Lesson learned: Packers will not go to the Super Bowl

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packer Football' started by Da-news-now, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Da-news-now

    Da-news-now RSS Reporter Reporter

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    By BOB McGINN

    Behind their franchise quarterback, the Green Bay Packers have a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl for the ninth year in a row.

    The wonder of having Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers dominating under center for going on 26 seasons has hidden the flaws, sapped some spontaneity from the fan base if not the entire organization and elevated expectations higher and higher with each passing year.

    For a change, I’m not buying in to this team. Lesson learned.

    Two years ago, my fearless forecast was a 12-4 finish and victory in the Super Bowl. Last year, it was 13-3 and a trip to the Super Bowl.

    Over the last four seasons my pre-season prognostication called for the Packers to go 49-15. Instead, they went 40-23-1, three times finishing worse than my guess and once equaling it (12-4, 2014).

    In each of the last four years the Packers were forced to the final Sunday before settling the NFC North Division championship. They won three titles with records of 8-7-1, 12-4 and 10-6 while losing another with a 10-6 mark.

    The Detroit Lions have Matthew Stafford and an extremely aggressive Bill Belichick disciple, Bob Quinn, calling the shots as general manager. The Minnesota Vikings have the best defense in the division and what might be its best rookie in running back Dalvin Cook.

    Green Bay has Rodgers in his prime and a wealth of wide receivers and tight ends. The Packers will outscore some teams but, in the end, they just won’t have enough on defense.

    It could be Detroit. It could be Minnesota. On paper, they’re evenly matched teams.

    One of those teams will be within a game of Green Bay with two weeks remaining. Just one team from the NFC North will reach the playoffs, and this season it won’t be Green Bay.

    Lance Allan, the main sports anchor at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee and sidelines reporter for the Packers TV Network, was conducting one of those in-game interviews last month with Mike Daniels when he asked Daniels why the defense would be better this season.

    Granted, this was before veterans Ahmad Brooks and Quinton Dial plus rookie Chris Odom were added to the roster. Still, the slightly panicked look in Daniels’ eyes and his answer about this year’s rookie class was revealing.

    Daniels always tells it like it is. He was caught off-guard by the directness of the question and wasn’t quite sure where to go with his response, and for good reason.

    It’s difficult for even the most bright-eyed optimist to pinpoint where significant improvement will come for a defense that ended last season with the abomination in Atlanta.

    In April, Ted Thompson used his first four draft choices on defense and his last six selections on offense.

    Cornerback Kevin King made an average-to-good impression this summer. The Packers, who also gave serious consideration to Cook, needed that pick to be an impact player sooner than later.

    Josh Jones looks like an eventual starter but the Packers are loaded with safeties.

    Montravius Adams broke his foot in the first practice and isn’t quite ready to return. His value to Green Bay will be pass rush on the inside, and that’s a tough injury for a player whose game is based on get-off, quickness and chase.

    In May, pass-rushing linebacker Vince Biegel also suffered a broken foot. It was his second in eight months, and like Adams could affect just what kind of player he becomes.

    Other than Adams and Biegel, the Packers enter the season remarkably free of injury.

    Starting with the team’s second selection in Round 4, it’s possible Thompson just blew his draft. The Packers needed defense, defense and more defense, not six players in a row on offense. He should have wound up with seven or eight defensive players for the three days instead of just four.

    Of the six offensive players drafted in rounds 4-7, Thompson took numerous gambles on players with athletic testing numbers and not much production. Wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey and guard Kofi Amichia are unlikely ever to help the Packers, wide receiver Malachi Dupre wasn’t good enough even to warrant a berth on the practice squad and running backs Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays didn’t stand out in early evaluations made by several personnel men.

    Certainly, Thompson was short-handed at running back after the decision was made not to bring back Eddie Lacy or James Starks. If there was room at wide receiver, it was minimal.

    Had Thompson added a capable veteran running back, however, he could have just gone all defense.

    Danny Woodhead, an unrestricted free agent, went from the Chargers to the Ravens on the first day of free agency for $8.8 million ($4.25M guaranteed) over three years. He enters the season as Baltimore’s receiving back behind Terrance West.

    LeGarrette Blount, a 19-touchdown scorer for New England last year, was on the street until May 18 when the Eagles gave him a one-year, $1.25 million deal. He’s their starter.

    Woodhead is old (32) and coming off a torn ACL in Game 2 last year after missing 13 games with an ankle injury in 2014. Be that as it may, I’ve always loved the guy. He’s stocky but quick, a clutch receiver and able pass blocker. He moves the chains by getting north-south in a hurry.

    Blount, 30, is a 250-pound hammer with a 4.4-yard career rushing average for four teams. He’s a liability in the passing game but Belichick always played to his strengths, and together they won a pair of Super Bowls.

    With Ty Montgomery never having experienced the pounding he’ll be taking starting Sunday, wouldn’t it have made sense to surround him with someone the coaches knew was a real football player?

    Chances are that one of the three rookie backs will make a respectable contribution. That might not be this season, however, and the assumption is the Packers are shooting for the Super Bowl this season.

    When Montgomery gets hurt this year, and given his extensive injury history it’s inevitable that he will, wouldn’t you rather have Woodhead or Blount to turn to rather than the 13th, 19th and 22nd running backs selected in the draft?

    Marshawn Lynch? That never, ever would have worked in Green Bay. Adrian Peterson? Awful in the passing game, not a scheme fit. Latavius Murray? For the money he got in Minnesota ($8.55M guaranteed), no.

    Offensive line woes or not, you can bet the Seahawks will be running right up the gut Sunday. They’ll try to expose the underbelly of the Packers’ defense, and with pedestrian inside linebackers and two short defensive linemen Dom Capers will be hard-pressed to stop it without stacking the box.

    Green Bay will be seeing that week after week as opponents probe first on the ground fully expecting to throw effectively on a seven-man menagerie of cornerbacks. If his four-man rush comes up short, Capers will have no choice but to summon his designer blitzes to generate pressure which, in turn, will ask even more of the back end.

    If someone were to ask me who the seven toughest, nastiest and most physical players were on the roster one year ago, my list would have been T.J. Lang, Eddie Lacy and Josh Sitton on offense and Mike Daniels, Julius Peppers, Letroy Guion and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on defense.

    Only Daniels and Clinton-Dix remain, creating a void of attitude guys that will be evident soon enough.

    But it’s Green Bay, where players and teams are glorified many times simply because they’re wearing the green and gold.

    As always, I attended the stockholders meeting at Lambeau Field just a few days before the opening of training camp. It’s an interesting study of how the most loyal fans and club executives think of the season ahead.

    The heat and humidity that has baked spectators on those metal bleachers in the past was absent. The weather could not have been more gorgeous.

    The Packers announced the crowd at about 7,000, less than half of what it was three years earlier and a far cry from coach Mike McCarthy’s first season in 2006 when about 21,000 showed up drawn in part by locker-room tours that afternoon.

    As I sat among the fans at Nitschke Field once again watching a host of practices, the enthusiasm didn’t seem to be quite the same. The stands were packed as always. The intensity just wasn’t as keen.

    It’s almost as if everyone has seen this all before, which everyone has. The story of a great quarterback trying to win another Super Bowl with the same coach, the same GM, the same organizational philosophy and the same general cast of players.

    The general manager and the head coach, both of whom have higher salaries and more job security than they ever could have imagined, offer little outward signs of vibrant command.

    Thompson moves ever so slowly on the practice field, stopping occasionally for a deliberate motion in which he tips a water bottle to his lips. McCarthy, in bucket hat and dark green sweatsuit, isn’t the athletic-looking firebrand that he was as recently as the Super Bowl year when every other day he seemed to verbally explode on someone.

    Players notice everything about their leaders. Maybe they’re energized by them. Or maybe they’re not.

    This will be McCarthy’s seventh season trying to get back to the Super Bowl, let alone win another one. There would be a six-year gap between his titles if the Packers win it all in Minneapolis. Belichick, with a nine-year gap between his third and fourth championships, is the only Super Bowl-winning coach with a gap of more than five years.

    History shows us just how hard it is to repeat the longer a coach is in it.

    Mike Holmgren tried for 12 years after his season of glory in Green Bay. He got the Seahawks to the Super Bowl but came up short against the Steelers.

    Mike Ditka and Brian Billick coached for seven more seasons but never made it back. Jon Gruden lasted six years to no avail chasing another ring.

    Of the active coaches, Mike Tomlin begins his ninth season and Sean Payton his seventh searching for a second Lombardi Trophy.

    McCarthy will be attempting to join Tom Landry, Bill Cowher and Belichick as the fourth coach to win the Super Bowl after leading the same team for at least 10 years.

    Other than the too-many player suspensions and arrests, no NFL team makes less news than the Packers. The organization is buttoned-up, largely insulated from casual conversation or incidental contact with the public and the media.

    Team president Mark Murphy has his set routine, as does Thompson and McCarthy. Together with their magnificent quarterbacks, they’ve done it their way for a long time, they’ve won for a long time and they hope to keep doing it for, well, who knows how long.

    Without question, the Packers should be co-favorites with Seattle to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Their strengths – enviable cash reserves and cash flow, unique fan support everywhere they play, the finest in facilities – are many, and their weaknesses are few.

    Complacency, the poison of the most successful, lurks around every corner following a generation of remarkable accomplishment.

    Add it up and it just doesn’t seem like this season will culminate in the Packers’ 14th NFL championship.

    The post Lesson learned: Packers will not go to the Super Bowl appeared first on Bob McGinn Football.

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  2. TW

    TW Moderator

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    A well deserved chastising of how the Packers handled this past off season, and why they probably won't be heading to another Super Bowl game.
     
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  3. kingkoopa

    kingkoopa Member

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    I know it's super super early but this years draft class does look kind of shaky already past King(who hasn't looked great himself). McGinn nails that point.

    Interesting about the stockholders meeting attendance. Also interesting to note that for the last 2-3 years the packers home playoff tickets didn't sell right away as you'd suspect they would. I think a lot of the fans are getting tired of all the playoff failures.
     
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  4. rpiotr01

    rpiotr01 Lifetime Member

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    Or Packer fans are as complacent as the org itself.

    Im not making the 'spoiled fan base' argument. Just saying it's human nature to grow accustomed to routine and adjust accordingly. For 25 years the Packers have been a contending team. For half that time they've been contending with the same coach, GM, system and QB. It just doesn't excite like it used to, and I think we're hard wired for that reaction.

    Anyway, I'm sure I also don't need to go into the folly of early season long term predictions. Let's talk in November.
     
  5. 57packer

    57packer 2017 Draft Guru

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    Seems like McGinn is now letting out all his past frustrations when he perhaps had to toe the company line a little more in the past to gain access.

    Some of his analysis is spot on, some is just plain weak sauce.

    He talks about free agent RBs and then basically gives one sorta viable choice - Blount. Woodhead is Monty, why add another 3rd down back coming off a major injury - that would just be dumb. Now, I wouldn't have minded Blount but he's a "liability in the passing game" as McGinn says. How was that supposed to work. The Packers should have drafted a RB earlier. We'll see how the trio they did draft works out. Williams had a nice run to pick up a first down in the only action I notice. He won't make people miss, but seems a reliable one cut, don't dance, hit the hole type guy and could have some value late in games and in certain situations.

    He talks about how Ted might have blown the draft starting with the 2nd pick in Rd 4. Sure, he might have, but McGinn acts like there was just loads of crazy good defensive talent waiting on everyone's board. Hey Bob, you're the draft guy, please add some substance and tell me what guys that were left were going to change the defense substantively. You just added 4 high picks and now you want to argue the defense could have been fixed in Rds 5-6-7. Huh? Look the Yancey pick doesn't look good at the moment. Amichia just looks like an out and out mistake and I said so at the time of the draft. Williams and Jones had some moments in camp. I don't know that either one will be very good but at least Ted tried to find some RB help. Dupre turned out to be a mistake and I have to admit I don't understand the Mays pick - 2 RBs was plenty. Yes, another defensive player or two would have been "nice", but it would not have made a lick of difference in terms of the defense we see this season.

    I personally wish MM and TT would move on after this season so someone else can get a shot at building a winner around AR. That said, it's too early to say they fail and way to early to talk about evaluating draft picks. I too will wait until November for that. As for knowing if we've improved over the Atlanta defensive debacle - I guess we find out in a week.
     
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  6. rpiotr01

    rpiotr01 Lifetime Member

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    Overall I do take his point. Every year this Packer team plays at a 7 out of 10, and every year they run into a team playing at an 8 or 9 out of 10. Those other teams aren't as consistently good as GB over the long haul, but other teams have been able to take their game up a level or two in the playoffs while GB has failed to do so. The peaking teams rotate: Giants, SF, Seattle, Cardinals, Falcons. The Packers remain steadily up there but never quite able to elevate themselves over the hump and thus set themselves up for a heartbreaker in the playoffs. From Bobs point of view, why should that change this year?
     
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  7. kingkoopa

    kingkoopa Member

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    Packers are the Colts of the 00s or the Atlanta Braves of the 90s, no other way to put it.
     
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  8. Budman

    Budman Lifetime Member

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    Bob didn't hold anything back. I'll give him this, he's one of the few that'll take management to task. I don't agree with everything he says but he makes a few good points. I'm probably spoiled but I would like TT and MM to move on and see if someone else can take it to the next level. The Packers have done a great job of fielding competitive teams but 2 titles, with Favre and AR at the helm, seems a little light.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  9. Dubz41

    Dubz41 Member

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    McGinn has had an axe to grind with MM for a long time because his access to the team was curtailed. Seems a bit disingenuous to go after them this year when they changed their approach to roster buidling and brought in 7 veteran FAs. Just like most of us have asked of the Packers for years now. His point of a veteran RB- well name a few who would have made a difference. The guys he threw out there just weren't a fit here (but remember how Monty finished the year). 'They could have drafted more defensive help instead of three RBs', how many defensive additions to the roster would have been realized in the 5-7 rounds?

    I know some have really liked McGinn over the years, but I'm not one of them. He always seemed like the kind of guy who would bitch about taxes after he won the lottery. His timing on this is off and it comes across as snarky and a bunch of sour grapes. Yes, the two Lombardi trophies are scant reward for the QB play we've enjoyed for 20+ years. Hindsight is 20/20, but they did change the approach this year, give them credit for that.

    McGinn seems like he's heading down the Skip Bayless route, controversial= ratings.
     
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  10. eyecatcher

    eyecatcher Member

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    It appears Bob McGinn lost his Green and Gold undies.
     
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