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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by IanC, Aug 9, 2018.
Penalty bailing us out or not fucking fuck this special teams. He’s a liability back there.
Yeah not really sure what Rogers brings to the table.
I’ve never seen a worst performance from a single unit in the history of a sport.
Fuck Drayton so much
fuck the bears.
After languishing as an NFL afterthought, Rasul Douglas has emerged as a star for the Packers
By Matt Schneidman 5h ago 38
Rasul Douglas was no stranger to being overlooked as he showed up to Arizona Cardinals practice day after day for a month without an active roster spot early this season.
This was the cornerback’s fourth team in less than a year. He finished the 2020 season with the Panthers, and in an eight-day span this August, he was told by both the Texans and Raiders that he wasn’t good enough.
But now he was on a practice squad for the first time since entering the NFL in 2017, and this was different.
“You feel like you’re working for nothing,” he said of the experience.
Douglas, now with the Packers, said that while standing at a podium in the bowels of State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ari., on Oct. 28, moments after waving goodbye to the crowd following his walk-off interception in the end zone of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. The stunning turn gave Green Bay a 24-21 win over the last undefeated team in the league at the time and what has turned out to be, for now at least, the tiebreaker for the NFC’s top seed.
Douglas had been a Packer for just 22 days. They signed him on Oct. 6 off the practice squad of the same team he had just dealt a defeat. All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander suffered a significant shoulder injury against the Steelers on Oct. 3 (Week 4), and the Packers needed bodies at the position. Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore was linked to the Packers to fill the void after the Patriots put him on the trading block, but Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst opted instead for the guy who 31 other teams didn’t want on their active roster.
What has happened since has been nothing short of remarkable, a cornerback who was cast aside blossoming into a star for arguably the NFL’s best team.
“Bringing Rasul in looks like one of the moves of the year, for sure,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “He’s been fantastic for us.”
Even before his NFL days, Douglas knew what being unwanted felt like.
He didn’t even want to play football after high school — he was primarily a basketball player — but his head football coach at East Orange (N.J.) Campus High School, Marion Bell, wanted to change his mind. Before convincing Douglas to choose the gridiron over hardwood, he approached Curtis Guilliam, the head coach at Nassau Community College.
Bell told Guilliam that he had a defensive back that was athletic, big, fast, versatile and tough, with a high football IQ, that he thought could one day play at a school like LSU. Guilliam trusted Bell’s evaluation from their history working together, even if it seemed outlandish that this no-name kid out of East Orange who played basketball could play big-time college football in just a few years.
“I hounded (Douglas) about, ‘Man, Coach G. wants you to come up to play football. That’s what your future is,'” Bell said, eventually persuading Douglas to ditch hoops.
“You’re a smart man,” Bell told Douglas when he made the decision, “because it’s gonna pay off for you one day.”
Life at Nassau was far from glamorous, however. The school didn’t have scholarships, dorms or a meal plan. Douglas instead ordered off the McDonald’s dollar menu and made sure the food lasted multiple meals. He redshirted his first year there in 2012. Douglas knew adversity from growing up without parents around — he was raised by his grandmother — and he faced it again on his path to becoming a Division I football player.
“What I tried to do was instill the mindset of, ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,'” Guilliam said. “It was always just an attitude of, ‘Listen, yeah, it’s rough here, but it’s going to be worth it when you get the grades and you end up getting a scholarship. It’s gonna mean that much more.’”
After combining for 83 tackles and five interceptions in 2013 and ’14 at Nassau, Douglas finally felt what it was like to be wanted as a player. According to 247 Sports, Douglas received offers from West Virginia, Florida State, Louisville, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Utah State, Rutgers and Kansas. Even when he wasn’t shutting down opposing receivers, he was showing off his athleticism to anyone who would watch, randomly backflipping across the field at practice in between drills.
“He’s just a nutcase,” Guilliam said with a laugh. “Why are you flipping? What are you doing, idiot? We’re in the middle of practice getting ready to prepare for a game and he’ll just be backflipping sometimes. … Like, I just asked you what the coverage is and you’re backflipping.”
Guilliam allowed it, though, because Douglas always delivered when it mattered most: “He’s always been ready for the moment,” he added.
Brian Mitchell, the former West Virginia coach who sold Douglas on joining the Mountaineers, said he sat down with him in Guilliam’s office at Nassau to make sure he would qualify academically to play Division I football. Douglas eventually arrived at West Virginia the day before classes started, so it took him a month to learn the defensive scheme after missing so much training camp time. Mitchell said it started clicking for Douglas, their third cornerback, around their seventh game in 2015. (Ironically, Douglas first started for the Packers in Week 7 after taking a couple weeks to learn the defense following his late arrival.)
Douglas intercepted eight passes the next season, tied for first in the country. The Eagles drafted him in the third round in the 2017 draft.
Douglas spent the first three years of his career in Philadelphia. He played only seven special teams snaps as a rookie in the Eagles’ Super Bowl win over the Patriots, but it’s part of the reason why, even as he cycled through five teams since the start of 2020, his belief in his ability never waned.
“I always knew what I could do in the league,” Douglas said. “It was just about me getting the chance. I’ve always showed it in practice and against my teammates and stuff. They all knew, ‘Yeah, you’re going to be a good player when you actually do get the chance,’ and I’ve done it before. I’ve been to the playoffs, Super Bowl, NFC Championship. It’s not like I haven’t done it to where I lose faith in myself.”
Douglas was inactive for his first game with Green Bay, a 25-22 Packers win in Cincinnati in Week 5. He didn’t start the following week in Chicago, either, but after cornerback Isaac Yiadom struggled on the Bears’ scoring drive to open the game, Douglas was thrown into the mix. He has given the Packers no reason to take him off the field since.
Not only did Douglas intercept Murray to end one of the most thrilling games of this season, but on Sunday, he became the first Packers player to return an interception for a touchdown in consecutive games since Pro Football Hall of Famer Herb Adderley did so in 1965. Pro Football Focus ranks Douglas as the No. 14 cornerback in the NFL among those who have played at least 300 defensive snaps this season.
“It’s special for me,” said Bell, “because I watched the kid go from nothing to where he is now.”
According to PFF, Douglas has allowed 23 catches on 46 targets, 11.2 yards per catch and 3.8 yards after the catch per reception. He has been charged with only four missed tackles and ranks tied for 20th in the NFL with 10 passes defensed. He has built a convincing case to remain a starter even if Alexander returns for the playoffs.
“Rasul has been a huge part of this defense,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said. “He makes key plays all the time. Even the (defensive pass interference) that he got called for (against the Bears), I thought he was being aggressive and going to attack the football. He makes key plays. I love how aggressive he plays. He’s fearless. He’s resilient. He’s just a ball hawk. He does such a great job of studying tape, of keying on receivers, their route tendencies, and that allows him to make some of the plays that he’s made.”
How, though, did so many people miss on him?
“I don’t think it’s an exact science and I think it’s timing, it’s the right fit, it’s a number of circumstances that go into a guy just falling into the right place at the right time,” Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry said. “And me being around “Sul,” I can’t believe that this guy hasn’t landed a secure spot on a roster just because of not only the plays that he’s made for us, but … just witnessing him, the way he approaches the game as a pro.
“There’s been countless times where on Wednesday or Thursday nights, I go down to the cafeteria to get something to eat at 8 o’clock at night and Rasul’s sitting there at the table with his iPad, studying film.”
Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray has also mentioned Douglas’ requests to meet with him at 6 a.m. to watch film one on one. Gray also has joked that he can tell Douglas is single because he’s at the facility so late watching tape.
It’s just part of the reason Douglas has thrived in Green Bay, a place he’s certainly not an afterthought and one where it looks like he will finally stick.
(Photo of Rasul Douglas celebrating a defensive stop: Stacy Revere / Getty Images)
His play speaks for itself. But we haven’t heard anything but glowing remarks from the coaches and players as well.
Instant fan favorite.
that’s a big booooooo
The only solace is that the Ravens are insanely banged up in general, much less whatever Covid they have.
Lamar who can't run well or Huntley at QB plus all the Ravens' secondary issues, it's an uphill battle for them IMO
Good segment on Packers on this. This pod is always good, but this one has a segment of Packers audio porn.
One fascinating nugget from that pod:
Rodgers has the 3rd lowest % of throws that go > 5 yards down field (only ahead of Goff and Roethlisberger
He's 13th in average depth of target
5th in throws > 20 yards.
So in other words he's eliminated the long two jumpshot. It's layups and threes.
Help me out here. The way I read it, he’s not taking layups at all.
Only Goff and Big Ben throw more passes less than 5 yards past the line of scrimmage
Rodgers is under contract next year too, right? Why is the media talking like the packers have to trade him?
Yes. Because they're idiot talking heads spewing nonsense.
No Bakhtiari, Clark likely out. No additional Covid cases yet.
3 straight days of Jaire and Bak practicing too.
Would be awesome to get Z back for stretch run (or even a game before playoffs).
Gary, Z, Kenny, Preston is a scary front 4 rush with our back 7
Tough tittiesssss, Cleveland.
I continue to think he comes back for at least another year if not longer. I think Denver is the only team that makes any kind of sense for Rodgers but even then, not sure it's a better situation than Green Bay. It really does seem like he's gotten what he said he wanted during the holdout. The lines of communication between him and the front office seem very good and he's been a huge fan of all of the vet signings they made this year.
Oh hey a dumb special teams fuck up. How can LaFleur keep letting this shit go with no accountability?
I completely get why they can’t fire the guy mid season. Special teams is such a detailed part of the game.
but this offseason? They need to put a huge emphasis on it. That’s how you change it. You make it a priority snd they haven’t the last … 20 years?
Got to hope they can make it average to end the year.
I would settle for mediocre.
My god savage is pathetic
Savage is playing his worst game I’ve seen from him. The defense is in position to get off the field or kick a field goal but he is being owned.
I think 80% of the time he is close to pro-bowl level.
20% of the time he seems to have his head up his ass.
needs to be consistent.
I have no idea why we're keeping Drayton, there has to be somebody who can do a better job, anyone.
The thing about having two different backs that are both elite at what they do…
you can throw them at whatever style of defense you see and find mismatches. Tonight is Jones in the passing game and hit them with the quick run outside of that.
it’s a luxury.
Defensive scheme has been not great Bob
Again! Fucking how?
The special teams
well, I’m a Nebraska fan and they were the worst in the country. Literally stats showed that (at least throrugh 6-7 weeks) and it’s going to kill me.
simple as that
What happened to this game
lmao at the delay of game on a punt, just embarrassing
This is absolutely pathetic
I will take it.
you never NOT take a win in the nfl and that one is one you just take.
That was close to being a huge fucking embarrassment.
ill take the W but it was still a huge embarrassment
Our collapse was definitely an embarrassment. Ravens have 5 or 6 4th quarter comebacks when down double digits.
Still shouldn't be close after they went for it on 4th and 6.
never a doubt GPG
This team would be something else if healthy
QB - Aaron Rodgers
RB - Aaron Jones
WR - Davante Adams
WR - Marquez Valdes-Scantling
WR - Allen Lazard
TE - Robert Tonyan
LT - David Bakhtiari
LG - Elgton Jenkins
C - Josh Myers
RG - Lucas Patrick
RT - Billy Turner
DE - Kingsley Keke
NT - Kenny Clark
DE/OLB - Preston Smith
OLB - Zadarius Smith
ILB - Krys Barnes
ILB - De’Vondre Campbell
CB - Jaire Alexander
CB - Rasul Douglas
Nickel - Eric Stokes
SS - Adrian Amos
FS - Darnell Savage
you might as well throw, 50% of the time, Z at D-end and put Gary in there. You can also split out Jones and throw in Dillon.
offensive line you would be legit 4 deep.
Gute has done a wonderful job with the roster and the coaches have done an amazing job getting the backups ready to play. (Minus special teams which is like a Prius trying to overtake a Lamborghini in a quarter mile.)
Stock just delivered this evening. Was getting nervous it wouldn’t make it here in time.
Love that Rodgers' profile pic is his toe