The Green Bay Packers Observed: Part I—Team Strengths
The Packers are my favorite team, and for some unusual reason my favorite players all seem to play in Green Bay. Of course, I am always open to attaining new favorite players if they are willing to play for my beloved team. This doesn't mean I cannot be objective. There are things I like about the team and things I do not.
So here are my observations about what I think is good about the current Packers. My next article will include my observations about what is not so good.
Greg Jennings is an exciting possession receiver with a flair for the big play. Good at finding a seam, hit him in stride and he can really run. He appears to be equally as comfortable with Aaron Rodgers as he was with Brett Favre. Although he doesn’t seem to be the best at fighting off defenders in the end zone, he can make a tough catch.
Jennings could be even better with the complement of a more threatening receiver playing on the other side.
Ryan Grant is a hard-nosed runner and seems a good fit for the system. He can pound the ball and has showed some ability for making the big run. With a full camp under his belt, better blocking, and some work on pass catching, there is no reason to believe he is not going to be productive in the starting spot.
Aaron Rodgers has a good arm and is an accurate passer. A young quarterback who was allowed time to develop and learn the system, Rodgers showed he has the talent and the brains to play at this level. He seems to be entirely on the same page as the coaching staff and will not make a lot of mistakes.
James Jones and Jordy Nelson are two interesting prospects who could become valuable contributors to the offense if they are able to take their games to the next level. Jones is a physical, sure-handed receiver who can fight for the ball and for extra yardage after the catch. Nelson is deceptively speedy and a reliable route runner who might make a great three or four receiver.
Zone Blocking seems to be coming around, and if the line ever gets itself figured out, the scheme and Ryan Grant will be tough to stop. The challenge with this scheme is finding the right personnel, and the Packers seem to be headed in the right direction.
Aaron Kampman is the consummate pro, a hard worker and an all-around good football player. The question has never been about Aaron as much as it’s been about who is playing down the line from him. Whatever the defense asks of Kampman, they will get 100 percent effort and no complaints.
Charles Woodson is the best defensive player on the Packers and one of the best defensive players in the division. Instinctive as much as he is a pure talent, Woodson is a playmaker and even at his age will continue to contribute greatly. Although his time at safety last season did not seem to go all so well, he will be a great safety when the move is made out of design rather than necessity.
Bump and Run is real football, and it is what you want to do if you have the personnel to do it. Although Al Harris has declined to the point of being a weakness, adding another corner and getting better play from the safety position could easily bring this unit back up to speed as one of the best defensive backfields in football.
Mason Crosby had some rough moments, but he sure looks like a great kicker to me. Personally, I think this guy is Ted Thompson’s best draft pick. Of course, the future remains to be seen.
Overall, the Green Bay Packers have some real strong points and some very solid players. Although they might not have the most talented team, the coach and management do seem to have a real plan they are sticking with, which is apparent in the team chemistry and the puzzle parts coming together.
The massive defensive scheme switch took me by surprise and seemed out of character for this team and its management, but it could create some positives for a defense struggling to find an identity.
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