Green Bay's "Tough, Mean and Nasty Dudes" Are Ready To Dominate

Mike Smith likes his pass rushers playing angry.

Packers outside linebacker Za’darius Smith recently discovered an Instagram list of the top ten pass rushers in the NFL.  He wasn’t on it, and it ticked him off.  “Good” says OLB coach Mike Smith.  “Whoever wrote that on Instagram, have him keep doing that stuff.”  In fact, he even went on to jokingly add “Maybe I’ll get a fake account and start doing it myself.” 

 

You see, Smith likes his pass rushers to play angry and violent.  “You have to find a reason to hate your opponent on game day” he told the media last week.  That’s why he loves his current group of OLB’s.  “I got a bunch of tough, mean, nasty dudes.  You’re probably sitting back and saying ‘that’s football’, well, I’ll tell you what, times have changed and it’s crazy.  It’s hard to find guys that are tough like that anymore.” 

 

Smith doesn’t even want to see softness on his young son’s baseball team.  “We had a kid the other day that was playing in the freakin’ dirt and wouldn’t play in the baseball game.  His parents let him do it so we were short one outfielder.....the kids haven’t changed, the parents have.” 

 

But Smith says he loves that his OLB’s were evidently raised right.  “They are tough kids who love to work, and that’s why I’m proud of my guys and proud of my room.” 

 

General Manager Brian Gutekunst has said he believes the Green Bay defense is close to becoming dominant.  If the unit is going to take the next step toward that goal, it’s going to be led by the pass rushers.   OLB is the deepest unit on that side of the ball.  The Packers were tied for tenth in quarterback sacks in 2020.  Instagram notwithstanding, Za’darius Smith is one of the top players in the league at his position.   He had twelve and a half sacks, the second year in a row he’s been in double figures.  In 2019 he led the league in QB pressures.   

 

Preston Smith is not as consistent, but when he’s hot, he can be a devastating presence rushing from the outside or setting an edge against the run.  His condor-like arms flail high into the opposing quarterback’s vision and bat down passes with frequency.  Preston reported to OTAs a bit slimmed down.  His coach says he wants Preston and all the OLB’s to find that “sweet spot” where they are slim enough to have maximum speed, but remain big enough to handle a block from a huge guard or tackle.  “I’m sure Preston has trained his butt off, which you could tell when he came in” says Mike Smith.   Preston has a track record of alternating good years and bad years.  If that holds true, 2021 should be a good one.  He had 12 sacks and 23 quarterback hits in 2019.  Those numbers sagged to 4 and 11 last season.  He’s also been extremely durable.  He’s never missed a game in his first six years in the league. 

 

But the most talented player in the room may be third year man Rashan Gary.   His selection in the first round in 2019 was widely criticized by Packer fans, who were quick to label him as a bust after playing only sparsely during his rookie year.  But he began to come on strong in year two, and by the latter part of the season wound up starting four games ahead of Preston Smith.  He finished with 5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hits.  At times, he looked unstoppable.  Nobody’s calling him a bust any more.  In fact, it would appear the former Michigan Wolverine has become something of a fan favorite. 

 

This spring Mike Smith took one look at Gary’s chiseled physique and pronounced that he reported to OTAs “in ridiculous shape”, and that he expects a big jump in year three.  “Because of where Rashan got drafted (12th overall) early in the first round, people thought he would come in and be a starter and an All Pro.  It don’t work like that” said Mike Smith.  “If you force a guy to play when he’s not ready, you can do a lot of damage.  I was blessed enough to have some good depth that first year where I could allow Rashan to have that progression.....I have a hundred percent confidence in Rashan because he’s always going to work....he’s already got a huge jump after being here for two years but I expect him to get better and better every year.” 

 

New Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry says he would love to design more calls that get all three on the field together.  “In today’s NFL, you can’t have enough guys to rush the passer.  To have Rashan, to have Za’darius, to have Preston, and then we’ll wait and see who that 4th or 5th guy is....we’ll get creative and have fun with it.” 

 

See?  Even a bunch of tough, mean and nasty dudes can have fun out there.  The fun is in being dominant.  Will this be the year, led by the pass rushers, the Packers get there? 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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16 points

Comments (74)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Johnblood27's picture

May 31, 2021 at 06:57 am

Nice write up Ken, I appreciate the news of the fitness level of the players and the positive outlook.

I am looking forward to a full season of Rashan Gary being a contributor to this growing defense.

I am also optimistic about those "4th and 5th guys", Garvin , Ramsey and Gileai... whoever steps up.

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Bure9620's picture

May 31, 2021 at 07:29 am

This will be key as we be leaning on the run game and defense significantly this year. If these nasty dude can steal a few possessions we will have a chance to win several games.

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Handsback's picture

May 31, 2021 at 07:32 am

With the three amigos blasting through the line, Clark penetrating through the middle...the Packers need that run stopper which I think they got in the rookie from FL.
I believe the defense is close to being dominant, but I've said that before and been disappointed. Maybe this is the year.

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Guam's picture

May 31, 2021 at 07:49 am

Would love to see a dominant defense, but would happily settle for a good one. The past few years the Packer defense has been entirely too average.

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PeteK's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:03 am

Gary is the best of the 3 in stopping the run. His combination of hsize, strength, and some quickness makes him hard to block, either on the outside or playing DE. Preston was exposed in the Niners championship game when he couldn't hold the edge against the run. However, We should give Pettine some credit for moving Amos closer to the line of scrimmage later in the season to get him involved in stopping the run.

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Savage57's picture

May 31, 2021 at 09:48 am

I'm not sure it was being exposed as much as it was just a function of going up against and being beaten by a pretty formidable O-line filled with high draft picks and FA's that basically pinned their ears back in run blocking against a defense designed to get upfield pressure on the QB.

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PeteK's picture

May 31, 2021 at 04:45 pm

One could argue that Tampa Bay had a better runner and also a good offensive line, but did not chew us up.

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murf7777's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:11 am

We need to be dominate if we want to win championships. Defense is still king of the SB and I suspect always will be. Occasionally, a dominate O will win the big one, but it’s far a few between.

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Bure9620's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:50 am

This is so true. Also true why teams with a QB taking up over 20% of the cap rarely win SBs.......

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JohnnyLogan's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:49 am

Tough, mean, nasty... are we talking about the same three guys who were practically invisible in the championship game? Z regressed last year. P. Smith was simply bad. And Gary had his moments but hasn't proven to be special. Brian Burns, the player we should have taken is special. Don't you love spring?

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Stroh's picture

June 02, 2021 at 12:51 am

Gary is a much better all around player than Burns. Starting this year Gary is going to become nesr dominant pass rushing. Burns has reached his ceiling, Gary isn't close to his yet. Your going to eat those words!

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:46 am

On an unrelated note:

I would like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow veterans on Memorial Day 2021. And especially to remember and honor those who didn't make it home. Semper Fi

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:01 am

And today is Memorial Day, which celebrates Veterans who died defending out country.

Next time you try to correct somebody, try and understand the subject matter first.

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Rebecca's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:07 am

I think you know the difference, why not keep it that way. I put the links in the post so you could figure out the difference. Why have both then? Yes, military person s who die in war are veterans, obviously. History shows us that immediately after bloody wars people are saddened by the loss of life, and many had relatives who died young in war. On the other hand, a lot of military persons are veterans but never fought in war. Big difference. That’s why we have Veterans Day and also to get a day off. lol

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:16 am

As someone who actually fought to defend our country, I don't need some empty headed Millennial or Gen Xer explaining to me the difference between the two.

Enjoy the freedoms that I, and thousands others, fought for you to enjoy. Now go watch the latest episode of the Kardashians and stop disrespecting this holiday that honors our fallen veterans.

The fact that the only thing these two holidays mean to you is that you get a "day off", says all there needs to be said about you.

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Rebecca's picture

May 31, 2021 at 01:35 pm

Stick to the facts. Read the difference.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 02:36 pm

WHAT difference? If you actually read my original post, it was honoring Veterans who didn't make it home after war. WHICH IS WHAT MEMORIAL DAY IS FOR!!!!

Good lord woman, get a clue. I fought in that same war. I don't need you "explaining" to me what these days are set aside for. I'm done with this conversation. You can't fix stupid.

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dblbogey's picture

May 31, 2021 at 05:49 pm

I think you're losing, Rebecca.

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Rebecca's picture

May 31, 2021 at 01:59 pm

All of your derogatory assumptions about me are wrong. Thanks for disrespecting me with your polite response. I’m honoring my uncle who died in Vietnam when he was 20. In November I’ll honor you, my Dad, my Great Aunt who served in WW2, myself for my service as well. Have a nice day and GPG!

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Since'61's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:30 am

Rebecca, We have both holidays because one holiday (Memorial Day) honors those who died in the service of our country. The true heroes who gave “the last full measure of devotion.”

The fallen deserve a day dedicated to them and to their families sacrifice.

Veterans Day is for all of those who have served both the fallen and the survivors. Veterans Day was originally “Armistice Day” to commemorate the end of World War One and the soldiers who fought in that war. It was expanded to include and commemorate all the veterans who have served in all of our conflicts.

While it’s nice to have a holiday both days should be considered as days of remembrance for their sacrifice and appreciation for the life and opportunities they fought to preserve and protect. Thanks, Since ‘61

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:46 am

Thanks Since '61.

I never thought I would have to defend a simple post on Memorial Day honoring our fellow Veterans who died defending our country. I'll pass it off as youthful ignorance.

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Rebecca's picture

May 31, 2021 at 01:42 pm

I’m well aware of the difference. My point was that TODAY I honor my uncle who died in Vietnam in 1968. In November i honor everyone who served in the armed forces. Thanks for your input.

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 02:26 pm

God Bless America.

Rebecca, I find your snarky, disrespectful BS intolerable.

NEVER FORGET.

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Since'61's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:17 am

Here! Here! 13Times. Never forget the Vets, especially the fallen. They are the heroes. We were fortunate to make it back. Stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

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wildbill's picture

May 31, 2021 at 01:38 pm

Well said ‘61. Those of us who served during Nam were not treated well by the press and public. It is great that the men and women who serve now are appreciated. Those who fell in defense of our country should always be kept in our hearts and memories

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Since'61's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:12 pm

Agree wildbill. We had it rough from the press and public. But we did our duty under difficult circumstances in spite of everything. I did not mind the lack of support but the press failed to credit to our forces for the their dedication and professionalism throughout the conflict.

It is gratifying to see that the attitude has been completely reversed and that our troops are currently given the appreciation they deserve. It helps validate that what we went through was not in vain. Be well.
Thanks, Since '61

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:46 am

To have this D step up and be dominant would be quite an accomplishment by the GM(s) and coaches. Great defenses usually have a number of top 10 drafted players (where the preponderance of game-changers come from). This requires years of suckitude like the Rams, 49ers, and Bucs experienced. To do it while being a perennial playoff team would be another data point that the Packers FO people aren’t the bunch of bumbling fools that so many here like to say.

6 points
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Fabio's picture

May 31, 2021 at 03:06 pm

If AR does not come back I think that the D will be much more on the field than last year. And then we will see the true value of this D which I personally think is average and nothing more. I hope I'm wrong

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Rory Austin's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:59 am

Hype… Not impressed with a hype article… The D played only fair to horrible last year… The management ignored top picks except in round one… And certainly neglected the linebacking core… Easy to run on and easy to throw on over the middle.... The linebacking core help was neglected in the off-season… As a Packer fan I hope he’s right but hope doesn’t get you very far… I’m pretty sure other teams are nasty and tough too...it as the NFL…

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JohnnyLogan's picture

May 31, 2021 at 09:10 am

Have never understood why this team seems to punt on LB. I'd trade all three of our "Tough, mean, and nasty" LBs for Devin White or Eric Kendricks, guys who make it really hard to run or throw over the middle. They make opposing offenses one-dimensional, which is what happened to the Packers in the championship game.

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Bure9620's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:53 am

They don't really punt on LB, they simply never valued off ball backers in the first place. I think they are happy with Barnes a (UDFA) and Martin being their main guys. And they are cheap.

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greengold's picture

June 01, 2021 at 11:55 am

What would you say to the Packers adding ILB Baron Browning in trade with DEN?

Reason I ask is both Browning and another highly coveted player by myself from that DEN defense, DE Shelby Harris, are not practicing again today with the rest of the team. Browning is nowhere to be seen, as a matter of fact. Wonder if he's getting medicals done by the Packers physician...???

Baron Browning is 6-3 245, ran a 4.51. Has the size and length to range, cover and make tackles. He was pick #105 from R3 this year.

I kid you not, when Day 2 was going on, I thought to myself, "I wonder who the Broncos will be taking for us..???" Aaron Nagler wanted Baron Browning for the Pappy's... BOOM, there he goes to the Broncos! I've been unable to get Browning out of my head as part of the AR trade deal, if it happens. I think he'd make a great addition to our D.

As for Shelby Harris, he is in attendance, but in street clothes. Harris has been a FA crush of mine. No other DL in the NFL has more passes batted down since 2017 than Harris with 21. I think he would be great next to Kenny Clark. 6-2 290. Had 11 QB hits last year, 2.5 sacks and 4 TFL... plus 7 PD.

Also, WR KJ Hamler is working on a side field by himself. Other players not practicing for DEN are starting LT Garrett Bolles, a former 1st Round pick from 2017, RT Bobby Massie, and CB Kyle Fuller.

Hmmm. Maybe the trade IS on...? I find it curious.

-2 points
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nostradanus's picture

May 31, 2021 at 09:25 am

I was wondering if Smith was going to stick around in GB after Pettine was not retained.

I’m glad he has stayed, he’s an excellent OLB coach.

The Smiths and Gary should thrive this season, who are the next tier?

Scott? Ramsey? Garvin? Galia?

Should be a very interesting camp & preseason.

Can’t wait

;-)

9 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 31, 2021 at 09:33 am

I think the best boost to this group would be better play from and personnel usage/philosophy with respect to the DL. Who and how many join Clark or spell him and how much they can free others by pushing the pocket or eating up double teams. Unfortunately, I don’t see signs that the approach to the inside element is going to be much different. I’m hoping camp shows otherwise.

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Rebecca's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:33 am

Fun article Ken. Defense! Linebackers looking to tear it up! I hope they draw holding calls along with getting pressures, knock downs, interceptions, tips, and sacks. Whatever disrupts the offense works for me. Sorry if you don’t like my positive take.

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:16 am

Rebecca,
I too hope a few young players make the big leap this year, but my fear is the defense at a minimum is one dominant DL, and one dominant ILB short. Very excited about the OLB's, CB's, and the Safeties. However, it always starts up front! I think about the Giants with their defensive line when they knocked us out of the playoffs several years ago, the 49's a couple of years ago, and this past year with Tampa's DL.

I don't know how badly the cap is going to kill this team next year though it is scary at the moment. However, if Gute can keep the team together they are so close to only needing 2 or 3 key players (OT, ILB, and DL) to be a truly dominant team. Oh, and should Love be the starter that he becomes the player I believe he can be.

3 points
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Qoojo's picture

May 31, 2021 at 09:41 am

"in the first round in 2019 was widely criticized by Packer fans"

Those are just the armchair expert GMs that think Day 0 Draft day evaluations mean something.

I challenge anyone to watch a packers replay game from 95/96 if you want to see a mean edge to a packers' defense. I haven't seen the packers defense play like that in over 20 years. The difference is real.

6 points
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Archie's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:02 am

perhaps the new scheme and new DC will transform our defense into something we don't recognize (in a good way). Heavens to Betsy if it goes south instead. Combined with losing AR that would be a double whammy that would test Pack fan loyalty to a considerable degree. It could also get the FO fired. But for now, let's hope things break our way because there will be plenty of time later to cry in our beer if necessary.

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Coldworld's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:28 am

LaFleur chose Barry. Let’s hope he chose wisely.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:18 am

Qoojo,
You are exactly right!

Amongst other things...we need another Simmons!

2 points
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Qoojo's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:28 am

Definitely Simmons!

1 points
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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:30 am

Bradley Chubb added to this group would make a HUGE difference.

I’ve always felt the Smith Bros. & Gary would be far more effective with better players alongside Kenny Clark. Mike Purcell and/or Shelby Harris would make for one hell of a talent infusion from that Broncos roster should the much speculated AR trade become reality.

Would probably take a multi-player offering from the Packers to add that much talent, but, maybe not. If something like this happens, it will propel our front 7 into that rare air of our 2 previous Super Bowl winners.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:30 am

I don't see a "nasty" defense. We have a great CB in Jaire but not that safety that WR's are terrified will take their heads off. We have no middle LB to punish WR's going over the middle. No edge rusher that simply knocks down everyone in his path to the QB.

We have two adequate safeties, a hole (and holder) at CB in King, not yet knowing if our #1 pick will even be good enough to replace him by mid-season. Two young LB's, one a late draft pick, the other an undrafted free agent, both lacking in coverage skills. Our D line, aside from Clark, currently employs two guys who shouldn't be starters on any team; Lowry and Lancaster, Keke, who is just ok, maybe, and a 350-pound rookie.

Who on this D exactly scares the other team? Where is the Reggie, the Clay, the Woodson? The 60's Packers had six or seven Hall of Famers starting, is there one on this team? This team is paying for years of drafting late and poor drafting.

This D couldn't stop Tampa Bay last year and the only real changes on D are the rookie CB and DL. And a new coach who has failed wherever he coached before. Looks to me like a division champ and an early exit, deja vu all over again.

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 11:57 am

JohnnyLogan, the realist in me can’t argue with much of what you say here, but the optimist part of me sure could.

I think Eric Stokes is gonna rock. Instant starter. Now the other side of the field will be shut down? Lol. Where are teams going to throw on us? Not to mention, Stokes’ addition will only add to coverage sacks.

TJ Slaton? That guy can pretty much do what he wants, with the right coaching. Kenny Clark’s mentorship will only help this giant of a man who can really motor. He was drafted for that proven, NFL ready size & motor. Despite that, I felt we needed 2 or 3 DL upgrades instead of 1 from this last draft.

We both know the battle is won in the trenches. That’s not a maxim for nothing. I believe the pointed ignoring of DL until R5 was part of a larger plan to bring some or all of Chubb, NT Purcell and DE Shelby Harris to the Packers in an Aaron Rodgers trade. I’m also hoping ILB Baron Browning is included in a deal with GB.

Our thinking on needs for additional help at the positions you mentioned, real, legit talents, is very much in agreement.

Wouldn’t that be something? If they actually pulled off a big trade, bringing us Chubb, Purcell & Browning? We’ll find out soon enough.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 12:35 pm

So the Broncos are going to decimate their defense for an upgrade at QB? Plus give up picks as well? I realize it's fun to go shopping with someone else's money, but I just don't see Denver, or anyone else for that matter, giving up that much for a soon to be 38 year old QB with two repaired collar bones.

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 02:45 pm

My previous msg states that could require a multiple player deal from both sides. Personally, I believe it’s going to play out that way.

I mean, we’re not giving up the reigning MVP for a ham sandwich... both sides need to get something of like value in any deal. Yeah, I could see multiple players offered from DEN vs. more picks straight up for just AR.

You do know the market was set at 3 R1s by none other than Chicago, when they offered that to SEA for Russell Wilson? I’m not making this up.

Chubb, Harris, Browning (R4 2021) plus 2 R1s? Reasonable.

If you looked at DEN’s roster, you would see that wouldn’t decimate them. They’ve got a lot of assets in trade on that side of the ball.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 03:00 pm

Russell Wilson is 5 years younger than Rodgers and hasn't had Rodger's fairly significant injury history. That offer has nothing to with what Rodgers will bring.

I'm curious. You seem very invested in this potential trade. Give me your best guess what players, besides Rodgers, would be involved on both sides, plus picks. In essence, give me your vision of what this trade could end up being.

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 05:20 pm

Hey my friend, like I said, I didn’t make any of that up. I merely researched as best I could over these past 4 weeks and shared what I thought might be reasonable expectations/outcomes of what might be happening.

That whole Chicago offer for Wilson and the trade for Stafford establish the market, with pundits piping in their thoughts. Determining price has been a great topic of conversation nationally this last month.

What I’ve shared in other discussions for my best guess is something like:

Aaron Rodgers in exchange for OLB Bradley Chubb, ILB Baron Browning and 2022, 2023 R1s, plus 2022 R2.
Davante Adams in exchange for DE Shelby Harris and 2024 R1.

I think those are both entirely reasonable deals. I’m invested only in that it appears to be setting up as something like that. Like, the deal was in prior to the draft, hence, the draft day Schefter grenade, coupled with the QB needy Broncos passing on Fields at #9. ALSO, if trade was essentially agreed to prior to draft day, it had to have been an epic combination of players/picks to hold the agreement firm in principle till June 1. I’m sure other player combinations were added based on both teams not having players corresponding with the other team’s needs at OTAs.

That, to me, was such a big coincidence that it wasn’t a coincidence.

Knowing Elway, he made GB an offer they couldn’t refuse.

Could be they might want Aaron plus Bakhtiari, plus a WR like Lazard, MVS... ESB or Funchess.

Maybe they don’t want two big cap additions, but they want Aaron to have a couple WRs he’s familiar with. Do you then trade AR plus both MVS & Allen Lazard for Chubb, Purcell and 3R1s plus an R2? Who knows?

GB’s leverage is they have no need to make any player available in trade.

That would amount to not only an epic trade, but, maybe the biggest in NFL history. It could happen. Would you trade Bakhtiari for Kyle Fuller? Patrick Surtain ll? Would you trade Davante & Lazard for Jerry Jeudy?

See what I mean? DEN has a bunch of pieces we could use. We have a bunch of players they could use. Seems to be many symbiotic combinations they are possibly discussing as we speak.

Thank you kindly for your service, 13TimeChamps, and I wish you, and every current or former service member here all the best this Memorial Day. These liberties we share today owed to those who gave their lives over many years past. Peace.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 05:08 pm

Interesting. And thanks for responding.

First off...Davante and Lazard for Jeudy. Absolutely not. You kind of lost me on that one. No way/no how.

"Aaron Rodgers in exchange for OLB Bradley Chubb, ILB Baron Browning and 2022, 2023 R1s, plus 2022 R2." Hell yes...all day long.

Another question. In an earlier post you mentioned that Rodgers fiancé has refused to move to GB. Just curious where you got that info.

2 points
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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 05:58 pm

Yeah, 13TimeChamps, good to knock this around! To be clear, I am NOT professing to be any kind of expert or anything on assigning values in trade of players, picks etc.

Really just saying, “Hey! Look over here! I think something big is going down!!!

Personally, I believe it will ultimately be less than people think, but I’m considering the timing of everything that happened, and Elway wanting to secure AR to DEN prior, and the value of that offer was likely intended to be high. Right?

I mean, they’re 0-11 against Mahomes... and likely saw another division rival, the Raiders, as a possible threat. Make a big offer and take the MVP off the market? Seems reasonable.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 07:02 pm

"I mean, they’re 0-11 against Mahomes..."

Mahomes has been KC's stater for 3 seasons. That means he's played Denver 6 times. How can Denver be 0-11 against him?

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 07:16 pm

Dude, 0-11 against KC then. I’m not in the business of fact checking articles I’ve read...

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 06:15 pm

Btw, you kind of lost me on the now way, no how?

FYI, I’m not particularly a Jerry Jeudy fan, but he was the #15 overall pick last year. Are you saying it would never happen because you think Jeudy is worth more? You think Davante & Lazard worth more?

I think there is great value to DEN pulling WRs AR knows well to make an impact immediately. Those are assets we’ve groomed in LaFleur’s system for 2 years.

That must increase the price paid to GB, no?

Bakhtiari could be in play because DEN lost their starting RT, and AR loves Bak...

We don’t have to trade anybody...

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 06:56 pm

I think Jeudy is worth WAY less. He had a 46% catch rate last year. I really don't understand all the love for him on this site. Give up a top 3 receiver, PLUS Lazard for him? Yeah...no way/no how.

Why would we care if Denver and Rodgers would be happy with this trade? GB needs to do what's best for GB, not what would make Rodgers happy. He doesn't have a no-trade clause in his contract by the way. He goes wherever he's traded or retire/hold out.

Personally, I don't see any multi-player blockbuster trade happening. When's the last time that has happened in the NFL?

You never answered my question about where you heard his fiancé has refused to move to GB.

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greengold's picture

June 01, 2021 at 05:30 am

You know I was the one that shared those concerns first here, with his 46% Catch%, but more concerning a nearly 9% Drop%.

See. I’m willing to share that info but also admit, I don’t know how the team would feel about him. Are Lock’s skills so poor that it adversely affected Jeudy? I spoke on all this stuff and not going to rehash it. Also, DEN will likely want us to take Lock off their hands in a trade for AR. Don’t be surprised to see that happen.

You misunderstand me in that there won’t be a fleecing. Also, that we have all of these WRs with their contracts about to expire, who know AR, making that relationship already established of greater value to DEN in trade. Also more of a loss for GB, meaning that possible trade price would go up in a package deal. Not terribly high, but giving DEN a MVP QB with a WR or two he already knows is added value for DEN and should cost more.

Of course blockbuster trades like this don’t normally happen in the NFL.

As for Shailene, is all this shit supposed to be handed to you on a silver platter, all corroborated for your personal checklist? I’m not going to discuss this anymore, it’s all been said. I connected those dots, and it’s not a difficult exercise.

There are all kinds of pluses for GB to make a multiplayer trade with DEN, and lots of pluses for DEN in kind, increasing the likelihood of such an unusual trade. It doesn’t make it less probable, but more probable.

We are in cap hell. Would be nice to get out of that, with assets, and a legit shot remaining at a Super Bowl.

Another thing to consider is being patient and letting this play out. There are reports today from a source saying the Packers are holding firm that they will not trade him. Seems status quo to me, meaning no new word from the team.

DEN media outlets speculate on an AR trade often offering weak trade packages... 2022 & 2023 R1s & R2s plus DE DreMont Jones, OG Graham Glasgow and QB Teddy Bridgewater...

If I were Gutekunst hearing that I’d tell them to pound sand. Of course, the DEN fan base wants to give up as little as possible. The Packers aren’t going to give him away.

As I mentioned, everything looked to me like the deal was consummated in principle prior to the draft. A month has passed and we should find out whether there’s anything to that, or not. If it did, I’d think the initial offer was quite compelling. We’ll see. I was speculating on what looked to have been possibly happening between the two teams.

Like all of us I’m just hoping for the best.

Thanks man. Cheers!

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 01, 2021 at 08:55 am

"As for Shailene, is all this shit supposed to be handed to you on a silver platter, all corroborated for your personal checklist?"

Wow, I don't know where that attitude came from. I thought we were having a polite sharing of ideas and possibilities of this potential trade. I guess I was wrong.

The reason I was curious about your Shailene comment was because I hadn't heard that anywhere before. And you presented as if it was an established fact, not just rumor, and I was curious if it was real, because obviously if it was it could certainly play into where Rodgers ends up.

But no worries, I won't bother you with any of this anymore. Have a good day.

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greengold's picture

June 01, 2021 at 10:31 am

Oh, 13TimeChamps, please don't take it that way. I was just having fun with it, and was hoping you would too.

Yeah, all this stuff is just a guess on my part. No harm intended. No ill will. That is why I took the time to give you my thoughts on it, and I really can't see myself entering back into the conversation on a Rodgers trade again until something happens.

For me, I just like laughing it up, sharing our ideas - and I really was hoping you wouldn't read it that way. There is this notion that all this stuff does have to be corroborated with factual information like it is a court of law or something that never really sits well with me. We get info, we share it... sometimes, or most of the time, it's wrong. Sometimes it is right. There is a lot of smoke out there in this one for sure.

We're just fans, talking about the stuff as best as we can. I did research and shared what I found. Was trusting you would take that comment in the good fun with which it was intended.

Be easy. We're all just trying to make it through. It's been stressful thinking of losing our MVP QB like this, and I really don't think he is coming back for anything the Packers would offer. That's sad to me that it has gotten that far, but, I can understand Rodgers wanting out if he has personal reasons for doing so, and I would like to see Gutekunst get the most in trade that he can, if his options are trade him or sit him.

Spent a bunch of time trying to figure this shit storm out, and to look to the positives. After thinking on it a bunch, it looks like there could be many positives to a trade of AR, or a larger package deal. Players for both sides sitting out OTAs, players that would fit said trade scenario I found to be more than a coincidence. Just connecting dots. That's it.

This also is not a subject a giant swath of Packer fans want to embrace. I understand that too, but it appears to me to be coming in hot. Whether that's June hot or July hot, that is up to Gutekunst and how he wishes to play it. Personally, I look to the DEN side in this scenario, and would imagine they would want to get AR into their camp asap, if possible. Elway seems just the kind of gunslinger who would want to make that happen by paying a bit more to facilitate that happening.

BTW, you're right. I haven't seen a report like that either. Just guesswork on my part.

Speaking of which, my guesswork started on this Draft Day 2, May 1st, exactly one month ago today. It hasn't been readily embraced, and I've been picked apart for offering thoughts on what I thought we might be seeing that whole time. That might have caught up with me a bit too.

I appreciate you and your thoughts, very much so. My apologies for not communicating that better.

Have a great day man!

****

Purely informational: It appears to Andrew Brandt that the Packers are "on blast," a term Rodgers uses for family, former business associates and former teammates... Brandt seems to think AR's comments to Kenny Mayne, notably the mentions of "culture" and "people," pointed to this being far more personal in nature than business. Thought it was unlikely he and the Packers could smooth things out as there has been no personal reckoning.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2021/06/01/business-of-football-aaron-rodgers-spe...

Brandt just said on twitter: "The team isn't trading him and he can't trade himself. Perhaps something changes, but wouldn't count on it."

Apparently, both sides are dug in hard. As I mentioned, the Packers greatest leverage is that they do not have to trade him.

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LeotisHarris's picture

May 31, 2021 at 09:37 pm

"....like I said, I didn’t make any of that up. I merely researched as best I could over these past 4 weeks and shared what I thought might be reasonable expectations/outcomes of what might be happening."

Dude, no. See, this is where you are making a giant tactical error. If you want your trade theories to gain traction you need to sell the sizzle. Why not say your information comes from GAnon, a source deep within 1265? "G" is a high-level official with secret clearance and access to classified information involving the Rodgers trade. Only you have access to "G" and she/he communicates with you via semaphore, and encrypted email. "G" knows you'll carry the message to the true Packers faithful through CHTV, the only trusted media outlet for believers.

As you develop the storyline, slowly leak details of how, "G" is working behind the scenes to save the Packers from Murphy, Gute, the Executive Board, and an international cabal of vegans who want to do away with all meat sales at Lambeau.

And, of course, there's Elway and all the conspiracy theories about the Denver Airport. That can play in big time! Is it a simple coincidence Elway and the Denver Bronco have the same teeth? I. Think. Not! "G" knows Elway is a cyborg with ties to Goodell's secret Artificial Intelligence Research Project (AIRP), and one doesn't need to be a genetic scientist to see where that is headed.

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greengold's picture

May 31, 2021 at 10:04 pm

Yeah, 13TimeChamps, forget everything I said.

It’s all a special ops group called G-Sizzle. Look it up... see for yourself. Don’t get too close.

Thanks, Leotis! Saving my ass!

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dblbogey's picture

May 31, 2021 at 05:59 pm

"hasn't had Rodger's fairly significant injury history."

Rodgers has played 15 or more games 11 out of 13 seasons, including all 16 games 9 seasons. He just won MVP, so the injuries he has had don't seem to be an issue.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 31, 2021 at 06:58 pm

I was simply comparing him to Wilson, who is 5 years younger and has had zero injury issues.

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porupack's picture

June 01, 2021 at 06:08 am

Logan:
<<<This D couldn't stop Tampa Bay last year and the only real changes on D are the rookie CB and DL. >>>>

Well, the game I watched, the D actually did stop the Tampa Offense quite a few times. The blunders were mental/coaching preparation.

There is enough talent. The problem is that a small hole in an otherwise mighty dam can bring the whole flood crashing by a smart opposing offense. There is a perpetual hole in the ILB coverage. Plugging that hole makes makes a top 10 Defense (albeit statistically speaking) into a top 6, if not a real top 10 defense. Then opposing QBs would indeed fear every single players at any given moment to sack or intercept.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

June 01, 2021 at 09:26 am

In the "game I watched" the blunders weren't all mental. King gave up two TDs not only because of mental mistakes, but he's also not good at covering speed receivers. We knew that even before the game and it played out. The lack of pass rush wasn't a mental problem, the nasty rushers couldn't get past the Tampa OL. The LBs did almost nothing to stop screen pass after screen pass. The missed tackles were reminiscent of my son's Pee Wee Football games; see Leonard Fournette. It's great to fantasize about a great defense since we haven't had one in years, but at the moment, this isn't yet a great defense, and won't be until we fill holes at CB and on the DL and somehow find a great MLB.

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jhtobias's picture

May 31, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Packers better have a top five defense this year if the want to even make the playoff's . It is time for Packer homer's to be realistic. Without Rodgers this offense drops to the lower half of the league. you can give me the thumbs down all you want on this site and homer up your views.

Jordan Love might become a great Quarterback no one has that answer, but to think he can maintain a level close to Rodgers is unrealistic and silly . Blake Bortels is funny best he could do is get a non guaranteed veteran minimum contract so good luck with that

If coach can get this team to the playoff's he deserves coach of the decade

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stockholder's picture

May 31, 2021 at 01:53 pm

Somebody is smoking to much. The surgeon General warns about second hand smoke.

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Rebecca's picture

May 31, 2021 at 02:20 pm

Ha.

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Lphill's picture

May 31, 2021 at 06:53 pm

If Z Smith got his feelings hurt maybe he should watch his play in the NFCCG then he will know why he didn’t make the list . There is no nasty on the Packers so just stop it.

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BAMABADGER's picture

May 31, 2021 at 08:50 pm

There are no nasties on this D, and fundamentally this is one of the worse tackling defenses in the league.

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HankScorpio's picture

June 01, 2021 at 06:23 am

Tackling is about fundamentals. That is on the coaching staff. They can demand proper tackling technique or they can excuse the lack of it. Proper tackling technique is generally not what is called "nasty", at least the way I see the term being used. But it is effective. So in the end, I don't give a rip how nasty the defense is. As long as they are doing what they are supposed to do effectively, I can live without the nasty.

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BAMABADGER's picture

June 02, 2021 at 11:58 am

HS, Nasty means aggressive... you want that in a defensive player. None exist on the Packers.
As I said "fundamentally" the Packer defense is a poor tackling team... This has nothing to do with nasty aggressiveness. It is technique. You should not draft players with poor tackling technique. Most of these men have been coached in proper tackling for a decade. If you have to teach proper tackling at the NFL level then hire Bears, Seattle, Tampa, or 49er defensive coaches. Poor tackling is not new in GB. It has been an on going problem.

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HankScorpio's picture

June 01, 2021 at 06:16 am

You win in the NFL by disrupting the QB with 4 or less guys. You cannot be forced to rely on the blitz. QBs will chew that up over time. The Packers have guys very capable of disrupting the QB. If Stokes can proves to be a decent player, they have a ridiculously talented secondary. They have everything they need to be a top 10 defense. It's not perfect talent, to be sure. But more than enough to show much better than they have been recently. Even than last year, when the dirty little secret is that they played much better than they were generally given credit for player, at least on this site.

Yeah, sure, they are not equipped to dominate vs the run. They do lack some ideal run-stuffers on the DL and at ILB. To which I say, so what? That's not important in today's NFL where only 2 teams ran more than they passed in 2020. Especially if the Packers offense is routinely lighting up the scoreboard to force games to be track meets.

I'm done listening to the excuse that they need better players. They do not. They need to put together a coaching staff and plan that brings the talent out of those players and turns it into production. They've been "fixing the defense" for so long that the offense has been neglected. It's time for the defense to hold up their end of the donkey.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

June 01, 2021 at 09:35 am

They also need better players.

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Crankbait's picture

June 03, 2021 at 07:55 am

This defense needs stops.
Especially on third down, they were a bit weak last season .
We allowed way too many points last year.
Our defense desperately needed all new coaching culture and thank goodness it finally happened.
I think we have the talent to be a dominant defense, a Super Bowl defense but the players must want it and want bad.... together.
That means playing with intensity for the whole game.

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