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After Further Review: Packers vs. Washington

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After Further Review: Packers vs. Washington

Ross will provide a few observations every Monday afternoon following a Packers game based on a few viewings of the condensed version of the game on NFL GamePass.  While this might not be the All-22 camera deep dive that might be more "educational", it should provide a conversation point for the rest of the week.

Marwin Evans was awesome.  Whitehead was not.  Green Bay's defense is as deep and talented at the safety position as I can ever remember.  Clinton-Dix, Josh Jones, Morgan Burnett, Kentrell Brice and Evans all appear to be better than replacement level players.  What an incredbile disconnect from the safety position's struggles during the beginning of the Aaron Rodgers era.  MD Jennings and Jerron McMillian are distant, awful memories.  According to Pro Football Focus, Evans is allowing just 0.27 yards per coverage snap. He's a lock for the roster.  I'm just not impressed with Jermaine Whitehead.

Jason Spriggs was.... not good.  Kyle Murphy, though, was excellent.  Both players struggled against Philadelphia, but Murphy seemed to take a decided step forward in his work against Washington.  To my eye, I did not credit Murphy with a pressure allowed.  

Preseason Janis is a helluva drug.

Mike McCarthy is going to have a lot of fun drawing up this offense.  Green Bay can invert their formations and still have effective players all over the place.  Cobb and Bennett are effective enough on the outside that it causes all sorts of matchup problems for the opposition.  They're already a matchup problem in the more traditional 87, 18, 80, 17 lineup from left to right.  Green Bay's endless possibilities in "11" personnel are frightening, which makes no mention of the two tight end sets that will finally be a part of the Packers' attack.

If you believe in #JakeAndBlake, this was your game.  Martinez and Ryan were everything you could have possibly hoped they'd be as a tandem.  Frankly, Ryan was dominant, and has a real chance to be a star.  Maybe it's favoritism, but he just looks like a three down pro bowl linebacker to me, more and more with each game.  This was as good as I've seeen Martinez play in a Green Bay Uniform.

Brett Hundley is the best backup that the Packers have had under Rodgers.  It's not close.  The talent level on this team, with Hundley at QB is an 8-8, 9-7 or 10-6 club.  He should be able to produce a rescue of the season if anything were to happen to Rodgers for an extended period of time.  His 9/10 performance on Saturday evening should also help Green Bay in their quest to move him prior to the 2018 draft and secure draft capital.

The only thing that keeps Taysom Hill and Joe Callahan in the same discussion as a quarterback prospect is health.  Hill is a better, more talented player in almost every way, and much more a poor man's version of Rodgers that could keep the ship afloat than Callahan.  He should win the honorary spot on the practice squad as the Packers emergency QB in 2017.

Trevor Davis. Damn.

So much of this game should have been a Washington mismatch.  Green Bay's second teams had to deal with Washington's starters.  The scrubs dealt with Washington's second unit for long stretches, as well, including the Niles Paul over Cody Heiman touchdown.  It's a mild testament to the depth of the Thompson program that Green Bay was able to win this (admittedly meaningless) game.

Kevin King improved.

Not Joe Thomas' best game, at all.  Thomas is supposed to be on the roster for his coverage ability, but he was repeatedly in coverage trouble.  I'd prefer his snaps go to Josh Jones or Morgan Burnett when the season starts if he plays like he did against Washington.

 Reggie Gilbert is on the team.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

MarkinMadison's picture

I'd like to see Reggie Gilbert matched up against 1s before I get too geeked on him.

Different year, same Davis. He's not boring, that is for sure.

Murphy = Tausch. Spriggs = Verba.

egbertsouse's picture

Verba is Anthony Munoz next to Spriggs.

Spriggs=Post-steroid Tony Mandarich

Handsback's picture

You don't give up on Spriggs. He's got talent, but is going through a period when he can't get out of his own way. Spriggs’s is thinking too much and not reacting.

Gilbert fills a nice hole in the OLB position, and the Dline is making all the LBs look like All-pros.

You're right, the safeties are very good and the CBs are young, but when healthy can stop most offenses.

That leaves the rest of the pre-season wondering who the RBs will be. It's hard to see who can do what when they get such limited snaps. RBs and OTs are my personal worry spots.
One last JJ a game player verses a practice guy? Also is he that much improved over previous seasons?

Ross Uglem's picture

I'm not giving up on Spriggs. His talent level is immense. If he gets to a point where the light turns on, he'll be a real asset to the club.

mnklitzke's picture

I hope that light turns on soon as we have a lot invested in him. Traded a 4th to move up in the 2nd for him...

Mojo's picture

Glad to hear Ryan is playing well. Don't think he gets the cred he deserves. Keep hearing he's slow, but he was among the top performers in his 2015 LB draft class for 40 yard dash, 20 yard shuttle, 60 yard shuttle and 3- cone.

Both he and Martinez seem to be forgotten men in this new era of hybrids, but watch Jake kick some ass and take down numbers later.

Nick Perry's picture

Nice comment Mojo...I like Ryan too. Martinez was given a hell of a lot of responsibility last year wearing the "Dot" on his helmet as a rookie. I think with all the talk before the season on what a steal he was, how smart he is, and how well he did in coverage in college, the expectations were so high it was impossible to live up to. He'll get better as the game slows down.

Ryan WAS a steal IMO. He played all the LB positions at Michigan including OLB his Junior season IIRC. I remember watching him last season against the Giants in the playoffs thinking he was just getting better and better with each game. Jones and Burnett are going to take snaps from Martinez and Ryan, but both of our true "ILB" will make it easier to leave them on the field against most teams in coverage.

cuervo's picture

"Spriggs = Verba" - I wish he was playing that well.

Hundley had a good game, agreed...he was absolutely awful the first week...outplayed by both Callahan and Hill. Let's see what happens the rest of the pre-season before we start anoiting him the next Mark Brunell.

egbertsouse's picture

If Spriggs has talent he should go on American Idol because it must be in music, it's certainly not in football. I thought that I would never say these words but "I would rather see Barclay on the field than Spriggs."

RobinsonDavis's picture

I strongly felt last year that signing Tretter was very important to insure depth and continuity. His cap hit is only $3.7 million for the Browns this year. However, in retrospect, would that have helped with our tackle issues? I know Murphy played better, but regardless, consistency is the key, and so far, I lack that confidence with our back-ups. I really wonder if there may be interest in a trade of one of our back-up WRs for a veteran who will be a back-up in another offense, if required. I know about the Branden Albert thing, but I want a guy that is hungry, too. There just does not seem to be a lot of good options currently that I am aware of. So, best build Spriggs' and Murphy's psyches and keep coaching improvement.

Thank you for the honest assessment of our much maligned linebackers, Ross. Ryan and Martinez do appear improved and playing well. Here's hoping that Joe Thomas, Lowery,Tripp, & Matthews bounce back....quickly!

TJ Coon's picture

I was impressed by the 5th round rb Devante Mays? He seems to have a knack for picking up those few extra yards. Kenny Clark is a beast and he's still a kid. Jake Ryan has continued to surprise me. Marwin Evans will be special in this league very soon.The CB Pipkens? With his abilities, there should be no reason to keep Gunter. Hill brought a lot more fire than Callohan .Handsdown Hill is the guy. My favorite player of the night was Hundley. Command, consistent, in control, and as cool as a cucumber. Aaron has done a hell of a job cloning himself. Overall, I see several players taking that jump.
The thing that made this game practically unwatchable was a barely lucid Joe theisman drunk on the koolaid. If he wasnt throwing a tantrum about a nice body slam tackle that was NOT called a personal foul against GB, he was busy singing the non stop praises of a 29 yr old QB with a low completion % because of an arm with a rare genetic trait known as the noodle arm. O-VER-RA-TED! I was actually embarrassed for the man. He better ask someone.
Living in denial is easy to do when u r treated like a god from skins fans. Skins fans are doing no favors for this guy. Once they leave him well in the past, they will have a much better idea what kind of QB it takes to win a playoff game. Much less the Superbowl. Lol.

marcopo's picture

You never know until you know. In terms of of Thomas and Martinez, just read another pundit praising the heck out of Thomas. Claimed he had an all pro game. I'm in the middle. As far as Spriggs goes, he's had a terrible camp, but his talent is high grade. They'll give him more time, but it's a big concern.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I've been a big supporter of Joe Thomas. Really with the notion of having a coverage LB. Thomas was laughably bad last season against play action pass. He's had some trouble with coverage this season.

Joe Thomas is on the bubble for me.

croatpackfan's picture

I tend to agree with you. Ted might go with 3 ILB to open some other spots. They would have chance to call Joe Thomas if they will be in need. If he will be cut, I do not see him on other team!

marcopo's picture

He's on your bubble, however, he's a lock to make the 53.

PatrickGB's picture

Just a thought here, but didn't Ryan also play OLB before he was drafted? If so he can even be a backup when (not if) Clay and Nick gets injured and Fackrell disappoints. That saves a roster spot. If Balaga gets injured I would rather see Murphy in, if Bak gets hurt we are looking at a tough game and possible injury to Aaron.

MongoLikePack's picture

"Preseason Janis is a helluva drug." Tou che sir, tou che!

I think, for once, we have two legit 3rd-string QBs. They both have legs which I think is the most realistic route a 3rd stringer is going to make things happen in a pinch. So we're in a good place to release both on cut down day and put whichever one is not claimed by another team on the PS, then pay whoever it is a full salary and we are set then for the year at QB. Hundley seems like a good #2. I'd be curious how you might rate the top 10 "#2 qb's" in the league as it stands now (tho it might be a little early to tell).

I hope Hawkins makes the team - he impressed me the most of anyone other than Hill.

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