Some Early 2016 Football Comments


NBC Sports, why not go into some depth about trades or drafts while during the broadcast? For example, Greg Olson of the Panthers has really flourished since being traded from the Bears several years ago. To validate, I went to Wikipedia and found out he played four years for Chicago and he’s in his six year with Carolina. I am not a Bears fan although I live in the Chicago area and every time Greg does well (which is often); I want to know what happened? Why did the Bears trade him? Was it a salary casualty? Did they think he had hit his peak?

BTW, the Bears received a 3rd round pick from Carolina as a result of the trade.

z1I would like a little more background with this type of scenario or even a draft situation. Yes, I could check with Mr. Google and get the background but additional detail and context would eliminate having me check the internet every time my interest is piqued by a team or player.

Indeed, this complaint not only applies to NBC, let us include CBS, FOX and ESPN. I see CBS quite often adding on screen ads between plays, when enough commercials are enough. Jim Nance, do you feel guilty doing this in between plays? Could you ever speak up for the viewer/consumer and state their need more substance out of the telecast?


Growing up in Wisconsin, I’ve been a Packer fan for many years. I guess when your mom and dad actually attended the Ice Bowl before the 2nd Super Bowl; it’s almost a religious calling to root for the Packers for your entire life. However, with a critical eye, it’s hard to root for the green and gold and I see that team from New England run such an effective team with so much preparation and intelligence that I look to them with envy and wonder why GB can’t mimic their success.

Anyway, some examples of how Green Bay has frustrated me in 2016

z5Hurry Up Offense. Every year, we hear Mike McCarthy say the offense is going to be more up-tempo — hurry up offense. I saw this up-tempo for about 10% of the game against the Vikings and Lions. They may begin trying to get their offense jump-started but invariably for whatever reason; the play clock regularly falls under 10 seconds before the center gives the ball to Aaron Rodgers.

QB needs to protect the ball. Against the Vikings in the brand new US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Rodgers did poorly with protecting the ball. He fumbled three times (lost one) and was intercepted once. During several plays, he held onto the ball too long — it reminded me of 5 years ago when he had trouble holding onto the ball too long. Perhaps reverting to those negative habits of years ago? His touchdown to interception ratio is the best of all time, however, if there’s such a stat, his touchdown to fumbles might just be mediocre.

z2Need more schemes. I heard an NFL expert the other day say that Green Bay does not have many schemes in their offensive arsenal. There were several times during the Vikings’ game that the men in purple and white knew what play was going to be run. Wait, how long has Mike McCarthy been the head coach? The expert claims the Packers will challenge you to beat them with their accurate quarterback and current list of wide receivers, if you do, you have a good chance to win. Great, why not implement newer plays in the offense to use in crucial situations where you’re ahead by 6 points and need a first down to win the game or when it’s fourth and one and you need the drive to continue to eventually score and win?

Of course, you don’t have to use all of your scheme plays all the time but it’s certainly an ace in the hole when it’s the difference between winning and losing.

z4So, getting back to my original question: At some point should I switch my allegiance from the Packers to the Patriots? It’s not because they win 75% of the time. It’s not due to their uniforms or Tom Brady’s handsome looks. It’s about a smart organization doing smart things before and during the game. Having enough schemes to keep the opponent’s defense off guard. Making adjustments not just at half time but maybe earlier in the second quarter. It’s about preparing during the week to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses and putting your players in the best position to accelerate their strengths.

If the Packers continue to struggle, at some point, I might just jump ship. If I don’t, I might still adopt the Patriots as my favorite team in the AFC.