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Message elaine95 le Mar Mai 21, 2019 4:25   Remonter
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Packers Roster Cut Reactions: Thoughts on Gutekunst’s first cuts as GM Brian Gutekunst’s first cutdown weekend has come and gone and as the Green Bay Packers head toward their first real game of the season Womens Jason Spriggs Jersey , the Acme Packing Company staff is still sorting through the rookie GM’s moves. Here are our lasting takeaways, thoughts, and questions form the weekend that was.Bob Fitch: Brian Gutekunst is actually making changeAs the style of play has changed in the NFL by emphasizing slot receivers and positional versatility in the backfield, the fullback - a position close to my heart - has been phased out. Only a handful of teams actually had a true fullback on their roster last year and the Packers were one of them. Not anymore! Ripkowski has been cut, and the Packers seem to be embracing modern football.In Ripkowski’s place is a fourth tight end, Big Bob Tonyan, who certainly played his way onto the team in the preseason. Jimmy Graham is essentially a huge wide receiver at this point in his career so carrying an additional tight end might make sense, but by keeping seven wide receivers plus Kumerow on IR in addition to the four tight ends, it shortens the amount of spots elsewhere, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The cornerback position has 5 players, two having injury history and two being rookies. I’m skeptical that all of those end the year healthy and a bit more depth would be nice, but all of these surprise additions (Tim Boyle! James Crawford! Alex Light! Raven Greene!) show me that Gutekunst isn’t afraid to shake the tree a bit in search of new fruit, something that’s been needed in recent years.Last point - Donnerson > Fackrell.Evan “Tex” Western: Gutekunst doesn’t care about opticsI was stunned when we finally got the final roster breakdown on Saturday, and although it made a little more sense by the time Monday rolled around, I am still a bit in shock in the way that the Packers broke down their offense initially. First of all, there are no fullbacks on the 53. Has Mike McCarthy finally acquiesced to the fact that the position is a dinosaur, or is Brian Gutekunst forcing him to evolve instead? Joe Kerridge still came back on the practice squad, but he has only ever been a special teams player anyhow.As for the eight receivers, I thought that Trevor Davis would be a goner once it was revealed that the team was trying to shop him for a draft pick. But Jake Kumerow’s trip to injured reserve and the lack of any consistency on kick and punt returns from others on the team helps make some sense of the decision to initially keep all eight players.That doesn’t even get into the decision to cut some high draft picks from Ted Thompson’s last few classes. All told, what this tells me is that Gutekunst isn’t worried about the optics of making decisions that seem to initially be unusual or off-the-wall to the average fan. Frankly, I appreciate that.Peter Bukowski: Don’t let one mistake become two Too often, the Packers under Ted Thompson gave their own draft picks a pass. They had to, it was the only way they brought in any new talent, so developing that talent became paramount. Brian Gutekunst decided no more. Vince Biegel, a fourth-round pick at a need position: out. Quinten Rollins, a former second-round pick at a premium position: he gone. Kyle Murphy, who opened the season at right tackle in 2017: donezo. Gutekunst was not going to suffer through dealing with players who can’t play even if he had a had in bringing them into the fold under the previous regime. When Mike McCarthy said it’s hard to go into your locker room if you don’t keep the best 53 guys, he meant it and it showed when final cuts came around. If guys don’t perform, their draft status shouldn’t matter and this new regime handled its business that way in 2018.Shawn Wagner: The Packers’ gamble with their group of edge rushers could be an Achilles heelTo me http://www.packerslockerroom.com/authentic-jimmy-graham-jersey , the fact that the Packers released Vince Biegel after just one season wasn’t a total shock. But that they didn’t replace him with a proven depth player was.Last season, in addition to drafting Biegel, the Packers added an established veteran in Ahmad Brooks following the final cuts in an effort to aid the pass rush outside of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. While that move didn’t work as anticipated, it was a safe attempt. But the Packers adding just Korey Toomer, a journeyman with just two sacks in his career, offers no upgrade over simply keeping Biegel or Chris Odom this season. With Matthews and Perry’s injury history on top of Kyler Fackrell’s low upside, the Packers have few legitimate pass rushing options. While Reggie Gilbert may continue to blossom in year two, it’s still far from a guarantee.The Packers added some cornerbacks in the offseason to bolster that group and Mike Pettine’s system may assist the pass rush from the defensive line and inside linebackers. But the edge rushing crew presents no more excitement than last year and could really hold the defense back if and when injuries resurface.Wendi Hansen: Brian Gutekunst is getting work DONEMy GUTE reaction about hiring Gutekunst as the Packers GM in early January was spot on: he’s here to make moves, give players the chance to shine and get ish done. His imprint on the team can be seen even before cutdown weekend, but there were a few takeaways that I got as he narrowed down the Pack to a 53-man roster. One, he did try to get Mack, but in the end, it came down to feasibility. We were able to make a few trades over the last week because we did not acquire him that in the end, will ultimately put us in a better position. Two, he went with keeping eight WRs which was kind of a surprise. The thing about Gutekunst is he makes smart decisions, even if that means going out of the norm. While it can be a numbers game, it’s also about quality, and that is something that Packers have got this season. Jonathan Barnett: Khalil Mack to Chicago changes first quarter of the season.There has been a lot of talk on this subject. First take is to freak out. The second take is blow off the Bears as still terrible.The Bears were a bad team last year, but young at key positions. Still, the defense was 10th in yards per game. That is with a young quarterback that did not keep the defense off the field enough. They were also 15th in sacks. Considering that the Bears were rarely up enough to force teams into obvious passing situations, this is good. Now add Mack. This is a legitimate top ten defense. Remember, they also drafted a new middle linebacker as well. No reason to freak out, just do not undersell what this means. The Packers will be entering with a quarterback who is coming off an injury shortened season, who only threw four preseason passes. Having the Bears and Vikings to start this season will be a serious challenge. Failing in these games could have long term effects.For those repeating the mantra that “the Raiders only traded to the Bears because they thought they would still be bad enough to earn Oakland a high draft pick,” I point out that the singular assumption that makes this reasonable is thinking the Raiders are really smart about judging football personnel. The opener just got much more interesting.Paul Noonan: the Packers have finally modernized their roster constructionOnly keeping 2 running backs, and no fullbacks is an excellent sign that the team has fully modernized itself. Even though Aaron Jones will be back at some point, it’s heartening, and surprising that the team didn’t waste a roster spot on a useless fullback. Gutekunst has been impressive so far, and little peripheral signs like this Blake Martinez Jersey White , as well as listing the starting depth charts with 3 WRs, should give everyone confidence that, even if you disagree with a move, plenty of thought and research probably went into it. This is one of my favorite 53 man rosters. Still could use a backup tackle though.Jon Meerdink: Edge rusher group could be instructiveLike Shawn above, I was most surprised by how Brian Gutekunst handled his edge rusher/outside linebacker group this weekend, both in what he did and did not do. Keeping just four outside linebacker types was a surprise. Not adding any others was at least as big of a surprise, perhaps moreso.But I wonder if this configuration could show us a bit of how the Packers plan to use their edge rushers this season. Perhaps Mike Pettine plans to lean more heavily on the defensive line in his personnel groupings, meaning there will be less of a need for the traditional 3-4 outside linebacker type player. Maybe that means Clay Matthews will move around or play off the ball more as Pettine relies more on schemed pressure. It’s obviously conjecture, but the early season will show us pretty quickly whether such a thin group can last. Is the Packers offense close? Maybe. Maybe not. What we know for sure is they have enough talent on the field and knowhow off it to be an elite offense. It’s time for the foundational pieces of the Green Bay offense to show why they’re so essential to this team. Mike McCarthy to save his job. Aaron Rodgers to protect his legacy. Davante Adams to complete his star turn. And Aaron Jones to begin his. There are no declarations of running the table, no catching soundbites to throw on ESPN and NFL Network. To borrow from McCarthy, it’s like anything: if you want to be considered great, you have to go out and prove it. The Packers’ offensive tentpoles haven’t done it consistently this season. If they can’t change that, questions and criticisms will only mount. Play-to-play the Packers offense has been fine. They’ve been good even. They’re tied for seventh in yards per play and sit ninth in total DVOA on offense. Green Bay has one of the best rushing attacks in the league on a per attempt basis and despite some fumble issues, they’re still a top-10 team avoiding turnovers overall. But in critical situations, on third down and in the red zone, the structure breaks down. It’s not just on McCarthy, who has been an uneven playcaller this season. Give-up plays on third-and-long, especially in the red zone doom this offense to settling for a notch below greatness. How can Aaron Rodgers be Aaron Rodgers if the coach is taking the ball out of his hands? McCarthy demonstrates the opposite flaw on third-and-short. On third-and-four or fewer this season, the Packers have thrown it 21 times to just eight rushes this season according to Sharp Football. But when they’ve run it, they have a 75% conversion rate and just a 62% conversion rate when they pass. Aaron Jones leads the league in yards per carry and the leaky pass blocking of the Green Bay interior moves much better coming downhill to open lanes in the run game. Give Jones a chance to be the star his limited sample size suggests he can be. The bizarre part of the Packers struggles on third down is Rodgers has been the most efficient quarterback in football on third down, boasting a 116 passer rating and averaging over 10 yards an attempt, easily the best in football. On the other hand, he’s been sackedat one of the highest rates in the NFL, and even when he scrambles, hasn’t had the same success finding open receivers as Packer fans are used to seeing. How much did losing Jordy Nelson affect that second-reaction timing with his receivers? That’s impossible to know. On the other hand, it shouldn’t take those improvisation plays to get the ball in the hands of the Packers best playmaker. Davante Adams needs more looks on third down.Take a look at Adams vs. Michael Thomas. Thomas YPC: 12.6 Adams YPC: 12.6 Thomas average YAC: 4.8Adams average YAC: 4.7 Thomas rating when targeted: 128.9Adams rating when targeted: 128.1 Thomas is going to be first-team All-Pro with basically identical rate stats to Adams. The big difference comes in creating first downs. In 79 targets, Thomas produced 46 first downs this season. In 81 targets, Adams only has 32 according to Pro Football Focus, despite having just one more drop. The problem is two-fold: No. 1 Tramon Williams Jersey White , the Packers have to do a better job designing and calling the offense to feature Adams, and the 25-year-old out of Fresno State has to convert more of his opportunities. Against the Patriots, Adams had a number of contested catch opportunities and failed to haul them in. Those were balls he regularly took down in college and that skill still hasn’t quite translated in the NFL. For him to be mentioned in the conversation with DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown et al, those are the plays he has to start making. If he can, Green Bay would also likely take a step forward from a middling red zone offense. The Packers are 17th in points per red zone trip and 21st in touchdown percentage in the red zone. Everything already discussed goes doubly in the scoring area. Mike McCarthy hasn’t been able to consistently dial up plays that make life easier for his offense. Rodgers, statistically the best red zone quarterback ever to walk the planet, has been downright awful in the red zone. Green Bay is 32nd (there are 32 teams) in completion percentage inside the 30. Last. That’s impossible, yet it’s true. Completions are harder in the red zone. Nearly every quarterback’s red zone completion percentage falls from average, but not like that. Rodgers has been late to make throws, off target (he’s been one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in football to this point in the season when it comes to accuracy) and unable to create often once the play breaks down. Getting healthy hasn’t helped as much as one might expect, though Rodgers did find Adams last week on a score on a second-reaction play. Life for Rodgers might get easier if the Packers played with any semblance of balance in the red zone. They’re the most pass-heavy team in football, throwing it 69% of the time and that is definitively not a nice ratio. Much like on third down, there’s an intuitive desire to give the ball to Rodgers in those situations, but the confluence of poor playcalling and sloppy execution from both the quarterback and offensive line in pass blocking have held the passing game back as the windows close down. On Green Bay’s 47 passing plays in the red zone, they’ve had a successful play just 36% of the time according to Sharp Football. That success rate — a play that keeps the offense on schedule — running the ball jumps to 52% but McCarthy dials up runs less than half as often. Running the ball more would given the Packers a better chance to hit play action, something this team needs to deploy far more often in all areas of the field. The message is simple: the head coach, quarterback, and top receiver all need to be better, which would also mean the running back gets more chances. That, in turn, makes life easier for the first three to be more successful. It’s a simple calculation the Packers have convoluted with extra variables thanks to inconsistency. There’s still time to turn things around, but if they don’t do it in a hurry, it won’t matter how they’re playing if they’re out of the playoff race. Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers haven’t missed the playoffs as a starting duo since 2008, their only such black mark with Rodgers as the regular starter. Neither want that on their resume, McCarthy for the sake of gainful employment and Rodgers for his historical greatness. For whatever fans think of the head coach, we know he can be better. We’ve seen it. But it’s up to stars and future stars of this team, McCarthy included, to push them back to where they should have always been.
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