8

February

Cory’s Corner: Assistant coaches don’t excite me

Ron Zook was the head coach at Florida at Illinois. And is now the Packers assistant special teams coach. How did that happen?

Ron Zook was the head coach at Florida at Illinois. And is now the Packers assistant special teams coach. How did that happen?

It’s usually pretty hard to get excited about assistant coaches.

But now the Packers have the highest number of middle management in the NFC North.

And I’m still not excited.

Granted, Mike McCarthy knows that changes need to be made, but I don’t think having 21 assistants is going to be the difference. Does Ron Zook really get anyone excited? And what exactly does an assistant special teams coach do?

That’s quite a fall from grace for a two-time major college football head coach.

But new assistants are just window dressing. This team needs personnel. It needs players that don’t give a half-hearted effort like B.J. Raji and then turn down $8 million from the Packers.

It needs Tramon Williams to play like it’s 2010 and Derek Sherrod to start his first NFL game in his fourth season.

This team needs Clay Matthews to start 16 games for the first time in his career. It needs a tight end to fill Jermichael Finley’s shoes but do it without chirping.

I think we all saw how important a mean streak is. The Seahawks and 49ers approach the game like the movie, “Slapshot.” Both teams try to blow you up on every single play and it’s about time the Packers thought the same way.

Green Bay doesn’t have that on-field sergeant that will not only impose its will but make the opposition think twice about something just because of the physical ramifications.

By the end of the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos wide receivers knew they were beaten. They knew they weren’t going to outmuscle, out tough and outwork the best secondary in football.

I need to see more out of guys like Nick Perry and Andy Mulumba to get an accurate gauge. But adding a dynamic linebacker for the 3-4 defense wouldn’t be a bad thing.

This team needs more creativity from the offensive play calling. Just because it’s first down, it doesn’t automatically mean you have to run the football. This team needs more quarterback pressure out of the front seven to ease the burden on the secondary.

28

January

Andy Mulumba 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: Packers fans did not expect to hear the name “Andy Mulumba”  as one of their defensive starters during the 2013 season.  Mulumba was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Michigan.  He was likely initially signed as depth and not much more and he was by no means a lock to even make the roster going into training camp.  Thanks to injuries that decimated the Packers at the linebacker position, Mulumba was called upon in 14 games and started three.

2) Profile: Andy Mulumba

  • Age: 23
  • Born: 01/31/1990 in Luputa, Congo
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 260
  • College: Eastern Michigan
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1 year
  • Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Signed as an undrafted free agent, there was absolutely no guarantee Mulumba would even make the roster.  With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry set as the Packers’ two outside linebackers, Mulumba’s addition was strictly for depth and that’s about it.  Not many expected Mulumba to make the team, let alone play a role in the season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Well, the earliest highlight for Mulumba was just making the team thanks to a strong showing in the preseason.   He also had a key fumble recovery in the tie against the Minnesota Vikings and recorded a crucial sack in the see saw battle in the Week 17 matchup against the Chicago Bears that the Packers won to clinch the NFC North title.  His lowlight, like much of the Packers’ defense, is in failing to generate a pass rush and letting Colin Kaepernick make critical runs in the postseason defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Since Mulumba was not expected to contribute anything on the field this season, he definitely exceeded a lot of expectations.  He was basically thrown into the fire due to injuries and held his own in the least ideal of circumstances for an undrafted rookie.  He played solid in coverage when needed but struggled in run defense and as a pass rusher.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Mulumba had one assisted tackle during the playoff loss to the 49ers.  He was part of a linebacker unit that could not contain Kaepernick in crucial situations

Season Report Card:

(C) Level of expectations met during the season

2

January

All eyes on Packers’ linebackers against Kaepernick, 49ers

Although not on the radar before the season, outside linebacker Andy Mulumba is playing a key role for a beaten-up Packers defense as the playoffs are set to begin.

Although not on the radar before the season, outside linebacker Andy Mulumba is playing a key role for a beaten-up Packers defense as the playoffs are set to begin.

A year ago, San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick set a single-game NFL record for a quarterback by rushing for 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Kaepernick totaled 444 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, as the Packers were perplexed by the 49ers’ offense throughout the game, allowing 45 points to the 49ers despite a Sam Shields pick-six in the first quarter.

The Packers’ secondary, too, had its fair share of problems, as did the defensive line, but perhaps no position group was overmatched against the 49ers’ offense more than Green Bay’s linebackers. Erik Walden signed a four-year contract worth $16 million with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, but money can’t buy instincts, and Walden is still looking for Kaepernick almost a year after last season’s dud in the playoffs.

Entering the 2013 season, the Packers were determined to be better prepared for the 49ers offense–and specifically, Kaepernick–as a rematch was scheduled for opening weekend in San Francisco.

And the Packers got mixed results. While Green Bay was able to contain Kaepernick to just 22 yards rushing, the quarterback racked up a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Clay Matthews and Nick Perry started for the Packers at outside linebacker that game and helped keep Kaepernick in the pocket, but four months later, Matthews is out with a (re)broken thumb and Perry, due to battles with injuries and subpar play, is now merely a rotational player.

Last January, Walden’s debacle against the read-option left many clamoring for Perry’s return to the lineup after he suffered a season-ending wrist injury as a rookie. Because, at the very least, the 270-pound Perry would be a significant upgrade over Walden setting the edge against the run, right?

As one Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast, my friend.”

Perry played a season-high 57 snaps (of a possible 81) against the 49ers in the season opener, but he played just 12 snaps last Sunday against the Chicago Bears in a must-win game. Mike Neal–still in his first season at outside linebacker–played 47 of 51 snaps against the Bears, and undrafted rookie Andy Mulumba played 43.

1

August

Puttin’ on the Pads: Packers Training Camp 2013 Day 7 Roundup

Today was the third straight day the Packers have practiced in pads, part of a runup that will total five straight days, culminating in the Family Night Scrimmage on Saturday. I’ve culled through the hundreds of tweets by Packers beat writers (so you don’t have to) to bring you what I consider the most important happenings and observations of the day: Enjoy!

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.