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They got it right

Posted Feb 6, 2018

Nothing changes a game faster than a timely takeaway


Tom from Fairfield, CT

Jerry Kramer's performance on the field warrants his HOF selection. Imagine today, someone with his All Pro, Pro Bowl and championships and not making the HOF? As someone, however, who read his book "Instant Replay" as a 12 year old about five times in 1968 or 1969, I am surprised how it isn't getting more current acknowledgement as a very well written book with a unique format that was extremely impactful on advancing the popularity of pro football.

They got it right. The Pro Football Hall of Fame and its voters got it right. Canton is a place for individuals who changed the game of football. Jerry Kramer meets that criteria. He was an All-NFL player in the 60s, but also had a lot to do with helping grow the popularity of the game. He’s one of the Packers’ greatest ambassadors. It was great to see him walk across that stage. As I said on Twitter afterward, it was a walk 50 years in the making.

Keith from Oshkosh, WI

Now that Jerry Kramer is in the HOF as the 25th Green Bay Packer, and Charles Woodson is likely to be the 26th Packer (unless he goes in as a Raider), who has the best chance of being the 27th HOF member: LeRoy Butler, Sterling Sharpe, or Donald Driver?

Butler.

Carl from Sussex. WI

At the time, I also thought it was a mistake when the Eagles didn't pass with 2:03 left. But as I thought about it, let us not forget the results the Seahawks and Falcons experienced when calling pass plays instead of running the ball at critical moments late in their respective Super Bowls against the Pats.

It’s the right call so long as you have confidence in Jake Elliott to make that kick. If you pass there and the ball falls incomplete, you just gave Tom Brady another minute to beat you. Doug Pederson was masterful in this game. He coached the Eagles to the Super Bowl and trusted his players to make plays when they needed to be made. I was captivated from start to finish. That game was one for the ages.

Andy from Wausau, WI

Doug Pederson deserves a lot of credit for having a game plan to play to Nick Foles’ strengths and aggressive calls. This Super Bowl run by the Eagles just shows, why not go for it on fourth down and when the game is on the line instead of playing it safe?

And every Madden player in the country clapped in unison.

Blaine from Bagley, WI

Quite a few quarterbacks up for grabs next year. Just to name the top few free agents: Cousins, Keenum, Brees, Bradford, Garoppolo, and Bridgewater. And word is that Foles is on the trading block. Who do you think will get the best deal before the season?

Cousins, if he’s allowed to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. Otherwise, I’ll say Garoppolo’s likely extension with San Francisco.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Too bad the Patriots didn't have Aaron Rodgers, aka the Hail Mary Machine, throwing the last pass.

I didn’t have a problem with the throw. I only wonder if things turn out differently if Chris Hogan doesn’t fall downfield after the cheap shot from the cornerback. Hogan, who was late to the scrum, appeared to be the receiver designated to catch the deflection.

Matt from Verona, WI

The Eagles illegal formation thing is a non-starter. Jeffery checked with the official on his alignment, and had the opportunity to just take a step forward if the official said he was too far off the line. Hogan getting wrecked halfway downfield on the Hail Mary should have been called, though.

I read the reports Monday morning that the NFL rules this a judgment call. To the naked eye, it appears Jeffery is a step off the line of scrimmage. As you said, though, it’s a non-starter if Jeffery checked with the referee and he deemed it legal.

Andrew from Huxley, IA

On the Foles TD catch. The WR points to the official on his side of the field to indicate he is lining up on the line of scrimmage. Is it still a penalty if the official gives him the OK?

He’s in the clear as long as the ref gives him the OK, hence the judgment aspect of the non-call.

Guilherme from Lins, Brazil

Greatest performance by a losing QB in the Super Bowl?

I’d be interested to hear a case for someone else. Brady threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns for a 115.4 passer rating against the league’s No. 4 defense without Edelman and (mostly) Cooks.

Chase from Rapid City, SD

When you know that there is going to be a Hail Mary play, would you ever think about not rushing anyone and dropping all 11 players back to guard in the end zone?

I wouldn’t. I think you need some pressure, even if it’s a three-man rush. The possibility of a pass interference notwithstanding, do you really want to leave Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers to their own devices?

Greg from Bordentown, NJ

Wes, when can we expect to see Randall Cobb throw a floater to Aaron Rodgers for a TD?

I don’t know, but I fully expect a significant increase in trick pass plays next season league-wide with the success of flea-flickers and receiver passes this postseason.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Excellent game to end the season on. My takeaway is how important the TE position is to maximizing options for the QB. Those two Super Bowl-caliber players showed up big time. I truly believe Aaron Rodgers needs that tool in his arsenal for the Packers’ hopes of attaining another Super Bowl shot. Elaborate please.

Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz were impactful, but for completely different reasons. Gronkowski was dynamic and a go-to target for Brady, including the final Hail Mary. Meanwhile, Ertz stepped up at critical times. That catch on fourth-and-1 saved the game for the Eagles.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

The final play of the Super Bowl should be a friendly reminder that no tight end high points a Hail Mary like Richard Rodgers.

I won’t argue with that, though I will say the Eagles did a fine job of defending it. Who knows what happens if that defensive back doesn’t get that hand in front of Gronk.

Jesse from Akaska, South Dakota

“If you call plays conservatively, you are going to be 8-8, 9-7 every year.” Someone needs to paste this on the pages of the prevent defense/offense in every NFL team’s playbook - unless they’re playing the Packers. The Eagles won because they played to win. It was an awesome Super Bowl.

Well, the Eagles did play prevent defense in the final minute of the game. I kid. Point taken.

Richard from Canton, GA

So strip sacks win Super Bowls? It is amazing the yardage the Pats put up only to lose. A single play pivots the whole game.

There’s something poetic about a defense giving up 613 total yards and still finding a way to win the game. Nothing changes a game faster than a timely takeaway. Brandon Graham kept working to force that fumble. And how Derek Barnett managed to corral that football off a single bounce, I’ll never know.

David from Hesperia, CA

It's never too early to look ahead to 2018. Who will the Eagles open up against in the NFL "Kickoff Game?" Eagles play some intriguing games at home. Aside from their divisional games, they will play Atlanta, Carolina, Minnesota, Houston and Indy. I would not be surprised if Houston is the sleeper to open up the NFL season at Philly with the return of Deshaun Watson.

Minnesota. Also, I don’t think it’s a given Deshaun Watson will be ready by the opener.

John from Jefferson, WI

Should the Super Bowl game be presented as proof the refs aren't "paid to win for the Patriots?”

I’m just glad common sense prevailed on those catches. When they re-clarify rules this offseason, I hope they use that game as a blueprint.

Michael from Schofield, WI

Do players on injured reserve get a ring if the team wins a Super Bowl? Is there a limit on who gets a ring?

I believe NFL covers a fixed number of rings, but teams also can add more. From what I recall, most vested veterans – if not all – on injured reserve receive rings.

Lynn from Kenosha, WI

Regarding Aaron Rodgers’ comment the possibility that he might finish his career with a different team, couldn't that have been a contract negotiation ploy? As in, don't shortchange me or I might take my skills elsewhere.

I didn’t take that as a threat. I took it as a masterclass in self-awareness. Would you have believed me if I would’ve told you when Brett Favre signed his “lifetime” contract with the Packers in 2000 that he’d finish his Hall of Fame career in Minnesota?

Mark from Bellevue, WI

On the Eagles’ fourth-down TD pass to Foles, WR Jeffrey stated he asked the ref if he "had the ball covered" before the snap and that is why it wasn't a penalty. Can you explain what this means?

You need seven players on the line of scrimmage for a legal formation.

Gary from Warsaw, IN

Onward to building our team. The most important player to draft is someone who can get to the quarterback; either from the line or linebacker. Agree?

Given those two choices, I’d say linebacker over line. I’d argue the line is one of the deepest positions on the roster since the defense uses only two at a time in most situations.

Bryce from Billings, MT

Nick Foles played great football for each of the Eagles playoff games and the Super Bowl. What do you think his chances are of earning another chance of being a starter outside of Philly next year?

I’d put it at 50/50 because Foles actually is under contract for another season after agreeing to a two-year deal with Philadelphia. If I’m the Eagles, I’d be cautious about moving Foles unless I’m absolutely certain Carson Wentz is going to be ready for the opener. If he isn’t, then I would hold onto Foles. That team is built for the next few seasons. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that.

Sam from Janesville, WI

Follow up on the percent of cap paid to a player: It takes two to tango, right? How often does the cap get raised? Because if it gets raised every year I don’t see teams wanting to agree to those terms.

It goes up every season. Over the past four or five years, it’s been increasing by about $10 million annually.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Should the Packers take a hard look at unrestricted free agent, Malcom Butler, or is his benching for the SB an indication that he can't play?

I’m guessing we haven’t heard the whole story yet.

Randy from Colleyville, TX

At the time we all thought defense would win the championship we see the most offense in any Super Bowl. Hopefully the Packers will seek out D help in the draft and free agency. Will you boys be coming to Dallas/Fort Worth for the draft in April? Can you give us a rundown of key dates the next few months?

We will not be in Dallas. We’ll be hunkered down in the Packers media auditorium all three days. The biggest dates ahead of us are the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, starting Feb. 25, and the start of free agency on March 14.

Chuck from Lonepine, MT

Was I alone or was that about the worst halftime in SB history. The commercials weren't what they seemed in the past either. On the upside what a game. Badger fans had to be very proud of the two running backs that played as well.

Maybe I’m missing something, but was it really that bad? Inconsequential maybe, but I didn’t think it was bad.

Tom from Minneapolis, MN

Have you seen what Eagles fans did to the city after they won? What do you think about these fanatics rioting, looting, flipping cars, busting stop lights. If only they used this energy to be constructive.

Still doesn’t compare to the electricity in downtown Green Bay after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. Washington Street was crazy. The line for street brats and hot dogs took five minutes rather than the usual wait time of two minutes.

Maggie from Kenosha, WI

Who would your early prediction be to play the Hall of Fame Game this August? This class is loaded, and the NFC North sure is well-represented.

My guess would be Minnesota or Chicago versus Baltimore. I would think the NFL might back off Philadelphia since the Eagles will be playing in the season opener.

Robert from Harris, MN

The Super Bowl winning team? The officiating crew. Perfect, no, invisible, most of the time. My gosh they actually let them play football.

Gene Steratore is one of the best in the business. Glad to see him get the Super Bowl recognition.

Corey from Tobaccoville, NC

Just wondering if anyone else saw Kevin Hart get turned away from the podium last night. Priceless.

I watched the first half of the game at my parents’ house before watching the rest with my wife at home. As I’m explaining to her who Brian Dawkins is, she blurts out, ‘Oh, the security guy isn’t letting that man on the stage.’ I kind of shrugged it off only to find out 30 minutes later it was Kevin Hart. I got a good laugh out of it.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what is a "bonus" room?

A multi-purpose room above our garage. It’s my little nook in the house, though I’m guessing it’ll eventually give way to a play area. Enjoying it while I can.

George from Hutchinson, MN

Well folks, that's a wrap. Another NFL season has played itself out. A time to pause and reflect, then anticipate and discover. Many thanks to all the good folks at packers.com for their hard work and dedication to their craft. Packers fans are grateful to ride on your train. And just over that next bend, a new season awaits.

The combine is only a few short weeks away. I can’t wait to get started.


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