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Between the Lines (December 28, 2016 – S01E37)

seanjones_chris_havelChris Havel and Sean Jones present Between the Lines, Event USA’s new exclusive, weekly podcast featuring in-depth discussion and analysis regarding the NFL and the Green Bay Packers.

This week the podcast features: 

  • How did the Packers turn things around en route to a five-game winning streak?
  • How does the “we’re better than you” scouting report work?
  • What are the Packers’ chances to reach Super Bowl 51?
  • Where are the Packers better now than they were at the season’s start?
  • … and more!

How did the Packers turn things around en route to a five-game winning streak?

Sean Jones: “The Packers were floundering away for about three or four weeks trying to find combinations that worked. Finally, they said, ‘You know what? We’re about to blow this season. Let’s stop whining and complaining. Let’s get this thing solved by the people we have in this locker room. If we need a wide receiver to play running back, or a running back to play wide receiver, or a fullback to play middle linebacker that’s fine. Let’s roll with the guys we have and not make any excuses. We’re too good to blow it.’

“Once they did that they began beating the teams that they were better than.”

How does the “we’re better than you” scouting report work?

Sean Jones: “Sometimes you look at the other team, you look at your team, and the scouting report is one page: We’re better than them. There’s nothing to over-think. There’s nothing to over-do. I don’t have to come up with ‘trick me’ plays. I just have to execute and do what I do with my players and we’ll win. There are times we over-think it. We come up with 15 more plays, and if the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, we can get this thing done. No, no, no … it’s blocking and tackling. This is why the Patriots are so good. Of all the teams I’ve described, that team understands it and they’ve developed a culture in the locker room and you figure it out very quickly. It’s a vertical chain of command – no boxes and subsets – it’s straight from the player to (head coach Bill) Belichick.

“That’s the challenge. That’s the challenge in life. Understand what your talents are and wake up every morning and take advantage of those talents no matter what someone else says.

“That’s hard in life. First, you have to recognize what and who you are and the motivation, the inspiration to get that done. Do you job well, not just do your job, but do it well. Then, even if you have it fall in your favor, there’s a luck component that’s part of it.”

What are the Packers’ chances to reach Super Bowl 51?

Sean: “Three wins and you’re talking Super Bowl. The math is crazy isn’t it? You work all this time and what makes it realistic for any team is if you went on a three-game winning streak at any point in the season. Now you need to replicate that in January.

“If you can win five games in a row, beginning with the regular-season finale, you’re going to be pretty happy with those results. It’s just a matter of starting that playoff run now, which in the case of Detroit and Green Bay is in fact their first playoff game.”

Where are the Packers better now than they were at the season’s start?

Chris Havel: “The running back position, I would argue, is more explosive now than it was on Day One. I think it’s more dependable, too. Christine Michael can carry the mail to a degree – to the degree that they need him to do it. Ty Montgomery is a big-play player who adds the dimension of being a legitimate receiver out of the backfield.

“They’re dangerous and I think for the first time in a long time the running game goes hand-in-glove with the passing attack. They both pose legit big-play threats.”

Sean Jones: “I think you’re right. Michael has been a fantastic addition. His ability to have explosive plays is more like James Starks when he first came into the league. (Eddie) Lacy is not necessarily a guy that you can hand off to on the 1 and it’s going to go for 99 yards and he’s in the end zone. That’s not Eddie Lacy. Michael is a home-run threat.

“It’s funny to have these comments about a guy the Packers picked up off the scrap heap. Now they’ve got something going with Montgomery and Michael. The problem with getting ready for backs like that is their unpredictability. They are unpredictable, imaginative runners – more like kick- and punt-returners – now you see me, now you don’t.”

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