Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Preseason Packers 38, Atlanta 10. What a difference a week makes. The big difference was a much improved offensive line and lots of forced turnovers. It was only one week, so it is hard to tell how much it helped to have rookie G Tony Moll playing instead of G Daryn Colledge. The offensive line might have been helped by simply having another week of practice or by playing against Atlanta's average pass rush instead of San Diego's top 5 pass rush. It didn't matter to Mike McCarthy; Moll will be the starting guard week 1. Neither Cincinnati nor Tennessee have above average defenses, so it is likely that Moll won't do anything to lose his spot over the next two preseason games. Other than Moll, there are a few other players who deserve attention:

WR Greg Jennings. He played well at San Diego by catching four passes when the rest of the offense struggled. He really showed off against Atlanta. He is clearly the number three wide receiver. WR Robert Ferguson should be watching carefully to make sure he doesn't lose his starting job to Jennings.

WRs Marc Boehringer and Rod Gardner. They are right behind Jennings on the depth chart, but neither caught a pass against Atlanta. Boehringer's poor performance apparently led to his release. The Packers traded for WR Carlton Brewster to see what he can do. The Packers gave up CB Therrian Fontenot for Brewster, but Fontenot had not done much on the field to show he was a likely candidate for a final roster spot.

SS Tyrone Culver. With the season ending injury to S Marviel Underwood and S Marquand Manuel still hurt, Culver had a lot of playing time. He apparently played the entire game in San Diego; he didn't make any big plays, but he didn't give up any either and made some big hits. During the second quarter against Atlanta, he missed a coverage assignment. Two plays later, he intercepted QB Michael Vick's pass. In the first two preseason games, he has looked better than last season's SS Mark Roman looked in any game that Roman started.

FB Vonta Leach. With FB William Henderson out for the rest of the preseason, Leach is the man. The AP article mentioned Leach dropped a touchdown pass, but he also dropped another pass earlier in the game. He dropped 2 of QB Aaron Rodgers 3 incompletions. During 2005, Leach looked great at times, and at other times he missed his assignments. Leach will be counted on much more in 2006 and needs to show improvement.

G Siitupe Peko. He missed at least two blocking assignments in the 4th quarter; one of which led to Rodgers's fumble. I hadn't seen Peko in a game yet this preseason, but if Moll doesn't work out at right guard, then Peko doesn't look like he is Plan B. He has a good resume, but it was surprising he wasn't cut after his poor performance on Saturday.

P B.J. Sander. He was awful in San Diego, but looked better on Saturday. He showed improvement, but he was cut anyway. Sander has been such a disappointment that this isn't a big surprise. However, he wasn't released because rookie P Jon Ryan was playing outstanding. Ryan looked good in San Diego, but he dropped the snap in the end zone and barely got his only punt attempt away.

DE Mike Montgomery. He looked good last preseason, and he is looking good this preseason too with 2 sacks in the 4th quarter against Atlanta. He didn't play much in 2005, but hopefully he brings his preseason performance into the regular season during 2006.


Inquiring Minds said...

Your comment about Leach may have been premature. Apparently he hasn't shown enough improvement, with Gado taking many snaps at fullback.

Brandon said...

I'm not a big fan of Leach either. He has looked like he missed an assignment many more times than he made a great play. The Packers might be better off running fewer plays with the fullback until Henderson comes back.