Yes, yes -- everyone wants me to preview the Green Bay game. However, I still have a few leftover thoughts from week 1.
amazingly, JJLions, I actually agree with you on Alexander. While I still expect him to spell Smith (who is a little older) I would like to see him get more time to develop without the pressure of starting. When I referred to him and Bullocks as starters, I was thinking long term. Alexander does need some more development, but he can definitely contribute in rotation as he improves. The Lions are also in fine shape if Smith gets injured. It's also nice to see Bullocks back -- he appears fully recovered and confident -- and picking up where he left off before the injury.
As for Cohen, I somewhat disagree -- I don't think he should be starting over Darby. However, if Cody continues to disappear all the time, I'd like to see him given a shot at some playing time -- we may all be surprised at how well he does. Also, with the trouble they had stopping the run, I'd like to see IAF activated. He was getting good penetration on the inside and outside, and also was doing very well stopping the run in preseason on passing downs while pressuring the QB. I'd like to see him get a shot at some more PT -- but will trust the coaches to have the best guys on the field.
One interesting thing that I read that bore both thought and repeating is about Cherilus. While he is about equal with Foster already, he can play both left and right, according to the coaching staff. Is it possible they are holding him back to keep pressure not just on Foster -- but on Backus as well? Sure, Jeff is an average LT -- but Cherilus was doing fine on the left when he was in there pre-season. With some development he may even be able to man that spot in the future. He was drafted as a RT for now -- but if he can be a LT for years to come, should he be rushed? I don't buy their lame excuse about him being the only "swing" tackle. If he's playing on the right, and gets injured -- Foster steps in. If Backus gets injured, Cherilus slides left, and Foster mans the right. There is more going on that we know about, but don't always assume it's negative. He was pushing Foster this ifseason. What if he has elevated his game enough to be pushing Backus next?
Dizon did well in his limited action, but I'm advocating more rotation ie have him in for a series or two -- or three, depending on how he is playing. That way he keeps getting game experience to go along with his practice and put it into practical use. Practice and watching only go so far. I would be disappointed if he is outright starting before the bye unless he is just lights-out phenomenal. If he is starting (other than that), it's just because Paris is playing like week 1 Paris instead of Preseason Paris. I want to see Dizon develop and exceed what Paris brings at MLB, not just step in because of incompetence.
I read about Barry showing the players film...not of missed tackles, but every player who missed tackles got to sit in the room with the entire defense and watch film of themselves making tackles. That had to be one long film session!! However, I think it is an interesting approach -- it simultaneously called out the guys who were missing tackles while not only telling them they could do better -- but showing them doing so. If that doesn't really drive home the point that they can do better than the pathetic effort they made, then I don't know what will.
One thing I'd like to see this weekend (among many): Brandon Middleton taking a Kick-Off, think about fair catching it, and then take it and run it back for a long gain to show the coaching staff they were right in bringing him back, and that offensive life is better when you start near/past the 50.
Preview of GB game tonight. No game blog again tomorrow, as I will be catching the game on "tape delay" (VHS) tomorrow evening. Feel free to post your in-game thoughts here, as well as your own quarter-by quarter analysis, thoughts, what you saw, etc. I will create a "game blog" for this purpose -- it will be interesting to see how differently we each view key plays etc -- and then break it down on the film and look into it further.