse as the 2013 offense never got shut out at home like yesterday versus the Ravens. And the 2013 defense didn’t have a game when they didn’t force a single punt, as this team did three weeks ago versus the average Lions, at Lambeau.

Wolf is ready, and he’s more aggressive, which is needed at this point in time. Peppers and the rotten Martellus Bennett showed that marquee free agents will come to Green Bay, but it’s for Rodgers, not Hundley or McCarthy.

Wolf’s father Ron Wolf (built Packers Super Bowl teams in the 1990’s) is a member of the NFL‘s committee that recommends front-office executives for potential openings, and he is held in high regard around the league. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015 and his family tree has spawned current GMs such as Seattle’s John Schneider and Kansas City’s John Dorsey. Eliot Wolf is Green Bay’s pro personnel director and has been a top target for general manager jobs for several years.

Maybe Thompson would stick with the Packers as Head of Scouting, since that's all he likes to do.

Maybe Thompson would stick with the Packers as Head of Scouting, since that’s all he likes to do.


Finally, and most importantly, in my opinion, it’s time to act quickly and relieve Mike McCarthy of his head coaching duties. I know, he’s a “highly successful football coach”. But he’s a highly unsuccessful coach when Aaron Rodgers isn’t his quarterback. Those are both facts. I also like Mike, but this isn’t about like, it’s about winning Super Bowls.

Remember, it was McCarthy while the offensive coordinator of San Francisco, in 2005, whose evaluation in the pre-draft process determined that Alex Smith was the guy he wanted, not Aaron Rodgers.

Have you seen the results with Brett Hundley and Scott Tolzein? This is no QB-Guru.
He could have had a veteran backup this season, such as the Vikings do with Case Keenum, or Blaine Gabbert in Arizona. There are others (Nick Foles, Brian Hoyer, Kellen Clemons, even Ryan Mallett, and all have played much better in the NFL than Hundley has. This team could have survived with an experienced NFL bus-driver, but not with a Ryan Leaf, which is what we’ve seen from Hundley.

No, we’ve seen that McCarthy is just carrying Rodgers’ bags. Anyone can win with Aaron Rodgers. Who can win without him? Not McCarthy, as shown in 2013 and now four years later. His time is up, but he’ll always have the street named after him. (Could it be changed to Rodgers Road?)

Why act so quickly? Because the Packers need to steal away Josh McDaniels from the New England Patriots and make him the next head coach of the Green Bay Rodgers. I mean Packers.

McDaniels has said he’s not leaving, that he wants to stay in New England and take over for Belichick. I don’t buy that for a minute.

First off, Belichick isn’t leaving as long as Tom Brady is there.

Imagine the pressure when he leaves, on McDaniels if he took over for Belichick.
Who will the quarterback be? It sure won’t be Brady. We see what it’s like to follow footsteps of guys like Rodgers and Brady. Their safety net Jimmy

McDaniels would jump at a head coaching opportunity to coach for Rodgers.

Remember, McDaniels did jump at the head coaching opportunity in Denver, and he won a playoff game with Tim Tebow as quarterback, for goodness sake. Tebow is a great leader, but a horrible passer. Yet they beat the defending ACF Champion Steelers in the playoffs on a brilliant pass by Tebow.

This from the past off-season, this January.

“I see why there is a lot of interest and there should be because I think he’s the best in the NFL,” Brady said on WEEI-FM in Boston on Monday. “Great coaches get opportunities and he’s fortunate to be in a position where he should get them because he’s earned it. I would hate to lose him, but I think it’s always aspirational for a coach because it’s great to lead a team, lead an organization.”

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that McDaniels will speak with the Rams, 49ers and Jaguars this week (about their head coaching vacancy.

McDaniels has an ego, as all coaches do. Imagine him being given a chance to finally lead this Rodgers-led team back to the Super Bowl for the first time in eight long seasons.

The debate over who’s better, Brady or Rodgers, is for another time. But one thing for sure is that Rodgers is considerably younger than Brady is. Brady is 40, and still as good as ever. Since the beginning of last season, Brady has thrown 50 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. That’s over 12-1 for a TD-Int ratio.

Rodgers is still 33, will turn 34 in December. So he’s over six years younger than Brady.

Give McDaniels a six-year deal that pays him the same as Belichick.

Money like that, the gift of Rodgers and six years younger, and a challenge like that would get McDaniels out of New England after this season in a heartbeat.

He’s well aware of how great Rodgers is. He was on the sideline in Green Bay when Rodgers defeated New England in that 2014 season that was supposed to be the Packers-Patriots Super Bowl.

If the Packers had an owner, this would happen.

But with passive, lottery-ticket winner Mark Murphy and GM Ted Thompson, you all have learned that these guys would rather go down with the ship that they packed than make an aggressive change that could point the Packers back towards some Super Bowls.

If you own the Packers, a share or more, and you want more Super Bowls with this all-time great QB Aaron Rodgers, you owe it to yourself to write to Bob Harlan and Mark Murphy and tell them they are negligently wasting the greatness of Rodgers, and it should be clear to all by now.

Thompson, McCarthy, Hundley exposed again

November 19, 2017 by  
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By Brian E Murphy, senior editor

~Mike McCarthy has told you he is a very successful NFL football coach.

Remember, Mike McCarthy was the 49ers offensive coordinator in 2005, at the time of the Draft, and he evaluated and decided that Utah's Alex Smith was the guy, not Cal's Aaron Rodgers. This is the same coach who told us that Tolzein, now Hundley, is good enough for the NFL

Remember, Mike McCarthy was the 49ers offensive coordinator in 2005, at the time of the Draft, and he evaluated and decided that Utah’s Alex Smith was the guy, not Cal’s Aaron Rodgers. This is the same coach who told us that Tolzein, now Hundley, is good enough for the NFL

Sceptics, of course, say that he’s had Hall of Fame talents Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre for his whole career, but when either missed time, McCarthy looks like a coach in over his head, who had no clue how to coach.

They point to 2013, and they now can point to this year.

The fact of the matter, which becomes more evident with each game, is that Aaron Rodgers is 100% the reason for the success in Green Bay since 2008. It’s not due to the coaching, or the general manager.

It’s actually “despite” them more so than because of them. Again, this is as many have been saying for years.

Of course, it’s almost a sin for you Packer fans to criticize the team. You’re called “unfaithful”, or a “fairweather” fan if you say anything negative.

It’s different now.

It’s apparent to everyone, fans, media, and players on other teams, that Rodgers has been carrying this organization for a decade.

Remember when Tom Brady suffered a torn ACL in the opening game of the season? His backup, also from the Pac-12 like Brett Hundley, went 10-5 as a starter. And he hadn’t even started a football game since he was in high school. He was a career backup in college at USC, and hadn’t played in the NFL until Brady had his knee injured.

Brett Hundley was All-Conference at UCLA, but his stock went down the longer he was there. He went from a possible first-round pick to a last-day pick by the time he came out.
Thompson grabbed him and thought he might blossom into something.

Now in his third year, and having some good film in preseason games against third stringers, McCarthy proclaimed that Hundley is ready. Cheesehead Nation drank the kool-aid, and many were saying that the Packers would be able to trade Hundley next off-season for a 1st or 2nd round pick. I kept asking them “why”?

Now they know why he won’t be fetching anything. He has gone from a last day draft pick prospect to soon-to-be a waiver wire quarterback.

And the Packers have just wasted yet another season.

Look West to Minnesota, where they are now 8-2. True, had the dirty Anthony Barr not late-hit Rodgers, they probably would be 7-3 and trailing the Packers. But that happened. And now, with their 3rd QB on their preferred depth chart, they are rolling. Case Keenum is a veteran who has shown some things that proved that he was a capable NFL QB.

McCarthy, and Thompson, once again misevaluated the position. Or they overrated their own skills.

This quarterback is nowhere near good enough to play well in the NFL. Just like in 2013 when Scott Tolzein was starting games in place of the injured Rodgers (and injured Seneca Wallace, the original backup).

That’s not on Hundley.

This is all, 100 percent, on the GM and head coach period, end of story.

The question now is will we see any significant changes before next season? Will team president Mark Murphy do anything? Does he think Thompson and McCarthy are doing a good job? Or will he see what the rest of you see?

That Aaron Rodgers carries this team, this franchise, and time is running out to make proper changes and bring a more competent GM and/or head coach into Green Bay?

Do you expect any big changes in Green Bay?
I would advise you to not hold your breath.
They are very spoiled, from Mark Murphy on down. Don’t expect that to change now.


Offensive: Hundley leads Packers to first home shutout in 11 years

November 19, 2017 by  
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From Brian E Murphy, Packers Insider senior editor

~”Hundley is our starter”.

Minutes after the Packers treated their faithful fans to a 23-0 disgusting shutout loss, Coach Mike McCarthy said he was happy with his offense, enough so that he’s going to keep it going with Brett Hundley, as the Packers prepare to invade Heinz Field for next Sunday Night’s NBC Game of the Week at the Steelers.

ravens 2

Now fans may disagree and may point to today’s game, or the Vikings game, Saints, game, or Lions game as evidence. But McCarthy works for Ted Thompson, and Thompson drafted Hundley.

ravens hundley sacked

New backup QB Joe Callahan was not a draft pick, and he has no professional snaps, so he couldn’t possibly perform as well as Hundley is.

ravens hundley sacked2

Next Sunday night, all of America will be treated to the genius that is McCarthy and Thompson.


‘Coach’s decision’ behind Packers CB Damarious Randall’s sideline departure

September 30, 2017 by  
Filed under News

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel –Published 5:18 p.m. CT Sept. 29, 2017

~GREEN BAY – The bizarre disappearance of Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall, who vanished from the sideline in the second half of Thursday’s win over the Chicago Bears, turned out to be an order from coach Mike McCarthy.

Randall was sent to the locker room to finish the game in a metaphorical timeout.

“It was a coach’s decision,” McCarthy said during his Friday news conference. “My decision to send him to the locker room and frankly, we’ve got to be real honest here, we’re going to start evaluating and regulating conversation and things that go on on an NFL sideline? Let’s be real here. I know someone might make a good drama series out of it or something, but it’s not going to happen here.

“It’s an internal matter as I stated (Thursday) night. Anytime things happen throughout the course of our operation, whether it’s in a game, practice and so forth, I can promise you there’s dialogue and it’s an internal matter that’s being handled internally. I will make it clear because it was on the field, it was a coach’s decision, my decision, for Damarious to go into the locker room.”

Randall began Thursday’s game against the Bears as a starter in the base defense opposite rookie Kevin King. He had an uneventful first half until the closing moments of the second quarter, when a blown coverage resulted in a touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Glennon to wide receiver Kendall Wright.

Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Tavarres King (15) catches a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 8, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Tavarres King (15) catches a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears lined up three receivers to the left of the formation, and the Packers responded accordingly with three defenders of their own. Randall was the defender closest to the middle of the field. When the ball was snapped, Wright ran by him for an easy touchdown reception in the back corner of the end zone.

Immediately, Randall threw up his hands in frustration as if he was searching for help from a teammate. It appeared Randall was playing zone coverage while the other defensive backs on that side of the line were in man to man.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper of the Oakland Raiders catches a touchdown pass against cornerback Damarious Randall Visit View image Save View saved Share

Wide receiver Amari Cooper of the Oakland Raiders catches a touchdown pass against cornerback Damarious Randall of the Packers a couple years ago.

Randall’s frustration carried over to the sideline, where he pouted for much of the third quarter after the coaches replaced him with Josh Hawkins. He was gone from the sideline shortly thereafter.

“I’ve addressed the decision that was made and also addressed the environment that we’re working in,” McCarthy said. “So it was a coach’s decision to have him leave the field. Conversation always goes on in any type of situation, and when we come back Tuesday, Damarious will be ready to roll with the rest of our football team.

Minnesota Vikings' Adam Thielen catches a touchdown pass in front of Green Bay Packers' Visit View image Save View saved Share

Minnesota Vikings’ Adam Thielen catches a touchdown pass in front of Green Bay Packers’Damarious Randall. Randall is no match for the former undrafted, collegiate walk-on.

A report from NFL Network on Friday said there was an argument between Randall and a member of the coaching staff. The report also said Randall may have left the stadium before the game had finished.

Packers' cornerback has a nice view of Falcons' wide receiver Julio Jones making a big gain.

Packers’ cornerback has a nice view of Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones making a big gain.

When asked, McCarthy would not directly address the details of the report. He noted, however, that cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. has moved from the coaching box upstairs to the sideline, switching places with inside linebacker coach Scott McCurley.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, left, crosses the goal line for a touchdown as Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall got torched yet again.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, left, crosses the goal line for a touchdown as Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall got torched yet again.

“I think like anything in life, and particularly professional sports and this particular situation, we can all grow,” McCarthy said. “And (Randall) has some growing to do.”

Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) catches a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall ...

Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) catches a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall, who was no match for the aging tight end.

This is not the first time Randall has blown a coverage. His blown coverage or missed assignment, or blatant disregard for the call, cost the Packers the game, and essentially season, in 2015, in the overtime loss in Arizona with a date in the NFC Championship game on the line to the winner.
So what happened?

“We had a broken coverage there,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after the game, not specifying who made the mistake.

Based on replays, it appears the secondary was playing man coverage except for rookie cornerback Damarious Randall, who seemed to be playing a Cover 3 zone. Assuming that’s correct, it made linebacker Julius Peppers’ decision to vacate his position on the field and chase after Palmer even more critical.



Packers WR Davante Adams in concussion protocol after returning home

September 30, 2017 by  
Filed under News

, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Published 5:30 p.m. CT Sept. 29, 2017 | Updated 8:19 a.m. CT Sept. 30, 2017

~GREEN BAY – Receiver Davante Adams is in the concussion protocol after taking a vicious hit to his head from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday.

McCarthy said Adams was out of the hospital after being evaluated overnight for head and neck injuries. McCarthy visited Adam during the night, he said. Before leaving the locker room, receiver Jordy Nelson also said he planned to visit Adams at the hospital.

“He’s home,” McCarthy said. “Had a chance to visit with Davante briefly last night. He’s rambunctious, and ready to move forward. But, yes, he’s home and everything looks good.”

It remains unclear what kind of punishment Trevathan receives from the league after smashing the crown of his helmet into Adams’ facemask in the third quarter of the Packers 35-14 win Thursday. A significant fine would seem likely, if not also a suspension.

Adams lays motionless after Trevathan's vicious, cowardly cheap shot knocked him out.

Adams lays motionless after Trevathan’s vicious, cowardly cheap shot knocked him out.

Given the NFL’s push to eradicate such head-hunting hits from the game, McCarthy was asked if it troubled him Trevathan was not ejected. McCarthy would not delve into the rules, but said he expects the play to be closely evaluated.

“Brutal hit,” McCarthy said. “It’s a helmet-to-helmet hit. Davante was in a compromised position. Obviously, like everything in our game, it’s evaluated and I’m sure there will be continued conversation going on through the channels long past today.”

McCarthy said he was impressed with how well his players kept their composure continuing with the game after such a scary collision.

“I think you have to give the players the credit for their focus there,” McCarthy said. “Yes, it’s definitely unnerving any time a player’s on the field, and obviously when they bring the board out, it doesn’t matter what color uniform you’re in, it’s an unnerving moment and nobody wants to see anybody go through that. Especially, players don’t want to see a fellow player go through that. I think just the ability they have as professionals kicks in.

“So I think you have to give all the players a lot of credit for getting back into the football game.”

Packers emphasizing athleticism in secondary

June 17, 2017 by  
Filed under News

From Tom Silverstein, JSonline

~GREEN BAY – It took Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy 12 swings in the draft to build the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line into a stable product capable of protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers from start to finish during the season.

The two devoted two first-round picks, four fourths, four fifths, one sixth and one seventh before they accumulated enough talent and depth to form a five-man unit capable of handling the frequency of throws in McCarthy’s offense and holding blocks a second or two longer than if they were playing with a less-mobile quarterback.

(Photo: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

(Photo: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Recognizing the pressure high-octane passing games are putting on defenses around the league, Thompson and McCarthy are approaching the secondary the same way they did the offensive line, attempting to build the same kind of cohesiveness that comes from playing the same guys year after year.

The two went all-in on the secondary position in an attempt to build a stable unit capable of protecting the defensive backfield from the start of a season to the finish. Stability is now as important there as it is on the offensive line.

lenzy pipkins

“Totally,” McCarthy said this week as the Packers wrapped up their offseason program with a three-day minicamp.

Over the past three years, Thompson and McCarthy have drafted six defensive backs and signed a veteran free agent in an attempt to solidify a soft spot on defense. Of the six picks, two were first-rounders (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Damarious Randall), three were seconds (Quinten Rollins, Kevin King and Josh Jones) and one was a sixth (Demetri Goodson).

The free agent, Davon House, was a fourth-round pick in 2011 who detoured through Jacksonville on his way back to Green Bay.

“Our biggest challenge was that we had so many guys going through the cornerback position,” McCarthy said of last season. “Teams that are playing the best are the teams that are playing together. Ultimately, one of the best statistics out there is if you look at the success of a football team that plays with the same offensive line the whole year. It’s a great stat. It tells you so much.

“If you have the same group playing together down the stretch, if you have a very healthy team just in the month of December, you’re in it. Going into the playoffs, it’s a huge advantage. But when you’re still rotating guys — it was every week — you can’t really set your plan until Thursday or Friday, it’s a bigger challenge. I’m not trying to make excuses.”

Rather than gamble that his two high picks from the 2015 draft (Randall and Rollins) finally would play to their draft status and avoid injury this coming season, he added King with the 33rd pick and Jones with the 61st pick in April’s draft.

It was an extremely good draft for cornerbacks, so Thompson might have been just following his draft board, but the Packers zeroed in on Jones in December with the intention of applying his outstanding physical talents to multiple positions in defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ system. They felt King could fill a key spot on the outside and allow Randall and Rollins to compete for time in the slot positions.


Just like on the offensive line, all of the cornerbacks start out learning multiple positions so that they can play anywhere in a pinch. King wasn’t at most of the offseason workouts because of college semester restrictions, but Jones has been and he played just about everywhere but nose tackle.

At 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Jones runs the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds. At 6-foot-3, 200, King runs it at 4.43. At the combine, King had the fastest times of anyone in two of the agility drills (three-cone and short shuttle).

Speed was appealing but what McCarthy really wanted was general athleticism, the ability to perform in numerous roles. The more defensive backs he has capable of playing multiple positions, the less often he’ll have to put a center at left tackle, to use an offensive line analogy.

“There’s been times over the past two years, Ted and I felt their team was moving faster than we were,” McCarthy said. “Did Atlanta have good team speed? Yeah. Especially at home. But we didn’t plan on playing out there.

Davon House

“I always focus on athletic ability. Do you want to have a fast team? If you ask me based on playing at Lambeau Field eight times a year, I want the athletic ability. I think you see that in our linemen. Speed is a bonus.

“But we’re not a dome team, we’re not a turf team. If you ask me, I want to be a big-boned, long-levered athletic team, playing all your cleats in the ground at Lambeau Field, the snow and the turf.”

It would be negligent not to mention that there were times the offensive line was a mess during the seven years it was under construction. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga missed the better part of two seasons with knee injuries, tackle Derek Sherrod was a bust at left tackle, center JC Tretter missed 24 of his first 32 games with leg injuries, Don Barclay was a liability when he had to start anywhere but right tackle and guard Josh Sitton had to play left tackle in a regular-season finale loss to Minnesota that cost the Packers the 2015 division title.

Though Clinton-Dix has been a smashing success, Randall, Rollins and Goodson have been disappointments, rookie free agent LaDarius Gunter can’t run with fast receivers, safety Kentrell Brice was undrafted for a reason and there’s no guarantee House will be starter-worthy.

And the rookies?

“It’s hard to play, period,” McCarthy said of covering receivers. “It’s a primary position. That’s why I’ve always talked about the second-year player. If you’re putting stress on your team’s success based on rookie production in early-season games, that’s not a good plan.

“Let’s be practical. We all watch the draft and it’s exciting, but when you get down to it, if you’re stressing the success of your team on your rookie class early in the year, that’s a big challenge. I’ve done that with certain segments of our team and it hasn’t worked out.”

The one thing Thompson and McCarthy have done with the heavy emphasis on acquiring defensive backs is give themselves a chance. They’ve got more athletic talent in the secondary than at any time since the Super Bowl XLV season.

They just need some consistency.

Original story here

Under-the-radar names to remember from OTAs: Trevor Davis

June 17, 2017 by  
Filed under News

By Rob Demovsky,

Green Bay Packers

Trevor Davis, wide receiver

Davis, a fifth-round pick from Cal, didn’t have much of an impact last season as a rookie. In fact, he was surpassed on the depth chart by undrafted free agent Geronimo Allison midway through the season and was inactive or did not play five times in a six-game stretch late in the season.

Davis has a burst to get behind the cornerbacks. Here, Cal QB Jared Goff throws a perfect pass that Davis hauls in for a Golden Bear touchdown.

Davis has a burst to get behind the cornerbacks. Here, Cal QB Jared Goff throws a perfect pass that Davis hauls in for a Golden Bear touchdown.

But Davis might be the fastest player on the roster — he ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine — and receivers coach Luke Getsy said he has made significant improvements this offseason. “His confidence level is much higher,” Getsy said. “I’m excited for Trevor. I think he’s going to have a really big August for us, and he’ll be one of those guys that are going to show up.” — Rob Demovsky

Davis didn't catch this one, but it drew a flag for pass interference.

Davis didn’t catch this one, but it drew a flag for pass interference.


Don’t call it a bounce-back year for Packers receiver Randall Cobb

June 8, 2017 by  
Filed under News

From Robby Demovsky,

~GREEN BAY, Wis. – It’s been two seasons since Randall Cobb’s breakout year. In NFL years, that’s a lifetime ago.

The Green Bay Packers receiver might be the ultimate what-have-you-done-for-me-lately case.

A well-respected player around Lambeau Field and the league, Cobb hasn’t come close to his 2014 production – 91 catches, 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns – that led to the four-year, $40 million contract he signed in March 2015. Halfway through that contract, the Packers have to be wondering whether this will be a bounce-back year for the 26-year-old.

4th and goal, end of game, Packers needing a touchdown on this play to tie the game. Great playcall, design by Coach McCarthy.

4th and goal, end of game, Packers needing a touchdown on this play to tie the game.
Great playcall, design by Coach McCarthy.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a bounce-back year,” Packers receivers coach Luke Getsy said. “He played really well for us when he was full-go.”

Getsy is right in that regard; injuries have slowed Cobb in the last two seasons. A preseason shoulder injury hampered him in 2015. Even though he never missed a game, the shoulder bothered him all season. His production dropped: 71 catches, 829 yards and six touchdowns.

Last year, an early season hamstring injury cost him one game and an ankle injury that kept him out of the final two regular-season games. In 13 games, he caught just 60 passes for 610 yards and four touchdowns – his lowest totals since 2013, when he missed 10 games with a broken bone in his leg.

Still, he showed a glimpse of what he once was in the wild-card playoff win over the New York Giants with five catches for 116 yards and three touchdowns.

“Shoot, that first playoff game, he wasn’t even healthy for that one,” Getsy said. “And he played his butt off.”

18 Cobb Hail Mary wide view

The Packers have been talking this offseason about finding more ways to get Cobb the ball. That’s no easy task given how many options Aaron Rodgers has – from Jordy Nelson to Davante Adams to Ty Montgomery to new tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks.

“It’s important to make sure you create opportunities for all these guys,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this offseason. “And how can you get Randall the ball a couple more times a game? Those are the things I think about at night – just making sure that our system has something for everybody, because you need everybody. You need to make sure the right guys are touching the ball as much as possible.”

Clearly, McCarthy and his staff think the Packers’ offense is better when Cobb has the ball in his hands.

They value Cobb’s versatility – he even lines up in the backfield and gets a few carries (10 last season, 50 for his career) – but they still have to remember he’s a 5-foot-10 slot receiver with limitations when he lines up outside. Most of Cobb’s production has come from the slot, where he has lined up on 80.1 percent of his career receptions and all but two of his career touchdown catches, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“When you have a guy like him that’s so dynamic with the football in his hands, I think that’s where coach was going with it is you’ve got to get him the football,” Getsy said. “And it’s different when you have a 6-7 tight end or a 6-4 receiver outside, there’s probably a little bit easier direct line to get the guy the ball. But I don’t think anybody on this football team is as dynamic as that guy is with the football. So yeah, he’s an important part to our process and us having success for sure. So yeah, we’ve got to do that. We’ve got to get him the ball.”

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