Preseason Takeaways and Burning Questions

Today, I discuss my preseason takeaways and pose my burning questions for the 2020 season. 

With the NFL season just two weeks away, football seems to be the furthest thing from everyone’s minds, and rightfully so.  It is time that the words “…Liberty and Justice for ALL” ring true for ALL of us, not just some of us.

Unanswered On-The Field Questions:

  1. Will the Packers have a legitimate second, third, and fourth receiver?
  2. Will the offense continue to evolve into a ground and pound attack?
  3. Will the Packers be able to duplicate the 2019 results with essentially the same roster?
  4. Will Special Teams be able to take another step up?
  5. Will Josh Jackson live up to the glowing preseason reports when the regular season rolls around?
  6.  Have we seen the best of Aaron Rodgers?
  7. Can the Packers Defense stop the run?

Excited or Concerned: (I will give you three things I am excited for to begin the season and three things that are keeping me up at night)

Things I am Excited to See in 2020:

  1. I am excited to see if watching 2010-2011 tape will help bring a Renaissance for Rodgers.  In my mind, he is still more than capable of putting together a big year in 2020.
  2. I am excited to see the Smith brothers back in action wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks and Aaron Jones continuing to run through opposing defenses and have another twenty-touchdown season. 
  3. I am excited to see Equanimeous St. Brown continue to build chemistry with Aaron Rodgers and flourish in the Packers offense.

Things that are keeping me up at Night:

  1. I have to be honest; I really wonder if 2019 was a fluke or if a new coach, new system, new philosophy, and a breath of fresh air was really all the Packers needed to pull out every close game they played. 
  2. I am worried we will continue to see some of the same results from the run defense in 2020.
  3. I am worried the Packers did not improve enough in their position groups of weakness to contend for a Super Bowl in 2020.

Let your Voice be Heard:

 Be sure to let me know, what/who you are excited to see and what has you concerned heading into the season.  I look forward to the conversation and debate.

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (19)

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fansince1959's picture

August 30, 2020 at 06:57 am

Yeah, they better fix that run defense but i believe they will surprise a lot of naysayers

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Daren726's picture

August 30, 2020 at 07:41 am

Sounds like the rookie middle linebacker from MN is pretty good and so is Kirksey. Maybe we got blessed. Can Kenny Clark et al do enough at the point of attack? We’ll see in two weeks. You know the Vikings will try everything against the run defense since they don’t have a passing attack.

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dobber's picture

August 30, 2020 at 07:53 pm

Cousins was absolutely abysmal against the Packers last season. He crippled that offense with his lousy play against the G.

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Coldworld's picture

August 30, 2020 at 07:58 am

Based purely on the digests of comments from media, I’m still not sure EQ is as likely to take a step as Lazard and MVS.

I am excited to see our TE/Hback group and how they will be used and perform. Beginning to think Tonyan has a place in this offense alongside Sternberger and that Lovett will make the team.

I’m hoping to see if J Williams and Ervin can really contribute to the passing game and Dillon’s impact. How will they get them all in the field and how will this new offense function. Looking forward to seeing a decent slot option, but who will this be? Looking forward to understanding the EQ faith as I have heard very little in terms of on field achievement from him thus far.

On D, looking forward to two mobile instinctive ILBs ... will Martin be the number 2? Hoping this will free up Greene to be used more as a true hybrid than a 3rd ILB. How much of a difference will this make to the Run D. Looks like Kirksey fills holes as well as covers and Martin has flashed.

Looking forward to KeKe aiding Clark in the middle and to having 3 really versatile threats from the OLB group. Looking forward to King and Alexander with another year under their belts and the same for Savage behind them.

Looking forward to starting a season with a decent returner and no excuse for ineptitude in the return game.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

August 30, 2020 at 07:56 am

I do not think 2019 was a fluke. We needed a new system on offense because we had become so predictable. Opposing defenses knew the plays we were running. Now our attack is more balanced and less predictable. Let's hope it is more efficient in the 2nd year.
I also see our defense being better with Rashan Gary adding to our pass rush and the secondary group having more talent and depth. Stopping the run is of course still a concern, however, I think the sf game was just an abberation and not an indication of a major weakness.
Lastly special teams were so dreadful until the arrival of Tyler Ervin. Really nowhere to go but up.

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nostradanus's picture

August 30, 2020 at 08:13 am

The Packers have most of their young vets back from last year so yes they should be as good as last season. With an additional year in this offense (and plenty of talent)as well as the young talented defenders maturing.
I foresee BIG things on the horizon for 2020!
Super Bowl!

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Bure9620's picture

August 30, 2020 at 08:36 am

Vikings realizing they cannot do it with all rooks traded for Yannick Ngaokue....still not Everson Griffin but a good player.....Daniele Hunter may have a more serious injury than the Vikings are leading on.....

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dobber's picture

August 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

My thoughts (wrt Hunter), as well.

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4zone's picture

August 30, 2020 at 08:36 am

Surreal. In comparison to all that is going on in this country and around the world, professional sports just seems out of place.

Any ideas on how this season will play out is pure conjecture at this point. The offense added a lot of potential weapons but will they be effective this year or two years down the line? It sounds like we have a couple potential upgrades now at ILB but how long anyone stays healthy and how they will show on game day is still unknown.

At WR, I wonder if Darius Shepherd has made any improvement on last year's camp and whether or not he or Begelton make the roster at all. We need shifty guys to complement the long fellows and Ervin is one but who's #2 or #3?

As for whether or not MLF was the cure for the team or just a first year success I guess we will find out soon. Now that teams have had a year to review Packer tape, will he find the road more difficult this year?

To all those out there who are living in areas where unrest has pulled peoples lives apart, I want to wish you the best in the times ahead. Football won't cure the ills of society, that is up to us. Whether the Packers win anything this year or not, I'm not too awfully concerned about, but the well being of those from one end of this country to the other I am. When the games end, and disappear from the TV screens, the rest of us still have lives to live. Take care all.

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mnbadger's picture

August 30, 2020 at 08:48 am

I'm excited to see Kirksey at linebacker and lose sleep thinking about Billy "Turnstile" Turner anywhere on the OL. GPG

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Archie's picture

August 30, 2020 at 09:46 am

Turner was/is a stop gap. Waaay overpaid for him Russ Ball. Because of team weakness at OT he probably makes team this year, possibly even starts, but will not be back in 2021. I'd cut bait now and go with the kid - Yosh Ninjman.

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Stroh's picture

August 30, 2020 at 05:02 pm

You'd entrust Rodgers health and the Packers season to Ninjman? Who's never been good at any level other tham maybe high school?! Maybe the dumbest idea ever.

Maybe they overpaid Turner, OG was a shit hole and he stabilized it in much the same way Amos did Safety. They probably overpaid the Smith's and Amos too! That's why you don't want to use FA!

At least Turner is a starting NFL OG and a good backip OT. Ninjman isn't even that! He wasn't in college either. Turner was attacked and made to appear worse because he was the weakest in an otherwise outstanding OL . So the defense attacked him only because the other 4 OL were practically impregnable. Ninjman is not now and never will be NFL ready! He's big tall and athletic but he's not an NFL OL. Has no clue and it would appear you don't either, if you're serious.

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dobber's picture

August 30, 2020 at 07:56 pm

Agreed. Starting caliber tackles don't typically end up UDFAs even as developmental types.

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Stroh's picture

August 30, 2020 at 05:29 pm

BTW Ninjman real name should be Bruce Campbell. 6'7 315 and athletic as hell. He was drafted about 10 yrs ago IIRC, by the raiders. He had no clue whatsoever how to play football. But hey, he sure looked good coming off the bus and could run. Just like your guy.

Look it up. I dare you.

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Lphill's picture

August 30, 2020 at 10:06 am

Number 7 . should have been number 1 , can the Packers stop the run is the biggest concern. Lazard will be the number 2 receiver behind Adams.

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Bure9620's picture

August 30, 2020 at 10:34 am

Probably not, you get what you emphasize......I don't really see Pettine changing......I think the Packers will be bottom 10 against the run and top 10 against the pass....in fact I think they will be hard to throw on.....I expect a very heavy dose of Dalvin Cook week one...

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Stroh's picture

August 30, 2020 at 05:50 pm

"I expect a very heavy dose of Dalvin Cook week one." Maybe but it won't matter.

To be honest, I think the run D will be better by emphasizing it more. And hopefully playing 2 ILB most downs. Either way it wont be great vs run, its a defense to stop the pass in a passing league. Kinda makes sense that way. Very few teams are willing to play the 9ers game. And unless you have a great QB, along with that run game, you won't win a SB.

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Stroh's picture

August 30, 2020 at 05:53 pm

Let me fix that for you... "Lazard will be the number 2 receiver behind Adams, by default." Lazard wouldn't be #2 on any other NFL team. He's a low end #3, or even better a #4 WR in the NFL.

Only WR that might eventually be a #2 WR is EQ, and that's not a given. They have a #1WR and a collection of #4s.

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Qoojo's picture

August 30, 2020 at 02:04 pm

1. Define legitimate. They have enough players to be very efficient on offense, if the preseason practice hype is to be believed. It's going to be about RB and TE a lot I think. Just hope MVS made the leap.

2. Depends if Rodgers allows it and doesn't go audible crazy or get impatient.

3. The packers got very lucky in 3 or 4 games that they won last year. I have never seen the packers get so many favorable calls in one season. I would expect a down turn if the offense and run defense does not improve.

4. Good question

5. Without one preseason game to deflate the hype, it's hard to believe all the glowing reports on the players. It's always sunshine and roses until live competition.

6. We have. Age basically dictates it. He is still very good, and we can only hope that he buys into the offense more.

7. That's the question isn't it. Given that the DL and OLB looks about the same, it's predicated on Pettine doing better and the players doing better.

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