Tuesday, August 05, 2003

The Packers played their first preseason game yesterday and they looked in preseason form. A lot of players sitting out, including their best defender Darren Sharper, but I watch these games to see who is going to be making the second team.

First Quarter: I missed the first two "drives" by both teams so I didn't get to see Priest Holmes except on replay. Second offensive "drive" had poor tackle play with a Marcus Spriggs false start and Kevin Barry did a little matador blocking to allow a sack. That's why these guys are free talent playing on the second unit. Mike McKenzie and his twin brother Al Harris both defend lob passes from Trent Green. I am really looking forward to the McKenzie/Harris duo at cornerback this year, and I am expecting them to be the best pair of corners for the Packers that I have ever seen in person. Antonio Chapman has two returns so far and I would consider him to be the best returner the Packers have had since 2001 and Allen Rossum; that is how bad the return game was in 2002. Two 7th round picks in action; Chris Ford made a tough first down catch and Chris Johnson is getting a lot of playing time at corner. Packers 0, Chiefs 3.

Second Quarter: Jamal Reynolds sighting! Speed move ala KGB around right tackle Willie Jones for the sack. But both of Jamal's fans shouldn't get too excited as Marcus Wilkins abused Jones for two more sacks in the quarter before Jones suffered a dangerous neck injury so if the injury wouldn't have happened Jones probably was in danger of losing his roster spot. The last I heard Jones had movement in his hands and feet and hopefully he will recover completely. On the fumble caused by Reynolds' sack, Kenny Peterson recovered the football while playing at the tackle spot. I really like Peterson and I expect him to effectively replace Vonnie Holliday on the line. I don't remember Holliday's name getting called at all by the Chiefs tonight. Javon Walker doesn't look fluid running his routes; he isn't ready yet which is a real disappointment. I haven't seen Robert Ferguson yet due to his injury keeping him out, but it probably will be him or Karsten Bailey starting opposite Donald Driver on opening day. Davenport fumbled but his fumble was a non-fumble so it shouldn't hurt his backup status. Craig Nall did not look good at all; first he holds the ball too long and gets sacked and then he throws two interceptions (one disturbingly right threw Walker's hands, Walker is not ready). At this point I think he is trying too hard and I need to see him in more preseason games before I can consider him further. Tony Fisher gets a long gain on a screen pass but the Chiefs completely blew the coverage. Nick Barnett looked good and made two open field tackles in this quarter while I can't remember a single one by Hardy Nickerson until past midseason last year. Packers 0, Chiefs 6.

Third Quarter: Wilkens gets his third sack of the night, but the Chiefs backup tight end also got a big gain on what appeared to be a blown coverage and he might have been Wilkens' responsiblity. Larry Johnson is the Chiefs' fourth string running back? Why did they draft this guy in the first round when they could have upgraded their defense with the pick. Rain, rain, rain, rain...Oh well, at least we got to see some Packers football. Final Packers 0, Chiefs 9.

In summary it was a sloppy game but that's the preseason for you. Barnett, Harris, Wilkins impressed while Walker was the real disappointment. Four more preseason games to go to see who gets to keep his roster spot.

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