Cory’s Corner: Who’s to blame for Packers’ mess?

B.J. Raji has amassed only 13 total tackles and no sacks.

B.J. Raji has amassed only 13 total tackles and no sacks.

The main theme that trickled out of the Packers’ locker room on Thanksgiving was embarrassment.

The Packers didn’t just take a loss, they endured the worst loss in the Mike McCarthy era.

And with four games left, Green Bay must win out or stay home for the playoffs for the first time since the Packers missed the playoffs in 2008 with a miserable 6-10 record.

But how did they get here?

It’s too simple to say that the left collarbone of Aaron Rodgers is the genesis of all that ails the Packers. That isn’t responsible for the 95 defensive missed tackles or the 20 special teams missed tackles.

It also isn’t responsible for B.J. Raji looking like he is on cruise control when the Packers could use his girth and power to shut down the running game. Coincidentally, the Packers are 27th in the NFL by allowing 126 rushing yards a game.

It’s also not the collarbone’s fault that Marshall Newhouse and Co. have suddenly forgotten how to block. The Packers have allowed 32 sacks, which is surprising seeing as how successful Eddie Lacy has been behind a patchwork offensive line.

So where does the blame lie for a stunning 5-6-1 season that could easily end up in the history books as a dumpster fire?

First and foremost it has to lie with the coach. McCarthy has leaned on Rodgers so much that he may have taken him for granted. McCarthy never had to worry about trick or gadget plays because the impeccable precision and undeniable arm strength of Rodgers overcame a lot of the offense’s weaknesses. Let’s also not forget that McCarthy is a quarterback guru and it’s not exactly a feather in his cap to have four quarterbacks start for an NFL team that isn’t even finished with the season.

McCarthy obviously cannot do more than put players in position to succeed. But it’s the players’ job to take it from there. The biggest example of players not doing all they can is Raji. The 27-year-old defensive lineman becomes a free agent in March and has been offered a shocking $8 million a year offer by Green Bay — and what’s even more shocking is that Raji hasn’t accepted it yet. McCarthy can continue to put Raji in positions and places to make plays but if Rajij continues to take plays off and play soft, then the Packers should take that offer off the table immediately. Raji only has 13 total tackles and no sacks for a guy that plays a lot more than 30-year-old Johnny Jolly. Yet Jolly has 16 total tackles and one sack.



The Green Bay Packers And Injuries: What The Hell Is Going On?

“Oh, man. Not this stuff again.”

Desmond Bishop

Hopefully, Desmond Bishop’s injury is the only big one the Packers suffer

This has likely been the thought of many Cheeseheads as the Green Bay Packers continue to work their way through training camp and the preseason.  One season removed from being decimated by injuries on their way to the Super Bowl XLV title, the Packers once again are looking at infirmary that may have more players in it than are on the practice field.

If there is one team in the league that can get by being devastated by injuries, it is the Packers.  GM Ted Thompson has built one of the deepest rosters in the NFL and the vast majority of the players went through something similar two years ago.

Still, the current rash of injuries has to be more worrisome to Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy for one simple reason: it’s still training camp.  The players aren’t even taking hits at full game speed and yet here the Packers are again in the position of having almost a roster on the injury report.

So far, Desmond Bishop has been the only real catastrophic injury.  His season is in jeopardy with his torn hamstring needing surgery.  Though the rest of the injuries aren’t “season threatening,” they’ve been numerous enough to make McCarthy alter his practice schedule and even cut some practices short.  Worse yet, McCarthy hasn’t really had a chance to see his full number one offense and defense face off against each other.

To quote Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?”  For the second time in three years, the Packers are fighting off an injury epidemic albeit in training camp (as of right now at least) and not during the regular season, but there is still a cause for concern.

What is the deal with all the injuries? Let’s look at a few theories in no particular order.

Poor conditioning workouts from the coaches.

The idea has been tossed around by a few that the Packers need to fire their strength and conditioning coaches since the team once again has seen an alarming amount of injuries crop up.  Mark Lovat was promoted to strength and conditioning coordinator in February of 2010 before the start of the Super Bowl season that saw the Packers place 15 players on injured reserve during the season.