Saturday, September 02, 2006

Preseason Packers 21, Tennessee 35. It was an ugly game as Tennessee kept its starters in for most of the game, while the Packers starting defense played 3 snaps and the offense 2 snaps. WR Greg Jennings cemented his status as the star of the preseason with another huge reception and a starting job over WR Robert Ferguson.

No one looked very good after the starters left the field. Starting rookie OGs Jason Spitz and Tony Moll played most of the game, but Moll struggled early when a Tennessee tackle beat him inside and led to a QB Aaron Rodgers fumble. DT Kendrick Allen started ahead of DT Cullen Jenkins for the first time this preseason, but that doesn't seem to indicate much as the Packers plan on rotating at least five players (maybe six if DT Johnny Jolly is active each week) at the tackle position. S Tyrone Culver forced a fumble in the red zone, the only Tennessee turnover. Culver has looked good this preseason and should start over S Marquand Manuel who was awful in the only game he played in this preseason. However, Manuel is the big free agent while Culver is the rookie, so Manuel will start week 1.

The Packers could have cut anybody this week that was not expected to start and it wouldn't have been a surprise. The special teams were awful against Tennessee, with the exception of P Jon Ryan's giant punts. The kick coverage was bad and WR Cory Rodgers and Carlton Brewster couldn't hand on to the ball. The Packers said they were looking for big wide receivers when they signed and resigned WR Marc Boehringer and Rod Gardner, but neither made the roster and the star of the preseason was 5'11" WR Jennings. WR Ruvell Martin made a couple of nice catches and that was apparently enough to make the team as the number 4 WR with Boehringer and Gardner underperforming and Rodgers and Brewster showing bad hands.

The biggest news was the release of RB Najeh Davenport, but it shouldn't surprise anybody because he didn't play well. He didn't run well, but his pass blocking was awful. LB Roy Manning played as well as anybody in the 2nd half against Tennessee, but he couldn't beat out LBs Brady Poppinga or Tracy White. It wouldn't have been a surprise if any one of the three had been released. DE Dave Tollefson was a slightly surprising release, but he didn't show as much as much speed as DE Jason Hunter so potential beat out production. QB Ingle Martin got his first extended playing time and looked awful. The pass he threw that was intercepted was laughably bad. The Packers cannot go into a game this season with Martin as the number 2 QB and hope he improves as the season progresses. The Packers could have cut all of the backup cornerbacks and it wouldn't have been a surprise, but they have to keep somebody in reserve.

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