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Team needs: Green Bay Packers

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The Super Bowl champs in 2010 and the top seed in the NFC after the 2011 regular season, the Packers are built to contend once again in 2012.  Led by a G.M. who has little appetite for veteran free agency, it’s important that they keep making good decisions in the draft, in order to ensure that the team will continue to contend on a year-in, year-out basis.  Especially since the Packers have a few glaring holes that need to be filled in the short term.

Defensive end:  The Packers let Cullen Jenkins walk away in free agency last year, and they were never able to properly replace him.  They need a so-called “five technique” lineman to help tie up blockers, which will make the linebackers look a lot better.  Without a strong defensive line in 2011, the linebackers looked a lot worse.

Outside linebacker:  Clay Matthews regressed last season, due in large part to the dip in the performance of the defensive line.  He needs to turn it around, and the Packers still need an effective bookend, who will be able to help harass the likes of Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, and Jay Cutler.

Defensive back:  Safety Nick Collins (neck) may be done, and cornerback Charles Woodson is getting closer and closer to the end of the line.  The lack of a push from the front seven puts extra pressure on the secondary, highlighting whatever flaws may reside there.  Though better play from the defensive line and linebackers will make the defensive backs automatically look better, picks still need to be invested at the cornerback/safety position, given that the Packers are dealing in their division with prolific passing attacks in Detroit and, with the arrival of Brandon Marshall, Chicago.

Offensive line:  Jeff Saturday will serve as a finger-in-the-dike at the center position; the Packers need a long-term solution.  They also need to feel more confident about their left tackle situation, a fairly critical spot for an offense with a right-handed quarterback.

Running back:  The Packers currently have three running backs on the roster.  James Starks, Brandon Saine, and Alex Green.  Need I say more?  (Maybe not, but I will anyway.)  A mid-round choice and a late-round flier will beef up the depth chart, provide some special-teams help, create competition, and perhaps produce a workhorse, sooner or later.

Quarterback:  What?  A team with the reigning league MVP at the quarterback position needs a quarterback?  With Matt Flynn gone and no veteran signed in free agency, the Packers need a No. 2 quarterback who hopefully can be groomed to do what Flynn, a seventh-rounder in 2008, did when called upon to play.  And then the Packers need to hope that he’ll be called upon to play rarely.

Having a true franchise quarterback makes a team a contender, regardless of the quality of the rest of the roster.  But the Packers learned the hard way in 2011 that the things that happen when the franchise quarterback isn’t on the field could prevent the team from getting to the Super Bowl.  Only modest improvement of the Packers’ defense in 2012 will put Titletown’s team back in the title game — if the MVP keeps playing like one.

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34 Responses to “Team needs: Green Bay Packers”
  1. jenniferxxx says: Apr 22, 2012 5:43 PM

    Matthews regressed because of a dip in the amount of PEDs he was consuming.

  2. mjjoe76 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:55 PM

    Matthews was routinely double-and triple-teamed last year. At the same time, he improved against the run. His QB sacks were down, but that hardly means he regressed.

    What really boggles the mind is the statement about Matthews comes immediately after a dead-on point about the defensive line. Get players on the line who can tie up some of those blockers and Matthews suddenly has more sacks and QB pressures.

  3. beauregard says: Apr 22, 2012 5:58 PM

    Packers do need to make a move at back-up QB. Many teams dropped out of contention last year when the starter went down and there was no one adequate to step in. (See Cutler, Jay)

    Everyone is worried about Peyton Manning’s neck, but are Rodger’s concussions really any different?
    He too is one good hit away from sitting out the season.

  4. M.C. Martel says: Apr 22, 2012 5:59 PM

    LaMichael James in the 2nd round could make this offense terrifying.

  5. packernation90 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:06 PM

    Matthews did not regress. He had his best season as a pro. He did get worse in number of sacks, but that is it. He was the only person who put pressure on the qb, so he got double teamed every play. He played great against the run, and was great in coverage. Don’t look at one statistic and grade a player off of it.

  6. jimmysee says: Apr 22, 2012 6:06 PM

    Matthews regressed because one guy can’t play defense all by himself.

    At least not in the NFL.

  7. Soulman45 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:07 PM

    The Pack is just behind the Lions.

  8. superdanlp says: Apr 22, 2012 6:29 PM

    Anyone who thinks Matthews “regressed” just because he didn’t put up the same sack numbers has no clue what they are talking about. Matthews had a much better overall season than he did before. Try watching film instead of the stat line.

  9. shieldsisland37 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:47 PM

    I hope “WE” draft that saftey from ND.

  10. teal379 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:54 PM

    Watch football much?

    Guessing not.

    Clay didn’t regress at ALL. He routinely commanded the only double and triple teams when he was asked to rush the passer.

    Problem is he was also asked to play in pass coverage more last year than EVER.

    His sacks were down but that’s to be expected when you’re not RUSHING the passer as much as before.

    If anything he became a more complete LB last year than he was the year before.

    Packers need D help but not because of Clay but to help the guy.

  11. steelerhypocrite says: Apr 22, 2012 6:56 PM

    Should have kept Flynn, a much better bargain and system QB than Rogers…

  12. jazzytrav says: Apr 22, 2012 7:07 PM

    Any QB that gets drafted will start out as 3rd string or practice squad. Graham Harrell is the backup, and anyone that has watched the Packers put this team together the past few years should know that. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see them go with just Rodgers and Harrell, with perhaps a UDFA on the practice squad.

  13. blackheld says: Apr 22, 2012 7:08 PM

    Something little noticed in the rush to anoint Matt Flynn as the next coming of Jesus is that while Flynn was throwing for 480 and six TDs against the Lions third string DBs, Matt Stafford threw for 520 and 5 TDs against Green Bay’s starters.

    Green Bay is primed for a drop in the standings this year. Ted Thompson’s approach to team construction works fine when he’s drafting high enough to get quality picks that can step in and start, but the last couple of years that hasn’t really happened. Aside from Raji, there’s been little help in areas of need for the Pack, and this year will be even worse.

    Expect Green Bay’s defense to continue to try and live off the big play, and the offense remain forced to outscore their opponents in order to win. Clay Matthews is a special player, and his numbers might have fallen last year, but he had a lot less help, and you can look for that trend to continue in 2012.

    As far as Chicago, until their offensive line improves, their success rate is gonna be spotty. Also, if the offensive line doesn’t improve, you can bet Cutler will be looking for a quick trip out of Chicago, if only out of a realistic sense of self-preservation.

  14. nickynick04 says: Apr 22, 2012 7:22 PM

    Soulman45 says:Apr 22, 2012 6:07 PM

    The Pack is just behind the Lions.

    I would really like to know how you can to this conclussion. ?
    Was it because the Packers beat the Lions in Detroit last year ?
    Or was it because we beat the Lions with our back ups in Green Bay…just wondering…?
    or are you just a know nothing loud mouth Philadelphia eagle fan type who just says things to hear his voice …basing nothing on fact…Yes…the pack will beat yo guys twice again this year……there,,I made a statement just like you,,,with zero logic behind it except the track record of the Lions of losing

  15. ditka96 says: Apr 22, 2012 8:01 PM

    “Jeff Saturday will serve as a finger-in-the-dike at the center position.”
    Huhuhuhuh! Finger in the dike….

  16. emoney826 says: Apr 22, 2012 8:35 PM

    Lol the 15-1 Lions fans are out running their mouths again. You were swept last year by the Packers, one of those losses to a backup QB. You’ve got ways to go before you can overtake the pack. Keep trying one year wild card, keep trying…

  17. leatherface2012 says: Apr 22, 2012 8:44 PM

    just a what if….if rodgers goes down in week 2 for the rest of the year, and they lose 22 starters on offense and defense, and the 2nd stringers, do they still finish 14-2?

  18. stairwayto7 says: Apr 22, 2012 9:19 PM

    How about a QB who does not choke in the playoffs!

  19. beerbratscheese says: Apr 22, 2012 10:01 PM

    blackheld says: Something little noticed in the rush to anoint Matt Flynn as the next coming of Jesus is that while Flynn was throwing for 480 and six TDs against the Lions third string DBs, Matt Stafford threw for 520 and 5 TDs against Green Bay’s starters.

    ———–

    Here’s a thought..if you don’t have a clue, shut up!

    Charles Woodson didn’t even play in the game and Nick Collins was on IR. Also, Clay Matthews, who dropped into coverage a lot more frequently last season, did not play.

    It was actually the Lions that played most of their starters into the 4th quarter.

  20. philrhayader says: Apr 22, 2012 10:15 PM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing them take Russell Wilson for the backup QB position.

  21. wtfru2 says: Apr 22, 2012 10:27 PM

    Mathews regressed because he became worried about HGH testing and cut back on the pills! Even his face looked a little plumper and less chiseled. A sure sign of HGH withdrawl…..

  22. stevenfbrackett says: Apr 22, 2012 10:29 PM

    I think one can tell what the general consensus is on their 3rd string QB Graham Herrell by how he has been completely absent from every single discussion about Flynn leaving and what the Packers should do now that he’s gone. Haven’t heard his name once.

  23. mrninetysixchamps says: Apr 22, 2012 11:28 PM

    If that defense improves at all I think we are favorites to win it all next season.. Go Pack!!!

  24. shaggytoodle says: Apr 22, 2012 11:55 PM

    stairwayto7 says:Apr 22, 2012 9:19 PM

    How about a QB who does not choke in the playoffs!

    It does suck that he and the rest of the Pack choked in the playoffs last season, but Rodgers hasn’t choked in a Superbowl.

  25. cornerblitz says: Apr 23, 2012 1:25 AM

    All you who are so quick to peg Mathews for performance enhancers are either young and stupid, jealous or clueless about the game of football. Probably a combination of at least some the above. Check this out: When a player does really well one year (especially when his team wins the muhfuggin’ SUPERBOWL) teams are especially focused on stopping him the next year. Why do I feel like I’m patronizing a bunch of kindergartners? This is pretty basic stuff. Mathews is a class act off the field and an all pro on it. He was double teamed nearly every play last year and still has as many hits on QB/disruptions as ever in spite of it. Just watch and really pay attention sometime before you post such offensive remarks. Believe me, go back and watch the film, his quality of play absolutely DID NOT drop after the HGH stuff started.

  26. kyannalashae says: Apr 23, 2012 2:36 AM

    wtfru2 says:
    Apr 22, 2012 10:27 PM
    ”Mathews regressed because he became worried about HGH testing and cut back on the pills! Even his face looked a little plumper and less chiseled. A sure sign of HGH withdrawal”

    Really? Ignorance has taken it’s course…tell me why every time a player who is so good at what he does and just happens to not be on your favorite team has to supposedly be on Steroids? just for the record Clay’s face looked exactly the same from 2010 to 2011 I have pics to prove it (2010 pic) http://www.nflgridirongab.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/clay11.jpg

    (2011) http://www.rantsports.com/green-bay-packers/files/2012/01/Clay-Matthews.jpg if you think he is doing HGH because of his facial features take a BIG LOOK at his daddy and granddaddy’s pics http://www.6magazineonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/clay-matthews-sr.-clay-matthews-jr.-clay-matthews-iii.jpg
    and they all have the same exact features…it runs in the family!!!

  27. rtmus53 says: Apr 23, 2012 5:52 AM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Apr 22, 2012 9:19 PM
    How about a QB who does not choke in the playoffs!

    Did not choke against your team, now did he? Yinzer fanboy – give it up! 14 months later and STILL whining…

  28. gbmickey says: Apr 23, 2012 8:45 AM

    The only thing the Packers trail the Lions in are offseason drug arrests.

  29. minnesconsin says: Apr 23, 2012 10:00 AM

    Green Bay already has a 3rd QB, though he may just be a camp arm. They signed Nick Hill back in January. Yeah, the dude who threw almost 100 tds in the AFL last year. ha.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Packers roll with Harrell as the lone backup with either Hill or a late-round / undrafted rookie on the practice squad. They weren’t afraid to take that approach the past two years. They’re comfortable with Randall Cobb as emergency 3rd QB if both Rodgers and Harrell are injured during a game. Cobb was All-SEC as a freshman QB at Kentucky.

    The Packers are the only team to give Harrell a real shot in the NFL, and they may be on to something. The rap on this guy was mediocre arm strength, and the fact that he played in a spread system at Texas Tech. But the Packers play out of the shotgun with 4-5 wides an awful lot. He’s tall, sees the field, etc.

  30. toolkien says: Apr 23, 2012 10:55 AM

    The Lions have won ONE playoff game in 45 years, you have to go back to Bobby Layne in the mid-50’s to find their last franchise QB, last year they had to comeback THREE TIMES from 20 pts down to go 10-6 and could easily have been 7-9, and they still lost to Green Bay, who had NINE starters sitting on the bench, but they’re now ahead of the Packers who have gone 26-5 in their last 31 games with a 19 game winning streak in the middle, having scored the second most points in league history last year. Detriots’ defense wasn’t that much different than the Pack last year, in fact the Packers’ D was better where counts most – points – than Detroit was. Did Detroit have a nice year last year? Better than they have been, but the Packers are still superior to them. The final game of the year was certainly not representative with so many players out etc, but look at the Thanksgiving game – the Packers shut down the Lions all day, and let the get some garbage points at the end. I can give the Lions some props with Stafford and Johnson, but let’s keep in perspective.

  31. patsaintsbroncoscheat says: Apr 23, 2012 2:46 PM

    blackheld says: Apr 22, 2012 7:08 PM

    Something little noticed in the rush to anoint Matt Flynn as the next coming of Jesus is that while Flynn was throwing for 480 and six TDs against the Lions third string DBs, Matt Stafford threw for 520 and 5 TDs against Green Bay’s starters.

    Green Bay is primed for a drop in the standings this year. Ted Thompson’s approach to team construction works fine when he’s drafting high enough to get quality picks that can step in and start, but the last couple of years that hasn’t really happened. Aside from Raji, there’s been little help in areas of need for the Pack, and this year will be even worse.

    Expect Green Bay’s defense to continue to try and live off the big play, and the offense remain forced to outscore their opponents in order to win. Clay Matthews is a special player, and his numbers might have fallen last year, but he had a lot less help, and you can look for that trend to continue in 2012.

    As far as Chicago, until their offensive line improves, their success rate is gonna be spotty. Also, if the offensive line doesn’t improve, you can bet Cutler will be looking for a quick trip out of Chicago, if only out of a realistic sense of self-preservation.
    _____________________________
    This guy is an idiot. There are tons of good picks to be had throughout the draft. We all know real teams are built long after round 1. Nice logic idiot.

  32. axespray says: Apr 23, 2012 3:59 PM

    If Ted Thompson wanted to create a riot, he’d draft WRs in the 1st 5 rounds.

  33. lionsdetroitcom says: Apr 24, 2012 1:41 PM

    The Lions will overtake the Packers this year. I can’t wait!

  34. supersuckers3 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:25 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Apr 22, 2012 9:19 PM
    How about a QB who does not choke in the playoffs!

    ——

    Zepplin was a fraudulent cover band

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