Sunday, July 27, 2008

Concerns Abound

Greetings, G-Force.

I've wrote this on a number of occasions: By nature, I'm an optimistic realist. And right now, the realist side of me is frightening. Drama surrounds our camp. In his press conference, McCarthy looked beat-up & confused. He appeared to be tired. And we had not yet had a practice.

This is supposed to be the most exciting part of the year. The group regathers. The players are fresh. Normally, hope is all around. There should be the excitement of a new beginning.

But, the '08 Packers are in a tough spot. While our hierarchy feels we are prepared to succeed in post-Favre era, they have to know we cannot win with a young QB unless we have our star RB. Ryan Grant must be in attendance by Wednesday. It needs to get done. We need to stand united. Grant was one of our top performers last year. We need him in camp ASAP providing stability and continuity to our backfield. Additionally, he needs to find his chemistry with A-Rod. Time is short. Get the deal done, Ted Thompson.

Our D-Line has a number of question marks. Justin Harrell must get himself on the field. Johnny Jolly has to get his drug issues dealt with. Colin Cole is recovering from a punishing forearm injury and his strength has to be a concern - at least early in camp. Has Daniel Muir matured like we hoped he would during the off-season? These shortcomings could force Cullen Jenkins back inside, which puts enhanced pressure on Jeremy Thompson to immediately perform. All of a sudden, a presumed strength of the team is a weakness.

These issues must be resolved immediately or else they could carry into the regular season. There is immense negativity surrounding our locker room. The press is continuously adding fuel to the fire. There is still time to positively burst out of this muddle, but the clock is ticking. Family Night is 1 week away. Our star RB must be the one taking hand-offs. Anything less would add to the already distracted locker room and we need a breath of positive air.

Anyone remember the Dorsey Levens hold out? We don't want a part II.

End The Drama,

Talkin' S-Mac.

14 comments:

bleedin green said...

It's starting to feel like the organization is in chaos between the Favre fiasco and now Grant reportedly sitting at home feeling 'irate'. Grant is one of Ted's boys...an acquisition that has brought respect to TT. I agree he needs to be in camp - like tomorrow. I'm starting to see lots of media stories brewing on Grant now too. Not good. From a business standpoint, these issues should have been sorted out before camp. Busy week for TT.

Stack said...

A couple of things have crossed my mind with regard to this whole Osama bin Favre situation. I find it interesting that Roger Goodell has to get involved. The guy has shown a real desire to be an activist commissioner. His stance on off-the-field behavior is to be applauded. But I am wondering what precendent there is for comissioners to become involved in player negotiations. The XQB is trying to get his release, and there's no way that the Packers will (or should) do that. The XQB has not sent in his request for reinstatement . From what I am reading, the XQB also has refused to talk to teams that have contacted the Packers about trading for him. So if Goodell is getting involved, and if Goodell is urging both signs to find a solution, is he there just playing patty cake with everyone or is he actually doing something? The reason I ask is that it makes if look more and more like Osama bin Favre is holding the entire NFL captive with his tactics.

Enough of that. The Ryan Grant situation conflicts me deeply. I've said on here before that my brother, Notre Dame alumni and Irish football fan to the core, consistently urges caution in regard to Ryan Grant. He just isn't sold on him. I say that because all of the attention that we pay to college kids coming to the pros and performing is mirrored by my brother's attention to high school prospects coming to D-I football and performing.

Personally, I liked the way that the guy ran. He ran hard, he's able to see the cut back lanes, and he hits them full speed. Has had some ball security issues, but nothing that I think can't be cleaned up. Says the right things, seems to be an intelligent guy.

Guy had a phenomenal season. But that's all he's had. One season. We've got the money. He played well. He walks in at any point this season and he is our number one. I didn't want this sort of distraction, division, or diversion to add the dischord, but I can have a small amount of faith in the fact that maybe TT is still looking for RG to prove something and maybe RG is thinking this is my big payday.

I've got thoughts on the DLine also. You knew I would. I'm not ready to jump off the bridge yet. I was ready to buy a Jolly jersey going into this season. Love the guy. Disappointed that he got pinched. At least have one of your goons hold your contraband, bro. Not saying I'm off the Jolly-wagon, I'm just saying I was really looking forward to seeing him this year.

But I think the plan was to move Cullen Jenkins inside all along. I think that's part of the reason that they dealt Cory Williams and Drafted Jeremy Thompson. In theory, it creates a logjam there with Jolly and Harrell, but Jenkins looks lost on the End. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe that we expected a lot from Jeremy Thompson this year before all of this other stuff came to be.

Harrell has started to worry me. I was in the minority on draft day. I was out of my seat with excitement. I loved the pick. The guy has flashed dominant strength and brilliance, but he has also been washed off the line. About as inconsistent as a player can be. Which is fine, because he had the bicep, and suposedly it's a long road back from that. But now, looking at his first full healthy offseason, he hurts his back.

The cornerback position is as exciting as the day that Wood was signed. Obviously, Al and Wood are both a year older. Fine. Whatever. They're still on the verge of Pro Bowl berths. The 3rd CB will be a great battle to watch, with great guys battling for it. T-Mon has to come in as the #3. Guy has heart, a little small, but guy wants it. He's got a great attitude and a knack for making plays (see the 40 yard kick off return in the NFC championship). Great guy to have.

Second up for the #3CB spot has to be an open battle between Willie B. and Pat Lee. We all know Willie's story, but Pat Lee is a guy that I was high on before the draft. Go back and look at the posts. Six feet tall and a shade under 2 bills, same as Wood when he came out. Lee is so athletic, fans are going to love him. Guy can leap and he drives on the ball so well. Lee can get a hand to the ball on those square outs and puma routes. Very smooth athlete. And seems like a nice kid too. Going to be great to have him under Al and Wood.

Plenty to be excited about, don't believe the hype!

Go Pack Go!

Stack said...

“Roger is willing to help but he has to be careful. I told him I could easily send in this letter (of reinstatement) but they really don’t want me there and it’ll be a big circus. They play this both ways. Privately, they don’t want me there. Publicly, if I sent in the letter but didn’t show up right away, they could always fine me or say, ‘See, why isn’t he here? He really doesn’t want to play.’ Give me my release and see if I want to play or not.”

There are a lot of things I can say in response to this...but I just want him gone.

patrad said...

as for the brewers entering the converation on the last post. I am reminded of a multiple-MVP wisconsin athlete that understood the importance of hometown loyalty. I think whether or not it's a legitate expectation in modern sports is debatable, i'd love to hear Frank DeFord's take.

cheers robin!

Stack said...

good reading from Jay Glazer...

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/8387530

Talkin' S-Mac said...

It's time to get Ryan Grant signed. Period.

And then it's time to start focusing solely on football! I'm done talking about the Football Jesus until Thompson decides which direction the Packers are headed with him.

Rumor has it that the Packers Family Night will be televised on the NFL Network. That'll be my first glimpse of the '08 Packers. I'm stoked about that!

It sounds like Patrick Lee had a tough day at practice. It also sounds like Brohm struggled. Both are hopefully 1st day jitters. Nonetheless, it's exciting that we've got all of the rookies in camp and it was good to read that Nelson was catching balls.

Excited to read more news from practice tomorrow.

And get Grant into camp TODAY. If our team is moving on towards to the future, let's move on with the guys that give us the best opportunity to win and Ryan Grant is one of those men.

Stack said...

I want Grant in camp too, but one year of performance doesn't entitle you to franchise-back money.

Guy deserves a good raise, not a huge payday.

Brennan said...

How about this for a low-ball move for someone on the other side. Say the Falcons trade back for Favre. Then they trade him to the Vikings who publicly say they want Favre, but the Packers wont deal Favre to the Vikings. The Falcons would get couple of good picks next year. The Falcons are in total rebuilding years and looking to the future. Not saying i want this to happen, but could be a dirty low-ball move. i guess i have gone through just about every scenario in my head these days.

The Grant thing bothers me. I agree with the comments from stack and scott, and wish Grant would sign a contract with very rewarding incentives if numbers are near last year's numbers. i hate to think we have offended him the way some of the reports are coming out. we dont need any other blemishes or distractions.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Brennan,

Good theory. I've feared same. And it would be logical for some team to do so.

A-Star said...

For what my opinion is worth, as I have voluntarily now followed this whole Favre saga since its inception, is the following: the man is Brett Favre. I don't care how many times he said he was going to play and then was not sure...bottom line is, he wants to play now...let him freaking play! Otherwise, he is going to end up at the Vikings, one way or the other, and regrets will be plentiful...the organization should have been welcoming from the get-go, and all this distracting bullshit would be eliminated. Now the team is going to be directly affected by this nonsense, and not positively, and who knows what will happen to the immensely-pressurized Rodgers...I am guessing early combustion. Plus Favre is much better looking than Rodgers.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Pinch me. Wake me up. I must be caught in a nightmare.

For 16 years, I have lived in lust over the thought Brett Favre would always be mine...and only mine. Always a Green Bay Packer. No one could claim him as theirs. The notion of #4 running out of another teams tunnel tears me apart.

In the past, I've suggested that if you could get a 1st round pick for him, I'd do it. Or even a 2nd and a 4th. But, the reality is that - on the open market - we are not even getting a nibble.

Another reality is that Brett wants to play football. And not only does he want to play football, but he wants to COMPETE for the starting QB job for the Green Bay Packers.

If you combine those two realities, you've got to let Favre play.

I admit that I imposed a deadline. I wanted him to commit to showing up by Wednesday. He did so on Thursday.

And now, presumably, he has a one-way ticket to Green Bay.

The common frustration from fans is "WHY?" Why can't Brett Favre play for the Green Bay Packers? Why has it come to these? Why? Why? WHY?

Frankly, I'm lost. I'm confused. I do not understand. I'm frustrated. And it's absolute nonsense that it's come to this.

Brett has earned the right to compete for the job. Can you imagine Favre playing in a pre-season game against the 2nd teamers? He may throw for 200 yards in a quarter.

Whether you consider it sports or business, the objective is to win. Brett Favre, not Aaron Rodgers, gives us the best chance to win this year.

Last year, Favre finished 2nd in the MVP voting. He was the only player not named Tom Brady to receive a 1st place vote. And 6 months later, he's not welcome?

Sure, Favre has been a jerk. He's been a prima donna since his retirement.

As a football player, he's always been a tough, gritty competitor. As a person, he has disappointed us.

Call me crazy, but I'm willing to give him a pass on his ridiculous approach to this off-season. I want more Favre. And I'm baffled as to "why" he's not allowed to come back...

Stack said...

I may be filling space on this blog with my redundant opinions, but I hope not. And if I am, I hope that I'm getting better at articulating it so that it is compelling reading at very least.

At the core of my feelings on this is the belief that while Brett Favre does want to play football, he does not want to be the QB of the Green Bay Packers.

Don't get it twisted, Favre and his circle of media informants have publicly dragged the Packers through the mud. It hasn't been the other way around. Going public is by nature a political move. Politicians do it to incense voters and compromise the standing of their opponents.

What has ever been solved through the media in any aspect of life?

Nothing. It's purely political and it's about public opinion. And there's no question that Brett has more sway with the public across the U.S. than do the Packers. It's a power play from a guy who knew he had the advantage.

Throughout the extensive coverage of this situation, there has been nothing that Favre has said or done to convince me that his intention of reporting to training camp is anything other than the next move in this ongoing power struggle.

The guy has been a jerk, a crybaby, and a diva. Clearly his butt is too soft for his own Wranglers. But who wouldn't forgive that with a little atonement? I'll grant him his indecision. By why the obstinacy?

Guy can go public with dirt, with private conversations, but not an apology to an organization that he supposedly wants to be a part of? Sounds to me like he can't say it, like when GVS asked him if he was 100% committed to playing football this year Brett answered, "Where? I don't know..."

That non-answer is answer enough for me.

By the way...

Star, if you have a problem with your husband would you go to Greta Van Susteren to solve it?

Brennan said...

I agree Stack, that Favre has definitely been using the media to his advantage.

One thing i dont think the public is to aware of is the power of the commissioner. he having the ultimate power over EVERYONE in the league. he is the reason Murphy got on that plane. he is the reason the three met today. Favre may have some pull with the fans and media, but the Commissioner is not going to be taking any caca from ANY player.

I agree, i dont think Favre wants to play for the Pack. I am almost ready to let Favre go and see how at 38, he can learn a new offense, new teammates, new city, new coaches, new organization. remember half of training camp is over. remember 1st preseason game is less than 2 weeks away. season opener is one month away. that is a lot of stuff to learn. Favre not known for intellectual ability is going to struggle this year in any other city.

Deep down, i dont see the issue within the packer's organization to let Favre compete for his old job. Deep down, i feel there is a way that i can feel good about seeing brett in my favorite color. i think money has a lot more to do with this than most people think. 12 million and a major disruption to the team is a HUGE price to pay. not many teams are willing to pay that, packers included. 12 million buys a lot, to call TT thrifty is an understatement.

Benjamin Wehner said...

For some reason I am truly starting to feel that the Packer front office has been trying to push Brett out for the past few years. I mean what kind of statement are they trying to make with a $20,000,000.00 offer to stay retired. I am completely sick right now with all of this. My love for the Green Bay Packers remains as strong as ever, but my trust in the everyone involved in this fiasco is wavering greatly. I mean if that offer doesn't spell (Forced Into Retirement) I don't know what does. For the love of everything holy in Lambeau, let's resolve this issue.