Category Archives: Brett Favre

23

April

Packing the Stats: How the Packers Invest

Packing the StatsOne thing that many fans have noticed over the years is that Ted Thompson does not like to draft interior offensive linemen, instead preferring to draft tackles and converting them into the interior once they reach the NFL.  This concept seems to indicate that in the NFL there is a premium placed on some positions while not others; for instance quarterback is naturally considered the premium position of premium positions, traditionally followed by some combination of pass rushers and wide receivers.  However each team is different, for instance while the Packers do not put much stock into interior offensive linemen, the Packers have shown a love for fullback/H-backs which most team’s don’t even keep a roster spot for anymore.  So the question is, what are the positions that Ted Thompson favors or is willing to spend precious draft resources for and does Thompson’s weight of draft investment differ significantly with other teams?

To measure this, I took every draft selection made by Ted Thompson during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers, assigned each player to the position they played for the majority of the time and then assigned them a draft value based on which pick they were selected using the “Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys” draft trade chart as a metric.  Some caveats of course is that the Packers did switch from a 4-3 bump and run style defense to a blitzburgh 3-4 defense in 2009, which obviously changes what type of players the Packers select and where players ultimately end up playing (for instance AJ Hawk was supposed to play OLB in the 4-3 and moved to ILB in the 3-4).  Also the trade chart has come under scrutiny as of late (myself included); it’s unlikely to be all that accurate or precise in determining trade value and it’s likely that every team has their own modified chart with different values for each draft pick.  However, since all of this information is kept tightly in war rooms (unless you happen to be ironically the Dallas Cowboys), the original trade chart will be used knowing that the rough values are likely to be similar.

Workbook1

4

April

Brett Favre’s Return To Packers: Are Fans Ready?

Brett Favre

This is how most Packers fans prefer to remember Brett Favre

It only took me 18 months before I broke down and wrote about Brett Favre.  I joined Jersey Al’s team in August of 2012 and until recently, it was pretty easy to avoid the topic altogether.

Over the past year, however, Favre’s name has been tied more closely with the Green Bay Packers and a return to Titletown is not far off for old #4.  During that span, our team has penned a few pieces about Favre, most recently of which was done by Kris Burke last year in June.

Favre retired after the 2010 season and three seasons removed from being the Packers starting quarterback.  For many fans, those three years seemed like a decade.  The year in New York with the Jets was kind of like being at a preseason game.  The game is going on and it looks like football, but who really cares?  The last two years of Favre’s career were a much different story.

For those with some time to spare, about an hour and twenty minutes, to be exact, here is a link to the film “Last Day at Lambeau“.  It chronicles the time between Favre’s first retirement from the NFL and the Packers to his last game at Lambeau Field as a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.

I remember Favre’s signing with the Vikings in August of 2009.  Whether he orchestrated his departure from New York in order to land in Minnesota or if the stars just aligned that way, I hated the football Gods.  It wasn’t that I was worried about Favre beating up on the Packers, because I honestly didn’t think he could.  I just didn’t want to deal with all of the attention and build up.

2009 came and went and the Vikings got the best of the Packers in both games that season.  Favre and the gang were within his merely falling forward to give themselves a chance to go to a Super Bowl that year.  But in true Favre fashion and almost as if it were scripted, a vintage interception ended the Vikings’ run and 2010 would turn out to be a disaster (literally, as Mall of America Field was rendered inoperable by massive snow build up).

29

March

Cory’s Corner: Packers are undervaluing the center position

Frank Winters was Brett Favre's starting center for 10 seasons and the two shared an inseparable bond.

Frank Winters was Brett Favre’s starting center for 10 seasons and the two shared an inseparable bond.

Just how important is the quarterback-center battery in the NFL?

Apparently, it’s not that overly important to the Packers because Aaron Rodgers is about to embark on his fourth different starting center to begin the season.

Think about that for a second.

Rodgers is the best quarterback on the planet. Amazingly, he has been able to average 31 touchdowns a season with a 58-29 record in six seasons. And he’s done it despite playing with a revolving door at the leadership position of the offensive line.

In 16 years with the Packers, Brett Favre had five different centers start the majority of games. But that counts James Campen for one season in 1992 and the person nobody remembers — Grey Ruegamer in 2004.

Favre’s mainstay was Frank Winters. “Bag of Doughnuts” and Favre were teammates for 11 seasons and were able to grow up together and make each other better.

Rodgers hasn’t had that yet. Right when Rodgers and Scott Wells were beginning to form a cohesive bond, the Packers didn’t bring him back after four years of working as the quarterback-center battery and thus, the process started all over again.

The next person to come on down is JC Tretter. Last year’s fourth round draft pick hasn’t started a game in the NFL but the Packers are handing him a shot to ignite one of the most dynamic offenses in the league with each snap.

Centers aren’t exactly a glory position. No kid gazes into the mirror and dreams of one day making a perfect shotgun snap to his quarterback before quickly reasserting himself as a pass blocker. Heck, Tretter was a quarterback, running back and wideout in high school.

JC Tretter is looking to become the fourth starting center to begin the season for the Packers since 2008.

JC Tretter is looking to become the fourth starting center to begin the season for the Packers since 2008.

But that doesn’t mean the job of a center should be understated. While left tackles get the money for protecting the quarterback’s blind side, it’s the center that makes the coverage adjustments. A center is the quarterback of the offensive line.

So when Rodgers comes back to camp not knowing much about his next center, he needs to spend time getting to know how things will work. If you’re Rodgers, you don’t want to learn in Week 3 that your center has a problem with a quick snap count or a pronounced loud bark in order to draw a defense offsides.

3

December

Aaron Rodgers at 30: Where He’s Been and Where He’s Going

Aaron Rodgers’ finest hour….for now.

I recently celebrated a milestone: I turned 30 in September. It was what I expected as I took stock of everything I had done in life up to that point.

Then an ever bigger surprise hit me: Aaron Rodgers is about to turn 30! (Rodgers and I are both proud members of the high school class of 2002)

It’s hard to believe Rodgers has now hit the big 3-0, a milestone in and of itself but perhaps it’s even more significant for an NFL quarterback.  Rodgers can no longer (and really hasn’t been for the past two years anyway) be considered one of the “young gun” quarterbacks in the league yet he also isn’t part of that “aging veteran” group either.

So where does that leave the Green Bay Packers quarterback? Well, that would mean he is in his prime.  Current injury aside, that should make any opposing defense shudder.

With his career arc perhaps at its peak, it’s time to take a look back at Rodgers’ career so far as well as what lies ahead for the 2011 NFL MVP.

This is Rodgers’ ninth year in the NFL but only his sixth season as the Packers’ starting quarterback. Given how much has occurred in his time in the league, it seems like Rodgers has been around forever yet hard to believe that he’s now in his thirties. It seems like it was just yesterday he took over for Brett Favre yet it’s like he’s always been around.

Such is the odyssey of Aaron Charles Rodgers.  It all starts with the 2005 draft.  Knowing what we know now, he had absolutely no business falling as far as he did in that draft.  Then again, if he hadn’t, would that chip on his shoulder that has propelled him to superstardom been as large had he ended up in San Francisco?  That’s a debate for another time.

Everyone knows what happened. Rodgers was expected by many to go with the first overall pick in the draft to the San Francisco 49ers where he would learn from an offensive coordinator named Mike McCarthy.  Instead, the 49ers drafted Alex Smith and Rodgers plummeted all the way to Green Bay at number 24.  Rodgers shook it off and Paul Tagliabue told him “good things come to those who wait.”

5

November

Packers Stock Report: Oh $#!%, Aaron Rodgers is Hurt Edition

It hurts just looking at this photo. Avert your eyes. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is injured.

OhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygod. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is hurt.

Now what?

Can Seneca Wallace keep the Packers alive until (if?) Rodgers returns?

Should the Packers call Favre?

Should the Packers call Flynn?

Where’s Graham Harrell when you need him?

What the hell happened to the defense on Monday?

Did the Rodgers injury somehow cause the Packers to forget how to tackle and pass protect?

What is a Shea McClellin and why did it do that to our quarterback?

The Bears still suck. Ok, that made me feel a little bit better.

Oh damn, I just remembered that Rodgers is hurt. OhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygod.

Now I’m starting to panic. How can I snap out of this?

Maybe writing the Packers stock report will help. Let’s see.

On to the stock report:

Rising

Eddie Lacy
I totally forgot how awesome it is when your favorite football team has a running back that just trucks people over. Getting excited about long pass plays is awesome and everything, but there’s something about the feeling you get when a stud running back starts plowing over defenders and ripping off large chunks of yards. It makes you want to tear off your shirt and start posing like Hulk Hogan. Ok, maybe it’s just me who wants to do that every time Lacy runs someone over…

B.J. Raji
It’s been a solid run for Raji the last three games. He sniffed out a couple of screen passes against the Bears and has done an excellent job of making plays at the point of attack. Big, nimble and smart. That’s been Raji over this recent stretch of games.

Brett Favre
Wait a minute. What’s he doing on this report?

Steady

James Starks
Did Starks install a turbo button on his back when he was out? Seriously, I don’t remember him being nearly this fast. He’s firing through holes like he’s been shot out of a high-caliber rifle from a deer hunter perched high up in a tree in the woods of Mondovi, Wis.

Tim Mashthay
Punts from Masthay kept pinning the Bears deep on Monday night. Too bad the Packers defense didn’t follow through and force a turnover or make a stand late in the game.

1

October

If the Packers are Shut Down like the Government, Who is Essential and Who is Non-Essential?

Mike McCarthy is not happy about being classified as non-essential.

For the first nine years of my professional life, I was “non-essential.”

Non-essential was never really defined. I worked hard. Went above and beyond. Got plenty of accolades. Was told my work was very important by everyone I interacted with. Got a paycheck once every two weeks.

But when push came to shove, I was categorized as non-essential.

Yes, I worked for the federal government. And whenever our wonderful elected officials couldn’t agree on a budget, a government shutdown was threatened. That’ when we found out which civil servants were essential and which were non-essential.

The essential people were designated to work through the shut down. I guess their jobs were considered really important, or something.

The non-essential people were sent home until the politicians figured out a budget. We were non-essential, so whatever, right?

I no longer work for the government, so I’m spared the humiliation of being labeled non-essential as our government shuts down today. All of you non-essentials out there reading this right now, I feel for you. You are all essential in my view. Don’t let the haters bring you down.

The shutdown got me thinking: If the Packers got shutdown like the federal government, who would be essential and who would be non-essential?

These are the things I think about. Welcome to my brain.

Aaron Rodgers
Definitely essential. He’s the best player on the team and plays the most important position. The Packers couldn’t function without him.

Mike McCarthy
Sorry, Mike, but you’re non-essential. Aaron Rodgers can call the plays and I don’t even think you can name five defensive players on your own team.

Evan Dietrich-Smith
Essential. Someone has to snap the ball to Rodgers.

Brett Goode
Non-essential. The Packers will never punt or kick field goals. Just score touchdowns. No need for a long-snapper, punter or kicker. Goode will be furloughed and play his guitar in Green Bay coffee shops until the shut down is over.

Clay Matthews
Can we furlough Matthews’ hamstring and keep the rest of his body?

Eddie Lacy
All running backs are non-essential. The Packers proved that in 2010.

Tramon Williams
He’s non-essential, but since Williams hasn’t shut down an opposing WR since 2010, he doesn’t know what the term means and hangs around anyway.

4

August

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Training Camp

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Another week of Packers training camp is in the books. Is it Sept. 8 yet?

Finley pipes down
I’ve never been one of those people who gets all bent out of shape whenever Jermichael Finley says something that stirs the pot — I’ll take honesty and candor over canned cliches any day. But it looks like Finley is at least trying the cliche route…for now. Will a boring Finley in front of the microphones lead to a more exciting Finley on the football field? I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. If Finley becomes a force at tight end, it won’t be because he zipped his lips during training camp. Besides, if he does finally break out, people would probably be more tolerant of whatever does come out of his mouth.

Hawk OK with pay cut
Calling it “more of an ego thing than anything that guys can’t get over,” LB A.J. Hawk spoke about taking a pay cut this offseason in order to stay with the Packers. After the slash in pay, Hawk is due to make $10.6 million over the final three years of his deal. That sounds like more than enough money for a guy who rarely makes impactful plays. It’s good to hear Hawk speak openly about taking a cut and being a team guy, but deep down, even he has to know that there probably wasn’t another team out there that would be willing to pay him over $10 million. It’s still a great deal for Hawk, and the Packers obviously think it’s a fair price for a LB that hasn’t made many flash plays, but is healthy and ready to go every Sunday.

Bakhtiari making a move
We’ve been hearing nothing but good things about David Bakhtiari. There are even rumblings that he might end up winning the starting right tackle job. The rookie from Colorado appears to be plenty athletic to be the kind of pass protector the Packers like. And with Marshall Newhouse being, well, Marshall Newhouse, and Don Barclay horsing around at backup center, perhaps the window is open for the rookie to win the job. But remember: We haven’t made it to the first exhibition game yet. All rookies are getting loved up right now because they’re new, they’re fresh, their ceilings are perceived to be high and we don’t know their shortcomings yet.