Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - You're Dead to Me

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

You're Dead to Me - I came across this interesting article from a week or so back from former CHTV-er Zach Kruse taking a look at all the dead money the Packers are paying in 2022. At the top of the list is Za'Darius Smith, who the Packers owe a whopping11.4M in 2022 dead money. After signing with the Vikes and trolling the Packers and their fans by tweeting how he finally found his "home," Z is dead to me anyway.

Kicking it off - I was intrigued by Paul Bretl's recent post here about trying out new punter Pat O'Donnell on kickoffs, something he has done before. I was thinking about kickoffs during draft season - a big reason why I was hoping the Packers could get their hands on Jordan Stout from Penn State, who served as both their punter AND kicker and specialized in kickoffs out of the end zone. Alas, the Packers went and signed O'Donnell and then the Ravens actually used a fourth-round pick to draft Stout and my dreams were crushed. However, if O'Donnell can help the Packers reduce their second-worst in the league average kickoff return yards allowed (25.9) let's give him a shot!

Looking Sharpe - I've maintained the position for the last 20 years or so that Sterling Sharpe, if he had a full career, would have reached the status of a top-five All-time WR in the NFL. Hutson, Rice, Sharpe and your choice of the next two. I remember getting a lot of weird looks when I would tell someone that, (and some of you likely have that look right now), but I firmly believed it then and firmly believe it now. It's been great to see there is a bandwagon forming to get Sharpe into the HOF, despite the short career. While it doesn't bother me as much and don't consider it as egregious as what was done to Jerry Kramer, for example, I do think he is deserving.

Brace Yourself - I found it interesting that C Josh Meyers has decided to play with braces on both knees for the 2022 season. I'm wondering if wearing a brace on the non-injured knee is just preventative or a matter of "evening things out," where he is more comfortable with the same feel and mobility from both legs or if he had some minor issues we don't know about with the other knee as well. 

Hot Dog! - Sitting here watching the replay of the Coney Island hot dog eating contest (I missed it live) and found myself wondering, which current Packer player would I enter in this contest? The temptation would be to go with a big body like TJ Slaton, Sean Rhyan or how about Caleb Jones (370lbs)? But the big guys never seem to do much in this contest. So my under-the-radar picks would be Josiah Deguara, Ty Summers or my favorite, AJ Dillon.

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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6 points

Comments (76)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

July 06, 2022 at 06:29 am

"After signing with the Vikes and trolling the Packers and their fans by tweeting how he finally found his "home," Z is dead to me anyway."

Z hasn't found his "Home". He verbally agreed to sign with the Ravens for about $8.75 million a year for 4 years when he saw what Chandler Jones and Von Miller signed for. He quickly backed out and went to the Vikings when they offered MORE. It has NOTHING to do with finding a "Home" and EVERYTHING to do with finding MO MONEY! Besides, this dude is WEIRD! Just wait until the Vikings do something HE doesn't like. I'll give it till next season when he's acting a fool again.

Sharpe...I'm with Al, I happen to believe Sharpe belongs in the HOF. His brother said it best, "The 2nd best receiver in the family is in the HOF". I understand his career was cut short. So was Gale Sayers. I mean, if Terrell Davis is in the HOF, then Sharpe SURELY belongs. His numbers in a very short time in the NFL are MORE than HOF worthy, and he dominated during that time, normally while he was INJURED...He belongs!

Hotdogs... Sorry Al, I'm not a fan though I am amazed at how many hotdogs those guys are actually able to SHOVE down their throats with a little water.

8 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:12 am

Nick, I think the hot dog eating contest is gross and will not give it the time of day. I am surprised Al has mentioned at all.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 07, 2022 at 12:30 am

I want to see a gyro eating contest with the works; all the onions, tomatoes and sauce. Whoever survives the 3 day heartburn wins! Parthenons in Madison used to have one and one of my high school buddies wanted to enter it because he had eaten 3 one time. Then he found out the winner from the year before had eaten 7.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 07, 2022 at 01:35 am

Gale Sayers was incredible. He was first team all-pro in each of his first five seasons, including his rookie year. He was first team all-pro in every year in which he was healthy. Great on a fast track or in the mud of Soldier Field. I don't think Terrell Davis should be in the hall of fame. Sterling Sharpe has a good case with 5 pro bowls and 3 first team all-pro awards in 7 seasons, including several with bad teams.

2 points
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Guam's picture

July 06, 2022 at 07:48 am

I liked Z as a player for the Packers, but his trolling of the Packer organization and fans after moving to the Vikings for $$$$ did not sit well with me. He collected millions of dollars while not playing his final season with the Packers yet felt entitled enough to take a parting shot after the Packers released him. Sheesh....

I find it more troubling that despite a new GM and coaching staff, the Vikings continue their long habit of seeking ex-Packers to play for them. What is with that????? The Bears suck but I at least respect them. The Vikings, not so much.......

8 points
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Jonathan Spader's picture

July 06, 2022 at 05:36 pm

The new coaching staff are also Packers. Mike Petting and Mike Smith.

1 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

July 06, 2022 at 06:00 pm

Don't forget Donatell, who was in GB for 8 years.

1 points
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mrtundra's picture

July 06, 2022 at 07:53 am

Zadisaster will now go the way of Brent and Gerg, in viking land. Used to be good, but messed up, by signing with purple ilk. The cap causes such moves to be made as, in Zadisaster's case, it is more a business decision than one of waning talent. Zadisaster's playing time, however, had decreased, the past two seasons, in GB. So now that he is a viking, I say good luck to him, as he'll need it there. If that turf they use in the Stapler doesn't get him, lackluster play by his new teammates probably will. I'm betting Z will learn how to hold, rough the passer, etc., in Minnesota. Look for lots of flags thrown his way, this season. The pressure's on, Z. I hope you find a way to deal with it.

-2 points
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Handsback's picture

July 06, 2022 at 08:10 am

Just a couple of things, I loved the Packers signing Z when they did. I don't regret it at all. My biggest question with him is that injury? Preston may not be as dramatic player as Z but he's more than capable with Gary on the other side. Z isn't dead to me, just a cog that had a few flat spots and needed to be replaced.
When Sharpe was at his prime, he was much more productive than Rice or Monk at the Redskins. I envisioned a wr that had an RBs body would be tough to stop. My concept changed when I saw him in person. Ran into him in Atlanta Airport once. Greeted him and he returned the greeting. I was surprised since he always seemed surly during interviews. This was after his playing career when he was a regular on ESPN. Yes for you youngsters he was a regular on ESPN. Anyway, he wasn't tall but thick front to back with long arms. It was late, but he had a smile on his face regardless of the hour. Seeing him in person, made me realize you can never tell what a player can do until you see the fire that burns them to achieve.

4 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:16 am

I am glad that Sterling is easy to get along with, based on your post anyway. He gets a lot more respect that way. Good to hear!

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HarryHodag's picture

July 06, 2022 at 08:16 am

Z Smith: the measure of a great player is consistently high play. Think Aaron Rodgers. Smith showed great play potential but came down with "Kevin King itis" or having a hard time staying on the field. It's all about the coin in the NFL and Z Smith should shut up and realize the Packers paid him well and to have any animosity is really stupid.

I never could doubt Sterling Sharpe's ability. He really made Don Majkowski look better than he was. But Sharpe's personality was so abrasive I just couldn't stomach his self-adoration.

Careful Jersey Al to think that only large obese men can win food eating contests. Joey Chestnut is the world champ and he's on the skinny side.

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marpag1's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:01 am

The notion that Smith "came down with 'Kevin King itis' or having a hard time staying on the field" is nonsense. In his 6 seasons before last year, he never missed more than 3 games in any season, and he played a full 16 games in each of the three seasons before last year.

He got hurt. It happens.

8 points
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HarryHodag's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:57 am

So by your numbers he missed up to 18 games over six years and 15.5 games last year. That's closing in on 30 games in seven years, or about one-quarter of his playing time.

Getting hurt is part of the game. But when you command top dollar to play and when you don't it's doubly painful for the team.

I'm not sorry to see him gone at all considering his remarks about the Packers.

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marpag1's picture

July 06, 2022 at 02:23 pm

He missed up to 18 games?? Huh? No. He missed SIX... six games in his first six years.

It seems you are trying awfully hard to make this look worse than it really is.

3 points
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Johnblood27's picture

July 06, 2022 at 08:29 am

'Z'ombie as in truly DEAD... good riddance, write that on your t-shirt... he lost all respect from me with the "injury" last year. He was a casualty to me well before he sealed his coffin in purple.

Brace this - all I'm gonna say is... Creed Humphrey was on the board when the GBP took Myers. I will add this tidbit for those with short memories, the playing surface at Soldier Field did myers in, just like it did 2 times to Eddie Lee and many others. When will the NFL get in duh bares grill about keeping their venue in NFL condition, what is it, Winnipeg down there?

Kicking it around - If O'Donnell can kick off sometimes, good on 'im, Im all for the team using all of its players to their maximum benefit. I wouldn't throw Crosby off the KO team quite yet though... He is a good tackler, let's see if RB gets the coverage fixed before we fire out "safety" on the KO team.

There are a few Packers that deserve to be in the HOF including Sharpe. Is he the one who deserves it the most? Verne Lewellyn comes to mind, as does Jack Vainisi.

I couldn't eat 65 lil smokies with no buns, Joey Chestnut is a freak!

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Guam's picture

July 06, 2022 at 08:39 am

The Bears don't own Soldier Field, the City of Chicago does. The crappy field is the City's fault. The Bears (finally) are doing something about it as they bought a substantial piece of land in suburban Chicago last year with plans to develop their own stadium. May be a few years before it is done, but expect the Bears to have a better venue in the future.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 07, 2022 at 11:27 am

I do not care who owns the shit-hole, get the field in proper condition or do not risk NFL talent on it.

Look at the losses the Packers alone have suffered on that dump.

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Dragon5's picture

July 06, 2022 at 05:14 pm

Humphrey....ditto...Myers born on a 7 day lends to a career mired with injury bug bites.

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murf7777's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:33 am

JB, I respect your posts, but your comment about Humphrey being on the board after the Packers picked _________player can be said about every draft. 80% of the time there is a better player taken after a certain player in the draft. Also, the Packers are one of 32 teams who experience that while drafting.

1 points
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dobber's picture

July 07, 2022 at 10:41 am

I thought for sure they were going to take Humphrey at that point. A matter of perceived fit, I figure. I've been OK with Myers...a bit of bad injury luck for him that he needs to shake, but he was credible as a rookie.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 07, 2022 at 11:42 am

murf - I don't usually play that retro draft evaluation game, I get where you are coming from.

However - both players are centers, both were highly rated, both were just about the only centers highly rated in last years draft, and most outlets had Humphrey rated ahead of Meyers.

Gutey put his 'smartest guy in the room" hat on and went with the underdog and that underdog bit him in the ass with an injury.

Humphrey had an outstanding rookie year and looks to be all he was projected to be, while Meyers is playing catch-up in the career trajectory category. Meyers can be the player GB anticipated, he is not a bust by any means, but he did not meet expectations last season, even if it was due to an untimely injury.

All facts...

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

July 06, 2022 at 08:31 am

You're Dead to Me -
I would really like to know what his angst is against GB. Is it he didn't get a monstrous deal? I don't' get it. We didn't have him for almost all of last year, and we won't have him now. There will be little difference for us this year.

Kicking it off -
My question is, taking kickoffs away from Crosby will that benefit him or hurt him? Does he use kickoffs to keep loose and work out any kinks for FG's? Or is it something that makes no difference at all. If it hurts his FG's any, I don't want him off of kickoffs. If it makes no difference and O'Donnell can do it. Let him do it.

Looking Sharpe -
If someone like Terrell Davis can make the Hall of Fame, why can't Sharpe?.

Brace Yourself -
I believe he played with braces throughout college? I thought that I read that somewhere and he just felt it would be better to go that way. That he never got hurt in college wearing them and when he didn't have them on he got hurt. I think its more preventative.

Hot Dog! -
I have to think the way Bakhtiari can chug a beer he could down a few hot dogs. But I do agree its almost always the little guy that you wouldn't think could do it would do it.

2 points
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dobber's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:14 am

My recollection on Z was that the Packers did some contract acrobatics on his deal that didn't require his consent and he was really unhappy about it. Others might be able to clarify that better than I remember. If true, that move put him in a position where he was far less likely to earn the remainder of his contract...and his injury didn't help either. All told, it might leave a sour taste in my mouth, as well.

Still, it was the Packers who cut him loose. I'm not going to hate on him...his locker room presence helped to put the sour taste of the McCarthy ending behind this team and moved them forward into the LaF era. He's moved on, and is trying to endear himself to a fan base that follows a team that has nothing better to do than troll the Packers. Whatever. He's in the rearview, and the Packers will likely run right at him again...and again...and again. He'll make some plays, but he's certainly going to give up quite a few, too.

"If someone like Terrell Davis can make the Hall of Fame, why can't Sharpe?."

Marquee player on two SB winning teams, SB MVP once, league MVP (as a RB) once. His career was short--as is usually the case for RB--but he's clicked a lot of boxes. I think those two SBs mean a lot.

3 points
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murf7777's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:05 am

Dobber, I agree Z was a very good locker room presence and team player. I enjoyed watching him play for the Packers. From the comments I’ve seen from Z they are not very disparaging, just some talk about Rodgers not going to be all that happy about seeing him on the other side of the field going live against him and not at practice and that he would’ve loved to go back to Baltimore, but it didn’t work out and he’s happy to get the nice contract and to be a Viking. Maybe he was asked a these questions during the Rich Eisen show and he answered them honestly. I don’t have a problem with that as well. It’s not like Favre when he wanted to go to the Vikings to shove it into the Packers face.

We also agree with how the Packers will run, run and run right at Z if he is in the game on early downs. That is his weakness. With or without Z, I still see the Vikings playing second fiddle to the Packers.

1 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:52 am

I think the difference between Sterling Sharpe and Terrell Davis is that Davis was a major catalyst on 2 super bowl winning teams. That's what put him over the hump. With that being said, I still think Sharpe deserves HOF, but I think the voters got it right putting Davis in first.

0 points
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kozmo's picture

July 06, 2022 at 08:32 am

We we're in NY years ago for the Giants Packers game....AND my son Marc was a big Majkowski fan...we we're in the elevator when the door opened and the Magic man walked into that elevator. My sons eyes were huge....majik was great to my son. just awesome.......then later that day my other son a big Sharpe fan saw his favorite player, Sharpe standing by himself , no one around so my 9 year old son gathered up his courage and walk up to sterling and asked for an autograph, Sharpe ignored him and walked right through him knocking him to the ground. Just flat ignored him as he was laying on the ground crying.....I was so glad to see that piece of crap out of Green Bay....screw him

0 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:22 am

Wow. Now that really sucks. I sure can't blame you for your feelings towards him.

0 points
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kozmo's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:42 pm

There are a lit if stories online about what Sharpe was really like....

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kozmo's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:42 pm

There are a lit if stories online about what Sharpe was really like....

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kozmo's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:42 pm

There are a lit if stories online about what Sharpe was really like....

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stockholder's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:13 am

Z wanted money. When he couldn't get more from the packers. He put on. ( Yes,- I doubt his back was the issue.)
I Still think the weather in Green Bay has a lot to do with distance. I say Crosby won't get hurt. Hate to loose the punter because he pulls something.
Sharpe does belong in the HOF. No need to figure this out..
Myers better wear braces. Enough with the knee injuries.
Hot dogs.- If you knew how they were made, and what goes in them. You wouldn't eat them.

0 points
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dobber's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:25 am

"Z wanted money. When he couldn't get more from the packers. He put on. ( Yes,- I doubt his back was the issue.)"

You don't get back surgery for funsies or to make a point, especially as a pro athlete. It's hard to shake that tag. Now he has a back-loaded contract with so little guaranteed money that it amounts to a series of one-year contracts, and he'll likely never see the big payday in year 3.

He didn't get the money.

8 points
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stockholder's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:22 am

Manipulation.

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dobber's picture

July 06, 2022 at 09:26 am

Didn't work out for him, moneywise.

2 points
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marpag1's picture

July 06, 2022 at 02:08 pm

It just baffles me how many fans want to question the reality of Smith's back injury, for which he went under the knife. It makes no sense at all.

2 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

July 06, 2022 at 02:35 pm

I'm not sure they question the reality of the surgery taking place, but perhaps the severity of it and the amount of time missed. due to it. I do not recall whether a prognosis for recovery was that which came to be. Perhaps many feel he could/should have been back sooner, but his thinking his release more likely gave him pause to return and to capitalize on not playing again for GB, and now healthy, assumed, for the Vikings.

I actually don't care, as we never really get the whole truth from the team or player.

1 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 04:14 pm

I do remember a video of him when he came back to Green Bay towards the end of the season and him saying that he's back. It sounded like he would be playing rather soon but did not suit up until the very end of the season. He did not help us at all when he finally did take the field.

1 points
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murf7777's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:15 am

Hawk, actually he did have a quite an impact on the SF playoff game. He came out and got an early sack and a QB hit. I remember thinking in that game, its nice to have Z back! Regarding his injury, I doubt any of us really knows what he was going thru, just like Bak who we thought was coming back but had an injury setback. It happens.

0 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 07, 2022 at 11:26 am

Sorry Murf. I do not remember him doing anything in that game. Could be wrong.

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Rarescope's picture

July 06, 2022 at 10:11 am

Hot Dogs: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-stuff-you-should-know-26940277/episod...

Meh, compared to micro plastics floating around in everything I'm not too worried about any of that. We're all screwed anyways.

0 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:25 am

Other than salt, what they put in hot dogs is just fine. Now there are some 'Southern Brand Sausages' that include tripe in their ingredients (which is stomach). Now that is pretty hard for me to stomach! Pardon the pun.

1 points
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Rarescope's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:30 am

Yep, if I remember that podcast correctly they said it's mostly just the little bits of meat that are left on the bones blasted off with a pressure washer or something like that.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 06, 2022 at 06:11 pm

That's not what Dan Aykroyd taught me!

https://youtu.be/001dtJ0srBI

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:55 am

The guy did have back surgery so I dont think he was faking it. I had a back injury in high school and many on the football team accused me of faking it too. Thats the hard part about back injuries. Theres no cast or stitches for people to see. Its kind of an invisible injury. With all that being said, the guy is still a jerk and I'm glad he's gone. The defense didn't decline at all without him.

0 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

July 06, 2022 at 10:05 am

Yes, Sharpe was an awesome talent, but 'Time wasn't on his side' as a player nor as a HOF future inductee., though there is always a chance.

Wearing a brace on a bad knee is one thing, wearing a brace on the other is another thing, and the other thing is what should be more concerning because there's always something behind the curtain being curtailed.

So Zadarius is now hated because he didn't live up to his claim of wanting to be a Packer for the rest of his career when he got his extension and near all cheered him and reveled in their excitement, but now he's despised for going where the money was calling it 'HOME'. A reason I never give that type of loyalty to a player.

As to punting, the best punters are the Packers fans as they have shown with Zadarius and others who have come and gone elsewhere after accepting and believing blindly in the false loyalty players announce to the team and fans, though after getting overpaid.

-3 points
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Rarescope's picture

July 06, 2022 at 10:14 am

The way we've been decimated by ACL injuries the past few years I'd be in favor of knee braces being mandatory for everyone. It'll never happen, but man Bakhtiari being out this long hurts. And Jenkins. And Tonyan. And Deguara. And that's just one team in the NFL.

1 points
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wildbill's picture

July 06, 2022 at 12:24 pm

I don’t watch college but don’t a lot of the college linemen wear braces? Just asking cause I do see occasional highlights and seems like I’ve seen them

1 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

July 06, 2022 at 06:14 pm

I think some colleges require linemen to water them. You don't see them much in the NFL because they hinder movement a bit, not good when you're going against larger, speedier players.

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Coldworld's picture

July 07, 2022 at 07:53 am

It is a little concerning to see a player have to wear them so early in his professional career. We will have to see to what extent it hinders him. However, I’m still slightly baffled as to what makes Myers an established piece. He had maybe one truly decent game before injury and was bad in return. In hindsight we’d have been better with Patrick staying at C in the Championship (for that reason as well as others). Myers is, for me, still a question mark. Having concerns about his knee from last year has become part of that.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:59 am

He doesnt have to wear them. He chose to. He's taking steps to limit any future injuries like a pro should do. As for his play, he played well last year, including in the playoff loss. I dont see why he wouldnt be considered an established piece. Now if you want to talk Royce Newman, that I would agree with. He should never start another game at guard ever again. His skillset says hes a tackle and thats where he should be playing.

0 points
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dobber's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:09 am

Badger OL wear them pretty regularly.

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Coldworld's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:27 am

It’s a good way to lessen a risk, but they do decrease mobility. I assume it’s not just bravado that has led to them being avoided on the pros.

It seems pretty clear that Myers seems to have been told that he has to wear one, and that is the root of my doubt in the medium term, the more general doubt is that he wasn’t that good before. While Injury and inexperience were part of that, he has yet, to my eyes, to prove he is what he is broadly assumed to be: a good starting C.

We don’t typically afford others such leeway even with more plus performances on the field. Myers may prove it, but he still has to for me.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 07, 2022 at 10:50 am

Fair points, but let me ask you this: if Myers is not the clearcut starter in your eyes, then who could challenge him? Maybe Zack Tom? I dont see any other options. Personally, with Myers' size and strength, I think hes being miscast at center anyways but it seems like theyre trying to go more power up front (judging by their turn from zone concepts in '19 and '20 to more of a gap power based run scheme in '21) which lends credence as to why they drafted Myers over Creed Humphrey to begin with. Myers was the bigger more physical player. Anywho, if you look at this oline, Myers is undoubtedly top 5 which means he should be starting imo.

0 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

July 07, 2022 at 04:02 pm

If that's the case they should go back to more zone. They were a better running team in '19 and '20.

I hope they give Tom a chance to compete at C. Part of the centers job is to know all the line fits so Myers should be able to backup all 3 inside spots if he's not the starter.

I thought taking Myers over Humphrey was a big mistake at the time. The 8 lb difference in size is more than made up for by the fact Humphrey was a championship wrestler in high school. All things being equal always take the big guys that wrestled and were good at it.

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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:28 am

Wearing the brace on the good knee is very smart. I am sure he does not have any issue with his good knee but it is just preventative. A lot of college teams' offensive linemen wear knee braces to prevent serious injury, which is the smart way to go. I am surprised that isn't done more in the NFL.

3 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

July 06, 2022 at 12:06 pm

I have no empirical info on this, but your comment raises an eyebrow for me as to whether the knee injuries in the more recent years, 2- decades, have become more prevalent to Linemen than had been in the previous decades of football?

I also wonder if the techniques being applied to position play aren't diverting from a more natural movement of the legs to perform more of the unnatural/uncomfortable movement thus creating a more frequent injury not seen before levels. Though, if the records show no difference in this injury from one era to another then it's already moot.

This question can also apply to OLBs in their quest to perform beyond the normal structure of the leg, naturally, the knee injury caused by a direct hit is an auto disqualification to the premise, as like the type that took Nelson from our WR group in a preseason game. So, is the brace to help refrain the unnatural technique from causing injury, or to ensure a more natural use of the legs when/where this injury wasn't as often suffered?

Again, this isn't a fact-supported statement, but a mere question as to what's behind the reason for braces all the time, none of the time, or injury based.

2 points
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CJ Bauckham's picture

July 06, 2022 at 02:00 pm

Didn't Nelson hurt his knee planting it during a route? I don't recall him getting hit being the cause. Not that that takes away from your question, just genuinely wondering if I'm misremembering

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 06, 2022 at 02:25 pm

Yes, I should have added the 'or' in regard to Nelson, but most fans know that Nelson hurt himself on a planting move, and no contact.

1 points
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coolhand's picture

July 06, 2022 at 02:42 pm

Actually, Nelson jumped for a high pass and came down on one leg and that is when he hurt his knee and basically ended his career.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 07, 2022 at 10:53 am

That didnt end his career. He still had 1 more really good season for the Packers in 2016 and was off to a great start in 2017 before Rodgers got hurt. Then played 2018 with Oakland where he still looked good at times. He was a 23 year old rookie and didnt start till his 4th season (age 27) so he was kind of a late bloomer. He just got old.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 07, 2022 at 10:01 am

Yup. He caught a short hitch route and tried to turn upfield right as he planted and the knee just buckled. Noncontact injuries are bad news.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 06, 2022 at 10:40 am

I loved Sterling Sharpe, but I'd put him in the Hall of Really Good. Kind of like Nick Collins, his career got stopped too soon but it's a rough game. It doesn't diminish Sharpe......he was a helluva good player player for several years.

Dead to Me: Once somebody has an association with the Purple, they have the Purple Taint, and I'm done with them. The only exception is Gilbert Brown, who was immune to the Taint and escaped in time.

Hot Dogs are not food, and you shouldn't eat them.

The whole punting/kicking thing is an obsession here. We played 18 games. Special teams was a factor in ONE loss and several wins. The one loss wouldn't have been fixed by a special teams demon gunner. Our opponent's average starting position is the 27.2......which is below average. I think that kick-return distance stat is relative garbage with no correlation at all to making the playoffs, but I'm going to research and bring some facts with me.

1 points
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wildbill's picture

July 06, 2022 at 12:27 pm

I’m not sure the averages tell the real story. It just seems to me that long returns showed up at the worst times for us. Have no data just an old guys memory about last few seasons

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Leatherhead's picture

July 06, 2022 at 01:43 pm

OK, wildbill. I have an old guys memory too and that's why I have to look things up and write them down. I went to pro-football-reference and got some data. Here it is.

We kicked off 94 times last year, the exact same number of times as the Purple. Our "touchback %" was around 45%, and that was 25th in the league. That meant about 50 kicks got returned. The Purple was 2nd highest in the league, at over 80% of those kicks being touchbacks. That meant fewer than 20 kicks got returned. On the face of it, that looks pretty good to me. Kick it through the endzone, no returns. Simple and effective.

Then I looked at the other top teams in that category. Dallas was the best, then the Vikings, Broncos, AZ, Bucs. Dolphins, Jets, Rams Chiefs........Quite a few good teams there, and some anomalies like the Jets.

Green Bay was 25th, yet they were better than 4 other playoff teams. So I'm wondering how strong the relationship is between top kickoff teams and winning, and I suspect it's not real strong.

In short, I wouldn't look at the kickoff unit as a liability. 94 kicks and no TDs surrendered. Average starting position inside the 30.

XXXXXXX

As an aside, as I went over the data and reordering the rankings, it struck me how similar we are to both Tampa and the Cheatriots, two pretty well coached teams.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 07, 2022 at 02:09 am

"Hot Dogs are not food, and you shouldn't eat them."

Thumbs up.

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Coldworld's picture

July 07, 2022 at 08:01 am

I agree with you on Sharp, but as I’ve pointed out previously, that stat you point out is grossly misleading at best. There are a number of places one can delve into the metrics that illustrate how much of a disadvantage our STs put us, but here is a simple summary: https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2022/01/20/packers-special-teams-finish...

1 points
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dobber's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:17 am

The eye test tells you a lot that the stats are deceptive about: opponents ran a lot of kickoffs out of the endzone to take a shot at the Packers' lousy coverage units--moreso than against other teams. It's not just Crosby's leg. More solid coverage units likely turn many of those returns into TBs.

Sometimes the Packers got returners well short of the 25, but they gave up a lot of longer returns, too. Just because the average is a few yards past the 25 (touchbacks) doesn't mean they didn't give up some longer returns at key times--as we all remember. It didn't cost the Packers very often, which is fortunate, but it added unnecessary late drama to several games.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

July 07, 2022 at 11:14 am

I'm going to look at every return from last year in hopes of putting this to bed once and for all.

I do have some questions for you dobber. Would you rather start at the 25 or take a chance at returning? And if a guy returns it from two yard deep out to the 35, is that a 37 yard return or a 12 yard return? In my view, it's a 12 yard return.

Do you think there's a significant advantage to starting at the 32 instead of the 27? I don't. It's one successful offensive play by the offense.

I agree about the unnecessary drama. But if you don't like drama, why are you watching football?

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Leatherhead's picture

July 07, 2022 at 11:06 am

You're going to have to clarify.

When you say special teams, do you mean:

Kick unit?
Punt team?
Punt return?
Kick return?
Placement?

I see pretty clearly that we have better than average starting position when we get the ball, and that our opponent has a below average starting position when they start theirs. I don't think that's misleading at all.

Our placement unit missed numerous FGs, and since FGs are essentially the same as a turnover, that's problem #1 and it won't be fixed by a "special teams" demon. Our kick coverage, and punt coverage, was no worse than average. Our kick return team did not turn it over. Our punt return turned it over twice, neither of those because of Amari Rodgers.

I dispute that our special units put us at a disadvantage. We lost 5 games and only ONE play in ONE game by special made any difference in any of those losses, and that coincided with a HISTORICALLY BAD offensive performance.

If your expectation is that you'll have long returns and won't pay any costs for pursuing that, then I think that's not very realistic. If your expectation is that we're never going to give up a return of more than a few yards, I think that's unrealistic. If your expectation is that a bunch of bottom of the roster 23 year old fart lighters won't make any boneheaded plays, I think that's unrealistic.

In short, I think that you're looking at trees and ignoring the forest. The forest is that our special teams helped us win several games last [email protected], @SF....and only contributed to one loss, and that was mostly one play, by one person, on one punt. The rest isn't terribly relevant, IMO.

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PeteK's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:06 am

Sharpe was a great combination of speed and power, but top five is a stretch. There could be a debate that he is #3 in Packer history behind Hutson and Lofton. As far as all time, Moss, Owens, even Harrison (190 games, 128 TDs) are probably better. Sharpe's career is similar to Calvin Johnson's, so no HOF for you. LOL

0 points
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marpag1's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:17 am

Sharpe was great to watch as an athlete, but I surely never loved him as a person. And I still don’t. His late-night “I’m not playing tomorrow” mini-holdout in 1994 was a full-blown jackass move, and that’s one reason why I’m not particularly sympathetic. I don’t fault anyone for wanting to get paid, but Sharpe very intentionally used this last-minute ambush as a threat to screw over every single one of his teammates in an effort to improve his own contract. He had SEVEN years remaining on the 10 year contract that he signed when he pulled that bush-league move, and the Packers had already renegotiated some things about the contract already. He also insisted that later contracts would require that Sharpe must be paid more than any other receiver … which is just being a weenie, IMO. Favre called him out publicly, then made nice after the Packers adjusted his contract yet again.

Even if I didn’t dislike him as a person, life is hard. You don’t get into the Hall for what you may or may not have done in an alternate reality where people don’t get injured.

6 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

July 06, 2022 at 12:16 pm

"You don’t get into the Hall for what you may or may not have done in an alternate reality where people don’t get injured."

"alternate reality"

Boy did my eyes open wide and ears perk up with those two words, which caused a laugh. I shall watch to see the like/dislike counter, as it will prove a point.

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:24 am

"After signing with the Vikes and trolling the Packers and their fans by tweeting how he finally found his "home," Z is dead to me anyway."

Favre and Jennings pulled the same crap after signing with the Vikings. Favre's "this is most talented team I've ever been on" was buffoonish. Really? Better than the '96 Packers? And Jenning's ripping the Packer organization, the city of Green Bay and Rodgers was incredibly childish.

More talented players than these two have moved on from their original teams without acting like spoiled children. After last year's antics, it's hardly a surprise that Z Smith decided to mimic Favre and Jennings immaturity.

5 points
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HawkPacker's picture

July 06, 2022 at 11:31 am

Good post.

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 07, 2022 at 08:00 am

After playing a few games for the vyqueens, Favre made another bone-headed comment on a local Minneapolis sports radio show that the vyqueen fans were "the best fans I ever played for."

At the time, my fishing buddy, also a vyqueen fan, called me to cackle "so what do you think about that?"

I said Favre was an ungrateful, spiteful, small minded man who had failed to learn that a great reputation is built by a thousand good deeds and destroyed with one bad one. He could have said "like Packer fans, the Viking fans are great to play for."

It was especially galling given how the Packer faithful stood by him through his addiction, Deanna's cancer, and Big Irv's sudden passing.

He couldn't resist the cheap shot at the time and helped open a disdain for the man that lasted years among Packer fans.

Fortunately, he has worked hard to rebuild his respect among the Packer fanbase, even saying at his HOF speech when he mentioned the vyqueens (to loud boos) said "come on now...I will always be a Packer first!"

2 points
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murf7777's picture

July 07, 2022 at 09:25 am

To compare Favre and Z’s comments are like comparing apples to oranges. They are totally different. Z ultimately wanted to go to Baltimore, he only went to the Vikings because they offered substantially more money. While Favre ultimately wanted to go to an NFC North division team and shove it at the Packers faces! Big difference. Z’s comments are just more competitive jostling and saying he’s happy to be with the team. I don’t see them as disparaging like Jennings either.

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