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General Category => Green Bay Packers News Talk => Topic started by: RT on May 22, 2019, 05:06:55 AM

Title: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 22, 2019, 05:06:55 AM
The Packers took a quality unit and really beefed up the depth in this off season with a FA signing, a surprise return player and a high draft pick. Barring injuries the Packers are going to have the good problem of having more NFL caliber OLinemen than they have roster spots when the preseason ends.

Locks (6) - David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Corey Linsley, Lane Taylor, Billy Turner, Elgton Jenkins

If they can avoid the injury bug this starting unit should again be one of the top OL units in the NFL. Adding Jenkins to the locks should be obvious to everyone.

In the Hunt (7) -  Jason Spriggs, Cole Madison, Alex Light, Yosh Nijman, Justin McCray, Lucas Patrick, Adam Pankey

The competition for the backup OL spots will probably be the most competitive position battles in training camp. If everyone stays healthy, I would expect the Packers to be able to trade some of their depth before the cut down. 

Longshots (3) - Larry Williams, Gerhard de Beer, Anthony Coyle

These 3 would seem to have a mountainous climb ahead of them to even land a PS spot, but one day at a time and one play at a time and you never know what might happen.

Where the end number of OL kept on the 53 this year will be interesting, but I do believe it will be higher then most seasons. Most seasons the number is 8 or 9 with the Packers carrying as high as 11. I think 10 this year is not out of the question if they can stay clean through training camp. But who makes up this unit? Does Cole Madison become a feel good story or is he cut before the season starts? Does Spriggs become the tackle he was drafted to be or does someone else step forward and take the swing tackle position away from him? The camp battles will be daily and fun to watch as the big men clash on the offensive and defensive lines. However it shakes out the Packers should have a quality OL unit to go to battle with this season.       
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: dannobanano on May 22, 2019, 06:21:42 AM
Agree with you assessment RT.

Just a guess on my part but I get the feeling the Packers try to keep just 8 OL on the 53 man roster. It might be 9, but I think they would prefer 8 because Turner can play either G/T, Jenkins can play all 5 OL spots, and Spriggs can play either T spot.

If they can roll with 8 OL, it frees up an extra roster spot for another position group that would like/need more depth.

Outside of the 6 locks you mention, my best guess would be Spriggs and Madison make up the other 2 spots of the 8 man group.

Light, Nijman, and Williams would be likely candidates for the PS.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 22, 2019, 07:27:27 AM
We are all just shooting from the hip here, but as any season wears on and injuries pileup on most teams the hardest replacements to find are OL. The Packers will keep the best 53, but if it is a tossup with an OL, WR or any other position really, the call probably go's in favor of the OL simply because of the shortage of NFL quality OL league wide. IMO. 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: Hands on May 22, 2019, 07:43:51 AM
Taylor, and Bulaga were hurt enough last year that it affected their play. The players added this year will/can make a difference. I suspect 9 linemen make the final 53.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: SET4YRS on May 22, 2019, 08:19:31 AM
 Lucas Patrick played well at the end of last season, expect him to make the team.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 24, 2019, 04:55:03 AM
Hoping the Milwaukee Bucks can win one more in Toronto so we get one more round of Bakhtiari beer chugging. Yelich gets an attaboy for a rookie effort, now as for Rodgers that was just straight up weak. Wimpy, Wimpy, Wimpy! 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 24, 2019, 09:31:59 AM
Injuries abound, so while I hope it doesn't happen, it's more probably than not that at least one of your main 13 guys will be hurt, and a good chance >1. 

Backup OL aren't usually ST stars.  So they are at some disadvantage winning last spots against ST candidates.  That said, I'd rather compromise on ST than risk a rising young lineman who might become a solid starter in a year or two. 

Bulaga is worn and expiring.  Taylor's contract is also at issue following this season.  So there's a chance that one or both might be replaced for 2020 and beyond.  So I'm really prioritized on depth OL who *MIGHT* have potential to develop into good, solid starters. 

I'm no scout, but I don't see Pankey, Patrick, or McCray as guys we'll want starting from 2020 to 2023 or whatever. 

So my preference (all wishing and hoping, no basis for actually expecting this) is that all three of Light, Madison, and Nijman look absolutely impressive in camp.  So good that they look like very viable potential starters, in a post-Bulaga/Taylor 2020 roster.  So good that you can't even risk exposing them to practice squad. 

Of course that isn't very likely, but position groups that end up being really good, and rosters than end up being SB contenders, often have developmental guys develop well and become good players, against the odds. 

I'm actually quite curious and interested in Light.  I assume with a year of experience and strength, that he's probably going to be ahead of Madison or Nijman. 

I also assume that practice squad is available for all three of those young guys.  **IF** they look so good that you don't want to risk them, and think they might get snagged, then keep them 53.  But otherwise PS seems like a very appropriate place to stash developmental lineman who aren't going to play at all barring injury, and who aren't going to be ST and 45-man active anyway.  **IF** injuries necessitate, a guy can be called up from PS as needed. 

So being an optimist and a hope guy, I'm really curious and hoping that those three young unknown guys will look good and be on their way to being good NFL players that may be good starters someday, or very capable subs if not. 

The Bulaga/Taylor status I think also makes Spriggs a question.  I've kinda felt like he lost the speed/quickness that he was drafted for in order to gain the size and strength that he needed.  So I'm hesitant to believe he's likely to be a very good Bulaga replacement for 2020.  But I'm no scout and know nothing.  **IF** he could look better and better, both as a next-man-up injury-replacement-option this year, but then as a perfectly-fine Bulaga-replacement starter at RT for 2020, that would be really wonderful.  I hope he looks really good in camp and looks like he's really ready to be a good starter, whenever opportunity opens that possibility for him. 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 24, 2019, 02:42:33 PM
Well thought-out posting craig.

Agree with the hope with Light, Madison, and Nijman and I will also add Jenkins to that trio.

Don't agree that Taylor's contract is an issue after this season, he has 2 years left at a salary of 2.6M and 3.8M. I think those are very manageable numbers for the Packers to keep on board until the end of his contract. Taylor's contract also is one that is probably very affordable to trade, if Jenkins or someone else steps forward and looks like they can anchor the LG spot and do an equal job as Taylor, the Packers may trade Taylor because of all the young depth on the roster.

Taylor, McCray and Patrick are all affordable contracts to trade if the Packers should chose to move someone.     
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: dannobanano on May 24, 2019, 03:31:46 PM
I read that Light was the starting LT for OTA's, as they keep Bak out (like Tae) for precautionary reasons.

Nice to hear that about Light.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 24, 2019, 11:21:27 PM
..Don't agree that Taylor's contract is an issue after this season, he has 2 years left at a salary of 2.6M and 3.8M. I think those are very manageable numbers for the Packers to keep on board until the end of his contract. ...

Taylor's cap hit will be $5.925 for 2020, per Spotrac.  Not crazy high, of course, and if you cut him there is still $1.25 dead cap anyway.  So basically it would save ~$4.7 in cap to cut him.  I hope he has a great year, and that the Packers' cap situation is better than I understand it to be, and that they don't need to be pinching pretty good starters over $4.7 savings. 

But with the Rodgers contract and the huge spikes in cap hits for the four pricey free agents this year, I'm thinking they are going to be considerably pressed for cap $$ next offseason.  Clearing $4.7 may get some consideration?
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 25, 2019, 06:42:08 AM
..Don't agree that Taylor's contract is an issue after this season, he has 2 years left at a salary of 2.6M and 3.8M. I think those are very manageable numbers for the Packers to keep on board until the end of his contract. ...

Taylor's cap hit will be $5.925 for 2020, per Spotrac.  Not crazy high, of course, and if you cut him there is still $1.25 dead cap anyway.  So basically it would save ~$4.7 in cap to cut him.  I hope he has a great year, and that the Packers' cap situation is better than I understand it to be, and that they don't need to be pinching pretty good starters over $4.7 savings. 

But with the Rodgers contract and the huge spikes in cap hits for the four pricey free agents this year, I'm thinking they are going to be considerably pressed for cap $$ next offseason.  Clearing $4.7 may get some consideration?

The 2020 cap hit includes his prorated signing bonus and that money counts against the cap if he is on the roster or not, it is water over the dam. If he is traded, his new team is looking at his base salary and the prorated portion of the signing bonus stays with the Packers (dead cap). The 2.6M and 3.8M base salary are very affordable numbers for a starting guard in a trade. If the Packers keep him, the 4.7M includes him reaching all of his bonuses on top of his 3.8M base salary. Of course if they keep him they would probably hope that he would achieve all of his bonuses and end up costing them 4.7M. Still not a bad number for a starting LG.
   
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: dannobanano on May 25, 2019, 07:55:31 AM
..Don't agree that Taylor's contract is an issue after this season, he has 2 years left at a salary of 2.6M and 3.8M. I think those are very manageable numbers for the Packers to keep on board until the end of his contract. ...

Taylor's cap hit will be $5.925 for 2020, per Spotrac.  Not crazy high, of course, and if you cut him there is still $1.25 dead cap anyway.  So basically it would save ~$4.7 in cap to cut him.  I hope he has a great year, and that the Packers' cap situation is better than I understand it to be, and that they don't need to be pinching pretty good starters over $4.7 savings. 

But with the Rodgers contract and the huge spikes in cap hits for the four pricey free agents this year, I'm thinking they are going to be considerably pressed for cap $$ next offseason.  Clearing $4.7 may get some consideration?

Currently OTC shows the Packers with just over $16M in cap space for 2020, and that does not include the current $9M+ they have in cap space as roll over (although some of that could be used during the course of the 2019 season).

The Packers will likely move on from Jimmy Graham next year, which would add an additional $8M in cap space in 2020.

So the way that it could be viewed is that Gute could possibly have around $27M-$28M to work with for signing the key free agents that the Packers want to keep rather than lose to FA.

Here's a list of the Packer 2020 UFA's that are possible players that will receive a strong bid from Gute to keep.

1st tier targets: (Core players that it would hurt to lose)
Blake Matinez
Geronimo Allsion
Dean Lowry
Mason Crosby
(JMHO, but I think they could extend all 4 of these players, if they choose to, and structure the 1st year cap hit to be a total of around $18M, or less)

2nd tier targets: (based on how they play in 2019)
Kyler Fackrell
Jason Spriggs
Danny Vitale

UFA's that will likely be allowed to leave in UFA next year.
Mike Daniels
Brian Bulaga
Tramon Williams
Marcedes Lewis
Trevor Davis (provided he makes 2019 team)
Kapri Bibbs (ditto)

Of the tier 1 group, the one that would hurt the most to lose would be Martinez, if they can't extend him. But how they structure contracts make all the difference in the world. Take, for instance, this years top 3 FA signings (The Smith Bro's and Amos). First year cap hit for them is as follows...……..Z. Smith-$7.25M, P. Smith-$6M, A. Amos-$5.9M.

So if Gute has around $27M to work with next year, I think it's very likely they will be able get done what they want to get done. Also have to remember that they have already agreed to pick up Kenny Clarks 5th year option. No hard numbers for that yet, but comparing to 2019 numbers, that 5th year option will likely fall in the $6M-$8M range.

Another consideration could be that **IF** the young players in the Packers secondary look to be competent as camp progresses, the Packers could release Tramon Williams prior to Week 1 of the season and gain an additional $6.375M in cap space immediately. But if he's on the roster as of week 1, than that full amount is charged to the 2019 cap. It's at least something to be an eye on.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 25, 2019, 08:22:36 AM
Very good stuff danno and thanks for the work.

IMHO, I think that Martinez is the only core player there. Because of the young depth at WR, Allison will probably be allowed to go elsewhere. Same with Lowry. And Crosby is probably in his final season as a Packer, I look for Gute to replace him in the draft next year. Just think it would be a real longshot for any of the others to be back in GB in 2020.

I don't believe the cap is going to be any issue in 2020.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 25, 2019, 12:45:46 PM
..he has ... a salary of ...3.8M. ...

Taylor's cap hit will be $5.925 for 2020, per Spotrac.  Not crazy high, of course, and if you cut him there is still $1.25 dead cap anyway.  So basically it would save ~$4.7 in cap to cut him.  ....

The 2020 cap hit includes his prorated signing bonus and that money counts against the cap if he is on the roster or not, it is water over the dam. If he is traded, his new team is looking at his base salary and the prorated portion of the signing bonus stays with the Packers (dead cap). The 2.6M and 3.8M base salary are very affordable numbers for a starting guard in a trade. If the Packers keep him, the 4.7M includes him reaching all of his bonuses on top of his 3.8M base salary. Of course if they keep him they would probably hope that he would achieve all of his bonuses and end up costing them 4.7M. Still not a bad number for a starting LG.

I'm not sure I'm following your point, RT.  You basically repeated what I'd already said, that $1.25 in prorated signing bonus is dead cap towards the $5.9 cap hit, and that it's the other $4.7 that's at issue for the Packers cap, and likewise for any potential trade partner.

You repeatedly cite the $3.8, I'm not sure why, since I think you are well aware of bonus structure.  When discussing keep or cut/trade, $4.7 is the number, not $3.8.  (Other than a few slivers of $4.7 in case he missed games due to injury).  Listing the $3.8 repeatedly seems somewhat more like trying to win an argument or to persuade, than to objectively consider the choices the Packers will evaluate. 

It's well possible that the Packers will find him worth the $4.7. I hope that they do.  This year he was hurt a lot and I don't he played that well, but in previous years he's been a very solid performer, at $4.7 a good value. 

I'm just saying that it's possible that they won't.  That becomes increasingly possible **If** BOTH Jenkins and Madison both look really good, for example; if so, they may hypothetically feel they can let Taylor's $4.7 go, and replace him internally.  Whether by cutting; or if somebody else wants to trade something for Taylor and $4.7 of cap hit. 

That's also a possibility if Taylor as a well-used, well-worn player stacks another year compromised by more injuries.  He'll be 30 this season, and the clock ticks on.  So, he wouldn't be the first NFL guy who doesn't look as worth $4.7 in his 30's as when he was younger.  He's only a few months younger than Bulaga, for example, who many posters want to write off.   (Obviously Bulaga's had more injuries than Taylor, and is 6 months older besides, I'm not suggesting they're in the same boat.  Just that some of the age/wear-based considerations that apply to Bulaga may also increasingly be part of the Taylor decisions.) 

We may have plenty of cash.  Taylor may have a strong, healthy, very productive season.  Madison may not even make it out of camp, I have no idea. 

I emphasized that to even consider letting Taylor go after this season, I'd really want BOTH Jenkins AND Madison (or some other interior line guy, maybe Light?) to look really good.  A temptation is to say that as a 2nd rounder, you'd sure hope that Jenkins could take Taylor's spot, so why not save the $4.7?  But *IF* you simply replace Taylor with Jenkins, then you've lost the depth and injury-insurance that you just burned a high 2nd-round pick to obtain.  I think it's absolutely essential to have an extra bench interior lineman that you really like, and that won't compromise much if he injury-replaces a starter.  I get the common "what do you expect from a backup, it's hard enough to get good starters, how many teams have good starters?" argument.  But when real games are played, defensive coordinators don't give you any special mulligan for playing subs who aren't very good.  I want to keep four interior guys who are pretty much starter-quality good.  So *IF* that appeared or projected to be true for both Jenkins and Madison, (or somebody else currently on the bench, Light or somebody maybe....), Gute could perhaps allow Taylor to go, and STILL have the extra inside depth guy that I want.  But if none of Madison or Light or other IOL guys look too hot, then *if* you just replace Taylor with Jenkins a year from now, you're right back to being one injury away from playing guys like Bell or Barclay or Patrick or McCray or whomever.  Not the end of the world, but I'd rather not.  If that makes sense? 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 25, 2019, 01:05:19 PM
..Currently OTC shows the Packers with just over $16M in cap space for 2020, and that does not include the current $9M+ they have in cap space as roll over (although some of that could be used during the course of the 2019 season).  The Packers will likely move on from Jimmy Graham next year, which would add an additional $8M in cap space in 2020.

So the way that it could be viewed is that Gute could possibly have around $27M-$28M to work with for signing the key free agents that the Packers want to keep rather than lose to FA.

Here's a list of the Packer 2020 UFA's that are possible players that will receive a strong bid from Gute to keep.

1st tier targets: (Core players that it would hurt to lose)
Blake Matinez
Geronimo Allsion
Dean Lowry
Mason Crosby
(JMHO, but I think they could extend all 4 of these players, if they choose to, and structure the 1st year cap hit to be a total of around $18M, or less)

2nd tier targets: (based on how they play in 2019)
Kyler Fackrell
Jason Spriggs
Danny Vitale

UFA's that will likely be allowed to leave in UFA next year.
Mike Daniels
Brian Bulaga
Tramon Williams
Marcedes Lewis
Trevor Davis (provided he makes 2019 team)
Kapri Bibbs (ditto)

....So if Gute has around $27M to work with next year, I think it's very likely they will be able get done what they want to get done. Also have to remember that they have already agreed to pick up Kenny Clarks 5th year option. No hard numbers for that yet, but comparing to 2019 numbers, that 5th year option will likely fall in the $6M-$8M range.

Another consideration could be that **IF** the young players in the Packers secondary look to be competent as camp progresses, the Packers could release Tramon Williams prior to Week 1 of the season and gain an additional $6.375M in cap space immediately. But if he's on the roster as of week 1, than that full amount is charged to the 2019 cap. It's at least something to be an eye on.

Thanks super much, danno.  Really helpful.  Bottom line would seem to be that there is some cash to work with.  So, that's pretty encouraging and helpful to know. 

I agree with RT, if the worst of our problems are questions about retaining cats like Crosby, Lowry, and Allison, we're in a really good spot. 

I agree with RT, Crosby's contract is ready to be replaced. 

RT, you seem to be pretty confident that Taylor is a good, safe, sure $4.7; but that Allison and Lowry are pretty surely gone.  You may well be right.  I guess I see all three of those guys being in a somewhat analogous world: three guys who have played a lot; three guys who will play a lot; three guys who aren't great; three guys who might be replaced by rising younger guys; and three guys who might actually be pretty solid team guys whose younger replacement wannabe's might perhaps not be actually able to replace what they give; and three guys who won't be free, but neither are they so exciting that they are likely to command big contracts on the free market and thus won't be that costly for us to keep. 

Maybe Jenkins, Maddison, and Light will all be as good or better than Taylor?  Or maybe not?
Maybe ESB, MVS, Moore, and Kumerow will all be as good or better than Allison?  Or maybe not?
Maybe Keke and Adams will both be as good or better than Lowry?  Or maybe not?

I have no idea.  But I don't think any of those three are going to break the bank.  If Gute and MLF think "maybe not" on their replacements, it's possible that offering them fair-value contracts might make sense. 

Obviously Taylor differs in that he'll be on a last year, 1-year $4.7/1 contract.  If Lowry and/or Allison have good seasons, they might instead require 2- or 3-year commitments to resign.    So obviously always easier to accomodate 1-year commitments.  As Danno notes, of course it's also in a different way easier to accomodate a 2- or 3-year deal, in that the first-year cap hit for a multi-year-with-signing-bonus is trivial, a disproportionate fraction of the cap hit defers to years 2 etc.. 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 25, 2019, 01:21:11 PM
OK, sorry for one more post after two long ones!  In cap situation, danno you've got Bulaga in the third tier, as a guy you assume gone, and nowhere near the 1st-tier "core players that it would hurt to lose."

Note:  I totally get how Bulaga's been injured often, that tackles sometimes get paid highly, and that paying a big contract to a 30's guy with injury history is of questionable wisdom. 

But in terms of "core players that it would hurt to lose", I would totally include Bulaga in that pool.  He's been a very good, effective player for us for a lot of seasons, and his availability last year was good, and not really all that bad previous year either.  It really WOULD hurt to lose him.  And the cost to replace him may be costly. 

I know, maybe Jenkins and Madison and Taylor will be great, and that Turner will be such a stud that you'll be happy switching him over to OT.  It's a possibility.  Maybe Spriggs will be both terrific and will sign a a team-friendly bargain contract.  Maybe LIght is better than Bulaga.  Maybe Nijman is better than Bulaga.  Lots of "maybe". 

But I think there's a pretty reasonable chance that Bulaga will be much better than any of those guys this year, and will be much better than any of those guys in 2020 and 2021 also.  It may hurt to lose him, maybe a lot. 

And replacing him may be costly.  Spend a bundle on somebody else in FA?  Settle for much reduced play from Turner or Spriggs or Light or Nijman?  Burn an invaluable 1st or 2nd round draft choice, and even then perhaps still end up settling for reduced quality of play? 

My feeling on considering that an extension of Bulaga may, hypothetically, make sense, is based on the fact that every GM in the league knows both Bryan's birthday and his injury history.  So the exact same age/wear/durability questions that rightfully make us hesitate to spend big, also make every other GM in football hesitate to spend big. 
So, my hypothesis is that Bulaga may hypothetically end up being available at a fair-value contract that is NOT excessive or prohibitive.  And he may hypothetically give somebody a very good value-per-dollar during his 2020-2022 contract. 

I'm not saying that the Packers will or should pay Bulaga what it takes to resign him, or that he'll be a good-value player for whoever does sign him.  Who knows? 

But I am saying that we should not dismiss either the idea that the Packers will seriously consider extending him, or that the Packers will be significantly worse off if they don't. 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 25, 2019, 02:05:55 PM
We have had the Lowry conversation before and him not being a core player. In the case of Allison who you know I have never been a big fan of, but he has a real chance to play himself into that core player status this season. If he proves to be a solid number 2 and nobody else is stepping up their game, well just maybe he becomes a must sign type of player for the Packers.

As for Taylor and his contract, his base salary is 3.8M for next year plus potential bonuses to 4.7M and you are correct in that would be the number teams would be looking at in a trade or the Packers in the case of keeping him in 2020 (which I incorrectly suggest it should be 3.8M). I don't know the language in the contract of the bonuses, but it is probably safe to assume that they are fairly easily obtainable. Your post had started out 'Taylor's cap hit will be $5.925 for 2020' and I was only hoping to further clarify that 5.925M was not a number that effected the Packers or a trade partner in any way other than for accounting purposes to the Packers 2020 cap. Not trying to win any argument, I think we mostly agree on a large percentage of this topic. 

I was listening to Pat Kirwan (former GM) yesterday on the NFL Network and he made the comment that when he was a GM he traded for a contract and the player just happened to come along. That is a point that I think the vast majority of fan don't understand and don't understand who the tradeable players are. The fact that a team could gain a starting IOL in Taylor at a very reasonable price without giving out any upfront money or committing to a long term deal should make his contract attractive to a team in need.

I also agree with you that a Bulaga possible return should remain on the table, but my gut feeling is that they will close the door on him after this season. Hope I am wrong.

   
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 25, 2019, 08:29:12 PM
I wonder if the "core player" determination is sometimes less useful in predicting decisions in advance than it is in rationalizing them retroactively? 

If they sign Allison to a $7/2 or $11/3 contract or whatever, then we'll agree "he was a core player".  If they don't, we'll say "he wasn't a core player".  If they let Taylor go to save the $4.7, we'll deduce "they didn't see him as a core player and they thought he was replaceable."  If they keep him, we'll say "he's a core player worth the $4.7."

But today, a year in advance, I'm not always sure who is and isn't a "core player".   

The "core" changes pretty much year by year, and gets re-evaluated year by year. 

Obviously Bulaga IS a "core player" for now, even they'll probably (although not certainly) elect to make somebody else part of the core a year from now to replace him. 




Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: majikwen on May 26, 2019, 04:02:18 AM
Lane Taylor is NOT a lock to make this team. Taylor was a bad signing. Taylor was 1/3 of the worst interior OL in the NFL. I know everyone loves Linsey and i think he still has potential but the guard play showed a lack of not using higher draft picks on interior OL for decades, finally caught up with the Packers
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: dannobanano on May 26, 2019, 05:19:47 AM
"I know everyone loves Linsey and i think he still has potential but.."


It seems we are looking at two different players in Corey Linsley.

https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2018/12/06/packers-have-4-deserving-pro-bowlers-in-2018/

[Despite problems at both guard positions, Linsley remains a rock for the Packers at center, both as a pass protector and run blocker. In fact, some of his best work this season has been executing reach blocks, getting to the second level and clearing the cutback lanes for slashing running back Aaron Jones. After an up-and-down year last year, he’s been terrific in 2018 protecting the passer, his best attribute. Who in the NFC has been better at center?]
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 27, 2019, 07:51:20 AM
Lane Taylor is NOT a lock to make this team. Taylor was a bad signing. Taylor was 1/3 of the worst interior OL in the NFL. I know everyone loves Linsey and i think he still has potential but the guard play showed a lack of not using higher draft picks on interior OL for decades, finally caught up with the Packers

In 63 words you managed,

1.) Taylor was a bad signing.
2.) The Packers have the worst IOL in the NFL.
3.) Suggest that Linsley is not a very good player.
4.) The Packers should use more high draft picks on IOL.

For someone who hasn't posted here in 3 years, you come back a little hyperbolic. Not overly surprising when reading your small sample of posting history. You have blessed everyone with,

Jason Pier Paul has better hands than Davante Adams.

Davante Adams was a bad draft pick by TT. Projected as a 4th round pick, TT reached in the 2nd round.

And the best for last,

As my family and I watched Davante Adams drop ball after ball after ball after ball ....... we started to think of anybody with worse hands than him in Packer history. We couldn't come up with anybody. then we said. how about in the history of football ? again we drew a blank ...... ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing history, ENJOY !!!!! anybody got any names that are, hands of stone club ?

Here is an idea, maybe when making a bold statement about something, that you actually support it with some facts or a professional opinion from someone. Like some other contracts to point out why Taylor's contract was a bad signing or a performance based rating that reflexes how poorly the IOL played. Give your breakdown as to why drafting IOL with higher picks is a better idea than using 3rd day picks on players like Bakhtiari, Sitton, Lang, Tretter and Linsley. In the process you will educate yourself and become a more informed fan, leading to more intelligent interaction on every topic, rather than just spewing some uneducated nonsense.   

 

Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 27, 2019, 09:14:04 AM
I wonder if the "core player" determination is sometimes less useful in predicting decisions in advance than it is in rationalizing them retroactively? 

If they sign Allison to a $7/2 or $11/3 contract or whatever, then we'll agree "he was a core player".  If they don't, we'll say "he wasn't a core player".  If they let Taylor go to save the $4.7, we'll deduce "they didn't see him as a core player and they thought he was replaceable."  If they keep him, we'll say "he's a core player worth the $4.7."

But today, a year in advance, I'm not always sure who is and isn't a "core player".   

The "core" changes pretty much year by year, and gets re-evaluated year by year. 

Obviously Bulaga IS a "core player" for now, even they'll probably (although not certainly) elect to make somebody else part of the core a year from now to replace him.

There is probably a degree of subjectivity in how some view the core player thing. For me a core player is a long term building block and those players get the longer extensions. I can't think of a player that got a 2 year deal from the Packers outside of a marginal player added late in the year because of injury and the Packers wanted to get an extra look at him in the next years training camp. But if the Packers gave Allison a 2/7M deal, I would view him as a bridge player and not a core player.

When the Packers gave Taylor a 4/20M deal they did it with the confidence that he was the answer at RG for the next 4 years, a building block. Very seldom do the Packers step away from a longer extension before it expires, Perry this year was a rare exception from the Packers operating practices. So could the Packers move on from Taylor early? It is possible if a couple of the younger players surprise.

Players are ever ascending and descending, creating flex in the evaluation process. Fans want all their high draft picks to be core players, but it is just a numbers game and second contract can be earned from any level of draft pick or even UDFA's. The Packers have a very good idea who they may re-sign, but I would wager that the list is much shorter then most fans list.   
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 27, 2019, 10:27:38 AM
Yeah, probably Clark and Martinez are the only obvious "core" guys at this point that they'll clearly want to keep, and of course Clark isn't expiring next year anyway.  So Martinez is perhaps the only obvious guy who'll be an obvious priority, if you don't count Clark.   

I think history from days past has uncertain predictive/policy relevance.  1st, Obviously Gute and TT aren't the same. 

2nd, and perhaps more to the point, obviously most of TT's run involved some very strong, division-winning rosters with a good volume of salaried players.  Having division-winning rosters meant those were some cap-challenged rosters.  I think that's why they were relatively inactive in FA, and I think that may have precluded retaining secondary players.  But now, after a couple of losing seasons, it's possible that some drafts that haven't result in many second contracts have perhaps freed up some discretionary dollars for other creative uses?  Dollars this winter were used very extensively in FA; who knows what creative ways they might be spent next off-season? 

Even in days past, there have been some secondary players signed.   Brandon Chillar, for example.   

Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 29, 2019, 10:47:41 AM
I believe the Packers view Elgton Jenkins as a future guard and will get most of his work there early on in OTA's and training camp. Lucas Patrick probably has a good grip on the #2 center spot for now.

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#Packers C Corey Linsley is present today, but has not been seen on the practice field yet. Lucas Patrick got first-team reps at center during the early 11-on-11 walk through period.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: dannobanano on May 29, 2019, 11:35:47 AM
This will be interesting to watch and develop.

I've read that Jenkins could push Taylor for the starting left OG spot this season, but that since Jenkins played C at Miss St the last 2 years, that he may also be viewed as the primary backup at C, should something happen to Linsley (who hasn't missed a snap the last 2 seasons).

It might also be noted that Light was the starting LT early on in OTA's as well.

A lot is going to depend on how many OL they decide to keep. 8? Or, 9? Or, more??

DB
BB
Turner
Linsley
Taylor
Jenkins
_________
Spriggs
Madison
Patrick
Light

A lot will depend on if they feel they can roll with 8, or do they feel they need 9.

The benefit in Turner and Jenkins is that Turner can play all OL spots, except Center. While Jenkins can play all OL spots. So do they need Spriggs? Madison? Patrick? Light? Which of them best fits the athletic profile that bthey are looking for in their OL? Which of them can play multiple positions well enough to be a primary reserve OL.

Lot's of things to watch in the OL competition, IMO.

Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on May 29, 2019, 12:29:01 PM
I believe the Packers view Elgton Jenkins as a future guard and will get most of his work there early on in OTA's and training camp. Lucas Patrick probably has a good grip on the #2 center spot for now....

I like that.  With Jenkins having played much center and little guard, and Patrick having played much guard and little center, I think it makes good sense to practice both of them at their inexperienced spots.  Jenkins needs to prepare himself to play guard.  And Patrick's career, whether it's staying with the Packers or extending his career elsewhere, will be better off if employers view him as capable of covering C as well as G. 

When it comes to the real season, I expect differentiating #2 designation for C, LG, and RG will be meaningless.  Because on game day, the same individual needs to cover all three spots. 45-man roster usually carries one tackle and one interior backup.   At least when the starters enter the game without any already existing injuries. 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on May 30, 2019, 04:01:35 PM
From Ryan Wood.

OL coach Adam Stenavich says focus right now is learning assignments, technique and footwork. Pretty limited with what they can do in the spring, obviously. "It's always hard when you don't have the pads on."

Stenavich says there are different things for O linemen to learn in Matt LaFleur's outside zone system, but it's small in grand scheme of things. "For O linemen, it's just come off the ball. All linemen like to do that." That aggression doesn't change, and it is most important.

Stenavich on Cole Madison: "You can tell he's been gone a year from the game. There's some things he has to improve on." #Packers are asking him to do a lot, working at guard and center, but that versatility is important for Madison. He was swimming early, but he's improving.

Stenavich lights up when asked how he thinks Corey Linsley will fit in this blocking scheme, given his athleticism: "Ah, he's perfect. I'm really excited about what he's going to do this year. Think he's a great fit."

Stenavich says you can run full speed without pads in the outside zone scheme, because it's so horizontal instead of being downhill power. Thinks that'll help linemen get the necessary footwork down. The physicality isn't much different.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on June 26, 2019, 05:03:48 AM
Just a little reminder from PFF.

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The Packers led the NFL in pass-blocking grade as a team in 2018!
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: Hands on June 26, 2019, 06:30:42 AM
Just a little reminder from PFF.

PFF

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The Packers led the NFL in pass-blocking grade as a team in 2018!

Not surprised to see the Pack and that pass-blocking grade. They gave Rodgers the best time before pressure then any QB if my memory is correct. The problems were Rodgers not comfortable with receiver's routes,  not hitting those outlets for 3-6 yards to keep the ball moving, and last but not least....no running game to keep defenses honest.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: Hands on June 26, 2019, 06:36:07 AM
I'm sure everyone has seen the OT that a lot of the draft experts had Green Bay selecting, Jonah Williams from AL is having shoulder surgery and out for the year! Two things, this should have been caught before the draft and I doubt he would have been selected that early if it had showed up. Second, this doesn't  mean that Green Bay's Gary needs surgery now. Different tears, means different capabilities.
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on July 10, 2019, 12:38:23 PM
A little OL pub by PFF.

https://247sports.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/Article/Green-Bay-Packers-offensive-line-ranking-2019-Pro-Football-Focus--133561609/
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on July 10, 2019, 09:17:24 PM
I don't mean this to sound snarky, I'm serious about this.  And I don't remember who says what, so what seems inconsistent to my memory may be totally consistent within an individual poster; it's just that a board like this has multiple posters who often have very different perspectives, so I'm perhaps remembering posts by different posters that disagree with each other. 

Seems like some voices highly respect PFF often, and treat it as objective and view it's grades as really meaningful.  Others disrespect PFF, and don't treat it's evaluations as very trustworthy at all.  How closely are they really evaluating each play?  How do they even know what a player's assignment is supposed to be? 

Just yesterday, wasn't there a Bengal guy who spoke about Rodgers, and you RT dismissed his voice because he'd only gotten one sack last year, but then another poster said the PFF had given him a very strong grade? 

So, when should I believe PFF, and when should I not?  I have no idea!  My guess is that their evaluations are worth considering and respecting, with some caution.  And that *IF* there is a significant discrepancy between internal team evaluation versus PFF evaluation, that I'd probably weight the internal team evaluation somewhat more heavily?  They are internally motivated to spend a lot of focus on the Packers, whereas PFF has the whole league to look at.  And second the team does know the responsibilities on each play, which can probably assist the evaluation process. 

Unfortunately we only rarely know what the internal team evaluations are, unlike the accessible PFF stuff!
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on July 10, 2019, 09:24:44 PM
In terms of the PFF evals, Bulaga got a very positive one, at least as a pass-blocker.  (run blocking, not as good, I assume.)  It's been board consensus that he's expiring and there is no interest in re-signing him, many posters seem to think they'd rather go with Spriggs or Turner at RT in 2020 and beyond than Bulaga.  I still question that presumption, and think there is merit in perhaps considering paying the player who was significantly superior last year, may remain significantly superior this year, and despite the advancement of father time might remain significantly superior beyond this year? 

Of course I get the flip argument:  Maybe it's exactly the favorable ratings by PFF that will drive his price up and make him unaffordable.  Maybe it's not that he's not good enough to extend; maybe it's that he's too good to extend because players as good as he is will get paid a lot? 

Beats me, of course.  But it does occur to me that his injury history, and his birth year, are also familiar to every other GM in football.  I'm not sure he's going to get as overpaid by anybody as posters sometimes assume? 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on July 10, 2019, 09:29:44 PM
The other thing in the PFF article is that while Gute was ready to invest long-term starter-dollars in Turner, and many posters are almost assuming that he'll be a good RT replacement for Bulaga in 2020 and beyond, PFF rated him as only marginally better than Byron Bell, who was paid <10% that Turner got, and RT thought that was too much!  (If I'm remembering correctly.) 

This may be a case where I sure hope Gute's detailed film study and high appreciation for Turner is much more insightful than PPF's tepid appreciation for him! 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: RT on July 11, 2019, 05:54:02 AM
I think it is a case that the grading systems are just a tool craig, but not the end all answer to what was or will be. In the microwave society we live in people just want to slap a number on everything and that is the answer and it is the end of evaluation process for them. It allows people to be experts in everything 'right now' with no real work done or attempts made to truly understand a subject.

Bait a hook and throw it in a lake and now people know how to win a bass fishing tournament. Take a gun and walk though the forest and now an expert in bagging elusive big game. Hit a bucket of golf balls and they can tell you what it takes to win the Masters. Like every occupation or hobby, to be really good at something takes work and dedication, it takes an open mind that you will always keep learning and growing. It is not PhD in 30 seconds obtained with one Google search.

Statistics are a great tool when applied with the right evaluation process, but if not used with the proper perspective the knowledge of identifying key indicators is lost. Some statistics are relevant and some are not and that is were perspective comes into the equation, some people chose not to have it because it is to complicating and is too much work. Matt Barkley had a higher passer rating than Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady last season, does that mean that Barkley is a better QB then all of them? WR John Brown with Baltimore last season averaged 17 yard a reception, that was better than Julio Jones, OBJ, Davante Adams and Troy Brown. So John Brown must be a better WR then those other WR's, correct? Carl Lawson had a higher pass rush win percentage than Khalil Mack (12.5 sacks), Aaron Donald (20.5), JJ Watt (16) and Von Miller (14.5), but surely Lawson with his one sack is a better pass rusher than the other because of his pass rush win percentage, right? Perspective. Some are black and white, but like every occupation and hobby there are many more that are in the gray area and that takes time to peel back the layers to get to the truth. The first step is asking why and being willing to dig for the answers and that alone will separate someone from 98% of the population.       
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: craig on July 11, 2019, 08:58:13 AM
Analytics are often geared to best process situations that are relatively normal.  The more deviant the situation, sometimes the less accurate the analysis.  I mention that because Rodgers and the Packers have been relatively abnormal, in terms of "HBL" ("Holding the Ball Long").  So I wonder if PFF perhaps struggles a bit in terms of it's pass-blocking calculations. 

I don't know PFF's formula, but I'm sure that embedded in their formula are both sacks, and protection time, both of which are impacted by HBL.  I wonder whether the details of their formula perhaps over-rates GB's pass blocking? 

HBL-Sacks:  Obviously HBL increases the volume of sacks.  RT recently implied (Lawson) that PFF underrates sacks; that they gave a 1-sack defender a top-10 score seemed deceptive, and suggests that somehow their formula has a flaw.  Seems to me that if they undervalue sacks for a defender, perhaps the same is true for blockers?  So that the extra sacks that result from HBL don't matter much to PFF? 

HBL-time:  Certainly blockers that "protect" for 5 seconds will get better analytics scores than those that protect for only 1.5, I assume?  So is it possible that Rodgers HBL is inflating GB's blocking scores, and that exactly the same blockers would get lower scores if Brees was getting a ball out at 1.8, while Rodgers is HBL and sprinting to the left sideline evading the chase of a guy Byron Bell let get free?   

In other words, is it possible that by Rodgers holding the ball too long, that the way PFF does their calculation, that blockers are getting extra credit for the way that Rodgers extends plays and holds the ball too long relative to normal QB's?  Even though those extra seconds of Rodgers running around aren't really a function of "protection" and uncommonly effective blocking?  (Or maybe put differently, if you put Rodgers behind the Patriots line, would their blocking scores suddenly go up because he unnecessarily extends a bunch of plays, which pads the blocker's PFF scores?) 

I'm just wondering, I'm not arguing or concluding that Rodgers HBL is skewing the pass-blockers PFF scores.  I'm just hypothesizing that something like that might be true.  If they are getting significant extra credit for play-extensions are more a function of Rodgers than of their actual protection, and *IF* PFF doesn't reduce hardly any credit for the extra sacks that result from the play-extensions, then they might have artificially high PFF scores. 
Title: Re: Position look: OL
Post by: dannobanano on July 11, 2019, 09:32:21 AM
This goes back to "context" again.

I think PFF's grade on Lawson may be fair given all the factors (sacks, pressures, hurries, knockdowns, etc) that they include in their grading formula's.

However, Lawson was claiming that Rodgers is EASY TO SACK. He said nothing about the other variables. So, in that CONTEXT, RT is correct in calling out Lawson based on the additional information about how beat up GB's OL was on that particular day, plus the tendency AR has of hanging on to the ball, longer than other QB's, in hopes of making a big play.

I'd say there are plenty of other defenders who would claim otherwise about AR and his mobility. He may not be as elusive as he was 6-8 years ago, but he's still mobile.

You know who Lawson forgot to credit when he showered himself with accolades? His DB's, who obviously were throttling GB's receivers and making AR wait longer than he should have for someone to break open.

CONTEXT!