The First Preseason Game
The Packers will play the Steelers this Saturday in Pittsburgh and while it is a preseason game and has very little bearing on the regular season, there will be a few things to look for. For some reason they all seem to be defensive in nature.
After seeing the Steelers offense tear up the Saints early in the Hall of Fame game, it will be interesting to see how the Packers' first line pass defense handles the Steelers trio of receivers - Santonio Holmes, Cedrick Wilson and Hines Ward. I also look forward to seeing if Brady Poppinga can cover Steelers tight end Heath Miller.
Since the front line guys play very little in preseason games, the answers to these questions may remain unanswered, but will still need an answer.
August 6, 2007
I was out of town at a wedding most of last week and missed everything. I did watch most of the Family Night game on TIVO (if you do not have it ... get it or get a DVR from the cable company or dish people - it is the greatest thing to ever happen to television). I hesitate to put much stock in what goes on the first couple of weeks of camp. Watching practice is probably the last thing I would want to do. That being said, I have picked up a couple of things.
1. The team looked sloppy at times. That is to be expected. Usually the defense is ahead of the offense. The defense put a lot of pressure on the QB's, but since the quarterbacks are off limits, the offense still managed to get off some plays.
2. Brett Favre looked like Brett Favre. Laser throws followed by laser throws followed by a ill-advised pass that was intercepted in the end zone.
3. Aaron Rodgers actually looked respectable. I am not ready to deal Favre, but there might be hope for Rodgers.
4. It will never stop amazing me that Packer fans will fill the stadium for a scrimmage. There is no comparision in the NFL for the Packer faithful.
5. I did not catch many shots of first round pick Justin Harrell in action, but I did not see anything special in the few exposures I managed to see. I would give him an incomplete grade so far.
6. The Packers introduced the coaching staff before the game. How many coaches does a team need? They have 21.
The 1965 Lombardi era Packers had six assistant coaches.
The 1996 Packers had 13 assistants.
Editor's note: John Lombardi is the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi. His football experience includes stints with two teams in the World League (now NFL Europe); in the scouting departments of the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans; and graduate assistant coach and director of football operations at Vanderbilt. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.