Green Bay Packers Offensive Issues Emerge
In a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is “fed up” with GM Ted Thompson’s “unwillingness to take a chance and reinforce the roster with veteran players.” McCarthy got little help from Thompson in 2015 outside of the five selections in last years NFL draft. According to several sources, McCarthy feels the Packers are lacking talent to contribute.
McCarthy recently called out Eddie Lacy for being too heavy at the end of the year press conference. Lacy had a major drop off from his 2014 season production running for only 758 yards in 15 games.
“Fat Eddie” has since been approached by Tony Horton, the creator of P90X. Apparently, in a publicity stunt to gain press, Horton is offering to help Lacy get in shape for next season. Horton personally worked with Ray Lewis a few years ago, but there’s no telling how Lacy will view Horton’s offer.
Davante Adams is another Packer who was a major let down in 2015. While Adams believes his struggles have helped him become “mentally tough” the Packers fanbase and fantasy football community expected so much more from Adams last season.
Of course, Green Bay will have the services of Jordy Nelson in 2016, who has been running full speed for weeks. The veteran wide receiver and go-to target for Aaron Rodgers was surely missed last season and will be welcomed back with open arms to the Packers WR depth. Although, Nelson is no spring chicken. The 2008 2nd round pick will be turning 31 this May, and there is no guarantee he returns to his elite form for this season.
Personally, I feel that Rodgers became and even better passer dealing with the struggles of having an average at best receiving group running routes for him. Most people will look at Rodgers stats and see the drop off in QB Rating and completion percentage, but the lack of surrounding talent was obvious.
Nevertheless, Green Bay had an excellent season considering the struggles with the running game and young and inexperienced wide receiver group. The 2015 Packers season was not a disappointment, but not addressing the issues on offense would be foolish.
Age: 31 | $585,000 UFA[the_ad id=”58837″]Free agent James Jones hopes to re-sign with the Packers but will be turning 32 this year. Jones caught eight touchdown passes in 2015 but was frequently taken out of games by good cornerback play and would be better utilized in a complementary role.
Jones was a stopgap player that was re-signed after the team lost Jordy Nelson in the Summer. He’s unlikely to be brought back unless he takes a minimum contract offer.
Fans who have fallen in love with Jeff Janis and his big play performance from the post-season matchup against the Arizona Cardinals will connect the dots here, Janis only had 2 receptions all season but showed promise in the playoffs.
Age: 29 | $1,837,500 UFA
James Starks said he is looking for an “opportunity” to be a starter next season. “Opportunity is all I need,” Starks said. “Could I be a starter? Yeah. Can I handle it? Yeah.” Starks later said he’s after another shot at a ring, but it’s clear Starks is aiming for a starting job.
With Lacy overweight and Starks ready to test free agency, the Packers could be in need of a running back quickly. The perfect scenario is locking Starks up long-term and getting Lacy into far better shape, but the alternative of having to bring in a RB through the draft or free agency shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Packers are comfortably sitting 14th in the NFL with available cap space according to spotrac.com. The team isn’t in a bad spot but do have players that have contracts that need to be addressed.
To my surprise, ProFootball Focus ranked the Packers with the 4th best offensive line in 2015, although they admittedly confessed that “it almost feels odd that Green Bay would rank so high, given some of the struggles..”
The Packers offensive line ranked
- 24th in Penalties
- 17th in Run-blocking
- 5th in Pass-blocking.
With Mike McCarthy speaking out about the obvious struggles with depth of skilled players in 2015, the pressure is now on general manger Ted Thompson to deliver.
An upgrade of weapons for the up-coming season is needed to take the next step. The Packers hold the 27th pick in the NFL draft and have some tough decisions to make with James Starks, James Jones and even Eddie Lacy. It should be an interesting offseason for fantasy football fans that have Rodgers stock.
What would you do? Who would you bring in or cut… leave a comment below
Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 25 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had an outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike has three kids and lives on the West Coast. He’s happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.