Joining us this week for the Thursday Q & A is Brandon Benson from the Packers site ACME Packing Company. ACME Packing Company posts have been a stable of the Daybreak Doppler for some time and is one of the most well-written and insightful sites out there. We’ll get Brandon’s story behind the site, his take on the game with the Cowboys and overall impressions of the first half of the season.

ACME Packing Company harkens back to the true roots of the Green Bay Packers.  What was the process that led to the decision to name your site that?

I’m a history buff in general, but the site’s name was a spur of the moment decision. My old blogspot site was a nameless Packers blog, and when I was asked to join SB Nation, they asked me to pick a name. Immediately something with a historical connection came to mind, but I was looking to avoid any of the obvious Lombardi or Lambeau references.

Is ACME Packing Company a one person show or do you have other contributors helping out?

Unfortunately my site is a one person show with an occasional post by Tex. I could really use some help. Seriously! Anybody reading is encouraged to visit Acme Packing Company, write a Fan Post, I’ll promote it to the front page. Your career as a Packer blogger is born.

Coming off of a huge win against the Cowboys last night.  What one player contributed the most to that blowout?

It’s hard to find guys who didn’t stand out against the Cowboys. Even Jarrett Bush was making positive big plays. In a poll at my site, everyone jumped on the Claymaker bandwagon, which was an easy call since he had another big game. It’s good to see rookies like Bryan Bulaga, C.J. Wilson, and Sam Shields continue to play well, and show us that the Packers really have gotten something there.

Do you take anything away from the Packers win because they were playing a down and out Dallas team?

If the Packers are really a great team then they should be dominating lesser teams like the Cowboys. And the Bills. They still have to play and win the games ahead of them on the schedule, but beating the Cowboys like that gives me a lot of confidence that they will.

We’re at the half way mark of the season.  What are your overall impressions of this Green Bay team as they head into their BYE week?

In hindsight they look like the Super Bowl contender I expected, but it has been a strange journey. They’ve had three close losses to teams I expected them to beat (Bears, Redskins, Dolphins) and a three game winning streak against teams I expected them to struggle against (Vikings, Jets, Cowboys). Obviously the Cowboys look awful now, but at the start of the season I thought they’d be a tough opponent. I’ve had to dampen my expectations about the offense because Aaron Rodgers is missing so many playmakers, but the defensive depth has weathered all their injuries pretty well. But they can’t afford too many more.

Which Packers player has been the brightest surprise up to this point?

I was writing about Sam Shields earlier this week, so I think he’s a good choice. When he first signed in April, I didn’t expect him to make the team. At best he’d claim the Will Blackmon role as 6th CB/returner. Instead he’s the unquestioned nickel CB. And to do it in his rookie season, at a position he barely played in college, is amazing.

Who is your mid-season Packers MVP?

I think going with anyone other than LB Clay Matthews would be a stretch at this point.

It appears as though the Packers will be cutting ties with veteran CB Al Harris.  Do you think this is a good or bad move?

It’s hard to say since we haven’t seen Al Harris play, post-injury. Speed was never his game, but he can’t lose too many steps and remain effective. This is a good move because he wasn’t one of their top 3 CBs anymore, he wasn’t in their long term plans, and they save a couple million. Of course this all depends on whether the top 3 CBs can remain healthy for the rest of the season (it didn’t work out that way last year). I’m more cautious and would have found a way to keep him, but this wasn’t a crazy move.

What are you looking forward to after the BYE week is over & the Packers head into the second half of the season.

I’m looking forward to them winning more games and staying healthy. But I’m dreading the rest of the schedule. Four of the next five games are on the road (with a trap home game against the 49ers in the middle). And excluding that 49ers game, all the remaining opponents are against either tough divisional games or against current division leaders.

What is your call for how far this Packers team makes it this year?

I’d be disappointed if they didn’t win the NFC North. And they should be battling for the top seed in the NFC, though it appears the other 6 win teams in the NFC have easier schedules.

…and now for the lighting round.

Your all-time favorite Packers player is:

My personal crisis…Five years ago I’d have said Brett Favre. Now I’m back to my first favorite Packer: Lynn Dickey. I’ve got high hopes for Aaron Rodgers though.

Your favorite Packers site to visit that isn’t named ACME Packing Company is:

Cheesehead TV .

If there were no Packers, you would blog about:

Badgers football, basketball, and hockey. Of course if I did blog about all three I’d have no life.

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

Defensive end.

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

A local microbrew ale, the darker the better.

Thank you Brandon for your time and great answers here.  If it’s not already in your favorites/bookmarks, head over to ACME Packing Company right now and add the site to it.  You can also follow ACME Packing Company on Twitter for instant updates on new posts and news.

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


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