Hello Wisconsin: No Matter What Happens Next, Packers are in Good Hands

This isn't going to be the 70s and 80s Packers.

It’s over.

I wrote about my feelings about Aaron Rodgers earlier this week, so I’m not really interested in rehashing that entire discussion.

Instead, I’d like to focus on a topic of conversation I see coming up over and over again on Twitter and elsewhere this week: the idea that the Packers moving on from Rodgers would send them back into a tailspin until they descend into a state similar to that of the 1970s and 1980s Packers.

This is, of course, ludicrous.

If the last several years have taught us anything, it’s that the Packers are a very stable franchise run by very competent front office staff and coaches. 

Say what you want about Mark Murphy, but he’s the one who hired Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur and managed to retain Russ Ball, and those three have absolutely been successes so far.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Packers simply did not have competent leadership in the player acquisition portions of the front office. Phil Bengtson, Dan Devine and Bart Starr all failed to repeat the success of Vince Lombardi as player/GM. Forrest Gregg briefly served as a de facto general manager for the Packers before handing duties to Chuck Hutchison and then Tom Braatz, both of whom were straight up bad.

Brian Gutekunst has had a very good success rate with his drafts and free agent signings. He’s certainly not without error, but no GM is, and he’s been a strong contender of executive of the year this year for a reason. 

Matt LaFleur is easily a better coach than anyone the Packers had between Lombardi and Mike Holmgren. 

Russ Ball has been a financial wizard for years and, for the most part, has been very good at preventing the Packers from committing to disastrous contracts.

I understand being frightened about the unknown that comes with potentially moving on from Aaron Rodgers. But there’s plenty of room between “the Packers are going back to the 70s and 80s” and “the Packers are going to have a third consecutive Hall of Fame quarterback.”

I don’t think anyone reasonably expects the Packers to get yet another Hall of Fame talent in under center after Rodgers. But that doesn’t mean the long-term future of the Packers involves them becoming literally the worst team in the league, which is exactly what they were for that two-plus decade stretch.

Look, whether it’s this offseason, next offseason or sometime after, the transition is going to happen eventually. What happens when it occurs is anyone’s guess. All I know is the Packers could be in a MUCH worse position for such a transition to occur, and it’s because of the strong leadership they have in place.

Well-run organizations don’t stay down for long. And the Green Bay Packers are decidedly a well-run organization.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

By now I am well aware that just about everyone who leaves comments on these posts has an old-fashioned palate with regard to beer, so rather than trying to placate the masses with a Spotted Cow, I’m going with a funky twist on a standard.

Young Blood Beer Company based out of Madison is doing a lot of really cool stuff right now in the world of brewing. Their sours are particularly excellent, but they’ve also had some other fun stuff that I’ve liked recently, including a unique twist on a schwarzbier, a really delicious rye lager and this, one of the more unusual saisons I’ve ever had.

This is Film is Called: Rancho Deluxe. It’s what Young Blood is calling a dark saison–something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. 

Your standard saison has a very pale color, a bit of a sweet aftertaste, is usually lighter on the ABV side of things and will often have a bit of cloudiness to it. 

This one has a little more malt presence and a bit of a darker, redder color to it. They also added rosemary after fermentation to add a little more complexity to the flavor profile.

I don’t think this would work with any other style of beer aside from a saison, and it actually works pretty well here. I’ve been a bit hit or miss with how I’ve felt about herby flavors in beers but when done well it can really work. 

At 5.2 percent ABV, this is a very drinkable beer with a refreshing and unique flavor. Fans of saisons are already likely adventurous enough to enjoy it, so I’d say give it a shot. I found it at my local Woodman’s. 

This is now, unironically, the year the Packers should draft WRs

For several years now a good portion of the Packers’ fanbase has been clamoring for the team to draft a wide receiver. And while it’s been a need, it’s never really been a top three need for me. Clearly the team saw it the same way.

This year, however, things are going to be different, especially if Davante Adams isn’t back in 2022. The team has almost nobody under contract at the position next year, and even if they bring a couple more familiar faces back they’re still going to need to flesh out the roster. 

With a good amount of depth at most of the other positions on the roster even after all the cap finagling is done, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the year the Packers take a wide receiver in the first or second round.

 

This, of course, depends on how the board falls for the Packers as much as anything else. But I’d currently rank their needs the following way:

  1. Wide receiver

  2. Defensive line

  3. Offensive line (never enough of these guys)

  4. Safety

  5. Edge defender

Tight end could also potentially be an area the Packers decide to go, but I’d put all of those positions at a higher priority.

This list is, of course, subject to change depending on what happens with the Packers in free agency. 

How do you fix special teams?

Special teams bore the brunt of the responsibility for the Packers’ loss on Saturday, as bad as Aaron Rodgers and the offense were. So how do you fix special teams?

Well, I don’t think any of us is particularly qualified to say. I don’t know how much emphasis they’re putting on special teams in practice or in player acquisition, so I can’t say whether they need to put more focus on those particular areas.

The coordinator definitely needs to go. Mo Drayton never should have been hired to begin with; the Packers had an awful special teams corps last year, so the idea that LaFleur replaced Shawn Mennenga with an internal hire was always asinine. 

There clearly needs to be some changes in the personnel they seek out for special teams. If you don’t have the right guys on the unit, chances are it’s not going to be successful. It’s been a bit since the Packers have had any real notable special teams aces. Think back to guys like Jarrett Bush or Scott McGarrahan.

Regardless, I think after the embarrassment that was the special teams unit against San Francisco, LaFleur should realize by now that the unit cannot be an afterthought this offseason. You don’t need great special teams to win, but awful special teams can tank a season in a hurry.

I’m a Bengals fan now

I actually don’t harbor any ill will toward the 49ers and have always kind of liked the franchise. Do with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers losing this past weekend, I’m really okay with any result in the Super Bowl based on the four teams remaining.

I love Andy Reid, and I love watching the Chiefs play offense. Patrick Mahomes is a good dude (sure, his family is annoying, but they’re not the ones on the field) and it’s been fun to watch the team go on this ride after having 50 years of little to moderate relevance as a franchise.

I like the story of Matthew Stafford finally getting this far, and I like Sean McVay as a coach. I really do not like Odell Beckham Jr. or Aaron Donald, but the Rams are fun to watch and they haven’t won a championship in 22 years, so it would be fun to see them hoist the Lombardi.

But the Bengals are really the team I’m rooting for at the moment. They were the worst franchise of the 1990s, had their hopes for the 2000s dashed when Carson Palmer blew out his knee, and could never get a win despite five consecutive years of playoff berths in the 2010s. This franchise has been down for a long time and they have a lot of fresh faces that are fun to watch.

Joe Burrow especially is a guy that just has “it.” He has the swagger, confidence and toughness of a young Brett Favre, and looks like a franchise-altering player. Him being paired with the sensational Ja’Marr Chase after they spent their college careers together at LSU is so much fun, and the two of them will be a problem for AFC defenses for years to come.

It does feel like the Bengals aren’t quite ready for the big stage yet, and I’d be surprised if they emerge from Kansas City with a win. But if I’m going to cheer for anyone who’s left, I’m most invested in them.

So, go Bengals!

Coming this offseason…

I’ll be carrying the Hello Wisconsin column through the Super Bowl. But once the offseason hits, I’ll be shelving it temporarily and taking on some other projects for Cheesehead TV.

I’m still formulating exactly how this will work, but right now my idea is to do a series of fan profiles that give people’s fan “origin stories” and some of the moments that really stick out in their fandom. I intend to do a call for people who have some interesting fan backgrounds, interview them and create articles based around those interviews, perhaps with some fun photos.

More information on this to come!

Championship game predictions

Alright, two games coming up this weekend. Who’s moving on to the Super Bowl?

In the AFC Championship, the Bengals travel to play the Chiefs in Kansas City. This is the fourth consecutive year the Chiefs have hosted the AFC Championship game, and Mahomes is already building one impressive legacy. His playoff accomplishments have already exceeded Rodgers’, and Packer fans can be forgiven for looking longingly at his situation and imagining what could have been in Green Bay.

I think the Bengals will be feisty and won’t make it easy on Kansas City, but it just feels like they’re not quite ready. They don’t have a championship offensive line, they don’t really have any playoff experience and they are playing in a really tough environment against a team with more talent and significantly better coaching.

I’ll take the Chiefs by 10.

In the NFC Championship, the 49ers have had the Rams’ number for quite some time. But if there was any time for that trend to reverse, it’s now.

It would have taken below average quarterback play for the Packers to beat the 49ers. It feels wild to be saying this, but I trust Matthew Stafford to play much better at home than Aaron Rodgers did at home. It just feels like this Rams team is well-stocked enough on both sides of the ball that, despite the familiarity the 49ers have with this team, they’re going to break through and return to the Super Bowl, with a very good chance of winning it.

Give me the Rams by 6.

No matter what the game is, I’ll be looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday with good friends, good food and good beer. 

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

9 points

Comments (64)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
MAS's picture

January 27, 2022 at 06:53 am

Well written, can’t agree more.
This organization is in good hands as Packer fans we seem to forget the past and ignore what other organizations go through. We’ve had it very good for a while and will continue to… focus on that not the doomsday.

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HawkPacker's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:19 am

Good article.

As far as the draft, you say:

Wide receiver

Defensive line

Offensive line (never enough of these guys)

Safety

Edge defender

I would agree with your selection but I would flip flop your 3 and 5 order unless they are thinking a tackle in case Bahk is not going to be ready or he would be traded because of Cap issues.

I also like the Bengals and their quarterback reminds more of a young Rodgers rather than Favre. Either way, he is going to be great!

Well done Tim.

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murf7777's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:22 am

The Packers haven’t been like the 70’s & 80’s since they gave the keys for all decision making to Bob Harlan in 1988 or 89. The main problem before that was a BOD who would meddle in the admin of a football team. Harlan took an annual losing team and directed it to high success. He brought in our brightest GM named Ron Wolf and the rest is history. As with most companies, the success starts from the top.

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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:19 am

In my long career as a "real" employee and a consultant/contractor, I've found that, while success may be achieved due to top management, it is always MAINTAINED by the rank-and-file employees.

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Bure9620's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:34 am

This is a positive article but I don't think anyone is really seeing the 70s and 80s around the corner. That being said, for sustainable success you need atleast solid play at the QB position. I liked the Love pick, I still think he can be a good QB, but if he isn't, that position needs to be rectified for Gute to keep his job. If Love is a bust, then most would argue that is worthy of Gute being fired.

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Razer's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:06 am

I am trying to figure out why you got so many down votes:

* Your assessment about solid QB play
* For being optimistic about Love
* Gutekunst wearing the consequences of his drafting

I think that you captured the essence of the situation. Thumbs up

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Bure9620's picture

January 27, 2022 at 04:27 pm

Yeah I don't know. I think there is some Love hate out there

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murf7777's picture

January 28, 2022 at 07:42 am

I think it is more about stating Gute would or should be fired for making a mistake on drafting a QB in the first round who failed. Of course, that happens to 80%+ of QB’s taken in the first round, even those in the top 5. Gutey has made so many good decisions that a strong managed GB team wouldn’t make such a knee-jerk move over one bad decision.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:08 am

If Gute let Rodgers go because of Love being the next big thing then maybe, but that isn’t what is happening. Love is not the cause of any of the discussion here, he just happens to be on the roster. He’s relatively cheap insurance, nothing more.

4 points
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dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:10 am

Shhh...don't be so practical. People hate that.

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Bure9620's picture

January 27, 2022 at 04:28 pm

He was a first round pick....That is more than insurance, that is saying he will eventually play.

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Houndog's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:46 am

After reading the headline I had already disagreed, so I just breezed through the article.
"Good hands", with Maurice Drayton still on the staff? Who, with all these "Good Hands" would accept such a performance? Maybe they can sucker Hackett into taking him along! Make it part of the Rodgers deal, "we'll trade you Rodgers, but you gotta' take Drayton too".

And now they'll 'promote from within' to fill Hackett's seat, kinda' sounds like the McCarthy era, doesn't it?
I'm not sure about good hands, No Balls appears a bit more accurate.

As for the list of needs, Safety, uh okay.
Douglas has already stated his desire to stay in GB, saying point blank he'd be reasonable to the cap, and willing to move to safety. His instincts and ball skills would be an asset there. He's 26 y/o, sign him.

I gotta run to work, but I'll be back. Good hands, my ass!
Let the thumbs down begin!

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dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:55 am

Didn't expect any moves in the first several days after Saturday. Changes will be coming.

"And now they'll 'promote from within' to fill Hackett's seat, kinda' sounds like the McCarthy era, doesn't it?"

Many, if not most, successful teams work this way. It's part of how they keep dynamic position coaches who understand the players and system, and that they don't want poached in the hiring flurry that comes every January/February. If Hackett is hired elsewhere, though (and I'm not convinced that woudn't be good for the Packers), I expect he'll try to take an assistant or two with him. The Packers can block lateral moves, but not a promotion (ahem: Getsy, Butkus).

"Douglas has already stated his desire to stay in GB....."

We'll see what "reasonable" means. He made himself some money on the open market this year. But the Packers get first crack at him, and being able to write a new contract as opposed to extending an existing contract allows the team to backload more and put less on the fragile 2022 cap. I don't think they'll be so fortunate with Campbell.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:29 am

Looks like Denver will try to poach Stenavich to make him OC. Some serious interest and something we need to consider if Hackett is indeed going there. Getsky or Stenavich both seem plausible candidates for our OC if Hackett leaves. One is not going to get many veteran candidates for a non calling role as OC.

That said, I’ve got concerns about LaFleur’s ability as a coach and tactician, about who is really responsible for decisions on people like Rizzi and Drayton: who hires, who authorizes pay? It’s clear from discussions no one absolutely knows. The lack of transparency is indefensible.

Ball is a genius? Why exactly? He’s not an innovative cap manager. He’s not known for anything other than competence. There are few teams with incompetent cap managers. Some have much more innovative ones. It’s owners and GMs that cause cap hell nearly always. What else does Ball do and why? If he’s involved in personnel decisions beyond whether we are able to pay (not whether we should) at all that’s not a sign that this organization is making rational decisions, it’s an indication of blurred authority.

The GM should make all roster decisions, the coach all other player decisions and conduct all hiring on the coaching staff. That allows for accountability but also allows for them to fulfil their visions. Ball and Murphy should step in only when there is a cap or other management barrier serious enough to offset roster or coaching appointment decisions based on performance.

Opacity in any organization is usually a bad sign. I’d argue particularly so in one with such a public product. I’d also argue that an organization where the President controls membership and executive membership of the Board of Directors is fundamentally flawed. The Board is ultimately responsible for policing Murphy and for that being fiction. But the Board is dependent on him for their position. That’s the epitome of rotten.

Despite all of that, we aren’t amateur run. We are better than we were 50 years ago in terms of talent, but there’s still a lot that’s could be improved upon and should be.

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TimBackes's picture

January 27, 2022 at 08:31 am

So just to clarify… you only read the headline, skipped the article and still decided to argue against it?

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dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:11 am

He only got Playboy for the crossword puzzles, too.

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Houndog's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:24 pm

No Tim,
Obviously your reading comprehension is not up to par, show me where I said I 'only' read the headline or 'skipped' the article.
Read it again Tim, and if you can't get it this time, maybe your 3rd grade niece can explain it to you.

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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:24 am

Your "breezing through" apparently equals "skipped", as you got the author's thesis fundamentally wrong in part of your comment.

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PeteK's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:32 am

Well you ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine--LOL

1 points
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Houndog's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:29 pm

I gotta nuff friends!

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 27, 2022 at 08:07 pm

Agreed, they should clean house, or rather the Barn. The Silage has been building up since last January. Being Defeated on your Home turf two years running is not a testimony to greatness, but an indictment.

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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:24 am

Thumb-down granted. It's probably not a good idea to comment in detail on an article you haven't read thoroughly, especially since you got the "good hands" part of it substantially wrong.

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dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:56 am

Whatever happens--whether they bring back #12 and/or #17, or move on--the cap will necessitate that this team will be different and have a different look in 2022. I'm all in favor of different. The status quo isn't getting there, but there are plenty of young players who were forced into service this season who showed they're the future of the Packers. This team will not be a 4-6 win team in 2022. I'll be rooting for this team regardless of who is taking snaps and even if they suck.

Draft priorities--until we see who is retained and if any players generate additional draft picks, we can only guess. Not knowing Adams' or Tonyan's situations for certain, at least one dynamic pass catcher would be great, and if it's a TE, a guy who's a credible blocker, too, wouldn't be too much to ask? There will be holes on the edge to fill, and a running mate for KC (3-down, 5-tech please!) would be needed. I'll echo the need for a safety...expect the Packers will extend Amos, and Savage may still grow, but there's precious little on the depth chart after those two (given Vernon Scott having fallen out of favor) and the Packers like to use that 3rd safety---and don't fall asleep on ILB. I expect Campbell to be hard to retain. Those would be my top priorities.

Chefs over Bengals.
Rams over Niners.

3 points
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Razer's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:16 am

...I'm all in favor of different. The status quo isn't getting there...

Totally agree. I think that this is the reality that all the players in this drama must face. A change of personnel is a constant in the NFL. The one thing that I wish could have been different is the ending. For all that Rodgers did for this team and the fans, it was such a '3 and out' exit. Unfortunate

5 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:46 am

Sadly, that's true. The legacy of Favre will always be interceptions ending his seasons. For Rodgers it will be 3 and outs the last two years when the games were there for the taking.

It'll be strange not having a HOF QB for the first time in 30 years, but I'm excited for 2022 regardless. They have a good young core. I think they'll be competitive and fun to watch.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 27, 2022 at 07:57 am

NIce overview Tim.

I'll be here to wait your new "tasks" on this page. I enjoyed in your point of view and very often agreed with your thoughts. And we chose the same team to root for this year SB winner. Despite I like KS and Reid and Mahomes, if there will be Rams vs Chiefs, I will support Rams, as I would like that at least one franchise "go to all" this year get what they invested. But if Bengals do another miracle win, I will root for them!

Excluding me, please do not forget overseas fans, we are surely passionate as any fan in the US. You have many choices, form Germany, Sweden, UK, France, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia (as I know for sure). Also, I'm pretty sure there is fans from Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia... It will be interesting to know how they started to be infected by football and why they pick Packers to root for...

Stay well man .

3 points
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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:28 am

I'm with you, Croat, about learning how our overseas friends became fans. My own story is typical - I was born in Milwaukee to a family of Packers fans, so not very interesting. But how did people NOT born in the States become fans? I'd like to know!

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ImFubared's picture

January 27, 2022 at 08:20 am

I hate to disagree. With Rod, Adams and most of the team in place they put up 10 fricken points at home against a so so 9ers team.

1. You lose Rodgers and your run of having a HOF QB at the helm ends.
2. Adams looked like he lost a step this year. He got a lot of passes thrown his way over the rest of the team or he may have been avg at best at 30.
3. Gutt picked Gary at 12 and he is okay but Love? No he is not a top notch Gm niether is the coach who we know can win with a HOF QB at the helm except on pressure games.
4. Keep in mind even if this team begins to tank, you have competition for the top pick in the draft, its not a gimmi. Lions Jags so to find the next hof QB, its going to be dam painful and take a long time. Util then Pack fans will suffer aka 70 80 style football.
5. Pack org loves cheap ball undrafteds and 5th and 6th rounders to keep the salaries down. Cant do that with a Love, he will need a ton on help to be competitive.

-6 points
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HarryHodag's picture

January 27, 2022 at 01:41 pm

So if keeping a HOF QB forever is possible why isn't Brett Favre still our QB?

Rodgers is at an optimum to get some trade value. At his age, next year he could be looking for work in the USFL.

Gute has wiffed on a couple, but overall his ability to build a team tops Ted Thompson's ability. You only need to see the offensive line to realize that. Even under Thompson they never would have had the ability to find enough talent to keep Rodgers in one piece.

5 points
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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:30 am

Garappalo and Stafford are not HOF QB, and one of them will be in the Super Bowl this year.

History has abundantly shown us that a team does not need an MVP/HOF QB to win a Championship. Nick Foles won a Super Bowl, for Pete's sake, and he was a BACKUP QB in Chicago this season!

Defense wins championships.

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stockholder's picture

January 27, 2022 at 08:39 am

Tim this is hilarious. I've been through the 70-80s. I say Rodgers will retire. I get you and others just don't care now. The Talk of Love being Rodgers has ended. This team will resemble the Dan Devine years. Pat yourself on the back. And let someone else go to the play-offs. Keep trusting Gutey. Thats how it all started. The needs of this team will change. I'm telling you right out, you won't be satisfied!

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:33 am

The past is a place one can’t dwell, no matter how much one wants to.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 27, 2022 at 04:10 pm

One can dwell in the past and it most often results in a resentful nature. One sees it often here with posters who are unable to move on from past events and continue to marinate in their unhappiness. Ultimately, one becomes toxic and will poison all relationships if allowed to do so.

2 points
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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:31 am

Some (A lot of?) people cannot handle change of any kind.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 27, 2022 at 11:29 am

You think Rodgers will retire? I don’t see Rodgers that way I see him as a guy who’d like to play in another Super Bowl, who’d like to make another $30+ million, a guy who would like to enhance his legacy.

I’d be really surprised if he retired. I never thought of him as a quitter.

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stockholder's picture

January 27, 2022 at 12:34 pm

He isn't a quitter. But he nearly retired last year. Rodgers won't break in new WRs. And if he wants to stay single, he'll play. The finger is pointed at Adams. If the packers don't Franchise Adams. They can't afford him.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 27, 2022 at 08:57 pm

He may want to win, but he doesn't do what it takes to win. Does he put in the work that Brady does? I don't think so. He's off playing golf & appearing on TV. In effect, he is a quitter.

Another super bowl & enhancing his legacy is a nice thought, but it's not happening with the Rodgers we know.

1 points
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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:35 am

"...let someone else go to the play-offs. "

Well, Rodgers' play has been letting someone else go to the Super Bowl in years when we were the best team in the playoffs, so how would a non-Rodgers-led Packers team be any different than a Rodgers-led Packers team?

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Hematite's picture

January 27, 2022 at 08:47 am

Tim,
You are absolutely correct, it IS over!
I understand your focus on Wisconsin micro brewers and their vast array of very good beers.
If you ever get up here to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I hope you get a chance to try the offerings of the Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette.
My current Ore Dock favorite is Blonde featuring touches of peach, apricot and wild honey.
Gotta be careful though as it is running 8.3 percent ABV.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:31 am

Ore Dock recommendation gets a thumbs up from me. Enjoy their beers if you get the chance!

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stockholder's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:06 am

Rodgers To the Emperor Palpatine Crowd = I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!

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Razer's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:16 am

Too funny. Thanks for the laugh (in these dark times)

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dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:42 am

Even I laughed at that one...

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jurp's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:44 am

Finally a post I can give a thumb's up to...

To those of you new to the Palpatine Crowd, during your journey to the Dark Side I suggest you try the Ewok Burger, with Porg Wings on the side.

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Razer's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:39 am

Fundamentally, I agree with you Tim. The organization has good people and is even keeled. I am not worried about us bringing in an Antonio Brown or giving a Kirk Cousins contract - although, Gutekunst did scare me with Jimmy Graham. I do not know how the current cast of coaches and management will handle life after Rodgers.

Coaching: We will see what kind of coach Matt LaFleur truly is when his QB isn't completing 70% of his passes and reading defenses. Moreover, LaFleur now needs to rebuild his coaching staff. With Hackett and potential Stenovich leaving, the staff just got thinned of big talent. When I see LaFleur leading the cheering section and getting his head handed to him in big games, I wonder what kind of coach he really is.

Management: Like Thompson before him, Gutekunst protected the future at the expense of the present. Drafting Love when the offense needed the weapons set this drama in motion. If it was a wasted pick then we will be doubly screwed. I do appreciate what his staff has done with FA pick-ups. The free agents have been the difference over these last years - this year in particular.

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dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:34 am

"We will see what kind of coach Matt LaFleur truly is when his QB isn't completing 70% of his passes and reading defenses."

We'll see how this offense looks when a QB takes what a defense gives him and moves the chains.

"LaFleur now needs to rebuild his coaching staff. With Hackett and potential Stenovich leaving"

I think they'll offer Stenavich an "associate HC" promotion that will keep him in town. Denver would have to offer at least that much (if they wanted him) so prevent the Packers from blocking his move. The question then becomes: can you keep Butkus, or is he a capable replacement?

If Getsy goes--and he's the logical in-house replacement for Hackett--I think LaF goes outside the org for an OC...probably someone he has connections with through his SF or LAR roots...hell, he might even try to poach his brother away from the Jets. Frankly, I'd like to see the new OC come in and LaF give him the play-calling responsibilities. I don't see it happening, but I'd like to see it.

4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:38 am

I agree on the calling responsibilities. LaFleur hasn’t struck me as a plus caliber player caller and he needs to improve his breath of perspective in game. Stenavich is the coach I’m more impressed with. What has Getsky brought to the O? If course I know nothing really about either individual in terms of vision or merits as an OC. All I know is I’d sooner see Stenavich retained (albeit he’d be distanced from line coaching).

1 points
1
0
TarynsEyes's picture

January 27, 2022 at 09:53 am

I don't think anyone believes the Packers will become like the '70-'80s teams, though a few like to go to extremes, but rather acknowledge that the path to the esteemed Division Title won't be as easy a path as it has over the last 15, at the least. This of course depends on the paths of those division teams taken with HC, GM, QB, etc. The Packers have their work cut out for them, which nobody can DENY, but the first step to correction is acknowledging there is an issue and what the first major step to correcting it is. The hiring of Hackett by Denver may have made that first step more a realization, but we'll need to wait a little longer for how and which hammer comes down first.

2 points
3
1
dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:18 am

The Hackett hire and a report that Getsy will go with him to be his OC certainly has the look of the stars aligning for Denver to make a run at #12. I hope they offer something reasonable.

Not surprised that Hackett was poached--the Packers have had a lot of success the last few years, and a younger Hackett enjoyed some success in Jacksonville. When you win games, teams want a part of that. I was "meh" on Hackett when he was hired in GB. Here's hoping he doesn't take too many other coaches with him and that LaF makes some shrewd hires to fill after the dust settles...but in all honesty, I agree with you in that a harder reset might be what this team needs and might be what's best for LaF.

3 points
3
0
PeteK's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:34 am

I hope he doesn't take Gray as his DC.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:36 am

Just a year ago we were lamenting that Gray couldn't make chicken salad out of chicken shit (King, Sullivan, Redman, and the menagerie of 4th CBs on the roster). It's amazing what a high draft pick (Stokes) and a veteran playing over his head (Douglas) will do for his status.

3 points
3
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PeteK's picture

January 27, 2022 at 11:05 am

It certainly is a mixed bag coaching a very difficult position. However, I'll give him credit for an undrafted Sullivan, we've seen #1s fail especially when the top CB is injured, and finally resurrecting Douglas' career.

1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:28 am

If teams can win with Garopollo, Roeth, and Tannehill we could with Love. However, if Rod retires it could hurt not having a few extra good draftees. Hackett to Denver improves the chance of a trade partner. I would be happy with their #1, Fant, and a #2 next year. If they also want Adams , a #2 this year, WR Patrick, and #1 2023. This is good for both teams as it makes Denver a serious contender and gives us enough draft capital to improve our team roster from last year.

0 points
0
0
Lphill's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:34 am

If only Rodgers hadn’t had his field goal blocked and his punt blocked and returned for a TD while the rest of special teamers just stood there and watched.

-3 points
3
6
dobber's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:37 am

The horse ran until midnight.

...oh, wait. You're NOT my secret MI6 contact?

3 points
4
1
Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 10:44 am

If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there'd be no work for tinkers. When your boat has more than one hole letting in water, wishing only one was plugged is unlikely to save you.

3 points
4
1
13TimeChamps's picture

January 27, 2022 at 11:06 am

If only Special Teams hadn't come up empty with two different possessions inside the 10 yard line to end the game with TB last year.

If only Special Teams hadn't forced the ball to a covered Adams when Lazard was WIDE open for a 1st down to effectively end the game this year against SF.

It's fun playing this game. Your turn.

8 points
8
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TarynsEyes's picture

January 27, 2022 at 11:08 am

Just think if Rodgers didn't have so many 3 and outs, again, those two SPT errors wouldn't have mattered. If Rodgers didn't focus on Adams, again, things could have been different. If Rodgers had any of what Allen, Burrow, Mahomes, Stafford had exuded it wouldn't have mattered. Yes, the SPT errors were horrible, but it doesn't erase the horror that Rodgers performed like, again.

6 points
7
1
coolhand's picture

January 27, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Our defense stops the 9ers on a 4th and 1, and what did Rodgers and the offense do with it? A 3 and out forcing a punt from our own endzone. 1 or 2 first downs and it's a different game.

4 points
4
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stockholder's picture

January 27, 2022 at 01:06 pm

LP your Right. But- We have only been as Good as Rodgers. We've seen two games without him.

2 points
2
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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2022 at 02:12 pm

And that wasn’t good enough. That’s all that really matters. Point made. It is indeed time to move on.

3 points
4
1
splitpea1's picture

January 27, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Good article. In no particular order, I'd say when draft time comes that the Packers should be looking at WR (2), TE, Edge, S, DL, and QB (providing Rodgers is gone). It's utterly useless predicting what Gute will do, though, and there's still a lot of free agent questions that have to be answered first.

I'd like to see the Bengals succeed too, but I agree that they're probably not quite ready to get to the Super Bowl yet. That offensive line definitely needs help (the Titans recorded nine sacks), and their head coach tends to get very conservative as games draw to a close--but they got away with it last time.

Nobody should be afraid of a partial rebuild--in fact, I think it's exciting. Better to evolve and move forward than hold on wistfully to something that has pretty much run its course. We have a competent GM, and if the obvious shortcomings are addressed, we're going to be fine.

2 points
2
0
Michael Nault's picture

January 27, 2022 at 11:58 am

I will certainly be laughing my head off if the Rams get to the Super Bowl, and of course our resident ego does not

3 points
3
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Starrbrite's picture

January 27, 2022 at 03:44 pm

I don’t like the Shanahans and I hate (not a strong enough word) the Broncos; all the way back to their very unlikely win in the SB.
If the donkeys were to win a future SB with ARod, I will be in therapy until I go belly-up.
Therefore I cannot cheer for the 9’rs; I’m pulling for the Bengals, but believe the Chiefs and Rams win.
There is no way we can return to the 70’s - 80’s because league parity won’t allow it—everyone gets a ribbon.
I believe safety is one of the most critical positions on defense and therefore feel it should be number one/two on the draft priority.
After my being introduced to Spotted Cow, I use all others beers to clean my driveway.
Cheers to y’all!!

3 points
3
0