Saturday, August 13, 2011

Packers O-Line Concern in Preseason Loss

The Packers fell tonight to the Browns 27-17 in an intriguing preseason match up. The Browns are a team on the  rise under president Mike Holmgren - former Super Bowl winning coach for the Green Bay Packers.

The defending Super Bowl champions looked a little sluggish on their first series but clicked on their second series as Aaron Rodgers went 5 for 5 connecting with Greg Jennings for a 21 yard score.

Cleveland managed to present a strong pass rush most of the game. An exciting aspect of the Packers offense which was absent last year due to Ryan Grant's injury was a respectable running game. On Rodger's scoring drive James Starks was able to gash the Brown's defense for some good chunks of yardage opening up the passing game by neutralizing a potent Browns pass rush.

James Starks picked up where he left off last postseason.

Once the first team offense was off the field things seemed to go downhill. Matt Flynn looked good, but took a few hits and Graham Harrell spent a good bit of time on the ground being sacked several times.

The Packers drafted Derek Sherrod in hopes of revamping the Packers offensive line to keep Aaron Rodgers on his feet and also to keep Aaron Rodgers playing in playoff games when he's Brett Favre's age. Hopefully this is just the Packers working out the rust or being fatigued from finally visiting President Obama and not something that is going to translate into the regular season.

The offensive line has been a problem for the last few seasons, even resulting in a few concussions sustained by Aaron Rodgers due to heavy pressure.

The fact of the matter is the Packers offensive line was a revolving door the second half of the football game.

In all, it was the first preseason game of the year. While there was a great deal of sloppy football going on there are still some big things to be excited about. Randall Cobb looked great fielding kickoffs from his own endzone. I predict more than one touchdown this year just from Cobb's special team's contributions.

Every time Randall Cobb was near the ball I got excited.
Cobb also reminded me of a very green Donald Driver. I foresee Randall Cobb eventually taking over Donald Driver's position as the squirrely athlete who goes over the middle and catches everything no matter what... in due time though he had a few drops here and there. Every time Randall Cobb was near the ball I got excited.

Safety Morgan Burnett was also very impressive on a few plays early in the game. It would be nice to see him get on the field after an injury took him out early last season.

Going into next week the Packers need to work on pass blocking. Your quarterback should not be on the ground. Not if you want to win.