21

May

Questioning the “Effort” and “Motor” of the Packers’ Nick Perry

Nick Perry

It's too early to question Nick Perry's effort.

There are several words used by analysts to describe college players entering the NFL draft that drive me crazy.

Examples include:

  • Athletic. What does it mean to be athletic? Shouldn’t all athletes getting paid to play sports be considered athletic?
  • High upside. How many teams draft players because they have little or no upside?
  • Get-off. This is a newer term and it’s just weird. Am I reading about NFL prospects or porn actors?

Perhaps my least favorite words, however, are “effort” and “motor.” I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think effort has to do with how hard you try and motor has something to do with how hard you try throughout an entire play/game/season (I’m not sure about motor. It’s another one of those words, like “athletic,” that people tend to throw out there even though they really don’t know what it means).

Nearly every prospect is judged as either a max-effort guy with a high motor or someone whose effort is questionable with a motor that runs hot and cold.

Look, I get it. We all want players on our favorite teams that give 110 percent so we feel obligated to make judgments about a guy’s effort before he even gets into town. But you have to understand something when reading scouting reports and stories about a player’s effort or motor: Only the really good players get critiqued on effort.

Typically, you don’t see the mediocre linebacker or struggling-to-get-by running back called out for being lazy. Those types of players really don’t stand out in the first place, so it’s tough to tell if they’re dogging it.

The good prospects — players that are good enough to play in the NFL — are held to a different standard. NFL-caliber prospects look more impressive than everyone else. When they’re not dominating or playing at a level we feel they’re capable of, well, then they must have low motors or issues with effort.

Packers first-round pick Nick Perry has had his effort questioned.

From Bob McGinn (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):

“Perry, who hails from Detroit, didn’t give teams pause from a character standpoint. He just didn’t play hard. In fact, one scout maintained that if (Jerel) Worthy was a 70%-30% player in terms of giving effort, Perry was 30%-70%.”

From the National Football Post:

20

November

Packers vs. Buccaneers: 5 Factors That Favor Green Bay on Sunday

When a 9-0 team like the Green Bay Packers welcomes a 4-5 club like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there are going to be a number of factors that favor the undefeated team at home. And really, Packers fans probably don’t need much for comfort as they head into Sunday. I’ve haven’t witnessed much nail-biting in the lead up to Week 11. However, if you are one of those fans who is sweating the Packers upcoming game against the Bucs, maybe the following five factors will calm your mind.

1. The Bucs really struggle on D

The Packers offense is playing well enough right now that matchups become more or less a moot point. But when scanning the Buccaneers’ defensive numbers in 2011, it’s hard to ignore the kind of mismatch we could see on Sunday. Through nine games, the Bucs currently rank No. 31 in total defense (401.2 yards/game), No. 28 in pass defense (263/game), No. 29 in rush defense (138.2/game) and No. 27 in points allowed (25.9/game). According to Pro Football Focus, the Bucs are the third-worst rated defense in the NFL. It’s bad across the board. Aaron Rodgers and Co. is always a threat to put a big number on the board, but it looks like a near certainty on Sunday against this Bucs defense.

2. End of a tough stretch

Bucs coach Raheem Morris talked this week about how much harder the schedule has been in 2011, which is theoretically a true statement but also one that completely undermines their 10-win season from a year ago. They’ll finally get a break after Week 11. Sunday’s game with the Packers ends a horrific stretch of games for the Bucs which included the 49ers (8-1), Saints x 2 (7-3), Bears (6-3) and Texans (7-3). Including the 9-0 Packers, that’s a 34-13 record of teams that has faced the Bucs since Week 5. They’ve went just 1-5 during that stretch. If the Packers get up early at home on Sunday, the Bucs might be inclined to pack it in. Also, don’t forget that Sunday will be the first game that the Bucs have played in the cold in 2011. They’ve been either indoors or in warm weather in all nine games of 2011.

3. No pass rush

8

October

Packers – Redskins Preview: 2010 NFL Week 5: Does Capitol Collision spell Trouble for Green Bay?

It’s hard to believe the Packers are a 3-1 team.

It’s especially hard to believe with all the gloom and doom talk amongst fans after was has been a pretty bad week for the team in the injury and public relations fronts.

First, the Packers missed out on getting Marshawn Lynch as the Bills traded the running back to the Seahawks for a fourth round pick next year and a conditional pick in 2012, an offer Packers General Manager Ted Thompson could easily have matched or beaten.

Then Brett Favre finally got his wish and got Randy Moss to throw to in Minnesota. This blockbuster move triggered all sorts of “the sky is falling” talk amongst Packer fans. Moss torched the Packers often during his first stint with the Vikings and now with the Packers being weak at safety, the same fears have appeared again.

Finally, linebacker Nick Barnett will reportedly miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury and coach Mike McCarthy said Brandon Chillar and Mark Tauscher will also likely will miss Sunday’s game in Washington, DC.

Happy days in Dairyland, eh?

After barely getting by the Detroit Lions at home 28-26, the Packers limp (again, not a word you’d usually associate with a 3-1 team) into Washington DC to face the Washington Redskins who are coming off a 17-12 win over the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Breaking down the Redskins

Once again the Packers go up against Mike Shanahan, who had the team’s number in Super Bowl XXXII, a loss that former GM Ron Wolf called the most bitter loss to swallow of his entire Packers career.

That said, this is obviously not the same team nor is Shanahan the same coach. Shanahan has been humbled after surprisingly being fired from Denver almost two years ago and instead of sticking with the 4-3 defense he had in Denver, Shanahan has moved to a 3-4 in Washington with the unit being led by former Saints head coach Jim Haslett.

On offense, the big star is obviously starting quarterback Donovan McNabb. Disregarding his age, McNabb is still an elusive quarterback and can still make all the throws whether they be on the run or from inside the pocket. Despite a lackluster game in Philadelphia, McNabb has brought an immediate spark to the Washington offense that was lacking under former coach Jim Zorn.