The A-Rod era began & the Packers keep on Truckin'. What a joy as the Faithful were impressive. It was great to watch. Rising in unison. Together as one. Football season is once again in full bloom. While the scoreboard may not have indicated a win for the Packers, I guarantee that the locker room was in victory spirits.
I liked the way McCarthy called the game. It was safe and he put players in position to succeed. He tried to make both A-Rod & Brohm comfortable. McCarthy mixed up the formations well and gave a number of different looks. I wished that he would have tried to install toughness on this team by running the ball on 3rd & 2 rather than throwing a deep pass down the sideline, but other than that I really enjoyed the way he attacked the Bengals defense.
Can you say enough about A-Rod? Looked poised. Confident. Comfortable. If he does not overthrow Jones by a foot, his day is extraordinary. By the way, how slow is James Jones? Man, he's not known to be fleet of foot, but come on, James...where's your legs?
Brian Brohm is nowhere near being ready to play in the NFL. Things need to click real soon. In fact, Matt Flynn outperformed Brohm. Flynn looked like he'd be a Craig Nall style back-up. Naturally, Flynn comes across as a leader. A winner. I felt like he was going to bring us into FG position. He has that look. He needs to get stronger and he has a ton of room for improvement, but the initial prognosis was positive. At this stage, I would not bring in a veteran, but it clearly remains a possibility.
We need a healthy Ryan Grant. Noah Herron was more impressive than B-Jack. Jackson runs like Edgar Bennett. Problem is - he does not block like Bennett. He does not think like Bennett. And he does not catch the ball like Edgar. Herron looks more fluid and intelligent than Jackson. At this stage, I don't trust B-Jack.
Wynn does not have a spot on the roster.
Lumpkin was playing with conviction until his fumble. It appeared as though it was a lack of concentration on Lumpkin's part. A total shame as he was running with confidence.
Korey Hall seems to still be adjusting to the offensive side of the ball. Hall lacks field awareness. He's an aggressive guy. Well intentioned. But, he remains a work in progress.
Good to see J-Mike catch a couple of balls. J-Mike seems to lack some football instincts. Looks like he is still learning the game. When they ran him in motion and kept him in the backfield to help block, he never turned to look for the ball when Brohm was flushed out of the pocket. I thought that he could have allowed Brohm to escape trouble a couple of times by turning around and showing his face as a target.
It was good to see A-Rod & Donald Lee connect.
I wonder why McCarthy exploded on Humphrey on Brohm's interception?
Jones' TD was epic! An absolute display of heart & desire. Driver will remain our 3rd down weapon and our go-to guy. Such a leader. At times, A-Rod was fixated on him. I've been extremely hard on Ruvell Martin, but he was terrific and ensured himself of a roster spot. Jordy showed flashes of brilliance. He can play at this level. Chris Francies was an absolute disappointment. I had hoped Francies would play himself into trade bait. Instead, Francies has played himself off the team. Swain is not able to get in & out of his breaks. He's not able to get separation. He's practice squad at best. While Taj Smith made a couple of nice catches, it was evident that he was lacking stamina. If my NFL career was on the line, I'd find a way to catch a 2nd wind. After one preseason game, I'd be shocked if the Packers kept more than 5 WR's. Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson, and Martin are our WR's and they're among the best WR groups in the league.
The 1st team OL was solid, but not dominant. We struggled against the blitz and did not overpower the Bengals DL. Admittedly, I expected more out of Barbre, but my expectations were high. He did not dominate and at times, on run plays, I thought he was being pushed backwards.
If I were Mike McCarthy, Ryan Considine would not have made it to practice today. I would have made an example out of him. He had the ball in his hands on the Lumpkin fumble and he let a Bengals LB rip it right out of his arms. If I were McCarthy, I'd install this physical football mindset by cutting Considine and addressing the team that we will not accept sub-par performance.
Giacomini does not look athletic. He looks clumsy. At this stage in his career, he's a liability.
Moll will be cut. It's sad that he did not develop.
On defense, it was interesting to see the Packers play the NE/Pittsburgh style of football on a down or two. I was surprised when they had only 2 down lineman and 4 LB's on a 3rd Down. Again, this is another sign that McCarthy gets it. He's always trying to creatively improve his team. And sometimes, it's best to steal others ideas.
We need to add another DL. Granted, we were playing without KGB, Pickett, and Jolly, but our 2nd unit was awful. AK-74, Cole, and Jenkins were solid. Montgomery made a couple of nice plays including one when he was playing DT on 3rd down in which he stopped the draw that was run in his gap.
Is Justin Harrell ever going to be healthy? Unreal.
Jeremy Thompson is a work-a-holic. I enjoy his heart and commitment to each play, but he's not getting off the ball quick enough. He gets his arms in the air and uses his hands well, but he must work on his first step.
Hunter cares a lot, but he's undersized and unable to hold the point of attack. He gets tossed around, but it's not due to a lack of heart. He'll have to make the team as a special teams performer. And our depth at LB may make this a difficult thing to offer Hunter.
Daniel Muir was another absolute disappointment. From 1st glance, it did not look that he developed over the offseason. He was pushed around. I thought he had a great preseason last year and had expectations for Muir. He was consistently pushed backwards yesterday.
Conrad Bolston & Alfred Malone do not have a life in the NFL.
Our LB's were dominant! Flying around the field with excitement and anticipation. Barnett & Hawk were flawless until their miscommunication on the TD pass to Ben Utecht. Both made plays against the pass and were attacking ball carriers with a vengeance.
I did not think that Poppinga pursued the run with his normal velocity and I expect that to change over the coming weeks. He, too, seems to be thinking rather than acting and/or reacting.
Chillar did not do much to stand out. He looks active on the field and my initial view is that he has better reflexes and football knowledge than Poppinga.
Tracy White made a nice special teams play.
Abdul Hodge! Please tell me that you are healthy and that what we saw yesterday is the real you! He was the MVP yesterday. He was hungry to find the football and he hit with aggression. We've seen this out of Hodge before, but now we need to see this consistently.
Every year - early in camp - one guy catches my eye. He steals my attention and I cannot get enough of him. This year, it is Danny Lansanah. He's athletic. Plays with desire. A fighter. He knows the game of football. A sure tackler. He impressed on the run & the pass. He pursued on special teams. He's intuitive as a football player and understood football positioning. Danny Lansanah showed good football recognition.
Desmond Bishop better get healthy.
Maybe Hodge or Bishop will be trade bait for a DL (ie. Matt Roth).
T-Mon steps up to the challenge! Chad Johnson talking junk at the line of scrimmage. T-Mon standing him up and jamming him. Loved it.
Willie B. dancing is an exciting thing to my eye. But, man, is he timid when coming off the blitz. This role is not suited for Willie B. He anticipates the contact before it comes rather than trying to run through/around any potential blocker. When he delayed himself in mid-blitz, he took himself out of the play and this occurred on more than one occasion.
J-Bush was intense and showed will. He missed the tackle on Chris Perry's TD, but he did an admirable job in pass coverage. Could he be trade bait to a team in desperate need of DB help?
Patrick Lee & Joe Porter were barely tested.
Jon Ryan better wake up.
Most importantly, today, the ESPN camera crews left Green Bay. For the 1st time this year, the Packers were not THE topic of ESPN & the national media. No more drama. Just Football. Again, Green Bay is the home of a small community owned NFL Franchise. It's 100,000 deep in population. Not 100,000 deep in camera lenses. It's a return to normalcy. I hope that this aids in the development of guys like Brohm & Flynn as well. Today, the Packers returned to their family roots. Yesterday, the Packers were reminded that when it's GameDay, nothing will divide the G-Force.
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