Questions, questions, questions.
There are so many questions, questions, questions surrounding the Packers this preseason it can make your head spin and write the same word three or six times.
I'm going to do a three parter in the next couple of days covering my major points of interest this preseason. Part one is offense, part two the D and three will be Special Teams/Coaching/Management. I hope you enjoy and it helps pass the time before September.
Is Ryan Grant the real?
His YPC last year was atrocious, and he's got a lot to prove coming into this season. I don't know about the rest of you, but I think the Packers have some starting potential further down the chart in Jackson, Wynn or Lumpkin.
If Ryan stumbles out of the gate will management be willing to try out the kids? Does Kregg Lumpkin have the coolest name on the Packers roster? (Actually no—he's second. Read Pt.2 for the coolest name in football.)
Who's the offensive line?
Chad Clifton, check, then, ummm...There seems to be a lot of talent in camp; Are the Packers going to be able to find the right combination in time to start the season? I would love to see the same five for 16 games, and that should be largely dictated by the success of the running game.
If the ground attack is as weak at the start of the season as last year we could be in for a long year of the "maybe this guy" game.
Will Quinn Johnson start?
We dropped a fifth round draft pick on this fella so I certainly hope he does. I also hope that's not the Packers reasoning too. I want him to out play Kuhn and Hall in the preseason and earn his spot on merit; if he does this it's pretty much a guarantee the running game will improve.
What's the deal, Brian Brohm?
Now, throwing away a second round pick when your team is weak at numerous positions kinda steams my baloney; but, there is an upside here if you're willing to look at it objectively. When a team drafts a QB in the second round they expect him to have starting potential.
Many teams have set themselves up for a disastrous season by handing the keys over to a secound round pick, based mostly on potential. Potential or not and baring a complete disaster on the injury front, Brian Brohm will never start for the Packers—and we know this already, without losing a single game.
Maybe we can trade him to Minnesota for Tavaris Jackson.
Donald Lee or Jermichael Finley?
The way I see this is Lee is a trusted veteran who'll play smart and do his job. Maybe, just maybe, Finley could be something special. The matchup nightmares for defenses with Driver, Jennings, Nelson/Martin/Jones, and an elite tight end roaming around the field would be sublime.
Who will be the slot/3rd wideout?
I wasn't even going to include this here because it's something like the high school quarterback deciding which cheerleader he's gonna take to the prom. They're all beautiful baby, you can't lose.
Even the youngsters who don't make the Packers are going to have a chance to pick up somewhere else—this group is deep. Hear that Chicago? You're welcome to the scraps.
Will Aaron Rodgers improve on a phenomenal 2008?
This is a guy who's something of a miracle for the Packers. For starters, I believe he was the last first round pick of the Mike Sherman era (I actually might be wrong here-please let me know), a regime not classically known for strong drafts. Ahmad Caroll anyone? ugghh....So that right there is pretty miraculous on it's own; but to show the patience and understanding with his situation that he did over the first three years is just fantastic.
Coming into last year there were certainly questions about his talent, no one had really seen him play aside from the Dallas game, but I for one never questioned where his head was at. Screwed on tight; he proved that.
So you've failed to answer your own question, for 2009, will Aaron improve?
Whoops! Yes, he's just that kind of guy.
(Here's a fun game, off the top of your head, think of as many legendary quarterbacks you can and then try to think of the guys who replaced them the next year. Montana-Young for sure. My list gets pretty thin after that.
Elway-Brister, but that's just because the guys first name was BUBBY! Whose gonna forget that? Bubby, heh...whose next though? Marino?, man, they're still looking. Aikman-couldn't tell ya.
Now, Aaron Rodgers isn't quite Steve Freakin' Young yet—but he's certainly no Bubby Brister, and that is reason enough to celebrate.)
Have the Packers improved on the offensive side this offseason?
I guess that's the big question, the last one, the over-all. Are we a better team heading into 2009 offensively? The cast is virtually the same, with the exception of the rookies and our big free agent acquisition C/G Duke Preston.
We had two thousand yard receivers last year, and if the running game can find itself, look out.
So ends part one, the offense. I'll leave you with this: Bubby...love it.