In this off-season edition of The Show, we break from our regularly scheduled programming...
Ahhhh, Coach's favorite time of year. The sun is out, the NFL Draft is behind us and Spriggs is in the air.
That's right kids, time for the OTA's, or as Coach likes to think of it, the Underwear League (UWL). Prior to training camp all NFL teams must conduct practices without pads, no hitting is allowed and no real football is the result ... kinda like youse guys do in the parking lot at Lambeau before the game. Despite the limitations on play, this doesn't prevent Coach from having a look at the talent. Coach is dedicated to improving your football experience, so the following should provide a guide for everyone scoring the game at home. Keep in mind that the players are running around in their underwear, so it's difficult for anyone to shine unless they are throwing or catching the ball.
And watch out! When Mike McCarthy dubbed Dvante Adams the MVP of the OTA's last year, everybody was soooo excited. Even Aaron Rodgers was unusually complimentary of the 2nd year receiver last June, remarking "...he catches the football most of the time when we don't wear pads, and I saw him slam dunk a basketball! He's neat!" Coach was lulled into thinking Dvante could easily fill Jordy's shoes after his ACL popped in Pittsburgh, based on such high praise from Eminem and A-Rod. Coach will not fall for that again! No, this year's prediction for the Packers 2016 OTA MVP will be based on objective bias, branded precision, and real time high definition replay footage. Oh, and by the way, being the MVP of the OTA's is a curse ... sorta like being on the cover of Madden. Not good. Dvante Adams' collapse in 2015 is proof of that. Remember who won OTA MVP the prior year? Colt Lyerla. Nuf sed.
So, without further adieu, Coach makes some pretty rock solid predictions for the 2016 UWL MVP:
Good luck, Mitchell!
In the words of one of Coach's former bosses, "This isn’t an 'I told you so,' but…"
Create a seam here - X's & O's about the game or a scheme
Following is breakdown of the Packers picks versus Coach’s prognostications from a few weeks ago:
Round 1 Prediction: Either a top tier DT (to fill Raji’s void) or Reggie Ragland at ILB (if he’s still available).
R1 Result: Unbeknownst to Coach (since it wasn’t put out until during the draft) medical examiners discovered Ragland has an irregular aorta – which makes him too risky of a pick for most NFL teams. For those of you who only get your anatomical reference material from Swedish Twins! magazine, the aorta is the main artery that distributes blood from the heart (kinda important and, yes, between the boobies). Let’s hope it doesn’t shorten the young man’s life, and let’s focus on Kenny Clark – our UCLA nose tackle that has impressive size, lateral speed, and run stopping ability. The only documented “knock” on him is his number of bench reps at the combine, which is something a 20 year old can improve on with strength and conditioning coaches. BTW, does anyone else consider Jim Mora, Jr. (head coach at UCLA) an extension of Ted Thompson’s scouting staff? He seems to have a lot of influence on our draft board … to the point where many are asking if we could have traded down and still gotten the same guy, but we will never know. If Clark turns out to be better than the dynamic duo from Alabama, then Ted won’t have as many Justin Harrell remarks to answer to in the years to come.
Round 2 Prediction: Either a DT (if Ragland taken in the 1st) or Scooby Wright (if Ragland gone) or Jason Spriggs from Indiana would be a smart pick in round #2.
R2 Result: Jason Spriggs. Here’s why this makes sense … 4 linemen are free agents next year: Bahktiari at LT, Sitton and Lang at G, and JC Tretter as 6th Man of the Year Honorable Mention. We might be able to afford 3 of them if we let the most expensive position (LT) walk. Spriggs could cheaply fill that hole (and – wait for it … might even be an upgrade). Also, if any O-lineman gets hurt during the season (see last year, uh, every year), Spriggs has potential to be a plug-and-play guy without a performance drop-off threat to A-Rod’s collar bone. We, in effect, gave up a 7th rounder to move up, because we received 2 bonus compensatory picks in the 4th (and trading picks to an AFC team doesn’t bother Coach too much – unless either of those picks, ILB Antonio Morrison from Florida or C Austin Blythe from Iowa , come back to haunt us on 6Nov at Lambeau).
Round 3 Prediction: Thought the 3rd or 4th round pick would be traded (turned out to be the 4th rounder), and suspected the 3rd round pick would be OL (unless taken in Round 2) which would be the opportunity for a Tight End pick (if ILB already taken).
R3 Result: Ted/Elliot went OLB, whereas Coach thought that would be their 4th round compensatory selection. As Coach mentioned, not many standout TE’s were available and the best prospect, Hunter Henry, was gone early in the 2nd round. Coach was a little surprised Scooby Wright didn’t get selected until late in the last round (he led the country in tackles, forced fumbles and TFL’s in 2014), but I guess the foot/knee injuries that plagued him in 2015 were too risky for everyone but Cleveland. So we ended up taking the Stormin’ Mormon, Kyler Fackrell, at OLB from Utah State. Aside from having a name that won’t be pronounced correctly in 99.97% of Wisconsin taverns, we can expect him to eventually relieve Peppers later in the season as Dom keeps Julius rested about 50% of the time for the playoff run (and after this season when Peppers’ contract ends). BTW, how do you keep a Mormon from drinking your beer when you bring him fishing with you? Bring two. ;-)
Round 4 Prediction: TE, Outside Linebacker, O Lineman.
R4 result: OLB taken in 3rd round, traded first of three 4th round selections to Colts, took ILB Blake Martinez from Rose Bowl champ Stanford and DE Dean Lowry from Northwestern. Martinez is supposedly a top special teams guy that is pound for pound the strongest guy in the draft and a terrific tackler / run stopper with average coverage skills. This guy was projected to go in the 5th round, but ILB’s were flying off the board in the 4th so you can’t really blame Ted for taking him (most Packer fans wanted an ILB taken in the earlier rounds, even though that would have been a more substantial reach). Think of Lowry like a tall Aaron Kampmann that will probably play the 5-technique when Dom actually uses the 3-4 formation. At worst, he will be a backup Defensive End, and on the upside he could have some real potential at 6’-6” 296-lb when he gets NFL coaching from Dom’s staff. Coach predicts Dean Lowry will be a game day scratch for the initial 4/5 weeks and then land on the practice squad when Pennell is finished taking his turn at a 4-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Round 5, 6 Predictions: More OLB’s and O-linemen. Advice was to stay away from WR’s.
R5 & R6 Result: Urghhhh! Took WR Trevor Davis in the 5th who was projected to go in the 7th or undrafted even though he was Jared Goff’s (QB, #1 overall pick) receiver from Cal. I hate being right all the time, and I hope I’m wrong about this guy. He runs a 4.42 forty, but… has average hands and can’t get separation from press coverage (see also, 2015 Packers receivers). A one-trick pony, Davis needs a lot of open space to build up speed and has twice outrun coverage to score TD’s on kickoff returns. Whoop-dee-fricken-doo! In round 6 we got a big O-lineman from Stanford, Kyle Murphy. Ted’s done well with these late round O-line picks, and the draft profiles on this guy are all very positive. He’s played against some stiff competition in the PAC12, so if the tape shows him holding his own it’s probably a safe bet. Nice insurance for next year’s potential free agency losses.
Round 7 Prediction: Punter
R7 Result: Traded out to move up for Spriggs in the 2nd round. Undrafted free agent signings / formal tryouts include Minnesota Gophers Punter Peter Mortell, who was ranked 12th out of 57 punters. More importantly, Peter is a Green Bay native (Notre Dame Acadamy), and his average of 43.9 yards/kick is longer than Tim Masthay’s! In 2015 Mortell netted 20 punts of 50-plus yards and forced 16 fair catches, and also had 26 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Other positions addressed after the draft were: QB(1), DB(5), ILB(1), OLB(2), RB(2), DT(2), WR(2), TE(1), OT(1), and none of these guys were on Coach’s radar.
WTF - The Coach's take on a bad ref call or a bad play call or the like
To quote the wise sage, Adam Sandler, “What the hell happened to me?” Hard to avoid having this week’s WTF topic being anything other than Laremy Tunsil’s tweet at the start of draft festivities.
Think about this guy’s fall from grace… Prior to the Rams and Eagles trading up to the #1 / #2 spots a few weeks ago to take their coveted QB’s, Mississippi Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil was the consensus #1 overall pick as the best player available in this year’s draft. And he might be, but having that photo of him smoking meth through a bong mask cost him several draft positions and lots of money -- perhaps even surpassing the revenue generated when inquisitive football minds click on The Coach Clarahanson Show. There is talk of this post being a blackmail situation being carried out. Nice friends. So where did he land? Of all places, with that cesspool of a locker room for offensive linemen, the Miami Dolphins (see also, Richie Incognito vs. Jonathan Martin).
Illegal drug use by offensive linemen is one thing that we never have to worry about in Green Bay. …and what about our defensive linemen? Well, we usually get them back in Week 5 each year.
The Bears Still Suck - the Coach has proof
To be sure, we will break down why this year’s draft further proves the Bears still suck -- but that’s farther below in We’re Gonna Kick You’re A$$, when we break down the 2016 draft across the NFC North. At this time we congratulate a former lifelong FIB (we’ll call him “Saul”) that has recently completed the rigorous 12-step program to convert from being a Bears fan to become a Packers fan. To us Packer fans, nothing could be easier, right? But what we take for granted is our wholesome upbringing with loving parents and a caring community. Bears fans are typically the runts of society (picked on as kids, spit in the face, made to eat white dog shit in the park, etc.). Their community only takes from them (high taxes, tolls for driving on the road, cancellation of Trump rallies, etc.) and they believe that simply HAVING and NFL team is a blessing in itself, even if that team blows goats. Special thanks to Saul’s sponsor, Seth, for the strength and guidance required to save a wretched Bears fan’s soul. For those unfamiliar, here are the 12 steps that ensure a comprehensive transformation:
Udder Stuff – commentary from the Badger Underground
Thanks to piss poor recruiting efforts by former Wisconsin head coaches Brett Bile-enema and Gary Anderson, only 2 Badgers were drafted in 2016. Joe Schobert (OLB) was the 1st pick of Round 4, landed by the Cleveland Browns. Derek Watt (FB/TE and, yes, brother of J.J.) was signed by San Diego in the 6th round.
According to media reports, Joel Stave (QB) is to be signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent. Coach likes Joel as a person and competitor (post yips), but also knows his limitations and hopes to see him starting against the Packers when Bridgewater gets suspended for videos uploaded to the internet of Teddy on Daunte Culpepper’s party boat. Other undrafted free agent signings of Badgers include Tanner McEvoy (S - Seahawks), Alex Erickson (WR – Bengals), and Tyler Marz (OT – Titans). In an unrelated story, Nigel Hayes also plans to not be drafted, and as a result will return to Madison to play basketball his senior season. Hayes said, “I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with my shooting in the 2nd half of last year – including the tournaments, so no team in their right mind would draft me. That’s why I didn’t even bother getting an agent, so I could come back to play at Wisconsin before I end up playing in the Israeli league or whatever. Plus, the Mad-town orgies are a lot of fun and they’re still free as long as I’m a student athlete. That’s just being smart about my situation.”
Regarding the Spring “game” exercise at Camp Randall a couple of weeks back, it sucked. Good players were limited / no-tackling or held out, nothing was learned and not much was impressive. Roughly 11,000 fans came to observe the exhibition and reminisce about how it was more fun and wild at Madison when they went there than it is today … which is especially true during the Spring game considering no students are in the stadium partying. Contrasting SEC Spring game venues, when 100,000 hillbillies show up to watch their team’s 1st string offense scrimmage against the 2nd team defense, Bucky’s Spring game is abysmal. Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said, “I give up. This thing just doesn’t work here to generate fan excitement or revenue. My kid cooked another kid’s parrot in a microwave once, but I was able to get him off the hook because I won 3 Rose Bowls.”
We're gonna kick your a$$ - predictions for the next game
The Packers drafts were detailed above, but suffice it to say that our guys in 1st three rounds have names that sound like bargain buy items in the candy aisle at Copp’s.
Overall our new players appear to be mentally prepared for the demanding schemes that the Packers “O” and “D” will require. The PAC12 and Big Ten are no slouches in the world of higher education, and their products are the beneficiaries of those standards. UCLA, Indiana, Stanford, Northwestern, California … not too shabby, and many of these football programs run pro-style sets. What about Utah State? Well, Mormons aren’t supposed to smoke or drink, so they tend to do well in the classroom when they’re not pumping out kids or recruiting. A cerebral and potentially fertile group all around, but let’s see if they can play. If nothing else, at least Ted didn’t draft any guys from Illinois State again.
VIKINGS: They think they’re big boys on the rise now, but 2016 will be a humbling sophomore slump for the purple peter eaters. The queens surprised a few teams who treated that game on their schedule like another bye week last year, but that won’t happen again. …and the “Champions” of the North Division? Puh-lease! It was obvious we tanked that game at the end when we could have easily scored late in the 4th quarter in order to ensure that we got a mild-weather easy playoff win in Washington instead of playing in a record cold blast against the red-hot, referee-friendly Seahawks – that was just being smart about our situation. The Vicekings are the media’s darlings of this year’s draft, getting grades of “A” in each round because they picked the guys that the prognosticators were touting (you might even see some of these names on Coach’s pre-draft list of options) at spots where they were projected to go or later (the Packers got all B+’s, probably for getting quality but reaching to get it):
1st – Laquon Treadwell (WR – Ole Miss)
2nd – Mackensie Alexander (CB – Clemson)
4th – Willie Beavers (OT – Western Michigan)
5th – Kentrell Brothers (OLB – Missouri)
6th – Mortiz Boehringer (WR – German league) and David Morgan (TE – Texas-SanAntonio)
7th – Stephen Weatherly (OLB – Vanderbilt) and Jayron Kearse (S – Clemson)
LIONS: Let’s face it, the draft is Detroit’s SuperBowl. Some say the Thanksgiving Day game is their SuperBowl because they have a national audience, but the Lions often lose that game and it turns Thanksgiving into a depressing holiday for most Michiganders. Conversely, with the draft, the Lions can’t lose (yet). It can end with optimism which, for a Lions fan, only happens once a year (like having clean water to drink). The pessimism that I found with their draft is that they passed on the 2nd-best receiver in the draft to pick the 4th-best tackle in order to help Matt Stafford. In doing so, they left Treadwell for the Vikings to scoop up, which will haunt the Lions for at least a few years. The media gave these picks a “B” grade:
1st – Taylor Decker (OT – tOSU)
2nd – A’Shawn Robinson (DT – Alabama)
3rd – Graham Glasgow (C – Michigan)
4th – Miles Killebrew (SS – Southern Utah)
5th – Joe Dahl (OG – Washington State) and Antwione Williams (LB – Georgia Southern)
6th – Jake Rudock (QB – Michigan/Iowa). Anthony Zettel (DT – Penn State) and Jimmy Landes (LS – Baylor)
7th – Dwayne Washington (RB – Washington … seriously)
BEARS: Last, and definitely least, da Bears. Their draft was so bad it is not a stretch to suggest that they will be pounded like free beer next year. Since Shitcago hosted the draft, I think the media couldn’t take it out too hard on them, so their grades averaged a “B” similar to Detroit’s. My favorite part of the draft was when da Bears were locked in on taking Jason Spriggs in the 2nd round and then Ted Thompson pulled off a last second trade with the Colts to swoop in an get him right before the Bears picked. That was awesome. To save face, Bears GM Ryan Pace immediately traded back rather than scramble to look for their next best option early in the 2nd round. Then later his drafting strategy took a weird turn when he scooped up all the guys left in the draft with Deion-like sounding names having an Andre in them(?). No wonder the Bears suck so much. These poor young men moving to Chicagoland will be wiping the anus of the division for 17 long weeks starting this September with a growing distain each week for Jay Cutler (like everybody else). Good luck you poor bastards…
1st – Leonard Floyd (OLB – Georgia)
2nd – Cody Whitehair (OG – Kansas State)
3rd – Jonathan Bullard (DT – Florida)
4th – Nick Kwiatkoski (ILB – West Virginia), Deon Bush (S – Miami), and Deiondre’ Hall (CB – Northern Iowa)
5th – Jordan Howard (RB – Indiana)
6th – DeAndre Houston-Carson (FS – William & Mary)
7th – Daniel Braverman (WR – Western Michigan)
JB - Packer players you forgot about, but stories you'll remember about them
Ted’s draft class this year might have the highest average IQ of all the teams, based on Coach’s empirical yet insightful observations. Remember the less productive drafts before Bob Harlan brought in Ted Thompson? Let’s reflect on the debacle that was GM Mike Sherman. You remember Mike… dozing in the stands at the combine, taking a punter in the 3rd round, and of course his penchant for drafting guys that couldn’t spell their name correctly on the Wonderlic test.
Check this out… Minnesota’s 6th round draft pick this year, Mortiz Boehringer, is a Wide Receiver prospect from Germany. There is no collegiate program for American-rules football there. He scored 28 on the Wonderlic test which was administered to him in English (his second language). By way of comparison, Mike Sherman selected Javon Walker (WR from Florida State) in the 1st round of the 2002 draft. Javon scored a 6 on the Wonderlic test. That’s right, a 6! I’m not sure who is dumber – Walker, or Sherman for drafting him. You might recall that Javon infamously dropped many balls his first couple of years as a Packer. It turned out that he needed glasses! He never wore glasses his entire life, but someone suggested that he see an eye doctor to refine his vision for help with his dropsies and – you guessed it, he was blind as a bat. The good news (for him) was that contact lenses doubled his productivity the following year and yielded him lucrative contracts in Oakland and Denver. In Denver, some not-so-good-news was that Javon’s teammate was shot sitting next to him in the back seat of a limo and bled to death in Javon’s lap … no glasses needed for that. I guess it’s true what they say, you can’t fix stupid.
"Coach" is the insightful collective brain and funny bone of a few legendary Packer fans who provide everything you need to know (and what Packers beat writers often plagiarize) about the Green & Gold, plus a weekly guest appearance by The Badger Underground.