Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay 'at a crossroads' in bid for playoff return
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
NOTE: The Buzz is taking Friday off and will return next week.
We'll start with a "State of the Franchise" assessment of the 2019 Packers by NFL.com's Adam Rank. As part of a 32-team series, Rank takes an in-depth look at the Packers and comes to this assessment:
Members of the Green Bay Packers organization, Packers fans around the world and those who are hoping we're going to post a video of David Bakhtiari pounding a beer:
The Packers are at a crossroads. The winningest team in NFL history in terms of championships (four Super Bowl titles, 13 total championships) has missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, despite having a future Hall of Famer at quarterback. Titletown has become Concern City (which, I'll admit right now, I kind of regret typing, because it's kind of dumb). As famed coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." And there hasn't been a lot of it over the last two years.
The good news for the Packers is *checks notes* yep, Aaron Rodgers is still there. And there is excitement brewing (pun intended) because of a brand new coach.
Rank concludes his comprehensive analysis with a projection of a 12-win season and return to the playoffs for Green Bay. You can read the entire piece here:
Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report weighs in on the debate involving Aaron Rodgers' freedom in Matt LaFleur's office and comes down strongly on the side of the quarterback.
You're about to read an unusual stance on the public discourse between Aaron Rodgers and new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur regarding how much autonomy Rodgers should receive when it comes to play-calling authority in Green Bay.
Let Rodgers run the offense however the hell he wants.
Please note I didn't say Rodgers should run the team. Nor that he should have the authority to override the head coach. He should have guardrails and a boss. Both of those things are necessary in an NFL locker room, even for someone as powerful and historically great as Rodgers.
If Tom Brady has those things, then Rodgers should, too.
However, no more than a handful of people in the NFL know more about offenses and play-calling and perform better under pressure than Rodgers. There's Brady. Maybe Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. That's about it.
That's why it's smart to give Rodgers control of the Packers offense, with LaFleur having veto power when he thinks his QB is missing something or going too far. Rodgers is one of the few quarterbacks who can handle it.
Freeman also envisions a big bounce-back for the Packers, pointing to their infusion of talent on defense. You can read his entire column here:
Where does Rodgers rank in Pete Prisco's Top 100 list for 2019?
The Packers may have picked up a diamond in the rough with sixth-round cornerback Ka'Dar Hollman, writes Jim Owczarski:
Rob Reischel is counting down the 30 Most Important Packers for ForbesSports:
Kenny Clark makes another All-25 and Under team, this one from The MMQB's Andy Benoit, who writes this about the Packers defensive lineman:
Trey Flowers, Patriots—25 years, 10 months
Kenny Clark, Packers—23 years, eight months
Chris Jones, Chiefs—24 years, 11 months
DeForest Buckner, 49ers—25 years, three months
What’s most to love is these guys’ versatility. Clark, who has one of football’s best combinations of size and athleticism, is the truest nose-shade tackle of the bunch, though Flowers and especially the explosive, long-armed Buckner can align there, too. Those two can also penetrate, though neither quite as well as Chris Jones, who dominated down the stretch last year.
You can see the whole team here:
The Packers' defense against the run was anything but stout last season:
And finally: Richard Ryman is all over the business side of the Packers beat:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt