Thursday Thoughts: Moore Offense
The recent debate about whether Julian Edelman belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame makes Sterling Sharpe’s absence an even bigger travesty. While Edelman had an impressive career for the Patriots, Sharpe was one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. The fact that his brilliance lasted only seven seasons shouldn’t matter. Anyway, here are three more Packers-related thoughts that went through my mind in the past few days.
1) The best pick for the Packers in the first round of next Thursday’s draft might be Rondale Moore. Adding the electrifying wide receiver to an offense designed by LaFleur and quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers would almost be unfair to defenses. Imagine the former Purdue star running jet sweeps and creating mismatches out of the slot. Sure the Packers need help on the line and at cornerback, but after 10 years of mediocrity, maybe the best way to improve the defense is to put together an unstoppable offense, and having Moore, Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones, and All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams at the skill positions would be incredible. Of course, this probably isn’t going to happen. The Packers haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2002, and GM Brian Gutekunst has never drafted a wide receiver under 6-foot-2 (Moore is 5-foot-7). But hey, it never hurts to dream.
Height is just a number when a player has the talent to do what Moore (#4) did against Ohio State in 2018. On this play, he caught a short pass at the line of scrimmage and took it 43 yards for a TD against a defense that featured a trio of players who would go on to be top-3 picks in the NFL draft.
2) It remains to be seen whether LaFleur made the right decision when he promoted Maurice Drayton to special teams coordinator in January, but there’s something general manager Brian Gutekunst can do right now to make sure that phase of the team will be better in 2021. He can acquire a quality returner. It’s funny how a player like Desmond Howard has a way of making a coach look a lot smarter. While former special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga wasn’t very good, Gutekunst did him no favors by saddling him with a bunch of pedestrian returners, including Tyler Ervin. Hall of Fame GM Ron Wolf couldn’t care less that Howard was useless as a wide receiver in 1996. He signed him to do one thing, and he did that one thing extremely well. That’s the correct approach. If there’s room for a fourth tight end, a sixth wide receiver, or a ninth linebacker on a 53-man roster, there sure as heck should be room for a player whose only job is to shorten the field for the offense and to lengthen it for the defense.
3) A league-high 19 Packers have workout bonuses totaling over $5 million in their contracts, and that’ll make the next couple of months very interesting. Will the organization require those players to physically attend Phases 2 and 3 of the offseason program in order to be paid, or will the organization shell out millions of dollars to players sitting in front of their computers? And what’s the point if only those 19 report to the facility? The guess here is that the Packers are hoping that an agreement will be reached in the next few weeks between the league and the NFLPA. By the way, does anybody else have a problem with players making eight figures having to be bribed to attend workouts in the spring? I get that Green Bay, Wisconsin isn’t a preferred destination, but heck, I know a lot of educators making less than $50,000 who attend summer workshops so they can get better at their job. Just saying.