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Offline warhawk  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:44:50 PM(UTC)

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Hindsight always looks clear but going into this year we had Jenkins who is a beast and KGB productive as a pass rush specialist and in a role where he could give us what we needed and not be a liability against the run.

Then we lost Jenkins and KGB fell off the map. Now our pass rush that was very good in '08 becomes a huge negative. We have played ten teams thus far with winning records counting the Vikes twice which is an incredibly high number.

We played some very good teams with one hand tied behind our backs with no rush and STILL should have three or four more wins.

You can nit-pick about other things like better blocking but the offensive numbers are there and we have enough fire power to score enough points to win ballgames.

Where the numbers are NOT there are in sacks and pressures and when you play good football teams that are efficient at protecting their QB like the Titans and Saints you can hardly expect to win those.

While I would like to see a more aggressive scheme on defense I just don't see a need for "whole scale" changes here. Why? Get a couple of guys that can get to the QB and we WALK with the NFC NORTH and produce wins out of what has been last second losses to other pretty darn good teams.
Offline porky88  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:26:47 PM(UTC)

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Vandermause was also a main supporter of Thompson not to long ago or so his articles seemed to lean towards positive opinions of Thompson.

I don't understand this blame him or him or whatever. How about multiple people accept responsibility? Personally Thompson and Sanders are two guys to start with.


Vandermause is a reporter who calls it like he sees it, for the most part. He is neither a "supporter" of Ted Thompson nor is he "against" Thompson. I think he makes a good point that people may be scapegoating Sanders too much here. You may not like the word "blame" being thrown around, but it is important to try to analyze where the real problems are so they can be fixed.

Personally, I still think Sanders' job is on the line. But if Thompson can't beef up the D-line, the defense will probably continue to struggle no matter who the DC is.


My point is blaming one person is ridiculous.

If it were that easy, then every single problem with every single team can be traced back to the guy calling the shots so obviously Thompson has responsibility because he's that guy, but you have to look and question the job Bob Sanders has done. Then you just have to question the players as well. Specifically why Brady Poppinga wasn't aware of Vonta Leach in the flat. That's not on Sanders, nor Thompson. That's on Poppinga. I think most of us realize that Leach can't be left open in the flat.

If the Packers truly want to fix the defense they'll come to realization that this is bigger than just blaming one guy. The last time the Packers blamed one guy for their defensive problems, it backfired. That being Ed Donatell.
Offline Greg C.  
#18 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 8:11:12 PM(UTC)

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It's good to see that this thread recovered a little while I was at work this afternoon. I suppose the title of the article could be perceived as inflammatory. I wouldn't have written that title myself, but I didn't think it was that big a deal.

I like Ted Thompson. I think he's done a fine job overall. The defense was good last year. But there was not enough depth on the D-line to make up for the injuries this year. That falls on the GM. It doesn't mean Ted's a bad GM, it just means that he has some fixing to do, and merely replacing the DC is not likely to solve our problems.

At the risk of getting off-topic, I think this team under Thompson may be like the Carolina Panthers. In a good year they could be contenders, but they will also have years where everything blows up in their faces and they don't even make the playoffs. That's the way things work in the NFL nowadays. Only the Patriots and Colts have really had sustained success in this decade.
Offline macbob  
#19 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 1:53:17 AM(UTC)

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I'm still not especially keen on Sanders as DC, but there are major personnel problems with the defense this year, as explained in this article. I did not realize that only 5 of our last 20 draft picks have been defensive players:

http://www.greenbaypress...ferrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL


Yeah, but Vandermause is conveniently picking his years to support his argument. The two preceding years (2005/2006) 12 of the 23 draft picks were defensive players, and there were two other defensive players acquired through draft-day/draft-pick trades, so we acquired a total of 14 defensive players out of 25 total during Thompson's first two drafts. Add them all up, and you've got 19 out of 45 picks went to defense in Thompson's first 4 drafts.


Nice catch. But the lack of talent on the defensive line is obvious, regardless of the reasons for it. I still like our DB's and LB's, and I think this defense would be much better with a couple more quality players on the line.


Yeah, I agree, but that was more due to a wasted 1st rd draft pick rather than neglect. Thompson expected Harrell to step up and replace Corey Williams, and all he's done is replace Cletidus Hunt.
Offline macbob  
#20 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 2:04:27 AM(UTC)

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At the start of the year (i.e. before injuries) I would have had a hard time naming a player on the defense that I wanted replaced. Losing Cullen Jenkins was a huge blow, but still, I'm happy for the most part with the talent we have. I honestly have to say that they're just not being used well. Show me a good defense in this league that gives up huge gains because one player was out of position. If you look at Pittsburgh's or Tampa's defense, they are aggressively schemed and flow to the ball. If one guy is out of position, it doesn't lead to a 45 yard gain. It leads to 3 guys tackling the ball carrier instead of 4.

Something is fundamentally flawed with our defensive scheme. It's a zero error design with not enough positive to outweigh the negative of huge plays given up when there is one mistake.


I would tend to agree it's a scheme issue. Remember back to Sanders' first year as DC? The problem then was--drum roll, please...explosive plays! We kept getting burned over and over again (not to downplay the times when Sanders had difficulty getting the right number of guys on the field).

When you've got a problem that occurs game-after-game-after-game like that it's the coaches job to get the problem fixed, even if it means modifying the scheme because the players can't handle what they're being asked to do.
Offline brnt247  
#21 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 3:47:38 AM(UTC)

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It's tough to build depth through the DLine. Most quality players aren't willing to sign contracts with teams that are looking to use them to build depth. They sign where they are truly needed and will get playing time, and if they aren't, then they probably aren't much better than Montgomery, Thompson, and Pettway.
Offline Greg C.  
#22 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 2:47:51 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
It's tough to build depth through the DLine. Most quality players aren't willing to sign contracts with teams that are looking to use them to build depth. They sign where they are truly needed and will get playing time, and if they aren't, then they probably aren't much better than Montgomery, Thompson, and Pettway.


Yes, and that's why Corey Williams was traded. It would be hard to justify paying huge money for a player who was not even a starter. But the burden of finding good backups at a low price still falls on Thompson, and it hasn't worked out well this year.

Just for the record, here's what Mike Vandermause said in a chat when asked about this article:

[Comment From Andrew]
You've been accused of being a Ted Thompson apologist, but your article the other day was pretty tough on him. Did you have a change of heart or were you misunderstood most of the season?

[Vandermause]
I get a kick out of readers who, when I write something they don't like, immediately bring out the "you're in the tank for the Packers" accusations. I have no reason to be an apologist for the Packers, and I couldn't sleep at night if I was. I call it like I see it, good, bad or indifferent. Some may agree with my viewpoint, and others vehemently disagree. But when all is said and done, I don't worry about what others, including Packers management, might think when I write a column. I aim to be fair in offering my opinion. When Thompson does something right, I'll say it. When he screws something up, I'll say that too.
Offline Zero2Cool  
#23 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 3:11:39 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
It's tough to build depth through the DLine. Most quality players aren't willing to sign contracts with teams that are looking to use them to build depth. They sign where they are truly needed and will get playing time, and if they aren't, then they probably aren't much better than Montgomery, Thompson, and Pettway.


Yes, and that's why Corey Williams was traded. It would be hard to justify paying huge money for a player who was not even a starter. But the burden of finding good backups at a low price still falls on Thompson, and it hasn't worked out well this year.

Just for the record, here's what Mike Vandermause said in a chat when asked about this article:

[Comment From Andrew]
You've been accused of being a Ted Thompson apologist, but your article the other day was pretty tough on him. Did you have a change of heart or were you misunderstood most of the season?

[Vandermause]
I get a kick out of readers who, when I write something they don't like, immediately bring out the "you're in the tank for the Packers" accusations. I have no reason to be an apologist for the Packers, and I couldn't sleep at night if I was. I call it like I see it, good, bad or indifferent. Some may agree with my viewpoint, and others vehemently disagree. But when all is said and done, I don't worry about what others, including Packers management, might think when I write a column. I aim to be fair in offering my opinion. When Thompson does something right, I'll say it. When he screws something up, I'll say that too.


I can't recall a single person saying trading Williams was a mistake last year. It was known he was going to be gone. We weren't going to pay him that kind of jack for the role he played. Especially with the season Jolly was having up to when he was injured and using (wasting) a pick in the first round on another DT.

It was pretty well understood Williams was going to be gone in FA and when we got a 2nd round pick for him, people were accurately saying Ted got something for nothing.

Sadly, that 2nd round seems to be nothing, but its too early to make that assessment in my opinion.
Offline brnt247  
#24 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 3:20:46 PM(UTC)

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Joined: 8/11/2008(UTC)
Trades for draft picks are based off of percentages. Most GM's make that trade a majority of the time, it just seemed like a smart move at the time. Trades like that happen in baseball all the time, sometimes the player pans out and sometimes the draft pick or minor leaguer becomes a star. Most of the time, another 2nd round draft pick would help us more than an expensive Corey Williams.

I remember last year our DLine depth was all the rave. We had a rotation that everyone was calling one of the best and deepest in the league, you can't blame someone for trading from what seemed to be an apparent strength to trade for the future.
Offline porky88  
#25 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 5:21:02 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
It's tough to build depth through the DLine. Most quality players aren't willing to sign contracts with teams that are looking to use them to build depth. They sign where they are truly needed and will get playing time, and if they aren't, then they probably aren't much better than Montgomery, Thompson, and Pettway.


Yes, and that's why Corey Williams was traded. It would be hard to justify paying huge money for a player who was not even a starter. But the burden of finding good backups at a low price still falls on Thompson, and it hasn't worked out well this year.

Just for the record, here's what Mike Vandermause said in a chat when asked about this article:

[Comment From Andrew]
You've been accused of being a Ted Thompson apologist, but your article the other day was pretty tough on him. Did you have a change of heart or were you misunderstood most of the season?

[Vandermause]
I get a kick out of readers who, when I write something they don't like, immediately bring out the "you're in the tank for the Packers" accusations. I have no reason to be an apologist for the Packers, and I couldn't sleep at night if I was. I call it like I see it, good, bad or indifferent. Some may agree with my viewpoint, and others vehemently disagree. But when all is said and done, I don't worry about what others, including Packers management, might think when I write a column. I aim to be fair in offering my opinion. When Thompson does something right, I'll say it. When he screws something up, I'll say that too.


I can't recall a single person saying trading Williams was a mistake last year. It was known he was going to be gone. We weren't going to pay him that kind of jack for the role he played. Especially with the season Jolly was having up to when he was injured and using (wasting) a pick in the first round on another DT.

It was pretty well understood Williams was going to be gone in FA and when we got a 2nd round pick for him, people were accurately saying Ted got something for nothing.

Sadly, that 2nd round seems to be nothing, but its too early to make that assessment in my opinion.


Yep the problem isn't that the Packers traded Corey Williams. They did get a 2nd round pick and that was fair value.

The problem is that the Packers didn't replace Corey Williams.

Thompson drafted a big bust with Justin Harrell. He also didn't sign anybody in free agency to at least compete or be depth. He could of gone out and got another player to improve the defense and he didn't. It's his judgment to make and one that he failed at. That's the responsibility Thompson needs to take for this.

On the flip side. Why are Johnny Jolley and Ryan Pickett playing much more poorly this year than last year?

I think that's on Bob Sanders and those players.

It leads back to my original point that this problem with the defensive line and the defense in general is bigger than just one person. You win as a team and you lose as a team. Pinpointing just Ted Thompson or just Bob Sanders or just the players would be a mistake in my opinion. Hopefully Thompson accepts this and changes his approach and perhaps works with McCarthy into changing the approach of the defense. The only way that can be done is if you change schemes and that means changing coordinators.
Offline brnt247  
#26 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:03:05 PM(UTC)

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What player? Which defensive tackle was there to be signed that was willing to be the 4th option? I say 4th because Jenkins was back and forth between tackle and defensive end. I understand your point, but it isn't as if there was a plethra of decent to good defensive tackles on the market last season that were willing to be backups. Harrell's job was to fill in, and because of injuries he hasn't been able to do so. I can't blame that on Thompson.
Offline macbob  
#27 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:28:21 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
I'm still not especially keen on Sanders as DC, but there are major personnel problems with the defense this year, as explained in this article. I did not realize that only 5 of our last 20 draft picks have been defensive players:

http://www.greenbaypress...ferrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL


Yeah, but Vandermause is conveniently picking his years to support his argument. The two preceding years (2005/2006) 12 of the 23 draft picks were defensive players, and there were two other defensive players acquired through draft-day/draft-pick trades, so we acquired a total of 14 defensive players out of 25 total during Thompson's first two drafts. Add them all up, and you've got 19 out of 45 picks went to defense in Thompson's first 4 drafts.



Nice catch. But the lack of talent on the defensive line is obvious, regardless of the reasons for it. I still like our DB's and LB's, and I think this defense would be much better with a couple more quality players on the line.


Yeah, I agree, but that was more due to a wasted 1st rd draft pick rather than neglect. Thompson expected Harrell to step up and replace Corey Williams, and all he's done is replace Cletidus Hunt.


Great. And now Hunt...er, Harrell looks to be injured once again. When you draft someone with the 16th pick in round 1, you expect the guy to be a starter immediately (else why did you draft him that high???). Here we are two years later, and we're still having trouble getting him on the field, much less a starter.

With his injury history in College (leg surgery, ankle injuries, biceps surgery that cost him all but 3 games of his senior season) Harrell was a risky pick that has no where near come through to paying off. At the time the pick was widely questioned, and as time as passed it appears appropriately so.
Offline Greg C.  
#28 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:33:31 PM(UTC)

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" said: Go to Quoted Post
Why are Johnny Jolley and Ryan Pickett playing much more poorly this year than last year?

I think that's on Bob Sanders and those players.


That's a great question. I've been wondering about that all year. Pickett missed all of training camp, so I was expecting him to have a slow start, which he did. He's improved a bit as the season has gone on, but is still not playing as well as he did last year. And Johnny Jolly seems like just another guy this year. He's not making nearly as many plays as he used to. Could the legal troubles be distracting him?

I think that at least part of the problem is the loss of Cullen Jenkins and KGB. That right DE position is no longer a pass rushing threat, and it's made it a lot easier for opposing offensive lines to block everyone else.
Offline brnt247  
#29 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:35:50 PM(UTC)

Rank: Registered
Joined: 8/11/2008(UTC)
It has to do with the rotation. Having a rotation like we did last year gave the lineman like Pickett and Jolly the ability to rest and be fresh when the entered the game. This season we have to rely on those two so much because they are really our only quality tackles. Cole isn't that awful, he doesn't make great plays but to be honest I think our team gets beat on outside runs more often than on the inside ones.
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