2010 All-NFC North Squad

Offense

QB: Brett Favre – I can see Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler missing time due to offensive line woes.  Major issue and cause for concern.  As for Favre, let’s just count on him for all 16 games.  I want him on my team, not only for his durability, but for the simple fact he delivers in the clutch.  As reliable as they come.  As tough as they get.  The team takes on his identity and patterns after his intensity, a true leader.  He demands success and wills his team.

RB: Adrian Peterson – Without hesitation.  Adrian is the most physically imposing talent in the game today.  Best combination of speed and strength at RB since Bo Jackson and the “Nigerian Nightmare”.  The only two things stopping “All Day”: His offensive coordinator and himself.

FB: Naufahu Tahi – Lead blocker for Adrian.  Bowling ball.  Just gets the job done, does the dirty work.

WR: Calvin Johnson – Talk about another physical specimen.  Tremendous athletic gifts and the size to go with it.  Unstoppable inside the 20.  Is there any reason he should not get Andre Johnson numbers?  He’s in his third year and has one of the best arms throwing him the rock, plus his team will be playing from behind many occasions.  The sky is the limit.  Should be sure thing for 1,500 yards/15 touchdowns.

WR: Sidney Rice – Makes the squad over his teammate Percy Harvin and Green Bay’s potent pair.  Outstanding in-air ability to make the difficult catch look easy.  Impressive rapport with Favre.  Just started showing us what he’s capable of doing at high level.  Could he outperform Calvin?  Expectations and bar set high for former South Carolina standout.

TE: Jermichael Finley – I would be shocked if he’s not invited to Hawaii.  Star in the making written all over.  Match-up problem.  Toughest TE to defend.  Just saw a glimpse of his potential.  So natural, smooth, and effortless.  WR in TE’s body.   How are teams going to stop Packers aerial attack?  10 touchdowns/1,000 yards?

OL: Jeff Backus, Rob Sims, Olin Kreutz, Steve Hutchinson, Gosder Cherilus.

Defense

DE: Julius Peppers – How do you block this guy?  Impressive set of skills that are unmatched as defensive end.  Forces fumbles, intercepts passes, and frees up teammates.  Offensive coordinator’s headache.  A handful for any tackle.  With a weak NFC North group he should dominate.  Pressure is on him to excel and make big-time difference.

DE: Cullen Jenkins – Key to Green Bay defense.  When he’s in it’s a different story.  Just his presence alone pays big dividends.  What he brings to the table cannot be measured.  Solid run stuffer.  Can get to the passer really well for his size.  Up and coming Ray Edwards deserves consideration here.

DT: Ndamukong Suh – Next Warren Sapp?  Based on hype, he’s as good as it gets at the position.  They don’t make ’em like this.  Once-in-a-lifetime player?  Has all the talent in the world.  Rare breed?  Have to believe he will make a tremendous impact right from the get-go.  Should not have a problem adjusting to next level and transitioning over to Sundays.  8+ sacks is very realistic and attainable goal.

DT: Kevin Williams – Top defender on best defense in the division.  Loves to get to the QB.  Excellent run defender.  Does it all.  Shoe-in for Pro Bowl.  OC’s game plan for him, not Jared Allen.

LB: Lance Briggs – Always up there in stuffs (tackles for loss).  Nose for the ball, plays pass well.  Go-getter, really pursues sideline-to-sideline.  Bears best defender past four years.  Started to receive more credit.  Has only missed three games in his career.  Better than Urlacher.

LB: Clay Matthews – Best pass rushing LB in division.  Special player.  Final five games, racked up six sacks.  Only going to get better.  Literally bullied Adrian Peterson, ripping ball for touchdown on MNF.

LB: Jasper Brinkely – Reminiscent of a young Adalius Thomas.  Will get more of a chance this season.  I see him getting to the QB at will, becoming effective force.  Out with the old (Julian Peterson), in with the new.

CB: Charles Woodson – Playmaker.  What he did last year was remarkable.  Continues to be tested, continues to rise up to challenge and one up himself.  Performed at such an elite level in ’09-10, you have to wonder if he will ever decline?  Despite numerous nagging injuries, won D.P.O.Y.  Top 15 player.

CB: Amari Spievey – Next play making corner back.  Just made it ahead of the “other Charles” (Peanut Tillman) and Zack Bowman.  There’s something about this kid.  He’s going to make QB’s pay for thinking he’s “just” a rookie.  Will get better with time, seeing he gets the privilege rubbing elbows with Calvin every day in practice.  Asante Samuel, anyone?

S: Nick Collins – The Ed Reed of the NFC.  Threat to make “house work” of every interception.  Prime time ball hawk.  Plays the center field spot extremely well.

S: Louis Delmas – Loose cannon.  Kid will become a household name relatively soon.  Next top safety.  Hawaii?  Aggressive as all get out.  Can hit, does the duty of an enforcer across the middle.  Guarantee for at least two defensive scores.


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24 Responses to “2010 All-NFC North Squad”

  1. Bryan says:

    I’m a Lion’s fan and all, but I can hardly agree with ANY members of the Lion’s O-line making this list, Cherilus least of all. Come on.
    Suh I can go with as a rookie…but Speivey? Whatever upside he has, I still find him too much an unproven commodity. & I’d like not to be suspicious of injuries w/him…

  2. Baz Write says:

    How does Jered Allen not make this “team”?!?

  3. Russ Loede says:

    Jared Allen is overhyped a bit too much. 7.5 of his 14.5 sacks came against dismal GB. Packers OL will be much better this season. Rodgers will release the ball quicker. Take in another two against Chicago and you have 9.5 right there. Things will be different in 2010.

    Cullen and Ndamukong mean more to their repspective teams, with all that being said, I see ’em collectively giving more impactful performances. Detroit and Green Bay will rely upon Ndamukong and Cullen more so than Minnesota will have to rely upon Allen.

    Look out for Ray Edwards. Pro Bowl in the making.

    Remember these are opinionated projections/predictions for the upcoming season. Don’t want to base too much off of last season, it’s history, it has past. Out with old, in with the new.

  4. Russ Loede says:

    Amari Spievey is the real deal. Week in, week out you’ll be wowed by his play, thus coming away thoroughly impressed with the former Iowa Hawkeye star. Keep an eye on him. He has all the right tools to become a special playmaker in this league. He and Delmas will form a dynamic duo in the Lion defensive backfield.

    Give your Detroit Lions some more credit! Keep in mind I was also considering Dominic Raiola for center, but couldn’t pull the trigger going against the gritty rough vet Olin Kreutz. One Hawaiian gets the nod over another Hawaiian. Both natives of Honolulu. One of ’em will receive a trip to Honolulu representing the NFC.

    Rob Sims is one of the better guards in the NFL. You will like him up there in Motown. Backus is as solid and consistent as they get. Cherilus is just a flat-out mauler. Excellent run blocker. Jahvid Best will constantly be offered and entertained with lots of holes to scamper through. 1,200 yards. Kid is elusive and shifty as all get out!

    So, who are you taking over ’em? McKinnie? Way overrated. Injury-prone. The often-injured GB OT’s? Clifton and Tauscher? Getting up there in age. Bears OT’s? Williams? Injury-prone. Not much to consider? Not a whole lot of talent at line in the NFC North. Now you know where I’m coming from then…No one really stands out…

  5. Dan K says:

    Olin Kreutz? Serious? Have you watched a game since ’03

    Banter of a sort-of fan.

  6. Russ Loede says:

    Who you putting ahead of him Dan K? Dominic Raiola? Only other. Kreutz still barks. Still has bite left to him. Still gonna give it his all. Feisty.

    Olin has only missed one single game since 2001! Ironman!

  7. Bryan says:

    I’m harder pressed to give the Lion’s credit when it comes to the O line…
    Raiola and Backus – well – ok. Sims. ok.

    But I don’t think Cherilus is even settled as a starter for the LIONS yet this year… From what I hear Jansen is getting as many reps on the first team

    ?

    But hey – every Lion’s fan seems to like a good dose of optimism, so thanks 🙂

  8. Hank says:

    Brett Favre, really? Ok, he’s likely to play in ’10, but that’s still not for certain. Stafford has shown potential to be a very good QB, Cutler is when he’s throwing it to the right guys. I think Rodgers should have gotten the nod on this one, his play the last two seasons has been outstanding despite the protection woes. Don’t forget the Packers’ OL improved greatly in the second half of last season, and seem to be moving in the right direction with 1st rounder Bulaga

  9. Russ Loede says:

    Favre finishes games. Rodgers does not. I do like Stafford as a wild card. Jay Cutler is throwing to who? How good is his line?

    Believe me it was a close call Hank. To me this has more do with Favre than it does going against Rodgers. I’m a big fan of all these QB’s! I love the NFC North offenses!

  10. Scott Davis says:

    I think there was some real optimism on this list, I can live with all of your picks accept at TE. I can’t beleave you did not pick Shianco Visanthe at TE. I don’t care about any Favre talk when you talk about this monster from Minnesota,how many teams and LB’s has this guy killed in the past 3 years? To leave him off your list and put a guy who “could be” good is a horrible call in my opinion. Favre is going to hit him with another double digit set of scores again this year and he will represent the NFC in the Pro-bowl this year. Gonzo isn’t going on name alone this year and the only other 2 TE’s that are going to give Shianco a run for the trip to Honolulu are going to be Vernon Davis and Jason Witten, there is NO one even in Shianco’s class in the old Norris division unless Scheffler comes in and has the production he had in Denver, and with a second year QB in Staff here in Detroit I just don’t see that happening yet. You should have put Visanthe the nod at TE, he’s the most complete TE in the entire league he’s not just a rec, like Witten and Gonzo.

  11. Russ Loede says:

    I’m one of the biggest Favre supporters/fans/fanatics.

    Scott, have you seen Jermichael Finley play? He is chomping at the bit ripe for 1,000-10TD’s. The kid can flat out play. I would be shocked if he stays healthy and does not make it to Honolulu. Jermichael, Kellen, and Vernon are my three top TE’s in the NFC.

    Two Words for Jermichael: Matchup Nightmare.

    Next Antonio Gates?

    Like the fact you said Visanthe Shiancoe is a complete TE. Excellent blocker. Outstanding point. Like that about his game.

    Another reason why I picked Jermichael over Vis -His name is SO hard to spell!

  12. Russ Loede says:

    Scott you should know about Jermichael if you’re a Purple People Eater…He put up 6 for 128 and a 62-yard TD against Minnesota Week 4 on MNF in the Metrodome. Your boys could not contain Jermichael.

    See his Playoff performance? 6-159 is quite impressive, rather special, especially for a youngster like him. He’s ONLY 23.

    Jermichael is a WR playing TE.

  13. Hank says:

    I think its a misconception that Rodgers does not finish games — many of the losses in ’08, Rodgers led the team with a 4th quarter score to tie or take the lead only to have the defense give it up.

    That being said, Favre’s age and commitment (or lack thereof to playing in ’10) puts into question naming him to this squad.

  14. Russ Loede says:

    True in a way. Sort of in a sense. Still responsible for close losses. QB always gets the praise, and blame. Two-sided scenario. That’s the story, just the way it is. So with all that taken into consideration, unlike Favre, Rodgers does not finish games Period.

    Favre’s age!?! What does that have to do with anything!?! The future HOF showed last year is a non-factor, no issue whatsoever. Played every game like it was his last.

    Commitment!?! He’s READY to GO! Hungry, thirsty as all get out!

    Favre OVER Rodgers because of Favre, not in spite of Rodgers.

  15. Hank says:

    To say that “Rodgers does not finish games Period” is a bit of an overstatement. In 2009, week 1 vs. the Bears, Rodgers throws a TD to Jennings late in the game to win. Week 13 against the Ravens he led two 4th quarter drives for scores to solidify the win. Just a couple examples. You’re right though, QBs will always get all the praise or all the blame.

    I think Favre’s age has to be a consideration, 19 years in the league takes its toll. I’m not trying to take anything away from him, last year he was phenomenal — arguably one of his best years. But one does wonder when the fountain of youth dries up.

    His commitment is questionable — ok, once he says he’s playing, the guy is all-in, no doubt about it. But unless you yourself are Brett Favre, you don’t know where he’s going to be in September.

    I’m just saying I would pick Rodgers over Favre in 2010.

  16. Russ Loede says:

    Baltimore game was already in the bag without question. The defense wrapped it up. They played excellent.

    Week 1 had more to do with Bears coverage and Vasher getting burned than Rodgers. He really struggled Week 1 against a bad Chicago defense.

    Still, he sealed the deal and finished strong.

    Age is just a number. He doesn’t participate in Training Camp – allows him to stay fresh for the season.

    Favre is coming back. Done Deal.

  17. Hank says:

    I wouldn’t have considered the Ravens game in the bag, they were gaining momentum in the third quarter. And I think a little credit has to go to Rodger to recognize the poor coverage.

    Anyway, you’re original reasoning for naming Favre is that Aaron is liable to get hurt, and then later you say the Packers line is improving. I just don’t get it…

  18. Jake says:

    Greg Jennings ain’t a third or second or first wide receiver?

    blasphomy!

  19. Jake says:

    ?Russ Loede on July 7th, 2010 5:23 pm
    Favre finishes games. Rodgers does not. I do like Stafford as a wild card. Jay Cutler is throwing to who? How good is his line?

    Believe me it was a close call Hank. To me this has more do with Favre than it does going against Rodgers. I’m a big fan of all these QB’s! I love the NFC North offenses!

    ^ you talking about the 08 season with the whole “aaron can’t finish games!” arguement?

  20. Russ Loede says:

    I give Rodgers credit. First QB ever to throw for over 4,000 yards in his first two seasons! Impressive! I’m a big fan.

    Green Bay’s line you mentioned, improved the 2nd half of the season. They will be better. They cannot get any worse, right?

    They will carry over last season’s momentum…But will they? More questions than answers? How good is the Iowa 1st round kid? Clifton/Tauscher: how much do they really have left?

    But at the very end of the season, in the Playoffs, even Arizona’s defense got after Aaron and eventually made the defensive play to win the game. Showing us in the end that the OL is still suspect and Rodgers holds on to the ball way too long.

    So fast forward to this upcoming 2010 season, will Rodgers still continue to hold on to the ball and get sacked? More fumbles to come? Is the OL still that shaky? You have to believe it will improve, and Rodgers with time will develop and figure the habit that cost his team the Arizona game. And if he doesn’t maybe more games in the future…

    Well, the defense and the overthrow to Jennings were more the reason -but you get the picture.

    In essence, Rodgers takes a lot of hits, and even if his time management, decision-making, and pocket presence improve and his line does as well, he still has a better chance of getting hurt than Favre does.

    Favre plays EVERY game. And he doesn’t go to Training Camp.

    Who are you more concerned with Rodgers and his pocket presence or the offensive line?

  21. Russ Loede says:

    By the way, GB gave up 50 sacks!!! Plus you add Julius Peppers, Ndamukong Suh, and Vanden Bosch to the division. Rodgers and the OL better get their act straight. They have to be together to overcome last year’s debacle.

  22. Russ Loede says:

    Don’t get me wrong, Greg Jennings is the man. But he also has Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson to contend with. That’s plays a part. It’s a big deal. That’s something you have to realize. So, recognize the truth and reasoning behind Rice/Calvin over Jennings is because they are “bonafide” #1’s. They will get more catches, yards, and touchdowns.

    Rodgers loves to share the wealth, a lot. Driver caught 70 in ’09, Jennings -68. Rodgers looks and throws Driver’s way more because Jennings gets more attention.

    It’s more so about the competition. Calvin and Sidney are prime candidates for Pro Bowl seasons. Jennings, on the other hand, will have a solid year, just not as good as Calvin and Sidney.

  23. Russ Loede says:

    The main direction and road I wanted to travel with the whole Rodgers vs. Favre debate was that Favre is the #1 reason why Rodgers is not on the list. Favre is better. And he will have a more successful and prolific 2010 than Rodgers.

    Who would you rather have leading your final drive down 5 with 1 minute remaining? Favre or Rodgers?