The Packers’ first team defense allowed 14 quick points in their preseason opener last Saturday, culminating in a 27-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Dom Capers’ unit will look to rebound when they travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks tomorrow night.
There were plenty of positives to take from the Cleveland game, but there are still some questions to be answered when the Packers take the field in their second preseason contest. Here’s four things to watch for:
Left Guard Tryouts, Pt. II
Well there goes the season. OK, only kidding. The Cleveland Browns defeated the Packers 27-24 Saturday night in Lambeau Field as the two teams kicked off their 2010 preseason. It was a laid back night for the most part, with starters playing the first quarter before reserves took over,and depsite the loss there was still plenty to be happy about on the Packers’ side of the ball.
First and foremost, Aaron Rodgers seems to already be in mid-season form. The third-year starter completed his first nine passes and finished the night 12-13 for 159 yards, including a 25-yard strike to Greg Jennings for a touchdown. Rodgers looked poised in the pocket as always and had solid protection (which we’ll get to later) and found six different receivers on the night.
Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the first team offense and first team defense will likely only play a handful of series (at most), but that doesn’t mean there’s no point in watching when the Packers open up their 2010 preseason schedule against the Cleveland Browns Saturday night.
Last year the Packers also opened up their season against the Browns, introducing their 3-4 defensive scheme in style with a 17-0 shutout at home. There won’t be any new surprises to be shown Saturday, but there are plenty of things to look for when the Packers hit the field (for real) for the first time.
Outside Linebacker Competition:
The Packers released their first depth chart of the 2010 season Monday, and while nothing is official and most of the list means little, there is something to be said about some of the starters/backups. It’s important to remember the Packers still have not played an actual game yet (the one thing that matters the most) and that inevitable injuries are sure to change who plays where, but there’s some truth and concrete evidence behind the depth chart. One area, the offensive line, was a topic of discussion.
One of the biggest storylines, if not the biggest, for the Packers entering training camp was regarding the offensive line. With solid depth and versatility, there were plenty of options for the Packers to pick and choose from. It’s an area the Packers must improve on next season if they want to be true contenders, so mixing and finding the right matches will be vital before the season starts. Here are the first impressions from the initial depth chart on the offensive line.
Football is back in Green Bay, and for those who are still watching the debacle that is the Milwaukee Brewers, it couldn’t have come soon enough. Analysts around the country have the Packers as a consensus top-10 team, with SI’s Peter King even going as far to put them as the top team in his initial power rankings.
As training camp gets underway, it’s important to remember that these are just practices. Players will have good days and others will have bad days, so make sure to look at the whole picture. Don’t get too excited when someone has a good practice and know that it’s not the end of the world because of a poor performance. With that in mind, here are the headlines.
Two inexperienced punters set to battle for position
Here’s a look at the Green Bay Packers’ 2010 Training Camp schedule. Camp began Friday in Green Bay, with the team being shacked up on St. Norbert’s campus in De Pere, WI. The team’s first practice in pads was Saturday. All practices are expected to take place at Ray Nitschke Field across from Lambeau Field, but can be moved inside to the Don Huston Center for any reason. Any practices inside the Don Hutson Center would be closed to the public.
Saturday, July 31- 2:00 p.m. full pads
Sunday, August 1- 8:45 a.m. full pads, 6:30 p.m. full pads
Monday, August 2- 2:00 p.m. full pads
It’s widely known that Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson likes to build through the draft and by re-signing his own players, so it should come as no surprise that there were few departures and even fewer arrivals for the 2010 Packers, outside of the draft. Thompson re-upped 13 expiring contracts and extended both Ryan Pickett and Nick Collins. He also selected seven players in the NFL draft, all of whom are signed and ready to go for the start of training camp. Here’s a look at key departures and arrivals that change the Packers in 2010.
Aaron Kampman, DE:
As training camp begins, not every position is set in stone. The Packers have multiple positions that could go either way over the next month, and there will be plenty of factors that go into each decision. Here are the positions to keep track of when the Packers take the field.
No. 3 Wide Receiver: James Jones vs. Jordy Nelson
The Packers have a good problem at the wide receiver position as Jordy Nelson and James Jones battle for the third spot on the depth chart. Greg Jennings is at the top of the list while a rejuvenated Donald Driver (with two healthy knees) will man the other split end. Nelson plays bigger and can stretch the field while Jones tends to find more seams as a possession receiver. Nelson might have the advantage based on versatility, but Jones is more experienced and the job is his to lose. That being said, both receivers should put up solid numbers wherever they land.
Back-up tight end: Donald Lee vs. Spencer Havner vs. Andrew Quarless