Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Take - >Preseason Week 3

Greetings, G-Force.

I figured that I would write the take for this weeks match-up in Denver as I'm currently taking refuge from Tropical Storm Fay. A bolt of lightning just struck the palm tree outside my house. Pretty crazy. Instant flames and three branches blew wildly in the 50 mph winds.

I'm off to NYC this weekend for a good mate's wedding. Brett Favre and the New York Jets happen to be playing host to the New York Giants. I'll be there with my soon-to-be brother-in-law & dear friend, Joe. Joe is a Giants fan. Therefore, he is gay. He has the '07 ring. I do not. I could not pass up the opportunity to watch the world's greatest entertainer in the world's greatest city against the Super Bowl champs. Do you think Favre will say hi to Corey Webster? 1st play - you know Brett wants the pump and go against Webster.

This take may come off as negative, but G-Force, don't jump off the bridge. Yes, it may appear that the Packers '08 draft was in preparation for '09 rather than playing for '08. And while the final score was intolerable, the performance was not as bad as the final result. In fact, I have light optimism post this completely horrible contest. While it's only the 2nd time we've seen this team play this year, we're getting closer to being able to establish expectations for the '08 season. We're yet to be able to draw conclusions, but slowly, strengths & weaknesses are being identified. Two things are for certain:

1.) Our starters are more than capable. We will compete in most, if not all, games. Our 1st team defense has looked spectacular and we've yet to see Pickett/KGB. Additionally, Hawk, Chuckie, Al, & Jolly have all missed time. If healthy, this should be a top-10 defense.

2.) Our depth at DL/QB/TE are potentially a severe problem.

For the second week in a row, a lack of concentration seemed to swing a game. Last week, it was Lumpkin's fumble which halted a potential game tying drive. This week - Driver & Lee dropped potential TD passes that were perfectly thrown. This team must find their focus.

For the most part, A-Rod played well. At times, he hung onto the football a little too long. Occasionally, he's slow in his decision making process. But, overall, he's displayed intelligence on the field & he's delivered the ball with accuracy. And if Lee & Driver hang onto the football, the skeptics would be sing a much different tune.

But, I warn that Rodgers will struggle at times this year. We've got to understand this & in many ways, we've got to accept it. We're going to go thru the trials & tribulations of a young QB. Road games such as Tampa, Seattle, J'ville & Tennessee will present significant defensive challenges. Couple that with the always difficult Chicago & Minnesota defenses and A-Rod will definitely witness a variety of defensive fronts/blitzes that he's never seen before. Vocally, to many, I've wondered if this could be a 6-10 or 7-9 season. Our schedule is difficult and we have a lot of growing up to do.

I was disappointed when we drafted Brohm. I did not want him. He is an extreme work in progress. He seems to lack down & distance knowledge. When in doubt, he forgets to rely on the TE. Flynn deserves to be the #2 QB in the 3rd preseason game. Brohm has showed a lack of confidence & leadership capabilities.

Our OL has a ton of work to do. Jason Spitz was awful. So was Colledge. Absolutely pathetic.

I did think that Barbre opened some nice holes for Lumpkin in the 4th Quarter and I thought that Clifton was rock solid.

If the Packers keep 5 RB's, does B-Jack make the team? Ron Wolf used to always say that a sign of a good GM was that, at times, you had to admit your mistakes. If a guy could not play on GameDay, Wolf believed that you could not stay married to your draft picks. You had to move on. Is it that time with B-Jack? It might be. If I had to make a roster today and I could only keep 5 backs, they would be: Grant, Morency, Herron, Lumpkin, Hall.

We need Grant healthy. It's obvious. Morency showed solid 3rd down back skills on the screen. Herron showed that he could be slippery at times. Lumpkin is punishing and has shown flashes of good play. Hall is not only the FB, but he's also a solid special teams player. B-Jack looks like a liability. I keep pulling for him, but he keeps letting me down.

Donald Lee will catch that TD pass 49 out of 50 times.

J-Mike is not progressing at the clip I had hoped for. He seems to lack route running skills & separation.

Jordy returning kicks was a thing of beauty. He sees the field and knows how to run with the football. He's not a burner, but he's a smart runner. He could be coupled with T-Mon on kickoffs.

For the most part, I liked the play of our DL. AK-74, Jenkins, Jolly, and Cole were all solid. I liked Muir's effort. Montgomery, Hunter, and Thompson all showed passion, but they might lack the ability to make an impact in '08.

I have no concerns about Barnett. Hodge was active. Lansanah did not repeat his Week 1 performance. I was really impressed with Chillar's desire and attention. Chillar was all around the football.

At DB, man, was it beautiful to see #31 & #21 manning the corner spots. Chuckie looked like a Pro Bowler. So smooth. And boy, does he look determined. But, he, too, lost focus when he was returning the interception.

T-Mon is a solid #3 CB. Willie B. remains timid when coming on the blitz. It's not his role.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - I have seen enough of J-Bush. As a CB, he's garbage. I held out hope that he could have a strong August and then we might be able to trade him. That's no longer possible. To Bush's credit, he's a strong gunner on special teams, but I saw enough of P-Lee as a gunner at SF that I'm confident he can be in the same mold as Bush as a gunner. Additionally, in his limited reps, to my eye, Lee has outperformed Bush at CB as well. His hit in the flat was one of the highlights of the game.

The 3rd preseason game is a dress rehearsal for the regular season. The Packers need a win. It'd be great for morale. It's important for the mentality of the franchise & this locker room. To a degree, the team seems to lack confidence. A win changes this mindset.

Last year, Ryan Grant's coming out party came at Denver. Let's hope for the same this year.

Greg Jennings was a human highlight film at Denver. He turned Dre Bly into Drive By. This needs to occur again.

Matt Flynn could be a Craig Nall style back-up, this year. We've got to give him a chance to win this spot. He should play with the #2 offense.

Kregg Lumpkin should also play against the #2 defense to see how he performs against enhanced competition. He's earned this opportunity.

In Denver, A-Rod plays into the 3rd Quarter. The Packers hang onto the football. The first team leaves with the lead. Once again, James Jones turns Champ into Chump Bailey.

The second unit's DL continues to struggle. With KGB/Pickett either seeing limited reps or not playing at all, the likes of Conrad Bolston & Alfred Malone continue to see increased snaps. Jason Hunter, who is a fine special teams player, also sees heavy reps. The unit wears. The unit tears against the tough Donkey run game.

Look for enhanced P-Lee playing time as J-Bush finds the bench.

Flynn takes advantage of his playing time and leads us to points. He finds Chris Francies for 1st downs.

Lumpkin pounds away for a Packer TD.

It's not overly pretty. But, it's a well fought win. If it does not come this week, we'll probably end the preseason 0-4.

Green Bay 23. Donkeys 20.

Gotta win this one,

Talkin' S-Mac.


Stack said...

I had a take all set to roll out yesterday, but the computer was fighting me, and it eventually won. So now I'm back trying to reconvene yesterday's thoughts as well as add some new ones.

Brian Brohm. I don't know what we have in him. Nobody probably does at this point. I've got a feeling that he's a decent football player and at some point it will probably click into place in his mind. That doesn't mean he'll be Joe Montana, but I do think he'll grasp the pro game at some point. But then again, maybe not. He certainly has looked uncomfortable and unconfident to this point.

Cory Williams. Yeah, Cory Williams the Cleveland Brown. I watched him on Monday night football and he made me feel like maybe we're breaking even on this Brohm deal.

Anyway, to revisit the past for a moment. Players in whom I had an interest who went after Brohm: Martellus Bennett, Tom Zbikowski, Steve Slaton, Jamaal Charles, and Dan Connor. I'm not going to say we should have done this or we should have done that, because Brohm is the guy on our team, however, some of these guys are contributing to their team already. And the jump from college to pro is different for a QB than any other position, so that skews the comparison. But my point is: Damnit why did we not draft Steve Slaton?!?

Feels good just to say it. I've stood up for Jackson, and the guy has flashed, but he's also been so disappointing at times. It is by no means a stretch to say he might be the guy that gets Rodgers killed. For all the press about the zero experience behind Rodgers, you would think that guys who can't block would be getting killed in the media. The fact is, we have plenty of experience behind Rodgers, as you can see here:

The Packers signed DT Rodney Allen from the Intense Football League. You're not expecting the guy to make the Pro-Bowl, right, I know, but I have had a hard time finding anything on the guy. His college bio is slim, and the Packers simply photoshopped their own jersey onto him for his picture. That's probably another sign that he's not long for Green Bay. Maybe. But maybe he can give us a couple of quality snaps. I'm waiting to see him on the field. From what I've heard and read, the guy has tremendous lower body strength and is hard to move off of the spot. Plugger. Anyway, we'll have a chance to make some opinions after seeing him play, but for now, at least I found a picture of the guy. You can see him standing behind Jolly (#97). Allen is wearing #67. Looks like a stout guy.

So we're taking the show to the Mile High City tomorrow. Question: Is there a more lame team in the NFL than the Denver Broncos? Seriously, ask yourself. The ugly new-age uniforms. The weasely head coach. The dirty-blocking OL. And the lamest of the lame...the Mile High Salute. That was the single lamest celebration I've ever seen. Worse than the Ickey Shuffle, which I believe held that title previous to the insipid Salute.

I'm not even going to get personal with it, but just know that Shannon Sharpe and John Elway are not high on my list.

What I want to see out of this game is 85 getting involved. A Rod to Greg. Work it.

The starters are going to play through three quarters. I want to see us overpower the Broncs. The OL delivers punch in the run game. The DL holding the point of attack against them. LBs coming downhill and filling.

Denver doesn't have much that scares me, and we need to win this game.

Pack 35
Ugly-outfitted, weasel-coached, dirty blockers 13

Smiles on the sidelines.

porterbela said...

Staying in and relaxing this Friday evening for I have to venture into the land of Green Bay tomorrow. So I watched the Packer game tonight, at least the first half. Here are a few of my thoughts.

Barnett looked bad today. Over pursuing and not making the tackles he needed to make...but those are all correctable.

Rodgers looked sharp, he did get some nice help from the referee on that first big play today but like I said, all he has to do is be able to make a slant pass and he'll be fine. He does look like a deer in headlights when he sees the pressure coming straight at him. They need to keep rolling him out from time to time.

The O-line, i know is hurt, but looks pretty bad at this point. A lot of quick slants and hitch's were needed. I wouldn't worry about B-Jacksons ability to block the blitz if he's got 2 other guys coming in on him at the same time.

Grant is going to have his work cut out for him. I have a feeling he's going to revert back to his ND playing got your Gado type half-a-year out of him already.

I like that TE you guys drafted, but not as much as the TE the Bears drafted this year.

Dan Connor should have been picked instead of Brohm, he would be starting for the Packers.

What the hell happened to Harrell? The Pack needs some help up front. I know the Broncos are a good blocking O-Line but it just looked way to easy running up the middle tonight.

I think you are going to start to see the decline of Al Harris and Woodson this year. Fortunately for the Packers, the Bears best WR's suck balls and it won't matter against them.

Packers still need a backup QB (Bears still need a starting one).

Overall, not a bad game for the Packers. Positives and Negatives. Just like any other preseason game.