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"Chips Report" From Packers Preseason Loss Vs. Browns

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"Chips Report" From Packers Preseason Loss Vs. Browns

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 preseason week one loss to the Cleveland Browns...

Blue Chips

  • Morgan Burnett––The second-year safety showed why he's the front runner to win the starting spot opposite Nick Collins in the secondary. Burnett showed the aggressive, ball-seeking style in the run game he didn't always show in limited action a year ago. On back to back plays in the first quarter on the Browns' second drive of the game, he came up to the line of scrimmage to stuff hard-running Peyton Hillis for a one-yard gain and then followed that up by charging up on a completion from Colt McCoy to Evan Moore to bring down the tight end for a one-yard loss on third-and-1 to force a punt. Very impressive.
  • Josh Gordy––In a game where his fellow cornerbacks did very little of note, Gordy stood out as a playmaker. Late in the third quarter he sacked quarterback Seneca Wallace for a seven-yard loss on a corner blitz showing no hesitation. He also got little recognition for a fourth-quarter interception of quarterback Jarrett Brown, at least from the television broadcast, when linebacker Clay Matthews was being interviewed on the sideline and the announcers didn't even acknowledge Gordy's INT.

Red Chips

  • Randall Cobb––The second-round draft choice was everything Packers fans hoped for so far. His most impressive contributions came on offense by showing sure hands and the ability to pick up hards after the catch. Cobb led the team with 60 receiving yards on only three receptions and showed a rapport with backup quarterback Matt Flynn. He also returned two kicks deep in the end zone and averaged a respectable 29.0 yards per return. On his one and only punt return, though he gained zero yards, he displayed elusiveness by making the first tackler miss on a punt he probably should have called for a fair catch.
  • Matt Flynn––Flynn showed why he'll be a highly sought-after quarterback when this season is over. Though he didn't get much playing time with any starters, he completed 11 of 18 passes for 126 yards with one touchdown pass and zero interceptions. He took the team from a 14-7 deficit to a 17-14 lead by the end of the first half by leading two scoring drives, one leading to a field goal and another on a hook up with tight end Spencer Havner in the end zone on a pass that was intended for Tori Gurley and tipped to Havner.

Cow Chips

  • Marshall Newhouse––Playing right tackle, Newhouse got beat off the snap several times by speed moves by the Browns pass rushers. In Newhouse's defense, he appears to have gotten a majority of his practice time on the left side of the offensive line during training camp. It makes you wonder why the coaching staff hasn't given him much time on the right side if that's where they plan on playing him in game situations. If Newhouse is able to get more reps on the right side during practice, it's worth watching to see if he can bounce back.
  • Pat Lee––Despite getting a ton of playing time from the first quarter to the fourth quarter thanks to several injuries at the cornerback position, Lee did little to distinguish himself. On the touchdown pass from McCoy to Josh Cribbs, Lee simply wasn't able to swing his head around in time. On a few other snaps he was trailing in coverage. It's imperative that he improve as the month of August progresses, because he's on the fence as far as a roster spot is concerned.
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

dgtalmn's picture

I was not impressed with Lang. He completely missed the LB stun when Harrell got sacked and fumbled. Then I saw he was replaced as LT.

MarkinMadison's picture

I thought he looked decent at LG. I focused on him for a couple of series, and I thought that he was winning in the passing game. I honestly don't care how he looked at LT, because I don't think he's likely to play there under any scenario.

Jersey Al's picture

The browns overloaded that side, sending four rushers. Lang actually did what he is supposed to do - take the inside rusher. D.J. Williams, who was in the backfield to help, chose to go inside after Lang's man, who was already being blocked and never saw the outside rusher. That one is on Williams.

Oppy's picture

You weren't impressed with Lang?

I watched Lang exclusively up until Newhouse was inserted at RT.

Lang was impressive, in my opinion. And let me be clear, when I say I watched Lang until Newhouse went it, what I mean is I didn't watch ANYTHING but Lang from snap till play completion.

jeremy's picture

So how did Lang impress you since you watched him so closely? I'd be interested to know...

andrew harman's picture

lang at guard was solid at tackle not as much i think lang should be the starter at guard going off of this game tho

Oppy's picture

Consistently won his matchup would be the catch all statement.

At times he drove his man straight back into the second level.

Got out to the second level and got on a body on run plays.

Depending on what happened on the Graham Harrell play, I didn't see him make any overt mental mistakes.

two or three times he was left without a body to block, and he remained calm and focused with his feet chopping and his head on a swivel looking for someone to block without drifting out of position or committing to an unnecessary double team. He stayed low in his stance and kept his hands up all night. Playing in wide open space can be a difficult thing for a young lineman and they can get in a lot of trouble doing so if not careful.

Lang has pop in his punch that is probably unmatched on our line outside of Josh sitton.

That's what I saw. I'm no scout, so I reserve the right to be wrong. :)

jeremy's picture

Thanks, good to know.

BrianD's picture

I agree with all of your picks here. I also thought Crosby had a strong showing after a short week of practice due to injury. On his field goal attempt, his kick went right down the middle (thank God!) and he did his job well on kickoffs.

I know Gordy had the two flashy plays, but how well did he perform in coverage?

bryce's picture

I thought Lee looked terrible. Cut him, he has looked more like a 7th rounder than a 2nd rounder...and even then...

JohnRehor's picture

We can only hope that the reason Newhouse looked so bad was because of his lack of practice at right tackle. Terrible isn't a strong enough word to describe his play last night.

aussiepacker's picture

I thought Harrell played better than his stats showed, I was surprised we didn't run more, I was impressed with Cobb on returns and i thought he reminded me of Driver on offense when he cought the ball and i think Gordy will replace Underwood or Lee on the 53 man roster?

packeraaron's picture

"I thought Harrell played better than his stats showed" - totally agree.

Jersey Al's picture

Harrell just looked really nervous about the pressure. When he had time, he did a great job finding the right receiver and putting the ball where it belonged.

Bomdad's picture

I didn't watch closely. Did Harrell mishandle every snap from under center? He was in the gun each time I was paying attention, or bobbling the rock trying to drop back.

PackersRS's picture

He struggled when his first read didn't make the play, or if protection broke down, he didn't find his checkdown receiver quick enough.

Otherwise Harrell looked poised and accurate.

He needs more time to settle, to be completely comfortable with the playbook and defensive formations.

ZeroTolerance's picture

And Lee missed badly on an open-field tackle.

jack in jersey city's picture

that was really embarrassing. i hope that guy gets his sh!t together

BubbaOne's picture

Red Chip candidate:
Reaffirming the last half of last year was no fluke, our punter is on his way of earning the nickname "Mastay the Master".

Gordy made plays so I get the "blue chip". And yet I also want to know how he did in coverage overall.

PackersRS's picture

Does anyone question the punter anymore? When Masthay is going to punt, does anyone worry he might do something stupid?

It's been a long, long time since I trusted the punter. When we're going to punt, I expect him to make a great one every single time. I still fear a return, because our ST coach is a moron and our coverage unit is awful, but Masthay nails the punt almost every time.

Chip Soup's picture

Worst thing Masthay can do is outkick the coverage! Maybe Brian will throw him a bone next time...

jeremy's picture

If Mastay keeps this up he is going to become a Probowler.

PkrNboro's picture

I've never been a big Pat Lee fan. He's never given the value I thought appropriate for a 2nd round pick (although that's not his fault, I suppose...) -- much like BJAX.

This is Lee's 4th year -- look at other 4th year players on the team: Sitton, Finley, Nelson, Flynn -- he's nowhere near his peers.

Lee is listed at 6'0" and 196 lbs; Gordy is 5'11" and 195 lbs. The inch and the pound difference won't matter when Lee's yards away from where he needs to be. I'd go Gordy (a first-year player) in lieu of Lee...

Hey Guys/Gals: can we get some more feedback on the oLine play ???

Jersey Al's picture

overall O-line play was not good, but what can we really tell with all the shuffling around of positions they were doing? Obviously, they just wanted to get tape of guys at certain positions.

Mr Manager's picture

The shuffling of o-line players seems to be part of the coaching staff thinking about the weekly 46-man active roster, not only about the 53-man roster. There's normally 8 o-line active, right? If Clifton goes down during a game, do you flip Bulaga to LT? Then someone on the 4-man needs to play RT. So try Newhouse there and see if he can do it. Or maybe you leave Bulaga at RT and Lang/Sherrod (whoever isn't the LG starter) comes off the bench and plays LT. So even though it makes the overall line play sloppier/less-cohesive, it's not random shuffling. The coaching staff needs to replace Colledge at LG, but they also need to replace Spitz at G/C backup and maybe Lang at G/T backup (if Lang is the LG starter).

andrew harman's picture

exactly what mr manager said

Oppy's picture

Spitz's back up duties are pretty much covered by McDonald or EDS at center (although they are works in progress at C, but it's not like Spitz was a veteran Center, either).

McDonald, Schlauderhoff, EDS would be expected to back up at both G positions.

Sherrod/Newhouse would be expected to back up LT and LG spots. Newhouse can't be thought of as anywhere near ready to take on RT, that much we saw. Can Sherrod move to RT if need be? Don't know.

You're right, Lang as a starter causes our depth at LG,RG, and RT to drop off significantly. I guess that begs the question: Are the Packers better off having Lang, who in my opinion is the best option to start at LG, actually become the starting LG knowing that injuries on the OL could force them to either shuffle multiple positions around or force them to insert a player who's not quite ready into the starting lineup?

..Or are the Packers better off putting a guy who's maybe a step behind Lang in at LG as the starter- maybe a guy like SHerrod who would probably benefit from a season's worth of experience before moving over to LT, but who clearly isn't as ready for the job as Lang is- knowing that Lang would be the best option to back up both guard positions and right tackle? No shuffling around, no panic- someone goes down at L/R G or RT and Lang plugs right in?

Tough spot.

Mr Manager's picture

It will be interesting to see if Sherrod gets any plays at RT in the next couple of games. If he can handle it, the coaches have easier decisions on gamedays.

To answer your question, it's unclear whether the team would be better off not shifting linemen when one goes down (the Lang as super-backup scenario), but McCarthy's message is pretty consistent that they want the best 5 guys out there on every play. So if they decide that Lang is definitely better than Sherrod at LG, Lang will be the starter. And he might also be the backup at RG and RT (and LT?), so if someone goes down, the shuffle begins.

Another thing to think about -- these scenarios are all about in-game substitutions. For a long-term injury, less-versatile guys like Newhouse (if he continues to struggle away from LT) become part of the 46-man active roster planning.

PackersRS's picture

I still contend you can't teach ball awareness. Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson and Sam Shields have it. Jarrett Bush and Pat Lee don't. If they get turned around, they can't locate the ball in the air, and they can't turn around in the right time.

If they're facing the QB near the LOS, they play well. But ask them to cover deep, and it's a mismatch every time.

Can't have a CB who can't cover deep in this league. Bush at least gives versatility and ST value.

Lee adds nothing.

PkrNboro's picture

I think another consideration is discipline. I don't think these guys "cover" their receiver. They're peeking into the backfield, trying to spy the quarterback -- and they miss a cut or move, and then they're scrambling to catch-up.

They have to understand that to cover their man, they have to focus on their man -- even if it means they lose sight of the ball. Because, if they lose that focus (by trying to cheat; spy the ball; etc), they will have lost their man. That lost man will be the open man, the man that just caught the ball.

Abe's picture

Granted it was in mop up time but I like the looks of rookie tight end Ryan Taylor. He's natural and fluid as a receiver and has great size as a potential blocker. I'd hate to see them lose a potential talent like that due to so much depth at TE.

Oppy's picture

I truly believe there's going to be a competition between Crabtree and Taylor for the last TE spot...

I know everyone loves Tom Crabtree, but I think he has the lowest ceiling out of Finley/Quarless/Williams. Taylor is a 4-team ST ace much like Crabtree, a decent to good blocker, and a better receiver than expected by most.

I think the Packers keep 4 TEs, and I think it comes down to Taylor or Crabtree.

Cole's picture

I thought Starks looked excellent on limited carries. Seems to be far more patient and explosive than Grant. Of course, Grant always gets going toward the end of games. Starks can be a real talent in the league, IMO.

Oppy's picture

"It makes you wonder why the coaching staff hasn't given him much time on the right side if that's where they plan on playing him in game situations."

What really aggravates me is why the coaching staff is clearly forcing Sherrod or Lang at LT....

Newhouse has been prepped and rep'd almost exclusively at LT since being drafted.. ANd has looked very, very good in practice so far.

For a coaching staff that continually preaches playing the 5 best guys on the o line, I find it disturbing that they aren't even allowing Newhouse to compete at what is clearly his natural position at this point. I know, I know, it's only the first preseason game.. And Sherrod probably has more long term up side... But if they want a real competition, let Newhouse show what he's got.

In practice, Newhouse has clearly shown he should be the #2 LT this year (at this point). Sherrod has shown he could benefit from a year of learning much like Newhouse had last season.


PkrNboro's picture

Oppy, did Newhouse get any reps at the LT position, in the CLE game ?

Oppy's picture

Unless I missed a play, not a single one.

PkrNboro's picture

How did Clifton look ?

Oppy's picture

Didn't pay any attention.

If I had to guess, I'd venture that he looked like he'd rather be in bed with ice on his knees, but since he had to play a few series, he figured he'd play well but not over do it. :)

Tommyboy's picture

Good call, Brian. I'd sort of forgotten about Burnett's performance since he played so little, but he definitely impressed.

Saying Lee is on the fence for a roster spot may even be a bit generous at this point. I'm not entirely sure he's not on the outside looking in. I'm not sure he ever got his head around last night. Every time he just watched the opponent catch the ball.

And congrats to Tim Masthay. He looked great.

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