Cory's Corner: Winning Any Way Possible

This team will do whatever it takes to churn out a victory. 

The Packers are suddenly the big brother of the NFL.

The Rams can trade away their future for Von Miller and sign Odell Beckham, Jr. Los Angeles was filled with more stars than a planetarium, but none of that stuff actually matters when it comes to winning ball games. 

The Packers bludgeoned the Rams 36-28 on Sunday at Lambeau Field and made a statement to the rest of the NFL: We are the kings atop the NFL mountain. 

I know that sounds corny, because as I typed it, I thought it was corny. But it’s true. The Packers are easily the best team in the NFL simply because they can do whatever they want. 

“We've just got to keep stacking wins and ride this momentum,” said Kenny Clark, who had a great game with six tackles and a sack from the defensive tackle position. 

The Packers aren’t supposed to be 9-3 after three starting offensive linemen, a starting cornerback, an edge rusher and a starting tight end were out. But this team has rallied around each other and doesn’t allow excuses to seep in. The NFC West was supposed to be the best division in football and a guy the Packers signed off of Arizona’s practice squad on Oct. 6 has cemented two of those wins and now Green Bay has swept the NFC West. 

Rasul Douglas is a guy that is impossible not to love. All he does is give effort whenever he can. Beckham Jr. burned him for a 54-yard touchdown, but that was after Douglas stepped in front of a Matthew Stafford pass intended for Cooper Kupp and galloped 33 yards for a score. “We know that's his guy,” Douglas said. “We know a lot of balls get thrown to him and he makes a lot of plays.”

That pick six happened with 1:52 left in the third quarter and the always zestful Packers Radio Network play-by-play man Wayne Larrivee gave his signature dagger call. 

Another player that needs to be mentioned is Equanimeous St. Brown. He was a special teams ace by racking up three special teams tackles and downed a 61-yard punt at the Rams 1. Don’t forget that St. Brown didn’t make the original 53-man roster this year after getting drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. 

But Douglas and St. Brown are a microcosm of who the Packers are this year. They just keep finding a way. And those guys are fueling the veterans to heights they never dreamed of. AJ Dillon had 25 touches — including a five-yard touchdown reception. He has been asked to carry the load with Aaron Jones being hobbled by a knee injury so he made the unstoppable Rams defense look like wet cardboard in the second half.

Then there’s Randall Cobb. Looks like Rodgers had a decent idea of being a general manager after all. Cobb had his best game since Week 7 of last year with 95 receiving yards and a touchdown, including a 54-yard reception past the heart of the LA defense. 

This team has finally made it to the bye week. But they have already proven that they can win with what they have. 

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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

7 points

Comments (43)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
murf7777's picture

November 30, 2021 at 06:39 am

AJ Dillon received the scepter from the NFL channel this morning. Congrats to you Mr. Dillon for your “Angry Runs”!

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Leatherhead's picture

November 30, 2021 at 07:45 am

We beat the Cards and the Rams, but Tampa Bay is the elephant in the room.

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dobber's picture

November 30, 2021 at 09:05 am

They aren't on the schedule, yet.

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Since'61's picture

November 30, 2021 at 09:12 am

You are correct Leatherhead! More than any other team they are the reason we need to earn the #1 seed in the NFC again. If we get the #1 seed maybe someone knocks them off before they get to Green Bay in the playoffs.

I would prefer not to face them again but if we play them at Lambeau our defense can make the difference this season.

For now enjoy the bye and then one game at a time from there. Stay safe. Thanks, Since '61

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Minniman's picture

November 30, 2021 at 02:11 pm

True, the Buccs are legitimate. Fournette just came off a great game; and having come in to Lambeau last year and got the job done, I don't think that it has the same imposing aura for TB...... but I'd rather see a playoff game there than in Tampa!

One thing this year though - Penalties. The Buccs 2020 playoff tactic (DPI and Defensive Holding) has now landed them 20 infringements thus far. 2nd overall this year (behind the cowboys).

Green Bay are presently at 13, but with the caliber of QB's that they've come up against and their CB injury woes that's not too bad (middle of the pack..... so to speak!).

While I don't think that the Packers should be banking on penalties, the league presently seems to not have much tolerance this year for Tampa's highly effective 2020 playoff tactic........ presently being the operative word!

Disclaimer: If I had more time I'd dig out opposing yards per pass and individual player targets to see who the main offenders are. I'd also like to see the stats on penalties per officiating crew too.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 30, 2021 at 02:53 pm

It all depends on what game crew the Packers get if, IF they face Tampa Bay. While some refs have made it a point to make the high collar call. There have been some older crews who have waved it away as game play contact. It all comes down to New York. If they are serious about not having a serious neck injury during play off action. I am doubtful...

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jurp's picture

November 30, 2021 at 04:22 pm

I guess I'm too cynical, but I've felt for the last 3-4 years at least that the NFL is turning into a NASCAR/WWE entity, where "stories" that can by hyped ad nauseum are more important that game results. You know, crap like "Grizzled old vet QB vs. GOAT of the future" and next year's "Rodgers vs. LaFleur" primetime outing (come on, you KNOW that's going to happen).

I think that the league has a hard-on for the "Brady vs. Belicheck" storyline and will do everything possible to ensure it. Hopefully I'm wrong, but if TB and NE win through the playoffs with phantom calls on their opponents and obvious missed calls on them, then we know that, quite literally, the fix is in. And THAT is when I abandon the NFL, just like I did MLB when they cancelled the World Series. Haven't watched an MLB game since, and do NOT miss it.

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Minniman's picture

November 30, 2021 at 05:52 pm

yeah, I hate seeing the inconsistency in officiating.

Somewhat annoyingly now, the overt technicality of the rules (especially around Pass Interference and Roughing) mean that titles can literally be decided on them (and do).

Those things are momentum killers - and in title games, sometimes it comes down to just the one play on a single drive.

Re Brady - I don't disagree, the media and league have an unashamed infatuation with him.

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Ya_tittle's picture

November 30, 2021 at 05:54 pm

Rams were pathetic about PI last week and SELDOM called!!! That pass to Lazard going to the corner of the end zone, the DB GRABBED HIM WITH BOTH ARMS as he was going past and it wasn't called. On the 2 point PAT, DB grabbed MVS. ALSO not called. It was a bad joke.

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Swisch's picture

November 30, 2021 at 10:34 pm

A.J. Dillon has to be the featured running back in games against physical defenses such as the Rams, even when Aaron Jones is healthy.
In any particular game, the Packers have to go mostly with the running back best suited against the defense of the day.
In other words, it can't just be a matter of allotting the number of carries by seniority or salary or some other system.
Both Jones and Dillon are star running backs, and both will have plenty of opportunities to shine for the Packers.
In any given game, both will get their opportunities on the field, but depending on the defense, one will get more than the other.
The Packers are fortunate to have lightning in Jones and thunder in Dillon. What's more, the surprisingly strong Jones can pop some thunder, and the surprisingly agile Dillon can flash some lightning.
So, if these two are willing to give way to each other in various situations, the Packers will have perhaps the best running back tandem in the NFL. In the long run, Jones and Dillon will be better as individual players by working together.
I'm hopeful both guys have the character to put the team first, in addition to each having amazing talent.
In general, I like our guys on the Packers as players and persons. If they put the team first, which doesn't mean ignoring their own needs, they can go all the way to a win in the Super Bowl.
***
As I remember it, the late sports journalist Dick Schapp in the 1980s said the Lombardi Packers were best team he had ever seen. Not necessarily the most talented individually, but the best at getting the greatest results together. Not necessarily the most successful team ever, but what success they had!
Five championships in seven years, and three in a row. No other team in the history of the NFL can match that claim to fame.
To tap into the awesome history of the Packers is not just an indulgence in nostalgia, but the finding of keys to future success. In the various eras of the NFL, some principles are timeless.
In accordance with the above column by Cory, it's the best teams that find ways to win whenever possible.

5 points
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bjkdad44's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:14 am

Wow! I agree with you 100%! Thank you for your excellent observations!!

5 points
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Minniman's picture

November 30, 2021 at 02:16 pm

"A.J. Dillon has to be the featured running back in games against physical defenses such as the Rams, even when Aaron Jones is healthy."

While it may be too early to show all the cards, I'd agree somewhat, but offer that with both players demonstrating great catching ability that the Packers use more 2 back sets and use Dillon as the bait to force opponents to load the box with to stop.

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jurp's picture

November 30, 2021 at 04:26 pm

I would LOVE to see a Packers Sweep with those two in the backfield. The Badgers actually ran one against Minnesota. Both guards pulled and pancaked a linebacker and CB. It was glorious.

4 points
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Minniman's picture

November 30, 2021 at 05:55 pm

I'm a big believer in getting AJ Dillon into space with momentum.

Collapsing pockets may not have been a help, but to the eye he seems not as effective running between the Tackles as he does getting out on the edge.

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Ya_tittle's picture

November 30, 2021 at 05:55 pm

LOVE the two back sets. Can put Jones in motion, too, to see who he draws in coverage.

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NickPerry's picture

November 30, 2021 at 07:55 am

I woke up late this morning so my comment won't be one of my normal rambling homer based comments. BUT...

Man, I love this team. I'm listen to Marcus Spears on "Get Up" first diss the Packers, but then sound off about the Bucs and the Cowboys. He had the BALLS to say once those 2 teams got back their dudes from injury, they may be the teams to beat.

Personally I hope EVERYBODY including Spears keeps thinking THIS Packers team is like all the other Packers teams, or at least the last 2 who lost in the NFCCG. I HOPE they keep thinking they don't have a #2 WR. I hope they think this is the same Packers defense as years past. I hope they keep DISSING MLF without even mentioning him as NFL coach of the year. But mostly I hope they keep forgetting the Packers are missing a shitload of All Pro and Pro Bowl players.

Now the Bye Week is finally here. Lets hope for a TON of healing at 1265 Lombardi Ave and some of those injured players start to come back for the last quarter of the season. IF that happens, then I think this team is a SB Champion.

PS...Can we start talking about Gute as NFL Executive of the year soon too???

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bjkdad44's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:16 am

Eeeyep! Excellent observations!

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porupack's picture

November 30, 2021 at 09:05 am

I'm heading in your direction NP. Not completely there yet, cuz part of me remembers the huge letdowns such as the NFCC games....but GB is generally stacking the evidence.

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stockholder's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:00 am

But would they win without Rodgers? The answer is NOOOO! He sets the tone for others. It's contagious. "Sure others are needed." But Rodgers gives them the energy. The Truth is; you don't win without a great QB. The leader is Rodgers!! THE NEVER GIVE UP! You want to get HIM THE BALL! And it's just more fun for everyone, if they WIN. Some take advantage of their opportunities. And Have! Others will amaze us along the way. Anything is possible! You are correct.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:17 am

I think that would depend on who was playing QB for us.

6 points
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jurp's picture

November 30, 2021 at 04:33 pm

Yeah, Rodgers set the tone by totally dissing the front office, then lied to the press and fans. He let down his teammates by intentionally missing OTAs (and probably encouraged his WRs to do the same). Oh yeah, what a GREAT leader. The team is winning with his help, but he is NOT the team ad he is NOT the QB that he once was. And I suspect that Rodgers isn't all that great of a leader on this team.

I admit, though, that Rodgers appears to have bought into this season and into helping his teammates win. This is hugely to his credit, and I think is emblematic of his feelings towards his teammates, even if he can't actually stand playing for Gutekunst or Murphy (I'll give him a pass on MLF; I suspect he gets along fine with him because MLF basically lets him do whatever he wants within the scheme).

The truth is that the Ravens and Broncos have both proven that you CAN win without a great QB; that all you need is a solid game manager and a FANTASTIC defense. Once again, your analytical skills are lacking.

Take off your rose-colored glasses, and buckle up for a new Packers in 2022.

-2 points
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murf7777's picture

November 30, 2021 at 06:02 pm

Denver barely has a winning record at 6-5, not a good example. If Rodgers was on that team, they would be 9-3 or better. Regarding the Ravens, Jackson is a fantastic dual threat QB reminiscent of Vick. Now I don’t think a running QB will last long term, but in their youth and prime they are extremely dangerous. Can’t agree with your assessment.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 01, 2021 at 11:09 am

He was talking about Peyton, who was, at the end unefficient in the capacity to not be able to throw the ball longer than 7-8 yards downfield. That Broncos!

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jurp's picture

December 01, 2021 at 05:01 pm

Uh, Peyton Manning, as a shell of his former self, won a Super Bowl while not being even minimally effective as a QB. This is because his defense won the title - the offense was only along for the ride. Pay attention - since Manning hasn't played in years, why would I be talking about the 2021 Broncos? Sheesh.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:01 am

It can't be said enough how impressive it is to be 9-3 at this point with the amount of key injuries this team has had. We aren't talking about injuries to just a player. We are talking about Pro Bowl/All Pro level of players. Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Tonyan, Alexander, Za'Darius. We missed a game with Rodgers, Jones, Adams. Myers who is our starting OC was one of the best OC's in the league until he got hurt. MVS missed multiple games. Our OL is filled with players that were destined to be backups at the start of the year. Most people if they said before the season started that we would be without all of these players, most would think we were more like 3-9 not 9-3.

One of the best parts about this team is even though they have overcome the injuries, they have found many different ways to win the games. They have had to play close hard fought games. The 2 losses they easily could have won. Outside of the week 1 game which is an anomaly, they have been in every game.

This bye will hopefully give them the rest they need to rest up, reenergize, refocus for the stretch run. Hopefully we can get a few injured players back, the players that have been playing can rest up. Rodgers can get his toe a little more healed up.

8 points
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Minniman's picture

November 30, 2021 at 06:06 pm

Yeah, I remember having a disagreement with Dobber earlier this year where I thought that the strength of schedule was too strong and that another 13-3 season was an impossibility.

I still think that 13-3 is a tough ask (but not as unlikely as then), but most importantly, I think that I was right about the strength of schedule - this has only served to battle harden the Packers.

Barring more injuries, this will be a battle-ready team for the playoffs.

1 points
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Lphill's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:38 am

Everybody remember when Rodgers was washed up after the Saints game?

2 points
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PearlyBakerBest's picture

November 30, 2021 at 02:27 pm

Yep. I was one and so far it’s the best tasting crow I’ve ever had.

0 points
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jurp's picture

November 30, 2021 at 04:40 pm

Dude, he hasn't looked a lot like 2020 AR this year. Don't get me wrong, he's made some truly fantastic plays (two in the Rams game spring to mind), but his accuracy has been a little off all season. Is he washed? Hell no. Is he starting to show his age? Hell, yes.

It's better to get rid of a player one year too soon than one year too late. Especially one whose salary is what AR's is next year. If AR had a reasonable 2022 salary, and (big if) if wanted to stay in GB, then I'd be fine with bringing him back. I wouldn't want him in 2023, though. But his 2022 salary is ridiculous and more importantly, he doesn't want to be here. Time to cut bait, unfortunately.

-1 points
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KurtMc's picture

November 30, 2021 at 06:15 pm

Right now after this season I’d trade Rogers for Wilson - it will never happen but I totally agree. Trade early rather than too late.
I think MLF has enough play calling and frankly supporting cast to make most QB’s look great at 1/2 the cost

1 points
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Brockrice99's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:39 am

Packers have so many of these guys that just go out there and compete. EQ was cut and placed on the Practice Squad, and now he's been one of our best Special Teams guys all season and making contributions on offense as well. Rasul Douglas was on a Practice Squad and now he's been a savior for our defense. Yosh a 3rd string Tackle, has come in many times this season in tough games against 49ers, Steelers, and Rams front and he's been very good out there. I could list so many more, but it would be a novel, but it's just crazy how many guys we have who are willing to just go out there and compete no matter the situation or circumstance and that gives me and I'm sure the team confidence that we can hang with anybody in every game no matter what.

7 points
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croatpackfan's picture

December 01, 2021 at 11:13 am

You forget Campbell, who was released by Falcons. Where are the Falcons now?

0 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

November 30, 2021 at 08:47 am

"look like wet cardboard"

Hilarious!!! 😂😂😂 And very true!

4 points
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Since'61's picture

November 30, 2021 at 09:31 am

There are many great story lines for the Packers this season. But the unsung heroes of this team is their OL. They have not been great in every game but they have been solid. Not only the starters but the backups as well. Nijman and Patrick have been steady in their roles when called upon. Jenkins filled in admirably for Bak until he too went down.

On defense our safeties have been steady at the back end and we saw Amos make a brilliant stop on a Rams 4th down try early in the game. Douglas and Campbell have come out of nowhere to solidify our CB and ILB position groups. And finally given his chance to play, Rashan Gary has become a game wrecker from his OLB position.

I should also mention that the coaching staff has done an excellent job of preparing this team on a weekly basis. The Saints game and our STs are the notable exceptions but we're long past the Saints game and our coverage teams have improved. It's anyone's guess what's going on with the FG unit.

This Packers team plays hard, is mentally tough, and overcomes adversity nearly every week, whether it's another injury or missed FGs or penalties this team is finding a way to win. If we can get some of our guys back after the bye and earn the #1 seed we're going to go a long way in the playoffs. GPG! Thanks, Since '61

7 points
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Booner's picture

November 30, 2021 at 09:41 am

They played smart and Rodgers is still the MAN! We need to heal up some during this bye week. Maybe get Bak or Meyers back on the OL. Getting Smith or Alexander back would really help this team a lot! EQ looks like he is understanding the scheme's a lot better! Run Dillion when the weather turns bad and swing it to Jones to get him free in space!

GO

PACK

GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

November 30, 2021 at 11:06 am

It is comical how people can view the same game and have have opinions 180 degrees apart.

Over at Packerswire, they list Kenny Clark as one of the bottom 5 Packer D players on Sunday per PFF. I agree with Cory. I thought Kenny played a great game. 6 tackles and a sack. Even more, he was so disruptive collapsing the pocket making Stafford uncomfortable.

Kenny Clark is the straw that stirs the the drink for the Packers D front.

6 points
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Lphill's picture

November 30, 2021 at 11:22 am

Amazing how many people here think this would have been achieved without Rodgers . How many good teams played without their starting QB and still won ? not the Packers

3 points
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canadapacker's picture

November 30, 2021 at 11:59 am

Totally agree - and I am not a fan of his Covid manipulations - nor his offseason garbled mind games - and I know he was not happy near the end of MM's term. But he nonetheless gives it all. So I dont just think that another QB no matter how good gives us a chance. Just look at Stafford and how he was supposedly ( and was at the start of the season - the saviour in LA) Now lately despite one of these supposed great New Generation Coach - he is getting exposed for what he is - a less than cerebral QB. Now if we look at Preston Manning and his successful return to Denver - he too had a more cerebral mentality towards playing QB much like AR. Once AR learned from Lafleur -- just to take what is there - he can play on one leg ( as against Da Bears) or on sore tootsies as he is now. His pinpoint accuracy helps makes the receivers much better.

Final note - WFT just about blew last nights game - should have had somebody try for the field goal near the end of the game. But are we going to somehow protect our backup Kicker given Crosby's struggles? And how do we do it?

4 points
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jurp's picture

November 30, 2021 at 04:46 pm

Hard to know what our record would be with Love. I'll go out on a limb and say, given how good our defense has been, maybe 7 and 5. We'd still probably win the division, but I think we'd be one-and-done in the playoffs. In 2022, I think we'd be in the NFCCG. You can now extrapolate that prediction into 2022 (playoffs, with an early out) and 2023 (NFCCG). Favre took, what, four years to get us to the SB? I suspect that Love can do that as well, especially in MLF's offense.

But yeah, this year wouldn't be nearly as fun with a different QB.

Teams can protect two players a week on the PS, I believe. Our backup kicker must have been one of them because the Saints have already been through four kickers and I can't believe they wouldn't have poached him by now. I suspect he'll be protected for the rest of the season, and that he'll be Crosby's heir apparent after Crosby retires this offseason.

1 points
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Minniman's picture

November 30, 2021 at 01:26 pm

The old adage rings true here Cory - A champion team will beat a team of champions!

The buy-in to the scheme and selflessness are there to be seen.

Rasul Douglas has helped both on the playing and practice fields - he's demonstrated that even though you are on the PS, be ready for when your number gets called.

If I was sitting on a PS (and in particular the Packers PS this year) I'd be so motivated for every session.

6 points
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PatrickGB's picture

November 30, 2021 at 01:56 pm

I read somewhere that Douglas was not considered fast enough to be a NFL starting CB. I also read that he sometimes bites on double moves and played hurt on a previous team and it was reflected in his play. But he has the smarts to diagnose a play and play fast and he is healthy.

4 points
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KurtMc's picture

November 30, 2021 at 06:24 pm

I just hope QB12 is buying into team first, take what the D is giving and trust the Coaching staff ( maybe not ST). The whole is greater than sum of the parts theory.

If that proves to be true, I think we have a legitimate chance at home field and SB appearance. IMO

1 points
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Rossonero's picture

November 30, 2021 at 06:40 pm

"I know that sounds corny, because as I typed it, I thought it was corny." -- haha

There also has to be credit to the front office for acquiring the talent and then the coaching staff for developing it. There are a TON of guys playing meaningful snaps and then making plays on top of that. I'm sure O-line starved teams like duh Bears are interested in young guys like Yosh Nijman who's now showing that he can be a starting left tackle in this league. I'm not saying he's elite, but he's solid. He obviously needed help in the Niners game, but you can tell he's starting to settle in and gain confidence.

2 points
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