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Pack93z  
#1 Posted : Monday, September 8, 2008 2:14:31 PM(UTC)
It begins tonight; can the Packers of 08 really pull it off?

As much as the saga strained my passion for the game of football this summer, I am confident that we can be very successful this season. And to be perfectly honest, I think the keys to returning to the playoffs this season is essentially three fold, and none of them begins with the QB. Dont get me wrong, these arent the only three factors, but in my opinion we will only go as far as these two aspects take us.

1) Offensive line play If the line plays as inconsistent as last season, meaning a couple of good weeks followed by a couple of blah weeks; we as a team are in trouble. I would love to say, it is only reserved for the interior line, but that isnt the case. For as much depth as this team has acquired, we are razor thin along the offensive line for solid depth.

Our front line tackles are exceptional; Clifton and Tauscher in my opinion are still in a top 5 combos in the league. However we have virtually no trusted depth behind them, we have a rookie whom isnt ready to play in the NFL and two sliders along the line. In the NFL, that is razor thin.

At the interior, we have a couple of players in their third year and a sophomore that havent proven they can line up weekly and play to their ability. I know I sound critical of these gents, but honestly, the only time Colledge really plays well is after he has gotten threatened with being sat and his tail end chewed upon. Spitz and Wells are pretty solid and Sitton is green and will have his troubles.

Can we win with this group, yes we can. But with concerns about the health of our starting QB and TB, they need to step it up, play focused with solid techniques and path the way for this offense this season. We have talent on the field, they just need to allow whomever is at QB to have time to function to their ability.

2) Defensive Adjustments On the defensive side of the ball, we have enough talent and experience to have a very solid to exceptional defensive unit. But we have to be flexible enough to adjust away from our strengths if they are being exposed and mix it up for the opposing QB and OC.

While a vanilla scheme with the bulk of the passing defense being shouldered by a couple of the grizzled veteran CBs is a defense that masks some of the youthful mistakes, it also is prone to being exposed from time to time with bigger receivers that use their hands well coming off the line of scrimmage.

For as much verbal chatter about learning from the loss in the championship game and making sure that it isnt repeated, this is as critical as any other possible issue we faced this offseason. Sanders has to gain a feel for the game, have the comfort to alter the scheme if it is being exposed and have the confidence in his backend of the defense to make them play on the field; not trying to minimize their exposure in coverage.

3) This team has to stay unified There will be more storms to weather this season than a year ago and that very element will test the fabric of this team more so than any opponent this season.

Through the preseason, they have maintained a united front with all the press and changes occurring. That bodes well for the chances of this team to withstand the rough waters that surely lie ahead.

Whether it is the QB play, injuries or the nonstop prodding of the press when this team loses a game or two; there will have to be a level of trust and unification amongst this team. If the bloodthirsty sharks that pose as reporters seem a hint of team breakdown, it will become a all out feeding frenzy until the bleeding stops. We cant allow that to start to snowball to this youthful team, like I said, it will test every fiber of this team until the final whistle blows.


I could go on and on about the Xs and Os, the matchup problems we could project upon other teams, the skill level and depth of this team, but if the above fail to measure up it is going to be a season of great challenges met with increased struggle.

Here is to putting the past behind us, not forgetting but moving forward with the excitement of a new era in the chronicles of the Packers long and proud history.

Win or lose tonight, it doesnt really change the season ahead.. for it is only one game on the path of growth.

- Pack93z, a twisted fellow that bleeds Green and Gold.

Enjoy the game all..
bigfog  
#2 Posted : Monday, September 8, 2008 2:19:19 PM(UTC)
Busting the ghost of Favre, that is brilliant good sir. "I ain't afraid of no Favre"

One thing that I think may be overlooked here is the perception that the Vikings are allegedly "better" than the Pack. After all, they happen to be a trendy Super Bowl pick. They're "supposed" to beat teams like Green Bay. They've got an awful lot of pressure riding on them, I'd say that it's comparable to the pressure Rodgers is facing.

Will that pressure effect them? I guess we'll find out tonight.
digsthepack  
#3 Posted : Monday, September 8, 2008 3:25:17 PM(UTC)
As I said in a previous post, as soon as a modicum of expectation, or pressure, is placed on the Queens, they do not have the mental fortitude to weather it.

Pile on the hype, and create a little of your own Queens fans/players.....it just feeds into your terribly fragile psyches.
PackerTraxx  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 8, 2008 3:54:45 PM(UTC)
I hope we can bust the ghost of Favre now. Even though I loved Brett I don't want his ghost to haunt us for the better part of 3 decades as Lombardi's did.
NodakPaul  
#5 Posted : Monday, September 8, 2008 5:48:34 PM(UTC)
We'll see. You know the old saying... You don't want to be the successor to a legend. You want to be the successor to the successor to the legend. Rodgers is going to need awfully big feet to fill the shoes he inherited.

I think at the end of the season Rodgers and the Packers will be able to look back at 2008 as a successful year. Don't gauge the entire season by the performance of the team tonight... ;)
Greg C.  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 8, 2008 6:40:17 PM(UTC)
Awesome post, pack93z. So often I read better stuff here than I do in the newspapers and magazines and web sites. This is a good example of that.

While the Favre thing was happening, I lost some of my enthusiasm, but as soon as it ended my enthusiasm came right back and is stronger than ever. Everyone in the organization from Thompson to the 53rd player on the roster will be out to prove that they can live without Favre. Most people in the national media see this in terms of "pressure," but I see it in terms of "motivation." Of course, it is some of each.

Your concerns about the OL are well-founded and I cannot disagree with them, but as I've said elsewhere, I feel that as long as they are average we have enough talent on offense to be very productive. Much is said about how a good OL can make the QB, RBs, and receivers look better than they are, but the reverse is true as well.

On defense, I think Sanders will mix things up more, and the big question is whether that will make the defense better or whether it will backfire, Slowik-style. I wouldn't go so far as to call our CBs grizzled veterans. I know you're not really serious about using that term, but I think it's worth noting that Woodson, at 31, is still in his prime, while Harris, at 33, is either in his prime or just a little ways past it.

I couldn't agree more about the team unity thing. That's going to be the real story of this season. I think they will be very unified and it will carry over onto the field.
Pack93z  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, September 9, 2008 12:42:54 AM(UTC)
Thanks Greg.. the oline was spotty tonight but showed signs of life between penalties.

The Defense though stayed static in coverage..but did stunt a greater percentage.

The team looked unified in stance.. that will be tested the first loss or two.

Solid start to 08.
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