Tomorrow starts the short downhill stretch to the preseason game versus the Rams…woot! So today I want to close up the conversation on the preseason game against the Titans with a couple posts about what went right in what on paper just looks like a loss in the rain.
The more I review this game, the more there is to like. There is a reason Mike McCarthy was so happy to have played in such wet conditions on Saturday. The fact that the players got the experience was not the only reason. The fact that some critical players played very well is another.
Before the game, I said there were three things I was gonna be looking for and two of those three were really stymied by the bad weather. The third (first on my list) was actually enhanced by the bad weather. I said I was going to be paying close attention to the center/quarterback exchange in this game and the bad weather just made the picture come into sharp focus. The reason the picture became more clear in bad weather is that there was nothing to talk about in terms of the center/quarterback exchange…nothing. In a game where there were 5 fumbles (ugh!) and receivers and tight ends were dropping balls left and right, the center quarterback exchange with new center JC Tretter as the starter, was excellent.
This is good news because the one area of concern for the Packers offensive line this year has been the center position. Tretter has never played center before at any level so he was a bit of an unknown. Well, not any more. Barring an injury (knock on wood) or some other major shakeup, we have seen our future center in action and the future looks bright. Another reason this is good news is because the center is so important for:
- consistent/secure center quarterback exchange
- pre-snap reads
- identifying potential blitzers
- adjusting protection if necessary
Sure, the quarterback makes these calls but the center has a big role in the pre-snap process. He does much more than chuck the ball and block.
It was great to see JC do such a great job in his first preseason game and in such wet conditions. With three more preseason games to go, there will be plenty of time for him to continue to grow and get comfortable with what is a critical position on the field. Keep in mind how important the pre-snap read is to keeping our quarterback upright and safe…the last thing we want is someone coming with a free shot at Aaron Rodgers. With that in mind, be very glad that JC has put in the hard work necessary to make the change. He starting to pull one question mark….off the table.