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...
- David Bakhtiari––The rookie left tackle couldn't have acquitted himself any better in the absence of starter Bryan Bulaga who has been lost for the season to a torn ACL. The first thing that jumps out about Bakhtiari is is athleticism. In one game, he proved to be able to hold his own on an island out at left tackle, which is rather amazing for any first-year player, let alone a mid-round draft choice. He also looked surprisingly well in the run game, particularly in his ability to get to the second level.
- Tyrone Walker––The undrafted rookie out of Illinois State took advantage of a wide receiving corps missing its stars in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, not to mention injured seventh round draft choices Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. Walker was a security blanket for quarterback Graham Harrell and led the team in receiving with five receptions for 41 yards. There's no doubt that he's making a push for a spot on the 53-man roster.
- Offensive starters that played one series––Consider that the offense marched 86 yards on the first drive of the game and gained only 132 yards the entire rest of the game. The early performance was due in large part to players like Aaron Rodgers, James Jones, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Evan Dietrich-Smith that exited after just one series. Add in players like Nelson, Cobb and Eddie Lacy to the mix, and there's should be little reason for worry that the No. 1 offense will be able to put up yards and points in bunches.
- Defensive starters that played two(ish) series––The Packers defense prevented the Cardinals offense from scoring on the first two drives of the game and allowed only 44 yards. With the exception of Davon House, they generally played well and shut down the run almost entirely. Players like Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Morgan Burnett all looked solid in forcing two early punts by the Cardinals. The defense will be crossing their fingers that Datone Jones' sprained ankle is not severe, but even C.J. Wilson looked good in stuffing the run in Jones' place.
- The backup quarterbacks––Graham Harrell was responsible for two turnovers, the first on a telegraphed interception to Patrick Peterson. By the time he exited, Harrell completed 12 of 19 passes, but only for 76 yards, an average of 4.0 yards per attempt. Vince Young showed a little mobility but only connected on one of three passes. And B.J. Colman completed only two of seven passes for 15 yards. None of the three looked competent, perhaps only reinforcing the idea that the team could be in trouble if anything were to happen to Rodgers.
- Davon House––House didn't look comfortable in coming back from last season's shoulder injury. After allowing a completion to the Cardinals' Michael Floyd on the first play from scrimmage, House later bounced Larry Fitzgerald following a short completion on the second drive of the game, showing no interest in making a physical tackle. On the third drive of the game, House was responsible for coverage on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to Andrew Roberts, getting beat deep. The secondary really appeared to miss Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward to injury.
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 protected].
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