Bringing Rashan Gary Along Slowly is a Luxury that is Paying Off

The Green Bay Packers have been bringing along Rashan Gary slowly this season which is a luxury that most teams don't have and it is paying off. 

If we rewind back to draft night in April, the Green Bay Packers were on the clock with the 12th overall pick. And while we never want to see the Packers drafting that high, there was still plenty of excitement given the caliber of player that would be coming to Green Bay for the 2019 season. A favorite of many Packer fans was edge-rusher Brian Burns who was still available at that time, as was tackle Andre Dillard. Yet to the surprise of many, Green Bay would select Rashan Gary from Michigan. 

Even with all of the mock drafts that take place before draft night, very few had Gary landing in Green Bay. Not to mention that he didn't have the gaudy numbers that many top prospects put up in college and there were some that questioned his effort down in and down out. But to that claim, it only takes watching a snap or two of Gary to know that statement is simply false. Yet with that said, many fans did not like the selection and many in the media questioned it. 

However, what the outside world thought didn't much matter because the Green Bay Packers loved Gary, especially outside linebackers coach Mike Smith who gave the young pass-rusher a glowing review shortly after OTAs had began:

"It's unbeliveable. A guy that size and that speed and that athleticism, I've never seen it. I've been in the league 11 years," Smith would also add, "At Kansas City, where I was at before here, they had Dee Ford - he's small, great get off - and we had Justin Houston, who's a big, strong guy. You get a guy like Gary that's both of them. When you're a tackle in this league, and you've got (to deal with) a guy that's got a get-off and speed and you're strong and you're powerful, it's a dangerous combination. We've just got to learn how to use those tools."

And as Smith put it, learning how to use those tools is going to be the key to Gary's success because physically he has everything you would want in an NFL edge-rusher. But to maximize that kind of potential it takes some time and there are aspects of the outside linebacker position at the NFL level that Gary needed to learn. Which obviously the Packers knew prior to drafting him. So this summer during training camp and the preseason, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine threw everything about the outside linebacker position at Gary, knowing full well they would rein it in and put him positions to succeed once the regular season began:

"Just teaching him the outside linebacker position, we knew that he was going to be a little bit of a work in progress. We're teaching him all of it," Pettine would say. "There are some things he's doing now he won't be doing in the regular season. As we get closer, we'll hone that down and get him in positions where he's ready to excel."

Through the first month of the regular season we saw Gary get the first sack of his career against the Denver Broncos but other than that his stat sheet was relatively empty and he wasn't necessarily jumping off the screen either. Which as Smith and Pettine had alluded to over the summer, was to be expected to some degree. So with Gary having a quiet start to his NFL career, Smith had a message for him prior to Green Bay's Monday Night matchup with Detroit, and in short, he wanted Gary to play more freely:

"My big thing with Gary is his self-confidence," said Smith in his weekly press conference. "Not worrying about making a mistake as much as making a big play. Go for the big play. You can't be half-pregnant. I think at times, he's so worried about making a mistake."

Well, Gary must have taken those words to heart, because over the next few games he would slowly start having more success. By the time the Packers had played their 10th game of the season, Gary had nine total pressures, six solo tackles, and a sack. Certainly not eye-popping numbers by any means but he was making progress. According to Pro Football Focus, from week 6 to week 10, Gary was the Packers' most improved defensive player as his overall grade jumped 27.3 points during that span. 

From his knowledge of the defense to his overall technique, Gary was making strides in the right direction and eventually the production was going to follow. And it looks like over the last three weeks, we are at that point.

Against Washington, Chicago, and Minnesota, Gary has recorded five total pressures, with one sack and eight total tackles, two of which have been for a loss. He also put together the best game of his short career when facing the Bears as he totaled three tackles, one of which was for a loss, along with a sack. Oh, and did I mention that he did all of that with just 46 total defensive snaps over the last three games? Both as a pass-rusher and as a run defender, Gary is getting better at just the right time for this Green Bay Packers team. 

At least for the time being, Rashan Gary is likely to remain a hot-button topic amongst the Packer faithful given his low snap count - just over 15 per game - and overall production at this point in the season. However, it is clear that Green Bay has a plan for Gary and with Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith ahead of him on the depth chart, as first year player, Gary doesn't have to be "the guy" right away. Instead, the Packers have the opportunity to bring him along slowy, which appears to working and could very well make him even better in the long run. Of course, in a perfect world the first round draft pick would step on the field and be a one man wrecking crew from Day 1, but Green Bay has the luxury to take their time with Gary's development and it is paying off.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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Comments (113)

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BadgerBoy1978's picture

December 26, 2019 at 06:19 am

This is why I am a GBP Fan. The Packers can go their own way to land and develop players. We paid a lot of money for the "Smith Brothers" and to not take advantage of that both on the field [can you say 24 sacks? The only duo in the Top 10?], and off the field [practices as mentors, bringing along the younguns more slowly] would be malfeasance.

Bring on the Play-offs! It is about time we had a coaching staff that looks past the next play for the good of the team!

#GoPackGo #SmithBros

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Lare's picture

December 26, 2019 at 06:38 am

I have no problem with selecting a player for the future with high draft picks, but I think the Packers could have selected someone at another position of need (i.e. ILB, WR,DL) that would have been more productive & beneficial this season.

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TheVOR's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:41 am

Ya, you're right on the money here, while depth at OLB is important, that was not a 12 hole pick. Changed the entire complexion of the draft. If they had drafted Savage right there at 12, and left everything else alone, we could have had 2 more high ceiling players if they had just stayed put and drafted. Didn't like the selection then, don't like it now. It's like being asked to be happy about drafting Nick Perry all over again. He has to be way better than he is, his second year jump better be from a lamb to a lion, or I'll never be sold on the idea of drafting that player at 12. Really hurt the draft!

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Cheezdik's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:46 am

Totally agree. Montez Sweat is the better player and Brian Burns looks to be the best of the bunch on defense.

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Since'61's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:05 pm

And yet another Viking troll breaks through the firewall.

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Grandfathered's picture

December 27, 2019 at 12:01 am

If my glass isn't at least half full, I pour it into a smaller glass.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 26, 2019 at 04:52 pm

We have no idea what an impact Gary's career will have on the GBP. Ted used to say you get the big guys early and draft the other positions later. You would have to have a decade best talent at WR or ILB for me to think there would be one worth taking at position #12. With Pettine's defense, they rarely have 2 ILBS on the field at the same time and they already had Martinez as the starter. Having Gary also means the ability to move Z Smith around more and use him inside, while having P Smith and Gary to contend with on the outside. We could see more of that in upcoming games. It's just starting to really be an impact, and it clearly was in the Vikings game. When his position coach says he's never seen a guy with that combination of size and speed, then trying to find someone who would have more impact "this season" is short sighted. With that kind of thinking, GB would never have drafted Aaron Rodgers. And look how that paid off.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 26, 2019 at 05:03 pm

If you have "no problem with selecting a player for the future" but think they could have selected someone who would have been more productive "this season," then you're not making sense.

Gary is a raw talent, very young, as was Kenny Clark when drafted. Clark is turning into a beast. They drafted him for his ceiling, his overall talent, not what he would do as a rookie. Same with Gary. His physical traits are rare and he's much more athletic than other pass rushers that fans favored. That will pay off down the line.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 26, 2019 at 06:55 pm

Assuming we finish 13-3, who could we have taken that would have improved that?

Before the draft, I posted that any edge rusher we picked would probably give us less than 300 snaps and 5 sacks. I like Gary as a defender but if you were expecting more as a rookie, I think you were being a little unrealistic.

A bigger concern should be Savage. We used three picks on him and I’m not sure he had the impact of three players

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Sol's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:47 pm

I for one will admit I thought they were looking at the TE from Iowa and after Detroit nabbed him and the two speedy middle linebackers went before they picked I was lost. Now I pretty sure they say to wait three years before truly try to get a grade on a draft class. But I would guess that 2019 will come out to be a very good year that will supply at least five starters and thats not to bad in my books.

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NickPerry's picture

December 26, 2019 at 06:46 am

This is was ONE of my initial comments right after the Gary pick...LOL

NickPerry
April 25, 2019 at 07:03 pm
That's who I thought they take dobber. The absolute BEST O-Lineman is sitting there for the taking and they take Gary?? I can't remember being more pissed off about a 1st round pick at the time of the selection in years.
Ted is that you???

The Packers are an emotional subject for me. MANY times after games for example (Gut Reactions) or draft picks like the Gary pick when it doesn't go the way I THINK it should I react BEFORE I REALLY think about it. Like most things I react about before thinking I've had time to adjust my initial thought or better yet FEELINGS on the subject. Gary has just been another example.

At the end of the day others may have better rookie stats or better career stats BUT in another few years Gary just may prove to be the absolute best pick for the GBP. Mike Smith is a Packers Coach who I've praised on this site more than once. I happen to think he's one of the BEST OLB Coaches in the entire NFL. If Smith loved the guy and Gute did too that's enough for me. One thing I know for a FACT is they know a hell of a lot more than I will ever hope to...Even though at one time or another we all think we know better (hahaha).

Gary has been showing up on my big ass TV screen more and more these last few weeks. The kid is tenacious as hell and NEVER gives up on a play. I don't need PFF to tell me he's jumped 27.3 points these last few weeks...His play has SHOWED me that. Personally can't wait to see how much this kid progresses these next few years. Hell I can't wait to see how much he progresses from Minnesota to Detroit. But one thing is certain...That's EXACTLY what he's doing...Progressing. In 2020 with "The Smiths" and with Gary I can't wait to watch Trubisky, Cousins, and Stafford for example try to run from these three!

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flackcatcher's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:28 am

When the Packers signed the Smiths it was clear what Pettine wanted to do with his defense. It also answered why Green Bay was downgrading the ILB slots. Running hybrid/OLB and SS at second level is a risk that the organization accepted. So in that one could see why Gute drafted Gray. Defense was still no 1 with this team, and Gray fit what Pettine wanted in flexing his defense. It will be interesting to see if Gute continues the same pattern in drafting and signing bigger, more hybrid types for the slot DB and DE/OLB positions.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:54 am

If you remember, JJ Watt and Aaron Donald both were drafted 11th in their respective years. Both had serious question marks coming into the NFL: Watt was "too small" for a 34 DE and "too big" for a 43 edge rusher. He ended up being the best of both worlds for half a decade. Donald was "too small" for a 43 Under DT and "too big" for a 43 edge rusher. AND he played college ball at Pitt - which hardly is a football factory in the Big East.

Gary was asked to take on double teams all the time at Michigan and free up Winovich and Bush to sweep the field behind him and pressure the QB in front of him. That doesn't mean Gary didn't have the ability to do those things - just that he wasn't asked to do them. Further, he was always a swing for the fences type of pick that was going to take time - whether he was taken at 12 or 35 or somewhere in between.

Now, I do think that Green Bay could still have gotten Gary near pick 20, and would have preferred if Gute had traded back and gathered extra picks and then still grabbed his guy. But we don't know what other teams were offering, nor do we know if other teams weren't hoping to grab him around that range too.

Gute/Pettine/Smith wanted Gary. Many of us (including me) did not. I wanted Allen or Burns, and frankly, I still do when you see what their rookie seasons have looked like. But I also didn't want Kenny Clark and was ecstatic about grabbing HaHa, so what do I know, anyway? They're the pros. They did their job in the draft and scouting, now they need to do it in coaching, and they'll be held accountable for it. And Gary certainly has looked better the past month. And frankly, after seeing how Z and P are used in Pettine's scheme, I am starting to see why the coaches wanted those 270 lb players more than a 235 lb speed demon.

We'll see by the end of the 2021 season. I hope they were right and we'll have a nasty pass rush of Smith/Smith/Gary/Clark for the next half decade. :)

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NickPerry's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:39 am

LOL.... I liked the HHCD pick and wasn't crazy about the Kenny Clark pick either BM...

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:33 am

Donald was a beast in college. So was Watt. Gary was not, and the excuse he was double-teamed doesn't carry weight.

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:02 am

Bearmeat nice to see you own up to your past remarks. The draft is and always will be a crap shoot! Do some teams do better then others Absolutely but the packers have shown over 20+ years to build a quality team and that’s hard to knock. Of course us armchair drafters can find fault to most picks. There’s always someone better picked later, no team is immune to that. What I do like which you mention is they are building based on the type and size of player they are dedicated to playing.

I’ve had my displeasure with Pettine 5 weeks ago and thought he should be sent packing, but now I feel totally different as the new players are obviously becoming more comfortable in his system and it is working!

The last 4 weeks albeit against some lower level teams the D has been dominating, not allowing any team over 15 points. Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, I’m sold in Pettine’s schemes and players they went after. Would it be nice to have a great ILB, of course, but if all positions to have a weaker spot that is what I’d vote for. Very few teams EVER have great players at all positions there will be weak spots, the SC just doesn’t allow it. Sure a team like KC with a great QB on a low salary can take advantage for a few years but it catches up to every team except for somehow the Pats.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Miami would have taken Gary over Wilkens if that scenario played out. He was slotted as a #6 to NY Giants in some mocks, but Gettleman had the brains to take Jones and the luxury of another one pick for dumping Beckham.
Wilkens was the next guy up on the list and Dillard is playing spot duty for Philly, just as he would in GB. Metcalf and Brown as WRs were rightfully graded s two picks. I liked Deebo Samuel despite his injury history, but the pick of Savage will pay dividends down the line.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

December 26, 2019 at 05:04 pm

Name some players who would have been more beneficial this year?

Also, are they are their ceiling, b/c Gary has a very high ceiling with his physical abilities. He just needs to be coached and get some time on the field to develop. He's got the talent. He's got the attitude.

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Timeout's picture

December 26, 2019 at 07:33 am

My only question going into next year is; Where do they put him? If they keep both Smiths at OLB what starting position does Gary take? Going into year 2 a player taken that high in the draft should not be playing as little as he has this season.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:10 am

This is the only problem I have left with Gary.

But going back to look at picks 12-24 Marquise Brown is the only offensive player taken I think the Packers could really be using right now.

I think they will find a.way to play him more, especially with Z being such a terror at 3 tech.

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Guam's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:27 am

If I remember correctly, the two top ILBs were also gone by the time #12 rolled around. That pretty much left a D-lineman as the next best choice.

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PeteK's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:33 am

Fant at TE and imagine having either Wilkins or Lawrence along side Clark in this Defense. We already had 2 very good and 1 solid OLBs already. Wonder if he could put on a bit of weight and become a DE

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 26, 2019 at 05:26 pm

Fant at 11 would be a horrible pick though

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Having a lot of disruptors on the field at the same time is a good problem to have. You saw it with Pettine having the four OLBs inside /outside with three tech rotation and Za coming from standup LB inside and off guard gaps.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:14 am

He can be used to spell Preston and Zadarius. Those guys played a TON of snaps in 2019 and there were a lot of scares especially with Zadarius. Every time they got up slow I held my depth. We have Fackrell in 2019 but who spells and backs up the Smiths in 2020 besides Gary?

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Rak47's picture

December 26, 2019 at 02:46 pm

I think they try to resign Fackrell next year. And with Z at 3 Tech so often there are plenty of snaps to go around at OLB. Btw, Happy Holidays Jonathan to you and your family!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 26, 2019 at 05:31 pm

I'm not so sure. I like him, but they are going for a specific body type at OLB. Fackrell is not that type. The money needed for Fackrell would probably be better spent on a fast ILB or to extend Clark.

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Houndog's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:40 am

Timeout,
If you've been watching you'd see that Z Smith is being moved around to nearly every position on the D-front seven, a practice that created hella problems for Minnysota this past Monday night.
I expect that as Gary progresses the plan would be to have all three on the field at the same time with Z Smith continuing to play a form of the old Monster position as he's been doing.
Can you imaging a "Third (and maybe the fastest) Smith Bros" on the field at one time?

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Bearmeat's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:01 am

That's the hope that we see unfolding throughout the year.

I really think that this team will be better in 2020 and 2021 than it is now. The rebuild is pointed at those 2 years. This is early for that window, and the team is overachieving. That's very good news.

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:08 am

Hounddog...your right as they already have played all 3 on obvious passing downs.

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:05 am

It’s a great problem to have, keep players fresh and rotate them. Also, who knows that might be where injury hits us.

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Stroh's picture

December 27, 2019 at 02:14 pm

Gary will have increased opportunities next year to be a major contributor on Defense. With as much as Z plays inside and moves around, they'll still need another productive OLB in the rotation. In addition Fackrell wont be back next year, so even if Gary isn't technically a starter, he'll have the chance to play starter minutes/snaps. That isnt a concern in the least.

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NitschkeFan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 07:56 am

My only question about Gary is that I fear he is better utilized as a 5 technique DL rather than an OLB running around trying to cover a TE or RB in pass coverage 10 yards downfield. Maybe the Packers feel he is too small? If he is as athletic as everyone keeps saying then he could line up all over the place (and both from a 2-point stance or 3-point stance) and position him as a 3-Tech, 4-Tech, 5-tech, 6-Tech, 7-tech etc depending on the opponent and the situation.

I just don't want another Datone Jones!

It is way too early to pass judgement on what Gary may achieve. If he is successful, our defense could be top 10 material for years to come.

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Stroh's picture

December 27, 2019 at 02:05 pm

They arent going to take a pass rusher and ask him to drop in coverage! Do you see Z Smith dropping in coverage? Hell no. Leave the coverage peices of OLB which is maybe 10% or less to Fackrell or someone like him. Gary is a pass rushing OLB/DE and will be utilized exactly like Z Smith. He won't be doing any coverage.

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scoonie_penn's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:23 pm

It's way too early to say it was a good or bad pick but what was the theme of every draft analyst, amazing size, strength, speed etc and very little production. So far what has transpired? i completely understand that the Smith Bros should get the lion's share of the snaps but Gary is playing less snaps than Fackrell. I tend to believe players with that much natural ability who can't produce in college aren't magically coming to the NFL and becoming game wreckers. I'm hoping he's a nice rotational player who can get better but with the #12 pick in the draft I think GB missed on some much better players who were drafted later in the 1st.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:57 am

For what it's worth, both Bush and Winovich have said that Gary was the most important player on their defense, and that if they were drafting, they'd take Gary over themselves too.

And I'm no Gary fanboy, but fair is fair.

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Hematite's picture

December 26, 2019 at 04:07 pm

You hit the nail right on the head!!!!

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MWendlandt's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:00 pm

Fackrell gets more snaps because he's being used in space more as a coverage LB on running backs. Fackrell has been an OLB his entire career and has more experience in the other parts of playing the Edge, not just rushing the passer.

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oceanstrength's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:13 am

In the mean time it sure would be nice if Fackrell could continue his upward trajectory. Hope Gary becomes that one man wrecking crew

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Bearmeat's picture

December 26, 2019 at 05:39 pm

Not only does Fackrell playing well help us this year, but it also helps us in the compensatory pick formula for the 2021 draft. It sure would be nice to get an additional 2 3rds and 4th rounder for losing Bulaga, Martinez and Fackrell...

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Guam's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:18 am

I was not a fan of the Gary pick, but understood what Gute was trying to do. OLB was a disaster for GB in 2018 (and before) and the OLB position is the key position for a 3-4 defense. Gute signed the Smiths in free agency and certainly hoped for improved performance but I would guess at the time he had no idea that they would both be this good. He drafted Gary as an insurance policy that the OLB position would be fixed one way or another. He now has the embarrassment of riches that the Smiths are outstanding and Gary is coming on as the #12 pick as well as Fackrell who is a good cover OLB.

Lare is correct that the #12 pick could have been used elsewhere to better advantage for the Packers this year, however that is 20-20 hindsight. I truly believe Gute was just trying to make sure that the OLB position was fixed in 2019. Time will tell if Gary develops into a great player or just a third OLB, but depth at that position is not a bad problem to have for a 3-4 defense.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:35 am

How could it be 20-20 hindsight if virtually everyone had the Packers taking someone else? In other words, everyone else saw better players available, and they are proven right so far.

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Guam's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:46 am

I think everyone had the Packers taking someone else because almost every mock I saw assumed Gary would be gone by #12...….

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JerseyAl's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:07 am

define "everyone." if you're referring to mock drafts, you know those are no real indication of what will/should happen. My NFL scout friend told me that most of the teams he interacted with had Gary as a top 10-15 pick. I can't tell you what Gary will eventually be, but I can tell you it wasn't a reach in NFL team circles.

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:18 am

Al, that is true, I saw him in the top 5-8 in a couple of mocks. Gute, MLF and Pettine obviously have a plan for how they want the D to look and Gary fit the mode (size and athleticism) to a T. Will it work out who knows but there is risk in most picks. Sure the top 5 picks succeed at a higher % level but after that the risk gets higher.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:16 pm

I'm hoping he becomes a monster, but the fact that mocks had him 10-15 doesn't negate the argument that any of the receivers available, especially the slot guys like Hollywood Brown, Deebo Samuel and McLauren, would have been more valuable, at least this year. If you didn't see we needed a receiver you weren't looking, I can see doubling down on the D, but the offense has been neglected way too much. Will admit though that Jenkins is a grand slam. Likely a 1st or 2nd on a WR next year to team with Adams and Lazard will greatly improve the team.

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JerseyAl's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:59 pm

In the first round, you take the best player on your board, you don't reach for need. After all, that's how we got Aaron Rodgers.

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

December 27, 2019 at 09:22 am

So you're saying we should've taken Deebo Samuel #12 overall. Makes sense to me. (Sarcasm)

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Rak47's picture

December 26, 2019 at 02:58 pm

It's hindsight because virtually no one other than Gute and his confidants really matter. As fans we look back on what actually happened on draft day as opposed to the thousand different scenarios fans created.

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Sol's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:46 am

You see it all the time in other sports where the best athletes get to choose there team or coach when you are drafted into the NFL not so much so it is a refreshing change to see a young twenty one year old get to develop with a great supporting cast and an eye on the future.

Go Pack

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Lphill's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:47 am

I liked the picked I read up on Gary and watched film, when he was the number 1 high school prospect he was already a projected 1 st rounder, right now I think the Smiths are playing more snaps then they should but that is this season, moving forward I think Preston is really good against the run he holds the edge and gets off his block , Z Smith proved he can rush from anywhere so I think we will see Gary and Preston on the edge with Z Smith coming from the middle , if you re watch games you will see Gary in the backfield or chasing someone down, Big jump next season for sure.

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seantischer@yahoo.com's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:50 am

Gute made the right moves with the Smiths. That alone makes me believe he can evaluate the position. Still wish he would have traded back, got Savage, and took a playmaker for the WR group. Around draft time people were saying it was a weak class but there have been some great rookies we could have drafted. Feel like it’s the one thing this team really needs.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:27 am

I hated the pick in April since I thought d-line or o-line were more of a need after signing the Smiths. Gary hasn't produced big numbers but when I watched the all 22 of the Vikings game he had some stellar plays. He bull rushed the tackle into Cousins 2-3 times, causing hurried throws. On another play he split a double team just missing a sack. He flashes when on the field and the numbers will come. He is bigger and faster than Nick Bosa and just as strong. Once he gets some moves watch out.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:44 am

I'd trade Gary right now for A.J. Brown, Hollywood Brown, Deebo Samuel, McLauren, all of whom were available. And that's just receivers. Any one of them would give this offense a much more powerful presence. Gute completely overestimated the receiver corps thinking MVS and Allison were enough. You don't handcuff a HOF QB like Rodgers with below-average receivers, and it should have been apparent that's what we had. He had just signed the two Smiths, it was time to help the offense, Ron Wolf said his greatest regret was not giving Favre more receivers. Gute should have read his book. Imagine Deebo Samuel, either of the Browns, Hollywood or A.J., or McLauren in the slot for this team. We'd be the favorites to win the SB.

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fastmoving's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

AR handcuff the receivers way more than the other way around. No one, on the receiving end of the pass, would make a difference.
Adams, MVS, Brown are more capable of making plays than a an average group.

We would be not any better, no matter would be have at WR. They are big target and they free more often than not. All we need is a top 15 QB. Just watch the games…...

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:01 am

MVS and Allison rank among the worst receivers in the NFL and you think that's all on Rodgers? Wow. Bet Adams wishes he could get traded to a team with a better QB.

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Cheezdik's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:52 am

Totally agree. Deebo Samuel has looked great. I would trade Gary's five tackles and two sacks for Deebos 1000 receiving yards. Plus, he is a great returner. Packers still don't have a returner with new guy they picked up averaging barely 7 yards returning punts last week.

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:29 am

Wow, do you really think a punt returner averages 10+ average every week? Look at others and you will notice many weeks they average below 10.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:22 pm

They took Sternberger ahead of McLaurin to fill a void at TE. Probably thought Equan would fill a spot at the#2- # 3 WR?
Jenkins is just a solid , future All PRO, selection at LG. Probably the best O-lineman from the 2019 draft as we play out the season. Blue chipper. There was the mad rush at the start of the second round for WRs, but they are starting to plateau as the season moves on. Gary's physical gifts are outstanding and will be developed. The 2020 WR class is superior to last year's group. Savage was the premier safety with his speed/play-making ability. Thornhill is doing well, but he is an older player than Savage.

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Houndog's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:48 am

I didn't much care for the pick when it was made but mostly because I knew so little about him.
Then, as our ILB position play has been spotty I thought "if this kid is so athletic, give him a try at ILB".
However, by seeing his improvement over the past few weeks I'm now thinking he's just a rookie, an improving rookie, and I like what we've been seeing. And what better mentors than the Smith Bros!
Turn him loose!

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4 points
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Archie's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:55 am

I think Gary is in a semi-red-shirt season for two reasons: (1) he needs time to learn to play OLB; and, (2) he needs surgery this off-season due to an injury he had when the Pack drafted him. Which means they will probably continue to take it slow with him in year 2 as well. If this guy doesn't blossom by year 3, all bets are off.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:56 am

Gary is not TJ Watt and we passed on him by trading down and we also passed on James who was there as well another year and we also let Pittsburg grab excellent players by trading up several times. In the organization's defense, they did a great job in taking Clark when there were a couple of other defensive linemen in that draft which were touted by "draft experts".

IMO, Gary may turn out to be a very good second round pick, but we spent the 12th pick in the first round on him.

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Since'61's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:17 am

During the preseason and earlier this season I posted on numerous occasions that the Packers would bring Gary along slowly and increase his snap count as the season went on. It is also important to remember that Gary would have been a college senior this year had he decided to remain in school. Another reason to bring him along slowly.

The idea that a #12 pick should be an immediate impact player may be true for players who have finished their senior year but for a junior there is much more to learn than just NFL techniques. It is also one of the many media driven stupidities proclaimed by the alleged pundits who don't know the goal line from the sideline.

I don't know how good or great of a player Gary will evolve into but I am very satisfied with how the Packers have handled his development so far. Another team of coaching staff may have agreed with the concept that a #12 pick should be an immediate impact player and put him out on the field and got him injured or let him pick up poor habits.

Rather the Packers have enabled Gary to learn the game, his position and simultaneously built up his confidence. He is making an impact while only playing about 10-15% of the defensive snaps per game. Once he learns to leverage his physicality at the NFL level he could become a force for the Packers defense. Those who have declared him a bust already are likely to be not the wrong side of the type of player which Gary will become. Thanks, Since '61

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Cheezdik's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:45 am

What a laugh. Montez Sweat of the Redskins has five sacks and more tackles. Brian Burns has more. Almost every player in his draft class has better stats than him in 2019. But then again, stats don't matter to Packer fans.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:20 am

"But then again, stats don't matter to Packer fans."

LOL...A nice zinger to fans here at CHTV. Unless you were being serious?

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NitschkeFan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:39 am

12-3 for Gary’s team
3-12 for Sweat
5-10 for Burns

You’re damn right Stats matter, but you’ve got the wrong ones!

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Gary, comparatively speaking, is not a factor in the Packers being 12-3.
Sweat and Burns,comparatively speaking, are not the reasons their respective teams are 3-12, 5-10.

Stats have a place when looked at correctly.

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Since'61's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Really!!?? here is a laugh for cheez and a zinger for Taryn.

Montez Sweat has played 672 snaps and has produced 5 sacks, 26 solo tackles, 6 TFLs and 10 QB hits.
Against the Packers Sweat played 41 snaps and had 1 solo tackle and 1 assist.

Rashon Gary has played 234 snaps and has produced 2 sacks, 13 solo tackles, 3 TFLs and 3 QB hits.
Against the Redskins Gary played 13 snaps and had 3 solo tackles, 1 assist and 1 TFL.

Now lets be fair to Gary and extrapolate his snaps played to 672 the same as Montez Sweat and his extrapolated production

672 snaps for Gary produces 6 sacks, 37 solo tackles, 9 TFLs and 9 QB hits. Conclusion: Gary has better production that Sweat over the same number of snaps played except for QB hits by 1 less.

More importantly, Gary's team has 12 wins and the Redskins have 3 in the only stat that does matter. So much for the fantasy that Packers fans or CHTV fans don't appreciate stats. CASE CLOSED CHOOCHES.

Note: The number of snaps played for Brian Burns has decreased significantly over the last 4-5 games. Maybe he is playing through an injury but to be fair to him I did not use his numbers. He does have 6.5 sacks, 21 solo tackles and 13 QB hits. Given the same number of snaps as Sweat, Burns would probably lead in all categories except for solo tackles. Gary would still have the most solo tackles with 672 snaps played.

Thanks, Since '61

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:43 pm

How exactly is there a zinger for me here?
Your use of stats is exactly why I inferred a zinger toward fans here at CHTV with the assumption, by Cheezdik, stats aren't used by fans here, less Cheezsik is of serious belief fans here don't use stats.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 26, 2019 at 05:58 pm

'61 stomped you pretty good. Happens when you run your persona a bit to much. Try to show some grace here...

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:20 pm

Since 61.... great analysis. I wish more would take time to think and research before over reacting.

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Since'61's picture

December 26, 2019 at 02:28 pm

murf7777 - I appreciate your feedback. Comparisons are fine but they need to be fair. As for cheezdik, he is a Vikings troll so that speaks for itself. Any playes with three times as many snaps than another player should have better numbers or they shouldn't be playing.
Thanks, Since '61

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ILPackerBacker's picture

December 26, 2019 at 06:05 pm

Clearly this is the smarter way to compare.

But even better, since gary was learning a new position is to look at burns/sweat when they were at the same number of snaps.

Gary is knocking them out of the water with metrics based on the first 220 ish snaps.

Not close.

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Since'61's picture

December 27, 2019 at 09:51 am

Excellent point IL Packer Backer!!! Gary does have the best numbers of the three over their first 230 snaps played. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:54 pm

The snap counts are higher for Sweat( replacing P Smith as a starter) and Burns ( too light to be an Edge/ Elephant).
With limited reps, Gary has the two sacks, three tackle for loss and more Pressures/ snap.. His performance relative to snap counts has a higher success ratio than the other players. Sweat is a true 4-3 outside guy and his ability to go into a three tech assignment would be questionable. Once Gary gets his shoulder cleaned out in the off-season, his range of arm motion be be enhanced and More hand technique will be possible. His bull rush is beaucoup stronger than Sweat or Burns. Bosa went high as well as Allen, but they were groomed as Edge guys through college. Ferrell not as explosive as Gary. Gary will continue to add juice to the rush troughout the Playoffs.

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2 points
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Lare's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:31 pm

I don't know how Gary will be after surgery, but I'm pretty sure he'll benefit from an offseason in the strength & conditioning program. Most rookies do.

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Jaylee's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Lol oh really? Montez sweat with almost 3 times as many snaps as Rashan Gary has more sacks? Great analysis there, genius. You should be over at ESPN.

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Lphill's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:25 pm

Cheezdik just your screen name screams Vikings fan!

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Since'61's picture

December 26, 2019 at 02:31 pm

All of his posts scream Vikings fan as well. Thanks, Since '61

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scullyitsme's picture

December 26, 2019 at 10:47 am

I don’t think anyone is really calling Gary a bust yet, but the fact is he was a 12th overall pick and you expect those to contribute right away. As since 61 just stated he’s only played 10-15% of the snaps this year. That doesn’t make him a bust, but wow. I do expect more. I expect packages implemented to get both the smiths and him on the field because he’s too good not to play. That really hasn’t been the case. Is he a bust? No. Did I expect more? Yes.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm

The whole Game Plan the past three weeks has Gary in the mix with the Smith Bros and Fackerell, getting 3-4 rushers into play simultaneously.

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scullyitsme's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:53 pm

I hope your right. He had 15 snaps last week. In week 16, for a 12th overall pick. If your happy with that, ok.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 27, 2019 at 02:31 am

How many snaps has Johah Williams played? It's all relative.

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scullyitsme's picture

December 27, 2019 at 10:22 am

Johnah who? Who cares? I care about Gary.

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KneelYoung's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:15 am

I was one of the many "posters" who was very angry the day Gary was drafted. I was thinking Brian Burns or Montez Sweat. I am still conflicted but far more hopeful today than last April.

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stockholder's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:31 am

I really didn't like the Gary Pick. I wanted christian Wilkins. I Don't like moving guys into a position, when so many others have failed! Let alone the release of Daniels and the loss of Wilkerson. Gute covered his rear with the Smiths. But what about his thinking on the DL? Whims or not. At anytime Gary could hit a wall. We've lost out on so many good players because of reaching. I now believe Gute falls in love with players. His Love at some point will interfere with his job. Still it's a gamble TT wouldn't have taken. Gute's proven it doesn't matter. It's great to see the Packer's winning. The Credit goes to the players first! Gary is a packer! He's now part of the winning. Gutsy move Gute. Very Gutsy.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:06 pm

If Za is injured during the stretch run, who is his replacement? That's correct, Gary fills that role as the inside /out to three tech rover. Not too complicated to see Gutedkunst's motivation after watching Perry or Clay get injured and the Packer pass rush dying during a playoff run. The other high picks cannot play that role, especially Burns.

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stockholder's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:17 pm

Fackrell! You just didn't get the Burns factor. Burns would have been the better pick for OLB then. Not a project. The only way Gary should have been picked is for the 4-3-4. That is the argument going back to the draft. Also Garys shoulder injury.

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Lphill's picture

December 26, 2019 at 11:53 am

Cheesedik Gary has less than half the snaps of Burns and Sweat so how could you make those comparisons? I bet if Gary matched their snap counts his stats might be better than both.

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Bure9620's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:16 pm

I would urge the 'Gary was an awful pick' crowd to have some patience. He was NOT drafted to be Z Smith this year. I don't put a massive amount of stock into rookie seasons. Though, there should be a consistent upward arc in performance throughout the season and into year 2. Gary has a nice bull rush and helped collapse the pocket on a few snaps, and a few snaps is what he is getting right now. Could Gary be a bust? Maybe, but making the judgement now and expecting immediate year 1 returns ignores player development general rules. I do not see any other round 1 players left on board lighting the world on fire. If they are playing, they are playing because of necessity. Brian Burns maybe? Lindstrom, Haskins, Noah Fant.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Would anyone rather have AJ Brown?

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ChuckCecilKO's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:24 pm

I would expect Pettine/Smith to cut Gary loose for this Lions game to spell the "Smith's" and keep them fresh for the playoffs. I believe Gary has a shot to be one of the NFL's top rookie performers in the playoffs. So may Sternberger. This defense is the best I've seen since the Woodson era, and Gary will live up to his billing. Rest assured.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm

I find it hard to think that GB will decrease snaps from those who got them here and give them to one who has not been able to take them via his play and/or deficiency of his command of the position to take chance with him becoming the playoffs outstanding rookie player and risk advancement in the playoffs.
This scenario could also be foolish since the game against Detroit isn't an easily acceptable loss, as a win could give a them a one seed and with high interest in the last game of the season between Sea and SF, as it may reveal more about SF as they fight for the same one seed.

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murf7777's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:26 pm

Chuck I hope he doesn’t rest the smiths unless the game is in hand. We need to win to get a bye! Their tee shirts says it all they will be going all out to beat the lions!

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fordguy's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:41 pm

Smith Bros.Inc can get all the rest they want during the bye week. CRUSH THE LIONS.

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Scott Stach's picture

December 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm

What a load of crap and a bunch of hypocrites.

For years the narrative against TT is "he's wasting Rodgers career", "need to get Rodgers more help" along with "if you want an OLB then just draft an OLB". Now all is rosy after wasting a high first rounder on the exact same player the team just signed TWICE in free agency.

I guess more people were butt-hurt over Thompson telling Favre to kick rocks than I originally thought cause I'm failing to see any way that Rashan Gary makes any sense even with 20-20 hindsight.

Oh...and love how PFF is now acceptable because it shows Gary in a good light but god forbid they're critical of Rodgers or a Packers player because then they're just trash.

Hypocrites, two-faced liars and sheep...

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KneelYoung's picture

December 26, 2019 at 08:10 pm

You are mixing up narratives Mr Stach. It is ok to have disagreements about draft choices and GM decision-making. It is ok to reflect and change your stance on a thought from the past. This is intended to be a fun forum for sharing differing ideas and thoughts. Lighten up and laugh more often. This is a Cheesehead forum. No disrespect intended.

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mbpacker's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:17 pm

I always loved " The Tortoise and the Hare" story.

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Packers0808's picture

December 26, 2019 at 01:26 pm

This is exactly what I wrote ere 2 days ago about Gary sitting playing sparingly and come along slowly and now it is paying dividends! And I got some thumbs down!

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mrj007's picture

December 26, 2019 at 02:27 pm

Fact is Gary’s lack of playing time proves the Packers could have used the “value” of the selection on a position of need. After seeing how lacking the WR and TE positions turned out this year, a high draft pick on either of those positions may have improved the team. But who knew then the $9M the Pack paid to Graham or the bet Allison would become a #2 receiver was a bad call? I am sure the team would change their pick if they had the ability to see into the future. Gary hasn’t done much, but he also hasn’t had to because of the Smith players

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:31 pm

Many knew, or at least had great reason to believe, that we needed a WR. I remember during the draft almost everyone was hoping Hollywood Brown would fall to our second 1st round pick. Gute had more confidence in Allison and MVS than the fan base or the mock drafters. Hollywood Brown was our 1st pick in a number of mocks so those outside Green Bay also saw the need. Gute didn't, and he's been proven wrong. Gary may turn out to be an asset, maybe already is, but I sure would rather have Hollywood, Deebo Samuel or McLauren for the playoffs. What an offense that could be, Aaron Jones running, Adams and Lazard wide, Samuel in the slot...

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Oppy's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:49 pm

To everyone who has this idea that if Player "A" is drafted at pick "B" he must play "C" percentage of snaps or he's a bust:

There isn't a single NFL coach who thinks like this. Get past it. Draft position means absolutely nothing once the finances get settled- and the finances of draft picks are all but inconsequential since the last CBA severely limited rookie contracts. These guys aren't getting 10 million dollar contracts before they play a snap anymore.-

Keep in mind, the majority of NFL players taken in the draft play 3 years or less in the NFL. First round picks are no exception- they still fail out of the league at nearly 50%. The true value of a draft pick is the long term upside. Being caught up in how many snaps they take as a rookie or 2nd year player is remarkably short sighted and foolish. Does a player- any player, regardless rookie draft pick, FA, street FA, any player acquired in any way- make your roster a deeper or better roster? Can they help your team be better? Help your team win? If the answer is YES, nothing else matters to anyone but the bean counters.

I don't want to be a bean counter. I want to be a fan.

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Oppy's picture

December 26, 2019 at 03:52 pm

No offense intended to our resident bean counter here at CHTV (TGR), who does an amazing job and is who I turn to when beans do need counting.

:)

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flackcatcher's picture

December 26, 2019 at 06:53 pm

I upvote this a million times if I could. Some on this board have a real bad habit of conflating their personal wishes against the reality what an NFL general manager must do to keep his team successful in this league. The line between victory and defeat, success and failure is so thin that at times it's transparent. This Packer team has the same core for the last two years. The difference. Injuries. For the first time in over four seasons, there has not been a wave of season ending injuries plaguing this team. X-Factors count. How players fit into the team's system count. What scheme the teams run count. And above all, how general managers and coaches wish to use the player they have signed count. This is not some gambling hall, nor is it some fan league were one can reset their choices week after week. The choices made by NFL GM, and their owners are hard realities that effect their bottom line for good or ill. Best some of you remember that...

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Lare's picture

December 26, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Makes you wonder if the switch from Mark Lovat to Chris Gizzi as strength & conditioning coordinator has anything to do with the Packers overall improvement in the team staying healthier this season.

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Oppy's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Also, as evidence of that a highly drafted player doesn't have to play or produce immediately or be a bust: I present exhibit A, Aaron Rodgers.

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jsb937's picture

December 26, 2019 at 07:10 pm

Max Crosby is a fourth round pick and will have a super awesome NFL career. Gary not so much. A bust.

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wildbill's picture

December 26, 2019 at 09:43 pm

You listen to the fans and pretty soon you will be sitting with them, very smart words of wisdom. We are 12-3 and should end up 13-3 and to read a lot of the posts our team management has made tons of mistakes. It takes time to turn over a roster and mistakes will be made because we are dealing with human beings, the most unpredictable animal on earth. Enjoy this great ride of a season and have the patience to support the teams vision as it goes forward

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ironman3169's picture

December 27, 2019 at 06:30 am

THAT is the most intelligent comment here! Well done!

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

December 27, 2019 at 09:18 am

This is what I've been saying all year. Everyone was bashing him for being useless, but they weren't paying attention. Sure, there were plays Gary was out of position. Sure, he's not the greatest edge defender in the NFL. BUT, he doesn't have to be. He has the most prolific pass rushing tandem in the NFL playing ahead of him and when he does inevitably come in to play, he wreaks havoc on the opposing tackles. He routinely pushes the tackles back into the quarterback forcing him up into the pocket. He has excellent explosive force off of the line and rarely gets stalled with his speed rushes. He could be a very good weapon in the near future. And this is one front that you do not want to see great players like him being added amongst if you have to play against them. See: Vikings game Sunday night

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LambeauPlain's picture

December 27, 2019 at 09:20 am

Two concerning observations about Gary most mentioned by the scouts prior to draft weekend:

1. He only has one pass rush move....bull rush. Stop it and he is out of the play.

2. He tends to take plays off, especially if his bull rush is initially checked.

After 15 games, he still is predominately a bull rusher but is showing some growth....I have seen a few spins and club moves. But he still needs coaching and mentoring from the 3 Smiths.

But the rap he takes plays off are bogus. My eyes tell me his motor is non stop after the snap. Of late that motor has causes enough disruption and blocking breakdowns to send the ball carrier into the arms of a teammate. And now Gary is beginning to get home.

He was not my choice for the 12th pick. But his arrow is pointing up and let’s see who this player is after 3 years. I expect to be very pleased.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 27, 2019 at 01:31 pm

I was very unhappy with the pick, but his ability+size is evident so I'm pleased.
A lot of us were hoping for a TE like one of the Iowa boys. Rodgers never would use/trust a rookie TE anyway so the TE impact this year would have been less than what Gary has given us.

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Stroh's picture

December 27, 2019 at 01:56 pm

It's important to remember, the Packers signed the Smith Bros,well before they drafted Gary. This had to be their plan since draft night and possibly before. The Packers got the immediate pass rush help they needed, by signing the Smiths, they then had the draft in front of them to get the player who had the best chance to beome a difference maker, not merely an immediate contributor. They chose Gary because of his immense physical talent and thw Smiths are there, first to produce immediately, but also to act as mentors for Gary. Its the perfect situation to help Gary unlock his prodigious talent.

On Defense you need a couple difference makers, preferably one at each level. By selecting Gary and Savage, they have one in the deep third and one in the defensive front who they hope will provide difference making ability for the next decade, not just contribute a little more early. Its all psrt of a carefully developed plan by Gutey.

As much as they need offensive talent at WR they may very well use the '20 1st rd pick to get another defensive difference maker. Jaire, Clark, Gary, and Savage make a nice collection but a fast difference maker at ILB would finish the defensive rebuild, if thats not in the cards WR or RT

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