Ask An Angel: Unbeaten Season, Matt Flynn, Prince Fielder & Favorite Packers
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 .
Cathy asks: It’s the Packers BYE week & they are undefeated. Do you think there’s a realistic chance the Packers record can stay unblemished throughout? If not, where could the first loss happen?
Colleen Answers: Yes, the Packers are Seven And Ohhhhh…my goodness. For the first time since 1962. Even this particular Angel was not yet placed upon theie earth way back then.
As has been seen since the Miami Dolphins achieved perfection in the 70′s, going undefeated throughout the ENTIRE season, including the Super Bowl, is difficult. Almost impossible. The season is now also longer, giving more teams shots to beat you and more time for key players to be injured or go into a brain funk at the very worst time, resulting in a loss.
If the Packers defense steps it up a notch, and the injury fairy stays at home there is a slight chance the Packers could have the old ’72 Dolphins crying in their champagne instead of drinking it. This Angel is, however, a realist. I don’t think the Packers will stay undefeated. I predict if there’s a loss anywhere, it’s at Detroit on Thanksgiving. Always a difficult place to play, especially on Thanksgiving, and Detroit, even with recent struggles, is better than they have been in years. I hope I’m totally wrong though and there is a totally unblemished season that will escalate these Packers to legendary status.
Thad asks: It is my belief that Flynn re-signs with the Packers. If he does, what do you think he is worth? How many years as well?
Kelly Answers: It’s hard to say whether Flynn goes or stays. Like Thad, I really hope he does remain a Packer as the ultimate insurance policy for Aaron Rodgers. But with the rash of imploding teams with flat-lining quarterbacks, we all have to remember that only one team is going to win the lottery and Suck for Luck. (Then again another team will be brilliant and draft Russell Wilson!) That means there are going to be many teams that are going to be more than ready, not to mention able to pony up cash that is considerably more than Flynn’s customary rate to serve as Chief Benchsurfer and Back-up Photobomber.
Right now, if you look at just the base salaries, Matt Flynn is a bargain. Back in 2008, he inked a four year deal for almost $1.8 Million. This year his base salary is $555,000 with a tiny bit of original weensie signing bonus tacked on. That makes him the 55th highest paid quarterback in the league and puts him somewhere at the top of the bell curve when it comes to QB2 wages. (For that matter, Aaron Rodgers is still a relative steal with his base salary of $7.25 Million but expect that to change the closer we get to 2014.)
But if you look at teams that still haven’t declared a true starter and back up OR have absolute injury magnet starters, those numbers start to blur together (Washington, Seattle, St. Louis, Oakland, and even Chicago) and a QB2 can pull in a base salary of $800,000 – $1.2 Million per year. (I’m taking Chris Redman out of the mix because $2.55 Million to hold a clipboard is just obscene.) These are also the type of teams that still don’t have reliable starter. If they’re willing to pay this much for a benchwarmer, they are going to be offering considerably more to woo away a potential starter. Those teams are currently paying their starters at least $3 Million.
So back to Thad’s question, I suspect Flynn’s agent knows these numbers quite well. While the Packers don’t have the revolving door for starting QBs, it needs an out-of-the-box ready back-up to the next snap behind Scott Wells if and when Aaron Rodgers goes down with an injury. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as an injury-proof quarterback any more. As it is, 25% of all starting quarterbacks missed at least one game last season for an injury. Right now, Flynn is ready to go at a minute’s notice. It takes time to develop a QB and the Packers would be starting from ground zero if they drafted a QB2 next year. Sure, a rookie would only command that league minimum at first. But do the Packers really want to start chosing discount coupons over a quality insurance policy?
Which brings us to that question I keep avoiding: how much would the Packers have to dish out to keep Matt Flynn in Green and Gold? I suspect he would command that upper tier back-up salary somewhere between $800,000 to $1 Million range per year (which puts a quality back-up a little below 2/3 of what some of that starting QBs are commanding.) So getting down to brass tacks, I suspect he would need to be paid at least in the ballpark of $850,000 – $950,000 per year. That said, hopefully Ted Thompson values Flynn as much as I did.
For more about how important I think Matt Flynn is to the success of the Green Bay Packers, check out my column Sailing the Seas of Cheese from this past April.
Jim asks: Not including Aaron Rodgers in the equation, who is your Packers’ MVP this season so far?
Lauren Answers: Nelson, on paper, is still the #2 receiver behind Donald Driver. If you’ve watched any of the season, though, it’s obvious that MM is pulling back on Driver and really utilizing Jordy. Not only does QB1 trust him, but his stats speak for themselves. He can run the middle of the field, but he’s also solid on short comebacks or outs where the big receiver can usually outsmart a cornerback for more yardage. My favorite Nelson play so far was the 93-yd TD during the Rams game where he totally burned Al Harris.
Although Nelson averages about 4 carries per game, they are quick, decisive and always a game-changer.
Doug asks: Assuming the Brewers will be unable to sign Prince Fielder in free agency, do you seem them making the playoffs in 2012?
Amanda Answers: Right now Brew Crew fans need to be prepared for the loss of Prince Fielder. However, there is no reason to get down or discouraged about next season. Yes, Fielder led the team in home runs and RBIs during the regular season. Returning left fielder Ryan Braun was right up there with Fielder as far as stats.
One of the biggest advantages this team has is the return of their pitching rotation. Without any trades, the Brewers have Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson will call Miller Park home for the 2012 season. While their pitching struggled at the end of their run, they still have one of the better starting rotations in baseball. A little help in the bullpen and they’ll have their defense set.
What the Brewers and GM Doug Melvin need to focus on in the offseason is finding the power to the offense. Whether that’s Fielder or someone else, it doesn’t matter. The Brewers need that extra momentum that helped them win their way to an NL Central Championship and a berth into the playoffs. If Fielder signs somewhere else, it will be challenging to find a replacement. However, I have a theory that everyone is replaceable. What do I know…I’m just a Twins fan.
(Group Question) Mark asks: Who are all of you ladies’ favorite Packers of all-time and currently?
Kelly: Growing up in De Pere, I have a few favorites that have absolutely nothing to do with football.
All-time favorite is, hands down, Iron Mike Michalske. He was my next door neighbor and was the grandfather figure to a lot of the kids in the neighborhood. His kindness and big heart is something every Packer should emulate in retirement.
Also have a very soft spot for Johnnie Gray who had the patience of a saint to coach my fifth grade youth soccer team (think Bad News Bears without the victorious romp in Japan.) Remember most of the team crammed into the back of his van and him telling us all to quit screwing around because we were going to cause an accident.
Current Favorites are Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson. Not only are they the best of the best, they embody a lot of those qualties I admired in Packers who stuck around in Green Bay long after their careers were over.
Paige : My favorite all-time is Fuzzy Thurston. Not only was he an All-Pro during the Lombardi years, but he’s one of only three players in pro football history to play on six World Championship teams. He’s also from Altoona, Wisconsin, and I’m a sucker for home state heroes. However, the number one reason why Fuzzy is my favorite is because he and his wife welcomed me into their home to talk about Max McGee twelve hours after his death. They were one of the most gracious and kind couples I’ve met. They talked about the Packers family fraternity and how much it had given them. Since then I’ve tried to stay in touch with Fuzzy and Sue. I always loved it when I would bump into them at a game or event.
There are quite a few guys in the Packers locker room who I really enjoyed talking with and who I respected. Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Ryan Pickett come to mind. T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton are characters and always provide a laugh.
Colleen : My favorite Packer of all-time is very well documented, since I’ve written about his continuing exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame (shameless plug, please go hound the HOF about letting my favorite Packer ever, Jerry Kramer, in. It’s time). He’s an icon to me as a native Idahoan and as a Packer fan. He’s also a very nice man who I had the pleasure of watching football with a few weeks ago. One of those red letter days in life.
Currently? Donald Driver. He’s the epitome of Packer People, grace and class personified on and off the field. Others might point to Woodson if you like your favorite Packer a little more fiery. But don’t mistake Quickie’s smile and easy personality (the anti Randy Moss) to mean he’s a milquetoast. He’s a tough competitor who is still ready to play every week, in any role and level the team needs him. I am proud to own his jersey.
Anita : It’s hard to pick a favorite on the current team. I mean, who doesn’t immediately gravitate toward Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, when naming their favorite Packers? I also seem to root hardest for Greg Jennings and Tramon Williams. Among former players, I will always have a soft spot for Antonio Freeman. That MNF catch against the Vikings is my all time favorite play. I also love LeRoy Butler for being the Godfather of the Lambeau Leap, and I will always worship Don Majkowski for the Instant Replay game! I would also love to see Jerry Kramer get into the Hall of Fame, where he belongs!
Lauren: My favorite Packer of all time is hands-down William Henderson. My first jersey was Henderson, and it’s the jersey I wore when we beat the Bears in the NFC Championship. My favorite current player? Woodson. Big Michigan fan, and that guy just kills – both in and out of the locker room.
Jayme: Robert Brooks. I was a big Sterling Sharpe fan, but I was so young and he was so aloof that I never really developed that childhood idol type fan relation with him. When Brooks burst onto the scene, I immediately latched on to him. I listened to him on Bob and Brian every week, sang jump in the stands all the time, and had a football card of him on a plaque that I kept close by me more than I care to admit. I cried the day he retired, and went on and on to anyone who would listen how completely unfair it was that someone so gifted had to give up his dream at such a young age. I was a teenager, injustices in the world were a big thing for me. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Edgar Bennett – who I wave to every time I see him on the sideline during the game broadcasts, and I also still sport my Ahman Green jersey. I’d like to say some more old school players to give me some more street cred, but I’m a young one, only have what I can remember.
Now? That’s difficult. I think I would have to say Clay Matthews. He helped me finally realize my dream of the Packers drafting and featuring a USC player; he combines both of my football loves. But I also really love Charles Woodson. I was so excited when the Packers signed him, and walked around proclaiming that he would usher in a new defensive era while nearly everyone around me laughed. Plus his smile is really great. I think as I’ve grown as a fan, I have more more appreciation for hard hitting players. That or I have anger issues.
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 .