Thursday, September 6, 2007

2007 Green Bay Packers Preview

Capt Rocketball's ancient right arm

As kickoff approaches, it's time to grade the Packers by position just to prove how stupid I really am.

Capt Rocketball returns for his 42nd season which started with Don Hutson as his primary target. Although this isn't 1996 anymore, Favre can still get it done. The boneheaded plays are always gonna be an issue, but he did cut his INTs from 29 to 19 last year. Expect this number to rise a little because of a lack of a running game. Who doesn't love seeing Brett pump fake, the ball falls out of his hand, he spins around looking for it, then watches a defender pick it up and run for 6? Or when he launches a bomb so high it's off the screen for like 5 seconds (Steve Grogan-Tecmo Bowl style)....only to see it broken up by 3 defenders. Those are always funny. I still believe Rodgers can be a serviceable starting QB in the NFL....if he ever gets a chance.
Grade: B

Wow. This is easily the worst unit in the NFL...and that was before losing Noah Herron. He did the little things well like catch passes, run the screen, and pick up 3rd down blitzes. Brandon Jackson and Vern Morency have a little Ben Sheets in them: they are a couple of Nancys. DeShawn Wynn sucks. At fullback we are starting a converted rookie linebacker. Hmmm. On a positive note, Jackson does have the potential of someday being a 1,100 yard rusher. Hopefully sooner than later.
Grade: F-

Wide Receivers
This unit is fine with a pro-bowl veteran (Driver), two youngsters who look to be 1,000 yard WRs in waiting (Jennings, James Jones), and two other guys who are just fine as your 4th and 5th WRs (Martin, Holliday). At TE, Bubba remains the man...ugh. He's basically a glorified tackle, although he did show some surprising receiving ability the last 2 preseason games. Donald Lee is just a guy. If the TEs catch 3 passes each game, I'll take that. Paging Paul Kauffman, paging Paul Kauffman...
Grade: B

Clifton and Tauscher are stallwarts at the tackle spots. Both are pro-bowl caliber and should have a couple more good years left in the tank. The guards are still a little green, but do have upside. Colledge, Spitz, and Barbary should be good NFL linemen, in time. Center Scott Wells is underrated. Off the bench, Junius Coston will start someday, somewhere. He's able to play any of the 5 positions. Overall, it's like a tale of two lines. The pass protection is more than adequate. Run blocking, that's a different story. Maybe its the lack of a good RB, or the inexperience in the zone-blocking scheme. Whatever it is, they need to open more holes.
Grade: C+

The best unit on the far. It's deep, talented, and full of youngsters who will only get better. Long gone are the days of Cledius Hunt, R-Kal Trulock, and James Lee. Jenkins and Kampman make for one of the best DE combos in football. KGB should excel as a 3rd down rushing specialist, rather than an every down DE. Inside, Ryan Pickett is a stout run stuffer, while Corey Cole, Johnny Jolley (breakout alert!), and Corey Williams will all contribute. Unfortunately, Justin Harrell will not. He's still physically a POS. What looks like a terrible draft pick will pay time. It would be hard to find a total group better than this in the NFL.
Grade: A

AJ Hawk, Nick Barnett, and Brady Poppinga are your starters. When 2/3rds of a unit could be playing in Hawaii after the season, it's hard to complain. Look for Hawk to fly around the backfield much more often than last year. He's gonna be a bitch. Poppy is fine as a 3rd LB. Depth is an issue with rookie Desmond Bishop as the top backup.
Grade: B+

Chuck Woodson and Al Harris make for a very solid starting duo. Not quite Champ Bailey/Dre Bly in Denver, but very good none the less. Jarrett Bush and Will Blackman are gigantic upgrades over Ahmad Carroll. Both are very talented, but young.
Grade: B+

Uh-oh. It's the chink in the Packers defense. Both Nick Collins and Atari Bigbie have something to prove. Collins seemed to play better his rookie year when he hammered guys on a pretty regular basis. He reminds me a lot of Darrin Sharper....remember his early days when he was clueless, but still made enough plays to stay of the field? That's Collins. If he ever figures out what he's supposed to do, he could be tough. Bigbie came out of nowhere and played like a heat seeking missile in the preseason. Does he still have that drive now that he's been anointed the starter? He can hit, can he cover? We shall see. I do know that even if he stands at the 50 yard line like a statue, he'll be just as effective as Marquand Manuel.
Grade: C

Additional Crappyness

-Packers go 8-8
-Favre cries after the last game...
-...then retires
-James Jones gets 750 yards and 6 TDs
-Cullen Jenkins and Aaron Kampman combine for 27 sacks
-Kampman, Hawk, Driver, and Barnett go to Hawaii
-My breakout players: Jolley and Will Blackman (both as a CB and return guy)
-Mason Crosby will be fine
-Bubba drops at least 10 passes
-Favre misses a start at some point

So there you go, your 2007 Green Bay Packers breakdown sure to go wrong!


woziszeus said...

Brett Favre will never miss a start...even after he retires.

Goldy said...

I am not sold on the young WRs. Jennings was fine for 6 games last season. After that, he got injured and played like crap. Didn't look grat this preseason. Jones did look great catching the ball this preseason. However, it appears as if it is other things like running the correct route or picking up when a blitz is coming and adjusting your route that are major problems. In today's J-S, the Packers coaches were trying to figure out if he should stay on the field in bliting situations because he hasn't picked up the whole "hot" route thing yet.

The best thing that will happen to the WR corps is when Koren Robinson comes off of his suspension.

matt said...

Darren McFadden would look good in Green and Gold.

Is it wrong to be looking forward to the 2008 draft already?

Tony said...

McFadden will be in Oakland or Detroit possibly Atlanta. The outlook for the Pack isn't great but they will win just enough to secure the 5th to 8th pick in the draft, Sorry

Anonymous said...

How can you give a grade to the Running Backs when we don't even have one? Should be an "I"...what was Ted thompson thinking on draft day...did he really believe that Morency would be fine? He's not Ron Wolf...he can't pick late talent like him so he should probably give up...and get out of town too!

Brad said...

It's still early for a lot of these guys but TT has drafted the following guys on the second day of the draft: Jolly, Coston, Poppy, Crosby, Blackman, and Barbare. Those are solid players for second day guys.

An "Incomplete" was considered for the RBs, to be sure.