Our playoff hopes are hanging by a pubic hair. Their that thin. Their that frail. It could be argued that it would be best for the future of the Green Bay Packers to lose the next three games. Finish 5-11. Get a top 10 pick. Draft Michael Johnson. He is fierce. A man that can apply pressure on the QB. Admittedly, I've thought like this. I've blogged it. But, after much trepidation, I reckon it is best for the Packers to win out. Finish 8-8. Yeah, we'll get the 13th-18th pick, but we'll get much needed momentum for the future.
I urge everyone to remember 2006. We started 4-8. We won out. The season was highlighted by a Prime Time massacre of the Bears in Chicago. Next week we can do the same. But, first we must start building momentum for next year against the Jaguars in J'ville. I'm heading to J'ville with my good mate, Brennan, his girl, Romie, and my much lovelier half, A*. We're going to bring the G-Force. We're going to get the Packers back on track. We're going to catch a wicked buzz. We're going to have a good time.
With 4 games left in 2006, we looked like a lost Franchise. Searching for direction. We gave players a chance to play different positions. We gave Nintendo Nick more freedom. Freedom to make breaks on the ball near the line of scrimmage and in the middle of the field. Before that, we had him playing CF. Consistently, he got beat deep. He looked like a failure of a pick. We moved him around over the last 4 games. Put him in space. He thrived.
We moved Cullen Jenkins to DE. He was looking like an undersized DT. His days in Green Bay seemed limited. After moving him to DE on run downs, we became a dominant front 4.
This year - it's time to give J-Mike a massive look. I'd play him often. He'd be the guy I'd put in playmaking situations. I like with Troy Humphrey has brought. He's shown he can be an average 2nd TE. This is no knock on him. But, we invested in J-Mike. It's time to get him reps in abundance. Get him the ball in space. Get him accustomed to playing at this level. Put him in position to succeed.
Justin Harrell has been an absolute failure. Admittedly, I was happy when we drafted him. He's been unable to stay healthy and it sounds like he's got another injury. If he can play, I'd put him outside. Let's see if he can have the same impact that Cullen Jenkins had in '06. LT's run block differently than LG's. Maybe, just maybe, Harrell can hold the point of attack on run downs. We know he struggles at DT. But, we also know Michael Montgomery cannot stop the run. What we currently have is not good enough. It's time to experiment.
When you miss on 1st round picks, it's tough to build a franchise. We have to attempt to salvage something out of Harrell. Overall the last decade, in the 1st round, the Packers have drafted Antuan Edwards, Bubba Franks, Jamal Reynolds, Javon Walker, Nick Barnett, Ahmad Carroll, Aaron Rodgers, AJ Hawk, and Justin Harrell. It should be noted that last year we traded out of the 1st round. So, in the last 10 years, the Packers have had 4 absolute busts in Edwards, Reynolds, Carroll, and Harrell. Right now, Hawk is in jeopardy of his job for '09. He must perform at a higher level or he, too, might end up in the bust category. I'd argue that he's not in the top 50% of starting LB's in the NFL. Bubba made the Pro Bowl a couple of times, but he never became the TE that the Packers wanted him to become. Walker was on the brink of having a terrific career before injuries and attitude took over. Thus far, with regard to forcing turnovers and making tackles behind the line of scrimmage, Nick Barnett has been a disappointment. 4 years into his career, the jury is still out on Rodgers.
We saw Poppinga playing DE last week. Finally. He got limited pressure. He seemed to be attacking. Just unable. We should take a look at him at DT on passing downs. Speed rusher. With passion. Give him a look. We know Jason Hunter cannot get there.
It sounds like Jeremy Thompson is healthy and able to play. On passing downs, my front 4 would look like this: AK-74, Jeremy Thompson, Poppinga, Montgomery. I want to be fast. I want to have natural pursuers. Sadly, Montgomery is one of our best options right now. On run downs, my front 4 would be AK-74, Pickett, Jolly, Harrell. I want to be big. I want to be beefy.
At LB, I'd start with Bishop. He was a performer last week. 11 tackles. A sack. 2 Forced Fumbles (one rolled out of bounds, but at least he's slapping at the ball when making a tackle). 1 Tackle for Loss. Sure, he got burned on a number of passing plays, but there's no substitute for game experience and we've got to see what we got in Bishop. Instead of putting him in coverage, I'd blitz him on passing downs. Rush 5. Don't let them double AK-74. Put our men in position to succeed.
Bob Sanders should lose his job. How have we not yet identified that Willie B. is afraid to blitz the QB? Yet, last week, we our slim playoff hopes on the line...twice, we send Willie B. on blitzes. Ridiculous. Bob Sanders is a poser.
Aaron Rouse is not a starting S in the NFL. He's weak. He's slow. He takes awful angles. He can be the 3rd S on my team any day. But, starter? No way. We've got decisions to make at the S spot during the offseason. Has Bigby done enough to warrant a contract? Sure, but, at what price? For my taste, it's not all that much. Currently, Ras-A-tari is not the flavor of the day.
On our trip to J'ville, I promise one thing: we will bring the G-Force. We will bring momentum to the Packers. We will bring a victory. Call me Joe Namath, I'm guaranteeing it.
Presently, the Jags are among the worst teams in football. No Rashean Mathis. No Fred Taylor. No Matt Jones. Possibly, no Jerry Porter. If we cannot throw for over 300 yards this week, possess the football, and win handily this week, then we've got major issues. This Sunday, the future of the Green Bay Packers changes for the brighter. Or maybe, I'm just talkin s-mac. Either way, it feels right. And "if it feels good, I shake."
There is Hope for the Hopeless.
Never Say Die,