16

July

Is there ANY Scenario For Brett Favre to Be Back in Green Bay this Year?

With the 2011 season (hopefully) approaching, let us imagine a hypothetical situation that the Packers could find themselves in:

  1. Matt Flynn gets traded: Matt Flynn turned some heads last season when he made the quarterback transition look easy with Aaron Rodgers sidelined for the Patriots game. It would be foolish to think that other teams aren’t interested in him and former general manager Ron Wolf was fond of saying it was better to trade a player a year early than a year late (and current general manager Ted Thompson is a Wolf protégé).  It only takes one team to see Flynn as the next Matt Hasselbeck to make an offer that the Packers can’t refuse.  As a point of comparison Hasselbeck was essentially traded away for the 1st pick of the 2nd round; would the Packers take Flynn for a 2nd round draft pick? Definitely.
  2. The Packers then stick with Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell: The Packers always think of development first and they haven’t brought in a veteran backup quarterback since Rodgers became the starter.  They risked having no depth at quarterback in Matt Flynn’s rookie year and got away with it and might be inclined to do the same this year. With 10 new rookies and a slew of players coming off IR, roster slots are going to be very precious and the 3rd quarterback might be one spot that gets eliminated.  A lot of this will come down to Graham Harrell, but if his development is where Flynn’s was when he was a rookie, then past history proves that the Packers are willing to make that gamble.
  3. Midseason, Aaron Rodgers gets hurt: Heaven forbid, but Rodgers has already suffered 2 concussions and from a medical perspective, having a concussion increases the chance of having another.  Rodgers has also battled various injuries during his time with the Packers and mobile quarterbacks like Rodgers do have a higher risk of getting seriously hurt (see Michael Vick).  It’s not unconceivable that Rodgers could miss a game or two (or a season) due to his play style and injury history.

If this series of events were to unfold for the Packers next year, what should they do?

The Packers should call Brett Favre.

Now before someone brings out the tar and feathers, examine my logic:

30

August

Packers Vs.Cardinals: Preseason Game Three Winners and Losers

Last week I spoke of tempering my excitement and keeping things at a “McCarthy-like” even keel. Well, after whipping the Super Bowl runner-up Arizona Cardinals in the first half to the tune of 38-10, that’s pretty darn hard to do. But I’m still going to try. So once again, let’s take a calm, rational look at this past week’s winners and losers.

Winners

Jeremy Kapinos: With his only camp competition (Durant Brooks) sidelined with a hip-flexor injury, Kapinos went into preseason game 3 as the Packers #1 punter. Kapinos had two punting opportunities in the game (thanks to the Brian Brohm-led second team offense) and did well. His punts covered 52 and 56 yards, respectively, with good hang time.

While many people, (including myself) have been writing that the Packers would be scanning the waiver wire after the final team cuts for another punter, perhaps that was never an option. Here’s what Mike McCarthy had to say in a Sunday press conference when asked if Jeremy Kapinos had won the punting job “Kapinos has the ball. It’s his responsibility to keep it. He’s battled through this competition. I thought he kicked well in the game… I have no interest in going through what we went through last year. We’ll learn from that experience, and I think it’s a great opportunity that he’s handled very well so far.”

The key phrase in there, of course, is the “I have no interest in going through what we went through last year”. That is an obvious reference to last preseason when the Packers cut punter Jon Ryan and brought in Derrick Frost with disastrous results. So it sounds like McCarthy is happy enough with Kapinos to award him the punting job.

While I am a huge believer that winning the field position battle leads to winning in general, if the Green Bay offense is really as good as they’ve shown, then I’m fine with Jeremy Kapinos. The Packers won’t be using him that much, anyway.

Brian Brohm: Nobody has been a bigger critic of Brian Brohm than this writer. While I still don’t think he’ll ever be more than a backup QB in the NFL, I have to give some credit where credit is due. Brohm has actually shown some signs of improvement over the first three preseason games.

7

July

Packers GM Ted Thompson is Rolling the Dice Again…

Expectations can bring worries. And folks, I’m worried. I expect the Packers to do well this season. I expect the offense to be better balanced and more productive. I expect Dom Capers’ revamped defense to be a big improvement over last year. And finally, I expect them to challenge for the NFC North Division Title.

So what am I worried about? Well, those of you who are superstitious turn away. If you believe in jinxes or “the evil eye”, stop reading. Go ahead and knock on wood, because I’m going to say it;

What if Aaron Rodgers suffers a season-ending injury?

What if the Packers come together in preseason, then beat the Bears, Bengals and Rams (totally conceivable) to get off to a quick 3-0 start. But the unthinkable happens towards the end of the Packers romp over the Rams. Mike McCarthy is slow to get Rodgers out of the game and some 3rd string Ram DE trying to make an impression crashes into Rodgers knee. One torn ACL later, Rodgers’ season is over.

Now, is there anyone out there that really believes either Matt Flynn or Brian Brohm can step in and continuing leading the team to a successful season? Any hands…? I didn’t think so.

As reported by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, even Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, when asked recently about the progress of his two young quarterbacks, had to think about it for awhile. When he finally did answer, he could muster no better than an unenthusiastic “Well, certainly they’re better than they’ve been”. How’s that for a ringing endorsement from your own coach?

The man responsible for this bad situation is of course, Packers GM Ted Thompson. Thompson has proven to be a polarizing figure among Packers fans, mostly because of his role in the Brett Favre saga. I find myself straddling the fence. There are things he’s done I like, there are things I don’t like. This one, I am not on board with. It’s a bad idea and a huge gamble, like going to Vegas with one year’s salary and putting it all on a roll of the dice at the craps table.