Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Take -> Week 4

Greetings, G-Force.

In 1967, Jimmy Cliff wrote the song "Give a Little, Take a Little." Thankfully, the Packers have not listened or else we'd be 0-3. Our defense has attacked the football like piranhas. And with the exception of a Ryan Grant lapse, we've possessed the ball with heightened care. The end result: turnovers have been the difference in our two wins this season.

Minus Brett Favre the setting would be: The Green Bay Packers at the Minnesota 'queens. On Monday Night. The 'queens at 3-0. The Pack at 2-1. You'd be ready for some football.

Add Brett Favre and this one is personal.

Make no mistake about it, Brett Favre is an egotistical maniac. For 16 years, he was my idol. For the last 16 months, he's been a self-righteous, arrogant jerk. Due to his present state, Favre came back for this game. He's not playing for the records. He has them already. He is not playing for the money. He has plenty. He's not playing for a Super Bowl. He has one. Brett Favre has come back to "stick it" to the Green Bay Packers. You know, that same organization that created his Legendary status. Yeah, you know, that franchise that helped develop the man that could presently be referred to as the greatest REGULAR SEASON QB in the History of the NFL.

Without the Green Bay Packers organization, Brett Favre would be divorced. An alcoholic. A vicodin drug addict. His family home in Mississippi would still be destroyed from Hurricane Katrina. Neither he nor Deanna would have their own charity. Essentially, he'd be living in a shack with Ryan Leaf. What a crying, ungrateful son of a bitch! For now, he's the Drama Viqueen.

The hype that surrounds the Drama Viqueen's reunion has created an event that Aaron Rodgers has never seen. Not of this magnitude. This will be the biggest arena in which he's ever played center stage. He can eliminate the notion that he's unable to replace the Drama Viqueen. He can prove Ted Thompson right, for once and for all. He's presently at the pinnacle of media hype in the national sports world.

Long term - the magnitude of this game is beyond mighty to both franchises. I can only imagine how much this game means to Thompson & McCarthy. I'll never be able to comprehend its importance. For the Packers, a loss could lead to both a divided fan base and locker room. It could envelop questions regarding the future of the teams leadership. Meanwhile, while the Drama Queen is most likely a flash in the pan of the Minnesota franchise, it should be mentioned that Childress went out of his way to ensure he got #4 as his QB. A loss on Monday Night could cloud the focus of the Drama Queen and therefore the future of Childress.

If I were in charge of the Packers, I'd challenge a member of the organization to run towards the media with statements begging Favre to try and beat us. I'd publicly state that we respect the Vikings organization. I'd say that we acknowledge AP is the best back in the league. That they have a great OL. That Shiancoe is an up and coming TE. That they have a special defense with remarkable run defense statistics. But, that we don't think Favre can beat us. That he can't lead them to victory. I'd publicly challenge him in a humiliating way. I'd stroke his ego and play the mind games with the media that he has attempted to master.

Two of the biggest story lines in this weeks box score will be: AP's rushing attempts and the Drama Viqueen's passing attempts. If AP rushes 22 times or more, it could spell difficulty for us. If #4 throws 30 times or more, I would expect a victory.

Clearly, this has the makings of a monumental game. While the Packers have turned the ball over once in 2009, the 'queens have only turned it over twice. The Packers have forced 9 turnovers as the 'queens have forced 6. The Packers have sacked the QB 5 times compared to the 'queens 7 times. All are important statistics to consider leading up to this significant battle.

Over the last two years, Jared Allen has destroyed a healthy Chad Clifton. Once as a Chief. Twice as a 'queen. If Clifton plays, I'm sure he'll be far from 100%, playing on pure grit. This match-up scares me.

The Williams boys up front provide a mismatch against the interior of our OL. Plainly stated, they are far superior to the likes of College, Spitz and Sitton. The Williams boys are probably the most intimidating DT-combo in football.

Ray Edwards is a productive DE. Without help, Barbre will have his hands full.

The 'queens LB core is arguably the most underrated group in the NFL. Chad Greenway can flat out play. Ben Leber is a football player. EJ Henderson is a talented run stuffer, but a bad pass defender.

Antoine Winfield is well, Antoine Winfield. He can play on my team any day - except when he's wearing purple.

After that, I smell weaknesses. You can attack the safeties. Cedric Griffin can be beat. You must be careful as he is slapping wrists when tackling, but he can be had. Benny Sapp is undersized. Karl Paymah can't play.

In 276 games, the Drama Viqueen has thrown 311 interceptions. Most came while I wholeheartedly supported him. Now, it's time for me to be the beneficiary of these statistics.

A.P. is the best player in the NFL. Chester Taylor seems to always make a play against us.

On the OL, Hutchinson and McKinnie are studs. Phil Loadholt has been a pleasant surprise for Minnesota fans as a rookie RT. Anthony Herrera and John Sullivan can be attacked. I've watched every play of every Minnesota game this year. Pressure can come by overloading the right side of the Minnesota OL.

Offensively, if we try to man up against Minnesota, we won't stand a chance. But, if we line up with 4-wide, spread them out, single back - they can't play with us. It's in McCarthy's mental hands to get the ball out of Rodgers hands. Run the delay to the over-pursuing side of Jared Allen. Clifton pushes him forward. Grant will have to make one guy miss before he has a 1st down.

We have to get Minnesota's LB's off the field and force them to play with extra DB's. That's the mismatch. The pass will set up the run. It'll set up manageable 2nd and 3rd downs via productive 1st downs. Thus, simplifying Rodgers' life.

Defensively, I'd match Chuckie one-on-one with Harvin in the slot. I'd stick T-Mon on Sidney Rice. He'd match Rice's speed, height, athleticism and jumping ability. While Berrian has had productive games against Al Harris, I'd put Harris to the task. Challenge him and believe he's game for the match-up.

I'd have Collins play CF to prevent the deep ball. Moreover, Collins is a sure tackler and has the speed to prevent the big HR by A.P.

On nearly every obvious passing down, I'm coming with a middle LB blitz. Pressuring the right side of the OL. At this stage in his career, you know where the Drama Viqueen will be. He's lost his lateral mobility and for the most part, his ability to escape. By utilizing the middle LB blitz, we'll either force turnovers, hurried throws or get to the QB. Trust me.

Early in the game, nerves are high. Almost a state of anxiousness. A couple of 1st downs by each team, but no points.

Late in the 1st Quarter, the Packers get the first break. It's the Drama Viqueen on a short timing route hitting Shiancoe in the shoulder. The ball floats in the air. Into the hands of Nick Barnett.

The Packers take advantage. Rodgers rolling to his right. Launches a rocket that lands in the lap of Jennings. 7-0 Green Bay.

Minnesota shows the ability to move the ball. Shiancoe grabbing 1st downs, frustrating the Packer defense. We bend, but don't break. Giving up FG's.

With Minnesota leading 9-7, Favre takes a shot deep. The ball lands in the lap of T-Mon.

The offense finds our stride and gets into FG range. 10-9. We get the ball back. A late 2-minute drill gives us a 13-9 lead at the half.

Chuckie grabs the Drama Queen's third pick. The Packers capitalize via a Driver TD reception. 20-9.

AP busts into our defensive backfield. Getting loose. Into the Red Zone. It's the Drama Viqueen to Shiancoe for a TD. 20-16.

Minnesota gets the ball back. 10 minutes to play. Drives into Packers territory. AP busts off another one for 20 yards. Drama Viqueen to Harvin. They have all momentum. But, Chillar coming on a center blitz gets the Pack off the field forcing an errant pass. The 'queens settle for 3. 20-19.

Rodgers gets the ball. Utilizing a variety of short passes, the Packers keep the chains moving. And the clock ticking. On a crucial third down, it's Rodgers to Driver for the Packers reception record. We get a late FG. 23-19.

With little time and no timeouts, this time there's no "Majik" in Favre. We're leaving the Dome victorious.

Grant goes for 77 yards. Rodgers efficiently passes for 215 yards and 2 TD's. Peterson tops 110 yards on 19 carries. The Drama Queen finishes 23-38 for 232 yards. 1 TD. 3 Interceptions.

I can't lie - Minnesota might be more talented than us. But, you can't measure spirit. You can't measure intestinal fortitude. You can intensity. For 16 months, the Drama Viqueen has spit in our faces. Tarnished our name. Rubbed it in the dirt. On Monday, we get to prove our might. We want this one. We get this one.

If Minnesota gives the ball to AP and let's him run, it'll be tough. But, I can't see it happening. I can't see #4 tucking his ego aside. Playing in the rhythm of the game. Putting away the gunslinger mentality. I can't see it. Not this game any ways. If he can, we might be in trouble. But, in my eyes, his ego is too large and this time it gets the best of him.

Green Bay 23. Minnesota 19.

Brett, someday, I'll love you again. Just as I do Reggie White, Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi. They also finished their careers elsewhere. But, for now, I wish for you to get blindsided. Viciously. Ball falling loose. Into the hands of a Green Bay Packer. After all, while playing for the Packers, one has an individual duty to keep up the legacy & traditions that go along with being a member of the Green Bay Packer organization. And you, I want you to feel defeated. I hope you recognize that your former throne is in good hands - those of Aaron Rodgers.

Aaron, this week you come into my life. Come into stay. This is the first time that I will have met you. I want to feel like I want you all of the time. Come into my life, Aaron. Yes, Aaron, it's all about evolution providing the revolution. Bring it!

We're the Green Bay Packers. We're walking to the front. Opening the gates. Feeling like 12-time World Champions. Performing profoundly.


I'm fired up! Ready to go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Take -> Week 3

Greetings, G-Force.

World, Hold On. The Revolution starts tomorrow. The loss to the Bengals was alarming. And if the Packers could not hear that wake up call, the season will end before it begins. A loss to the Rams would signal the end to the 2009 season. No need to panic. It's time for efficiency.

My cousins Danny, Emmitt, and Ryan will be in attendance. Ensuring victory. I'm certain of it.

I've watched the replay of the Bengals game twice. Trying to make sense of it. A few things are painfully obvious. We've lost connection with the basics of football. When you couple a poor offensive line with plays that are designed to take a while to develop and a QB that fails to utilize his check downs, failure is a certainty. Twice I was certain we were to come away with points only to be held back because Rodgers took sacks when we were in FG range. You have to understand field position and down & distance. Rodgers has reverted back to last season - waiting for the big play to happen downfield rather than take what has been given to him underneath. When he gets rid of the ball quickly, good things happen and we move the football.

Mike McCarthy says that he "has a duty to get the ball to his players downfield." Mike, you are wrong. Your playmakers are greedy bastards with the ball in their hands. They live for grabbing yards after the catch. Get 'em the ball. They'll make guys miss. Where's the slant? The bubble screen? The short crossing routes? No need for the puma routes...we want our guys running AT the secondary. Not towards the line of scrimmage.

When you are struggling to get the run game going, you can utilize the pass to set up the run and to slow down the pass rush. But, you must nickel and dime the defense. 3-7 yard routes. Quick to develop. Thus far, we seem to be applying pressure on ourselves and trying to force BIG things to happen rather than letting them develop. McCarthy & Rodgers seem to be panicking.

We'll get it fixed this week. In a big way.

But, before I get to the game, I'm quite disturbed by the release of Rouse and I find it fitting that it occurs the same week we play Anthony Smith. I'm fine with making an example of a guy. McCarthy says it's about availability and accountability. Well then why do we keep Montgomery & Bush? Each week, Montgomery is pushed 10-12 yards back. Literally. We keep Bush as he is a strong special teams player? Who are we kidding? Bush is a failure. He's miserable. And an absolute liability at Safety.

We traded for Derrick Martin. I have no idea about his skills. We'll find out this week as he's in the starting line-up.

The Rams are on tap this week. Arguably the worst team in the NFL. They must be our remedy. Short passes. Yards after the catch. The ball in Jennings hands streaking towards the secondary. The dump off to Lee. Short slants to Nelson. Crossing routes to Driver, Jones. J-Mike down the seam. It's basic football. Return to the roots. It'll open up the run game. Where did the shovel pass go? Each week, others find great success with it. We used to run it better than anyone. Go back to it. What about the delayed screen? Get after it!

Grant & Jennings were extremely unproductive last week, but at some point, it's the Coach's job to make certain that they get the ball in position to succeed - to get them in the flow of the game. In basketball, when your shooter goes cold, the coach tries to find a way to get him a lay-up. Find his rhythm. In football, when the WR is struggling to get open, you throw him a screen. Let him feel the pigskin.

Defensively, I'm over Nick Barnett, Brady Poppinga, and AJ Hawk. I'd prefer to see us go with Bishop, Matthews and Chillar. I can't stand missed tackles. And Barnett, Poppinga and Hawk look like they are practicing ballet as they are dancing with offensive lineman, TE's and fullbacks. They ran right at Poppinga. Brady was a poser. A week earlier, Matthews was a star against the run. Insert him in the line-up full time. Immediately.

Additionally, what are we saving Raji for? Get him in the line-up. No more Montgomery!

The Rams OL is beat up. First round pick Jason Smith remains out due to injury. This should make it difficult for the Rams to open up holes for Steven Jackson. I'll state the obvious: offensively, the Rams are going to try to pound away at us with Jackson and take chances deep with Donnie Avery. They'll also attack our LB's with Randy McMichael on short passes.

Defensively, they will attack with a variety of blitzes. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo is one of the brightest defensive minds in the leage. Expect Will Weatherspoon and James Laurinaitis pursuing, forcing our Tackles to make spontaneous blocking assignment decisions. Chris Long will make life difficult for Daryn Colledge. Long has an endless motor. Also, keep an eye on nickel back, #32, Bradley Fletcher. He's a rookie from Iowa. He's a hard nosed tackler who will develop into a decent starting CB. Today, he'll struggle to cover the likes of Jennings and Driver. I'd attack him.

I am amazed with Oshiomogho Atogwe's game. I have wanted him to become a Packer over the past two years when he was a RFA. I would offer a 1st Round pick for him and feel that he's a top 4 safety in the NFL along with Palomalu, Reed, and Nintendo Nick. It would not surprise me if he forces a turnover.

Ultimately, we have too much firepower for the Rams and for the first time in the regular season, the juggernaut is clear and present! Grant finds the end zone. So does Jennings.

Matthews records his 2nd sack of the year. Chuckie grabs his 3rd pick. Jenkins dominates the line of scrimmage. The defense rebounds in a physical way.

Green Bay 30. St. Louis 16. Finally, we get to 30 points!

Walk to the front. Open the gate. Feel like 12-time World Champions. Prosper.

Talkin' S-Mac.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Take -> Week 2

Greetings, G-Force.

The take comes early this week as I'm heading up to Lambeau this weekend and to celebrate Vargas waning days as a bachelor. A 1-0 start feels good. Though it was frustrating, I blame myself for setting my expectations as high as I did. Regardless, its' great to sin against your most hated rival, at home, in the opener! If you listen closely enough, music will direct you throughout life. Two bands that I spend a lot of time listening to are Yonder Mountain and Michael Franti. Two of their songs that I regularly jam are "Complicated" and "Have a Little Faith" (Hi Patrick). Yonder provides reasoning for my gripping emotions: "In my own defense, I don't believe that I was born this complicated." And Franti is UNO-DOS! echoing "Have a Little Faith in Me." Not that I doubted. Never did. In fact, I was counting down the yards to FG range. Nonetheless, you feel what I'm saying. I know you do.

First and foremost, much props goes out to the G-Force that was in attendance. You brought it. It was loud. It was clear. Even through the TV. You could feel the intensity. I'm certain that you altered Lovie Smith's decision making capabilities and impacted Jay Cutler's buzz. We need a repeat performance in Week 2.

Many concerns came out of our performance. Shame on us for not being better prepared and acutely aware that Barbre's performance was a legitimate possibility. All pre-season we talked about how he was a potential liability. In Week 1, he was.

In many ways, it reminds me of 1996. Yes, I love to reflect and compare. I cherish the history of the Green Bay Packers. Probably too much. Any way, a lot of the pieces seem to be in place. But, we fail at Tackle. Heading into 1996, LT was our question mark due to the uncertainty surrounding Ken Ruettgers status. Ruettgers played in 4 games. Gary Brown and John Michels were supposed to replace him. Both were young, inexperienced and incapable. We were left with Bruce Wilkerson, our veteran insurance policy. He protected us at the end of the season and throughout the playoffs. I sense similarities in 2009. Tauscher goes down. Barbre and Lang are unable to play adequately. If Tauscher is unable to return, I'm hoping that we have Jon Runyan's phone number handy. If we don't hurry, the Eagles will beat us to it, just as they did Jeff Garcia.

Defensively, we were outstanding. Al Harris playing as though he was 25 years old. Aggressively attacking ball carriers. T-Mon, one of the fastest rising CB's in the NFL. Nintendo Nick reading the QB's eyes. Cullen Jenkins playing at an All-Pro level. Johnny Jolly feeling ecstasy without codeine in his body. Pickett holding the point. CM3 forcing Forte to the inside - allowing Hawk and Chillar to both make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Chillar blitzing with a vengeance. CM3 & AK-74 applying pressure but unable to wrap up Cutler. We looked spectacular defensively and our best defensive player, Mr. Charles Woodson, played his worst game as a Packer. Defensively, somebody was winning an individual battle almost every play. It was beautiful to watch.

I was disappointed with our play calling early in the game. I thought that the pass could have set up the run. We had small success early throwing the football. Then we went with a predictable wishbone-style 3 RB set with 2 FB's. We tried to smash mouth a football team that was more physical than us. It seemed to disrupt our offensive rhythm early in the game.

Ultimately, it was UNO-DOS! providing his first NFL act as Houdini! Hanging tough under pressure with the Bear defense piling on, it was UNO-DOS finding the yellow wristbands sprinting down the sideline past a washed-up Vasher. Tremendous! A struggling, frustrated, annoyed UNO-DOS! providing an MVP moment to remind the G-Force that the Bears still suck!

This weekend - it's the Bengals coming to town. The Bengals might be the recipe that the Packers offense needs to regain our momentum. After watching the replay of the Bengals game, I saw an opportunity for our offense to make big plays - especially with the TE over the middle of the field.

I'm curious to see Michael Johnson play for the Bengals. Leading up to the draft, I was convinced that he'd be able to play at this level. My eyes will be on him. Credit the Bengals for also adding Roy Williams and Rey Maualuga on defense. Both have added an attitude to the defense that has not existed since Odell Thurman's exit. I really like Leon Hall at CB and Johnathan Joseph is an athletic CB as well. Dhani Jones and Antwan Odom are average ball players. Chris Crocker at S is about to get abused. Robert Geathers is not a threat.

Offensively, Carson Palmer looks to have lost confidence. Laverneus Coles appeared as though he did not care. Chad Johnson is a fraud. Andre Caldwell became Palmer's go-to-guy in Week 1 down the stretch. I'm curious to see if they give him an enhanced role out of the slot. Chris Henry was largely invisible. Expect the Bengals to take some chances deep down the sideline on bombs to Henry. He has the speed and height to put himself in advantageous positions. Cedric Benson was running with a purpose and was surprisingly able to grab the corner on a couple of occasions. The Bengals OL is bad. Really bad. We should have at least 4 sacks this weekend and endless pressure on the QB.

In Week 1, UNO-DOS! connected with 7 receivers. In Week 2, it would not surprise me if he connects with 9 receivers. Nelson and Jones will catch their first passes of the season. Jones looked frustrated as he was open on a couple of occasions and UNO-DOS! did not notice him.

I hope to see the Packers utilize Jones on the drag route that he ran so effectively in 2007. 4 wide. Single back. Jones lined up outside. Driver inside of him. Driver is sent down the middle on a fly route. Jones comes underneath the coverage 5-7 yards down field. He's hit in stride and picking up 12-18 yards. It's an added dimension.

J-Mike catches 5 balls this week. An emphasis is put on getting him in position to succeed.

Ryan Grant leaps over 100 yards.

Greg Jennings gets deep for another long TD.

Chuckie grabs his 1st interception of the year. T-Mon snatches his second.

Desmond Bishop and Brandon Chillar are used as ILB's on inside blitz packages. Their presence is felt.

Raji makes his debut.

The juggernaut is back. The Packers are 2-0. I'm hoarse on Monday morning.

Green Bay 38. Cincinnati 13.

This one feels good. Really good.

Talkin' S-Mac.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Take -> Week 1

Greetings, G-Force.

Sorry New York. Sorry Boston. Baseball is no longer America's Pastime and you are not the greatest rivalry in sports. Football most satisfies sports fans cravings and the dynamic differences between the immense city of Chicago and the Dairyland metropolis of Green Bay elicits a unique competitive flavor.

The Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field bringing closure to the opening Sunday of the NFL Season. Beyond epic. Hell, this is so good that even Roger Goodell will be in attendance.

The rivalry celebrates its 88th anniversary this year. The Bears lead the all-time series 91-80-6. Throughout the 88 years, the teams have combined for 21 NFL Championships and 48 Hall of Famers. 2009 offers an exceptional vibe as both teams are receiving national recognition as potential Super Bowl contenders. Additionally, both teams are well equipped with MVP caliber QB's. It's amazing to think that it culminates in Week 1. Yes, I'm slapping my head right now and * just looked at me like I'm crazy! I might be.

I imagine the FIB'ers will be making there way to Green Bay - Nate Brown included - and they'll have a presence among the G-Force faithful. However, in no way, will they interrupt the celebration that is set to launch this Sunday Night. The Lambeau Faithful has waited 20 months for this game. We've been waiting to feed our Packers jones. Our appetite for football is immense. Lambeau is ready to explode.

The Packers get the ball first and UNO-DOS! goes to work and attacks the defunct Bears secondary. Though it appears Charles Tillman will play after missing all of training camp, the Bears secondary is far the level it once played at. Nathan Vasher has been picked on since he got his contract. Trumaine McBride, a 5-9 7th round pick is expected to see significant playing time. While Kevin Payne and Daniel Manning have a knack for making the big play, they're also often found out of position. The Packers take advantage. It's Jennings - yellow wrist banded - for a 1st down. It's J-Mike introducing himself to the '09 season. We're into Bears territory.

Grant goes to work. The cut back. Tinoisamoa, Urlacher & Briggs are grabbing air. Grant is picking up 1st downs, falling forward, and the Packers are in FG range.

We aren't settling for 3. It's UNO-DOS! to Jennings on the skinny post for 6 and the Packers take a 7-0 lead.

The new look defense shows it's face. Playing in front of an elevated crowd. Off your ass. On your feet, Lambeau! In the early goings, we're prepared for Forte. Cutler shows nerves and misses Olsen. We're off the field!

UNO-DOS! is back. Gifted. Ready to embrace the spotlight. This is his team. This is his time to emphatically show the world that he's a colossal successor who is primed to keep the NFL's most storied franchise among the elite.

UNO-DOS! needles one to Double-D. He checks down to Lee. The Packers keep the Bears spread out with 4 & 5 receiver sets keeping the Bears out of their base 4-3 defense and limiting them to 2 LB's, which limits the Bears physical presence. The Packers take a two-score lead.

Unlike last year though, these Bears don't lay down and play dead. They'll have fight. They'll be opportunistic.

We've shown deficiencies, soft spots in our zone. Mainly over the middle of the field in front of the safeties and behind the LB's. Cutler causes problems rolling out of the pocket and finding his TE's, Olsen and Desmond Clark. He finds Earl Bennett for 10-12 yard gains. Forte punishes his way into the end zone. I wish Forte wasn't a Bear because I like his game a lot.

The 2nd and 3rd Quarters are a dog fight. A nail biter. And then the momentum swings in the Packers favor. CM3, who I've aptly named the "Cutler Killer" immediately after drafting him, bursts around Orlando Pace and gets to Cutler for his 1st sack. Mentally, Cutler is rattled. In 37 games, Cutler has thrown 37 interceptions. The numbers don't lie and Nintendo Nick steps in front of a pass to change the tide back towards the Packers.

UNO-DOS! connects with J-Mike for his 1st TD of the season and the Packers take a two-score lead.

The G-Force is felt. The national audience takes notice the Pack is Back and that we're a force to be reckoned with in 2009.

Green Bay 30. Chicago 23.

Represent, represent! It's UNO-DOS! over Cutler. The Packers are 1-0. The Bears, my least favorite team in all of sports, drop to 0-1.

The Bears still suck.

Talkin' S-Mac.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

53-Man Roster

Greetings, G-Force.

Admittedly, my mind is not totally fit today. A weekend filled with Reggae music and a Festival date sponsored by the Kona Brewing company tends to do that to a man. Furthermore, how often do you get to see both Lee "Scratch" Perry and Bunny Wailer on the same day? It felt like I was living in 1977. The vibe was full. My apologies if this writing seems scrambled. I'm sure you understand.

Clearly, I did not watch the same football as the Packers brass did during the preseason. To say that I am surprised over the 53-man roster is an understatement. For years, we've been married to the likes of highly unproductive players such as J-Bush and Michael Montgomery. Yet, they will stick around for another season. Seems like bad management to me.

Anthony Smith was a roller coaster, but at least he had high points that included a sack and 2 interceptions. yet, he failed to make the team. I was shocked that Ruvell Martin was cut. Granted, I've been over him since his drop in the '07 NFC Championship. Still, he's a better football player than Brett Swain. Martin has also been a decent gunner for us on special teams. Management must feel that Swain has been better. He's also $700,000 cheaper. If it's to save cap room. Please spread the wealth. Hand it to Collins, T-Mon, Colledge, Spitz or Driver. Please pass it on, Ted.

Tyrell Sutton performed remarkably well throughout the preseason. He did everything possible to make the team. He literally had no chance. Our RB spots were predetermined.

It's evident that we've stacked our team to play special teams. J-Bush, Havner, Swain, Hall/Kuhn, and Willie B. were all kept because they improve the special teams units. We'll see if that's the case when the Bears come to town this Sunday.

Keeping 3 FB's and 3 TE's? Are we the 1st team in NFL History to keep 3 FB's? There must be a deal pending. This seems illogical to me.

I'm fine with the release of Brohm - even though I'd have given him another year. However, now that he's been released, can we please sign a veteran QB? If we don't like Griese, sign Garcia! Jeff Garcia would immediately provide an upgrade. Here's the scenario: Keep Flynn as the #2 as he's the holder. Garcia is inactive. But, if UNO-DOS! goes down, Garcia plays and Flynn becomes inactive for the game. At that stage, Kapinos comes on to be the holder. Garcia would give us a better chance to win.

This years roster shows how bad Thompson has whiffed in the early rounds. Harrell, P-Lee and Brohm will have no impact. What a shame!

In the "Who Are You Watching Now?" portion of the blog, I'd be remissed if I did not write about the Georgia-Oklahoma State game. As mentioned, I attended a DubFest on Saturday and taped the game. I'm thankful I did. Overall, I was disappointed with the level of play that I watched on the opening weekend of college football. But, there were some stars in the Oklahoma-Georgia game. I tuned in to watch Dez Bryant, Reshad Jones and Perrish Cox. All played great. Additionally, I witnessed "the Punisher" - Lucien Antoine. He's a safety for Oklahoma State. 6-1. 215. Fast to the ball. Helmet on ball. Wraps up. Sure tackler. Attacking. Intense. I'm excited to see more of him. Dez Bryant is the best player in college football. I feel that he's a better WR than Michael Crabtree. Reshad Jones would look great in Green & Gold. Perrish Cox fits the style of player that Ted Thompson would draft. Big. Fast. Physical. Plays special teams at a high level. Bottom line: A good recession activity is to watch Oklahoma State Football.

Stack, I watched Stevenson Sylvester on Thursday night for a bit. Love his make. The leader, play caller of the Utah defense. Love his pursuit, great in-game passion. Got caught out of position. He seems to have the size, speed and attitude to be a difference maker in the middle of a 3-4 defense. Looked as though Utah is often playing a 3-4 defense. The experience he's getting is invaluable. Great article on him:

Initial 2010 Mock Draft:

Round 1 - Reshad Jones, S, Georgia. We need help at Safety. He'd be the answer.
Round 2 - Stevenson Sylvester, LB, Utah.
Round 3 - Perrish Cox, CB, OK State. Sorry Brandon James. You know I love your return skills. But, Cox would step in and immediately help on special teams and be our 4th CB.
Round 4 - Garrett Graham, TE, WI. He has all the tools to be a starter in the NFL. Great hands. Solid blocker. Not afraid of contact. He'd be a perfect compliment to J-Mike.
Round 5 - Lucien Antoine, S, Oklahoma State. We need to continue to add play makers in the DB. Jones, Cox, and Antoine are just that.
Round 6 - Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia. Beats out Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee. Both are big boys who hold the point. We need more strength on the DL. Both have the size to play an end in 3-4.
Round 7 - Todd Reesing, QB, Kansas. You cannot like football and not enjoy watching this kid play.

As the college season progresses, we'll re-evaluate.

Stoked for the regular season.

Be good.

Talkin' S-Mac.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Take -> Preseason Game #4

Greetings, G-Force.

The 2009 Green Bay Packers performance could be defined as a massive inexorable force. Sheer offensive and defensive brilliance. With the exception of AJ Hawk's weak effort on Beanie Wells' TD, the 1st unit was flawless.

UNO-DOS! was demonstrative. He is an MVP candidate.

Mr. Charles Woodson looks primed for a Defensive MVP type season. Where Troy Polamalu is used as a cross between a LB and S, Charles Woodson appears to be a CB/S hybrid. For a career, 40 interceptions and 20 sacks would garner Mr. Woodson as a HOF candidate. He's presently at 36 interceptions and 9.5 sacks. If he's used on the blitz as he was against the Cardinals, it would not shock me if Mr. Woodson eclipsed 5 sacks this year. A 5.5 sack, 6 interception season is within the realm of possibility. Have I ever mentioned that he's the only defensive player to ever win the Heisman? A cross between a Wolverine & a Packer. God, do I love him. That's it. I'm going to ante up. I will own an authentic Home Green Woodson jersey. He's authentic. A true professional. I'm shocked that it has taken me this long.

J-Mike continues to be UNO-DOS!'s third option. This will mean less catches for Jones, Lee, and Nelson. But, it'll create additional mismatches for the competition and it'll offer McCarthy an abundance of formation options.

James Jones continues to look more fit than in past years. He looks more elusive. More fit. More conditioned. Ready to once again be the guy that he was at the start of the '07 season.

The UNO-DOS! to Nelson touchdown was a thing of beauty. Yes, it was only the preseason. I don't care. DRC and Rolle were looking into the backfield. Nelson was streaking. UNO-DOS! was in disguise. And it was magical. A thing of beauty. And it offered hope for BIG plays out of the play-action.

We have tough decisions at RB. Lumpkin has no chance. None at all. Extremely disappointed in his effort. Sutton's ability to run over the DB on the third down reception was a thing of beauty. For me, that type of play earns him a roster spot. I'm not sure that we have another back that would have got that first down, including Grant. Speaking of Grant, isn't it great to see him running down hill once again?!?! Falling forward. A total treat. Wynn's spin move was indicative of his ability. Just wish we could see more consistency. B-Jack has had his best camp and it'll probably be enough to hold off stiff camp competition. We'll find out on Thursday Night.

The Kuhn/Hall experiment at TE is proof that we will go with only 2 TE's, but that we will once again keep 2 FB's. To my eye, Kuhn continues to outperform Hall. Quinn Johnson has to be a lock for the squad.

Anthony Smith has outplayed Ras-A-tari all preseason. His experience in the 3-4 is significant and he's used it to his advantage.

AJ Hawk has barely been deserving of a roster spot this preseason. Chillar and Bishop have been undeniably better than him.

Every game, Jarius Wynn has made a play. Sure, our defense was torched for big yards and points in the 2nd half against Arizona, but I thought Wynn was at least fighting. He'll make the roster and should be in the rotation.

The 4th preseason game in normally the most boring of the bunch. Not this year. I'm stoked for it. My Friday Night will consist of going to see "The Harder They Come" play followed by the 11:30 replay of the Packers-Titans battle. I've loaded up with a bottle of Zyr for the contest. Buzzed, I'll be.

I'd play UNO-DOS! and crew for one series. Keep the rhythm. I'd try play-action and attempt to hit Jordy on another deep one. If it works, it could be 80 yards and a Green Bay Packer TD. It'd also complete a preseason in which the Packers 1st team did not punt.

I believe that this will mark the 4th consecutive year in which the Packers and Titans have finished the preseason against each other. In the past, the Titans have won as they play their starters for the entire 1st half while the Packers rest the starters. Again, on Thursday, the Titans will play the starters for a half while the Packers will only play the 1st team for a possession. The Titans will probably win on the scoreboard, but this game will be invaluable to the Packers depth.

For the record, as I've wrote since his draft day, I've never liked Brian Brohm. But, he deserves a third year. UNO-DOS! struggled mightily for two preseasons. We invested a 2nd round pick on Brohm. The snaps that he'll get on Friday are all part of his development. As a whole, when you look at the '08 QB draft class after Flacco and Ryan, it's really disappointing. The '08 draft class was supposed to have good depth at QB. Yet, Brohm has been a bust. Josh Johnson might not make the team in Tampa. Kevin O'Connell has already been released. Chad Henne has disappointed. John David Booty has not done anything to warrant optimism. Andre Woodson has not made an impact. Paul Smith has disappeared. Dennis Dixon has looked like a lost cause. I'm just saying.

Thursday Night is a big night for the U-HAUL and his attempt to win the 4th CB spot. Supposedly, he's going to be the starter and he'll have the opportunity to see heavy playing time. It's his chance to shine. I'm pulling for him.

Brad Jones is going to get an extensive look as a pass rushing OLB. It should be emphasized that on obvious passing downs, the Packers have played with three down linemen: Kampman, Raji and Jenkins. A good pash rushing performance by Jones could warrant Week 1 playing time. The same could be said about Desmond Bishop out of an ILB position.

Raji needs the additional work to ensure that he's both comfortable with the defense and fit to make an impact in Week 1.

But, let's be clear, the most exciting portion of the final preseason game is that CM3 will be making his Green Bay Packers debut. If the Packers are to be serious Super Bowl contenders...yes, I just wrote that...and yes, it felt really freakin' good! But, if we are to be contenders, CM3 must be a legitimate pass rusher. The most disappointing facet of our preseason has been our lack of ability to get to the QB from the OLB position. CM3 was drafted as the guy who could rush the QB. He has to be our solution. We gave up a lot to get him. Thursday is our first glimpse. I'm stoked.

Somehow. Someway. I hope the Packers add draft picks by weeks end. Our depth should parallel into additional picks. I'd be disappointed if it did not happen.

Anyway, ultimately, the only thing that matters this week is that we escape without injury.

Be Green. Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.