Tonight's results matter

So far as pre-season football goes, the first half of the third game is typically the only action I'll give a hoot about. With Peyton Manning and the Colts coming to Lambeau Field tonight, the results do matter. What better test for a leaky secondary than facing one of the most prolific passing attacks in the NFL?

Whereas Dom Capers blitzed like a lunatic during the 2009 pre-season, the old puppet-master has kept his schemes pretty bland in 2010 - at least through two games. And it's showed. The pass rush has been pretty weak so far, but we should see some more exotic potions from the first unit tonight, despite the absence of several key starters. It will have to be a sweet mixture or seeing how players handle the blitzing assignments while hiding their best schemes from the video record. Deception of our regular season foes will remain a priority for Coach Capers, so I'm not so much concerned with the pass rush as I am with the pass coverage, with reactions forced rather than withheld. Dom's reactions to a variety of attacks are already on tape, and against good QBs like Manning, the results haven't been good.

Former Packer Matt Bowen has a good article up at National Football Post today describing the challenges our defensive backs will face tonight, and throughout the regular season, against seasoned passers. Simply put, our younger defensive backs will need to step up their consistency in 2010, being assignment-sure in coverage without giving away pre-snap clues to the opponent. As Bowen writes, "Watch Manning tonight when the Colts come to the line of scrimmage. He will force the SS to come out of his disguise at the line of scrimmage... (so he) knows what you are playing."

While rookie strong safety Morgan Burnett has all the physical tools to thrive in this league, it will be these mental challenges of the game that will determine his ultimate success, and in turn, that of our pass defense. Same goes for youngsters like Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee, who will certainly factor into the nickel package, especially early in the year while Al Harris recovers.


Whoa, baby, enough with the serious-talk, FG, this is just pre-season, afterall... Sure, sure ya knuckleheads, I suppose you're right. How about a joke to lighten the mood? Who knows where this originated, but my buddy Charlie Chinwhiskers sent this over by pony express, and I nearly spooked the pony when I read the punch-line!

Here it goes: I met a fairy today in my garden that granted me one wish. "I want to live forever," I said. "Sorry," said the fairy, "I'm not allowed to grant wishes like that." "Fine," I said, "I want to die after the Vikings win the Super-Bowl!" The fairy grimaced and sighed. "You got me you crafty bastard," said the fairy.

Oh dear, folks, it's funny 'cause it's true! Tell you friends, or your favorite Disciple of Old Whats His Name. Tell 'em you dreamt it up. I don't care. 


Finally, while I'm on the topic of rivalries, I read that Tom Brady said he wouldn't watch the 'Hard Knocks' program on the Home Box Office channel, since it features the New York Jets this season. The reason? "I hate the Jets," said Brady. Exactly. Well said, sir.

Alright, I gotta go mow the lawn and get down to the store for some cold PBRs before the game starts. Until next time, then,