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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cobb Continues To Be Ordinary

Randall Cobb was one of the top wide receivers in the National Football League in 2014, and general manager Ted Thompson rewarded him with a 4-year contract worth $40 million. Two years later, the former Kentucky star is without question the most overpaid player on the roster. What happened between then and now is a mystery not even the great Sherlock Holmes could solve.

Players & Coaches

4-3 Would Scheme To Make Sense

If the Packers finally move on from defensive coordinator for life Dom Capers after the season, let’s hope they move on from the 3-4 scheme as well. It would only make sense considering general manager Ted Thompson has been drafting mostly 4-3 defensive linemen and outside linebackers for the past six years. Since 2010, Thompson has selected 11 defensive linemen

Scouting Report: Christine Michael

Green Bay claimed running back Christian Michael off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday. Talk about a good omen. In 1996, wide receiver Andre Rison was claimed off waivers in November and the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl. And in 2010, defensive tackle Howard Green was claimed off waivers in late

Notes: Money For Nothing

The Packers are paying wide receiver Randall Cobb, outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and cornerback Sam Shields a combined $34 million this season. These same four veteran players are responsible for a staggering 28% of the $163M salary cap. Talk about not getting your money’s worth. This isn’t as much a criticism of

How Safe Is McCarthy?

Barring a complete and total collapse, it’s hard to imagine Mike McCarthy not coaching in Green Bay next season. His boss, general manager Ted Thompson has the patience of Job. He’s gone to the playoffs for seven consecutive years. And he still has over $15 million left on a guaranteed contract that runs through 2018. So what would it take for McCarthy to

Clay Could Be Too Costly

If Ted Thompson wants to free up money to re-sign Nick Perry, JC Tretter, T.J. Lang, Eddie Lacy and others in the offseason, he might want to think about releasing Clay Matthews, who’ll count $15.2 million against the salary cap in 2017. Do I expect Thompson to even consider cutting Matthews? Not really, but he

Ted’s Choice: Lacy or Shields?

Two of Green Bay’s best players are on injured reserve, and there’s a chance both Eddie Lacy and Sam Shields could be ready to return in December. But due to league rules, only one is eligible to come off IR. And while it wouldn’t exactly be Sophie’s Choice, picking between the star runner and the No. 1

Scouting Report: Knile Davis

For the first time since acquiring Anthony Smith from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010, general manager Ted Thompson has traded for a veteran player. With starter Eddie Lacy hobbled by a sprained ankle and backup James Starks out for a few more weeks following knee surgery, the Packers on Tuesday dealt a conditional late-round pick

New Plan Needed For Sam

The decision makers in Green Bay would be wise to reconsider how they use Sam Shields once the team’s best corner returns from the fourth concussion of his NFL career. The temptation – especially with the defense ranked 29th in opponent passer rating – would be to have No. 37 on the field as much as possible, but that probably wouldn’t

Notes: Starks Looks Slower

It’s probably too soon to judge running back James Starks, but to be fair, I did mention during training camp that he looked about a half-step slower. The fact he’s touched the ball only 15 times in 3 games suggests the coaches see the same thing. That’s what made the decision to pass on veteran

Best At The Bye

The Packers played only 3 games prior to their bye, and while things will obviously change between now and January, here are the 10 best players as of today: 1. Mike Daniels – The veteran defensive lineman was named the team’s MVP last season, and he’s well on his way to going back-to-back. He’s the main

Shields Faces Uncertain Future

Even if Sam Shields is cleared to return to action this season – and reports suggest he will be – there’s no guarantee the team’s No. 1 corner will be back in 2017. Such uncertainty comes when you combine multiple concussions with a big salary. Shields is currently recovering from a concussion – his second

Does Aaron Miss Tom?

It seems as if everyone has a theory on what’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers, so I’ll join the party. Perhaps the two-time MVP and future Hall of Famer isn’t getting the same quality of instruction from Alex Van Pelt – both during the week and on Sundays – that he received from Tom Clements and Ben McAdoo,

Off The Field

Packers Missing Their Brain

The Green Bay Packers haven’t been the same team since winning their first six games to start the 2015 season. Everything seemed so good until last October, when all of a sudden one of the most successful franchise of the 21st century starting losing home games to the likes of Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis. Maybe

Draft Providing Little Impact

The Green Bay Packers’ 2016 draft class might eventually be terrific, but right now it’s one of the least impactful in the entire league. And that simply can’t happen when a general manager avoids free agency the way a vampire avoids sunlight. Ted Thompson drafted seven players last April, and all seven are on the

Looking Ahead To Free Agency

With Eddie Lacy, Nick Perry and 40% of the starting offensive line due to become unrestricted free agents next March, general manager Ted Thompson could be facing his most challenging offseason since the Summer of Favre in 2008. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, so things can and obviously will change in the next four months, but

The One That Got Away

Former Packers cornerback Casey Hayward, who’s playing extremely well for the San Diego Chargers, picked off his league-leading fifth pass of the season last Sunday. Meanwhile, Green Bay’s entire defense has 7 interceptions in eight games. It’s still hard to figure out why GM Ted Thompson, who typically holds onto his own young players like

Why Not The Packers?

Sitting here today, I actually have more faith in the Packers making a run in the playoffs than I do in them making the playoffs. And that’s the problem. At 4-3, Green Bay probably has to win 6 of its final 9 games to get to the postseason. That possibility seemed more likely a month ago

Offense Neglected For Too Long

Green Bay’s defense has been better than its offense for about a year now, and to be perfectly honest, it probably shouldn’t be a huge surprise. That’s because in the first three rounds of the past five drafts, general manager Ted Thompson has selected 15 players, and 10 of them have been on the defensive side of the ball.

Former Execs Finding Success

The five men who worked under Ron Wolf and who are now general managers in the NFL have a combined record of 15-7 this season. When you consider how good Ted Thompson, John Schneider, John Dorsey, Reggie McKenzie and Scot McCloughan are at their jobs, it’s hard to imagine how the Packers of the mid-90s ever made

Appy Day At Packers Notes!

I‘m excited to announce that the Packers Notes’ official mobile app is now available for download. It’s fast, easy to navigate, and best of all, it’s 100% free. The app will also include features not found on the blog. In Packers Notes Plus, I’ll be breaking down more coaches tape as well as analyzing the

Packers Get Down To 53

Cutdown days in Green Bay are usually pretty boring, but that wasn’t the case this year. From the release of an All-Pro to keeping 12 defensive backs and no long-snapper, the 53-man roster is very interesting. Here are 6 things worth a closer look: —Cutdown day is usually about the players at the bottom of

Mock 53-Man Roster 3.0

The Packers have to be down to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. Here’s my final projection: QUARTERBACKS (2) – Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley Hundley’s ankle sidelined him for most of the preseason, but he should be fine for the opener in 9 days. That means Joe Callahan will likely be waived – unless Ted Thompson is afraid

Packers Deal McCray To Buffalo

Choosing between linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Lerentee McCray was one of the hardest things I had to do when predicting the 53-man roster, but Ted Thompson made things a lot easier on Tuesday by trading McCray to Buffalo. The Packers will get a 2018 draft pick – most likely late and conditional – in return.

Mock 53-Man Roster 2.0

The Green Bay Packers have to be down to 53 players on Sept. 3. A lot can and will happen between now and then, but here’s my projected final roster as of today: QUARTERBACKS (2) – Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley RUNNING BACKS (4) – Eddie Lacy, James Starks, John Crockett and Aaron Ripkowski TIGHT

Previews & Reviews

Season Saved In Philly

The Eagles, who earlier in the season beat Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Atlanta at Lincoln Financial Field, were no match for the Packers on Monday night. Buoyed by Aaron Rodgers’ best game in over a year and a defense that finally figured out a way to get off the field on third down, Green Bay won 27-13,

Preview: Packers vs. Eagles

Even with all the key injuries, Green Bay (4-6) is still a more talented team than Philadelphia (5-5). So why do the Eagles have a better record after 10 games? Because they’ve been better coached on offense, defense and special teams. Doug Pederson and Frank Reich have managed to get the most out of an

Stick A Fork In Packers

Welcome to how the other half lives. After 7 consecutive winning seasons and 7 consecutive trips to the playoffs, the Packers are now wallowing around with the Chargers, Jets and Rams of the NFL. That’s what happens when you drop 4 straight games, including Sunday’s 42-24 embarrassment to the Redskins. While the Packers are still mathematically alive for the postseason, they’ll need the

Preview: Packers vs. Redskins

Other than Matt Ryan and Derek Carr, the top 10 quarterbacks in passer rating all have one thing in common – an extremely productive tight end. From Rob Gronkowski in New England to Jesse James in Pittsburgh, the players at that position are averaging 35 catches for  449 yards and 3 touchdowns through 10 weeks.

Nightmare In Nashville

There was a time when the Green Bay Packers, following a tough loss, would’ve punished a middling team like the Tennessee Titans. But that was quite a while ago. Sunday, the Titans punished the middling Packers after a tough loss of their own. The nightmare in Nashville dropped Green Bay to 4-5. The good news is

Preview: Packers vs. Titans

Wide receiver Randall Cobb was one of the league’s best playmakers in 2014 and the Packers rewarded him with a $10 million a year contract. Since then, however, the former Kentucky star has been average at best. He’ll need to be a lot better than that if the offense is to escape the funk it’s

Epic Fail For Packers

Here’s some good news following a brutal 31-26 home loss to the under .500 Indianapolis Colts – the Packers aren’t peaking too early this season and there won’t be any finger pointing. That’s because Green Bay has now lost two consecutive games and everybody – and I do mean everybody – had a hand in

Preview: Packers vs. Colts

Green Bay has been strong on both lines this season. David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, JC Tretter, T.J. Lang and Bryan Bulaga have consistently opened holes in the run game and given Aaron Rodgers plenty of time to throw. Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, Kenny Clark and Mike Pennel have been difficult to move at the point

Tale Of The Tape: GB vs. ATL

After “studying the tape” (that sounds a heck of a lot better than “turning on the computer”), here are 10 additional thoughts from Sunday’s game against the Falcons: —Aaron Rodgers looked great on Sunday; he looked even better on Tuesday. Watching the All-22 tape made me realize just how special the veteran quarterback was against Atlanta. Minus his

No Treat For Packers

It sure felt like the Halloween for most of Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. The injury-depleted Packers were almost unrecognizable and Aaron Rodgers was wearing an Aaron Rodgers costume, circa 2014. And then it suddenly felt like the middle of January as the defense came up small with the game on the line. On the road

Preview: Packers vs. Falcons

The Packers have played pretty good defense through  6 games, but that side of the ball needs to force more turnovers. With a dink and dunk offense that makes even Alex Smith laugh, shorter fields will be a necessity in the weeks to come. Coordinator Dom Capers’ unit has forced only 8 turnovers. For comparison’s

Tale Of The Tape: GB vs. CHI

After “studying the tape” (that sounds a heck of a lot better than “turning on the computer”), here are 10 additional thoughts from Thursday’s game against the Bears: —Last Thursday was the Ty Montgomery show. Forget for a minute the 10 catches for 66 yards. The second-year player also contributed 60 yards on nine carries. That would