It's spectacular to be reminded that football is with us for the next 6 months. Much is being both written and said about the Packers flying under the radar as we enter the '09 Season. While this might be true in the eyes of the media, the fans expectations are enormous. For the better part of the past two decades, the Packers organization has been synonymous with regular season victories. As an owner of the team, I anticipate great things of this season. Not only do I envision a season with more wins than losses, but I foresee the Playoffs in our future. Anything less is a disappointment. Beyond wins and losses, I want to monitor the teams attitude and ability to start the season strong.
The additions of Kevin Greene & Mike Trgovac should bring force to the defensive mentality. The impact should be immediate and fully visible this Saturday Night during the Packers annual Family Night event. (For those of us not in WI, I believe it is televised on Monday August 10th on the NFL Network. Sweet.) Any way, I expect to see a physical defensive presence that attacks the offense and attempts to gain a significant push upfield.
While the Family Night is billed as a friendly contest, it should be mentioned that, in the past, young players have used that game as a springboard towards making the team. Youngsters have helped established themselves on Family Night. Truly, it's the first barometer as to how efficient we are as a team. In years past, we have caught our first glimpse of Greg Jennings, T-Mon, and James Jones during the PrimeTime Event. They were all able to carry that momentum into solid campaigns. On the contrary, last year showed that Brian Brohm, P-Lee, Jeremy Thompson, and Matt Flynn all needed to develop before they were ready to make an impact in an NFL game. Hopefully, all four of them perform at a higher level during this years game.
In preparation for this year's Scrimmage, I'm launching the Top 10 Roster items to keep an eye on during this year's Family Night Friendly:
10.) Are either Jeremy Kapanos or Durant Brooks legitimate NFL punters? I'm consistently baffled at our inability to bring in someone who can punt. Truly unacceptable that we are faced with this dilemma.
9.) If he's healthy, can Justin Harrell finally live up to his status as a 1st round pick. Apparently, he's off to a good start in training camp. He's shown strength and the power to push OL backwards.
8.) Is Quinn the Eskimo as punishing of a blocker as advertised? From what I've read, he's been a minor disappointment. He's been outplayed by Korey Hall. I'm anxious to see for myself.
7.) Who will elevate to earn the 4th CB spot? Willie B., P-Lee and the U-HAUL will all have opportunities to deem they are worthy. The U-HAUL is dealing with back issues and unless he improves swiftly, I could see him being limited this Saturday Night. Joe Porter should also see significant playing time. Normally, Mr. Charles Woodson and Ras Al rest during the scrimmage, which would have provided plenty of opportunities for all to shine.
6.) Who will win the back-up RB spot? B-Jack has held the role for the last 2 years. It's been well documented that I'm pulling for Wynn & Lumpkin to beat out B-Jack. Both Wynn and Lumpkin have shown great flashes but have durability concerns. Sutton has received heightened recognition for his performance during the OTA's and early in camp.
5.) Have Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm progressed enough to ignore the fact that Brian Griese, a proven veteran QB is available as a Free Agent? It should also be noted that he has experience playing in the NFC North. Additionally, he's college mates with Mr. Charles Woodson, which would continue to build locker room rapport.
4.) Can AJ Hawk get started off with some positive momentum as we transition into the 3-4 defense? Thus far, Hawk has been a disappointment. He's a key to our defensive success in '09.
3.) The battle for the starting ROLB spot between CM3 and Jeremy Thompson. I expect big things out of CM3 on Saturday. He's seen big stages before. Sure, Lambeau will be unique, but I expect CM3 to play with high intensity and to immediately establish himself as a leader on defense. I'm hoping that in 5 days, this is no longer a battle for the starting spot and that CM3 has simply taken command.
2.) AK-74 dropping into coverage. Yes, this is an enormous concern.
1.) Do we have a capable RT on our roster? If not, it's time to start praying for mobility to Tauscher's knee. If someone can elevate his game to take command of this position, we'll be fully loaded on offense with the capability to average 25 points a game. I truly believe we are well positioned at every other position. I'm still hoping that TJ Lang rises to the occasion.
Another roster item to consider: I'd give Bubba Franks a call. See if he'd be interested in taking the league minimum. I'd be curious as to whether he'd consider being our #3 TE and playing on blocking downs. I imagine that even at this point of his career he is a better blocking TE than Humphrey.
Thanks to Stack for posting a comment on the blog. Good to see the writing once again, mate!
Hey Raji, it's time to get your ass into camp.
Enjoy the Festivities.