Well, apart from the obvious desire to see Aaron Rodgers in action again (though hopefully not MUCH action…let’s keep the guys safe and healthy), There are several positional battles I am interested in…this list could go on forever but I’m gonna choose three.
- The backup quarterback position
- The starting tight end
- Inside linebacker
Back up QB
Scott Tolzien played well in the game against the Titans last Saturday. Aside from the obvious fumble which to his credit he recovered, Scott was decisive and placed the ball well. Flynn, on the other hand, struggled in the rain. And the weather conditions were admittedly very bad but both of these guys had to play on the same field in the same weather. Scott handled it better. It will be interesting to see how these two do in dry conditions and I get the feeling the Packers are going to be watching these two quarterbacks very carefully. I know we were without Aaron Rodgers for a significant chunk of last season and went through two other quarterbacks before settling on Matt Flynn, but are we really gonna keep three qb’s? I hope not.We all know that Aaron Rodgers is not going to be in this game for long so there will be time for the Packers coaching staff to get a long look at Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. We will see if Chase Rettig gets the forth quarter again.
Starting Tight End
Brandon Bostick has had a good camp and with that great catch and run in the Titans game…you know the one…the one Aaron Rodgers said reminded him of Jermichael Finley, he is now working for a starting spot. I have been hopeful that we would have an upgrade at this position and with Quarless as the incumbent, I thought it would happen. But in reviewing the week 17 game against the Chicago Bears from last season I came to the realization that Andrew Quarless had improved dramatically. Quarless was a force in that game, not just with a couple significant catches, but he also had a couple key blocks. This race should be interesting and Richard Rodgers et al are still in the mix.
Will AJ Hawk show signs that he can be the tour de force that he showed flashes of last season? In the game against the Ravens Hawk had 3 sacks and 10 tackles, five of which were for loss. He and Jones will be hard to unseat at the position. And yet from mid season to the end of last year, our defense was constantly gashed up the middle. Add to that the fact that Packers fans find themselves holding their breath every time opponents get a matchup that forces one of these guys into coverage and you can see why a lot of fans wanted Green Bay to draft an inside linebacker. But it doesn’t look like anyone currently in line is going to make a bid for either starting job as much as some of us would like to see it. It will be interesting to see if double-teams on Matthews and Peppers leave Hawk and Jones in winnable matchups. After that, it will be interesting to see whether or not they WIN them.
Today’s game will be the last significant chance for a darkhorse player to swipe a spot from an incumbent. The next preseason game will be played mostly by starters and the final game will mostly just solidify the cuts. After tonight, it gets very hard for someone to have enough reps to show what they can do. Here’s to all the guys who worked so hard in training camp and here’s to a Packers team taking the field again tonight and coming together for the season!