Category Archives: 2009

21

August

Packers Film Study: Can Alex Green Pass Protect?

Alex Green Packers vs. Browns

Alex Green

When Alex Green was drafted by the Packers, I have to admit, I knew little about him. My draft research at that time was focused on the Packers’ positions of primary need; outside linebacker and offensive tackle. So when the Packers selected Green in the third round, two things popped into my head.

First, if ted Thompson used a third round pick on a running back, he must really like the kid.

Second, I better go find tape and see what this kid is all about.

Soon after, I fell in love… you know, from a rabid Packer fan’s perspective. Here was a big back (220lbs.) with excellent leg drive that could make tacklers miss, had a good burst and was a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield. I also did a quick check of the official NFL Scouting report on Green, which suggested he may be one of the more underrated ball carriers in the nation. Here are some excerpts from that report:

Green is an excellent downhill runner, a pounder who runs with a low pad level and shows good leg drive and short area burst past the line of scrimmage.

The thing that you notice on film is his ability to generate in-stride quickness when adjusting and changing direction. He has that short area burst, along with the ability to take a side to avoid low blocks.

He is a pure power runner with above average downhill ability. He does a good job of lowering his shoulder and driving through initial tackles.

He does a good job of looking the ball in with his hands and can gain yardage after the catch.

As a third down back, he is capable of getting to the flares, arrows and comebacks, as his route regimen is not limited like most college backs.

Green is a good cut blocker and is alert to blitzes and stunts, showing the ability to face up, but he needs to sustain his blocks longer.

That last line floored me when I went back to that report. It’s so on the money with what I’ve seen from Green, you might think it was written this week. Lets take a look at a few videos to show you what I mean:

 

14

August

Packers Video: Newest Packer Cedric Benson

While we work to get you more information about the newest Green Bay Packer, running back Cedric Benson, please enjoy the following highlight reel from when he played with the Cincinnati Bengals. (WARNING: Explicit music used in video.)

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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8

August

How Much To Get Matt Flynn Back on the Packers?

Seattle Seahawk QB Matt Flynn

Seattle Seahawk QB Matt Flynn

While not exactly Packers news, I don’t think there are many readers of AllGreenBayPackers.com who aren’t at least a little bit interested in one Matt Flynn, who parlayed a couple solid games (including a spectacular week 17 game against Detroit) into a stepping stone to a NFL starting quarterback.  Most fans were sad to see Flynn go, who might have been the best backup quarterback in the league, but with the demand for quarterbacks as high as it is in the NFL, many fans were happy with the compensatory pick that Flynn would likely net the Packers.

Fast forward a couple months, and the story is quite different; Flynn was signed to a lucrative contract, but nothing remotely close the deal many were expecting; I was the first to assume that Flynn would get something in the ball park of Kevin Kolb, another backup with lots of potential but not a lot of tape, who had received a 6-year $65 million contract, but Flynn got a 3 year, $19.5 million deal instead.

Also inexplicably, the Seahawks front office has decided the best way for Flynn to get used to his new team is to throw him into a quarterback competition with Tavaris Jackson (who realistically is first trying to make the team) and 3rd round rookie Russell Wilson (also signing Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards makes little sense to me either).  To me this means that Seattle isn’t all too confident in Flynn’s abilities, which is understandable considering Flynn played with some of the best offensive talent in the NFL and didn’t play all that much to boot (then again Seattle did pretty well with another Packers backup in a similar situation named Matt Hassellbeck).

With all this in mind, one interesting question is: Could the Packers get Flynn back?  While he might not be a starter, I would say that he’s definitely capable of playing at a high enough level to cover for any Aaron Rodgers injuries and probably win a fair share of his games as well.

Here are the specifics of Flynn’s deal:

v Base: 3-year, $19.5 million total

  • $10 million guaranteed (divided into three parts)
    • $6 million signing bonus
    • 2012 salary ($2 million total)
    • $2 million of his 2013 salary ($5.25 million total)
  • Additional $5 million of escalators
17

June

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sunday with no Packers football.

Surviving Sunday with no Packers Football

It’s shorts season in Green Bay once again. That time of year when we read about some unlikely, unknown or underdog player that suddenly flashes a “ton of talent” and is the surprise of OTA or mini-camp practices. Media members, bloggers and fans get themselves all in a tizzy over the possibilities.

I first fell victim to this unrealistic euphoria in the summer of 2009, when this website was not even six months old. The object of my affection that summer was Jeremy Thompson, who while running around in shorts, had supposedly risen to the top of the depth chart at one of the OLB spots in the newly-instituted Dom Capers 3-4 defense. Thompson took the first snaps at the position, even before new first-round draft pick Clay Matthews. If you’d like a humorous stroll down OTA memory lane, you can read the article I wrote about Thompson at the time.

Once the pads came on in training camp, it became obvious the NFL-caliber skills were just not there. Thompson plummeted down the depth chart and saw very limited playing time in six games, recording one tackle. Then in December of 2009, he suffered an unfortunate career-ending neck injury.

The injury notwithstanding, Jeremy Thompson taught me a lesson that year: pay little attention to the unexpected “stars” of OTAs until a few weeks into training camp.

And that brings us to this week’s links, which are all about the players “making impresssions”  at OTAs.  The star of this year’s OTAs has supposedly has been Dezman Moses.  Moses and Terrell Manning were two linebackers mentioned to me as legitimate sleeper prospects by the head of NFL Scouting. The fact that the Packers got both of them excites me, but that’s as far as I’m taking it for now.

Without further ado, here are the best of this week’s Packers links:

From Ty Dunne at JSOnline .com, “Undrafted linebacker Dezman Moses impresses Packers.

Kevin Seifert of ESPN’s NFL North Blog devotes an entire column to the “rookie buzz” on  Packers #1 draft pick Nick Perry.

Texwestern over at AcmePackingCompany.com does a nice job summarizing the stroylines coming out of the first day of Packers OTAs.

Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee explores the new contact rules for OTAs and speaks with Mike McCarthy about where to draw the line.

31

May

Packers Will Be “Fine” With Current Backup Quarterbacks

Graham Harrell

Will the Packers be "fine" with Graham Harrell as the backup quarterback?

I’ve had about enough. After reading Football Outsider’s NFC North installment of their “Four Downs” series, it’s finally time to make known this humble blogger’s opinion regarding the backup quarterback situation in Green Bay. In a word, they’ll be “fine.”

For some reason, though, there are a good number of writers out there sounding the alarm. Perhaps they haven’t seen enough of Graham Harrell to put a lot of faith in him. (Of course, no one outside of the coaching staff really has.) Or perhaps they’re still clinging to the annual call for a veteran backup.

Whatever the case, it just needs to stop.

And I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’ve read some of the comments at Football Outsiders and our fellow Packers blog CheeseheadTV, and there seem to be a good number of people who all share the same opinion I do.

Look, I get it. Harrell, despite being in his third year with the team, is unproven. He’s never played a down outside of the preseason, and last year’s lockout kept him from developing in Mike McCarthy’s annual quarterback school. Now with the release of Nick Hill, seventh-round draft pick B.J. Coleman remains as the only other backup.

It’s not unreasonable to be dubious of a two-year practice squad player and a rookie. But it’s just crying wolf to say the Packers’ season might be in jeopardy without a more competent backup.

The truth of the matter is that if Aaron Rodgers goes down for the season, it’s probably over anyway. Even if you were to bring in a veteran quarterback, there’s not going to be anyone who will be able to pick up and run the Packer’s offensive system adequately. And spending a higher draft pick for someone other than B.J. Coleman is no more of a guarantee. Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm are proof enough of that.

There is little chance that anyone could carry the offense through the playoffs and to the Super Bowl other than Rodgers himself. When we get right down to it, isn’t that all that matters?

“But wait!” you might say. “What if having a backup in causes them to miss the playoffs, even if Rodgers returns from an injury?”

16

April

Last Day at Lambeau: Kris Burke’s Review Preview

Last Day at Lambeau Film

Last Day at Lambeau Premieres April 18, 2012, Wisconsin Film Festival

The man’s been retired for over a full year now and yet we can’t stop talking about him.

I speak, of course, of one Brett Lorenzo Favre.  With him finally (hopefully) settled into his post-football life, most would think eventually he’d fade from the spotlight.

That hasn’t been the case.  He was rumored multiple times this past season as a mid-season replacement for an injured starter whether it was in Houston, Kansas City or Miami.  Whether not he is officially on Twitter has even become a hot point for debate.  It seems like there is no escaping Favre even when he isn’t (supposedly) actively seeking the spotlight.

Which brings me to filmmaker Michael Neelsen’s new film “Last Day at Lambeau.”  The film chronicles Favre’s divorce from the Green Bay Packers and its aftermath, and it is currently a topic of discussion amongst Packer fans all over the internet.

Our own Al Bracco received an advance copy of the film and already shared his thoughts.  I have yet to see the film, but I will be attending its ‘world premiere’ this Wednesday at the Wisconsin Film Festival on the UW campus in Madison.

I will be sharing my thoughts in a review after I see the film, but I thought I’d get my thoughts on the whole Favre saga on paper before seeing “Last Day at Lambeau” and explain what I hope to gain from it.  In my review, we’ll see if my view of things change but here’s where I stand at the present time.

My views likely will vary a bit from Al’s.  When Favre became the Packers starting quarterback, I was nine years old.  Like a lot of boys, I spent time with friends playing football either at recess or in the backyard.  Up until that point, the Packers were beyond awful.  My earliest Packer memories are of Lindy Infante as the head coach and they were bad (the 1989 season doesn’t register as I was six years old, sorry).

Most boys would pretend they were someone when playing football.  For me, it was John Elway up to that point.  The Packers were pathetic and everyone else was crazy for Elway, Joe Montana or Randal Cunningham. It just wasn’t “cool” to a lot of kids to be a Packer fan at that point.

6

April

The NFL Draft and the NFC North

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is the NFC North's, and probably the NFL's, best draft choice since 2005.Introduction

Introduction
As Packers fans, we hear a lot about building through the draft and developing young players. I thought it would be interesting to examine each team in the NFC North to get a better idea of how drafted players impact current rosters.

So as baseball season gets underway, I decided to celebrate by writing over 2,000 words about the NFL draft.

I came up with a baseball theme (sort of) to accomplish this task. I break down each team’s drafts from 2005-11 by putting draftees in the below categories. I chose 2005-11 because it encompasses Ted Thompson’s time as Packers general manager. Here are the categories and an explanation of each:

Current Starters
This one should be obvious. Which players drafted from 2005-11 are current-day starters with the team that drafted them?

Home Runs
Players who have turned into pro-bowl caliber players or superstars.

Strikeouts
Players drafted in the first or second round that never did much of anything. I limited this category to absolute busts. For example, Justin Harrell was a wasted pick. He’s a strikeout. A.J. Hawk, while failing to meet expectations, remains a starter, wasn’t a complete bust, and shouldn’t be considered a strikeout. In baseball terms, Hawk is probably a walk. Walks are useful and better than striking out, but nothing to get too excited about.

Value Picks
Players taken in rounds five through seven that exceeded the typical expectations for a player drafted that low. I was fairly liberal with this category. If a guy played regularly as a starter or reserve, I counted him as a value pick. For example, I consider Packers LB Brad Jones a value pick. No, he’s nothing special, but he’s played in 35 games over three seasons, starting 13 times. That’s decent value for a seventh-round pick in my opinion.

I realize that third- and fourth-round selections are left in no-man’s land with my system. They’re neither strikeouts nor value picks. The third and fourth round is a gray area for me. It’s not high enough to label someone a bust if they’re bad, but not low enough to call it a value pick if they’re good. I left the third and fourth rounders out in no-man’s land and just counted them in my totals for batting average (see below).