Things I think I think after preseason game 1

The good

  • Aaron Rodgers and James Jones seem to be in mid-season form.  I really liked seeing them connect on the deep ball.  Last year Aaron seemed to be just a touch off on quite a few long balls.
  • David Bakhtiari aquitted himself quite well.  I know its the first pre-season game, but he looked the part. With the loss of Brian Bulaga the Packers really need him to step up.
  • Tyrone Walker looks like he has potential in what appears to be a wide open race for the 4th an 5th WR spots.  In fact I think he was the only receiver that stood out for those spots.  We may be deep, but outside of Walker there was not much quality displayed by the backup wider receivers.  I was disappointed in Boykin and Ross last night.  Too many drops and missed assignments.
  • Johnny Jolly – It was just great to see Johnny back on the field last night.  I could tell he was rusty and still working himself back into football shape, but he did get a good push up the middle on several pass rush attempts and stood his ground against the run.  Given the quality of depth on our defensive line I am convinced he has a good shot at making the team.

The bad

  • Datone Jones – An ankle injury.. seriously!  Haven’t we been snake bit enough during this camp!  I remember how BJ Raji’s first season was seriously hampered by an ankle injury.  All the push and strength those big guys generate goes through the legs and a bad ankle can take it all away.  Here is hoping Datone’s injury is not a serious one (especially not the dreaded high ankle sprain) – however with the Packers luck I am pessimistic.
  • Marshall Newhouse – in one play he clearly demonstrated why he is no longer a serious contender for left tackle.  He just seems to get stuck in his stance and looks like he is standing still against speed rushers.  I am  willing to give him a bit of a break since it was his first game on the right side.  However, at this point I think Barclay has a solid shot to emerge as the starting right tackle.
  • Jerron McMillian – McCarthy and Thomson always say to look for second year players to make a jump from their rookie seasons.  If  there was any jump from McMillian last night I sure didn’t see it.  He seemed often out of position and looked like he was playing slow (probably still thinking too much — no doubt about why he is out of position).  At this point, even with all of his physical ability, it looks like MD Jennings is still a better option.
  • Backup OLBs – Mulumba and Palmer did not show anything in terms of getting a pass rush.  Mulumba at least seemed to be able to set the edge on running plays, something that Palmer did not do.  Even Dezman Moses had a very poor night (no visible second year jump for him either),  In fact the backups looked so poor that at this point Mike Neal may be our third best option at OLB.
  • Overall depth – Just seemed bad, we kept hearing about how deep this team was a DB, DL, WR and it just was not on display last night.  At this point it appears Thompson will need to be heavily working the waiver wire as teams cut down to strengthen several positions.

The hope

  • Davon House –  Even with limited opportunities to watch him play (given his injury history) I know he can play better than he did last night.  I also thought he had good coverage most of the night and just a little better ball skills would go along way,
  • The offense will be solid as long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy.  The starting offense looked very sharp on their long drive and, maybe I am just being optimistic, but I think if  you substitute Eddie Lacy for Starks that 4th and goal run would have been a TD.
  • Defensive reinforcements – Help is on the way.  Mike Neal, Casey Hayward and Tramon Williams should all be available by the regular season — and it was clear last night that we need them!

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