Packers Unfazed By Inexperience
It was a surprise to fans and media alike when Charlie Peprah was unceremoniously released earlier this week. He had started 25 games the past two years, and was good enough to play a contributing role in the Packers Super Bowl winning season. Considering the fact that he and Morgan Burnett were the only safeties with any real game experience, it seemed like Peprah would likely be at the top of the rotation to start the season. But the Packers seem to look at experience differently than many outsiders do. As nice of a person as Peprah seems to be, he was "just a guy" on the field. And if the Packers are going to settle on players like that, they have proven that they would rather go with a 23-year old that could potentially improve, rather than a 29-year old who is already as good as he's ever going to be. (Continue reading)
Talented Sherrod Lost in the Shuffle
It's not easy for Derek Sherrod to get lost in a crowd. At 6'5" and 321 pounds, he stands out wherever he goes. In many ways, he's a physical marvel. At the Packers Hall of Fame, there is an exhibit that highlights the player on the team with the biggest feet, hands, and wingspan. That player is Sherrod. There are footprints and handprints for people to insert their own normal-sized appendages, only to marvel at how they are dwarfed by Sherrod's gargantuan features. Even so, Sherrod has almost been lost in the shuffle this offseason. And it's not really his fault. (Continue reading)
Ted Thompson Serves Up Spaghetti
Ted Thompson must like spaghetti. He sure likes throwing it against the wall. "Throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks" is an old saying that refers to using multiple approaches to find out what works best. It is a phrase that we hear in the business world, when companies try out different strategies on focus groups to find out what works best. We also hear it in the courtroom, when prosecutors present many different arguments in hopes that something will resonate with members of the jury. In terms of acquiring players, it appears to be a strategy that appeals to Ted Thompson as well. (Continue reading)
Will People Start Hating Aaron Rodgers?
Every so often, a poll will be released by Forbes or Yahoo or some other organization listing the most hated players in the NFL. Many of the names who make the list aren't all that surprising. If you run a dog-fighting operation, or (allegedly) make unwanted sexual advances in a restroom, you tend to find that a lot of people hate you. But sometimes, people make the list of hated players for reasons that are hard to understand. In a poll taken shortly before the Packers-Steelers Super Bowl, Tom Brady was listed as the third most disliked player in the league (behind Brett Favre and Mike Vick). It seems shocking to see Brady's name on a list like this. From most accounts, he is a pretty good guy. He hasn't had brushes with the law. He hasn't stomped on the head of opposing players while they were on the ground. He is generous with his teammates. He is decent with reporters and fans. But he is still hated. Not by everyone. But still by quite a few. (Continue reading)
Does Size Matter? Part II
In our previous article on this topic, we looked at some undersized players that the Packers have drafted in recent years and speculated on the possibility that teams can get tremendous draft value in smaller players because many teams would rather go with the larger, more sure thing in earlier rounds. In particular, we looked at Mike Daniels, D.J. Smith, and D.J. Williams—-three players who had outstanding performance in college and who may surprise some people by their NFL production despite their shorter-than-average heights. There is another way in which teams can often get good draft value based on size: the size of the college or athletic program a player is from. Teams tend to favor players from larger schools, particularly in the early rounds. Thus, players from smaller schools or less prominent football programs tend to be overlooked—at least to some degree. About 70% of the players in the NFL come from the six conferences that automatically qualify for the BCS... (Continue reading)
Is Aaron Rodgers Underutilized by the Packers?
6,132 yards. 59 touchdowns. Only 8 interceptions. The best season by any quarterback in NFL history by a wide margin. That could have been the stat line for Aaron Rodgers, if he had attempted as many passes last year as Matthew Stafford. Stafford led the NFL in number of attempts, with 663. Rodgers attempted 502, good for 16th in the league. And even if he had played in the final game when he sat out for precautionary reasons, he would have only likely moved up to 11th on the list. Not exactly among the league leaders. When you consider that he was nowhere near the league leaders in the number of attempts, it is hard not to wonder just how much more productive he could have been if he had thrown more. (Continue reading)
Packer People Profile: Tim Masthay
Tim Masthay doesn't take anything for granted. "Being a free agent is tough. I do remember that time very vividly," said Masthay, referring to the year he spent out of football after graduating from the University of Kentucky and going undrafted. "The days were long. I was working out in a gym, and punting on my own. Not knowing if you're going to play again or get another shot...it's tough." To make ends meet, Masthay took a tutoring job for $10 an hour while Amanda, his newlywed wife, worked as a bank teller. Sometimes to pick up some extra cash they would babysit their former professor's child on the weekends. (Continue reading)
Does Size Matter?
When it comes to draft time, NFL scouts and front offices rate potential players on a number of factors, hoping to sort out the ones who will most likely be successful at the next level. Any questionable issues for a particular player raise red flags that, if enough teams are concerned about them, can cause the player to drop several rounds or even out of the draft entirely. There is a general belief in NFL circles that size matters, and while smaller players may have had success at the college level, they are unlikely to find similar success in the NFL. At the very least, they are often considered to be role players and not every-down players, thus making it difficult to justify drafting too highly. It seems that the Packers have been accumulating several of these players over recent years... (Continue reading)
The King of Comps
Maybe it doesn't matter the Packers didn't trade Matt Flynn. It's hard to know what kind of trade value a seventh round draft pick with only two career starts might have had, but many fans were clamoring for the Packers to place the franchise tag on him and trade him to the highest bidder. In retrospect, there wasn't as much of a market as those fans once thought. Flynn had a couple of suitors in free agency, but there certainly wasn't a frenzy for his services. But even if there had been, maybe the Packers would have been better off letting him go in free agency anyway. The Packers are going to gain a compensatory pick for losing Flynn. And if there's one thing Ted Thompson has proven, it's that he makes the most of his compensatory picks. (Continue reading)
The Official Packers Fan Offseason Survival Guide
We've now been 2-1/2 weeks without any real news about the Packers. We have read everything we could about the new draft picks, free agent acquisitions, and undrafted rookie free agents. We refreshed our memories on the promise we saw from last year's training camp surprises and practice squad players. We gobbled up every bit of information available on the OTA practices and minicamp. We have put together our own projected depth charts and opening day rosters. But now...we have 24 days to wait until anything meaningful happens. (Continue reading)
Has Dezman Moses Already Made the Team?
There might not have been another player with more buzz around him during offseason workouts than Dezman Moses. As well as he has done thus far, we always hear that a player can't make the team in June. But upon further examination, is it really that ridiculous of a notion to think that what a player does in the offseason program will go a long way in forming the opinions of coaches and personnel evaluators? (Continue reading)