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Offseason needs

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  Offseason needs
#1

Posted: December 28, 2015, 8:57 PM Post
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Two more games (at least), but some of the needs are pretty obvious.

WRs: Getting Nelson and Montgomery back will help immensely. Jones helped cotterize the bleeding this year, but just can't seperate. Adams can't either, but will get another shot next year. Nelson, Cobb, Montgomery, Adams, Abbrederis, and Janis is probably going to be it. However, they are really missing another outside (deep) threat. Nelson can seperate. Montgomery (in limited exposure) seems to be able to seperate. No one else seems to be able to get away from a quality CB. ***Is ipossible that a new WR coach wold be in order?

TEs: Rodgers will be back, Quarless might be. But this group needs more talent. Rodgers is a decent player, but isn't going to challenge anyone. Really missing that pass catching TE (JF, Witten, Olsen, Owens...) There needs to be someone here to press the middle of the field. Also a good 6'5" TE in the endzone would help too. TT hates FA, but this might be an area to reach out and grab someoen.

OL: Tackles, tackles, tackles. Bach and Bula are "ok" at LT and RT, but we certainly need more backups. Also, haven't someone compete at LT for the starting position wouldn't be a bad thing. I think Tretter is a FA this year too, so more depth in the middle is a need.

RB/FB: #1: Lacy needs to drop 20 lbs. Starks might come back on a vet minimum. But I still like Crockett. I like his size/speed combo plus his ability to catch the ball. We need a better 3rd down back.

QBs: I don't know if Rodgers went lax this year or if his age is creeping in? His accuracy has dropped badly this year. No more people needed, just need his accuracy to come back.

DL: This group has done pretty well. Pennell is looking like a player. Raji looks like he will be earning a paycheck this year. Probably not too much need here but some FAs to resign.

OLB: Some fresh blood could be helpful here. Peppers will be in the last year of his contract. Neal and Perry are Ok players , but both are FAs. I high round pick is really needed here

ILB: With Matthews, Ryan, and Barrington (back fromIR), we should actually be ok here. But I suppose another good ILB would allow Matthews to move back to OLB (though I think he is a better ILB than OLB)

CB: Probably the strength of the team. Randall and Rollins holding up farely well as rookies has been a Godsend for the defense this year.

S: Similarly, Burnett, Clinton-Dix and Hyde is pretty strong group.

So, I would be looking for an LT, TE, or OLB in FA. Then look for the other two in the draft.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#2

Posted: December 29, 2015, 9:34 AM Post
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I'm not concerned with RB, especially if Starks returns. RB's are a dime a dozen. If you have good blocking, you have a running back capable of 1,500 yards.

Thus, I'd look to both build depth on the O-line and possibly find new starting OT's (though not necessarily to jump in and start next season). Bulaga is always hurt and Bakhtiari is just ok. We're set at OG and C. Hopefully Tretter will be back. Barclay can go.

I'd look to draft a fast WR or two and see what they can do. As much as our WR's suck this year, IF Jordy and Ty can come back healthy next season, we should be pretty good to go overall with those two plus Cobb, Abby, Adams, and Janis. I'd certainly want to see if anyone could be replaced, particularly any or all of those last three I listed.

TE, I could take or leave if Quarless returns. Pending health, I think we're ok with Quarless and Rodgers, though I would certainly like a bigger-play TE.

I'd draft some LB's. Not a HUGE need anymore, but could use some more skill at ILB and we will soon be thin at OLB.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#3

Posted: December 29, 2015, 11:00 PM Post
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dlk9s nailed it - Bulaga can't stay healthy and Bakhtiari is average. Would not at all be surprised if the Packers first round draft pick is Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana.

I've been saying this for two years, but I think Sitton is overrated. He commits way too many penalties that nullify big plays. Bakhtiari is #1 in penalties (and #1 in the league in holding penalties), but Sitton is #2 - five holding penalties, one face mask (this should not happen, ever), one hands to the face (and OL should never have his hands that high). He's basically tied for 4th in the league among guards for penalty yardage, and only nine offensive lineman at any position have more penalty yardage than him. Way too many to be paid like an elite OG.

I don't know why Janis isn't that deep threat. He has speed and he certainly can find the deep ball, as evidenced by his performance as a gunner on punt coverage. Adams has been hurt and I think that has impacted his play. Abby was a great college WR, but in the pros is just a guy.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#4

Posted: December 30, 2015, 12:46 PM Post
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Abby seems like he could be an effective WR in the NFL - I'm just concerned that he has a history of concussions plus the ACL injury. I mean, hell, if [scanning my brain for the stereotypical scrappy white guy comparison] Cole Beasley can be decent, I think Abby can, too.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#5

Posted: December 30, 2015, 9:56 PM Post
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My thinking about RBs isn't about running the ball. Its about someone that can be a threat in the passing game or running game. Putting Lacy in hinders the passing game (or makes it obvious that its a run). Putting in Kuhn ensures its a pass (or a short run) and isn't a threat either way. Starks has some ability in the passing game, but is up and down on the passing game. A Matt Forte type would fit in really well with Rodgers' style of play.

Janis could become the deep threat. But he isn't it now. And he isn't guaranteed to be it. I'm almost certain that Rodgers' interception in the endzone against the Raiders was partially Janis' fault. Rodgers certainly didn't seem happy with him at the time.

Abby has a chance in the NFL because he is good at routes. Health is the only thing that could keep him from it.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#6

Posted: December 31, 2015, 3:29 PM Post
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I was thinking more about the offensive needs last night and they really need to press defense on three levels.

Level 1: under 10 yards. Attack the front 7 and make the DBs play close. Short and quick plays are good counter for a heavy pass rush. Also good for misdirection.
- Our WRs do well here, which is fine for occasional gimmick plays (WR screen), slants, and crossing routes. But not where you want the WRs to make a living. The short pass and high YAC have almost disappeared this year. If we get a short pass completed, the WRs have gone down almost immediately.
- TEs are ok here. But really should be more automatic.
- RBs have done well with screens, but very poorly on check down passes.

Level 2: 10-20 yards. Stretch the LBs and attack the DBs.
- WRs have been poor here. DBs have looked like they are playing with 4-6 Deon Sanderses out there.
- TEs: Rodgers is normally good for 1 play per game. Certainly not something that that D-coordinators have to plan against.
- RBs: It takes a special RB to do much here. We don't have one.

Level 3: over 20 yards. Need strong O-line play and good WRs to play in this area. Good TEs press the LBs and Safeties here also.
- WRs: Janis is about it this year. And I can only think of two long pass plays he has made. And I think only one of them was thrown over 20 yards. We have such a lack of presence here that Janis is normally covered deep with a CB only. And safeties play close to the LOS without fear of being burnt deep.
- TEs: Beyond the hailmary, I don't think Rodgers will actually even try routes this deep. That allows the safties and linebackers to play closer to the LOS (making it harder for the short passing game and run game).
- RBs: A very rare RB to be a threat deep. Nice if you have one, but not the norm.

So right now we have too many WRs that can't do any damage at the second or third levels. The ones that have a chance (Cobb) get doubled to minimize his chances. Obviously, getting Nelson back will greatly improve this group. Your #1 WR will do that. Montgomery should also help. He looked like a good complementary player before getting injured. Hopefully Adams has been playing injured or recovers from a poor sophmore season. Janis might also continue his growth/improvement like Billy Schroeder did.

We don't have any TEs that are threats at all. Rodgers can catch the ball well, but can't really press the LB level either. If you aren't afraid of covering the best TE, the LBs tend to creep up closer. Backman might become something, but was a 6th round pick and didn't show much in this first year. Unless we can get someone like Vernon Davis in FA, a high draft pick (top 3 rounds) is needed.

At the RB level, there isn't a natural pass catcher in the group. Starks does well on screens, but oddly bad on check downs. Lacy has improved, but still isn't a natural either. We often break a guy out wide on certain formations, but rarely is there someone to make a big play when doing that. I don't think you need a high draft pick to find this type of back. Unless you really want a Forte type player (strong run and pass), I think you can find a pass catching type RB later. Crocket might actually be a choice here also. I just don't see the MM/TT regime put much stock in the "third down" back.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#7

Posted: January 03, 2016, 1:24 PM Post
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IMO, top priorities are TE, OL, and LB. Possibly a WR as insurance.

TE. I've been thinking about Jordan Cameron. Disappointing year in Miami, I believe the first year of three year deal. Could we somehow acquire him to get an experienced, athletic playmaker? I think he's 27. He's fallen off the face of the earth a bit, but for some reason I see him as a good fit. Not really excited about 32+ year old FAs like Gates or Davis. Would rather draft at other positions than hope for impact from a rookie TE.

OL and LB. Draft, draft, draft. Use the first handful of picks here. With Matthews' versatility, you don't even have to worry about ILB/OLB. Just try to hit on a great young LB to add to the group. I think I'd drop Peppers and shed his salary. For the OL, obviously focus on T potential.

Lastly, if a deep threat receiver truly is as critical to our offense to cause what we're seeing this year without one, maybe sign a FA vet for protection with Jordy and Monty coming back from IR seasons. I'm not good enough to know who that would be. Lance Moore? Nate Washington? I could be way of work those suggestions.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#8

Posted: January 03, 2016, 7:08 PM Post
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When i was watching the lions bears game, they were talking about megatrons cap nu,ber being huge next year and that this could be his last year in detroit. I doubt we could fit him in the cap or that ted would even try, but that thought had me drooling a bit.

NFL Blitz has better referees.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#9

Posted: January 04, 2016, 8:23 AM Post
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I think they need more speed at several positions:

1. WR - Maybe Nelson and Montgomery coming back will make a huge difference, but the way DBs sat on the WRs this year was frustrating.
2. TE - Again, with more weapons on the field maybe the lack of athleticism at TE won't be exposed so much, but someone who was at least a threat deep would help.
3. RB - I can live with Lacy and Starks, but a true 3rd down back (think Sproles, Jerick McKinnon, etc.) would at least be some diversity and a potential match-up problem to exploit.
4. ILB - Ryan and Barrington aren't going to cut it as cover guys consistently. Joe Thomas can run, but is small for an ILB. GB needs a true, every down ILB who can cover guys out of the backfield and run sideline to sideline.

After they get their butts kicked in the playoffs and I can move on, I'm very interested to see what happens during the off-season. There will be FA losses they have to replace and obvious (in my mind) positions that need an upgrade. Thompson and McCarthy have always stuck to their draft and develop strategy, but this team needs a shot in the arm somehow and I don't think there will be enough talent to upgrade this team strictly through the draft this year. Given what happened this year, I think the window for the Super Bowl might be closing much faster than I thought.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#10

Posted: January 04, 2016, 9:58 AM Post
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would at least be some diversity and a potential match-up problem to exploit.

I think this is a key statement for the overall. They are built too much with the exact same style of player at the skill positions:
- Lacy, Starks, Harris: Started the seasons this way and they are all big, heavy, slow RBs. Starks has some giddy-up, but not a burner by any means. I was pretty shocked that Harris got the nod over Crockett because he was such a mirror image of Lacy. Now, Harris is gone and Crockett is in, but he is no burner either (4.62- 40yd dash).

- Rodgers, Quarless: Both are 6'4" and 255lbs (I thought I read Rodgers was 270 at one point?). Good (Rodgers) or OK (Q) hands, but slow; Will not stretch the defense. Perillo and Backman are more in the receiver TE style, but are on the low talent end.

- WRs have some diversity, but the loss of Nelson and Montgomery made them very bland. Janis has the speed and size, but the routes and trust of Rodgers isn't there. Jones and Adams are similar size (good) and speed (bad) type WRs that couldn't get open consistently this year. Cobb can get open, but since no one else could, he was constantly double teamed.

Another thing I noticed last night was that the Viking DBs seemed to be running the routes with the WRs (not reacting to the WRs, but just running the same route) . It looked like we were so predictable that they could cover our WRs without a second thought.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#11

Posted: January 19, 2016, 9:15 PM Post
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Needs are ranked from 1-10 with 1 being no need at all, 10 being extremely dire:

QB (1): Rodgers didn't have his best season, but I think he got a bit skittish with how much he got hit and developed Favre's happy feet. A healthy, better OL and healthy WRs should help this. Biggest issue is whether/not they should trade Hundley - if he has another preseason like last year they will be able to get quite a bit for him in trade.

WR (1): Nelson, Cobb, Adams, and Montgomery were all hurt in some capacity this year; none played in the second half of the Arizona playoff game, and yet GB still made plays at the WR position. Hopefully it was Janis' coming-out party. Add Abbrederis, and they are fine here. They are also very high on practice squad player Ed Williams.

RB (5): This could be a 2, this could be a 9. If Lacy gets in shape, Starks returns, and Crockett shows the ability he flashed it's a 2. If Lacy repeats his offseason and Starks leaves, it's a 9. But they will at least need to bring in a late round pick to keep a fire under Lacy's butt.

FB (3): Kuhn found the fountain of youth in the playoff game, but they drafted Ripkowski for a reason. Well into his 30's and a free agent, Kuhn might not be back.

TE (4): While Quarless isn't an elite talent, the reality is that the TE talent coming out of college right now isn't any better except for maybe Hunter Henry. And Quarless is still only 27. Rodgers was second on the team in receptions and tied for the lead in TDs - he took a step forward. Not sure about Backman, but he was a rookie from a smaller school. They have bigger things to worry about than their 3rd TE.

OT (8): At the least they need to bring in a quality backup, if not someone to push Bakhtiari, and Bulaga can't stay healthy. Depth is needed here. But part of me looks at Tretter and sees the part - he looks very athletic for an OT and looks like he should be able to play LT. Regardless, they have to have better production here and give Rodgers more time.

OG (5): I've said it before but I think Sitton is overrated; he's been one of the ten most penalized OL in the NFL (not just OG - all OL positions) the last three seasons and many of them have been bad penalties at bad times - holding on running plays, hands to the face on pass protection, etc. That shouldn't happen with a Pro-Bowl guard who supposedly is as good as he is. For what he's being paid he should be better.

OC (2): Linsley and Tretter have this covered.

NT (5): Next to RB this has the most variability as both Raji and Guion are free agents - one or both could be gone. The good news is that Pennel took a step forward this year and looks like a solid player.

DE (7): Daniels is locked up, but in three seasons Datone Jones has a total of 51 tackles and 8 sacks - 2016 might be his last shot. I never thought he was a good fit for the 3-4 anyway, and his best bet might be to drop a few pounds and play the elephant end/OLB position. GB does play more of a 4-2-5 with Peppers/Neal/Perry playing more of a DE position than OLB. EDIT: Looks like Jones is going to try to drop a few LBs and move to the elephant end/OLB position. With Raji and Guion free agents they will need to bring in a body or two here.

OLB (7): Neal and Perry are free agents and Peppers is 36 and due $10M. Perry can't seem to stay healthy and has only racked up 12.5 sacks in four seasons. They found a diamond in Elliott, and even if Matthews moves back to OLB they likely will still have a hole or two to fill.

ILB (7): The Packers have said they want to move CMIII back to OLB, and if so, they will need more than Barrington, Ryan, and Thomas. Thomas seems to have found a place in pass coverage packages. Bradford didn't make the team out of camp, but they kept him on the practice squad for the entire year, so hopefully he is developing. Nate Palmer is what you call "below replacement level". Hopefully the plans to move CMII back to OLB mean that they have confidence in Barrington, Thomas, and Bradford to step up, but they do need to invest here.

CB (3): Even if Hayward leaves they will still have Shields, Randall, Rollins, Gunter and Goodson. As they say though, CBs are like starting pitchers - you can never have too many good ones.

S (3): HHCD, Burnett, Hyde, and Banjo are solid. Will need to bring in a guy for depth for injury protection.

P (5): While the stats say that Masthay was 14th in the league in net punting average, he sure didn't seem to come through in big situations. A net of 32.8 indoors in Arizona (with no touchbacks) is not acceptable.

K (4): Crosby's a free agent. He's a good kicker considering he has to kick outdoors in GB, but he has a ring and if an offer comes in from a warmer climate/indoor team I wouldn't be surprised if he takes it.


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  Re: Offseason needs
#12

Posted: January 23, 2016, 8:22 PM Post
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As usual, I'm much more optimistic than most. I won't hit on all the positions, but a few where I'm decidedly more optimistic than most.

RB- I think we'll be fine IF Lacy gets his head out of his rear and comes to camp in shape. Lacy was well on his way to becoming a very good receiver out of the backfield until this year's debacle. He is much more sure-handed than Starks. Beyond that, I find him a likable kid so I REALLY hope he "gets his mind right."

WR- Jordy coming back will be huge. Cobb healing fully should help as should Adams healing fully. I am very high on Montgomery and look forward to him being back. Janis has all the speed, size, strength and toughness I could ever ask for. Hopefully his last-game surge will carry over. Abby also has a lot of good things although his concussion history is worrisome. If those two come on in year three as Jordy did and Driver did, all will be well... and then some.

OL- added depth is always good, especially at Tackle. Tretter needs to stay without doubt and may even become a Tackle from what I saw in just one game. Barclay can go. I'm happy with both Guards and Center.

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