Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tauscher Signing May Not Be The Solution

Look, I love Mark Tauscher. Great guy, a true Packers and a stalwart at tackle for umpteen years. Played on the "Offensive Line Glory Couple-a years" in the early 2000's.

But, if you're going to put money on re-signing Tauscher and having that be the answer to our offensive line problems, I think you are taking a risky bet. Nothing against Tauscher, who will be as professional as possible and will strive to do his best.

But, there's a funny feeling here. After the Viking game, I kept hearing, "We need to sign a veteran tackle" from every corner, included the Packers. But then, I look and think, "Is Tauscher the guy we really want? Essentially a street free agent coming off of ACL surgery, who's expected return date for active duty was just last week (Oct. 1)?"

In other words, is that what we wanted when we expected veteran help along the line? I have no reason to doubt Tauscher's heart, but I have no reason to trust his knee at this point, either.

That makes it a bit of a trap for the Packers, or smoke and mirrors, if that suits you. The Packers sign a familiar veteran, which settles down the critics for a while. Meanwhile, the Packers have a week off and do not return until Week 6 The following Tuesday, October 20th, is the trade deadline.

Look, I'll be honest. When I'm looking at upgrading this line, bringing in mid-season free agents wasn't what I had in mind. I had in mind trading a decent player at a position of depth (linebacker, wide receiver) or a decent draft pick and picking up a guy who is in condition and ready to play.

If Tauscher is "the remedy" for the Packers OL issues, we might find ourselves out of luck for another prescription. And then, it'll shrugging the shoulders and saying, "What would you have us do? Sign guys off the street?"

Obviously, we expect that Tauscher is going to fill in at right tackle in place of Allen Barbre, but that doesn't solve the problems we're having without Clifton and potentially Colledge on the left.

It's almost kind of funny, isn't it? No more than a couple of months ago, Packer fans were not only projecting not re-signing Tauscher, but trading away Scott Wells and planning for the replacement of Chad Clifton. Suddenly, these three Sherman holdovers are playing pivotal roles along an offensive line that, quite apparently, wasn't ready for them all to go quite yet.

It's a black mark both on the talent acquisition process by GM Ted Thompson, and another for Mike McCarthy and James Campen for not having what talent there was ready to go when the baton was ready to be passed.

But, there's a way to compound a mistake, and that is to keep making mistakes. Look at an aging Mark Tauscher, whose performance last year already brought any contract extension into question anyway. Add to that, he's coming off a serious ACL injury from which he would have only been cleared to be play last week. If you honestly think he's ready to come in and play like the Mark Tauscher of 2003, you've got another thing coming.

Oh, sure, he's could be an upgrade over Barbre's D+ performance thus far. But, if Tauscher is only playing at a C level, it's not going to be that much more help versus Adewale Ogunleye, Jared Allen, and James Harrison.

The Packers have to look at the offensive line as our weakest link in the Packer chain. The time has come for Ted Thompson to show he is willing to make the moves that need to happen to make this team ready to win now, not in the future.

Is signing Mark Tauscher that move? I wouldn't put money on it. Glad to see the big guy back, but I, for one, am a little tired of rolling the dice on Aaron Rodgers' health and safety.


packerbacker1 said...

Ted T is not going to make another move anyway, and he may not even sign Tauscher

yet something has to be done and since it is unlikely a miracle will take place on the OL that ted has assembled I think it is better to sign MT than to do nothing.

Either the medical staff cleared him or they did not, either they know what they are doing or they dont.

PackersRS said...

I would gladly trade our next entire draft for Joe Thomas. I mean, "Mangenius" would probably agree to trade him for a 2nd round pick anyway. He just gives up players and draft picks.

IPB said...

It's been a week almost since this Article was written. What's happened since then?


The Packers HAVE re-signed Mark Tauscher to play at Right Tackle. And, I (for one) am glad for the slowing of what seems to mirror the economic collapse.

Let's see what James Campen does with this resource. I'm betting, as you do CD, that it won't be much better.

I always figured Allen Barbre was better than the OLC wanted to allow him the freedom to prove. Now, that Campen has had no choice in the matter (really) and Barbre gets to start, like it or not,.... he has been steadily improving, whereas Daryn Colledge has simply stagnated - he's really no better than he was 3 seasons ago and a major leak in the damn protecting the QB's blind side, no matter where he stands. Colledge may be okay in some eyes - to me, he's no better than Ross Verba. If he has time for video-taping his teammates, his play should be Pro Bowl caliber, without fail... and it's not. I would be removing the distraction until he proves he can keep the defenders off his new QB.

It's nice to see Josh Sitton doing better - let's hope he doesn't get (ahem) well, you know.....

It's like selling a cannonballed Model T in this market, but what could we get for Scottie Wells? I never was sold on him at Center and questioned the quickie Contract the very instant I heard about it.

Injuries removed the option for Tony Palmer and Tyson Walter. Both were great in the Preseason games they were used in. I know it's not the barometer you want, but how else are you going to test players? I disagree with shrinking the Preseason schedule, too.

Clifton has been getting the yearly oil change process for four seasons. No, make that five (maybe?)... it's a usual process lots of teams use to clean out the trash in knees, ankles, etc. He usually does come back healthy if it is a bit slower... I would say he's also pretty much done - and thanks for the great effort, too. Clifton ranks right up there with Ken Ruettgers, another all-time great.

MY REAL ISSUE is finding another nimble-footed LG ... and Colledge just ain't it.

Well, CD ?