Here are the blue chip performers from last night's Family Night scrimmage at Lambeau Field:
- Charlie Peprah -- The third year safety was not only a ball magnet, he delivered some knockout blows just as the ball was arriving to receivers. He seems to have been watching a lot of how Atari Bigby plays football, and that's a good thing. Sorry Tyrone Culver, Charlie's got your roster spot. Peprah in the dime, anyone?
- Johnny Jolly and the defensive tackles -- For all the problems that the defensive tackles have had to overcome, they've put together a helluva performance. Jolly was constantly penetrating up the middle creating havoc for the interior of the offensive line. Guys like Junius Coston had a problem containing him. And it wasn't just Jolly. Colin Cole, Daniel Muir, Conrad Bolston, and Alfred Malone all did a solid job of holding their ground. Analyst and former Packer Johnny Gray commended Cole for his performance at training camp all week and how quick he looks out on the field.
That's about all for stud performances. It just wasn't a blue chip kind of night. Lots of sloppy play means the Packers have a lot to work on. There were some solid performances, though. They get red chips:
- Will Blackmon -- Blackmon didn't do anything to distinguish himself on defense, but his abilities are being shown on return units. Of course, there was no contact, but Blackmon unofficially had one punt return for 56 yards and a kick return for 30. It was just beautiful too see Blackmon catch his only punt with forward momentum to get some initial speed and make the first guys miss. By the way, has anyone noticed that the Packers haven't even used Charles Woodson returning punts even once this training camp? That just shows how much confidence they have in guys like Blackmon. It was also just nice to see him on the field after missing several practices due to his chronically injured foot.
- The defensive rookies -- The Packers went mainly after offense in this past April's draft. But they did draft two rookies on the defensive side of the ball who aren't in danger of making the 53 man roster. That means they'll have to contribute, and contribute they did on Sunday after a shaky beginning to training camp. Patrick Lee led all defenders with five tackles on the night while defensive end Jeremy Thompson was credited with a sack and was generally very active.
- Josh Sitton -- Sitton filled in at right guard with the first string offense when Jason Spitz shifted to center for an injured Scott Wells. Sitton had no major gaffes, and was very aggressive. He showed an eagerness to get downfield on running plays to help keep the chains moving.
And now for the cow chip performances:
- Brian Brohm and the quarterbacks -- What's with the happy feet? For a guy that played in some big games at Louisville, he sure looked every bit the neophyte on Sunday night. Set and throw. Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, "He throws the ball about a half step too late right now. And his arm hasn't shown up that well." Neither Aaron Rodgers or Matt Flynn did that much better. The stats? Roders 7 for 20, 84 yards; Brohm 6 for 15, 61 yards; Flynn 6 for 11, 49 yards. It will only fuel the fire for Brett Favre's return to action.
- Mental errors -- It's one thing for undrafted rookies to have drops, but it's another for Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Ruvell Martin all to have drops. Running back Kraig Lumpkin also slipped on the field twice last night. I know there was rain, but it seems there were more correctable mistakes than their should have been.
- Fox's television coverage -- If you live in Wisconsin, you know what I mean. They did a good enough job of announcing the game for being a local outfit, but their seemingly endless commercial interruptions were frustrating. And then at least twice, they came back from long break for like 3o seconds and immediately went to commercial again!
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