Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers and the NFL from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.
Bob McGinn, writing from Houston while covering Super Bowl LI, starts us off with a look at the Packers’ glaring lack of speed on the defensive side of the ball. Bob also notes that Dom Capers’ complicated scheme doesn’t help matters.
Ulbrich, Mallory and Manuel, the Packers’ strong safety in 2006, all agreed that Quinn’s defense as coordinated by Richard Smith doesn’t place a mental burden on players. Certainly the Packers’ fire-zone defense directed by Dom Capers has more volume, especially in its eighth season.
“The advantage to it is we don’t sit there and talk about X’s and O’s,” Ulbrich said. “I can talk about running to the ball, tackling, leverage, hand placement. When you’re not bogged up with so much mentally you can haul ass, you know?’’
Maybe the Falcons will lay an egg, just as they did against the Denver Broncos 18 years ago in their other Super Bowl appearance. Maybe Tom Brady and Belichick will prove unstoppable.
If so, it won’t be because the Falcons are embarrassingly slow in the back seven on defense, as were the Packers, or they’re suffering paralysis by analysis.
Packers legend Bart Starr and his family are apparently hoping he can make a trip to Lambeau Field for a game early on in the 2017 season. Pete Dougherty has the goods.
Pete also will be hosting a chat to take your questions on all things Packers on Thursday at noon CST. You can submit your questions here.
Speaking of chatting, I answered readers’ questions via Facebook Live on Tuesday afternoon.
The Packers announced the particulars surrounding their annual Tailgate Tour:
Elsewhere, former Packers executive Andrew Brandt is dubious about the idea of Ted Thompson ever being “all in” on free agency
For years I have answered questions about the Packers' avoidance of going “all-in” on free agency. They’re asked by fans, media and even players. (Aaron Rodgers has recently raised the issue, saying the team needs to “reload” in free agency; Brett Favre and I would have these discussions every year when we were together in Green Bay.) My response is always the same: “What part of Ted Thompson do you not understand?” The Packers have not wavered from a philosophy—one that I practiced and agree with—that free-agency waters are usually rife with many more failures than successes. While the Packers have signed free agents who have been among their best players—Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers and Jared Cook to name a few—they were all players who were not being “run” by other teams and therefore signed more team-friendly deals. While the Packers may be active in secondary waves, they will always sit out the “stupid money” phase of free agency.
Erin Andrews of FOX Sports says Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is one of her favorite coaches to deal with:
Former Packers lineman and head coach Forrest Gregg reminisces about playing in the first Super Bowl:
Aaron Rodgers was fined for his facemask penalty in Atlanta.
Missed this earlier in the week, but Zach Kruse looks at five free agents the Packers should (but won’t) sign:
More Super Bowl picks are starting to come in. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has a great track record picking games this year:
The Falcons’ Vic Beasley took on the Patriots’ Martellus Bennett in Madden to preview Sunday’s big game. It wasn’t pretty.
Numberfire has an analytical guide to Super Bowl LI: