Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday's Final Thoughts: CCQ wrap up

Hello JonBob readers! First we'd like to apologize for going AWOL on you for the last few days. For those of you keeping track, we have four more CCQs to discuss before training camp starts tomorrow. I'm going to use this week's installment of Friday's Final Thoughts to finish 'em off and hopefully give you readers plenty to debate over.

CCQ #4: Do we even have a legitimate punter in camp?

As of now, the two punters competing for the job are Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan. Masthay is an undrafted free agent who was waived by the Colts last August. Bryan is an Aussie entering his first year in the NFL, although he's played four years in the Australian Football League. Neither of these guys has kicked in a single NFL game. Ever. That pretty much answers our question right there. We do not have a legitimate punter going into training camp. If I had to bet, I'd say we're in for another abysmal year in the punting department. It's really hard to speculate who will win the starting job due to both players' lack of experience. I'm going to have to give the edge to Bryan though, after "notching a career high 22 hit outs" in a Round 15 match against Adelaide in 2008.



CCQ #3: Can Burnett beat out Bigby?


This is going to be the most intriguing battle in training camp this year. While Bigby was taking his time signing his RFA tender, Burnett had the opportunity to run with the #1 defense during OTAs. The third round pick out of Georgia Tech then proceeded to wow the coaching staff with his playmaking ability, leaving Bigby's job security in question. If Burnett continues to impress once the pads are on, Atari better be ready to bring it in camp. If he doesn't, or if he gets hurt (God forbid), it is very likely that Burnett will win the starting job. Bigby has been knicked up, and also a bit of a liability in coverage. And it's been awhile since he's played like this:



I still think it's Bigby's job to lose, but Burnett is going to make it difficult on the coaches come preseason. Regardless of how the position battle plays out, you can bank on the fact that Morgan Burnett will earn some pretty significant playing time this year. Considering how thin Green Bay is at corner, Capers may whip up some defensive packages with Collins, Bigby, and Burnett on the field all at the same time.

CCQ #2: Who're the starting five on the O-line?
Let's start with the left tackle spot. Despite landing Bulaga in this year's draft, Clifton will most likely start the season at LT. However, I don't see him being the starter by the end of the season. Year after year his body breaks down at some point. Hopefully he can last long enough to give Bulaga time to fully prepare himself to take over. We'll go with Daryn Colledge at LG, Scott Wells at C and Josh Sitton at RG. Tauscher will beat out TJ Lang for the RT job. The depth of this unit has dramatically improved since last year. We'll see a lot less 300 pound belly flops on top of A-Rod and plenty more touchdown passes.

CCQ #1: Does Jones have what it takes at OLB?
Jones was solid last year. Will he take the next step this year and provide a significant pass rush opposite Clay Matthews? I think he does. Green Bay sticks to its philosophy of improvement within and Brad Jones will have plenty of opportunities to succeed.

Let's open it up. Tell us what you all think!

6 comments:

  1. Robert, excellent analysis. You're bit about the SS competition is spot on and I agree with your assessment of the punters as well. I also hope you're right about Jones, though I'm not optimistic.

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  2. Comment regarding #3:
    I am a big believer in Atari Bigby. I feel that he should be the starter at the start of the season unless he completely flops in camp/preseason. I do love what I see in Burnett and realize that he is a play-maker and we need to utilize his abilities. This talk about having both Bigby and Burnett on the field at the same time is one I love because it will (hopefully) keep off the field liabilities like Jarrett Bush.

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  3. Comment regarding #1:
    I would disagree with your comment about Brad Jones being solid. Brad Jones was nearly a non-factor last year playing no better than Poppinga would've played or even maybe big, fat, white A.J. Hawk. However I do think that Brad Jones will come out much improved this season and will remain as Ryan Matthews opposite. With increased attention being paid to Matthew's rush ability I fully expect Jones to take advantage of the one on one chances and to make a couple big plays this year.

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  4. I would agree with both of Willa's comments. I am however looking forward to seeing Chris Bryan in a few years. If he stays with the Pack I think he could finally end our punting woes in the not-too-far-off future.

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  5. Brad Jones didn't allow a single TD pass or 20+ yard pass play. He wasn't penalized once, and he only missed 2 tackles. He had 10 pressures in roughly 400 snaps. 4 sacks.

    Poppinga had 268 snaps. He had 2 pressures.

    Don't say he was no better than Poppinga. He was a 7th round, project, undersized rookie.

    Robert Ayers, a 1st rounder, had 17 pressures in 420 snaps, but 0 sacks.
    Larry english, also a 1st rounder, had 14 pressures and 2 sacks, but in 560 snaps.

    Brad Jones was very good last year.

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  6. I think that Bigbi is essentially done William. It would be his job to lose if he actually stayed healthy long enough to be the playmaker he was back in 07. I say the Packers should make it as open as possible, no leg up for anyone. And if they do that, I think you'll see Burnett emerge as the victor (not sure but I think Bigby just hurt his ankle again).

    I didn't have any problem with BJ's perfomance last year, for where we got him and all the stuff he had to learn quickly. He didn't make a lot of wow plays, but this year, with another year under his belt I think he'll start to make some big plays.

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