Category Archives: Daryn Colledge

27

February

Thomas Hobbes’ Green Bay Packers Offseason Blueprint

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson
  1. Release LT Chad Clifton: The writing is on the wall.  Even Chad Clifton knew that it was unlikely that he would ever finish his 3 year and had most of the money guaranteed up front (which was helped by the cap-less season before the lockout).  Clifton has had issues staying healthy in the twilight of his career and this year was no different with Clifton being out for the majority of the season.  Added to that a $5.5 million salary in 2012, ascending player in Bryan Bulaga, 1st round draft choice Derek Sherrod and up and at least a serviceable backup in Marshall Newhouse and the Packers have set themselves well for life after Clifton.
  2. Renegotiate Charles Woodson and Donald Driver contracts:
    1. Charles Woodson: Woodson has undeniably lost a step and his high-risk high-reward style of play backfired a couple times last season.  Woodson currently leads the Packers roster with a salary of $11.5 million, some of which was a bonus for a NFL defensive player of the year award in 2009.  But what Woodson is still capable of is shutting down the new breed of tight end, like Jermichael Finley.  For instance, Woodson is still quick enough and physical enough to handle a Jimmy Graham, and I’m not sure who else on the defense could.  Unfortunately Woodson will turn 36 next season and at some point he’s going to have to realize that aging veterans start getting marginalized.  Hopefully Woodson doesn’t let his fiery attitude get in the way of business.
    2. Donald Driver: At 37, Driver has exceeded even the greatest expectations by still being in the NFL at all.  However, his production dropped drastically with the emergence of Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson and has Randall Cobb and James Jones breathing down his neck for more playing time.  What Driver has to his benefit is experience, he’s well versed in the offense and isn’t likely to miss an assignment or a read.  What hurts him is that he’s not player he used to be and he wouldn’t survive playing on special teams.  In my opinion Driver should be retained since consistency at wide receiver (even as the 5th wide receiver) outweighs any benefits a player has on special teams.  Furthermore, I’m not convinced that any free agent/undrafted rookie would be better than Driver.  Are Cobb and Jones better than Driver?  Probably.  Are Tori Gurely or Diondre Biorel better?  I doubt it.
22

February

Packers Stock Report: 2011 End of Season Full Roster Edition

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers stock fell a bit during the playoff loss to the Giants, but it remains high heading into next season.

The Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl and there will be no more meaningful football games for the next six months. That’s six months to reflect on how a team that lost twice to the Redskins during the regular season could go on to knock off the mighty Packers in the playoffs and keep rolling all the way to the Lombardi Trophy.

Depressing.

It’s hard to find a silver lining, but if you’re searching for one, take a few minutes and look over the Packers roster. It’s pretty good. Go ahead and cross off some of the players you think won’t be around next season, and it’s still pretty good. This team is going to contend again next season, and probably for the next couple of seasons after that. At least Packers fans have something to look forward to.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks at AllGBP.com evaluating and grading every player on the Packers roster. Those report cards are done now, and it’s time to put this season in the rearview mirror.

To get started, I put together a full roster stock report based on each player’s status heading into next season. To categorize each player, I used my own opinion mixed with how I think the Packers view that player.

For example, Donald Driver played well in the playoff loss. If the Packers beat the Giants and hosted the NFC Championship, I’d probably list Driver as rising in that week’s stock report. But since the Packers season is over, and I don’t think Ted Thompson brings Driver back, I put Driver in the falling category.

You get the idea, so without further delay, here we go:

Rising

QB Aaron Rodgers
Finding motivation is never a problem for Rodgers, but the Packers early playoff exit should give the MVP even more incentive to come out fired up in 2012.

LB Desmond Bishop
Watching Bishop motor his way through games was one of the few enjoyable aspects of this season’s defense.

T Bryan Bulaga
Bulaga took a step forward in 2011 and might take a giant step sideways to play left tackle next season.

WR/KR Randall Cobb
Thanks to Cobb, kick and punt returns became fun again.

29

October

No Surprise: Rodgers, Jennings, Matthews Lead Packers With 2011 Pro Bowl Credentials

Voting for the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl opened on Tuesday, which makes it only fitting to run down which Packers have a crack at getting a trip to Hawaii. And yes, I know—October is entirely too early to be thinking about the Pro Bowl. But this early start to the voting gives us a convenient way of running down how players are doing seven weeks in.

Don’t forget, getting voted in doesn’t necessarily guarantee their spot. If the Packers have it their way, they’ll be preparing that week for a trip to Indianapolis to play in Super Bowl XLVI .

Let’s run down the nominees and their credentials so far:

QB Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers could probably take the rest of the season off and still secure a spot in the Pro Bowl. No quarterback in the game is playing better right now, and the stats back it up: 171-for-239 (71.5 percent), 2,371 yards, 9.9 average, 20 TDs, 3 INTS, 125.7 rating. Barring any injury, he should be a lock.

FB John Kuhn: Kuhn hasn’t seen as much of the ball this season as the last, but he’s still contributed two scores to the Packers high-octane offense. Kuhn has also been solid in pass protection. There are more deserving candidates, like Jed Collins in New Orleans, but the popularity of Kuhn could be enough to sneak in.

WR Greg Jennings: Jennings remains Rodgers’ top target despite a myriad of weapons in the offense. With 42 receptions, 677 yards and five TDs in seven games, Jennings is on pace for his best season as a pro. In a crowded NFC field for receivers (Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks), Jennings still should make the squad with ease.

WR Jordy Nelson: A fast start, fueled by a bevy of big plays, gives credence to the discussion of Nelson in the Pro Bowl. Of players with 20 or more catches, Nelson has the third highest yards per reception at 19.4 and he’s No. 1 in average yards after catch (10.1). If Nelson stays on his current pace, he’d finish with 55 catches for 1,062 yards and 9 TDs. While there’s very, very little chance that Nelson could make the Pro Bowl with the level of receivers in the NFC, it’s worth noting that he’s having far-and-away the best season of his career.

2

October

Green Bay Packers vs Denver Broncos–First Impressions UNFILTERED! Packers 49, Broncos 23

Photo courtesy JSOnline.com

The Green Bay Packers (3-0) face off against the Denver Broncos at Lambeau Field.

The Packers will look for their 10th consecutive win including playoffs, but hope to pull away from their opponent instead of having the game in doubt going late into the fourth quarter.

The Broncos meanwhile are looking to bounce back from another close loss.  Tim Tebow will finally see some action under center today according to reports from the Broncos and are hoping their passing offense will finally come to life.

Pregame Thoughts

Champ Bailey is out for the Broncos.  He likely would have seen some time against Jermichael Finley so this could possibly mean another big game for the Packers tight end.

Word out of Denver that Tim Tebow could see some red zone action today.  I have watched Tebow for a long time and you can’t underestimate his abilities in the red zone.  The Packers have a tendency to struggle against athletic quarterbacks, so this added wrinkle will be interesting to watch.

Very sunny day today at Lambeau. Beautiful day for football.

How many Cheeseheads will have their eyes on their phones checking the Brewers score? I kid. Sort of.

Derrick Sherrod will be the backup to Chad Clifton.  The Packers first round draft pick makes his NFL regular season debut.

Broncos down two WRs with Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas inactive.

Packers inactives include RB Ryan Grant, S Nick Collins, LB Jamari Lattimore, LB Frank Zombo, LB Brad Jones, T Bryan Bulaga, DE Mike Neal.

First Half

Glad we got Nantz and Simms. Worried we would have Dierdorf and Gumbel on TV.

Broncos go three and out on first series.  Solid breakup by Tramon Williams on the pass to Decker.

Wow, one punt and a Packers special teams penalty against Alex Green. SHOCKING!

Elvis Dumervil making his presence known pressing Rodgers on that rollout.

BOOM. Rodgers to Jennings for 43 yards.  Can anyone stop the Super Bowl MVP?

Rodgers could have had Jennings for a TD.

Packers go for it on 4th down deep in Denver territory and a pitch to Starks results in a turnover on downs.  Not sure I like the play all there.

TIM TEBOW SIGHTING!  And he is STUFFED.

9

September

Green Bay Packers: 5 Observations from 42-34 Win Over Saints

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Benny Sieu)

The Green Bay Packers held Mark Ingram out of the end zone on the game’s final play Thursday night at Lambeau Field, giving the Packers a 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints and capping off a thrilling season-opener which gave NFL fans plenty of offensive fireworks and explosive plays on special teams.

Here are some quick observations from the game:

First half fireworks

For those who thought the Packers offense might look rusty to open the season—and I was one of them— those fears were put to rest early. Aaron Rodgers was a surgeon in the first half, completing 18-of-24 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns while carving the Saints defense throughout the first 30 mintues. 188 yards and two of those scores came in the first quarter, as the Packers built a 21-10 lead. By the time the first half was over, the Packers (28) and Saints (17) had combined for 45 points.  So much for shaking off the rust. The Packers performance in the first half was eerily similar to how they played in Atlanta in the playoffs.

Corn on the Cobb

Even for the most optimistic supporters of Cobb, no one could have envisioned this kind of start to his NFL career. He caught a 32-yard touchdown in the first quarter on a short, underneath route that was turned into a score on a great effort after the catch by Cobb. He willed his way into the end zone. Then, in the third quarter, Cobb gave the Packers something they haven’t had in 11 years: a kick return for a touchdown. Cobb caught the kick eight yards deep in the end zone, then proceeded to bounce off several tackles—using a nifty spin move to elude one—and outraced the Saints coverage for the touchdown.To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve seen a more impressive kick return in its entirety. The irony in both scores was that Cobb shouldn’t have had either. He ran the wrong route on the first and was instructed to take a knee when that deep in the end zone on kick returns.

Later in the second half, Cobb nearly broke a punt for another touchdown. He was eventually tripped up in Saints territory, and the play was nullified by a penalty. But his performance in all aspects tonight showed exactly why the Packers took him in the second round. Cobb couldn’t have asked for a better NFL debut.

19

August

Packers vs. Cardinals: Things to Watch in Preseason Week 2

In the lead up to the Packers and Cardinals preseason matchup, consider this: in two of the last three games between these two clubs, there has been some serious offensive fireworks—to the tune of  177 total points and nearly 2,000 total offensive yards.

Most remember (or would rather forget) the 2009 Wildcard Card game in Arizona—a back-and-forth affair in which the Packers and Cardinals engaged in one of the wildest shootouts in playoff history.

A week after the Packers dismantled the Cardinals in Week 17 of the regular season, Arizona jumped out to leads of 17-0, 24-7 and 31-10 before Aaron Rodgers and the Packers mounted two impressive comebacks.

With the score 31-10, Rodgers lead the Packers on four straight touchdown drives—all ending on Rodgers’ touchdown passes—to tie the game at 38.

Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, who threw for five touchdown passes and 379 yards, put Arizona back into the lead with 4:55 left when he hit Steve Breaston for a 17-yard score. Rodgers remained unfazed, however, as he led the Packers right down the field for another tying-touchdown. His 11-yard pass to Spencer Havner with 1:52 left helped send the game into overtime tied at 45 (of course, so did a Neil Rackers missed chip-shot 34-yard field goal on the Cardinals next drive).

Then, the game abruptly ended when Rodgers was stripped on a controversial play during the Packers first offensive series, giving the Cardinals a 51-45 win. The loss was certainly disappointing from a Packers perspective but the stat line was not: Rodgers threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another. The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards and 96 points, and to this day it remains the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.

But before the Packers and Cardinals gave the 2009 NFL playoffs an aerial assault that hasn’t been seen since, they put together a high-scoring preseason affair that same year.

In the third week of exhibition play in ’09, the Packers were the ones who jumped out to a big lead in Arizona. In fact, with their No. 1 offense playing the entire first half, the Packers raced out to a 38-10 lead—only to see that advantage shrink to a final score of 44-37.

31

July

Green Bay Packers Free Agent Tracker

Green Bay Packers 2011 free agency tracker:

 

FB John Kuhn: RE-SIGNED WITH PACKERS

The Packers re-signed fullback John Kuhn on a three-year contract worth $7.5 million. The deal puts Kuhn amongst the highest paid NFL fullbacks.

While you may raise your eyebrows a bit at that, I think it actually makes sense. Kuhn contributed in multiple ways beyond blocking last season, including shouldering some of the running back responsibilities, catching passes, short yardage back and special teams contributor. Kuhn is also a popular player among fans and in the locker room.

Kuhn wanted back in Green Bay all along, but he played it smart and let the market set the price for him. With Houston making a strong push for Kuhn to replace the departed Vonta Leach, the Packers most likely paid Kuhn more than they would have liked. That’s not to say he’s not worth it. Kuhn is a valuable asset for the Packers to have in their hip pocket, but this does affect one of the tight ends being looked at as a possible H back.

He won’t be running the ball as much as last season, but I’d expect Kuhn to help cover for the loss of Brandon Jackson on third downs.

WR James Jones: RE-SIGNED WITH PACKERS

The Packers agreed to terms with Jones on a three-year deal worth $9.6 million.

It sounds as if Aaron Rodgers and Donald Driver went to bat for Jones, and when teams in receiver market went elsewhere, Jones decided to come back with the Packers.

We heard Rodgers say that Jones should be the Packers No. 1 priority, but I still have doubts that he swayed Thompson in any way. The more likely reason for Jones’ return to Green Bay was the fact that receiver-needy teams such as Minnesota and New York signed other players, with the Vikings acquiring Michael Jenkins and the Jets Plaxico Burress.

Now, the Packers return all their pass-catchers from 2010. With this many toys at their disposal, expectations will be sky-high for this offense.

DE Cullen Jenkins: SIGNED WITH EAGLES 

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed Cullen Jenkins to a five-year, $25 million deal.