Saturday, August 21, 2010

Packers - Seahawks preseason game preview

It's less than two hours to kickoff for the second game of the preseason, Packers vs. Seahawks. And, to be honest, this isn't really a preview as much as an overview. Hope that works for you.

What to look for tonight? Well, Coach McCarthy says that most all players are available for tonight's game, although in fact neither RB Kregg Lumpkin or RB James Starks made the trip. And even though Ryan Grant came back from his concussion of last weekend to practice this week, and will play tonight, expect most carries to go to backups Brandon Jackson and free-agent rookie Quinn Porter. That will be good to see. Porter is raw, but shows flashes. Need to see what he can really do in extended play. This may be the best opportunity he gets, as next Thursday's game at Lambeau versus the Colts is technically the dress rehearsal game for the starters. Game #4 is a grab bag. If Porter is going to legitimately challenge for a roster spot he needs to make an impression tonight.

As for the rest of the offense, no worries at this point. OK, there are the offensive line questions but it already is in better shape than last season. And there is a distinct possibility that rookie Bryan Bulaga will beat out Daryn Colledge to start at left guard.

So let's move on to defense, where there are indeed questions.

Now, let's not expect to see much in the way of scheming and blitzing tonight. The Packers are definitely holding their cards close in the preseason. So if it doesn't seem very exciting, it's not. Might see some flashes of things in the next game when the starters get more extended play, but don't look for anything too exciting this evening...still pretty vanilla.

The pass rush is something that was non-existent last weekend. Need to see who is able to get pressure tonight. Without Clay Matthews last week (and without him again tonight), the Pack had nothing in that department. And will Justin Harrell (who is listed as questionable for tonight because of his ongoing back problems) actually make an appearance? And how will second-year player B.J. Raji hold the point at nose tackle this evening?

In the defensive backfield, Al Harris will not play nor is it likely that Charles Woodson will see action. So Will Blackmon, Pat Lee, rookie Morgan Burnett and others in the backfield will gets lots of exposure...good or bad.

As for special teams that haven't been special in a long, long time...well, the coverage and return units are still works in progress. Need to see if one of the punters begins to separate himself from the other this evening; so far, they seem about even. Also still need to see who will emerge as reliable and productive punt and kick returners.

Well, Packer fans, that's the overview. Will do a recap tomorrow.

Go Pack Go!!!