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Andy Herman | Packers Insider; Host "Pack-a-Day" Podcast

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May 5, 2023 5:55 am

Andy Herman | Packers Insider; Host "Pack-a-Day" Podcast

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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May 5, 2023 5:55 am

Green Bay Packers insider & host of the "Pack-a-Day" Podcast Andy Herman joins the show to talk Jordan Love, rebuild?, and Aaron Rodgers leaving town.

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Better flights, fewer points. Get started today at That's We are pleased to welcome Andy Herman, our favorite Packers insider. He certainly does do a lot of work here on the show with the Pack A Day podcast and Packer Report 66. All right, Andy. He says he's super happy.

He's an A-list celebrity in New York. What's your reaction to Aaron moving on? Yeah, so there's a couple things obviously there. I think the first thing, and this kind of goes back a little while now, is I've been certainly on the bandwagon for the past couple seasons, even going back to last year where I thought that Green Bay should have traded away Aaron Rodgers a season ago. That makes it a lot harder last year when you're coming off back-to-back MVPs. But certainly this year when you looked at the contract and everything involved, it certainly seemed like it was time from a Packers standpoint to move to Jordan and go in a different direction. But one of the things that I had said all along is that it felt like it wasn't just the Packers that needed to move on. I thought this was also going to be best for Aaron Rodgers. He's been in the same place for a very long time, and it just felt like he needed something new, something to rejuvenate him, something to refresh him. And I think over these first seven to ten days with the Jets, whatever it's been now, you can tell that he is rejuvenated, that he is refreshed, and that this is something that's a little bit new for him. And obviously he is gathering former Packers coaches and players like Infinity Stones in a gauntlet of some sort, but I still think that this is something that's new and exciting for him. You could tell how happy he was. Maybe a little bit nervous at times in that opening press conference, but he's excited, he's happy, and I think for most Packer fans they're happy to see that as well.

So hopefully this ends up being a win-win for both sides. Well I'm glad you brought that up because I had wondered how happy Packer's fans are for him to start over. Shades of Brett Favre getting traded to the Jets and then ultimately ending up with the Vikings, which made Packer's fans less happy. But do you think that's the truth? That most of Packer's nation is happy for him to start over somewhere else?

I don't know that I would necessarily go that far, but I'll say a couple different things. A, this is totally different in the city of Green Bay than it was when Brett got traded. When Brett got traded, it was madness.

It was literally a house divided. There were fans that were swearing they were never going to be Packer fans again. There were a lot of people wearing Jets fans in Green Bay, Wisconsin. There was a lot of vitriol and hate towards even Aaron Rodgers, who did nothing wrong in the situation. Certainly towards Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy.

Like I said, it was literally a house divided. There's really not a whole lot of that going on in Green Bay, and I think that's for a variety of different reasons. I think first of all, A, Green Bay has experienced the whole Brett Favre saga in the past, so that's number one.

I think the second thing here is that this has been coming for some time. This is the third consecutive offseason where there has been rumblings that Aaron wanted out of Green Bay or was considering out of Green Bay. I think there was just some general fatigue going on with that, and I think when you're coming off back to back MVP seasons, it's a little bit different. When you're coming off, and listen, Aaron had the rib issue, he had the thumb issue, the weapons weren't quite the same last year. That's not certainly all on Aaron Rodgers, but he's coming off one of the worst seasons of his career statistically. They did not make the playoffs. They had the opportunity to get in in that last game.

It didn't happen, and when you start having that fatigue over a few seasons of this going on, I think people had started to see this coming. I think some fans were certainly getting to the point of also wondering, hey, is it really best time for Green Bay to move on in this situation? It certainly doesn't help matters that the better or the worse that the Jets do next season, the better Green Bay's draft pick is next year in the first round, assuming he plays 65% snaps or more. So unlike Brett, when Brett got traded, the better he did, the better Green Bay's draft pick would be. In this situation, the worse Aaron does, assuming he plays at least 65% of the snaps, the better Green Bay's draft pick is, so that's playing the part as well. Andy Herman is with the Pack-a-Day Podcast and one of our favorite Packers guests. In fact, I think he's really our number one Packers guest now here on After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. We did this poll on my show over the last 24 hours asking listeners who would finish with a better record in 23. It's just guesses. Right now, two-thirds of the votes are in favor of the Jets. What do you think, Andy?

Yeah, I think that's definitely fair, right? You have two diverging franchises in some capacity. You have the Jets who are going all in this season, trading everything away to try to make this season as best as possible. Obviously, go out and get Aaron Rodgers. They have a really fun young core. The rookies that they got a season to go in their draft were spectacular. Hopefully, they can all play like they did a season to go. I know they got the injury to Breece Hallett running back. Hopefully, he can come back sooner rather than later, but they're also now acquiring pieces around Aaron that are hopefully going to make him successful on offense. I think the Jets are very much going in the all-in direction. Meanwhile, Green Bay, I know they don't want to say the word rebuild in Green Bay.

Brian Guda can still tell you that the expectations remain the same and that there's only one goal in Green Bay, and that's to win championships. They don't have the financial means to go out and spend any money in free agency. Really, their biggest outside free agent signing was Tavarius Moore, basically a vet minimum safety that will have an opportunity to compete for one of the safety spots. They bring back Keyshawn Nixon. They trade away Aaron Rodgers. Like I said, while they're not going to use the rebuild moniker, this is a team that understands that it has to get more fiscally responsible, that just picked up some serious draft capital last year for Devante Adams, this year for Aaron Rodgers, and is starting to rebuild a roster that was getting old and expensive. And I just looked at it yesterday, Amy, there's only four players on this roster over 28 years of age. So I know the NFL as a whole is going young, but that's pretty incredible that they've only got four players over 28 years old. Then why not use the word rebuild?

Why is that so sacrilegious? I think most fans are probably smart enough to understand that this is a rebuild in some capacity. At the same token, where I think a lot of franchises and pretty much all sports are now more attuned to, hey, if you're not giving an A and we're not going to make a run at a championship, it's probably better to get an F and probably get as early of a draft pick as you possibly can. This is a Green Bay team that has been allergic to really ripping that bandaid. They probably could have moved on from some more guys like a Preston Smith and an Aaron Jones and some of those sort of things to really rip the bandaid and really try to do a full on rebuild, really get as young as they possibly could. And they sort of stopped short of doing that part of that was the salary cap situation that they were in.

But that's just not been their mo. This is really an interesting team where I don't think anyone's expecting them to make a run. But if maybe Jordan is a little bit better in year one that maybe people are expecting, it still has some really fun talent on this team. This is still a team with a David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Jayar Alexander, Christian Watson, who played extremely well a season ago, Elton Jenkins, you know, Kenny Clark, like Preston Smith, there's a lot of talent still on this roster, not to mention all the first and second round picks that they've had over the last couple seasons in those two trades I just mentioned.

So certainly some form of a rebuild, but probably not that full rip the bandaid rebuild that we've come accustomed to, and really all sports at this point. What is your perception of the NFC North, at least as it stands today in May? Yeah, I think this is a really, really fun division. And Amy, if you told me that any of these four teams finished in any of the four spots this upcoming season, I would totally understand you can make an argument for any of them finishing first, any of them finishing fourth, and I could totally buy the argument. I think, you know, Detroit is coming off a very fun season. They have, you know, two players that I know a lot of, you know, draft analysts were wondering if you can spend first round picks on running backs and off ball linebackers. I get that philosophy.

I believe in that philosophy. But Jack Campbell and obviously the running back, Jamir Gibbs was, you know, two of my favorite players in the entire draft. They're going to continue to get better. I think they're an ascending team. I think Minnesota is trying to hold on in every way, shape or form that they can to that team and try to make one more run at this thing.

I think they're in a little bit of no man's land. Chicago had the first overall pick. It's a bunch of really fun draft picks, and they get DJ Moore from Carolina. I think that's an ascending team. But if you would have told me at the same token that that team had $100 million to spend in the first overall pick in the draft, I kind of was expecting it to be a little bit more painful for Packer fans and expecting them to kind of load that roster up even a little bit more.

Even though I think Chicago has done a lot of really good things. And you've got Green Bay, like I said, they're in this interesting place where I think you're sort of expecting a little bit of a no man's land where you have some of those veterans still that are still hanging around. A lot of volatility with all the rookies and second year guys. But it's going to be a really fun competitive division, I think. Andy Herman is with us from Green Bay, the Packaday podcast, and certainly plenty of intrigue around the Packers roster, regardless of what's happening with Aaron Rodgers in New York.

It's after our CBS Sports Radio. Still, even as they say that, Andy, what's practice like without Aaron Rodgers? Yeah, I think that's what everyone's going to be really looking forward to seeing. So they've started their private OTA so far. Rookie mini camps start this weekend, and we're going to get our first eyes on the actual rookies.

And then it'll be in the coming weeks where they have the OTAs and the mini camps that are actually open to the media with a couple open to the public as well. So it is going to be a totally different vibe. Jordan is QB one for the first time. For the first time in 30 years, this is a team that doesn't have Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre as the starting quarterback of the franchise.

So definitely a different flavor. I think everyone's looking forward to seeing what Jordan's going to be able to do as the guy in Green Bay. But as we get eyes on him, I think that's what we're going to be obviously a million percent focused on moving forward with this offseason.

What are the expectations? Where do we start with Jordan? I think that's literally it, right? The starting point is him starting. And I think that's what Brian has kind of said all along is he just needs to play.

There's nothing more that he could have done in the situation that he was in. He showed everything that he needed to show as a backup quarterback to show that, hey, I'm as ready to play as I'm going to be until I can actually play. And listen, teams are going to throw the kitchen sink at him. They're going to try to confuse him. They're going to try to make him have to think through everything pre-snap, post-snap and make adjustments on the fly. I think this is going to be a very steep learning curve.

I think there's going to be a lot of learning on the fly. I think the expectation is that Jordan handles it and can show that he's capable of being a starting quarterback. He's had all the opportunity in the world to learn behind Aaron Rodgers and learn how to be a starting quarterback. Now he's got to kind of put all that practice and all that preparation into this season. And I think we're all going to find out exactly if he is capable of being that guy in Green Bay. Do you think about the strengths and the weaknesses of the Packers?

And again, it's May. We haven't even seen him in a practice. But just knowing what you do of the personnel, Andy, what do you think will be the strong point of this team and where do you think they'll have a weakness?

Yeah, so I think there's a couple of things here, right? So I think a big weakness is probably going to be at the safety position right now. Again, they don't have any money to really go out and spend in free agency. I think they would have loved to have taken a top safety in the draft. But this is a really weak draft at safety. They've got Darnell Savage returning on a fifth year option. Quite frankly, the only reason he's probably back on the team is because he's on a fifth year guaranteed option and they can't really get off of it. Like I said, they brought in Tavarius Moore, who was kind of a career backup in San Francisco. Rudy Ford's a nice replacement level rotational player at safety.

They get Anthony Johnson Jr. in the seventh round. But this is a safety group that is pretty slim and doesn't really have starting caliber players at this point in time. They're going to need a couple guys to step up at that spot. I think that's probably going to be one of the biggest weaknesses.

I think the other is both a strength and a weakness we can kind of go over all at once. If you look at the offensive side of the ball, they finally have some real legitimate playmakers. I think a lot of people are really high on Christian Watson. They go out and get a Jaden Reed in the second round. Romeo Dobbs showed flashes a season ago. They get two tight ends in the second and third round in Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft.

They went out and they got some weapons for this team. I think there's some real run after the catch playmaking that has really been not present here in Green Bay at the tight end and wide receiver position for a little while now. Some actual run after the catch in Yak is going to be very nice for a quarterback that's not a Hall of Fame quarterback for the first time in 30 years.

But at the same time, I think a lot of volatility there. You've got a first year starting quarterback. You've got wide receiver. Every wide receiver that's basically expected to make their top six wide receivers on this team is either a rookie or a second year player. They had three rookies a season ago, three rookies this year. Those are going to be their top six. Their top two tight ends are going to be rookies this year. So I think there's a lot of fun and excitement with this team, but there's going to be a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of learning along the way.

So a lot of volatility with those playmaking positions. Did they want to keep Allen Lazard? I'm sure they did, but I'm sure they sort of had a price. It's a very Packer thing to do. Like I said, they were tapped out from a salary cap standpoint, so it was never really expected that he was going to come back. I think they kind of did the classic Packer thing of, hey, here's our number. If you can go beat it somewhere else, by all means, go beat it. We love you.

Thanks for everything, and we wish you luck on your way. If you can't beat it, we'll sign you back at this specific number. And my guess is their number was quite a bit lower than what the Jets ultimately ended up giving him. And I don't think they were really ever expecting to get him back. And I think, again, they're not using the rebuild moniker, but when your entire wide receiver and tight end core is basically made of rookies and second-year players, I think the writing is sort of on the wall at that point.

Before I let you go, Andy, it is a little bit strange to think about the Packers without Aaron Rodgers. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it, but do you think there's hope among Packers fans that there is life beyond what they've had for the last 18 years? Yeah, I think there is, and I think that what they were able to get in return for Aaron Rodgers was a big piece of that. I don't think they wanted to really do the Devante Adams trade a season ago, but Devante wanted to play for the Raiders.

I think they made the best out of that as they possibly could. I think getting a lot of that draft capital in over the past couple seasons has really changed this around. I know Aaron is, like I said, first ballot Hall of Famer, one of the greatest throwers of all time. He was set to make an additional $60 million if he played this upcoming season in Green Bay. They're already in a really tough situation financially because of a lot of the contracts they've done to borrow from future salary caps and things like that.

Adding that $60 million on top of that would have made things really difficult moving forward. So nobody's under the impression that because Aaron's gone, things are immediately going to be better. But I think there's a really good understanding that, hey, if Aaron would have come back and even had a really good season this year, but maybe another first round playoff exit or something like that, it would have really set them back in the future because of the salary cap and his huge contract. So I think there's some hope based on what they got in return, basically getting off of that deal, and what Brian's been able to do over the last couple years with really invigorating this team with some young talent. Yeah, crazy revelation from Andy Herman. Four guys on the Packers roster that are over the age of 28. So if that's not a rebuild, then it's conveniently disguised as one.

It feels a lot like one. All right, you can find him on Twitter at Andy Herman, NFL. He's got the Pack-A-Day podcast and also writer for Packer Report 66. And we always love catching up with you. Thank you for the intel and the perspective as well coming from Green Bay. Appreciate it so much, Amy.

Thanks a ton. I'm JR of the JR Sport Brief Show on CBS Sports Radio. I'm also the host of the new podcast Agents of Inclusion. We talk to a different Special Olympics athlete every week to learn how sports can bring us together. We're bringing both the disability and non-disability community to one community.

All one people, one family. It took me a little while, but I decided to claim autism as my superpower. When you hear the word autism, don't let that hinder you from doing whatever it is that you want to do. That's what Special Olympics tells you. You get involved in sports, but then you take it from the playing field out into real life. Family means to me community, acceptance, love, embracing a person just as they are. That's what Special Olympics did for me. It's all about family. Subscribe to Agents of Inclusion on the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Help save lives. Donate today at your local CSL Plasma Center and be rewarded for your generosity.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 06:42:42 / 2023-05-05 06:51:08 / 8

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