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What To Watch For This Preseason

You know Mike McCarthy will be watching closely.

I'm thinking back to last preseason. Was there something about the Green Bay Packers that foreshadowed a 13-3 team would fall to 6-10? What should we be looking for this preseason?

I remembered some things, but I still had to read back through the APC archives.

  • Opening week scrimmage. The weakest spot on the 2008 team was the awful run defense, and the defensive line looked back right from the start during this scrimmage. And I was reminded that Pro Bowl S Nick Collins got off to such a slow start this time last year that he was playing 3rd string CB, so don't worry if he seems to struggle with the new pass defense early this preseason.
  • Loss to Cincinnati. The final score shows a loss, but the Packers 1st team offense and defense dominated Cincinnati's starters. Unfortunately that wasn't a hint to a great Packer season. It was a sign that the Bengals were preparing to start the regular season 0-8.
  • Big loss to San Francisco. The score was 34-6 and it was that bad. At least on the defensive side. It was a terrible game for the offensive line, especially OL Jason Spitz, but this was their low point of the preseason. It was, however, another sign that the defense wasn't good enough.
  • Win in Denver. Again the defense looked bad, but it's another great game for QB Aaron Rodgers. The offense played poorly around him in San Francisco the week before, but that wasn't his fault, and he looked great against Cincinnati. On defense, only the secondary is playing well, but not the safeties (yet).
  • Loss to Tennessee. More bad defense. They allowed a couple big runs by QB Vince Young, but no other big plays. They couldn't get off the field and Tennessee had four separate drives of over 10 plays. The offense looked bad too, but it was mostly backups. Rodgers threw a 68 yard TD pass on his first play from scrimmage, and then he took the rest of the night off.

What stood out to me was that if a performance is repeated throughout the preseason, then it's probably for real. Rodgers looked good in preseason and great during the regular season. The defense struggled up front with ineffectiveness and injuries, and then that was a recurring theme. 

That loss to Tennessee might have been last time Vince Young did anything right during a game. Is that guy ever going to get his act together?