The most newsworthy thing to come out of the Packers lockerroom on Sunday was Aaron Rodgers' pointed frustration with the offense, and in particular his coach's playcalling. The most notable news on Monday was the sobering revelation that rookie safety Morgan Burnett has an ACL tear and is lost for the season.
First, Rodgers' rants: he wanted to spread the Lions out and play more three and four receiver sets to "put the best players on the field." I get it: but the Lions' front four is among the best the Packers will face this season. Until the Pack's OL proves it can handle protection assignments without the assistance of a tight end or a fullback, the coaches need to make sure of one thing: that their franchise QB stays vertical. One look at what the Giants did to Jay Cutler in the first half Sunday night reminds everyone that QBs are one big hit way from getting their brains scrambled.
The Pack's offense is out of synch. We can thank the Ryan Grant injury for a majority of the reason why. And unless Ted Thompson shocks us all and swings a deal for a veteran running back in the next two weeks, the offense will have to evolve into a version of the '07 Patriots.
McCarthy shook off Rodgers' complaints, saying "players play and coaches coach." That's coach-speak for 'give it a rest, Aaron. After all, two uncharacteristic picks by the QB helped turn the Lions game into a nail biter.
The Burnett injury is disappointing on a number of levels, first for the kid who was making some mistakes on the field but seemed to be growing into the job. It's a woefully thin position for the Pack, who will turn to Derrick Martin or Charlie Peprah, at least until week 7, when Atari Bigby is eligible to return.
And it gets worse for the defense: word out of Green Bay is that Brandon Chillar's shoulder injury may be serious, like season-ending serious. It's a shoulder that's been operated on before and they can't tell what is scar tissue and what is a new injury. We should have a clearer prognosis later in the week, but the potential loss of Chillar is a big blow to the Pack's pass defense and will have McNabb and TE Chris Cooley licking their chops thinking about Sunday's matchup.
The Pack's 3-1 and no one is glowing. That's a good sign. The two cream puffs on the schedule are in the rear view mirror and the schedule is going to start to get tougher. The NFC is absolutely wide open right now--it kind of feels like 11 or 12 wins is going to get you a bye. This team still has time to find itself, but it might want to accelerate the process.
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