Ask the Expert
Packers beat writer Tom Silverstein answered questions from readers before the game vs. the Broncos. Read the complete transcript at www.jsonline.com/packers. Q: I believe the Packers have almost $11,000,000 in space going into next year. Does that money get tacked on to the roof of the salary cap once it is set for 2016? In other words will any space be wasted by not signing any of their free agents this year? Do you think the Packers will lock any of the potential free agents up before year’s end? Also, do you think waiting on everyone is a wise strategy? Mike Daniels especially is worrisome. $10 million doesn't look to bad to me, if that is indeed is ballpark.
A: Any leftover cap space can be rolled over into the next season. The Packers rolled over $7 million from last year to this year. When incentives and such are paid, the Packers won't have $11 million available. It will probably be closer to 8 or 9. I don't see them signing anyone during the year. They used to be able to get a player to bite on a deal, but most are willing to roll the dice and hit free agency. The Packers are deep enough that if they lose Mike Daniels or Casey Hayward they'll be OK. B.J. Raji is the tough one. They need him and if he continues to play well, his number will go up.
Q: Why is the press coverage so difficult for the Packers to beat? Why not run more motions, line guys up off the line of scrimmage or do more two/three men sets with picks?
A: They do a lot of things you say. Remember early in the year when Randall Cobb was scoring those TDs on pick plays? Well, the coverage has changed. Cobb is now being double-teamed all the time. Pick routes don't work if there's a safety hanging around to help defend them. You've seen Cobb and Ty Montgomery work out of the backfield. You see Richard Rodgers lined up all over the field. The Packers don't have little quick receivers like New England does. They have mostly big guys (James Jones, Davante Adams, Montgomery, Jeff Janis), so they have to play to their strengths. You can't ask them to do the same thing you ask Danny Amendola to do.
Q: I am wondering what the Gannett takeover means for coverage of America's Team? I have followed your work as well as Bob McGinn's (and the departed Tyler Dunne) and I love the depth of your coverage. I do read your competitors, but I think reading your coverage is money well spent. Thanks and best wishes.
A: I appreciate the kind words. I'm not afraid of answering this question. Like with any change in ownership, we have no idea what it will mean for our coverage. I have my concerns as well. I hope that there won't be a lot of changes, but I don't see how you couldn't because you have two papers owned by the same company covering the same team. That's not efficient, I'm sure, for the bean counters. I'm hoping for the best, but won't be surprised by anything that happens. Maybe you could write to Gannett and express your thoughts. We work for our readers and so it's always important for us to know what you want.
Q: Do the players realize as the game is being played that every missed tackle, every missed block, every assignment that is not done correctly will be reviewed in the film room? Do these plays actually get reviewed by coaches and players in their respective sessions and how does that affect the player who has not done his "job"?
A: Absolutely, their every move is analyzed and absolutely they know it. Corrections take place usually on Monday. The players watch the film and some coaches can be downright brutal when it comes to grading the film. It depends on the coach. But if someone played a wrong technique, made a mental error, missed a tackle, missed a block, read a hole wrong, it's going to be pointed out in the position meetings.
Q: What your take on the Letroy Guion issue? The Vikings knew who he was and let him go. And their record is considerably worse than the Packers. Ted Thompson knew what he was getting and I would have expected his rope to be very short. I was also disappointed with the “garbage” quote. TT and Mike McCarthy are on a slippery slope here. And there is never an excuse for bad behavior. Your thoughts?
A: I agree with most of what you say. I want to know why did they look the other way with him. Is it because he's a DL and they're tough to find? It sure seems that way. McCarthy's 'garbage' comment was exactly the wrong message to send. Many fans have noted that it appears he's pooh-poohing bad behavior and the Packers' actions would seem to reinforce it. If they didn't know of Guion's past, shouldn't they acknowledge it and say what they're doing to prevent it happening again. They did that with Koren Robinson and Johnny Jolly. They had another bad off-the-field arrest with Andrew Quarless and they took him back. I was sure they were going to cut him immediately. He allegedly fired a gun in public. Are they making exceptions because they're so close to the Super Bowl? McCarthy's quick dismissal of Michael's excellent question (see Page 17) would sure seem to indicate so.