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Letter to the Journal-Sentinel

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by net, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. net

    net Cheesehead

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    I wrote a letter to Tom Silverstein this morning at the Journal-Sentinel.
    First the story...
    --------------

    The Push for Bush
    The teams in the running for the top pick in the NFL draft. Southern California running back Reggie Bush is expected to be the first player chosen:

    Team W-L
    Texans 1-12
    49ers 2-11
    Saints 3-10
    Jets 3-10
    Packers 3-10


    Green Bay - Mark the date: Dec. 11, 2005.

    It could become as infamous in Green Bay Packers history as Dec. 18, 1988.

    That fateful day 17 years ago was when the Packers beat the Phoenix Cardinals, 26-17, thus relinquishing the first pick in the National Football League draft to the Dallas Cowboys on the final day of the season.

    All it cost the Packers was future Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who went first to the Cowboys, leaving the Packers to make their ill-fated choice of offensive lineman Tony Mandarich with the No. 2 pick.

    On Sunday, the Packers beat the Detroit Lions, 16-13, thanks in part to an unusual call that wiped out a fourth-quarter safety and allowed the Packers to force overtime. As a result of the victory, the Packers improved to 3-10 and delivered a serious blow to their chances at the No. 1 pick in the April draft.

    The prize for finishing with the worst record in the NFL figures to be Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush, so the victory "cost" the Packers a lot. Whether it turns out to be as devastating as the 1988 turn of events is something history will have to decide.

    "Winning is always good," general manager Ted Thompson said. "I think it's good for this team. Those were difficult conditions and to win a game in a sort of slugging match, that requires some character. I think it's always better to win. It's good for the players and it's good for the organization."

    It is not, however, good for your draft standing.

    Thanks to blowing a game they easily could have won for a third consecutive week, the Houston Texans fell to 1-12 and took command of the Bush sweepstakes. Next in line is San Francisco at 2-11 and New Orleans, the New York Jets and Green Bay, all at 3-10.

    As a result of their victory, the Packers fell from the No. 2 slot in the Bush race to No. 5 with three games to go. Had they lost they would have had a tie-breaker edge over the 49ers based on weakness of schedule (Green Bay's opponents are 112-94: San Francisco's are 114-94) and thus been No. 2 behind Houston.

    What's more, the Texans have winnable games against Arizona (4-9) and San Francisco in the next three weeks while the Packers play at Baltimore (4-9), Chicago (9-4) and Seattle (11-2). The Packers clearly would still have been in the Bush running had they lost to the Lions.

    The Packers still have a pretty good shot at having a top-five pick for the first time since 1992, but the tie-breakers won't be decided until the last day of the season. Each opponent's final record is taken into account, so there's no way of knowing exactly how the weakness-of-schedule tie-breaker will play out until after the season.

    Here are the current opponent records for the five teams vying for the top pick (ranked weakest schedule to strongest): New York Jets, 107-99, New Orleans, 109-97, Houston, 112-96; Green Bay, 112-94; San Francisco, 114-94.

    "I don't take a whole lot of stock in that stuff, really," Thompson said. "It changes weekly and it will change up until the last game, that last Monday of the last day of the regular season. I don't even worry about that. It will work itself out and we'll make our pick wherever we select."

    Asked if there was reason to feel bad that the Packers probably wouldn't have a shot at Bush, the USC junior running back who is expected to turn pro, Thompson said he hadn't even given it any thought and wasn't allowed to talk about Bush anyway.

    "It doesn't matter," Thompson said. "The team who is in the No. 1 spot will try to take the best player they can and you hope it works out. Sometimes that player is by far and away the best player in the entire draft and oftentimes he's not. You never know. Sometimes the player picked at 23rd or 30th or even the 38th spot turns out to be the best player in the draft. So I don't get all worked up about it."

    Either way, fate will certainly have played a part in the Packers' draft position.

    Referee Mike Carey's decision to reverse an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone called against running back Samkon Gado, and the subsequent ruling that a holding penalty against tackle Mark Tauscher did not take place in the end zone, both bailed out the Packers. Had either penalty stood, the Packers would have suffered a safety, trailed by 15-13 and been forced to play defense again with 7 minutes left.

    The Lions had plenty to be angry about afterward, although league spokesman Michael Signora said Carey's meeting with his officiating crew after the announcement of the grounding penalty was normal procedure. He also said Gado was not guilty of an intentional forward fumble because there is no such rule.

    If Gado had been across the line of scrimmage, he would have been penalized for an illegal forward pass, Signora said. Replays seemed to indicate that the ball that Gado pitched forward as he was about to go down in the end zone did not reach the line of scrimmage. For an intentional grounding call to be made, the ball must reach the line of scrimmage.

    Signora said the rule states that the pass must be "in the vicinity of the neutral zone," which means it doesn't have to reach the line of scrimmage.

    Tauscher's penalty, meanwhile, was a judgment call and it was up to Carey to determine whether it took place in the end zone. Signora said Lions coach Dick Jauron was not allowed to challenge that call under the rules of instant replay.

    Thus, the Packers dodged catastrophe and thanks mostly to the running of Gado, who set a Packers rookie record with 171 yards rushing, won the game in overtime. If there is any consolation to losing out on Bush, it's that Gado took considerable strides in making the Packers feel better about the future of their running game.

    There are no guarantees that Gado will make people forget about Bush. But as Thompson pointed out, Kansas City's Priest Holmes, one of the NFL's top rushers over the past five seasons, was an undrafted free agent and needed only a chance to make his mark in the NFL.

    Despite not making an active roster until Oct. 29 and playing in only seven games this season, Gado has three 100-yard rushing games, ranks third among all NFL rookie rushers and ranks tied for 13th in rushing touchdowns. The Packers are 2-1 in games in which he has rushed for 100 or more yards.

    "I think we're starting to know about him," Thompson said. "He wants to be good and has a passion for the game, which leads you to believe he can be a good player. He's taken this opportunity and he's done a fine job. He doesn't have the pedigree of coming from the University of Notre Dame, but he wants to do well and the Good Lord has blessed him with talent. That bodes well for him."

    Thompson would not say what priority the Packers would put on drafting a running back, but he said Gado's performance the rest of the year would impact how the team views its needs.
    ------

    Now my letter:

    Dear Tom,

    At first I thought the talk at the J-S about the Packers losing to get the draft pick was funny. "How could anyone around professional sports think like that?", I thought. The article today proves that as much as you should have a pulse of what is going on, apparently you(and some of your co-workers) don't have a clue.

    1)These athletes are paid to do a job. So are you. Would you and your co-workers tank to gain some journalistic advantage? Would you? Would you cover a sales event as a legit news story? You are a professional paid to do your job. So are the professional athletes and coaches you cover. Have you forgotten that?

    2)Everyone knows the Packers are having a lousy season...so they LOSE TO THEIR DIVISION RIVALS ON PURPOSE to gain a draft pick? Wasn't Ryan Leaf a can't lose? Jamal Reynolds? High draft picks don't always pan out, no matter the hype. So you would lose on purpose for the chance to spend millions of dollars on ONE PLAYER who might not work out? Look Brett Favre in the eyes and ask him to tank so they can get a draft pick. Go ahead...I dare ya.


    The implication that somehow by winning the Packers are stupid tops the cake. I've disagreed with stories before but this one takes the cake. Never have I seen anything this dumb come from a beat reporter, and not just you, your pals have implied this, too.
    Are all of you drinking spiked egg nog?
    ---------

    Too much.
     
  2. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    High draft picks don't always pan out, no matter the hype.

    Thats what I say all along. They mean nothing.
     
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    Good for you net!!!!
     
  4. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    High draft picks panning out or not have nothing to do with it. I think net was just throwing that in as another argument. The rest of his letter is what it is all about. Integrity.

    BTW....somebody needs to send a copy of this letter to Houston. There is no way they could have lost that game if they weren't trying. I have never seen a kicker miss a chip shot by so much. It couldn't have been more obvious if they'd have sent him out with a blindfold. Not that Capers cares...he won't be around next year anyway.
     
  5. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    You're right that they don't always pan out but you're so wrong that high draft picks mean nothing. Historically speaking, a pick in the top 5 gives you the highest percentage chance to get a Pro Bowl player. It's not a guarantee, but it's a safer bet.
     
  6. JbShell

    JbShell Cheesehead

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    Yeah and with high draft picks look at teams winning percentages the follow year not all that great. Only the Chargers turned it around but they had there original starter Playing well not there draft pick who is making in the neighbor hood of 20 mil to sit the pine
     
  7. rabidgopher04

    rabidgopher04 Cheesehead

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    We got a better deal by waiting a couple years for Brett Favre. In our case it worked out just fine.
     
  8. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I guess you forgot about Tampa Bay this season? The point is that if Favre and Walker come back and play well, a high draft pick gives us the best chance to get an impact player who can turn this thing around. Sometimes all it takes is one draft. It's especially true this season which has the potential to be one of the deepest drafts in quite some time.
     
  9. ChuckSTG

    ChuckSTG Cheesehead

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    Yeah, but then again it usually takes a lot more then one player. Did barry sanders take the Lions to the play-offs or a super bowl, or even L.T. No it took several years for them to be good. Even the Cowboys needed 3 years and 3 drafts to be good. As good as he might be I'll take a bunch of good solid players then one superstar.
     
  10. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    I don't get that. There is nothing saying you can't get Bush AND a"bunch of good solid players".
     
  11. JbShell

    JbShell Cheesehead

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    De Pack I believe the issue would be the money he would demand. Would tie up alot of cash for the Pack to even sign Bush. Leaving holes in other areas that FA cannot help
     
  12. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    You can work around that. Otherwise nobody would ever want the #1 pick.
     
  13. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    The money is part of the "rookie pool" which is a section of the overall salary cap which is allocated only to the rookies and which is set by the NFL based on the number of picks you have and your draft position. If you have the #1 overall pick, you have a higher rookie pool which is a recognition of the fact that you need a larger portion of your cap space to sign the guy. Now, going forward a #1 pick is going to cost you a fortune, which is why you'd better be right about him or suffer the consequences, but there should be no trouble signing the guy in the first year at least.

    And Chuck, my point was that Bush + Favre could make us a Super Bowl team. His impact would be that big.
     
  14. packerfan4ever

    packerfan4ever Cheesehead

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    well alex smith was a first draft pick for the 49ers last year,and just yesterday on espn they were saying he is not doing that great for them,they felt after his injury he would come back a better player,but he has not,think harrington,not worried about the first pick would like to see more wins for us.we have good people just need some people to compliment that next year.
     
  15. net

    net Cheesehead

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    Many teams are opting out of drafting in the first 10 picks because of the risk. The long-term money spent on a bust isn't worth it on one hand, and on the other, an "impact" player who works out is becoming a rarity.

    Most teams(I think TT is in here too) would rather load up on slightly less hyped players who cost less and could contribute almost as much.

    What appalled me was not an argument about Bush as a player...it was the idea(presented by Silverstein) that the Packers were stupid because they didn't lose the game on purpose. What sane person would WANT the team to lose?
     
  16. PackinSteel

    PackinSteel Cheesehead

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    A true fan of a team would never EVER wish for them to lose. :!:
     
  17. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    I agree that we shouldn't be hoping for the Packers to lose. But I don't see anything in Silverstein's article suggesting that the Packers should lose on purpose. He's just commenting, albeit in an annoying way, on how strange events such as the Gado play can change history.
     
  18. wpr

    wpr Cheesehead

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    well said net. journalists often thump their chests and tout their integrity but conveniently forget it in others when they have a story to sell.
     
  19. NDPackerFan

    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    A lot of teams with high draft picks are talent-starved to say the least. The fact that the Packers lost their best WR, top 2 RB's, and top TE for a good chunk of the season says the Packers could get to the top sooner than later. Oh, and by the way, I won't use this thread to state my opinion on that running back from USC... :D
     
  20. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Is there really a RB from there?? Haven't noticed
     
  21. NDPackerFan

    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    That's because you've been too busy posting on this forum silly... :wink:

    I think his name is O.J. Bush, or Reggie Allen, or maybe Reggie Simpson...just can't seem to recall.

    By the way, are you a cross between a Packer and a Charger fan? just curious.
     
  22. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Nah.......

    My tatt is the g logo with a lighting bolt through it...I wanted an original design, and came up with something similar to what i have now...

    When I went in about 10 years ago, I showed the guy what I wanted, he tweaked it some and rest is history!
     
  23. Obi1

    Obi1 Cheesehead

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    Net,

    YOU da Man!

    Bush can STILL be had. WIN 'em ALL!

    Packers are NOT a team that is SEVERAL drafts away from being contenders again...

    They are one or two clutch players/star/Blue chipper away from taking it all.

    If you don't believe me now, take this team's defense and put it with last year's offense...
     
  24. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    No kidding - and look who lasted longer....!
     
  25. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

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    LOL - too much..... Welcome back, Longtime... we chatted over on OBF.com

    This Bush thing is gettin' to be almost as annoying as that 'other' Bush thing...
     

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