As we wait for word on the final roster, I wanted to share a few observations about last night's game and the preseason in general.
1. I know McCarthy stated he ran with the no-huddle in the second series because they hadn't gotten much work in it from scrimmage in the preseason, but he should keep it as part of his base offense. With a veteran QB like Favre pulling the strings, and the emerging talent at the wide receiver position, the no-huddle could easily offset the expected anemic output from the running game. It may even set up the run, with defenses forced to keep a nickel back on the field, if the offense runs from a three-wide set. I'm not saying use it every series, but it seems silly that young quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer are being given a wide berth when it comes to running some no-huddle, while the most experienced quarterback in the league is tied down in a somewhat predictable West Coast Offense.
2. Lost amid all the "drama" of the kicking battle is the fact that the punting has fluctuated this preseason from alright to downright putrid. How is it that Jon Ryan still has a job? Again last night we were treated to one of his famous shanks and a line-drive punt that pretty much gave the coverage team zero chance to get down the field and do their jobs, which resulted in a return for a touchdown. If Thompson is smart, he'll be looking for a punter on the wires or working to trade for one. It is inexcusable to head into the season with Ryan as the punter.
3. DeShawn Wynn, welcome to the practice squad.
4. Desmond Bishop was exposed yet again last night. Despite the monster hits he put on Reggie Williams last week, Bishop continues to struggle not only in coverage (which is to be expected from a rookie linebacker) but with his tackling as well, which has been atrocious. God forbid Nick Barnett goes down for any period of time...
5. Not sure if anyone else heard Larry McCarren mention it during the radio broadcast last night, but Carlyle Holiday has been taking a few snaps in practice at the quarterback position. (As most of you know, Holiday was a college quarterback) I had not read this little tidbit anywhere on the web, and it's quite telling when it comes to the quarterback position in general. Look for third string quarterback Paul Thompson to be cut and for the Packers to head into opening weekend with only two quarterbacks for the first time in the Brett Favre era.
6. According to Packer Update, a sort-of 'Pro Football Talk'-derivative dedicated to the Packers, Thompson is shopping Colin Cole and Dave Rayner. I note it only to approve of the use of Cole as the trade bait. While I admire his grit and determination, he is simply not a dynamic enough player to warrant keeping an extra DT in the mix. I would much rather use that roster spot on Birdine or Hunter at the DE position, where we already have Montgomery out for an extended period of time and an injured KGB.
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