Packers Morning Buzz: Inside the cultural shift that got Green Bay out of its rut
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with Robert Mays of The Ringer writing about the cultural overhaul spearheaded by new coach Matt LaFleur and free-agent acquisitions Za'Darius and Preston Smth that has helped transform the Packers into a Super Bowl contender.
After spending 13 seasons under head coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers have welcomed LaFleur and a few influential free agents into the mix, and together they’ve transformed an organization that had fallen into a rut. In years past, Green Bay had maintained a buttoned-up culture—one perpetuated by an insular locker room composed of players who had come up through this system. But this season, many veterans have noticed that showing up to work doesn’t have to feel like work. “You know when you watch those TV shows, and there’s a scene, and it’s kind of gray?” Preston Smith says. “And then something happens, and the scene goes to color? It’s kind of like that.”
Mays' article also explores the flexibility that Mike Pettine has built into the Packers' defense and how perfectly suited his scheme is to the Smiths' talents:
The multipositional knowledge that players like the Smiths possess is also valuable for another reason. It allows Pettine to grant them the autonomy to line up wherever they please in certain packages. Before the snap, almost on a whim, Preston can tell Za’Darius that he feels better about the right side or the left. “That’s rare,” Za’Darius says.
Preston raves about the leeway he’s afforded within Pettine’s scheme, and how Green Bay has used it to consistently wreak havoc. “We love it and [the coaches] love it,” he says. “It benefits us, it benefits this defense, and it benefits the [coaching staff].” At this point, Za’Darius can’t help but interject: “See, having that right there, it makes us come to work every day with a smile on our face.”
You can read Mays' in-depth piece here:
Will the Packers swing a deal before Tuesday's trade deadline?
Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com makes trade-deadline buy-or-sell proposals for each NFC team, and thinks the Packers should swing a trade for Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: Buy tight end O.J. Howard. As he proved Sunday, Aaron Rodgers can ball out with anybody in his supporting cast. Danny Vitale and Jake Kumerow for the win! But going forward, the Pack will need more reliable, versatile pass-catching weapons. Howard is being under-utilized in Tampa Bay and, in the third year of his rookie deal, has room to grow. The plan: Pair him or rotate him with Jimmy Graham in Green Bay in 2019, have him replace Graham in 2020 and see Rodgers develop a new favorite target across from Davante Adams. Potential compensation: 2020 second-round pick and 2021 sixth-round pick.
You can read the entire story here:
Speaking of the tight end position, Jimmy Graham envisions his role growing:
Davante Adams is likely to miss another game, but look for Darnell Savage to return against the Chiefs:
There were changes on the Packers' injury report:
ICYMI, Aaron Rodgers is a master of the no-look pass, as those who have tried to defend against it can attest:
Rodgers is climbing quickly in the NFL.com QB Index:
Hard to believe that pass protection once was considered an issue with playing Aaron Jones:
And Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett gushed Thursday over this downfield block by Jones on Marquez Valdes-Scantling's 74-yard TD catch-and-run:
All eight Pro Football Focus panelists pick the Packers to beat the Chiefs:
An interesting Kevin King nugget from Zach Kruse of the Packers Wire:
If Matthew Stafford played in Green Bay, would he have "a couple rings"?
Mike Daniels could soon be returning to the Lions' lineup:
A blunt indictment of Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky from beat writer Brad Biggs:
The Bears have had to limit the game plan for Trubisky. Generally, he’s asked to read only half the field because the coaches want the ball out of his hands quickly on curls, slants and shallow crosses. When he does take a shot downfield, it’s often inaccurate. His pocket movement is poor and he has become scared of pressure. He struggles to step up and deliver the ball.
Read Biggs' entire analysis here:
Former Packers linebacker Clay Matthews severs a final tie to Green Bay:
More on the noble efforts of Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari and his mom:
More good deeds:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt