Behind Enemy Lines2: Browns
Jclombardi provided fair and balanced answers to good questions from
managing editor at Lebrownstown.com.
LBT: How do Packers fans feel about the season thus far?
Jclombardi: After the preseason press about the Packers being a strong playoff contender, the fans have mixed feelings and are disappointed in the sloppy performances, the unresolved protection and running game issues, and the 3-2 record. It’s a mixed bag meaning the slow start was not expected. Yet, they did lose to two very good teams: Vikings and Bengals. However, they and Packers bloggers wish the offensive team could solve the protection, penalties, and running game issues consistently detailed in the last four sloppy performances. In the Lions game, they had 13 penalties for 130 yard and five sacks adding up to a league-high 25 sacks. While the running game was decent, they averaged a meager 3.6 yards per carry. With the work-in-progress revamped 3-4 defense, they should do better even with the tougher schedule ahead in the season.
LBT: Do fans perceive Aaron Rodgers as the type of QB who can bring the back Pack to a Super Bowl in the near future?
Jclombardi: Fans are very positive about their QB Rodgers leading the offense. QB Rodgers puts up good statistical numbers. Espn has him ranked fifth in the NFL with 1456 yards, eight touchdowns, and a 104.1 passer rating. Further, he led a good comeback drive in the Bears win. However, fans and critics do wonder whether he can lead this team to the playoffs and beyond with the unresolved protection and running game issues. The offensive line is in transition with young starters RG Sitton and RT Barbre. RB Grant has only 347 yards averaging a poor 3.8 per carry and 2 touchdowns. With LT Lang as a strong prospect and the return of healthy veterans LT Clinton and RT Tauscher in the near future, they should solve the protection and running game issues. With the return of veteran RB Green, their running game should dramatically improve to a respectable level.
LBT: How do Packers fans feel about the performance of former Buckeye and starting linebacker A.J. Hawk?
Jclombardi: LB Hawk is a former 1st choice who gets mixed reviews about his performances. He ranks eighth with 21 tackles and has no interceptions or turnovers to his credit. The critics say he is not an impact player failing to make plays outside of his own responsibilities throughout games. Meanwhile, he plays in the base 3-4 alignment and is replaced with mobile blitzer LB Chillar in the nickel package. Still, the coaches are high on him considering him to be a consistent solid linebacker, but his future is cloudy in this deep talented linebackers corps. Also, the coaches must be commended for using the very talented linebackers in the best possible ways depending on circumstances in games.
LBT: Is this the type of team that might look over the Browns considering that the following week is the Lambeau meeting with Brett Favre and the Vikes?
Jclombardi: For the Packers nation, the question came up during the week. If the pass protection and running games continue to be iffy, it could be a long day for the Packers. Yet, the Packers are focused upon winning the game badly to stay close to the Vikings. They hope to set up a big Lambeau showdown against the Vikings in the following week. The team is not happy with their sloppy performances in the past three games wanting to show that they are a playoff contender with a strong showing in the Browns game. Further, the special teams are looking forward to the coverage challenges created by the talented WR/KR Cribbs.
LBT: What do you think Favre’s ultimate legacy will be in the eyes of Packers fans?
Jclombardi: From Packers fans, they have mixed positive and negative reactions about the legendary former Packers QB Favre, especially now that he plays for the bitter Vikings rival. Yet, they know that QB Rodgers would not be a very good quarterback without the great leadership and mentorship provided during Favre’s tenure. When Favre retires, the fans will see the facts defining his legacy: (1) one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks to play the game (2) he will be a NFL Hall of Famer and (3) the Packers will retire his No. 4. Meanwhile, the press and the fans can’t wait to see the next episode in the legendary QB Favre and NFC soap opera.