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August 17, 2005

Who Wanted This One More?

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Posted by abai0001 at 11:01 AM

August 16, 2005

A Look at Some New Faces

I was fortunate enough to recieve some great tickets for Thursday's match between the Packers and the Chargers. While I was very excited to see some Lambeau legends (i.e. Brett, Ahman, Donald, and so on), I decided to make an effort to observe the technique and abilities of some of the new recruits. While I did not get a chance to observe rookie wide out Terrence Murphy, I did get a good look at defensive backs Nick Collins and Patrick Dendy, as well as quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Starting with the defensive backs, I was very impressed with the discipline of the younger players. While Collins did have an interception, that specific play is not what stuck out in my mind. It was the overall control and confidence in body control and position that Dendy and Collins demonstrated that caught my eye. Often times, younger players struggle to hold their position in a zone defense, which is an especially important aspect of the game for safeties like Nick Collins. It was clear, however, that Collins and Dendy were making a strong effort to hold their positions and not over-commit. Both players put up impressive numbers for an NFL debut, as Collins had a fortuitous interception and Dendy piled up four tackles. Dendy, an undrafted free agent, has been a consistently positive surprise since the beginning of training camp. His man coverage far exceeded my expectations for such an un-heralded rookie, and he was not fooled by the Chargers complicated routes. As stated before, Dendy showed great discipline in zone coverage, and I was particularly impressed with his work in a "Cover-2" zone. This scheme requires Dendy (playing second cornerback at the time) to bump the reciever and then allow him to streak past. On one particular play, I saw a split second of doubt when Dendy quickly glanced behind him to make sure the reciever was not going to be forgotten, but there was no movement out of position on his part. He stayed in his area just behind the line of scrimmage, and ended up contributing to a tackle after an attempted screen play fell right into his lap. I saw good things from these young defensive backs, and we can only hope that they continue to improve as the season goes on.

On the offensive side of the ball, I had a chance to get a pretty good look at Aaron Rodgers. While his numbers were nothing to write home about (2 for 6 and a QB rating of 42.4), I did see some promising traits. Rodgers looked remarkably poised in the pocket for a player of his age, and he did not panic under pressure. The one complaint I would have concerning his pocket presence is the fact that he seemed a bit to eager to scramble when the pocket collapsed. While we can't expect him to roll out like Favre yet, we can hope to see some effort in terms of working outside the pocket. His throws were slightly off target, which could be blamed at least partially on the inclement weather. That excuse, however, will simply not fly in Green Bay, where nasty weather is par for the course. Hopefully he will continue to mature in terms of leading his recievers, knowing when to hold on to the ball and when to take off, and learning to deal with the weather in Wisconsin.

A couple other things that caught my attention were the delightfully solid play of Brett Favre and (to a lesser extent) Nick Barnett. Both players seemed to be enjoying themselves and taking the game seriously at the same time. I really hope these guys have a great year. Also present was the perpetual fumblitis of the Green Bay backfield. What is it going to take to get Ahman and company to hold on to the doggone ball? Overall a pleasing start to the season.

Posted by abai0001 at 1:38 PM

August 15, 2005

D Backs Hawkins and Freeman Manning Up

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Posted by abai0001 at 1:28 PM