Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Halfway Point Of The 2012 (Pre)Season

Can I write a mid-preseason review of the Green Bay Packers after only two games? Apparently I am.

Overall, 0-2 record is obviously bad. They're trying to win, but it's clearly not their top priority. It falls somewhere behind rotating every player into the game and keeping the starters healthy. Mike McCarthy seems to be calling only his most basic routes, and letting his receivers and quarterbacks react to the defense. During past preseasons, I've read that Dom Capers leaves the defense in their base formation and lets them go, which appears to be the case again this season.

On offense, I think all the problems start at offensive tackle. Graham Harrell (and his receivers) have made some mistakes, but backup tackles Andrew Datko and Herb Taylor have struggled. Datko has shown some promise as a pass blocker, but he's been beaten when bull rushed and Taylor almost got Aaron Rodgers killed. Their run blocking appears to be a weakness too, which explains why the ground game (and Marc Tyler in particular) hasn't gone anywhere.

On defense, I've seen a lot of athletic guys running hard, but I haven't seen anyone in particular stand out. While I feel like the offensive roster is largely determined, the Packers will probably have a tough time sorting out the defensive side. None of the backup players look like a slam dunk, but nearly every one of them has shown some promise. The nickel safety position is a good example: which one of M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian or Anthony Levine has played the best? They've each looked a little different when on the field, each player seems to have his own strength, but it's not obvious which one is better. Maybe they'd be about the same over a 16 game regular season.

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