Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Take -> Preseason Week 2

Greetings, G-Force.

I marinate with a smile. Both of my kids have been healthy for the last two weeks. For the last 11 months, I've wondered if that'd ever happen. Sleep is nice. With sleep, "I'm feeling like old school, mixtape. That's all I need." I went to the Dirty Heads concert at Red Rocks last night. Fantastic show. Despite the rain. The crowd was vibrant like a cold Sunday at Lambeau in December. The harder the rain, the louder the cheers. The Dirty Heads song "That's All I Need" has been ringing in my head for the last 24 hours. It brings joy. Check it out. What also brings joy is a Trinity Saison Delivery. Heavy apple mouthful. Aged in Chardonnay barrels. Potent with sugar. A true dessert.


Here are my quick vibes from the Packers victory over the Browns:

* John Crockett had a chance to put himself in the lead for the 3rd RB, if the Packers are to keep 3 RB's & a FB. Crockett didn't seize the opportunity. In fact, I felt Brandon Burks was the better player. Burks was quicker to the hole. Burks caught the ball gracefully. Burks showed burst. As I write, I'd keep Burks over Crockett. Small sample size, but for my eye, it wasn't even close. Burks looked to have much higher upside.

* EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE! Looked like the Rasta-back that we've known in loved in years prior to 2015.

* How is Richard Rodgers above Justin Perillo on the depth chart? What do we like about Rodgers? It took two plays to be reminded that Rodgers cannot block. And, with Rodgers looking much slimmer, I wonder if he'll get pushed around even more than he has in past years. Perillo, on the other hand, blocked well and he caught EVERYTHING that was in sight. Regardless of how he was defended. Really impressive performance by Perillo. Hell, I even liked Backman's upside above what we've seen from Rodgers.

* It was so nice to see Jared Cook in Green & Gold. 3rd & 7. He catches the ball running across the field one-yard short of the marker. Still, he moved the sticks. We rarely saw that in 2015.

* Great to see Ty Montgomery back on the field. He brings tremendous versatility. A true weapon.

* Jared Abbrederis is a lock to make this team.

* Jeff Janis - even with the injury - should be on the 53 man roster. We need his special teams play.

* Wasn't overly impressed with Trevor Davis. Thought he misplayed the deep ball. Mistimed the jump. Had bad depth perception. Not giving up on him obviously, but I expected more.

* Really wanted Herb Waters to make a play. Was disappointed in how he got in-and-out of his breaks. Didn't look worthy of a practice squad role. I expected better.

* Geronimo Allison running routes! Like the shake. And the use of his hands. Looked worthy. Want to see more.

* Once again, for my eye, Jason Spriggs showed he has the footwork to play in the NFL. Really liked his quickness. He's susceptible to the bull rush. He needs to get stronger in the upper body. But, he's a finesse tackle right now that is a better insurance policy than we had last year. We can win with him playing Tackle. And, he'll only get better.

* I'm really hoping Kyle Murphy plays this week. Wanted to see him.

* Thought Rotheram played well. Looked like he belonged.

* Riveting to see Chris Banjo on the spot for the fumble recovery. Have a feeling that the Packers coverage units could be really good this year.

* Ummmmmm. Kentrell Brice. He was active. He showed NFL quickness. Really hoping he gets significant playing time again this week. He was all over the place. He was in the box. He sideline-to-sideline. I thought he'd compete. He did much more than that. He'll be on a 53-man roster somewhere, if not in Green Bay.

* Micah Hyde! Thrilling pick! It was only Week 1 in the preseason, but the play felt big time. Had me jump out of my seat.

* Liked Josh Hawkins' play. Good to see him step up and make a tackle. Better to see him defend the pass that would've been a TD. Hawkins timed the play well and knocked the ball out at the last second. Hawkins will need to show better in order to compete for the 53-man, but he's in the mix for the practice squad. I'll be interested to see his playing time this week as it appears that Dorleant is back from injury.

* Robertson Daniel looks like part in his uniform. Now, I want to see him make a play to solidify his grip as the #5 CB. As of now, I have the Packers keeping Sammy Swagga, Q-Rollins, D-Randall, Gunter, HaHa, Burnett, Hyde, Banjo and Brice on the 53-man team.

* Datone Jones had a burst that I've never seen him play with before. He looked much more athletic. A lot thinner. Quick around the edge. Looked like he was capable of being a difference maker on the edge.

* Liked Letroy Guion's push.

* Love seeing Mike Daniels as the leader. He's instilling a different mentality in this defense. He wants this group to be nasty. SO STOKED!

* That's the Christian Ringo that I've been pining to see. Quick twitch. Burst to the QB. Lower the boom. Well done, Ringo.

* Kenny Clark showed leverage knowledge. Good to see him winning battles at the line of scrimmage and moving his blocker backwards. He didn't show much in the box score, but thought he played well.

* Dean Lowry looks like a Green Bay Packer. Good push. Good length. Excited to see him develop.

* The Packers will miss Mike Pennel.

* The LB play was much better than what I expected. Carl Bradford was really impressive. Looked like a different player. Beniquez Brown played with more quickness than I anticipated. He was aware. Looked like he understood the basic principles of the defense. Joe Thomas was hitting people like he meant it. Kyler Fackrell and Reggie Gilbert both brought quickness and burst around the edge. Really liked Lerentee McCray's intensity. He punishes.

* Congratulations to Peter Mortell! A dream come true! Exciting to see his initial punt get fumbled and that the Packers recovered. Epic karma shown there.

* Fun to Mason Crosby in mid-season form.

* Blake Martinez. Pardon me if I'm critical here. It's not my intent. But, the Packers drafted him to make a difference in 2016. He has to be better than he played. He stacked well. He shed the blocker. He was in position to make the play. He missed the tackle. I fear that we could see that a lot in 2016. I hope I'm wrong. But, when I've studied him, I've seen that before. He's a great leader. He has good quickness. He looked bigger in his uniform than I anticipated he would. I'm really pulling for him. The Packers don't need him to be a true difference maker, but he has to be a sure tackler. He can't miss tackles. We need him to be a trusted tackler. We can't afford whiffs. The inside pressure was really impressive. Liked his hustle and his pursuit. Hope we see more of that.

This week - it's the Raiders. Again, I'd rest most of the starters. I want to be certain that we have the best back-ups possible on the OL. Now is the time to find out who we need to keep. I want to see if we should keep 10 OL or 10 DB's or 7 WR's with only 3 RB/FB or 11 LB's. There's a lot of question marks. We need to figure out the depth of this roster. This is a great week to invest in determining who we should mover forward with.

The Packers give the game to Brett Huntley. He performs magically. He runs the offense like a pro. He uses the TE. He dumps off to the backs. He hits WR's as they're coming out of their break.

Burks makes an impact again. He wants a roster spot.

Jayrone gets to the QB.

Daniel snatches a pick.

I anticipate it'll be a high scoring preseason affair.

Packers 27.
Raiders 23.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

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