17-0. Shutout. At home. But, I’m not worried. In fact, I felt like I saw some positive things happen during the disgusting start to the preseason. Here’s some kind vibes to keep you fresh:
• Aaron Rodgers was nearly spot. The deep ball to James Jones was midseason form. The timing was off on the 2nd down pass, which surprised me, but overall, it was a really nice showing by the 1st team offense.
• James Jones separating was a thing of beauty.
• David Bakhtiari showed great promise in making his first appearance as the starting RT.
• Nick Perry displayed great closing speed as he quickly closed on Larry Fitzgerald.
• Micah Hyde! I reiterate that before the Draft I listed three CB’s that I felt were fit for the Packers defense. Hyde was one of them. He played with fight. Sure, he didn’t get his head turned around on the TD, but that’ll get coached up.
• Andy Mulumba looked solid against the run. He’s raw. But, I liked his pizzazz. Showed enough to keep me excited.
• I really liked watching Robert Francois in pursuit. Didn’t close the deal on the inside blitz, but he did get home for a sack on one occasion.
• Sam Barrington can punish people. Great instincts. He should be on the team.
• Liked seeing Mike Daniels closing in one the QB.
• Tyrone Walker! At this stage, I’ll be shocked if this guy doesn’t make the team. He showed wiggle after the catch. As of today, I see him as our 4th best WR. Wish Charles Johnson would get healthy to push Boykin for a spot.
• Mulligan showed good muscle as a blocker.
• Greg Van Roten has proved that he can be a versatile OL at either G or C.
• Ted Thompson would find Chris Banjo. Of course. Thompson loves his TX kids. Banjo can hit. He was a really pleasant surprise. Tackled with a vengeance. Excited to see more of him.
• Vince Young offered hope. Played with a lil’ spark. Nothing overwhelming, but enough to believe that he can make a push towards being the #2 QB. I think he’ll win the job. But, I don’t believe in Graham Harrell.
• Johnny Jolly showed that he still has football left in the tank.
• The preseason is about the back-up QB. Harrell had two turnovers that directly led to 14 points. Granted, Newhouse was beaten badly on the sack/fumble, but Harrell should feel the pressure.
• I couldn’t believe my eyes. All off-season the Packers have stressed the importance of becoming a power football team. Of becoming an offense that can run the football. Then, on 2nd and goal from inside the 2, the Packers line up in shotgun formation. On 3rd and goal, once again, they go to shotgun. This time in an empty set. Come on, McCarthy. Practice what you preach!
• Jeremy Ross gets bumped off his route too easily. He’s – by far – the best KR/PR player on the team outside of Cobb. And, thus, he’ll likely make the roster, but he leaves much to be desired as a WR.
• Ras House did not have his best showing. I believe it’s merely a bump in the road.
• At OLB, the Packers don’t seem to have depth with respect to anyone being able to get to the QB. Nate Palmer doesn’t look cut out for this league.
• Terrell Manning has been a disappointment. It’s possible that Manning could be traded to a team in a 4-3. He’s not big enough to play the 3-4. He gets exposed and often finds himself lost in the shuffle of the play.
• Really wish DJ Williams would elevate to the player I envisioned he’d become.
• I’m extremely concerned about the starting Safety spot across from Morgan Burnett.
• BJ Coleman. Kind of a buzzkill. Really believed in him. Still want to. Appears as though the Packers are trying to tuck him on the practice squad again.
This week – it’s the Rams. In St. Louis. It’ll be a solid test for the Packers. On the turf, the Rams are fast. They have playmakers. Tavon Austin & Stedman Bailey are Dub-V stallions. Both play with riveting excitement. Chris Givens is frustrating to cover. Lance Kendricks is a tough match-up. Daryl Richardson is primed for a big year. And – defensively, the Rams are littered with playmakers.
I hope that Eddie Lacy & DuJuan Harris are used in limited fashion. I’d like to see the Packers put James Starks and Alex Green on display. Possible trade bait for either a promising OLB or an up-and-coming Safety.
Give Rodgers the 1st Quarter. He’ll move the football. Put points on the board. He’ll be in connection with Jones & J-Mike. Since Cobb will also be resting, I’d like to see Walker playing against a 1st team defense. Let’s see what the kid can do.
I want to see Micah Hyde covering Tavon Austin in the slot. Play on, Micah.
Get busy in the return game, Jeremy Ross. I’m pulling for you.
Keep gas in the tank, Johnny Jolly.
We see Mike Daniels get to the QB.
Mulumba continues to play the run well and he shows a small glimpse of being able to pressure the QB. Mulumba makes the 53-man roster.
The ILB brings further goodness from a depth perspective. Lattimore plays the ball well in coverage. Francois brings heart. Barrington continues to pursue like a beast.
Look for Banjo to continue to hit everything that is in sight. And, if we see him make a play on the ball, he could make a push for the Final 53. The Packers have stressed physicality. Banjo brings aggression and a possessed energy.
Angelo Pease & BJ Coleman see light, if any playing time, as they’re being hidden as practice squad targets.
Look for Vince Young to make his move this week. Feeling minutely comfortable with the offense, Young uses his feet and his athleticism to move the chains. He also finds Bostick over the middle as a safety valve. He finds Franklin on a dump-off to move the chains. Extending the play, he rolls right. He connects with Boykin to keep the chains moving. Alex Green punches it in from 3 yards out.
Packers 23. Rams 20.
Let’s get a WIN!
Go Pack Go!