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05/24/2020

If I Were The GM

I hate when a year or two after the fact people say they would’ve drafted this guy instead of this guy. It’s too easy. So I decided to pick along with GM Brian Gutekunst and make my selections right before he made his. These were my picks: Round 1 (#26) – As expected, Gutekunst traded

Players & Coaches

All’s Not ‘Right’ With O-Line

The right side of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line has been a strength for the past 25 years. From Earl Dotson and Marco Rivera through Mark Tauscher and Josh Sitton through Bryan Bulaga and T.J. Lang, superstar quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers seldom had to worry about facing frontside pressure. But that probably

Heir To 12 Can Wait

Some experts believe the Packers will use the 30th pick in the upcoming draft on a quarterback, and they often use what happened in 2005 as foreshadowing. That’s the year former general manager Ted Thompson selected Aaron Rodgers late in the first round. It does make sense. Brett Favre was 36 at the time, and

Unsung Heroes Of 2019

There were a lot of reasons the Packers went 14-4 and reached the NFC Championship game last season. They were extremely resilient in finding ways to win close games. They remained healthy while many of their opponents were ravaged by injuries. And they received productive seasons from most of the players who were supposed to

Scouting Report: Za’Darius Smith

I didn’t include Za’Darius Smith among the 20 free agents the Packers should consider signing in the last newsletter. Not because I didn’t think he was a good young player, but because I didn’t think general manager Brian Gutekunst would be willing to pay $12 million per for an outside linebacker whose best season came

Just Say No To Joe

Two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers came out first in support of Joe Philbin. Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams followed a few days later. And you can be sure other players will chime in after Sunday’s season finale against the Lions. None of this should be surprising, and none of this should mean a thing when

Remember The ‘2 Week Rule’

The way many members of the media gushed over Trevor “Jerry Rice Jr.” Davis and Josh “Ronnie Lott II” Jones the past two summers made me a bit nostalgic for the 80s. That was the decade I had my first beer, went to my first Bruce Springsteen concert, bought my first car and held my

Long Shots Worth Watching

Nearly 40 players took part in the just completed rookie orientation camp. Of the 29 undrafted free agents who took the field, a handful actually have a legitimate chance to compete for a spot on the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster. Here’s a look at five long shots to keep an eye on in the

Defense Will Be A Surprise

Mike Pettine might not have enough rushers or corners, but he does have one thing no other experienced coordinator would’ve brought to Green Bay – the element of surprise. And that’s a big reason why the defense will be better in 2018. Remember how well the Packers played defense in Dom Capers’ first two seasons? That

Less Blake Is Better

Former GM Ted Thompson played in the NFL in the 1970s, and unfortunately for the defense, he seemed to think it was still that decade when it came to the inside linebacker position. Year after year, Thompson provided the coaching staff with slowish and stiffish players who had no chance of holding up in coverage.

Trade Analysis: Randall For Kizer

In his first big move as general manager of the Packers, Brian Gutekunst traded corner Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns for quarterback DeShone Kizer. The teams will also swap fourth and fifth round picks in next months draft. The following is a quick analysis of the deal that won’t become official until next week: PROS

Scouting Report: Muhammad Wilkerson

Brian Gutekunst vowed to be aggressive in the pursuit of players, and Green Bay’s new general manager appears intent on keeping that promise. According to reports, the Packers are expected to meet with free agent defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson today. The former All-Pro was released by the Jets last week. Not surprisingly, this news has

Keeping Randall Is Best Option

Ted Thompson finally got to pick up the fifth-year option on one of his first-round picks last spring. After declining to do so on Derek Sherrod (2011), Nick Perry (2012) and Datone Jones (2013), the former general manager of the Packers pulled the trigger on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (2014). His replacement, Brian Gutekunst, will now

Dom Will Be Gone

What has been a rumor for weeks will soon become a fact – defensive coordinator Dom Capers will not return for a 10th season with the Green Bay Packers. According to a source whose information has always been reliable in the past, an official announcement is expected to be made in the next few days.

Raih Of Hope For Offense

With all the attention focused on the poor play of the defense, it’s easy to overlook the regression of the offense in recent years. Despite the greatness of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, that side of the ball was pedestrian at best for a 20-game stretch from October 2015 to November 2016. And for the past two

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Off The Field

A Draft For The Rages

Forget all the happy talk from GM Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur; the just-completed NFL draft has put an expiration date on quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ time in Green Bay. Whether it’s following next season or more likely the one after, it’s coming. And everybody knows it. In fact, this became pretty clear a

Davis-Gaither Will Be A Steal

I have no idea where Akeem Davis-Gaither will be drafted, but I’m certain it won’t be high enough. Even before undergoing surgery in February to repair a stress fracture in his foot, many experts had him going in the third or fourth round. That’s because he doesn’t smoothly project to any one position at the

Fromm Athens to Green Bay?

Some scouts will never learn. Playing quarterback in the National Football League takes more than athletic ability and a howitzer for an arm. A big brain is every bit as important. It doesn’t matter how fast a quarterback can run or how hard he can throw the ball if he doesn’t make good decisions. And

Ted & Brian: The Early Years

Looking back, it’s pretty amazing how similar the circumstances were that surrounded the first 12 months of the regimes of the Green Bay Packers’ last two general managers. Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst were both hired and trained by the legendary Ron Wolf. They were both forced to retain the team’s incumbent head coach. They

Best Packers In Past 40 Years

Here’s my updated list of the best Green Bay Packers since 1980. Take a few minutes and enjoy the stroll down memory lane. Feel free to leave a comment. 25] RT Mark Tauscher (2000-2010) – He was one of the most underrated tackles of his time. The former Wisconsin star was a seventh-round draft pick

If I Were The GM

I hate when a year or two after the fact people say they would’ve drafted this guy instead of this guy. It’s too easy. So I decided to pick along with GM Brian Gutekunst and make my selections right before he made his. These were my picks: Round 1 (#18) – The March offer sheet

The Green Bay Packers Select…

Predicting which player the Green Bay Packers will take in the first round is never easy, but it got that much harder when Brian Gutekunst was named the team’s new general manager. At least with Ted Thompson calling the shots, you knew the first pick would fill a major need and would come from one

Best Options For Packers At 14

Running back Saquon Barkley, guard Quenton Nelson and defensive end Bradley Chubb will definitely not be available when the Packers pick at 14 in the first round of next week’s draft. Linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith and cornerback Denzel Ward also figure to be off the board.  Everyone else could be in play when

Ridley’s More Than Measurables

I consider Calvin Ridley to be one of the best players in the draft, but I’m not surprised to find most reputable mocks – if there are such things – have him going in the late teens to the early 20s. Scouts aren’t drooling over Ridley the way they did over top-10 picks Mike Williams and

Vander Esch Worth Taking At 14

I have to admit to being biased when I first watched Leighton Vander Esch. His name sounded like a character from Gossip Girl and at first glance he looked like so many other pedestrian linebackers the Packers have trotted out in the past dozen years (A.J. Hawk, Brandon Chillar, Jake Ryan, Kyler Fackrell, etc.). It

Packers Could Use Moore At QB

Forget Jimmy Graham. Forget Muhammad Wilkerson, Forget Tramon Williams. The best free agent signing the Packers could make this offseason is a player who hopefully wouldn’t play a single down in 2018 – veteran quarterback Matt Moore. We all saw what happened to the offense when Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone early

Cost Of Trading Up From 14

The Packers haven’t traded up in the first round since 2002 when then-GM Mike Sherman went from No. 28 to No. 20 to get wide receiver Javon Walker. But with a new GM (Brian Gutekunst) and a draft that appears to have 13 players separating themselves from the rest, this might be the perfect year to

Underrated Oliver Could Be Special

Isaiah Oliver hasn’t been connected to the Green Bay Packers in many of this offseason’s mock drafts, but after watching all of the top cornerback prospects, I’m beginning to think the former Colorado star might just be a perfect fit at 14. In my opinion, the only better corner in this draft is Ohio State’s

No Surprise Reid’s Still Unsigned

The pickings are pretty slim after two and a half weeks of free agency. The biggest names left on the open market – players like wide receiver Jordan Matthews and corner  Bashaud Breeland – come with serious health concerns. Finding a proven starter in April who’s not rehabbing from some type of major injury is

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Previews & Reviews

Quick-Snap Review: Jordan Love

The Green Bay Packers traded up in the first round to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. The cost was a fourth-round pick. Here’s a quick analysis: PROS 1) Love has the physical traits that get quarterbacks drafted in the top-10. He has size (6-4, 225), speed (4.7), and a rocket for a right arm.

Preview: 2020 NFL Draft

After missing the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Packers bounced back in a big way under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur. But getting from the NFC championship game to the Super Bowl will take more than another four months of fortuitous calls, close wins, and incredible health. It’ll take a really strong draft –

Gutey’s Got A Type

If the first three girls someone goes out with have long blonde hair, there’s no guarantee that the next girl will also have long blonde hair, but the odds are pretty good. Everybody has a type – be it a high school senior looking for a prom date or an NFL general manager looking for

Mocking The Packers

I‘ve never been a fan of mock drafts, but people seem to love them. So here’s my first effort at predicting what will happen next week. Green Bay picks 30th, and while general manager Brian Gutekunst will talk about taking the best player available, the reality is he’s going to try to fill a need

Preview: 2019 NFL Draft

After making the playoffs for eight straight seasons, Green Bay has fallen on hard times recently. It was easy to blame an injury to Aaron Rodgers for the 7-9 finish in 2017, but there was no such excuse for the 6-9-1 debacle of 2018. That record was well earned. Uninspired coaching and a series of

Preview: Free Agency

Free agency officially begins on Wednesday, and if the Packers are going to rebound after back-to-back losing seasons, general manager Brian Gutekunst is going to have to perform a lot better than he did a year ago. Signing younger players would be a good way to make that happen. The Packers acquired five free agents

Packers Go Big At Receiver

The Packers had eight picks on day 3 of the draft, and Brian Gutekunst used them in unique ways. The first-year general manager triple-downed on wide receivers and became the only GM to select both a punter and a long snapper in the same year (Bill Belichick and the Pats drafted a long snapper and a

Another Day, Another Corner

Three years after taking corners back to back in rounds 1 and 2 (Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins), the Packers did it again. Less than 24 hours after selecting Jaire Alexander, GM Brian Gutekunst doubled down with Josh Jackson. Incredibly, Green Bay has now picked five corners in rounds 1 and 2 since 2015. With

Another Draft, Another Corner

The first 13 picks couldn’t have worked out any better for the Packers on Thursday night in Arlington, Texas. With four quarterbacks and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey selected in the top 9, new general manager Brian Gutekunst had his choice of either Virginia Tech’s 19-year-old linebacker Tremaine Edmunds or Florida State’s dynamic hybrid safety Derwin

Corner Remains Biggest Need

The Packers selected Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the first two rounds of the 2015 draft and then grabbed Kevin King with their top pick last year. Amazingly, the position is still the team’s biggest weakness. There’s no greater indictment on the last few years of Ted Thompson’s reign as general manager. Here’s a

Offseason Roster Review

The first wave of free agency ended last week and the second wave is now just barely a ripple. New general manager Brian Gutekunst vowed to be aggressive in acquiring veteran players, and he’s lived up to his word. As of today, the Packers have traded for quarterback DeShone Kizer and signed tight end Jimmy

Players, Not Plan, Failed Packers

Truth be told, Ted Thompson’s free agent strategy is his final year as the team’s general manager was excellent. He signed one second-tier free agent to a three-year contract worth $20 million, and a handful of lower-tier free agents to inexpensive short-term deals. What wasn’t excellent, however, was his choice of players. Former Pro Bowl tight

Preview: Packers vs. Steelers

Here are four questions heading into tonight’s game between Green Bay and Pittsburgh: 1) Should the Packers have signed Colin Kaepernick when Aaron Rodgers went down? Of course, and this isn’t second-guessing after watching Brett Hundley for the past five games. Here’s what I tweeted a few minutes after Rodgers got hurt in week 6:

Preview: Packers vs. Ravens

Here are four questions heading into today’s game between Green Bay and Baltimore: 1) What should be expected from Jamaal Williams in the weeks to come? Not too much. While the rookie deserves all the credit in the world for his solid effort against the Bears, he simply lacks the burst to be anything more

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