Tag Archives: Mason Crosby

Ted Thompson Is Not Cheap

Ted Thompson

This is the time of year when many Green Bay Packers fans get out their pitchforks for general manager Ted Thompson.

If and when Thompson doesn’t sign an expensive free agent later today you will hear all the Thompson haters come out of their caves. The annual cries that he is cheap, arrogant and does not care about winning will fill your Twitter timeline.

Of course, none of that is remotely true. Thompson is far from a cheap general manager–he just doesn’t spend the money on the players who that particular crowd wants him too.

How can a cheap general manager make Aaron Rodgers the highest paid quarterback and Clay Matthews the highest paid outside linebacker in the same offseason? I can pretty much guarantee that those two players will do more for the Packers than any free agent they could have signed last offseason.

Former Packers Vice President of Player Finance Andrew Brandt tweeted that the Packers were 2nd in the NFL last season in cash spent. Thompson is just more comfortable spending that money on players that he drafted and is familiar with. He is willing to spend money when he sees a value, but he never sees that value in the first day of free agency when other teams are going crazy.

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Individual Awards For the 2013 Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers helmet

As a way of wrapping up the 2013 season, the Packers Talk Radio Network writers want to hand out some individual awards to the top performers on this team.

 

Most Valuable Player

Cory Jennerjohn: This is going to sound strange, but I the best player from an up-and-down season is kicker Mason Crosby. He hit on 89 percent of his field goal attempts this year and only had one game where he missed more than one. He had over a 25 percent turnaround from last year, which deserves to be recognized.

John Rehor: David Bakhtiari deserves a ton of credit for stepping in for an injured Bryan Bulaga as a rookie. He admirably protected the blind sides of four different quarterbacks this season, allowing the passing game to continue to exist. He also opened up running lanes for Eddie Lacy and company. This season could have been much, MUCH worse if he had not played like a veteran as a rookie, forced into action. 

Ross Uglem: Never has Aaron Rodgers value been more clear to this team.  The team was a very impressive 6-2 with Rodgers starting and finishing games, with their only losses coming to playoff teams on the road.  It was an abysmal 2-5-1 without him.

 

Rookie of the Year

CJ: This should be obvious. When the Offensive Rookie of the Year resides on your team, this is automatic. Eddie Lacy wowed everyone by not just playing hard like most rookies out of Alabama, but he did it with a chip on his shoulder as the fourth running back selected.

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More Focus Should be Given To Shawn Slocum & The Special Teams

shawn slocum

As the final seconds ticked away on the game clock, all Packers could do was stand by and watch the 49ers end their season-again.

It was as much disappointing as much as it was frustrating, seeing the Packers fall short yet again the playoffs, again at the hands of their rivals to the West.

As soon as the game ended, armchair GMs began proposing their ideas about what needs to happen in order to make the Packers a Super Bowl contender again, instead of just a one and done in the playoffs as they have been three out of the past five seasons.

The most common clamor has been “Fire Dom Capers.”

Calling for the removal of Capers is warranted. Statistically, the Packers defense has deteriorated in the five seasons Capers has been in charge. But if Capers were to be replaced, the question becomes by who?

The list of potential candidates is both unimpressive and underwhelming, so odds are Capers is staying put.

While everyone is quick to jump on Capers for his coaching, there is another coach on the Packers staff who deserves equal-if not more-criticism than Capers.

Since being named Special Teams Coordinator in 2009, Shawn Slocum and his Special Teams have done little to separate themselves from being just another group in the NFL.

2013 was no different.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the unofficial ranker of NFL Special Teams, Green Bay finished 20th in the league in Special Teams this past season.

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Staying Alive: Packers 22 Falcons 21

Bush

The Green Bay Packers entered December with a simple mission. Win out, or spend the winter golfing. December got off to a good start for them as they overcame a halftime deficit, and defeated the Atlanta Falcons 22-21.

The game began with the defense on the field, as the Packers won the toss and chose to defer to the second half as they usually do. This time the defense came up with an early stop, something they were unable to do throughout the previous game against the Detroit Lions, and gave the offense the ball. The offense, which struggled mightily against the Lions marched right down the field, and delivered an early statement in the form of an 18-play 86 yard drive that ended with an Eddie Lacy touchdown as the first quarter expired. The Packers had an early 7-0 lead.

The second quarter did not go nearly as well for the Packers as the first quarter did. Atlanta struck back when Matt Ryan found Drew Davis over the middle of the field for 36 yards and a touchdown. The trouble did not end there as Matt Flynn fumbled as he was sacked by William Moore. the Falcons quickly converted the turnover into a touchdown, making it 14-7.

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What is this, Running Thing?: Packers 19 Ravens 17

Lacy

The Green Bay Packers took the field against the Baltimore Ravens looking for their first road win since Week 15 last year in Chicago. With a shift in identity, they were able to grind another game out, and pick up a big road win against a quality opponent.

The game began with promise as the Packers took the opening drive down the field and got points on their opening possession. Unfortunately, that resulted in yet another Mason Crosby field goal as self-inflicted wounds continue to plague the Packers as they move the ball down the field.  The drive opened with two good runs by Eddie Lacy, but stalled after Jordy Nelson dropped a slant from Rodgers that would have been a first down and much more.

After the field goal the Packers defense set the tone for the rest of the game. Over the offseason the Packers defense was consistently called soft, and unable to win against bigger, more physical teams. The Packers have sufficiently shed that label as they currently hold the NFL’s top ranked rushing defense. It was on display early and often, as Ravens star back Ray Rice was unable to find any room to roam, forcing Joe Flacco to throw for most of the game. Flacco was harrassed throughout the game as linebacker A.J. Hawk had a career day with three sacks. The Ravens, much like the Packers were unable to establish any offensive rhythm.

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Mason Crosby deserves praise not poo-pooing

Mason Crosby was 5 for 5 on field goals vs. Detroit. He is 4-4 from 40+ yards this season.

Mason Crosby was 5-5 on field goals vs. Detroit. He is 4-4 from 40+ yards this season.

 

I can understand the flak that Mason Crosby took last season.

He was only 21 for 33, good for a 64 percent field goal rate — his lowest field goal percentage in his six-year career. To make matters worse, he was just 2 of 9 on field goals from 50-plus yards.

Fans screamed for his job to end. They wanted a replacement for a guy that was obviously struggling to figure out something that he has done his entire life. Somehow, he remained positive throughout the season last year and came into training camp with something to prove.

The Packers brought in not one but two kickers to compete with Crosby and the golf and cooking aficionado blew both out of the water.

Fast forward to Sunday. After Crosby tied the franchise record for field goals with a 5 for 5 performance, he was still getting criticized. Amazingly, fans were heard on Sunday screaming, “It’s about time Crosby” or my personal favorite, “Must be nice to kick in nice weather.

Crosby hasn’t missed a field goal all season and has made 13 straight field goals for the sixth-longest streak in Packers history.

Come on. Leave the guy alone. He has made plenty of great kicks and despite his struggles last year, he still maintains a career field goal percentage of 78. That’s not bad.

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Grinding it out: Packers 22 Lions 9

Perry

The Green Bay Packers returned to Lambeau Field after a disappointed loss followed by a bye week. The week off gave the Packers time to reflect on their season, but also an opportunity for the Detroit Lions to gain some separation from the Packers.

The Lions were coming off a big win against a fellow division rival, the Chicago Bears. The win over the Bears put the Lions at 3-1, making this game crucial to the Packers, who could not afford to fall to 1-3 losing at home in the division.

The defense got some good news shortly before kickoff, as it was announced that Lions superstar Calvin Johnson would not be able to play due to a knee injury that bothered him during the week.

His absence showed. The Lions were unable to make any plays against a re-energized Packers defense, as they were only able to muster nine points.

The Packers offense struggled throughout the course of the day as well.  Their red zone offense was unimpressive, as they were unable to turn those possessions into touchdowns. Instead they settled for field goals, which kept the game much closer than it probably should have been.

The Packers first possession of the game featured what the theme of the day would be. A balanced offense, but unable to finish once it got deep into Lions territory. They took the ball 72 yards, but fell short making it 3-0 Packers early. The two teams would then trade field goals before the half, giving the Packers a 6-3 lead at halftime.

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