Monday, August 3, 2009

Family Night Hype!

Greetings, G-Force.

It's spectacular to be reminded that football is with us for the next 6 months. Much is being both written and said about the Packers flying under the radar as we enter the '09 Season. While this might be true in the eyes of the media, the fans expectations are enormous. For the better part of the past two decades, the Packers organization has been synonymous with regular season victories. As an owner of the team, I anticipate great things of this season. Not only do I envision a season with more wins than losses, but I foresee the Playoffs in our future. Anything less is a disappointment. Beyond wins and losses, I want to monitor the teams attitude and ability to start the season strong.

The additions of Kevin Greene & Mike Trgovac should bring force to the defensive mentality. The impact should be immediate and fully visible this Saturday Night during the Packers annual Family Night event. (For those of us not in WI, I believe it is televised on Monday August 10th on the NFL Network. Sweet.) Any way, I expect to see a physical defensive presence that attacks the offense and attempts to gain a significant push upfield.

While the Family Night is billed as a friendly contest, it should be mentioned that, in the past, young players have used that game as a springboard towards making the team. Youngsters have helped established themselves on Family Night. Truly, it's the first barometer as to how efficient we are as a team. In years past, we have caught our first glimpse of Greg Jennings, T-Mon, and James Jones during the PrimeTime Event. They were all able to carry that momentum into solid campaigns. On the contrary, last year showed that Brian Brohm, P-Lee, Jeremy Thompson, and Matt Flynn all needed to develop before they were ready to make an impact in an NFL game. Hopefully, all four of them perform at a higher level during this years game.

In preparation for this year's Scrimmage, I'm launching the Top 10 Roster items to keep an eye on during this year's Family Night Friendly:

10.) Are either Jeremy Kapanos or Durant Brooks legitimate NFL punters? I'm consistently baffled at our inability to bring in someone who can punt. Truly unacceptable that we are faced with this dilemma.

9.) If he's healthy, can Justin Harrell finally live up to his status as a 1st round pick. Apparently, he's off to a good start in training camp. He's shown strength and the power to push OL backwards.

8.) Is Quinn the Eskimo as punishing of a blocker as advertised? From what I've read, he's been a minor disappointment. He's been outplayed by Korey Hall. I'm anxious to see for myself.

7.) Who will elevate to earn the 4th CB spot? Willie B., P-Lee and the U-HAUL will all have opportunities to deem they are worthy. The U-HAUL is dealing with back issues and unless he improves swiftly, I could see him being limited this Saturday Night. Joe Porter should also see significant playing time. Normally, Mr. Charles Woodson and Ras Al rest during the scrimmage, which would have provided plenty of opportunities for all to shine.

6.) Who will win the back-up RB spot? B-Jack has held the role for the last 2 years. It's been well documented that I'm pulling for Wynn & Lumpkin to beat out B-Jack. Both Wynn and Lumpkin have shown great flashes but have durability concerns. Sutton has received heightened recognition for his performance during the OTA's and early in camp.

5.) Have Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm progressed enough to ignore the fact that Brian Griese, a proven veteran QB is available as a Free Agent? It should also be noted that he has experience playing in the NFC North. Additionally, he's college mates with Mr. Charles Woodson, which would continue to build locker room rapport.

4.) Can AJ Hawk get started off with some positive momentum as we transition into the 3-4 defense? Thus far, Hawk has been a disappointment. He's a key to our defensive success in '09.

3.) The battle for the starting ROLB spot between CM3 and Jeremy Thompson. I expect big things out of CM3 on Saturday. He's seen big stages before. Sure, Lambeau will be unique, but I expect CM3 to play with high intensity and to immediately establish himself as a leader on defense. I'm hoping that in 5 days, this is no longer a battle for the starting spot and that CM3 has simply taken command.

2.) AK-74 dropping into coverage. Yes, this is an enormous concern.

1.) Do we have a capable RT on our roster? If not, it's time to start praying for mobility to Tauscher's knee. If someone can elevate his game to take command of this position, we'll be fully loaded on offense with the capability to average 25 points a game. I truly believe we are well positioned at every other position. I'm still hoping that TJ Lang rises to the occasion.

Another roster item to consider: I'd give Bubba Franks a call. See if he'd be interested in taking the league minimum. I'd be curious as to whether he'd consider being our #3 TE and playing on blocking downs. I imagine that even at this point of his career he is a better blocking TE than Humphrey.

Thanks to Stack for posting a comment on the blog. Good to see the writing once again, mate!

Hey Raji, it's time to get your ass into camp.

Enjoy the Festivities.

Talkin' S-Mac.


Stack said...

Football season. Finally. A reason to live.

Now that Brett is tucked in bed and we've bid adieu to the 4-3, it is time for the 2010 Packers.

J-Mike looks -and sounds- to have grown over the past year. I loved his August 3 interview, talking about "building a 20 foot house in the end zone." From that and other interviews, it seems like we're getting the guy we wanted. The athletic ability speaks for itself. This year is about adding polish. I expect a big year from the young man. Will be fun to see him develop.

Among the intriguing battles, the switch in philosophy has been greatly detailed, going from bump and run to a zone type of defense. I love Al Harris. I still think bump and run might be his strong suit; I have seen him play zone before. But he's a football player, so I'm not going to worry about it. I think Al's no-name mentioned shout out to Jim Johnson is probably a clear indicator that he is very focused on bringing his A game this year.

Our DBs as a group is as good as any position group on the team. And I'm happy that Darren Perry has replaced Schottenheimer, who, in my opinion, held that job for too long. I think Perry will raise the level of play back there. What I am worried about is the 3rd and 4th corner positions. T-Mon is a stud, but faces transition. Willie B., Lee, and U-Haul are young at cornerback in the NFL. My concern is that these guys adapt to feel the zone coverage so they're not staring in the backfield as Devin Hester blows by on his route down the sideline.

Of course, if that does happen, Nick Collins will lay his ass out.

The OL is intriguing, at least as far as the Offensive Line goes. Don't get me wrong, I'm old enough to watch the lines battle instead of the players off the ball, shot out to Stan Wos there, but an OL needs cohesion, so I look at it less with intrigue and more with disdain. Like look guys, figure it. I'm reading that Sitton gets blown up by LBs. How can this be? The guy looks like a load... I will be watching Breno's recovery extra closely. Breno is a member of the forgotten draft class. He's a guy that I really like, cause that nasty streak isn't really hard to see. Large nasty man. Plus I think he's got one of the best names for me to get drunk and yell on Sunday....

Boom. Plows Kevin Williams...
Pancakes Ogunleye....

Ahhhh, I can see it now. Hopefully.

The Small Axe Ras Atar-I Bigby estimated his health at 65% last year. Let's see his game improve along with his health.

Stack said...

It sounds like CM3 is already blowing plays up in training camp. As of today, he's been running with the ones for a day or two, so let's hope this is settled. Good luck to JT, keep working, you'll be a contributor before this is all said and done, but keep cutting yourself against your teammate.

Can't wait to see the locks on this team.

Nothing better than seeing photos of the guys in VMC. So funny. And listen to TJ Lang talk about how these dorms are "pretty nice."

Dorms at Eastern Michigan? Not so much.

There is much to buzz about after these long months of inactivity. But one man has locked the door against my full embrace of football season. With the athletes, the studs, the pimps, the players, and the pros already in pads, I await Raji.

This man has captivated my interest since last football season. We are on the verge of having a potential difference maker on the point of our defense. An anchor. Relieving and enhancing Pickett. I can't wait to see photos. I want to read about Raji trashing Scott Wells everyday. Manhandling him.

Look at the size of our DL:

Pickett: 6'2" 330 (official weight)
Raji: 6'1" 337
Harrell: 6'4" 320
Jolly: 6'3" 320

Jenkins is made to seem slight at 305. Tremendous size across the group. Which is good, hope to see that large physical football team. We still have to tackle Brandon Jacobs.

Gonna be interesting to watch the LB corps. Apparently Bishop is playing quite well. CM3 backed by Thompson. Hawk, who knows, still waiting for that potential to be realized. I can't understand it. Barnett coming back from the injury. And Kampman. Have to wonder if we can't trade him. And hopefully soon. I just don't know. He's clearly best with his hand on the ground. The guy has been a model for a professional and has produced 37 sacks over the past three years. Pro Bowler will turn thirty this season. I think we have to unload him. And should be able to get something decent for him. Love AK, but he's just not the guy I want playing that position. Victim of the scheme shift.

Looking forward to the scrimmage.

This defense is going to be fun.

Talkin' S-Mac said...


I have to say that after I have re-read your comments for a third team, I can see that your writing is in mid-season form already. Bring it, mate!

Love it.

the BuzzBoy.