Thursday, March 13, 2008

The State of the Union...

Greetings, G-Force.

It's life post "the Legend." The "Greatest to Ever Grace the Field" is no longer a member of the Franchise. The "Spirit Sniper" is no longer the face of the Green Bay Packers, he is no longer the face of the NFL.

The last time the Packers had a terrific QB, it took us 25 years to replace him. Aaron Rodgers is not Brett Favre. A-Rod is not a three time MVP. Instead, he's a three year back-up. Regardless, as the G-Force, we must carry on and believe in a prosperous future.

The Bills, Broncos, Steelers, 49ers, Cowboys, and Dolphins have all struggled after the loss of a HOF QB. However, I believe that the current state of the Packers organization is positioned for success. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have developed an infrastructure that is built to be competitive. We're structured in a youthful manner. Therefore, I firmly believe the Packers will compete in '08.

In order to continue to construct a franchise that is "Built to Last," the Packers must continue to develop depth with young talent. I am not concerned with our silence in FA thus far. We must add depth to our Defensive Backfield, our LineBacking core, our Offensive Line, at the TE position and at the Running Back spot during the '08 off-season. A 3rd CB is mandatory. Another LB is vital. And a Home Run hitting RB would add a missing component to our offense.

A possession TE would assist in A-Rod's development. This TE must be able to be a safety valve. He must be able to master the 7 yard curl. He must be able to dominate the down and out. He must fall forward after contact.

In regards to the future of the Packers franchise, my biggest fear is the current state of our Offensive Line. The Packers must add 2 developmental players in the '08 draft. Clifton and Tauscher are nearing the end of their careers. Coston, Spitz, and Colledge are all question marks. Wells has been inconsistent. His durability also gives me minor concerns. I am excited about the prospects of Barbre, but confused as to why he could not win a spot among our average Offensive Line unit last year. Much will be asked of our offensive line this year. They'll have to help A-Rod with in-game adjustments. The line will have to provide ample protection as A-Rod's decision making skills improve. A-Rod will have to learn to get rid of the ball faster and the O-Line must be a forcefield for our offensive backfield.

I'm happy Quinn Gray visited Lambeau. I'm also joyful that he left campus without a contract. If I'm the Packers, I do not heavily invest in a back-up QB. I'm fine with Craig Nall as our back-up. I'd also spend a 4th or 5th round pick on a QB. A-Rod has durability concerns. But, 3 years ago, when we drafted him in the 1st round, we committed to giving him a chance to carry our franchise. A-Rod's time is now.

We have a bundle of $$$ to spend this off-season. I'd treat Greg Jennings and Ryan Grant to healthy long term extensions. I'd add 2 years to the contracts of Tauscher, Clifton, and Pickett. I'd give a financial high five to Johnny Jolly and Atari Bigby and add another 3 years to their contracts. Even though I feel that - if available - an upgrade should be considered at S, I'd ponder the notion of offering Nick Collins a little love as well.

As for the draft, at this stage, I am realistically looking at either Dan Connor or Reggie Smith as potential players for the Packers to draft in the 1st round. I enjoy Connor's game. If he falls to us, he is the guy that I want. I love his attitude towards the game as well. Smith has the ability to play either the safety position or he can play CB in the slot during our nickel coverage. He could possibly do both. If DeSean Jackson falls to us, he'd be tough to pass up. I am also heavily interested in Fred Davis although he does not fit the ideal A-Rod safety valve. I also have concerns about his blocking and his ability to play in the cold, but I would love his knack for stretching the middle of the field.

With this being said, I still want the Packers to trade down and out of the 1st round. We are entering the draft with 6 picks. I expect to get another pick as compensation due to the losses of Ahman Green, David Martin and Vonte Leach in FA last year. I want to turn those 7 picks into 10 picks in this year's draft. I want a QB, a RB, Owen Schmitt, a LB, 2 CB's, 2 OL's, a TE and a P. I'd like it if the Packers brought in a couple of undrafted FA's at P and S as well. Bobbie Williams could be the type of player that the Packers are able to pick up after the draft. A small school guy that had a productive college career.

From what I hear, the experts are still picking the Packers to win the NFC North. We're in position to be that team, but we must add to our roster in a big way over the next two month. I feel that we can do it in the draft. I'll remain patient over the next 5-6 weeks.

Gotta Have Faith,

Talkin' S-Mac.

9 comments:

Stack said...

Guy,

Thanks. Needed. I have a hard time envisioning the Pack without #4 at the helm. That said, the era has ended, so I'm excited to get on with what is next. Let's face it, the TT / MM regime has made some solid personnell moves, so I'm looking forward to continuing in that direction - adding players.

Obviously, we've invested a #1 in Rodgie, so in my mind, there is no urgency to the QB situation. The guy has been seated for 3 years, which is an investment in and of itself. There's just so much noise out there, I turn on NFL network and they're talking about QB now being our biggest need. Rubbish.

There's a name that keeps knocking around my head: Trent Dilfer

First of all, I'll come out and say it, I like the guy. Yeah, yeah, I know he sucks, and he's kind of a douchebag, but I like his perspective on the game, I like his story. Whatever, that's not the reason I bring him up. The 2000 Ravens. I don't think that we're going to the bowl this year, and frankly, I don't care. Point is, our window just got blown out of the wall. We were all sitting around thinking, man, if we can get a few things around Brett, we can line up and take a shot. Now, I'm just thinking about adding the best players. Not that TT ever took the quick fix approach, now, I wouldn't care if he took a Tackle in the first round. Really wouldn't. I want to trade down to accumulate, but whatever falls to us is fine with me.

I noticed that Zbikowski was not on your list, Scott. I have heard that Ikegwanu from Wisconsin might not get drafted or he might be a 6 or a 7. At that point, I would definintely start thinking about him. I know he had the knee, but I'm sure he'll come back.

I've also heard some rumblings that scouts are considering Darnell Terrell from Mizzou as a WR at the next level. Convinced of his athleticism, not necessarily his nature as a defender. I like him in later rounds.

I'd have an interest in Kevin Jones. I know he had the knee, but still. Guy is dangerous. Can we please just be done with Noah Herron? I don't want him on the practice squad, I don't want to see him in civies on the sidelines, I don't want to see the long braids, or the squirrel-tail afro out the back of his helmet. God damn it, get rid of him.

I think I should get a shot at our punting job.

porterbela said...

I personally think that signing any RB, even Ryan Grant, to a long term deal would be a mistake this off-season. Favre had consistently made the players around him better, namely in the running game. I don't know if Grant can do it consistently with or without Favre. I think this is his year to prove that he isn't Samkon Gado.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Stack, I'd enjoy Zbikowski. He could slide in instead of drafting a second CB.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Or instead of a Punter, the Packers draft Zbikowski. Draft the 2nd CB. Pick up a couple of undrafted FA's at Punter. Bring in competition.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

For me, the time is now to sign Ryan Grant. While I doubt that he'll be the second most productive back in the NFL this year - as he was last year over the last 10 games - I do feel that with our current structure, Ryan Grant is a crucial component to the future of the Green Bay Packers. In many ways, our immediate future is dependent on his production. He's capable of being a 1200-1300 yard back. Obviously, Favre made Grant better. He made everyone better. Mike Wahle was a Pro Bowler with the Packers. With the Panthers, he was a no namer. Bill Schroeder had 1,000 yards with the Packers. Post Green Bay, he was a no namer. Antonio Freeman was among the best WR's in the NFL with Favre as his QB. When he left, his career died. I could continue. The "Favre impact" cannot be measured. It's to infinity and beyond. But, as an organization, we must carry on.

In 9 games and 2 drives, Ryan Grant rushed for 929 yards. To me, for that, he deserves to be rewarded. And for the Packers, the time is now because we are loaded with cap space. I would offer Ryan Grant a similar to Michael Turner's. 6 years. $34.5 million. And I'd give him a lot of the $$$ upfront - meaning THIS YEAR. The "I trust in you" contract. Grant is from ND, which tells me that he has solid roots. Personally, he's got a solid foundation. Generally speaking, ND produces good people. Grant seems to fit that mold. I'd feel comfortable giving him the "I trust in you" contract. Give him heavy $$$ this year and structure the contract so that we've got cap flexibility in the future.

Greg Jennings should be offered the same thing. He, too, has a solid personal background. I'd offer him the "I trust in you" contract as well.

I'm fine with the Packers talking to Poppinga about an extension. I would not offer him big $$$. I would not offer him Boss Bailey money. But, I'd consider giving him some upfront $$$ as well with a contract extension attached. I'd also inform him that we expect to bring in someone to compete with him for his starting job.

Kevin Jones interests me as well. But, if we were to sign him, what would that do to B-Jack? In theory, to me, they seem to be similar styles of runners...at least their roles with the Green Bay Packers would be similar. Are we ready to give up on B-Jack?

Stack said...

Good points all.

Gram, your Gado comment is a good call although I believe that Ryan Grant is and will be better than Gado. I'd agree with locking him up as well. I think that you maybe do it two or four games into the season just to see how he is in camp and how he looks coming out the first few games. I don't want to say that it would be a test of loyalty, but you do want to see the guy go out and do it, not go half-ass untill he gets paid by someone.

But yes, the surplus of cash we're taking into this season should definitely be given to our guys who have performed and who we want on this team going forward.

I'd sign Pop on exactly those terms. He's a valuable guy to have on a football team regardless of his shortcomings.

Let Kevin Jones and Jackson fight one another. I mean, can't we just push Vernand Morency off the end of the bench? I'm not ready to give up on Jackson, but I think we've seen the best of Morency, and it isn't that good. I actually heard an interview with Wayne Larivee on local sports radio here, and obviously they ask about former Corn-boy Brando Jack and Larivee said that the Pack are looking to make him their third down back.

I'll say this; I think his best football is still ahead of him. I'm not sure he's an every down back, but he's not Ronnie Harmon either. Or Dave Megget. The consumate thrid down backs of my childhood. Oh, so good. Anyway, I doubt anything is going to happen untill draft day.

I read one guy saying that TT might look to trade Junius Coston due to the dearth of OGs in this draft. That would be magical. Coston is kind of a bum, but he's still young and the market is very thin at OG.

Stack said...

What about Victor Hobson?

What's up with him...? Reading that he is a FA.

I've also been reading that the Packers are still talking about Asomugah with the Raiders, trying to work out a trade somehow. Might just be rubbish, but maybe not...

Stack said...

Crap dude...Philly signed Klecko right out from under our noses...

porterbela said...

2 Round Mock Drafts by NFL Draft Countdown and Great Blue North Draft Report...

NFLDC
Round 1:
Bears - CHRIS WILLIAMS OT
Packers - BRANDON FLOWERS CB

Round 2:
Bears - Brian Brohm QB
Packers - Heath Benedict OT
- Matt Forté RB

GBNDC
Round 1:
Bears - Jeff Otah OT
Packers - Jonathan Stewart RB

Round 2:
Bears - Chris Johnson RB
Packers - Fred Davis TE
- Patrick Lee CB