The vibe must change & it must change now. Unfortunately, the small community of Green Bay does not fare well with distractions. It's too tight of a community. Therefore, the TIME IS NOW to eliminate division. While I've been outspoken in my desire for the Legend, the reality is that he will not perform in Green & Gold in '08. So, I move to what I'm hearing/reading/seeing about the '08 training camp thus far.
I'm curious to see the diversified looks that are presented this year compared to last. I'm interested to see the youthful legs of Aaron Rodgers escaping the rush. A-Rod out of the pocket and throwing on the run. Improvising. Turning busted plays into opportunities. Driver, Lee & Jones coming back to the ball. J-Mike & Jennings running deep in hopes of the big play. I can see it already. I'm curious to see how Jordy reacts to busted plays as well.
I'm hear & read that Jordy Nelson is performing and is considered a rookie sleeper for the '08 season. I have to believe that his size will provide mismatches against the oppositions 3rd & 4th CB.
I really expect James Jones to have a big year. I imagine that he'll be a beneficiary of the come back routes that have been implemented in our system. He's our best short yardage route runner. Plus, he's already got chemistry with Rodgers. Their time together in last year's training camp & preseason games is priceless. For what it's worth, after 3 games in the preseason last year, James Jones led the exhibition season in receptions. For the majority of those catches, Aaron Rodgers was his QB.
While I want Ryan Grant in camp today, I don't want him for $40 million. In fact, I don't think I'd want to sign him to a 6 year deal rather I'd prefer that the Packers looked at a 4 year option. When Favre retires and comes off the cap, give him excess money for the '08 season and tell him that he'll be shortchanged for the next three years, but he's getting his money up front. Guarantee his '08 money. Beyond that - it's about performance.
I'm afraid of our RB situation. I'm happy to hear that B-Jack continues to grow. However, I'm not positive he can handle the load & I have concerns about his ability to escape traffic. I also wonder about his ability to elude a defender. He does not have breakaway speed. He seems like a guy who can see a hole and hit it. It's up to us know his strengths & to stick to them.
I'm anxious to see Kregg Lumpkin play. With our current stable of backs, Lumpkin must be a difference maker - a consistent performer. From what I remember about his college days, Lumpkin has a quick first step and can run through tackles. He's an aggressive runner. But, he, too, if I recall correctly, lacks the burst to take one to the house.
We've learned that DeShawn Wynn, Noah Herron, & Vernand Morency cannot be trusted for an entire season. They all have limitations and are injury prone.
The OG battle will be extremely interesting. Could Josh Sitton and Allen Barbre be our starting G's in Week 1? It seems as though there's an open competition and it'll be a fun battle to watch throughout the exhibition games.
It sounds like Tony Moll is on his way out.
Another battle that will draw attention is the LB position. Hawk, Barnett, Chillar & Poppinga are locks. All have received contracts from the Packers that show loyalty. But, it's important to note that both Desmond Bishop & Abdul Hodge have been playing on the 1st Special Teams unit in practice. I have to believe that Tracy White is also a lock as he received a big off-season contract. If this is the case, how many LB's will we keep or are Bishop or Hodge going to be trade bait at the end of training camp?
It's disappointing to hear that Patrick Lee is struggling. I can only hope that it's simply because he's adjusting to the pace of the NFL game. But, we need to get Lee up to speed. I trust that this will occur.
I'm stoked for Monday. 8:00 EST. NFL Network. It's the Family Night Replay. And it's my 1st glimpse of the '08 Packers.
Vibe In G-Force!