PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Packers vs. Raiders Quick Hits

I’ve had a chance to watch and re-watch the Packers vs. Raiders preseason game so I’m going to offer a few quick thoughts here on #FootballFriday.

Stop complaining about all things Jason Spriggs. I can’t believe how angry people were that one, Jason Spriggs couldn’t handle Khalil Mack in one-on-one situations and two, that he was left to block him one-on-one.  Mack is bar-none one of the best edge defenders in the NFL.  Mack recorded 15 sacks a season ago.

Spriggs has always been considered a project at the tackle position.  He was the best athlete at tackle in the entire draft.  If his technique was up to par he would have been a top 10 pick.  The fact that he can’t handle an All-Pro edge rusher on the 50th snap of his career is not at all surprising.

What it is is a good learning experience.  Spriggs now knows what it’s like to take on an elite NFL pass rusher.  He has tape to watch.  He has techniques that he can learn how to defend against.  THIS IS WHAT THE PRESEASON IS FOR.

Secondly, the Packers leave their left tackle without help more often than not, and it has worked just fine since the days of Daryn Colledge filling in for Chad Clifton ended.  Clifton’s career ended as Bakhtiari’s began and Clifton was and DBak has been an absolutely elite pass blocker.

Mike McCarthy not giving Spriggs help against Mack is not odd.  Green Bay is trying to teach their second and third string players the playbook that they use, not the playbook that they’ll have to use if the player stepping in to a new position can’t cut it.  Even if that blocking did allow Mack to hit Hundley low after the ball was out.

Speaking of which, Hundley needs to get healthy.  Brett Hundley just might be the second best quarterback in the NFC North and I’m just sort of kidding.  He’s the first real backup with upside the Packers have had since Matt Hasselbeck (regardless of what people thought about Matt Flynn).

He needs to be available to play just because he’s backing up a quarterback whose team depends on the offense to be successful, but maybe even more so he needs to be available so the Packers don’t need to roster Joe Callahan.  Callahan seems to be a semi-competent player.  Probably more so than Seneca Wallace or even early Scott Tolzien.

What Callahan is not is one of the best 53 players on the Packers.  Callahan will not be picked up by another team if he is released by Green Bay.  He will make it on to the Packers practice squad where he’s more than able to serve as Green Bay’s 3rd string QB.

There are players that Green Bay releases from its team that don’t just catch on with other organizations, they’ll be signed to their 53s.  This is one of the deepest Packers rosters that I can remember, on both sides of the ball and specifically in the trenches.

The way I see it the Packers need to take two quarterbacks into the season and they’ll need all 51 non-QB roster spots.

John Crockett is the third back. Maybe I’m biased (I am).  But I just don’t see what others see in Brandon Burks.  Again Crockett was called upon as the third back, and again he found paydirt.  It’s easy to look at Burks and see that he’s short and see that he’s got better testing numbers than Crockett, but football isn’t won in compression shorts.  Taz was a monster against the Raiders.

I’m really excited about the defense, especially the DBs.  I think Rollins and Randall are stars.  I think LaDarius Gunter is better than we think.  I really like Hawkins and I’m the biggest Micah Hyde apologist on the planet.  I know that it has been tough to let Davon House, Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward walk, but I must maintain trust in Ted.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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  • James C. Drumheller III

    I really like what I’ve seen so far from our defense. Randall should make the pro bowl this year if he stays healthy.With a better pass rush this year I expect to see more interceptions from Randall and Rollins. It’s good to also have solid backups in Gunter and Hawkins. Don’t forget the stud on the other side Sam Shields.

  • Dan Stodola

    Sure the CB are better than good, but the Safeties are probably the best duo in the NFL. So the secondary is absolutely stacked w/ talent.
    I tend to agree that Crockett will be the #3 RB. Mostly I think that comes down to what you want in a #3. If you want another competent RB and a really good one cut RB, its Crockett. If you want a shifty, make something out of nothing kinda RB, its Burks. Only a matter of preference, which the coaches will decide on.
    Not worried about Spriggs struggling vs Mack. What I think Spriggs needs more than anything is another 10-15 lbs of power. I think his technique is good and obviously will get better, but he needs quite a bit more power in his game. His NFL future will mostly be decided by whether he can gain that weight and the power that comes with it.