Post-Draft, Looking on the Bright Side – Part 2
Here’s what Packers’ writer Wes Hodkiewicz says about Coach Matt LaFleur’s high regard for tight ends:
“LaFleur appreciates the dimension tight ends bring to the offense. . .A steady diet of big-play receivers, versatile running backs and multiple-tight-end pairings makes up LaFleur’s core philosophy. He wants to throw a barrage of attacks at a defense regardless of whether it’s “22” personnel, with two running backs and two tight ends, or “12” personnel of one running back and two tight ends.”
Wes then quoted LaFleur as follows:
“‘I love multiple personnel groupings. The more the defense has to prepare for, I think the harder it is for them to focus on exactly what it is we’re trying to get done.”
These quotes, however, were made in April, 2019, but for the second straight year tight end Jimmy Graham failed to live up to his billing. Graham is now gone, but the Packers keep trying: in each of the last two drafts, GM Gutekunst has invested the team’s third-round draft pick on a tight end.
In 2019, Jace Sterberger was the sixth tight end chosen, at # 75. This time, Josiah DeGuara became the third tight end taken, at #94. That’s a significant outlay. While I’ve criticized drafting tight ends in the third round in consecutive years, that’s now the reality, so it’s time to move forward.
Will the Packers actually throw a barrage of two tight end formations at their opponents this year? If they don’t, then they won’t be optimizing their talent.
Total Packers’ Ed Rooney cited DeGuara’s versatility, good hands, and run blocking abilities. He adds that in his first season in the pros Deguara will likely see the field mostly on special teams and as a blocker in short-yardage situations. I’m hoping for more.
The Packers have not utilized its tight ends effectively for well over a decade – maybe ever. It’s high time for the endless parade of tight end acquisitions to produce some beneficial results.
First off, we ought to have a dandy competition between Jace Sternberger and Josiah Degurara over the starting tight end slot. If they both perform as well as Gutekunst and LaFleur must think they will, then there’s the enticing prospect of seriously using the two-tight-end formation. I didn’t see it bear much fruit in 2019, but maybe now we’ve got the players to make it dangerous.
Unlike many tight ends, both these youngsters appear to be good blockers and good receivers. Therefore, the two-tight-end look aid in having a strong run formation as well as one that presents some difficult pass defensive challenges to the opposition.
While I previously predicted that Sternberger is about to have a breakout year, Degurara is actually a far more athletic guy. In particular, his 25 bench presses at the NFL Combine is at the 87th percentile for tight ends. Though both players have above-average dash times, the new guy is slightly faster (4.72 vs 4.75 dash times). We’re talking about two powerful, but at the same time agile, bodies.
The investment’s been made, so if each of these tight ends proves to be NFL-caliber, let’s put them both on the field as much as possible.
Additionally, it’s a way to compensate for having such an iffy group of wide receivers.
These two tight ends are anything but lemons. All the same, isn’t it time for Matt LaFleur to mix up some lemonade?
Now that this is explained a little bit, the pick makes more sense. They better make this work, and it better show results this year, or someones head should roll. Having a good blocker to help out our new right tackle may be important, so I’m getting excited to watch the new tight end play, but I don’t think he’s going to be playing an awful lot in his first year.
Yay! They drafted another special teams player! Not excited. Travis Kelce has 1000 yards and Green Bay TEs block.
And Gary better show results, and the drafts better show results, and Jimmy G (oops). And Billy Turner, Muhammad Wilkerson (oops), and Josh Jackson, and Oren Burks better….etc, etc, ect.
Look, i get optimism, hell, i used to have it. I remember back on Feb. 6th 2011, i actually thought the Packers would win multiple Super Bowls with Rodgers…Silly me, i was wrong.
So after 9 years, of varying dysfunction, embarrassment, and years of repeatedly bad executive personnel moves. I changed course a few years ago…from optimism….to SHOW ME.
In other words, stop drowning in dysfunction and somebody get their shit together concerning this team. Some fans in here, and across the Nation think…enough is a fucking nuff already. SHOW ME.
So where are we today? We have seen signs where, a different road has been taken, where the team is not putting it’s full resources into winning now. We have seen signs where we are still having to rely on the current draft class. We are seeing signs that Rodgers chances of success are diminishing quickly.
Here’s what’s troubling….the Packers speak to us with the idea that this current team can still win Championships. I’m sorry….but i saw nothing in the last two 49er games, and this off seasons player acquisitions, where they can say that with a straight face. The 49ers didn’t just beat us twice, they delivered a nuclear bomb on the Packers by halftime of each game, to the point where they could let up a bit and win anyway.
So today we are talking about the strong tight end group we have, as if we somehow found the holy grail to winning. We have two tight ends who have a total of one (1) catch in the NFL. My thought is maybe these players should get some time on a NFL field before declaring these two tight ends will be a difficult match up for opposing defenses. I don’t care what Gute and LeFleur think of their talent (SHOW ME). At least with Gute, i haven’t been real impressed with how (or what) he thinks to begin with. See Nelson, Jimmy and Gary.
Now…lets talk about the elephant in the room. Some may have more patience than i do. Maybe i’m being too critical after only giving it 9 years of watching this. Maybe i’ve had it all wrong all those years. Maybe i just don’t know….shit.
Apparently my negative viewpoints…or as i call it….REALITY, is disturbing to some. clearly i’ve hurt some people’s feelings with my negative tone (reality).
For that i am truly, truly, sorry. if any of you are a VICTIM of my reality, i don’t have a problem with sending each of you a case of tissues to make amends. For those of you that live in reality, like the virus, somehow, someway, this will all end. but unfortunately it will be when Rodgers is gone. End of 3 decades of HOF QB’s. Something probably never equaled in the NFL, ever again.
Two Super Bowls…but oh…what could have been.