ASK THE EXPERT
Packers beat writer Ryan Wood answered questions from readers Monday, a day after Green Bay’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Read the complete transcript at www.jsonline.com/packers.
Q: Ted Thompson made some good moves during the offseason. But it sure looks like his missed by choosing (Martellus) Bennett over Jared Cook. Bennett doesn't seem to be able to get downfield.
A: Way too early to know whether this was a good swap or not. Jared Cook didn't do much in his first three weeks, except get injured in his third game. It takes time for new weapons to implement themselves in the offense. There's just no knowing how Martellus
Bennett will pan out yet.
Q: What does Mike McCarthy bring to the table? It seems like the majority of the Packers big plays are a result of Aaron Rodgers improvising and making something out of nothing. Packers are winning because of Aaron Rodgers and nothing innovative that McCarthy is doing.
A: Considering he was the coach of a team that went from 4-6 to the NFC championship game, probably a good deal. I think Mike McCarthy showed his strengths last year. That team could have absolutely folded at 4-6. A lot of teams would. The best thing Aaron Rodgers does is extend plays, and any coach worth their salt tailors game plans to their quarterback's strength. So I'm not in the camp that slams McCarthy for his offense. He's shown himself to be one of the best coaches in the NFL.
Q: I am not an offensive line guru by all means but it sure looked like (Kyle) Murphy was schooled out there on a constant basis. Do we need to pick someone up? He looked lost and not capable of keeping up with the speed of the game.
A: Franchise left tackles aren't a whole lot different than franchise quarterbacks: when they aren't on the field, it's noticeable. David Bakhtiari is a franchise left tackle. Those guys aren't available on the open market. No trade is replacing him. Of the six starters inactive Sunday, Bakhtiari was easily the biggest loss. Kyle Murphy is a serviceable right tackle; he's not a left tackle. The Packers badly need Bakhtiari to get healthy.
Q: Did (Blake) Martinez look as good in person as he looked on TV?
A: Yes, he did. Think the Packers might have something with Blake Martinez and Josh Jones at ILB. More than that, I've been thinking since the start of camp the Packers need to find a way to get their top four safeties on the field. On Sunday, we finally saw how that's possible. If Morgan Burnett can hold down the slot corner spot most weeks, it would allow the Packers to get Kentrell Brice and Jones on the field together. Joining Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, that's an athletic center of the defense.
Q: Ty Montgomery looked more indecisive and hesitant that he has in the past. On a few runs, it looked like if he puts his shoulders down he gets a couple more yards instead of being blown backwards. Is he nicked up? Maybe just nowhere to run? Did you see this differently?
A: I'm not sure how many holes Ty Montgomery has had through the first three weeks. Of course, two of those games included a heavy dose of backup tackles, and for all the problems that causes in pass pro, it also doesn't help the run game. The Packers really need to get more out of their run game. Is it a matter of offensive injuries? Will Montgomery simply always be a better receiver than runner? I'm not sure yet, but it'll be important to find more production on the ground.