Hello Wisconsin: With or Without OBJ, Packers in Excellent Position at Season’s Midway Point

Regardless of what happens in the OBJ saga, the Packers are positioning themselves well for a title run.

Unless you’ve been completely disconnected from the news and the internet over the last couple days, you’ve probably heard that the Packers are, at the time of me submitting this article for publication (9:03 p.m. on Wednesday evening) considered one of several leading contenders to land the services of former Browns and Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.

OBJ hasn’t been one of the league’s true elite receivers for at least several years, but he still has commanded quite a lot of interest from fans since it was reported he’d be hitting the waiver wire. 

No team quite liked him enough to pick up his hefty contract for the remainder of this year, and with the offsets in his contract, it’s quite likely whoever ends up picking him up will be doing so for the veteran’s minimum while he gets paid the remainder by Cleveland.

There’s no doubt that the addition of Beckham would instantly and significantly increase the talent in the Packers’ receiving corps. While I no longer believe Beckham to be one of the league’s premier talents at the position, one could also argue he has not been used or featured properly in Cleveland over the last couple years.

In all likelihood Beckham will end up signing elsewhere, because that tends to be what happens when the Packers are rumored to be in pursuit of a big-name veteran player.

But regardless of whether OBJ ends up signing with the Packers, I feel this team is starting to resemble a championship contender.

I was a skeptic as recently as two weeks ago today. My mind began to change when a shorthanded Packers team went into Arizona and took down the previously undefeated Cardinals.

And while everyone was focused on Jordan Love in Kansas City, I saw a defense that really resembled a top-flight unit, the kind that can help a team win a championship.

With the Packers likely getting back Aaron Rodgers in addition to all of his top receivers (and possibly even David Bakhtiari) this weekend, the offensive output is going to look significantly different than what it did in tough circumstances in Kansas City.

If the defense is able to sustain its level of play that we saw this past weekend, there’s not a team in the NFL that’s going to want to face the Packers in January or February. 

Beckham would certainly be a fun luxury to have on the team. There are those who have concerns about his ability to gel with the locker room, but this isn’t particularly concerning to me. The Packers would be getting him for bargain barrel pricing, so they could easily cut ties with him if the experiment fails. 

Plus, OBJ has a lot to gain from heading to a team, being a good citizen and teammate and helping them be a winner. This is a man who wants to lock down another big contract this offseason; to do that, he’s going to have to take full advantage of whatever opportunity he gets.

But ultimately, I don’t really see Beckham as a player that significantly alters the Packers’ championship odds. He probably doesn’t hurt them, and may even move the needle ever so slightly, but this is a team that, as it continues to improve and get healthier, has the pieces in place to make a championship run.

Just a few weeks ago, before the game against Washington, I said the Packers would need to improve defensively for me to consider them a serious contender. Over the last month they’ve done exactly that.

If anything is going to stop them as of this moment, it’s going to be special teams. More on that in a bit.

So as far as OBJ goes, I personally am not really bothered one way or the other. Like I said, I think fans overestimate how much he can bring to a team at this point. 

But if he does indeed have a little bit of greatness left in the tank, Green Bay is the right circumstance for him to display it.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

Eagle Park Brewing Company in Milwaukee is known for pioneering a lot of the milkshake style IPAs that have started to flood the market over the last several years. These IPAs feature lactose sugar and tend to have a thick, smooth mouthfeel with a sweet flavor and often some fruit flavors.

Sometimes they’re really outstanding, sometimes they just don’t work.

This one falls somewhere in the middle for me. Definitely not among the best milkshake-style beers I’ve had from Eagle Park, but I had to give it a shot given how interesting it sounded.

It’s the Vegan Old Fashioned Milkshake IPA, a milkshake IPA inspired by the Old Fashioned cocktail. 

Now, me being a sucker for Old Fashioneds (and all things Wisconsin), I was looking forward to seeing how they pulled it off. I’ve had a Central Waters brandy barrel aged old fashioned ale before and that worked quite well. This one… eh. 

There wasn’t really any booze flavor, and while there was a hint of cherry and orange, I don’t think I could really discern a whole lot of flavor of the cocktail with this.

Glad I tried it, and it certainly wasn’t a bad beer--it just didn’t quite meet my expectations.

That being said, if you have an opportunity to try any other Eagle Park milkshape IPAs, I definitely recommend it! 

Something has to be done about the special teams unit

It’s past ridiculous.

The Packers’ special teams have been terrible for much of the last decade. It feels like they’re worse than ever this year.

The Packers have had two kicks blocked, and frankly it’s a miracle it’s only two given how awful the protection has been. The team has not been able to figure out the snap-hold-kick sequence, the kick coverage is not good, and Amari Rodgers is a massive liability in the return game.

Regarding Rodgers, I cannot believe the Packers continue to trot him out there. For weeks, many sensible folks have been calling for the Packers to change it up somehow. They could at least switch to Randall Cobb, who will make good decisions and reliably field the ball.

Matt LaFleur said he talked to special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton during the game and requested a change at returner, but Drayton stuck up for Rodgers and wanted to keep him out there. Which, okay, great, I get wanting to trust your guys, but we’ve seen enough out of Rodgers now to know that this has gone from a few flukes to an extremely concerning pattern.

The Packers just lost a football game largely due to special teams errors. It could absolutely happen again, especially in tight ballgames, which are frequently played in the playoffs. I’m extremely concerned that if nothing changes, the Packers’ special teams will end up being the primary reason this team fails to win a Super Bowl this year.

We didn’t really learn much from the Kansas City game

It was a real bummer not to be able to watch an Aaron Rodgers/Patrick Mahomes showdown, as now it will probably never happen (at least while Rodgers is in Green Bay). It was definitely an intriguing opportunity to watch Jordan Love, but unfortunately I don’t think we really learned much of value.

Love was set up to fail basically from the get-go. The offensive line, particularly Royce Newman and Lucas Patrick, played an outrageously awful game, which never gave Love a chance. The Packers could never adjust to Kansas City’s relentless blitzing, they passed nearly twice as often as they ran for some ungodly reason, and overall it was just a really poorly executed game plan.

Love was about what you’d expect from a guy who’s essentially a rookie playing his first start on the road in a hostile environment. He looked nervous, had a very hard time handling the pressure and missed some throws. He put some decent stuff on tape as well. 

It’s unfortunate, because given the supporting cast, the Packers should have been able to do a much better job of setting Love up for success. They just… didn’t. And as a result, the successes were few and far between.

Ultimately, though, anyone making any proclamations about Love’s future as a quarterback in the league based on what we saw on Sunday can be safely ignored.

Around the NFC North

Here we go once again around the NFC North leading into week 10.

-The CHICAGO BEARS lost in dramatic fashion on Monday night, completing a week in which not a single NFC North team was victorious. Even when the Packers lose, their divisional rivals still do them a solid. Justin Fields looked like he was finally starting to put it together, but the Bears would need a lot of things to suddenly start going right if they’re going to have a chance at capturing the seventh seed for the second year in a row. The good news is that some more victories or even competitive losses could convince the Bears’ incompetent ownership group to keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace around for another year!

-The DETROIT LIONS had the best week of anyone in the division, and didn’t play football. That’s about as big of a win as the Lions are going to see all year long.

-The MINNESOTA VIKINGS just continue to find ways to lose winnable games. Their latest heartbreaker against the Ravens was particularly annoying to out-of-market Packer fans, who were stuck watching Minnesota football in overtime while the Packer game had already started its broadcast for in-market audiences. The Vikings are committed to mediocrity; they’re going to win just enough games to ensure they fail to make the playoffs but also fail to get a premium draft pick. Then they’ll probably draft another wide receiver or something instead of addressing any of their actual needs.

Missing John Madden and Pat Summerall

Someone on Twitter shared a Monday Night Football preview for the Packers/Cowboys game from 1996 (the one where Chris Boniol kicked seven field goals to give the Packers their final loss of the season), and it got me nostalgic about football of the 1990s.

Specifically, I started thinking about John Madden and Pat Summerall, and how epic their games always felt.

To this day, Thanksgiving feels weird without hearing their voices in the background. But every time the Packers had Madden and Summerall, it was a treat for me as a kid. 

The combination of Summerall’s gravelly voice and understated “let the action speak for itself” style with Madden’s bombastic, excitable, everyman nature was just absolutely perfect. I’m not sure there’s ever been a broadcast duo that fit together as ideally as the two of them.

Now, here’s where I must admit that I am a person who very much enjoys Joe Buck. I like him for many of the same reasons, in fact, that I loved Summerall: he doesn’t try to make the action of the game about himself, and he understands the value of silence in the right moments. I cannot stand listening to over-the-top screamers like Gus Johnson, because it feels so forced and inorganic.

[Troy Aikman I can take or leave… definitely leave in his most recent appearance.]

But Madden and Summerall just feel like football to me. There’s something unique and timeless abou that pairing, and every time I see old broadcast clips from my childhood with them I get a powerful sense of nostalgia.

The game has changed a lot since then, but the two of them would still be the best broadcast team in the NFL today if they were transported to this era.

The offensive line reshuffling will continue soon

On Wednesday, the Packers officially activated David Bakhtiari for the first time since he suffered his season-ending knee injury on New Year’s Eve, 2020’s final parting gift on top of a shit sandwich of a year. 

Bakhtiari may or may not play this weekend, but his return is coming sooner than later, which means the offensive line is going to see a bit of a shakeup.

The first priority is getting Royce Newman off the field. Newman has been flat-out bad over the last month, and put together one of the worst performances by a Packers offensive lineman of the last five years at least against Kansas City. Newman will almost certainly be going to the bench.

This means we’re likely to see an offensive line that looks like this: Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Patrick, Runyan, Turner.

Once Josh Myers returns, I’d imagine Patrick would be the next to go to the bench. Patrick has also been not good--he’s meant to be a depth player. He is what he is at this point.

Runyan, however, has been a pleasant surprise. He doesn’t grade out as one of the best guards in the league, but he’s been above average as a second-year player who didn’t see a lot of action in 2020. He may very well have locked up a starting job for the foreseeable future with his play in the first half of the season.

Give credit once again to Brian Gutekunst. The Packers’ long history of finding offensive linemen in later rounds seems to have continued.

Runyan’s emergence also helps to make the 2020 draft class a bit better. AJ Dillon has played very good football in 2020, and his selection a year ago has really started to pay off. He was the best player on the field on offense for the Packers in Kansas CIty. 

The Packers are going to get a good, long look at Josiah Deguara now with Robert Tonyan out for the season. If he lives up to the potential the team sees in him, that would do even more to boost up a draft class that saw an excessive amount of ridicule through much of last year.

We’ll see what happens!

Prediction for Packers vs. Seahawks

I’ve got a couple predictions for this week.

First, I predict Aaron Rodgers plays. Rodgers himself said there was a small chance he’d sit out, but seemed to think the odds were definitely in favor of him playing. If the Packers get word on Saturday that Rodgers can be activated, there’s no chance they sit him a second week in a row.

Second, the Packers will defeat the Seahawks, and without a whole lot of difficulty. Russell Wilson is 0-4 in his career at Lambeau Field and averages double-digit defeats there. The Packers’ defense is playing at a high level, and the offense with Rodgers and all his receivers back (plus the continued threat of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in the backfield) is going to be humming.

They might not get their highest point total of the season, but I’d expect to see an efficient offensive performance and another tough output from the D.

Packers 27, Seahawks 17

 

__________________________

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.

6 points

Comments (85)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Savage57's picture

November 11, 2021 at 06:17 am

Could OBJ be the Packers 2021 version of Keith Jackson or Bad Moon Rison? Hired gun brought in for half a season for a championship run?

Somewhere, there's a witch cackling about the spell she cast on the special teams units, because you can't be this bad, for this long on special teams play without some black magic woman behind it.

6 points
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Houndog's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:13 am

Savage,
Pretty sure the Packers traded for Jackson, he balked, threatened retirement, and Wolf had to 'convince' him to come and play. It's well documented that after winning the SB, he and Wolf had a good laugh over it.
Bad Moon Rison on the other hand was what you describe, a half-season rental (mostly due to injuries) and a good rental at that. Ironically, if my memory serves me correctly, he too was cut mid-season by the Browns after leaving Atlanta in a similar fashion as OBJ left NY. It's a while ago, but I think I'm close.

4 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:45 am

FYI, Bad Moon got cut by the Jags with 5 games left in '96 after he got into an altercation with Mark Brunell after running the wrong route that resulted in an INT. Pack was fortunate to get him off waivers for their dinged up WRs.

3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:42 am

Or OBJ could be M. Bennett 2.0. A malcontent prima donna who puts himself ahead of the team and sours the locker room.

But you make a good comparison with Bad Moon, Savage. If OBJ would come in as a rental and contribute like a highly motivated Rison for 5 games in '96...win win.

But with the WR room of Adams, Lazard, MVS, Cobb, Rodgers, perhaps Taylor, and how involved AJ and AJD are in the pass game, he won't get many opportunities. How would he handle it?

2 points
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Johnblood27's picture

November 11, 2021 at 01:04 pm

No MBennett parallel, OBJ could be cut without any salary cap ramifications.

Having an 8 million dollar sword hanging over the gm's head can be powerful...

2 points
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Rebecca's picture

November 11, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Cackle Cackle Cackle … i put a spell on you Savage57! Now you’re mine!

0 points
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NickPerry's picture

November 11, 2021 at 06:58 am

Love this piece by Tim each week...Even though I haven't touched a drop in years, I even read "The Beer Of The Week" sometimes.

I love the idea of OBJ coming to Green Bay and even though I know it's probably not going to happen, I still found myself checking the internet several times yesterday at the office hoping to see it be a done deal. Who REALLY knows where he wants to play, BUT if he wants to win a SB then Green Bay is the BEST place to come AND to contribute. KC isn't going anywhere and neither is New Orleans.

First the near block on the game winner in SF, then the debacle in Cincinnati, the continuing issues for the right side blocking up on FG attempts, and that nightmare showing in KC, has brought me back to watching ANY FG or X-Point to 2012 status. By that I mean I close my eyes, say a dozen or more Hail Mary's, and pray to the Football Gods for success. I'm not blaming Crosby this time, this is NOT Mason's fault. Personally I not in favor of firing anyone midseason, but Mo Drayton HAS GOT TO GO! Teams are licking their chops at a chance to play the Packers FG unit. This HAS become a HUGE issue moving forward for MLF.

I LOVE this Defense!

10 points
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murf7777's picture

November 11, 2021 at 07:44 am

Tim, a big reason nobody picked him up during the waiver period is because as reported he told teams he only wants to play for a few teams so don’t bother trying to pick him up. I think GB has a better chance than any other team to get him in fold for this year. He will be looking for a long term contract next year.

5 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 11, 2021 at 07:22 am

If the Packers offered the veteran minimum as has been reported by Silverstein, then the cap hit to GB is $537.49K for the remainder of this season.

It makes no sense for Beckham to be waiting for a higher offer, as he reportedly is, unless he can double dip. Cleveland and Beckham altered the contract, but no one knows if Cleveland is still guaranteeing his remaining base salary, and no one knows if Beckham waived his termination pay. I doubt that Beckham is hoping for a multi-year offer: the whole point is to re-establish his market value and/or chase a super bowl ring, preferably both at the same time. Saints might not offer either opportunity with their QB situation.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:21 am

I think the floated expectation is that if he is to make more money, a team would have to pay more than the 4.5 million (pro rated) that he was guaranteed. As you say, that may have changed though.

He looks like an ideal candidate for a redemption rental. In that circumstance a few months money shouldn’t factor. The goal is the best overall team with a great QB balanced against his expectations of the number of opportunities he will get in that O.

As I look at it, neither the Chiefs nor Seattle have good enough Ds to win, at least at this point. Both have the type of QB he’d look for. Of the two, he’s more likely number 1 in Seattle though and Seattle have more money. The Saints are much better on D but less obviously currently offering comparable QB play and not flushed for cap. I suppose it would come down to if he thinks they will have a premium QB back for long enough to let him shine. I don’t see a logical reason for the Patriots other than money.

So, of the teams chattered about, only Seattle and the Patriots have the possibility to throw cash at him (particularly the Patriots). Of the others, the Packers seem to offer the best opportunity to play with a QB who is healthy and playing at an elite level. But does he see it that way and does he really trust himself at this point such that opportunity is really the decisive factor? Does he see a role for himself in this O that excites him?

I haven’t followed Beckham or Cleveland, so I am not entirely sure what the reason for Beckham’s decline is. Is it attitude? Is it physical or system or was he over rated early or perhaps better stated, the beneficiary of a system and focus that boosted him?

3 points
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Razer's picture

November 11, 2021 at 07:32 am

The Cleveland Browns, who need WRs, got rid of OBJ, without compensation and are paying him to stay away. Why do we need that? We know that Aaron only has eyes for Davante - how will that play out for OB Senior? How about we balance our offense and use all the pieces that are in the building. More than effort horsepower - if you use it.

Curious about this beer but I didn't see a ABV. I suspect that it is high - cocktailish.

Wouldn't mind getting another look at Jordan Love. This time with the coaching staff actually supporting him. Might be a wash if we play a rusty, distracted Aaron Rodgers so why not see if this kid has something that we are missing. Of course, O-line will need to get it's collective head out of it's ass.

I would also like to see Amari Rodgers used in the offense. He should fit a quick passing game scheme and could be dangerous out of the slot. If Rodgers doesn't play, we don't have the whole "trust" issue so let's see what this kid can do.

5 points
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Houndog's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:34 am

Razer,
Of what we've seen of Amari Rodgers' hands and decision making, I can't fathom how you or anyone else would choose him over Cobb.

9 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:36 am

I expected, given how raw he was as a true receiver, that we’d see him in an option role mostly this season. He’s not really run a normal route tree before. A ton of learning. I’m fine with him as an option when used, but it’s been seldom. We haven’t used Cobb like that. If anything we’ve used ESB. If Cobb was unavailable I’d rather use Taylor than either at this point, but clearly the coaches disagree.

If we did sign OBJ, I’d have to think Rodgers is inactive at best, since we surely can’t use him on returns going forward? But, for me the nearest equivalent would be ESB. ESB is all promise unrealized really. I’d be happy with Beckham over him, but his role is tiny so there would need to be more. That would seem to argue less MVS, OBJ as the slot when Cobb’s not on the field and also the role ESB has been allotted. Lazard is really so unique and important blocking in this system. Taylor is too central to STs to see him inactive I suspect. Adams isn’t losing snaps. I’d be fine with phasing out Rodgers this season and ESB for OBJ.

Somewhat puzzled musings in search of a vision, sorry. I do wish that OBJ was a move TE—I’d rather have Funchess back in some ways if there isn’t one of those.

2 points
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Demon's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:52 am

I agree with you everything you said cold with the exception of M Taylor.
I don't know what STs he is on or which position he plays on them. Honestly I don't care.
When your STs routinely look like a 1 legged man in an ass kicking contest it seems foolish to keep a player for their STs abilities or in the Packers case, inabilities.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:30 am

Taylor is a gunner who will tackle. He’s a back up returner too. Overall, he’s not the admittedly huge problem on STs.

Mo must go.

3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:50 am

I would have chosen Rodgers over Cobb to start the season. But Cobb proved me wrong. Rodgers has under-achieved. Cobb has exceeded expectations.

2 points
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Razer's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:37 am

Amari Rodgers is a young Cobb. Plug him into the offense to spell Cobb and maybe tap into some of his stronger (non punt return) traits. He is athletic, strong and good after the catch. I remember when Cobb gambled took the kick-off out of the end zone as a rookie. I am not ready to write-off Love, Rodgers or any of these young guys given our picture next year.

2 points
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Crankbait's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:54 am

Play love again?
Seriously, do you realize we are on a Super Bowl run?

-2 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:19 am

Not unless we have to, but that’s no reflection on Love. It’s always been veteran Rodgers or bust this year.

2 points
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dobber's picture

November 11, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Yeah, there's no way you can sit an ARod who is cleared and wants to play.

2 points
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Demon's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:15 am

How many games are you willing to lose so you can get "a look" at Love? This very well be a superbowl season if things fall into place nicely. Playing Love one meaningful snap if AR is healthy and available would be criminally negligent. The same could be said for giving Amari Rogers a single snap on offense given his ball handling skills and decision making Thus far this season.

0 points
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Razer's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:06 am

Demon/Crankbait:

Yes we are on a playoff run and we will get our kick at the top prize but we are also in the "Last Dance" season. I don't think we will have Aaron Rodgers or Davante Adams next year and we need to know sooner rather than later what we have in these young guys.

Rodgers may not be ready or at full strength come Sunday. I think that we can win with a fully prepared Jordan Love and a better coaching and team effort. If Rodgers is 95-100? percent, yes we play that hand, otherwise I am fine with these young guys

1 points
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Demon's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:05 am

It's still very early in his career but thus far Amari Roger's has been nothing but a bumbling rookie that has trouble doing anything right. I am hopeful that he is a healthy scratch for the rest of this season.

As far as Love goes I am completely fine watching him on the sidelines for the remainder of this season and for the next few seasons actually. I was not able to watch any of last weeks game, but from what I've read Love performed pretty much the way I assumed he would.

-3 points
2
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:29 am

Love looked eerily like Rodgers in game 1 but with more rush directly up the middle more often. I may be the only one, but if that had been Rodgers back there and the Chiefs tried the same approach, my in game thought was that we might be seeing a whole lot of Love for a while.

I fear other DCs will look at that O line performance, look at Rodgers’ struggles when under real pressure in recent years and decide that line makes it worthwhile to out and out blitz Rodgers and challenge him to beat them. I would take that risk if my D was porous. Seattle’s is.

1 points
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jurp's picture

November 11, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Your fears about other DCs trying to 7- or 8-man blitz Rodgers are exactly mine. If your D - especially your pass D - is bad, then what do you have to lose by blitzing heavily? Rodgers is much more of a statue when compared to Love, although he's also able to better diagnose defenses due to his experience. All it takes is one blitz to get home and yeah, this might be Jordan Love's year after all.

1 points
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dobber's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:29 am

Heavy blitzing is almost always an all or nothing affair: either you make a big play or your opponent does. Always a gamble...but it paid off for KC.

1 points
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ImaPayne's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:52 am

Yes I need one more look at Love to convince myself this guy will neve r be and NFL caliber QB. He looked stiff out there, no leadership just going through the motions.
First he cant run, his speed is slow and he looks immobal. No flair.
His arm looked weak and his passes took time to arrive. No zip.
His decision making was poor. Passed to covered guys often.

My gutt this is a bad draft decision, maybe worse then Hundley who I also hated but Hundley has a lot more going then this guy

-3 points
3
6
dobber's picture

November 11, 2021 at 12:54 pm

Only two teams run the ball more than Cleveland and--given that Mayfield is not a runner--that's saying a lot. Add to that the fact that the Browns target WRs the second least in the league (Mayfield is a dumpoff king), and it means that Beckham just wasn't getting much opportunity. He was unhappy...he chafed with Mayfield...he's a diva, and even in Cleveland, he was #2 in the WR pecking order behind Jarvis Landry. That marriage wasn't going to end well, and I don't see his leaving changing that offense one bit...hell, they might get better.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 11, 2021 at 06:24 pm

That's it, box of cookies 4 U

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:09 am

Agreed Razer!

1 points
1
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Guam's picture

November 11, 2021 at 07:56 am

Tim you are too young to have heard Ray Scott as the "voice of the Packers", but you would have loved his style if you also enjoyed Pat Summerall. Scott was the ultimate "let the action speak for itself" announcer and he is my all time favorite play by play guy.

Regarding OBJ, I am with Razer on this one. The Giants got rid of him, the Browns gave him away in midseason (when they have playoff and SB aspirations of their own), so why would he be a good pick up for the Packers? I think Tim B. hit the nail on the head when he said that OBJ is no longer one of the better WRs in the league and that his best days are behind him. I think OBJ could be more of a distraction than an asset, particularly if OBJ believes he is still one of the best WRs in the league.

12 points
14
2
jurp's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:18 am

Ray Scott was awesome. I remember his "Dale to the left, Dowler to the right... Bart back to pass... Caught by Dale at the 35!" from when I was a kid. I have the tape of the Ice Bowl, and his announcing was better than anything we have today.

There was (is still?) a female announcer who did college games (she may still be doing them on ESPN or FS1 - I don't have cable) who had a style similar to Summerall's and Scott's. The problem was that they always paired her with a washed-up never-been ex-college idiot "color guy" who talked over her.

The only way I want to see OBJ on the team is catching punts - he can't be worse than Rodgers, can he?

2 points
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Guam's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:11 am

Are you thinking of Elizabeth Mowins? I like her as well although you are correct, she needs better "color guy" help. There are not many left from the "let the action speak for itself" tree of announcing. Too many of the current announcers want to be the center of attention rather than let the football game be the focal point.

Appreciated your review of Ray Scott's style (Dale to left.....). It brought back memories!!

1 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:44 am

I thought of Ray Scott, too, Guam. I miss the clarity expressed by Scott and Summerall with such little fanfare and in those iconic voices. The early years of Summerall and Maddden were as good as it gets, I think.

Spot on with the nostalgia, Tim. For me, it's much like the feelings conjured when hearing Uecker call a Brewers game. Really nice piece this week, thanks.

3 points
5
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RCPackerFan's picture

November 11, 2021 at 07:52 am

OBJ -
I'm right in the middle. If he comes great, if he doesn't great. We have the talent already. That being said he would bring a ton more talent. He would be our true #2 (though it would take some time for him to get there). Thinking about having Adams, OBJ, Lazard, MVS and Jones together creates a very, very good passing attack. And they could easiliy run with that formation.
The great part about LaFleur is he changes personnel a lot. Meaning a lot of guys get a lot of playing time. Its not like OBJ comes and we never see Cobb on the field again.
If he comes great, if he doesn't, we will be just fine.

Special Teams -
I thought our new LS was better then our previous one. I'm not a LS expert, but his snaps were right where they needed to be. Our previous one our punter had a ton of work to do for it. It should get better each week.
The unit that has been the biggest weakness has been FG unit. They have had a number of kicks that should have been blocked. They have been a mess honestly.

KC -
Special teams definitely hurt us. Love was not good enough to win the game, though I will say he didn't lose the game. The defense was outstanding! We did learn our defense can go and shut down a high powered offense. Sure they aren't playing to that level right now but they have the players to play to that level. And they have the QB. We learned that much.

OL -
When Bakhtiari comes back I want him at LT, put Jenkins at LG, keep Patrick at OC, move Runyan to RG. Runyan has been much better then Newman. Patrick is better at OC then OG. Newman has struggled as the season has wore on. I think he has a good future, but he has struggled more then Runyan has.
I don't remember where I saw it at, but Runyan ranked like 30th for OG. (right around 30). Newman was ranked around 62nd (right around there) out of 64 OG's that have had 200+ snaps. Newman I don't think is quite ready.

1 points
3
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jurp's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:21 am

The best way to solve half of our special teams issues is to never punt or kick a field goal. Go for it on every fourth down and score touchdowns on every drive!

Yeah, I'm joking. Even if we managed it, we'd find some way to lose on a blocked extra point returned for a two-pointer. Didn't NO lose a game that way a few years ago?

1 points
1
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ImaPayne's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:47 am

I had a friend who played on a State Champion football team in the 60's. His coach would not let them field a punt. They just stood there and let it roll. His reasoning, too many bad things happen when you do versus not a lot of good things happen.

0 points
1
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stockholder's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:24 am

I remember when the lions took Ebron over OBJ. Big mistake. At 5' 11" he's not a mismatch. And his route running isn't anywhere near what it used to be. Chemistry? Is this telling Rodgers he's a bad WR? Either we have faith in Gutey making draft picks . Or we don't. So I'm not in favor of OBJ. And Devante Adams might be closer to OBJ, then we realize too. The Separation maybe fleeing. Rodgers might need replacing. Especially as a punt returner. But how can Gutey keep missing how important a punt returner is. Desmond Howard was a MVP. Doesn't he get it?

-1 points
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dobber's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:12 am

"Chemistry? Is this telling Rodgers he's a bad WR? Either we have faith in Gutey making draft picks . Or we don't."

Is this for real? Clutching picks midseason and hoping they develop? This isn't the issue here at all. Good teams stockpile talent...you didn't see TB declining a problematic Antonio Brown who had been passed around the league because it might piss off Scotty Milller. You didn't see them pass on Gronk because they really wanted to find out if OJ Howard could do more. Certainly this mindset was never part of how the Pats do business.

At this stage in the season, the Packers know what AmRod is and what they can expect to get out of him this year, and that's a guy with a very limited role in the offense (which doesn't really change with OBJ, assuming AmRod stays active) who really needs time to grow as a professional...so if you have a shot at a player that you believe makes you better, you take a shot. You're telling AmRod that he's not the guy right now, and he needs to dedicate and improve--do you really think he doesn't already get this?. I don't get this line of thinking...it's straight out of the 1960s.

I'll be honest when I say that I'm relatively indifferent to OBJ. He's more name than impact at this point in the season, and he likely cuts into Cobb's snaps--whereas Cobb has chemistry with ARod, OBJ has none. Maybe OBJ breaks out with the Packers...likely not, but he's a distraction for opponents. It may be his dissatisfaction with the Browns and Mayfield, but he's been a mostly disinterested, half-assed player for over a year now. Do you bring that into your locker room? That should be the Packers' concern here, not AmRod's feelings on the matter.

"But how can Gutey keep missing how important a punt returner is."

Howard was lightning in a bottle. Punt returners only move the ball 2-3 times per game and are farilly easily neutralized by a competent punter. That said, signing OBJ might diminish Cobb's role in the offense and make him a reasonable replacement at PR. He can secure the ball, and that's the key thing they aren't getting from AmRod right now.

https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2021/09/what-did-we-learn-about-the-fut...

1 points
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Starrbrite's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:28 am

My sentiments as well Dobber.

1 points
2
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:36 am

Cobb plays very few snaps at present. Whether they reduce is doubtful because Cobb is so attuned to Rodgers and still very effective with ball in hand if not over used.

I would put Cobb back to fair catch as we did Woodson, regardless of OBJ. That’s better than any other option that we have that I am aware of. First I’d fire Drayton though.

3 points
4
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PhantomII's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:54 am

Gute doesn't get ST as a whole and it starts with a known commodity, a "TOP ST COACH" who can look at a roster and get what he needs from them or petition Gute to look for and acquire what he needs. We now have a pro bowl kicker and solid punter misfiring every game from shoddy protection issues and lack of return specialists on kickoff/ punt return. Everyone says GB is not cheap with their coin, but not getting a legit ST coach with a proven track record is unforgivable at this stage. If Gute has failed ML in one place it is ST and a double underline of that in bold letters is not an overstatement. ST is not getting better...it's getting worse. We could try the OBJ WR addition as I still believe when facing NFCC teams we can be made one dimensional by great defenses. We need to be able to increase our run game and blocking or increase our passing game as we face better teams and ML needs to develop gameplays accordingly. The KC game was very winnable. I don't know how you go into a game and don't adjust on offense to the task when it's obvious it's not working. No huddle...no change-up. The defense was very good, which is something we have all been hoping for. OBJ has never had more than a mediocre QB in the NFL.

2 points
2
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Houndog's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:25 am

I'm neutral on OBJ, if he comes, fine, if he doesn't that's fine too!
However, if he can block, catch, snap, or coach on Special Teams, break the bank and sign him NOW!

2 points
2
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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:30 am

OBJ is almost a must for Green Bay. I don't know when people will finally admit that Lazard and MVS are bottom-of-the-barrel receivers in today's NFL. Neither can get separation unless the OL manages to hold for an eternity. They are one reason Love had such a difficult time. MLF called long-developing plays because he knows it takes those two forever to get open.

MVS is a one-trick pony. Defenses play off him to not let him go long. The occasional long completion masks his otherwise poor abilities. Lazard is used mainly as a blocking WR because he"s easily covered. This team simply has to find a #2 receiver or the playoffs will once again see Rodgers looking for Adams in desperation time.

I've repeated this often... Brady has four top-tier receivers in Evans, Godwin, AB, and Gronk. Rodgers has one in Adams. Tonyan, our best receiving TE, out for the year makes it even more imperative we sign OBJ. It's why Adams has been so vocal in wanting him. We had a chance to sign AB and didn't. Brady got him. AB turned back into a great receiver. Years back we also had a chance to sign Randy Moss. Brady got him too. We need to give Rodgers a fair chance against Tampa Bay this year in the playoffs and not send him out there against Brady when Brady has so many more weapons..

Seems we have a legit defense. Fun to watch too. If Jaire and Z manage to make it back it could be great. It's the offense and special teams holding the team back at present. Even with Rodgers, the team isn't lighting up the scoreboard. Sign OBJ.

Jack Buck?... A complete bore. Buck and Aikman are insufferable.

7 points
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Houndog's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:58 am

Johnny,
"They are one reason Love had such a difficult time. MLF called long-developing plays because he knows it takes those two forever to get open".
Are you kidding, MLF called long-developing plays against constant blitzing? Now I'll agree MLF could have done a better job, with screens and more runs, but to think he intentionally called what you suggest is preposterous. Love looked lifeless, no spark in his eyes, no smiles, no 'Let's Go'!
And, as for Jack Buck being boring, no big surprise there, he died in 2002.

1 points
2
1
JohnnyLogan's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:27 am

I wrote a few times that I thought MLF should have called screens but in truth Love didn't do well in the few that were called aside from the poor throw that Dillion managed to haul in. MLF called long-developing plays because the KC secondary is poor and he thought his receivers could beat them. MVS and Lazard couldn't. That was my point. The fact MLF continued to call them against the blitz was, I agree, idiotic.

Jack Buck did die in 2002 which would make him boring but still not as boring as his son.

0 points
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Crankbait's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:57 am

Sign Rison redux now !

2 points
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dobber's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:16 am

Joe Buck is smarmy and insufferable. I don't sense any humility in him. Can't stand him and can't see how he'd be where he is if it weren't for his old man, who was perhaps the greatest play by play man, ever.

2 points
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Since'61's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:26 am

Completely agree Dobber. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:40 am

Why is OBJ a perfect fit? What am I missing?

-2 points
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Since'61's picture

November 11, 2021 at 08:54 am

Veterans Day!!!

"All of them gave, some gave all".

Please take a moment to remember or to thank a veteran today.

Everyone stay safe and Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

10 points
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greengold's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:49 am

I know you're a Veteran, and I thank you, my friend!

Have a great day, Since'61!

1 points
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Since'61's picture

November 11, 2021 at 02:23 pm

I appreciate your kind words greengold. Thanks, Since '61

0 points
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Starrbrite's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:32 am

Excellent “Since ‘61”! I wasn’t a veteran but spent 40 years as a special agent with the Feds and feel a strong kinship with the Vets…and my father was a Vet. Thanks to y’all!!!

6 points
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Since'61's picture

November 11, 2021 at 02:26 pm

My Dad was also a vet in WW2. The WW2 vets made opportunities possible for all of us. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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Dr.Rodgers's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:07 am

I’m a a veteran too. I’m a fighter for freedom and the American Way under God and Jesus. Honor ME!

-2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 11, 2021 at 06:40 pm

Every day, every way, not forgotten, not replaced. Affirmative as we remember all Veterans on this Armistice Day.
A Day of Peace. From those who remain WWII, Korea, 'Nam. my nephews from Afghanistan and Iraq. Good Karma and God's Blessings to All.

4 points
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Since'61's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:28 am

Great post jannesbjorson. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 12, 2021 at 05:02 pm

Thank you, Brother.

1 points
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greengold's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:08 am

Great piece, Tim.
OBJ - Why not? "The Packers would be getting him for bargain barrel pricing." EXACTLY. That, to me, was the top reason not to pursue him earlier, in that it was completely cost prohibitive. The other stuff that comes along with OBJ was also a factor, earlier. Both this offseason and last offseason, when the idea of landing OBJ was being floated around, I just couldn't buy into the idea...

However, the scenario has changed dramatically. We're in Week 10. There are not many games left before we hit the playoffs. If we can get OBJ to sign here for a reasonable price the Packers can afford, I think he would be a great add. OBJ + Davante Adams would be something special that this Packers offense has lacked since 2010. WR has been a patchwork since Jennings & Nelson left. OBJ would be a dynamic addition with a ton of experience in our quest for the Lombardi Trophy. I think OBJ would embrace this opportunity to get some hardware, and would be good in the locker room. Might be that extra jolt of energy we need offensively.

Moving Lazard to the receiving TE role has merit. He's a big dude, and one of our best blockers.

A lot of top players could be returning soon, making this team even better. I think Green Bay is a more legit contender with OBJ than without him, heading into the playoffs. Too much on the plus side of the ledger for me to ignore. We'll see.

Happy Veterans Day. Thank you, to those who served our country. Know that you're appreciated.

GPG

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:14 am

Yes, GG, Thank you all Veterans for your service to our Country.

I don't bring in OBJ just because he'd be cheap. I would bring him in if he helps the team and the scouting on him shows he isn't a "me first" malcontent prima donna like M. Bennett.

There is a lot of information Gutey and Matt need to review as to why the Giants and Browns couldn't wait for him to get out of town. The most recent issues with the Browns seem troubling. Do a deep dive on those issues. I have read where teammates liked him in Cleveland but he publicly as kind of a jerk.

2 points
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greengold's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:14 am

I guess I wasn't clear enough with my reasoning. I know all the stuff you're speaking to here, and I felt much the same, prior to right now.

Wasn't saying bring him his because he's cheap. I meant the cost previously was too rich for this team. That is no longer the case.

He's not what he used to be, but, he's a talented veteran WR who commands attention. OBJ would without a doubt adversely affect opposing secondaries opposite Davante Adams.

The other component, the negative stuff? We agree on the history in NY and CLE. I think the Packers have suffered enough in the PR department. Can't see any of that benign stuff doing any more damage than what has already been done. If he does come to GB, which none of us have much confidence in, and Gutekunst, LaFleur, Rodgers & Co. want him on board, I'd be pretty happy to add that level of talent this late in the season. Adding to that, if he does sign with GB, he'd be focused on contributing to winning a Super Bowl - because it surely won't be about the money. It is all or nothing at this point. 8 games left, then the playoffs.

I cannot see OBJ being anything but all in towards achieving our goals. Again, having OBJ added to this WR corps could be a real shot in the arm for the Packers Offense. Playing with Rodgers, Adams, Lazard, Cobb, and for Matt Lafleur could be a real shot in the arm for OBJ too. This could be REALLY good.

Andre Rison was all you are describing here as a reason not to bring OBJ in. That worked out just fine.

Ask yourself, do you think Z, Jaire, Gary, Davante, Rodgers, Dillon, Jones, MVS, Cobb, Bak, Amos, Campbell, Jenkins, Clark... any of those guys, would be happy to see Gutekunst bring in OBJ? I do.

-1 points
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Dr.Rodgers's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:10 am

Thank you. That’s very thoughtful.

-1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:19 am

Part of me definitely believed OBJ would help the offense going into the playoffs. Keep the defense honest minimizing the amount of double teams on Adam's. The other reason is should there be injuries to the WR's. Another reason I was intrigued by adding OBJ is for years we collectively wanted another top QB to see how dynamic Rodgers and the offense would be. Adding OBJ would have allowed all of us to see whether a legitimate #1/2 WR to pair with Adam's might look at minimal cost.

I'm with GG and others about moving Lazard to TE starting immediately. This would dramatically change the offense and would allow our best players on field at one time.

0 points
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4thand1's picture

November 11, 2021 at 09:54 am

Is OBJ TO? T O went from team to team and left burning wreckage in his wake. He doesn't seem to be as bad as T O, but why can't he find a permanent home? At some point a player has to have some humility. Also his family is involved, remember Jennings? I guess it doesn't matter either way, the Packers are gonna do what the Packers do. They were (are) getting better every week, especially on the D side of the ball. They still need a true #2 WR, can OBJ let his ego commit to it? No word on AR about it, I wonder if the front office and AR have discussed it?

0 points
1
1
jannes bjornson's picture

November 11, 2021 at 06:45 pm

T.O. is in the HOF

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:02 am

The Stoic Summerall and the Bombastic Madden remains one best broadcast teams.

I recall one high scoring MNF game that was going back and forth. Late in the 4th quarter, Madden jumped in saying
"You know Pat, the way this game is going now, I kind of think the team that scores the most points is gonna win this thing!!"

Summerall: "Uh-huh."

2 points
2
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Since'61's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:31 am

LambeauPlain - I have been turning the sound down on NFL games since Madden left the booth. He was the last broadcaster who actually knew what he was talking about. Thanks, Since '61

1 points
1
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dobber's picture

November 12, 2021 at 10:20 am

I actually don't mind Tony Romo for awhile, but I can't listen to him very often. He's that guy you run into at the bar who knows what he's talking about, but who comes alone and gets a "head-start" on the game so he's overly animated and chatty the whole time.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 12, 2021 at 05:10 pm

I listen to Nagler and Cory Behnke. They do the cussing for me and great comments along with a few tall toads....

0 points
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ricky's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:21 am

A few thoughts. Yes, the defense played lights out against KC. Apparently I was wrong about Barry. And they did that without Alexander or Z. Smith. The special teams are a disaster again. And again, the team has decided for some reason to go cheap with the coaches, who literally seem to have no clue. Time to hire a good coordinator, even if that means paying him some money. OBJ is not like the Patriots adding Randy Moss. He's a guy who made a spectacular catch, and has been living off the hype ever since. He's a name with no game. Hard pass. Finally, the game plan for Love's debut was terrible. Why have him lined up in shotgun with an empty backfield? Why not run the ball more when it was working? LaFleur continue to have horrible game plans on a regular basis. With Rodgers as QB, they can be overcome. Without him? Not so much.

3 points
3
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:41 am

Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Patrick, Runyan, Turner may eventually be the big boys for the Playoff Push.

How about this one: Bak, Jenks, Patrick or Runyan (until Myers returns), Turner, Nijman.

0 points
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1
Leatherhead's picture

November 11, 2021 at 10:57 am

I taught Special Ed for 20 years, and raised two boys, so I understand that there’s a lot of bad ideas out there, but getting Odell is among the worst, ever.

Every ball you throw to him is one less touch for Adams, Jones, Dillon, etc.
On runs…45% of the plays, he’s a weaker choice than Lazard.

We are running for the Super Bowl…..we don’t need him, and we definitely don’t need the baggage.

2 points
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Starrbrite's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:07 am

I get your point concerning OBJ. He’s done little or nothing for Cleveland.

0 points
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ImaPayne's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:44 am

I agree with you but the pack did make him and offer. I dont think he wants green bay. I think he wants others to think he wants green bay so they offer a contract. If he was coming here he would have agreed by now. Thank goodness

0 points
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Since'61's picture

November 12, 2021 at 08:36 am

Leatherhead, excellent spot on post! We don't need/want OBJ. If we're going to sign a 1/2 season rental I would prefer a rotational DL who can hold the point against the run game or possibly a CB depending on the status of Stokes injury. Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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dobber's picture

November 12, 2021 at 10:15 am

They may have gotten that guy in the form of TJ Slaton without having to burn any additional resources.

1 points
1
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Since'61's picture

November 12, 2021 at 07:00 pm

Dobber you’re correct. I’m thinking we can never have enough depth on the DL, especially during a playoff run. Thanks, Since ‘ 61

0 points
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Starrbrite's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:05 am

Tim—-I complain each week about the “Hello Wisconsin” lead, but I do get your meaning.
Anyway, I look forward to your analysis every week—very insightful and always interesting.
I’ve been complaining about special teams for 10 years,and the lack attention to ST’s IMO began with McCarthy. Leatherhead and I continually argue over the importance of ST’s. I believe they are critically important and I point to many of Beichick’s teams to support my argument.
As for OBJ, initially I said, no way. Now I say, yeah—OK!
A Wisconsin beer raised to the future (hopeful) return of Bak, “Z”, and Alexander.

2 points
3
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 11, 2021 at 06:49 pm

Three Phases of Football. Every Play Matters, ie. see the Bostick files from Seattle.

3 points
3
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NitschkeFromTheGrave's picture

November 11, 2021 at 02:11 pm

Deleted

2 points
2
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ImaPayne's picture

November 11, 2021 at 11:41 am

He's not coming to green bay. They made him an offer and he did not respond. My take, his agent wants a contract and looking for someone to bite. Pack offered a vet minimu salary for the remainder of the season. The amount of that salary would be deducted from the 4.3 mil Cleveland owes him. His agent would get zilch under that deal.
So unless he can talk someone into a two year contract, he makes no more money from the Pack then anyone else. Therefore I think he wants the Chiefs who in his mind will get more playing time then with Rodgers who loves Adams.

-2 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

November 11, 2021 at 12:32 pm

I'm OK with OBJ at the veteran's minimum - as long as he's a capable NFL WR. After all, this is the FO's all-in year!

I certainly learned a lot from the KC game - Love not quite ready for prime time, MLF's game planning, O-line weak spots, there'll be a new STs coach in the off-season etc.

I'm at the point that when the STs are on the field - I just close my eyes and cross my fingers.

Don't get the Troy Aikman hate - perhaps an anti-Cowboys thing. While he might not be scintillating - I'd rather listen to him than a bunch of other color analysts. I also enjoyed listening to Summerall-Madden - although Madden was more "color" than "analyst."

I have long enjoyed micro-crafted beers. However my consumption has dropped ever since my son, a fitness buff, asked why am I still drinking liquid bread? Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

2 points
3
1
jurp's picture

November 11, 2021 at 12:36 pm

On the beer side of the equation, the Beer Man at our local Woodman's told me today that smaller breweries are beginning to have supply-side issues with canning and bottling. This could, he said, trickle down to Miller and some of the Big Boys - except Budweiser (yuck), who own the Ball Corp and can control their own bottling better.

Just a head's up - you might want to stock up on your favorites ASAP!

3 points
4
1
Alberta_Packer's picture

November 11, 2021 at 01:03 pm

Thank you for the PSA!

0 points
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1