On the calendar today, the Packers return to the practice field at 6:30 p.m. Observers will have an eye on Al Harris who is rumored by the National Football Post to return today ...
The Packers could be auditioning Jason Spitz for other teams suggests Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The odd man out in the fight for the final starting spot on the offensive line, Spitz has stopped playing three positions and is being used solely at center," writes Silverstein. Given that the Packers have several capable options not in the starting lineup, it makes sense that they could trade away an offensive lineman before the start of the regular season.
The decision to withhold Charles Woodson from this past Saturday's preseason game at Seattle is rationalized by Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "Woodson didn’t travel to play the Seattle Seahawks because coach Mike McCarthy wanted to save the 33-year-old cornerback from playing on Qwest Field’s artificial surface, especially with a quick turnaround for a Thursday preseason game at Lambeau Field," writes Dougherty. It figures that Woodson will play a more significant role in the third preseason game this Thursday against the Colts when teams typically play their starters a half or more.
Commenting on the Dougherty article is our own Aaron Nagler here at Cheesehead TV who says he isn't worrying about the state of the defense after two substandard showing in the preseason. "There are way too many moving parts and way too much going on behind the scenes to judge anything when it comes to this defense," writes Nagler. "Am I worried that Andy Reid will turn these guys inside and out on opening day? Of course I am. But I’m also confident that we have not seen even an inkling of what this defense will truly look like once the games matter." It just goes to show that you can't put any stock into the preseason performance from a team standpoint. At all.
The Packers haven't really tested the running game much with the No. 1 offense so far this preseason notes Silverstein. "In two exhibition games, starting running back Ryan Grant has carried the ball eight times, two fewer than the team's three quarterbacks," writes Silverstein. With Grant shouldering such a big burden in the regular season, they likely want to keep the pounding on his body to a minimum during the preseason. The Packers are who they are, and their approach to the running game probably will differ little than previous seasons.
Mason Crosby's recent improvement is detailed by Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. "The Green Bay Packers kicker opened training camp with punters/holders Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan by making just six of his first 11 attempts in practice, but he’s now made 15 kicks in a row (and 23 of his last 25) following his 34- and 51-yard connections during the Packers’ 27-24 preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field," writes Wilde at ESPNMilwaukee.com. With a lot of people getting so down on Crosby after a couple of below average seasons, this comes as good news. Now it just has to continue into the regular season when it really counts.
Wilde also goes behind the scenes with the story of Maurice Simpkins and how he caught the eye of assistant director of pro personnel Eliot Wolf. “As soon as I got his email address, I emailed him. And after every game, I would email him," Simpkins is quoted as saying. "I stayed in his ear, stayed in his ear. And every game I would play with the Blizzard, I would go home, download the game, put plays together, send them to Eliot. ‘This is what I can do. This is what I can do.’” lt's a great story for Simpkins to get his big breakthrough. Unfortunately for him, he still figures to be a longshot even for the practice squad. Hopefully for his sake, his opportunity will allow him to catch the eye of other NFL teams.
It's becoming apparent that tight end Tom Crabtree has a very, very realistic shot at making the 53-man roster, and Wilde agrees. "Right now, all signs point to the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Crabtree getting one of those spots on the 53-man roster, no matter how many tight ends [general manager Ted] Thompson chooses to keep," writes Wilde. "Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin absolutely loves the kid and says Crabtree is already the group’s best in-line blocker, while special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum has made Crabtree a core player on his coverage and return units."
The punter cut in the fight between Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan could end up being a waiver wire pickup for another NFL team. “It’s going to be very difficult,” special teams coach Shawn Slocum is quoted as saying by Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I have a feeling we will likely see the other guy in the league. These guys both have that potential. It’s a great problem to have.” Unfortunately, neither probably brings any trade value to the Packers however. Any team that really wants them knows they could more than likely wait until one of them are cut.
Slocum also gives some insight about the 54-yard kickoff return by the Seahawks to Greg Bedard of the Journal Sentinel, and in particular touches on the performance of Donald Lee. "(Lee) needs to turn the ball inside," said Slocum. "He avoided the double team. When you have a double team you have to at least hold your field position. They’re taking two guys against one, it’s a trade off. Someone’s going to be free somewhere. When he avoided inside, it opened a field lane." The lack of speed by Lee on kickoff concerns me personally. I'm not sure he's a good fit for that particular special teams unit.
This comment by "Jersey" Al Bracco made me laugh. "Jarret Bush is always the first one down the field on kickoffs and punts, and the first one to do nothing while he’s there," writes Bracco. It's pretty accurate too. Bush is not the premiere special teams player many make him out to be.
Bryan Bulaga should be the starter at left guard says Michael Rodney of Packer Update. "Daryn Colledge has done absolutely nothing wrong this summer, but Bryan Bulaga should be the starting left guard at Philadelphia," writes Rodney. "The rookie was solid against Cleveland and he was even better on Saturday night. Bulaga’s strength makes him almost impossible to bull rush, and while he needs to improve his technique in the run game, that will come with experience."
The play of backup quarterback Matt Flynn has encouraged Chris Lempesis of Ol' Bag of Donuts. "Flynn (10-of-20, 130 yards, one interception) was much, much better than his numbers would indicate," writes Lempesis. "His confidence and poise were better than they’ve been throughout camp thus far and he showed good decision-making, as well. He moved well in the pocket and, for the first time in 2010, gave me confidence that this team could survive for a stretch with Flynn if something happened to Rodgers (God forbid). Because, you know, Flynn could actually work with linemen who can block and receivers who can catch, in that scenario."
Railbird endorsed video: It's the triumphant return of Lounge Center ...
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