Mariucci joins SNC, questions Packers Draft; schedule out Thursday
Count former Packers assistant and NFL head coach Steve Mariucci among those who believe the gap between the Packers and 49ers is wider after the draft, and it was already pretty wide last season.
The NFL Network analyst was a guest for an online class Monday at St. Norbert College. He was asked about the Packers recent draft, which included taking developmental quarterback Jordan Love in the first round. For Mariucci, that first round alone was enough to widen the gap, even before factoring in the entire draft class.
“My point was that the 49ers, who beat them twice, and I coached for both teams, they got better,” Mariucci said. “They (the 49ers) drafted two guys in the first round that are going to start and play and contribute, and the Packers really didn't. So the Packers got some complementary players, they did not draft a receiver which I thought they would. I thought they could definitely use another weapon for Aaron Rodgers and they flat didn't get one, and so that surprised the heck out of me.”
The selection of Love really surprised Mariucci, who noted that the 36-year old Rodgers still has 4 years remaining on his contract. “Players, especially quarterbacks, are playing longer these days because we protect them. They're an endangered species so we protect them, can't hit them in the head, can't hit them in the knees; can't hit them right? They're protected, and so they are playing into their 40's. Tom Brady is going to be 43. And Aaron (Rodgers) is going to play into his 40's, which means Jordan Love is not going to play for the Packers unless Aaron gets hurt, and he protects himself well. And so I just thought they needed a receiver or somebody else that would start and play, and contribute to a 13-3 team and maybe get back to that Super Bowl rather than have a guy sit on the bench for a long time.”
The 2020 NFL schedule will be released Thursday at 7pm, according to the league. Earlier Monday, the NFL announced that the 5 international games set for 2020 (1 in Mexico City, 4 in London) have been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The home teams will host those games in their own stadiums. The NFL plans to return to international games in 2021.