What’s next for the Packers?

Getting outplayed by the Titans was bad enough, but the most disappointing aspect of the last two weeks for the Green Bay Packers was the utter lack of passion. The defense was consistently beaten at the line of scrimmage, and showed no ability or creativity to stop quick passes over the middle. It seems the offense has finally shown up halfway through the season, and the defense has all but disappeared.

Here are the four major questions for remainder of the season and the offseason:

Could the Packers still make the playoffs?

The NFC playoff picture is a mess. The Packers sit one game off the division lead with games remaining against both the Lions and Vikings. It’s a realistic possibility the winner of the NFC North would be 9-7 or even 8-8. However, the Packers haven’t shown anything that makes me believe they could go 5-2 for the rest of the season. Even if they made the playoffs, their defense hasn’t shown the ability to slow down offenses the caliber of Seattle or Dallas.

Is Mike McCarthy’s job in serious jeopardy?

I’ve historically been what fans would describe as a McCarthy-apologist. While he has weaknesses in certain aspects of game management, he has proven consistently to be great at keeping his teams focused and prepared…until recently. I think the cracks started to show last season, but the team has shown a lack of effort this year and McCarthy may be losing the locker room. However, if he is fired, who would be a more qualified replacement out there?

Is Ted Thompson’s job in serious jeopardy?

I think Thompson getting fired would be more unlikely than McCarthy. Elliot Wolf seems to be waiting in the wings, so perhaps this would be a good time for TT to ride off in the sunset. I think it’s time for the Packers to get a General Manager who is willing to use Free Agency as a way to accent strong drafts, and Wolf seems like the candidate Mark Murphy is leaning towards. However, if there is going to be a coaching change, would the Packers leave that decision to Thompson and have a year-long transition, or let Wolf choose his own coach?

Does Brett Hundley get an audition this season?

If the Packers are eliminated from the playoffs in the coming weeks, I think there’s a good argument for letting Hundley play. There’s no reason to risk Aaron Rodger’s health for games that won’t matter, it allows the Packers to have a better chance at landing a higher draft choice, and gives other teams a chance to see Hundley play and possibly drive up the trade market for him.

Why do the Packers have a seemingly endless string of injuries?

I’m not sure if it’s the training staff, the type of players they draft, or something else that is beyond my comprehension, but the Packers continue to struggle with staying healthy. Even minor injuries seem to stretch out into extremely long absences. Something needs to change in the way players are prepared for the season, and how they recuperate from injuries during it.

 

Last week I promised a look at the upcoming draft if the Packers lost. So, here are some players I’d love to see the Packers take a look at:

Cornerback: Jalen Tabor – Florida, Adoree Jackson – USC, Marshon Lattimore – Ohio St, Marlon Humphrey – Alabama

The Packers have a major need at Cornerback (especially if Sam Shields is forced into retirement). 2017 should be one of the best CB classes we’ve seen in awhile. Any of the four guys are capable of being top 15 picks. The Packers need the type of athletic lockdown corner who can be a true number one on the outside.

Jabrill Peppers, Michigan – Safety/Linebacker – Of course drafting the guy who draws Charles Woodson comparisons would be a great option for Green Bay. They need someone who can cover Tight Ends and bring a toughness and playmaking ability to their secondary.

Tight End: OJ Howard – Alabama, Jake Butt – Michigan. Howard is a freak athlete, but has often been inconsistent (think of a better Jermichael Finley). Butt is a also a good athlete, but is a better blocker and route runner than Howard. Both these players could be late 1st or early 2nd rounders.

Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig
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11 thoughts on “What’s next for the Packers?

  1. First play Hundley to see his ability.. if as good as I believe… trade Rodgers for multiple draft picks. If not great, then see what he can bring in a trade. Second, Fire MM and TT, this team has regressed over the past 3 – 4 years. Both are responsible. Third, just because his last name is Wolf does not make him qualified. Go after proven a GM with the experience of Schneider.

    1. I’ve thought about the possibility of trading Rodgers. If teams are willing to give up what they do for Geoff and Wentz, what would a team give up for Rodgers? More specific a team like Cleveland who has boatloads of picks to trade. The Browns have two 1sts, two 2nds, and a 3rd round pick. That’s 5 picks in the top what, 65 picks? Put him with a coach like Jackson and the Browns might think they could be really good in a year or two with Rodgers. At the very least play Hundley and see what you have. I think Hundley has great potential, especially if given a decent TE, RB, and a WR with some speed and size. If Rodgers stays (Probable) then McCarthy will be gone. What happened in Seattle has been festering for 2 years now and is ready to explode. If the Packers are THAT dead set on keeping McCarthy, then trade Rodgers, unless you’ll actually go get some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.

      Schneider was 40 years old when he went to Seattle, Wolf will be 35 this March. Maybe Thompson could stay as a consultant but it would be Wolf calling the shots. That’s the most ideal situation IMO, Wolf as GM, Thompson as a consultant. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of “Proven GM’s” out there with the experience of Schneider. They’ve blocked other teams from hiring Wolf for a while now, it’s time to make him the GM.

      The Packers have loss 3 huge parts of the Front office since TT took over. First Schneider, then Dorsey and McKinzie. That was a lot of experience and quality personnel to lose in such a short time. Don’t putz around too long or they might lose Wolf too.

    2. The dream of getting John Schneider ended when he signed a contract extension this past offseason. He said the clause that would allow him out of his contract was removed when he re-upped.

      I don’t think there’s enough picks in the world to give up on Rodgers in his early 30s, and take a gamble on Hundley or a 1st round QB. That’s a recipe for ending up like Cleveland.

  2. Trading Rodgers is just insane. He’s in his prime and every team in the league wishes they had him.

    1. Agreed. Even a struggling Rodgers is better than 25 other starting QBs. Plus, he’s started to look like he may be figuring things out/getting healthy.

      1. Look I like Rodgers, but he’s not any closer to figuring anything out than he was at the beginning of the season. I see a arrogant, self obsessed man who will throw anyone under the bus, especially on the field. When is the last time you saw Rodgers point to himself as if to say “My Bad”? How about NEVER!

        Just because he showed “Signs of Life” against a bunch of crappy teams they couldn’t even beat anyways, doesn’t mean he’s figured things out.

  3. Christine Michael just became available. Prosise the rookie and Rawls back healthy made him expendable. Rodgers needs a running game and he could provide it. This season is far from over.

    1. It’s far from over, but even if they get Michael I have my doubts that McCarthy will stick with the running game, and the defense has been a sieve the last few weeks.

      1. Andrew it’s just the backend of the defense. Look at Dallas’s DB’s. The only reason their defense hasn’t been torched is because they’re rested because their offense has the ball with a run game.I can’t wait to see the Cowboys defense to be exposed when someone stops the running game or Elliott gets hurt. You can say what you want but McCarthy is trying to run the football and provide a balanced offense. I was at the Dallas game and Elliott got his yards over the course of the game but it was the passing game that beat us which was the benefit of a solid running game.

        1. Well, Michael is on his way to GB. I truly hope you are right, and the Pack can turn things around.

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