Category Archives: Player Evaluations – Report Cards

7

March

Dom Capers Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

dom capers

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers

1) Introduction:  Ever since the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011, Capers’ defenses have been banged up, overmatched, pushed around and just plain lousy. The backlash against Capers has gotten so loud in Green Bay, there is actually a small backlash to the backlash going on. You know the backlash is bad when people start backlashing against the Capers backlash.

2) Profile:

Dom Capers

  • Age: 63
  • Born: 8/7/1950, in Cambridge, OH
  • NFL Coaching Experience: 28 years

Biography and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Build a more physical defense. It worked the first part of the season. Then injuries started wiping out key players and most of the middle of the defense completely disappeared.

The Packers in 2013 weren’t a complete mess on defense like they were in 2011. At times they were even better than they were in 2012. But at no point in the season did you ever feel like this defense was good enough to step up and carry the team for an extended stretch, if needed. They just weren’t good enough.

4) Season Highlights/Lowlights:  With Aaron Rodgers out and the Packers needing late defensive stops to have a shot at stealing games against Chicago and Philadelphia in weeks 9 and 10, Capers’ defense went in the tank. The Bears held the ball for almost 9 minutes to seal the game and the Eagles for 9 minutes, 32 seconds to wrap up the victory. The defense also looked absolutely helpless in a blowout loss to Detroit on Thanksgiving.

Highlights included holding the Lions (without Calvin Johnson) to nine points in week 5 and coming up with a gritty performance the following week against Baltimore to help the Packers win despite several key injuries.

5) Contribution to the overall team success:  I don’t know…do we give Capers credit for Sam Shields’ interception against the Cowboys? Do we pat Capers on the back for not allowing the Bears to score after the Rodgers-Randall Cobb miracle in Chicago?

This is where it gets tricky with Capers and why the people backlashing against the Capers backlash have a point: We get all ticked off at Capers when the Packers defense gets run over, then give credit to individual players instead of Capers when the Packers defense does something positive.

5

March

Mike McCarthy Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

1) Introduction:  Mike McCarthy entered his eighth season as Packers head coach in 2013, having led the team to the postseason in five of his previous seven years.  McCarthy returned most the same coaching staff that he had in 2012 and following the Packers brutal exit from the playoffs at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

2) Profile:

Michael John McCarthy

  • Age: 50
  • Born: 11/10/1963, in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Rookie Year: 2006
  • NFL Head Coaching Experience: 8 years

Biography and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  After the 2012 season ended with a thud and resounding loss, the Packers looked to be more competitive with the top teams in the NFC.  The 49ers had become their arch enemy and an obstacle that the Packers would need to defeat in order to return to the upper echelon of the conference.  McCarthy was quoted numerous times throughout the offseason and preseason as saying that he wanted his team to be tougher and more physical.  Those changes would need to start with McCarthy and the team’s overall culture.

With McCarthy continuing to call the team’s offensive plays, there were many eyes on him as the Packers acquired running back Eddie Lacy early in the 2013 draft.  There was a lot of curiosity on how McCarthy would integrate Lacy into an offense that already featured All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his aerial assault.

4) Season Highlights/Lowlights:  While the Packers season ended well, there were some down points.  There was yet another loss to the San Francisco 49ers on opening day and while a loss can’t be placed on the head coach alone, they are ultimately responsible for preparing their team each week.  A melee broke out when Packers linebacker Clay Matthews hit 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick out of bounds.  The play showcased that the Packers weren’t totally in control of their emotions in a game where they needed to be.

There was also the sideline tiff between McCarthy and Rodgers that was shown on the television feed in week three against the Cincinnati Bengals.  While I don’t blame McCarthy completely for it, it was not his best moment on TV.

4

March

Ted Thompson Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson

1) Introduction:  I think the biggest mistake that fans make when criticizing front office personnel like general managers is using the same rubric and time frame as they use for for players.  Take Ted Thompson for instance, whose first pick for the Packers was a quarterback deemed too short with a weak arm when the Packers already had the best quarterback in franchise history.  Naturally, we’re having arguments now on whether Aaron Rodgers is better than Brett Favre (personally, I still think its Starr, but Farve and Rodgers should be legitimately in the conversation).

Thompson was also roundly criticized for picking a cornerback to play safety from a college no one had ever heard of or drafting another wide receiver even when the Packers had fantastic depth but Nick Collins, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have all been fantastic players who have made Thompson look like a very smart man. Overall, Thompson should not be graded per game or even per season, but over a span of 5 years or more.

2) Profile:

Ted Thompson

  • Age: 61
  • Born: 1/17/1953 in Atlanta, Texas (There’s an Atlanta in Texas?)
  • Height: 6’1″ (man, he was a short linebacker)
  • Weight: 220
  • College: Southern Methodist
  • Rookie Year: 1975
  • NFL Experience: 10 years as a player, 22 years as a scout and front office executive

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  High.  In the last 5 years the Packers have won the Super Bowl, been in the playoffs every year and managed a 15-1 season.  Added to that the Packers have always had one of the youngest and deepest rosters in football and always have had a very healthy salary cap situation.  Thompson also has reportedly great rapport with head coach Mike McCarthy and his staff and Packer’s “system” of draft and develop has benefited all parties more often than not.  The Packers were expected to win the NFC North again and make it to the playoffs.

28

February

Tim Masthay Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

 

Tim Masthay

Tim Masthay

1) Introduction:  Tim Masthay gets the job done. That’s probably the best way to describe him. He doesn’t drastically tilt the field with his powerful punts and pinpoint accuracy, but he does an adequate job. Masthay doesn’t give you much to leap out of your chair and cheer about, but he also doesn’t give you a reason to hurl your TV through the wall after consistently poor punts.

2) Profile:

Timothy James Masthay

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 4/16/1987 in Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 198
  • College: Kentucky
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 4

Career stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Just keep doing what he does. Masthay has a lot of games where he punts in cold weather and his always hold up well.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Masthay’s net average has gotten better every season, topping off at 39.0 yards in 2013. He also notched 17 touchbacks on 34 kickoffs to start the season. If you’re looking for lowlights…well, it’s always a lowlight when Masthay comes on the field because it means the Packers are punting.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Masthay’s consistency was a bright spot on an otherwise shaky special teams unit. If there was a special teams breakdown, it was rarely because of something Masthay screwed up.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Unfortunately, Masthay contributed too much and the Packers didn’t score enough points in their playoff loss.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(B-) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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27

February

Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction:  Packers kicker Mason Crosby saw his lucrative contract tore up over the offseason and replaced with an incentive-laden deal. Message received. Crosby connected on 33 of 37 field goal attempts and even sent two 57-yarders soaring through the uprights. If Johnny Jolly wasn’t on the roster, the Packers comeback player of the year award would have probably gone to Crosby.

Packers K Mason Crosby

Packers K Mason Crosby

2) Profile:

Mason Walker Crosby

  • Age: 29
  • Born: 9/3/1984 in Lubbock, Texas
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 212
  • College: Colorado
  • Rookie Year: 2007
  • NFL Experience: 7

Career stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Get beat out in training camp by the Italian guy with the cool name. Packers fans were done with Mason Crosby and were itching for somebody to replace him. Crosby outlasted Giorgio Tavecchio and went on to have a career season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Crosby hit all five field-goal attempts with a long of 52 yards in week 5 against Detroit. He made his first 10 attempts and even hit 5 of 7 from beyond 50 yards after going 14 for 33 on attempts of 50 yards or more in his first six seasons. Crosby’s lowpoint came against the Eagles in week 10 where his missed kicks from 53 and 42 yards.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  The Packers comeback against the Cowboys might have fallen short if Crosby doesn’t nail a 57-yard field goal earlier in the game. Unlike in 2012, you can’t really point to a game where Crosby had an overly negative impact. Crosby took over again on kickoffs midway through the season. I guess the Packers prefer Crosby’s directional kicking over Tim Masthay’s powerful leg.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Crosby made both of his field goal attempts against the 49ers and was fine kicking the ball off.

Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

(A-) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  A-

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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26

February

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

1) Introduction:  One of the four best quarterbacks in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers was having another Aaron Rodgers type season. He racked up 15 touchdowns and three interceptions through Week 8. Then, in the following week Shea McClellin, who came into the game with three career sacks, sacked Rodgers and he fell awkwardly and broke his left collarbone, derailing the Packers’ season.

2) Profile:

Aaron Charles Rodgers

  • Age: 30
  • Born: 12/2/1983 in Chico, Calif.
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 225
  • College: California
  • Rookie Year: 2005
  • NFL Experience: 9

Career stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  The stratosphere. He’s not only the best quarterback in the league at the most vital position but he’s also the most important human in the Packers’ organization. No wonder why Rodgers takes every read, call and snap so seriously, because he knows that he is the beacon of hope for this team.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: This one’s pretty easy. With the Packers trailing 28-27 with 6:24 left in the final regular season game with the Bears, that awarded the NFC North crown to the winner, Rodgers was at his very best. And he did it in his first game back from the collarbone injury that caused him to miss seven games. Rodgers orchestrated a 15-play drive in 5:46 that saw the Packers convert three fourth downs. But it was the final fourth-and-8 that was so memorable. Rolling to his left, Rodgers found Randall Cobb, who was completely forgotten about by the Bears’ secondary, for the 48-yard touchdown with 38 seconds left. Arguably one of the bedrock moments in Packers’ lore.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Unquestioned.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Making his second game back from the collarbone injury, Rodgers was facing the stiff 49ers defense. In dangerously cold temperatures that saw the wind chill drop to -10° at kickoff, Rodgers was sacked four times and never really got comfortable as the 49ers beat the Packers at Lambeau.

Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B+

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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26

February

Scott Tolzien Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: Scott Tolzien was waived by the 49ers on Aug. 26 and on Sept. 1 he was signed to the Packers practice squad. Nobody thought he would actually get playing time, let alone make something of it. But that’s exactly what the former Wisconsin Badger, that racked up a 21-5 record at Madison, did.

Scott Tolzien

Scott Tolzien

2) Profile:

Scott Tolzien

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 9/4/1987 in Rolling Meadows, Ill.
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 208
  • College: Wisconsin
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1

Career stats and notes

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Hardly any. Most people knew how well he could run a team and that he was a winner but they didn’t know how if he had the intangibles to succeed in the NFL.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Getting thrust into a tough spot after backup Seneca Wallace went down with a groin injury on the first drive. Tolzien threw for 280 yards, including an impressive 22-yard touchdown in a 27-13 loss to Philadelphia. The next week, he threw for 339 yards against the Giants but he did it by also throwing three picks. And after struggling the following week to Minnesota, Tolzien was replaced by Matt Flynn midway through the third quarter.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Marginal. He showed that he can make all the throws in the NFL, but he also showed that like many pro quarterbacks, he doesn’t have it all figured out yet. There’s a reason why the Packers kept him on the roster, because they want to see what talent they can unearth from this kid.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: N/A.

Season Report Card:

(C+) Level of expectations met during the season

(B-) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  C+

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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