Welcome back to The Coach Clarahanson Show !!!
Will this be the year? Will we feel the exhilaration of raising another Lombardi trophy, or will we just be jealous of Belichick again like the old lady in the back of the diner? (Click on Link).
Create a seam here - X's & O's about the game or a scheme
Since this is just the pre-draft edition of The Show!!! and not an actual information emergency, in lieu of reviewing what went well in the last game (i.e. we just played the Bears) or what didn’t (i.e. we just lost an away game to the Tennessee Titans which will have no bearing on our playoff positioning; however, your wife’s brother is wicked pissed because he dropped 4-large on a fandango trip to Memphis with his leechy best friend and a couple of gold diggers they just met on an airplane, but the Packers lost so bad that he had to keep his mouth shut for most of the game after overtly bragging to crowds of fans before kick-off and then the twenty-something hotties paired off with a couple of local boys), instead Coach will rate Ted Thompson’s picks from 3-years ago (as experts like to do) and also rate last year's rookie class, but using clever emoji depictions to represent each player’s contributions to Green Bay Packers success. So, without further ado, here we go…
WTF - The Coach's take on a bad ref call or a bad play call or the like
Well, apparently Aaron Rodgers has had enough of his girlfriend, Olivia Munn, and finally dumped her. It turns out the Obama administration had been surveilling Mr. Rodgers in 2016 because of his girlfriend's Asian descent and, therefore, her possible ties to North Korea. In this audio recording obtained exclusively by Coach Clarahanson, Rodgers' psycho hose beast girlfriend berates him as a "bad boyfriend" because he spends too much time golfing with his friends, fails to take her to a nearby art gallery, and so on and so forth (Click on Link).
Speaking of quarterbacks, in a very un-Favre like manner, Tony Romo has retired before he needed to. He could have gone on to greener playoff pastures in Denver or Houston, but was likely awarded a handsome sum under the table from Jerry Jones to walk away from the game "with class" as a Cowboy and let Dak Prescott enter the 2017 season as the undisputed starter in Big D. Tony’s legacy and place among NFL quarterbacks is securely cemented at No. 287 with the all-time greats. Well, there could be some debate whether he is No. 287 or 288 all-time, but he's certainly in that conversation. As for Prescott? Can you say “Teddy Bridgewater?” Tony will have the last laugh.
In other news…
NFL To Move All 32 Teams To Los Angeles
NEW YORK—National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that, following one questionably positive year with a team returning to Los Angeles after 2 decades without NFL representation, and another team in tow, the City of Angels would become the home of all 32 NFL franchises by 2020.
"The league has met with Los Angeles city officials several times over the past few years in an attempt to bring a football team to the nation's second-largest market," Goodell said in a press conference held to unveil the NFL's realignment plan. "I'm happy to announce that we have finally reached a decision: Every single NFL team will be relocated to the Los Angeles metropolitan area over the next four years."
Goodell noted that Los Angeles, which had until last year been without an NFL franchise of its own since 1995, has everything the league is looking for in a comprehensive host city: previous experience in hosting more than one team, proximity to the nerve center of the entertainment industry, a diverse fan base, and a climate ideally suited for playing the traditionally autumnal sport of football well into the inhospitable winter months.
"Los Angeles is a perfect football city," added DeMaurice F. Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players Association. "It's a mystery to me why no team has been able to make a go of it here during the modern era, when places like Pittsburgh and Green Bay enjoy rabid fan bases. Obviously, the solution that has always eluded us is to move the most popular teams here. I'm sure the die-hard followers of the Pacoima Steelers and the Toluca Lake Packers won't abandon their teams over a little thing like geography."
"Plus, the intricate L.A. highway system will cut team travel time by almost 25 percent," Smith added.
The NFL and city officials have reached a preliminary deal on terms to bring all the teams back to the Los Angeles area. The current divisional alignment will be preserved, with teams from the NFC and AFC North divisions making their home in northern L.A., creating such teams as the Van Nuys Vikings and Calabasas Browns. Teams in the Eastern divisions would become the Riverside Redskins and the Ontario Jets, southern teams would include the Fullerton Falcons and the Tustin Texans, and so on throughout the 10,000-square mile sprawl of metropolitan Los Angeles.
The reaction from fans and players alike has been mixed.
"This is certainly a bold move," said Matt Barkley, new quarterback of the Beverly Hills 49ers. "I can't say I saw it coming, but I’m glad to be back home and I'll continue working hard for my team, my coach, and the 49ers fans—the greatest fans in the world, no matter where they wind up living when this whole thing is over with."
"We're hoping that this announcement will put to rest any question of whether the league is waffling on the move of a couple teams such as the troubled Jacksonville Jaguars or the currently homeless Oakland Raiders down to Southern California," Goodell said. "Obviously, the answer is yes, we are—and every other team in the league, as well."
Culver City Chiefs
El Segundo Chargers
Santa Monica Seahawks
Beverly Hills 49ers
Toluca Lake Packers
La Crescenta Lions
Van Nuys Vikings
Diamond Bar Dolphins
Rancho Cucamonga Bills
Yorba Linda Jaguars
Santa Ana Saints
Rancho Santa Margarita Buccaneers
The Bears Still Suck - the Coach has proof
The Bears will be picking early in the 1st Round again this year – earlier than any other team in the NFC North Division (again). In 2016, like the year prior, and the year prior to that, the Bears ended up in LAST PLACE in the NFC North Division. To be fair, it takes 3 years to evaluate a draft class, so it’s fair to say the Bears suck at drafting professional football players and fielding competitive teams. Those are just the facts. No bias needed. You have to go way back to 2013 to see the Bears finish above the basement – a year in which they went 8-8 and called it a winning season. I suppose, only if you really suck as an organization and fan base, having 8 losses and not making the playoffs constitutes having a “winning” season.
En so I goes to pick up Mrs. Coach at O'Hare airport a few weeks ago... it's bad enough you gotta pay tolls for their dilapidated roadways once you cross the border ($2.80 just to get on, and another $1.90 to get off da road), but they require $1.50 in coins-only exact change currency at ORD and there's no attendants at the toll both there, so the lines are way backed up. Then, after scrounging the dried, soda-sticky cup holder for loose change, I realize I'm like 7-cents short of $1.50 in coins -- meanwhile the FIB ahole in the BMW behind me is honking his horn. So I figure - what the hell, it's only a dollar-fifty, I'll just drive through without paying. As I pass through, I happen to notice a teeny tiny little sign off to the side with a very long web address that I have 7-days to go to in order to pay my toll since I didn't happen to have 150 pennies conveniently stowed on my dashboard (or suffer an outrageous fine to pay for their license plate cameras). I think it said something like "Illinoistollwayscrewyou.com" or something like that, but it was way too long to remember or write down using the pen and paper that I also didn’t have readily accessible on my dashboard. Fyou Illinois. Chicago sucks. No wonder the Bears do, too.
Udder stuff - commentary from the Badger Underground
As per usual, a Badger offensive lineman is projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Ryan Ramjack is slated to go somewhere between 19th (TB) and 31st (ATL). He’s a 311-lb bruiser from Stevens Point who follows a long line of Sconnie guys who done good in the NFL (Mark Tauscher, Joe Thomas, etc. etc.).
The other name flying around is LB Trent Jordan Watt who looks like a 2nd rounder. T.J. shares his big bro’s wingspan and tenacity, but also his propensity to injury. There is scuttlebutt around about TT taking TJ in the first round. While that would be uber cool if he works out, it would probably continue Ted's defensive draft mediocrity. LB Vince Biegel also will go to some lucky team in the 3rd or 4th round, and many bloviating draft pundits are suggesting Biegel will be the better pro of the two.
QB Bart Houston has his hat in the ring with hopes of getting a spot carrying a clip board but more likely will wind up in the CFL. Robert Wheelwright visited Green Bay with an apparent eye on a scout team slot. RB’s Corey Clement and Ogabuckawally will probably wind up somewhere.
This season looks very promising for Bucky Football! Look for Alex Hornibrook to make a huge jump in maturity and poise in his sophomore year. Word has it he spent his spring break with quarterback whisperer George Whitfield Jr. This bodes very well. Let’s just hope his decision making improves and he does not get sacked so dang much! Let’s also hope he has someone to throw to! Other than Jazz Peavey and Troy Fumagalli, it looks like slim pickins’ so far for WR’s and TE’s. We shall see.
We will have the usual stable of great RB’s behind a solid OL. The hot prospect is Chris James, a Pitt transfer who followed Coach Chryst to Madison. He is wowing the press corps in Spring practices. Brad Shaw will be back and will be sharing duties toting the rock.
The D will be solid. If you can look past the second half of the Penn State game, our CB’s were pretty decent last year. UW ranked second in the country in INT’s believe it or not with 22. They look to be at least as good this year with Hawaii transfer CB Nick Nelson. He played against Bucky in 2015 and liked the trip so much he decided to transfer. He will be lining up with Derrick Tinder, Dakota Dixon, and converted WR Natrell Jamerson. If necessary, D-coordinator and former UW Safety standout Jimmy Leonhard will suit up, too.
Expect the LB’s to continue kicking ass despite the losses of the aforementioned Biegel and Watt. Chris Orr is back and look for Jack Cichy to KATN as usual.
As for predictions, we see 11-1 or 10-2. Highlight games are against Florida Atlantic head coached by Lane “Polychronopolous” Kiffin (Click on Link) of ’Bama, USC, and Tennessee fame, and against Michigan on November 18 head coached by snarly Mr. Khaki Pants. No Buckeye. No Penn State. No Michigan State. See you in Indy!
We're gonna kick your a$$ - predictions for the next game
If you read the works of local Packers beat reporters Rob Demovsky and Pete Dougherty, you'll become dumber and you’d be convinced that trading down -- out of the 1st round for multiple 2nd rounders, would be a good thing this year because there is so much 1st round talent available in the 2017 draft. But Coach is here to tell you, it is best to keep our #29 pick and even trade UP for another player in the back half of the 1st round at the risk of a reduced quantity of overall draftees. As a Final 4 team in 2016, the Packers don't need a lot of picks, they just need a coupletree really good players on both sides of the LOS in order to win more Super Bowls. See also, the 1984 Super Bowl champion 49ers trading up from 28 to 16 to get Jerry Rice. Not that past is prologue, but picking in the back half of the 1st round is better than acquiring multiple 2nd round picks for NFL teams that plan on sustaining success... here's why: all 1st round picks are subject to a 5th year team option (which has a predetermined salary at a bargain rate). In contrast, 2nd round picks get a 4-year rookie deal (max) and subsequently hit the free agency market for big bucks in year numero cinco. Yep, if you’re a pretty good player, you’ll probably be better off financially to be drafted in the 2nd round than the 11 through 32 spots in the 1st round. So Coach is here to tell you what Ted (and Elliot) should already know … give up your 2nd round pick this year (plus a guy or two in later rounds) to get another instant play maker somewhere between 11-32, and keep two instant starters for 5 years at rookie salaries instead of losing a bunch of really good talent to free agency in 4 years.
“So, Coach, then who should we draft to win Super Bowl LII?” Well, I’m glad you asked Tommy. In the words of Captain Obvious, “…a lot of it is out of our control" so Ted has to be prepared for a myriad of scenarios that he could be presented with in each round. In general, though, Ted has pretty much whiffed at drafting defensive talent, only connecting on decent players 16% of the time. And, despite Coach’s curbed enthusiasm for the Big Legume, Dum Capers can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. Historically, with a couple exceptions (Mike Daniels, Sam Shields) Ted has mostly only struck gold on his high draft picks (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, BJ Raji, Clay Matthews), but unfortunately even that’s no guarantee of success (Datone Jones, Justin Harrell). So, Ted and Elliot need to go all-in to get 2 defensive rock stars in round 1 -- with an emphasis on pass rush and pass defense (“You’re welcome.” – Captain Obvious).
Guard - (Huh? Coach, I thought you said Defense?) Well, I did, but I'm not starting with 1st round needs. Ted is good at finding O-linemen in later rounds, so maybe there's a diamond G in the 4th round rough.
Corner - Lots of talent to choose from in this draft... perhaps a couple of nice options late in the 1st and 3rd rounds, as I would trade the 2nd and one of our two 5th round picks and next year's 2nd for the ~15th overall pick this year to get another need...
OLB - Ted hit on Clay, but that's about it. Coach say move up to mid-1st round and get a slam dunk pro bowler.
There. Now we're ready for the Super Bowl. Oh yeah, the other 5th / 6th / 7th round picks? Good time for a Running Back selection and some more Linebackers. Vince Biegel would be a steal in the 5th (see also, Jared Abbrederis -- wah, waaaaaah).
So, in summary, look for Thompson to draft 3 or 4 wide receivers this year to pad the practice squad some more. But seriously folks... The Packers are in a good enough spot with roster construction that they can truly go with the best player available late in the 1st round (assuming there is still a guy on the board that is clearly a talent level above the rest of the class) and not come to regret it (see also, Aaron Rodgers). And, since late 1st rounders are more economical over the span of their careers than any 2nd rounder, if Ted can trade a coupla picks to move up for a superstar talent in an area of need, then he should do so (see also, Clay Matthews). Of course, on the other hand Ted can always waste a 1st pick on an undersized DL from the PAC-12 that is otherwise projected to go in a mid/late round, and use him sparingly when he's not injured until he has a "breakout" season at OLB in his contract year. Coach refers to this drafting strategy as the Packers “West Coast Defense”...Nobody will copy it, and the coaching tree is just a trunk.
JB - Packer players you forgot about, but stories you'll remember about them
Before we head into the 2017 draft, it might be good luck to look back at a really good #1 pick made following an abysmal year in Green Bay. In 1956, the Packers went a very Bears-like 4-8 (no, Bears fans, that is not a winning season). So it was no surprise when the Packers selected Paul Hornung, the Notre Dame quarterback and 1956 Heisman trophy winner, as the 1st overall pick in the 1957 draft. Hornung led almost every statistical category on both offense and defense at Notre Dame in 1956 … the guy was truly a play maker. He excelled at running, passing, kick-offs, returning kicks, kicking field goals, punting, and playing defense. When he dislocated his thumbs (each one, separate occasions), he lined up exclusively at running back.
As a Packer, Hornung wore number 5 and won 4 NFL championships including Super Bowl I. Ironically, though, he was the only Packer on the roster who did not actually play in Super Bowl I, as he had a pinched nerve and chose not to enter the game in the 4th quarter.
Hornung led the league in scoring for three straight seasons from 1959-61. During the 1960 season, the last with just 12 games, he set an all-time record by scoring 176 points. Hornung also passed for two additional touchdowns, which did not add to his point-scoring total. The record stood until the 2006 season, when LaDainian Tomlinson scored 180 points with his 30th touchdown, leaving him with four points more than Hornung's record (but in his 14th game, compared to Hornung's 12 games). I don’t recall LT ever laying out defensive ends like Hornung did, though, on the power sweep (see picture at top of the blog header).
Off the field, Hornung was a notorious partier and ladies man. He was nicknamed “the Golden Boy” by his Notre Dame teammates for all the attention he got from the co-eds at nearby St. Mary’s women’s college (no broads allowed at ND back then). Like most athletes in the late ’50s and early ’60s, Paul was a heavy drinker and smoked like a chimney. His gambling escapades are the stuff of legend. In fact, it was Paul Hornung, not Alan “Pete” Rose, who famously coined the phrase, "It's not gambling when you know you're going to win." (Click on Link)
Here’s something you won’t find on Wikipedia… Paul Hornung, being an NFL Hall of Famer and a Notre Dame alum, had his own weekly TV show in the West Bend, IN area in the 1990’s. In one episode, Brett Favre was Paul’s special guest of the week. The Packers had just come off of their Super Bowl XXXI victory and Brett had previously announced publically that he had given up drugs and alcohol. Of course, in reality he did nothing of the sort… Hornung and Favre spent the morning and early afternoon golfing prior to Paul’s late afternoon TV show. After Bloody Mary’s at the 1st tee, Brett and Paul were downing strong Long Island ice teas as they went through the front 9 (yes, Paul was surprised to observe that Brett had privately fallen off the wagon, but did not stop him). It got to the point where Paul had to say “No more for me and, Brett, and you should probably lay off the booze now, too – we’ve got a show to do in a couple of hours.” But Brett laughed and continued pounding the cocktails right up until show time. Now, Hornung knew Favre was 3 sheets to the wind, but nobody else was the wiser, and the show went on without a hitch. Years later Paul Hornung told that story after Brett had retired from football. And now you know the rest of the story.
Yes, Paul Hornung was an excellent fit for Green Bay, and a role model for young boys growing up in Wisconsin. Here’s one of his many Public Service Announcements (Click on Link). So, Golden Boy, for being one of the best Packers and NFL players of all time, and for outsmarting lung cancer after smoking 2 packs of Marlboro reds a day, and for not ratting out Brent Favor when he was busy texting photos of his genitalia to New York female sports reporters amidst a barrage of drunken stupors, you’re swell and we salute you!
"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.