Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Other Weirdos

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 7 - Aaron Rodgers wants less motion in the Green Bay Packers offense, Tom Brady is screaming at his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates, and Russell Wilson has retreated into a visualized paradise to play catch with his inner child instead of Denver Broncos receivers.

Welcome to the inescapable Sartrean hellscape of entrusting your team to a legendary quarterback.

Rodgers wants to "simplify" the Packers offense. Experienced Rodgers-to-mere-mortal translators tell us that Rodgers specifically wants less pre-snap motion in his offense. Ah, so that's the problem now. Last year it was too much Cover-2 defense from opponents. Before that it was a lack of first-round wide receivers. Glad we have finally put our finger on the issue.

We'll look at the Packers' motion numbers in a moment—yes, dear reader, Football Outsiders is still a stat site, even when Walkthrough snatches the microphone—but rest assured that sorting the data, grinding the film, and explaining the many benefits of pre-snap motion would be entirely missing the point.

Rodgers doesn't hate pre-snap motion. Rodgers hates being told what to do. And he loves telling us so in his ever-so-subtle, passive-aggressive way. The Packers can't score enough points, and wouldn't you know it, it's because of a thing the head coach/general manager/authority figure is doing wrong!

Brady, meanwhile, has entered the final act of Citizen Kane, wandering around an empty Xanadu and scowling at the help. Some readers hate Walkthrough's little spitballs at Brady's marital issues, because heaven forbid we poke fun at the internationally reported foibles of powerful individuals who have profited heavily from branding themselves as superior-to-thee lifestyle-expert demigods.

Whatever. Brady chose career over family, and if he finds fulfillment along that path he'll be the first.

The Buccaneers are now a therapeutic environment for Brady's misplaced emotions: he can take time off when he needs to and scream at whomever he likes without consequences, because who are we (or teammates or coaches or management) to question the unassailable Tom Brady? Fortunately, the Bucs will still win the NFC South because the Saints paid near-mint prices for a bunch of action figures in fair-to-satisfactory condition.

Russell Wilson? He's Rodgers, but high on toxic positivity instead of trippin'-and-poopin' tea. Wilson can simply no longer comprehend the petty concerns of lesser beings, with our finite-brained concepts such as "game plans" and "wide-open receivers." Wilson is playing perfect football in his mind. It's up to the Denver Broncos and society to tune in to his wavelength.

Wilson is also "day-to-day" with what Ian Rapoport assures us is a "real injury." Sounds legit. Wilson would never invent excuses for his poor play. He has a publicity team for that.

This is, inevitably, what hundreds of millions of dollars and a decade-plus of fawning adulation buy: temperamental, eccentric celebrities who know that the blockbuster movie production grinds to a standstill until they're lured from the trailer with the promise of a higher grade of imported mineral water. Rodgers, Brady, and Wilson can still be successful and fun to watch, just as Christian Bale or Gwyneth Paltrow can be while causing mass migraines in everyone around them. Rooting for these a-little-too-legendary quarterbacks, however, is becoming an increasingly selective acquired taste. And building a team around them is growing ever more risky.

From an objective/analytical standpoint, it's impossible to put a DVOA or dollar value on a legendary quarterback turning into late-career Marlon Brando or Archduke Flakypants. Yet teams should find a way to factor such a likely scenario into their budget. Pay a superstar X dollars at stage Y in his career and you get the guy, the ego, the entourage, the brand, the baggage. He can tune out his coaches, scream at his teammates, take random vacations, hawk patent remedies, rant and rave on podcasts, and disseminate his version of what's going right/wrong through his own publicity network. Of course, he can also win lots of football games and sell season tickets and jerseys, so the quarterback-as-independent-duchy paradigm could still be worth it. But there's a downside that's just off the fringes of being quantifiable: Brady or Rodgers 2020 is still worth the hassle, but Brady or Rodgers 2022 has tumbled past the tipping point.

This train of thought, like all Walkthrough trains, makes a stop at Carson Wentz. Wentz is in the midst of turning yet another injury—his hand, this time—into a passion play. Wentz desperately wants to play through the injury, mostly because he has been terrified of being outperformed by his backup since the days of Nick Foles. Jameis Winston and Dak Prescott trust themselves to shrug off a controversy the moment they return from an injury. Wentz, not so much.

Eagles and Colts fans know how this saga goes: Wentz will heroically rush back and play poorly because of the injury and/or lack of practice (and because he's Wentz), with Ron Rivera enabling the whole charade rather than risking a combination quarterback controversy/organizational power struggle.

Wentz is The Legendary Quarterback Who Never Was, prematurely crowned and compensated, a Russell Wilson wannabe who performed at a high level for nine weeks instead of nine seasons. Like Wilson, Wentz has a particular notion of how to play his position which cannot be debunked by coaching or repeated failures, and he's somewhere between impervious and oblivious to criticism, constructive or otherwise. Wentz is what the "legendary quarterback" baggage looks like without an actual legend. With Brady midlife-spiraling, Rodgers grousing more loudly than usual for October, and Wilson surfing the cosmos as the herald of Galactus, the Buccaneers, Packers, and Broncos are getting a taste of it too.

For now, the Packers need to appease Rodgers, the Bucs indulge Brady, and the Broncos send subspace messages to Wilson in an effort to get things right. But oh, to be the Seahawks right now, with Geno Smith late-blooming like Rich Gannon (if not Kurt Warner), and all those extra draft picks in the larder! Oh, to enjoy a reduced payroll and expectations, to run the offense you want to run, coach the way you choose to coach, and not be treated as an extension of some cultural icon's vanity project! If only the Bucs, Packers, and Broncos had identified the inflection point where the diminishing returns would start and sold themselves and their fans a rebuild, a rookie, Jordan Love, the freedom to be thrilled by a few upsets instead of grinding their teeth about a .500-or-worse record in October.

Of course, that's not how the business of the NFL works. But the teams trapped in legendary quarterback codependencies should bury a time capsule for whomever is coaching Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen in 2032. The message in that bottle? Cherish the days when your quarterback is playing like a legend, and fear the days when he starts behaving like one.

Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers, and Pre-Snap Motion

Walkthrough promised you actual data, and here it is: the Packers' passing statistics with and without pre-snap motion so far in the 2022 season. Chargers-Broncos from Monday night is not included in the data, which comes from our friends at Sports Info Solutions.

2022 Green Bay Packers, With and Without Motion
Category Pre-Snap Motion (Rank) No Motion (Rank)
Dropbacks 70 (20th) 131 (15th)
Attempts 65 (17th) 121 (14th)
Completions 43 (16th) 82 (11th)
Comp% 66.2 (11th) 67.8% (5th)
Yards 445 (14th) 848 (13th)
Yards/Att 6.8 (17th) 7.0 (17th)
Air Yards 114 (28th) 377 (20th)
Intended Air Yards 244 (28th) 869 (15th)
TDs 3 (T12th) 5 (T8th)
INT 1 (T18th) 2 (T14th)
Sacks 4 (T20th) 9 (T10th)

The most interesting thing about these splits is how uninteresting they are. It's not like Matt LaFleur is asking the lads to square dance before the snap. The Packers are a perfectly cromulent team when it comes to motion principles: they use them a middle-of-the-pack percent of the time, choose not to use them a middle-of-the-pack percent of the time, and get middle-of-the-pack results.

You want dramatic pre-snap motion splits? 49ers quarterbacks have executed just 44 passing plays with no pre-snap motion. The Commanders and Cardinals have executed 187 passing plays without motion. The Chiefs have used motion on 134 passing plays, the Saints just 20. Film grinders who gush about the value of motion will note the difference in offensive production between those who use it heavily and those who do not. It's hard to look at the data and say, "let's be more like the Cardinals!"

Anyway, the only rankings that stand out on the table above are the Packers' completion rate without motion, which ranks fifth in the league, and the low air-yardage figures when they do use motion.

It's worth mentioning here that Rodgers' completion rate without motion is just 67.2%; the data includes four mop-up completions on five attempts by Jordan Love. It's hard to advocate for Rodgers getting his way in the name of an extra percentage point of completion rate when it has such a negligible impact on yards per attempt, especially when Love's four completions that netted 65 yards are factored into the data.

But the air yards mean something. For LaFleur, pre-snap motion is often window dressing for his Kyle Shanahan-flavored dink-and-dunk tactics: see the 49ers data from two paragraphs ago. Many of the Packers' motion plays are passes to receivers behind or at the line of scrimmage. You can imagine how Rodgers feels about executing Jimmy Garoppolo plays. Yet those plays must be working, with Packers ballcarriers generating enough YAC, and with the rare deep shot sprinkled in, to give the Packers a league-average pre-snap motion game.

Superficially, the numbers above suggest that motion neither helps nor hurts the Packers, who hover near the offensive league average no matter what they do. So why not throw out the motion and make Lord Surlyknickers happy? Because that would be ignoring some of the reasons coaches use motion: to disguise tendencies, generate favorable coverage/blocking matchups, and manufacture touches for players who need help getting open.

LaFleur uses motion, particularly this year, to get the ball to Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in the flats with some space to operate, to match Randall Cobb and Robert Tonyan up with defenders they can beat, and to get Christian Watson involved at all. He also uses it on early downs to keep the Packers unpredictable and ahead of the sticks.

The Packers need motion and short-game concepts because they aren't the 1999 Rams. Their receivers aren't going to win 1-on-1 matchups from static formations, especially with Cobb out a while. Rodgers should remember that principle from the Mike McCarthy days, but again: this is all about Rodgers getting his way, contradictions be damned.

There's also no down/distance/game situation context in the data above, but I'm reluctant to start publishing splits and drawing conclusions on sample sizes in the single digits. Here's one split, for discussion's sake: Rodgers (Love not included) has executed seven passes on third-and-7-plus with pre-snap motion. He's 4-of-5 for 30 yards and two sacks on those plays. The total air yards of 12 on those plays suggest throws in front of the sticks. Quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes have all dropped to pass 10 or more times with pre-snap motion on third-and-long, so again: Rodgers isn't being asked to do what he dislikes often.

Rodgers and LaFleur could probably have a productive conversation about, say, eliminating all of those third-and-long motion dink-and-YAC attempts from the game plan. That conversation would be private. It would also be most effective in an environment of mutual trust and respect. Which brings us back to the first half of Walkthrough.

Much of what we think of as play calling and game planning comes down to a coach looking at his players, the opponent, and the scoreboard and asking, "what has any chance of working right now?" LaFleur has a Shanahan-instilled preference for pre-snap motion, but he also looks at his receivers and knows he needs to gingerbread his offense. Rodgers chooses not to understand or acknowledge the ailment, so instead he blames the treatment.

Rodgers should just go back to complaining that he doesn't have Justin Jefferson to throw to. At least that made sense.

Comments

87 comments, Last at 24 Oct 2022, 7:31pm

#1 by Theo // Oct 20, 2022 - 11:16am

Next time, skip the first 11 paragraphs. It is neither funny nor interesting. 

 

Points: 0

#9 by Theo // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:27pm

Here we are, mere readers, telling a writer what to do. 

Isnt it ironic?

Points: 0

#19 by Raiderfan // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:32pm

Why is it ironic?

+1 to comments 1&3.

”Some readers hate Walkthrough's little spitballs at Brady's marital issues, because heaven forbid we poke fun at the internationally reported foibles of powerful individuals who have profited heavily from branding themselves as superior-to-thee lifestyle-expert demigods.”

Yes, and I am one of them.  This is a football analytics site, not People or TMZ lite.  Or is Tanier auditioning for another gig?

Points: 0

#22 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:55pm

In reply to by Raiderfan

This is a football analytics site, not People or TMZ lite. Or is Tanier auditioning for another gig?

If you took "celebrity gossip" away from what Mike wrote, you and I read different things.

The point is, all 3 of those QBs (largely because of their celebrity, much of which has been carefully manufactured and curated by they themselves) are mostly above reproof by normal sportswriters...attempts to call them on their nonsense are often met with something like "he's Tom Brady, he's the GOAT, we have no place to criticize anything he says or does".

And when someone points out that they're leveraging their celebrity to get away with...whatever poor behavior they're exhibiting...it's handwave-dismissed as "TMZ stuff".

Like....maybe if Brady and Rodgers don't want to be measured as celebrities, they should stop trying so very hard to be celebrities.

But you did do a very good job of validating the very point Mike was making. 

Points: 0

#38 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:14pm

Leveraging their celebrity to get away with whatever? Come on now. 

Yeah this stuff is personal. Like the ugly hypocritical Kyle Brandt shot thrown at Wilson because he wore glasses with his wife. Just weird trend bashing because they aren't playing the best. Bringing out the worst in people.

Points: 0

#50 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 20, 2022 - 4:09pm

Did we want to pretend pretty much any other QB screaming at his line that way wouldn't be seen and talked about very differently?

Some of that is based on what he's accomplished and his age and other "real" factors, sure. But some of that is also based on Brady as a brand.

I can't speak to what Brandt said about Wilson, because I didn't see/hear it. It sounds like a pretty stupid take from Brandt.

But that's what Brandt said. Not what Mike said. Are you sure you're not unfairly conflating your reactions to them?

That there's ugly stupid takes out there regarding these QBs and their public personae doesn't make every take that discusses their public personae (directly or tangentally) an ugly stupid take.

Points: 0

#56 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 5:18pm

People treat Bill the same exact way. Yet he doesn't get any swipes. All this uproar over the....weirdest trivial things. Potshot after potshot. The amount and how long these have been going on is obscenely starting to get personal, kick them while they're down, that's the cool thing to do!

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#43 by mehllageman56 // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:36pm

Meh, did any of them get busted for a DUI like Geno Smith this offseason?  I understand the vitriol, but their play probably isn't off because of any the reasons listed in the article, other than an inability to adapt to changing conditions.   Brady, Rodgers and Wilson are getting old, and two of them have new or weaker receivers to throw to.

Points: 0

#53 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 20, 2022 - 4:12pm

Meh, did any of them get busted for a DUI like Geno Smith this offseason?

Whataboutism is a fun game.

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#66 by Pen // Oct 21, 2022 - 1:01am

Geno didn't "get busted" for a DUI. He just got brought in. If they'd gathered enough evidence to press charges, they would have done so by now. Perhaps that was the reason he challenged their manhoods?

Points: 0

#46 by Raiderfan // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:48pm

“are mostly above reproof by normal sportswriters”

You must not be seeing what is out there, then.  People I would call regular sports writers, such as Whitlock and Simmons, having been producing content all week on how Brady is washed, how he is a bad teammate, etc.  I have no idea what the talking heads on ESPN are saying, since I don’t watch their shows, but I doubt it is complimentary.

Points: 0

#54 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 20, 2022 - 4:21pm

"There is a lot of sports media I don't consume, but I'd still like to represent it all on the basis of the select pieces I do consume".

But anyway....in the spirit of not condoning the game where someone picks out a sentence fragment, rebuts it, then acts as if they've rebutted the entire point by doing so:

Can you relate your experiences reading Simmons and Whitlock (and your lack of experience with other sports content sources) back to your comparison of this article's discussion to TMZ gossip? Or was that just offered to rebut that one fragment?

Also, do you immediately group any discussion of any part of a player's off-field brand (and brand building) as TMZ gossip, whether that's actually what's said or not? That is, when you see any mention of Brady's family situation, does that make it TMZ for you regardless of the context?

Points: 0

#76 by Raiderfan // Oct 21, 2022 - 12:20pm

In reply to by OmahaChiefs13

Nice straw man.  I said nothing about “all sports media “.  I replied to the claim that “normal sports writers” don’t criticise Brady.  I do not have the capacity to consume “all sports media”, so I would certainly not presume to represent what “it” says.  I have a half dozen sports websites I look at daily, as well as YouTube recommendations, and that provides me a great deal of information.

Nor did I say anything about criticising these guys about TB12 or other branding efforts, Brady’s slowness afoot, Rodgers’s drug journey, Wilson’s eternal optimism  or any other public or professional efforts.  Those are certainly fair game.  I strongly dislike—especially on a football analytics site—snarky gossip based on rumors of someone’s marital problems.  This not Depp/Heard.  To my admittedly superficial knowledge, there has been no public statements from either Brady or Bundchen providing any basis of fact for any comments.  Whether Tanier is relying on TMZ, People, Page 6, or some other celebrity gossip site for his info, none of them are PFR, or SIS.

Points: 0

#70 by BritPop // Oct 21, 2022 - 7:37am

Wilson is 33, Rodgers is 38, Brady is 45. Brady has the least onerous contract and is a top 10 QB, arguably top 5, and has not had the precipitous drop-off in performance this year that the other 2 have, although he hasn't dazzled.

It's a stretch to link him to these guys, based solely on him yelling at his OL once, so I guess throwing in some personal crap might make it look justified.

But I think it comes across as catty.

Points: 0

#69 by laneveramisma // Oct 21, 2022 - 1:38am

It makes him sound jealous, frankly. 

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#7 by BigRichie // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:18pm

They're funny and interesting. Really, what's with this reflexive Tanier-bashing as of late? Are you folks throwing tantrums because of Mike's politics? Which he's hardly touched on for months and months now?

Points: 0

#8 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:25pm

He's Rodgers, but high on toxic positivity instead of trippin'-and-poopin' tea.

Funny and interesting more than ironic and...weirdly personal?

Nothing to do with politics, actually agree a lot. But also ironic you call it Tanier bashing.

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#17 by whocares4 // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:18pm

Feels weird to criticize Tanier's writing when he's *literally the only good writer on the site.* FO's ongoing problem is that their writers could most charitably be described as "replacement level."

(Though Schatz really is the Dan Snyder of the site as far as taking something that should've been highly successful and making every bad, puzzling decision possible so that it's now a sad shell of what it should be. And he's got Snyder's thin-skinned quality to boot!)

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#21 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:52pm

Feels weird to criticize Tanier's writing when he's *literally the only good writer on the site.*

Shots fired!

Points: 0

#27 by KnotMe // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:14pm

Tanier's thing (for this segment) is to basically work in "typical sportswriter storylines", although he has actual content too.  He usually picks one storyline/gag per player and basically hammers it.  Brady's marriage/celebrity stuff, Rodgers being a hippie jerk, and...he just had to reach for something for Russell Willson, 

It mostly works, but when he talks about one player to much to close together it can get a tad old. 

In that sense he's the closest to traditional sportswriting*, so I guess you could say he's the "best" from a certain pov. 

*I don't really have an opion on who is the best, I just like the overall site content. 

Points: 0

#34 by TimK // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:02pm

I reckon Mike’s best articles stand with any sports articles written (though often in a somewhat orthogonal direction). I guess a lot of the complaints are people expecting him to hit those heights 4 times a week. 
 

I know I’m missing the two-handler approach that Scramble always had, and perhaps that raises expectations for Mike to write a classic every week, but I’m enjoying the pieces enough to subscribe even though I have no realise for KUBIAK and detest sports betting.

Points: 0

#32 by dmb // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:57pm

I strongly disagree with the notion that Tanier is "the only good writer on the site." Personally, I think most of the writing found here is rather strong, and find columns by Bryan Knowles, Derek Klassen, and Ben Muth to be particularly excellent.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that many of the columns on the site have multiple purposes: while they're all ultimately intended for entertainment, most of them are also intended to educate and/or persuade. Different writers here have different strengths -- and Tanier is certainly the most accomplished in the pure "entertainment" category -- but it's unusual for me to encounter pieces here that don't accomplish most or all of what they set out to do.

Historically, FO has some track record of having their writers poached by larger outlets, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that happen with some of the current crop.

Points: 0

#35 by TimK // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:08pm

Ben Muth is one of the best writers explaining the nitty gritty of a sport I know. But I wouldn’t pass one of his columns to someone who wasn’t a serious fan of the game expecting them to be entertained.

The game film and gameplay analysis column are generally good to excellent as well, with the same caveat. A lot of it plays to the core audience here, I suspect, and does it well.

The history of writers being poached to bigger name sites is very strong, Mike being one who came back again. Hopefully the extra funding of ownership etc helps keep writers here more (even if that means a few articles a week I have zero interest in).

Points: 0

#39 by dmb // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:21pm

That's a good point: Tanier's columns are certainly an outlier here in that they can hold some appeal to folks who aren't hardcore fans. However, I do think that's an intentional choice based on audience, rather than a sign of limited writing ability: folks who are casual fans, or who don't follow the sport, aren't going to be interested in a site whose calling card is advanced stats anyway.

I'll join you in the hope that the funding / sale might better enable FO to retain its talent! 

Points: 0

#37 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:13pm

(Though Schatz really is the Dan Snyder of the site as far as taking something that should've been highly successful and making every bad, puzzling decision possible so that it's now a sad shell of what it should be. And he's got Snyder's thin-skinned quality to boot!)

It's worth pointing out that were Aaron actually Dan Snyder, by now a shady PI would have shown up at your door, illegally cut down your trees, sexually-harassed your state rep, and lost $15 million dollars.

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#40 by dmb // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:23pm

 and lost $15 million dollars

And, like, 50% of readership. (Setting aside that Aaron largely built whatever readership could be lost, unlike Snyder and the Washington fanbase...)

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#48 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 4:00pm

Dan Synder comparison comes off as very personal too

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#60 by cbartels@sbcgl… // Oct 20, 2022 - 7:01pm

Speak for yourself. There’s more to sports than gambling metrics. 

Points: 0

#2 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 20, 2022 - 11:31am

Aaron Rodgers wants less motion in the Green Bay Packers offense, Tom Brady is screaming at his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates, and Russell Wilson has retreated into a visualized paradise to play catch with his inner child instead of Denver Broncos receivers.

You could probably swap Rodgers and Wilson and it is just as true.

Whatever. Brady chose career over family, and if he finds fulfillment along that path he'll be the first.

Doubtful. Many historically-important figures hated their families and succeeded despite them.

Including, oddly enough, Benjamin Franklin.

with Ron Rivera enabling the whole charade rather than risking a combination quarterback controversy/organizational power struggle.

The risk there is Rivera might win that struggle and find himself running the Redskins. No one deserves that fate.

Points: 0

#4 by Pat // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:02pm

Including, oddly enough, Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin was a diplomat in the 1700s. He was away from his family for long stretches by necessity, so obviously there's friction, but he didn't "hate" his family. Family includes everyone, including children, and he was hit hard by the death of his son, who died from smallpox after they didn't inoculate him (changing him from against inoculation to strongly for it).

Points: 0

#6 by BigRichie // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:14pm

Franklin stayed overseas away from his wife even after his diplomatic duties were done. So I guess sure, "hate" may be too strong a word. But Franklin sure put his family second to his career. And clearly his fun too, presuming his reputation was even the least bit accurate.

And contrasting Mike, Benji sure figured it worked just fine for himself.

Points: 0

#12 by Pat // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:39pm

You're arguing with a Philly fan about Benjamin Franklin using Wikipedia??

Franklin stayed overseas away from his wife

Because his wife wouldn't travel! He didn't stay away from his family, he had both his grandsons with him as an ambassador (one of whom he took specifically took custody of). He did obviously have a "bad" relationship with his surviving son (who sided with the British).

It's the 1700s. The idea that you could "choose" between work and family in that sense didn't exist. Franklin went out of his way to try to get high-profile positions for both his son and grandson, which (for a politician) is choosing family over career.

Points: 0

#23 by BigRichie // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:05pm

No, getting high-profile positions for your kids is exactly what everyone does. Preposterous to argue that it hurts your career.

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#30 by Pat // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:24pm

I didn't say that it was uncommon. It's a huge liability for a politician, because it ties you to whatever the kid does. It certainly didn't help Franklin that his son was a huge loyalist in the job he got for him.

Points: 0

#45 by BigRichie // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:44pm

Benji is actually a superb example here. He got his son a huge job, the son used it to betray the cause. Can't get any worse result than that.

And it didn't hurt Dad's political career one single solitary bit.

Points: 0

#55 by Pat // Oct 20, 2022 - 4:37pm

And it didn't hurt Dad's political career one single solitary bit.

Franklin wasn't nearly as politically successful as he was popularly successful. Almost none of his ideas made it into the Constitution, and after he resigned his ambassadorship his attempt to make his son his successor failed, along with his attempt to get paid for his final years. Plus most of his advocacy in Britain prior to the Revolutionary War were just failures.

Again, the main point I'm making here is I don't get the idea that Franklin somehow hated his family, chose his career over them, and was super-happy about it or something. He had a lot of family struggles, but he pushed hard for his family, and basically tried to have both of his grandsons follow his two main careers (diplomat and printer/publisher). edit: plus, of course, when he was in London without his wife and daughter, he was working with this son there. That's how he got his son the job.

I mean, the other grandson basically just continued Franklin's advocacy straight on, and was hugely influenced (and trained!) by him.

Points: 0

#57 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 20, 2022 - 5:22pm

His collectable plate business did quite well.

\until Wawa came to prominence, anyway

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#24 by JoelBarlow // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:07pm

I'm actually very aligned with MT on these topics (despite randomly being labeled racist for not thinking Fields is good) but clearly a LOT of men value their careers over marginal increases in family time/famlily relationships 

which is probably bad for the world but unclear on if they feel its bad for them

Points: 0

#42 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:35pm

In reply to by JoelBarlow

As often as you, to defend Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, without being some sorta racist. 

Points: 0

#62 by JoelBarlow // Oct 20, 2022 - 8:38pm

they're all bad, they all suck

sometimes picks are busts and it's not the result of a conspiracy 

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#63 by BigRichie // Oct 20, 2022 - 9:11pm

In reply to by JoelBarlow

You know you're doing something right, Joel.

Points: 0

#85 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 24, 2022 - 7:28pm

When defending Matt Nagy and attacking Fields (unprovoked), that means your DEFINITELY doing something right. 

Meanwhile Mike says "He's Rodgers, but high on toxic positivity instead of trippin'-and-poopin' tea." HILARIOUS. Rodgers must be doing something right, right? 

Points: 0

#87 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 24, 2022 - 7:31pm

In reply to by JoelBarlow

But yeah it's a conspiracy that Nagy was bad after 4 years while giving a guy more than 11 games to develop. 

Points: 0

#86 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 24, 2022 - 7:29pm

Crazy yall defend people called out for racism more than actual racist actions. 

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#5 by KnotMe // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:06pm

Well, it's not like getting rid of a legendary QB before they fall off the cliff works either, since your odds of getting a good replacement arn't great (unless your Green Bay).  See also: New England

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#11 by serutan // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:36pm

The odds don't change no matter when the legendary QB leaves, so you might as well trade him/let him walk in FA and get working on the lottery earlier.  Especially as that QB is almost certainly a cap albatross and you can at least improve the rest of the team while trying to replace him.

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#16 by Harris // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:05pm

I wasn't happy when Reid traded McNabb, but I am damn glad to have missed this part of #5's career.

Points: 0

#29 by KnotMe // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:23pm

To be fair, Brady wouldn't really have changed much for NE. Their issue is an overall lack of elite talent, not the dropoff from Brady to Mac Jones. (Which doesn't help, but wouldn't really change much till they fix the rest of the problems)

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#77 by drnrg // Oct 21, 2022 - 12:42pm

I'd rather be Seattle than Denver right now.  Whether an actual replacement is there or not may be up for debate, but trading what looks like a train wreck for a boatload of draft capital certainly seems better than continuing to (at best) tread water.  Time will tell, of course, but the future looks brighter than it has in some time in Seattle, largely due to trading their legendary QB.

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#10 by Led // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:35pm

Seems more than a little dated. 

Also, when a team is talented but not executing -- missing blocks, not picking up blitzes, etc. -- it's not crazy to think you're better off simplifying things to avoid mistakes. 

Points: 0

#18 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:21pm

Meh, she matches up with Rodgers and Wilson's style of woo.

\we should all date so well

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#13 by superglucose // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:45pm

"the Packers' passing statistics with and without pre-snap motion so far in the 2022 season. Chargers-Broncos from Monday night is not included in the data,"

But what impact could that missing data have! :lol:

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#15 by Topas // Oct 20, 2022 - 12:56pm

That’s seems to be the easy way out today. I have to say that I find it annoying that the media just attaches labels to guys and then runs with it forever. 
I watch him on the McAffee show and it’s funny hearing his take on things the media runs with. 
i don’t agree with all the things he says but I don’t think he is the arrogant brick that the media labels him … also the line about making stuff easier was one line out of a long answer that is now the only story …

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#20 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 20, 2022 - 1:44pm

Some of us love your style (and have plenty of friends who also love it but don't post here).

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#25 by JoelBarlow // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:09pm

Scoring is down or at least stagnant. Much of the recent increases have been from improved kicking. 

Paying big $$ and making big organizational concessions to a QB might be more like 2015 thinking.  

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#26 by JS // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:12pm

Isn't the Packers' main problem the play of the OL? This is driving me crazy. For years they have had a top-5 line, and this year it's been middle-of-the-pack at best. 

They need to put Nijman in at RT, and move Jenkins to RG (or LG, with Runyan going to RG). That gets their 5 best OL on the field, and puts Jenkins where he's actually been very good. 

You're welcome.

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#58 by Spanosian Magn… // Oct 20, 2022 - 5:44pm

Yeah, in their case it's not a LT problem (though Bakhtiari hasn't been quite as impeccable as he was before, understandably if unfortunately), but definitely a OL problem. Royce Newman personally gave up multiple sacks last Sunday, mostly on stunts - I don't know how much of the problem is his own mistakes, or bad coaching, or the wrong protection adjustments being called at the line, but there's a flaw there that won't be fixed just by fiddling with the amount of pre-snap motion.

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#59 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 6:07pm

Needs to learn from the bench. 

But Njiman isn't much better and hasn't played RT since college. There's a reason he keeps finding himself on the bench. Elgton is slowly getting back to game shape after thr injury. Sometimes it just takes a few games to get things down again. 

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#61 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 20, 2022 - 8:34pm

Isn't the Packers' main problem the play of the OL?

 

Absolutely it is, and it's directly related to all that pre snap motion, which is causing the defenders to run and back and forth in front of them and making the OL dizzy before the ball is even snapped.

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#28 by ddmmcc // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:16pm

The points were very well taken even if it might hurt for some of you to hear them. And even if you disagree, the writing is sharp and entertaining. 
 

And I will second the point made above: there are many, many readers who appreciate writing like this but do not post comments. This includes myself, as this is my first post in a long time, and many people I know who love and understand football at a high level.

Mike please keep it coming.

 

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#31 by Theo // Oct 20, 2022 - 2:27pm

+1

Differences in opinion are good. 

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#33 by dmb // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:01pm

Wentz will heroically rush back and play poorly because of the injury and/or lack of practice (and because he's Wentz), with Ron Rivera enabling the whole charade rather than risking a combination quarterback controversy/organizational power struggle.

Although I won't discount the chances of this happening, it is worth noting that Washington has some incentive to avoid rushing Wentz back: if he takes 70+% of their snaps, they'll owe Indy a 2nd-round pick, rather than a 3rd.

Points: 0

#41 by Vincent Verhei // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:26pm

Just deleted about a dozen comments of a political nature. We have a strict rule about that on the site. Sometimes football topics (such as publicly funded stadiums) bleed into socio-economic discussion, but there's no reason to turn a column on eccentric quarterbacks into talk about world leaders, American or otherwise.

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#44 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:42pm

but there's no reason to turn a column on eccentric quarterbacks into talk about world leaders, American or otherwise.

Why do you hate Jack Kemp?

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#47 by mehllageman56 // Oct 20, 2022 - 3:49pm

Damn, wish I'd seen them first.  Probably better comments than what's on 538.

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#49 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 20, 2022 - 4:07pm

Mostly just Benjamin Franklin 

Facebook integrated comments are the worst in every way though. 

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#68 by Theo // Oct 21, 2022 - 1:37am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

And a back and forth about the current state of the usa politics - which is not allowed

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#71 by PackerPete // Oct 21, 2022 - 8:07am

Three points about Rodgers' game:

1. His legs are washed. A half dozen years ago, Rodgers could extend a couple drives per game by picking up 3rd and 8 with a scramble. Those two or three "kept alive" drives meant more points on the board. Those days are long gone for Rodgers.

2. He lacks the mental toughness of Brady, Mahomes, even Burrow. If things go bad early for the Packers, Rodgers will have his "sad eyes" face by the 2nd quarter. He emits negative energy. When blame can be safely deflected to other team units, such as by a blocked FG or blocked punt resulting in an opponent TD, Rodgers switches gears to "fu**it, chuckit" and starts tossing deep balls into double coverage on 3rd and 4; drive killers. Fortunately, Rodgers is rejuvenated weekly with unrelenting praise on Tuesday's Pat McAfee Show.

3. After every incomplete 3rd and 4 bomb, the announcers talk about how Rodgers doesn't yet trust the young receiver who was running wide open across the middle of the field. You never hear this "trust" nonsense about any other NFL quarterback. Trust isn't built by ignoring half the receiving corps. 

Packers have at least one more season paying $50 million a year for this. I think the Packers, Broncos and perhaps the Buccaneers will regret these contract extensions at these enormous amounts. I've been a huge Rodgers fan for a decade and a half. What he's bringing these days ain't worth what he's paid.

Points: 0

#72 by KnotMe // Oct 21, 2022 - 10:04am

In reply to by PackerPete

We will see. Good QB have "bad" years, and honestly, Rodgers is 12th in DYAR.  Which is bad for him, but that's why you pay him.  Even his bad years are above average. I wouldn't take this year as a sign he is toast just yet. 

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#73 by PackerPete // Oct 21, 2022 - 11:07am

I'm questioning his commitment. Just saw a clip where Rodgers is complaining about all the motion in the offense. In McCarthy's final years, his offense never changed personnel on a drive and never ran motion with receivers. Rodgers' numbers dropped. Lafleur arrived with his offense replete with motion and Rodgers wins two MVPs and Packers win 13 games three years straight. 

Rodgers also complained that motion prevents an up tempo offense! Rodgers himself runs every play clock to two seconds before snapping and burns two timeouts per half not getting plays off. 

Rodgers is still an upper echelon QB. Would any GM rank him in their top 5? Would Rodgers be in the top six if a GM or head coach were asked to pick a QB to win a playoff game? His paycheck is top echelon; his play on field and leadership off field so far this year don't match the paycheck.

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#74 by IlluminatusUIUC // Oct 21, 2022 - 11:39am

In reply to by PackerPete

After every incomplete 3rd and 4 bomb, the announcers talk about how Rodgers doesn't yet trust the young receiver who was running wide open across the middle of the field. You never hear this "trust" nonsense about any other NFL quarterback. Trust isn't built by ignoring half the receiving corps. 

I'll disagree with this point, because I've definitely heard this about Brady. Drop one in the 1st Quarter and you're basically running decoy wind sprints until the 4th, if you're lucky.

But to some extent, the trust thing is real. Those guys are reading the defense and expecting the WR to read it the same way. When they don't, the QB can end up throwing a pass to a patch of empty grass or even an uncontested INT, expecting his WR to cut in front and get it.

Points: 0

#75 by KnotMe // Oct 21, 2022 - 12:18pm

Basically, I think they call it "trust" when your blaming the WR and "chemistry" when your blaming the QB.  Pretty much just means guys arn't on the same page yet. 

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#79 by Theo // Oct 21, 2022 - 1:08pm

I remember the days when we would only think about option routes after we could catch the straight up routes like clockwork. With one hand. Blindfolded.

Points: 0

#80 by Pat // Oct 21, 2022 - 1:35pm

In reply to by PackerPete

Packers have at least one more season paying $50 million a year for this.

It's more than that, actually. Rodgers's contract details are friggin' bizarre and sooo confusing, but the reporting that I saw said that if the Packers move on from Rodgers after next year, they'll have $68M dead in '24. Meaning they will have had $128M total dedicated to Rodgers on the cap from '22-'24. For two years of play.

If Rodgers retires, they probably pull trickery and redo his contract to allow him to be a post-June 1 cut in '24, which I guess would make it $22M in '24 and $44M in '25. That's the only way I see it as feasible. $44M dead is exceptionally high, of course, but by cap percentage not the highest ever (I'm lookin' at you, Atlanta Falcons).

Points: 0

#81 by TomC // Oct 21, 2022 - 2:06pm

What I don't get about the complaints about Tanier (which are getting about as old and repetitive as the jokes they complain about) is that they are almost uniformly written as if the commenter had been tied down and shown the article with their eyelids clamped open, Clockwork-Orange-style.

 

Points: 0

#82 by Theo // Oct 22, 2022 - 1:24pm

 In the Netherlands, you shouldnt worry when someone close complains, bc it means they care.

It is when the Dutch go silent, you should know there's a problem. Because that's when we stopped caring. 

Recognise this?

That is why "dont like it, dont watch it" is such a poor argument. 

You are basically telling people, "if you want improvement, we want you to leave". 

 

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#83 by KnowGuruz // Oct 22, 2022 - 4:21pm

I see some got their feelings hurt by the first few paragraphs. But it is interesting and is certainly REAL. This has been going on since the OG himself Joe Namath. People are missing the point I mean when your the QB this is the lens your under, doesn't matter if your a legend or not. Let alone these guys bringing this stuff on themselves and then finally being unable to back it up. The question becomes when is the circus not worth it? This has to do with basic team building, so yea, its an analytics worthy topic. Its not normal for a QB to be yelling and humiliating his OL like that, especislly when your unable to help them out with your evasion skills and you take PTO. It is hard to root for these guys, and I personally cant stand Russell Wilson. He should go speak at funerals or something, provide comic relief

Points: 0

#84 by dbrower // Oct 23, 2022 - 3:59pm

The first 11 paragraphs were enough to get me to bookmark the site, and to register for the site.

All three of those guys are overrated at this point, and their Dona-esque behavior is pretty freaking annoying.

 

Points: 0

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