Monday, August 27, 2007

My Take - Week 1

Welcome to the 3rd preseason game. Traditionally, it's the game that matters the most. It's at the most hallowed of theaters, Lambeau Field. National TV. I was yearning for a gorgeous late summer evening in Green Bay, WI. The weather man is calling for T-Storms. Mother Nature must do better than such.
The Packers could not ask for a better opponent in their third preseason game than the J'ville Jaguars. Since the inception of the Cats from J'ville, the foundation of the franchise was based on line play. They've craved the domination of the line of scrimmage. After all, their first player was Tony Boselli. Today, on the defensive side of the ball, they are 2nd to none as far as D-Line play is concerned. They'll provide a great challenge for our young, developing O-Line and our suspect blocking from the RB spot. They'll force chemistry and rhythm from our 1st unit or good ol' #4 will be watching from his back. Yes, I'm an old man - line play interests me. Can we open lanes for B-Jack? Can we protect for the only 3-time MVP in the HISTORY of the NFL? I'm hoping that my O-Line concerns are put to rest.
Brett Favre - my how I relish the idea of you. I expect to see Favre to B-Jack early in the game. Slow down the defense with the screen. Get our youthful offensive line deep into the teeth of the J'ville defense. Get B-Jack onto his train track and running down hill.
I want to see McCarthy continue to innovate and construct our offense with our current group of players. We can no longer run our base offense that we used in '05. We've got new personnel. And I feel it caters to old school west coast philosophies. I want 3-wide. One tight end. B-Jack as the single back. Able to see the field spread. Cut back lanes opening up. Catering to the ingredients that formulate our offense.
Favre to B-Jack on the screen. Followed by Favre to Jennings on the quick hitter. It's crucial to get Jennings involved in this offense. Favre and Jennings must define unity. B-Jack on the draw. Then it's Favre to Driver on the slant. Favre to Jones on the crossing route. Have we ever seen a player in Green & Gold run the crossing route better than #89 does today? Not fast. Not overly smooth. Just steady. Consistent. Fearless. Pleasurable. Favre to Franks for 7 yards. B-Jack on the counter for a Packer first down. Favre to Lee - finding the seam in the deep middle of the defense. Favre using all of his weapons. Tuning them and molding them into what he likes. Finding consistency and defining roles within the '07 team.
As for the back-ups, I've got no interest in discussing Aaron Rodgers at this point. Some day - I'm fine with him taking over our franchise. Not this year. Nor next. Two years from now - maybe.
I hope they keep Paul Thompson over Ingle Martin. Worst case scenario - he's a great scout team QB for Week 1 when we face the Eagles.
We need to see something from our FB spot. We are miserable. Erryn Cobb - what will he bring to the table? Anything? We'll find out.
Atari Bigby? Was that for real? Or was the guy who played against Pittsburgh the real Bigby? Regardless, for one quarter, I knew what it felt like to have Troy Polamalu as a Packer. A terrific feeling. Maybe the real Bigby is somewhere in between the versions that we've seen so far in the '07 campaign. If so, it's a major upgrade over our safety play of recent memory.
Bigby is the kind of guy that you cheer for. He looks like a guy that was found in the middle of the Everglades in Central Florida. Eating seaweed. Living on a river. He's never seen a mirror. Pure Rastafarian. I've always had an affinity for Rastas running in Green & Gold.
I understand that both Chuckie and Al have approached McCarthy with hopes that Bigby will be the starter alongside Collins.
Once again, we get to watch our defensive line perform at a heightened level. Kampman, Jenkins, and KGB are fierce DE's. Corey Williams is a premier DT. Can we please sign him? Today. Give him $$$ and put it towards the '07 cap. Tell him that today he gets his money. Tomorrow he may be underpaid - so take care of your money when we give it to you upfront. We've got $13 million in cap room. Spend it, please.
Pickett and Jolly continue to impress. Cole is a solid contributor and role player. He provides depth. Harrell will be a solid player.
I was saddened by the news of Michael Montgomery. I thought that he was getting off the ball quicker this year than last. One mans pain is another mans treasure. I'm fond of Larry Birdine. He's been terrific from what I've seen. He deserves to be on the team.
I feel for Daniel Muir. I think this guy has a future in the NFL. It's too bad that it may not come in Green Bay. He gives everything that he's got. He works hard on every play. I hope we can make room for him.
How epic was the AJ Hawk sack last week!?! Masterful. Barnett pouncing on the fumble and taking it to the house. Yummy.
But, arguably the most frustrating part of our team is our depth at LB. I thought that we had so much excitement here. No one has rose to the occasion. It's still early, but time is getting precious.
Again, I'm pulling for Rory Johnson. This guy can change a football game. At least he could in college. He reminds me of Jessie Armstead. Yes, that is saying a lot. But, I truly feel that he possesses those characteristics. #98. Make it happen, brother.
I'd hate to lose either Bishop or Hodge. Both seem to have too much potential. They both fit what we are trying to build. Young guys who are still developing and are loaded with upside. Keep them.
Can anyone imagine why we'd keep Tracy White? Yes, he's played special teams, but has he really stood out? I don't remember so. Tracy White will only be so good and so good will never be good enough. Cut him.
J-Bush and Willie B. continue to impress. Oh, Willie, Willie, Willie. You make me smile.
Ernest Wilford, Matt Jones, Dennis Northcutt, and Reggie Williams will provide an interesting task for Bush and Blackmon in the battle for the #3 corner. The Jags receivers have a fine combination of size and speed.
Chuckie Woodson. The only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy in the HISTORY of College Football. I enjoy you.
Mason Crosby has such a beautiful swing. Watching him kick a football reminds me of watching Matt Koeppler kick a soccer ball. An absolutely perfect stroke. By the way, does anyone know what Koeppler is doing these days?
Any way, as a side note to the game tomorrow night - on Draft Day, when the Packers were on the clock - I was hoping for one of two players...yes, I was one of the few people in America that jumped out of my chair with excitement when the Packers drafted Justin Harrell. I thought that the Packers needed to continue to provide shelter from Barnett and Hawk. Barnett struggles mightily with shedding blocks. Regardless, Harrell was my 2nd choice. My first choice was Reggie Nelson. He'll be wearing #25 and playing safety for the Jags. I admired him while he played at Florida.
Your thoughts?
Be good. Have fun. Enjoy.
Talkin' S-Mac.

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