Archive for the ‘Green Bay Packers’ Category

Green Bay Packers Training Camp- Defensive Line

Of all the free agency losses this year, the one that hurt the most was Cullen Jenkins.  With no proven back up, replacing him on the line is a shot in the dark.  Packers fans have become accustomed to not panicking during free agency.  Every year guys leave and the Packers stick to there guns and there plans, young guys step up, and by the end of the year we don’t even remember the free agency panic we all went through.  This one could be different.

With no proven pass rusher at OLB opposite of Clay Matthews, Cullen Jenkins pass rush ability was what kept defenses honest and helped prevent double teams on Clay (or at least limit double teams).  Here is a depth chart of the D-Line.

  • Left Defensive End: Mike Neal, CJ Wilson, Lawrence Guy
  • Nose Tackle: Ryan Pickett, Howard Green
  • Right Defensive End: BJ Raji, Jarius Wynn

There are a few others, but for the purposes of this article, I am sticking to the top guys.  They have moved Raji from his natural nose tackle position into Jenkins old position.  This move has pros and cons.  The pros:  Pickett is able to go back to his best position at nose tackle after playing Left End last year.  Also, BJ Raji is likely the best candidate on the team for replacing Jenkins.  The cons:  BJ Raji is an awesome nose tackle.  Moving him scares me, but I look forward to be proven wrong.

I have no fears or concerns about Ryan Pickett and Howard Green in the middle.  These guys are effective run stuffers and anchors in the middle.  In the pass game they collapse the pocket and in the run game they force you to run around them.   I love it when the big guys in the middle drop anchor and suck up blocks.  It is such an under rated portion of the game.

At left end (or strong side) is Mike Neal or CJ Wilson.  Mike Neal is a little small for the spot, but he is the strongest player on the whole team which should balance out.  And when he has been in the line up he has shown flashes of brilliance.  Problem is, he has had bad luck with injuries.  I never label a player injury prone.  In most cases it is simple bad luck.  We cannot ignore, however, that he is a young player that needs reps and he currently is not getting them.

The Green Bay Packers are thin on the D-Line.  Hopefully the injury bug stays away and the young guys step up, but even if there are problems history says that the Packers don’t often use 3 down lineman anyway.  Have to find some way to get all of our awesome corners and safeties on the field.

Lee Speakin

www.ksentry.com

Green Bay Packers Quarterbacks -Training Camp-

Aaron Rodgers looks sharp, despite the lack of practice time this year.  He has to be considered among the leagues elite quarterbacks.  He is in the Drew Brees category, just above guys like Phillip Rivers and Matt Ryan, and just below guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.  The factor that really boosts him up is his age.  He is younger than Manning and Brady, thus if I was choosing a dream QB to lead my team I would choose Rodgers over anybody right now.

Matt Flynn is in the final year of his contract, and I suspect he will be somewhere else next year.  He has starting quarterback written all over him, someone will pay him starters money, and there is no way the Packers will be able to afford him as a back up.  Some have suggested trading him first, but after Rodgers suffered two concussions last season I would lean toward keeping him around as security against the possibility that Rodgers may miss some time again this season.

Graham Harrell is your typical third stringer.  He shows promise and is an excellent QB.  His physical limitations may preclude him from ever being an elite prospect, but he is a damn good football player with an excellent college resume.

I have only two concerns with this years crop of QB’s.  The first is Rodgers concussion history.  My concern there is more for him than the team.  The team can survive him missing a game or two, I just hope the problem does not linger and threaten the young man’s long term health.  The second is the lack of a developmental QB on the roster.  With Flynn set to leave this year, I would like see a QB on the practice squad.

-Lee Speakin

Krueger Sentry Gauge Co…  Proud Packers fans since 1942

Green Bay Packers Draft – BJ Raji

The Packers took BJ Raji with their first pick in the draft.  The best player on the board at the time was probably Crabtree, but Ted Thompson made the smart move and grabbed the best player available at a position of need for the Packers.  BJ Raji was the player I had pegged for the Packers first round selection, so when my buddy called me (I was in Hawaii on my honeymoon) and told me who they picked I was ecstatic.

Raji should provide a space eater/ run stopper that they have been missing since the departure of my favorite all time Packer, Gilbert Brown.  He will immediately step into a time share with Ryan Pickett as the nose tackle in our new 3-4 defense, and will likely see some time at end in this scheme also.

Ask Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher who the most important players are on the defense, and they will likely tell you it is the guy lined up right in front of them.  Both Lewis and Urlacher had subpar seasons when their defensive tackles had injury problems or bad years.  Linebackers rely on the D linemen to eat up offensive linemen, allowing them to make plays.  Barnette and Hawk will make decent inside backers in the 3-4 scheme assuming our nose tackles can control the line of scrimmage.

Games are won and lost in the trenches.  The best linebackers in the game will get chewed up by 300+ pound offensive linemen.  The top cover corners can’t cover a wide receiver all day, the D line has to apply pressure on the QB to shorten the time that a receiver has to get open.  It is a trickle down effect.  If you have a top talent D Line, the rest of the defense will benefit.

Just ask the NY Giants corners and linebackers.

-Lee Speakin

Official Liquid Level Gauge Website -Krueger Gauge

Letters to Brett Favre

A new book is out called “Letters to Brett Favre”.  It is a compilation of letters and such written to and about Brett Favre by the fans.  The cool thing, my blog entry is supposedly making an appearance in the book.  I have not gotten my copy yet, but I play on doing so today.

The website – http://www.letterstobrettfavre.com/

Lee

Official Liquid Level Gauge Website -Krueger Gauge

Brett Favre is a New York Jet

If you are reading this post, then you probably read my previous post about Brett Favre retiring. If you cant tell I am a huge Brett Favre fan and an even HUGER Packer fan.

Believe it or not, you can still be both. I understand that Brett is upset with Packer management. I understand that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy made the best decision that they could under the circumstances. I wish Brett was still a Packer. He is not, and I am OK with that.

I think the Packers leaders are excellent at what they do, and I am still a Brett Favre Fan. I will be cheering for the Packers to make the Super Bowl, and I will also be a New York Jets fan at least until Brett decides to hang it up again. So what happens in the unlikely event that both teams make it to the Super Bowl? Sorry Brett, my heart still resides in Green Bay.

Lee Geurts

http://www.ksentry.com