Packers-Titans: Things to watch

Offense, Favre need to get on track; guard positions still up for grabs

Green Bay wraps up its preseason schedule tonight with a 7 p.m. (CT) game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Here are a few things to watch on the Packers' side of the ball:


Green Bay's offense has scored only two touchdowns in three preseason games. Brett Favre and the first team has led the offense to the end zone twice, but that's it. The Packers, who are rebuilding their interior offensive line, have struggled to run the ball. Ahman Green is averaging 2.3 yards per carry on 26 attempts this preseason. Favre was intercepted three times in Green Bay's blowout loss to New England on Friday, though, one of the picks was nullified by a penalty.

"I would like to play at least, if not more, than I did last week," said Favre. "Last week was not a good game. I think we all know that. I could have told you before last week's game that as well as everyone said I played the previous two games that there are still a lot left to do. I've always been an advocate to play more. ... I feel like to me, the more I play, the better I get."

Backup quarterback Quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell said on Tuesday after practice that the backup quarterback spot is still up for grabs between Aaron Rodgers, Craig Nall and J.T. O'Sullivan.

Rodgers has struggled throughout the preseason. He enters the game with a passer rating of 19.4. He has completed 11 of 24 passes and has been intercepted twice in three games. Nall has completed five of 13 passes for 39 yards. He hasn't thrown any interceptions, but he has had trouble moving the offense. O'Sullivan has played the least of the backups but has performed the best statistically in the playing time that he has received. O'Sullivan has completed 5 of 10 passes for 30 yards and no interceptions.

If Favre plays the entire first half, it is likely that only two of the three backups will play. Count on Rodgers to play, but it will be up to the coaches on whether O'Sullivan or Nall will see any action.

Bubba's back
Bubba Franks, who signed a multi-year contract last week with the team, will play in tonight's game. Franks has been practicing with the team all week. Coach Mike Sherman says that Franks is in very good condition, but needs as much work as possible with the offense to shake off some rust.

The guard positions still up in the air, though, it appears that Adrian Klemm will start on the left side and rookie Will Whitticker on the right side. However, Klemm and Whitticker struggled against the New England Patriots last Friday, so they are not locks to start for the season opener in Detroit.

Second-year pro Scott Wells was with the first team offense at left guard during the team's walkthrough Wednesday, so he may start tonight opposite Whitticker. Veteran Grey Ruegamer has been rotating with Whitticker on the right side during practice. It is possible that the Packers may go with Ruegamer and his experience to start the season.

Defensive line
Grady Jackson and Cletidus Hunt began practicing with the team this week, though, on a limited basis. It is uncertain if the two will play tonight. Both have missed a number of practices in training camp and have yet to play in a preseason game. Still, they have more talent and potential to help the line rush the passer and stop the run than any of the other defensive linemen on the team.

Defensive coordinator Jim Bates may want to take a look at Jackson and Hunt in action, if only for a few series. This may help him decide on who is worthy of starting for the opener in Detroit on Sept. 11.

Todd Korth

Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report. E-mail him at with your thoughts and comments.

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