Friday, August 12, 2016

My Take -> Preseason Week 1

Greetings, G-Force.

The Michael Franti & Spearhead show at Red Rocks last Sunday night was legendary. I'm still soaking in those vibes. I'm listening to the SoulRocker album as I write. I'm sipping an Odd13 Codename: Superfan. It's a delicious IPA. My go-to beer right now. Fruity hops. Foggy after the pour. Smooth. Refreshing. Odd13 is brewing fantastic beer. Seek them out.

I'm itching for Packers football. But, I'm happy that last weeks game got canceled. In most preseasons, I'm a guy that likes aggression. I like fight. I like tenacity. I like to see most of the stars play some football. I like to see the team ready for Week 1. But, after losing Bulaga in 2013, Barclay in 2014 and Jordy in 2015; I'm good with an extremely conservative approach. With that said, I'd like to see the Packers rest most of their starters this week.

Here are some quick vibes in preparation for the Preseason Opener at Lambeau:

* I'd like to see a rowdy Lambeau Field. Let's set the tone for 2016. Make it a Friday night celebration. A party. Be vibrant. Party on, Party People. Rage up, G-Force!

* The OL is an absolute key to the Packers success in 2016. I'd bench all of them this week. I'd let Spriggs play deep into the 3rd Quarter. He needs reps. This week is a great time to give them to him. It's crucial to see if Barclay is back from his ACL injury in 2014. He needs reps. Let him play. Kyle Murphy needs reps. Play him most of the game. I want to see if Matt Rotheram can play in this league. There's no better time to find out. Josh Walker showed flashes last year. He needs to prove that he's worthy of a spot this year. Let him battle it out.

* I'd rest Lacy & Starks. It'll be tough to get this roster down to 53 players this year. One way to possibly do so is to only keep 2 RB's and 1 FB. To make up for the lack of depth at RB, the Packers could keep an extra WR and then Cobb & Montgomery would see more action at RB - essentially the combination of the two makes up the 3rd RB. The Packers value versatility in their depth players. Crockett doesn't offer much special teams value. So, it's important to see if Crockett can earn a spot. I'd give him 20 touches against Cleveland.

* Obviously, Jordy isn't playing. I'd also rest Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb. I want to see Janis, Abby, Adams, and Davis duke it out. It'll be fun competition. Additionally, I want to see Allison, Waters and Williams fight for a practice squad role. From what I read, Allison has stood out. He's long and runs a decent slant route. His hands were inconsistent at the college level, but it sounds as though he's done well catching the ball in practice. Williams showed well last year in the preseason. He was a fighter after the catch. He was strong. He got in and out of his breaks well. Waters was a deep threat at the college level. The Packers have a need for speed at WR. I want to see Waters try and get over the top.

* I'd rest Jared Cook. I was happy to see what he did in his first practice. He made an impact. But, I'd ease him into the full rotation. There's no need to aggravate an injury at this stage. Plus, it's important to see who fits best as the third TE. Is it Backman, Perillo or Henry? It'll be an important decision. Blocking and special teams play could be the determining factor. I assume Perillo will win the battle. Karma seems to be on his side.

* No chance I'd play Rodgers. And, with Hundley's injury, he's out as well. Callahan and Williams are playing for a practice squad role.

* On the DL, I'd rest Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion. I'd play Clark for a couple of series. But, I'd like to see Lowry, Ringo and Brian Price eating up a majority of the snaps. We need to see if any of them are worthy of playing time in Week 1 while Mike Pennel is out of action. I'm anxious to see Lowry.

* At OLB, there's no way that I'd play Clay or JP. Datone Jones should only get a series and that's only to allow him to get used to contact coming from a new position. I'm stoked to see Elliott attacking the QB. Let's give Fackrell exposure to the defense. The same can be said for McCray. I want to see Reggie Gilbert fighting for a practice squad position.

* At ILB, I'd let everyone play. Let Barrington get some of the kinks out. I'd play Blake Martinez into the 2nd Quarter, so that he can gain familiarity as well.

* At CB, Sammy Swagga, Q Rollins and Damarious Randall would not play if I were in charge. All were nicked up last year. All have been prone to nagging injuries. I'd rest them. Plus, I'm anxious to see what Gunter, Dorleant, Hawkins and Daniel bring to the table this weekend. I'd like them to get most of the reps. I smell a couple of picks this weekend.

* At S, Burnett, HaHa and Hyde would all be in street clothes. They'd be coaches on the sideline. The spotlight would be on Kentrell Brice who will bring speed and athleticism that the Packers crave. He's fearless. It'll be interesting to see if his college skills will translate at the NFL level.

* For the first time in a number of years, the Packers core unit is healthy. So is their depth. And, with that said, I'd be conservative to preserve that depth heading into Week 1. I'm really excited about the prospects of the 2016 season. As I said last week, I'm expecting a Super Bowl title this year. Let's put our best foot forward when the regular season hits.

Crockett runs wild. The Packers defense forces two turnovers. Perillo moves the sticks. Allison grabs a TD.

Packers 20. Browns 16.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

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