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  1. #1
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    Tramon: "Old guys make the league go"

    GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers will get an influx of young talent again come spring, and with more than a dozen unrestricted free agents headed for the open market, the makeup of their roster could be vastly different in 2014.

    But if Tramon Williams has anything to say about the roster – assuming he’s on it himself – the Packers veteran cornerback would like to see more veterans on it.

    “Talent will only get you so far,” Williams said as the Packers players cleaned out their Lambeau Field lockers Monday morning, following the team’s 23-20 NFC Wild Card Playoff loss the day before.

    “You’ve got to adjust to the game, adjust to the tactics, prepare well, find a way to prepare and get that edge on the field. Realistically, everyone’s good on this level. You have to find out what it is for you to get that edge, for you to be able to be a step forward from the next guy. That’s what it’s about.

    “When you have a young team like this, that’s what you’re challenged with. You’re challenged with coming in and – with young guys, with talented young guys, they play, but the game’s still fast for them because they don’t understand what teams are trying to do. They don’t understand the scheme fully. They don’t understand what the scheme can do for them once they understand it. That’s what you’re faced with.

    “A lot of guys thought they know how to prepare when they were in college and whatnot, but then they get into the league and you find out that it’s a different level to preparation. That’s what you’re faced with with young guys.”

    Defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ scheme is a complex one – it boasts possibly the thickest playbook (or the most gigabytes of plays, now that playbooks are on iPads) in football. And to Williams, some of the team’s defensive deficiencies were the result of young players being thrust into positions they were ready for.

    With Packers general manager Ted Thompson’s strict draft-and-develop approach – not since 2006, when he signed cornerback Charles Woodson, defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and safety Marquand Manuel, has he been truly active in free agency – an influx of veteran players seems unlikely.

    Add to that the number of household names headed for free agency on defense – defensive linemen Johnny Jolly, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson and Pickett, outside linebacker Mike Neal and cornerback Sam Shields – who may or may not be re-signed, and the Packers could be relying on young players on that side of the ball again next year.

    Not to mention Williams turns 31 in March and has a base salary of $6.9 million and cap number of $9.5 million for next season – when a reporter began a question with “I don’t know if you’ll be back …” Williams quickly replied, “I don’t know, either” -- may have to restructure his deal in order to return.

    Williams and Jarrett Bush (29) were the old men in the secondary this season, with fellow cornerbacks Shields (26), Davon House (24), Casey Hayward (24), Micah Hyde (22) and safeties Morgan Burnett (24), M.D. Jennings (25), Chris Banjo (23) and Sean Richardson (23) all age 26 or younger.

    “Yeah, it’s a young league but it’s an old league, too, because the old guys make the league go,” said Williams, whose interception – and subsequent violent collision with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick – ignited the Packers in the second quarter Sunday. “I had the privilege to play with (Charles) Woodson and (Nick) Collins and Al Harris. I understand what chemistry in the secondary can do. That’s what you try to find when you get a good group of guys. You want to get guys all on the same page. You want guys to see things like you see it if you’re the leader of that group. When you can get guys to that point, it slows the game down for everyone in that back end.

    “That’s what we’re trying to get. We have a great group of young guys in this room but, like you said, they’re young. They can play, very talented but still, they’re young.”
    http://www.espnwisconsin.com/common/...&post_id=34051

  2. #2
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    He's right. Tired of relying on rookies and 2nd year players. Vets have seen it all/done it all and we need that leadership.

    Tramon needs to restructure though lol.
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    I think this was his way of petitioning for an opportunity to stay. He's been really frustrating the past couple of years, but he came on toward the end of this season. Was good to see him playing that way. If he'll take a pay cut, I'd be ok with keeping him for his last year and let him earn a new(though not as big as the last one) contract. The reality is that we're not as deep at CB as we thought we were going into the year. Hayward with hammy issues- those have a way of lingering so who knows what his future is. Are we going to be able to keep Shields? Whats House going to be next year? With pending free agents, we're going to lose a couple of guys and its probably for the better not to resign them(and overpay), but we can't cover all that in one draft, plus take care of the future. If we can get Tramon back on a team friendly deal and he continues to play like he did down the stretch this year then thats a great move.

    I have to say this, though. I keep seeing people mention it, and there was a headline on espn or nfl or somewhere about losing yesterday being a result of missing Woodson. Are people smoking crack? What good did Woodson do when we played them in the playoffs last year? We got absolutely destroyed, with Woodson on the field. People need to let it go already.

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    I miss Woodson's leadership. Ever since I heard Jamari Lattimore had to do a half time speech.

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    Even though this definitely has at least part to do with his position right now with the team, I do believe that he's right. There is value to having veterans who know what's going on to guide the young players. Most people seem to understand this. Hopefully Ted learns it, too. Every year is the same thing though. I'm not even saying we need to make a big splash signing, but a respected veteran or two could help our young guys develop and help shore up our roster at positions of need.

    Also hoping this doesn't backfire for Tramon. He played really well the last couple of weeks, is probably our smartest player in the secondary, and is still a very good tackler - especially around the line of scrimmage.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormSizedMidget View Post
    I miss Woodson's leadership. Ever since I heard Jamari Lattimore had to do a half time speech.
    Not sure if you're being serious or not. Did that actually happen?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormSizedMidget View Post
    I miss Woodson's leadership. Ever since I heard Jamari Lattimore had to do a half time speech.
    lol so true. I really hope Tramon restructures and we give Picket the vet min. Wish we heard more about Clay stepping up, not saying he doesn't but you never hear anything about it.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLynn943 View Post
    Not sure if you're being serious or not. Did that actually happen?
    Serious as a heart attack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLynn943 View Post
    Not sure if you're being serious or not. Did that actually happen?
    Yes. It happened man.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigCheese12 View Post
    Serious as a heart attack.
    I don't use it often, but Lattimore giving a halftime speech calls for it:

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLynn943 View Post
    I don't use it often, but Lattimore giving a halftime speech calls for it:

    Supposedly he got them fired up. If it makes you feel any better.

    But yeah. After that I started ponder where our leadership on D is. And I was like yeah. We don't have any vocal leadership.

    Collins would have been IMO. Bishop. Woodson.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormSizedMidget View Post
    Supposedly he got them fired up. If it makes you feel any better.

    But yeah. After that I started ponder where our leadership on D is. And I was like yeah. We don't have any vocal leadership.

    Collins would have been IMO. Bishop. Woodson.

    Gone
    Yeah, I mean, I'm sure there's a reason it was him over the rest of the players. He must be a good motivator, but it should be someone who's been around, who knows what's going on, and who player's can look up to/respect. I like Lattimore, but he's definitely not that player yet.
    2014 Adopt-a-Packer: Micah Hyde

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    I find the contrast between Jones and Williams look on the subject interesting. IDK if Jones' comments were in that article you posted but I took what Williams said as more of him wanting to stay around than anything else. Jones made it very clear he feels the leadership in the locker room is just fine and he won't be brought back purely because he is a veteran in the locker room.

    Also for what it is worth, Lattimore apparently made a helluva speech during the Cowboys game and you can't argue with the results.

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    This whole Lattimore speech thing has been blown way out of proportion

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tram0n man View Post
    This whole Lattimore speech thing has been blown way out of proportion
    How so? He apparently gave a very good emotional speech that resulted in a huge comeback by the Packers.

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