Thursday, August 13, 2015

Packers Training Camp 2015 | The Most Boring Camp In A Generation

Packers Training Camp 2015
Hello all. As you all know, training camps are underway across the NFL, and have been for several weeks now. I've been asked to give my official analysis of Packers training camp so far, and here it is.
It’s a bore. Yes, you read that right, three words. But, there is much more to it than that. Let me explain.

So far, the Green Bay Packers 2015 training camp, has been very, very, boring. It has been dull and uninteresting. Nothing to see here, move along. You get the idea. So far, the most interesting thing about the Packers training camp has been the fullback battle between John Kuhn, the fan favorite and veteran, and the rookie from Oklahoma, Aaron Ripkowski. By the way Ripkowski is winning, but the team won't say anything, nor should they. I am just telling you this from my analytic perspective. However, if you are a reader of my blogs, you would know that I have beaten the fullback subject to death regarding the competition between Ripkowski and Kuhn so far this off season. Also today, the Packers cut punter Cody Mandell, but there is nothing in that one at all, and that was expected. There have been some who have been panicking for some odd reason over the team electing to withhold Clay Matthews from a few practices. Let me be the first to tell you there is nothing to panic over. In fact, there is very little in this decision at all. All the Packers are doing is withholding a veteran, who is one of the best players in the league when healthy, who has a history of hamstring problems, from a few practices early in training camp so he doesn't get any hamstring injuries due to heat issues.

Yes the Packers training camp has been boring so far, but you know what, that is a good thing. The more boring training camp is, the better it is. If you have wide open competitions at every position for every job, you've got a bunch of nothing, as well as a bunch of trouble waiting to happen. The Packers don't have that. Yes they have a few bottom of the depth chart battles going on, but to tell you the truth, those are okay early on in camp, as long as you have a plan for them, which I guarantee you the Packers do. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Who Will Play In The Super Bowl for 2015?

As we continue to preview the 2015 NFL season, let's take a moment right now to establish a list of serious Super Bowl contenders. And no Vikings fans, your bunch doesn't count, not yet.

Green Bay Packers- One of the NFL's yearly Super Bowl contenders, the Packers, opens up my list this season. Now let me see your big surprise look. The Packers will enter 2015 with a loaded roster, and the biggest question at this moment is can the team put the NFC Championship game meltdown behind them? I believe they will.

Dallas Cowboys- Every year a writer somewhere in America declares the Dallas Cowboys as Super Bowl contenders. Rather than wait for someone else to do it, I will take the 2015 title for myself. I, T.J. Bryce, am the first writer to call the Dallas Cowboys serious Super Bowl contenders for 2015. Things should calm down now that the Dez Bryant situation has been resolved, and the way the whole situation unfolded shows us that Stephen Jones, not his pappy, Jerry the Circus Master, is running the Dallas Cowboys.

Seattle Seahawks- The Seattle Seahawks rose to the rank of the NFL's best very quickly. But for as fast as they rose, they are headed for an even faster fall. This will be the Seahawks last elite season, and it will be a good one.

Arizona Cardinals- The Arizona Cardinals are quite the enigma. Without much a track record, the Cardinals have become the NFL's old team and are very good at the moment, but won't be tomorrow. 2015 may be the Cardinals one and only chance to get the job done.

Denver Broncos- The Broncos are fading fast, and so is Peyton Manning. Ever since the St. Louis Rams smacked him around midway through last season, Manning has been aging very quickly. He was badly outplayed by Andrew Luck in the playoffs last year, and many thought he should have walked away. Still, he decided to come back for one last run, and I believe he will have a Brett Favre 2010-like season on his way out the door.

Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers spent the offseason getting younger as a team. A young team paired with an elite experienced quarterback, who is what the Steelers have, is a recipe for success. Some are even stating Big Ben as the preseason favorite to win the MVP award.

Baltimore Ravens- See the Steelers comment above, minus the MVP comment. Boy, do these two teams ever mirror each other.

Cincinnati Bengals- Okay, anytime now guys. At some point, this talent-loaded Bengals bunch is going to win a playoff game, one would think. In fact, in 2015, they may even win more than that. There are those who wish to blame Andy Dalton for being 0 for everything so far in the playoffs. I am not on that train, not yet.

Miami Dolphins- It's official, with the improvement of the Dolphins, and with everything going on in New England, the Dolphins have officially entered the Super Bowl discussion. The question is how serious is it? I believe they are still one year away, but they could start by winning the division this season.

Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck is going to win a Super Bowl. The key word is “is”. Not if, when, and when could be 2015.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Which Packers Starters Will Walk for the Cash? | Thompson Works To Keep Key Players In Green Bay

Ted Thompson
Over the last few years, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has done a great job of extending contracts for the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Sam Shields, Brian Bulaga, Randall Cobb, and Jordy Nelson. However, there is more coming, as being a general manager in sports is a never ending cycle of contract negotiating. Here is a look at is up next.

Mason Crosby- On July 29, 2011, Mason Crosby signed a five year, 14.75 million dollar contract with a 3 million dollar signing bonus. Crosby is a free agent at the end of this season, and one must wonder if the 2007 sixth round draft choice of the Packers is on his last season in Green Bay.

David Bakhtiari- The 2013 fourth round draft choice has been nothing short of amazing since his arrival in Green Bay. He has gotten better and better with each game he has played in his first two seasons with the Packers. It might be wise for Ted Thompson to extend this man sooner rather than later, before he gets to be really expensive.

Mike Daniels- The Packers have done well with fourth round draft choices during Ted Thompson's era in Green Bay. Daniels, the 2012 4th round draft choice, has emerged as the emotional leader on defense for this team, which desperately needed one. Daniels is all but likely to be extended, and it is hard for those of us on the outside to calculate his exact worth.

Casey Hayward- The 2012, second round draft choice came in with high expectations and early on in his career, and met those expectations. He had six interceptions his rookie season and was a rookie of the year candidate. However, injuries have set him back and the Packers spent their first two draft choices this year on cornerbacks. Hayward needs to have a big year just to remain in Green Bay or he might be finding a new home next season.

Eddie Lacy- The 2013 2nd round draft choice has turned into one of the NFL's best running backs. Well,  all rookie contracts are four years long, so it is about time for contract extension talks. Expect Lacy to get somewhere in the 8-10 million dollar a year range.

Josh Sitton- The 2008 4th round draft choice has become one of the premier interior lineman in the NFL. On September 2, 2011, Sitton signed a six year, 34.95 million dollar contract extension which expires a the end of the 2016 season. This might be a case where Ted Thompson lets one of his own players he drafted walk, which shows just how long he has been here for.

James Starks- The often-injured running back has turned himself into a fine backup. One must wonder though with running back's short shelf life and his injuries piled together, how much does he have left in the tank? This one might be taken on a year to year basis until the Packers decide to go a different direction. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Packers Hint Kuhn May Be On The Bubble | Nobody's Job is Safe In Green Bay

John Kuhn Packers
Now that we are into July, NFL training camp is just a few weeks away. This means the battles in camp now begin to take focus. Here is a look at the Packers 2015 training camp battles.

Fullback- Yes, I know, we love John Kuhn. However it is on the wrong side of 30 and will be paid 900 large if the Packers chose to keep him. They drafted Ripkowski in the sixth round, using a practice squad position or a backup position on a fullback is unlikely. This is one of those loser leaves town scenarios. My money (And that is just a figure of speech, I'm not betting on this at all) is on the rookie, based on how the Packers operate.

Third running back job- Right now, the Packers have maybe the best one-two punch in the league at the running back position in Eddie Lacy and James Starks. However, the third running back position is wide, WIDE open. All three, Alonzo Harris, John Crockett, and Rajon Neal all have a fair chance and as good of a chance as the other. Neal has a full year in the Packers system under his belt, which makes him the leader, but that doesn't mean much.

Fourth wide receiver- Last year it was the third wide receiver job that was the battle here. Devonte Adams won the job and has a great rookie season. Jarrett Boykin, his challenger, battled injury issues and is now in Carolina. Now it is the fourth wide receiver position that is up for grabs. The candidates are rookie Ty Montgomery, second year man and preseason hall of famer Jeff Janis, Jared Aberderis, and Myles White, who has an outside chance. From what I understand, the coaches want to bail on Aberderis, which leaves us with just Janis and Montgomery as I don't believe White is a serious contender. Jeff Janis has a longer leash than most other players in his position because 6'4”, 220 pounds, and a 4.42 40 time doesn't grow on trees. He showed great promise a year ago and is being banked on to take a serious step forward.

Third cornerback job- I expect that Shields and first round draft choice Damarious Randall will start. After that, the third corner back job is a two man battle between rookie Quinten Rollins, and Casey Hayward. Casey Hayward showed great promise as a rookie a few years ago but injuries have derailed him. It's now or never, and with his already there physical limitations, I expect the rookie with the through the roof ceiling, Rollins, to get the job.