It's been several months since I've felt the need to make constructive comment. What a great season for both the Packers and Favre and all of us fans! But as expectations get higher, so do standards of performance, and one is constrained to comment that perhaps now even greater focus and discipline is required from the coaching staff. Since everyone seems to acknowledge the problems first exhibited in the Dallas game, it would seem as though the Coaches should be aware of what to do; namely, stay with the bread and butter, and deal with all the issues raised in your Ryan Grant column (Dec. 16).
How about also a revisiting of collaring and directing the long pass game so that it is not invoked when the team is moving the ball well during a drive, especially when in mid-field or better (that happened twice against the Rams)? And, even if such plays seem to be right to do, at least not into double coverage; or to put it another way, only when single coverage is clearly the case. If in doubt, DON'T throw! Brett is perfectly capable of audibles, so he just needs to be firmly directed to adjust away from throwing into coverage, or if he is too rushed, also DON'T throw.
In a way this fuzziness is beginning also to be reflected in a number of recent instances of giving up the big third-down play. We see this happening too many times of late, and in the playoffs we may not get away with it. What is causing this repeated breakdown? Our talent is no different on those plays, so is the system deficient. Is there a tendency to get greedy and overplay? Is the pass rush over-emphasized at the expense of coverage? If you can shed some light on this, I'd sure like to know; but better yet, I'd like the coaches (and Players) to know, before it's too late.
Happy Holiday and a Healthy New Year to you, and as always, Go Packers!
Ben Zitron, email@example.com, Garden City, NY
Starr was better than Favre
To W. Keith Roerdink & Todd Korth,
Liked your article (December Packer Report magazine) on Favre being greatest QB ever to play, but I have to disagree. I wouldn't take anything away from Favre's accomplishments, and I consider him the second best Packer QB ever. Keith, I agree with your own argument that Favre beats out Marino because Marino never won a championship. But, how about the guy who won FIVE championships in seven years?
Bart Starr is still the best Packer QB of all time, and along with Montana, one of the two best NFL QBs. Yes, he was surrounded with talent, but he also made that talent better with his poise & leadership, and was the one player in the Lombardi era who was indispensable to winning all of those championships. He always came through in big games, and other great QBs that you list, such as Favre, Unitas, Elway, and even Brady have not always won big games. Starr, Montana, & Bradshaw have the championships and outstanding records in the toughest games to warrant being rated the best ever.
Here's a stab at an all-time Packer lineup, 1960 and forward (exception: Hutson gets in on reputation/incredible stats). Maybe it will spark some debate. I'm sure I forgot someone.
Head Coach: Lombardi (1) Lambeau (2)
Offensive Coordinator: S. Lewis
Defensive Coordinator: Bengtsen
Special Teams: Cromwell
QB: Starr (1), Favre (2)
RB: Taylor & Hornung (1) Green & Henderson (2) E. Bennett & Brockington (3)
TE: Fleming (1) R. Kramer (2) Knafelc (3)
WR: Hutson & McGee (1) Lofton & Sharpe (2) R. Brooks & Driver (3)
C: Ringo (1) Winters (2) McCarren or Bowman (3)
G: J. Kramer & Gillingham (1) Thurston & Lueck (2)
T: Gregg & Clifton (1) Tauscher & Skoronski (2)
DE: White & W. Davis (1) Aldridge & Kampman (2)
DT: Hanner & Jordan (1) Kostelnik & McCoy (2)
LB: Nitschke Robinson & Carr (1) Noble Caffee & Forester (2) Paup Wingo & T. Harris (3)
CB: Adderley & W. Buchanon (1) K. Ellis & Newsome (2) Jeter & Hart (3)
S: Wood & L. Butler (1) Gray & Cecil (2) Gremminger & T. Brown (3)
K: Longwell (1) Stenerud (2) Jacke (3)
P: Hentrich (1) Norton (2) Scribner (3)
KR: T. Williams (1) D. Howard (2) Hampton (3)
George M. Gevelinger, firstname.lastname@example.org, Downers Grove, IL
Random thoughts and musings
The Packers have the worse record in the NFL on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1. John Kuhn rushed for over 4,000 yards while he was in college. Why won't the coaching staff just once give it to the up back on that situation and see what he can do. He is 6'1" and 250 pounds. His measurables are identical to Jerome Bettis at the similar points in their careers. He couldn't do any worse then what has been happening so far.
Also, I would like to see Aaron Rouse try his hand at strong side linebacker on passing downs. I still doubt there is any tight end in the NFL that can shake him and his instincts are first rate. If it gets down to us and the Cowboys I do believe Rouse would be perfect to shut down Jason Witten, double TO and have Charles Woodson take out Patrick Crayton. Tony Romo would have a long day in the pocket trying to find open receivers.
John F. King, email@example.com, Roanoke, VA
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