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12/11/2017

Q&A: King Or Watt?


I‘ll be answering your questions each Saturday from now until the end of the 2017 season (hopefully that’ll be in February). Here are some of this week’s submissions:

Why do you think Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy (I assume he had to be directly involved in the decision) let Eddie Lacy go? Even when overweight last year he ran well. Appears Eddie would have returned at a reasonable amount. – Steven

I fully expected Lacy to be re-signed until I was told by someone a few weeks before the start of free agency that he would prefer to get a fresh start with another team. That’s understandable. He took a lot of criticism – some of it of his own making – for a player who was very good in 3 of his 4 seasons and who literally gave up his body, or more accurately his ankle, for the team last fall. So while the Packers would undoubtedly be better with Lacy in the backfield, it’s important to always remember that it takes two to tango.

Is there any chance of trading Brett Hundley this summer if Joe Callahan and Taysom Hill keep playing well? – Ross

That’s a big NO. Besides the fact that Callahan and Hill are nowhere near ready to take snaps in a regular season game, what exactly has Hundley done to make teams interested in trading for him now? He barely played last summer because of an ankle injury and he was so-so against the Eagles nine days ago. Hundley has plenty of talent, but unless he either lights it up the next three games or – God forbid – gets a chance to prove himself in games that actually matter, it’s hard to imagine any GM trading a high pick for him.

Would the defense be better with T.J. Watt or with Kevin King and Vince Biegel? – Royce

Ask me that question again in four months. If King proves to be a capable starting cornerback and Biegel gets healthy, the trade down will look a lot better than it does right now with King scuffling and Biegel still on the physically unable to perform list. I’m curious to see what kind of career Watt will have in the NFL. There’s no denying his effort or his bloodlines, but he’s not overly explosive and he’s already had two ACL surgeries.

Why does Green Bay struggle so much drafting quality CBs? I think Casey Hayward has been the best since Mike McKenzie and Craig Newsome. – Dayne

A lot of teams struggle to draft corners. That’s why very good but not great players like Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Bouye signed huge deals in the offseason. It’s also why letting Hayward go was such a big mistake. As Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome once said, “You can never have too many cornerbacks.” At least Ted has taken a lot of swings at the position recently. It’s hard to imagine him missing on Randall, Rollins and King.


I remember you criticizing the Dean Lowry pick in the 2016 draft – primarily due to short arms – but it seems he is getting all sorts of love from media and coaches going into the season as a potential starter on the D-line. Are you still skeptical, or can we expect bigger things from him this season? – Bryan

I’m still skeptical, but Lowry’s already better than I expected. While his short arms will always be a problem in the base defense, that’s less of an issue considering how much nickel the Packers figure to play this season. As a pass rusher, he never stops hustling and his length allows him to disrupt passing lanes. If Lowry winds up being more than a solid role player, it’ll be my biggest whiff since referring to 3-time Pro Bowl guard Marco Rivera as “nothing more than a stopgap starter” in 1998. And I’d be just fine with that.

What needs to change for this January not to be like the last few excluding coach changes that won’t happen? – Richard

This defense is unlikely to be very good come January, so the key will be playing at home and getting a favorable matchup or two. Having to go to Atlanta was the worst possible scenario last January. A veteran quarterback, a creative offensive coordinator, a superstar wide receiver and a fast track all spelled disaster for the D. The Packers wouldn’t have won that game at Lambeau, but they wouldn’t have been embarrassed.

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About Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for close to 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2006. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey. He’s had numerous articles on the Packers published and he’s been featured on both television and radio over the years.