Scrimmage! The Packers scrimmaged against Buffalo during Family night at Lambeau field. This is an annual event, but the first time the Packers scrimmaged against another team.
Defensive tackle is a question mark with the bad knee of NT Grady Jackson and bad attitude
of DT Cletidus Hunt. In their places started undrafted 2nd year DT Colin Cole and 2004
6th round draft pick DT Corey Williams. Cole made some good plays on the first series
while Williams didn't stand out either way. Buffalo had some success running the ball and
the Packers didn't create much pass rush without a blitz. DE KGB didn't make a play and the camera angle was right on DE Aaron Kampman as he was pushed out of nearly every play.
It was obvious that LB Na'il Diggs and Hannibal Navies look better already. Both played
hurt in 2004 and both looked much better on Friday. Especially Diggs, who looked great
getting outside in run support. Free agent LB Ray Thompson looked good when he came clean on a blitz for a sack, however, LB Paris Lenon was confused, especially in pass coverage.
CBs Ahmad Carroll and Leigh Torrence started at cornerback, and neither played well.
Carroll continued to look like a 1st round bust, getting beat in coverage and still
putting his hands all over the wide receivers. Torrence is an undrafted rookie free agent
and was beaten in coverage at least 3 times in Buffalo's first 2 series. It was a lot to
expect out of a undrafted rookie, but he didn't play well either. 2nd round pick S Nick
Collins looked confused when he played against QB Shane Matthews (Buffalo's 3rd QB) but he
has a lot to learn too. The secondary was abused by backup QB Kelly Holcomb. However, CB Mike Hawkins played a lot early, he looked very good, and he almost intercepted a ball that would have been returned for a TD. S Mark Roman played well, but remember Roman played well in 2004 until mid-season when the wheels came off on his season. The Packers awful 2004 season tackling performance wasn't obvious until Roman started missing tackles too. Maybe he caught the bug from the rest of the team. It looks like right now, S Earl Little would be the starting safety alongside Roman.
The entire Packers defense, unfortunately, might have looked better than they actually
played on Friday, because Buffalo's 2nd year starting QB J.P. Losman looked awful, playing in true preseason form. Commentator and outstanding WR Sterling Sharpe counted at least 3 mental mistakes and 3 bad passes.
Buffalo blitzed on almost every play, frequently bringing 6 on the pass rush, and made the
Packers rebuilt offensive line look awful. Of the veterans, LT Chad Clifton looked good,
it is great to see C Mike Flanagan back on the field, and RT Mark Tauscher had some
problems, but nothing to be worried about yet. G Grey Ruegamer, who played in all 16
games last year for the Packers, has held off free agent G Adrian Klemm so far, Klemm came
into the scrimmage after Ruegamer, and started at left guard. It is not surprising
Ruegamer is ahead of Klemm since Ruegamer has worked in the offense the past 3 seasons while
Klemm is new. G Atlas Herrion started in place of probable starting RG Matt
O'Dwyer and didn't stand out for good or bad. The offensive line really came apart when
all the backups (G Steve Morley, G William Whitticker, C Scott Wells, etc.) came into the
lineup and had problems with the blitz assignments.
TE Ben Steele dropped another pass. Steele's appearances in 2004 usually involved a
dropped pass, and he started off with it again in 2005. With TE Bubba Franks out, Steele
is probably the number 1 TE with TE Sean McHugh as number 2. Steele did recover and catch
two TD passes from QB Brett Favre and Steele was the only Packer who scored during the
scrimmage. Both Steele and McHugh came in late last season after they were the final cuts from the 2004 camps for Minnesota and Tennessee and both looked better on Friday than they had at any time during 2004. For purposes of tight end analysis, it will be assumed that TE
David Martin is always injured.
QB Aaron Rodgers got some playing time and looked really good. His dropback form is
nearly perfect, he keeps the ball at his chest so no one can knock it away, and he has a
quick release despite his funky windup. Unfortunately for Rodgers, his receivers kept
dropping the ball. WR Andrae Thurman was a late 2004 signing after the injury to WR
Robert Ferguson, he didn't play very well during his brief 2004 apperances, and he looked
even worse on Friday. He dropped one pass from Rodgers over the middle and misplayed a
deep pass into the corner of the end zone. Undrafted rookie WR Chad Lucas was another
receiver who dropped a Rodgers pass.