Countdown to Kickoff Begins
The Packers wrapped up their on-the-field preparation for the Bengals game Tuesday morning. With two days before the game, today was a fairly typical Friday before a Sunday practice. No pads, not even shells, just helmets and shorts. No rough stuff, but more of a session devoted to polishing up the game plan for all three sides of the ball. (Let's not forget the special teams. They're big during the regular season and in the case of the preseason, they're a huge factor in determining who stays and who goes.)
The thing that stood out the most was a successful two minute drill orchestrated by rookie quarterback B.J. Coleman. It looks like the game is "slowing down" a bit for the 7th rounder. The receiving star of the drill was undrafted free agent Jarrett Boykin. It's not like the Packers need any more competition at WR, but Boykin has caught everything thrown his way. You know who the Packers leading preseason receiver is? Boykin. (8 catches for 84 yards).
Also of Note:
-Alex Green had an unforced fumble. The Packers have turned the ball over 8 times in 2 preseason games.
-Tori Gurley went high for a red zone touchdown catch. His 6'4" frame and leaping ability could, and should, make him an inviting target in that part of the field.
-Casey Hayward snared another INT. The rookie corner has a way of showing up almost every practice.
-We mentioned Sam Shields practicing with more intensity yesterday and today he picked off a pass intended for Donald Driver. We'd say the competition at corner is heating up but it's been rather hot since Day 1 of camp. Bush, Hayward, Shields and the front runner Davon House prior to a shoulder injury.
Points of Interest in the Bengals Game
-Graham Harrell. When he has protection and the receiver is open, he's got to complete the pass. That's a minimum requirement for playing QB in the NFL.
-Mike Daniels. The rookie D-lineman has to get to the blocker's edge. He went belly-to-belly too much in the Browns game and at 6'0" 294, he got smothered by size. Daniels has quick hands and feet but he's got to do a better job of using them to get on the edge and then around would-be blockers.
-Greg Van Roten. The rookie free agent out of Penn has played about a half dozen snaps in 2 games, but it looks like he'll be the left guard on the second O-Line this week. He's looked good in practice and has earned the opportunity. With all the struggles the second line has had, it's a surprise it hasn't come sooner.
Point of Non-Interest
-The final score. With starters playing about a half, the halftime score is somewhat relevant. If backups go the rest of the way, it's about evaluating personnel.
-With no practice tomorrow, and the game on Thursday night, let's reconvene on Friday for the good and the not-so-good from the Bengals game.