Monday, December 15, 2008

My Take -> Week 16

Greetings, G-Force.

The 2008 Season is a lost cause. It's disappointing.

At the game, a 13 year old kid turned to me and said, "Hey Cheesehead! This team must be made out of swiss cheese because your defense has holes all over it." Reality hurts.

The most desire our team showed was when Al Harris and Brady Poppinga engaged in a post play altercation. Poppinga was attempting to direct Harris to cover the outside receiver. Harris wanted to cover the slot. Clearly, the coaching staff has lost all control of this team.

And now, we're dead.

There are few things that I hold a strong dislike for in life. But, one of them is the Chicago Bears. And, frankly, it's hard to even get excited for this Monday Night's match-up.

Each week - it's the same thing. Our defense finds a way to lose a lead. Our offense is unable to put together the game winning drive. 7 times - we've choked in the 4th Quarter.

Against the Jags, in the 4th Quarter, we had them at 3rd & 18. We rushed 3! Yes, 3 men. The play before - we rushed 6 and Hawk came away with a sack. He was untouched in pursuit of Gerrard. After we rushed 3 on 3rd and 18, all I could do was hang my head. Bob Sanders must go.

If we finish 5-11, we get a top 10 pick. Even that is hard to get excited about. All around the league, rookies are making plays. It's not happening in Green Bay. Joey Haynos was a guy that was receiving rave reviews ALL preseason. He could not make the Packers roster. Yesterday, he caught a 19-yard TD in traffic for the Miami Dolphins.

Somewhere - there's a disconnect within our organization. Either we are drafting bums or they're not getting the strength, conditioning and teaching from the coaching staff. Look at the last two year's draft choices:

'07 Draft:

Justin Harrell - He can't stay healthy. When he is healthy, he's being pushed backwards.

Brandon Jackson - Sure, he's shown signs of good running ability this year, but in two years,
Brandon Jackson has just over 500 yards rushing.

James Jones - He's shown glimpses of being a nice possession receiver, but injuries have limited him to 8 games played and 16 receptions for the year.

Aaron Rouse - He takes terrible angles towards the ball. He's slow in coverage. Misses tackles. He's a decent special teams player and will never be 16 game starter for the Packers. Injuries have also hindered his development. He played in 11 games last year and he's missed two games due to injuries this year. His inability to develop has caused the Packers to move Charles Woodson to S. Woodson, now playing out of position, was our top performer at CB.

Allen Barbre - Two years in, he does not look like he'll have a life as a Green Bay Packer.

David Clowney - He never played a game in Green Bay.

Korey Hall - He was a LB in college. We've tried to develop him into a FB. He's done alright, but now he's our back-up FB, playing behind John Kuhn. He's got above average special teams ability. Very limited offensive skills.

Desmond Bishop - The jury is out. Amazingly, he barely played yesterday. A week after an 11 tackle performance in which he was our MVP, Bishop was almost never on the field. Instead, we saw Chillar get run over. We saw Poppinga look foolish. Yes, in short, we continue to tolerate the same inefficiencies.

Mason Crosby - A terrific K.

DeShawn Wynn - Consistently injured. Lacks toughness.

Clark Harris - Never made it as a Packer.

'08 Draft:

Jordy Nelson - I hold out hope that he can be a Joe Jurevicious type WR. Hard working. Tough. Good hands.

Brian Brohm - If he does not develop fast, he won't have a career in Green Bay.

Patrick Lee - Injured for most of his rookie year. His rookie year ends with 5 games played. 2 tackles. 1 Pass Defensed. Yikes.

Jermichael Finley - He looks like he has the tools. Lacks the brain. He can't get off the line of scrimmage. He gets pushed around. Runs poor routes. I want to like him because he's a young physical specimen, but, boy, is it painful to watch him right now.

Jeremy Thompson - See Jermichael Finley.

Josh Sitton - Showed great promise in the preseason, but injuries spoiled his year.

Breno Giacomini - Got blown up in the preseason. Got beat out by Tony Moll for the 4th tackle spot. Hard for me to imagine that this guy ever makes an impact.

Matt Flynn - Looked below average in the preseason. We gave him a pass because he was better than Brian Brohm yet his performance was less than stellar. He's a fighter. A gritty competitor.

Brett Swain - Looked bad in the preseason. He had trouble getting off the line of scrimmage. He had trouble holding onto the ball. At this stage, I'm not sure what we see in this guy. Yet, we kept him around on the practice squad.

Any way you look at it, over the last two years, we have had 20 picks. Thus far, the only player that has consistently shown me that he's a guy to build around has been Mason Crosby. And he's a K. If you swing and miss, it does not matter how many picks you have. This makes it difficult to get excited for next April as well.

We're in trouble. We're loaded with guys that you don't want on our team. You can't expect guys like Brady Poppinga, Michael Montgomery, Jason Hunter, Colin Cole, and Brandon Chillar to make game changing plays. Yet, consistently, they are on the field for our defense - especially on 3rd down. AJ Hawk leaves me scratching my head. Ryan Pickett has had a bad year. Willie B. is not a CB in the NFL.

Our team MVP, Charles Woodson, is even saying it to the media - "We're just not very good right now. I mean, you can point to a lot of different things, but bottom line, we're not a very good team."

At this point, that's an obvious statement. In 16 years with Brett Favre as our starting QB, we had one season with a losing record. In 1 year without him, we've already had a losing record. For 16 years, we were used to winning the close games late in dramatic fashion. In 1 year without him, we've seen how difficult it is to win close games late.

We need a leader. Someone we can turn to in times of need. I believe that Aaron Rodgers could be that guy. At times, he's shown greatness. With the exception of the last 5 minutes of the game, Rodgers has been extremely reliable. He controls the ball.

We can build around Rodgers, but right now, we are in a rebuilding stage. We need to look at OL. We must draft DL. We need help at LB. S is a concern. Before the year, we thought we had depth. But, this year, our depth has been exposed on special teams.

The hard part is that no one seems to want to take responsibility for our poor performance.

Happy Holidays,

Talkin' S-Mac.


BlueGuy said...

A couple of points:

Clowney looks like a pretty good receiver with plenty of speed - he's just starting to get some time with the Jets and had a nice one-handed 26 yard catch on sunday thrown by none other than #4. I'm not sure how or why they let him leave town.

Scotty you say that the first year without Brett is the year they are under .500. Even though Rodgers has shown some rookie issues which keep him from becoming a leader, at this early stage in his career, you've got to like what you see. I don't think he is the reason the Pack are losing these tight games.

Defense and Coaching have been terrible close and late.

A little positivity helps: at least the Jets won.

Beat the Bears and gosh darnit do NOT lose to the Lions at Lambeau.

Stack said...

Watching Brett v. Holmie for the last time. The announcers say, "It's snowing, but it's not 'Green Bay' cold..."

Michael J. said...

I think it would be great if the Bears were able to keep the Vikings out of the playoffs. That being said, I expect no concessions from Packer faithful when it comes to a Bear Packer game. Forecasts have it at a steamy 5 degrees, minus 10 wind chill. Is this Bear weather, or Packer weather? Packer's defense gets directions to Soldier Field in time to show up this week.

Packers 20
Bears 13

Happy, and safe Holidays to all.

Stack said...

Let me say what a pleasure it is to read the take. Breakdown and analysis by the Buzzboy dated December 15th. An article, and in my opinion, a less comprehensive article in the same vein appears in the JSOnline a full four days later. Clearly, this is why we come to this blog.

Maybe you can cover the Donks in a few years on your Mile High buzz...

Beat it.

Anyway, the one piece of writing that I will credit the JS with was something along the lines of "Ted Thompson's team is young and continues to get younger every year, and seemingly without any point."

The take covered this exact point in alarming detail. One is forced to wonder what exactly the plan is; we're cycling through raw, young talent and we're showing a dedication to development with our personnel choices. And the problem is, the guys can't contribute right now. For whatever reason. So we're left to see a season lost at 5 - 9. Our games, despite the looks of the product we put on the field, have by and large been close contests. The question is, how far away is this team? We look a mile away. But we're not. We just don't have any magic.

Last year, when the Pack had *it*, when the Pack was the story, who was ESPN interviewing? The D Line. They were our identity. They won games for us.

This year, DL has been the glaring deficiency. A guy can't even say "in the passing game," because the run D has been equally as horrifying. So one has to think it will be addressed in the offseason. We're looking at an opportunity to add a pulse to defense. A player or a personality that can dynamically affect the group.

You would want a #16 pick to be that guy.
You would want a #5 pick to be that guy.

Maybe they will when they feel time slipping away on them. Maybe they won't.

We add a presence to the front seven, we're several games better, and we've got a chance to galvanize the unit.

Sanders does need to go. Insipid.

Confusing times for the Pack.

And we're stumbling into Soldier Field, the home of the bumbling Bears.

I spend an unhealthy amount of time watching football. I pore over the NFL draft, and that's worse. But I'll slide from 7 to 9 if it means kicking Chicago's ass tonight.

Several weeks ago, we wore these suckas out. Tonight, it's more of the same. Our season is over. We play two games against two division opponents. We'll run right over the top of the vaunted Bear defense. The secondary will prey on Orton's balls.

Willie B. outshines Hester.

Hey Lovie, thanks for taking Devin off of special teams. Don't worry, you can be our D coord next year.

Ryan Grant cuts back off tackle. To the house.
Rodgers to Greg on the deep ball.
To the house.
Willie B. returns a kick to the house.
Mr. Woodson intercepts with an open lane. To the house.
Brandon Jackson sees the end zone.
J Mike catches a fade.
Crosby kick a FG as time expires.

Pack 67
Bears 6

A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...