There certainly are elements to get excited about for many reasons. First we get to see new talent play meaningful minutes throughout the entire game.
Even newly-acquired Chris Harper, who became part of the Packers 53-man roster yesterday when Ted Thompson signed him off waivers from the 49ers, may be active against Cleveland. To make room for Harper, the Packers cut RB Michael Hill. Hill is still practice squad eligible.
That’s a lot of new faces, for most of these guys to be playing their first NFL game all at once, and not only that but are expected to contribute like it’s business as usual for the Packers. Since 2010, that has been their battle cry, “next man up, no excuses.”
Of course the continued evolution of Eddie Lacy’s running abilities being incorporated into the offense is always exciting, and another good reason to enjoy watching the game against the Browns.
Watching the Packers front seven go toe-to-toe with the NFL’s best and matching or being better than the opposing team physically, on both sides of the ball, every game, is worth watching.
Aaron Rodgers is always a good reason to watch a game. I know we are all going to watch (or go to) the game, but are you genuinely excited about it going in?
There will be new faces, a new style of play, Rodgers manning the controls, but to a different rhythm based the personnel available to him. He says he is excited to see the new guys play. Everyone I have mentioned has been with the Packers since (at least) OTAs, every one of them (except Harper).
Boykin is in his second season here, and from what everyone has ever said about him, especially Rodgers and the rest of the receivers group, is that he is going to tear the league up some day, so that will be fun to watch. We also get to see Wisconsin native Joe Thomas of the Browns play …
So the new guys have all been training here since right after the draft, learning and gaining knowledge and experience. To a man they all say they are ready, so do their coaches and head coach Mike McCarthy.
Everyone in Packers Nation seems to have the same opinion about Cleveland – they’re an up-and-comer – good defense, good skill players, lacks an elite QB, and have good special teams. Buyer beware, the Browns are good enough to come to town, beat us, and move on out of here with victory in hand, thinking playoffs.
So let us not overlook these guys. They are well coached, opportunistic, and physical.
Should be a good game, it should be fun game to watch.
I am excited.