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Packers 2022 Discussion Thread


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Very fair question on Savage. The major concern is that the new defensive scheme didn’t agree with him which could be indicative of a longer term problem. But yeah, he went from solid to liability this season unexpectedly.
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MLF said today in his press conference that "every conversation I've been involved in with Gutey and Russ and Mark, we're all on the same page (about wanting Rodgers back). There's no debate."

 

He also said "there's no plan for a rebuild" and that there's a plan in place to get under the salary cap and get their contributors all back for next season. I don't think it will be "all" contributors, but whether or not Z. Smith and Cobb are considered as "contributors" is up for debate. I think those two will need to be cut, and they can extend/restructure Jaire, P. Smith, Amos, Rodgers, Turner, and Lowry to get the additional cap savings they need.

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One other topic MLF touched upon was he had yet to make decisions on any changes to his coaching staff, including Maurice Drayton. And alluded to the fact he just needed more vets on special teams. I truly hope Gutey, Murphy and Ball talk some sense into his thick skull.
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What is MLF really supposed to say? That's probably the first thing he's going to be asked and really he gave the only answer he can. They already don't have a ton of leverage in a trade and if the whole world thinks they are ready to move onto Jordan Love they lose even more. It's entirely possible that it's nothing but hot air coach speak.

 

With that said, I can acknowledge the possibility that they are totally genuine and want him back. I don't get why. I mean, I do get why, because they are going to win a whole lot more football games with him than without him, but man, this whole thing has just gotten stale. It's like watching a great movie with a horrible ending over and over again hoping the ending will change. I don't know how they can plug their noses and do this again, and continue to feed the fans the "this year it's gonna be different" crap. They could go 17-0 this season and be facing the Lions in the playoffs and I wouldn't be excited about it because I would 100% expect them to find some way to choke. I don't know how you can not at this point.

 

I don't see it. With or without Rodgers, they're going to have a worse roster in 2022, there's no way around it. You can't shave basically 50M off your payroll just to break even without making some serious concessions somewhere. Their only real major card left to play that would even give them a semblance of a similar roster next season is to give Rodgers a big backloaded multi-year extension, and at some point they are really doing some serious harm to their future to keep around a QB that looked really old and cold in the spotlight at Lambeau on Saturday.

 

Honestly, and I know this sounds spoiled especially to fans that grew up in the 70's eras Packers, but we've gotten to the point where this regular season journey even of 13 win seasons just isn't that enjoyable anymore. It's just constantly clouded with the foreboding feeling of "what's going to go wrong in the playoffs this year?" Sheesh, I think I'd get much more joy out of Love surprising us with a 9 win season and sneaking in as a 7 seed and thinking "Hey, this is pretty exciting! There's a good chance we won't win a game, but that's ok, because we've got nothing to lose and I'm excited about our future!" That sounds a lot better to me than "well, we've got HFA again, and it's Superbowl or bust, anything else is a failure of a season."

 

I'm just ready to sit back and enjoy the game casually again and see if Love can be the guy. Maybe he ain't. I don't know. I honestly don't care at this point. I'm just sick of Aaron Rodgers. The whole schtick, the arrogance, the drama, the "I'm immunized." All of it. I know that probably shows a lack of appreciation for what he's done here because I know it's a lot, but it's become clear at this point that he can't be the same guy in the cold in January as he can be in the regular season. He just isn't. I don't know if it's psychological, I don't know if he's just too old, but regular season Aaron can't help us in January. For all the trash he talked about the 49ers not drafting him and promising to make them regret it, it's pretty sad that he hasn't been able to beat them a single time in his entire career when it actually counted.

 

There were plenty of times in the last decade, mostly in the Ted Thompson era when they didn't do enough to put talent around him but the last couple years they've gone into salary cap hell to try to push for these last couple chances and finally put a D out there that could win a championship. Yeah, I know the special teams was ungodly horrible but you still had the ball in your hands late in the 4th quarter up 10-3 after the defense made a stop on 4th down, with a chance to put the game away. You still had the ball in your hands tied 10-10 with 4 minutes left to go and a chance to win a playoff game and you couldn't even muster a 1st down. I'm just so disgusted and over all of it. If Love ain't it and we suffer through a couple 5 or 6 win seasons where I can stop caring about football by November, so be it. I truly hope he can go somewhere else and get it done and go out at least with a Peyton Manning type legacy. I've just grown so weary of it here.

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You can reach a Super Bowl with a worse roster though. I say this every year, but luck plays an enormous role in the whole thing. Tom Brady has skewed that a lot. You could replay Saturday's game 10 times and win maybe 8. It's the cruel nature of sport.

 

I think it is pretty silly to wonder why they'd want him back; he's great, of course they want him back. I get the whole stale aspect of it though. And I said in another post that my hope is that they all move on and he wins one somewhere else. But if he were to play here again, they are likely a playoff team and as we have seen in 2010, and with the Giants, and the 49ers...sometimes that is all you have to be.

 

In regards to Drayton, he needs to be fired. I'm on record saying I think this is more roster construction (backup OL, backup TE taking up valuable ST spots) but the fact we had fewer blockers than they had rushers on one side the FG, then did it again after a stoppage in play is absolutely unreal.

 

Lastly, I just want to make a quick, worthless point...the 49ers playoff thing is played out. Before Saturday, the Packers had no business winning a single one of those games against them. And they nearly did beat a vastly better team in '13.

 

These losses used to bust me up for weeks. At some point I accepted it for what it is, a game that can be fun to watch but most likely will not break your way in the end. I never thought the Bucks would pull it off for me to witness...now, I miss a good number of Packers games every year and just glimpse at the recap. If I have something better to do, I do it. It is simply not worth allowing this to take over your life in such a detrimental way. And approaching it that way makes the losing a lot easier to handle.

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So much depends on Rodgers. Despite his mediocre game the other day, he is still great. So roll with him if you can. Say, Aaron, we want to bring things back for a couple of more years. We want you to run it if you want to be here. If Rodgers declines, you smile and say thanks - and get a pile of picks and/or players. The fans will understand. This puts the onus on Rodgers.

 

If Rodgers wants to come back - it's another year or two of salary cap hoop jumping. But that's part of the game.

 

Whatever works I'm fine with.

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What's stale is everything I sat through in the 80's and early '90s and having the team continually churn out losing seasons followed by blowing top-10 first round draft picks on Bruce Clark, Rich Campbell, Alphonso Carreker (technically #12), Mossy Cade (technically traded the 14th pick for him), Brent Fullwood, Tony Mandarich, and Terrell Buckley, while passing on future Hall-of-Famer after Hall-of-Famer.

 

Living in non-Packers land, there is still quite a bit of enjoyment in having them go 15-3 against division rivals. The locals cannot talk crap to me about the Packers because their team continually gets owned. Maybe being a Packers fan outside of WI is a lot better than being one inside WI.

 

I'm very hesitant about a full-scale rebuild because of the nature of free agency after 4-5 years in the NFL (and the 5th year is essentially a free agent contract value). I think the Packers can do it better than most because of their avoidance of players with character concerns, but I think some underestimate how difficult it will be to get free agents to come to GB when there is no HOF QB on that team.

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A lot will be convinced he is as good as gone (many thought that last offseason and reports from reputable people even said it), but I’m not totally convinced that’s really the case.

 

I just don’t think he wants out as bad as it appears sometimes. Green Bay may very well be his best situation and he probably sees that. I think last offseason was more hardball than actually wanting out. I think he did so to negotiate the best situation for that year (in his mind) and the long run. I wouldn’t be shocked if he does the same to try and get Adams a big contract plus other moves he thinks they should make.

 

I’d probably put the odds at 60% he leaves. However, because I don’t think the Packers will bow down to many of the wishes Rodgers will want…not that I think Rodgers is dead set on leaving.

 

I just find the difference to be the fact this offseason is much more complicated. Lots of major FAs and lots of major guys with cap issues. I just don’t think pleasing Rodgers in a logical way is that realistic.

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You can reach a Super Bowl with a worse roster though. I say this every year, but luck plays an enormous role in the whole thing. Tom Brady has skewed that a lot. You could replay Saturday's game 10 times and win maybe 8. It's the cruel nature of sport.

 

I think it is pretty silly to wonder why they'd want him back; he's great, of course they want him back. I get the whole stale aspect of it though. And I said in another post that my hope is that they all move on and he wins one somewhere else. But if he were to play here again, they are likely a playoff team and as we have seen in 2010, and with the Giants, and the 49ers...sometimes that is all you have to be.

 

In regards to Drayton, he needs to be fired. I'm on record saying I think this is more roster construction (backup OL, backup TE taking up valuable ST spots) but the fact we had fewer blockers than they had rushers on one side the FG, then did it again after a stoppage in play is absolutely unreal.

 

Lastly, I just want to make a quick, worthless point...the 49ers playoff thing is played out. Before Saturday, the Packers had no business winning a single one of those games against them. And they nearly did beat a vastly better team in '13.

 

These losses used to bust me up for weeks. At some point I accepted it for what it is, a game that can be fun to watch but most likely will not break your way in the end. I never thought the Bucks would pull it off for me to witness...now, I miss a good number of Packers games every year and just glimpse at the recap. If I have something better to do, I do it. It is simply not worth allowing this to take over your life in such a detrimental way. And approaching it that way makes the losing a lot easier to handle.

 

This is exactly the right way to look at it, well said. Even as a general sports nerd I view it as what it is, entertainment and fun. Yes frustration for a bit after stuff like this but no one should be contributing to the domestic violence numbers over sporting events, going on rants on twitter/FB or just generally being angry/depressed. And at this point as WI sports fans, yea we finally got the Bucks title, but I've just become accustomed to being good but losing at the end. It sure beats being crummy like all sports in WI were my whole childhood pretty much.

 

I think I said to a friend after it happened, 'well I certainly could've used another 3-4 weeks of entertainment this time of the year with nothing else going on and it being so cold.' That's really it for me, next two games were gonna be very difficult no matter what so wasn't going to get all upset if they didn't win both. Pretty much the same sentiment as you.

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One other topic MLF touched upon was he had yet to make decisions on any changes to his coaching staff, including Maurice Drayton. And alluded to the fact he just needed more vets on special teams. I truly hope Gutey, Murphy and Ball talk some sense into his thick skull.

 

He's actually got a point. Drayton has to go because he made already bad special teams, horrific. BUT, the Packers stopped dedicating roster spots to special teams aces and it has proven unwise. They've been using the bottom of the roster for developmental players on offense and defense first and foremost. Now is that an philosophical shift or have they tried to identify a couple ST aces and whiffed? I suppose the latter is possible but it doesn't seem like they're trying. Other teams carry 2-3 players who are really only emergency options on offense / defense whose primary role is either as a returner or a gunner on return coverage. Usually 1 returner and 1-2 return coverage specialists. The Patriots have had Matthew Slater on their roster as a special teams ace since 2008, making 10 Pro Bowls as a ST ace. I had to look up his listed position because I don't think I've ever seen him utilized outside of special teams. (He's a WR, btw). The Packers USED to carry players like this as well. Travis Jervey was a terrible RB but he was around for one thing in the mid to late 90's - to blow up kickoff and punt returns, and he made the Pro Bowl for it in 1998. Desmond Howard wasn't much of a WR but he tilted the field for the Packers as a returner. Jarrett Bush gave fans fits as a dime corner but he was kept around for 9 seasons because of his special teams proficiency. And then as an emergency fill in after Woodson got hurt in Super Bowl XLV, Bush made a key INT in the win. Jeff Janis turned out to be useful on the occasional Hail Mary, but he was making the roster for 4 straight years because he was one hell of a gunner. Note; Bush's last season as a Packer was 2014 and Janis's 2017. Who has been their ST ace since? And how bad have they been since? You know the answers.

 

Changing out the ST coordinator annually is only going to make marginal impact. They've floated between ranking in the mid 20's to dead last in recent seasons. Drayton couldn't even get his guys to carry out basic functions so he clearly has to go. But the best special teams coach on the planet is going to struggle to to break out of the bottom third with rotating bottom roster pieces who have no real special teams acumen.

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One other topic MLF touched upon was he had yet to make decisions on any changes to his coaching staff, including Maurice Drayton. And alluded to the fact he just needed more vets on special teams. I truly hope Gutey, Murphy and Ball talk some sense into his thick skull.

 

He's actually got a point. Drayton has to go because he made already bad special teams, horrific. BUT, the Packers stopped dedicating roster spots to special teams aces and it has proven unwise. They've been using the bottom of the roster for developmental players on offense and defense first and foremost. Now is that an philosophical shift or have they tried to identify a couple ST aces and whiffed? I suppose the latter is possible but it doesn't seem like they're trying. Other teams carry 2-3 players who are really only emergency options on offense / defense whose primary role is either as a returner or a gunner on return coverage. Usually 1 returner and 1-2 return coverage specialists. The Patriots have had Matthew Slater on their roster as a special teams ace since 2008, making 10 Pro Bowls as a ST ace. I had to look up his listed position because I don't think I've ever seen him utilized outside of special teams. (He's a WR, btw). The Packers USED to carry players like this as well. Travis Jervey was a terrible RB but he was around for one thing in the mid to late 90's - to blow up kickoff and punt returns, and he made the Pro Bowl for it in 1998. Desmond Howard wasn't much of a WR but he tilted the field for the Packers as a returner. Jarrett Bush gave fans fits as a dime corner but he was kept around for 9 seasons because of his special teams proficiency. And then as an emergency fill in after Woodson got hurt in Super Bowl XLV, Bush made a key INT in the win. Jeff Janis turned out to be useful on the occasional Hail Mary, but he was making the roster for 4 straight years because he was one hell of a gunner. Note; Bush's last season as a Packer was 2014 and Janis's 2017. Who has been their ST ace since? And how bad have they been since? You know the answers.

 

Changing out the ST coordinator annually is only going to make marginal impact. They've floated between ranking in the mid 20's to dead last in recent seasons. Drayton couldn't even get his guys to carry out basic functions so he clearly has to go. But the best special teams coach on the planet is going to struggle to to break out of the bottom third with rotating bottom roster pieces who have no real special teams acumen.

Excellent post. I've been thinking this same thing for a few years now and haven't really gotten around to actually posting it but I think this all started with Ted Thompson later in his tenure. Now, just because this shift in philosophy, if that's what it is, has happened it doesn't mean it's an inherently bad thing. I think it just makes what happened this season much more likely to occur. This season really felt like a confluence of bad circumstances that tilted to a craptastic level that I think is actually incredibly improbable, where all facets of the special teams were terrible all at the same time. By all means they should fire Drayton but I just think the players they had formed an all time worst unit. The kicking, long snapping, blocking, tackling and returning were all bad.

"Counsell is stupid, Hader not used right, Bradley shouldn't have been in the lineup...Brewers win!!" - FVBrewerFan - 6/3/21
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These losses used to bust me up for weeks. At some point I accepted it for what it is, a game that can be fun to watch but most likely will not break your way in the end. I never thought the Bucks would pull it off for me to witness...now, I miss a good number of Packers games every year and just glimpse at the recap. If I have something better to do, I do it. It is simply not worth allowing this to take over your life in such a detrimental way. And approaching it that way makes the losing a lot easier to handle.

 

 

This can't be overstated. As I've gotten older (and hopefully wiser), sports is just entertainment to me, not *life*. Don't get me wrong. I still really enjoy watching my teams do well. I was ecstatic when the Bucks won a title (I'm not crying, you're crying!), but the losses are annoying, they're not soul crushing. 2014 was where I said "I don't need to let this bother me".

 

Like you said, if I have something to do on Saturdays (Badger games) or Sundays (Packer games) I do it, and watch highlights later. I think I only missed a few games this year. I still want to watch the games, but I'm not going to make a football game be detrimental to something else in my life at this stage.

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I think that it's worth mentioning in the discussion about 'special teams roster spots' is that injury, and the Packers' seemingly horrendous issues with them every year, impacts special teams directly via the trickle up effect. IE, you need guys that hypothetically were on the roster primarily in special teams roles to now be your 3rd CB, etc., resulting in that player not actually playing on special teams and some guy you got off the street earlier in the week filling the ST part of the role. That does matter, and I think it hurts the Packers' unit every year.
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I think that it's worth mentioning in the discussion about 'special teams roster spots' is that injury, and the Packers' seemingly horrendous issues with them every year, impacts special teams directly via the trickle up effect. IE, you need guys that hypothetically were on the roster primarily in special teams roles to now be your 3rd CB, etc., resulting in that player not actually playing on special teams and some guy you got off the street earlier in the week filling the ST part of the role. That does matter, and I think it hurts the Packers' unit every year.

 

Sort of, but this year's special teams were so bad that the Packers were actually sending starters to play coverage/return units on special teams - Dillon getting hurt early in the 2nd half on special teams really diminished the Packers' offense on a field where they really could've used their hammer RB to move the chains on a snowy, slick field.

 

Their backups were so poor on special teams that they resorted to playing starters and risking their health to try and improve that unit.

 

I think their roster construction approach, which tends to hold onto more OL and TEs compared to RBs and LBs diminishes the overall athleticism of special teams units. Along with a coaching staff change to bring in fresh blood, the Packers need to view the bottom 3-4 roster spots on next year's squad from the lens of prioritizing the best special teams players and potentially cutting other backups who may be more offense/defense development candidates a few seasons from now.

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What team doesn't have injuries? The NFL is entirely about how you manage inevitable injuries, yet most teams still have spots for guys who wouldn't be on a roster if they didn't excel on special teams. Heck, like I said, the Packers themselves used to. They were extremely healthy last year and didn't carry any special teams studs. It appears to be an organizational shift in philosophy and it's probably time to reconsider.
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I'm actually starting to wonder if MLF is inexplicably tripling down on his support of Maurice Drayton. Surely he is smart enough to realize that even if a great deal of the ST failures aren't truly Drayton's fault, the terrible optics and PR alone would make retaining him an awful idea.
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I'm actually starting to wonder if MLF is inexplicably tripling down on his support of Maurice Drayton. Surely he is smart enough to realize that even if a great deal of the ST failures aren't truly Drayton's fault, the terrible optics and PR alone would make retaining him an awful idea.

 

Almost a full week after the debacle that lasted an entire season and was the primary reason the Packers aren't playing this weekend, how on earth has Drayton not been fired yet? I don't care what the optics are, or frankly the current professional/personal relationships - the entire special teams coaching staff need to go, and the Packers need to bring in a new coordinator who can bring in their own staff to run that unit.

 

I know their offensive coaching staff is in a state of flux with Hackett being hired by the Broncos and potentially taking some other staff with him - but in no way should that preclude the Packers from aggressively looking to revamp their special teams coaching staff. Other teams have already been poaching respected coordinators with a history of solid special teams units from staffs whose coaches were fired (Tabor from the Bears just went to the Panthers). Why is this taking so long??

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This is such a bad look for MLF. You made a bad internal hire, own it and move on and start a new search. Delaying it and making it look like there's a decision to be made isn't doing anyone any favors including Drayton.
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I guess I don't see the problem. It's upsetting to the fans but what does it matter if they do it immediately after the game or two weeks/months later? Only way I see it being an issue is if there's someone else they want to hire and they get snapped up. Maybe they want someone on one of the remaining team? I dunno. Just don't see it as a big deal unless he's still coach next year.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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I guess I don't see the problem. It's upsetting to the fans but what does it matter if they do it immediately after the game or two weeks/months later? Only way I see it being an issue is if there's someone else they want to hire and they get snapped up. Maybe they want someone on one of the remaining team? I dunno. Just don't see it as a big deal unless he's still coach next year.

 

Exactly. The Packers lost to the Bucs on Jan. 24, 2021, and didn't announce they were moving on from Mike Pettine at DC until late in the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 29. I remember plenty of teeth-gnashing when he wasn't fired immediately the Monday after the game. That ended up turning out OK.

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A new coordinator can't get interviewed & hired until the current one gets fired - and this is the perfect time to be actively interviewing replacement candidates, since many of the new coaches/GMs recently hired haven't yet gotten their full staffs on board.

 

What makes me question why this hasn't moved more quickly is Tabor's hiring to Carolina. Carolina had a poor special teams unit, fired their coordinator right after their season ended, and promptly hired a highly respected coordinator who was available after the Bears' house cleaning two weeks later. If a non-playoff team can make that move so quickly, why can't the #1 seed in a conference who got bounced in the playoffs because of special teams?

 

Since the Packers now have the deserved reputation of special teams futility that has continued to try and fix the problem with internal hiring, if I'm in their front office I'd want to leave no stone unturned and change that perception by making it obvious the position is open and they are seeking to bring in someone external in effort to change the culture.

 

The Pettine example actually supports my point, because he was fired sooner than whenever Drayton gets canned (5 days after that NFCCG compared 6 and counting for Drayton). I guess if they want to be consistent with Friday afternoon being a deserved whacking day for coordinators following playoff loss debacles, we should be hearing something official later today.

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Agree, there's a near zero chance he doesn't get fired. But, if he's generally a good person with how fired up people are right now waiting some time can maybe save him some embarrassment/grief a bit once this is off people's radar and they put down the pitchforks. Throwing out a guess, this will get out Sat/Sun when all the attention is on the other games.
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