Sunday, July 25, 2010

CCQ #6: Is Blackmon the One?

This is the seventh installment of our Camp Countdown Questions series. Each day leading up to July 31st, we'll be posing a crucial question the Pack need to answer in training camp.

Hello Packers faithful, David O'Brien Liedl here. I'm excited to get my blogging underway and hope you enjoy my insight. I look forward to reading your comments and continuing to share with the World of Packers.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a big Star Wars fan. The story tells of a prophesy foretelling the coming of a great Jedi-knight who will bring balance to the force, one who will bolster the Jedi’s and once and for all defeat the Darkside. Kwi gon Jinn is certain Anikin Skywalker is the chosen one despite his troubling mental instability and head-shaking remarks (“now this is pod racing!”). So Kwi gon and Obi wan Kenobi take little Ani ( thank you Jar-Jar Binks) to the Jedi Council, who is impressed of course. Anikin Sywalker possesses tremendous ability, but Yoda is not convinced. The little green man, in his infinite wisdom, sees Skywalker’s troubles and forbids his training.

If I’ve lost you at this point, I do apologize. Allow me to make my comparison. The Packers are on the cusp of excellence, but are missing one or two key pieces needed to make a run to Dallas. I believe one of these pieces is the return game. Just imagine how deadly the Packers already dominant offense would be if they didn’t always have to start way back in their own territory. There is no doubting Blackmon’s talent, we all remember how phenomenal he was in 2008, but is he the One? There are those Kwi gon Jinns out there who seem to have fallen in love with the brief flash of talent Blackmon showed during the 2008 season. However, like the wise Yoda, I’m just not quite convinced.

During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Blackmon definitely showed his ability returning punts, including an impressive 76 yarder. I remember his three punt returns for touchdowns very well. Like all of you Green and Gold followers, I jumped up and down and yelled, “go baby, go!” all the way to the endzone, but I don’t remember thinking “wow!” Take a look for yourself (2 minute mark). It's an impressive return, and came at just the right time, but there is nothing Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs, Dante Hall, or Reggie Bush about his return. He essentially makes one guy miss and then cuts back, that's it. Now I'm not trying to diminish the significance of those six points, but it's not good enough. Do you think teams gameplan around Will Blackmon? I think not. He's good, but not a fear factor.

I feel bad for hating on Blackmon, because I like the kid, I really do. I am excited to have him back for the 2010 season and really hope he can push the Pack over the top and onward to Dallas. I'm optimistic, but I have my doubts. My biggest concern is his health. Since arriving in Green Bay, Blackmon has been plagued by injuries. Not only did he end his first two seasons on the IR, but also spent the entire 2009 campaign there as well. In four NFL seasons, Will has only managed to stay healthy for one, 2008. Coincidentally, that was his most successful year with two punts returned for touchdowns. My point exactly. The kid is pretty good, maybe even the Chosen One, but his injury plagued NFL career is concerning.

Will Blackmon is a temporary fix. Why? Because even if he somehow remains healthy for a whole season, he doesn't possess that wow factor the Packers desperately need. I think it's about time TT dug into his well of draft picks and pulled out a phenomenal returner, because they are worth it! A guy like Devin Hester or Reggie Bush is a complete game changer, one the opposing team is scared even to kick the ball to. The Packers need a return man who can strike fear into the opposing coverage units and give them that game changing threat.

A healthy Will Blackmon will add an extra dimension to the Packers this season, but come next April the Packers' brass needs to look for Devin Hester's cousin.

Make sure to check out all other installments of the Camp Countdown Questions series!


  1. Special teams had my vote for (biggest concern going into camp on acme)I think I was the only one who thought this was are biggest concern there since no one else mentioned it. Our special teams are so poor that a huge gain in this area is most easy to achieve vs a area you are excellent at your probably only going to improve slightly. If you get my meaning.

    I feel improved special teams will really help both are offense and defense. When your pinned deep your offneses options are limeted and you have a long way to go. I didn't look them up but I've seen the statistics before for every 10yards of field position your chances of scoring greatly improves.

    And the opposite pinning your opponent back greatly improves your defenses chances of stopping your opponent.

    Whenever the Pack is in a field position game (neither team gaining a yard) after 2-3 series where we each startrd at our own 30 the other teams at the 50 and we are at our 10 yard line because of poor special teamplay.

    Sorry haven't even mentioned Blackmon yet. But I've been laid up for 1 month now and I spend a hell of a lot of time on my computer blogging and haven't seen special teams mentioned and it's one area that drives me nuts with are ineptitude. Back to Blackmon I agree we need to get someone else after this season but for reasons other than you state. I think he could be one of those special punt returners he catches the ball on the run so effortlessly( that to me is one of the biggest traits all great punt returners have) and as you mentioned he makes the 1st guy miss. I just don't see him staying healthy. I think he could be special if injuries haven't already sapped some of his speed and quickness.

  2. Yooper, what's you blog??? Share the love man!

  3. Enjoyed the article, but if you are such a big Star Wars fan, learn to spell Qui-Gon correctly!

  4. I do apologize for that, I looked it up and the dumb website lied to me.