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Beat Writing

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As much as being a beat writer for the Packers would be a dream job, being able to focus on football, specifically the Packers, as your job and to have significant access to team and facilities, there are some downsides to it. First, I know this part because I'm going through it too, it is hard to find things to write about after the draft. With all the draft speculation gone, all we've got to talk about is how the rookies look in the rookie minicamp and in two weeks we can discuss the full minicamp. Then there isn't much of anything to discuss until training camp begins in July. Second, if they start writing bad things about this player or this coach, then the writer is very likely to actually run into that player or coach at some point in the near future. There still is criticism in their writings, but it is very careful.

That was my long setup in discussing two articles about two draft choices. First is the story about S Aaron Rouse. I hated this pick because it is obvious to everyone who watched Rouse that he was bad in coverage at Virginia Tech, but that doesn't mean he can't work hard and put it all together in the NFL. However, Tom Silverstein has an article about him that could have been written by Rouse's agent. He's a fantastic physical talent and he's tall! He's just like S Ken Hamlin, except if Hamlin had worked out in Seattle. His article makes Rouse sound like a steal who has too much physical talent not to succeed, when he actually is a project that is more likely to fail than succeed.

Then Bob McGinn writes about WR James Jones and compares him to WRs Sterling Sharpe and Anquan Boldin. The article does mention that Jones was a big reach, he's slow for a NFL WR, he wasn't even a starter entering his senior season at San Diego State, and he's not the smartest guy since he only scored a 9 on the wonderlic. However the article is titled "Mixed Reviews" and ends with a "he's just a football player" quote. This article too is looking at all the silver linings (he's the next Boldin! the next Sharpe!) and oh by the way he's slow and a project who's more likely to fail then succeed.

My problem with both articles is that it makes Rouse and Jones sound like steals that only GM Ted Thompson was able to realize on draft day when the reality is that these guys both have a lot to do before either is able to contribute in the NFL, if ever. I'm glad Thompson drafted a safety and wide receiver because the Packers needed depth at those positions and you never know when a player will surprise you, but let's be realistic about them. The 3rd round is full of imperfect players that have shown some physical ability or college production that indicate that they could succeed in the NFL, but the odds are that they are both more likely to be released in the next few seasons then become a future starter for the Packers.