To Whom It May Concern,
I am sending out this letter in advance of the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Please look it over carefully, as we have had some misinterpretations of our standards in the past.
The Green Bay Packers are in the market for some young talent. We have 20 free agents with expiring contracts heading into March, a large number, to be sure. Due in part to cap space (and another part due to SPRING CLEANING), there will be a significant number of guys allowed to walk in free agency this year. This is where the whole misunderstanding of our standards thing comes into play.
The positions for which we are immediately hiring are:
- LINEBACKERS (preferably inside, but will consider outstanding applications for outside)
- DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
- TIGHT END
The positions for which we are reviewing applications for potential competition:
- BACKUP QUARTERBACK
- OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
As you can see, most of our availabilities are on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, we have dire needs there, as well. However, we will not allow our need to fill certain vacancies turn into an act of desperation. We are only interested in quality applicants. Therefore, we are providing a current list of qualifications for each position. See below.
Non-negotiable list of Qualifications for:
- Must understand the safety position. You are a SAFETY NET. If you are out of position on every play, you do us NO good.
- Must be able to MAKE AN OPEN FIELD TACKLE. There are not a lot of times where you are going to be able to use the sideline to corral a runner. You must be able to stop a runner that has been turned upfield by a cornerback or other defender. You play in space and need to know how to use it effectively.
- Must be competent. If a receiver beats you downfield, the least you can do is get your head around in order to avoid the pass interference penalty. If your nose never leaves the receivers chest, you’re doing it wrong.
- Must be able to leave your feet to defend a pass. (See: M.D. JENNINGS, DAVON HOUSE, JERRON McMILLIAN 2013 tape for what-not-to-do)
- Must be able to understand GAP CONTROL. You are an inside linebacker, if you allow a runner to plunge through a hole in the defensive line that you are supposed to be plugging … you’re doing it wrong.
- Must be disciplined. Inside linebackers are so important and discipline is key. You must show discipline in controlling the gaps, patrolling the runner and blitzing the quarterback. If you screw anything up, no one else will be in position to cover for you.
- Must have the strength required to shed blocks and make an open field tackle.
- Must show burst enough to flip your hips and run with a receiver cutting across the open field … and preferably not look incredibly lost doing so.
- DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
- Must be big. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Go eat a few hamburgers, we need you to take up space. A lot of it.
- Must be agile. I know it seems like a lot to ask to be big and agile. But those players exist … ask B.J. Raji before he decided that he was going to play himself out of a contract this year. Any 340-pound man that can drop back and intercept a pass late in an NFC Championship game and run it back for a touchdown, out there?
Must enjoying EATING BLOCKS for BREAKFAST. Seriously, you have to have the mentality that no one man can block you. You have to command a double team and eat up offensive linemen to make room for pass rushers.
- Must have the wingspan of an albatross. We need someone who can be two offensive linemen deep and still get his arm out and wrap up a running back. Stand with your arms outstretched … can you touch the nose and the tail of a horse at the same time? Then we need you.
- TIGHT END
- Must be willing to BLOCK. You can’t be one-dimensional. If we need you to provide protection for a $130 million asset under center — do so.
- Must be willing to hit people at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes, we need you to provide a chip block to impede the progress of a talented pass rusher before you run your route. We need you to do this efficiently and quickly enough to receive the pass on time.
- Must have SURE HANDS. We have had experience with guys LOADED with potential who never fully reach it. We don’t need that anymore. If you are capable of GREAT THINGS but you can’t consistently catch the ball, this position is not for you.
- Must have YAC ability. Let’s face it, we are most likely losing Jermichael Finley in free agency. He was an incredible threat in the YAC department. Hands weren’t the best, but if he caught the ball … he was going somewhere with it. If one guy can trip you up — again — this is not the position for you.
- Must be able to provide adequate competition to the existing corners. Tramon Williams and Sam Shields have talent, to be sure. But, they are both lacking the motivation to play their best ball. Shields provided us that spark this year, playing for a contract extension as free agency looms. As the Packers are unlikely to pay the hefty cornerback franchise tag and he is more than likely to be overpaid elsewhere — the Packers need to lock him up quickly or it’s going to be no dice. Williams upgraded his play late in the season, but has been shown to be quite the roller coaster. Each of these guys needs a young buck in the wings, watching and waiting to perform the dreaded coup de tat.
- Must be able to match up with number one receivers all over the field. If we can’t trust you on the Calvin Johnsons and the Brandon Marshalls of the league — you are of no use to us. We play those guys twice a year and can’t afford any missteps here.
- Must be quick and light on your feet. We are looking for guys who can run with gazelles. GAZELLES.
- Must use common sense. Do not jump every route. Do not play to head fakes and pump fakes. Hold your ground and play solid cover defense.
- BACKUP QB
- Must be willing to sit behind Aaron Rodgers and never see the light of day unless injury occurs. You won’t start, not for a long, long time.
- Must be able to read defenses. We don’t want opposing defenses to have the opportunity to “shoot fish in a barrel.”
- Must command respect from the defense. If you don’t — and they load the box — it’s no good.
- Must be able to throw the deep ball. Sorry, but dink and dunk is not our style. Make the defense respect you. Make the offense want to play for you.
- OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
- Must be able to block somebody … anybody … anybody at all.
- Must be strong at the point of attack. You cannot be pushed back into the QB on every play.
- Must learn to LET GO. If another big run gets called back because of offensive holding on the line … I’m going to scream.
- Must be confident and NEVER allow the inside track. Outside = GOOD. Inside = BAD. VERY BAD. (See: Marshall Newhouse, AKA: revolving door).
So, there you have it.
If you don’t meet these qualifications, you need not apply. We have enough underachieving draft picks on our hands.
Oh, and another thing … MUST submit a full medical history. If you’ve even had a JAMMED FINGER, we want to know about it. Previous injuries won’t necessarily hurt your chances of being drafted, but … if you have robotic hamstrings, your chances have just skyrocketed.
ALL QUALIFIED CANDIDATES, PLEASE APPLY.
2014 is a Championship year, so make sure you are a part of it.