Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green carries the ball as St. Louis Rams outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis defend during last year’s game at St. Louis. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports photograph
As the Gren Bay Packers head into their second game of this four-week preseason at St. Louis, there are still many questions outstanding about the personnel on this team.
Vince Young, Davon House, David Bakhtiari, Don Barclay, Tyrone Walker, Johnathan Franklin, Micah Hyde, and Eddie Lacy, just to name a few. These are players whose place on the team is tenuous. Not that many of these guys won’t make the 53-man roster, but just how they fit into the team’s week-to-week plans as they head into the regular season will be interesting, in the very least.
So, with that said, this second game will be watched closely by fans across the globe, as well as us folks here at Lombardiave.com.
A few of us took the time this week to scratch out a few thoughts about just what we will be watching and looking for when the Packers hit the field tonight.
Our thoughts are below. How about yours? Leave a comment below, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Dan Dahlke: I’ll be watching a few of the young defensive players and how they’re progressing on the field. They’ll be going up against a young and talented Rams’ offense, which will be a good test for them.
I want to see how Nick Perry looks at outside linebacker and if he provides some good pressure and holds up well against the run. I want to see how Micah Hyde performs with his increased reps on defense, and I want to see how Davon House responds after a rough preseason opener.
Finally, I want to see how the young safeties look in game action. I like the battle between Jennings and McMillian, but I also like the way Chris Banjo plays.
Eric Balkman: One of the least talked about story lines so far in the Packers preseason is how banged up the secondary is. Casey Hayward has yet to practice. Tramon Williams has a (really) bum knee. Davon House is recovering from two shoulder surgeries (and food poisoning). So a guy the Packers weren’t counting on for much in 2013 is already being counted on quite a bit this preseason: rookie cornerback Micah Hyde.
Head coach Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers have already raved about his ball-hawking and play-making skills. He’s a bigger than average corner that will be trying to use his size and strength to neutralize the smaller Rams receivers like Tavon Austin Saturday night. So I’ll definitely be paying close attention to how effective Hyde will be against this supposedly explosive St. Louis passing attack. The NFL is a passing league now, and Hyde will get an opportunity to show far along he has come as a rookie this preseason.
Lacy’s debut should garner a lot of attention, the amount he actually plays maybe more so. Just how much does he play with this hand issue that’s been kept under wraps?
How much more has Vince Young picked up in a week? Assuming he’s learned a little more of the playbook, can he pickup enough to leapfrog Harrell and Coleman?
And finally, can Davon House bounce back from a downright embarrassing start to his preseason? He finally seems healthy enough to make a case for the 53 man but needs a FAR better performance than last week, an he knows it.
Kevin Gibson: I am interested to see how much Vince Young has picked up since last Thursday’s preseason opener. (I’m still having a hard time believing Young is in green and gold in the first place.)
I also want to see Davon House rebound from his uninspiring performance against Arizona. I think he will. And will Barclay run away with the right tackle job in this game?
But more than anything, I had to wait an extra week to watch Eddie Lacy run at game speed, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on. Get your popcorn ready.
Ray Rivard: There are many things I want to pay attention to, but of course we can’t watch all 11 positions at one now, can we? So, to start, I’ll be watching David Bakhtiari at left tackle to see how he holds up against the Rams pass rush. On the other side, we’ll also be interested in seeing how Don Barclay and Lane Taylor perform.
Of course, everyone is going to be watching the running backs, especially Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. But I’m also very curious to see how they utilize James Starks and Alex Green tonight. Starks got the bulk of work last week. Were the Packers showcasing him for a possible trade? Or are they really serious in keeping him around. Will the the give Green more shots tonight? And what about John Kuhn. I really feel that he is deep within the bubble on this team. I feel his talents are marginal and the Packers will turn to the likes of Lacy for short yardage plays, as well as bring the tight end into the backfield this season. Thus, what’s the need for Kuhn … other than the fact he’s a fan favorite.
On defense, I agree with Eric Balkman – Micah Hyde is definitely someone to watch – as is Davon House. I really like that guy and think he just had a bad night last week. I’m hoping he steps it up tonight.
And what about the tight ends. Will Jermichael “Sir Dropsalot” Finley get more playing time? And who will step up to claim those second and third spots on the tight end depth chart?
And yes, quarterback is the focal point – especially Vince Young. Will he get the time to show he can do better than Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman? We already know what Rodgers can do. Will he even play two series? I hope not. Keep him fresh. Let the other guys show their stuff.
Overall, I’m really excited for tonight. Win or lose, let’s score some points, boys! That might be nice. Four straight quarters of no points is enough.
Which brings me to my final point: I really like the Italian – Georgio “Sergio” Tavecchio. It would be sad to see Mason Crosby leave, but if he can’t get his head screwed on straight it might be time to let the little guy take over. Hopefully, the kickers get a chance tonight. Keep the competition rolling, guys.
GO! PACK! GO!