I solve the Packers ***** pass rush right here

FrankRizzo

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Look, we all know that Teddy is not a player in free agency. He's just not. He's not.
No, he is not.
I know I know about Charles Woodson.
And Ryan Pickett.
But that was when he inherited the salary cap hell from the general Mike Sherman, and he cleaned that up in one year, than had a lot of money to spend and almost had to spend some on free agents because the talent level from general Mike the GM was ***** on not worthy of that $ under the cap.
And let's realize that Thompson was lucky as **** that he got Woodson because A) Woodson didn't want to come here, he had no other options, B) Teddy tried to throw all that money at Lavar Arrington first, not Charles. But Lavar DID have other options and he used TT for leverage, not wanting to go to Green Bay, and C) Woodson was injury-prone in Oakland. With us, he's been remarkably durable, which is some luck.

Now that being said, I don't think Ted is dumb, naive, or ignorant. He knows damn well this defense, and pass rush specifically, is flatout ******.

Now, with that being said, there are some tough choices to make with our own guys and their contracts.

2012 Free Agents

Jermichael Finley
Pat Lee
Jarrett Bush
Scott Wells
Howard Green
Erik Walden
Matt Flynn
Ryan Grant

#1- Scott Wells, the Pro Bowl center. His contract is up and he's going to expect a big raise, his first and last big contract. I'm afraid he's a goner because some ONE team will probably throw a big $ at him. If not, we keep him, but I will assume the worst, he's gone.

#2- Finley, I see him re-signing with us, in a deal that some say was too much $, while some others say he could have gotten more $ had he reached the open market. A fair deal on both sides, and some pressure taken off the shoulders of J-Mike for 2012.

#3- Matt Flynn, he has too much value to let go for just a chump comp pick. Ted may be quiet, but he's not dumb. I expect him to cash him in for what the market dictates, and that's at least a pick in the #20-#30 range, and some say more like that and an additional 3rd or 4th round pick. I'll go conservative.

#4- Walden is gone. I liked him once, but he didn't make plays. And he might be behind bars too.

#5- Lee is gone. He sucked at Auburn, never knew why we drafted him.
#6- Ryan Grant. He's 50-50. Everyone assumes he's gone. But A) nobody out there will offer a good $ at him, B) we have nothing proven behind him. I think he stays cheap.

#7- Bush, he stays. He's gotten better each year the past few years, and his special teams is very good.

#8- Big Howard. I love the guy, and I will always remember HE was the guy in Super Bowl XLV who got to Big Ben, causing that Pick-6 by Collins. But he didn't do much this year, and the league is turning more and more pass-heavy, and we already have 2 big whales in Pickett and Raji. That being said, I don't see anyone else throwing any big $ at this guy, so I think he signs on with us cheap. But his roster spot is certainly not assured to start 2012.

#9- Nick Collins. I guess only God knows at this point. On one hand, I can't see Collins ever playing again. This franchise has been **** with necks before, from Sterling Sharpe to Terrance Murphy, and a few other players like Tim Lewis and a few LBers. I can see Collins being screwed out of the NFL like they were for us.
But I also know some others have come back from the same surgery he had. So I have heard. I want him back so badly. Like this year's playoffs, I am expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.

#10- The Donald- I love Driver so much, but his contract must be reduced, and even if it is, we need to get Tori Gurley into the mix. There can't be more than 5.
I think the locker room is a very important component of team success, and keeping Donald is worth it, even if it means losing one younger player. I this case, I trade James Jones to one of many teams out there who have crappy starting WRs, starting with Jacksonville. Their WR's are horrible. Jones would be the #1 WR on that team.
I get a 4th round pick from them, which IMO is very conservative.

FREE AGENCY
With Teddy trimming some payroll, and restructering some guys, he has room for one actual free agent signing:

JASON JONES, TEN - DE (6-5, 280)
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When healthy, Jason Jones is one of the league's better interior pass rushers. He has an explosive first step in getting upfield and disrupting a quarterback's ability to step up into a clean pocket. The Titans have allowed Albert Haynesworth and Jason Babin to leave at the top of their games, so it can happen again. Jones was a 2nd round pick out of Eastern Michigan, just in 2008. He's in his prime, but not a big name really. Packers have good luck with guys from Michigan, Eastern, and Western.

THE DRAFT

#22- (From Cleveland for Matt Flynn)- PETER KONZ, C, Wisconsin,
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He's got an NFL-ready body, solid technique and good intelligence, which is critical for a position that serves as the quarterback of the OL. He'll step in and be like Nick Mangold was for the Jets and Pouncey was for the Steelers, as rookie centers who step right in and play great.

#28- ANDRE BRANCH, OLB, Clemson 6-4, 260
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Branch, a first-team ACC selection, was named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation and was one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award.
With 16 tackles for loss, Branch is classified at Clemson as a “bandit end’’ who is apt to drop back in coverage, as well as pass rush.
“He gets a lot of attention, which frees up other guys,’’ fellow end Courtnei Brown said.
Branch is a larger 34 OLB, in the mold of a Lamar Woodley or Shawne Merriman, and I feel he is a perfect complement to the smaller, quicker Clay Matthews, and could give the Packers a great bookend who gets to QBs, but also is stout vs the run. #

Round 2- JARED CRICK, DE, Nebraska, 6-6, 285
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I'm not saying this is the next JJ Watt or Justin Smith. But he does remind me of both of those guys.
He's your "high effort", "high motor" DE, which is what they always label the big white forces off the edge. Remember Aaron Kampman? Same thing, "high motor".

Round 3- CASEY HAYWARD, CB, Vanderbilt, 5-11
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Round 4- (from Jax for James Jones), WINSTON GUY JR, S, Kentucky, 6-1, 215
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Clay approves of this guy.

Round 4- *TRADE ALERT* The Packers trade this pick, and a 2013 conditional pick, the the Indianapolis Colts for DE/OLB Jerry Hughes. #
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Hughes was a guy who, 2 drafts ago, was projected by many (including the best 2 national mock guys Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, and Bob McGinn) to be the Packers first round pick at #25 in the 2010 draft, but Bryan Bulaga slid to that pick and the Packers had to take him.

The Colts took him later in that 1st round, but tried to make him a 4-3 DE in the Freeney mold. He's not that guy, and he has not panned out. He's been a disappointment and was not even their #4 DE to end this season. They're ready to cut their losses, especially after firing their GM and head coach now.
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He has 2 affordable years on his contract, and I know for a fact that Ted Thompson liked this guy coming out. *This is a low-risk/possible huge* reward for the Packers at this point. This could be one of those guys where a guy blossoms into a star, and the fans of their old teams ask "why the hell did we let this guy go?"..... see Steve Young, James Harrison, Charles Woodson, Jimmy Smith, Kurt Warner, Justin Smith (Cinci had him), etc.....

Even with taking OLB Branch in the first round, you never know what you're gonna get at OLB in the draft, and you cannot have too many good pass rushers. We had too many bad ones this year.

Round 4- (comp pick for Cullen Jenkins) - JOSH CHICHESTER, TE, Louisville, 6-8, 240
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6-foot-8... Rodgers' Jimmy Graham?

Round 4- (comp pick for Daryn Colledge) -BROCK OSWEILER, QB, Arizona St, 6-7, 240
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Round 5- *Trade to Washington for their 2013 4th round pick


Round 6- LANCE DUNBAR, RB, North Texas, 5-9, 203
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Round 7- *Trade to Carolina for their 2012 6th round pick
 

7thFloorRA

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I like it but give me Ryan Lindley over Osweiler if he is available. I also want Chandler Harnish as an UDFA.
 

okcpackerfan

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lots of effort put into this, very nice job. I wouldn't be unhappy at all if this situation happened.
 

Jules

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How did you find a picture of Jerry Hughes near a QB. Let alone a good one?

Dude you can have Jerry Hughes for a bag of chips.

No really though. The Colts tried to move him before the trade deadline. I don't know WHAT HIS PROBLEM IS. He has all the speed and talent but looks like a moron with the Colts. He might just be a bad fit in this D. He can't fit at all. He might be an OLB I agree which is what many scouts said he was.

Maybe the Colts coaches also suck which is why they all got fired. They have no clue what to do with this guy. He just does not fit. At all.

What a horrible pick by Bill Polian. He was trying to find the next Freeney at the end of the first round and rumor was the Ravens wanted to trade for the Colts pick to get him at 31.

Jerry Hughes is so lost in this defense in Indy it's sad. I felt bad for him. He has the speed though. Nothing else so far.
 

JoshuaRHuffman

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Hmmm... Never been a fan of Jason Jones.

He has a tendency of getting really stupid penalties.

He has 15.5 sacks in four seasons as a 4-3 DL.

He really didn't do well as a 4-3 DE this season. He had 2 sacks on 415 plays as a DE and 1 sacks in 233 plays as a DT.

At 6-5 and 276, he's not playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. Actually, he probably should gain 10-pounds before he attempts to play 3-4 end.

Too much risk for me. There's nothing to make me think that he'd excel in our 3-4 defense or 2-4-5 alignments.
 

Jules

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I am a broken record but......

If you want an underrated pro bowl caliber pass rusher who is used to playing opposite of a super star go for Robert Mathis. He is clutch too and has big game experience. He gets fumbles......he cleans up the dirty work. He hardly gets hurt. He is 30 almost 31 but so what. He has not slowed down to me.

He won't be as expensive as a Mario Williams. I think Mathis could fit in a 3-4. Rex Ryan has interest in trading for him.

Colts new gm makes it sound as if too much cap space is on offense so they might try to keep Mathis some fans think. But, then again he might want to go to a team where he can win another ring.
 

JoshuaRHuffman

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I am a broken record but......

If you want an underrated pro bowl caliber pass rusher who is used to playing opposite of a super star go for Robert Mathis. He is clutch too and has big game experience. He gets fumbles......he cleans up the dirty work. He hardly gets hurt. He is 30 almost 31 but so what. He has not slowed down to me.

He won't be as expensive as a Mario Williams. I think Mathis could fit in a 3-4. Rex Ryan has interest in trading for him.

Colts new gm makes it sound as if too much cap space is on offense so they might try to keep Mathis some fans think. But, then again he might want to go to a team where he can win another ring.

How good is Mathis in run defense? I don't think Dom Capers would even consider Mathis unless he really excelled with stopping the run. The Colts have usually been very poor at run defense since they're so undersized with their DL in the cover-2.
 

Jules

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How good is Mathis in run defense? I don't think Dom Capers would even consider Mathis unless he really excelled with stopping the run. The Colts have usually been very poor at run defense since they're so undersized with their DL in the cover-2.

I always felt it was a myth that Freeney/Mathis could not stop the run. They can. It's just tough when you have DTs who get tossed around like rag dolls to hold up as a DE in this defense and being taken out of your game since teams aren't passing as much.

Meh, he is not a dominant run stopper no but then again if it's third down and you want to unleash hell then he can help. A lot.
 

jaybadger82

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I always felt it was a myth that Freeney/Mathis could not stop the run. They can. It's just tough when you have DTs who get tossed around like rag dolls to hold up as a DE in this defense and being taken out of your game since teams aren't passing as much.

Meh, he is not a dominant run stopper no but then again if it's third down and you want to unleash hell then he can help. A lot.

Nailed it. We don't need every down DE that can rush the passer, just guys that can generate that pressure on third and distance.

Interesting write-up, Frank.
 

Jules

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Nailed it. We don't need every down DE that can rush the passer, just guys that can generate that pressure on third and distance.

Interesting write-up, Frank.


Yep. Mathis is the guy then. You don't ask guys like Mathis to be a big run stopper. You ask them to get to the QB and he also does a great job over the years of knocking out the ball he is so fast. Sure he is 30/31 but I don't feel he slowed down. He had a great year this year on a bad team. He wants a contract whether it's with the mess in Indy I don't know but I have a hunch he might explore his options on a few better teams and I think he probably should. The team looks to be rebuilding.

Mathis is not a guy I want to see be "the guy" on a team though and I have seen him not be as dominant without Freeney in the game. He is not Clay or Freeney. He is a compliment on the other side who can do the heavy dirty work.

Jerry Hughes. Well he could end up cut for all I know. I have seen little from this kid to make me think he can play anywhere yet. Maybe the right coach can mold him on a 3-4 but he seems so lost in the NFL and I have even seen him slack off on special teams. He could just be a bust. Hughes may have put the Colts in a hole. He was supposed to replace Mathis and then later Freeney I believe. Now who knows.
 

JoshuaRHuffman

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I'd say it depends on $. He's on the wrong side of 30, would be learning a new position, and there would be questions with how effective he would be with run defense and especially in pass-coverage. Personally, I'd prefer a do-it-all linebacker opposite of Clay Matthews... someone who can rush the passer and play on the opposing team's tight end or running back. Mathis would be risky but worth a look at the right price as a pass-rush specialist on second-and-third downs. Anyone's better than Erik Walden, lol.

I really don't see TT spending much in free agency unless it's Cullen Jenkins... and that's mostly because they need DL and he's already proven that he can excel in Capers' defense. Heck, I don't even see that happening.
 

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First off FR: Not resigning Wells would be a huge loss for us unless we are able to draft Konz. That would still set this OL back for a season because Wells is a pro-bowler and we still have issues at LT. The Flynn scenario is very iffy. If we can franchise him and trade him to Cleveland for a 1st rounder, great, but I doubt it.
 

Southpaw

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This stuff gets me excited about the offseason. Sucked losing in the playoffs, but it's only bluer skies ahead. Can't wait to see what we do in the offseason/draft.

Can you imagine if we can turn our crap defense around like the Texans did? Worst to first or close to it?

A good offseason/ota's. Finley fixes his drops. Man, I can't wait
 

Forget Favre

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Threads like this are a reflection of the situation we are in.
Packers lose.
Nuthin' else to discuss but what they could/would/should do to be a stronger team in the future.
No offense Frank.
I wish that we were discussing the upcoming game of Pack vs 49ers instead. :(
 

jza80dreams

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nice, i like everything... except the jason jones signing. otherwise, if a 6'8" TE can catch better, i'll take him over Finley any day. LOL.
 

13 Times Champs

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TT won't be a big player in free agency and will draft the best player as he sees it regardless of whether he plays offense or defense.
 

greenandgold

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I bet Rodgers is lobbying for Wells to be kept. But if we do, please oh please don't let the Bears draft Konz like they did Carimi.
 
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FrankRizzo

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I bet Rodgers is lobbying for Wells to be kept. But if we do, please oh please don't let the Bears draft Konz like they did Carimi.
I remember defending Wells 2, 3, 4 years ago. Seems like the team, and thus the media & fans, wanted to replace Wells a few years ago, a few times.
First they thought Spitz would be the guy, to be bigger and better.
Then maybe EDS or someone else.... but Wells improved and developed into a very good one.

Like I said originally, a lot depends on who offers him what.
Matt Birk from Minnesota was better, and also old... maybe a year older or so, than Scotty is, and he still got a nice deal to go to the Ravens.
So I am expecting someone will throw a big # at the guy the wrong side of 30.
We wanted Teddy to keep Cullen and we lost. I expect the same here. Ted prefers to err on the side of youth.

He kept James Jones instead of Cullen Jenkins. Similar money, but Cullen was better and more rare.
But James was younger.
Think about that. Seems he usually values age over talent/ability.

I love Robert Mathis. On turf. In a 3-4.
Opposite Freeney.
I don't see him being a fit for this defense.
He's not big enough to be a DE, and I doubt he can stand up as a 34 OLB, after playing with his hand on the ground for so long, and remember, he's 30+. Regardless of the skill-projections into a new scheme, he is on the wrong side of 30 again so realistically, forget him. Plus he's a big name and will get a big # from someone so he'll be priced way out of TT's range.
#reality.

I think Jason Jones might be a bargain. If not, sign a DB or OLB.
We need to utilize FA to plug one of the holes, which would allow Teddy's BPA philosophy in the draft to flourish better as a glaring hole is already filled.
 

tstej

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Mathis could be great in a Rex Ryan 3-4 defense, but not a Dom Capers 3-4 defense. There is a major difference between the two.
 
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FrankRizzo

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Mathis could be great in a Rex Ryan 3-4 defense, but not a Dom Capers 3-4 defense. There is a major difference between the two.

ESPN draftnik Mel Kiper released his first mock draft for the 2012 NFL Draft on Friday. The Packers sit with the No. 28 pick and Kiper has them selecting Illinois linebacker Whitney Mercilus.
Kiper wrote:

“It was masked somewhat by reputation, but no team in the NFL had a lower sack rate than Green Bay during the regular season. And it was on display again in the playoffs — the Packers simply can’t create pressure without bringing blitzers, leaving the secondary vulnerable. Mercilus (pronounced “merciless”) played to that description at Illinois this past season. I see him standing up as an outside linebacker after playing with his hand on the ground in college. At 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, he has a good profile for the position, and he really knows how to get to the quarterback. The question on him is he really exploded this season, so the body of work is lighter than some, but the Packers need to find some pass-rush help and Mercilus is a good value here based on his current grade.”

A pass-rusher is clearly the top need for the Packers and an outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews is probably more valuable than a defensive end. Pro Football Weekly senior editor Nolan Nawrocki has said Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw and South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram would be the top two to fit the Packers scheme. Upshaw’s stock has risen since the National Championship game and Kiper has him going No. 10 to the Bills. He has Ingram slotted to go No. 12 to the Seahawks.
 

tstej

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Only person I disagree with is Melvin Ingram. Upshaw would be the best fit for the Packers but teaching Mathis to drop back in coverage could be disaster. We saw how well that worked with Kampman. The Jets' olb coverage responsibilties are different than Green Bay's allowing Mathis to be the pure pass rusher that he is. Ronnell Lewis, Vinny Curry, Whitney, Nic Perry, and Bruce Irvin would all be better fits for the Packers 3-4 than Mathis.
 

GreenBlood

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Flynn isn't going to willingly sign a contract with anyone who isn't going to give him a legitimate chance to start. The only way the Packers keep him to trade him is with an exclusive-rights franchise tag. Then you're gambling that you don't get stuck paying him more than Aaron Rodgers. Simply put, there's just nothing we can realistically do to get anything more than the compensation pick.
 

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