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The first exhibition game: negatives and positives

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Greg C., Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Greg C.
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    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Negatives:

    1. The first string offense--Totally stunk. Didn't even come close to getting a first down. They kept trying short passes and the receivers couldn't get open at all, not even Driver. Conservative play-calling didn't help (McCarthy probably didn't want to get Favre killed by any blitzes), but the lack of separation by the receivers has got to be a concern, plus the run blocking was poor.

    2. The DB's--With Woodson and Harris sitting out, it was like the Keystone Kops back there. The worst of the worst: Atari Bigby (bad tackling, bad coverage), Marviel Underwood (looks like a total stiff out there), Patrick Dendy (burned deep once again).

    3. Special teams--The return units and coverage units both stunk, just like last year.

    4. Tight ends--The new and improved Bubba Franks looked just like last year's model, dropping the only pass that was thrown to him. Donald Lee did nothing (also just like last year).

    Positives:

    1. Aaron Rodgers--He now looks about as good as Brett Favre. He moves really well in the pocket, gets out of the pocket to buy time, and gained 20 yards on a scramble. His only really bad throw was the one where he missed a wide-open Robert Ferguson. Rodgers was moving to his right on the play, but Ferguson was so open that he never should've overthrown him. But overall, he was very good. He ran a decent two-minute drill at the end of the half, too.

    2. Cullen Jenkins--Two sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He was a beast out there.

    3. Kickers--Both kicked the ball consistently into the end zone on kickoffs and they each made their field goals. Crosby's was a 52-yarder that went into the net.

    4. John Ryan--His first punt was garbage--a 37-yard line drive--but the others were all good, including two inside the five yard line and another that landed on the one and bounced straight up but just barely touched the goal line when it came down. Maybe this two-step drop is helping him get more touch on these punts.

    5. Ruvell Martin and Carlyle Holliday--Both of them continue to outplay Robert Ferguson, and they both have some big-play ability. Great TD catch by Holliday.

    6. Justin Harrell--Got a sack and got a lot of quality playing time. Held up pretty well in there.

    7. James Jones--Several nice catches in the second quarter. Showed good awareness in getting out of bounds to stop the clock on the final drive of the half. Looked like a veteran receiver.

    What did others see out there that I haven't mentioned?
  2. porky88
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    porky88 Cheesehead

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    Once again I'll throw my thoughts in as well.....

    First I think your being hard on the special teams coverage. I thought they weren’t that terrible at all. Pittsburgh had one big run back and it was called back I believe. However penalties were awful tonight. Blackmon had one called back as well.

    1st team offense was awful. Like mentioned the play calling was poor as well. I think the play calling contributed a lot to that but nobody seemed ready for the game on the offensive side of the ball. Overall it was not pretty and they better show up next week or I'll be very concerned. Both McCarthy and the players. Play Calling was just down right ugghhhhhh....

    1st team defense was strong though. I thought they played great. The stop by A.J. Hawk and company on 3rd and 1 was fantastic. The Defensive Line is very strong. Cullen Jenkins looks like he's going to have a break out year. He was great in the scrimmage and great again tonight.

    Aaron Rodgers was the star of the show though. He was the clear cut player of the game. He's so much better now than he was a year ago. He looked as good as Matt Hasselbeck used to look for the Pack in preseason.

    Brandon Jackson started poorly but finally busted some nice runs. I thought in the 2nd half he looked much more confident. Now he wasn't against the starters at that time but you could tell he was hitting the holes faster than before and just seemed more in a "zone" so to speak. Still has a long ways to go.

    I like James Jones a lot. This guy really looks like he's going to be a player. He even has the right name to be a star in this league. "James Jones" just sounds like a future start. Seriously though he was the MVP of the 1st half and he's a lock to be the teams #3. Mark it down already IMO.

    Justin Harrell did okay. I was really happy to see him make a sack. Now you can say it wasn't against the 1st team offensive line all you want but the fact is we saw something encouraging out of him which is a huge plus for the team. That's the preseason is. Encouragement. If you can find some then your heading in the right direction.

    Carlyle Holiday better make this roster. That was a great catch for six. As good as the throw was, the catch was even better.

    I almost want to see the Pack keep two kickers. They both are great. Crosby's 52 yard Field Goal was very impressive.

    I have to mention the crap play of the safeties. Bigby is not ready to be a starter. The guy misses tackles left and right. Just poor play. Marviel Underwood had a chance at an interception had he kept running. Instead he hesitated and Holmes caught the long ball. If he doesn't get well soon then the Pack might be best to let him go. However as bad as Underwood was tonight, Atari Bigby was just horrible. Aaron Rouse might be forced to start by default.

    This team really needs Barnett and Hawk to stay healthy. They really have to be on the field in the nickel defense because they are so much better than anyone else in pass coverage.

    I'll single out some players here...

    Players I liked.....

    Aaron Rodgers, James Jones, Mason Crosby, Cullen Jenkins, A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Aaron Kampman, Ruvell Martin, Carlyle Holiday, Will Blackmon, the pass protection, and Noah Herron.

    Players I did not like

    Atari Bigby, Marviel Underwood, Desmond Bishop, Robert Ferguson, Bubba Franks, the run blocking, and Patrick Dendy.

    Player that I'm not so sure about

    David Clowney, Aaron Rouse, Brandon Jackson, Justin Harrell, and Donald Lee.
  3. Greg C.
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    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Thanks for your comments, porky. You're right, that long runback by the Steelers was called back because of a penalty. I forgot about that. I'm not sure if they had any other long runbacks, now that I think about it. But the coverage units still worry me. Is that vague enough?

    You know, Robert Ferguson just looks like a possession receiver now, and not even a very good one. I just don't see how they can justify keeping him on the roster anymore. I'm not even sure if he's still a good special teams player. He did get wide open on that one play where Rodgers overthrew him, but only because Rodgers scrambled forever to keep the play alive.

    I'm on the fence about Brandon Jackson too. He didn't show much in the first half, but he showed some nice moves later on. He looks kind of like Ahman Green, but not as strong, and he tends to move side-to-side a little more. Unless he gets a lot stronger, I don't think he will be as good at punching the ball into the end zone as Ahman was.

    I would like to see Aaron Rouse play earlier in the next exhibition game, especially now that Underwood and Bigby have played so poorly. Let's see what this kid can do. Still, it's looking like Marquand Manuel is the clear front-runner for the strong safety position.
  4. yooperfan
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    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    Once again,the 1st string the offensive line sucked. If this aspect of the game doesn't improve there will be no running game.
    Pass protection was good.
    The kickers were good.
    It was a good win and I think by opening day this team will be pretty damn good.
    I think Rodgers is going to be a an adequate NFL QB. I think he is seriously pushing Brett.
  5. jdlax
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    jdlax Cheesehead

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    I know I'm not exactly bringing up anything new here, but hearing about the weak play from the SS position is nothing but really worrisome. Putting it nicely, we all know that Manuel is really limited, and to hear that he's probably going to keep his position without too, too much trouble sucks. I would prefer it was something like DE that we had a glaring weakness at one of the starting positions, since safety is the last line of defence.
  6. Cal2GreenBay
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    Cal2GreenBay Cheesehead

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    So how many new Aaron fans were really supposed to be crow eaters
    and were saying stuff like "Aaron was a wasted pick?"


    Ah...come on...you can say it...hehe =)
  7. Yared-Yam
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    Yared-Yam Cheesehead

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    Rodgers was a wasted pick
  8. all about da packers
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    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    From what I've read (I didn't see the game) the starting O-line did a great job in pass protection.

    Considering this was a 3-4 alignment like we faced against the Chargers last year, the results are very encouraging.

    Last year's pre-season opener, Favre was pressured left/right/and center. This time around, things look to have gone more smoothly, which shows the improvement our young o-linemen (Wells, Spitz, and especially Colledge)
  9. Zero2Cool
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    Zero2Cool Cheesehead

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    I was impressed by Rodgers play. He was poised and in control even when scrambling. You could see the poise jus in his face and he made some decent throws.
  10. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    He looked light years ahead of last season... so maybe his live game action and disappointing results from last year drove him extra this offseason. I do feel better after watching tonights game, he had it together in read and progression, overall looked in control out there.

    Going into year three, he should have it, so it is a good sign.
  11. Tileman
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    Tileman Cheesehead

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    Rodgers was a big bright spot last night. I think he'll see some playing time with the 1st string this pre-season and deserves it.
  12. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Did anyone else catch the scheme that the steelers were using last night, there normal 3-4, however I want to watch it again today. It appeared that they were using Tomlin's experience with the tampa two behind the 3-4 front. Could be a difficult D to attack because you won't know which LB's will be dropping into the middle zone. Hence it may or will take away a few more of the slants or quick hitters in the middle.

    Back to the Packers...

    Good stuff...

    Arod looked much better, like lightyears, his time will come.

    Herron and Bjack looked decent in the running game, for what holes were there.

    Recievers.. Holiday and Jones are on this team, Jones #3 and CH #4. Martin looked pretty good, the rest of the recievers looked okay. Wonder if we keep 5 or 6 with one being nothing but a returner.

    Dline line looks dominant, all the way through. Muir looks to have alot of strength inside and Jolly got some push. My bet, we keep 6 tackles and 3 DE. KGB, Kamp and Jenkins outside with Williams moving out there as well. Unless we trade one of the big uglies inside we have alot of talent there.

    LB... I liked the play of the starters and I give more credit to Bishop than others above did. For his first game he looked good, he was in the right spots just a couple steps behind...

    CB - Bush will be our nickel back, just an early guess. Walker takes the #4 corner... I think Dendy is in trouble making this team, Williams might beat him out.

    Kickers, we have two of them that could and probably will start in the NFL... Packers have a tough choice to make.

    The bads...

    Starting Oline looked bad, maybe it was the 3-4 that exposed them, but not a good start.

    All the safeties looked lost and didn't keep everything in front of them. Again Underwood looks stiff and maybe doesn't have the confidence in his knee. Rouse can hit and wrap up, Bigby tried to knock everyones block off... problem didnt wrap up.

    I was disappointed in White, lacked the moves and vision, picked his spot and ran forward.

    Overall not bad for the first game, hopefully next week is a little more crisp.
  13. packedhouse01
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    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    Good analysis by everyone. I liked Jones and Holiday, and the defensive line. I've always thought Arog would be a decent quarterback, but let's be careful not to annoint him yet. The first string offense really concerns me early on. It doesn't mean it won't be a good group, but that line couldn't block anybody. The tight ends are going to be a concern if they don't do something to upgrade the position. The running back are too young. We do need a quality veteran back there to stabalize the offense. I'm also concerned about the depth of the offensive line, everybody is a kid. That spells potential disaster to me. It also spell thoughts of good things in the future, but for now, I am concerned.

    The kicking game looks solid. The return game is still a concern. I couldn't believe how many time I said last night, "block somebody." I also heard that they said that they've only had one day of tackling in practice. It sure looked like it in the secondary. If you get beat, at the very least, you have to be able to tackle.

    The team however appears to be well coached. That brings us hope. I don't believe we're outmatched in that department as we were in the Mike Sherman area.

    I see a lot of good things, but I also see a lot of work needs to be done.
  14. billv
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    billv Cheesehead

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    If the Packers don't keep Crosby as the kicker it will be a huge mistake. Rainer was just above average last year (remember how he totally struggled in the Bears game). Crosby could really be something special.
  15. Zero2Cool
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    I think we should trade one of the Kickers.


    edit, before someone tries to slam me on this, i know every team trusts we will have to cut one of them and would rather wait it out than waste a trade for the guy, but heck, ppl think we could have got something for Ahmad "holdem harry" Carroll why couldn't we get something for a solid kicker?
  16. CalifPacker
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    CalifPacker Cheesehead

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    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe at the end of camp.
  17. tromadz
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    tromadz Cheesehead

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    If TT went to someone and said "I'll trade you that guy for this kicker" it is likely the other GM will go "Oh, he's not keeping 2 kickers" and just wait till TT cuts one of them and maybe grab him then.

    thats my conspiracy theory of the day.
  18. Zero2Cool
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    Zero2Cool Cheesehead

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    Congratulations on stating exactly what I included in my post. Wonderful!!


    Who needs a kicker anyway? I think most teams are set, right?
  19. tromadz
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    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Congratulations on being a ..... !
  20. Zero2Cool
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    Zero2Cool Cheesehead

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    What teams are in need of a kicker? and do they have anyone we would want?
  21. all about da packers
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    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I think the Cowboys... if I remember correctly they had a competition going on with Gramitca included... yes THAT Gramitca who injured himself celebrating a kick he made.

    I also remember an article from a while back that stated the Giants had called and asked about Rayner, so there may be some interest there.

    I have to admit, I thought Crosby would struggle to compete against Rayner, but I was dead wrong. He's held his own quite well, which is awesome.
  22. Zero2Cool
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    hmm, maybe a package deal with the Cowboys... Rayner and a pick for Julius Jones??
  23. all about da packers
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    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I wouldn't mind adding a DT like Cole and a WR like Martin to that trade (along with the pick).

    But the problem would be that Jones would need time to grasp the O scheme, and wouldn't be a big factor early on.

    Also, Jones is 5 foot 10 inches and 210 pounds, very similar to VM and B-Jack, so the durability would still be a question.

    I wouldn't mind it though...
  24. Zero2Cool
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    Zero2Cool Cheesehead

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    I don't know Jones well, but from what I seen of him, durability wasn't an issue. I don't know him well enough to support his durability though. I do know he performs well when given the chance.
  25. Danreb
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    Danreb Cheesehead

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    Gimme a break. The Cowboys aren't gonna trade Jones (a first round pick) for a kicker, no matter how good he is.

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