Brian Carlton. 13th January, 2006 - 11:18 pm
This is the part of the movie we all remember. It's where the quarterback rallies his team together, wins the Super Bowl and then walks off into the sunset, turning the reigns over to the young gun. But in Green Bay, someone handed out the wrong script. Instead of adding pieces, they've been dumping salary and appear ready to let their original gunslinger ride away. Is it time to recast the film and start again? Not a chance.
Yes, I saw the same Brett Farve that you did, the one with a career high 29 interceptions. But show me a quarterback with no running game and no offensive line that could do better. Or you could just ask David Carr if being younger makes it easier to take a beating? Believe me, he's praying to either get traded this offseason or get an actual offensive line that blocks. The problem isn't Farve, it's the front office. Mike Sherman has one losing season and he's released? With 15 players on injured reserve? Plus the star of the Packers' rookie class wasn't even drafted. Samkon Gado slipped through the cracks and was signed as a free agent. Until getting hurt he had 582 yards in 8 games. Aaron Rogers will have his shot, but name one other player drafted by the Packers. There's Nick Collins, the 2nd round safety who had 67 tackles and an interception but after that it's slim pickings.
So where do you go from here? There should be some casting calls, but it might be a good idea to leave the role of the quarterback alone. This isn't some attempt to "let Brett go out on his own terms". He could do that anytime he wants, just say the word and walk out the door. But the man can still play, he can still rally a team. Seven out of the Packers' losses this season have been by a touchdown or less. Five were by a field goal. Looking at it that way, you could make the argument that this team is two or three players away from being ready for the playoffs again. It?s not even an expensive solution, you can reach into the draft and problem solve. With Green Bay having the 5th pick, they can lock up a defensive cornerstone by picking up Mario Williams, the defensive end from NC State. Williams had 15 sacks this season and was a major part of the Wolfpack getting into the postseason. Think a quick, strong player who could develop into a Reggie White type dominator. Imagine a Mario-KGB led line. Not trying to make comparisons, but that?s how the Panthers started building. Plus Green May might need a replacement on the defensive line in case Grady Jackson leaves in free agency.
Then work a trade, put together a package to load up on second round draft picks. This is shaping up to be an incredibly deep draft. You have future Pro Bowlers like Reggie Bush, Vince Young and Matt Leinhart clogging up the first round, meaning that some possible superstars are going to be falling into the second. One of those could be Oregon tight end Tim Day. It?s hard to say if Bubba Franks will be back next season and after getting injured what condition will he be in? Day offers potential Pro Bowl insurance. He?s 6?4 and 265 lbs, with an athleticism that matches Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. Last season for Oregon Day pulled in 35 catches for 457 yards. Plus he?s a solid blocker who can help give Brett time to deliver the pass.
So now Green Bay has a defensive stopper and another weapon for the offense. Time to work on the running game. I mentioned this was a deep draft and some very talented players will be ignored. One of those could be Memphis running back Deangelo Williams. Why? Because even though he?s the complete package of strength and speed, he stands at 5-10 and people tend to turn a blind eye to anyone outside of the ?big? schools. If Williams is available when the Packers pick, they have to jump on this with both feet. How does 1959 yards and 18 touchdowns sound? 4.4 speed in the 40?
If Williams is gone, then another great option is Dontrell Moore from New Mexico. Moore suffers from the same problem as Williams. He?s not at one of the ?big? schools, so teams might overlook him. That?s not all he and Williams share though. He?s 5-10 and comes in at 211 and finished his senior season as the Mountain West Conference career rushing leader. In four years, he?s racked up 4973 yards and passed names like Bo Jackson, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk on his way to the top.
If new coach Mike McCarthy follows this gameplan, he?ll have improved a team that was already not as bad as its? record. Use Samkon Gado as a change of pace back with Moore or Williams, sign a wide receiver as insurance in free agency and this is possibly a 8-9 win team next season. In the NFC North that?s almost a guaranteed playoff team and not a bad way for #4 to go out as he should. On top of the game, gunning for one last ring.