CheeseheadRadio News 09-12-12: Come off the Ledge Edition with Matt Bowen

Weekly Green Bay Packers News from Twitter and other Sources by Al Bracco and Jayme Joers (As heard on Cheesehead Radio – 09/12/12 ). Special Guest was Matt Bowen of National Football Post and together we analyzed the Packers performance against the 49ers.

The Show can be downloaded from itunes here, or just click on the play button below:

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Al: Well, Packers fans, I’m afraid the quest for a perfect season in 2012 is over before it even got started.  Green Bay had the misfortune of having to open up against in what my opinion is the the best overall team in the NFC. The Packers confirmed my fears that they just weren’t ready yet for this type of contest. But there’s still plenty of season for this team to grow and they now know the level of performance they’ll have to raise their game to.

Jayme:  Talking about the game to the media, Mike McCarthy was typically understated in commenting on two recurring issues, the lack of a running game and miscommunication in the secondary. McCarthy said he’d like to see the team have, as he called it, “some semblance of a running game.” McCarthy then promised the secondary coaches would spend 10 to 15 minutes discussing the issues in the 49ers game.

Al:  10-15 minutes doesn’t seem like enough to me, but… perhaps there’s little time to reflect on Sunday as the Packers have the Bears coming up tomorrow night. And as they prepare for Chicago, it’s possible the Packers may be without Their All-Pro wide receiver Greg Jennings. Jennings suffered  a groin injury towards the very end of the 49ers game, which resulted in Donald Driver getting his only 3 snaps of the game.

Jayme: Speaking of pains in the groin, Bears QB Jay Cutler was shooting his mouth off this week. Evidently, Cutler is as giddy as a toddler at Chuckie Cheese over his new partners in the pass-completion business. Cutler wished the Packers defensive backs “Good Luck” in trying to cover his new receivers. I guess you can’t blame him now that he has some guys that can bail him out  on all those bad passes he throws.



Monday Morning View: Bounties Have No Place in the NFL

If you’ve been away this weekend or cooped up in a hole to avoid the weather, you might have missed the big story that hit all the media outlets on Friday afternoon. I first found out through our friends at CheeseheadTV that the New Orleans Saints have been found guilty of offering bounties (or payouts) to defensive players as a performance incentive. It wasn’t only for interceptions or fumble recoveries, though. No, they were getting rewarded for injuring other players.

I, for one, found this appalling.

Now, I’m no fool. I am well aware that the rules of the league are often broken to gain a competitive advantage. And some people in the CheeseheadTV comments section feigned a sarcastic state of shock in light of this news.

But what really got to me were the comments and tweets around the internet that this is commonplace and not that big of a deal. The only reason it’s a huge story is because the Saints actually got caught. Some people likened it to the use of performances enhancing drugs (PEDs), in that it happens all the time, yet only a few are ever found out.

There was even an article penned by Matt Bowen for the Chicago Tribune, titled “Bounties part of game across the NFL.” In the article, Bowen shares his experience as a player who was coached by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams with the Washington Redskins. Daily player fines for breaking the rules or miscues during practice would be gathered and “stashed away at the team facility.”

Then, after the coaches reviewed the game film, the money would be handed back out for things like “big hits, clean hits by the rule book.” Extra cash was earned for interceptions, sacks, and forced fumbles, and during the playoffs, the bounty rewards would increase.

“I ate it up,” admits Matt Bowen.

And really, who wouldn’t? Cash incentives for performance can be a big motivator. It is a classic case of B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning. (Sorry, it’s the teacher in me.) Behaviors are supported through positive and negative reinforcers, as well as positive and negative punishment. In this case, breaking the rules and mental errors during practice are met with negative punishments (fines), while exceptional performances are met with positive reinforcers (bounties).