Monday, August 11, 2008

A Monday Night Recap

Greetings, G-Force!

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.

Support In Full,

Talkin' S-Mac.


patrad said...

as we discussed jordy nelson monday night, a possible/probable candidate for "white lighting 2" I was told Billy "white lighting 1" Schroeder (who requested retiring as a packer) is now a Green Knights WR coach? however, a persusal of did not reflect this. .

loved the jones TD.

kept thinking "happy feat" watching brohm and man you weren't lying.

hope to see grant vs. SF.

excited for the D and WR crew!

i thought jackson looked improved.

how about rouse. nice . . . nice. collins out.

waht is the weakest unit, other than johnny ryan? O line?

this was posted outside will's northwoods (the packer bar in chicago) on monday.

and cheers to wills for thier planned expansion of a bleacher section, outside bar and 8+ new 50" HD TVs. apparently they made some money last season. givin' back to the ex-WI-pat community.

Stack said...

I listen to Rome every day when I'm at work and a strange thing happened on Tuesday. If you've heard Rome's show, you know the pace at which he moves. There's no wasted time or dead air. So of course he comes out with his opening burn on Aaron Rodgers. Rome offers his take on the game and Rodgers performance. And then he slips up, saying that the Packers beat the Bengals. Throughout the show, whenever he referred to the game, he inadvertantly called it a win for the Packers. And no, he wasn't calling it a "win" he was calling it a victory.

Evidence of what Monday Night meant in the back of everyone's mind.

Rodge looked good. He looked unflappable in the pocket. And there was junk around. Guys hitting him, guys around his legs (Come on, Sitton!), which had me worried. The last thing we needed was an injury from poor pass protection. Thankfully it didn't happen, but it needs to get sorted out.

I'll offer the other side of that 3rd & 2. Rodgers just missed on a throw to that side of the field. We give the ball right back to the Chico Kid and tell him to make the play. I loved it. 3rd & 2 and we're going to have the guy in front of every camera, every mic throw the ball 20 yards downfield. And hit it. Awesome. Take that, Kornheiser.

As far as Brandon Jackson goes, I was a supporter of his when we drafted him, and I still am. I think the comparisons to Edgar Bennett's running style is apt, but he really seems to be a midget upstairs. Obviously, slipping Peko in the backfield was awesome, but I was more impressed when he ran out of Rivers' arms. Jackson is so strong below the waist and so low to the ground, I think he has a tremendous future in bad weather games if he can get the rest of the game sorted out.

Although I haven't been a fan of Noah Herron's, he almost seems to have better burst this year. Obviously, he's got every bit of the feel for the game that Jackson lacks. Herron looks more physically capable this year than he has in the past.

Lumpkin sucks. I don't see it. He couldn't stay on his feet during the scrimmage. Stiff.

Taj Smith. Man, what do you say about this guy? I'm curious. Guy can get open. I've seen him drop some balls. And then Monday night, he made a good catch just before getting sanwiched by two guys. He's got a little bit of the easiness to him, where it doesn't look like he's trying. I'm not saying he's supremely gifted, he just doesn't look like he's busting his A to do things.

Man, Brian Brohm is making me miss Cory Williams. The T-Double has made money personnel moves, but man, the 2nd rounder that we used on BB is hanging in limbo right now. I'm not jumping off the bridge, I'm just saying...
Flynn has shown that something that makes you feel good about the guy, and I haven't gotten any of that from Brohm. It may just start coming later or it may fall into place, but it is not there right now.

Have to weigh in on Abdul Hodge. Looked like the tackling machine that we drafted out of Iowa. Guy was in the backfield more than once and he was getting to the sideline cutting off the corner. He looked like a new man.

With the play of Lasanah, we're finally getting the LB battle that we've been wanting for years.

Monday night was a win for the Pack.

porterbela said...

No offense Chern, but Rome has possibly the most "dead air" on the radio. Maybe this is just another stonned buzz take that I'm missing. But when I flip through the AM stations and hear about 10 seconds of not hearing a single word, I know I've reached the Rome show.

Rome will have a nice take from time to time but I've never heard a group of listeners that have no ability to form their own opinions on sports more than the callers that tune into that show or email him. The guy has a bit of comedic timing and some of the emails he reads are hilarious.

Then again, I guess when you live in Nebraska I assume your only other option is listening to sports radio about the cornhuskers.

But on to the Packers. Maybe it was the jitters like Scottie said, but Rodgers needs to keep the ball down or you will have to see what kind of depth the Packers have at WR.

Regardless of that, I don't think there were any real ups or downs for Rodgers. This is after all the first preseason game. The only team you can make a legitimate complaint about after the first preseason game is usually the Bears. And that's only because you know the offense won't improve at all between now and week 17.

bleedin green said...

Few thoughts on the play of #12 on Monday PM:

1) Injury free.
2) Only major mistake was overthrowing a wide open receiver but made up for it shortly after.
3) As he settles in and feels more comfortable back there, his athleticism and instincts will be unleashed. Seems a little jumpy to me still.
4) Strong armed. The throwing velocity on some of the slants impressed me.
5) Seems comfortable with receivers-as he should after years of throwing to some of these guys.
6) Needs to grow the offseason locks back. If there's anyone Packer Nation will trust post-4, its Jesus.
7) Loved the standing O when he ran out.
8) Need some experience behind him...have no faith in Brohm or Flynn at this point.
9) Still undecided as to whether or not he throws well on the run. His delivery to Driver when doing so seemed a little awkward but maybe he was just trying to take something off it.
10) Overall lookin good

Talkin' S-Mac said...

Rouse...yes! Great play by Rouse. He's always around the ball.

Wish Charlie Peprah would have played.

Overall, we have a ton of nicks & bruises. We need to get healthy. Wells, Jennings, Grant, KGB, Pickett, Jolly, Harrell. Am I missing anyone? It's all too much!

patrad said...

bigby hits. rouse ints. good combo.

Stack said...

Grammy, you can take issue with my with the amount of dead air on Rome, his takes, or his callers' takes, but when a guy who is paid to cover sports continues to say "the Packers beat the Bengals" without thinking about it, that speaks to the questions people had going into that game, and the answers that they took away of it. "Stonned" or otherwise.

porterbela said...

Chern, Like I said I may not like his show but he does have a decent take from time to time. The one redeeming quality that he does have is that he's not afraid to talk about any topic. And honestly, I stopped reading your post after the first two or three lines.

The Packers have been surrounded by controversy, they are playing the first monday night game of the preseason. That means ESPN, Packer Fans, probably Bengal Fans, etc. are going to read into this game way more than it needs to be. Each play is going to be dissected when it doesn't need to be. A lot is going to be said that doesn't need to be.

But the one thing that I think you can take away from this game as a definite is this...the Packers need a backup QB ASAP. I'd assume that the Pack resigns Nall (is he available?) and moves Flynn to practice squad. They almost have to.