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.


Stack said...

Tremendous out of the gates. J-Mike has arrived. The boy has become a man. We have guys who can take it to the house at every position on offense. The offensive line has been beating people up; the running game looks good. Got to eliminate the penalties.

James Jones looks like a new man. In a way, he's like a non-evil version of Michael Irvin. Big strong guy, long-strider, soft hands, hard to bring down. Again, with the opposing defense spread, Jones could prove to be a tough tackle one v one.

When the play breaks down and Rodgers is flushed from the pocket, one of our WRs is always, always releasing deep. This is a great thing. Watch for it. All season long. A-Rod throws such a nice deep ball, doesn't he?

Outside of the blinding context of the Brett Favre - holdout saga, Ryan Grant seems to be something of a pedestrian back. Sure, hits the hole quick and hard, runs downhill, tough attitude runner, but seems like he's going down on first contact. Just can't get his feet or hips out of the way. Not good at making guys miss, or even getting out of the way if they're trash on the ground. I don't know, just what I'm seeing. Jackson continues to be a mudder in my mind. I like the kid, but haven't seen the type of improvement I thought was possible. Lumpkin has dug his own grave this year. I'd keep Sutton. Put Wynn on the practice squad. I doubt anybody's going to take a guy who has been so inconsistent.

Back with the defensive take in a bit!

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Great thoughts, Stack! Would be curious to read the defensive buzz. Our O-Line destroyed the Cards D-Line. Man vs. Man. Blew them up!