Green Bay Packers: What to Look for Against the Chargers in Preseason Week 1
Of course, we know that the starters won’t actually play all that much for the most part. You’ll see Aaron Rodgers take maybe two snaps, Jordy Nelson take maybe a half dozen and Charles Woodson and Greg Jennings (among others) not at all.
Looking at this game isn’t a waste of your time though, and there are lots of players and situations worth tracking.
Worthy has shown an explosive first step, and explosive might even be an understatement. His move to defensive end from tackle appears to be going seamlessly, much to the joy of the Packers and their fans.
Worthy has been hooked on a few Aaron Rodgers hard counts and on occasion will dwell on a mistake too long, so it’s not all sunshine and cheeseheads.
That said, he has been just about everything he was advertised as.
He’ll be going against a sometimes awful, often questionable, Chargers offensive line. He will probably get a bunch of snaps to see how he fares in a game situation not involving his own team.
If we talk about Worthy, we also have to talk about the other rookie defender swapping positions. Perry hasn’t made as much noise as Worthy, but he’s no slouch. Working at outside linebacker, Perry is still clearly adjusting to the speed of the NFL, as well as the new position.
He’s had some rough moments and he’s seen some slow progress, slower than fans want him to, but progress nonetheless.
I would say his transition to linebacker from defensive end is a harder one than Worthy’s tackle to end.
The responsibilities are both different, but the move to linebacker involves more things, like dropping into coverage.
So it will be interesting to see how they use Perry tonight, and how he reacts in a real-time game situation.
With Newhouse and Sherrod out (though Newhouse will be back soon), we’ll get to see a little line depth.
The Packers excel in replacing hurt players on the offensive line, so in many ways we’re just getting an emergency preview. Also, it’s not like the Chargers have the world’s most dominant pass rush, so if you’re going to test backups, this is the time.
Again though, you need to know you can rely on the backups on a line which ends up as banged up as the Packers’ line seems to do every year. We’ll probably see Herb Taylor (who was out of football and hasn’t played a snap since 2008) and maybe a little of rookie Andrew Datko.
It’s not a group of names who strike a note of confidence for Packers fans, is it?
In Ted we Trust.....to get Rodgers out of there pretty damned quick.
With no Woodson, we won’t get the answer to the question of how many balls would a Woodson pick if a Woodson could pick balls, but we will see some guys who will fill in for him when he shifts positions.
MD Jennings and rookie Jeron McMillian are vying for the safety spot across from Morgan Burnett. Both are a bit undersized, but Jennings is also pretty light, with a much thinner frame. He’s a hard worker and has made some great plays in OTAs and camp. McMillian is a more durable looking player but hasn’t quite made the splash Jennings has.
At cornerback it’s a glut of players like Davon House, Casey Hayward, Sam Shields and Jarrett Bush. House is my pick to win the "Official Woodson Replacement of the 2012 Packers," and we might get an extended look at him tonight. Or they might spread the love around. Either way we’ll get a look at what the team will do without Woodson.
We’ve been hearing great things about Cobb all off-season and while Jordy Nelson and James Jones have been doing well, I have to think that the Packers find a way to get the ball into Cobb’s hands.
He just is so dynamic after the catch. He has the capability to be very dangerous.
With Jennings out and the starters probably not playing a ton, Cobb will get a chance against a decent Chargers secondary.
I’m interested to see how he has progressed so far and how it might impact his role this season.
What are you looking for tonight? Drop me a note in the comments.
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