Ah, this is so much easier to write than MVP. Instead of trying to stretch and find the bright side of things I can just embrace all that pain and embarrassment I felt while watching that game and channel into a nice little post and then watch all my beloved APC'ers battle it out for who is the biggest loser of this group.
Or we could all agree it's just Jarrett Bush.
Seriously though, there were plenty of duds this time around.... especially on defense. Before the game I said tackling was attitude and I thought that the Packers had a good attitude adjustment. I was wrong. Really wrong. They seemed low key again. They seemed sluggish again. They were lethargic again. Worst of all, the area I was most hopeful for, the cornerback depth, just outright failed. The area I was most worried about defensively, the safeties, also outright failed though so there's that I guess. But let's get to the specific players. I stretched for three MVP's when I probably only of stuck with two; for this I'm going to limit myself to three duds for you to choose from even though I could easily name half a dozen.
First and foremost of the duds is....M.D. Jennings. Gotcha! You thought I was going to start with Bush didn't you? Well don't worry he's on the list, but Jennings is the one that really gets me. Jennings was basically handed a starting spot on the defense this past spring and has done nothing to back it up so far. He was a liability in the preseason. He did not shine in camp. On Sunday he build on this consistent underwhelming presence with blown coverages and missed tackles. For the life of me I don't know why we are going with him as an option instead of say...Charlie Peprah (who could do all the same things but add in some interceptions for fun) or Jerron McMillian (who appears to have a higher ceiling than Jennings). I know we all like the rags to riches tales of UDFA making good, but Jennings has shown little ability and little upside so far and that was on display again this past Sunday.
Now let's talk about Jarrett Bush. I think Bush is the dud of the week in my heart if only because he let me down so harshly against the 49ers. I led the charge of saying Bush isn't terrible. I was cautiously optimistic about what he could do. I thought he might finally get it together. His failures in coverage again were thus more than his own failings, but also a bit of my own....and I hate failure. Seriously watching Bush and Jennings blow coverage after coverage made me wonder why the Packers didn't send out Casey Hayward and McMillian. Heck, activate Sean Richardson and send him out there too. Richardson has shown as much as Jennings, Hayward has easily shown as much as Bush. If we are going to fail in the secondary let's fail right and give guys with promise some time on the field and a trial by fire. At least then we may have a good defense next year. As for Bush, he is what he is....a good special teams guy who has a place in the dime (maybe).
Before I get to my last nomination I want to discuss the offense for a moment. I really wrestled with someone to nominate from the offense. I kicked around putting Aaron Rodgers up here for some of the throws he made, forcing the ball like we haven't seen in a while. I thought about putting Jordy Nelson up because he wasn't able to make some of the catches we have seen him make (that last one especially sticks in my mind since that's almost the exact catch he made on Joe Haden in the preseason). Cedric Benson did next to nothing all game. The offensive line struggled with protections and couldn't get one lick of push for the run game. I know many would also love to put Jermichael Finley up here as well. The thing is that defenses are ahead of offenses early in the year and this is a special defense. As it stands I can't really call any of these offensive players a "dud." They were disappointing, but all had good moments as well as bad. Well, except Benson but if you were expecting him to have a big day against the Niners you were kidding yourself. No, too many culpable players on the other side of the ball to waste a valuable spot on an offense that failed but at least went down fighting compared to a defense that just rolled over.
So the last spots goes to D.J. Smith. Smith was a guy I had high hopes for early in the preseason, but he just didn't look ready for prime time. He was out physicaled regularly and didn't have enough hustle to overcome it like he did last year. For the record I don't think Desmond Bishop turns the outcome of that game, but I do think he brings a bit more of the attitude needed on defense than Smith showed.
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