August 4, 2021

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It’s a great foundation to build on

4 min read
It’s a great foundation to build on

I tried to answer the question, “Is it really possible in the NFL to be a fluke 13-3 team?” If my math is right, an average NFL team would have a 1.2% chance of getting at least 13 wins against the Packers’ 2019 schedule (using FiveThirtyEight’s end-of-season ELO ratings). Reasonable people could disagree, but my interpretation would be “not a fluke.”

A credit to you for putting the work in, Matt. I’m not a statistician but playing 16 NFL games and winning 13 of them, including seven of eight at home, seems to suggest you weren’t that bad. But maybe it’s just me.

Karl from Fort Collins, CO

Tape shows that Darnell Savage had some problems taking bad angles with very fast runners/wide receivers last season. In Year 2, will that be adjusted via coaching, or just Savage recognizing the situation and knowing how to correct it? Whichever, if he makes adjustments for the speed of the NFL game, can we expect him to have a big contribution in Year 2?

It’s going to be Jerry Gray honing Savage’s technique in the classroom and practice, and Savage thinking less on the field and playing faster. He has so much physical talent and ability that I’m expecting Savage to maximize the value of those 800 snaps he played last year. It’s a great foundation to build on.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Josh Jackson‘s stats during his first three years at Iowa: First season (14 GP, two passes defended, zero INTs). Second season (12 GP, four PD, zero INTs). Third season (13 GP, 18 PD, eight INTs). If we can get half of this jump in production during his third season with the Packers, pass-happy offensive coordinators will have nightmares. I hope this odd offseason doesn’t hamper his progress.

This is Jackson’s year. It has to be. This is a golden opportunity for him to find a place in this defense, especially with Tramon Williams still a free agent.

Ashton from Bluffdale, UT

With Aaron Jones‘ contract coming up, I had a few thoughts about RB contracts. A lot of people say that a second long-term contract isn’t good for RBs because their physicality gets lost very quickly. However, what if you kept giving 1-2 year contracts? The team can keep the RB, but have a very quick out if the RB loses a step, and the RB can just keeping playing as long as they are still healthy/good. How do you feel about this idea?

That’s the way the league is trending. Not a single running back signed for more than two years this offseason. But ultimately, that’s up to the player and his agent what they feel he’s worth.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

Not really a question but does anyone really care what a team’s record is if they make the Super Bowl? The only two that most fans would have come to mind are the undefeated Dolphins and the Patriots losing after coming in with a perfect record.

I don’t. Aside from the Packers’ 10-6 record in 2010, I don’t think I could name many of the regular-season records of the Super Bowl combatants over the past decade. Just win, baby.

Like you, Wes, I don’t understand how Eric Bieniemy isn’t a head coach in the NFL yet. And while my main hope for this upcoming season is a SB victory for the Packers, my secondary hope is that the Bears and the Lions do “just enough” for Nagy and Patricia to not get fired. Because I’d really hate to see either of them end up with Bieniemy as head coach for the next couple decades.

I don’t know what NFL teams want in a head coach but Bieniemy’s work with Kansas City speaks for itself. He’s the coordinator of one of the league’s most exciting offenses and just won a Super Bowl.

“How Eric Bienemy is not an NFL head coach at this exact moment is beyond my comprehension.” And yet we have the rule now. So either the rule doesn’t work or there’s something the owners know that you don’t, much like GMs and the draft.

We have to do better. We gotta find more to create opportunities for minority coaches in the NFL. That’s not a suggestion. That’s a fact. I don’t know if the draft-pick proposal is the right answer but we gotta do something.

Hi II, the cafeteria “virtual tour” comment got me to wondering how the team is fed while traveling. Is there a catered event at the hotel, off the menu at the hotel restaurant(s), the players are on their own, some combination of the above, or none of the above? How about for home games – is there a team meal before the game?

There’s always a pregame meal for players – either in the cafeteria at Lambeau before home games or catering on the road. Players get a stipend for dinner the night before road games and have snacks available at the hotel.

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