I sit here on a Sunday morning three hours before game time and I refuse to turn on the TV to watch any of the NFL pre game shows as I cannot stand to hear any more about how bad the Green Bay Packers are without Aaron Rodgers.
Now I know the Packers would not be as good without him, but they have failed to show up in any game in five tries without him.
Let’s be honest, the Packers are a SOFT team and there is no getting around it. Remember way back to the first game of the season when Clay was playing like a mad man and said he wanted to prove that the D was not soft? Have you seen any of that in the last five weeks from any one on the D? When is the last time you saw a Packer hit someone on the other team really hard and said, ‘WOW now that is a nice hit?’ It sure does not happen very often.
Every post game and day-after press conference we hear time and again from Mike McCarthy that “we miss tackles, don’t get off blocks and don’t block well.” Does anything say soft more than that coming from your own head coach?
Our corners don’t even try to manhandle the opposing team’s wide receivers. Instead we are generally 7 yards off them at the line of scrimmage letting them get into timing patterns with no contact. The Packers don’t draft physical corners and don’t scheme for physical play – hence they are very soft at the corner position. No one fears running routes over the middle of the field because they know they are not going to get hit. The safeties don’t hit hard and they don’t cover well, which makes one wonder why are they on the team.
The linebacker unit needs to be the team’s toughest and meanest unit on the field and they are nothing but speed, finesse and players moved to this position. Yes, Clay Matthews is great and one of the best in the NFL, but after that it goes down very quickly. The best thing that we can say about A.J. Hawk is that he is dependable to play every game. Nick Perry shows signs of coming around, but every time he does the last two years he gets hurt and misses games. Mike Neal has the same issue in backing up Perry and Matthews. Heck, even Matthews has had major issues staying on the field the past two years. Then we talk about the other ILB opposite Hawk and that is just a merry-go-round with injuries.
With only playing three or two defensive lineman at a time, it is really difficult for them to do anything. Their job is only to occupy as many OL as they can allowing the linebackers to make plays. I can only put so much blame on them as they are outnumbered and with a weak linebacker unit it really makes the DL look even worse.
The closest thing we have to being tough on D is Hawk’s helmet coming off and him still finishing plays two to three times a game. Even that is annoying now as it happens all the time.
Seriously, can’t the Packers afford to get a helmet that will stay on his head?
We have had issues for several years now with our offensive line and we all know that is just about manning up and being physical. This is a group of guys that relies on the threat of Aaron Rodgers to make their job easier, instead of them taking responsibility an making his job easier. Heck, they are so soft that we have one OL trying to get another OL on to “The Voice” in a singing competition. Nothing says “I am nasty and don’t mess with me” like singing them a love song.
Bottom line is the Packers are a nice, soft and finesse team. I am hoping if anything positive out of Aaron Rodgers getting hurt is this really has shown up and Ted Thompson starts to draft more “football players” that hit and have a mean streak.
The players on this roster need to show some urgency in developing this and I am hoping that the temperatures under 20 and snow today will help spark some of this attitude.