Ask An Angel: Donald Driver, Packers O-Line, Russell Wilson & EPL
The Pocket Doppler Angels group is made up of the women that contribute to PocketDoppler.com, the moniker in homage to Charlie’s Angels. Individually and combined this group is as knowledgeable about the Packers, football & sports as anyone out there. Every other week they’ll answer your submitted questions on the Packers, football or other topics submitted. Feel free to submit non-Packers/football questions as well. Colleen would love to talk NASCAR with you, Kelly & Anita are ready to discuss the Badgers and college football, Amanda or Paige can regale you with their MLB & baseball knowledge or Jayme will explain to you why soccer is not just a European sport. To submit your question today, click here or on Twitter, @PDAngels.
@PackerKen asks: Should Donald Driver’s number be retired? AND Andy asks: Is Donald Driver a Pro Football HOFer?
Colleen Answers: Let me be clear – with my Idaho guys gone, Double D is my favorite Packer of the current roster. He’s gracious, talented and classy. That said, if Paul Hornung’s number isn’t retired (among others), Double D’s shouldn’t be. There are so many great players, but if you retire all of their numbers you don’t have any left, so it’s understandable, and despite the player he is and records he holds, I think his number stays active. His name probably goes up in Lambeau though.
Second, obviously Donald is a shoo-in to the Packers Hall of Fame. Again, his accomplishments are amazing and he is truly “Packer People.” But, as we’ve seen, the HOF is incredibly fickle (and in the case of Jerry Kramer, unaccountably stupid). The number of gifted WRs who are not in the HOF is a long, long list. (Sterling Sharpe? Cliff Branch?) I think Double D will not be among those in Canton, even as a Senio9r inductee, unless something radically changes in the next several years as to how the selection process and the politics involved in it work.
Karl asks: What did you think of the performance of both Derek Sherrod & Marshall Newhouse on Sunday night after Clifton left due to injury?
Kelly Answers: Moments like this, I love to be proven wrong. So let’s just get this out of the way first and get on to the answer to Karl’s question: Derek, I am sorry I called you Derek Mandarich. It was uncalled for and a cheap shot. That said, it wasn’t perfect, but considering the Packers suddenly had a very young offensive line last night, they held up better than I had ever hoped. Of course there will be some critic that will point out that Sherrod and Newhouse were successful because John Abraham was out with a hip injury. Big Deal. The Packers were down two to his one and they still managed to pull out a win. Once again, the team proved–as Aaron Rodgers answered said critics this past week–it takes 53 guys to win.
Granted, Rodgers was privileged to inspect the finer nuances of astroturf a few too many times for my taste, but the most spectacular sack of the evening came because TJ Lang all but handed the defense everything but a key to the front door. Sure, Sherrod had some problems at first. Sidbury’s sack in red zone comes to mind. But in the end, that deer in the headlights rookie that gave me pause in the preseason forgot to show up last night and the ready to rumble Sherrod was there to play. Of course it didn’t hurt that the Packers have something like fifty tight ends that can help with double coverage and block when it counts. And while he finds his own groove, the Packers will utilize the double back protection plan to give Sherrod a little extra boost of help if not self-confidence. Like any kid, the training wheels will eventually come off, and after last night I’m pretty sure he won’t careen into the bushes after that first push on his own. He’s going to be fine. So yeah, I’ll be over here in the corner eating a nice serving of crow.
Meanwhile Newhouse came into himself when McCarthy shifted him over to Left Tackle, more so than on the right side. He’s proving to be a reliable all-purpose offensive lineman. He’s gone on record that he’s comfortable with change, and I expect him to make the most of it and make the necessary adjustments to play the other side of the line. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a while before Chad Clifton returns to the field. Hamstring injuries always seem to take more time than anyone predicts. Expect to see Newhouse continue to protect the blindside as Bulaga is reinserted line now that his knee is healing.
Doug asks: The Packers defense thus far has been very bend but don’t break. Can the Packers go undefeated with the defense playing the way it is?
Paige Answers: I don’t believe the Packers will go undefeated this season. I’ve circled Week 13 in New York in red as I believe MetLife Stadium spells doom for Green Bay. However, the Packers defense has been playing better. The secondary showed marked improvements versus Atlanta. Sam Shields was like Velcro versus Julio Jones on that deep ball break-up, Jarrett Bush nearly tasted the endzone after a Matt Ryan interception, and Tramon Williams looked like his old self. The linebackers are also making more game changing plays (Desmond Bishop had the lone sack). You also have to appreciate the swagger the defense touts. B.J. Raji has become quite the mouthpiece. So far, he and the Packers D have been able to back it up.
Steve asks: After the Badgers win over Nebraska, the Russell Wilson Heisman Trophy talk really heated up. Do you think Wilson actually has a shot at winning the Heisman?
Anita Answers: In my opinion, the Heisman has become just as much about hype and marketing as a players ability and statistics. ESPN, the highest rated cable network, serves its own self-interests first and foremost, and will put the player that they feel will give THEM the greatest ratings boost to the forefront of their coverage (see: Tebow, Tim). Wilson has the advantage of playing in the Big Ten, which ABC/ESPN does feature heavily in their broadcast rotation. Unfortunately, he also plays in the same conference as Denard Robinson, and it is my feeling that when it comes to football, the Big Ten will bend over backward to preserve and promote the “greatest rivalry in sports,” which to them is Ohio State/Michigan football, and will promote Robinson more heavily for the award than Wilson, provided their statistics are in the same ballpark. However, as we saw last season, Robinson takes a beating and may not last the entire season. I’m not saying to root for a player to be injured (unless you’re Denard’s seriously angry ex-girlfriend who hacked his Twitter last week!), but that would be in Wilson’s favor if he stays injury free and continues to dominate, and Robinson ends up missing a game or two. It doesn’t help matters that we get a weekly helping of “Denard Robinson is the most exciting player in college football” from the ESPN Gameday crew, which features Desmond Howard on its panel. I love Desmond, but he is an unabashed supporter of his alma mater and is hardly objective when it comes to players from his school.
So my answer is YES, but only if he continues to WIN and in the process, distances himself from Robinson, thus forcing the ENTERTAINMENT SPorts Network to actually say his name in the same sentence with the Heisman Trophy on occasion. If Michigan and Wisconsin meet in the Big Ten Championship game, which is the only time they can meet since they are not on each other’s schedule, Wilson would HAVE to beat Robinson, which I think WOULD happen. Wisconsin is much stronger than Michigan this year.
These opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of the rest of the Pocket Doppler crew, of course!
Mark asks: Manchester City the biggest threat for Manchester United this year in the English Premier League?
Jayme Answers: Manchester City has been building their team for a couple of years now, and last year was their best showing in the Premier League in a long time. Although they are tied at the top of the table with Manchester United, they face two big obstacles in staying there. After doing well last year they qualified for UEFA Champions League play, which is great, but it also requires a lot of travel and a lot more games. It will be interesting to see as the season progresses if this will affect the club. Their second obstacle is Carlos Tevez. In a very strange event at a recent Champions League game it is rumored that Tevez refused to sub into the game. Some are calling it a translation issue, while others aren’t surprised at all, as he’s been a little like NFL’s Randy Moss and Terrell Owens in the past.
As for Manchester United, they have played some strong games thus far this season, and they don’t show signs of slowing down. Its still pretty early in the season, but I’d say that City, especially with their vast amounts of money and a second transfer window at the start of the new year, along with Chelsea could definitely give United a run for their money.
That will do it for this week’s edition of Ask An Angel. If you’d like to be part of the excitement next time, go here and submit your question or ask on Twitter, @PDAngels & give the Angels a follow .