December 11, 2009
- Tramon Williams will more than replace Alshinard Harris. "But Tramon can't keep his hands to himself," you might be saying. True story. But the Ravens game featured some of the worst officiating I've ever seen. It was a miracle anytime a DB was NOT called for pass interference. Tramon will improve in this area once he realizes that he has more than enough ability to defend without interfering. He has outstanding coverage ability and playmaking skills, and he is a solid tackler with blitzing ability. The sky is the limit for TramonMang. The thing that hurts most about losing Al Harris for the season is not his replacement at starter. Rather, it is the fact that the Packers have no choice but to use Jarrett Bush in nickel and dime situations. If Jarrett Bush packed up his bags and decided to become a dedicated Monk, I think that would be a better career decision than to continue playing football. Good God.
- Charles Woodson led the defense with an outstanding performance once again. Without Chuck, would this defense be clicking? I think not. He makes it all go 'round. Leader of the defense. As of right now, Chuck has got to be the Defensive MVP of the league.
- Win or lose, Nick Collins is going to take his chances. He had a big interception and a missed interception in which he got burned. I am personally willing to take the bad with the good because more often than not it results in a big play. Collins is going to take his chances either way. On his missed interception, Collins cut the receiver's route off hard hoping for a Pick Six but didn't get there in time. Not even Primetime in his prime could have made that play (If you're like me, you may have forgotten just how good Deion used to be...watch this video and you'll soon remember)
- Dom Capers should win an award Coordinator of the Year. What a great job he's done in a short period of time. Most people figured it would take the Pack's D until maybe the half-way point of the season to be up to speed with this new 3-4 scheme, but did anyone really think they would be this good, this fast? I certainly didn't.
- Aaron Kampman is a goner next year. Whether the Packers let him go in free agency or Franchise him and then trade him, he will not be a Packer next year. We have better linebackers than Kampman for this scheme. Clay Matthews, Brad Jones and Brandon Chillar are all better fits at OLB in this defensive scheme. Kampman will command too much money (and rightfully so) and does not fit our new scheme. He belongs at Defensive End, period. And he is a damn good 4-3 Defensive End -- one of the best in the NFL. I just hope the Packers play their cards right with this situation because it would be a shame to lose such a great player without receiving legitimate compensation in return.
- Al Harris may be a goner as well. He was losing steps before his knee injury, and when (if) he returns from his torn ACL, he just won't be the same. Plus, the Packers are lucky to have an up-and-coming playmaker in Tramon Williams. It's been great, Alshinard (yes, that is Al's full first name). If I was coaching a high school football team, I would tell the defensive backs to play like Al Harris. Confident, tough, aggressive. He has not only been a shutdown corner for years, but he has also been a consummate professional and leader. Let's hope that Tramon follows in his footsteps.
- Monday night was the worst officiated game I have ever seen in my life. Aren't we all sick of seeing unnecessary pass-interference calls. Monday night was the second most penalized game in the history of the NFL. I honestly feel that only a handful of the pass interference calls in this game were legitimate. Most of the flags were unnecessary and unfair because the receivers were just as physical as the DB's were. When a DB "armbars" a WR, the refs catch it right away. On the other hand, when the WR "armbars" the DB, it is usually not called. The best receivers in the game are typically great at doing this and getting away with it. There needs to be some serious talks about this pass interference issue because it is often becoming a deciding factor in games.
- Now here is what I propose the NFL does to clean up the sad state of officiating in this league: I'm sure that we can all agree that the NFL has been way too touchy/feely the past few years regarding pass interference penalties in particular. If you are not familiar with Ed Hoculi, he is the muscular referee who looks like he belongs on UFC. I propose that Ed Hoculi makes a case for looser officiating concerning the issue of defensive pass interference. People will most likely listen to him not only because he is ripped as hell, but also because he may be the best referee in the league. What if league executives and officials don't agree with him, you ask? After all, he is only one man, right? No. He is Ed Hoculi. If you disagree with him, he will change your mind.
- Why is it that "Judgment Calls" cannot be challenged?! Don't you think that the best "judgments" are made when someone has additional time and information at-hand to make the best judgment possible? I say if we are going to have Challenges available, pass interference calls should be fair-game. I mean, come on, after some of these bullshit pass interference calls, it is ridiculous that they are not open for challenge. I will bet that the refs would have realized their mistakes and over-turned a number of pass interference calls Monday night had they had the chance.
- The Packers have a pretty good-looking road ahead. The Pack are playing a dysfunctional Bears team next week and a banged-up Steelers team the following week. Then they play a shitty Seahawks team followed by a Week 17 match-up with a Cardinals team who very well may be resting their key starters because they may have the division wrapped up and no incentive to risk injuries before the playoffs. Three of the Packers next four opponents could potentially be tough matchups; however, the Packers happen to be playing each of them in a time of weakness. (For the record, I'm super impressed with the Cardinals after the Vikings game, but the 8-4 Cardinals have a three-game lead over the 5-7 San Francisco 49ers...do you really think that beating the Packers in Week 17 will even be the Cardinals' primary goal for that game?)
- If the Packers continue to play well on both sides of the ball, I don't see why they should lose any of their next four games. OK -- the Pack's special teams still needs A LOT of work. AHEM-Mason Crosby, AHEM-both coverage units, AHEM-Jeremy Kapinos! The Packers seem due for at least one or two special teams breakdowns in each game. This has got to be cleaned up if the Packers want any chance of competing in the playoffs. With that said, IF the Packers establish some consistency on special teams in the coming weeks, they will be firing on all cylinders in all three phases of the game. THAT equals a dangerous Packers team. And it could lead them to a 12-4 regular season record.
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