The Eagles host the Packers tomorrow in week one of the NFL season and to learn a little more about the Pack, we traded questions this week with Packers blog "Ol' Bag of Donuts." You can check out my answers to their questions over there.
The Packers secondary is beat up to say the least. What's your level of concern with that in the early part of the season?
To be honest, it is definitely one of the weak points of the team heading into the season. There isn't much concern about the starting four of Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams at CB and Nick Collins and rookie Morgan Burnett at safety, but it is the depth that worries us. With Al Harris on the PUP list to start the season, you are looking at the likes Brandon Underwood, Sam Shields and Jarret Bush in your nickel and dime packages. Not all that comforting. Even with former starting safety Atari Bigby also on the PUP list, the rookie Burnett has actually been a pleasant surpise as a third-round pick, as he probably already had the job won before Bigby had surgery. So what is my level of concern? No concern at all with the starting unit, but it gets raised a lot when the Packers are forced into nickel and dime sets.
Everyone loves Aaron Rodgers, everyone loves the Packers offense this year... but are there any chinks in the armor? What might stop them from being the best offense in the NFC?
To make it simple the offensive line. Everyone knows that Rodgers got beat up last year, but it actually improved a lot in the second half of the season after their bye week. Everyone is healthy right now, which wasn't the case last year, and first round pick tackle Bryan Bulaga has been as good as advertised. While, he is not in the starting lineup yet, he will make an impact sooner than later. Rodgers has been criticized before for holding the ball too long, but I think that is the result of a poor offensive line. If they can play like they did down the stretch last year, this offense can be very scary.
If you could steal an Eagle and add him to Packers, who would it be?
Even though Packers return game is dismal right now and as much as I want to say DeSean Jackson I have to go defense with Trent Cole. Clay Matthews is a great pass rusher, but he is about all the Packers have right now until someone steps up therefore Cole would fill a big void. Dom Capers would line him up at OLB in the 3-4, but he has the size to play DE in certain formations. The secondary depth is a little weak right now, but adding a pass rusher like Cole would help those problems. Matthews and Cole on the edges? Watch out!
The NFC North looks like it will be pretty good this year. The Packers and Vikings are 2009 playoff teams, the Bears went on a spending spree in the offseason, and the Lions are showing signs that they might finally be improving. Since the Eagles play the NFC North this year, would mind sizing it up a bit for us? Who is a real contender and who is a pretender?
Not to be a homer, but the Packers are the team to beat. The Vikings should be a playoff team again, but will only go as far as Favre takes him, if he can stay healthy. If he can't, this season won't be pretty in Minnesota. The Vikings are also lacking offensive weapons with Sidney Rice out 8 weeks and Percy Harvin basically game-to-game at this point with his migraine issues. The Bears are all smoke with the word is that Cutler is still having some discipline issues with the Martz system. Julius Peppers doesn't help their aging defense that much since he only plays hard a 1/3 of the time and just got paid. I actually think the Lions are the one team that can sneak up on some teams this year. They have their holes, but Jim Schwartz (sp) is starting build a solid foundation. Their defensive line will be greatly improved with the additions of Kyle VandenBosch, Ndamonkung Suh and Corey Williams and not many teams want to worry how to cover Best and Megatron on the otherside of the ball. There has also been a lot of positive talk about Stafford so far, so as weird as it sounds don't sleep on the Motor City Kitties.
Thanks to the boys from Ol Bag Of Donuts