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Preview: Cardinals at Green Bay Packers

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Attention players: he's watching you closely
Attention players: he's watching you closely

Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that preseason for him and the Green Bay Packers is all about player evaluations. I'm sure he likes to win, but it's more important that the players are getting better, stronger, and executing their roles. With that in mind, here's a couple battles to watch.

RB Brandon Saine and Alex Green. Saine keeps getting an extended look because the Packers are short a running back every week. Last week, it was rookie Alex Green who was out with an injury, and this week it looks doubtful that James Starks will play. He showed some promise last week, and he's someone to keep an eye on. Also, watch for Green in pass protection.

WR Randall Cobb and Diondre Borel. McCarthy gave Borel some love on Thursday, and anyone who saw the first preseason game knows that Cobb is someone to watch. I was having trouble telling the two receivers apart, and it doesn't help that their jersey numbers (Cobb-18, Borel-19) are so similar. Borel had one ugly drop against the Browns, and the most important thing he can do against the Cardinals is to show good hands.

LG T.J. Lang and Derek Sherrod. McCarthy said that Lang will start ahead of Sherrod, which doesn't surprise me. Lang actually has some experience at left guard, while Sherrod didn't have any before the start of training camp. I think they'd like Lang to be the starter at left guard, so he's well established by the time Sherrod has to take over for LT Chad Clifton.

DE C.J. Wilson. He'll get a good opportunity to work with the first team defense with the absence of DE Mike Neal. In general, I don't believe training camp decisions are made based on one preseason game, but this might be Wilson's only chance to prove he deserves to start ahead of Neal.

OLB Frank Zombo and Erik Walden. While Zombo played with the first team defense for most of last week, Walden appears to be the man this week. They seem to be giving both players the same opportunities to see how they respond. Neither of them made a big play last week and they were both burned on a big play by the Browns, so the Packers are still waiting for one of them to step forward.