Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lessons learned. Experience gained.

Greetings, G-Force.

I am married to a lawyer. She works deep into the night. It forces me to sit in silence. Limited TV access. No stereo. It rains nightly. My ability to act freely is limited. In three weeks, her "case" will be over. Until then, I read. I write. I think about football. A lot. For a football fan, it's that anxious time of year.

I describe myself as having a simple complexity. I enjoy simple things. Sports. Music. Cooking. Photography. To name a few. But, with those simple things, I like to get detailed with them, which, in some ways, makes me complex.

Over the last 48 hours, I've been stuck on a buzz. Heavily. We are going to be lethal this year. Energized. Eccentric offensively.

Things seem to be falling into place. I have a strong feeling that Collins will get a deal. We have three picks left to sign: BJ, CM3, and Quinn "The Eskimo" Johnson. BJ has stated that he won't miss camp. I can't imagine that The Football Eskimo will be overly difficult to sign. CM3 comes from football bloodlines. I imagine his Father will encourage him to get into camp on-time. Plus, I bet CM3 is dead set on winning the starting OLB job come Week 1.

If I were to give the 2008 Green Bay Packers season a title, I'd name it "Lessons learned. Experience gained." Over the past couple of weeks, with little to no volume, I have caught the replay of the Panthers, Texans and Bears games. We lost all 3. But, damn, there were moments in which we looked sublime. However, in each game, our own mental deficiencies prevented us from victory. UNO-DOS took the brunt of the blame. He finished 0-8 in games decided in the last 5 minutes. But, I think we learned how to win. By the end of the year, UNO-DOS was not throwing picks on the last drive. Instead, we were missing FG's or getting stopped on 3 downs from the 1. The Eskimo will make sure that we get in from the 1 this year. Defensively, we were sieve's in the last 5 minutes. This has been well documented. Ted Thompson appears to have repaired the defense with a new coordinator, new defensive coaches and two first round picks.

At this time last year, I thought that we were a 5-11 or a 6-10 team. I thought that we'd do well to finish 8-8 and that if we did finish 8-8, last year would have been a success. We finished 6-10. It was painful. Not surprising. Just frustrating. Each week seemed more devastating than the previous one.

This year, I'm thinking that 8-8 would be a disappointment. You have to go 4-2 in the Division. Sweep the Lions. Split with the Bears and Vikings. We play the NFC West. All injuries being equal, we should be able to go 3-1 vs that Division. The AFC North is physical. The Bengals will be improved. So might the Browns. The Ravens are always tough. The Steelers are the defending champs. Let's say we go 2-2. Due to our 3rd place finish in '08, we play the Cowboys and Bucs. We could go 0-2, but I'd like to think we'll win 1 of them. Either way - 9 wins should be the minimal in '09. 10 or more and it's been a great year.

Prior to training camp, I'm going to put together my prediction for the '09 roster. I'm concerned about our back-up QB spot. What to do if UNO-DOS goes down? Can Flynn win us a game? Doubt it. Can Brohm? Unlikely. At this point, it's Flynn's job. I remain attached to my thoughts about Brohm prior to last year's draft and throughout the pre-season. You have to keep Brohm because of your investment in him. But, can we upgrade over Flynn?

I'm super curious as to what will happen in Tampa Bay at the QB position. They have Brian Griese, Byron Leftwich, Josh Freeman, Luck McCown and Josh Johnson. I was interested in Johnson prior to last year's draft. I thought McCarthy could potentially do some magic with him. I'm not positive that he could step in and win us a game this year, but he might bring more future upside than Flynn. It'll be fun to follow.

I crave football. Especially Green & Gold flavors.

Talkin' S-Mac.

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