Some good, some bad in opener

The Green Bay Packers have a long way to go to be regular season ready, but isn’t that training camp is for? Clearly, in the Packers case, the defense is ahead of the offense, especially the first-string offense. Amazingly the Packers’ starters couldn’t even generate one first down. To say they looked bad would be a compliment to them.Thanks to backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the offense finally showed signs of life and put up 13 points, enough to beat the Steelers because the Packers’ defense was shutting down the Steelers backups all night. Only mistakes by Atari Bigby let the Steelers get on the board. I doubt Bigby will be around much longer as those are the types of mistakes the Packers have been stressing against making all off-season. Those were the mistakes that killed them early last year in games against the Bears and Saints and several others.The defensive line was very impressive let by defensive end Cullen Jenkins. Jenkins had two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also stuffed former Packer Najah Davenport on a third-and-one. Jenkins is key to the defense and early indications show he is up to the task.Even first-round draft pick Justin Harrell got into the act with a sack late in the game. If the Packers’ defense can get off to a strong start this season it will go a long way in helping the offense, which simply put, needs help. With no running threat and no tight end threat, the Packers are very one-dimensional. Of course the Packers were without starting running back Vernand Morency and only had four series, so running out and giving up the bank for Larry Johnson can wait at least another week.Second-round draft pick running back Brandon Jackson showed some signs he might be a player after getting off to a slow start. He only had three carries with the starters but ended with 58 yards total for the game. Jackson and Rodgers could be playing together a long time so it was good to see them have some success together right off the bat. Third-round draft pick wide receiver James Jones also continued his impressive play this training camp with a solid game against the Steelers. The new triplets maybe?All in all it was game just like all the other games last weekend, and thanks to NFLN I saw quite a few of them. But one thing is sure, the Packers are ahead of where they were last year in their preseason opening, but that isn’t really saying much because they should be with a year under their belts. Head coach Mike McCarthy wasn’t totally displeased with the game, but you can bet he will expect more out of his starters next week against Seattle at Lambeau Field. So will the fans. Another week like this one and we might have a quarterback controversy in Green Bay. by Al Davis�

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