Cory's Corner: Be Upset, Not Surprised

 
We shouldn't be surprised. We really shouldn't.
 
The Packers have proven time and time again that they cannot stop the run this season and the 49ers destroyed them 37-20 by only doing one thing.
 
Coming into Sunday's NFC Championship Game, Green Bay allowed its opponent to rush for at least 120 yards nine times. The highest amount of rushing yards the Packers gave up this season before Sunday was 198 in Week 2 to Minnesota when Dalvin Cook ran for 154.
 
Those numbers were nothing compared to what the 49ers did to the Packers' front seven. The 49ers rolled up 285 yards on 42 rushes. Those are numbers that a high school team gets with its old-school veer offense, not something from a new age coach.
 
"They absolutely got after us in the run game," said Packers coach Matt LaFleur, who has had the best season for a rookie coach in team history. ..."We knew what they were going to try to do was run the football."
 
That last sentence is scary. Obviously everyone on the planet knew the 49ers were going to try and ram it down Green Bay's throat. The Packers just don't have any answers. That defense made Raheem Mostert look like Eric Dickerson. Mostert was cut by six teams and sliced through that defense to the tune of 220 yards and four scores. The funny thing is, the moment Tevin Coleman injured his right shoulder in the second quarter, Packers fans may have been breathing easier.
 
That's actually when things got worse for Green Bay and the flimsy run defense got even more exposed.
 
"When you're in single high (safety), you shouldn't be able to run the ball like that," LaFleur said.
 
This is not a defensive scheme issue. You can put the guys wherever you want. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is playing with Kenny Clark as the only reliable run stuffer on the front seven. Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, Kyler Fackrell, Montravius Adams, B.J. Goodson and yes, even Blake Martinez doesn't scare anyone. This defense has been weak up the gut this season and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan hammered that point home on Sunday.
 
Shanahan disrespected Green Bay's run defense so much that he only passed it eight times. Eight! This isn't your 6-year-old son's flag football team. This is an NFL team that actually made a trade for a wide receiver and has the best tight end in football.
 
Remember when general manager Brian Gutekunst took over and said that he wouldn't stick to the status quo? Last year, he made some changes at outside linebacker and safety as well as head coach. Now it is apparent that this team needs another anchor at defensive line, quicker inside linebackers and a dynamic tight end.
 
You can be upset about the loss, because it was an embarassing gut punch. Just don't be surprised, because that has been happening all season.
 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (93)

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 21, 2020 at 06:46 am

No one can seriously say they saw what happened coming. Getting beat. Sure, most picked the 49ers to win. But I don't think anyone expected them to get ran on like we were. I expected them to run the ball. but not like that.

That just mind blowing. They didn't just run all over us. They dominated us. They dominated so much that we are sitting here today asking whether or not Pettine's job is safe.

Sure we had some big games against us before. Week 2 cook ran for 154 yards. But 75 of those came on one play. Take away that one run and he averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Not bad.
Mostert ran for 220 yards. There was a lot of runs he wasn't even touched until he was 10 yards down field. That is just pathetic.

No one expected that kind of performance out of our defense.

So now we are looking at an off season where its obvious we need to make improvements. its clear we need to focus on the run defense. We need more speed on defense. And will there be coaching changes made? It will be interesting to see what happens.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:06 am

RC....I surely thought the game would be closer, and we would play better.

I’m going to question the “speed on defense” assertion. From my perspective, they just ran us over. And across the league, running teams go to the playoffs. Ravens, Titans, Seahawk, 49ers, Vikings, Bills, Patriots....Packers were 13th in attempts and 15th in yards. Average.

We need more size on defense, IMO. If you want to win, you have to be able to at least slow down the better running games. We just had an all-time record rushing record set on us, and I think we need some bigger, stronger mofos who can tackle more than we need another 0.2 second (that’s the blink of an eye) in speed.

Applying the same belief on offense, I’d like us to run more and throw less. That means linemen, not WRs. If we do, we’ll be good again next year because our QB will stay healthy and our defense will be off the field.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:28 am

"Applying the same belief on offense, I’d like us to run more and throw less. That means linemen, not WRs. If we do, we’ll be good again next year because our QB will stay healthy and our defense will be off the field."

I think we learn a lot this offseason about what the Packers want their offensive identity to be.

Perhaps they bring Marcedez Lewis back, but it's starting to sound as if Graham is contemplating retirement. A running team needs TEs that are proficient blockers, but someone in that position group needs to also be a threat to defenses running routes and catching the ball. We'll also learn pretty quickly what they think of that WR position group. The ability of some of those guys to get DBs blocked will keep some of them on the roster if this team goes in that ground-game direction, but I'd certainly like to see them add a quicker, shiftier WR who can create in the open field.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

"I think we learn a lot this offseason about what the Packers want their offensive identity to be."

Completely agree. I think this offseason we will get to learn what LaFleur really wants to do with his offense. I think Gutekunst will be adding the types of players LaFleur wants.

I just added a comment very similar to yours about WR and TE positions. Agreed!

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:31 am

Leatherhead I agree that we need some tough mofos on the DL who can at least hold the point of attack. Then behind them we need some fast and nasty ILBs who can come up and make the tackles. At least if we're going to continue to play the 3-4 defense. We have the right guys on the edge with the Smiths.

As for the offense we can improve at Center and RG. I doubt that we will move on from Bakhtiari and Jenkins at this point. As for Bulaga, I know that he has an injury history but numerous OLs have played effectively into their mid-30s. If we can sign guys like Veldheer as backups we should be OK if Bulaga goes down.
Thanks, Since '61

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splitpea1's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:03 am

Totally agree here. We definitely need more strength and bulk on the defensive line, as well as the quickness to shed blocks and get to the ball carrier before he can burst through.

On offense, we have an excellent pass blocking unit, but the run blocking could use some improvement. You notice how often we try to run behind Jenkins, and that gets a little predictable. We also struggled mightily on the goal line in a couple of games.

The Packers do need to acquire a solid #2 receiver, however, whether it be in the draft or free agency.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:36 pm

For the most part I agree.
But we need bigger DL. We need faster LB's. We need guys that can go sideline to sideline. Guys that stone guys and are tackling machines.

We can run more. Our OL is good. But we have no WR's. We have Adams and that is it for legitimate talent. I like Lazard. I still like MVS. I like EQ. But we need 1-2 WR's that can consistently get open. We need game breaking threats that can threaten to take the ball to the house every time he touches the ball. Our offense lacks that. Allison was our #2 this year. he was pathetic. Lazard essentially became the #2/3 by the end of the year. But in reality he should be our #3/4. MVS has skills but needs development. We don't know how EQ will come back. We can't rely on these guys to be the guys. We need to upgrade the position.
We also need improvement at TE. We need a dual threat TE. A guy that can block and catch with speed. That is hard to find but we need to find it to make our offense better.

To me the top 3 needs are WR, DL, ILB.

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Golferallen54's picture

January 21, 2020 at 05:57 pm

I completely agree with the top 3 needs. I’m not sure anything else is even close depending on who stays and goes at te

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:27 pm

Agreed. I'd consider buying an ILB like Littleton, maybe Schobert. I'd consider buying a fat guy with zero juice who just absorbs double teams. I mean if the guy has pass rush skills as well he will cost a fortune.

Strength of the draft is WRs, so let's not buy one in FA.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:21 pm

In this offense, the #2 WR is a blocker or a decoy on 85% of the offensive snaps. If we run more and throw less, that percentage creeps higher. If we throw to the TE more, the percentage moves higher. We targeted our #2 about 10 times a game this year......I think Lazard/Kumerow/ MSV /ESB can manage.

I predict we won’t keep Graham or Lewis and that we’ll either sign a FA or draft somebody at the TE spot. I definitely hope we run more and throw less. We went from 640 passes in 2018 to only 573 this year.....17th fewest attempts. I’d like to see us more around 525 passes this year, with more targets of the TE and RBs. I just don’t see the need for adding a WR.
...

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murf7777's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:46 am

RC....many including myself questioned Pettine’s D after the SD and first SF games. It wouldn’t surprise me if MLF feels he needs a change.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Pettine was kept from previous regime. Right now we don't know how he feels but he could decide he wants to bring in his own guy.
It was a smart move keeping Pettine. But it might be a smarter move to walk away right now? It will be interesting to see what happens.

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Golferallen54's picture

January 21, 2020 at 06:00 pm

I disagree because then we are back to year one in a new scheme on defense. We need some continuity and for the most part I feel like most people praised the defense more often than not this year. One terrible game doesn’t change that.

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fordguy's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:30 pm

I'm not all that happy with Pettine or the D, but I'm pointing at Gute and ML as who's to blame. The whole predicate for the D this year was based on one goal. Start fast On O and make the other team one dimensional. That's was the theory at least going in. It will not sit well with we gotta run the ball more crowd but that is what's going to help the O and the D.

Rodgers a rhythm passer and that's when he plays his best. Get back to no huddle(which I don't think they ran all year) and get back to the fast start in games where you get up on the other team and then run the ball more and use time management because it doesn't help when you get stuck with 3rd and long when playing catch up and the other teams are running the ball down our throats.

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Lare's picture

January 21, 2020 at 07:04 am

The Packers have had a serious problem all season stopping the run and also TE's across the middle of the field. I don't know if Pettine is the problem or if it's due to a lack of talent, but they definitely need to improve in those areas.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:19 am

We have had the covering the TE problem for years and years and years

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Big_Mel_75's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:45 am

Is this an issue with running the 3-4 defense? Cause I am growing tired of this system....

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egbertsouse's picture

January 21, 2020 at 07:55 am

They didn’t attack the middle, they hit the edges. Ran right at the Smith Bros. who got owned. Snubbed for the Pro Bowl? Maybe that is the reason.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:23 am

I would argue they hit the Packers everywhere. They ran on the inside gaps and they spread the Packers out and pushed the edges, too. What they wanted to do, they did.

There was a lot of CMIII going on for the Smiths at times on Sunday....55 letting himself be run out of plays. But there were a lot of times when they were just flat-out blocked.

Go back and watch that game and see how often SF had G running free on the second level. It was like watching the Badgers play Rutgers for cryin' out loud!

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Houndog's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:20 am

Not surprised at all,
I've been screaming the same song all year only to get bombarded with thumbs-down.
Did I expect what the 9ers were able to do on Sunday, hell no, the Packers were expected to be a Professional Football Team, they weren't, and that goes from bottom to top. Along with being out-played, they were seriously out-coached .
LaFleur admitting that they expected this is the really scary part, and despite certain deficiencies in personnel the question is "where's the biggest problem'? Is it personnel, or is it Coaching? I logged on this morning half-expecting to read about Pettine's firing.
With that said, and in Pettine's defense, there's not a linebacker on this team that could make the 9ers team, not enough speed, and not enough 'thump', a deficiency they share with the D-backs. There's got to be a coaching problem, I thought tackling was taught in Pop-Warner, and by some appearances it is a skill disregarded by the Packers! Martinez annually leads the team in tackles cuz he one of the few that knows how to tackle, now if he could only run to go with it.
Gutekunst has his work cut out for him, and he'll be busy, playing the cap against so many needs. Trying to make up for TT ignoring Rodgers' age (as he did with Favre), and wasting 5-6 years, with be an extremely difficult task.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:47 am

The Gary pick isn't looking any better... Glad we took a huge project at 12!!

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:15 pm

The speed that is so sought after is what Gary will provide. Have a little patience.

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fordguy's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:39 pm

In case you haven't noticed we're supposed to be in "win now mode", so we don't have multiple years to develop players, especially when your drafted at 12.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:14 am

They are fast and experienced in their scheme. We were not built for that. Over the years most teams have become pass happy so I don’t fault Pettine for putting all his eggs in that basket. It’s worked for most of the season. Another Kenny Clark or premier MLB would have helped...maybe. But if our offense would have been able to score more often then we would not be ragging on the defense. This year our defense is what brought us this far. If we would have been able to score at will then we would not be talking much about this problem. KC with their poor defense gets it done that way.

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Houndog's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:21 am

I agree Patrick,
but drafting 'Speed' goes back to Al Davis and the 1960's, and it's what's talked about on almost every broadcast.
Are the Packers not listening? An (admittedly) poor example is MVS, supposedly the fastest, and most little used, receiver on the squad, just sayin'! Where's this 'Innovative" offense we heard so much about last spring?

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

"Where's this 'Innovative" offense we heard so much about last spring?"
Well they did run a double reverse flea flicker for 8 yards.

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porupack's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:41 am

I fully agree with you, PatGB, that offense trotted out there was more deficient than the Defense. No excuse for that Offense not countering the SF defense strengths and going deep into the playbook.

It was obvious from week 12, that GB would not be able to stop SF offense. They just merely had to slow them down, and counter with high scoring of its own and apply some modicum of pressure, and hope Garappolo makes a mistake.

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niangete's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:12 am

yeah , it`s really cool!

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:22 am

Bottom line is that SFs strength lined up well against the Packers greatest weakness and they attacked it with physicality and aggressiveness. You're right: I don't think anyone expected this kind of game script on Sunday. Fundamentally it's no different than when a QB lights up a defense for 450 yards and 4 TDs. When you get had, you get had. The fact that it happened on the ground is a little more gut-wrenching than getting eaten up by a deluge of 20 yard crossers.

Lancaster has been mis-cast as an odd-front end all season. I think Lowry struggled without Daniels on the opposite side. I think Bearmeat's comments about needing a solid DE and an ILB is right on for this defense. People might say that's not enough to prevent what happened Sunday from happening again, but a respectable DE who demands more attention from the OL playing next to Clark is going to limit how the offense attacks. I think Lowry and Lancaster made it really easy for the 9ers to attack the Packers defense.

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cuervo's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:10 am

The Lowry signing was a mystery to me when it was done. You can find Dean lowry type players all over the waiver wire. Unfortunately we're stuck with nhis contract through 2020 when it will make sense to cut him.

Montravious Adams is a bust, which is why players like Lancaster (another waiver wire type player) eneded up playing so much. Kingsley may be servicable.

Add the defensive line to the needs at WR and ILB.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:23 am

It's interesting that so many of the top teams this year were run-heavy. Baltimore, 49ers, Titans. It just goes to show how cyclical this league really is.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:28 am

Defenses have gotten smaller and faster, and focused more on stopping the quick passing game. Many lack the sheer mass to hold up to a pounding.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:15 am

Excellent point Dobber!! Thanks, Since '61

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CoryJennerjohn's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:13 am

I agree 100% Mark. This is a passing league where defenses cannot do much to a quarterback and receivers. I also think this may be a culture shift in the NFL. More large and quick running backs that majority of defenses cannot tackle.

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Lphill's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:25 am

The real Blake Martinez showed up for the game , great players come up big in big games he did not, besides Martinez the tackling was awful, a all around middle linebacker is number 1 priority either through the draft or free agency, I think Pettine needs to move on , he may have been a one year rental anyway I’m sure LeFluer has someone in mind.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:31 am

We'll learn a lot about what the Packers plans are based on whether or not they engage Martinez in contract talks. By all accounts, there have been none.

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm

I doubt there will be. I expect a low-ball offer to hopefully get a comp pick, or a cheap backup for depth if no other team bites.

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Houndog's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:32 am

"I’m sure LeFluer has someone in mind".
You're sure LP?
Please let us in on the secret!

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:18 pm

MLF May have someone in mind. It depends if Gute/Murphy allows him to make the change if he wants.

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Point-Packer's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:21 am

Yes!

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murf7777's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:44 am

Lphill, I’ve always thought in today’s game if there is a weakness in your D (every team has a weakness) it should be MLB. Sunday showed us how important that position can be. Now, if we had a better Dline might that have made the difference in the game? We will never know. The lack of speed was very evident thou and that needs to be fixed.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:27 am

It's interesting that so many of the top teams this year were run-heavy. Baltimore, 49ers, Titans. Five of the top six rushing offenses made the playoffs this year (Dallas being the exception). Of the top six passing offenses only Kansas City made the playoffs. Is this now a rushing league again?

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murf7777's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:45 am

That’s a good question mark. My thoughts are with the rule changes in the past to increase passing success that passing will continue to lead the way. If you look at Baltimore, Titans and SF the more important common denominator is probably stellar Defense.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:17 pm

But Tennessee DOESN'T have a stellar defense. Their body of work over 2019 shows them to be behind the Packers in many measurables. Ryan Tannehill's ability to diversify the offense -- at least some -- saved their bacon when they were on the verge of elimination.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 21, 2020 at 07:24 pm

Makes me long for the early 60s when 10 to 20 passes were the norm,occasionally more and Taylor running through everyone ALL game long. As for the Defense don't get me started. When exactly did we turn into a nice team. Either way this team needs some toughness.

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Point-Packer's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:57 am

I've been harping on this weakness all season, leading with the less than stellar play from Blake Martinez in the middle. Predictably, the response in defense always cites his tackle #s as a rationale for his on the field success. Tackle stats are like rebounds in the NBA. Some rebounds are meaningful, some rebounds are the result of grabbing the basketball at the three point line after the second bounce when the rest of your teammates are at half court - see Russell Westbrook. When Martinez is making a bulk of his tackles 5 + yards downfield, is that statistic really a meaningful metric to gauge on the field success? I would argue it is not, and Sunday is a great example why. Watched the game for the second time last night, focusing on what in the hell was going on in the middle of the field in response to the run. I'll warn you Packer fans, it ain't pretty and the most ugly elements usually involve Mr. Martinez. So bad that at one point I thought that if you just had the ILB run as fast as they can up one of the A gaps on every single play, it may have had more impact than what Martinez did on Sunday - I would have cried too. Martinez is way to slow to play ILB in this NFL. GB needs a severe upgrade at middle linebacker, individuals with some element of lateral speed and ability to shoot the gap enough to disrupt a power running team like SF.

As to the rest of the D-line, despite everyone's green and gold colored glasses Dean Lowry and co. are a bunch of JAG fringe NFL players. Clark is an all-pro surrounded by 3-4 guys that are one injury away from XFL. Vast improvements in the interior need to take place across the board off-season. Keep one of those guys (doesn't matter who) for depth and dump the rest. Include BJ Goodson in the dump heap.

Keeping Martinez is akin to Ted Thompson's love affair with AJ Hawk. A love affair that lasted 3-4 years too long. Gute shouldn't make the same mistake with Martinez.

Finally, three snaps in the NFC Championship game for the #12 pick in the 2019 draft? BUST.

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Houndog's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:36 am

Good post Point-Packer, and a thumbs up.
Many of the sugar-coating lovers are gone now, or you'd be buried in thumbs-down in minutes. :)

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Point-Packer's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:18 am

I certainly fall into the sugar coating category at times as well, most notably and admittedly with Mr. Rogers. Love the guy despite his faults, similar to the uber Favre fans who have long forgotten his multiple retirements, horrid seasons and dumb interceptions at key times throughout his career - including all three of his last passes with all three of the teams he played for in the NFL. I digress.

Despite Aaron Nagler's stubbornness, along with pass catchers (minus Jones/Williams/Adams and nominally Lazard), the core of the defense was a continued liability this past season - arguably more than WR/TE. Funny thing was that it had some solid games against the run and then some just wretched performances - most notably last Sunday. San Fran exploited the most glaring weakness of the team x10 with a no-name RB that's likely an injury away from heading to Canada.

I don't blame Gute, as Teddy T left the cupboards very bare across the board. After rebuilding the O-line and edge, Gute now needs to focus on pass catchers (yes, Aaron Nagler, pass catchers) and the interior.

Good teams will identify and exploit a team's weakness. That's smart football. The key to success is both game planning to mitigate that weakness and ensuring the weakness is not so pointed as to be a major detriment toward success against top tier teams. The interior gap on this team was so tremendous that a journeyman RB was made to look like Emmitt Smith circa 1994.

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stockholder's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:42 am

Options: #1 Fire Pettine. This 3-4-4- can’t stop the run. And it surely couldn’t stop the Te's all year. The 3-4-4 needs LBs. Martinez and Goodson were so bad it was pathetic. So why blame Pettine? Because they won’t change the DL and Lbs until they do. The best way to stop the bleeding is to get away from the 3-4-4. Capers and Pettine have failed. Its failed for 9 years now. There is more blame here. Clark needs help.( And he should have been signed after Daniels was let go.) Gute needs to change this defense again. Making Business moves with No plan B was on him. Defense wins championships. SF just taught us why.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:03 am

Thank you Cory. I appreciate you taking the time to read my earlier post about the 49er game reminding me of high school football back in the late 60s and reposting here. Nice job, I'm humbled. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In any case we all expected the 49ers to run the ball but what we didn't expect was that the Packers would have absolutely no ability to stop the run. It just proves that when you have good OL play almost anyone can run behind them. Lombardi's OL started with Hornung and Taylor, then had Pitts and Grabowski behind them and finally Chuck Mercein in the Ice Bowl and Ben Wilson in SB ll and made them all look like all-pro RBs (Hornung and Taylor are HOF RBs).

Time to do for the ILB position group what Gute did for the OLB group which is to gut it and start over with actual NFL players. The same needs to be done with the DL besides Kenny Clark. Problem is that we extended Lowry!?!?!? However if we find the right players Lowry can be a reliable backup player to spell the real players who replace him and Lancaster. We need some big tough nasties on the DL and a few fast nasties at ILB. Interesting offseason ahead. Thanks again Cory, Since '61

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Point-Packer's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:19 am

Lowry is a reliable body, nothing more. Depth.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:33 am

Agree. But I think we're paying him more than a depth player deserves. Thanks, Since '61

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porupack's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:48 am

Agreed. ILB needs an injection of one thumper-starter FA. Then draft another.
Draft another Dliner, run stuffer.

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t-wrecks's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:42 pm

Reminds me of the Badgers. They churn out star running backs year after year because they always invest in a dominant offensive line.

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stockholder's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

Problem is that we extended Lowry!?!?!? Solution? - Trade him! Changing the Fronts? : They'll need Des. I believe Gary and the Smiths can play up. They Need another DT ( Raji #2) FA please (.Chris Jones? Hargrave? ) I'd even dump the #1 and Lowrey for Grady Jarret. Next This draft does have ILBs. But their not fast enough for the single ILB. Free Agent Please! (Littleton ILB LA ) Next it's time to bring in another pass rusher after Fackrell goes. (Yannick Ngakoue) is who I'd go after. Dumping Bulaga and Graham saves 20 mil.

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porupack's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:56 am

Agreed, STHLDR, another DT and ILB are essential.

Seems best to get a DT in draft at rookie contract values. Good quality and proven FA ILBs can be brought in at much better $ value as they are generally lower value positions across the NFL. Gute needs to go for the best available ILB, include trade a draft pick to pry an elite one loose, maybe Steelers.

Need to get one FA WR as well. There are always a few that are disgruntled or misfit with a scheme change.

Draft another WR in round 1 or 2.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:04 am

Stockholder your approach sounds correct but (speaking for myself) I would need to know what the cap hits would be for players like Grady Jackson, Littleton and Ngakoue. Perhaps TGR could give us some info on how certain FAs signings/trades would impact our cap situation as we move through the offseason.

Not looking to create more work for you TGR but it is difficult (for me anyway) to know the best players to consider acquiring either via trade or FA without the salary cap considerations. Of course that is Gute's job so we'll leave it to him. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:21 am

I think Grady Jackson might be collecting social security at this point, so he'll come pretty cheaply.

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stockholder's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:37 am

Sorry - Grady Jarrett He signed a contract in July. I'd still try and pry him away.

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stockholder's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:38 am

Hargrave 12 mil. Clark gets his 10 mil. raise = 14 mil. Littleton 8-10 mil, Must sign! Ngakoue 10- 12 mil. 20?? Nope! They must let Graham 10, Bulaga 10-12, Martinez 8, Fackrell 4, and Williams 5 mil. go. Le Fleur must change the front. Thats what makes the Littleton signing priority 1.

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Demon's picture

January 21, 2020 at 09:59 am

Wasnt M Adams supposed to be the most improved player on the roster in TC? By several players and coaches, he made a giant leap? I am so worn out on mindless coach speak and players promoting each other for no reason than it makes good print.

After Sundays defensive performace I can not fathom any way Pettine could keep his job. In any business a collossal collapse like we witnessed against the 9ers would guarantee someone losing their job.

The exception to that being the MM & TT Packers. Under that regeim coaches and players weren't held accountable for any type of failure. An empty locker or office would send a strong message that failure isnt an option in Green Bay anymore.

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Duneslick's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:23 pm

I seem to remember a lot of talk out of greenbay about M adams making a big jump right after they cut M daniels. Damage control ?

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porupack's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:09 am

Cory,
Good post. Thanks. It was an embarrassment. We weren't surprised. Many saw this all year (part of the win-ugly problem, that GB just couldn't play complete football for 4 quarters, and stop the run when it was imperative to do so(.

But the run defense was capable at times this year when GB faced good runners (but not teams that could equally dice you up with the pass) so I don't think GB needs to blow up the D yet. The problem is SF offense is so complete with nary an average player at all. Not many teams can prioritize both run and pass.

There were big changes ((additions and subtractions)) last year, and more are certainly needed. Seems to me, GB defense is 2 players away from being a top 5 defense; a thumper ILB and an above average DT next to Clark.

And before trouncing the Defense, I think the offense was the more inferior unit trotted out there in CA. It was obvious SF was going to score with its array of weapons all over. GB could only slow them down, and had to counter with sustained drives and match points and put a little pressure on Garappolo to actually have to play and play/hope for a turnover. The offense failed and no excuses for them. The Defense had to trot out there after way too many failed drives, got wore out by second quarter. Game was clearly over by then.

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MaxPayne's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:13 am

Take the vikes bears and lions and thats six wins. Oakland sucked but we barely beat them. KC was missing Mahomes, Carolina Cam. Thats 11 wins right there against either so so teams or teams missing key parts.
Come the Nines who were in one piece and winning big and they showed everyone that the Packers really werent a good team, we just played teams worse then us most of the year.
Rodgers looked like crap. Pass defenders cant tackle and have no toughness, speed or cover ability. Linebackers? Do we have linebackers or just a linebacker who is also slow of foot and smallish in the run game.
You got one real receiving threat and if covered god help Rodgers.
No this is what it is, a team that played lesser teams and had the wins to show for it.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:23 am

"Take the vikes bears and lions and thats six wins. Oakland sucked but we barely beat them. KC was missing Mahomes, Carolina Cam. Thats 11 wins right there against either so so teams or teams missing key parts."

Math is hard sometimes.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:18 am

To me there is a big Chicken and Egg issue here.

Does the run defense suck because the ILB personnel is a horrible group, or because of the scheme and Coordinator?

Personally when you allow 300 yards it's all of it. The defensive scheme is too pass happy and they don't have enough fast linebackers to stay in base.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:36 am

Those were all know known issues at the start of training camp. Just as WR was a known issue. Short Flacky: Sometimes you just patch em up and hope that's good enough to get you thru. Because you got no choice. (another item on the to do list... :-)

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porupack's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:20 am

MaxP, agree with you regarding the wins, and that most people were skeptical that GB was as good as 13-3 record. Clearly not.
But how many teams stopped the 9ers? They don't have any weakness on Offense. That is rare.

Yes, some injection is needed on D (ILB and Dline), but GB is a player or two from being a top 8 defense; needed is a FA thumber at ILB and an above-average DL next to Clark. FA ILBs are good value compared to other positions, so that seems good value to spend well and get an up-and-coming elite FA ILB, even if they have to trade a pick to pry one loose.

The other way to improve defense is to improve offense...and fix this passing problem, to sustain drives and score at will, at any time, on anybody.

IMO, that passing game is priority # 1 for GB's offseason. Draft WR and TE in rounds 1 and 2. Add a FA WR.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:29 am

"But how many teams stopped the 9ers? They don't have any weakness on Offense. That is rare."

They DO have a weakness on offense, and it's Jimmy Garoppolo. Teams just have struggled to force him to win games.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:27 am

In my opinion the Packers Defensively need:

1. Go back to the 4-3 Defense
2. Add a DT Nose Tackle- Free Agency
3. Move up Preston Smith to DE
Front 4 = Zadarius, Clark, New NT, P. Smith
4. R. Gary to weak side LB, Martinez to Strong
side LB and we need a FA Middle LB
5. The rest of the secondary I believe is fine,
they just needed time to gel together.
6. To replace Pettine or not? Dunno. If he
doesn't know enough about he 4-3 defense
then he has to go. Otherwise, he gets one
more year.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:42 am

Offensively Packers
1. Need to let Jimmy Graham and M. Lewis go
2. Geronimo Allison has to go
3. J. Kumerow has to go
4. Get a new FA - TE. Austin Hooper TE may
still be available?
5. Obviously, a FA #2 WR
6. It all starts w/ OL and we need more depth
Dunno, if Billy Turner was as good as they think & Bulaga getting older, but I did liked it when they kept him out of a lot of practices to keep him fresh for game time.
7. I know I'm going to seriously REAMED for this one, but possibly seriously trading Aaron Rodger's for a 1st and 2nd round pick. If not, then the end of this year Rodger's has to be traded. And no I'm not a troll.

Special Teams.
I believe we are ok. M. Crosby, J. Scott and T. Ervin seem pretty good.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

"And no I'm not a troll.."

True. Troll is not the word I would use.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Marcedes Lewis is the best blocking tight end we have. And he has good hands, too.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:20 pm

Agreed. If the Packers let Lewis go, the run game will require them to go find someone else who blocks at least as well.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 21, 2020 at 10:54 am

Cory says, "Be Upset, Not Surprised' but I disagree. You should be upset and surprise shouldn't even be a possible reaction.

I love reading the comments here and everybody says they didn't expect this or that because it co-insides with the usual denials that most here exude weekly all season long. Sure, some will offer a disgruntled spiel but at the same time offer the excuses that feed the denials that grow stronger each day after the game and then being frenzied going into the next. It's a rinse-repeat mantra here at CHTV.

I'm lambasted every week for not participating in such behavior that I call 'blind optimism' because no matter how hard I try, I can't ignore what I see every week. What happened to GB Sunday isn't something no one hasn't seen happen 'multiple times' this season which means it's be telegraphed multiple times what SF was 'going' to do with a P.S. attached saying there's nothing you can do to stop us and another P.S. saying "Thanks for stopping by."

Last off season, I kept quiet because I had no idea what MLF, Gute and Rodgers were going to do. With a season that was more bad than good, even with the opportunity to play in the NFCCG, this teams needs actually have them further away from doing same next year. When I did comment, I saw this team having enough to win at least 9 games, not because of their over all talent, but more about the failings to come from inside the Division and the few teams who were believed to already be inferior based more on QB match ups.

That QB match up isn't close to what it used to be and it will be worse next season with the schedule being much tougher and makes the addition of players to help much more imperative and something I don't believe the FO can pull off, especially when the highly talented FA's don't want to come to GB and don't deny it.

Be upset the Packers lost but don't give me any surprised bs because you all knew the Packers stole as much of the season they were 'allowed' to steal until they played a team who wasn't giving anything away.

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Razer's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:26 am

...Be upset the Packers lost but don't give me any surprised bs because you all knew the Packers stole as much of the season they were 'allowed' to steal until they played a team who wasn't giving anything away...

Well said. I too was not surprised by the loss. I was disappointed that we couldn't compete against a solid team. Unfortunately, it reveals just how much work is still ahead for this team.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:42 am

And what word would that be??? If it wasn't for me the Packers would still be under McCarthy and Thompson and Capers, but I'm a tell like it is kind of guy and not a go along with the crowd. We would have already had a another Super Bowl. We will get there soon.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

You replied to the the wrong comment.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

Good post Cory. Truth does hurt. But to pretend we didn't know that this was a weakness in this defense, when Pettine told us before training camp that this could be a problem. This goes back two years in one of Gutes first decisions as GM. His choice back then was fix either the secondary or the offensive line. Both were in really bad shape due to injury. Both units were in total rebuild mode. So where does a GM put his draft capital and free agent money. Sometimes you can't spread out and pick one to fix. Gute chose the secondary. At the time it was the right decision, but that left the offensive line damaged and crippled thru that season. (Packers never had a starter a RG. And the rest played thru some awful injuries. After Buluga went thru, there was no way he was taking a pay cut, and Gute knew it.) The point is, as GM Gute has limits on what he fix or what resources he can use to solve the many problems on a team roster in transition. I would argue that the choices he made this year were the right ones. 14-4 in it's self is a pretty strong case. Some of the personnel issues will be fixed by the growth of the players themselves. As an example, MVS and ESB will heal and come back bigger and smarter by just being in MLF scheme another year. I said this before, but the NFL does nobody any favors by having short OTA and cut down training camps. In the Packers case, it became clear that MLF never was able to fully install his offense this season. (The Rodgers problem in season is one that MLF dodged for good reason.) As for the calls to fire Pettine, as I said last night you might as well fire MLF as he was dealing with the same personnel issues Pettine had. Bottom line: Gute and his front office team have a plan, and to date they have executed that plan quickly and effectively. They know what player and personnel issues this team have, and they have proven they have both the means and the will to carry it out. And giving their track record to date, I expect this team will be very good in all areas in a very short time. Meanwhile, I don't know about the rest of you, But I for one, am going to enjoy this ride.... (I'm writing this at the office, so no time for spacing. Sorry about that..)

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Razer's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:36 am

...As for the calls to fire Pettine, as I said last night you might as well fire MLF as he was dealing with the same personnel issues Pettine had...

Thanks for saying this Flackcatcher. I am sure that Pettine would have dropped in better players on the DLine and linebacker corps - if he had them. You'd figure that Montravious Adams would be ready by now or Rashan Gary might contribute but neither could displace Tyle Lancaster. How bad is that.

We are living the downstream affects of poor drafting and missed drafting for need picks. Until we either buy or draft better players at Dline, WR, LB, TE and maybe even CB, we are going to be looking up at the leaders.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:52 am

I'm more a glass half full guy on Gute's drafts. But only a fool would deny the damage done over the past three years in Ted drafts. I come to believe that Ted wasn't making the call giving how different the draft between his and Gute's was. But like much at 1265, that's another unspoken story.

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packergal's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:36 am

Taryn writes:

"It will be worse next season with the schedule being much tougher and makes the addition of players to help much more imperative and something I don't believe the FO can pull off, especially when the highly talented FA's don't want to come to GB and don't deny it...."

• I agree that "Highly talented FAs" do not opt for GB; HOWEVER,
• "Moderately talented FAs" will and DO opt for GB.

Z Smith and P Smith are recent examples and I am sure that Gute can locate the moderately talented FA DE, ILB and TE that instantly improve the team. With 3 moderately talented FA and the right WR and other DL and LB selections in the draft, playoffs can repeat in 2020.

Cutting Graham, Bulaga, Martinez, Tramon-- even consider cutting Crosby to get the $$$.

Finally, maybe Gute sells the "window is only open for so long" argument to QB1...would QB1 consider restructure like Brady ?

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm

"Finally, maybe Gute sells the "window is only open for so long" argument to QB1...would QB1 consider restructure like Brady ?"

Gute gave Rodgers the extension that didn't need to be done at that time and Rodgers play since is testimony to those who believed it unnecessary. How can Gute now ask for a restructure while not looking the fool. Gute should have waited with Rodgers and IMO, Tag him one year if needed but the moving on from Rodgers is more pressing than many would accept. We aren't winning a SB with Rodgers when he's 39+ when it looks more likely we won't win one with him again. We don't have the horses needed on either side of ball and the hole next season is deeper than many want to believe.
Can this team even complete an 'all-in' move for a SB next year or even the next....I don't see it.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 22, 2020 at 08:26 am

No Taryn. That was Murphy operating as 'the owner'. Gute was not GM at the time. Nor did he have any say in contract talks at the time as a member of the front office.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:23 pm

They've already converted some of #12s cap to bonus to make more room. Maybe he'd do more, but you're just making it harder to cut him if his skills fall off the table later on.

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splitpea1's picture

January 21, 2020 at 02:41 pm

Don't cut Crosby; the others, definitely or maybe.

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

Isn’t Brady ecstatic he left money on the table only to discover he had receivers as ineffective as GBs. Kraft always likes a bargain, hence his cut-rate BJs even if it involves human trafficking.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 21, 2020 at 01:58 pm

" cut-rate BJs"

Please tell me what the difference is between paying one amount or a higher amount that constitutes a cut rate BJ? Better still, tell me why you obviously have had to pay for what can be had for free if you know anything about seduction.

Men who boast of getting BJ's via a pay for it, regardless of cost thinking, are men who more likely have no seduction or love making ability, proved by multiple failed relationships, and their whole world of sex is based on a BJ....Losers!!

Lastly, why was it necessary to bring that into the conversation unless it's what your sex world is based upon.

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 21, 2020 at 03:18 pm

K Brady obviously is pissed he paid well under market value with the expectation they would pay to get talent on the team. This is what many here thought AR should do/ should have done.

I don’t condone human trafficking and took a shot at Kraft, albeit snarkily. I wouldn’t read anything else into it.But that’s what you do ad nauseam.

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Since'61's picture

January 21, 2020 at 04:08 pm

I'm not so sure how much money Brady ever left on the table. Have you checked to see how much money Kraft's business move to offshore holding companies which move money to another holding company to an offshore account which then moves money to another offshore account that moves the money to yet another holding company that does business with banks in Brazil? And where does Brady's wife still have a residence and citizenship? Brazil, that's right. All of these companies have branches in the Cayman Islands and/or other unregulated territories. The NFL doesn't have the resources or the interest in tracking it all down.

And if you don't think that money is moved like that all the time, every day by the billions of dollars, all over the world then you (I don't mean you personally Packerbackerjim)really don't know where terrorists, criminals and money launderers get their funding from. And given the Cheatalots history of cheating, moving untraceable funds would be child's play for that organization. Thanks, Since '61

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 21, 2020 at 03:50 pm

I think it’s more about “respect” as represented in public dollars. But a good point nonetheless, Since 61.

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jlc1's picture

January 21, 2020 at 04:46 pm

Could someone explain to me what exactly Martinez meant when he said basically the defense never figured out what SF was doing? Obviously they were running it but what about the way they did it was confusing to the players and coaches? Perhaps we need someone to educate us with something called the Running Chronicles....

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stanthemanwiththeplan's picture

January 22, 2020 at 05:40 pm

cough cough like Mike Daniels cough cough

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