Friday, August 8, 2008

My Take - > Preseason Week 1

Greetings, G-Force.

I'm excited to be writing the words "My Take" once again. For approximately 5 weeks, the G-Force has been living in a world of confusion, division, animosity. On Monday, our spirit enters Lambeau Field with certainty. Uniform, we will enter the mecca of stadiums to celebrate the kickoff of competition. We will do so as a unified G-Force. Get on board and support what we've put together or stay away.

Favre is a Jet. Accept it. Patch your wounds. The beauty is that we can still cheer for him. The better he plays - the better our pick. If Brett has gas in his Football tank, we'll once again have 3 of the top 60 picks in the draft. I'll wholeheartedly root for #4. In fact, I may devote a paragraph in which I give my prediction of the Jets game each week. I'm going to embrace the opportunity to watch the Football Jesus perform in the World's Greatest City.

Since 1998, I've worn my #4 kit while the Packers played. It did not matter if I was celebrating NYE in Savannah, GA or if I was celebrating Thanksgiving at the in-laws house or if I was at the stadium or if I was at home - I was wearing the #4 jersey and Favre's name was on my back. This year marks a new beginning. Since March, I've wondered what to wear on Game Day. I've decided on two different t-shirts that symbolize team & heritage. I've got a simple white t-shirt with the Packer "G" covering my heart & I've got a yellow Lambeau Field shirt. No man will carry us to victory this year. Wins will come in the form of team play. I'm going to support this chemistry and promote the generation of unifying energy.

Lambeau Field. Lights on. ESPN. Monday Night. Once again. Ah, it's Football Season.

Has the 1st preseason game ever garnered as much attention as this Monday Night? Has a starting QB ever felt this much pressure before the 1st preseason game of the year? I cannot remember such a time.

Whether it's T-Mon returning a kickoff or Willie B. running back a punt, the Packers special teams puts A-Rod in good starting field position. Eases his pain as he runs onto the field and receives an ovation.

McCarthy calls a simple 1st play. Play action roll-out. He wants Rodgers to lose some nervous energy and get him out of harms way. Fake the sweep to Grant and A-Rod's rolling out. On the edge, he completes a 10 yard curl to Jennings.

Over the loud speaker we hear Bill Jartz belt out, "1st down Packers."

Grant pounds at the center of the Bengals defense. Holes in abundance. Welcome back, Ryan.

On a third down, A-Rod shows poise. Steps up in the pocket and hits Driver for a 1st down. Shortly after, Grant off the left edge between Clifton and Colledge, it's a Packer touchdown.

It's a standing ovation. It's the G-Force in effect. It's a centralized Force.

A-Rod's night is short. It's successful. He plays through the 1st Quarter.

On defense, Chuckie & Rasta Al take the night off. Not only to rest, but to showcase. T-Mon, Willie B., Patrick Lee, J-Bush, and Joe Porter provide excitement while smothering Bengal WR's.

The Packers are the youngest team in the NFL. They're respected and known to be a team with youthful depth. Scouts will be scouring the Packers depth chart for talent. The NFL world will be watching this game. Everyone is curious to see how the Packers & the G-Force will react to the drama of an NFL game. The Packers use this prime time opportunity to their advantage.

Consider this - Miami has an interesting dilemma. The Dolphins are in need of CB, S, and WR help. Ruvell Martin, Chris Francies, Joe Porter, Charlie Peprah, and J-Bush are all guys that could lead to an upgrade at another position. On the other hand, the Packers might have a need for DL help. The Dolphins have gone from a 4-3 to a 3-4. And, all of a sudden, Matt Roth does not have a spot on the team. In 2005, Matt Roth was a 2nd round pick. A tough, hard working guy from Iowa, Roth is not a DE in a 3-4. He's being tried as a LB. Thus far, he's failing miserably. He's in danger of being a casualty. I feel that Roth would find a home in Green Bay. He'd return to his Midwestern roots. He'd be a buddy of Kampman's. He'd play a role in the run stopping rotation. He'd provide depth.

On Monday, once again, Mike McCarthy will surprise us as the Packers unleash their first attempt at the latest strategic innovation to enter the NFL. The NY Giants won the Super Bowl due to their terrific ability to rush the QB. On passing downs, the Giants would move Justin Tuck from his normal DE position to a DT position. Tuck looked like a leaner version of Santana Dotson rushing the QB. In his first two years at DE, Tuck had 1 sack. Last year, he had 10 sacks.

McCarthy & Bob Sanders will attempt to steal this idea with Michael Montgomery & Jason Hunter as they will move to DT on 3rd downs. Like the idea. Not positive that they're the player for it. Although both might need to be successful in this role in order to make the roster.

I'm hoping that Jeremy Thompson gets a look in this role. Thompson was a star on Family Night. He was a difference maker. My hope is that they do not want to force feed him information and that by the third preseason game, they'll be trying him out. Thus far, I feel that we'd be most dangerous with AK-74, Thompson, Cullen Jenkins, and KGB on the field on 3rd Down. Thompson needs a look.

Brohm comes in and shows his nerves. Brohm - playing with happy feet - struggles at first. But, eventually he settles down after a successful screen play to Morency. He finds Tory Humphrey on the short down-and-in routes. Jordy's also on display. Flashing sure hands. Brohm plays late into the 3rd Quarter. He leads the Packers to a couple of FG's.

Flynn steals the show late. Flynn gets J-Mike involved. The rookie combination connects on a couple of 1st downs. J-Mike shows his athleticism. Brett Swain makes a catch in traffic. Finally, Flynn finds Francies on the post corner for 6!

So, Monday, we start anew. A-Rod leads us out of the tunnel. The Green Bay Packers historic tradition begins another chapter. The result is the same. The Lambeau Faithful rejoice - together.

Green Bay 23 Cincinnati 19.

If you cannot bring your G-Force to the Lambeau vibe this Monday, I, ironically, have 4 words for you: You are a poser!

All aboard,

Talkin' S-Mac.


Talkin' S-Mac said...

Sunday Morning. A cup of espresso. Peter Tosh singing I am wanted Dread & Alive by the evil forces. Yes, once again, it's football season. And I'm ready.

Midseason form. Yet to play a preseason game.

The morning newspaper says that Colledge will play both G & T tomorrow night. Which led me to wonder, could Clifton's limited reps & Colledge's flexibility be a negative for the future of Colledge's starting position? Allen Barbre is going to see more snaps and therefore he'll have the opportunity to impress. Barbre seems more powerful than Colledge. He always has an attitude.

Curiously, the same could be said for Spitz who has been playing C as Scott Wells nurses an injury. As Spitz should his ability to play C, Josh Sitton is emerging as the surprise of training camp. And now, Sitton & Spitz are fully entrenched in a battle for the starting RG position.

Last year, we were among the worst in the NFL on 3rd & 1. Largely due to a poor push from our Guards. First impressions of Sitton & Barbre are that they might be a tougher combination that Spitz & Colledge. It'll be interesting to watch these developments tomorrow.

chico said...

Say what you want about every other position this game is crucial for A-Rodg.

Have a good game and ride the next four weeks. He has to show something to silence the media and get some positive reports coming out.

I know I haven't looked forward to preseason game like this one in quite some time. MOVING FORWARD!

Stack said...

Well agreed with the take. I was sitting in an icy cold air-conditioned coffee shop on Saturday morning writing my response when my computer started acting weird. I shut it down, stared over, and it started over also. Must be all that...research that I do.

I feel like Hollywood Huy Nguyen right now.

But my point is that my response was all about the OL. We know that it is going to be Colledge, Barbre, Spitz, Sitton, and Mr. Wisconsin Mark Tauscher from left to right. I don't think that is going to change going into the regular season. Obviously, Clifton and Wells will resume their customary spots when they return to health. But I think Sitton and Barbre are going to be there.

I don't think that Colledge's future with the team will be jeopardized. Nor do I think that of Spitz, but for separate reasons. Colledge is a smart guy, a very heady player, and he knows his butt is on the hot seat right now. He knows that he needs to perform. I watched him in an interview and he said as much, acknowledging that an OL in his third year needs to be what they drafted him for or they're going to go a different direction. For the record, I like Colledge, I just wonder if he can get out of his own head. Doesn't have the nastiness to finish blocks on the OL and sometimes just gets beat up. But then you see him handle Tuck in the NFC Championship. Consistency, consistency, consistency. Find it, Darren.

Spitz on the other hand is just one of those guys. Looks ugly, looks unremarkable, but battles and for the most part, get it done. I don't think he'll be hurt by moving around either.

At the heart of this argument is the belief that Barbre and Sitton will be the Guards on opening day. While our ultimate hope for Barbre might be to play T, where he played in college, I think we can use him now at G. From evertyhing I've heard, Barbre is the best athlete on the OL, and nothing I've seen contradicts that. He's powerfully built and plays like a starter. Sitton is similar in the level of quality play, though he doesn't look like the same type of athlete that is Allen Barbre.

I don't think there's any question that Barbre and Sitton are on top of Colledge and Spitz in terms of the depth chart. It's hard to see that changing either. I think they're simply a higher quality of player at those positions.

And obivously, should someone anywhere along the line go down, the top back up would be Colledge or Spitz.

We've got something in Barbre and Sitton. It's on Colledge and Spitz to keep up.

patrad said...

why sports fans are like dead heads. check it here.

what's the story with al harris? how much leeway is MM going to give him?

Brennan said...

thanks for the link. i love the comparison between the dead and football. could not agree more. you pay for experience. its all about the energy man...really the only difference is probably the amount of drugs versus alcohol that gets consumed, although there has been smoke signals coming from a porta-pod more than a time or two in my days at Lambeau.

anyway, so excited for tonights game. Scottie, my T is a Lambeau shirt as well. taking off work early to catch the pregame. I am wondering if there will be any talk of Favre. I doubt it. seems like that story is over and probably wont be talked about anymore...

how about a drinking and/or toking game. everytime they say Favre, you have to take a drink...could be dangerous. GO PACK!!!

bleedin green said...

I've always liked the Packers/Grateful Dead analogy too. After Jerry died, I considered painting a bus green and gold, selling Packer tie dyes, and going on Packers tour. Never happened but the Packers definitely filled the void in my heart. Jerry showed up wearing #4...Throwin Stones instead of Playin in the band. Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there.

Lots of overlap in the "dead"ication, pre-game/show festivities, deep traditions, the events that somehow seemed synchronistic, and showing up for something more than a game/show - an experience. The gear, the colors, and the superhuman leader. Calling the next song like you're calling the next play amongst a new-found family. You know our love will not fade away.

porterbela said...

Brennan, just as Favre was mentioned in this blog and in all of your responses, Favre's name will be heard in every single Packer game this season. It is inevitable. History tells us that Aaron Rodgers will fail as Favre's replacement. You can only assume that part of the reason is because of the shadow they are living under as a player. Then again, every situation is a new one and things can change.

The one thing I warn Packer fans is to not read much of anything into this game. And that means Rodgers playing well or playing like crap. No team goes full blast in any preseason game and no coach calls the plays they would in a regular season game. But there lies the problem. If Rod throws and interception tonight that is all you'll hear about, on both local and national news. You have to learn to fail along with learning to succeed. Rod hasn't had an opportunity until now to do either.

Stack said...

You know, in the spirit of rivalry, I will bring up Muhammad's verbal jab at the Bears, when he recently referred to Chicago as a place "where receivers go to die."

porterbela said...

Chern, tough to argue what he said. But, Muhammad would have died any where he went. This is a guy that couldn't catch a ball that hit him in the numbers. WR's die when they are on the Bears because the Bears have Angelo and Lovie running the show. Which means the likes of Orton, Grossman, and Turner are running the offense. It's a damned black hole in Chicago.

Stack said...

Well, it's true...and the funny thing was the way that the WR Coach from Chicago was totally not put off by those comments. It's like th WR coach was thinking, "Yup, pretty much the last place I'd wanna play too..."