Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Change In Vibes!

Greetings, G-Force.

The vibe must change & it must change now. Unfortunately, the small community of Green Bay does not fare well with distractions. It's too tight of a community. Therefore, the TIME IS NOW to eliminate division. While I've been outspoken in my desire for the Legend, the reality is that he will not perform in Green & Gold in '08. So, I move to what I'm hearing/reading/seeing about the '08 training camp thus far.

I'm curious to see the diversified looks that are presented this year compared to last. I'm interested to see the youthful legs of Aaron Rodgers escaping the rush. A-Rod out of the pocket and throwing on the run. Improvising. Turning busted plays into opportunities. Driver, Lee & Jones coming back to the ball. J-Mike & Jennings running deep in hopes of the big play. I can see it already. I'm curious to see how Jordy reacts to busted plays as well.

I'm hear & read that Jordy Nelson is performing and is considered a rookie sleeper for the '08 season. I have to believe that his size will provide mismatches against the oppositions 3rd & 4th CB.

I really expect James Jones to have a big year. I imagine that he'll be a beneficiary of the come back routes that have been implemented in our system. He's our best short yardage route runner. Plus, he's already got chemistry with Rodgers. Their time together in last year's training camp & preseason games is priceless. For what it's worth, after 3 games in the preseason last year, James Jones led the exhibition season in receptions. For the majority of those catches, Aaron Rodgers was his QB.

While I want Ryan Grant in camp today, I don't want him for $40 million. In fact, I don't think I'd want to sign him to a 6 year deal rather I'd prefer that the Packers looked at a 4 year option. When Favre retires and comes off the cap, give him excess money for the '08 season and tell him that he'll be shortchanged for the next three years, but he's getting his money up front. Guarantee his '08 money. Beyond that - it's about performance.

I'm afraid of our RB situation. I'm happy to hear that B-Jack continues to grow. However, I'm not positive he can handle the load & I have concerns about his ability to escape traffic. I also wonder about his ability to elude a defender. He does not have breakaway speed. He seems like a guy who can see a hole and hit it. It's up to us know his strengths & to stick to them.

I'm anxious to see Kregg Lumpkin play. With our current stable of backs, Lumpkin must be a difference maker - a consistent performer. From what I remember about his college days, Lumpkin has a quick first step and can run through tackles. He's an aggressive runner. But, he, too, if I recall correctly, lacks the burst to take one to the house.

We've learned that DeShawn Wynn, Noah Herron, & Vernand Morency cannot be trusted for an entire season. They all have limitations and are injury prone.

The OG battle will be extremely interesting. Could Josh Sitton and Allen Barbre be our starting G's in Week 1? It seems as though there's an open competition and it'll be a fun battle to watch throughout the exhibition games.

It sounds like Tony Moll is on his way out.

Another battle that will draw attention is the LB position. Hawk, Barnett, Chillar & Poppinga are locks. All have received contracts from the Packers that show loyalty. But, it's important to note that both Desmond Bishop & Abdul Hodge have been playing on the 1st Special Teams unit in practice. I have to believe that Tracy White is also a lock as he received a big off-season contract. If this is the case, how many LB's will we keep or are Bishop or Hodge going to be trade bait at the end of training camp?

It's disappointing to hear that Patrick Lee is struggling. I can only hope that it's simply because he's adjusting to the pace of the NFL game. But, we need to get Lee up to speed. I trust that this will occur.

I'm stoked for Monday. 8:00 EST. NFL Network. It's the Family Night Replay. And it's my 1st glimpse of the '08 Packers.

Vibe In G-Force!

Talkin' S-Mac


Talkin' S-Mac said...

Grant's back, baby! Happy that it's only a 4 year deal rather than a 6 year deal. Glad that they gave him a roster bonus so $4.25 million counts against the cap this year. Now, hopefully, the Favre issue is settled by Tuesday morning so we can solely focus on football preparations.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

The Football Jesus is back! OH BABY!

bleedin green said...

This article is from a week ago but I found it to be a solid read from a longtime Packer sportswriter.

Talkin' S-Mac said...

I am absolutely positive that the Packers are a better football team with Brett Favre as their QB. I'm absolutely losing faith in the Packers front office with each day that passes by. You cannot convince me that the Packers are a more competitive team with A-Rod as the QB.

Sports are an entertainment business. The Packers are in the entertainment industry. Favre is the entertainer. Favre gives us our best chance to win.

There is a small window of opportunity for teams to win a Super Bowl. Our time is now. It's frustrating that our organization would consider anything else.

By not taking Favre back, I believe that Murphy, Thompson, and McCarthy are all placing their jobs at risk. A 6-10 season with Favre & it's on Brett. A 6-10 season without Favre & it's on our hierarchy.

One can only judge so much from a Family Night, but here's what I saw:

- Aaron Rodgers is still in the developmental stages. He throws a tight spiral. He's quicker than one might expect, but he has happy feet. He's got communication issues with his WR's. His timing was off. And a number of his throws were behind the WR. Driver seemed to get frustrated by him when he throw an "out" pass to the wrong shoulder, which allowed T-Mon to knock it down.

- Brohm & Flynn are both a work in progress.

- I thought that our 1st team O-Line played well. I was impressed with Clifton & Tauscher at the T position. Both held the point of attack. Spitz filled in admirably for an injured Wells. Barbre was a fighter and almost always got a push. Sitton held his point of attack more often than not. Colledge looked like he was bigger than last year as well.

- Tony Moll will not make the team.

- Tory Humphrey looks the part.

- B-Jack showed some nice wiggle & shake.

- Korey Hall got to the second tier.

- Morency looked quick and showed his '06 burst.

- Lumpkin does not look to have an NFL life.

- Donald Driver is a role model.

- I was disappointed to see Jordy drop a pass in traffic.

- On the defensive line, Johnny Jolly & Jeremy Thompson stood out. Jolly was extremely active. It was good to have him back on the pitch. Thompson was arguably the MVP of the Family Night. He's not overly quick off of the snap, but he's a hard worker. He's an athletic guy who used his hands well & got a push. I was excited to see him making plays downfield as well as behind the line of scrimmage. Thompson also got his arms in the air and batted a pass down.

- Michael Montgomery feasted on Tony Moll's inept play.

- Brandon Chillar looks good in a uniform, but he was disappointing. Twice, I thought he was not physical enough on big run plays. Another time I thought he made a poor decision while selecting a hole to rush on a running play. He was also exposed via the pass.

- AJ & Barnett were excitable.

- Bishop got pushed around.

- Patrick Lee, Willie B., & T-Mon were all impressive. Lee showed the ability to turn his head and make a play on the ball. I'd like to see him corral those passes and turn them into interceptions, but he was stride for stride with Driver & Jennings on a number of occasions. Willie B. is so graceful. T-Mon looks like he is ready to be a solid 3rd CB for the Packers this year.

- Aaron Rouse, as usual, was around the football.

- Charlie Peprah was a physical presence - for what it's worth.

Nonetheless, Brett Favre is our commander in chief. He's the leader of this team. It's early in the offseason, but I'm concerned. We need Favre. His arrival signals his commitment. WELCOME HIM BACK! You've got to let him compete for his job & I cannot be convinced otherwise.

bleedin green said...

Isn't competition the heart of sports? What message are you sending the other 79guys on the roster when you nominate one man a starter without having to compete for the job?

I'm thinking that the most likely way they'll divide the locker room at this point is to not let Brett compete for the starting job. That would raise questions around where TT's and MM's interests truly lie. May the "dog fight" begin.

Stack said...

Since it was the great BuzzBoy who was once dreaming of yesterday, I'm feel compelled to continue, like the great Jimmy Cliff, "sitting here in limbo..."

Let it first be said that I was tuned into Family Night last night via NFL network. I got home from work and promptly pan-seared a bacon-wrapped tenderloin to a nice medium rare. I cut it into slices and ate it with my fingers 'cause I'm a beast like that. Reaching back into the deepest part of my fridge, right under the actual refrigerating fan, I pulled out a cold Sierra Nevada in honor of the Chico Kid, Aaron Rodgers. I sat on my living room floor and fired up a Fonseco Cubano Limitado while the bearded Johnny Gray and his sidekick droned on about the weather, the procedings, and all things Brett Favre. It was good to see Lambeau, still vibrant in our absence.

There was a press conference that was supposed to occur. And then there was a press conference that was supposed to occur this morning. Given the timing of this morning's presser, I planned on tuning in and writing a take thereafter. However, upon visiting the Packer site, the time for the upcoming press conference is still TBA.

I'd say I'm not sure how to feel about that, but then again, this whole saga has been one of crossed signals and confused emotions, so I'm just going to let the press conference come to me and I'll reflect on what I saw last night.

Look at my boy Pat Lee! Got the PI early but jut kept coming. The guy was on our recievers like a spray-on tan! That was good to see. With a little time and experience, his confidence will grow and he'll be stepping in front. Remember the post-draft interview;

"Patrick, why did you go in round 2 and Wilhite went in round 4?"

Lee, shrugging, responds "I made more plays."

Wait for it. It's coming.

That said, the story of the night was A Rod. I don't want to heap on the guy or crucify him, but he did not look good. Some of that is to be expected, but it's not what Packer fans expect to see at that position. We're just not used to it. The game looked too big and too fast for him. He had plenty of time to throw but the ball wasn't coming out. And most of his throws were toward the sides of the field. I know he had a completion or two in the middle, but he didn't seem to be threatening to the middle of the field at all to me. I got the general feeling that if we had seen 4 quarters of Aaron Rodgers, the defense would suffocate the passing offense and T Mon or Willie would have been visiting the end zone. The passing game looked very limited.

How can a paint such a bleak picture of our passing game? Simply because the offensive line showed up last night. The quarterbacks had time to throw. The offense came out with the running game early and was gashing the defense for big gains. Funny, both alarming and exciting when it's your team scrimmaging your team. I came away with a good feeling about the offensive line. I thought they played well and really didn't have too many letdowns.

Portland State C/G Brennen Carvalho got blown up on one play, I believe by Conrad Bolston. Fellow Portland Stater Condrew Allen looked to be on the sidelines without pads.

Joe Porter was a named that flashed here and there.

Hawk and Barbre got after each other at one point. That was great to see. Also gave you some perspective on how big Barbre is...just dwarfed Hawk.

Everyone was piling on me for having Brandon Jackson's back...the guy is coming around.

Abdul Hodge was non-existent. Bishop for the most part too, although I did see him get Morency one time before Mo could turn the corner.

All in all, it was a night for the defense. Our offense has a couple of chapters to complete before we kick off the season.

Stack said...

Guys, it's the most wonderful time of the year...

League ID# 312352
password: pack4tampa

Maybe this will take you there...

What do you think about buying in so we give a little prize out this year?

porterbela said...

Not that you need me to tell you this, but from what I've heard and read A-Rodgers is still the starting QB for the Packers, there will be no competition. I don't know if I believe it, but TT isn't the smartest GM I've seen.

I also think there is a possibility he gets traded in the next day or two.

As a Bears fan I really want to see Rodgers play and ultimately fail as the Packers QB and Watch Favre dominate on another team.

Then again, Favre has only disappointed me (at least until the last two years) in the we'll see.

Stack said...

I'm enjoying all the weepy-faced pictures of Favre a little too much. When they're attached to this story, they take on a whole different meaning for me.