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Three drafts helped put Cardinals over the top

Which is the best scheme team I’ve covered?


James from Chicago, IL

If the receivers had caught two more balls for 36 yards per game, Aaron Rodgers' completions and yards would be on his career averages. Statistically, everything else is typical Aaron Rodgers.

I don't think the stats tell an accurate story, and it's not as much about Rodgers as it is about the Packers' passing game in general. This season, I see defenses attacking Packers receivers. I see defenses challenging the Packers to make a big play. In the past, I saw defenses defending against the pass, protecting against the big play.

Ethan from Plant City, FL

I've never seen a fan base as unanimously excited over the firing of a head coach as Eagles fans appear to be. What's your take on the firing of Chip Kelly? Was it his time to go, or should he have been relieved of his general manager duties and allowed to remain head coach?

Change was too radical under Kelly. At first, the fans loved it because fans love change. In the end, it became apparent change was for the worse. I get the sense Kelly was trying to make some kind of a statement. I almost get the feeling he wanted to prove he was above the NFL, maybe even that the college game was better. He should've called Steve Spurrier and asked him for his thoughts.

Pete from Perham, MN

Did Chip Kelly lose his job because he thought it was plays, not players?

His style of offense is the future of football. I stand by that. We're going to see more fast-paced, no-huddle type of offense in the future, and play count is going to increase. Mike McCarthy even goes so far as to call the Packers' no-huddle his team's base offense. It still, however, comes down to matchups. You win by creating favorable matchups, and that means scheming personnel, not schemes. I think Kelly schemed schemes instead of scheming personnel.

Dan from Eau Claire, WI

Could it be Davante Adams was put into his receiving role too soon? It seems like he drops so many passes. I understand our depth is an issue so he had to be brought up, but was it too soon?

I think the plan was to allow him to grow into the boundary receiver role just as Jordy Nelson was allowed to grow into it. Nelson's injury changed that plan. It disappoints me fans aren't being more supportive of Adams. I sense a young man who would benefit from support.

Dale from Sebastian, FL

It was interesting to note the Cardinals were able to overcome back-to-back turnovers during their mid-November matchup with the Seahawks, while the Packers were not able to accomplish the same type of turnaround against the Cardinals last week. I think being able to overcome injuries and turnovers is the sign of a team that could go deep into the playoffs, perhaps to the Super Bowl. Your thoughts?

Some teams have a greater margin for error. Let's go back and look at the Cardinals' draft position in recent years: 2011, No. 5; 2012, No. 13; 2013, No. 7. The '11 draft brought them Patrick Peterson. The '12 draft delivered Michael Floyd, Bobby Massie and Justin Bethel. The '13 draft was a blockbuster: Tyrann Mathieu, Kevin Minter, Alex Okafor and Andre Ellington. Those three draft classes and their development have helped put the Cardinals over the top, along with the acquisition and resurrection of Carson Palmer. The Seahawks rode a similar high-picks run of drafting to the top of the league. I think the same can be said of the Panthers.

Tom from Edwardsville, IL

My wife and I went and watched the movie "Concussion" last night. It was very interesting to see how the NFL is truly an entertainment business. Will you go watch this movie?

Not now. I'm spending all of my time and energy on covering this team as it attempts to win a division title and make a playoff run. I read the book. I covered Mike Webster. I know the story and I acknowledge the seriousness of head injuries. I think the NFL has also acknowledged as much with its player-safety movement. Plus, I'm not a theater kind of guy.

Jonathan from Appleton, WI

What was the best team you have covered that featured great scheme and planning, and won despite having a lack of talent on the roster?

It's probably the 1996 Jaguars. They had a very sophisticated pass offense, but everything else about them was ultra-vanilla, especially on defense, which was a classic bend-but-don't-break scheme that rode a hot rookie pass rusher (Tony Brackens) to the AFC title game. Until Natrone Means found his legs in the playoffs, the Jaguars only ran the ball to give Mark Brunell a breather from one of his many wild scrambles. The 2011 Packers are the best scheme team I've ever covered, but that team also had talent.

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