Monday, August 4, 2008

Green Bay Packers Preview: Secondary


Unit grading time. I'll start with on that is pretty much settled, QB...just kidding. How about the secondary instead.

Starters:
The experienced (aging?) Al Harris and Chuck Woodson are your bookend starters for the third consecutive season. While long in the teeth, they can still play at a high level. The physical style means they have to be more technicians, than speedsters. Yes, Plaxico ate Harris' lunch in the NFC Championship, but he can still play. He often matched up with the other team's #1, and more than held his own as evident by a Pro Bowl Birth. I actually would have chosen Chuck, but I don't get a vote. Because of their physical style, both get quite a few yellow hankies.

Nick Collins and Atari Bigbie will start at safety. Collins is a very good tackler and stout against the run, but just doesn't make any "wow" plays. A whopping 5 interceptions bounced off his hands last year....he needs to squeeze the Charmain. Bigbie's cover skills are only average, but brings some serious lumber to WR's. Watching him blow up the Seattle WR's in the falling snow last December was a thing of beauty. Bigbie and Collins makes for a solid duo. With a few more turnovers, they can be very good.

Reserves:
Tramon Williams has earned the #3 CB job. Showed serious flashes in both coverage and the return game last year. The coaches have been excited about Will Blackman for years, but seems to have Bill Walton's feet...always hurt. Jarrett Bush is OK as a #5, and rookie Pat Lee (Auburn) will see some action. He's in the Woodson/Harris mold as more of a bigger, press cover guy with good coverage skills than a speedster. Basically, he's the anti-Ahmad Carroll. Man, I hate Ahmad Carroll.

Aaron Rouse is a starter in waiting...just needs more seasoning. He came in as more of a muscle-bound project, but showed surprisingly good football instincts in a few starts last year. He makes plays. Chuck Peprah has been in camp the last couple years and has started to blossom. Tyrone Culver sucks. So that's 4 solid safeties...remember the revolving door of statues we had in there just a few years ago? Gone are the days of Matt Bowen, Marquis Anderson, Antuan Edwards, and Mark Roman. Ugh.

Final Grade: B+
Quarterbacks only completed %55 of their passes against Green Bay last year. That was second best in the NFL. With a nice mix of veterans and young, talented, hungry up and comers, this unit can be considered "very, very solid."

1 comment:

Chuck Cecil said...

Bigbie taking guys heads off is fun to watch