Almost all of the rule changes in the last several years have been to allow for more offensive production, to assist the offense in putting points on the board. Everything from the way you can hit the quarterback to how a defender can cover a receiver. Nowadays they even throw the flag when the receiver isn't on the side where the quarterback is looking.
I know many of the old-time players wouldn't have survived the way the game is called now, so as you can see the offense has many advantages. Now here's the problem: Can this offense take advantage of how the game is called and help this defense? I guess I am just curious on where the points are going to come from this year with this team. Let me further explain:
With any offense we have to start with the offensive line. This team has a very good but young offensive line that did a pretty good job last year. It protected Brett Favre very well and got better as the season went along. Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, Scott Wells, along with veterans Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, started to gain confidence with the zone-blocking system.
Even though I don't like this type of blocking style, especially in the red zone, it's what Mike McCarthy wants to do so it's up to the linemen to execute it. In other words, if they can't score or are having trouble scoring I don't think it will be because of the offensive line. So if it isn't going to be the offensive line, then it falls on the skill players to score points and this is where I think the Green Bay Packers will have trouble this year. So let's take a hard look and who the playmakers are, or aren't, at this point.
We know that Brett Favre is going to be the quarterback, but which Brett Favre will we see? Will we see the patient Brett Favre? The one that will play under control and be willing to hand the ball off to the running backs by committee and move the chains, using dink and dunk passes? Or will we see the gunslinger that knows this is probably his last year, so he might want to go out with a bang? Will he be the guy who wants to prove to the world that he still has it, or will he come to terms with the fact that he can't do the things he used to and, not only that, but also realize that he doesn't have the talent around him he once had?
So as wise and great of a player that Brett is this year will be a challenge for him because he has never been one to lower his standards or expectations everytime he walks on the field. He expects to win and he gives it his best, but unfortunately his best might not be good enough this year because his supporting cast just might not be good enough. Brett can't do it by himself.
I know Favre is not alone. He has Donald Driver who had an incredible 2006 season. Donald defied the odds last year when he was double- and triple-covered and still got to the Pro Bowl by having an outstanding year.
After Driver and Favre, where is the offensive firepower coming from? That's my biggest concern for this offense. Who else is going to step up and be productive? Right now this team doesn't have a legit running back. I know this running back by committee stuff sounds good and we did it back when the Packers won the Super Bowl with Edgar, Dorsey, and Henderson, but these guys are them.
Vernand Morency and Brandon Jackson are good backs and would be solid backups on other teams, but neither are starters in the NFL. I say that with no disrespect to either of them. Will they be productive? I guess they have to be because the Packers, at this point, have no other options, do they? Edgar Bennett will have to coach his butt off, but he can only do so much.
Just like the running backs position will have to get it done by committee I am curiously looking at the receiver position to see just which one of these young guys is going to step up to the plate. After Donald Driver I don't know who will be the second to fifth receivers, and probably neither do the coaches. It will be a battle between James Jones, Greg Jennings, David Clowney. The guy that probably has more talent then all of them is Carlyle Holiday for point production, if they plan to score.
Did I forget to write about the tight end position? Oh, I'm sorry, but then again will the Packers get anything out of that position, except another blocker in the backfield and a disappearing act in the red zone?
So the way I see it anything they get from the offense besides production from Brett Favre and Donald Driver WILL BE A PLEASANT SURPRISE!!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.