The Lass Word: Gutekunst and LaFleur Had a Solid Plan

So why is it falling apart?

It’s understandable that many fans are laying the blame for the Green Bay Packers struggles on Matt LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst.  Fans have the benefit of hindsight.  But let’s go back to February of this year. 

After the Packers were bounced from the playoffs by the 49ers, the attention shifted completely to the status of Aaron Rodgers for the coming season.  A big decision had to be made.  Did the Packers want to commit to the 38 year old quarterback, or was it time to trade him for what would surely have been a bonanza of draft picks and players?  They knew that bringing Rodgers back would mean committing to a long term deal, and making him the highest paid player in the history of the game.  Many fans, myself included, thought the time was right to trade him.  Keep everybody else, get a few good players in the trade, and use the draft picks to acquire some additional top young talent.  Begin the Jordan Love era because you would be surrounding him with quality playmakers and a very good defense. 

But Gutekunst and LaFleur knew something that the rest of us didn’t know.  They knew that Davante Adams had privately told them he was not playing in Green Bay any more.  He wanted out, and if the team chose to franchise him, he was willing to sit out the season.  They also knew that they wouldn’t be able to re-sign Marquez Valdes-Scantling.  They knew they would have to draft young, unproven players in an attempt to compensate for the loss of the best receiver in the game.  Tight end Robert Tonyan was a question mark.  They had no idea if David Bakhtiari would ever be the same after coming back from his knee surgery.  Things didn’t look good after he tried to play week seventeen and his knee regressed.  They also had little clue as to when Elgton Jenkins would be ready to play.  

Gutekunst and LaFleur came to the correct conclusion that putting Love out there with that many question marks on offense was not viable.  Besides, Rodgers was the two time Most Valuable Player of the league, and was playing some of the best football of his career.  Surely between he and that superb defense, they could carry the team until the young talent emerged.   

Adams wanted to be traded to Las Vegas, and Gutekunst managed to wangle first and second round picks in return.  If Adams was never going to play for them again, why not get something out of it?  Especially if they could move him out of the NFC.  So they correctly pulled the trigger on the deal.   

When the draft arrived and the top seven receivers were already off the board, Gutekunst decided to use both first round picks on defensive players.  That, again, seemed like the right call at the time.  Why reach for a pass catcher when you could further bolster what was looking like one of the best defenses in the league?  Christian Watson, considered a borderline first/second round prospect, was still on the board in round two.  Gutey knew Watson would be gone quickly, so he aggressively traded both second round picks to move up and take the North Dakota State star.  Now Green Bay had a top young player to groom as Adams’ replacement. 

He used the rest of the draft to bolster the offensive line and take more shots at receivers.  He used the cap money he saved by trading Adams to re-sign De’Vondre Campbell, who was coming off a first team All Pro season, and Rasul Douglas who led the team with five picks and several game saving plays in 2021.  He had money left over to bring in Jarran Reed to bolster the defensive front.  When the smoke cleared and training camp began, the Packers, on paper, appeared to have the roster of a solid Super Bowl contender.  Gutekunst and LaFleur had a good plan.  All things considered, they seemed to make the best out of their offseason challenges as one could expect. 

So what happened?  Six weeks in, the Packers are at 3-3, having lost two games in a row, and look terrible in all phases.  Where does the fault lie?  Are Gutekunst and LaFleur to blame? 

It’s hard for me to fault them.  I found myself agreeing with everything they did at the time.  It was impossible to foresee several developments: 

-- the severe drop off in the play of Rodgers.  Certainly they knew there would be a gradual decline, but coming off two stellar seasons in a row, no one thought he would fall off the cliff this hard.  The Packers were counting on him to carry the offense as it grew and matured but, at least so far, he hasn’t been able to lift the players around him.  He is inaccurate, less mobile, and indecisive.  He looks old. 

-- the under performance of the defense.  This is particularly true of the secondary.  Considering the talent they had amassed, the front office had every right to expect this to be a dominating unit.  Coaching decisions to play soft zones haven’t helped.  If you will forgive me for tooting my own horn just a bit, I did try to restore some sanity to expectations for this unit in an article I wrote back on June 20.  I tried to remind everyone that this defense played poorly the last eight weeks of the 2021 season, and the playoff performance against the 49ers was likely an aberration.  But I never anticipated a decline of this magnitude, and neither did Gutekunst and LaFleur. 

-- The fact that the Packers would get almost nothing out of first round draft pick Devonte Wyatt, second round pick Watson, and third round pick Sean Rhyan.  Wyatt hasn’t played well enough to get on the field, nor has Rhyan.  Watson missed most all of training camp while recovering from offseason knee surgery and now is out with a hamstring problem. 

-- The inability of David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins to improve the play of the offensive line.  The shocking truth is, the line has gotten worse since their return.  Jenkins is playing out of position at right tackle.  Yosh Nijman and Zach Tom have remained on the bench even though the unit seems to play better when they are in the line up. 

-- the rise in quality of certain opponents on the schedule, such as the Giants and Jets.  Before the season these looked like a pair of easy wins, but the Giants are 5-1 and the Jets are 4-2 and both look like surprise playoff contenders. 

For these reasons and others, I am still inclined to give Gutekunst and LaFleur the benefit of the doubt.  But now they have to show they can adjust and recover in terms of player acquisition, development, and game strategy.  It may be a less complicated fix than it appears.  Ninety percent of the problems could likely be solved if the O-line gets its act together.  That would reenergize the run game, provide more time for Rodgers to execute the passing game, and pave the way for longer offensive possessions, which would, in turn, give the defense more rest, and possibly help them to play four solid quarters instead of two. 

The Washington Commanders are not as good as the Jets or Giants, but the Packers struggled mightily against them last season. The Commanders outgained Green Bay in total yards 430 to 304. They had 25 first downs to Green Bay’s 19. The Packers leading rusher was Aaron Jones, who had a grand total of 19 yards. Taylor Heinecke, who will start Sunday, ran for 90 yards against the Pack last year. Somehow, the Packers found a way to win the game 24-10. If Green Bay can find the right adjustments, they should once again find a way to get back on track Sunday.  Let’s hope the unanticipated surprises are behind them. 

Game Prediction:  Packers 20  Commanders 14 

Star of the game:  Robert Tonyan 

Upset Special of the Week:  Jaguars over Giants 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

NFL Categories: 
5 points

Comments (60)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PackyCheese500's picture

October 20, 2022 at 03:21 pm

I think you have a fair analysis, and it rally helps me to put things in perspective.

That being said, play-calling responsibilities fall on LaFleur. If he says we need to give Jones the ball more, well great, but you are the one controlling that. I was expecting MLF to bounce back next week, but he changed almost nothing. Why should we expect any different this week?

Packers 17 Commanders 18 is my prediction. Washington's d-line is scary, and they have talented players at RB and WR.

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kozmo's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:46 pm

You can Aaron Jones the ball all day long. If theres no holes and theres the kind of penetration we saw on sunday hes not going anywhere. You could throw him the ball....that might work but the problem with the offense is they dont block...pressure on rodgers. The line is the problem with this team....protect rodgers and he will look a lot more like he has over the last couple of years

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Barnacle's picture

October 21, 2022 at 01:22 pm

High paid professional managers should be able to detect when a mushroom chewing malcontent probably is NOT worth a long term commitment of limited cap dollars. Rodgers and his professional Agents out smarted a couple of junior achievement types.

I hope I am wrong but I believe Gute and LeFlear have created a very weak foundation for our future GM and New coaching staff.

Trading Rodgers for bunches of draft picks for Gute to fritter away at least would have reduced some of our cap problems.

My dream is to say goodbye to our current top three decision makers.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 21, 2022 at 10:08 pm

And Rivera knows how to make Rodgers life difficult. This is a character test for team .

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jaxpackfan's picture

October 20, 2022 at 03:41 pm

A very reasonable and well thought out assessment. Sometimes even the best laid plans end in frustration and failure. Thanks Ken for a really solid article.

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vin0770's picture

October 20, 2022 at 03:42 pm

Thank you. What is the one fix that actually touches both sides of the ball, finally you stated it perfectly. The O line is the one domino that touches the play calling, pass timing, time of possession, that keeps the D off the field longer so they got something left when the other team tries to run it down their throat.

The only question is: can the O line just flip the switch and play geat? I’m not optimistic 😢

8 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

October 20, 2022 at 03:44 pm

Like Mike Tyson said, Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face/mouth, whichever.

This team has been punched in the whichever, but with their own fist first and then by the opponent's fist.

Drafting Love
Knowing Adams was leaving and doing nothing to fill the still, very vacant spot
Resigning Rodgers and killing the cap.
Drafting average at best OL to fill-in for the heralded two.
Overrating rookie receivers, and thinking Rodgers will change his issue.
Hiring a known failed DC after firing a failed DC from after failed performances.
Placing too much stock in one-year wonder players.
Allowing a HC to be second chair.
Allowing and paying the QB to be the end-all first chair.
Using draft picks for wrong, proven by the consistent failure of 3rd round selections, not all.
Resigning players to hide shame and continuing the scam.
Denying the Division has been the fall to, to look like what they aren't, tough enough.

I can't anymore.

As like the Bears game, don't read too much into the game this week, especially if able to beat Heinecke, even while downing a few of his beers. Yeah, I don't drink any beer with fruit in it, cupcakes. Maybe this team does, though.

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NickPerry's picture

October 21, 2022 at 06:23 am

"Yeah, I don't drink any beer with fruit in it, cupcakes. Maybe this team does, though."

Common folks, she deserves a "Thumbs Up" just for this last line.

BTW...The rest of it is pretty dead on too.

2 points
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Lphill's picture

October 20, 2022 at 03:46 pm

If Newman starts Sunday that pretty much says it all .

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dblbogey's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:36 pm

I've been screaming for Yosh and Zach Tom to be in the line up. Put Elgton back at LG. Yosh at RT, Tom or Runyan at RG. Newman has been bad for 20 games, he's not an NFL lineman.

5 points
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Packers0808's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:44 pm

If Newman is even active says more than it needs too as well!

1 points
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NickPerry's picture

October 21, 2022 at 06:25 am

Thank you Lphill...

This is the BEST comment of the week. Short, sweet, and accurate as hell.

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gpt999's picture

October 20, 2022 at 03:56 pm

Admittedly being another of the livid GB fans, this article has brought me back to Earth in some regards. But only in some regards.

I still feel Gutes is a good GM. Nobody has a crystal ball when evaluating for an upcoming season. So, I give him a pass. As for MLF, I gave him the benefit of the doubt initially but am losing confidence in him every week. By stubbornly not moving Jenkins back to guard when he is struggling at RT, he is not putting his best 5 Olinemen in the best position to win. As well, the Packers seen unprepared, man-handled and outcoached each and every game. That's coaching. No amount of throwing his players under the bus each week for poor execution is going change that.

Lastly, I am sympathetic for the little protection Rodgers is getting from his OLine. He took some vicious hits against the Jets and adding to the fact that he has a bad thumb, he still didn't have an awful game. I still don't like his ego or his after game analysis. I still don't like his off field persona. But he gives GB a chance if the team can give him a reasonable supporting cast to work with.

So, while I am not blisteringly mad anymore, I am still in serious doubt. I no longer have wild and positive expectations for this team. So, as long as we don't listen to the weekly excuses/rationales from Rodgers and MLF, we GB fans will survive this season. GPG

6 points
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T7Steve's picture

October 21, 2022 at 07:46 am

As long as we beat DA BEARS!

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wildbill's picture

October 20, 2022 at 04:11 pm

We are officially the Browns, the pressure to win each week is off the table. The players will cash their checks, play not to get hurt, and work on their off season projects.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 20, 2022 at 04:15 pm

To put things in a 'simpler' manner than my previous comment. This is the Packers.

https://youtu.be/quM-3Sl8xjM

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vin0770's picture

October 20, 2022 at 04:33 pm

😂😂😂😂😂😂

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Coldworld's picture

October 20, 2022 at 04:24 pm

I wrote at length at the time, and was not alone, that this seemed to make very little sense unless LaFleur had a plan and Rodgers accepted it. He didn’t, we saw more of the same and the always more likely outcome, exacerbated by the increased exposure of LaFleur’s general Leadership as well as strategic and tactical acumen without Adams and MVS. We see that now permeating the general attitude of the team.

This always was a very low odds choice, at huge future cost. It depended on LaFleur having a plan to reconcile the roster and talent with Rodgers. That was absent. The result is the mess we see.

Personally, I think Murphy drove this and Gute was the least effusive. I think this roster was built as a platform for Love and the fruits of more cap to build around the run and D. Knowing that we probably could have had some significant picks and got this mess just aggravates the crime.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 01:23 pm

On this we agree. Gutekunst has been building for life after Rodgers since 2019 but Murphy is holding onto Rodgers like he held onto a dying Ted Thompson. Except this is going to have much longer lasting effects than the drafts Thompson massacred at the end. Packers are about to enter the long night that is dark and full of terrors.

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canadapacker's picture

October 20, 2022 at 04:41 pm

That is a pretty good analysis - except for a couple of exceptions. Firstly nowhere does it mention that Lafleur hates rookies in their first year - or maybe that is an overstatement - maybe it should be said that he doesnt really trust them in their first season - qualitifier unless he absolutely has too - ie Myers because he had to and Stokes because King killed him in a playoff game. So is it not a little bit of his fault that he didnt develop the receivers and the play calling around Watson and Doubs - and why isnt Toure seeing the field or why didnt they get some better vets other than the walking bandaid Watkins - so one can say what you want but one needs to ensure that the roster compliments the coach - and if he doesnt trust the rooks and if the other vets are too slow - love Lazard but he is not a number 1 just do to his speed.
Finally - not an AR lover nor an AR hater - and obviously Lass appears to be - AR hasnt fallen off of a cliff. He still moves in the pocket and makes throws as well as Brady. If you analyze the games - the first pass to Watson dropped an obvious TD the past dropped in the endzone by Doubs the fantastic passes last game to Lazard and Cobbs - He can still do it all but he has slowed a bit and cannot run around like Fields or Mahommes - And Lafleurs inability to put the correct combination so that the OLine can block for a great running back combo or not leave unblocked runners going straight to the QB - or O lineman getting pushed back into the QB - is not AR's fault. He is not holding the ball too long because by that time he is laying on the ground.
Play calling seems to be an issue as even in London they did well to start and then Lafleur never adjusted after the Giants adjusted - that is his blindspot. This upcoming game will mark the end of the season with a loss - there is no way that we have a hope in Buffalo - so going in below 500 will be the end of the year. Fix the Oline and maybe there is a chance. But if the first 2 runs by each running back leads to negative plays as they did against the Jets - then whose fault will that be AR because he has suffered from as "severe drop off " come on.

1 points
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Guam's picture

October 21, 2022 at 08:02 am

I am not a fan of AR, but I also don't think his performance has fallen off a cliff. He has declined in two areas - he is clearly not as mobile as he used to be and I don't think he is as accurate as he used to be under pressure. If AR is given time, he can still be a highly accurate thrower, but his O-line has not given him that time this year. Due to constant pressure and his decreased mobility, his performance has slipped to that of an average NFL QB. If the O-line can be fixed, we might see a better AR.

1 points
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Packerpasty's picture

October 21, 2022 at 08:58 am

any aging QB would look bad behind this abysmal O line...he's not some young gun like Mahomes he needs protection and at least half ass good WR's

1 points
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coolhand's picture

October 21, 2022 at 09:36 am

NO NFL qb would look good behind this line. Brady would get demolished, Mahomes would be running for his life just about every play.

3 points
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Guam's picture

October 21, 2022 at 04:51 pm

The WR group is admittedly weak, but Rodgers doesn't help them with his dislike of motion, bunch formations and other man-beater concepts. He continues to want McCarthy like formations and pass routes for receivers who can't get separation from man coverage. This helps neither his WRs nor his O-line. I don't think Rodgers is blameless in this mess, but a better O-line could fix many of the problems.

2 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 01:26 pm

Less mobile and less accurate. Mobility and pinpoint accuracy are the two things that made Rodgers great. This is exactly what falling off the cliff looks like.

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:38 pm

I can give Gutey the benefit of the doubt...maybe Matt. But that Joe Barry hire gives me pause. And Barry followed Drayton and Mennenga.

Ken rightly points out Barry's D was getting figured out in the second half of 2021. He was given more talent to play the same cautious, soft zone defense with the ILBs and DBs. He simply does not attack or adjust much.

Teams are almost gaining as many yards on a rush as with a pass. So pound Barry's bunch and wear them out. They will eventually fold because you will see the same D all the way to the end zone.

If ML lets the D flop around the way he did STs last year...his "benefit of the doubt" will dry up.

9 points
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Swisch's picture

October 21, 2022 at 05:51 pm

It seems to me that if a defense or offense does the same things over and over and over again, the other teams will figure it out and beat it soundly.
So, as an example, it wouldn't make sense to blitz on every play, or even every third down.
The best way to go is to mix in the blitzes strategically and creatively, as well as changing the type of blitzes and where they are coming from.
Some teams will blitz more than others on defense, and some teams will pass more than others on offense -- which is fine -- but the key is to keep the other side guessing.
It's great to see physical football in which a team imposes its will through force; but it's also great to see intelligent football in which a team outsmarts an opponent.
Here again, it's not one or the other, but both force and smarts that makes for a great football team.
Let's hope the Packers embrace the challenge of hitting hard and thinking hard, both of which should be fun for those who love the game of football.

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Packerlifer's picture

October 22, 2022 at 10:45 pm

Barry wasn’t first choice for dc. That was Jim Leonhard, dc and now winning interim hc at university of Wisconsin. In a kitchen Barry would be called a leftover.

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Fubared's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:40 pm

A person with a tooth ache knows two things: avoid the dentist and the pain stays, maybe gets worse. Go to the dentist and there will be some pain but the big pain will go away soon.

LeFleur and Gutt decided to keep Rodgers thinking they could postpone the pain. If they would have traded him two years ago for a lot of picks, there would have been some short term pain adjusting to a new QB and new team members but those people would have been quality players.
Heck Hebert may be a Packer today had they done that?

One thing I saw over and over from Spielman, he knew when it was time to get rid of talent who still had value, and then bundle those picks he got to move into the middle of the first to get TALENTED PLAYERS.

1 points
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canadapacker's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:23 pm

TT's philosophy was always to get rid of a guy a year too soon rather than a year too late. And Gutey has pretty well followed that philosophy. Just to blame AR for poor line play or for not getting enough good talent behind MVS and Adams - is not a valid point; When one sees how guys like Peyton and Brady and even Joe Montana and Favre ( except #4's last year) were playing at the end of their careers. But one needs pieces. AR is not done - and even if they started to pick guys earlier they probably wouldnt have developed another good QB because ever since TT drafted AR - they have not picked anyone who has done ANYTHING after leaving the Pack. So why would they think that Love might be the next one. The fact that the team is where it is - is simply because the OLINE sucks this year so far and they did not pick any receivers other than a bandaid with NFL experience - Unless Watkins surprises the rest of the year - it may be a long year - Lafleur is not good a quickly developing rooks - but then again Adams and Jordy both took awhile to develop so maybe it is the possession other than Jefferson or Claypool.

5 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 01:40 pm

Nowhere in Payne's post did he blame Rodgers for the line's poor play. Read his comment again. But there are quite a few things we can blame him for. For starters, the last 2 games (both ugly losses) the pass to run ratio has gotten out of hand and considering they run a ton of RPO's leaving Rodgers to decide whether to pass or run we can directly blame him for this lack of balance. Who do you think Lafleur is talking to in all these post game pressers when he keeps saying "We need to get Aaron Jones the ball more"? Hes not talking to himself. Hes talking to Rodgers. We can also blame Rodgers for his poor decisions to throw into tight coverage when others are open, likely because he is choosing his target based on pre-snap reads and whether he trusts that player rather than post-snap reads. Throwing 40 yard passes on 3rd/4th and short needed to stop like 5 years ago and yet here we are making the same stupid and impatient drive killing mistakes. We can also blame him for hus inaccurate throws to which there have been many. Overthrows, underthrows, one hopper throws, you name it. And dont give me the "but the blocking" nonsense. Delivering throws accurate and on time in the face of pressure is why these guys get the big bucks. But the biggest problem is his shit attitude and how its affecting the chemistry and culture of the team. In the same press conference he spoke about guys not "breaking rank" and then continued to shit on everybody from the coach's playcalling to saying they dont have the right players which is shitting on the GM and his teammates in one fell swoop. So its only breaking rank if others do it but now him? People with the Rodgers blinders on do not seem to understand how devastating this selfish hot dog nonsense can be for a team. Rodgers has become the Terrell Owens of quarterbacks. Notice none of his teammates or coaches are coming to his defense either. The only people defending him these days are his loyal (to a fault) fans. He doesnt deserve your support. The guy has the greatest job in sports and hes shitting all over it. The entitlement and gall it takes to behave like this is astounding. Makes me sick.

-1 points
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Swisch's picture

October 21, 2022 at 06:08 pm

Wow, lots of sanity in this comment!
Throwing deep on 3rd-and-one (when the deep guy is covered) is not only exasperating, but it's almost like a turnover.
In other words, we should usually get a first down on the play and keep the ball, but instead we have to punt it to the other team.
***
I'm still rooting for Rodgers to figure things out as a quarterback who is gifted with both intelligence and physical talent.
As he ages, he would do well to do more outsmarting of defenses than outthrowing of defenses.
I would think that him and his head coach would embrace the challenge each week of collaborating to creatively outwit the opposing defense.
***
Most of all for Rodgers, though, is indeed the attitude.
The humility to be more coachable and agreeable would do wonders for him and his teammates, and the other parts of the game would tend to fall into place.
Hoping for Rodgers to truly change may seem like a desperation pass from midfield into the endzone at the end of the game to snatch victory from defeat.
I offer a Hail Mary for him, anyway, asking Our Lady to pray for him and me and all of us as sinners, now and at the hour of our deaths.
The God of Mercy never gives up on us, so why would I give up on anyone?

0 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:44 pm

That seems to be an accurate description of how it all went down. Thanks, Ken.

I have two thoughts on "...Gutekunst managed to wangle..."; 1) saying that aloud in Missouri and Oklahoma will get ya 45-90 days in the gray-bar hotel. 2) the German translation gives a different, erm, feel to the phrase: Gutekunst schaffte es zu wanken.

-2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:54 pm

The simplest answer is they're Charmin soft. That is the most immediate problem and it's hard to see a coach on the staff with the mindset to change it. The D line was called out by the opposing coach on Sunday and I'd expect them to respond. But will it be a one game response before a return to the norm?

On the OL Nijman showed some nasty at the end of last year and Jenkins has in the past. Jenkins hasn't been as bad as people think the last two weeks but his penalties were killers Sunday. The move everybody wants to see might bring some toughness to the offense but I don't expect it. LaFluer thinks he can scheme his way out of this mess and trying to exude some toughness at this point would just ring hollow to the players.

3 points
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PatrickGB's picture

October 20, 2022 at 05:57 pm

I had no problem with this years draft. I think that they did the best they could. I think that Matt might have been the best coach available when it was time to replace MM. Maybe, just maybe, what we are hearing from the coaches and players is right. Mistakes are being made and at costly times. Most by the players but some by the coaches. It would be nice to have a lot of high quality WR’s but we don’t at this time.

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Fubared's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:47 pm

I think we have dumb asses in our coaching and playing. Routes are being run wrong, players confused about what they are supposed to do. Rodgers could be referring to the playbook is too much for some of these guys, like doubs and Amari as simplfing things

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:02 pm

If Love was really their guy, he would be starting and Rodgers high in the Rockies. More veteran coaches were needed to bring up the newbies and keep a steady voice. Bisaccia will have an impact on the sideline.

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Packerpasty's picture

October 21, 2022 at 09:06 am

agreed on Love..they see him daily in practice and preseason, if he was lighting it up and making smart decisions I'm pretty sure he either would be starting by now or other teams would have wanted him...he's not the answer.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 01:46 pm

Nah Murphy made the choice to kneel to Rodgers. Hes holding onto him too long just like he held onto a dying Ted Thompson too long. Only this mistake will hurt this team far worse and for much longer than Thompson's failed drafts at the end. Rodgers is going to burn this team to the ground before all is said and done and nobody's going to stop him. This never had anything to do with Love.

1 points
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mbpacker's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:28 pm

Hope there are some changes with the play calling on both sides of the ball, get Jones the ball more, shuffle the offensive line without Newman in it. You know the definition of insanity! GPG!

0 points
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Fubared's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:40 pm

First they shouldn't be smiling, no one else is including the team. Maybe Adams and Scantling but no one else

Second, they lose players every year to other teams due to lack of funds. They knew when they gave the farm away to Rodgers and bak that that
meant they couldn't keep other players. They shouldn't act surprised.

Third they drafted two GA players in the first that aren't contributing much but they are being paid first round money. Nothing to laugh about. The fans expected a better defense to make the playoff hump.

This team has become a dumpster fire under Gutt with his piss poor planning and poor drafting. Watson had serious issues with hammies in college and we focused in on him from a div ia school? IMO Amari Rodgers couldn't learn the playbook and Stokes runs around like a chicken with his head cut off.

This management is fd up and there drafting mistakes are finally biting them in the ass. It took a while but it's here to stay.
How many tds has Rodgers caught, how many interceptions does stokes have, how many deep balls did speedster Watson catch, how many pressures did Wyatt have, does walker have a sack yet. Theses are all top picks contributing almost nothing.

4 points
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GVPacker's picture

October 20, 2022 at 06:47 pm

Agreed the O-Line Is a "Dumpster Fire" and Matt The Flower better do something fast!
If he doesn't A Rod Is going to get carted off the field, yikes! If the O-Line can be stabilized run the ball and and convert on 3rd down.
The Packers D Is getting gassed and demoralized! Hopefully R Tonyan can get more Involved In the offense, It looks like A Rod likes to throw to him. Losing him last season really was a big blow. A Rod must take what the opposition defense gives him and stop trying to throw too many home run balls.Just curious does anybody know when a Packer kick returner or punt returner took one to the house....seems like ages? This week's game against the Commanders will be a big test, let's see what happens!!!

3 points
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MainePackFan's picture

October 20, 2022 at 07:33 pm

"Ninety percent of the problems could likely be solved if the O-line gets its act together. That would reenergize the run game, provide more time for Rodgers to execute the passing game, and pave the way for longer offensive possessions, which would, in turn, give the defense more rest, and possibly help them to play four solid quarters instead of two.'

So what you are saying is if the O-line didn't suck it would solve 90% of Rodgers old age problem? I agree.

4 points
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PatrickGB's picture

October 21, 2022 at 09:26 am

The other 9% is probably mistakes from the receivers. 1% is on #12.

-2 points
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GregC's picture

October 20, 2022 at 07:40 pm

Good article. The biggest problems are probably the O-line and Rodgers, but I keep coming back to the fact that this is the weakest the team has been at WR in a long time. They lost Davante Adams and had nobody to fall back on. I think back to when Donald Driver aged out of the lineup, and they had Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson ready to take over. When they let Jennings go, they still had Jones and Nelson, plus Randall Cobb. By the time Jordy Nelson was let go, Davante Adams had emerged as a real threat. But now they suddenly lost Adams (and Marques Valdez-Scantling at the same time) and did not have a top talent groomed to replace him. They've tried to throw something together, but it's been a mess. I thought it would work out, at least to some degree, but so far it hasn't. Exceptionally talented, experienced wide receivers really do make a difference.

2 points
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canadapacker's picture

October 20, 2022 at 08:06 pm

And remember they brought James Jones back for intermittent play and didnt he get a bunch of TD's - 8 and 900 yards receiving .

0 points
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Tabattttt's picture

October 20, 2022 at 07:52 pm

Idk I was pretty disappointed they only came out with 1 offensive weapon out of 4 picks. I'm not honestly sure if gutey has done anything to truly help rodgers or lefleuer. It's been pretty much the same guys to throw to constantly for 3yrs eventually coaches will figure out how to shut them down just like our coaches know what they can and can't do. With both the wr and te room needing to be rebuilt ,after trading adams and tonyan tearing his acl, and big dog being pretty old,
he added 2 guys in the first 5 picks. Needing an ot, He waited till round 3 and took a guard. I think gutey is a good gm just not a great or elite gm.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2022 at 10:22 am

He has whiffed more times than hit on his high picks. They needed to go OT in rd one or two when they chose not to retain Turner.

0 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 06:03 pm

Who should they have picked then? 5 OT's went before the Packers picked. Were they supposed to overdraft Tyler Smith like the cowboys did just cuz it was a position of need? You want Gute to impersonate Jerry Jones?

0 points
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splitpea1's picture

October 20, 2022 at 08:12 pm

Some of the developments are a little surprising, but not shocking.

When you lose Adams, MVS, Turner, and Patrick and replace them with rookies and bridge solutions, the offense is going to go through a transition. The transition has been sabotaged by injury-prone receivers and very poor play on the right side of the O

Gute has a penchant for drafting very athletic, but raw players who need time to develop. We see that on the field plenty with Walker, a handful of times with Wyatt, and Rhyan is buried on the depth chart. Only Doubs has made an immediate impact.

MLF the benefit of the doubt? Hmm....especially when it comes to the game strategy and adjustments you pointed out. But he did hire Bisaccia, who probably had some input when it came to the Ford signing, so at least that's good.

Not utilizing A. Jones more is shocking.

Agreed about the defense. Maybe the expectations were a little exaggerated, but they should be playing and being coached much better than they are now.

So in this case, there's a bit of divergence between the plans of the front office and the plans of the fans. Rodgers was never going to win another MVP with this cast of receivers, anyway. We really need the defense to step up, and so far, they haven't.

3 points
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stockholder's picture

October 20, 2022 at 08:54 pm

How many veterans Left? Are cast -offs got gobbled up.

1 points
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fangirl's picture

October 21, 2022 at 12:38 am

I absolutely disagree with this writer about Rodger's 'precipitous' decline. He is being continually sacked and has one of the worst
receiving corps in the league. The writer clearly doesn't care for him.

Gute spent a fortune on Defense-DO something about it. Millions of $$ are being wasted currently. Bring in help. Hackett had to do it.
We need someone w/knowledge to move Barry aside and take over the defense.

6 points
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Guam's picture

October 21, 2022 at 07:54 am

"Gutekunst and LaFleur came to the correct conclusion that putting Love out there with that many question marks on offense was not viable."

I agree with many of the points the author was making, but this statement makes no sense. If you trade Rodgers for the same combination of players and draft choices Denver gave up for Wison, you don't have many questions marks left on offense other than Love himself. Green Bay could have gotten TE Fant who would have been a terrific and much needed addition as well as draft choices that would have allowed them to pick up one of the top seven WRs in the draft and additional talent on the O-line. The offense surrounding Love would have been very talented albeit young in a couple of spots.

I am also not sure that it was Gutekunst and LaFleur that came to this conclusion. I suspect Murphy might have had a great deal to do with this decision and Gutekunst and LaFleur had to accept his choice.

3 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 01:50 pm

Bingo. You hit the nail on the head from beginning to end here.

1 points
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Packerpasty's picture

October 21, 2022 at 09:00 am

what to people expect out of an aging QB behind this terrible O line and sub par WR's?? Lazard is #3 on many teams and Rodgers isn't Josh Allen or Mahomes with young legs..and then there's the coaching staff...MLF has flatlined and Barry never was a good choice...

2 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 04:41 pm

I expect him to play like the highest paid player in football. He didnt offer any hometeam discounts to help improve the skill players did he? Instead he held this team hostage all offseason until the feont office stroked his ego with a record breaking contract. But were supposed to give him benefit of the doubt and make excuses for him? Stop with the idolatry. All he does is talk shit and point the finger at others but never points the thumb at himself.

2 points
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egbertsouse's picture

October 21, 2022 at 09:24 am

This is how the Packers roll. Conservative. They don’t do wild and crazy things. They put the band back together. They are the Blues Brothers of the NFL. If the music sounded pretty good last year, the band should sound pretty good this year too. If David Lee Roth wants to go to Las Vegas, we’ll just get Sammy Hagar to replace him for less money. Otherwise, don’t mess with the music.

2 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

October 21, 2022 at 06:12 pm

What do you call giving a 39 year old diva a record breaking, full guaranteed contract with a 1st round qb sitting on the bench? Thats as wild and crazy as it gets. The conservative thing to do wouldve been to fleece the broncos for a bunch of draft picks and move on with Love. Now were left reaping what Mark Murphy sowed.

0 points
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Packerpasty's picture

October 21, 2022 at 06:53 pm

would anyone actually say no to a huge contract no matter what line of work they did...I don't think so...if management saw anything exciting in Love this contract would never have been in place...the staff see's Love daily in practice and pre season, I think they would know what they got in him...

1 points
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TexasRaider's picture

October 23, 2022 at 05:36 pm

This article sounds like it was written by a Bears fan. Rodgers is in 'precipitous decline'? That's pure stupidity. It's asinine. The man has a turn style for an O-line and is constantly running for his life. Some of WR's probably wouldn't make the roster on 70% of the other teams in the league and they have frying pans for hands. The defense couldn't stop an angry 6 year old girl with a wiffle bat from getting a 1st down and the Matt La-Sewer's play calling is about as creative and original as the last few Star Wars films.

Rodgers is THE LEAST of the problems this unholy disaster of a team has. Face it, Gutekunst and LaFleur had their profound incompetence masked by the brilliance of the Adams/Rodgers show in the past. But now that DA17 is gone and these two clueless doofs have to rebuild a team, we find....they simply can't. They are terrible at their jobs.

Rodgers would be having a great season with a variety of other teams, but frankly he has very little help. And the boobs running this franchise have little to no idea on how to get him any.

But keep blaming Rodgers and ignoring all the pure trash Gutekunst and LaFleur keep bringing in.
That's the *real* issue.
:eye roll:

0 points
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