Here we are, the Packers facing the third pre-season game versus the Oakland Raiders, which will be held Thursday night in Winnipeg, Canada. Many questions remain concerning injuries, the offense, tackling and leadership. What we learned today is the Aaron’s and Trevor Davis returned to practice and looked good. Trevor Davis when able to play is a very good and versatile player. We were told Aaron Jones looked good and could possibly play Thursday. Aaron Rodgers told reporters if Coach LaFleur wants him to play, he will. Aaron contends he would face vanilla formations during the pre-season and he sees more complex formations from the Packer’s own defense. We shall see what the coaches decide.
One position I feel is one of deep strength and competition is Wide Receiver. I view Devante Adams and Geronimo Allison as locks, next comes Jake Kumerow, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Trevor Davis, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Allen Lazard to fill out seven WR’s on the 53. Darrius Shepherd and possibly Teo Redding to the Practice Squad, with Jamon Moore looking in from the outside or trade commodity, and Malik Taylor cut. When you look at this group you have to agree with Aaron and others that it is the deepest it’s been in many years. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the MLB spot is an area of weakness. Blake Martinez left practice early today and Oren Burkes suffered a serious injury versus the Texans. Ty Summers had a good game versus the Texans and Curtis Bolton had a good game against the Ravens. We haven’t heard much about James Crawford. That position we’ll have to watch.
As a whole I’ve been unimpressed with Mike Pettine’s revamped defense, other than the turnovers. Somehow the skill of tackling has evaded the Packers for several years. Lately turnovers had also vanished from Dom Capers defenses. What we do know, for the past several drafts the Packers have spent multiple high draft picks on the defense, we have yet to see the return on investment. I am still going to hold my expectations high for this defense. Jaire Alexander is going to be a star for years to come and hopefully the Smith’s and Amos will boost Pettine’s team into the Top 10. An interesting fact is Aaron Rodgers has had only one Top 10 defense in his career, 2010 when the Packers won Super Bowl 45. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for another top defense in 2019!
Whether Aaron and other starters play or not versus the Raiders there will be plenty for us fans to watch. We need to see better execution and finishing drives from the offense. The Packers will have to execute a better running game and some WR’s will need to separate themselves from the rest. The Packer defense will need to finally show that it can stop or slow a run game. The battle between Mason Crosby and Sam Ficken will continue, but I would be surprised if Mason doesn’t come out on top. Let’s enjoy game three, and from Canada no less! Maybe the Pack will have a Tim Horton’s eh?
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter