Jclombardi reviews Packers headlines.
Guest senior writer jclombardi @ http://lombardiave.com
2010 Packers Preview: As bloggers observed, Packers are getting a lot of over-the-radar Super Bowl hype. Of course, with the season starting that includes the usual fluff local Packers press: ”Packers Good Enough for Super Bowl”; “This Season Could be Special for the Badgers and Packers”; or “Two football writers from Sports Illustrated have placed the Packers atop their preseason power rankings. Pro Football Weekly did the same.”
NFL Touchdowns has a nice preview with an analysis of the players. They say, ”Inside linebackers A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett are both closer to average than good.” Their preview concludes, “Green Bay is rock solid on both sides of the ball with stars in all the right places. If everyone stays healthy, this team is the Super Bowl favorite in the NFC. Predicted: 1st NFC North.”
Athlon Football provides interesting grades for all positions on 2010 roster. Their analysis: ”The pieces are there. The Packers were a nonfactor in free agency. They drafted with an eye on the future, which means Thompson did little to alter the roster. But then this team made a strong run to the playoffs with an injury-riddled roster a year ago, and a healthy lineup could be even better. Barring another rash of injuries, this team should contend for a berth in Super Bowl XLV.” Their scouts’ preview: “What’s going to be key for them is Tauscher and Clifton. If they can get one more really solid year out of those two guys, then I think they’re going to be a team to beat. I liked what they did with their draft. You know how it is with the D-line guys. It takes ’em a couple years to really start to show you why you drafted them so high.”
Profootball-fans’s preview says, ”The Packers must maintain the high intensity defense in order to get back to the playoffs. Mathews and Woodson must have huge years again and Collins must anchor that defense. Rodgers will be asked to have another mega season but he must have help, Jennings must make more big plays and Grant will be asked to carry the load once again. The Packers have a great shot of making the playoffs and if they get there they have possibly the best chance at as Super Bowl Champions. 2010 Prediction: Packers: 12-4 (1st place in NFC North) playoffs.”
According to Xtrapointfootball’s preview, “Season Prediction: 2nd NFC North. The Packers didn’t have to replace any losses, and were able to focus their entire draft on shoring up their weaknesses. Because the Vikings beat the Packers twice last year, and the teams’ rosters changed so little, the Vikings have a slight edge in the divisional race. However, it would be an enormous surprise if the Packers missed the playoffs this year.”
Training Camp Preview: Besides NFL.com’s preview, Scout does an outstanding preview in “Magazine Story: From 80 to 53” discussing the training camp battles and the probable 2010 roster. Summary: “ Sports Illustrated’s King and the experts in Las Vegas believe the Packers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Roster: QB–Rodgers, Flynn. RB–Grant, Jackson, Starks. FB–Kuhn, Hall. WR–Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson, Williams. TE–Finley, Havner, Quarless. OL–Clifton, Colledge, Wells, Sitton, Tauscher, Spitz, Lang, Dietrich-Smith, Bulaga, Newhouse. DL–Pickett, Raji, Jenkins, Wynn, Neal, Wilson. OLB–Matthews, Jones, Poppinga, Obiozor and free agent. ILB–Barnett, Hawk, Chillar, Bishop. CB–prediction: Woodson, Harris, Williams, Lee, Underwood, Shields. S–Collins, Martin, Blackmon, Burnett. Specialists–Crosby, Masthay, Goode.” Interesting, they say Johnson, Lee, Bigby, and Harrell are gone at the end of training camp. We tend to agree except for FB Johnson. Do you agree, fans?
Unsigned Bulaga and Neal: With seven days to training camp, both rookies OT Bulaga and DE Neal are still unsigned. Gentlemen, get on board!
Training camp battles and safeties on roster: So who will the Packers keep at safety positions for the 2010 roster. GBPN discusses the training camp battles at safety positions. We agree when GBPN says, “I have never felt that Bigby was the long-term solution at strong safety.” We say that FS Collins and SS Burnett appear to be the starters, if Bigby continues to be his holdout. What about Bigby, Martin, and Blackmon, fans?
Training camp battles and kicking positions on roster: Another training camp battle will be at punting position. While many fans and bloggers are unhappy with Crosby, we hope he gets his act together in the 2010 season. As far as a legitimate punter, who knows? Scout says Masthay or flip a coin.
Packers 2010 season hopes & pitfalls: OBON does a good piece covering the major pot holes to avoid while we drive on the Super Bowl road–”No one steps up to fill the void created by the Jolly Suspension. Another season of poor special teams play. Mike McCarthy forgets what worked for the offense over the second half of 2009. Confidence is nice, but it’s better to be hungry.”
Packers Movie Night: The Packers announced details for the first annual Packers Movie Night featuring a showing of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” at 7:30 p.m., July 31, in Lambeau Field. Also, a preview of the forthcoming 3rd installment of the Chronicles of Narnia movies “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” will be shown prior to the start of the main feature. The event begins with music and giveaways at 4:30 p.m. in the Tundra Tailgate Zone and moves to Lambeau Field with gates opening at 6:45 p.m. In the evening, a fireworks show climaxes the event.
OMG! Lombardi Story: The play “Lombardi” begins on Broadway in the fall. Vince Lombardi is played by actor Dan Lauria. Lauria, the show’s producer and the show’s director, visited Green Bay recently. The NFL Network recently aired a video of the visit.
TE Finley, future star all-pro: With the coming NFL season, TE Finley is getting rave reviews with proclamations of stellar things ahead for him. We hope so.
Favre Watch: Since Favre is a Packers legendary quarterback who lead the Packers back to elite NFL status, we are saddened at the awful foul postFavre postings, e.g. generally decent Packers blogs PL and TP. We are amused that some bloggers believe themselves to be above human nature and its faults.
For the record, we will decide whether Rodgers is a true stud gunslinger, a gamer, and a postplayoff winner. For the NFL record, the sports facts are that Favre’s number 4 will be retired, his name will hang with the other legends, and he will be considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL Hall of Fame.
“I saw him down in L.A. for the first time this offseason, down at the ESPYs. Looking in his eyes, I got the sense he was coming back. I’ll be going down to his house, telling him, ‘Favre, I need you back.’ I grew up watching Favre. I’m as big a fan of his. Just to have the opportunity to play with him and come up short, it would definitely feel good [if he came back] this year [and we] hoisted up that trophy [together] in Dallas, Texas.”
Commentary: PocketDoppler ran a best Packers blog poll. We agree with a fan’s reaction to the post, “Can we see the entire List of Choices? What about sites like Tundravision or Packer Report or PackersNews [or Lombardi Ave or Packers Gap or Packer Backer Blog]? I have about 30 websites I go to on a regular basis.” Besides, according to Ball Hype, Lombardi is the no. 3 top Packers blog and Packers Gab is no. 5 top Packers blog. Further, our own objective scientific American analysis & poll results clearly shows Lombardi Ave to be the no. 1 Packers blog and Packers Gab is no. 2 blog.