Upgrading the Packers

TW

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I sat here thinking about our discussion, relating to our linebackers. I'm going to tell you a story about someone I met, over 25 years ago. Brian Baschnagel, who played with the Bears, and went to Ohio State University.

When Brian went to OSU, Woody Hayes had two kids in camp that were can't miss running backs, that he thought were capable of being the best in the nation. One was Brian, the other was Archie Griffin. He had a tough time deciding which would be the better in his backfield. The choice was difficult, but easy at the same time, for Hayes, and he told Brian the truth.

They were even. The difference was, Brian was a super athlete, and he could be plugged in any skill position in the line up and do a great job. He was also good enough that he would easily be one of their best defenders. Because Brian was good at so much, and Archie was a running back, Woody gave the RB job to Archie, and Brian became an academic All-American, and a great blocker and pass catcher at wide receiver. His college career wasn't as glitzy as Griffin, but when it came draft time, he was selected in either the 3rd or 4th round by the Bears. When he talked to Halas, George asked him where he wanted to play, and Brian said something to the effect of; "Anywhere I can help the team." Halas figured he could play in the defensive secondary, return kicks, play WR, and be a stand out anywhere athleticism was important. I believe his answer told Halas he'd drafted his own Swiss Army Knife.

What Brian said was pretty much how I see the situation at linebacker. If you have a guy who can do important things for the team, and the other can't, and both are pretty well equal in some individual area, you might opt to allow someone else to do that more visible job. You take the guy who resembles a Swiss Army Knife, and use him in every conceivable way you can, even if it means giving up a little something in one area, because you can find someone else who's one-dimensional that can fill that one particular gap.

Anyhow, Griffin is considered an NFL flop, while the Bears kept Brian around for 9 years, and he has a Super Bowl ring to show for it. Sometimes things ain't quite what they seem.
 

Budman

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Not referencing your post, or anyone else's specifically. It just seems to me that when you upgrade a team, you concentrate on upgrading it in such a way as to create a better team across the board than focus on positions that are already adequately filled.

If you grade the players on defense, based on their positions, I'd bet Martinez will not be among the top 3 positions that need to be upgraded. His dependability factor alone (never misses a game, and plays nearly every snap), is an asset. Look at what's happening at the other inside position. That's what we need to consider.

I don't know what Martinez is worth based on the cap to be honest. But I do know that if they want to get him in the fold for another contract, they'd better do it while they still can this year, to insure he won't reach out for free agency, because I do believe he's going to get a semi-load of money to sign elsewhere.

In a scenario where he leaves, you now have to fill 2 positions. His and the other inside linebacker. I don't count on any of the guys we have in-house to be able to fill either role to be honest. Do we really have anyone else who won't spend more time in the tent ,or watching from the sideline, injured? If one of them can, why hasn't that person been used in a capacity to give Martinez a breather once in a while? Why do the coaches seem to think Blake needs to stay on the field for every snap?

If you think about it carefully, there's something there that the Packer coaching staff sees, or they would have been working on creating a replacement for him instead of giving him the reins midway through his first year in the league.

As far as blown tackles go, I keep thinking about how many he makes, and how he has to be pretty darned tired by the beginning of the 4th quarter. Why do the coaches keep him in there instead of giving him a rest?

There's too much going on that we don't know, even if we think we're knowledgeable enough to judge his level of play.

As far as an offer in a contract, I have no idea what the Packers will or should offer, even if they do. I do expect that if they wait until the off season, he's gone.
Good take TW and an insightful way to explain how to upgrade a team. I've never really thought of it in that way. I still am not sold on Pettine. The front office cannot continue to ignore the offensive side of the ball for too much, if any, longer.
 

TW

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I keep thinking about how it's so easy to have tunnel vision when it comes to players. I can remember all the people who said; "Good riddance!," when the Packers let Taysom Hill go. Then I heard how he ain't done squat with the Saints.

The truth is, a different story surrounding Hill is emerging. It's the story of a football player that may not be the best at any specific position, but does do so many things well enough that he definitely is not a mistake plugging in for an injured player. I mentioned it at the time that Hill was sent packing. The guy can do more than carry the golf bag for the starting QB. He's an athlete.

Sean Payton talks about him like he's the Saints Swiss Army Knife. What he did, to help the Saints, on Thanksgiving Day, has shown his versatility. Unless anyone missed it, Taysom lit it up on the ground and in the air as a runner, receiver, and even had time to throw a pass.

But, it's more than that over the last two years. Sean has found that he can wind him up, and plug him into so many different positions on the team, that he considers him one the most valuable players they have.

Sometimes it isn't the singular thing that you do well. Sometimes it's the body of work over all the things you do, that make you valuable.
 

Packinatl

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The Hill story is nice and everything but not every roster has room for a utility player. It’s still at the end of end day about scheme and system. If he helps you win a game or 2 great but I don’t think a Hill type guy makes an impact in GB
 

TW

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I disagree. He'd be a lot better than what we have now as back up, and offer even more tools than just carrying a clipboard.
 

salmar80

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I disagree. He'd be a lot better than what we have now as back up, and offer even more tools than just carrying a clipboard.
Hill has some nice highlight moments for the Saints, and sure would be a fun piece to have, but I think people overstate his impact.

He's not QB2, and his 276 yards from scrimmage and 5TDs is nothing to sneeze at, but for example Jamaal Williams has over double those yards (604) and 6TDs and no one is talking about Williams as any kinda miracle man...

I can agree that letting Hill go was a mistake, but far from a catastrophic one.
 

Packinatl

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Hill has some nice highlight moments for the Saints, and sure would be a fun piece to have, but I think people overstate his impact.

He's not QB2, and his 276 yards from scrimmage and 5TDs is nothing to sneeze at, but for example Jamaal Williams has over double those yards (604) and 6TDs and no one is talking about Williams as any kinda miracle man...

I can agree that letting Hill go was a mistake, but far from a catastrophic one.
Not sure if it was even a mistake. And with this system/ offense his impact would be minimal
 

Cheesedog

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There is nobody in the FA list that can't be replaced even with mid or lower tier FA without a drop in performance. With the exception of Crosby. Pack better hope he wants to stay in GB and give a deal cause teams are gonna throw a lot of $$ at him.

Draft plus FA and see what the new guys have. You're not losing much.

However at least on DEF you can't do anything until you decide what to do with Pettine and whether or not you switch schemes...

Martinez was a nice placeholder. But not a solution.

This off-season is even more important than last for Gutey. Now it's harder to make decisions cause of cap space.
 

salmar80

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There is nobody in the FA list that can't be replaced even with mid or lower tier FA without a drop in performance. With the exception of Crosby. Pack better hope he wants to stay in GB and give a deal cause teams are gonna throw a lot of $$ at him.

Draft plus FA and see what the new guys have. You're not losing much.

However at least on DEF you can't do anything until you decide what to do with Pettine and whether or not you switch schemes...

Martinez was a nice placeholder. But not a solution.

This off-season is even more important than last for Gutey. Now it's harder to make decisions cause of cap space.
If we replace Bulaga with a mid-to-low tier FA without drop in performance, Gutey for GM of The Year... Otherwise we should be able to replace/improve upon the departing players. There's opportunities to add cap space via cuts (Graham, Taylor) and extensions (Davante, Bak, Linsley).

It'll be extremely interesting to see what the market value of Martinez is.

I'd rather not pay a kicker 4M+ per year, but have zero idea if there are any worth drafting.
 
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