Each week throughout the season, PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush hooks up with a personality who has connections with the Packers and asks him five Packer-related questions. This week, Dan connects with Greg Koch, who spent eight of his 11 NFL seasons as a right tackle for the Packers (1977-85) and is a member of the Packers' Hall of Fame.
1. How closely do you keep up with the Packers these days?
Koch: I’ve got the DirecTV package and watch every game. And Larry McCarren, who does the games on the radio with Wayne Larrivee, is my best friend. So I follow them pretty closely. (Packers GM Ted) Thompson and I played against each other in college. And I have strong ties with the Green Bay community. They are my team.
2. So what do you think of their chances in the playoffs?
Koch: I think they are a hot team right now. The way they dismantled the Giants is an indication of what they are capable of doing. But based on what I saw in the Bears game, they still have some problems with the offensive line. A lot will depend on how well they can protect (Aaron) Rodgers, establish the run game and stop the run.
3. Is there a key matchup to watch in the Packers-Eagles game, in your opinion?
Koch: You’ve obviously got to look at how they handle (Michael) Vick. He can beat you in so many ways. The defense just has to stay in their rushing lanes. If Vick gets outside the pocket too much, it could be a very long day for the Packers. I also am very intrigued by the fourth-quarter coaching strategies with the new overtime rule coming into play.
4. Assess the job that Mike McCarthy and his staff have done this season.
Koch: Well, obviously they have had a lot of injuries, but every team can say that, I think Mike has done a really good job. If there’s one thing I’d question, it’s some of his calls inside the red zone. That they almost totally abandoned the run when they were on the one-yard line last week was surprising to me. But (Dom) Capers has done another wonderful job. You look at the way the Bears went all out against them. It shows how much they really respected the Packers
5. With you being a former right tackle, I’m interested in your opinion of Bryan Bulaga, who has really struggled at that position as of late.
Koch: I think he will be a quality guy. People forget he is only a rookie. The two hardest positions to learn in the new NFL are cornerback and offensive tackle, because your are out there on an island. Julius Peppers is going to give everybody a hard time. I don’t see Bulaga being that big a problem. Another thing you have to take into account is that this is going to be his 21st straight game (counting the preseason), and he might be a little tired right now. He is a rookie, and he is going to make mistakes. But they are mistakes he probably will never make again.