Archive for August, 2011

WR and TE are going to be brutal cuts

August 13, 2011

I know this has already been talked about at jsonline, on talk shows and other blogs. But we’re loaded at these positions right now. At WR, with Swain’s special teams prowess (and Rodgers’ apparently in his corner), Cobb’s already evident talent and potential, Chastain West being a guy Rodgers apparently likes – good size and that Gurley guy who just has a great story. I’m guessing the team considers keeping 6 WRs with Swain and Cobb making it. At TE, it’s loaded with Williams (one really nice catch tonight), Finley, TD machine Havner, Quarless who still has decent potential and Ryan Taylor the promising rookie from NC. Again, the team may keep 1 more guy here than most teams (like last year) and use that guy as a dual-TE/Fullback. I’m guessing Havner is the odd man out with Finley, Quarless, Crabree and Williams making the team outright – and Taylor making the practice squad.

We’re just loaded at these positions and there are going to be some teams out there who will be pretty excited to pick up whichever guys get cut.

Cobb looking tough

August 13, 2011

nice to see a young guy like Cobb come right in and make some noise like this. exciting. I’m not liking Swain’s chances at this point.

I also liked seeing that move by Brandon Saine. He could be a very sneaky good pick-up by TT. He had a 4.4 40-time and he showed some nice moves on his catch there.

As I see the depth this team has, it’s getting harder for me to not pick the Pack to win it all again.

Burnett just saw my tweet re his poor play so far

August 13, 2011

He had two nice hits in a row including one relatively big hit on the massive Peyton Hillis.

I’m liking the O-Line so far – and nice TD drive there

August 13, 2011

Looks like Lang got the nod tonight. Great pass protection and particularly nice run blocking.

Really nice drive right there and great pass to Jennings away from the defender for the TD. Very nice. That drive looked like the Super Bowl Packers.

Despite this game meaning very little blah blah blah – I do wonder if we’re seeing a little bit of how McCarthy will be using Grant and Starks this year. Starks may get most of the runs while Grant will be called on to be more of a pass blocking back who catches balls out of the backfield.

Humbling first defensive series

August 13, 2011

…and I suppose first offensive series too. But I was particularly not excited about our safety play. Collins was out of position several times and I’m not sure why Burnett is out there (is Peprah hurt) – he looks lost.

I won’t get too worked up yet, but we didn’t look good there. That said, I’m guessing I’ll surprise a few people with my prediction for Cleveland this year. They won’t be bad and Colt McCoy will be getting serious attention by the end of the year. He’s a good player.

 

Walden looking good – should start

August 9, 2011

Read here from Tom Silverstein at jsonline. Silverstein has an interesting breakdown of how Walden looks so far in camp and the battle for the OLB position opposite Matthews. I think Walden should start – for a reason Silverstein doesn’t pay enough attention to in the article: he makes plays. Period. I said the same thing 3-4 years ago about Desmond Bishop. Both Walden and Bishop have the gift of football instinct. Zombo and Jones, not so much. Zombo is OK, but not special (yet). And I disagree with Silverstein – Zombo is not a better pass rusher. Walden had 4 sacks in 4 games last year including 2 incredibly huge ones against the Bears. Jones is a guy I’ve never thought too highly of in particular because he has 1 pass rush move that doesn’t work and he doesn’t make many big plays. He didn’t seem to be a liability against the run or anything, but overall, I think he’s #3 right now behind Walden and Zombo.

 

Woodson, Packers ready for a “run”

August 3, 2011

Read here from Don Banks at cnnsi.com. Banks talks about how the Packers are one Super Bowl winner that could very well disrupt the recent pattern of Super-Bow-winners-puking-the-year-after-their-Super-Bowl win. I think he makes some good points and I like his take on this.

I have to admit that tough questions linger for me from last year: what if we’d missed the playoffs? how did we win like that with a such a marginal running game? were we really THAT good if we were lucky to make the playoffs? which was the real Packer team – the team that steamrolled through the playoffs or the team that only scored 3 points at Detroit?

Despite some of these lingering questions and despite my conscious effort to think of reasons to doubt the conviction I have in this team – it’s really hard to not like this Packer team. I like the guys we have coming back and the new guys in the fold. I actually don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the team this year has better personnel than the one last year (despite losing some guys). I do think the Jenkins loss will hurt some maybe initially, but that’s it. We’re better off at linebacker, great at corner, solid at safety, strong on the d-line, better and healthier at WR with Cobb in the mix and Driver healthy again, deeper at RB with Grant and Green, loaded at TE with Finley back, DJ Williams and 2 2nd year guys with valuable experience in Crabtree and Quarless, as good as we can be at QB and importantly, possibly much improved at O-Line.

Last year, the O-Line to me, wasn’t much above average though they did come together nicely at the end. This year, we’ll have Clifton, Wells and Sitton back – all 3 of whom are very solid (Sitton is fantastic). But we’ll also have a more experienced Bulaga and a likely upgrade at left guard in Sherrod (…I even think Lang would be an upgrade). I actually think one of the bigger changes for the o-line, especially if Sherrod gets the nod, could be run blocking. The Pack has had suspect run blocking now for a few years but something tells me that with the experience gained last year and with Colledge gone (a guy I think struggled significantly with run blocking), this line could not only excel at pass protection, but also get the job done on the ground. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if our running game catches more than a few folks off guard in the first half of this season.

Bottom line is – this should be a very good team this year and for the next few years in fact. This is a team loaded with “young veterans” as Nick Collins indicates in the article. And as Rodgers points out, each year the team is restocked by TT and the brain trust. I like Woodson’s thoughts on this: “”It’s fair to say we’ll be a good team…So do I think we’ll make another run this year or two? Absolutely. What happens after that, I don’t know. If we go on a five-year run, I’m going to be here. You can write that down.”

 


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