This was Mike McCarthy's first real game as a head coach in the National Football League and I will say that for the first game he seemed to have control of things. This team had no penalties in the first half and that's a sign of a team that understands what the coaches ask of them. To me it's a sign of discipline and can only help win games in the long run.
I liked how McCarthy or offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski moved Brett Favre out of the pocket once they realized he was a sitting duck. I also liked the onside kick, which shows me he is willing to take a risk which is a pleasant change in the kicking game.
These were the good things, but with the good there is the bad. One thing I didn't like was the fact that Jagodzinski was on the sideline with McCarthy. I think he needs to be up in the box to be able to relate what's really going on because his knowledge is being wasted down on the field. Up in the box he would have a different viewpoint which might help the correction of mistakes in between plays instead of when a series is over and they get the pictures back.
Also the only real other mistake in my opinion was right before half with the 2-minute drill. Once McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers realized that nothing was going to happen, McCarthy should have slowed the game down and not given the Chargers a chance to block the kick or even get their hands on the ball and just managed the clock better. But, like I said, this was their first real opportunity for all of them and hopefully they did because besides those situations I thought they were into the game and did the best they could under the situation. Also on defense, I liked the way Bob Sanders played mostly man-to-man to see who could cover and who couldn't especially at the linebacker position. He used this game to find out a lot about his young players and I also liked the way he tried to get one-on-one pass rush matchups to see who could get to the quarterback. Remember coaches coach and it's up to the players to execute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brett Favre was running for his life and he will not last if this offensive line doesn't get better - period and end of the story. Favre threw some nice balls but really didn't get the opportunity to make a difference.
My hat's off to Rodgers. He really looked like he has the confidence to play at this level. He was sharp moving the ball around to different receivers as well as knowing when to tuck the ball and run. He just needs to work on his slide.
I was pleasantly surprised by the effort of the receiving unit. I thought that for the most part it played very well. Robert Ferguson made a nice grab and Rod Gardner had, I believe, two nice grabs especially the one where he came back to the ball. Greg Jennings had a nice game even though some might credit him for two drops that I have issue with - the one that was high and behind him and on the other one, I believe it was Quentin Jammer, that made a great play by knocking the ball out of his hands before he could tuck it away. He will learn that he has to make tough catches at this level and when he does get his hands on the ball he has to secure it right away. Also it was nice to see Marc Boerigter make a play he's been all but invisible. Those were all pretty good things.
Now to the not-so-good. The offensive line played like it was scared to hit somebody. I've heard enough about the zone blocking scheme, but I don't care what scheme it is if the guys that are supposed to be executing it are getting knocked into the backfield. It's not going to work. Daryn Colledge is supposed to be this strong man from Boise State. Guess what? I don't see it. He was on roller skates all night long, and if he doesn't pick it up or just get mean, he will have defensive linemen fighting each other to line up over him taking turns dish-ragging him. Am I being hard on him? NO, because it's his job they brought him in to protect the living legend Brett Favre not to yell look out as his man runs by him. As a result of his play Saturday, he was demoted to second team. What's worse is that Jason Spitz doesn't seem to be any better. And what happened to Junius Coston? He is out of position at tackle and it showed.
This offensive line has no depth and up to this point, no toughness. I don't care who the running backs are you must have some form of a hole to run through which worries me. As for the running backs I hope Ahman Green doesn't do something foolish and rush himself, thinking he has to be the savior. Then again he just might have to be because between Samkon, Najeh and Noah there isn't a third-down back or a legitimate starting back between them. I hope he is ready to carry the load.
Welcome A.J. Hawk! I saw what I have been waiting to see since he signed on the dotted line. He was all over the field and, yes, he got beaten early on a pass to Gates, but then again how many all-pros have Gates beaten? Hawk does bring that physical presence to the defense. Abdul Hodge also played hard, but he showed that he is a liability when it comes to pass coverage skills. Kabeer showed his speed getting a sack. Also, Charles Woodson showed he can still play with the best of them, which are all good things but like before here comes the bad.
Even though I believe Ahmad Carroll has improved and I want to say he's going to get it, I'm not sure he ever will. Al Harris can't give the guys he's covering so much room if he's going to be that cover corner he expects to get paid like after this year. And, yes, where's the beef? Kenderick Allen and Ryan Pickett have to give this team more than what they have given them thus far.
This was the first pre-season game and yes the reason they play these games is to give the players and the coaches a chance to evaluate how they coached or played so they can improve before their first real game. Some coaches and players only want two pre-season games, but trust me, can the Packers have more after WHAT I WITNESSED?????
Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at firstname.lastname@example.org, and it will be forwarded to him.