Do you think Thompson really wants to win in 2006?
Let me state that I like, for the most part, how Thompson has drafted, although I question how really good Hawk will be. Worth a 5th round pick & big bucks $$ spent? Don't know about that. I like the way he has gotten rid of mediocre players and those he has cut. With that being said, we have something like what 27 of the 53 players have 1 season or less, he kept 10 of 12 draft picks and he picks up 3 more rookies after the cutdown to fill out the roster. Well, I think if he was Pinocchio his nose would be 6 ft. long … not in a rebuilding mode he says.WELL, HE LIED!!
Also, I was going back and reading old interviews I believe you had done, Todd, with Wolf. I believe 1995, and you asked him something to the question, "Why he had been so active in free agency." Wolf's reply: BECAUSE I WANT TO WIN QUICKLY!!!!!!
My next point is we have a SERIOUS UNBALANCE OF PLAYERS WITH EXPERIENCE WHO CAN HELP US NOW. Still no depth or experience on the offensive line, receiver, at punt returner & kickoff, receiver or running back. What's wrong with having veteran players help us 1-2-3 years, the way Wolf implemented them into the game plan. Personally, I think what is really sad is that Thompson is willing to change and sacrifice Favre's and Green's careers along with potentially a disaster of a year. Wolf ALWAYS GAVE FAVRE A GOOD OFFENSIVE LINE WITH BALANCE. If Favre would not have come back, TT could not have done this, and if he'd hadn't we might have won maybe 2 games .. a big maybe!!!!!
I hope I am wrong and the Pack pulls off a good year, the offense and defense surprises us and we beat the Bears. REALLY, but it really didn't have to be this bad with so many changes. I wouldn't blame Brett now for wanting to go to a team that could win a championship right away. Brett could basically be lamb to the slaughter. We, the Packer Fans and I've been one for 40 years, should let Thompson know loud and clear if the season tanks, but unfortunately they will give TT three years. But it really didn't have to be this extreme.
Jan Mandel, Janmandel@cox.net, Phoenix, AZ
Special teams need drastic improvement
This was unquestionably the worst special teams performance I have seen in my life. Mike Stock should have paid for admission rather than drawing a paycheck as a coach for this game. I would rather believe that Stock had come into the game saying that on every special teams appearance that he would set a fumble, a penalty, or surrender of a greater than 15-yard return as a goal than embrace the reality that the performance of his "teams" that we witnessed was the result of a month of professional practice. Holding on an extra point? A---mazing!!
Maybe next week, based on the unprofessional, abysmal demonstration of incompetence of his teams, he should try for three whole plays where his players don't give up the pigskin, 1/4 of the football field, or have zebra laundry laying all over the field like Ma Kettle's wash stripped away on a windy day.
Stock had better figure out how to instill some discipline before the season starts, or his teams can be counted on to rescue defeat from the jaws of any potential victory this season. Say, is there any precedent for including a special teams coach as part of the cut to 53?
Gregg Petersen, Sig29@aol.com, Columbia, MD
McCarthy made a mistake by hiring Schottenheimer
Good morning Todd,
Well, it's seems like yesterday that it was Christmas Day 2005 and I was watching the Pack close out their 2005 4-12 season against the Bears. I am getting ready to make my pilgrimage to GB for the start of the Mike McCarthy era against none other then the Bears. I have a few comments as we start this season. I must say for the most part I am totally onboard with TT's vision for the team and the manner in which he has chosen to rebuild. Fans can't help but be excited about some of the young talent he has brought in, Greg Jennings, AJ Hawk, Abdul Hodge, just to name a few.
I saw most of the pre-season and, yes, I realize it's pre-season, but the defense looked very anemic to me. I had high hopes for the defense being a bright spot for 2006, with the additions of Ryan Pickett, Charles Woodson and Marquand Manuel. This leaves me with BIG questions about the defensive coaching staff and their ability to motivate. I was especially unimpressed with the secondary. Woodson was repeatedly burned and the others left a lot to be desired. However, what can I expect, and I have not liked this from day one, but look who is coaching them!!! None other than Kurt Schottenheimer. I cringed the day I saw McCarthy sign him. He has been fired from his last two jobs, Green Bay and Detroit. God only knows why the Packers would approve hiring a coach that has been fired from the team previously. I think it's something the media should put in front of McCarthy. Mr. McCarthy must remember he is in Green Bay! This is not the Saints or Niners where it's easier to hide your mistakes. Not only should the media question this, TT should be right in his face over it. I can't believe you bring in a jewel like Woodson and then have him coached/motivated by Kurt Schottenheimer. My opinion is Schottenheimer should be gone before he even starts!!!!!
Michael Fosso, email@example.com,Manchester, CT
There's no substitute for experience
I cannot disagree more with John Lombardi than with this latest article.
In the mid 1990's Ron Wolf stated that the cap system would lead to such parity in the league, that it would resemble college football. He further explained this comment by saying that veterans would no longer be sitting tight with one team and eventually would price themselves out of the league, leaving teams to draft rookies to play the game. Rookies would have to be taught and brought up to speed quickly, but that this was his vision of what the future would hold under the cap system.
Fast forward to today. All teams are making youth movements, many veteran players have remained unsigned after becoming free agents or being cut. Young players are being taught and coaches are attempting to bring them up to speed quickly.
Coaches are relying on speed and overall physical ability first, instinct for and dedication to the game, and finally, knowledge.
Veteran's physical skills wane fast in the NFL with injuries and age. They compensate with the acquired knowledge, giving them an edge over physical ability - usually. Or would we label that mediocrity now? In the modern pro game, I think so.
To suggest that the Packers would somehow be hurt by Favre's presence on the team is, in fact, making a reference to the team somehow being better off with anyone else whether or not it is Rodgers. One must understand that speed and physical ability at this one position is NOT a replacement for knowledge. The QB must have the knowledge first or the rest is moot.
Rodgers is not ready to start in the NFL at this point. And by the comments of many coaches in the NFL, any quarterback should be working on the sidelines and learning for at least three years. Rodgers is just beginning his second year. Could he start? Yes. Would he be successful? Not likely as his knowledge level for the specific position is very intensive.
Regarding injury, it should never matter "who" is playing quarterback on a team. They all can be injured at any time from day one to after 200 consecutive starts. Favre's presence is no detriment to this team. His worst day is better than many starting quarterbacks' good days in the league.
The youth movement is not only under way, it appears to be making great strides as demonstrated by some very wise draft choices. This was a very weak year for offensive line and the draft boards reflected this. They changed the blocking schemes to accommodate youth and the limited knowledge of the pro game, just as it was under Holmgren.
Vince Lombardi's assignment-blocking scheme was great back in the day when defensive players tended to line up in the same place on every play, before zone blitzing and Tampa Cover 2 and etc. Today it is unreasonable to learn by the new offensive line players without having them sit the bench for 3 years. The playbook was also extensive with far too much to remember by any rookie. These were the things that kept rookies from playing in the regular season on the offensive line. Today, the assignment scheme really does not fit against many modern defenses.
Finally, let's all get off Favre's back about last year. Any dufus who has played or watched football for any length of time knows all quarterbacks in the NFL who are successful force the ball regularly, so that a receiver can make a play. Favre is no different. Also, it may be a popular statement to say that a team's injuries should not matter, but let's face it - a team's injuries do make a huge difference. Just ask the boys who set the odds in Vegas.
And last year Brett had Driver and, eventually, Gado as offensive weapons. That allows the defense to choke up to the line and the safeties to double and triple cover the only receiving threat the Packers had left. That is why Brett had 29 interceptions. Does he look disinterested at times? Last year he did when he knew he was playing with a bad offensive scheme (assignment blocking) and players too young to learn it. Not to mention the size of the playbook they had to memorize. And we already talked about how it stacks up against modern defenses.
While I think the Packers will struggle all season, I also believe Brett will have a fine year, the line will gel, Green will start moving the ball on the ground, and we now have at least 2 legitimate receiving targets. The defense will pull it together as well and might become a defense to be feared when it happens.
As for Brett retiring, I think the national media is trying to protect Marino's records by brow-beating Brett into retirement. It is funny that they are all about him needing to leave the game while at the same time they have nothing negative to say about Kerry Collins or Jeff George's (near return) return to the game after so long a time.
Marino is an East Coast product and never got that Super Bowl ring. I believe ESPN and CBS are more interested in pleasing the East Coast masses than covering Brett's eventual overtaking of many of Marino's records this year.
Packers 11-5 and Division Champions in 2006.
Mike K., firstname.lastname@example.org, Green Bay, WI
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