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Monday, September 19, 2005
Most of us expected the D to be problematic. It won’t get better overnight.
So Bates is off the hook because he’s the new DC, and expecting immediate results with limited talent is expecting too much. I completely agree.
But the O? The one unit on the team that most thought would have the fewest issues, has performed lousy against two of the poorest Ds in the league (you see, your argument works both ways). There’s NO excuse for the poor O play. I don’t care if we’re missing 2 Pro bowl guards - that’s no excuse.
So Larry Beightol has no excuse for failing to immediately remake Klemm and Whitticker into Pro Bowl caliber guards? Why doesn’t your “it won’t get better overnight” approach apply with Beightol and his ability to “coach up” our new guards?
By the way, I, for one, expected the offense to regress this year without Wahle and Rivera. Now that we’ve lost Walker, our 2nd best playmaker on the team, my expectations for the offense have taken another huge hit.
We lost Taylor and Timmerman before and it didn’t kill us.
In 1998, after we lost Taylor, the Packers’ rushing attack averaged 3.4 yards per carry, 29th in the league, 95 rushing yards a game (25th), and Brett threw 23 interceptions. In 1999, after we lost Timmerman too, our rushing attack averaged 94.9 rushing yards a game and Brett threw 23 interceptions. But back in 1997, with both Taylor and Timmerman as our guards, the Packers finished 12th (119.3 yards per game) in rushing yards and 11th (4.2) in yards per attempt, and Brett threw 16 interceptions. The Packers also allowed only 26 sacks in 1997. They allowed 39 and 36 in ’98 and ’99. While losing Timmerman and Taylor didn’t “kill us,” I think there’s chance that breaking in two new guards in two years probably disrupted the chemistry on that line. But now we’re breaking in two new guards in the SAME year, with one being a journeyman and the other a rookie. And the guys they’re replacing were, unlike Timmerman and Taylor, some of the best regarded in the NFL at their positions. Already Brett’s been sacked 6 times in 2 games, and he’s been knocked down 10 other times, and our running game has petered out by the second half of each game. I think it’s quite possible there’s a connection.
Fact of the matter is, this offense is REGRESSING under Mike Sherman’s "leadership".
Brett’s getting older, talking openly about retirement yet again. Henderson is nearly washed up. Walker is out for the year. Flanagan looks like his injuries have finally caught up with him, and he maybe on a downward spiral. We have two very mediocre guards who replaced two excellent ones. We have only one legitimate starting receiver. Those are some of the reasons why this offense is likely to continue to regress in 2005. Look, Minnesota lost Moss and Birk, and now see what’s happened over there (Culpepper has 10 turnovers, 0 TD passes). That’s the impact that even ONE player can make. I’d expect that Green will have trouble running all season. The fact that the Packers currently rank 9th in total offense and are tied for 3rd in 3rd down conversion percentage (50%) is astonishing considering how poorly they’ve played on offense.
The Packers have lost 4 Pro Bowl players since last season. Take away 4 Pro Bowlers from any team and you’re likely to see some regression. That’s because when you don’t have the players, when you don’t have the talent, it’s difficult to perform well or win. That applies to Bates and Beightol (whom you like, because they're high-energy types) as much as it applies to Sherman and Rossley (whom you don't, because they're not).
(Rick's response to a post in our Forums)