Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Take -> Preseason Week 4

Greetings, G-Force.

The injuries this week forced me to go Barrel Aged. In whiskey barrels. Crooked Stave's Nightmare on Brett. 9.66%. Loaded with the feel of Denver's own Leopold Bros whiskey. Much like the Packers, it has Super smooth feel.

This week's short takes:

* BJ Raji. Ouch. He was playing in FREEZER like form. But, it was nice to see pictures of Guion in pads at practice. Guion can play. He's an under-discussed signing. He can absolutely impact our defense, if healthy. A week ago, I didn't think this was a possibility. I'm fired up that he's back.

* Brad Jones will miss more than the opener. I'm confident in that. It'll give us a chance to see what Barrington & Lattimore can bring to the table. It could be a blessing for the long term.

* Bummed about Tretter. Our OL depth is frighteningly thin right now. I have confidence in Linsley, but I'm worried that he won't have time to get up-to-speed. I'd suit Linsley up this week. I don't think I'd play him. I'd also sit Bakhtiari, Bulaga, Lang and Sitton. I'd also sit T-Mon, Sammy Swagga, Peppers, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Lacy, Nelson, Cobb and Rodgers. There's nothing to gain from them playing. And, there's a lot to evaluate among the players behind them.

* Eddie Lacy. Bruising forward. Good vision. Pimping his sailor hat. Dreads flopping. The Green & Yellow Bumblebee.

* Aaron Rodgers. In rhythm. MVP form. Brilliance abound. A spiritual gangsta.

* The offense is playing with confidence. They believe in themselves. It's brilliant for my eye.

* The next time we see Clay Matthews. He'll be playing at ILB. A spy on Russell Wilson. Mike Neal & Nick Perry will be rotating with Julius Peppers at the OLB positions. Watch it. Clay will be a Predator. Wilson will be the Prey.

* Julius Peppers. Yellow shoes. Shining under the lights. Playing with grand intent. Stoked!

* 3rd down. From left to right: Julius Peppers Mike Daniels, Mike Neal, Nick Perry. Behind them, it's Clay. Make it happen, Dom!

* Hyde on the blitz is a powerful attacker. A total weapon.

* In past year's, there was great dependence on Clay getting to the QB. This year, it's much less. Pass rushers are all over the defense.

* Nick Perry with the strip-sack! When he's coming from the right side, he shows his talents.

* Julius Peppers could not be blocked. He was a man on a mission.

* Datone Jones has improved each week in the preseason. Need to see continued progression.

* Richard Rodgers. Solid receiver. Awful blocker.

* Said it last week. I'll say it again. Fade to AQ81? Never again please.

* Ryan Taylor & Jake Stoneburner stating their case for a roster spot. Especially if Bostick has to start on the PUP.

* DUJUAN HARRIS! This offense has 3 LEGIT RB's. Harris is our 2nd best.

* When Starks runs hard, the dude is fun to watch.

* Jordy Nelson. Forever!

* Catch the ball, Randall Cobb. Also, take a discounted contract extension.

* As stated early, the Raji injury hurts. Time for Guion to make an impact.

* Love how Boyd gets his hands up.

* Thought Pennel rebounded really well after a slow start.

* Boyd + Thornton = Hustle.

* Jayrone Elliot makes this team.

* Davon House was sensational! He's soon to be nicknamed Mr. August. If he could translate that energy to the Regular Season on a consistent basis, the make-up of the Packers defense would be even grander. He's play with fierce intent, complete determination and sheer focus.

* Really excited to see Sean Richardson jarring the ball loose.

* Really like Adrian Hubbard's length. Found himself around the ball. Also got swallowed, at times. Great developmental prospect. Hard to imagine him not getting picked up if he was on the Practice Squad.

* Carl Bradford. Another reason that I'm in the staffing business and not in the scouting business. I was confident he'd be able to play in the NFL. Now? I'm not so sure.

* Extremely happy for Sherrod. Stood up like a MAN on Friday Night!

* I want Joe Thomas to get some action! Wanted him to be healthy. Extremely excited for him to be back next year. Early prediction: he'll be on the 2015 Packers roster.

* Jumal Rolle is impressive. Active. Takes risks. Plays with confidence. Want to see more of him as a gunner.

* Demetri Goodson is headed to the Practice Squad.

* Really wished Myles White would have caught that quick out. Liked him over the middle. Kid can play.

* Alex Gillett with the acrobats! Showing fancy flair in the corner of the end zone. He, too, made his case for the practice squad.

* Andrew Tiller is a fighter. Would like to see more of him. Clearly, he was ahead of Fullington on the depth chart. Thought they were just tucking Fullington away, but Tiller continued to push forward and slug away. Until he met the IR, which was probably TT's way of making sure that he didn't end up elsewhere. Fullington will get his chance this week. He'll end up on the Practice Squad. He has upside.

* Bummed that Lyerla isn't sticking around. Wish him the best!

* Looking forward to seeing more of Rajion Neal in the preseason next year. Figured he'd be stashed on the IR.

* Anxious to see Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers connecting. It'll be lethal.

* The speed on the defensive side of the ball gave cause for excitement. We were flying around the field. Attacking the ball. Need to finish plays when the regular season comes around. Would love to see this defense regain it's turnover excellence.

This week - it's the Chiefs in what will likely be a battle between players who are fighting to make the roster. In my mind, the Packers are deeper than any team in the league right now. Flynn & Tolzien may not be elite back-ups, but they're sufficient and they're littered with weapons around them. The depth of the 2014 Packers athleticism shines. The Packers win.

Packers 23. Chiefs 20.

Have a Safe and Happy Labor Day.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Take -> Preseason Week 3

Greetings, G-Force.

In a year of dangled possibilities and Super aspirations, our dreams won't be roasted. Trinity Brewing confirmed such beliefs. If you're a beer connoisseur and you aren't familiar with Trinity, you're missing out. I've thoroughly watched the Packers v Rams preseason game. As I've indulged in the game, I've enjoyed a fine selection of Trinity's flavors. Old Growth is beyond spectacular. Red Swingline is a life changer for beer lovers. The Trinity Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta is tremendous. Combining Trinity Brewing with Green Bay Packers football leads to elite smiles. Vibe On.

Here are my small takes for the week:

* I'm on record. The Packers are winning the Super Bowl this year. The no-huddle brilliance was on display. When in rhythm, it's unstoppable. The OL is mature with the exception of Tretter. Tretter is an Ivy League mind. He's grasped the offense. When Lacy & Rodgers are in lock-step, this offense is scintillating. I'm yearning for a healthy 2014 Season.

* 3rd & 5. Rodgers to Boykin for 8 on a quick out. That's trust.

* Eddie Lacy. The Green & Yellow Bumblebee. The key to the NFC.

* Casey Hayward playing as an aggressive tackler.

* With Ha Ha & Micah on the field, the Packers will get off the field on the 3rd down more often than not. Think back to all of the missed tackles on 3rd down that led to 1st downs. Ha Ha & Micah won't miss those tackles.

* Mike Pennel is a LOCK to make the 53-man roster. Great find, TT. Interesting tidbit, I met one of his acquaintances at the grocery store on Tuesday. His acquaintance was my cashier at the grocery store. His name was Javon. He is going to Colorado State-Pueblo this year to play basketball. Met Pennel on a recruiting visit. Javon's best buddy is named AJ. AJ is a freshman QB for Colorado State-Pueblo this year. They visited the school together, which is what led to his introduction. Javon said that Pennel was a "solid brother. Really welcoming." Javon was soft spoken. Couldn't get much else out of him. But, the thought of Pennel's name elicited positive energy out of Javon. He was stoked when I told him that I thought Pennel was a lock to make the team.

* Jeff Janis is also a lock to make the 53-man roster. You can't teach speed. Sure, Janis might still struggle with route running. And, I love reading about Rodgers' demands to push Janis to master his routes. You can teach route running. Janis is raw. And, his upside is high. V-12, he is.

* The Claymaker with a spin and a burst! Also, enjoyed seeing him use his smarts and show great recognition on the screen.

* I really want to like Bostick. But, man, he's soft. You can't trust him. He's too fragile.

* Don't dance, James Starks. Bruise your way forward. Lower the shoulder. Get after it. Oh, and catch the ball.

* Rodgers' pump fake is a thing of beauty.

* Ryan Taylor, Chris Banjo, Nate Palmer and Kevin Dorsey might be seen on the 1st team special teams units, but none of them are elite enough on special teams to warrant a roster spot because of it.

* Mike Daniels has Pro Bowl potential.

* BJ Raji looks like THE FREEZER. He's off to an active start.

* Nice to see Peppers get the edge!

* Well played, Brad Jones. You, too, AJ Hawk.

* I like DuJuan Harris as the kickoff returner. Want to see more of Janis as the punt returner.

* Not what I wanted to see out of Sherrod.

* Terrific work, Lane Taylor.

* Didn't like Ha Ha overrunning the crossing route, but I was happy that he was trusting his instincts. Showed poor depth perception though. Looked like he thought the ball would be overthrown.

* Davante Adams is going to be a stallion. Makes catches in traffic. Off the back hip? It's no problem. Back shoulder? It's all good. He has mad game.

* Randall Cobb should take a 2-year contract. At a discount. If not, it might be wise to consider keeping Myles White on the 53-man roster. White has solid potential and runs nice routes out of the slot.

* Love Datone Jones' effort. We need to see enhanced production. If he can become a consistent difference maker, this defense will be dominant.

* Mike Neal looks like he's ready to have a big year.

* Good hustle, Josh Boyd.

* Richard Rodgers clearly is a quick study. But, man, his effort as a blocker v Chris Long was dismal.

* Mulumba showed that he belongs in the NFL. But, his upside is lighter than Elliot and Hubbard.

* Barrington on an inside blitz!

* Wrap up, Lattimore. Like the aggression, but finish the play.

* The Barrington and Lattimore combination brings great intensity. An attitude that isn't seen with Hawk & Jones at ILB.

* Wish we'd see Fullington at Tackle. Looks like they're saving him for the Practice Squad.

* Kevin Dorsey reminds me of Tori Gurley. Has the physique. He can run. But, he's inconsistent and seems to have mental blocks, at times. Had he hauled in the over-the-shoulder fly route, it'd have been a TD.

* Myles White might not make the Packers roster, but he'll be catching passes in the NFL this year. If I were an NFL GM who was in need of WR depth, I'd trade a 7th round pick for him. If the Packers try to keep on the Practice Squad, he'll be grabbed by another team.

* Don't ever need to see the corner fade to AQ81 again.

* Jayrone Elliot! Before camp, I mentioned that he'd be a tough cut. Especially if he figured out his alligator arms when making a tackle. Now? How do you keep him off the roster?

* Good to see Carl Bradford with a pressure on the QB.

* Adrian Hubbard showing burst off the snap! Love his length. He looks like a top-53 player.

* Jumal Rolle v Demetri Goodson. At best, there's one spot. Rolle looks more naturally gifted at CB. Goodson has showed promise as a gunner. Goodson is a TT draft pick. Still, at this point, I give the edge to Rolle.

* Seems to me like Rajion Neal is destined for the IR.

* LaDarius Perkins is worthy of the Practice Squad.

* Happy that Colt Lyerla will get another crack next year.

* I really thought Letroy Guion would make an impact this year, but if he doesn't play, how can you keep him?

* I'm SO ANXIOUS to see more of Joe Thomas.

* Janis, the V-12! Lacy, the Green & Yellow Bumblebee! Adams, the Stallion! I'm stoked!

This week - the Raiders come to town. That means Sir Charles is coming to town! Sir Charles is my favorite football player. Ever. I'm super excited that he's coming back to Lambeau. It'll be great for him to get a warm welcome. Rise Up for Sir Charles, Lambeau! Sir Charles is one sack away from becoming the first player in the history of the NFL with 50 interceptions and 20 sacks. He's also 4 interceptions from 60 career interceptions. Further, I don't believe any other player has ever had 40 interceptions and 20 sacks. Please Sir Charles, grab 1 sack this year! Sir Charles' career stats with the Packers: 7 years. 11.5 sacks. 38 interceptions. 10 TD's. One Defensive MVP. One Super Bowl ring. Pure pimp, he is.

Also returning to Titletown, U.S.A. are two players whose stats that I'll be writing about all year: James Jones & CJ Wilson. Both players production could lead to compensatory picks for the Packers. Dear Jones & Wilson, thanks for the memories. XLV for Life!

The Raiders are improved, but they can't run with the Packers. Look for the defense to generate pressure, once again. Additionally, look for a few forced turnovers as well.

Packers 30. Raiders 16.

At this stage, if I were responsible for selecting the 53-man roster, here would be my Week 1 team:

QB: Rodgers, Tolzien, Flynn

RB: Lacy, Harris, Starks, Kuhn

WR: Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, Adams, Janis

TE: Rodgers, AQ81, Bostick

OL: Bakhtiari, Sitton, Tretter, Lang, Bulaga, Taylor, Sherrod, Linsley

DL: Raji, Daniels, Jones, Boyd, Pennel, Thornton

OLB: CM3, Peppers, Neal, Perry, Hubbard, Elliot, Bradford (17)

ILB: Jones, Hawk, Barrington, Lattimore (13)

CB: T-Mon, Sammy Swagga, J-Bush, Ras-House, Rolle, Hayward

S: Ha Ha, Micah, Burnett, Richardson

K: Crosby

P: Masthay

LS: Goode

Practice Squad: Stoneburner, Perkins, Goodson, Fullington, Mulumba, Palmer, Myles White, Harper, Banjo, Luther Robinson. Note: I don't fully understand the new Practice Squad rules. So, if someone on this list isn't eligible, I'd add either Luther Robinson or Kevin Dorsey (depending on who was not eligible for the Practice Squad).

IR: Barclay, Abbrederis, Neal, Lyerla

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Take -> Preseason Week 2

Greetings, G-Force.

I didn't get to MY TAKE last week. Over the last two weeks, I've been in 4 different Hotel rooms in Chicago's Loop, I've stayed 2 nights in a hotel in Steamboat and I spent two nights in Albuquerque celebrating my Brother's 40th Birthday. Time flies. Embrace today.

Dewar's. Ice. Makes me think of my Grandpa McKenna. Thanks for Shining From Heaven, Grandpa!

Here are some quick hits from the Packers v Titans game and other vibes that have occurred since I last wrote:

* Props to my Dad! He's celebrating 25 years as the DJ at Lambeau Field! #Mac #PackersHOF

* Stoked that TT is locked up!

* I need a signed Jordy photo for my Packers Wall of Fame! LOCKED HIM UP!

* Brett Favre. The Football Jesus. Green & Gold. #4 is back! Epic! For those, that are still full o' hate, I remind you that in Brett Favre's last season in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. Bless up, Brett!

* Sad to lose Donny Barclay for the season. Jared Abbrederis as well. And, Colt Lyerla's injury smells like he's destined for IR.

* James Starks looked to be in mid season form. If he's healthy, he'll team with Eddie Lacy to be a lethal 1-2 Combo.

* Welcome back, DuJuan Harris! Another weapon in the arsenal. Hoping he wins the Kickoff Returner role. He's a big play waiting to happen.

* If Rajion Neal stays healthy, he emerge as a fan favorite.

* Hope the last three offensive plays are not a sign of play calling to come. 2nd & 1. Shotgun. Draw. No gain. 3rd & 1. Shotgun. Draw. No gain. 4th & 1. Deep ball. Incomplete.

* AQ81 has to catch the ball. Rain or not.

* Richard Rodgers looks good in #89. A willing downfield blocker. Wasn't punishing, but he was sufficient.

* Good run after the catch, Brandon Bostick. But, the holding penalty? There was no reason to hold.

* Knock off the rust, Bryan Bulaga. Good to see you again!

* Derek Sherrod looked better than he ever has in a Packers uniform. A definite bright spot!

* John Fullington looked good at RG. Better than Lane Taylor. Would be excited to see Fullington play Tackle this week.

* Sitton, Tretter, Lang doing a solid job of opening rush lanes.

* After the botched snap, I thought Corey Linsley looked really good.

* Don't reflect on Davante Adams as a Punt Returner. That's not his game. He's a crisp route runner. He's deceptively quick. Great hip movements. Gets in and out of his breaks. Next time, I hope he reaches for a first down.

* Chris Harper. He reminds me a lot of James Jones. Strong. Inconsistent hands. Not overly fast, but somehow, he gets open. Often. But, will he hang on?

* Couldn't be more excited to see Jeff Janis in action. I'm curious to see if he can be a gunner on special teams.

* BJ Raji. Quick off the snap. Rumbling forward. Boogie On, BJ!

* Mike Daniels. Brute. The master of leverage.

* I'm worried that Datone Jones will be a bust. While Daniels is small in height and plays big, Jones has great length but plays small. He tries to get underneath a blocker, but when he gets stood up at the line, he fails to get his arms up.

* Khyri Thornton giving effort!

* Josh Boyd will be instrumental this year.

* Mike Pennel will be in the mix for a roster spot. Really impressive preseason debut.

* Get healthy, Letroy Guion. I expect you to make your presence felt this year.

* New Year. Same Brad Jones. One play, he is laying a nice hit. Soon after, he shows that he still lacks instincts. He's chasing down ball carriers, while stumbling over his own feet. I really want to be a fan of Jones. At best, he's a mediocre ILB.

* #56. Intimidating. I'd like to see him with his hand in the turf.

* Nick Perry on the right side. Exclusively. I like it.

* Joe Thomas looked really quick. Instinctive. Attacks the football. I want to see more. Immediately.

* Sam Barrington was active. One big missed tackle, but other than that, he looked like he belonged.

* The penalty on Casey Hayward was absurd. No way that's defensive holding.

* Really pleased with my first glimpse of Ha Ha. He brings a presence. Was surprised to see Ha Ha attacking the box, while Hyde was roaming deep. Thought those roles would be reversed.

* Crosby swinging with confidence!

* J-Bush playing with a fierce intensity.

* Jumal Rolle makin' plays! Play On, Playa!

* Sean Richardson looks the part. He has the physique. He was assignment sure. If he can finish plays, he might push for playing time in the regular season.

* Carl Bradford was swallowed. Keep fighting, man. Your motor is your best attribute.

* Nate Palmer. I've seen enough.

* I knew Jake Doughty was small, but man, he looked tiny. And, he was slow to react. That surprised me.

* Andy Mulumba gave a ton of effort, but he's limited in potential.

* I'd like to see more of Jayrone Elliot & Adrian Hubbard. Both have a significantly higher upside than Mulumba & Palmer.

* Demetri Goodson might be having a rough camp, but I liked his desire as a gunner on special teams.

* Kevin Dorsey is being given every opportunity to make the roster. Seems like a coaches favorite.

* I write it every year: How is LeRoy Butler not in the NFL Hall of Fame? He was on the team of the decade in the 90's. He invented the Lambeau Leap. He was nearly the first player to 40 interceptions and 20 sacks. He won a Super Bowl. He was a great Leader in the locker room and in the community. I can't figure it out.

* The Jerel Worthy story is disappointing. I thought he had the potential to be an elite NFL player. Instead, he was a Wounded Warrior. Hurt more often than not. I'll remember him for his sack of Ray Nutler. I wish him well in NE. He wasn't a fit for the 3-4. I'm happy that TT got a pick for him because he was unlikely to make the team this year.

This week - it's the Rams. In StL. The Rams are legit. Defensively, they come with conviction. Littered with weapons who passionately pursue. On a fast surface. That's a tough combination to compete against. It's too bad that the Rams play in the NFC West. If they played in the NFC East or the NFC South, they'd compete for the Division title. It'll be a tough challenge for the Packers to protect the QB.

I'm excited to see Aaron Rodgers. The Packers Spiritual Gangster is sure to lead the Packers on a scoring drive. I fully anticipate Lacy to get a series or two. Nothing more. Look for Kuhn and Rodgers to be lined up in front of Lacy. Wishbone form. Watch for play-action. Nelson. 20 yards. Packers 1st down. Beautiful imagery!

Look for Peppers to be more aggressive. And comfortable. Watch Daniels & Raji punch OL in the mouth. The Packers defensive front has great rotational depth. I expect to see fresh legs and consistent push.

Flynn & Tolzien will also engineer scoring drives. The Packers depth is fully on display. Myles White is catching balls on short out routes from the slot. Flynn hits Adams for a first down. Justin Perillo catches a Tolzien pass for a TD.

Defensively, once again, it's Mike Pennel who impresses. He has size. He has surprising quickness of the ball. He gobbles ball carriers. Barrington & Lattimore each play sideline-to-sideline. They show burst as attacking ILB.

Packers 27. Rams 16.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.