Havel Article on 07 needs

calicheesehead

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Chris Havel column: Packers have lots of needs for 2007

The mood in the Green Bay Packers' locker room on Monday was as even-keeled as the team's 8-8 record.
There was no shame in finishing on a four-game winning streak, or in securing a respectable 5-1 record within a woefully weak NFC North Division.

Then again, there was no reason to celebrate a .500 season that exceeded low expectations but little else.

To coach Mike McCarthy's credit, the Packers exited the 2006 season in much better shape than they entered it.

The penalties, defensive lapses and special teams gaffes were down. The optimism, team mentality and attention to detail were up.
It was important for McCarthy to win games, but not as important as it was for him to win the players' respect.

McCarthy's greatest accomplishment wasn't proving he could coach. It was getting his players to believe he could coach. McCarthy didn't pretend to have all the answers, and at times it appeared he wasn't entirely sure of the questions.

But through it all, McCarthy trusted his instincts, his assistants and his players.

"All the players love playing for him," defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. "He's young, he knows his stuff and the players can relate to him. It's the most fun I've ever had in my (six-year) career. The coaching staff, the environment, the atmosphere in the locker room, the way we finished — it was all positive."

Everyone from high-priced free-agent acquisitions such as Pickett and cornerback Charles Woodson to rookies such as Tony Moll and Jason Spitz rang in the New Year with positive vibes.

That was the first step.

The next step is realizing that the Packers, at 8-8, are as close to being on the bottom as they are to being on top.


Their needs are many.

They need a defensive backs coach who can teach the secondary to play as one.

They need free safety Nick Collins to make Sunday's brilliant performance the rule rather than the exception.

They need to replace strong safety Marquand Manuel with the guy GM Ted Thompson thought he was getting in free agency.

They need a No. 3 cornerback who's better than Patrick Dendy, who then can become a pretty good dime defensive back.

They need to acquire an impact defensive lineman in free agency, which is almost as great a challenge as winning the lottery.

They need a kick-return specialist who is special.

They need a running back, a tight end and a receiver — and at least one has to be a legitimate big-play weapon — and they need all three even if Ahman Green returns, Bubba Franks returns to form and Koren Robinson stays clean.

They need a 2007 draft class that's as strong as the 2006 class.

They need A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings and Daryn Colledge to be even better in their second year.

They need Donald Driver, Aaron Kampman, Nick Barnett and Al Harris to continue playing at a high level.

iUltimately, they need Brett Favre to come back for one final hurrah.

It's a lot to ask, but it's the reality of the Packers' situation.


Anything less isn't going to be good enough.


He's pretty much on the money. How about Butler to come in as DB's coach and boot Shottyhammer?
 

porky88

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Alright I agree with what he's said so I'm going to throw out some names of some guys I'd like to see in Green and Gold.

They need a defensive backs coach who can teach the secondary to play as one.

Probably not going to happen. Pro Football Weekly is reporting McCarthy will keep his coaching staff intact.

They need free safety Nick Collins to make Sunday's brilliant performance the rule rather than the exception.

Collins won't be able to do what he did New Years Eve all the time but he certainly can play at a high level. I think he's going to be a breakthrough player for us next year. At least I hope.

They need to replace strong safety Marquand Manuel with the guy GM Ted Thompson thought he was getting in free agency.

Marvel Underwood can and I think will be our guy. Also Laron Landry of LSU and Reggie Nelson of Florida via the Draft look good.

Ken Hamlin and Michael Lewis are two big name free agents. Frankly I like Underwood enough to give him a spot but a free agent does need to be signed for competition. No giving the job to a player by default. I rather see them compete.

They need a No. 3 cornerback who's better than Patrick Dendy, who then can become a pretty good dime defensive back.

In a perfect world: Will Blackmon

but he can't be trusted because well we haven't really seen much of him in the NFL. I am not in favor of going out and signing Clements or Samuel. Dumb move IMO with Harris and Woodson playing at a Pro Bowl Level. I'd like to see Nick Harper from the Colts brought in.

They need to acquire an impact defensive lineman in free agency, which is almost as great a challenge as winning the lottery.

We need to restructure KGB's deal and if he doesn't want to then we need to cut him. Cullen Jenkins needs to return and Corey Williams needs an extension as well. I'd like to see maybe Charles Johnson from Georgia in the Draft or Justin Smith a free agent from Cincinnati. Smith is my #2 free agent on my wish list only to Tony G. I think he could thrive in our system and opposite of Kampman.

They need a kick-return specialist who is special.

Can be done via the Draft. Maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick on a return man. Though Koren Robinson can certainly return kicks as well.

They need a running back, a tight end and a receiver — and at least one has to be a legitimate big-play weapon — and they need all three even if Ahman Green returns, Bubba Franks returns to form and Koren Robinson stays clean.

Franks shouldn't return but if he does he's a good blocker. Daniel Graham, Tony G, Jeremy Shockey (if he opts out of his deal) and Eric Johnson are names I like. Zach Miller from Arizona State and Greg Olsen from Miami via the Draft in round 2 would look good in green and gold.

I'd like to see one of the 3 free agents I mentioned and I'd like to see either Miller or Olsen drafted in round 2.

Another target is a need but I don't think we need Drew Bennett. I keep hearing his overrated name on the radio and he's going to be demanding a lot of money. He's not worth it.

I like Patrick Crayton of the Dallas Cowboys. He is very sure handed and a great route runner. Dallas is expected to pickup some big bonuses on Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn. If so they may not have enough money to sign Crayton to an extension. He's an RFA that could be a bargain.

Dwayne Jarrett of USC or Ted Ginn Jr. of Ohio State via the Draft might be nice. Though I believe Jarrett is off the board and Ginn could be gone as well when we pick.

Marshawn Lynch of California is my dream pick right now. He's a great receiver out of the backfield and he's a perfect fit for our zone blocking scheme. Explosive home run threat our offense needs right now. Would be a great pick.

Michael Turner will come at a price of a 1st round pick and he's not worth it. I'd like to see Ahman Green resigned and even Chris Brown is a bit intriguing.
They need a 2007 draft class that's as strong as the 2006 class.

Possible but a lot to ask for. Even if it ends up being 2/3 as good it's still going to be solid. Our last draft glass was great. Certainly possible though.

They need A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings and Daryn Colledge to be even better in their second year.

and Jason Spitz.

They need Donald Driver, Aaron Kampman, Nick Barnett and Al Harris to continue playing at a high level.

and Charles Woodson, Ryan Pickett, Mark Tauscher, (when healthy) and Scott Wells. Though Harris deserves to get paid IMO.

iUltimately, they need Brett Favre to come back for one final hurrah.

No doubt but if he doesn't the Packers can't let that effect their off season plans to get better. No matter what we need to move forward.
 

longtimefan

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Porky you mentioned Drew B, I saw him mentioned in other areas..Granted I do not know to much ,nor have seen him to much, so I read up on him..

He cant be any worse then some of the wr we have now..

He has done some very good things for Tenn, wonder what price he is looking for..

http://www.titansonline.com/team/players/bio.php?PRKey=6

Thirty-five wide receivers were drafted in 2001, and Bennett has more receiving yards than all but six of them and more receptions than all but seven from that class, which includes Chad Johnson, Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne, Chris Chambers, Rod Gardner and Koren Robinson, among others.
 

GakkofNorway

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as for CB I want to see Josh Wilson drafted, SS I want Brandon Merriweather, a perfect fit together with Nick Collins as he is the best covering safety in the draft.
 

warhawk

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The article certainly nails it.

Because we need playmakers and Green and Bubba are getting older I see the draft and offseason FA focus on WR's, TE's, and RB's.

I could see where(but not prefer)the TE spot might be addressed in the draft. Bubba is still going to be around, or, cost a good bit to get rid of so bringing up a TE thru the draft here is likely.

That situation is unlike RB where we obviously need young legs regardless of what happens with Green. My guess is we make an attempt to keep Green short term and use the #1 pick here that could be worked in and be the future. I want to mention I love A. Beech. I HATED that he got hurt last year because NOBODY we had hit the crease with as much power or speed as he did. I predict he will beat out Morency and Heron next year.

I could see a WR in FA because that's a fairly safe position to go after a higher priced player. TT hates to gamble but a WR that can produce rarely becomes ineffective by simply changing teams. When guys like Walker, Glenn, TO, etc, move on they continue to produce with their new teams(unless he goes to team where the QB sucks).

I see CB, FB, and 0line picks in the middle/upper rounds. I see no sense in going CB early yet. We have guys that will be there for the next couple of years and young guys behind them that will continue to get better.

I do not see anything other than a late pick in the draft at safety. They will let Manuel and Underwood battle it out there and Underwood will ultimately win. He's twice the athlete Manuel is.

About KGB. We will keep him if we do not feel we have quality depth at that position. Having said that if management has cooled on him totally there will be no better time to get rid of him. By increasing the overall cap dollars SOMEBODY out there would actually pay him $5 million bucks as a pass rushing specialist. The premium on getting QB pressure is that high.

This actually makes me feel much better as I thought we were truly stuck with him and his salary. We pretty much are in that boat with Bubba. Nobody out there would give him squat. At least he can still block some.

One more thing. If we (and I hope we do) address the interior DL either go for the whole enchillata (get a good one in FA) or forget it. We have more solid backups there already than any other team in the NFL.
 

spardo62

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:twocents: Here is my take for what it is worth:
They need a defensive backs coach who can teach the secondary to play as one.
They look like they are leaning toward no changes and maybe it will work out OK. If they replace Manuel with someone who can play and communicate we should see an upgrade. It seems like issues were eventually minimized, though it took the majority of the year.

They need free safety Nick Collins to make Sunday's brilliant performance the rule rather than the exception.
The Bear game was awesome and will not be sustained for 16 games by any player, but it needs to be closer to that performance than what we saw for most of 2006. A combination of Collins embracing the role of PROFESSIONAL and putting in the work needed, along with an upgrade at the other safety position are needed.

They need to replace strong safety Marquand Manuel with the guy GM Ted Thompson thought he was getting in free agency.
See above.

They need a No. 3 cornerback who's better than Patrick Dendy, who then can become a pretty good dime defensive back.
Dendy was OK, and an upgrade over Carroll, but yes, this position should be addressed. You can never have too many good corners, and both Harris and Woodson are getting older and were relatively injury free last season. I would like to see 2-3 brought in through the draft and FA to compete with what is currently on the roster to upgrade the depth and quality of this position.

They need to acquire an impact defensive lineman in free agency, which is almost as great a challenge as winning the lottery.
Unlikely to happen given the uncertainty of drafting at this position. More likely is a return to health of Allen, and a rejuvinated KGB by limiting his snaps to pass situations - along with the health of current rotation.

They need a kick-return specialist who is special.
They have needed this since Desmond Howard, and before that maybe Travis Williams. A 4th WR or CB that they draft that has shown ability to perform in this role in college, ala Hester.

They need a running back, a tight end and a receiver — and at least one has to be a legitimate big-play weapon — and they need all three even if Ahman Green returns, Bubba Franks returns to form and Koren Robinson stays clean.
Playmakers win championships and unfortunatley of the three mentioned above, only one has ever been considered a playmaker(Green). RB would be the easiest area to address through the draft for immediate impact, with the other two positions more developmental through the draft and FA being a better choice for immediate impact.

They need a 2007 draft class that's as strong as the 2006 class.
#1 may be tough, as 5th overall typically is more of a sure thing than 16th. But the scouting department has to step up and continue drafting like last year.

They need A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings and Daryn Colledge to be even better in their second year.
They should develop and now know what to expect out of the NFL game.

They need Donald Driver, Aaron Kampman, Nick Barnett and Al Harris to continue playing at a high level.
Again, I do not think the age factor will hit any of these players next year and the motivation factor is always present with this group.

Ultimately, they need Brett Favre to come back for one final hurrah.
Rogers is unproven and the team would likely take a step backward, even if all of the above come to fruition.
 

longtimefan

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Because we need playmakers and Green and Bubba are getting older I see the draft and offseason FA focus on WR's, TE's, and RB's.

that is my gut feeling since the season ended...The defense had lot of focus last year with upgrading it, this offseaosn I have a feeling the offense is getting the upgrades..

And what I mean by that is FREE AGENTS...
 

warhawk

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warhawk said:
Because we need playmakers and Green and Bubba are getting older I see the draft and offseason FA focus on WR's, TE's, and RB's.

that is my gut feeling since the season ended...The defense had lot of focus last year with upgrading it, this offseaosn I have a feeling the offense is getting the upgrades..

And what I mean by that is FREE AGENTS...

I could see this going like it did on the defensive side of the ball last year where we pick up one big FA (like we did with Woodson) and use the #1 and #2 picks on offense as well.

I say resign Green to a reasonable deal if possible and draft a Rb because those early picks last year that had a veteran to share the load did a fantastic job this year.

That just seems a better fit than paying big bucks for a FA running back.

I say obtain a real playmaking WR thru FA. That would effect all of the receiver positions and increase our ability to score more than by any other means.

I'm talking about a guy so good it would prevent teams from doubling or shading Driver AND someone that can stretch the field opening up the shorter routes.

Until we get that player I believe we will continue to overachieve in total yards gained while underachieving in points to show for it.
 

porky88

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Porky you mentioned Drew B, I saw him mentioned in other areas..Granted I do not know to much ,nor have seen him to much, so I read up on him..

He cant be any worse then some of the wr we have now..

He has done some very good things for Tenn, wonder what price he is looking for..

http://www.titansonline.com/team/players/bio.php?PRKey=6

Thirty-five wide receivers were drafted in 2001, and Bennett has more receiving yards than all but six of them and more receptions than all but seven from that class, which includes Chad Johnson, Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne, Chris Chambers, Rod Gardner and Koren Robinson, among others.

The market for WR is very thin. Bennett is the big name. Realistically he's a #2 or #3 option that will give you 800 yards and 7 touchdowns in a season. I'm just projecting numbers but if you look at his stats he's only had one real good year and that was through a stretch of games.

So since the market is thin a player like Bennett is going to demand a lot of money because their is no one else out there. So he's going to be vastly overpaid in all likely hood because the market is so thin.
 

packerfan1245

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He has a point when he says we are as close the the bottom as we are to the top. We are gonna need to have another good draft and stuff.
 

retiredgrampa

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I look for another good draft because TT actually pays attention to what his scouts have to say. MS always thought that HIS choices were the ONLY ones that counted. That said, I believe that the draft alone will not fill all the gaps we have. TT will need to go to FA for perhaps 2 playmakers. I believe he will. The rumor of a 3rd + Fergy for Moss could happen to our benefit. Moss must realize that such a deal would be his last shot. If he doesn't, he's a lost cause. Losing Fergy would be no loss at all. We need to take the heat off Driver, and Moss would certainly do that.
 

dxbfan

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As far as Offense is concerned, I think the key is knowing whether Favre will be back. If he is, adding a playmaker as WR/TE would hugely improve the offense. On the other hand if Rodgers is going to be starting, it might make more sense to sign a stud RB and add depth to the O line.
 

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