April 19, 2014

Packers vs. Browns tonight

Here’s what I’ll be watching when the Green Bay Packers and Browns meet

D.J. Smith

tonight in NFL preseason action at Lambeau Field.

1)  The Packers so far are staying the course with backup QB Graham Harrell,
despite an average performance last week against San Diego.  Harrell’s 2-minute work at the end of the first half was good.  But the rest of his game was inconsistent.  He missed a number of downfield shots in the game and needs to improve there.  Management has stayed away from looking for a 
veteran to back up Aaron Rodgers, but it’s important that Harrell have a 
strong showing to re-enforce that support.

2)  The Packers suffered a major loss with the injury to MLB Desmond Bishop.
      The reigns on the inside get turned over to D.J. Smith, who filled in as a
      starter for 3-games last season while Bishop was recovering from a calf
      injury.  The Packers like Smith, but we’ll see how much of a drop-off there
      is after the loss of Bishop.

3) Marshall Newhouse returns to the lineup tonight at left tackle, but I’ll have
      my eyes on the backups.  The Packers are not very deep on the offensive
      line and are hoping to see some improvement from week 1 at San Diego.
     
4)  The Packers will be dressing 3 healthy running backs tonight, including
      Alex Green, who will get his longest look of the preseason tonight.  He’s
      coming off of a major knee injury and has been brought along slowly to this
      point in camp.  He’ll still be limited tonight, but it’ll still be the next step for
      Green.  For the second week in a row, Marc Tyler will get most of the
      carries tonight as he looks to pick up where he left off last week, minus a
      late fumble.

5)  Davon House appeared to be headed for a starting job at right corner until
      he went down for 2 to 3 weeks with a shoulder injury.  Rookie Casey
      Hayward gets the nod tonight, a golden opportunity to show what he
      can do.

6)  The top two picks, Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy will be counted on to
      make pays this season.  Perry was OK in the preseason opener, but Worthy
      didn’t stand out at all.  Tonight is his chance to pick up the pace against
      the Browns.

7)  It’s the first game inside Lambeau Field for kicker Mason Crosby with
       the renovation to Lambeau.  There’ll be some different twists with the
       wind inside the stadium and we’ll see just how well Crosby adjusts.

The Packers kickoff at 7pm tonight at Lambeau Field.