Thursday, September 21, 2006

I read through Mike McCarthy's press conference to see if there was anything interesting to report. LB Brady Poppinga and S Marquand Manuel have struggled in pass coverage, but they are both still the starters and McCarthy broke into coach-speak with "we'll continue to work" and "continue to get better". Apparently he is taking the cross-his-fingers approach to both positions, although S Tyrone Culver looked good in the preseason and LB Ben Taylor started for most of the preseason at strong side linebacker until Poppinga was healthy enough to play.

The offensive line is still learning the new blocking techniques and G Jason Spitz's knee still doesn't look good enough for him to return. TE/FB David Martin is hurt (again) with a bad knee and TEs Donald Lee and Tory Humphrey are both learning how to play fullback too. Rookie CB Will Blackmon is hurt (again) so there is virtually no cornerback depth after the top 3. McCarthy said "the explosive gains are really kind of balanced out through the secondary" which means that everyone has been burned in coverage, except that's not quite true. CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson have struggled shutting down the other team's number 1 receivers (WRs Joe Horn and Muhsin Muhammad) while neither had a big gain for a reception against Harris or Woodson (Horn's big catch was against Poppinga). The Packers have been burned for big plays and been giving up all kinds of shorter catches too. However, no one asked why the pass rush has been almost non-existance outside of DE Aaron Kampman.

McCarthy didn't drop any bombshells, but did confirm that the players who are struggling on defense will continue to get opportunities to play their ways through their struggles. Lucky for all Packer fans. Detroit's offense has managed only 13 points so far this season, but their pass offense has been average while their run offense non-existant. If QB Jon Kitna manages to post a QB rating over 90 (just as QBs Drew Brees and Rex Grossman), then will McCarthy and defensive coordinator Bob Sanders do something then to improve the coverage and pass rush?


slammer said...

I have said from the time they said Hodge lookes good. Put Hodge in the middle move Hawk to strong and put Barnett on the weak. Barnett is fast but seems to overrun to many running plays but is a monster on pass coverage

Brandon said...

I agree. Let Hodge play. It seems inevitable that Hodge will be in the middle, Hawk at strong side, and Barnett on the weak side.