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He can tailor the defense to the player

Posted Apr 14, 2018

The offseason is for building 90-man rosters, not depth charts


Jason from Lake View, NY

Good morning, Insiders! How many Dez Bryant questions did you guys rack up Friday?

Enough to make me grab the Tylenol before noon. Good morning!

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

How do the coaching changes affect the draft board? I assume Pettine has different preferences for his players than Capers did. Do the scouts adjust their board according to those preferences, or are players graded in a vacuum?

I don’t anticipate as drastic a change as 2009 when the Packers switched to a 3-4 under Dom Capers. There is some carryover between Pettine’s scheme and what Capers ran. Certain skill sets may be preferable, but many kinds of players have succeeded in Pettine’s system. He can tailor the defense to the player. That’s a big strength in today’s NFL.

Cameron from Springville, UT

If Dez is available, do we take him? Nobody can replace Jordy, but he could be a good fill at receiver.

But what’s the price tag? Bryant may not get what he was set to make in Dallas, but he won’t come cheap. If it’s me, I’d take a young receiver in the draft to develop behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Trust the (receiver) process you’ve built in Green Bay.

James from Concord, CA

With everyone so fired up about picking a defensive player with the first few picks, I think the pick should be offense. Picking defense at No. 14 will give us the second- or third-best edge rusher or CB. Picking offense we could get the best wideout, lineman or tight end in the draft.

Calvin Ridley is someone the Packers would have to think long and hard about if available at No. 14. Like Saquon Barkley at RB, Ridley is widely considered the top receiver in this year’s class with tremendous speed and natural route-running ability. The Packers need help on defense, but Ridley is a name to consider.

Maggie from Silver Spring, MD

A lot of the drafts I've seen recently have the Packers taking Derwin James at 14. However, this would potentially mean passing up talent like Fitzpatrick, Landry, or Davenport. If it comes down to a choice between one of the four, who would be the best choice for one of the holes in the defense?

That’s why they pay GMs the big bucks. Months of preparation are condensed down into a 10-minute window. Whatever decision you make impacts the future of your franchise. I was wary of Davenport at first, but a few people I’ve spoken to over the last week say he’s the real deal. He’s unproven, but the talent is real.

Steve from Alexandria, VA

Am I the only person who feels this angst over (and even discussion of) a revamped playbook is silly? I took it as (any) senior executive saying to his staff, "Let's be willing to challenge our assumptions and not just do something in the future because we've done it in the past." No more, no less.

The angst is silly. Those same fans would have found something to cry about if McCarthy said they’re keeping everything the same. You don’t make changes for the sake of changes. You make changes to improve and evolve. That’s why he and Joe Philbin opted to go back to square one.

Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI

House is back. Tell me their cornerback situation isn't shaping up as they planned.

Tramon Williams and Davon House have seen this secondary at its very best and will pass those lessons on to the young guys in that room. Even if they draft a cornerback at No. 14, the Packers still need experienced veterans in that room. The offseason is for building 90-man rosters, not depth charts.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

With the House signing, does that allow for the Packers to concentrate more on edge rushers the first two rounds then fill in CB, WR, OL in rounds 3-7?

The draft is for planting seeds, not filling needs. I view the signing of Williams and House like the Packers bringing in Jahri Evans last year. It takes some of the pressure off and doesn’t back the personnel department into a corner (no pun intended).

Erik from Sisters, OR

Thank you for your insight about Kevin King being one piece of the boundary CB equation. That got me wondering about what exactly makes a CB more successful on the perimeter, skill-wise. Also, in my mind I would think it would take a better CB to play slot because of the expanded route tree from that position. To me, the boundary corner has the advantage of the sideline limiting route options.

The Packers look for height, arm length, strength and quickness in their boundary cornerbacks. Speed also helps when beaten over the top. All that plays into why King was the best fit for Green Bay. The “star” slot position requires talented defensive backs, as well. The skill set is a bit more varied, though, with both cornerbacks and safeties capable of functioning in that role.

Richard from Madison, WI

A couple of days ago referred to C.J. Wilson. I recall that he was on the roster at the same time as A.J. Hawk, B.J. Raji, and D.J. Williams and thinking that Ted Thompson was trying to work thru the entire alphabet. But that leads to the question: Who decides what name goes on the official roster? In particular, what's up with the "Jr."s and "III”?

That’s up to the player. After all, it is that individual’s name. For example, JC Tretter’s name was written as it is because he preferred no periods in his initials.

Josh from Hackensack, NJ

Please clear up one rule for me. I know that you can carry salary-cap money over from the previous year. Can it add up year after year, or for example, if the Packers carry 12 million over in 2018 is there a deadline to use it?

The deadline to use it is the final game of the regular season, which is why the Packers got deals done with Corey Linsley and Davante Adams in the days leading up to the Week 17 game in Detroit. Whatever remains is put in a carryout box and saved for next season.

Matt from Lancaster, PA

Donny from GB got me thinking, if both the Ravens and the Cardinals are vying for Lamar Jackson, would the Packers dare draft him and then deal? Or is it better to get what you can (if offered) before you make the pick?

You definitely want to either trade the pick or take a player you want on your roster. That’s not to say you couldn’t trade Jackson after the fact, but you lose some leverage once the card is turned in unless we’re talking about the first or second overall pick here.

Bob from Colby, KS

OK. Best player – Chubb or Barkley. Now who should Cleveland pick? Could they get Barkley with No. 4 since everyone is so hot for one of the QBs? Who's the best QB?

Chubb or Barkley might be the best players, but the top three teams have to go with quarterbacks in my opinion. This year’s draft has too many good ones to be left without a dance partner. It’s time for the Giants to find their next “guy” and there’s no way the Jets traded up to not take a QB at No. 3.

Tim from Normal, IL

Insiders, being released does not mean players like Bryant and Jordy are washed up. They still have football left in them, just not at the level they were being paid. So Nelson gets signed for less money and Bryant will, too. My question is at what point will these and other star players accept they are no longer the star and accept their new secondary role? Do some never accept it?

Some do and some don’t. I look at players like Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Roddy White who developed roles after their prime. It all depends on the player and his personality.

Sebastian from Los Angeles, CA

I was reading an NFL article ranking the worst-to-best QB classes since 2000, and I hadn’t realized that another QB (Jason Campbell) was taken off the board right after Green Bay drafted Rodgers at 24. Say that Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers were taken off the board before Green Bay’s turn, could Green Bay have taken Campbell at 24 and could his career have been any better under McCarthy’s tutelage? What was the grade given to Campbell compared to Smith and Rodgers?

I wonder if the Packers trade out of the first round if Rodgers wasn’t there at 24. I say this because of what Andrew Brandt wrote a few years ago about the Packers fishing for possible trade partners after going on the clock and Rodgers being the last player on their board with a first-round grade. Campbell was seen as a project right off the bat and Washington’s decisions to trade up to take him at No. 25 raised some eyebrows.

George from Hutchinson, MN

Me and imaginary friends were wondering why they call the Wonderlic test, the Wonderlic test? Is that a real word, or just imaginary?

It was created by some guy named E.F. Wonderlic in 1936. At least, that’s what Wikipedia says.

Eric from St Paul, MN

I appreciate the pre-draft coverage you guys do, it gives me as someone who doesn't follow CFB a solid base. I saw a video on Oliver and I'm really hoping we grab him (more than any other top corner prospect) due primarily to his technique followed by his reach. Would having two lanky shutdown corners in Oliver and King be too much of the same thing? Can you really have too much of a great thing?

I can see why you don’t want to have too many running backs or receivers with the same skill set, but I don’t think the same applies at cornerback because of how many are required with sub-package football. I don’t think any team would complain if it had two Richard Shermans or Darrelle Revises in their prime.

Sawyer from Clemson, SC

While the draft is one of my favorite events, I'm also excited to see what happens in post-draft free agency, both for college free agents and veteran players. I feel like smart roster management and a seriously competitive 90-man roster are really built in that stage of free agency.

Just think about how important phone calls were placed in the hour after the draft. That’s when the Packers were introduced to the likes of Sam Shields and Lane Taylor. Heck, what about a guy like Lucas Patrick, who came to Green Bay as a tryout player at rookie orientation and he winds up starting games? Competition doesn’t require a draft choice.

Bob from Riverside, CA

I've really enjoyed the great articles and pictures from the Packers Tailgate Tour. It's funny to see two Packers with No. 88 on the tour. Yesterday, I saw a great quote from Ty Montgomery that can put the number change to rest for good. In the article from the stop in Monroe, he said, "It is a testament to what I can do, my skill set. I bring a unique value to the team and I’m going to keep this number and it’s who I am.” I’m looking forward to seeing Ty deliver on that promise this year.

He’s a unique football player and there’s always room on the field for unique football players. Don’t sleep on Ty Montgomery in 2018.

Tom from New York, NY

Will Green Bay ever be in the running to host the draft? Is there any league more afraid of the cold than the NFL? Let's host it next year, "1919-2019."

It won’t be next year. I believe Denver, Kansas City, Tennessee and Canton are on the short list of finalists. The Packers definitely will be in the running to host it someday. There are just a few logistical things to figure out before they make their big pitch.

Griffin from Belmont, NC

Is there a designated press box for each team playing or is it one press box with personnel from both teams? Is there friendly banter and conversation or just each person and their laptop?

Most NFL stadiums have one press box where all the media cover the game. It’s typically a lively atmosphere beforehand when the food is out.

Tom from Wood River, IL

Talk has been of multiple Super Bowl rings at different jobs, but how about Bob Harlan? Super Bowl ring with Packers, World Series ring with Cardinals in 1967!

Not a bad legacy.

Gary from Austin, MN

After we get past all this pre-draft time and this miserable winter ends, could you guys get a camera on the new grass in the stadium so we can watch the new grass grow?

Assuming this weather ever cooperates, we will have written and visual coverage of the new turf. First, it needs to stop snowing.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Can you do a Prospect Primer on Uncle Rico? I heard he used to throw a pigskin a quarter mile.

Now, there is an idea. I’ll see if our video department can get some of his file footage.

Chase from Sunnyvale, CA

If you were born in 2000, your first season was 2000. In 2001, you'd only be 1-year-old, but you'd be in your second season of life. Therefore, this is the Packers’ 100th season, and they will be turning 100 years old next year.

I’m so happy this had to be explained in Inbox.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, which player in the draft would be able to do the best job of protecting your lunch from Mike? Do you think Mr. G should trade up for him?

Will Hernandez. At 6-2, 330, I’m guessing he never fell victim to a stolen lunch. He’s probably the second-best guard prospect in the draft to Quenton Nelson and played with Aaron Jones at UTEP. However, it looks like Hernandez could come off the board later in the first round.

Jimmy from Dallas, TX

How much are you packers.com writers paid? Coaches, players, ref salaries are public. Why not journalists?

Because I’m not a coach, player or ref. How much do you make?

Bubba from Pocatello, ID

Spoff the Grammar God, it’s still the offseason, so how about a grammar question? Last Friday you wrote, "I wouldn’t have to steal Wes’s lunch every day." I was taught to write "Wes' lunch." Are both correct?

Both are correct.

Steve from Salem, OR

Why do you guys complain about long days, no vacation in August and late flights? The rest of the working world has similar issues.

So I assume you’ve never complained about it then?

Stephen from Chicago, IL

I have no problem with Vikings fans buying a $129 photo of their franchise's greatest achievement. I would spend the same amount for pictures of Favre running with his helmet off in SB XXXI; Rodgers/Matthews on stage after SB XLV; McGee's one-handed nab in SB I, and Adderley making that pick in front of Fred Biletnikoff in SB II (honorable mention to the picture of Kramer carrying Lombardi off the field). What moment or moments would you spend $129 to immortalize on your wall?

This submission. Well done. Have a good weekend, folks.


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