We asked a former scout to analyze and grade each member of the '08 Packers. In a season filled with subpar performances and heartbreaking losses, it's no surprise that the final grades are awfully low. Of the 45 players who saw enough action to be fairly assessed by the scout, there were 2 As, 12 Bs, 16 Cs and 15 Ds (in the spirit of the holidays, there were no Fs).
Place your cursor over the player's name in the right-hand column to read the scout's analysis. Then take a minute and let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
All of Packer Nation is waiting with bated breath as head coach Mike McCarthy contemplates the future of his assistants. Rather than write a new column about Bob Sanders, here are links to four articles - written by Packer Update between July 2006 and August 2008 - that clearly express our opinion of Green Bay's embattled defensive coordinator.
-On7/31/06, we questioned Sanders' qualifications and personality.
-On 7/19/07, we questioned Sanders' ability to prepare and adjust.
-On 2/7/08, we criticized Sanders' scheme for being too predictable.
-On8/22/08, we doubted Sanders' ability to design an effective blitz.
We didn't think that Sanders was the right man for the job back in 2006 and absolutely nothing that has happened in the ensuing three years has changed our minds.
Forget about free agency in early March and the draft in late April. The most important day of the offseason will come sometime this week when coach Mike McCarthy decides the fate of defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and special teams coordinator Mike Stock. The defense finished 20th in yards allowed and gave up 23.8 points per game. The special teams will almost certainly be ranked in the bottom third of the league once the final numbers are digested and spit out. Both units regressed dramatically from a year ago. "Teams that go from 13-3 to 6-10 usually make changes," said a person familiar with the situation. "Sometimes it's the head coach, but more often than not it's a coordinator. McCarthy would be more than justified in getting rid of Sanders and Stock, but it's far from a sure thing that either will get a pink slip."
So why are Sanders and Stock not locks to be checking out Monster.com by this time next week? "McCarthy is extremely stubborn and extremely loyal," said the source. "He hired Sanders because he liked his scheme. In fact, he's said over and over how that's the way he likes to play defense. He hired Stock because he worked with him in Kansas City in the 90s and the two had remained friendly through the years. I'm not convinced the McCarthy is ready to admit that he was wrong about Sanders' scheme and that he's ready to say goodbye to a longtime pal and confidante."
Another thing that makes getting rid of Sanders tricky is the affect it would have on other staff members. A new coordinator would want to bring in his own assistants. That would put linebackers coach Winston Moss and secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer in precarious positions. "McCarthy is close with both guys," said the source. "It would be difficult for him to let them go." An alternative would be to promote Moss to defensive coordinator. "That would be the easy way out, but is it really going to fix things," asked the source? "That type of move would be similar to when Mike Sherman replaced Ed Donatell with Bob Slowik. Promoting from within doesn't make sense when a defense is coming off a bad season."
As of today, we haven't heard a peep about what McCarthy is planning to do. Perhaps that's because he isn't going to do anything - although that seems hard to believe. Even though he signed a $20 million extension less than a year ago, the pressure on McCarthy will be intense in 2009. Plus, you can bet that Ted Thompson will have something to say on the subject. "McCarthy almost has to do something," opined the source. "It would make sense to bring in two new coordinators with proven track records. Will he do that? Who knows? The only thing for sure is that he's not going to be sleeping well the next few nights."