I was debating with myself when to begin this new series that I am calling “Citizen GM,” but after the embarrassing display put on by the Green Bay Packers this Thanksgiving Day – I really feel the need to put my General Manager hat on tonight and … give someone the pink slip.
Every week, I am going to choose a player on offense, defense or special teams – and decide their future with the Green Bay Packers. I will either be handing out extended contracts for those who earn them, or passing out “dear John” letters to those who deserve them.
It starts tonight … and it starts with:
Dear Marshall Newhouse,
I hope you had an enjoyable holiday.
As you now well know, we here at the Green Bay Packers organization are trying to go … a different … way with the offensive line. You see, the past two years have not been cutting it. We have arguably the best quarterback in all of football and yet, have been unable to keep him upright. Why is that?
Aaron Rodgers, in the past five weeks, has been proven to be the true MVP of this team … without even being on the active roster. His absence from the field has been detrimental to all three units and we have struggled to find a capable backup. While this may be attributed to lack of preparation on the part of upper management, I am also seeing a devastating trend. Please allow me to share that insight with you now:
1. Aaron Rodgers: on a red zone third down attempt, the offensive line was unable to hold their blocks, causing the pocket to crumble prematurely. Rodgers scrambled to the right, trying to extend the play. No sooner had he avoided the contact of one hungry defensive lineman, did he find himself in the jaws of another. INJURED.
2. Seneca Wallace: in the first series of his first start as Rodgers’ backup, Wallace is flushed from the pocket with ferocity. His protection was laughable. He sprinted to his right side and landed on the injured reserve with a groin injury.
3. Scott Tolzien: a young, inexperienced kid with a lot of potential, steps up to be the backup to the QBs backup. He manages to the best of his ability; I would imagine it difficult to throw the ball downfield in under 1 second, while having your face mask ripped from one side to the other. A combination of lack of playbook knowledge and lack of help from the offensive line landed a clipboard in his hand … again.
4. Matt Flynn: how he was able to pull together a 16-point rally to force overtime against the Vikings was beyond belief. It certainly had nothing to do with security in the pocket, as seen from his “running for my life” strategy in the final possessions of the game. However, his luck had run out on Thanksgiving, as you remember. Flynn was sacked 7 times and smacked around more times than a piñata at a kid’s birthday party.
Do you see what I am seeing here? This offseason, we paid Rodgers a lot of money. A lot. What we are experiencing with him on the sidelines now is the antithesis of what we needed or wanted to see happen. Now, I am not blaming you entirely. No, that would be silly. There are five men on that offensive line to blame. But … it’s time to reap what you’ve sown.
We gave you a chance, Marshall. We really did. You were a full-time starter last year at the most important position on the line: the blindside, the left tackle. We entrusted that position to you. Rodgers took a league-high 51 sacks and has taken more hits as a starter than anyone else in the NFL. Is that really fair, Marshall? You were an absolutely terrible left tackle and that’s why the line was reshuffled this offseason. Unfortunately, one could not have foreseen the injury to Bryan
Again, the injury bug comes into play, as we are having as terrible a time keeping you on the bench as we had in rationalizing your time on the field.
Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay have been in and out of the lineup for weeks. You’ve seen time at right tackle and now right guard. You’re terrible. You’re a revolving door. For a man that is 6-4 and 320 pounds, you sure don’t know how to throw your weight around. Opposing linemen blow by you to the inside and outside. Teams have their way with you and it shouldn’t be that way. When you come into the game, I can almost hear the QB take a deep breath and count to 10. He knows he’ll be running for his life for the remainder of the game.
Newhouse, I hate to do it – I really do, especially on the day after Thanksgiving – but we’re going to have to let you go. I say this with love, but you stink. But, I am a reasonable fake-GM with no say whatsoever, so I am going to do you a solid. I’m going to contact the Minnesota Vikings for you. They love our discards and let’s face it: I’d just love to put Clay Matthews opposite you two times a year.
Thanks for … I’m sure there’s something … hmmm. I’ll think of it later.