Joining us this week for the Thursday Q & A is none other than Jersey Al Bracco from the aptly named Jersey Al’s Packer Blog .  In addition to the blog, Jersey Al is also a co-host of Cheesehead Radio and frequent contributor and commenter everywhere and anywhere there is Packer info and talk happening.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and share with us how you got started blogging about the Packers and the birth of Jersey Al’s Packer Blog.

I’ve always enjoyed writing and always hoped that I would find some outlet to let me write for enjoyment. But those hopes went unmet for many, many years. One day I stumbled across Bleacher Report, where much to my surprise, anybody can just write about sports and actually have it read by real people. I had never payed attention to blogs or bloggers until that moment. From there, various other sites (Packerchatters, Packers Lounge, NFL Touchdown, etc.) liked what I was writing and asked to post my articles on their sites. It seemed like everyone else doing that had their own sites, so, Jersey Al’s Packers Blog was born. I recently made the decision to stop posting at all of those other sites and sink or swim on my own.

We had one of your partners in crime with Cheesehead Radio on recently, C.D. Angeli.  Tell us how you got involved with that.

First of all, we didn’t do the crime – we were set up. But in actuality, it was all C.D.’s idea and he decided who he wanted to ask to be on the show. When he asked, I just said yes without even thinking about it. As the first show approached, I was a little anxious about what I had gotten myself into, but once those first-show jitters were gone, everything has been cool and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.

What’s tougher for you, prepping for each week of Cheesehead Radio or coming up with blog post ideas?

I have no problem coming up with blog post ideas, but I don’t have the time to write about everything I’d like to, so picking and choosing which ones to write is a problem. But to answer your question, writing the news and compiling interesting tweets for Cheesehead Radio is probably tougher.

I think that most Packer bloggers fall into two categories: The Fans & the X’s & O’s.  For example, I would put myself in the ‘fan’ category when I write about the Packers but Aaron Nagler in the ‘X’s & O’s’ category.  Where do you see yourself in those two groups?

I try not to pigeonhole myself into one or the other, but rather combine the two. I like to write fan-like commentary posts, like last year’s  “Ryan Grant Can’t Cut It”, but try to back it up with X’s and O’s. Overall, if I had to pick one, it would be the X’s and O’s.

This past preseason you had a series called ‘Film Study’, how did you determine who would be your focus each week for that?

Usually it’s just something I notice during a game that could easily have been missed, but I found interesting. I like to look for the little things, especially in the line play, while most people are watching the ball.

The Packers biggest weakness that isn’t Special Teams is the secondary, compounded a bit by Al Harris landing on the PUP list.  Do you believe the Packers have enough offensive power to overcome any defensive shortcomings for those first 6 weeks?

I think the Packers offense is good enough to overcome just about any challenge the defense hands them. Is that the type of football I want to see? No. I’d much rather the defense hold teams to a reasonable amount of points, allowing the Packers offense the luxury of protecting fourth quarter leads by pounding the ball with Quinn Johnson and Ryan Grant. Boring, but quite effective…

A lot was made of the poor play and almost total lack of name starters for the Packers 4th Preseason game, many saying it was a good example of why there should be a 18 game regular season and 2 game preseason.  What are your thoughts on that

After suffering through watching that game, it would be hard to argue against it, but I will. Young players need a platform to win or lose jobs. Right now, the only way is to perform in games where not just their team, but other teams can also see them on film. Take away those two games, and a lot of Cinderella stories will never get written. If they are going to reduce the preseason games to two, then I would want to see something done (perhaps limited-roster organized scrimmages between teams) where young players get a chance to compete in a game-like environment and be filmed. That’s probably not a realistic scenario, but I never profess to have great answers to those types of questions.

What are you most surprised about in regards to the final 53 man roster for the Packers?

I’m really not surprised by anything. Before camp,I had predicted that Nick McDonald would supplant Dietrich-Smith and I was also on Sam Shields very early on. I was also convinced that the Packers would keep both Quarless and Crabtree, I only wish I had stuck with my initial thoughts of Havner being cut. Instead I opted for a Donald Lee trade scenario to clear a spot. In any case, I expected either Lee or Havner to go, and I predicted Will Blackmon would get the IR injury settlement. The only thing I’m mildly surprised at is letting Wynn, Toribio and Talley all go and not having a DL on the practice squad.

Call your shot here, how far do the 2010 Packers go this season?

I’ll stick with my prediction I first made during OTAs on CheeseheadTV. 12-4 record, Division Champs and they make it to the NFL Championship Game. That’s as far as I’m willing to predict.

Class is in session, what advice would you give to bloggers out there who are starting or maintaining their blogs.

Run away! Don’t get involved. It will consume your life…

…and now for the lighting round.

Your all-time favorite Packers player is:

Bart Starr, no contest

Your favorite Packers blog to read that is not named Jersey Al’s Packer Blog is:

Packers Lounge . Alex is a very creative guy and always entertaining, in a variety of ways.

If there were no Packers, you would have a blog about:

US Mens National Soccer Team.

If you were a pro football player, your position would be:

Offensive Tackle

Should I ever run into you at a bar, I should buy you a ______________ for taking the time to answer these questions.

Draft Bass Ale

Thank you to Jersey Al for coming on board this week, I’m sure Alex will be happy as well that someone actually said that the Packers Lounge was their favorite blog.  Make sure to bookmark Jersey Al’s Packer Blog and make it part of your daily reading and also tune into Cheesehead Radio as often as you can.

Would you like to be the guest for a Thursday Q & A? Let us know!


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