Packers XLV

Here Are Ted's Offseason Homework Assignments

Posted January 22nd, 2013 @ 09:01pm

Dear Ted,

As you may remember, I like to take ten days or so once a season ends to reflect, kick a few things and put my thoughts in order before we look at your off-season homework assignments.

You have a different kind of homework than the past two offseasons. After winning a Super Bowl, your team entered 2011 as the favorites and was historically one and done in the playoffs. Despite that quick exit, your team was still favored by many to capture its fifth Lombardi Trophy this season, but once again the team was knocked out in the divisional weekend.

Here's what we know: your team won't be considered a Super Bowl favorite by most entering the 2013 season. This is not entirely your fault. Indeed, your roster is still young and talented and you have a stable and proven coaching staff in place to keep the system running smoothly.

The team has won a lot of games over the last two seasons, but has exactly one playoff win (against a team that didn't use a real QB) to show for it. Changes need to be made. Changes are always made, but here's what I suggest you do this offseason:

1) Shake hands with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver and thank them for their years of wearing the Green and Gold as proudly as a player can. Driver's next stop will be the Packers Hall of Fame. He stuck around one year too long, but I won't blame you for bringing him back. After tangoing his way into the hears of millions of women, it would have been terrible PR to cut him loose. Jennings has some life left in the tires, but he's outpriced himself and we all know it. Some receiver-starved team (Dolphins, Chargers, Vikings, Redskins, Jets) will throw huge money at him. They will get a great locker room guy who has a ring and is a professional on and off the field.

2)While we're at it, shake hands with your best free agent signing ever, Charles Woodson.  He's a Hall of Famer, but his best days are a couple of years behind him and you never intended to pay him the 10 million bucks he's due. I can't believe his pride would allow him to play for a renegotiated 2-3 million dollars, so cut him loose and go find a young, physical safety either in free agency or early in the draft.

3)Welcome back Jermichael Finley and his eight million dollar salary and then take a shower afterwards. He'll be overpaid for what he's accomplished, but Aaron Rodgers can't afford to lose two of his primary weapons in one offseason. Finley will be in a contract year, so he should be poised to put up big numbers, but he's an enigma, talks way too much--and that's just his agent. I don't have to tell you to look at tight ends in the draft too. Heck, if you think you can find a replacement for Finley in the first three rounds, I won't be that disappointed.

4)You and your staff have done a great job unearthing quality guys after the draft. Where would this team be without undrafted guys like Tramon Williams, Erik Walden, Sam Shields, John Kuhn, Don Barclay and Evan Dietrich-Smith, to name a few. I know the loss of John Dorsey will hurt, but you've got to keep mining this undiscovered talent.

5)Find a legit running back...please. I know you finally succumbed at the last minute and brought in the aging Cedric Benson last August. Many of us still dream about what this team would have been like had you landed Marshawn Lynch a few years ago. Luckily you hung on to that #3 pick and grabbed Alex Green, because he's just electric (that was sarcasm, I know you're kind of a dry guy and thought you might have missed that).  Let's act a bit earlier this time around and find either a one or two year fix (Steven Jackson), a younger free agent type (Felix Jones) or draft a stud to add another dimension to Mike McCarthy's offense.

6)We look at the defenses that San Francisco and Seattle have put together and we see young, physical units that bring it every week. You need to find a few guys to bolster Dom Capers' defense. Getting Desmond Bishop back will certainly help. It would be nice to find    another linebacker to pair next to him that isn't named AJ Hawk. I know you'll be looking long and hard at defensive ends, since Jerel Worthy's 2013 season is in doubt and no one else appears ready to step in and make a difference on the line. While you're at it, a hard hitting safety would be nice.

7)If you see an outside linebacker you love early in the draft, grab him. I know you went that way last year with Nick Perry, but I still think Perry may be better suited as a 3-4 defensive end. A quick, hard-hitting complement to Clay Matthews would have such an impact on this defense and would help contain those running QBs your team will face next season: Kaepernick Griffin (if he's back) and possibly Wilson in the playoffs.

8)Find a kicker to compete with Mason Crosby. Although he seemed to right the ship late, he had a train wreck of a season and deserves to fight for a roster spot in 2013.

9)I know you're going to spend a lot of time and money putting together new deals for Rodgers, Matthews and Raji. Do whatever it takes. These guys are cornerstones. Much of the rest of the roster is interchangeable and not full of game changers.

10)Figure out the tackle situation. Aaron Rodgers cannot get sacked 50+ times again. If Bulaga and Sherrod don't figure to be healthy and ready to compete to start by minicamp, find a couple of guys who can compete with Newhouse and Barclay. Look at what happened to the Ravens' offense when they switched up their tackles late in the season. What your team passes for starting tackles right now are really an affront to the Hall of Fame caliber quarterback who leads your team.

I know, it sounds like a lot of work for a guy whose team has won 26 regular season games the last two seasons. But we are looking to get back to the top of a loaded NFC, a conference with a number of young, talented teams that are poised to compete for years. Your roster needs to get better...and tougher.



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Comments (14):

Dear Ted: Your good friend Davy Sinykin has made some great suggestions in his earlier letter to you....I agree with all of them will not repeat most of his wishes. However being an old time rube Packer fan who would like to be in the warroom of decision makers here are my workable decisions for your braintrust. 1- Number 1 prority is offensive line. The league evolves around trends....and the latest emerging trends are physical offensive lines. I probably have studied the draft more than you ( in my dreams) and a guy who will be available at your number 1 pick is Barrett Jones....the All American center from Alabama....a big nasty kid who you could plug in for the rest of Rodgers career. That way you can move ED Smith back to backup guard. 2- I will again enter the yearly "PLEASE" for an every down running back. Remember the kid who everybody looked over last year....a short kid named Wilson from Wisconsin....well look at Wisconsin again for a kid named Montee Ball. You can probably get him in round 3....forget his combine workout nubers....the kid is a Ray Rice type of winner your offense needs. 3- I know you are a draft guru....but again a second big "Please".....go into the free agent market for some immediate starters....not backups or special team types. You should have the money...with some of the vets that will not be back and after paying the "Big Three." These are my dreams from "RUBEVILLE" and I am now going back to my seat in the warroom.........OLD SOUTH SIDE GUY.. GO PACK GO !!

on January 22nd, 2013 at 06:38pm

Dave, I agree w/most of your comments, but highly disagree about your statement in regards to Charles Woodson. He brings too much to the table for this team. Yes, he will be making too much money, but they need to work something out with him to have him stay.

on January 22nd, 2013 at 07:39pm

all good points THC. OSSG, u say we all overlooked, go back and read what I said about Wilson, I said he threw over the badgers line all year and did just fine, there not any bigger in the nfl. we should try and get him for backup for 12, he is even better then what I thought. I love Ball too, but it seems we have had pretty good running backs for what we ask of them, but they always get hurt, we have not had a lot of luck the last few years with injuries or who knows. I sure remember a lot of u telling me we didn't need Wells last year, seems to have changed some. I think we draft the te from ND or stanford who is ever there and let finley go and sign 85. I heard he wants to play in a dome, it better be with the texans, lions or maybe to NE as a long shot, no dome but pretty good qb, just better not go to minny town. Frederick from WI..might be there too at 26.I'll take him too. I think our line we will be fine though , with everyone coming back, would love Ogeltree lb from Georgia to be there but he will be gone. it's fun to speculate and see what happens , that is why I said 2 years ago though with 12 here u have to sign who we need and give up some picks but TT didn't listen. (9-7 might win division next year and I'm serious, look at who we all play. should be great fun again, please no more injuries to starters and I will take my chances with this team again. GO PACKERS,

on January 22nd, 2013 at 09:53pm

Any discussion of the Packers' offseason agenda has to start with a look at the team's injury list: the longest in the league once again. The Packers have 9 guys on their IR and PUP lists, 8 of whom were projected to be starters or key contributors this past season and including their last 3 first round draft picks. In addition 9 more starters or key contributors missed extensive portions of the 2012 season with injuries. This injury issue keeps plaguing the Pack year after year and it's got to be addressed from the scouting work that identitifies injury prone players to the strength and conditioning program, the work of the training and medical staff and the coaching on sounder fundamentals of football when it comes to blocking & tackling and being hit and communication and assignment and scheme surety. Depending on how the injured progress on their rehabs the Packers could be in pretty good shape heading into next season or could be facing a major retooling. The o-line and defensive front seven are not good enough for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. If Bulaga and Sherrod can come back and be ready to go the line situation will be less daunting and it will mostly just be the center position that needs a prime address in the draft. But if not up to 3 starting positions on the line will be in question. Four years into the 3-4 defense the Packers are still lacking an outside rush lb complement to Clay Matthews and are leaving B.J. Raji to flounder with no help on his flanks at the de end positions. Anticipating the return of Desmond Bishop andD.J. Smith leaves the inside lb spots looking better but Brad Jones isn't starting material and A.J Hawk has done as much as he's ever going to do and probably can't be counted on in the big moments of the big games. If the Packers could find a runningback in the mold of Ray Rice/Matt Forte it would really help the offense. Someone who could be a 20 carry a game workhorse with pass receiving abilities and add about 1500 yds. to the offense would be a nice new asset. Even with all the needs it's important to consider the assets the Packers will still have in 2013: The most complete qb in the league in Aaron Rodgers, a quality receiving corps- even sans Greg Jennings- in Cobb, Nelson, Jones, Boykin, Finley, Andrew Quarless, and some promising young d-backs Casey Hayward, Davon House, Morgan Burnett, Sam Shield, M.D. Jennings, Jerrion McMillian. The Packers have been one of the most consistent teams in the league at finding the players they need, producing winning, playoff making seasons year after year for the past 20 years so there's no reason to think they won't manage to pull it off again this next season.

on January 26th, 2013 at 07:31am

Larry, please stop droaning on and on about how you told TT to keep Wells. It's called a salary cap. You don't pay an over 30 Center $6Million/year. funny, he missed games because of injury and just had surgery. We didn't lose to the Niners because we lost Scott Wells in free agency. Please give it a rest. All the self backslapping drives me crazy. -- In order to get Russell Wilson in a Packers uniform, we would have had to use our 2nd round pick. Would you rather have a stud backup QB and not have Casey Hayward, who will start next year in the secondary? "If only TT would have listened" -- give it a rest. It's ridiculous. GoPack!

on January 28th, 2013 at 05:22pm

Oh really sheny schen, u better look back at some of your posts and others too, that have said u wished tt would have listened to your picks. give me a break. I was referring to the HC saying some of u wanted to keep Wells, all I said was think I was the only one. we all have our opinions.I went thru this with Wells because they could have signed him for 4 ml more for 3 years. total. he means more to this team then finley does. no doubt in my mind. if i was so wrong why did they replace Saturday? I do know a little about football and center is very important to #12 besides the left tackle. sure he got hurt, but that doesn't mean he would have got hurt if he would have stayed, would it? come on!. we all come on here and I have read many times where guys have patted themselves on the back, including THC, no big deal to me. They should.have some fun with it. I am just trying to have some fun if I was the GM. Isn't that we all wished sometimes we could be? and if u look back I'm one of the few guys that tell them when there right also. did u read ossg post? he says tt please listen. what does the HC say, please do your homework. I'll write what I want, don't read it then if u don't want to. I think i have brought some input and just my thoughts about the packers to this site just like all of u have . And just for u I will say it for the 3rd time, we should have given up 4 picks for J.J.watt. I said it then I say it now. sorry I was right and u don't like it. have a nice day. go pack.

on January 28th, 2013 at 10:55pm

I actually agree with pretty much all of THC's points EXCEPT: 1) Crosby should be shown the door either way. Cut him now, that way TT can bring in 2 different kickers to compete for the job in camp. 2) I agree with extending AR and Clay, but I would be hesitant to do so with Raji at this time. The guy has not been good for 2 seasons now and has been injury prone. His stats have been absolutely horrendous the last 2 seasons (including 0 sacks in 2012). I'd give him a year to show he can return to 2010 form (39 tackles, 6.5 sacks) before giving the guy the Haloti Ngata-$ he surely will be demanding.

on January 28th, 2013 at 12:03pm

Larry, If you can find a post where I wrote "If TT would have only listened to me..." I will give you $100. I want you to have fun on the website, but Wells is gone. He's not coming back. You've posted your opinion on the subject over and over. Why do you have to keep going back to the Well (pun intended). Of course I can ignore your posts as you suggest, just as you can ignore mine.-- I recognize you know a lot about football, thats why I wish your post's contained more of that wisdom and less self congratulations. GoPack! ----ps.Larry,-I don't need to feel better, I am always happy. Besides, blogging strife brings readership. People love controversy and THC needs new customers to keep this fresh. This online argument generates revenue. THC should cut us a check.--GoPack!

on January 29th, 2013 at 05:16pm

I forgot to mention that as far as wilson, I didn't expect to take him in the 2nd round. but the way all the so called experts were all saying he was to short, I thought we could take a shot at him in the 5th or 6th round. I said I didn't think he would be this good, I hope u feel better now schenny. go pack!

on January 29th, 2013 at 11:04am

Boys, boys, thing I admire about all of you is you keep things lively here, all of you are passionate, and that's what makes this blog as much fun as it is. One of the topics off of this blog I've seen being kicked around has to do with Revis - before anyone gets any bright ideas, I think we all know that's not happening for a variety of reasons. First, it would take either a high draft pick or two to get him, and we all know what TT would say to that. Second, I think he's under contract for only one more year, and would any of us want to trade away multiple picks for one year of service from a guy coming off an injury? And third, out of every position on the Packers, defensive secondary is one of strength on this team (with or without Williams and/or Woodson). You'd be better served helping out the existing secondary by drafting to help the front seven. If Perry returns healthy and additions are made to the D-line, those two things alone would help the situation. So should the Packers take a running back or defensive linemen in the first round? Your guess is as good as mine, but both of them, along with O-line depth are positions that need to be addressed. All I ask is don't over-reach for a guy. And say no to Revis...please.

on January 30th, 2013 at 02:33pm

I hear u Schenny, where is our check Davey, your right, that is why were here. i did look back on some of your posts, u never said that about TT, but many times u did say, I don't like the perry pick, so u don't say i wish he would listen but u don't agree with everything he does either, we just say it different, and like I said I am having fun here. remember that always, my friends know I am always predicting something. no biggy, schenny, it's fun to have different opinions, or this would be a awfully boring post. I still think we draft te in 1st round if one of those 2 guys I mentioned earlier are there.go pack,

on January 30th, 2013 at 11:17am

Fun banter....between Larry and Scheny....but Larry no way we take a TE at our number 1. I have said it all along....if available...Barrett Jones the All American first team center from Alabama. You take him if available and plug him in at center for the rest of Rodgers career. You move ED Smith to a backup swing lineman and hopefully with Buluga and Sherrod back healthy you have a decent Oline. Would be nice to get another decent lineman. More on draft as we get closer. GO PACK GO !!

on January 30th, 2013 at 12:23pm

I agree with everything TT does. In fact, I've started dyeing my hair white so I can be more like him (the parts that werent' already white that is). GoPack!

on January 31st, 2013 at 05:43am

I think D-line is where TT is going to find his pick this year. I think the O-line is going to be alright with Bulaga and Sherrod coming back. Newhouse and Barclay at backup positions. Would love to see them get a playmaking MLB but I don't know that there will be much to choose from at pick 20-something or wherever they pick. -- I agree that TE doesn't seem to be as pressing. Quarles should return and I still think they keep Finley for another year. GoPack!

on January 31st, 2013 at 05:54am

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