PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Packers vs. Raiders Quick Hits

I’ve had a chance to watch and re-watch the Packers vs. Raiders preseason game so I’m going to offer a few quick thoughts here on #FootballFriday.

Stop complaining about all things Jason Spriggs. I can’t believe how angry people were that one, Jason Spriggs couldn’t handle Khalil Mack in one-on-one situations and two, that he was left to block him one-on-one.  Mack is bar-none one of the best edge defenders in the NFL.  Mack recorded 15 sacks a season ago.

Spriggs has always been considered a project at the tackle position.  He was the best athlete at tackle in the entire draft.  If his technique was up to par he would have been a top 10 pick.  The fact that he can’t handle an All-Pro edge rusher on the 50th snap of his career is not at all surprising.

What it is is a good learning experience.  Spriggs now knows what it’s like to take on an elite NFL pass rusher.  He has tape to watch.  He has techniques that he can learn how to defend against.  THIS IS WHAT THE PRESEASON IS FOR.

Secondly, the Packers leave their left tackle without help more often than not, and it has worked just fine since the days of Daryn Colledge filling in for Chad Clifton ended.  Clifton’s career ended as Bakhtiari’s began and Clifton was and DBak has been an absolutely elite pass blocker.

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PFF: 5 Guys That Have to be Good – Jason Spriggs

This marks the fourth offseason of my 5 guys that have to be good series.  This list is not a top five list of most important Green Bay Packers.  Not only will you find that elsewhere, but ultimately it’s the players on this list that just might define the season.

Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews are going to play well.  If the offensive line stays healthy, it’s going to play well.  HaHa Clinton-Dix is going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a heartbreaking playoff loss and a 14th World Championship.

My old lists are a telling tale.  My 15 guys that have had to be good either weren’t or got hurt for the most part.

2013: Terrell Manning, Greg Van Roten, Bryan Bulaga (ACL), Jeremy Ross, Datone Jones

2014: BJ Raji (torn biceps), Brad Jones, Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, Datone Jones

2015: Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, BJ Raji, Casey Hayward, Sam Barrington (broken ankle)

These are the guys that needed to be good for the Packers to get back to the promised land.  They weren’t, and Green Bay didn’t.  Who needs to step up for a return to Titletown?

This is the final piece in the 2016 edition of the 5GTHTBG series.  You can read about Jared Cook and Jayrone Elliot on CHTV, and check back here on PackersTalk.com with Quentin Rollins and Jordy Nelson.

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PFF: 5 Guys That Have to Be Good – Jordy Nelson

This marks the fourth offseason of my 5 guys that have to be good series.  This list is not a top five list of most important Green Bay Packers.  Not only will you find that elsewhere, but ultimately it’s the players on this list that just might define the season.

Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews are going to play well.  If the offensive line stays healthy, it’s going to play well.  HaHa Clinton-Dix is going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a heartbreaking playoff loss and a 14th World Championship.

My old lists are a telling tale.  My 15 guys that have had to be good either weren’t or got hurt for the most part.

2013: Terrell Manning, Greg Van Roten, Bryan Bulaga (ACL), Jeremy Ross, Datone Jones

2014: BJ Raji (torn biceps), Brad Jones, Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, Datone Jones

2015: Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, BJ Raji, Casey Hayward, Sam Barrington (broken ankle)

These are the guys that needed to be good for the Packers to get back to the promised land.  They weren’t, and Green Bay didn’t.  Who needs to step up for a return to Titletown?

Here’s my first PFF post on Quentin Rollins and my piece on Jay Elliot on Cheesehead TV.

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PFF: 5 Guys That Have to Be Good- Quentin Rollins

This marks the fourth offseason of my 5 guys that have to be good series.  This list is not a top five list of most important Green Bay Packers.  Not only will you find that elsewhere, but ultimately it’s the players on this list that just might define the season.

Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews are going to play well.  If the offensive line stays healthy, it’s going to play well.  HaHa Clinton-Dix is going to play well.

It’s the players that are “in the margins” that can make the difference between another 11 or 12 win team with a heartbreaking playoff loss and a 14th World Championship.

My old lists are a telling tale.  My 15 guys that have had to be good either weren’t or got hurt for the most part.

2013: Terrell Manning, Greg Van Roten, Bryan Bulaga (ACL), Jeremy Ross, Datone Jones

2014: BJ Raji (torn biceps), Brad Jones, Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, Datone Jones

2015: Jared Abbrederis, JC Tretter, BJ Raji, Casey Hayward, Sam Barrington (broken ankle)

These are the guys that needed to be good for the Packers to get back to the promised land.  They weren’t, and Green Bay didn’t.  Who needs to step up for a return to Titletown?

Casey Hayward signed a relatively conservative three year, $15 million dollar contract in the 2016 offseason with the San Diego Chargers.  Hayward was one of the finest inside cornerbacks in the league, and he will certainly be missed.  His inability to hold up outside both limited his earning potential and possibly ended his Packers tenure.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: The Eddie Lacy Conundrum

If you’re reading this article, there’s a very good chance that you’re an avid Green Bay Packer fan.  You’re the kind of fan that takes in Packers related media as much as you can.  You’re probably the kind of fan who has listened to Green and Gold Today, formerly hosted by Jason Wilde and Bill Johnson.

Bill Johnson has had a theory about Eddie Lacy for a number of years and it’s starting to come to fruition.  His theory is that Lacy will either disappoint again in 2016 and not be given a serious contract offer from the Packers or he will excel and price himself out of Green Bay.  One way or the other, it’s hard to see Lacy in a Packers uniform in 2017.

It’s for this reason that I believe Green Bay should make Lacy their top priority for a training camp extension, ahead of TJ Lang, Nick Perry, Datone Jones and David Bakhtiari, even ahead of Josh Sitton.

Let’s say the 2017 cap is $166,000,000.  That’s what Spotrac has projected it to be.  It looks like Green Bay will roll over about $8 million into that season.  Setting aside ~$6 of that to sign the 2017 draft class and you’ve got an adjusted cap of $168 million.  Green Bay has $141 million in liabilities before considering any releases or veteran reconstructions.  That’s $27 million in cap room to get deals done.

It’s certainly possible the team could release James Starks or restructure Jordy Nelson in 2017 to find intermediate cap relief.

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Packers Depth Chart: Quarterbacks

Just over a week ago, we went through my personal projections for the Packers Opening Week 53 man roster. Now it’s time to break it down. And we start with the most important position on the field: quarterback.

For this series, which will finish by training camp starts, we will look at each and every player on the roster, breaking down their strengths, weaknesses, their role, and their best and worst case scenarios.  I will also project their role. Let’s dive into the depths of the Packers pool of talent.

#12 AARON RODGERS

6’2” 225 lbs. Age 32 (12th Year)

Drafted in the 1st Round (24th Overall) in 2005 from California

Strengths: To put it succinctly, everything. Rodgers it the best pure quarterback the league has seen in many years. Able to throw on the run and from a standstill in the pocket, there is no better passer in both. He has a cannon for an arm and a beautiful, accurate deep ball that rarely gets picked off. Already the most efficient quarterback in NFL history, Rodgers is a master of ball placement, making unbelievable sideline passes look easy.

Weaknesses: If there is any weakness to his game, it’s his patience and willingness to take sacks and heavy hits. A touch customer in the pocket, Rodgers is less willing to throw the ball away and would rather buy time with his feet, risking a major hit.

Underrated attribute: Leaving his feet on throws outside the pocket to avoid leg injuries.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Lucky Seven?

Keeping seven wide receivers is almost unheard of, but the Green Bay Packers certainly could make a case for it this upcoming season.  All seven receivers that seem to be in contention for the roster are Ted Thompson draft picks, and the one with the worst draft pedigree just might be the most talented.  This conversation of course eliminates talented undrafted receivers Geronimo Allison and Ed Williams (from a season ago).

One of the things I want to make clear is that doing this is certainly going to require one thing: keeping three total running backs.  That would make the battle for the final roster spot in the non-tight-end skill positions John Crockett vs. Aaron Ripkowski.  Crockett is a very talented back and showed as much against the Lions, but Ripkowski is seen as the heir apparent to John Kuhn, and the Packers look to still use at least one fullback.

The reason that this idea could work, and how the idea of seven wide receivers is even feasible, is because of two players: Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery.  Both Montgomery and Cobb have the versatility and ability to affect the game as “third down backs”.  Both players can play running back in the no huddle and both run exceptional routes from out of the backfield.  It’s certainly possible that they could sneak Crockett back on to the practice squad and plan on using him in 2017, with Eddie Lacy and James Starks both playing on expiring contracts.

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