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Packers Have Compounded Problems at Safety Position with Multiple Mistakes

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Packers Have Compounded Problems at Safety Position with Multiple Mistakes

Since going on a four-game winning streak, the Green Bay Packers have lost two games. In a row. At Lambeau Field.

And it's hardly been about the absence of Aaron Rodgers. Instead, it's been about an underachieving defense that's getting torched both on the ground and through the air.

The Packers secondary has been especially atrocious. And while the cornerbacks shoulder some of the blame, the safety position has been inept.

Worst of all, this is a situation that may have been avoidable. The Packers have been presented with opportunity after opportunity to upgrade the position and declined to do so.

Where some have blamed general manager Ted Thompson for the failure of his draft-and-develop philosophy to produce a decent backup quarterback, the same could be said at safety as well.

Rather puzzling has been the recent regression of Morgan Burnett. In recent games, he's been missing routine tackles on running backs and getting caught out of position in coverage.

What's been so disappointing is that Burnett didn't allow these things to happen in 2011 and 2012, or if they did happen, it occurred only sparingly. Burnett hasn't been a playmaker that would come up with sacks and interceptions, but at least in previous seasons, he would rarely make mistakes, be it mental or physical.

Well, Burnett is making mistakes in 2013, and it's costing the Packers defense. Some may question the five-year, $26 million contract given to him in the offseason, but Burnett is actually the least of the Packers' worries at the position. He's the best of a bad group of safeties.

It's a sad state of affairs when Charlie Peprah circa 2010 would actually be a welcome addition to this defense.

The biggest mistake made by the organization was overestimating the value of M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. Certainly, there's nothing wrong in being optimistic that they'd develop into quality players, but the Packers clearly had no backup plan in case they didn't.

McMillian has been by far the more disappointing of the two. Whereas Jennings joined the team as an undrafted free agent, expectations were much higher for McMillian as a fourth round draft choice who appears to have regressed from Year 1 to Year 2 in the NFL.

When McMillian didn't grab the bull by the horns in the offseason program and run away with the starting job, warning bells went off. But unfortunately for the Packers, by the time training camp came around, they already missed several opportunities to add quality depth at the safety position.

The second mistake the Packers made was not adding a safety in this past April's draft, a year that featured the best class of safeties in quite some time.

No one will blame for not taking a safety on Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft, but there was ample opportunity for the Packers to take at least one of them over the course of their 11 selections in seven rounds.

The third mistake the Packers made was not making more of an effort to sign a safety in undrafted free agency.

Actually, they did attempt to sign one: Ben Ericksen of Illinois State. But Ericksen failed his physical and never even took part in a single practice.

If Ericksen was the best the Packers could do, however, they failed miserably. Granted, they weren't likely to find a Pro Bowler as an undrafted free agent, but there was a chance they'd at least find something better than McMillian or Jennings.

Two of the better safeties still available after the draft––Tony Jefferson and Rontez Miles––are now on the respective 53-man rosters of the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets. All it likely would have taken to get them is a generous signing bonus, which the Packers could have easily afforded.

Even after the draft and undrafted free agency, the Packers still had one last avenue to add depth, and that would have been to sign a low-risk veteran free agent such as Kerry Rhodes.

To not even explore this option is inexplicable. Rhodes could have probably been had for nearly an NFL minimum salary contract, and once again, even if he would commanded a little more, the Packers could have afforded it with so much room under the salary cap.

Furthermore, if Rhodes or any other veteran didn't pan out, they could have easily been cut with little cost to the Packers other than losing a small signing bonus or whatever guaranteed money they negotiated.

Now midway through this season, the safety position in Green Bay has little hope of improvement with no viable reinforcements coming until the next NFL draft.

Sure, Rhodes or free agent Michael Huff might be an improvement over Jennings and McMillian, but with just seven games remaining, it's probably not even worth getting them up to speed for the final month of the season.

This failure is on Thompson and the personnel department in Green Bay, one mistake, exacerbated by another and yet another. The result is the shoddy defense you see on Sundays.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (62) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ma Linger's picture

Brian, to piggy what your thinking, Ted bet that Bulaga coming off a hip injury and Sherrod would be there so no need for some young, big O linemen to come in and help a pourous offensive line.
We passed on that as well because a decision was made and it was a 'what if' decision. What if the safeties can pick it up, what if we can hold together the O line.
Personally, I thought the team needed three good drafts to fix holes in the O line, Safeties and running game.
We accomplished one thing last year but was it the right thing at this time?

Brian Carriveau's picture

Well, they did address the offensive line by adding Bakhtiari and Tretter in the fourth round and kept an undrafted rookie on their 53-man roster. They did nothing at safety.

TommyG's picture

I think TT really did well with the O line this year. Our rushing game when they were more or less healthy speaks volumes on this. Now that EDS and Barclay are looking iffy, we may be left with what we had before.

Mojo's picture

Yeah, the preinjury o-line this year might have been one of the best units on the team. The run blocking has been good all year and even though they've had a few hiccups here and there with pass blocking still overall not bad.

I hate after a spate of injuries(which are still unpredictable as to when and how many), how some attack the depth. With the cap you cannot just stock-pile at anyone position, lest you leave other positions wanting.

Without the injuries, this is a top-half of the league o-line, with a very good outlook going into next year.

TommyG's picture

I feel that many of our defensive woes are related to the players that we have on the field. Since I believe that to be the case, and the fact that we are still very much in the playoff hunt, the only rational choice is to make changes in personel. While bringing in new blood certainly does not help with chemistry, it would put players in the back field that know how to build that teamwork and cooperation that safeties must share. Either a single coach needs to come in and teach our current safeties how to play off of one another, or we need safeties that already understand that. Replacing a pair of coaches may be harder, but it is cheaper. Replacing the players carries cost and risks injury, but gives us experience and more game instinct.

marcopo's picture

Here's my song, so I'll sing it again. Anyone who believes you take 11 guys and create instant perfect team is either nuts, or has never lead or trained men. Further, study the history of the NFL and the success of free agents. Not so good. Certainly, it's rare to find a great "plug-n'-play. I'm a fan, I'm frustrated but you gotta have some patience, because it takes time and bumps in the road.

jack in jersey city's picture

i agree with you brian and tommy. i think ted and mike thought that either/both jennings (in his 3nd year) and mcmillian (in his 2nd year) would take a significant step foward, and they haven't.

i keep hearing that richardson might be a good player but he just hasn't been healthy. i really hope he pans out. morgan burnett is good but he's not a difference maker. someone like nick collins made everybody around him better and there's nobody in the defensive backfeild right now that you can say that about. tramon was that guy a few years ago, and while he's still a good player, he's on the decline. i thought hayward looked great last year but he's another one that can't stay healthy.

i would look for ted to spend 2 high draft picks this year on a safety and a cornerback.

Point Packer's picture

I couldn't agree more, Brian. Great article. I am usually on the "TT Defender Team" for what I believe, good reason. Even in this year's draft he seems to have found great long-term talent (Hyde, Lacy, Bahktiari).

However, as you state, he has consistently over-estimated and mis-judged existing talent at the safety position. In the case of Burnett, he may have drastically overpaid to keep an average (below average I dare say this year?) safety on contract for the next 4 1/2 years.

And really, it's frustrating. As you state, TT had ample opportunity in this year's draft and FA to at least attempt to solve this problem. Was it arrogance? Errant Evaluation? I don't have a clue why he did what he has done. All I know, is that the safety position is playing a huge role in this team's recent failures and that the position grouping features two of the worst safeties in the league in MD Jennings and Jerron McMilllan. For the love of god, I hope neither are on this team next year.

Morgan Burnett stripping Tramon Williams of an interception with the resulting loose balling falling into DeSean Jackson's hands may be the enduring symbol of this year's Packer defense.

I'm not ready to give up hope yet, but I'm close.

marcopo's picture

OK, I guess I'm the devil's advocate today. It's ok to defend TT. Overall, he's done a damn fine job, but at the first hint of a Packer weakness, it's time to jump on TT. Every fan knew the Packers weren't strong at safety, so does anyone think for a nano second Thompson wasn't aware? I tend to believe that there isn't much he doesn't know about Packer personnel. Which problem do you fix first at what cost? Where do you allocate your resources? The CBA has made 'draft and develop" more difficult because of restrictions on practice. OK, Thompson gambled on safety, but he tried to plug holes elsewhere, and did. I wouldn't be too shocked to see the Packers switch Hyde, who's a keeper, to safety next year.

Point Packer's picture

Per my post below, I think TT had the opportunity via FA to address this. Given the relative success of this current draft class, especially in the early to mid rounds (without judging Datone), it would appear TT did well. Its hard to predict how it would have all panned out if we had drafted a safety this year. One can only speculate.

However, given the current safety play there is one variable you can control, FA. I have a hard time believing that one of the available veteran FA safeties would not have been even slightly better than the Jennings/McMillan combo we currently have alongside Burnett. I don't want to say its a level of stubbornness or his ridged dogmatic devotion to "draft and develop", but there was a clear problem last year and it was not remotely addressed in any way during the off-season.

Why? I have zero idea. I would love for someone to tell me.

Do you think MD Jennings will be starting for the Pack or another NFL team next year?

marcopo's picture

Perhaps a veteran safety would have been better then Jennings or McMillan, but at what cost? Would the cost of that FA upset the apple cart? Did anyone plan on Burnett having a couple of bad games? Before the sky falls and we all cry the sky is falling, let' see what develops.

Evan's picture

"Would the cost of that FA upset the apple cart?"

Neither Huff nor Rhodes did/would command big money. And right now, both would play for pennies.

Stroh's picture

Evan. "right now, both would play for pennies."

Tells you all you need to know of their value to a team right now doesn't it?!

Evan's picture

"Tells you all you need to know of their value to a team right now doesn’t it?!"

Of course. I'm not saying they'll be all-pros or even good, but I have to believe they'd be an improvement.

PackerChef's picture

Not saying that the safety play isn't in need of improvement, but individuals are always eager to state that the devil you don't know is better than the devil you know. It's pretty telling that Huff and Rhodes are not on an NFL roster at this point. We're not the only team struggling at safety.

Also I would like to point out that the Pack brought in Chris Banjo, a undrafted free agent that is currently on the roster. So the statement that we didn't bring anybody in and should have brought in an undrafted free agent seems silly. They did! I wish that the author would not have left out details to support his article.

Evan's picture

Good call on Banjo. He's definitely getting overlooked in this discussion. He should be starting alongside Burnett. No doubt.

Satori's picture

Should have grabbed Ed Reed, Michael Huff or Jarius Byrd ....HaHa

Brian's an excellent writer whose work I enjoy immensely...but I think we've hit his limit on this particular topic

How many articles have you written this season chastising the Packers' handling of the safety position ? 3 or more since Feb ?

Lombardi: "Run it again !!!"

Jerry Kramer: "Coach, I think by now even Nitschke knows its gonna be a sweep"

Go Packers

bryce's picture

Yeah, he's been banging this drum for awhile, but he's right. He said before the draft that this was our greatest need position. He said after the draft that we should add Huff or Rhodes. And now he's saying, "I told you so."

Satori's picture

Brian probably doesn't need to say
"I told you so", he's a good writer making a valid point for discussion.

Here's an article from JSO back before the draft where McGinn solicited opinions of the Packers roster from personnel executives.
Here's the snippet on safeties:

Safety: "They lost (Charles) Woodson. They could pick a corner and then a safety, but I don't see this as pressing. The guys they had last year are back. (Jerron) McMillian is a fourth-round pick. In my mind, they've already got people they've been training."

So there's another informed opinion for consideration...

Its an interesting read some 6 months later:

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/packers-expected-to-address-lines...

I do question what a late round safety could actually learn and bring to the table in 2013. It took Collins and others years to develop and many had written their obits along the way. If Hayward hadn't been sidelined, maybe Hyde could have been trained

We'll see what happens over the next couple games and maybe Richardson has something to contribute

RC Packer Fan's picture

This is definitely a Failure for Thompson. He trusted his draft and develop system to work for him, and it did not. He expected McMillan to take a major step and he didn't. He expected Jennings to develop but he didn't.
But my complaint with Thompson, is even after he knew that it wasn't working he didn't go out looking at any veterans. I would have been happy to look for a player like Charlie Peprah who got cut by another team.

I expect the Packers to draft a safety really high in the draft.

Evan's picture

"No one will blame for not taking a safety on Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft, but there was ample opportunity for the Packers to take at least one of them over the course of their 11 selections in seven rounds."

I'm of a couple thoughts about this argument.

1. I was fully expecting TT to draft a safety and was disappointed/surprised he didn't.

2. That said, how are those mid-late round safeties faring? I think that's a relevant question to the discussion. If none are playing well, then TT obviously knew what he was doing.

And if there some that are playing well, I think it'd be worth seeing where those guys were drafted and who the Packers selected instead. Would drafting a safety cost them Bahktiari? Or Hyde?

I did a cursory search on all safeties drafted in rounds 3-7 and no one really jumped out to me. So while it was billed as a great draft for safeties going in, maybe that didn't turn out to be the case?

Evan's picture

The one mid-round guy who looks like a stud is Tyrann Mathieu - but I wonder if he was even on TT's board with all his issues.

He was taken in the 3rd - I don't remember what happened to the Packers 3rd round pick, though.

Evan's picture

Mathieu was taken #69 - so the Packers would have had to take him in the 2nd (#61 - instead of Lacy) or traded up in the 3rd to get him (from #88 - who knows what that would have cost).

Instead they traded back and then out of the 3rd and ended up with #109 and took Bahktiari.

PackerPete's picture

yes - but with all his baggage, the only reason he succeeds in Arizona is because he has guys there who take care of him. Coming to the Packers he may be in jail right now. Or any other team for that matter. I saw a special on him on NFL Network during training camp, and he said he was glad that he came to Arizona and may not even have wanted to come to camp for anybody else.
he was a high reward with very high risk kind of guy. imagine Ted would've taken him and not Lacy, and if he had been a bust here in Green Bay and Lacy been great somewhere else. Ted would've been crucified by fans here for taking Mathieu and not Lacy when we needed a RB.

Evan's picture

Oh, yeah, I'm not saying TT should have taken him.

Just that of all the mid-to-late round safeties taken (after an admittedly cursory search), he seems to be the one guy contributing much of anything.

Point Packer's picture

Evan - Not disagreeing with you - taking an objective look at the draft - who was available when, what their performance has been and who we would have sacrificed to obtain that individual - is a worthwhile assessment.

That being said, with exception, its generally takes rookies in the defensive backfield a few years to blossom and show true potential. As you know, the NFL passing game is technically speaking, more difficult than what we see from college offenses. Further, refined technique as opposed to raw physical talent are emphasized and needed by any high level DB in today's NFL. Due to this, again with exception, many top level players in NFL secondaries don't show true colors till a few years down the line (see Charles Woodson).

My point: Hard if not impossible to evaluate how TT did in the draft given his option as this point in the game.

That being said, our current clutch of safeties are sub-par at best . TT should have saw this after last year and he didn't even try to address it - even though he could have via free agency. That is where the blame can and should lie. It would take some convincing to persuade me that there wasn't a cheap safety FA option out there that was any worse physically than MD Jennings....and at the very least, could have provided depth/experience.

Evan's picture

"That being said, with exception, its generally takes rookies in the defensive backfield a few years to blossom and show true potential."

No doubt - agree 100%. Which I think further adds to my point. Would any mid-round rookie be performing better than McMillian or Jennings right now? In the future maybe, but we're talking about right now.

My hope is we grab a blue chip safety in R1 next year, who hopefully won't have as steep of a learning curve.

I agree about free agency - I think that's the true failing here - even now, I have to believe Huff or Rhodes would be improvements.

Point Packer's picture

Agreed on all points.

The TKstinator's picture

Also, consider the fact that a mid round safety (or ANY safety, or any position, for that matter) currently playing on another team might NOT do the same in GB: different system, coaching, environment, etc.

Very difficult to say whether player X on team Y would do better or worse for the Packers, but I get the sense that TT has a ton of confidence that the Packers "coach them up" as well as any team does. (And if you draft and develop, you BETTER feel that way!)

Al's picture

So draft a couple safeties in April. Problem fixed

The TKstinator's picture

I don't know about "fixed" but it would seem like a step in the right direction.
Also, remember that TT has shown to go for BPA, but I think many of of us ARE hoping/expecting that BPA will have an 'S' after his name.

djbonney138's picture

Who is the position coach? Most of these problems seem fixable with the proper fundamentals (tackling,positioning,etc.) The maddening thing is we have seen all these guys play extremely well one day and awful the next.

marcopo's picture

hello!!!

marcopo's picture

I agree with most everything Brian had to say with one vital exception. He went a tad too far. To suggest that Burnett is beyond redemption is way beyond the pale. Furthermore, the evidence is to the contrary. Football is not linear, especially with young players. What Brian should expect is ups and downs. But you don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Educated observation should come to the conclusion that the talent is there to create a pretty good defense. Indeed they've proved it on the field. What's missing is consistency and the ability to play 60 minutes the way the game should be played. I don't know it the Packers will fix the problems, but I do know they're fixable. As for critizing the offensive line, that's doesn't merit comment. When you come up with a rookie LT, regardless of round, you've hit a home run.

WKUPackFan's picture

One of the best posts in a while. Two weeks ago people were talking about how much better the defense looked with Burnett on the field. Has Burnett had some mistakes the past couple of games? Yes. Does that mean he is a poor player who will not continue to show overall improvement? No.

Hands's picture

Guys,
Try to remember that TT drafts BPA as he sees it. This year's draft is pretty damn good. If he didn't fill all the holes,then he should have done that w/ FA. Wait he did pick up a SS with Banjo.
No team can fill all their needs from the draft or FA. It's just that all teams haven't had the injuries that the Packers have substained.
The packers are down to street guys at OLB (similar to the Cowboys along their Dline) DBs that aren't playing their positions and one MLB that has been playing his butt of (AJ Hawk)and a Dline that shows signs of being really good.
When the Colts won their SB they were absolutly gashed by Jacksonville late in the season and Dungy said it was just a problem of discipline and for the D staying in their positions. Now they got their SS back and went on a run and killed everyone to win it all. If CM comes back and the rest of the D plays under control and stays in position, they could make some real noise.
You can't get any help right now. You have to play the guys on your roster. They are the solution.

razor's picture

A whole bunch of average players. What a steaming pile of shit.

razor's picture

Mistakes, bad plays, no talent - OH MY.

razor's picture

Well - it's a long season.
Well - no single play is going to wreck the season.
Well - we just have to be better in the 4th quarter.
Well - we just need to score more points than our opponent.
Well - we just have to get better - we have to.
Well - I hope we do better.
Well - I'm going to do something about it tomorrow - you'll see.

razor's picture

"An average bunch of players can be coached up to perform at an 'A' level on a consistent basis." - Bill Belichick

Evan's picture

Tell that to all the defensive backs Belichick has failed to "coach up" in his tenure.

razor's picture

Draft, coach, develop - OH MY.

KennyPayne's picture

Come on Brian, this is the Green Bay Packers you are referring to not some NFL that explores all avenues for adding talent to the team.

Your suggestion that TT failed to look at veteran free agents to help the safety position is like saying he failed to explore the local pee wee league for safety talent -- he was never going to consider that option so it is a non-starter.

Our GM does not believe in veteran free agency period end of story.

4thand1's picture

PATIENCE!!! I've been as guilty as a lot of people for doubting TT. Losing sucks, winning is the only thing in sports. The Packers fixed the o-line, then the running game. They were looking really good with a healthy Perry and CM. The defensive backs have to work through this. I think they're overthinking because of the lack of a pass rush. I'll take playoffs 4 years running any day. Hope the Pack can pull out these next 2 games. If anyone can fix this I believe TT can. For anyone who works, try working with bunch of new employees, it sucks.

lennysmalls's picture

Suppose if you're great at the draft you can hit on 33% of your 10 picks as good starters (assuming you pick in the latter part of the first round), and you TOTALLY IGNORE brining in bodies through free agency. It will take a little over three years then to field a defense, and a little over six years to field a defense and offense. But add a little bit more time when you figure you draft primarily on talent, not need, because there'll be some overlap at some positions. Moreover, add significantly more time because many players will get injured (the Packers have had this of course in spades). Oh well, wait till next year to fix that injured spot. Basically, to field a quality team, you're probably looking at a ten-year plan building through the draft this way.

larry valdes's picture

We should have signed a safety in the pre season seaason. Ted you are going to loose ed reed camon is a lot better than Jennings and McMillan.

marcopo's picture

I'd trade the entire draft and forfeit free agency to learn how to keep the damned players on the field.

marcopo's picture

Ed Reed? Do the Packers have the requisite handicapped facilities?

larry valdes's picture

You can put jenninis and mcmillan in the handicap house and we will beter off i have reed play since um and he is a play maker i sure he can teach our secondary how to tackle.no to mention how to cover recibers.

Evan's picture

Go home larry, you're drunk.

WKUPackFan's picture

Glad to see so many thoughtful posts to this article. A welcome relief.

Brian, I disagree that the safety situation should have/could have been addressed through FA. The Texans wasted millions on Reed. Huff was ineffective for the Ravens. Rhodes, to anyone's knowledge, has not been worked out by any team. On the expensive side, Goldston continues to commit stupid penalties for the Bucs and is generally considered a liability in pass coverage. I believe TT was correct to pass on these players.

larry valdes's picture

Marcopo /evans: rex ryan just sign ed reed do you gays think that he knows a litle about playing defence ted you miss again about geting a safety i really dont want to wait a till next year and see if you draft one like you shuld have done this season good luck maybe richarson will do i realy like him.

Point Packer's picture

I drink then go blog coment cause it fun and I like to do it all nite till my wife wake up and tell me to go sleep on da couch cuz I had 14 beers and got to work in morning. Go Pak

Vrog's picture

Nice one!

Longshanks's picture

You think it's funny making fun of a guy just becuase his last name is Valdez and probably isn't familiar with English like you are Point Pecker? So he doesn't spell the best, I got what he meant. No need to bust his balls about it. Nice racist comment about him drinking as though you know that's the reason for his spelling mistakes.

Point Packer- Racist towards Mexicans!!

KuhnIsOurKing's picture

Longshanks. Chill out dude. Do you just want to pick fights? You don't have to go "save" people every day. Sometimes you are just putting your foot in your mouth.

Longshanks's picture

Mr. Kuhn, I'll have you know Mr. Pointed Pecker has stalked me for the past couple weeks over the fact I made a comment that basically said it was my opinion that MOST women love to shop and cook. He took that and called me a sexist as though most women don't like to shop and cook? I am just returning the favor and now pointing his pecker back at him for racist comments towards Mexicans. I have quite a few Mexican friends that aren't good spellers or familiar with the language. I hire them to do my lawn in the summer and they work hard. I am outraged he would make fun of someone just because they are not familiar with the English language.

Longshanks

KuhnIsOurKing's picture

Believe me, I've been reading this blog for a while and I've seen your back and forth. I'm just saying someone has to give in and just let it go. I'm not saying someone is right over the other but it detracts from the actual conversation about the safety problem. I've got no problem with either of you but someone has to stop. This has been going on for weeks.

Longshanks's picture

I agree Kuhn, someone has to give in and I have. If you want this to truly stop than I suggest you ask Pointed Pecker to stop with the stalking and racist comments toward Mr. Valdez and myself.

Why is this jagoff getting off scott free for derogatory and offensive racist comments? Why are you acting as though this is my fault? Look who started the topic going off in a different direction? It was Pointed Pecker.

I never even commented on this topic until this idiot pissed me off with his racist comments towards Mr. Valdez. Pointed Pecker is a God damn racist and I demand he apologize to me and especially Mr. Valdez!!

I don't fuck with Brian Carriveau or his articles because I respect him the most of anyone here. It's just that I couldn't fucking take Pointed Pecker's comments and I spoke up about it and am outraged!! Unfortunately they were on a Carriveau article which I apologize to Brian for.

Longshanks

Stroh's picture

The Packers haven't made multiple mistakes at Safety. They made one... Drafting McMillan and hoping he would develop into a starter. They drafted him based on mostly his athleticism, since he played more like a LB at Maine. He had little coverage experience since he played in the box the majority of the time. They once used a 2nd on another player at Safety that was an outstanding athlete in Nick Collins, except he was always used as a deep safety in college.

Clearly they hoped McMillan would develop in year 2 a lot more than he did. That he didn't develop and along w/ his lack of experience in coverage makes drafting him, at least so far, a mistake. Took Collins into his 4th season to really become a playmaker like he was in college. Fans, and I'm sure coaches to some degree, aren't willing to wait till the 4th year for a player to develop.

If McMillan had developed and was at least a decent Safety now, Jennings is a backup which where he should be. Turn that around and the Safety position isn't a liability and might be a strength considering they would have 2 young starting safeties. Its also hard to quantify how much that is hindering Burnett at this point. A reliable safety next to him might allow him to be more of a playmaker too.

Fans don't want to hear or wait for McMillan to develop, but he very well could in the next year or so. In the end, you have to trust the scouts and Thompson to do whats best for the Packers.

Its VERY easy to criticize, point fingers and place blame in hindsight. I remember most of the commenters here were very excited for McMillan entering the offseason and might have criticized drafting a Safety last year. Personally I was a big fan of Reid at the end of 1st or Cyprien end of 2nd, both went too high for my tastes and before the Packers had a chance to draft them in those spots.

Stroh's picture

This year seems to be lacking in Safety talent at the top of the draft. Only one Safety is considered a 1st rd talent. Clinton-Dix from Bama, I like what I've seen from him. In the 2nd you might have 2 but one is only 5'8 so he would likely be a major liability in coverage. At least according to CBS. One name stuck out at Safety. Bucannon from Wa St. Is that the son of Willie Bucannon?

The TKstinator's picture

Well put Stroh.

Monday morning QB's drive me nuts too.

I know fans are frustrated and impatient, I get that, so as an early Christmas gift, I've constructed the following "plug and play":

I hated it when TT picked ...... (Insert name here)
I would have picked .......(insert Pro Bowler's name here)

Bingo! I now pronounce you the million dollar GM of the next Super Bowl champion!

You're welcome.

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"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "