July 30, 2021

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He’s exactly what this defense needed

4 min read
He’s exactly what this defense needed

I’ve had a handful of questions kicking around for a month that I figured would be better to hold for the offseason. Sadly, that means they’re good to use now. Outside of Rodgers, which player currently on the roster has the best chance of making the Hall of Fame if they keep up their level of production for a decent amount of time (say 10 total years, including years already played)? Who would have to kick it up just one or two notches?

As it stands right now, it has to be David Bakhtiari. Whether it amounts to the Hall of Fame or not, I also think Davante Adams has a legitimate chance at being the best Packers receiver of the Rodgers era. He’s the total package. Adams possesses an elite skill set that could allow him to perform well into his 30s as long as he stays healthy.

Do you think Rodgers will be able to play until he’s 40? I’ve read he takes good care of his body, but is it reasonable to expect that? I just can’t imagine being Eli Manning this year, to be benched for his young replacement. Difficult situation to be in for him and the team. A two-time Super Bowl MVP, four-time Pro Bowler and former offensive player of the year quarterback being benched.

Since 2014, I’ve felt Rodgers can play into his 40s because of how well he adjusted to the calf injury. When he needed to be a pocket quarterback, Rodgers could be one. I’m confident he’ll continue to evolve and adapt his game with time just like Brett Favre and Tom Brady did. The problem for Manning was the Giants simply haven’t won enough over the last eight years. They needed to go a different route.

Kevin from Indianapolis, IN

With run defense being an issue at various times throughout the season, most notably against SF, one name I surprisingly haven’t heard much is Kingsley Keke. Do you see him being able to make a significant contribution in run defense next year?

Keke played more and more as the year went on. At 6-3, 288, he’s not built like a traditional base defender but I think you’ll see him play a bigger role in the rotation in Year 2.

Why did our defense continue to play so many downs with just two down linemen for most of the game, even though we were getting gashed to death by the Niners’ running game?

The Packers actually ran mostly base defense but it didn’t really matter. Green Bay struggled to find answers for San Francisco regardless of whether it was in the 3-4-4 base, 3-3-5 base, nickel, hybrid nickel or dime.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Despite the criticism of how the defense played against the 49ers, I don’t believe the Packers make the playoffs if not for the defensive performances during the regular season. A well-oiled offense would also make this defense better. Turn a couple of the long drives into scores and not turning the ball over on a couple of others would have made it a different ballgame.

As much as we talk about the offensive transition under Matt LaFleur this year, it surprises me how nobody mentions how different the defense looked in Mike Pettine’s second year. There was a significant shift in personnel but the good news is almost every starter on defense is under contract for 2020.

I think we do much better against the 49ers in Lambeau. It’s not about the fans or the noise … it’s about the field. My impression is that fast tracks are more of an advantage to fast teams, and Lambeau would have slowed them down a bit. Enough to make a lot more tackles near the line of scrimmage? I don’t know. I know the best team won, but I think the game played at Lambeau would have been competitive.

It was loud at Levi’s Stadium this year but Lambeau also was rocking for most of this year. I don’t know if location changes the outcome but there’s no doubt in my mind that the game would have been different in Green Bay.

Before the season started, there was significant discussion about having preseason games for starters since they do not seem to matter and there is always a risk of injury. Why do people not feel the same about the Pro Bowl?

Because the contact in the Pro Bowl is on par with my 10-year-old nephew’s swim meets. I’ve seen more competitive periods in training camp. And anyone who isn’t 100-percent healthy often sits out. Disaster could always strike – just ask Tyler Eifert – but the Pro Bowl is played at quarter-speed.

During the offseason, can players stay in GB and use the facilities and have contact with coaches? Or have workout contact with each other and coaches in a nicer climate?

Players under contract are allowed to use team facilities to train, but coach instruction is prohibited until the start of the offseason program. Most will travel to work out at other facilities around the country, though.


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