Episode 33 - No Good, Very Bad 2016 Predictions
Blue 58, powered by WTMJ Mobile, goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.
This week on Blue 58… the Packers hit the practice field for OTAs, we name our favorite undrafted free agents, and remember some miserable predictions we made before the 2016 season.
Here's the headlines we covered on this week's episode:
OTAs have started, and there are three big takeaways: the state of the inside linebacker group, how reliant the Packers are on their young pass rushers, and Ty Montgomery’s humorous evolution into a sound bite machine.
Jon: Do you have any big lessons learned from the first OTA session? Does it matter if you do?
Gary: This time of the year and through the preseason is full of cliche filled hope. Everyone is in the best shape of their lives, everyone’s added muscle, and everyone’s looking good without pads on. As a fan, it’s easy to get caught up and wind up as the conductor of the hype train.
I do think there’s a larger lesson I gathered from the first OTAs, though, and it’s that the Packers are not as sold to the status-quo as they have been in years past. It seems as if there’s been a very slight, small shift in the organization’s thinking – they drafted a few more “ready now” prospects than in years past and dipped their toes into free agency. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy are evolving.
The Packers try to identify one key attribute for each UDFA signing, and we’ve tried to identify that attribute for each signing.
Jon: Do you have a UDFA crush? Which attribute jumps out to you the most?
Gary: I root for stories, and I love reading and hearing about the adversity these undrafted free agents have overcome to make it on an NFL roster. The one that I’ll be rooting for this preseason is linebacker Cody Heiman. He’s one of the most agile linebackers Thompson has ever brought in, and he played eight-man football in high school. I’m certainly pulling for him to make the team.
We're revisiting some of our draft coverage. This week, we took a look at the 2013 draft class and offered up some thoughts.
Jon: Looking back, what’s your feel for the 2013 class?
Gary: If you’re looking only at the Packers’ draft picks, it’s easy to feel pretty low about this class. Only David Bakhtiari remains with Green Bay heading into this season, and first-round pick Datone Jones never really met expectations.
Here’s the silver lining, though. The 2013 draft was probably the worst crop of players in recent NFL history. Six of the first 10 picks are playing for other teams, and the bottom half of the first round produced more Pro Bowlers than the top half.
Let’s focus in on Bakhtiari for a moment, though. Three offensive tackles were selected in the top four picks, and a total of eight tackles were all picked before Bakhtiari went to Green Bay in the fourth round. Bakhtiari is the only Pro Bowler of the entire draft class at tackle, and has been a plug-and-play left tackle. If you could only get one player from a draft, getting a left tackle for the next decade is about as good as you could hope for.
Main Topic: No Good, Very Bad 2016 Predictions
Both Jon and Gary have made some poor predictions over the past year about the 2016 season. We covered a few and rated just how bad they were, including:
- Jon: Mike McCarthy had a 15% chance of being fired
- Gary: The Packers would win the Super Bowl if they could beat the Seahawks
- Jon: Jared Abbrederis and Joe Thomas would be cut in training camp
- Gary: Blake Martinez has a good chance of being DROY
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