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After a 28-26 victory against the Texans, the Packers look ahead to next week's contest against the Ravens when many of their starters will make their preseason debuts.  The first preseason game provided a baseline for fringe players who hope to be on the 53 man roster on opening day.  

The opening preseason contest was not an example of technically sound football for either team.  Penalties, missed tackles, and turnovers were out in full force, which put a damper on the contest.  These fringe players need to come out in week 2 with a chip on their shoulders and play a better brand of football and show they can make routine catches and tackles.

Aside from the initial look at potential backend members of the 53 man roster, the majority of the contest should not provide much of a conviction about the 2019 Packers either way.  As a result, I would save all of the hot takes and overreactions until at least after weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason.  

The reality is the preseason will not give us a complete answer of what we can expect in the regular season, it can only provide an opening narrative.  As is the case with all 32 teams, the Packers will hope to gradually improve their opening narrative on a weekly basis as they hope to become a winning football team in 2019.  

With this in mind, I am not full-fledged buying or selling any performances until weeks 2 and 3 of the regular season.  However, I will highlight some players and position groups that I am generally bullish or bearish about as the rest of the preseason unfolds.

Performances to be Bullish About (Packers Stocks Potentially Trending Upward)

1. Special Teams?

Well, anytime the special teams unit doesn't lose a game for the Packers, I will be generally pleased; but with the special teams unit making positive plays in week 1, that has to be seen as a net win.  The hope now is that the special teams unit will continue to improve on making fundamental plays throughout the season and become a middle of the pack until that is not seen as a liability every week.  

2. Ty Summers

Although I have seen a lot of overreactions to Ty Summers performance on Thursday night, the rookie still did show some promise.  Summers showed me a high energy level and an eagerness to stick his head in there and make plays.  Although he wasn't perfect, Summers was still able to make a lot of sound, fundamental tackles and could have a chance to find a rotational role in 2019 if his solid play continues.

3. Ka'Dar Hollman

I have to admit, I was thoroughly impressed by Ka'Dar Hollman on Thursday Night.  He showed me that he has the potential to excel in one on one and zone coverage and make plays on the ball.  I was pleased to see that at least in week 1, he was able to take all of the hype from the practice field to the bright lights of Lambeau Field. 

4. Dexter Williams- I liked his burst of speed, his vision, his patience, and his size.  I will be interested to see what he can bring to the table as the preseason moves on.

5. Danny Vitale- I like what Vitale can bring to the table as he continues to develop and mature in LaFleur's offense.  I see him being a weapon as a dependable blocker in the zone running scheme, a dependable pass-catcher out of the backfield, and a back who can pick up a first down on 3rd and 1.  

 

Performances to be Bearish About (Packers Stocks Potentially Trending Downward)

1. Tackling

I know it is week 1 of the preseason so I will make this short, It is imperative the Packers clean up their tackling by the end of the preseason.  I understand tackling around the league is poor now but that does not excuse the constant whiffing of routine tackles.  It needs to improve ASAP! 

2. J'Mon Moore

Although he finally visited the endzone in Thursday's win, I am still overall down on J'Mon Moore.  He just does not look like a confident receiver to me, and he still has not shown he can consistently catch a ball with his hands.  He either bobbles or drops routine passes and just seems to constantly get in his own way on almost every play.  Moore needs to get his act together in the next three weeks or I think he could be on the outside looking in.

3. The Consistency of the Offense

Matt LaFleur has been openly critical of the offense in the early going and deservedly so.  It is no secret that he was hired to change the culture of this unit and get them back on track in 2019.  However, it is just way too early to be overly critical of a unit learning a new system and developing continuity with each other.  This could potentially be an area of concern I revisit at the end of the preseason but I am not going into full-blown panic mode until week 4 or 5 of the regular season because I envisioned growing pains early on.

There were other performances that caught my eye but I am going to let everything play out in week 2 before I call more players and positional units out.  

The Positives of Thursday Night were that the Packers were playing football at Lambeau Field and knocking the rust off from a long winter without football.   

-------------------

David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (42) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

packerbackerjim's picture

What I found to be very interesting was that Dexter Williams was getting better as the game went along. The odds he will have that opportunity in he regular season are remote. The more reps in the exhibition games the better for him and the team.

Bure9620's picture

Williams, Hollman, Keke and Summers all appear they could be Day 3 steals, very nice class by Gute if that is the case.

dblbogey's picture

At the very least, when the inevitable injury strikes Aaron , Dexter looks like the real deal. I like that he looks to be better than Jamaal.

Old School's picture

Is this the same Jamal who never misses a game, never fumbles, and never fails to handle his assignment?

Slow your roll. Dexter hasn’t even played a single regular season snap. Most of what he did was against a bunch of guys who won’t even be in the league on opening day.

Old School's picture

Nts

GBPDAN1's picture

Feels so good to have football back. Love this site for it's year round coverage of our beloved Packers, but it's so great to have this site in full swing once training camp and games start. Lots of articles

Go Pack

Nick Perry's picture

Who in the he'll would downvote GBPDAN1 for this comment?? Must be a Bears or Vikings who already know their teams fate in 2019... They'll be back in 2nd and 3rd place chasing the Pack!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

There is at least one person who shows up here and downvotes everyone.

murf7777's picture

No wonder I have down votes...lol

Gort's picture

Sorry Murf, I couldn't resist and gave you a down.

Tarynfor12's picture

I look at dislikes as acknowledgement of hitting nerves, the kind that truth makes sore. : )

fthisJack's picture

thats because you have more down votes than there are stars in the sky, Taryn.....not because its a validation of your opinions.

holmesmd's picture

FWIW, I have an iPhone 10 and a lot of times the upvotes I’ve given are downvoted when I open this app the next time. I have no idea why it happens but there appears to be a ghost in the machine:/

Old School's picture

I call them “revenge downvotes”. We have a couple of posters who like to make things personal by downvoting every post by someone they dislike, regardless of content. And if they have multiple accounts, that’s 2-3 downvotes.

The downvote feature on this board contributes nothing positive to the discussion.

Coldworld's picture

I have to agree with Taryn. I find it interesting. I don’t mind being downvoted. The disappointment is a non response if one is trying to raise an issue.

I think it adds not subtracts as long as one doesn’t take it personally, and why would we, we are spitballing about our team yet none of us are true experts or insiders.

fthisJack's picture

there are posters on here that i never agree with...those are usually the whiners who are constantly complaining about management, players, etc. there are also a few that after reading the comment i scratch my head and say..."what?"

dblbogey's picture

I check in regularly year around. Cheeseheadtv is the best.

Bure9620's picture

Keke's stock is up also, he was dominant at times, completely abused and ran through Matt Kalil 3 times. I can see why Gute was comfortable releasing MD with Keke and Adams' development.

Darius Shepard and Lazzard are playmakers and will be on NFL rosters. Personally, I like Lazzard, 6'5" 230. Just huge. Loved him coming out of Iowa St. Could be a red zone target.

I was disappointed with Tyler Lancaster, that is not the player we saw last year. J'Mon Moore is not making this team. Just way too many good WRs

Packer Fan's picture

I'm done with four preseason games. Roll it back to two games. The starters are playing so little for fear of injury. The first regular season game becomes their preseason game for all intent and purpose. So I am ready for the regular season

Coldworld's picture

One game does not make a preseason, one flash or howler does not cement a spot in isolation. It does get the coaches attention and more snaps.

We need to see consistency from those who flash and improvement in both individual performances and those of units through and into the season. Part of that comes from opportunities and part from repetition where there isn’t knowledge of how the opponents will play the snap.

Sometimes it’s also a head to head (or heads) battle to show who brings more to the team to merit a spot (back up QBs, Safeties, ILB and WRs. There is also a chance for redemption. Sometimes adversity turns in the light bulb.

Players deserving more and earlier opportunities off the top of my head:

Based on flashes thus far:

Shepherd
Boyle
Hollman
Madison
Sullivan
Ento
Sheldon
Redmond
Lazard
Nijman
Looney
Gilbert
M Jones
Ramsey

Due to poor showing:

Lancaster (harsh?)
Jamerson
Moore

Just to get live reps:

Savage
Burks

Because of injury absence:

Davis (injured)
J Jones (injured)
A Jones (injured)
J Williams (injured)
J Sternberger (injured)
F Brown (injured)
Jackson (injured)
Roberts (PUP)

Players needing continued opportunities ( last game they got them by necessity)

Dexter
Summers

That is quite a list and I’m sure I missed some. Plenty to watch for and only 3 games to winnow the wheat from the chaff and give the young wheat an opportunity to improve from reps, which really means 2 more games to do most of the sorting and knock the rust if the starters and then let the promising players get reps for experience in game 4.

Bure9620's picture

No Kingsley Keke?

murf7777's picture

I would add Keke, Bolton and Kumerow. I like our depth in our defense. Yes, they gave up quite a bit of yards but they bent and didn’t break. Take away the last meaningless drive and numbers are good. I love the turnovers. Scott’s 50+ yard 5+ second hangtime that ended in a TD was awesome.

Coldworld's picture

Keke got a fair number of snaps against early opposition, as did Kumerow (I don’t know what else he needs to show either). Bolton was a miss by me.

PS. ON BOLTON
Having rewatched the game, I have to acknowledge those who have highlighted Bolton were spot on. He made several plays including a really nice pass coverage that I misattributed. As said by others, Bolton deserves high billing for his performance that I did not give him.

With Bolton and Summers emerging and Sheldon starting to show on Thursday (good (not luck) interception in practice today too), I am getting much less concerned about traditional linebacker depth. Can any of them play 3rd ILB if Jones does not make it?

DraftHobbyist's picture

Burks is injured with the same shoulder he hurt last preseason.

Coldworld's picture

It was announced as a chest injury officially today.

Qoojo's picture

I thought the first half was tough to evaluate the defense because it was mixed. Great on the turnovers. The INT was quality. Kind of disappointed at all the 3rd and long conversions that the D gave up, which is kind of the Packers D signature. Even though it was the backups, the same old theme remained.

The backup quality looks improved. If and when the packers must rely on a few 2nd and 3rd string replacements, that they will be in a better spot this year than in previous year.

Really want to see how the defense performs with starters.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's very encouraging to see this years draft class jump in and compete like that. This team badly needed depth and it looks like Gute added it.

murf7777's picture

PFF rated Bolton as our highest rated player and after watching again he made a lot of really good plays.

Coldworld's picture

Highest grades issued by PFF for Packers offense among 19 players with 15+ snaps from Thursday's preseason opener.

Justin McCray (81.8)
Lucas Patrick (79.1)
Anthony Coyle (76.2)
DeShone Kizer (76.2)
Jake Kumerow (74.3)

Some surprises: McCray and Coyle. Confess I missed picking up on their contributions or the scale of that of Patrick’s. Sorry to them. Why I’m not a pro. Who is that at # 5!

Coldworld's picture

Today: Saturday

Summers, Sheldon, Ento shine in the field with interceptions—think I’m missing one too.
Some good QB play around despite that. This CB depth is surprisingly impressive. Tony Brown looks great again.

Hope Ento (“tweaked hammy”) won’t be out for long. Looks like a prospect one wants to see more of.

Kumerow and Shepherd again excel.
Dexter struggles in the short passing game.
Bolton ahead of Summers. Not sure I see why unless workload in game? [ apparently PFF had Bolton best rated D player on Thursday. I’d better stick to the day job]
Turner looked good in short stint at Tackle. I’ve been saying Denver fans said he would. Bakh, Taylor, Linsley, Jenkins, Turner. Silverstein says should replace Bulaga for best line up, then retracts. It’s only practice but good sign and really Silverstein?
Then Turner back to RG, Light to RT. Jenkins to C with 2nds (good-not keen on Madison at C at this point: get Jenkins reps).

A Jones and J Jackson practice today!
Burks’ is a chest not shoulder injury.
Campbell is not practicing but has been running for 4 months. Suggestion is that he may be ready to practice before season

Qoojo's picture

When I saw the replay during the game, it sure looked like his arm/shoulder was overstretched, even though the GB announcers were talking about a blow to the head. I wouldn't be surprised if some muscle/tendon got ripped. Also surprised that such things do not happen more frequently.

fthisJack's picture

it looked like he got pushed from behind into the runner and wasn't in position to take the hit.

Since '61's picture

Inconsistent is how I would describe the Packers performance on Thursday evening. This is to be expected from the 1st preseason game and very few of our starters in the game.

Positives: No sacks allowed and no turnovers by the offense. 3 turnovers generated by the defense and 1 by STs.

Negatives: Too many penalties and poor tackling.

Poor tackling and penalties can be improved. J’mon Moore is running out of chances. He needs to show up big over the next 3 weeks or he’s done. Plenty of work for MLF and the staff to do. Thanks, Since ‘61

DraftHobbyist's picture

Looney played quite well and Lancaster did not play well while I was watching him. Keke played quite well as well. I need to watch more Sagapolu but the interesting thing about him is his body type being that of a NT. It will be interesting to see how the DL plays out.

Packers2019's picture

Moore had another drop today in practice. Mentally the guy is in trouble.

We have Lazard and Shepherd to take over for him. They again looked impressive in practice. ML and AR really like Shepherd. If those two keep playing like they are it may be a tough call on keeping St Brown. Remember, he is a 6th round pick so to cut him lose is not a big deal.

The question will be: If we cut Shepherd, will he make it through waivers? If he plays really well again next preseason game, I am not sure he will. If we want him on the practice squad, we may have to not play him anymore so other teams do not get wind of him.

Coldworld's picture

No, returner and true slot type who catches everything. I truly do not believe he would.

If Davis is injured for any length of time, that may resolve the difficulty. Even if Davies gets healthy Shepherd is going to be a tough rival.

fthisJack's picture

the Packers almost have to keep 7 WR on the roster. just too much talent to let get picked off the PS. almost have to let Lazard go unless he plays lights out the rest of preseason.

Gort's picture

There were too many penalties vs. Houston, but I did not notice any pre-snap penalties. If I am correct, then that is pretty good for the first preseason game. IMHO, those are discipline issues and maybe the new coaching staff is making progress with solving that problem.

4thand1's picture

I finally got to watch the game was with my mom having heart surgery , just got home today. My take QB 2 is going to be a battle, both made plays. Refs called way to much, especially the long run by Kizer early. It was a total BS holding call. The back up o-line didn't open many holes. The defense got pressure but couldn't contain. As everyone has commented, Moore didn't do himself any favors. Williams runs hard, got tuff yards and can catch. Would like to see the starters get some snaps next game.

Bryan Chisholm's picture

I hope the writing ISNT on the wall for Moore.. he has a lot of potential still and if he can just get the "simple" part down, catching the ball, he'd be a problem. He's great off the line and can get open..just can't finish... Sound familiar?

NFL.com article from Dec. 21st, 2016.

"Adams dropped two easy touchdown passes Sunday that would have made the victory in Chicago much less tense for Cheesehead fans"

"[It was] the focus on the second one, I believe really," Adams said. "I felt like the ball was in the air for 10 years and then it kind of snuck up on me and I tried to use the body, in between body and into the hands on the catch. I just have to make that. I've made it a million times."

The timing off all this puts Adams a couple of months AHEAD of were Moore is now in his career. People were SCREAMING for Adams head then. Not me personally, although I was disappointed with the drops. I still saw the huge potential, but did not see him becoming what he is now.. fool me once.. I'll wait until Moore plays himself off the team officially.

Gort's picture

I was on the "dump Adams" bandwagon. He surely had many opportunities and finally became a great receiver. The problem now is that there are other promising receivers. Those others may not have the high ceiling that has been promised for Moore, but he has dropped (pun intended) to a low floor. With those others actually performing, will Gute keep a roster spot available for Moore?

4thand1's picture

As we've seen with Gute, no ones job is safe, Moore should be nervous. Well AR, Davante and Bahk don't have to look over their shoulders.

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