Category Archives: Quarterbacks

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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25

February

Seneca Wallace Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: Brought in to be the necessary Band-Aid if Aaron Rodgers were to go down, Seneca Wallace proved that his skills are vastly diminished without the benefit of quick, scampering legs. His decision was marginal, arm strength OK. During his first start for the Packers in Week 10, Wallace suffered a season-ending groin injury.

Seneca Wallace

Seneca Wallace

2) Profile:

Seneca Sinclair Wallace

  • Age: 33
  • Born: 8/6/1980 in Sacramento, Calif.
  • Height: 5’11″
  • Weight: 205
  • College: Iowa State
  • Rookie Year: 2005
  • NFL Experience: 8

Career stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Moderate. Since he knew that he would only be seeing the field if Aaron Rodgers got hurt, his role wasn’t expected to be that important — especially because Rodgers had only missed two games as a starter coming into this season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Not too much to go on because he got hurt on his first in his first start of the season. Looked overmatched when he was brought in against the Bears after Aaron Rodgers went down with his season-ending collarbone injury.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Marginal. He basically thew away an excellent 150-yard rushing performance by Eddie Lacy in a 27-20 loss to the Bears at Green Bay because he was sacked four times and threw an interception.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Injured.

Season Report Card:

(C-) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  D+

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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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25

February

The Packers should choose a different flavor of tight end

At the moment there are 3 “flavors” of tight ends; everyone’s favorite at the moment is chocolate and that would be the “oversized wide receiver” tight ends like Jimmy Graham or Jordan Cameron, who are players who can take the top off of a defensive secondary while posing a size match up for cornerbacks and safeties while causing speed problems for linebackers.  These types of players are what the NFL craves right now and with the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl with bigger more physical corners, the most logical response would be for NFL offenses to counter with big and fast tight ends who can beat bigger corners at their own game.  Strawberry would be the “move” tight end, much like Aaron Hernandez or Jordan Reed, who while aren’t the biggest or fastest have the most utility of the group, being able to operate decently as a inline tight end, out in the slot or even as a fullback in some situations (the Packers in particular love this kind of tight end).  Finally, there is vanilla, the old and boring standby of inline or “complete” tight end such as Jason Witten or Todd Heap who were capable inline blockers but could also operate as a safety value for a quarterback in the short passing game.  Each flavor has its own advantages and disadvantages and that’s fluctuated over time as offenses and defenses have evolved in the NFL.

When looking at the Packers under the Mike McCarthy/Ted Thompson regime, the flavors that appeal most have definitely been chocolate (Jermichael Finley, Brandon Bostick) and strawberry (Tom Crabtree, Spencer Havner, Ryan Taylor, DJ Williams) with almost no emphasis being placed on blocking.  And it’s easy to see why, with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers at the helm, plays could be extended, wide receivers got the majority of the attention on offense and running backs, outside of a couple years of Ahman Green in his prime, took a back seat to the offensive passing game.  Add to that the aerial explosion that occurred starting around that time and it’s easy to see why the Packers, along with pretty much every other NFL team, starting looking at tight ends more as receivers than blockers.  However, we might just start to see Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson pick a different favorite flavor this coming draft.

25

February

Matt Flynn Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction:  After jumping from Seattle to Oakland and finally Buffalo, Matt Flynn finally settled on a place where he was comfortable — in a Packers uniform. Flynn was signed by the Packers on Nov. 12 and started four games, earning a 2-2 record. His limited arm strength has been one of Flynn’s major flaws but he has been able to get past that with intelligent play most of the time.

Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn

2) Profile:

Matthew Clayton Flynn

  • Age: 28
  • Born: 6/20/1985 in Tyler, Texas
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 230
  • College: Louisiana State
  • Rookie Year: 2008
  • NFL Experience: 6

Career stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Flynn’s expectations were pretty low. He was brought in to backup  third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien. It didn’t take Flynn long to win the starting job.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Flynn’s highlight: Flynn brought the Packers back from a 21-10 halftime deficit against the hapless Falcons to keep the faint playoff hopes alive. Flynn’s lowlight: Being sacked seven times by the menacing Lions defensive front as the Packers were swallowed up on Thanksgiving by a score of 40-10.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: A little more than marginal. The Falcons win shouldn’t have come down to a comeback because Atlanta was riddled with injuries last year. But it was Flynn that Andrew Quarless for the deciding touchdown.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: He was on the sideline as he watched the 49ers defense run roughshod on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Season Report Card:

(B-) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) 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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1

February

Cory’s Corner: Helping Rodgers should be Packers’ priority

Aaron Rodgers needs to be surrounded with weapons and protection.

Aaron Rodgers needs to be surrounded with weapons and protection.

Super Bowl XLVIII is a collision course of two different team-building philosophies.

In 2012, the Broncos paid 36-year-old Peyton Manning, the owner of four neck surgeries, a five-year $96 million contract to take them back to the promised land. Many saw it as a surprise because nobody knew how Manning would respond to contact and if his arm strength would return.

The Seahawks, on the other hand, decided to spread out most of its resources. Sidney Rice ($8.5M), Russell Okung ($7.06M) and Marshawn Lynch ($7M) are the three highest-paid players on the team. But that doesn’t mean Seattle doesn’t spend money. The Seahawks were the second-highest payroll in the NFL this year with over $103M in salaries.

But the difference is at the quarterback position. Russell Wilson is the 44th-highest paid player on the Seahawks, making just $526,217 this year. Obviously that number is going to skyrocket when he’s a free agent in 2016, but until then Seattle is going to ride the wave of an efficient and cheap quarterback while they fill holes on the rest of their team.

Which is exactly how the 49ers have approached their quarterback position. Colin Kaepernick is the 26th-highest paid player on the roster with a salary of $740,844. San Francisco will have some difficult choices to make when he’s a free agent in 2015.

But it speaks to an interesting philosophy. The quarterback is and always be the most important player on a football team. However, if a team can strike oil in the draft with a rookie that doesn’t make a flurry of mistakes while adjusting quickly to the faster NFL game, it definitely behooves them to go with the unproven rookie.

The 49ers and Seahawks have been playing with house money ever since Wilson and Kaepernick became household names.

The Broncos meanwhile are going all-in for a potential Super Bowl streak with Manning. But in order to do so, they have left gaping holes in the secondary and on the offensive line but Manning has been able to overcome those.

After showing Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews the money last April, the Packers have to decide where their priorities lie. Jordy Nelson becomes a free agent in 2015, which will limit money spent on expiring contracts this spring.

9

January

Is the Packers’ Glass Half Empty Or Half Full?

Beer

Packers and Beer.

Players, coaches, the media and most often the fans like to say “every season that didn’t include a Super Bowl Victory is a failure”.  I get the sentiment, as long as your team wins the Super Bowl, everything is forgiven; it doesn’t matter how many mistakes were made or how many games were lost, as long as your team takes the Lombardi trophy at home, everything else is forgiven.  However, this is really a shortsighted assessment of any team’s season; would anyone argue that the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans had equally failed seasons because neither will win the Super Bowl this year?  Of course not, the Chiefs saw a massive rebound from the worse record in 2012 to one of the best and saw jumps in all analytics to boot.  On the other hand, the Texans were predicted by many pundits to be a Super Bowl contender but lost 15 games in a row and saw their head coach fired mid-season.  Furthermore, fans of the New England Patriots can realistically expect to be in contention for a Super Bowl every year for the foreseeable future, but the same cannot be said for the Oakland Raiders, who are still in the middle of a massive rebuilding process; getting into the playoffs but not the Super Bowl might be considered a failure for the Patriots, but just getting into the playoffs should be considered a successful season for the Raiders.

All that basically points back to the 2013 Packers; should we consider this season a success or a failure?  Or more realistically, do you see the Packers season as a glass half empty or a glass half full?

The Packers were an average team (8-7-1)

Glass half empty: The Packers took a major nose dive this season after posting a 11-5 season in 2012, 15-1 season in 2011 and winning the Super Bowl in 2010.  Especially in the middle of the season it looked like the team was lost and without a goal as they were man handled by the Eagles, Giants and most notably the Lions.  The defense again fell apart and the Packers were forced to learn how to run the ball behind Eddie Lacy, which didn’t happen overnight.  Hell, they couldn’t even truly beat the Minnesota Vikings who threw Christian Ponder back in a quarterback.  Finally, the Packers again proved that they are incapable of beating the 49ers with the 3rd consecutive loss.

27

December

Rodgers puts Packers back in championship contention

With Aaron Rodgers set to return, the Packers are eyeing a division championship. And perhaps more.

With Aaron Rodgers set to return, the Packers are eyeing a division championship. And perhaps more.

When news broke Thursday that quarterback Aaron Rodgers was slated to return Sunday for the regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears, the outlook for the rest of the Packers’ season changed dramatically.

Without Rodgers, the Packers went 2-4-1, not including the first Packers-Bears game in which Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on the game’s first possession. Coming into that game, the Packers were 5-2 with a favorable schedule and perhaps the hottest quarterback in football.

But despite a newly-feared running game providing balance to their offense, the small crack in Rodgers’ collarbone looked like a death blow to the Packers’ season, as Seneca Wallace would be starting the following week against the Philadelphia Eagles and for the foreseeable future. But Wallace was forced out of the lineup after the first possession, giving way to recent practice squad call-up Scott Tolzien. Then, the Packers signed a recycled Matt Flynn, who would get his chance a few weeks later against the Minnesota Vikings.

Flynn quarterbacked the Packers to one of their most embarrassing defeats in recent memory—a 40-10 Thanksgiving thumping at the hands of the Detroit Lions. For a team who had two All-World quarterbacks for the better part of two decades, the 2013 season was a slap in the face for a (let’s face it) spoiled fan base.

But somehow, at 8-7-1 with one game to play and Rodgers ready to roll, the Packers remain in contention for the NFC North title. A week 17 win in Chicago would punch the Packers’ ticket into the postseason, and they’d host either the San Francisco 49ers or New Orleans Saints in the wild card round January 4 or 5.

And as is the case year after year in the unpredictable NFL, anything can happen in the league’s 12-team tournament.

Typically, there’s a “hot team” that hits its stride late into the season and enters the postseason with a head of steam, much like the Packers’ unlikely run to Super Bowl XLV in 2010. Last year’s Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens backed into the playoffs after losing four of their last five games, but once the regular season is over, a new season begins. The Ravens 2012 regular season didn’t end well, but their postseason ended with a flood confetti and a Vince Lombardi Trophy.