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walleye  
#1 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:12:05 PM(UTC)
1. Backup quarterbacks to get a lot of reps
There will be plenty of time to watch backup quarterbacks Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn as Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the starting offense wont play much in Thursdays preseason finale (only about 10 plays, according to coach Mike McCarthy).


The two rookies have struggled throughout the preseason. Last Friday at Denver, Brohm failed to complete a pass and Flynn threw for a total of just 2 yards. Because Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher typically plays his starters into the second half in the last preseason game, Brohm and Flynn should get some work against quality NFL players.

If either one has some success, it could go along way toward easing the Packers concerns about whether they can handle a regular-season game. If they struggle, it could force the Packers to consider bringing in a veteran backup for the regular season.

2. Grant to debut?
Running back Ryan Grant is expected to make his preseason debut after missing parts of training camp due to his contract situation and then a strained hamstring. Grants practice reps have been extremely limited, so its unlikely McCarthy will play him very long Thursday night.

Last season, Grant didnt become the No. 1 running back until the seventh game of the season in part because he wasnt with the Packers in training camp. They had hoped to have Grant for a full camp this year, but it didnt work out.

3. How will the defense hold up?
Last week in Denver, the Broncos ran all over the Packers defense. On the Broncos 16-play, 99-yard touchdown drive that spanned eight minutes and 29 seconds, they ran 10 times, including six straight plays.

Sure, the Packers were without starting defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, their best run stopper, and they will be without him again Thursday night due to the hamstring injury that has kept him out for all of the preseason.

Still, the Packers had plenty of regulars in the game during that drive, and they still couldnt stop the Broncos. The Titans have a capable running game both because of their quarterback Vince Young and their top halfback LenDale White that will prove to be a good measuring stick to see if the Packers have improved from last week.

4. Cornerbacks Harris, Woodson might not play
Theres a good chance that the Packers entire starting secondary wont play Thursday night. Cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson didnt do much in practice this week and may not play.

Safeties Atari Bigby (ankle) and Nick Collins (neck) were banged up last week against the Broncos and probably will be held out even though their injuries dont appear to be serious. That means plenty of playing time for the backups, who are still fighting for jobs. While Tramon Williams appears to be a lock for the No. 3 cornerback job, theres still a battle for the third spot between Will Blackmon and Jarrett Bush.

For most of camp, Bush has held the edge, but Blackmon has been closing fast. Look for Bush also to get some time at safety behind Aaron Rouse and Tyrone Culver, who should start in place of Bigby and Collins.

5. Herron, Lumpkin, Morency battle it out
Perhaps the last true battle for a roster spot is at running back, where the threesome of Noah Herron, Kregg Lumpkin and Vernand Morency are running close. In Herron and Morency, the Packers have known commodities. Herron plays smart and is assignment sure, especially as a third-down back who can effectively pick up blitzes.

Morency does the same plus is perhaps a little better with the ball in his hands. Lumpkin, the undrafted rookie from Georgia, is probably the most talented of the three but is raw. Injuries limited his playing time in college and allowed him to slip through the cracks, but the Packers made him one of their free-agent priorities. A good showing Thursday night could make him impossible to cut.
Greg C.  
#2 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:41:31 PM(UTC)
#1 This is the biggie. We need one of these guys to step up soon, so Thompson does not have to bring in an emergency vet.

#2 No big deal. He will probably only get a few carries at most.

#3 Without Pickett, I'm not expecting much, but it would be good for them to put up some kind of resistance.

#4 This will be excellent experience for the backup CB's.

#5 I love this battle. I'd like to see Lumpkin get some reps with the #1 offense so we can judge him better.
SINCITYCHEEZE  
#3 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:04:49 PM(UTC)
I want to Jordy up against some 1st string special teams tonite to see what he can reallly do.
warhawk  
#4 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:08:39 PM(UTC)
While the majority of NFL coaches opt to use the third pre-season game to target getting the starters in "real game" type readiness the Titans apparentyl take the final game more seriously than most.

This means our starters will be taking a quick exit and the rest of the game our 2'nd teamers will be facing their #1's and our third and fourth level guys will be in against the Titans 2'nds, etc.

So don't be surprised if Brohm, for example, has it rough because he won't be in with our #1's but will be up against theirs for several series. It would be different if he were in there with our top line guys but McCarthy is not going there tonight.

At the end of the day this could mean we might get smoked tonight and while many here will surely predict the sky is falling this game, for us, is about who will be the last three or four players to survive the cut and nothing more.

You won't see our top line defense in there long enough to know how they will hold up and the last thing they will do is risk injury to Grant in a meaningless game so don't look for much there either.

This game right here is why they are giving consideration to reducing pre-season to three ball games. There is really little sense for it.
zombieslayer  
#5 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:17:33 PM(UTC)
1. As of now, Flynn has impressed me more than Brohm.

2. I hope Grant gets less than five carries. I don't want to see him play more than the first series.

3. This is where I miss Corey Williams.

4. Good. Keep both of them out. I want them both 100% for Game 1. I also want to see Bush at S because he's pissing me off at CB.

5. Question for all of you - are we keeping four RBs? If so, it's Grant, Jackson, Herron, and whom? Mo or Lumpkin? Maybe tonight I'll get the answer.
Greg C.  
#6 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 6:26:07 PM(UTC)
It seems like just a few years ago the Packers ended the preseason by getting trounced by the Titans at Lambeau--in the rain. The same thing may happen tonight.
gopackgo  
#7 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 6:34:44 PM(UTC)
I'll be interested to see how the QB's do tonight. Many people think the Titans are all about VY, but it is their defense that has been the reason for their recent success.
agopackgo4  
#8 Posted : Thursday, August 28, 2008 7:56:01 PM(UTC)
Move Lumpkin up the list behind the quarterbacks..To me.
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