Why are the Green Bay Packers so Damn Frustrating?
Yes, I’m quite frustrated. The past two Packer football seasons have started with Super Bowl aspirations and ended with “hopefully we’ll make the playoffs.” I guess that’s ok if you are the Rams, but the Packers are supposed to be loaded with talent.
In fact, I believe we do have a lot of talent. I also believe we are underachieving and there is too much of a pattern here to ignore it any longer. 2008 was bad, but I figured the first year post-Favre would go that way. 2009 and 2010, while better record-wise, have revealed a trend of mental mistakes culminating in close loses (often to BAD teams).
It is no secret McCarthy’s record in close games is pitiful. You can find numerous references to that on most Packer blogs. The question is why? I would like to approach this from a different angle, albeit a snarky one (because I’m frustrated damn it!).
Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again but somehow expecting the results will be different. Consider this…
I have no idea what Mike McCarthy thinks or what he says in the locker room or behind other closed doors. What I do know is that he is mentally ill if he means only a fraction of what he says at the podium during press conferences. Coach, you were ok with the way the 2 minute unfolded Sunday night? Standard stuff? Look, I don’t care what his personality is.
What I do care about is that Packer Management looks honestly at this team and tries to improve areas where we are not getting it done. I’m simply seeing too little of that. Definition of insanity…let’s keep defending the troops and using the word “excellent” and “good job” every time we describe a player or a game situation. That’s working well.
Then we have the whole “availability” and “accountability” mantra from MM. Well, availability might be honored but accountability? To say it is hypocritical would be too
polite. Brady Poppinga played snaps for years while Desmond Bishop sat on the bench. Poppinga got to make mistakes but God forbid if Bishop made one in his limited playing time. No, they don’t play the same LB position in the 3-4, but they did in the old 4-3.
Bottom line, MM had a blind spot for Poppinga. Period. Bishop is a rising star. Oh, and what about Frosty the Punter. Never mind. It’s too easy. Definition of insanity… Let’s be too stubborn to move off a decision we make. Oh, and let’s make it worse by becoming even more stubborn when the thing drags out so long that it’s now laughable.
We have had the same OL starters (barring injuries) all year? Do we pass block or run block well enough to make that statement? Our receivers can’t catch the football. Have the coaches done anything differently? Have they changed the receiver’s pecking order, even for a short time? Definition of insanity…let’s keep talking about accountability with our words but never back it up with our actions. I’m sure the guys will be motivated knowing no one is looking over their shoulders.
But let’s not limit accountability to just the players. What about special teams? Why are our special teams mediocre – bad? Injuries? Perhaps, but if that is the case how does one explain what Dom Capers is doing with the defense? I would certainly think a new player can pick up special teams assignments a lot quicker than defensive assignments. Shawn Slocum, please explain.
Back to players – how does Mason Crosby get a pass? The guy didn’t even have to defend his job! I’m sure there is a stat guy or gal out there that can tell me how many
FGs he missed in our close loses the past few years. I do know he was a factor with his misses. Yes, I do know that. I would think an NFL kicker can hit 50-yarders in a dome
a good percentage of the time. As Aaron over at CHTV said, an NFL kicker ought to be able to kick off into the end zone in a dome. Yikes!
Oh, and can we sign or draft a kick returner please? Anyone remember Desmond Howard? I’m talking to you Ted! Special teams is equally RETURNING the kick and
covering the kick. Definition of insanity…let’s ignore BOTH accountability for special teams performance and accountability for special teams personnel. Maybe we’ll get
lucky and that won’t hurt us.
Now, the winner of this snarkfest is…why in the world do we have an offensive coordinator if the HC is calling the plays? Jersey Al noted it probably makes more sense
to let the OC call the plays and have MM be a real HC/Administrator. Agree, agree, agree. There is NO WAY on earth MM can call plays in crunch time AND manage
the clock, timeouts, 4th down decisions, etc. as well as if he was not calling plays. I’m sorry but he’s just not that good. No one can be with that many important things going on at once. Definition of insanity… Let’s keep all these decisions on MM’s plate despite so many close game loses. I’m sure one has nothing to do with the other.
Like I said, I’m frustrated. The Packers should be 11-3 right now. I can accept loses to the Bears, Falcons and Pats. That’s it. Please don’t tell me about injuries. Yes, we have
plenty, but we should have beaten the Lions with me at QB. Besides, we weren’t playing all that great before many of the injuries. We have to beat two very tough teams to get the 6th seed this year. Where have I seen that before? I’m tired of it. It’s like a broken record the past few years.
I’m not asking for anyone to be fired. I am asking each guy in coaching/management to tell the guys/players under him what they are accountable for. I am asking each coach/manager to question if the team should think about a different way. I am asking for honesty and candor within coaching/management.
And if the management of my favorite football team can not accept these suggestions, THEN I will be asking for some heads.
Andrew Shales is a long-time fan of the Green Bay Packers. You can follow him on twitter: AndrewInAtlanta