Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - LaFleur Back in Bloom

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

After the first Lions game, my title for this column was "The Bloom is off LaFleur.". After the horrendous loss to the Raiders, I went with "LaFleur is Wilting." Here's part of what I wrote at that time.

"LaFleur (the flower) is wilting in the heat. Here, I though last week's game plan was bad! What a doozy this one was! Coach LaFleur has no idea what this team does well and what it's identity should be. It's like he's picking  random plays out of a hat. There is little cohesion and few play calls and sequences make sense. Nothing is being run to set up a future play. And this was after a mini-bye where they supposedly did a self scout!"

Fast forward to today, and things could not be any more different. After three straight weeks of good offensive football, specifically with game plans that had a sense of purpose, LaFleur is giving me what I hoped to see when the Packers moved on from defacto offensive coordinator Aaron Rodgers. And what's the key to this in-season change? LaFleur gave you a hint with this sheepish response to the question posed by Jason WIlde; "It's a different mentality we've taken on."

That's all it comes down to. LaFleur didn't suddenly forget and then remember how to game plan. Lafleur didn't make drastic changes in the offensive scheme. He didn't fire anybody or shuffle coaching responsibilities. He just decided to stop playing not to lose and just play to win instead. 

Now, with such a young team, that's something that could have gone really badly in the wrong direction. But it didn't. It didn't because Jordan Love is up to the task. It didn't because the young receivers want to be great and have worked with Love to build on-field chemistry. It didn't because AJ Dillon is capable of carrying the load if you use him. It didn't blow up for a variety of other reasons as well - it doesn't matter. LaFleur had little to lose and he finally realized it and showed the gumption to just loosen the reins and let the kids play.

Of course, things could still take a turn in the wrong direction. Do these young kids now think they can just go out there and automatically repeat their recent success? How you handle success in this league can sometimes define you more than how you handle failure. It's up to LaFleur to be sure he gets the message across and has them working even harder this week than last. 

Jordan Love - Wise words from our former QB:

 

Offensive line - I sense some improvement in this group. They can still be inconsistent, but it feels like they are playing better as a unit. they worked together to limit Chris Jones from blowing things up and that, is no small accomplishment. Myers has been better, Walker is improving, Runyan is still a crapshoot.

Timely defense - Three red zone sacks was the difference in this game and I'd say all of them were coverage sacks. Chiefs receivers were blanketed in the end zone and they mostly didn't allow Mahomes out of the pocket. BTW, Ballantine did a great job on Kelce in the end zone. Spofford had a video on this on Packers.com

Young receivers and tight ends - It took some cohones to go into this season without a true veteran in the room. And then to stick with three rookie tight ends when Tyler Davis went down. Personally, I thought it was the right approach while having no good feel for how it would work out. So far, so good.

Rookie kickers - How about the decision to go with two rookie kickers? It was a good day with no misses for Carlson and if Whelan can continue with the kicks inside the 20, that's a huge help for the defense.

Tommy Cutlets - He actually did an appearance at a sub shop in my town this week promoting chicken cutlet sandwiches. No, I didn't go. However, as for his football ability...

 

 

__________________________

"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

20 points
 

Comments (153)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Cheezehead72's picture

December 06, 2023 at 06:17 am

Al once again another good article. The problem I have is I read this at the beginning of the work day and because it is the weekly brain drain it takes me awhile to get that power back to get work done. Yes that is my boss' problem.

I agree that I like how the offense is operating. This last game was a game that I actually showed emotion during the game. I believe that was because they were playing the Chiefs and that they have a chance for the playoffs. Love is developing and hopefully he keeps getting better. Yes the OL looks good. The problem is what happens if there is an injury. I have little faith in the backups.

My concern is when the defense takes the field. I do not trust Berry to have a good game plan every week. Yes they have been good and have allowed very few points but Berry has been inconsistent.

Just win baby!

7 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:10 am

Aren’t 75 and 73 backups? They are definitely getting rotational reps, and seem to be doing well!

10 points
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dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:17 am

It would be interesting to see how they adjust if 71 (presumably 50 moves to C and 73 enters) or 74 (can 75 play the left side or do they shuffle 76 and put 75 on the right?) missed time, but it seems that 70 has slipped a little further down the depth chart.

-1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:46 am

Who do they think they're punishing by not playing Nijman? *bangs head against wall*

2 points
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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 12:03 pm

Rasheed Walker flatly muffed up a play in the 4th, didn't slide right and gifted a KC Edge a free run on Love - when the expected play was a TE layup and walk in TD for Kraft (similar to what they cooked up for Sims earlier).

It was so egregious. This game should have been decided with 5 mins left on the clock.

THAT. is the difference between Walker and Nijman and Bakhtiari.

FWIW, Nijman can occasionally lose leverage too and get walked back into the QB.

They are getting a LOT better, but their ceiling likely won't match the expected level of play for a playoff caliber team.

3 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

December 06, 2023 at 05:53 pm

I think they’re punishing me, and me alone.
However, that could be the narcissism talking.
Or the vodka.

2 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:11 am

Most teams don't have the depth to lose multiple starters at the same position and not be affected. It's possibility one of the things that helped GB's offense against KC. They were on their 3rd string MLB and he clearly wasn't up to speed on using the headset and calling the plays. Every team struggles through injuries. GB beat the Lions without 8 preferred starters, so is hopeful right there.

Nobody knows how the defense (or offense) will play each week. That's why we watch. I can't be concerned about something I can't do anything about.

7 points
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GregC's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:03 am

I agree on all of your points except one: I'm still not very confident in the offensive line. LaFleur made great use of misdirection on the end-arounds to take pressure off the O-line, and I hope he keeps doing that--although possibly it loses its effectiveness if you do it too much. It seems to me that Jenkins and Tom are the only consistent players on the O-line, and with this group we are always going to be prone to breakdowns, where one or more of the others gets absolutely torched on any given play.

The Chiefs are a really good defense, so maybe it was a win for the O-line not to get dominated by them. But still, I thought the success on offense had much more to do with the QB, receivers, and A.J. Dillon.

9 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:09 am

"Corey Dillon" LOL

What position does he play?

0 points
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GregC's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:17 am

Fixed it, thanks! I still think of him as Corey sometimes, after the old Bengals running back.

3 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:32 am

That's what I thought you were doing.

I don't usually point that stuff out because I make all sorts of mistakes and typos that I don't see till after I push submit but, you made me think back to him too.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:03 am

Wouldn't mind Dillon Johnson being in the backfield next season. I like LT and RB as the first two picks.

1 points
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Houndog's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:21 am

If Corey was available, and can still make the moves he once had, he might not be the worst idea. LOL I doubt he's still got 'it'!

1 points
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dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:19 am

I still make that slip sometimes...enough so that I've taken to calling him AJ "don't call me Corey" Dillon.

1 points
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JerseyAl's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:39 am

I didn't say I was confident, I said I sense improvement. two different things.

8 points
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GregC's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:09 am

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that. I guess I would say that I don't really sense significant improvement. The O-line still makes me very nervous.

3 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:03 am

Al, I'm shamelessly plugging for somebody to do in-depth film analysis of our O line, comparing the KC win to an early loss. I'd like more than just a "sense;" I'd love something I can hang my hat on. Part of this, and maybe the bigger part, is how quickly JL10 gets the ball out now. On many of those plays I see the opposing defense there immediately after he gets rid of it. I can't call that improvement by the O line even though technically that does count as success. And while there are comparatively few plays where he's been given time for a coke and a smoke, that isn't a fair requirement for success either. Timing the clean pocket is objective, and so is timing sheer arm speed. Has JL's arm motion actually sped up? I'm hesitant to say yes, but even just his release seems faster in addition to his "processing speed."

Individually, are our O linemen playing with improved fundamentals? Are their feet in better position to win their 1 on 1 matchups? Is their bend to lower pad level improved? These things have to be right before hand position even matters, but is that improved too? ? All this had glaring problems earlier in the season. If Myers were the only one to take serious strides in all this stuff that would affect the whole line, but mid-season I'm thinking any change like this was probably worked on with EVERYBODY?

While Bakh is on the team there's the opportunity to have him put on a clinic, addressing all these skills. I can't even imagine anyone better for that role!

1 points
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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 12:14 pm

Good call re a breakdown of the O-line.

I posted a response to one of your above posts that it looks like both Walker and Nijman forget the play at times and miss their assignments.

When they get it right, they mostly acquit themselves well, but when LT, RG and C interchangeably muff a play up, it wrecks momentum and drives.

It is getting better though.

With a deep OL draft coming, they need to continue to show progress or I don't think that Gute and MLF will want to risk Love to low ceiling guys.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:18 am

There were two things that weren’t happening to the Chiefs prior to the game. Giving up sacks and significant yards in the air against them. They were the least sacked team and Love ended up with the highest QB rating against them. They remain the team with the 3rd least passing yards surrendered even after that game.

What the Chiefs had been poor at is run D and getting sacks. In fact we significantly underperformed recent opponents. Dillon got most of his yards without significant help. Credit to Dillon, little to the OL.

Most of the praise of the OL since seems to be for pass pro as a result. However, that has to be set against the fact that the Chiefs have the second least sacks this year of any team. They really only have Jones as a threat. The OL performance is, in my view, being over rated. It’s worth noting that the Giants have the most sacks in the league.

The D again leaked yards, but again key sacks saved us, but within that wad the fact that we expect Mahomes to get some. We probably expect him to get too many. This year the Chiefs came in averaging only a little more than us. What we did give up was a staggering 6.1 yards per carry. Thank goodness for the lead! As in Detroit, the run may have been under used.

The praise for the D is fair based on outcome. However, Kelce was wide open most of the day but mostly not thrown to. I still can’t fathom why, but a gift not earned I suspect. The run D was atrocious. Gary and Clark deserve praise for pressure, Enagbare played well, but outside of the rush the D was not particularly good.

So we won but without obvious improvement from in our weak areas. A lot of credit is being awarded because we win and because I think the Chiefs are being overrated for where they are at this time.

What I do see is a healthy Gary making a difference in the rush game and that’s helping others. I do see more use of Dillon from under center and s guy who is using his power and making yards moving piles his OL isn’t. Just enough to capitalize on Love forcing them to respect the pass and in turn to not let teams drop too many. That’s a virtuous circle LaFleurs game plans last year and in the first halves this year had completely ignored, adding pressure to a suspect OL in the process.

LaFleur has started to try things. Al noted that “He just decided to stop playing not to lose and just play to win instead. ” I’d couch that as finally learning the lessons of second halves where we took the brakes off out of desperation and consistently looked better.

Now we are finally playing like that from the start and, in doing so covering our defensive weaknesses and seeing that aggression before teams are well ahead actually helps our skill players (I mean catchers particularly Leotis) and Love gets in Rhythm.

So LaFleur finally caught up to the talent and started ( with encouragement from Love) to play to it. That’s great but it’s hardly the epitome of leadership or good coaching when the Head Coach has to be dragged to play to strengths. I’m doing so we have covered our worst defensive issues and started to force opponents into mistakes, tactically and in terms of turn overs.

I don’t know if Love can keep it up. I don’t know if a defense will find a way to knock him back out of rhythm, but it seems to me that he does have significant talent and it’s more than LaFleur wax willing to credit or plan for.

In essence, that LaFleur was holding the O back, making it and Love under perform. I’m glad he’s caught up, but that’s exactly why I don’t want him in charge of this roster of players. It’s why the Rodgers led teams prior to last year always failed to get over the hump against good teams when it mattered. We always found ways to make the task harder not easier.

6 points
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barutanseijin's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:50 pm

Oh No! The Packer victory over the defending champs doesn’t get the Mr Prolix seal of approval. Maybe next time they should move Tom to C and they’ll get that gold star.

-2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:01 am

The motion and dbl reverse action sets up the counter-plays if the opponent crashes the edges. Keep it rolling.

5 points
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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 12:22 pm

The effective TE engage and slide move also slows that one down too.

I don't think that enough is being made of the effective TE play this year.

Having been starved (and humbled) by good opposing TE play for so long (outside of red zone targets), it's actually refreshing to see the Packers use them to legitimately counter-attack the gaps that edge rushers leave.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:50 pm

The TE/FB interplay off play-action is Football 101. The 21 design on Ben Sims TD, showed T Kraft wide-open on the backside cross.

3 points
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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 06:02 pm

too true JB

Jermichael Finely was the last inspiring TE that the Pack had (and he had availability and consistency issues).

Having 2 is a dream come true.

If it's one thing that MLF has worked on its building redundancy into his system. There's now redundancy at TE and jet motion and I think that we are now starting to see the real MLF offense.

1 points
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Wildcomet's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:53 pm

I concur. If the jet or reverse actions are used somewhat regularly then team's have to respect them. They may not be the big gainers quite as often if used more, but the space it creates for other plays to go big can be worth it. At times in the past it seemed like teams paid the jet and reverse actions little mind because they knew the Packers wouldn't run it two weeks in a row or a second time in a game (or because we had someone like Lazard doing it). It's moving the concept from a "trick" to a true part of the offense. Besides, who is going to complain about Reed and/or Watson getting more chances to take the ball with a running start and make a play? Not me.

1 points
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PeteK's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:55 am

I noticed during the Chiefs game that Dillon was running a bit lower and using his powerful legs to bulldoze a few extra yds. I like 3rd and 2 much better than 3rd and 7.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:53 pm

McCarthy was right about Pad Level. The O-line was playing too tall during the first half of this season. Stenavich bitched about it. I liked the use of Newman as a T eligible guy. Bringing power sets will help the running game.

6 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:53 pm

You are not alone, amigo.

2 points
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Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 06:53 pm

Yes absolutely a win, but it will have to do until someone steps up in run blocking and Gute finds someone in the draft. I share your concerns about losing its effectiveness, if that too becomes predictable.

Sunday was so different that one point I thought we were even going to fake one of our punts. We have come a long way.

0 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:06 am

"Runyan is a crapshoot"

While Myers PFF scores have been going up, Jenkins and Runyans have been going down or been poor at least in the run game.

How can Myers' grades be up when the guards are doing poorly? I don't put much stock in PFF line blocking grades especially when I can watch the game. These guys need to work better together or (wink, wink) the run game will be the "crapshoot".

5 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:13 am

Hey Al, where're your 3 Plays that make you go Hmmm? That's usually out first.

Weren't there any? Even 1 or 2? HA!

-2 points
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GregC's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:19 am

That was posted later in the day yesterday. It's on here.

3 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:33 am

I looked in the news and couldn't find it. I'll look again.

Thanks!

0 points
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Rebecca's picture

December 06, 2023 at 02:16 pm

The CHTV format isn’t all that user friendly.

2 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 02:38 pm

Ha! That matches most of our comments too.

0 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:32 am

I found it Al. Thanks anyway!

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:04 am

For the last year or so I’ve found PFF seeming to favor centers when assigning fault, even in games where it’s really hard to see how that’s justified in rewatching. That’s not to say Runyon is great—I thought him out worst OL in the last game—but in part the biggest problem is more the gaps inside the guards. That’s seemingly typically seen as a guard issue by PFF. I’m not so sure that’s true consistently.

I do firmly believe that a better C would elevate Jenkins’ consistency. I do think Jenkins Is also, to a lesser extent, suffering from Walker’s tendency to make a mistake and their lack of chemistry. Jenkins seems more used to Nijman to me, unsurprisingly perhaps.

I think teams know that attacking Myers/Runyon is the optimal weak spot, something they had figured out initially in goal line defenses last year and then targeted generally. Jones was focused on that gap to collapse things, particularly in the second half.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:11 am

I would argue that Myers is doing his job, and that a recovering Jenkins and substandard right guard are the issues. Jenkins is not yet Jenkins. Runyon, well he appears to be what he is, a journeyman guard. That said, the protection has been great for the most part, and in this win streak the playcalling has been helping the line. I saw Myers making some great wall blocks on the second level and I'm still in the camp that he is not the weak link on that line.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:27 am

Myers did have some good run blocks in that game. However, the fact that stands out so much is revealing. As I said, I think Runyon is currently under performing to a greater extent, But I think a better C helps that. Two weak links magnify and that C/RG area being targeted is a now typical phenomenon.

Just because Runyon is worse doesn’t exculpate Myers. OK is not so good when that’s the best day one has had in a long time. As to Jenkins, I’m not sure I buy the injury explanation any more. At times he’s been clearly our best OL and more often he’s been the one closest to Tom. I think he’s dealing with unpredictable play on either side of him and, when that’s exploited effectively he had more adversity than rightly he should.

On recent weeks, I don’t disagree that Runyon is who I’d choose to upgrade first, but I believe both need it or to make s major step, and consistently. Whether Rhyan can improve on Runyon isn’t any clearer to me because the rotation has been nominal at best—to the point of why go through the motions at all if not serious about testing the answer? Why I have no idea, which is a common state of affairs with our OL coaching in recent seasons.

3 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:57 pm

👍 simply for the use of “exculpate” alone!

5 points
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Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 12:31 pm

When you watch the film breakdowns and Coaches film you see where Myers miss his assignments.

The Packers do a lot of slides and pulls and place a lot of expectations on the C.

The common theme is that he is getting better, it's just whether he can elevate his game to match the needs of the MLF system, especially as Love continues to take the training wheels off.

It's quite obvious to see the difference between how Myers plays and other top Centers

3 points
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Turophile's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:25 am

A few weeks back, I commented on how I thought the bulk of the Packers problems were down to the coaches and was pushing for LaFleur to churn the coaches at the end of the season.

Well, that proved wrong on the whole, because while a lot of the Packers problems were down to coaching, the change needed needed to come from the top, La Fleur himself.

This just shows how huge a difference a philosophy-change can make. Now, suddenly, receivers are catching tough balls, backs are running hard, passes are more accurate and the defense is applying enough pressure to help out the current crop of young DBs thrust into starter roles.

All in all, a very exciting time to be a Packer fan........

5 points
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dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:24 am

If they continue on this current trajectory and play well--even if they don't make the playoffs--it may be that they don't churn any of their staff.

It's amazing what committing more to AGNB will do. The question is: what finally got him to do it?

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:24 am

I'll never say that winning is in any way bad, but this is where the idea comes from: it can cover deep and systemic weaknesses that really need to be fixed before the team can ever find their ceiling. The quest for excellence never stops ...

Celebrate in the locker room after a W, maybe get a day off, but right back to it. A nice vacation after the season's over, but then comes the time for individual improvement. Stuff like LVN adding skills beyond just a bull rush. I have to think competent coaching would have accomplished something along those lines by now. Who's role is that? I don't believe LVN can't learn, or is unwilling to work hard enough. Obviously we can't know from here, but I think this is just one example showing that some changes are in order, no matter how far they go this season.

Whatever is being done differently now, this mid-season turnaround is amazing, and a LOT of fun to watch!

4 points
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GregC's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:50 pm

There is no way to know that Lukas Van Ness could be better by now with "competent" coaching. He's barely halfway through his rookie season and was considered to be a bit of a project due to his limited repertoire of pass rush moves in college.

3 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:16 am

I'm not sure this proves anything about anybody on the coaching staff. Just like last year when so many claimed to "know" AR12 was doing this or that; without actually being in the huddle, we do not. MLF said some things in a press briefing. That may or may not have ANY bearing on what he does with the team.

Whatever it is, something's better! A LOT of somethings are better. That can be very minor tweaks here and there that combine to allow the obvious things to take place.

I still think the same glaring weaknesses exist in more than a few coaching positions. Even if improved play by our O line is directly attributable to Butkus, isn't it poor performance for that to take so long? Wouldn't it still be a good idea to have a TE coach who's actually played TE, even though they've now all scored 1 TD? Has Vrable insisted the entire WR room work on CTFB at least 2 hours every day? Is that why drops have stopped? Even if that's the case, why didn't he do that from the very first OTA?

Doesn't JB still need something in his tool box other than an effective strategy for the end of a game when you're ahead?

3 points
4
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Guam's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:27 am

This offense looks so much different than last year's and more importantly is not nearly as predictable. Most defensive coordinators knew what Rodgers liked and planned for it. This offense is much more varied and we may finally be seeing a true Lafleur offense. Love the end arounds, the motion and passing to the center of the field.

8 points
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Razer's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:00 am

I think you are right on the mark and I think that Love is working the system well. I see where strong TE play is fundamental to much of the play design. Early season whiffing on blocks blew-up too many plays. The best part - we are only getting started.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:14 am

I'll take the three rookies over last year's crop, any day.

7 points
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dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:27 am

Love, for the most part, is getting the ball out quickly and--maybe not always really on target--giving his pass-catchers a chance to make a play.

There was a nice analysis the other day (I can't remember who put it out) showing how the sweep/jet action forces LB to commit early, manipulates the center of the D, and allows for Love to make quick and decisive reads.

2 points
2
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:34 am

Indeed! After KC, in the presser MLF was asked about taking the training wheels off the playbook. He said he doesn't even know what that means.

We've all seen a drastic increase in creative playcalling. It's impossible for me to diagnose if that's what enabled players to execute, or if players executing allows MLF to call more different plays. (I'm inclined to think the latter)

This is certainly at least part of the improvement, and MLF really put together an effective scheme to beat KC. I hope he puts in just as much effort for the Giants, and every remaining game. I also have to think that screen passes were avoided because they hadn't been able to execute them. As much as I hate to see a completion result in a tackle for loss and that did happen against KC, every possible tool needs to be in the toolbox. Speaking of which, it'd sure be nice to get #33 and 9 back 100% this season ... 31, too. Could also have breathing room to test depth in some of these games? Important info to be learned to be able to draft well.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:08 am

Part of that is speed, and particularly in the slot. Reed is elusive and fast and can take in option routes, especially if Watson is also out there (and the reverse to some extent). The raw tools are there as long as we use them. Now we are.

If Watson is out, that’s why I’d like to see Melton active and used in tandem with Reed on a few plays. Not because he’s the next best receiver, but because of what 2 speedy players pose to defenses.

2 points
3
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PeteK's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:50 am

Yes, with time and effort these rookies are finally playing to their strengths. We now have some momentum and the energy of a group of hungry young players, which could be hard to defeat. However, the poor play in early games should keep the lid on overconfidence.

2 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:29 am

It seems that Tom has cemented his claim at RT, but I’d like to see an interior of Jenkins-Tom-Rhyan, with a high draft pick at one tackle and the winner of Nijman/Walker at the other.

6 points
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Razer's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:54 am

Oh to have a solid interior O-line. I am not sure of the mix but watching KC plow open paths for Pacheco was impressive. I would be reluctant to interrupt Tom's development with a position change. Lets draft a bloody GUARD and plug him into a position that he knows how to play.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:18 am

Creed Humphrey and a guy Belichick let get away in Joe Thuney at LG. Veach bagged Trey Smith in the Sixth round; a guy with a first round, OT grade until his injury/heart condition dropped his status. He seems to pick up a veteran to replace a veteran at OT. When Orlando Brown,Jr. went for the money he brought in another former one pick Juwaan Taylor, not projects or UDFA.

3 points
3
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:48 am

Top FAs need to wait until 2025.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:10 am

He gave Nijman 4.2 M to be a part-time player?

2 points
2
0
PeteK's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:11 am

Not really there will be cap space in 24 with Rogers dead money gone. There are a few aging free agent LTs available, but I would drat one unless Nijman/Walker pan out. Baker 28 and Winfield 25 are two free agent safeties available. A very good safety could really improve our D.

2 points
2
0
Bitternotsour's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:34 pm

I watched Kenny Clark put Creed Humphrey on skates on more than one occasion. He also got mauled by Slayton. What is this fantasy world that people live in, is the air a different color there? The Packers, with Myers at center are one of the best pass protecting teams in football. Give a little credit.

I assure you that Creed Humphrey was not the reason GB couldn't tackle worth a shit on Sunday night.

4 points
4
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:52 pm

Pacheco carried for 110 yards. Somebody blocked for him...

0 points
0
0
Bitternotsour's picture

December 07, 2023 at 12:03 pm

take a look at those yards after contact numbers and you might re-evaluate. tackling was horrid.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:13 pm

I agree. I don't think I ever saw so many defensive players standing up trying to tackle someone.Trying to just jump on a player to bring him down and proceeded to escort him up field. I was at least hoping that someone would try to trip him up somehow.

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:29 am

I'm going to channel my inner LH here and say that Jenkins' future might be at C with Tom playing one of the T positions and (as Razer says) the Packers finding a G in the draft.

3 points
3
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:51 am

Why move Jenkins and keep Tom in his current role? The likely answer is a 3-way contest to see who's the best center. I'm still disappointed they didn't do that in TC, but Myers can probably handle the rest of the schedule ok. Albeit without the dominant running game we wanted to help JL's development; this makes his accomplishments MUCH more impressive!

3 points
3
0
T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:19 am

Remember us all talking about Myers continually getting blown up during one on ones in training camp? That's why we couldn't believe that Tom only saw a few reps at center in the preseason. While that was happening, Nijman was taking all of DBs live reps.

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 06, 2023 at 02:04 pm

dobber, I'm from the "if it aint broke, don't fix it" school. Jenkins is a top LG. Tom is a top RT. That's a real good start, and I'd leave it like that. Myers is going to be our Center next year. We could use some real help on the line this year, but I guarantee you in the mock drafts you'll see people wanting some Day 3 bargain. Me? I'd use two of the four picks we have on Day Two and get some beef on the line. Not only do we not have enough projected starters with talent next year, our backups also need to be upgraded.

3 points
3
0
LambeauPlain's picture

December 06, 2023 at 02:59 pm

I agree. I only wish the coaches would decide on the best 5 on the OL and go. Generating chemistry, communication and cohesiveness on OL is so important...the most important for all position groups.

Substituting OL with healthy players is is very unusual. I don't recall the Packers ever doing this so late in the season.

I am of the opinion to draft an OL or two during every draft on days one or two.

3 points
3
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:57 pm

Well, the coaches did decide, but then we lost Bakhtiari. They decided at that point the best bet was to let Walker-Jenkins-Myers-Runyan-Tom practice and play together. When Walker was clearly struggling, the coaches started platooning him with Nijman and the overall play at LT has improved, just as the overall line has improved.

I totally understand why the coaches want Walker to succeed, and why he's being giving these chances. It's unlikely Nijman will return next year, IMO, along with Runyan. That's two of our Top 6 right there. Add in guys that aren't producing after two years (Rhyan and Jones) and guys that just need to be replaced (Newman), we are well short of dressing out 9 healthy, starting caliber Olinemen.

Jenkins and Tom are studs at their current positions. Let's add some studs instead of moving them around.

1 points
3
2
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:25 pm

Agree. Too important to the teams future success not to substantially bolster and improve the line talent, and save any shuffling until we have all the pieces in place. Patching the dike throughout the year is just patching, and praying for no leaks.

1 points
1
0
Bitternotsour's picture

December 07, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Bakhtiari lost, Jenkins still recovering. Next year will certainly be different. Bakh may be able to play again, but it seems unlikely. You all may remember how effective Jenkins was at left tackle when Bakh went down in the past - who is to say that isn't the solution?

As for moving Tom, I have no opinion. He seems pretty important exactly where he is, but who knows. Finally, I'm with Leatherhead on this one, Myers is the center. He needs better guards beside him. Whether that's a healthy Jenkins is up for debate, but the right guard has to be better.

0 points
0
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:46 am

TK, agreed! No doubt Zach Tom has been playing well, but he's clearly out of position. We have guys with the size to dominate at T, and need people on the interior.

3 points
4
1
TKWorldWide's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:11 am

I’m open to all possibilities! I can’t forget when Tom was drafted, somebody (maybe Gute) said his best position might be center. IF he is GB’s best tackle, shouldn’t he be looked at on the left side? I get that right now, this season, they may be reluctant to move the pieces all around. I’m thinking more about in the off-season, and after the draft. If Myers has improved so much, great! Leave him at center. Regardless, I think they need to add a highly regarded lineman in the draft, then work it all out.
At least it appears that they should have some good players to shuffle around!

4 points
4
0
stockholder's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:33 am

PFF said it.
And Tom is their best OT.
They could move him. He will get paid!

Myers will be left at center.
(Especially After taking on McNeil and Jones.)

3 points
4
1
JerseyAl's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:04 am

Gute said it in his press conference.

5 points
5
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:45 pm

If Tom is the best LT we have, and you may well be right about that, he should be on the blind side without reservation.

Alternatively. If Walker is as good as they seem to think, he can play at right T and allow Tom to upgrade C. I wouldn’t put Tom at G, both because I think it wastes his talents and plays away from his agility. So the best way to upgrade the OL with Tom is to upgrade C. That’s also a premium position in this O.

As to Runyon, it seems like Rhyan or nothing. We need to let Rhyan settle and play himself in or out of that argument. A handful of snaps is pointless to the level of being daft. We no what Runyon is at the moment. It’s been fairly consistent. We still do not know much at all after weeks of brief cameos from Rhyan.

2 points
2
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:47 pm

A big run blocking nasty guard is a must to me in any scenario. 1st pick LT and 1 or 2 G/C's later.

1 points
1
0
TKWorldWide's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:50 am

Could Sean Rhyan be that guy?

1 points
1
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 07, 2023 at 02:06 pm

I include him in the step up group if we give him a couple of full game snaps to jump start him.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:14 am

Tom has cemented his position as a starter. Whether his talent is best suited to RT or that is in fact his optimal position is I think highly debatable, but he’s going to be somewhere on the OL for a long time I hope.

5 points
5
0
CoachJV's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:35 am

The change in LaF came after the Denver game. He was flat out embarrassed 2 weeks in a row with the losses to Raiders and Broncos... the entire team was.
I think they, collectively, and LaF especially, decided that enough was enough. I think they have reacted like a wild animal backed into a corner, and it's about time. Winning breeds confidence and now the sky is the limit.

7 points
7
0
dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:40 am

"The change in LaF came after the Denver game."

I would've said it was that awful offensive performance against the Vikings--they had most of their guys back, and the Vikings squeezed the life out of them slowly--the offense was pathetic and surrendered the ball on downs time after time in the 4th quarter. That was the most painful loss, in my opinion, of the season--even worse than losing the lead v. the Falcons. The next week they finally let Love sling it more against the Chargers, and it's picked up from there.

3 points
3
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:37 am

Both Gute and Murphy made comments in early November saying that it was difficult to evaluate Love in the context of the offense as a whole not being functioning well. They suggested that had to be improved over the remainder of the season.

At the time, virtually everyone focused on the Love aspect, but both could be read as going beyond that and making it clear the approach to offense as a whole was on notice:

“I have confidence in Matt LaFleur, though, and believe that he will make the necessary adjustments to allow us to improve as we go forward.” Mark Murphy, packers.com.

“[O]ur entire offense, right? I think it's been a work in progress for the entire offense. There's been glimpses, particularly in the second halves, of really good football. But we have not started very well. So, I think that group, that unit as a whole has a lot of work to do

"When the group as a whole is not functioning the way it should function, then it's hard to evaluate anybody. … At the same time, it's on us to get that right so we can move forward and evaluate the guys we have in that room. But yeah, when we're not clicking, it's tough to evaluate anything." Brian Gutekunst press conference.

Teams don’t give much away on such things so one has to look for hints in what is said over the basic statement that more time is needed. Both comments seem to suggest that the handling of the offense has to improve significantly from that point on and that it had been below expectations even allowing for the known issues with youth being a factor.

3 points
4
1
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:17 am

We all screamed to let Love do his thing and Open the Playbook. He works best getting the ball out faster, coming from an Air Raid offense. Wicks has to see more reps. Watson will sit this week, so the 21 sets should work with Kraft and Ben Sims. I really liked the acquisition of Sims from the Shipwrecked sailors. He stood out at Baylor.

4 points
4
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:54 am

CoachJV, if you're right, why not come out like that in week 1? That's my biggest fear with this coaching staff. If you want to win, you gotta START. Letting 6-8 weeks go by before you make an adjustment isn't ever going to cut it.

At least the O has been starting on their first possession, that's important too.

3 points
3
0
HawkPacker's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:41 am

"Jordan Love - Wise words from our former QB:"

It was nice to see Aaron Rodgers make the comments he did in this short video. It seems that he has a lot of love for Love as well as the Packers.

There are a lot of posters/GB fans that are really against Rodgers and if there is anything positive said about him, many posters let them have it. I think back to many of the games that Rodgers played for us and remember shaking my head at some of the passes he completed.

My biggest regret is that we only won one SB with him as our QB. He was/is one of the best QB's ever and thankful we got to enjoy him for as long as we did.

14 points
14
0
CoachJV's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:50 am

I'm not against Rodgers... I love Rodgers. He was one of our greatest to ever don green and gold. But until the day he signs that 1-day contract to retire as a Packer, he is our adversary. So I can find it easy to root against him based on that single regard. Just as it was with my all time favorite Packer... the Gunslinger.

Only one SB with him stings as much as it did with Brett only winning one. But I think of all the teams that never even get to go, and I am proud.

5 points
5
0
Houndog's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:30 am

I'm with you, Coach.
Unfortunately for both guys towards the end of their GB careers, the GM's at the time didn't seem to want to win it all, or it may appear that way.
Ron Wolf has stated that his biggest regret was NOT putting the right guys around Favre to win it multiple times. Nuff' said!

7 points
8
1
LambeauPlain's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:05 am

McCarthy"s decade long love affair with Dom Capers prevented more SB appearances, IMO.

MLF has had a similar mini affair with Joe Barry's D for some reason.

Rodgers and other complains he didn't get enough weapons to win SBs. I disagree. He didn't play much with complimentary Defense (or STs!).

4 points
6
2
Untylu1968's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:42 am

The whole weapons argument is bullshit, along with claiming we need some "veterans" at WR and TE.
Back in the day, how many guys were a lock to make the team because of the buddy system? Which I believe change your draft board to some extent. And the whole needing the vets at certain positions only makes us have to get rid of young guys with an upside.
This year draft will be very interesting!

0 points
3
3
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:48 pm

Posted in error

0 points
0
0
Bitternotsour's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:56 am

That's an objectively ridiculous view. Dom won a super bowl. He was one of the most innovative D-Coordinators in football. The team was ALWAYS right there. Winning super bowls isn't like shooting fish in a barrel.

I guess it's comforting to have revisionist views, but Dom Capers was a great D-Coordinator. You try losing Nick Collins and not losing a beat. The one thing you could possibly criticize Dom for was not playing Desmond Bishop earlier. His defensive concepts though, they were sound.

1 points
3
2
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:51 pm

I think that was true for the first half of his tenure. His problem was the league adapted while he did not.

2 points
2
0
LambeauPlain's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:55 pm

Objectively ridiculous, eh? Here are the reasons for my "non-revisionist" views.

Capers was a vast improvement over Bob Sanders 2008 D. Packers made the play offs in 2009 but lost to the cards 51-45.

2010 was his best in GB...the SB year.

2011 after going 15-1 in 9 track meet games they lost 37-20 to the Giants in the Wild card.

2012 lost 45-31 to the 49ers.

2013 lost to 49ers again 23-20

2014 lost NFCCG to the Seahawks in OT 28-22 during the 4th quarter collapse. It was a team wide collapse, but the D gave up the lead.

2015 lost to Cards 26-20 in OT.

2016 lost to the Falcons in NFCCG 44-21.

And then out of the playoffs and fired after 2017 season.

Dom had exotic Defenses but everyone had his playbook and knew his tendencies. His constant substitutions and constant personnel groups to confuse the opponent, mostly confused his own guys.

I don't take comfort only getting to one SB with a future HOF QB. But Capers defenses played a big role in going 1-2 in NFCCG's and getting blown out in 4 playoff loses while losing two more in OTs. That is objectively not being "right there."

2 points
2
0
croatpackfan's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:42 am

Nice as always, Al. And nothing much to add.

Just one thought - I believe the change in MLF attitude came with the first play in Lions game. MLF said by himself that he almost cancel that play, but Jordan insisted to execute it. And he accepted that with doubts. That is why Packers played not to lose and not to win in previous games (even vs Chargers!).

I believe that one play hyped MLF and push in the back of his mind the fear of failure if he will call more agressive plays. So far so good. I just do not believe that he will keep going after next first loss. His fears will rise up and we will see again play calls for dummies.

I just do not trust MLF courage.

3 points
5
2
Since'61's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:44 am

Al great spot on comments as usual. The clip with Rodgers says it all about Love. "Just let him play. Don't crown him or cancel him." Many of us here at CHTV have said basically the same with different words. Have patience and give him time.

Love has come a long way so far. He needs time and so does the rest of this team. As well as they have played the last few weeks they still have work to do and they need to keep stacking success. The coaches need to lead the way and keep them from slipping or tripping over themselves over the next 5 games. The win against the Chiefs is huge because it gives the Packers a margin for error but reaching the playoffs and 10 wins should be achievable goals for this team.

As Al correctly points out, how well the Packers handle success will tell us how far they have come this season. Enjoy the journey and Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

9 points
9
0
Spock's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:58 am

In one of Mike McCarthy's first podium interviews he proclaimed that one of the team's biggest problems would be the ability to handle success. That's still as true today as it was then.

4 points
4
0
Razer's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:45 am

Not sure how we are getting here but I am enjoying the ride. Trying to keep the expectation down because I recognize that there is a bit of luck in this winning formula.

Still can't get over how Jordan Love is performing. Not much of a run game and iffy O-line play but he stands in there, eyes downfield and finds someone to throw at. His receivers are starting to come up to speed and are helping with their timing. Sounds like the guys are getting together with their QB for some extra tape and talk. Good on them.

I don't know how our defense is getting it done either. A decent running attack has and is working well against our D but teams are not sticking with the run. And, our secondary is patched together with other teams draft picks. Yet, they seem to get it done against serious offenses. Maybe we found some football players instead of track athletes. I would like to see more McDuffie at linebacker. He seems to have a nose for the run.

Can't believe we are now talking playoffs (using my Jim Mora voice) instead of high draft pick scenarios. Good to be relevant again.

8 points
8
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:38 am

Mc Duffie plays downhill. He has instincts and guts. The other two shy away from engagement.

4 points
4
0
dobber's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:42 am

I think Walker and Campbell are best suited for the weak side in an even front. I think they're mostly chasers. McDuffie has more of a take-on mentality, yes.

8 points
8
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:29 am

Yes, cover LBs for a 4-3/4-2 set up. Walker not the brightest bulb and his instincts for the play suffer. His sets are too deep on passing downs. He can cover the RBs. I would see how he works off a more aggressive blitz package.
Maybe Barry believes he will open his can of worms as the games become significant? Wyatt needs to play freely. He is a three -five tech with fast feet. Campbell is still tentative, playing out his Contract.

1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:37 pm

Our Georgia threesome are not as good as their draft position so far, solid but nothing special.

1 points
1
0
LambeauPlain's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:50 am

Teams are sticking with the run vs the Packers. They have the 3rd most rushing attempts against them in the NFL. And why not...teams get a first down on 25% of every attempt.

4 points
4
0
calabasa's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:34 am

I guess the upside there is we’d rather they run slowly downfield than move quickly through the air, and score less points.

Isn’t it amazing the pass D is holding up without Jaire, Stokes, et al?

3 points
3
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:41 am

It’s holding up because we are getting turnovers or forcing field goals. The yardage is still significant. That’s not to denigrate the efforts of Valentine or even Ballantine or Owens against the run, but it is context.

4 points
4
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:02 am

Razer,

from the good luck department, either of those last two wins could have been losses had opponents simply stuck with the run. We weren't stopping it. JB doesn't even consider it important. Giants can beat us like that too if nothing changes.

It might be a good time to call up #99 J Ford?

3 points
4
1
Spock's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:48 am

How nice to have a "Confessions" that is more positive as the last few weeks haven't made it 'necessary' to point out problems. Al, this is always my favorite column here (with the 3 plays that make you go, hmmm a close 2nd).

7 points
7
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:01 pm

Therapy can be beneficial. lol

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:54 am

Finally some credit for MLF. ++++
This whole season was about patience.
From Loves growth -
to your best comment about progress.
The OL is doing much better.
There is still a lot of nice things to write
about other players.
And this defensive unit.

5 points
10
5
HawkPacker's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:15 am

Stock, I like your positive comments.

I do, however, have a question for you about how it is written. You state 'There is still a lot of nice things to write about other players.' You end this with a period and your next line is:
'And this defensive unit.' Are saying that there are nice things to say about the defensive unit or is the 'And this defensive unit.' a separate comment or point?

Stock, I have noticed in some of your other comments as well where it is hard to follow how your comments tie together or if they are separate.

Not picking on you here but just trying to understand better. Thanks.

4 points
4
0
stockholder's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:12 am

Yes- I am saying there are some nice
things about the Defensive unit. -

Depth, starters, Barry.

Most won't agree with that.
But these guys are giving it there all.

Regardless- they're fun to watch.

4 points
5
1
PeteK's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:43 pm

True, I saw Ballentine light up Pacheco by aiming at the hips and wrapping him up. These young men came to play.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 04:29 pm

Ballentine is a plus tackler for a CB and a willing one too. He is not good in coverage. He’s about the same size as Savage. Perhaps his future lies as safety.

0 points
0
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:37 am

Yes, indeed, but remember you were calling for Clifford to see the field during the coaching/player malaise. Love
has not changed. The play calling and WRs are better. When a defense consistently gets the shit knocked out of it in the running game and the D-line gets worn down, the pass rush suffers in QTR Four. We saw it against Mahomes down the stretch. Fix the Gap fits. The ILBs have to show up.

3 points
4
1
stockholder's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:06 am

Yes - jb.
I called for Clifford because of the scoreless
first 1/2s. The Wrs are better. So is LOVE.
It shows when they practice!

The Defense needs Walker and better Depth. @Ilb
Again Campbell is not a 100%. In and out!

This DL has Rookies. It takes 2-3yrs to peak.
And Barry just won't stay with that 5 front.
So he must want faster LBs and better safety play.
Walker had 9 Assists, against KC.

2 points
3
1
jannes bjornson's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:48 pm

Karl Brooks is already better than Slaton will ever be, an under-drafted guy. Wyatt is a # One pick and should have been on the field more often last season. He is starting to create some havoc. I have to scrutinize Montgomery's body of work with this D-line. Not good enough. The ILBs are soft. McDuffie can fill Campbell's spot. Wooten is a true DE. I would have bagged a RB with the four pick. If LaFleur can keep the Energy flowing, these Greenhorns will depose the under-achievers. Play to Win.

3 points
3
0
LambeauPlain's picture

December 06, 2023 at 07:55 am

12 games in and the O is a middle of the road performer but they are climbing up the NFL performance stats. Passing is better than rushing but both have been improving. Especially in passing efficiency: The Pack is now #7 in 1st down % and #6 in fewest sacks given up.

Defense is again as it was in 2021 & 2022. The pass defense is mostly in the top 10-15 in most stats. Run defense is a bottom feeder in most stats...especially in number of rushing attempts against them...3rd most. Teams know they can move the ball on the ground. Why pass when you get first downs and into the red zone on the ground? Packers give up a first down on 26% of runs defended.

STs are not standing out but they are gaining acceptance. They aren't great. At least they are not terrible.

The final five game push will need to be led by the Offense. Hope the defense does not break late because they will always keep the opponent in the game. And expect the STs not to lose games as in 2021. That has been fixed.

All You Need is Love....

6 points
7
1
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:07 pm

I was thinking the defense needs to make a push with some picks, forced fumbles to generate defensive scores. If the offense stays on track, that would be an enormous shot in the arm.

1 points
1
0
PackfanNY's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:25 am

Thanks Al. The thing about the Packers to me is they are a young, exciting team to watch. You can see the development. Here’s the thing. This team is not yet good enough to assume anything. Every week is a new challenge. They can’t let down or they will get beat. The Giants stink but a young Packers team needs to continue to execute. In the past, a singular super star could pull us through. Fun to watch but it will still be a high wire act even if the remaining games are “should” win games.

6 points
6
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:05 am

Another fun thing: this is a TEAM! Not just a lone superstar.

7 points
7
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:27 pm

So true and probably the one thing that I looked forward to last winter the most and am basking in now. Just can't help smiling every day when sports comes up at work or wherever. Like everyone here I had no idea how and when but I was certain that were headed in the right direction. You have to be a team to become a TEAM.

Never thought for a moment it wasn't going to be bumpy and it still will be I'm sure, A lot of changes are still needed to give me confidence that we have the right group to further develop and lead the talent we are gathering, but we are on our way!

1 points
1
0
Swisch's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:23 am

Well put, PfNY.
It's an incredible opportunity to have a special season for these young Packers, and it would be a shame to waste it rather than getting the most out of it.
We hope we're looking at a great story to tell about the improbable beginning of a Super Bowl championship team, if not a dynasty.
It's up to the players and coaches to decide whether they are going to slack off or go for the glory.

3 points
3
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:28 pm

AGNB

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:31 am

Jordan Love - Wise words from our former QB:
Rodgers is right. But he has been right pretty much all along. People just don't want to listen to him.

Offensive line -
Jenkins and Tom are the studs of the OL. Myers just had probably his best game as a pro. He was one of the Packers top 5 highest graded offensive players per PFF. Runyan is still an average player at best. And Walker has been ok. But when Love got sacked for the first time I saw it was the first time he had been sacked in the last 7 quarters. That is a hell of a credit to the OL.

Timely defense -
Its not about the quantity of the sacks its about the quality of them. Timing is everything. Getting a sack in the redzone killed 2 of the drives early on

Young receivers and tight ends -
This was probably the most criticized decision of the offseason. All we heard about was how Gutey was an idiot for doing it. Right now its working out. But what all of us should have been is more patient.

Rookie kickers -
Carlson has been very good his rookie year. A few misses but he came in clutch for the last kick. Going up by 8 was huge. Whelan has been very good as a rookie punter.

8 points
10
2
13TimeChamps's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:16 am

"But when Love got sacked for the first time I saw it was the first time he had been sacked in the last 7 quarters. That is a hell of a credit to the OL."

I agree with that assessment, but I think Love deserves part of the credit for getting the ball out as quickly as he does. That was probably the first difference I saw between him and Rodgers, who held onto the ball for eternity at times it seemed.

5 points
6
1
RCPackerFan's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:22 am

no doubt. He has been great at escaping, maneuvering within the pocket, and getting the ball out. His pocket awareness has been very good.

6 points
6
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:46 am

We’ve gone away from long developing pass calls, used more motion and Dillon has been getting enough yards to at least keep defenders in the box and also to facilitate play action.

7 points
7
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:51 pm

Isn't it refreshing.

2 points
2
0
Swisch's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:18 am

If Josh Myers had his best game as a pro, it seems interesting that it was in a game that had Creed Humphrey as the center for the Chiefs -- the two being inextricably linked as both available to the Packers in the 2021 draft.
Would the Packers draft Humphrey out of Oklahoma "Sooner" than Myers, or would Myers of Ohio State dot the "i" for the Packers?

2 points
2
0
LeotisHarris's picture

December 06, 2023 at 08:39 am

Enjoyable read, Al, thanks.

I know Rodgers hasn't waivered in his support for Love; nice to hear a recent take from him. Did you catch the comment from McAfee at the end? The man couldn't be a bigger choad.

8 points
8
0
Houndog's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:33 am

Good morning,
Thanks again for another good article, Al!
Can someone PLEASE give me an update on Watson and his hamstring. I've been sitting here in Santa Cruz for two days beating the shit out of my computer keys, and finding nothing!
What's the scoop?

***EDIT*** Anybody? Please!!!!!

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:48 am

Maybe they will give us some insight when the first injury report has to be filed this afternoon. I doubt they will tell us much more than they have to though, so the Giants can’t plan with certainty.

PS: It is Thursday that the first report comes out this week due to it being a Monday game.

1 points
1
0
PackfanNY's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:11 am

The only thing I saw was NOT definitive but I think it was Ian Rapoport who said that Watson dodged a “major” bullet BUT that was pending further testing. I have heard nothing since. He did say given his history he will miss time but that was not confirmed. Personally given the poor reputation of MetLife turf in New Jersey my guess is not playing 100% on Monday minimum. Best I got.

3 points
3
0
EskyBrian's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:13 am

I remember the article on wilting LaFleur….because coffee shot out my nose when you wrote “it looks like he’s calling plays randomly out of a hat.”. Which was hard to deny! It was so shocking to me how Matt seemed so damn lost! You could see it on the sideline. I’m with you. I was questioning everything! Is this the guy that’s going to lead this young team moving forward? I actually couldn’t imagine him being labeled a guy in the Hot Seat. But nothing was computing.
Suffering here they are. I can’t remember seeing anything like this since I’ve been a fan. Year to year? Sure. But I’ve never seen a turn around like this, within in 2 months. But here they are. Credit to him and all you listed Al. Great article. Great work. Always. GPG.

3 points
4
1
Swisch's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:16 am

The turnaround of the Packers has been so stunning that it almost doesn't seem like the same team of only a month ago.

2 points
4
2
T7Steve's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:35 am

After 12 weeks it's like a new season for all these new kids. LOL

1 points
1
0
MainePackFan's picture

December 06, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Swisch. I think the number one reason for the turnaround is that Love is getting the ball out on time and staying ahead of the chains.

If you go back and watch the first half of the season, you see Jordan time after time not taking what the defense gave him, instead he would look for the deep ball. By that time he was ready to throw, the pass rush was on him, resulting in a sack or an inaccurately thrown ball.

Now the ball is coming out, they're moving the chains, his deep balls and accuracy have improved dramatically, and Lafleur has opened up the playbook. Jordan's confidence is through the roof and he's letting it rip.

3 points
5
2
Via.Lombardi's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:07 am

Uh-oh, CTE Creep seems to be starting in that AR12 video.

2 points
5
3
canadapacker's picture

December 06, 2023 at 11:51 am

If there is one consistent flaw in Lafleur is that he doesnt react and trust - both his in game adjustments and playing of rookies. The Pack started the season with Jones health which limited some of the flaws on the Oline. However the plays that mostly were called were with Love standing in the pocket. When teams saw this they put their ears back - some tight coverage cause Love to go through his progression and by then the OLine didnt and couldnt hold up. So my point and I have been posting this for awhile - with our speed receivers get the motion going - and that is what has happened. Dillon ran into walls at the start of the season - reason being - out of shape - Oline not block well - Linebackers filling the holes because of no motion. Bunch of reason. Last game - confidence better blocking and getting to the second level as the linebackers were not just standing in the hole? Most receivers are not rookies - maybe not seasoned enough but they all play fast and Lafleur finally smartened up with a lot of motion. I dont know why it took so long - young QB - fast receivers - motion.'

I am not giving our Defense big hearts yet - KC has had red zone issues and we added - but the bend and bend and bend - and the fortunate Non calls - we need more 3 and outs.

4 points
4
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:04 pm

Add some defensive scores to loosen things up even more, and force other teams to play catch up, minimizing the run gouging. No cushions, etc

0 points
0
0
Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:58 pm

Well, I've been all through the comments section and it overwhelmingly seems that thanksgiving crow is still on the menu!

Right now, this season is already a success - everything from here is like a "12 players on the field bonus shot".

I posted way back in May (in the wake of the Rodgers trade), the only metric that will matter this year is if Jordan Love pans out. At this point, he's tracking along a Dak Prescott level trajectory...... with a high chance of exceeding this (to who knows where).

The progress of the WR's and TE's - now THAT is the real pièce de résistance. Those Jackpots have put the Packers in realm of "a few pieces away" rather than "wholesale rebuild" status.

Closing comment: It was interesting to hear David Bakhtiari's enthusiasm for 2024. He's reportedly previously been a hard negotiator on contracts. It will be interesting to see how his situation is handled now that the Packers are competitive (if not reloaded). No slight on Walker or Nijman, but they aren't in his (previous) league. I personally want to see him play again this season, for no other reason than to evaluate him for next year - with a view to extending or trading him (if he remains inflexible on contract terms). I don't want to see him cut and not return anything of value to the Packers (other than $20M in cap space). The ball's in your court David, are you up for another run at a title in GB?

3 points
3
0
PeteK's picture

December 06, 2023 at 03:58 pm

Unfortunately, I believe Bak is done. Not being able to play this season after a whole off season to get the knee ready spells retirement.

3 points
3
0
Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 06:09 pm

Regrettably I fear that you're right Pete - at >300lb he's not going to be the same player with a (now) chronic injury like that. Reportedly it is his cartilage though, and you can function quite fine without cartilage (at least for a short time). Long term he'll be a total knee replacement as the bone-on-bone wear to the joint will cause chronic inflammation and arthritis.

2 points
2
0
Tundraboy's picture

December 06, 2023 at 09:10 pm

"The progress of the WR's and TE's - now THAT is the real pièce de résistance. Those Jackpots have put the Packers in realm of "a few pieces away" rather than "wholesale rebuild" status.

That's exactly how I feel. Been a long time where I felt this good about the team before the next year's draft.

0 points
1
1
Fubared's picture

December 06, 2023 at 01:59 pm

One thing I dont get. The Vikes lost two running backs, one traded away pre season and one to injury. They went out and got two replacements, one went down and yet their last game they played four different running backs in that game. Where the hell are they getting these guys from and why cant the pack find them too?
We keep hoping for Jones to be the guy and he keeps telling us, he cant handle NFl beatdowns but we do nothing to prepare for it. Basically Dillon is it. Dam good thing he has held up or Love and gang would be in deep do do all because we need extra tight ends and a raft of back up O linemen we cant suit up three backs.
Lefluer is missing a lot of elements on offense to make it interesting.

1 points
2
1
Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 02:08 pm

Well, they do have $9M in cap space (vs Packers $4M), so they have a bit more leverage than the Packers to chase starters.

Maybe that's why Gute picked up Drake - the most serviceable player that he could afford.

Remember, Jones has a $17M cap hit next year ($12M dead) - that's going to need to be addressed before next year starts.

Love's contract will need addressing soon too now.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

December 06, 2023 at 04:03 pm

No contract can be extended/restructured twice in a league year and I believe that means 12 months in this context. So in Love’s case it would be not before early May, a year after his last extension.

1 points
1
0
Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 06:15 pm

Yes, I just saw something about that in a social media post..... at least they can start having conversations now.

The Packers have never been cheapskates though with Favre and Rodgers, and with the 12th ranked QB in league (NYG Daniel Jones) making $40M a year, there's no way that his next extension is anywhere near cheap (for reference Joe Burrow is on $55M\yr).

So, if they're shelling out north of $40M, then they may as well make sure he's the guy.

0 points
0
0
Fubared's picture

December 06, 2023 at 02:08 pm

Lets hope at the end of the season Gutt and Lefluer sit down and say we got some high priced dead wood on this team dragging us down year after year and we waste a ton of time trying to make up for them: get rid of Alexander, Stokes and Jones and replace them with top draft picks and you've done wonders for this team.
These guys are not worth it. Stokes isnt any good to begin with, Alexander wont tackle anyone and Jones plays one game misses three.

1 points
3
2
NFLfan's picture

December 06, 2023 at 10:41 pm

I haven't felt good about Alexander, Stokes & Bakhtiari for a year-Adios.

1 points
1
0
Minniman's picture

December 06, 2023 at 05:53 pm

Hey Al, just re-reading the headline:

So you're saying there's a chance for MLF to become an evergreen rather than a seasonal!

0 points
0
0
cheesycowboy's picture

December 07, 2023 at 12:15 am

This group of kids have played football continuously since bowl games for two years with veteran leadership looking like a MASH unit the entire season and here we are in the playoff hunt once again. With all of the sleepless nights and migraines my team can provide, the fact they still exist at all is a Blessing and Inspiration for the last five games of the regular season.
I Love This Team and every team since 1919. Bang The Drum and GPG. Sincerely,

0 points
0
0