Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/18/12

It was a tale of two seasons for the Green Bay Packers. The regular season; an offensive juggernaut led by Aaron Rodgers that willfully and sometimes easily racked up points on any opposing defense (except the Kansas City Chiefs). A defense, that despite giving up gobs of yards, unable to pressure the quarterback, or tackle properly at times, was able to create huge turnovers and keep the Packers in games. Than there was the Playoffs, an offense that displayed receivers unable to catch as well as secure the football, to go along with absolutely zero running game. In regards to the defense, everything mentioned before was magnified in light that they were unable to create any turnovers.

There are some things that need to change in Green Bay, and I understand that GM Ted Thompson has got some wheels in motion, but here are the main things that I would do if I had the final say so with the Green Bay Packers.

 

Franchise Tag Jermichael Finley or Else: I was tempted to just say, “take a hike”, however I believe in second chances. Finley has enormous potential due to his size, speed and leaping ability. He creates an unfair advantage to opposing defenses for a few reasons. For one, he's faster than most linebackers and his size makes him difficult for a lot of defensive backs to match up with him. Secondly, he helps out his teammates. If he occupies two defenders as well as fellow receiver Greg Jennings, it usually leaves someone with one-on-one coverage, hence why Jordy Nelson had a career year.

This all sounds great, and it's true he did put up career numbers, but he also had the most drops amongst tight ends with 14. Not only that, but the drops came at crucial times, he had three in the NFC Divisional game against the Giants. If Finley can cut down on the drops and improve his run blocking, (he's ranked as one of the worst tight ends in this category) he would be worth keeping around, but I am not prepared to offer the guy a long-term extension. The franchise tag makes sense in my mind, if he does well by midseason I would offer an extension, if not I would trade him to possibly St. Louis for a second and fifth round pick, or whatever team needs a tight end badly. However, here is the tricky part, Finley's agent is claiming that since Jermichael lines up as a wide receiver, he deserves wide receiver money. The Franchise Tag for tight ends is around five million, where as for wide receivers it is a little over nine million.

I got news for you Finley, you are not getting wideout money, you are tight end. If his agent continues to play hard ball, I am would say good night and good luck. I could sign John Carlson from Seattle or Martellus Bennett from Dallas. Carlson would be a good fit, he's coming off of an injury but he's a solid run blocker with good hands. Not flashy, but a good red zone target and nice underneath guy that can move the chains. Bennett is a little more like Finley, good size and speed, but hasn't lived up to the hype in Dallas. However, he was the No. 2 tight end behind Jason Witten, possibly being more of a featured tight end and surrounded by better players might enhance his play.

Re-sign Scott Wells: There are rumors that if we re-sign Finley to a long-term deal we won't be re-signing Wells. That is utterly ridiculous. The Green Bay O-Line is mediorce at best. Rodgers' ability to escape pressure and make quick reads makes this line a lot better than what they are. Both of the guards are merely average, Clifton won't be back next year (if I had my say he wouldn't be, forced retirement) and we don't know what Derek Sherrod will be like coming off a broken leg. They can't afford to bring in a new center, rookie or free agent.

Wells only gave up two sacks last year while only committing three penalties, and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. Wells is the only Green Bay lineman to play every game the last two seasons. The two knocks on Wells is that he's no the most gifted physical specimen and he's 31. Wells is an extremely smart guy and understands how to make calls at the line, I would much rather have a smart center, than a big dumb mauler. In regards to his age, Wells has clearly kept himself healthy and could be one of those rare linemen that actually get better as they get older. In short, I am re-signing him to lead my O-Line next season.

Woodson moves to Safety: If I am running this ship and have the final say, Woodson is going to safety. It's not that I don't believe that he can still play cornerback it's that I am assuming Nick Collins won't come back after his season-ending neck injury. Woodson's aggressive play and ball-hawking style would fit perfectly at one of the safety positions. For one, we would have a saftey that could cover man-to man, and capable of playing zone. It would also give him more freedom to try and bait quarterbacks and create turnovers. What it also does is allows Woodson to blitz a bit more, something I think he excels at better than most defensive backs, and even Eric Walden. Remember the mid 90's when LeRoy Butler used to blitz the quarterback and be that eighth man in the box? That's what Woodson could be - a versatile nightmare for opposing offenses, constantly guessing where Woodson will be on the field.

 

I'm Bringing in Some Help: I know that Ted Thompson is not a huge fan of free agency, his philosophy of drafting and developing talent has suited the Packers fine. That's not me, and considering what we witnessed this last season, we have more holes to fill than we have players to plug in. For starters if I am moving Woodson to saftey and regulating Charlie Peprah to nickel-back, I have a slot open at corner. I will have some money to play with by letting go of Jarrett Bush, Eric Walden, Matt Flynn and Chad Clifton.

I would fill in the corner slot with Cortland Finnegan from Tennesee. He's made it very well known that he was not happy that the Titans did not try and re-sign him during the season. He's a solid No. 1 corner who is excellent in both man coverage and stopping the run on the outside. He may be undersized, but he is one of the best wrap up tacklers at his position. He may come with some baggage, he has a reputation of being a dirty player, but I say so what? Green Bay needs a tough and scary guy on the defense. Watching the Packers attempts at tackling this last season was painful, especially from players in the secondary, Finnegan will be a breath of fresh air.

On the defensive line I would go after Calais Campbell from Arizona. It might cost the Packers a pretty penny to acquire him from the Cardinals, who have expressed at least franchise tagging him, but it would be worth it. At 6-8, 300 pounds, Campbell is big and strong enough to hold his own in a 3-4 scheme. Like Cullen Jenkins, he could be that rare defensive end in the scheme that can provide pass rush as well as hold the point of attack against the run. He's a phenomenal athlete that continues to improve, and would surely improve this defense.

 

In the First Round of the Draft: Personally, if he's there, I would go with outside linebacker Lavonte David from Nebraska. David is a good all-around hustle linebacker. His size as a linebacker is not ideal at 6-1, 220 pounds, for most teams, but it would fit perfectly in a 3-4 scheme. According to his analysis he is capable of flying around the field and covering most running backs and tight ends. His speed, toughness and willingness to play in the box make him ideal to be the opposite side rusher from Clay Matthews. Character wise, he is touted as intelligent and hard working, which is exactly the type of defensive players the Packers need.

 

Also in the Draft: The first round I believe outside linebacker needs to be addressed to add more pas rushers on this defense. The remaining rounds I am restocking the offensive line, particularity drafting a backup center and offensive tackle. I am would also draft a tight end, running back, inside linebacker and finally a backup quarterback. Second and third rounds I would probably focus on adding depth to the offensive line and another running back. Possibly a tight end in the fourth, another offensive lineman in the fifth, linebacker in the sixth and quarterback in the seventh. But it all depends on who's on the board.

 

Bring back football in Milwaukee: I don't know how this can be done, but I would totally do this. I remember being a kid and the Packer games at County Stadium (the Brewers previous home field) was always a big deal. Bow that Miller Park exists, which is way better than what County Stadium was (however, I do miss the ole' ball park) a Packer game there would be very exciting. Plus with the ability to close the roof and being indoors, this Packer team, which is offensively built would be fun to watch. It would also be nice to give something back to the people of Milwaukee area, who make the two-hour trek to Green Bay to cheer on the Packers.

 



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