Packers XLV

OK, Let's Not Get Carried Away...

Posted August 17th, 2012 @ 02:08pm

Some of your non-Packer fan buddies are probably taking some subtle shots at you today. You got smoked by the Browns? At Lambeau? Better pray Rodgers doesn't get hurt.

OK, we'll give you that one. But I recall Rodgers looking awfully shaky the first few times we saw him in the preseason many moons ago. That said, Graham Harrell has done nothing to inspire confidence that he can step in and finish a meaningful game. Against the Browns, he and his fellow second teamers faced the Browns starters in the second quarter and he was unable to move the ball, finishing with a 1.7 passer rating.

It didn't get much better in the second half. I said it before the game and I'll say it after. Pluck Colt McCoy from Mike Holmgren for a #7 and cut Harrell loose. Yeah, it's fun to develop QBs, but Harrell is not far enough along right how to be counted on by a Super Bowl contender. Throw BJ Coleman onto the practice squad, Mike, and make him your next lab experiment.

As for the #1 offense, it controlled things when it was on the field. The Randall Cobb fumble was the most troubling play, killing a strong drive and continuing a new trend of putting the ball on the ground. That's the third turnover in five possessions for the first string offense. That needs to stop now. Rodgers was sharp and in rhythym. His TD pass to Jordy Nelson was a thing of beauty (and the catch was not too shabby either).

Defensively, not a great night for the starters. It started well, with a Charles Woodson strip that was recovered by rookie Casey Hayward, which led to the Nelson touchdown. Now, Matthews and Woodson were barely out there and the Pack didn't try anything to make rookie Brandon Weeden uncomfortable because it's a preseason game. But we saw lots of wide open receivers and some missed tackles--things we are hearing are being cleaned up this preseason.

I noticed rookie safety Jerrion McMillian throughout the game. Looks strong in run support and chased Weeden around once or twice. DJ Smith looks the part of a starter and we know that the rookies that will be asked to make an early impact got lots of reps and should get more and more comfortable.

The highlight coming out of this one: it looks like the team escaped any major injuries--always priority number one in the preseason. After losing Bishop and House last week, the team needed to come out of this one healthy and it looks like they did.

Hopefully by next Thursday's all-important third game, we'll have a healthy Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley on offense, to go along with Cedric Benson making his debut against the team that let him walk. Defensively, the starters should play through the first half, so we should get a good sense of where they are and how ready they are for the first game that counts, a little more than three weeks from now.

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Comments (8):

I, too, have not been very impressed with Harrell so far this year and need to see more but to be fair, one drive started on our own 1 yard line. Another ended in an INT when the TE slipped after Harrell had rolled out to avoid pressure and threw what looked like a nice pass. There are some things I see that I like in him. He seems to have a nice feel for the pressure and escaping the pocket when needed without getting happy feet. He seems to have a quick release once he makes his decision. He seems to pick the right WR to throw to. Unfortuately, it seemed like many of his passes last week and last night were slightly off target. Maybe too much adrenalin? I remain nervous with him as our backup but I was nervous with Flynn as our backup in the beginning also. I will trust the QB guru and teacher, McCarthy, in this matter (and hope Rodgers doesn't get hurt:) As far as the WR position goes, I continue to believe we need to trade somebody away as we have a lot of talented youngsters on the team and can't keep them all. James Jones would appear to be a logical choice to trade away but are there other options? What would we get in return for a Donald Driver (besides a lot of grief for TT)? What about trading away Jennings? What is our plan for Jennings? If we are planning on keeping him, let's get him signed before we cut these young WRs. If we are not planning on resigning him, then could we consider trading him away this year to 1)get some vaule back and 2)have a spot on the roster for one of these younger WRs.

on August 17th, 2012 at 01:27pm

There were about 18 guys who missed last nights game, so it's difficult to guage how good or bad the team is. Graham Harrell, while improved from last year, still isn't' ready for prime time. I'd be surprised if they didn't add another QB, but only at the right price. I don't like the idea of trading away any of the veteran receivers since the younger guys are still unproven and haven't proven to be very durable. And Randall Cobb, still shows a penchant for putting the ball on the ground. The running game looked horrid last night. Maybe the whole single back formation isn't all it's cracked up to be. I guess we'll see what Benson can do in it.

on August 17th, 2012 at 02:42pm

I'm in agreement with Al, I'm about 50/50 with Dave, and in principle I respectfully disagree with Trashman (to a point). With the way the Packers operate, draft choices are like gold - you don't just trade them away on what would essentially be an insurance policy. It's way too early to pummel the panic button into submission. I've been called being nuts about this before, but even with Harrell's performance last night I'm not ready to ship him down the river just yet. A lot of people have said it's "just" a 7th round pick like it's some sort of throwaway item. If we dump him now, the price for his replacement is too high, because everyone and their brother knows the Packers would be in buyer's mode, so naturally the price goes up. Let's wait until the cutdowns happen, and let the receiver's situation sort itself out. But I agree with Trashman on his assesment of Harrell. Sure he was shaky, but the other 10 in green jerseys didn't really do him any favors either. If everyone just does their jobs, they'll be fine.

on August 17th, 2012 at 04:11pm

Bill, the voice of reason I respectfully disagree with you. This is an opinion blog and yours are very insightful and well thought out. However, I followed the game yesterday and yes it is preseason but you can make and see mechanical moves and judgements in players and especially a QB. You can make excuses for Harrell and we know what MM can do with QB's... ala Flynn a former no. 7 draft choice but Harrell is not an NFL ready QB. He was great in the wide open run and shoot at Texas Tech.....but this is the NFL where arm strength and quick decision making is imperative....he has neither. Davy is right and I have said it repeatingly....TT go after Colt McCoy now...if he goes on waivers we will not get him and the Brownies know veteran backups are worth something. Yes...TT loves to keep and get draft choices but I believe McCoy is worth a 6th or 7th. If we wait too long and try the veteran scrapheap...we are talking the TJacks, Vince Young, Macnab types of trash. Hopefully our backup would only get a few snaps with Rodgers....but God forbid if Rodgers goes down with a concussion or whatever we cant turn to Harrell. If we are championship caliber we need a McCoy to step in. As to other concerns if we are to develop depth we need far better play out of our second string types especially on both lines and secondary. These first two games were very shabby and have not shown much depth standout....fundamental tackling and poor depth blocking. Yes...its early and preseason but you can see trends. GO PACK GO !!

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on August 18th, 2012 at 09:34am

Listen, I'M totally on the fence about Harrell, I've heard a number five for Colt and that seams high for I guy I'm not sure I trust either. My larger concern may be a mental state of the whole team. I'm really hoping this team doesn't think it is untitled to winning . Teams that think they are and think they are trying, well I've seen teams like that get crushed all season long. I know this team is caulk full talent, but last year will be hard to duplicate. It really going to up to the coaching staff to keep this team focused and listening. Heres to preseason glitters, go pack!

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on August 28th, 2012 at 08:19pm

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