GREEN BAY PACKERS
Matthews has been terrible for years. I honestly thought he was MUCH better when they moved him inside because at least he was in on plays and not running past the QB. If they bring him back next year, they deserve to get burned. He had a good run, was a beast at the start, but is honestly nowhere nearly as good as his salary would indicate these days.
Packerswire today... interesting read, under underutilized RB's. Pretty hard to put all the blame on Mac when you have a QB who refuses to take all the underneath easy stuff as a first read which often leads to loss of yds. Looks like the press pundits starting to take notice? ... and question.
Martinez has been decent but his level of play has slipped from last year.
Kenny Clark is an absolute beast inside. That kid is playing himself right out of GBs price range when he becomes a FA. Honestly I wouldn't be against them using the franchise tag on him if he continues playing and improving at the rate he is.
Burks has been terrible inside. The potential might be there athletically but as an ILB he is a long way from being even an average player right now.
I'm glad to see Martinez finally mentioned as something other the "GB's horrible middle LB's".
Bleacher Report had him listed as the most improved LB last year because of his performance in year two and #22 overall tied for the league lead in tackles. (currently ranked 6th) I think a he a great player who gets little to no credit.
Fun fact..... he was tied at 144 tackles with Ex-Badger Joe Schobert, also in his second year, with the Cleveland and ranked #9 overall. To me, that was a HUGE surprise!
Devil's advocate here, IB. Like I've stated...Matthews is horrible this year. But...he's been burned, so many times on bootlegs and misdirection plays that I think that the staff has him staying home on those wide plays now. I can give him a pass for not chasing down the line.
However, his effort on any number of plays is inexcusable. In the last game, it looks like the staff was saving him for just passing downs. Or, they finally figured out that he is a liability against the run.
The problem is...Gilbert is even worse at holding the edge. Oddly enough, Fackrell is pretty good at edge contain, he isn't Perry, but he's better than Matthews and Gilbert right now.
This much I know. Matthews can't come back and be an OLB in this scheme if he wants 2M or more. GB needs two edge guys in this next draft. In my perfect world, our two #1's will get us Bosa. But...I don't think that is happening. So, I want our two first to get us two edge kids. If they can have the impact that our two rookie corners have had, then the D will be in pretty good shape moving forward.
Can you imagine two good edge guys, with Clark in the middle and Martinez and Burks on the second level? If they can get 5-10 pounds on Burks and if he ever gets instincts, his sideline to sideline speed could be a real asset.
On a different note...after watching the game again I've come to the conclusion that the team needs to bench Mathews. Its not even a performance thing with him anymore its effort. For an aging guy in a contract year his effort is terrible! Over and over I saw zone stretch plays running away from him where he wasn't blocked and gave no effort at chasing from behind. A number of times he could have been in position to stop plays for little to no gain but gave up soon as it went away from him.
Watching him pass rush is almost painful. He has no explosion off the snap, and soon as a tackle gets their hands on him he just gives up. He really should be embarrassed. Unless something changes he is going to have a hard time catching on anywhere next year.
Or matched up against safeties. Then again its all about matchups and what kind of pressure the defensive scheme puts on its backs. Which came first the chicken or the egg. Try to consistantly jam him and the o-coordinator simply motions him.
Williams vs. Breeland. Besides the age advantage, I thought that Breeland played a little more press/man, not the off coverage that Tramon has to play. The key to guys like Goodwin is the jam on the line of scrimmage. Keep him at the LOS without a running start and those kinds of guys lose their speed advantage. Unless you whiff, then it's 6 if you are in Cover 0.
I'm unsure which is better, and you have to tip your hat to an offensive scheme that finds a way to get Goodwin 1:1 against Williams with safeties pulled the other way.