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Saturday, July 17, 2004

State of the DB's

With the addition of Mark Roman I believe we will see Darren Sharper being used greatly by Slowik. Roman's ability to cover well and his innate sense of being in the right place at the right time will allow SLowik to utilize Sharper’s best ability and that is to free roam.

Also with Roman in the picture it will allow the corners time to learn and develop as I believe both Carroll and Thomas will get extensive playing time IF MIKE MCKENZIE DOES NOT PLAY FOR THE PACKERS - Hawthorne might be listed as the starter right now but coaches end up using their best players and Mark Roman is far superior to Hawthorne in my opinion.

Besides Bhawoh Jue just might show up and claim the other Safety slot, leaving SLowik the luxury of using Mark Roman in all kinds of packages.

Now say Mike McKenzie does return and miracles of all miracles he plays hard and does not cause a rift on the team. Mike McKenzie is still a good edge corner and true he is the best cover guy we have which is not saying much. Batman Carroll will eventually surpass McKenzie and AL Harris with his quickness and speed and cover skills. This kid has darn good cover skills.

I also am among the group who thinks Joey Thomas will make a solid player n the NFL. I see him eventually taking over Al Harris slot

For the sake of this defense and Bob Slowik taking over the control of it I would love to have Mike McKenzie in there as he is an above average player. Now if he wants to play around like he did a lot last season he is worth less than spit in a bucket to us. Mike has to want to be in the game mentally. He has to leave stuff said and joked about on the bench on the bench and keep his mind on things on the field. He still has enough speed and quickness to be effective. He has outstanding instincts that allow him to overcome a loss of a step or so of his speed when he first came into the league.

If the Packers were just beginning to be there in terms of being a playoff team I would say get the hell out of Green Bay but this team has been poised for 3 seasons now and due to severe injuries one season and a horrible 4th and 26 call and Favre's wild duck throw this team missed out on a couple of Super Bowls. We have a pretty good offense when the OL executes and Brett is not in his wild hair mode. We have a better than average defense that could have been extremely good last year if not for some major huge play letdowns. This defense was in the top level in most of the major categories if you take away those long gains.

This team sure could use Mike McKenzie's ability - if he wants to play mentally and not goof around on downs. It would make things go smoother and swifter for the Packers defense. But we could survive without McKenzie but it will require patience with the rookies and mediocre backup (Hawthorne) - We will still have some of those long plays against us that killed excellent defense stands but hopefully not as many as the season goes on. Mistakes from rookies are one thing but mistakes from veterans who just did not execute or try is another.

Another thing is that this defense will be proactive instead of a Donatell reactive one. I for one got extremely tired of his demand that our defense read then react based on assigned roles. It was useless at times because by the time the LDE had stood his ground and made his read and taken care of his assignment it was too late to put any pressure on the QB. Our Back 7 also were tentative way too much as well.

As I said it would be nice to have McKenzie’s skills in there only if he wants to stay alert and mentally in the game. But I do not fear it would mean the end of a good run if we have to enter the season with the rookies learning on the run.

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