Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

No F'ing Way: The Fightin' Favres

Probably going to get a few hate comments for this one.

Probably not going to care.

Quick. Name me one individual more annoying then T.O. last year? Anyone?

How about one Brett F'ing Favre? Here's the argument. T.O. was done after, what, week 8? Week 9? Anyways, as of that point, he was out of the limelight for the rest of the season. That left a gaping void for all media outlets to fill the pages, which meant that, as a dog is drawn to it's own crap, reporters began to write endless articles about the greatness of Brett Favre, who was "retiring" after the season.

"Leather" Berman would gush endlessly about the brilliance of Favre, of his competitive nature, of his willingness to take the team on his back and carry them to the promised land.

Only one problem. Brett Favre sucked last year. I mean, really, he sucked. I should know. He was on my fantasy team, and, yes, I know that "fantasy" doesn't equal "reality", and he had to deal with plenty of injuries, blah blah blah.

Shut up. Shut the hell up. I'm sick of your face.

Let us consider the team that resides in Green Bay, and why it is pretty much impossible to hope for a playoff run from the lovable Packers in 2006.

2005 record: 4-12
Major losses: Javon Walker, Antonio Chatman, Mike Sherman
Major acquisitions: Marquand Manuel, Charles Woodson, the 49ers offensive coordinator, AJ Hawk

The first (and only) argument that can be posed for a remarkable resurgence by the Pack is to say that 2005 was caused by a rash of injuries to key personnel. This is true to an extent. The injuries that the Pack suffered were, by and large, hard to overcome. Javon Walker. Ahman Green. Samkon Gado.

Surely, people say, a healthy Pack will be back to the perennial playoff contender of the past 10 years?

For those people, I want to introduce them to another 2005 NFL franchise that also had a rash of key injuries that hamstrung their pursuit of an NFL title. That would be the New England Patriots. Man, everyone went down for them, right? Did they finish 4-12? Um, no. That's because the Packer's injury problems were exacerbated by a stunning lack of talent, depth, and a preponderence of age at the skill positions. See, the reason that Ahman Green is more easily injured is because he has taken more of a pounding (see my worries for Shaun Alexander). The WR injuries hurt because they had no depth. By the way, you might remember that the Hawks lost THEIR top two receivers for a goodly amount of time. Did Matt Hasselbeck throw 29 interceptions? No, he did not.

Basically, I understand that people want to believe that, and that's all well and good, but you're living in a fantasy land that hurts the team's future. The correct course for this offseason would have been to dump Favre, jettison salaries, and begin the 3-4 process of rebuilding now. See what you have in Aaron Rodgers. See if Samkon Gado is an acceptable running back. See if someone can step in for one of the most overrated middle linebackers in the game (Nick Barnett).

Instead, well, you stay in a limbo state where the direction of your team is still heading downwards. Let's examine these positions more in-depth.


Quarterback: Brett F'ing Favre
Backup: Aaron Rodgers

The guy threw 29 picks last year. 29. That's atrocious. He had a quarterback rating of 70.9. Here's a brief list of NFL quarterbacks with a better quarterback rating.

-- Joey Harrington
-- Michael Vick
-- Josh McCown
-- Trent Dilfer
-- David Carr
-- Gus Frerotte
-- Kyle Boller

All these quarterbacks had their problems. David Carr had five grandmothers providing blocking. Kyle Boller had his own head complicating his lack of talent. Trent Dilfer was throwing to absolutely no one. Michael Vick is not a competent quarterback. Do you understand the situation here? Let me spell it out for you.

Brett. Favre. Is. No. Longer. A. Premier. Or. Good. Quarterback.

It is time for Mr. Favre to take the memories and the love and get out of town, showing back up on TV on the NFL Network providing horrific color commentary like so many ex-NFLers. Brett Favre is the main reason.... THE MAIN REASON...... that Gavin and I have put them in the No F'ing Way Group.

Running Back: Ahman "Fumblito" Green
Backup: Samkon Gado

Last time I watched ESPN, the NFC North was supposed to be the "rough and tumble" division with the Bears, the Lions, and the Packers (when was the last time you saw "rough and tumble" and the Vikings in a sentence that wasn't talking about boat trips?). Well, the Packers running attack last year was more "impotent and limp" then anything else, rushing for only 1352 total yards on the season with a 3.4 average. That's pretty much awful. Ahman Green, before he was injured, was awful, deciding to throw the ball forward since he couldn't actually run the ball anywhere (long run of 13 yards). Gado was actually decent, sporting a healthy 4.1 ypc average until he got injured, leaving us all in doubt as to whether this was a mirage or if Jerry Falwell had asked God to give Gado superhuman abilities to throw more of a spotlight on Liberty College (University? Do I care?).

Packer fans, do not expect the return of awesome Ahman. He's getting up to 30 years old and looked even older last year. I hope that the former 49ers offensive coordinator (no, I'm not going to write his name. He will always be referred to simply as the former 49ers offensive coordinator to illustrate what a stupid hire he was) will go with Gado so that the Packers brass can see whether they need to spend a high draft pick (like they will have next offseason) on a running back.


And what a horrific O-Line we have, hopefully helped at least somewhat by the draft of Daryn Colledge. Near the bottom of the pack in pass blocking, near the bottom of the pack in run blocking, yada yada yada. An offense does not function well without a great offensive line. Ask Arizona. Ask Houston. Again, I don't see where this line magically gets mucho better this season. Packer fans, you are free to help me out on this one, but I just don't see it.

Wide Receivers:

Here's a hint. When you lose your best wide receiver during the offseason, the corps is not better because of it. Donald Driver is good but not great. Marc Boerigter is passable but not good. Don't get me started on Rod Gardner, who somehow still has a place in this league.

The best playmaker is a guy named Bubba. Not a good sign. Oh, and God help this team if any receiver goes down. There's no one there. No one, besides hoping that Greg Jennings comes in and is fricking remarkable right off the bat. This is a position that really needed someone to take a hammer to it and shake things up and nothing happened. Same with the offensive line, by the way. This is a team stuck in limbo, and limbo usually results in a steady downward spiral. See hello to the 2004 Seattle Mariners, to the recent years of the Oakland Raiders, to the last few years of the NY Jets. Limbo doesn't work. You're old at this position, got OLDER by getting rid of Javon Walker, and don't exactly have a ton of talent waiting in the wings.

You see this offense overall? You have an aging, overrated quarterback, an aging, inconsistent running back, a bunch of no-name offensive lineman, and an aging, semi-talented receiving corps. This is supposed to fight for the playoffs? Sure, they're in the NFC North, but still! Even the Lions have more talent on the offensvie side of the football.

What about the defense? (Good job getting rid of D-Coordinator Jim Bates, by the way, who was the lone bright spot of your season. Did I mention your new head coach is the former offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers?)


Against the run:

Nick Barnett sucks. I'm hoping that doesn't come as a surprise to Packer faithful, and it surely doesn't come as a surprise to Ted Thompson, who is seeking to address the problem with A.J. Hawk, who should be awesome (yes, I realize that Hawk will most likely play outside linebacker), and Abdul Hodge, who should be in the mix for the starters role by midseason (I like him a lot). Ryan Pickett is a good signing, though don't believe that he'll come in and be dominant even if he led all defensive lineman with tackles last season. Here's the thing. You can't expect to sign a defensive player away from St. Louis and expect to improve in that position. You just can't. The reason he got so many tackles is because they were always on the field and everyone knew you could just run straight through them, like the Hawks did last season. Oh, and while Marquand Manuel is pretty good against the run, he's not so swell against the pass.

Against the pass:

Speaking of the pass defense, the Packers finally gave in and allowed Charles Woodson, the single most overrated secondary player in the game today, to waltz into town, take their money, and never deliver on the hype. Here's the thing. The Raiders pass defense was TERRIBLE last year with Woodson as the star. He's aging, he's lazy, and just wait until you're 3-7. You've never seen a lack of hustle uintil then. Al Harris is a better cornerback, and rookie Will Blackmon might be a better cornerback before too long. Finally, I will always have a soft spot for Manuel, who fired us up and gave us some really awesome plays last year, but he wasn't worth that kiind of money, and he won't make a huge difference as well.

Overall, the defense should be decent, and hopefully should improve over the course of the season as Hawk and Hodge get work. That's the new anchor of your defense, Packers fans. If they can have the kind of impact Tatupu and Hill had for us last season, you should be pretty happy by the end of it.

Here's the final word. The reason you are in this column is because of your offense, and, more importantly, Brett Favre. I understand that he won you a Super Bowl ten years ago. That's awesome, and you can totally lord that over us poor Seahawks fans. But Gavin and I just can't see them winning 9 - 10 games over the course of the season. The Bears will stuff Favre. The Lions have more talent than the Packers. There's a new coach in town, trying to install the West Coast Offense (hint: took Hasselbeck THREE YEARS to learn it). Hopefully there will be nice signs for the future. I like the Packers. But there really isn't a playoff hope for this year.

posted by colin_hesse @ 3:22 PM  0 comments


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