Ideas on jump-starting offense

Using Wynn and Crosby more a good starting point for Packers

In a not so far-fetched fantasy world, the top two offensive performers from Week One would have been at Lambeau Field, answering Brett Favre's SOS call.

Adrian Peterson and Randy Moss combined for 346 total yards and two touchdowns last Sunday.

The entire Green Bay Packers offense? 215 and zero.

Beneath his self-assured persona, even Ted Thompson probably wishes he unloaded picks to Washington and Oakland for the sixth overall selection and Randy Moss four months ago. Quantity-for-quality aggressiveness last April would have saved the offense from the growing pains they'll endure all September.

But the ‘O' is what it is: extremely young and extremely raw, with hints of potential.

Mike McCarthy must be Dr. Leo Marvin and value baby steps for the offense. On Sunday they can "take a vacation from their problems."

Last week, the Giants defense picked up where they left off in 2006, surrendering 45 points and 478 yards to Dallas.

As important the Philadelphia game was for a good Packers defense to prove they can be great, this Sunday's game is crucial for Green Bay's offense to prove it is more than caretakers.

Here are some thoughts:

Get DeShawn Wynn more touches
On 3rd and 6 in the second quarter last week, running back DeShawn Wynn had a drive-killing false start. The ensuing 3rd and 11 might as well of been 3rd and 51 in a game where every yard gained was a journey.

The penalty led to one of the Packers' five 3-and-outs on the day. Yet when the cameras caught Wynn's expression immediately after the mental lapse, Wynn's head wasn't turtled into his neck. He wasn't engaged in self-pity. He was smiling.

Nothing, at least externally, bothers Wynn even though he has had every reason to be frustrated.

As a seventh round pick, Wynn entered training camp as an instant underdog. When a stomach virus and a quadriceps injury sidelined him through the majority of camp, his chances at landing a roster spot diminished below the Corey White level. With final cuts two days away, Wynn modestly rushed for 54 yards on 21 carries at Tennessee.

If Noah Herron had not have suffered a season-ending knee injury in that game, Wynn probably would've been released.

Instead Mike McCarthy made Wynn the team's third down back, mostly by obligation.

Now it's time to really test his ceiling. Wynn is an unknown weapon the team should utilize. He possesses better 0-to-60 acceleration than Brandon Jackson, which is surprising (and ideal) considering that Wynn is 20 pounds heavier.

Trailing 13-10 late in the third quarter, on 3rd on 10 (which still had the feel of 3rd and 50-something), Wynn redeemed himself of his costly first half penalty ... and a costly missed block.

Wynn was late in picking up blitzing safety Joselio Hanson, who wrapped up Favre for a sure sack. Wynn didn't chase down Hanson. He stayed in the play. Aware of the disaster of developing, Wynn curled in front of Favre, took the improvisational flip, turned north, and stormed for 18 yards.

Wynn lacks Jackson's zone-rushing scheme IQ. But he doesn't hesitate - a tendency that has plagued Jackson. McCarthy should give Wynn 8-12 carries at New York to see if he has a sleeping giant. There is nothing to lose.

The Mason Crosby Effect
The winner's playoff hopes would remain. The loser's would vanish.

That was the cut-and-dry reality of the Week 16 AFC battle between Buffalo (7-7) and Tennessee (7-7) in a borderline blizzard last season. Trailing 30-29, Buffalo drove to the Titans' 28-yard line with 41 seconds remaining. But rather than have kicker Rian Lindell attempt a 45-yard field goal in the swirling winds, Dick Jauron opted to go for it on 4th and 5. The try failed and the Bills' season was finished.

Mason Crosby eliminates this indecisiveness. McCarthy won't think twice about sending Crosby in for a 45+ yard kick late in games. He contains rare clutch chromosomes that exist in any condition.

The Meadowlands' blustery environment will feel like a dome.

During his junior year at Colorado, Crosby kicked during a tornado at Iowa State. An hour before kickoff, sirens fired and the entire stadium at Ames, Iowa was evacuated. The game started 30 minutes late and unpredictable 45 mph winds lingered.

"We got out there and it still felt like tornados were swirling around," Crosby said. "You couldn't tell where it was coming from."

In spite of Mother Nature, Crosby nailed all three of his field goal attempts that day, including a 57-yard missile.

No, Mason Crosby's success in college was not a result of Colorado's thin air.

"In the Big 12 we played in a lot of windy games," added Crosby, who cited Kansas as another windy destination.

Daily training camp kicking duels against Dave Rayner proved Crosby's mental toughness. Sunday affirmed that he isn't just a ‘practice player.' With Mason Crosby, McCarthy will never hold back as Jauron did. Weekly 60-yard kicks are not out of the realm of possibility.

Crosby's presence changes the complexion of games. If an opponent is milking clock late in a game on a sure go-ahead field goal, McCarthy can comfortably use timeouts to preserve a handful of seconds. All it takes is a decent kick return and 15-20 yards to get in Crosby's range. Green Bay will stay in more games because of this sixth round pick.

The Philadelphia game-winner will not be Crosby's last.

"Just growing up, I loved those pressure situations," Crosby recalled. "I played soccer when I was little, and I always wanted to be the last guy shooting a penalty kick to win the game; always taking free kicks; always wanting it put on my shoulders; always put that much pressure on myself so those situations don't bother me."

Tyler Dunne is a student at Syracuse University and frequent contributor to E-mail him at

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