Our weekly “Chips Report” will always include two blue chippers (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chippers (good, though maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the annual intra-squad scrimmage Saturday night at Lambeau Field…
- Graham Harrell––Harrell displayed a command of the Packers offense at Packers’ Family Night on Saturday and looked significantly better that B.J. Coleman, his competition for the No. 2 quarterback job in Green Bay. Harrell led the offense to a touchdown on the seventh drive of the scrimmage, a 16-yard swing pass to running back Angelo Pease. He also led the team to a field goal on drive No. 3.
- The No.1 offensive line––For all the shuffling that went on during the offseason, the Packers offensive line looked downright dominant on Saturday evening. Granted, they were competing against the second-string defense, but there’s no doubt they took a step in the right direction. Better yet, seven players received playing time with the offensive line––Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Marshall Newhouse, Don Barclay and David Bakhtiari––and every one of them looked good. With that kind of performance, there’s reason to believe the sacks taken by Aaron Rodgers will decrease.
- Eddie Lacy––It doesn’t appear to be just wishful thinking that the Packers’ run game will improve in 2013. If Lacy’s showing on Saturday night was any indication, he’ll make a major impact on the Green Bay offense. He ran with power and always seemed to be falling forward, at times making something out of nothing. It’s early, but he ran with more decisiveness than fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin.
- Datone Jones––Had it been a game environment and defenders were actually allowed to hit the quarterback, Jones may have put a devastating hit on B.J. Coleman on the fourth drive of the game. Facing third-and-13, the drive came to a close when Jones closed on Coleman and the play was called dead. All evening long, Jones looked like the real deal, holding his own against the Packers offensive line.
- Mason Crosby––Not only did Crosby go 2-for-6 on field goals on Saturday night, his misses included a 46-yarder off the upright, a miss from 53 yards far right of the goalpost and two misses from very makable distances of 33 and 37 yards. Crosby has to be on very thin ice after converting only one-third of his field goals, and displaying the same difficulties he had a season ago. He must get better and fast. The Packers can’t allow struggles this bad to continue for long.
- B.J. Coleman––For someone vying for the backup quarterback job, Coleman has to play better than he did Saturday night. He threw two costly interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown by first-year player James Nixon and the other occurring in the end zone, picked of by Brandon Smith, another unheralded cornerback. Coleman’s timing was off and he stared down his receivers. If the season started today, Harrell would be the better option.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” and editor of Cheesehead TV’s “Pro Football Draft Preview.” To contact Brian, email email@example.com.