Our guest this week for the Thursday Q & A is Michael Rodney from the Packers blog, Packer Update.  We’ll be looking back at last week’s Divisional Playoff win against the Falcons and of course the upcoming NFC Championship Game against Da Bears.

Share with us how Packer Update began and you got into blogging about the Packers.

I graduated from college with a degree in journalism. I wanted to be a sportswriter, but I spent the early part of my career covering local government. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. That’s what ultimately led to Packer Update. It gives me the chance to do two of my favorite things – write and discuss the Packers.

How do you balance your real life profession with your online blogging one?

It’s not easy. I’m a teacher, so finding time to write during the school year is very difficult. That’s why the site is updated far more frequently during the summer. I can only relax on the beach for so long.

Looking back at the Falcons game from this weekend, were you expecting a win & if so that big of one?

It didn’t surprise me that Green Bay won the game. The Packers should’ve beaten the Falcons in November and they’re playing a lot better now. But you never expect a team to win by four TDs on the road in the playoffs.

A lot was made leading up to the Falcons game about the new ‘balanced’ offensive attack the Packers had due to the performance of running back James Starks.  Starks wasn’t able to put the same numbers up this past week as he did against the Eagles.  Do you think this is because the Atlanta defense is just better or perhaps Starks isn’t the heir apparent to the Packers running game?

I wrote about this a few days ago (how’s that for a plug?) I thought Starks did pretty well considering that Atlanta’s front four controlled the line of scrimmage on a high percentage of the running plays. Starks’ overall numbers weren’t impressive, but I’m not sure Adrian Peterson could’ve averaged 4 yards per carry behind that blocking.

Tramon Williams has had an incredible season and has been instrumental in these past two playoffs victories. Are you surprised at all with his emergence as an elite NFL cornerback?

I considered Williams to be an excellent No. 3 corner, but only a slightly above-average starter coming into this season. He’s obviously far exceeded my expectations. In my opinion, he’s been the best corner in the NFC and one of the top 3 corners in the league.

We now are looking at the NFC Championship game against the Bears this coming Sunday. The Bears defense always seems to give the Packers offense troubles.  Why do you think that is?

I thought the Packers moved the ball very well against the Bears early in the season, but penalties and turnovers kept them from scoring more than 17 points. I wasn’t overly impressed with Chicago’s defense then, but I am now. They were very good a few weeks ago. It’s a physical defense that plays smart. That said, the Packers are more than capable of moving the ball and scoring 25 or 30 points. They just need to protect the quarterback and limit mistakes.

Jay Cutler has had a solid season, not making the mistakes which he so frequently had in the past. Do you think this is because of the work of offensive coordinator Mike Martz or the maturation of Jay Cutler?

It’s probably a combination of the two. He’s always had the talent, and now he seems to playing with more confidence. A good defense will often do that for a quarterback. But I’m not sure I would trust Cutler in a big spot. He still makes poor decisions that only Brett Favre could understand.

What’s the one thing that scares you the most about the Bears?

Devin Hester. Teams don’t usually win playoff games when they give up a return TD. The Packers were fortunate to overcome that a week ago.

What’s the one thing that should scare the Bears about the Packers?

Aaron Rodgers. Once again, he’ll be the best player on the field.

Of course, here’s the big question, do you think the Packers will be advancing to the Super Bowl after Sunday’s game?

The weather and the condition of the field concerns me a bit, but the Packers just look like a Super Bowl team. Their stars are playing great and a new secondary player seems to step up every week. That’s what you need to win games in January and February. So yes, I’m picking Green Bay.

…and now for the lighting round.

Your all-time favorite Packers player is:

Bruce Clark (just kidding). I don’t really have an all-time favorite, but if I had to choose somebody, I’d probably go with LeRoy Butler.

Your favorite Packers blog to read that isn’t named Packer Update:

I really admire all the people who do this because I know how difficult and time-consuming it is. Unfortunately, I don’t get a chance to read many other blogs. I barely have time to read my own. 

If there were no Packers, you would have a blog about:

Nothing. I’d spend a lot more time watching TV.

If you were a pro football player, your position would be:

I’m 5’9 160, so let’s go with kicker.

Should I ever run into you at a bar, I should buy you a ____ for taking the time to answer these questions.

I’m not picky. A beer would be just fine.

Thank you to Michael for joining us this week.  Stop over at PackerUpdate.net for his takes and insight into our favorite team and you can also follow on Twitter at @packer_update .

Would you like to be the guest for a PocketDoppler.com Thursday Q & A? Let us know!

 

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  • http://www.twitter.com/badger_dave_ BadgerDave

    “Devin Hester. Teams don’t usually win playoff games when they give up a return TD.”

    Yeah, the last time the Bears returned one in the playoffs they…oh oops. =]