As we prepare for the draft and get ready for the heart of the offseason, let’s look back at what we can learn from last year.
Everyone was thrilled when Ted got fired. Everyone knew that his foolish old draft and develop philosophy that netted 8 straight playoff appearances, four NFCCG appearances, and a Super Bowl championship was just plain stupid. With Ted fired, “anyone” would be better.
Was Gutey better?
The fanbase got excited when he was in on a bunch of free agent discussions and actually signed some names people recognized (which is the best indicator for future success). We were all thrilled with the results of the draft.
If just felt like with Ted gone, things were finally looking up and we could stop wasting Aaron Rodgers’s prime.
So how did it all work out?
Missed playoffs and a sub-.500 record.
This isn’t what we had in mind, but we can’t really blame it all on one guy… unless we want to look stupid… which we don’t… So let’s go back and look at all his moves and see how he did with the benefit of hindsight.
He Let Some Guys Walk
No one missed Quinton Dial, Jake Schum, or the long-snappers that walked, but there were a couple guys that, in hindsight, may have been nice to have around.
Morgan Burnett signed with the Steelers. He’s only been a rotational player there, but maybe he would have been more in Green Bay, where safety production is in very short supply and he knew the players around him.
Veteran edge rusher Ahmad Brooks provided a nice veteran presence in the rotation in 2017 and could have been useful in 2018. Also, the right guard dumpster fire may have been mitigated if Jahri Evans had been re-signed on another 1 year deal.
Neither of these two were signed by any other teams in the offseason, meaning they probably would have come back is they had an offer.
I’m not sure he nailed this part.
He Signed Some Guys Casual Fans May Recognize
Jimmy Graham is the kind of guy that Bill Belichick would have signed for $2M and got 9 touchdowns out of. We signed him for a lot more and, despite his numbers, didn’t do anything that made anyone say “wow.”
Muhammad Wilkerson was the guy I was really excited about. He looked solid, then got hurt.
Tramon Williams, despite his age, brought some stability in a supporting role, but wasn’t a blockbuster acquisition by any means.
Marcedes Lewis and Byron Bell were guys I expected more out of that ended up fizzling out.
Was this really any more that Ted ever got out of a free agent class? I might say that this is a prime example of why Ted didn’t sign as many free agents as some fans would have liked.
He Made Some Moves In The Draft
Moving down to pick up a first round pick was brilliant. Jumping back up for Jaire Alexander now looks even more genius.
Ok, so he killed it in the first round.
The rest of the draft was kind of a dud.
Josh Jackson looked like a preseason superhero, but fell flat when the games started counting. Moving up to take Oren Burks paid 0 dividends this year. The Packers might have been better served if they instead used those picks to try to move up in the second to nab Harold Landry, who went four spots before Jackson.
One of the picks used to get Burks was number 147, just a couple spots before the Seahawks took Michael Dickinson, who looked like the best punter in the league as a rookie. Later the same round, the Packers took JK Scott, who didn’t really seem like a huge upgrade over the random assortment of punters they’ve marched out the last few years..
Cole Madison was a wasted pick and the trio of J’mon Moore, MVS, and EQ struggled to replace the production of Cobb and Allison when they were injured… and that ain’t saying much.
In year one, Gutey only came away from this draft with one impact player. It’s not fair to judge a the value of a class after one year (especially when it netted a premium pick in the future), but too bad: things can change, but for this year, the draft was pretty much a dud – one good player with some hope for the future.
He Dabbled In Trades
Damarious Randall for Deshone Kizer – The Browns got the better end of this deal given Randall’s performance, but getting a decent backup QB (which was a need) for a player who #ssholed himself out of the city would qualify as a win… if only Kizer looked like a decent backup QB…
Lenzy Pipkins for Antonio Morrison – I loved Pipkins, but really, this was a move of no note. I give Gutey credit for the effort.
Brett Hundley for a 6th rounder in 2019 – Hundley showed he didn’t have a future in Green Bay, so getting a late pick for essentially nothing is a nice little move.
Then There Was A Big Head-Scrathcher
Cutting Jordy Nelson looks foolish in hindsight. He’s a veteran with an alien-like rapport with the best player in the team and he would have been a huge help in this struggling offense. I didn’t like this move at the time and I hate it in hindsight. I don’t care if the guy didn’t get stats in Oakland, he would have been a savior playing the slot with 12.
He Kept the Coaching Staff Intact
Keeping McCarthy, in hindsight, wasn’t the right move. Not only did his staleness contribute in large part to a wasted season, while he was here, he fired Alex Van Pelt, seemingly for no other reason that to p!ss off his QB and he also promoted David Raih, who one insider referred to as “the weak link of the staff and a contributing factor” to the sh!tty passing game.
But He Re-Signed Adams… Right?
Wrong, Ted did that before he left.
Looking at the one year return on a lot of the moves, and factoring in the embarrassing record, I can’t really call year 1 of the Reign of Gutey any kind of success at all.
Sure, he stirred things up and excited some fans who didn’t like Ted’s “boring” (and successful) approach, but really, this wasn’t a great year.
It needs to be noted that he’s in year one of a major project. I actually think things are on the right track, but people don’t usually improve without examining their mistakes.
And last year had plenty of them.
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