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Packers vs Colts: Things To Watch

Previewsing the Colts game.

Credit: Ross Franklin AP.

THINGS TO WATCH:

1. Offensive Line: How well veterans LG Lang & OL Newhouse play in the game. How goes the roster battle position at center go between backups McDonald and Dietrich-Smith.  How well do rookies guard Schlauderaff and LT Sherrod play?

2. Tight Ends: How goes the interesting battle for roster spots beyond starter Jermichael Finley for backup positions? How well do D. J. Williams, Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor and Spencer Havner play showing their skills in pass catching, blocking and special teams abilities trying to make final roster?

3. Wide Receivers: The Packers have a deep receiving corps with veterans Driver, Jennings, Jones, and Nelson, along with rookie Cobb. After them, if at all, who may make the final roster cut for an extra wide receiver position: Brett Swain, Chastin West, or Tori Gurley?

4. Secondary: How goes the competition among Pat Lee, Brandon Underwood, and Josh Gordy for final roster spots?

5. Inside Linebackers: With the emergence of rookie draft pick D.J. Smith, second-year player Robert Francois & first-year player Cardia Jackson among inside linebackers, who plays well enough to make final roster?  Currently, Francois and Smith are the second-team duo behind Hawk and Bishop, while Jackson hopes to make a late run for the final roster.

6. No-huddle offense: Obviously, during the regular season, the Packers will not run it on every play.  When and how effective do they run it tonight?


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8 Responses to “Packers vs Colts: Things To Watch”

  1. Bryan says:

    I think Swain has an outside chance. Seems like a good guy, but the competition is definitely a challenge.

  2. […] Packers vs Colts: Things To Watch Legendary senior writer jclombardi previews Colts game. THINGS TO WATCH: 1. Offensive Line: How well veterans LG Lang & OL Newhouse play in the game. How goes the roster battle position at center go between backups McDonald and Dietrich-Smith.  … […]

  3. John Zoul says:

    Swain will be cut. My only memory of Swain last season, outside of arguably solid special teams play, was the 4th quarter wide open, perfectly thrown ball, which would have been a key first down, drop, almost fumble, in the Super Bowl. That almost cost us the game. He’s toast.

  4. John Zoul says:

    Josh Gordy makes the final cut. Pat Lee and B. Underwood-adios amigos!

    The final spots for the offensive line will be interesting…

    Also, why are “the coaches” so high on Dmitri Nance? I certainly was underwhelmed with him last year. I truly hope the year off has fully healed Ryan Grant’s ankle. Are they looking to trade Grant?…I don’t think so, but, I’ve seen stranger things happen. Let’s hope Grant has a big year.

    Apparently I’m the only cowboy in the corral concerning releasing Driver and Quarless. Don’t get me wrong, Driver has been an outstanding player for the Packers over the years…It seems apparent to me that he is no longer a number two wr…Where am I wrong here? I’m looking at the future and not the past…Quarless has poor catching ability…maybe we could trade him for a 6th round pick to someone who needs a project at tight end…maybe Cleveland? We let Evan Moore (kept Quarless, because of his potential) go a few years back and Cleveland picked him up and he’s been a solid player for them.

    I see a 20% chance that we keep 3 qbs…Trade Matt Flynn…maybe we can receive a 4th round pick for him…

    In the past, we’ve kept 3 fbs…with Korey Hall gone via free agency, it seems certain we’ll only keep two this season, the second spot is between Quinn Johnson and Saine (ufa from Minnesota, I believe)…Could this be another case where an ufa beats out an incumbent? Don’t be surprised…one (Saine) plays special teams, the other doesn’t. How good is Saine on special teams? If he’s a stud, I say he sticks and Johnson is cut. If he’s not a stud on special teams, he may be put on the practice squad and Q. stays.

    LB…We may have a surprise here…Cardia Jackson in or out? Does Havner win a spot or is he cut? The next two preseason games will decide these issues. Expect a couple of surprises…

    • Jclombardi says:

      I thought your comments were very good, especially about Swain and Quarless. Damage control with both.

      Jclombardi Packers Lead Blogger.

      • John Zoul says:

        Thanks. I call them as I see them. Quarless looks a tad like Tarzan, but, so far, plays like Jane. Ryan Taylor is better than him now.

        Another interesting contest is at LB. I believe Brad Jones may be in danger of being cut. D.J. Smith has played solid (I like his hitting ability). So have Francois, C. Jackson, So’oto…Also, I didn’t check the stats, but, number 47 made a number of plays last evening, I believe including a sack. So, he may make the team.

        Saine played extensively. I think they’re trying to evaluate whether he’s ready for prime time or not. I was not impressed. No evidence of great running ability nor catch-and-run ability. He gets hit, he goes down. I still believe we keep two fbs and if so, Q. Johnson makes the final cut.

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