Ryan Grant & James Starks battle, Live from Packers Camp

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If you are a seriously-superstitious fantasy owner, the 2011-12 season is going to be a rough one for the Packers. The very first play of the Packers intrasquad scrimmage was an Aaron Rodgers pass for a pick-6. The next was Ryan Grant losing 2 yards.

I will not be a Ryan Grant owner this season (1) whiffed badly in pass protection, (2) continues to run East-West, (3) James Starks looks like an NFL RB and a blocker, (4) John Kuhn is good for 3-5 TDs, (5) Jermichael Finley will take several TDs in the Red Zone...and (6) I can see a Starks/Grant 60/40 split with each of them a bit light in the TD department.
There weren't many carries for Grant however, the second play of the night was Grant taking the hand-off, running laterally and being hit behind the line for a loss of 2 yards. He looked tentative. I'm not certain if it's just rust, not trusting his ankle yet or if he still wants to dance a bit. He looked like the old practice-squad player from the Giants.
In contrast, James Starks hit the holes with low pads and moved into the second level on each of his carries.  Starks also handled his pass-blocking assignments, whereas Grant went 0-2 from what I recall.
I would keep an eye on the O-line in the preseason. Big #95 (Howard Green, a 2nd-string NT behind Raji) got through, and stood next to Aaron Rodgers for a good 1-1/2 seconds before Rodgers found a receiver and delivered the ball. The first-string O-line was playing the D2s. Not good for a first look.  
Donald Driver is in amazing shape...for a 36-yr old. That's great, but his knees are only 1-yr younger than say, Derrick Mason's.

Matt Flynn can play ball in the NFL (just ask the Patriots: 24/37 for 251 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT--at New England!) Don't be surprised if his name comes up in trade talk, especially if a competitive team loses a starting QB. The Packers need bodies on BOTH lines.
They tell us not to worry about them being in street clothes:  Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews, Tramon Williams, among others.
I'm cheering for one particular OL this season--Caleb Schlauderaff; only because his name looks so appropriate on a Green Bay Packers jersey!


Filed Under: Preseason, 2011

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