Sunday, December 14, 2008

State of the Packers

It is probably time we faced some hard truths here in Packerland:

1. The defensive line just is not good. It does not do a good job of stopping the run, it does not do a good job of getting pressure on the QB. It is weakened by injuries, yes, but this unit was supposed to have excellent depth. It does not.

2. The secondary is an exemplary unit...when the defense can get pressure, and when they are in press coverage. When there is no pressure, they can get picked apart as much as any other unit in the league. And when they are in zone, they are average at best.

3. The linebackers seemed at one point to be a particular strength. Unfortunately, that was probably an overestimate. Hawk is a solid player, but not one deserving of his high draft position. Chillar has his strengths in pass coverage...when he can get on the field. Poppinga obviously has photos of Ted Thompson in a compromising position with a 1980's era Packers "cheerleader."

4. The offensive line is a mess. It consists of veterans reaching their downward years and projects. They cannot put together a complete game. The fact that Ryan Grant has had a 1000 yard season is more of an indicator of the meaningless nature of that milestone than the play of the line.

5. The Ryan Grant contract was a big mistake. He should thank Brett Favre for the leverage.

6. Aaron Rodgers is not ready to carry a team on his back. It was unrealistic to think that he would in his first season, and it seems that only Favre Fvans have foisted that expectation upon him. He has had a very good first season, just not good enough to put this team over the top. But here's the good news-if the Packers solve their line problems, he very well may become that QB.

7. This coaching staff is not as good as we thought they were at this point last season.

8. This team was never as good as their 13-3 record last year. I knew it then. They are not as bad as their current 5-9 record, though. They have the talent to be somewhere in between. Unfortunately, somewhere in between isn't going to be good enough for a Super Bowl unless the talent in key areas is upgraded.

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