Next Year's Pack Could Have Decidedly Different Feel

Next year's Packers could have a new-look feel. Who might be worth pursuing in free agency, you ask? 

Newly promoted general manager Brian Gutekunst provided a clear message with his introductory remarks Monday at Lambeau Field. When asked about the Packers' future approach to free agency—of which Thompson at his most aggressive was tepid at best—Gutekunst said the team will "be in" the hunt. 

"Probably a little bit more aggressive in certain areas," Gutekunst said. "We're not going to leave any stone unturned in the area of player acquisition."

For years the hallmark of free agency in the Thompson-led front office was resigning current players—and typically to team-friendly deals. (To this end, retaining/promoting Russ Ball should mean more of the same—Ball is deeply respected as a contract negotiator and all-around numbers guy.) This won't be wholly different in 2018, with starters such as Morgan Burnett and Lane Taylor needing new deals. Nevertheless, Gutekunst's above remarks are the earliest indication that business will indeed operate differently in Green Bay. 

So while we're filled with the excitement of possibility—and while our hated rival Vikings are two winnable games away from hosting the Super Bowl—let's get an obnoxiously early look at some of the names the no-longer-free-agent averse Packers should consider targeting. 

DeMarcus Lawrence, OLB, Dallas — Wishful thinking here, for a few reasons. The Cowboys likely will do all that they can to retain Lawrence, who registered 15 sacks in 2017 and was a force against the run. Green Bay already has a ton of money tied up with Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, who last offseason signed a 5-year, $60 million deal. Lawrence, just 26, will command even more dough. Ultimately, though, the Packers' deficient pass rush was a major issue and must be addressed. Lawrence is a known commodity and would make the Packers instantly better. 

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Pittsburgh — As pointed out in the comments, Stephon Tuitt already signed an extension with Pittsburgh. The mammoth Tuitt, standing 6-foot-7, is an outstanding 3-4 defensive end. Paired alongside Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark, Tuitt would turn a relative strength into a potentially dominant unit. Is it wishful thinking? Yes, but it's also January and there's nothing to play for at the moment, so leave me alone. One of the more intriguing aspects of Tuitt's skill set is his disruptive style. Daniels is already a brand name as a disrupter and down the stretch, Kenny Clark was consistently making his way into the backfield. If the Packers' defensive issues indeed go beyond coaching, then premium players are needed—and Tuitt is a premium player. (And he'll probably get a hefty new contract from Pittsburgh.) 

Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville — A disappointing 2016 season and a torn ACL in 2017 might make Robinson, a receiver of a similar mold to Davante Adams, a cheaper get than most think. An offseason addition to wide receiver almost surely means a subtraction, coming either from Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb, two players with premium contracts and waning production. Cobb is five years younger than Nelson, though, and offers a unique skill set operating from the slot. The Packers may stand pat with who they've got, but must seriously pursue restructuring one or both of those deals. Where does Allen Robinson come into all this? He'd be an excellent weapon for Aaron Rodgers. That's as far as the thinking goes. 

Trey Burton, TE, Philadelphia — What Burton lacks in name recognition he makes up for in price and potential. The Eagles' third-string tight end is where he's at on the depth chart because Zach Ertz and Brent Celek precede him—not because he's a bad player. In fact, Burton has exactly the type of athleticism and playmaking skills the Packers have lacked sans one year with Jared Cook. Right now, Burton is playing out a 1-year, $2.746 million contract. He may have been a slow riser, but at 26 he'd be a welcome addition at tight end. 

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Comments (74)

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Bearmeat's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:09 pm

Would love any of these guys. Maybe not DLaw. He was iffy at best for 2 of his 4 years, then he blows up in a contract year? ehhhh. Plus, he's a 43 end, right?

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE ARob. He's not a burner, but if he's not expensive, he's strong like a bull. Cutting Jordy, paycut for Randall and Arob opposite Davante would be a helluva front line at WR.

Anyone know what the Jags salary cap situation looks like?

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Coldworld's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:42 pm

I see Jordy playing more in the slot. Is there a need for two slot types? If so which one?

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Ryan Graham's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:13 pm

personally, I would rather see Jordy with the restructured deal and Cobb getting released. would mean more saved in cap, not much but some. Also I do believe that Ty Montgomery can do almost anything Cobb can do, and why not find out for sure for 9 million in savings?

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mrj007's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:29 pm

Second this. Matthews, Cobb, and Nelson gane almost 20M un cap. Resigning a declining Nelson for say 5M should free to 15M per year for an actual player! I like the guy from from Dallas of we want to build up that side. But I think TE makes biggest difference on offense. GB hasn't had a decent one since Finley. This year most successful teams have two bonafide starters at TE fir good reason. A very useful weapon blocking and catching....

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pooch's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:07 pm

Jimmy Grahm

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pooch's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:08 pm

Jimmy Grahm

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Ryan Graham's picture

January 08, 2018 at 10:52 pm

I see what you're seeing but I also saw a number of routes run by Jordy where he beats his man downfield and jogs back to the huddle shaking his head because Hundley doesnt know how to work through his progressions. Jordy hasn't been a burner for a few years now but he's a smart receiver that cab find holes in a coverage, which evidently works for Aaron Rodgers. Cobb has simply not been able to live up to his money, Jordy you can at least make a case for. If Rodgers had to pick one, I'm sure he would go Nelson.

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ScaryGary's picture

January 09, 2018 at 12:40 am

patrick peterson

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William Brauer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:10 pm

What I saw with Jordy was a guy with no speed. Can't separate like he used to. Yards after catch were abysmally low. Maybe he was injured, and if that was the case that would be the only reason to bring him back and see what kind of camp he would have. Cobb is certainly more versatile and seems to be a bit faster than Nelson at this juncture, but he too appears slower. We need to get faster and these men have sadly seen their better days. Cobb is a great guy and could coach but he's probably got enough money,

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 01:46 am

Ryan Graham: Cutting Jordy saves $750K more than cutting Cobb ($10.218M vs. $9.468M). My guess is that Jordy would take a larger pay cut than Cobb on a straight pay cut deal. Changing the contract to a 2 year deal to lower the cap hits for one player and cutting the other is speculative and has some permutations.

I have been advocating for Allen Robinson for quite some time now. Just 3 snaps in 2017 due to an ACL tear. Probably would come on a one year prove it deal at a very reasonable cost. He is a 1400 yard receiver with a 17 yard/reception average with Bortles tossing him the ball (career 14.1 yds/rec) and has caught 35% of Bortles' TD passes over the last 2 years (Adams = 30%; Jordy 34.6% and Cobb 20%). Adams and Robinson on the boundary, and either Cobb or Nelson in the slot. If you retain Jordy, he can rotate outside if necessary and Monty can move to the slot in a pinch. 3 of Allison, Clark, Davis, Yancey, rookie for depth.

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NickPerry's picture

January 09, 2018 at 05:41 am

He was my WR draft crush in 2014. I thought for sure Thompson was going to take him but he drafted Adams instead. If the Packers could sign him away from Jacksonville that would be something. The numbers he's put up with Bortles is really something. Adams and "A-Rob" would be a hell of a duo with Jordy nelson OR Cobb in the slot. Cobb has such great hands (so does Nelson) and is always near the very top in catch %. I really hate to lose either but at that money it's ridiculous to continue to hope they revert back to 2014 form.

The Jags will almost certainly move on from Bortles this season so depending WHO they go after (Cousins, Alex Smith, Bridgewater, Bradford, Keenum) they'll gain $19 million once they cut ties with Bortles.

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dobber's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:25 am

Yes, but unless they draft a QB and go with a rookie (which I don't think they'll do, given they've got a championship defense) that $19M they get back on Bortles will be the minimum they'll pay to the next guy. They'll be under immediate pressure to find a guy who can deliver them SB appearances.

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holmesmd's picture

January 08, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Sorry, who the hell os ARob?! Lol

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 02:17 am

Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville

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GBPDAN1's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:07 pm

"Probably a little bit more aggressive in certain areas," Gutekunst said. "We're not going to leave any stone unturned in the area of player acquisition."

That's sweet music to my ears !

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KenEllis's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:08 pm

Thank God Thompson's refusal to utilize free agency and to make player trades will not be repeated under Gut.

Time to bury that dark period of Packer (mis)management.

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4thand1's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:52 pm

Go with your Gut, I like it.

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pacman's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:11 pm

The main thing is that there is now hope for significant improvement and a SB. These last few years it has just been hope for incremental improvement or hope that AR pulls us through. If we just stay reasonably healthy and significantly improve the pass rush (my wish), with the new RB's and AR, we are there!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:21 pm

I'll believe it when I see it. Until then it's just all conjecture.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:21 pm

Have done is better than have said

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:22 pm

Same here...

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4thand1's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:54 pm

You two need a New Years resolution, Try optimism.

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Houndog's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:32 pm

Optimism?
Add me to the list 4thand1
The guy that kept Capers for the past 6 years and then stood at the year end press conference praising Brett Hundley just got more power, and you want optimism?
Jeez, I chose my New Years resolution(s) last week!

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:54 pm

Still waiting for the documentation on that Wolf 1987 fairytale you posted on the other thread.

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pacman's picture

January 09, 2018 at 08:11 am

I gave you a like cuz I didn't think this deserves 4 dislikes with no rebuttal.

But I'm pretty sure that MM is on notice too since they only gave him a one year extension. And he (or somebody) got rid of most of the other coaches. Change has happened in GB and it looks like MM was selected to maintain some continuity.

My order of firing was DC, TT and then MM. So I got my wish.

OTOH, IMO, if MM really did believe what he said about Hundley, that's almost enough reason to fire him. So, I'll have to be generous and assume that a lot of that fault goes to Van Pelt.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 09, 2018 at 08:20 am

How has your optism done for the past 7 years?

That is why the Packers are in the situation they are in right now.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:22 pm

So nice to finally read about upcoming free agents and not just laugh as I read the draft guides for the tenth time. It's going to be a fun off-season!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:28 pm

This is just like putting stuff on my Kids wish list for him at the store. And yes, unlike TT, I let him have some of the goodies off that list.

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nostradanus's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:39 pm

I don't know and I'm trying to stay optimistic here, but the whole presser with Murphy and Gutekunst seemed very rushed and odd with the new power structure and all. When Murphy said he would be meeting with McCarthy weekly and going over game plans, I sat up and went huh? Game plans? Really? The whole thing is kind of odd the way Murphy stumbled through this thing.
Remember Ted is still Gute's mentor and still is lurking in a dark room in the bowels of Lambeau. Im sure the new GM will want to make a few moves here and there but I am not expecting anything huge. Hope this works out.

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holmesmd's picture

January 08, 2018 at 10:51 pm

I’m prepared to hang on the cross for this...but here goes. Murphy was a feisty safety for GB. This was in the era where no one cared about CTE or concussions. Why don’t fans understand that %80+ of these former NFL warriors are not cognitively functioning at anywhere near %100. Mental lapses, stammering vocabulary, mispronounced words...that’s the upside! Self medication, emotional volatility, aggression & suicide are the down side. I’ve been a clinician for 20 years and am a professional observer. I call them as I see them, like I did with TT. Murphy is a relatively highly functioning executive but I would caution anyone who reads a conspiracy into his stammering & redundant pressers. Just sayin....and absolutely NO DISRESPECT OR MALICE INTENDED! (It’s actually concern & acknowledgement). If you guys ever experience “senior moments” like I do, try being someone who played NFL ball in the 70’s & 80’s !

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The TKstinator's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:19 am

I think you have the wrong Murphy. The GB president played for the Redskins. A different, bald Mark Murphy played safety for GB.
But I understand your points.
(Probably because I only played high school football.)

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holmesmd's picture

January 09, 2018 at 08:52 am

Yes, wrong guy but same point. I stand corrected, thanks!;)

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The TKstinator's picture

January 09, 2018 at 09:19 pm

No harm done, amigo.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 01:50 am

Let's see was PM (Partial Manager) Gutekunst can do.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 02:26 am

Ted Thompson position: 1. Executive Vice President, 2. General Manager & 3. Director of Football Operations

Brian Gutekunst (Goodart in English!): General Manager

Russ Ball: 1. Executive Vice President & 3. Director of Football Operations

So Brian Gutekunst is FULL GM

TT had 3 positions in one person!

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 03:43 am

Double post!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 05:05 am

That's well done, Croat. What you wrote is technically true. Of course, it doesn't change the fact that we all assumed these men were applying for the positions held by TT. Gutekunst has less power than TT had. Ball and MM have more power. Murphy is choosing to wield more power than formerly. No idea if Wolf's position has exactly the same duties, powers and to whom he reports, because I don't think anybody asked Murphy.

It also doesn't change the fact that Mark Murphy grossly misled fans when he said last week:

"My anticipation is the (power structure) will be very similar to what we’ve had. … I don’t anticipate major structural changes."

Of course, we can parse the semantics: are these major changes, and at the time did he not anticipate those changes? If he didn't, why did they occur? Was it because he was going to hire Ball and give Ball all of TT's power, but due to backlash he hired Gutekunst to a stripped down role? Murphy has made other statements that were as clear as mud. Seemed to me that Murphy McGinned us.

McGinned, by God.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:36 am

Well, from press conference, Mike Murphy stated (from press conference) that TT was doing 3 jobs at the same time and that he wanted to make easier for new GM, so he can be more focused on team needs and players evaluations...

After all, I think, Mike Murphy choice to split duties to 2 persons to avoid bad blood in personal department. When you look at the former structure you can see that Russ Ball was not included in Player Personnel Department:

1. Football Operations

Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager & Director of Football Operations
Russ Ball, Vice President of Football Administration/Player Finance
etc.

2. Player Personnel

Eliot Wolf, Director, Football Operations
Brian Gutekunst, Director of Player Personnel
Alonzo Highsmith, Senior Personnel Executive
etc...

From this structure you can say that Alonzo Highsmith correctly concluded that he is odd man in every and any combination.

Also, this new structure looks like demotion of Eliot Wolf. But we do not know what else Packers will come with for try to keep Eliot Wolf. He may be "promoted" to Director of player personnel & Senior Personnel Executive (all in one person!).

It might keep him with Packers... But, I doubt!

That is what it is.

Also, with this "new" structure Mike Murphy avoid kids - parents scheme: I told him, no he did not - who is right? With weekly meetings there will be better communication between all 3 "power" position.

At the end, I understood that Brian Gutekunst will be in position to influence on "who is HC" decisions, but he will need to explain why he is asking for change or why he is demanding to keep HC! Finally, every "conflict" decisions should be approved by Mike Murphy...

Looks complicated, but it might works in Packers benefit...

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nostradanus's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:41 pm

I don't know and I'm trying to stay optimistic here, but the whole presser with Murphy and Gutekunst seemed very rushed and odd with the new power structure and all. When Murphy said he would be meeting with McCarthy weekly and going over game plans, I sat up and went huh? Game plans? Really? The whole thing is kind of odd the way Murphy stumbled through this thing.
Remember Ted is still Gute's mentor and still is lurking in a dark room in the bowels of Lambeau. Im sure the new GM will want to make a few moves here and there but I am not expecting anything huge. Hope this works out.

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nostradanus's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:42 pm

Sorry about the double post

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Duginske's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:19 pm

Stephon Tuitt re-signed with the Steelers a few months ago.

No chance the Cowboys let Lawrence leave, but would be sweet if they did.

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Coldworld's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:47 pm

I think cutting Matthews is as questionable as his salary. Would like to find a way to restructure to retain him. We have one other rusher with any credibility. We need three. Variety, options, depth and fresh legs.

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4thand1's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:09 pm

Checked out a bunch of mock drafts, seems like they all have the Packers taking someone different.

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Ryan Graham's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:24 pm

All kinds of scenarios come into play. before signing anyone I would think the restructuring of Jordys deal and the release of Cobb and Matthews. Those three moves could swell the cap an additional $15M potentially, maybe more. If BG doesn't want to leave any stone unturned guys like Demarcus Lawrence, Allen Robinson, possibly even Jimmy Graham all must be in consideration.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:24 pm

Ziggy Ansah is potentially available. 12 sacks, 17 QB hits this year.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 04:27 am

I think I agree with you. This could be the best pick of FA!

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Coldworld's picture

January 09, 2018 at 05:59 am

Even if we got him, we would still be wise to keep Matthews unless and until we have another proven rusher alongside Perry, who is not going anywhere.

Rusher is a premium position. I’d rather spend money there if we can find credible talent. Even if we go FA crazy, we are still going to need some of the young guys to step up. It will be a lot easier if we can get to the QB from more angles and with fresher legs.

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dobber's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:50 am

Before we get too hyped about Ziggy Ansah, we need to recognize that of his 12 sacks, he got 9 of them in three games against lousy (yes, that includes the Packers) opponents. That means 3 sacks over the remaining 13 games.

I'll grant you that Detroit has been a poor pass-rushing team in general for the last couple years, and Ansah may have been hampered by that lousy supporting cast. He's a really good athlete, and will play dinged (which he was for parts of 2018)...but I don't see Detroit letting him get away.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:36 pm

spotrac currently lists 451 free agents for 2018. If you scroll through the list it is a fairly pedestrian group as a whole. Obvivously more will become available during the spring. However, before everyone gets fired up about cutting guys to free up cap space keep in mind that there may not be enough quality available to justify spending that space on.

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Coldworld's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:02 am

Exactly. Unless there is no production at all, cutting for cap alone is not helpful. FA becomes a reach if you search for a position fill. One has to take the talent available as a starting point and, if it’s an upgrade, then you try to hire, wherever the opportunity arises in position terms.

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mrj007's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:37 pm

I would be all for ridding the team of oft-injured Packers. Abd this includes most if not all of the secondary abd Clay Matthews. These guys never see tge field so why tie cap $ to them? Would be better paying ONE guy 15M a year who is durable than have the $ tied up with 4 or 5 who never play. I could ride the bench for free and be just as much of a salary cap waste. I can't remember the laat season this team played with Perry NOT wearing a club for example or Matthews hamstring NOT flaring up

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dobber's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:53 am

" Matthews hamstring NOT flaring up"

2015...when he played the majority of his snaps in the middle.

I think what happens with CMIII will be a function of the new DC and what he plans to do with him.

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Since'61's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:11 pm

The Packers need more physicality on both sides of the ball. They also need more speed overall and specifically at WR, LBs, DBs and Safety.

I'm hoping that Gutekunst moves the Packers roster in that diection. I'm m also hoping that we hire a DC who believes in an aggressive defense which attacks the offense and tackles hard. We'll see. Thanks, Since '61

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stockholder's picture

January 08, 2018 at 10:16 pm

WR, LBs, DBs, and safety. Lets look at that closer. Your saying we can't get anything out of Cobb and Nelson? They just signed Adams. He's the guy who they build around then! I'm on board with all three. Even Monty here again. LOOK what A-Rod did for james Jones. LBs, - Perry just got signed. You build the defense around him. And what about Martinez? Mathews is not done yet and still led the team in sacks. The depth got better and what about Bigel. Rated high with Watt in last years draft. DBs, King was drafted ,House signed, and Randall and Collins are busts then? I think the only one that is work is Rollins. Randall still has a chance. Safety- Ha Ha Dix is all-pro. Jones was drafted, and Burnett may be leaving. Age is his enemy but I believe will be a mistake to let go. Can you say All-Pro like Hyde? I think we need to see who they hire at DC before we draft any of these positions again. (Rumors of Perry have surfaced now. ) So they either are doing damage control or are safeties suck. Remember Darren Sharper to here. The packers are not going to fill any of these positions with #@1. For some reason other teams are getting more out of the ex-packers then the packers are now. How can you give -up on any of these guys? It looks like something is wrong with the coaching. And thats what needs to happen first.

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CAG123's picture

January 09, 2018 at 03:35 am

You clearly haven’t watched much of Burnett if you think he’s all-pro caliber some where else. He hasn’t had a season like that he’s been a solid player for his whole career nothing more nothing less where ever he goes is free agency that team will not be getting a difference maker. HHCD regressed a lot this year for whatever reason he didn’t make any splash plays and he damn sure wasn’t physical he seemed so tentative this year like he was trying not to get hurt. As far as draft goes after Ardon Key, Bradley Chubb, and Clelin Ferrell maybe Payne everyone else is meh because I’m not sure the first 3 make it to 14 but I’m really high on Rashan Evans at ILB it’s a position the Pack have failed to but talent into and Evans brings the type of speed and physicality that will complement Martinez very well.

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stockholder's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:58 am

I say he's still a good football player if he wants to be. Same with dix. Brice got hurt and was the hitter. These guys are being to careful. (Concussions) The next DC gets them to play aggressive again. Also Jones is not going to sit the bench. Ardon Key is the only De/OLB I would draft Early. No shot at chubb. But the figures at the combine might change things. Evans will not be drafted. I think the packers are happy with their ILBs and will take another later. Which knocks out Evans. And this draft has some very good ILBs. ( Even jefferson is regarded as a ILB.) I think your going to see Wilkins , Vita Vea come into play if they don't trade up for Key. Regardless defense should be taken first. And I'll bet they keep an eye on Baker Mayfield at QB.

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CAG123's picture

January 09, 2018 at 11:34 am

They shouldn’t be happy with their ILB there isn’t any athleticism haven’t the Seahawks, Jags, Vikings, 49ers shown us the benefits of elite ILB play after Martinez who else is there? Everyone else is good at one area Jake is a better run stuffer, Thomas is better in coverage why not get a guy that can play both as well as apply pressure up the middle when needed. I’m tired of having just “guys” out there they need some difference makers and Evans can be that guy. Of course this is only if we can’t get Key or Ferrell I’m sure Chubb is long gone by then.

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Coldworld's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:19 am

I think Rollins is a safety. Good tackler too. We just need to use players better than we have been under Capers in his last years.

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dobber's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:55 am

I agree. If the new DC doesn't have him in the safety room when OTAs start, Rollins will be hard pressed to make the roster this fall.

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Chris Vachio's picture

January 09, 2018 at 10:40 am

How do you build a defense around a guy who only healthy for 50-60% of the games? Better move would be to build it around Daniels and Clark. You can at least count on them being on the field more often than not.

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stockholder's picture

January 08, 2018 at 10:56 pm

I didn't leave you the dislike. But I'm going to give you a shot a second post. First I say the packers are staying with the 3-4-4. Which means they won't draft a DE early. And I see no Reggie Whites in this draft! Your new pass rusher will be an OLB. Mathews or Perrys replacement! If not depth. I feel a back -up QB is the priority. But what this may turn out to be is this. Much like the draft when they took Raji and Mathews. Look for a NT in rd. 1 and a trade back into the first round for that OLB rusher. It's the best thing for the 3-4-4. And a new DC. Clark then moves around. If you draft a CB or Safety it puts to much pressure on the DL not to get hurt. We just don't have the difference makers up front if Clark or Daniels goes down.

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Packer_Fan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 08:47 pm

I like the idea of the pass rushers noted. It probably will be tough to get them. There is still value in Matthews, Cobb and Nelson. Restructure and keep them around. Also keep Burnett if possible. Veteran depth is needed too. But we need DB help. Big time. I am not sold that what we have currently. And don't count on players making big jumps. That fizzles out too much. House may be a valuable veteran backup, but not a starter. Keep Dial and Evans too. The backup OL players may be about a year away of replacing Evans and Bulaga.

And I don't think any of the internal defense coordinator candidates are that good. Get someone from the outside. I will expect big improvements on defense if the scheme fits the players and makes it easy for the players. But it will take years to field a dominant defense.

Drafts are important, but it usually takes several years to make the most impact. What Schneider did in Seattle took several years and development. What happened in New Orleans with lots of rookie involvement just doesn't happen that much. Draft a OL, WR and TE. Then fill in with best players available.

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Bure9620's picture

January 09, 2018 at 03:10 am

Something that really stood out to me in the press conference was Gutekunst going out of his way to say that "We will be in every situation with regard to player aquisition." That is the Ron Wolf playbook. This leads me to believe that fans and a bunch of people writing comments on cheeseheadtv.com were not the only ones frustrated with TT's approach. We had smart perssonel people growing tired of stubborn old TT as well. TT belongs by himself in a dark room with film rolling, period. TT is also the main reason for the structure change, and we needed it. Much more dynamic.
It is clear Gutekunst was frustrated with some of TT's repellant attitude to FA as well and he will change this. I believe Gutekunst will do what he needs to do distance himself from TT.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 04:38 am

You forget that Ted Thompson was the person who teach them and they were growing under Ted Thompson supervision...

Stop spitting on man who had success for the Packers...

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Bure9620's picture

January 09, 2018 at 05:43 am

Yes that does not mean Gutekunst will have the same approach as TT. TT had a different approach than Ron Wolf whom he learned under, and also different cultures.

It's not Just player evaluation it also culture, and I believe Gutekunst brings a much more dynamic, younger culture and approach. I see him listening to his scouts and staff.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:39 am

I agree, but because TT is what he is, Brian is what Brian is. So, some, if not large part of merit should be on TT, not off him...

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NickPerry's picture

January 09, 2018 at 05:58 am

He was originally hired by Wolf even though he only worked for him a couple of years he still has that Ron Wolf way about him.

No one is "Spitting" on Ted Thompson (Except probably me)... I think fans are just really grew tired of Thompson's ways Croat. We've saw on 2 different occasions (2013 & 2017) how much Rodgers means to the team. We've saw twice now how many MORE wins Rodgers gives us each season. IMO this team has taken steps back every year since 2014 under Ted Thompson.

Gutekunst is going to at least use EVERY avenue to improve the packers. Fans can't ask for more and the results will speak for themselves very soon!

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Coldworld's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:25 am

TT learnt under others who were much less FA averse. It is a function not only of knowledge but personality and philosophy. That’s why going with Ball would have been so worrying.

I have great respect for TT, but respect does not mean we have to clone him just as he did not act as a slavish copy of Wolf. Both had dropped off by the time they stepped aside.

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Lphill's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:05 am

Rodgers not letting Jordy go , he will restructure and play the Slot , Monty might be the odd man out don't need him at running back do we need him at receiver?

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Coldworld's picture

January 09, 2018 at 06:30 am

Receiver hybrid. 2 back sets or 3rd or 4th receiver. Great multi threat option if used creatively. With our two lead backs being a grinder and a flair player, Monty could really create a ton of confusion complementing both as a run or receiving threat. I hope our new old OC is still as good as he was at that kind of detailed scheming to confuse defenses.

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dobber's picture

January 09, 2018 at 08:06 am

I think this is where the Packers get their creativity back: using #88 in a variety of roles. I worry about his ability to stay healthy. He seems to be made of glass. But he should be able to get them 10+ touches per game either as a runner or a receiver, and they should be able to scheme him out of just about any spot on the field. People forget that as a RB, he was the Packers leading receiver (in catches) until he broke his ribs....

We look at the Falcons last year (with Freeman and Coleman) and the Saints this year (with Kamara and Ingram), and productive RB groups (not just one) out of the backfield as runners and receivers is where the league is going and has been going for several years. The Packers might have that combo already in Jones and Monty (more so than Williams in my mind).

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holmesmd's picture

January 09, 2018 at 09:26 am

Dobber,

Williams=1A, Jones=1B, Monty= RB2.
Any combo should be compelling depending on d&d. Don’t forget Mays who I think will be very effective as well! Very solid backfield IMO.

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CAG123's picture

January 09, 2018 at 11:42 am

Monty can be a great YFS player if used correctly he’s a big target and has the potential to be 300-400 rush yards and 500-600 receiving yards with 8-10 total TDs. This is where the Packers have the chance to get creative offensively and keep defenses guessing.

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4thand10's picture

January 09, 2018 at 12:41 pm

I would say player acquisitions and Draft LARGELY depends on who the DC is as much as what type of GM style we have now. If the D improves even a little...thats a much different look and feel than what we've been seeing. Demarcus Lawrence.... Yes, I know he is technically an OLB, but Dallas runs a 4-3. So under a Capers system I don't think he would flourish as much. Now, with who-knows-who the DC will be...free agents, draft, who to cut, keep etc...is all a huge question mark until we know who that DC will be.

Facing Delvin Cook, Jordan Howard and Detroit most likely drafting a #1 running back, having a very good D is of utmost importance.

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