Packers-Seahawks: Early analysis
The backup quarterback issue may not be settled yet but Vince Young took a giant leap forward tonight. With his mobility, which was in full effect on Friday night, Young has a different element that Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman don't have. Most importantly, Young was able to finish a drive. It would've been nice to see Harrell lead the team to some points but one decent drive ended with a fumble and another with a 4th-and-goal incompletion. Not totally Harrell's fault but the inability to finish hurts his chances to stay with the team.
The biggest question that Mike McCarthy and his staff face is does Young's upside outweigh Harrell's years of development? It would be impossible for anyone to come into camp and learn everything that Harrell knows about the team. It's more than just learning the playbook and terminology. It's about understanding technique and footwork. It's about developing a rhythm and chemistry with the offense. These things take time. Young couldn't possibly pick up on all of that in a few weeks. However, at this point it looks like we've seen Harrell's ceiling. Young has so much more potential, especially if he ever gets to a point where he is as developed in the Packers scheme as Harrell is.
Another takeaway from tonight is the number of injuries. As we like to say the first thing you want to accomplish in the preseason is staying healthy. DuJuan Harris and Casey Hayward re-injured themselves. Brad Jones and Morgan Burnett suffered hamstring injuries. This early in the process it doesn't sound like any of these injuries are serious but as McCarthy says a player's best ability is availability. The hope is none of these injuries linger into the regular season.
Other than Young, no one really jumped out in terms of performance. However, a few guys hurt their chances to stick on the roster. Loyce Means had a tough night and Jake Stoneburner's red zone fumble looms very large in a crowded tight end field.
There was very little running room created by the offensive line. The longest rush of the night for Harris was four yards. Eddie Lacy's longest gain was three. Same with Johnathan Franklin. Alex Green ripped off a 31 yard run but ended the night with two carries for, wait for it, 31 yards.
Meanwhile, the run defense was ripped in the second half. Rookie Christine Michael finished the night with 97 yards on 11 carries including a 43 yard third quarter touchdown run and an 18-yarder later in the third. All told, 89 of those yards came in the second half. Not a good sign when trying to determine if defensive depth is adequate.