Reaction from the Packers-Browns game Saturday night is a mixed bag. Analysts, reporters and bloggers alike are all coming down on different sides of the fence. Some say special teams, pass coverage and the defense as a whole were awful. On the other hand, the glass half-full reactions say Aaron Rodgers and the aerial attack are untouchable, the offensive line solid and injuries were kept at bay. We all have our own personal reactions, be them panicky, patient and occasionally over-the-top, and there are some excellent writers in Packer Nation. I figure though, mainly because it’s the only way I can reach out, why not go directly to the players for their take via everyones’ favorite procrastination tool, Twitter.

Nick Barnett

“Just want to say this…. Don’t read into this too much!! We do have some work to do, trust that!! But don’t lose faith!!”

Well put sir, well put. It’s preseason game 1. There were highs and lows on both sides of the ball, but again, it’s preseason game 1. The Browns jumped out to a 14-0 lead, including an opening 80-yard touchdown drive. It looked too easy, and yet again, Green Bay allowed (barely) average quarterbacks to look like world-beaters. But as Nick Barnett stated, don’t read too much into this preseason game. They have plenty to work on, but it would be flat out foolish to lose any faith, yet at least.

Clay Matthews

“Tough loss 2nite… Even harder when ur not out there 2 help the boys. Some good, some bad… corrections will be made. Onto the next 1!!”

More of the same. It’s always tough to lose to the Browns, especially on a late game field goal. The only thing important to take away from Clay’s words are “when ur(your) not out there to help the boys.” That says 1, he’s hungry to get on the field and 2, he obviously didn’t play. With a play-maker like Matthews, Green Bay can ill-afford to lose his talents. Rest up and get healthy big man; you will get yours soon enough.

Aaron Rodgers

…(silence)…

The MVP candidate hasn’t posted a word on Twitter since August 4th. You think he’s focused? Rodgers ended the game 12/13 for 159 passing yards and a flawless 34-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. It’s clear that he has one thing on his mind, one goal. His poise, pocket awareness and arm strength are shining clear, and it is hard to imagine Rodgers not matching or surpassing last season’s achievements. Aside from health, there isn’t a single worry with Aaron Rodgers. It’s almost scary at what Rodgers is capable of on the field.

Ryan Grant

“Thanks for all the support. Letting everyone know I’m ok..Most frustrating is that fumble..not our standard as backfield n will be corrected.”

“I’m ok.” Trusting Grants words, he will be fine for the regular season. Concussions and head shots (not the Hasselhoff kind) are always scary. Watching RG stumble off the field sent my stomach into a free fall. Still, I’m going to believe him when he says he will be “okay.” Grant hasn’t missed a game since becoming the starter in 2007, and here’s to another healthy 16 (19) game season.

Ryan Grant fumbled a mere 1 time in 2009. His ball security is one of the best in the NFL, and reiterating Nick Barnett’s words, don’t read too much into his first carry fumble. On the flip-side, the 4 total fumbles are alarming. However, 3 were from 2nd or 3rd string back ups, and there is plenty of time to address those issues (or cut those players).

Jermichael Finley

“Goodmorning twitterworld.. Nice game last night its a must we get back to work and detail everything”

From what I’ve read, Finley may not be Mr. Bright. But it’s become apparent he is a near-genius on the field. His size and speed are a site to see. After a brief showing Saturday that included 2 catches for 30 yards, I’ve seen all I need to. Finley is going to be an invaluable asset this year, and who knows, if Donald Lee can grow a pair of hands, the 2-TE sets may be quite formidable. His words, “we must get back to work and detail everything” are spot on. There is a reason Green Bay made the run they did last year. They are a good team. With a chance to elevate to ‘great’ in 2010, this preseason is nothing more than a detailing of established talent. Avoid injuries, get back in the groove and touch up on minor issues. The score is irrelevant, and in my amateur-no-one-cares-stat-book, the Packers are 1-0.

Offensive Line

  Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  discussed how the Browns blitzed 84.6% of Aaron Rodgers’ drop backs. That’s an impressive number for even a regular season game, and the best part, Rodgers didn’t go down a single time. McGinn went on to write,”Rodgers completed 10 of 11 passes against the blitz for 139 yards and a touchdown, including 5 of 5 for 64 yards against all-out blitzes.” Enough said. 

Also, Kregg Lumpkin rushed for 42 yards on just 11 carries and Quin Porter, 38 yards on only 9 carries. Back ups against back ups sure, but 80 yards on 20 carries, including a long from Porter of 15 yards and 12 yards from Lumpkin are nothing to scoff at either.

Desmond Bishop

“Can’t wait to come from the tunnel and storm Lambeau with my soldiers to the best fans in the game.. Go Pack go!”

…For no other reason than the site of the Packers “storming” the field sent chills, as it always does, up my spine. It’s great to see players acknowledging the fans and appreciating their situations.

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Are there causes for concern? Sure, every team has concerns. Green Bay is being built up as a contender for a reason, and at least they are not waiting on word whether or not their franchise will even play. Hm, who is that? There are no reality-TV-stars fighting for more attention, no major contract disputes, and every player and coach appears to be on the same page. The Packers could go 0-4 this preseason, but if the outcomes have foundations to build on and injuries are kept to a minimum, I don’t think Mike McCarthy and the rest could care any less about the wins. Of course I am shoving aside the porous secondary, terrible special teams coverage and questions surrounding both the kicking and punting positions, but I’m attempting to hold out hope they will be in order come week 1.

For now, I leave you with a quote from the buddy-comedy National Security  starring Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn.  Zahn asks Lawrence’s ignorant, dope of a character, “Do you really believe the crap that comes out of your mouth?” His response, “I’m never really sure, until I’m finished talking.”

Words to live by. Let’s all step back from the ledge, and put the preseason in proper perspective. If  midseason rolls around and the same issues remain with losses piling up, then I’ll jump too. But for now, and I’m as guilty as anyone, let’s try and keep the crazy talk to a minimum.

 

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  • Jones

    While I do think that Green Bay has some serious concerns with the secondary and special teams, I agree everyone needs to settle down about. Most Packer fans are level headed. If the seasno starts up and it’s the same story as last year, special teams awful, secondary getting torched and Rodgers sacked a million times, then maybe heads should roll. Because they essentially have the same exact team as last year, and haven’t really made any uprgades. Rookies? An Aussie punter with no experience? Not quite. Eeeek.