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Extreme Makeover: things to key in on in tonight's game ...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Bruce, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    1. 2. & 3. The OFFENSIVE LINE, the OFFENSIVE LINE, (Oh, and did I mention) the OFFENSIVE LINE... Will the O-line play be offensive as in stinks, or will it be offensive as in aggressive? It will be filled with interesting tests -- starting with the two rookie guards Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz seeing their first NFL action. How Coston performs as a backup LT and where the depth will come from are all essential keys that we will be able to watch and start to form some informed opinions about for the first time -- rather than pure speculation and prayers. Seeing the progress on adapting to the zone blocking scheme in the running game and the rookies and first year players ability to protect the QB will be interesting and essential tests as well.


    4. THE Linebackers For all of the hype, this will be our first look at our revamped LB corp -- where only Nick Barnett is a proven performer in this system. I know the offensive line is key, but no position has undergone a more complete makeover than the LBs. All eyes will also be focused on A.J. Hawk, who has been alarmingly invisible over the course of the first two weeks of training camp - scrimmage included. Hawk has always been a game day performer, and this will get his first legitimate chance to show what he can do at the Professional level against real competition. Despite the hype, hard hitting rookie Abdul Hodge has some work to do in learning the intricacies of the passing game and adjusting to the speed of the game in the NFL -- where a bad angle ends in a big gain. We all know he can hit, and it will be fun to see him rock opposing RBs. At worst, he will be a solid backup MIKE LB, and if he can learn the above, he will be given the chance to compete at the SAM position. Newcomer Veteran Ben Taylor has earned a living in the NFL for 5 seasons (no small accomplishment) and is the starting SAM LB, despite some fans and writers desire to write him off and give his job away. I look forward to seeing how this big man will perform in Green and Gold outside of practice -- he certainly performed will against those colors last season. I don't expect to see Poppinga tonight, but when he does start to get action he will have something to say about how things shake out too. Who will nail down the 6th LB position? Like I said, a truely extreme makeover at this position.


    5. THE WRs Beyond Donald Driver being the #1 WR, nothing else is locked down. While impressive rookie Greg Jennings is assured of a roster spot, the preseason will go along way towards determining his playing time and relationship with Brett. Can he steal the #2 spot from the incumbent Robert Ferguson? Certainly Rod Gardner hasn't stepped up to challenge so far in training camp. There are some intriguing battles going on for roster spots that will continue throughout training camp. Other questions include: can Cory Rodgers hold on to the football and play more like the scrimmage than practice, where the comparison to Jamison has been muttered? Will Marc Boerigter show up as a stiff (as he looks most days in practice) or as a hungry big guy fighting for his NFL playing life? Will Ruvell Martin continue his impressive run at a roster spot? Where will the raw talents Chad Lucas and Leo Bookman stack up?


    bonus key: THE KICKING GAME: Do the Packers have an adequate replacement for Ryan Longwell? If so, is it Cundiff or Rayner? How will they perform under pressure. The same questions are true of the other kicking position, the punter. Jon Ryan clearly has the stronger leg, but can he get the kicks off fast enough? Can he consistently get hang time? Two essential ingredients to kicking in the NFL. If not can Sander handle the pressure of kicking with the lights on? Tonight will be the first real test for both of these young men who are waging an all out fight for the punting job.



    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???: TONIGHT IS THE FIRST REAL LOOK, despite the reality of it being a preseason football game. Turn on the tape, focus on your keys and ENJOY!!!
     
  2. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Well said Bruce. Will definitely be looking for that wihle I watch the game.

    Also I will be interested in seeing Bob Sanders calling the D plays, look forward to getting a first hand look at his philosophy/idea for the D. However I agree that the O-Line will be in the spotlight tonight.
     
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    I expect Sanders to do a great job, but think he will keep it pretty basic tonight. But I agree that will be worthy of paying attention -- this is a big step for him.
     
  4. IndiPack

    IndiPack Cheesehead

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    One thing's for sure about this year's Packers; there's nothing sure about this year's Packers. Whatever the outcome, hopefully it won't be as rude an awakening as the Bears got yesterday. Who would've thought an Alex Smith led 49er team would come in and dominate the Bear's starting defense?
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    A combination of Alex Smith showing what talent and hard work (showing up in SF everyday during the offseason) can do, mixed with da bears buying too much into the hype accomplished last season agaist less than credible competition. Da bears have a very good defense, but comparisons to their Super Bowl D are a joke -- one that Smith exposed quite well last night.
     
  6. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Actually, I have been thinking if it would be wise to play Driver at all tonight. We have 3 pre-season games to go after this, and I'd gradually throw him in for a quarter starting next week, and increase his load by a quarter for the remaining games. This would allow me to start Ferggy and Jennings, ultimately giving more time for both of them to show something, anything, to warrant their place as the #2 WR.
     
  7. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    Good stuff Bruce.

    I agree with everything and I also believe Jennings is the real deal and will ultimately win out on the #2 WR spot.
     
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    Not a good start, but not totally unexpected. The young guys struggled with facing a 3/4 zone blitzing defense. It is tempting to freak out by the poor performance, but it did establish a baseline that leaves a great deal of room for improvement :wink:

    Hawk started poorly but picked his game up as it went along. Hodge looked like a 3rd round rookie -- lost at times, bad angles and getting lost in traffic. He also made a couple of decent plays. Like the offensive line, this is an extreme makeover position and will take time to find its identity. IMO the talent is there, but there will be some early growing pains.

    Tough to gleen much useful information due to the poor pass blocking. Jennings had a couple of drops that were not acceptable, but also made some plays that support the excitement he has brought to GB. Driver needs to make that catch in the endzone -- yes, it was a bit high, but you cannot give opportunities like that away. Fergy made a nice adjustment on a poorly thrown pass for a big gain and was again a monster on special teams, but also disappeared at times. Was this because of the offensive line struggles or more of what has led to him being labelled a disappointment? We will have to see




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