Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Preseason
Packers beat Rams
The Packers got an exhibition win over the Rams on Saturday night. I didn’t get a chance to watch the game, but here is what I gathered about the Packers’ performance from those Tweeting while watching: First-team offense looks good, Johnny Jolly took a giant step forward, Micah Hyde has promise, Eddie Lacy is big and tough, the Packers don’t have a kicker, pass-rush from players on the first-team defense not named Clay Matthews isn’t there, D.J. Williams keeps dropping passes. For a more in-depth recap of the game, be sure to check out Jersey Al’s post.
Williams ready for week 1?
Out with a knee bruise since July 30, cornerback Tramon Williams said he should be ready for the season-opener against the 49ers. Of course, in the same interview, Williams also said he thought he’d be back by now. Never trust a player’s timetable for returning from an injury. Players always claim that the injury “isn’t that bad” or “should only take a couple of days.” They’re rarely right. I’m no doctor myself, but given how cautious the Packers are with injuries, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Williams misses at least the 49ers game.
Woodson praises Rodgers
Former Packers defensive back Charles Woodson doesn’t understand why Greg Jennings and Donald Driver were questioning Aaron Rodgers’ leadership lately. As soon as Jennings started spouting off, I remembered an interview Rob Demovsky — former Packers beat writer with the Green Bay Press Gazette and now at ESPN — did on Packer Transplants where he called the Packers wide receiving corp “the biggest group of frontrunners he’s ever been around.” It’s scary how I remembered that quote, but it’s looking more and more like Mr. Demovsky was spot on.
Grading Packers’ rookies
Here’s a nice report card of the Packers rookies’ through three weeks of training camp. If I was the teacher, I’d probably put tackle David Bakhtiari and Datone Jones at the top of the class. I don’t think any parents need to be called in for a special conference yet.
Greene invents a new word
Outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene thinks Mike Neal has the ability to play both on the defensive line and as an outside linebacker. Greene even invented a new word — “explosibility” — to describe Neal’s game. I suppose Neal has a shot to make this work if they only use him as a pass rusher when he stands up outside. But if they ever ask him to drop into coverage, God help us all. To me, Neal is at his best when operating on the interior of the defensive line. He’s slimmed down to about 275 pounds now, which means moving him back inside full time probably would be tricky. Nightmare scenario: Clay Matthews gets hurt, leaving Nick Perry and Neal to play outside linebacker. Perry and Neal both drop into coverage at the same time. The world ends…
Packers depth slipping
Brian Carriveau over at Cheesehead TV says the Packers quality of depth is deteriorating, and on the surface, he’s right. Depth and getting hot in December and January are the keys to winning in today’s NFL (along with a stud QB, of course), and right now, it’s tough to say that the back end of the Packers roster is filled with quality depth. But how many times have we not considered a Packers player “quality” just because we’ve never heard of him, or he has no previous professional track record to stand on? I’m guilty of falling into this trap myself. Give the Packers depth some time to finish camp and develop. I bet a lot of these guys will turn into quality as long as injuries don’t press them into duty before they’re ready.
News and Notes
- Registration is open for Throwback Weekend III, Oct. 19-20 when the Packers play the Browns. My wife is set to give birth to our first kid on Oct. 5, so doubtful I’ll be there. But don’t let that stop you from attending. It’s a great time and I can’t recommend it enough.
- Randall Cobb’s arm hurts. Cobb’s durability has always worried me. He’s not a big man, and he was obviously hobbled at the end of last season.
- Mike McCarthy views DuJuan Harris as his No. 1 running back. Now that Harris has finally returned to practice, we’ll see if he’s still the No. 1 a few weeks from now.
- Marques Eversoll, Thomas Hobbes and Jason Perone had Green and Gold Today co-host Bill Johnson on No Huddle Radio this week. Be sure to check out the other podcasts this week from the Packers Talk Radio Network.
- I know this is off-topic, but I can’t help myself. Those of you that have read Surviving Sunday throughout the offseason know that I enjoy playing general manager simulation games like Out of the Park Baseball and Fast Break Pro Basketball 2013. I stumbled across a different type of sim this week — Title Bout Championship Boxing. If you’re a fan of the Sweet Science, check it out. It’s a fun game.