Why The Packers Should Have Played Starters In The Preseason

The Packers made it through the preseason games without any starters getting injured. But was it the right choice? 

The preseason is over. The Packers made it through with no injuries to starters sustained in preseason play.

Hooray.

But now what?

Now players have 20 (hopefully) more games to try to not get hurt in.

But is that the purpose of football? To not get hurt? In the most violent team sport in the world?

Staying healthy (which includes offseason conditioning, nutrition, and a host of other factors) is a big part of success in the NFL, but football is more than just avoiding injury.

Clearly, no one wants their players to get hurt in a meaningless game. That's why the league as a whole has largely moved away from playing starters (especially veterans) in the preseason.

Why would teams play veteran starters in the preseason, anyway?

Do they need the reps?

Probably not. They're established players who know how to play football. 

Do they need to learn the playbook and establish rapport?

Maybe, but they should get a lot of that figured out in practice. It's not exactly the same as a game situation, but the difference probably isn't great enough to risk injury.

Do they need the conditioning?

No, these guys train year-round and they should be in top condition from their offseason regimen.

So then just rest them so they can't get hurt, right?

Well, what exactly goes into not getting hurt?

There's avoiding playing, which is why you and I don't get hurt sitting on the couch to watch every Sunday.

There's good play design that doesn't put players in tough positions on the field.

Then there's body conditioning.

A lot of that is exercise, but there's also contact conditioning.

In short, players need to get their bodies ready for the brutal hitting on NFL games. With practice contact severely limited by the last CBA, players are more at risk than ever in the early weeks of the season when their bodies haven't been acclimated to game-speed collisions.

Think about it this way:

If you want your body ready to run a marathon, you do a whole bunch of running. If you don't, you increase the likelihood of injury,

If you want your body ready for a power-lifting competition, you do a whole bunch of weight-lifting. If you don't, you increase the likelihood of injury,

And if you want your body ready for the violent collisions that come from professional football, you need to bang around in the preseason a little bit.

If you don't...

you increase the likelihood of injury.

A lot of steps have been taken to protect players health.

This is one step too far.

Putting players into Week 1 situations where they are taking on full speed collisions for 60 straight minutes without taking any hits for the 8 months in dangerous.

 

Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.

 

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6 points

Comments (73)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:24 am

"Putting players into Week 1 situations where they are taking on full speed collisions for 60 straight minutes without taking any hits for the 8 months is dangerous."

Football IS dangerous...Period.

As hard as it was to watch the Packers vs the Saints last year in week one, I still agree with holding out starters. All it takes is ONE hit, one UDFA, or late round pick trying to make a name for themselves to end a player's season, maybe even the franchise's season, depending on who is injured and for how long.

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. Let's get through September in one piece or at least without any season-ending injuries and as healthy as possible for January. That's what really matters for the Packers...ESPECIALLY the Packers.

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Guam's picture

August 28, 2022 at 07:48 am

Amen NP. Being healthy for the playoffs is what this is all about. I would certainly prefer to see the Packers beat the Vikings in game one, but as we saw from last year, a game one loss is not a deal breaker. I like what MLF has done with the preseason.

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Since'61's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:37 am

I agree completely Nick! Keep the key players bubble wrapped. Besides they Packers played their starters against the Saints for 2 days prior to their preseason game. Dump the preseason games and have more practices would make much more sense. Thanks, Since '61

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coolhand's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:05 pm

Yet DB blew out his knee in practice. Should the starters avoid practice as well to avoid getting hurt?

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scoonie_penn's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:30 am

Depending on the OL starters, GB is going to have major issues blocking Z and Hunter. Both will be healthy for about 6-8 games but both will be healthy and hungry for game one and I guarantee MIN will have several pressure packages which will overload the right side of the OL to take advantage of Hanson and Newman. Maybe this will be a blessing on the long run because I could see GB replacing either or both at halftime and riding with Tom Yosh, RJR, Myer, Tom and EJ (if healthy). I just hope playing Hansen and Newman doesn't end up costing GB a game or worse, an injury to AR.

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mrtundra's picture

August 28, 2022 at 07:56 am

I do not relish the thought of playing Hanson at RG or Newman at RT. Both playing at the same time will mean that ARod is running for his life. If Elgton is not back, we had better have Zach Tom at RT. Newman is better at RG, which is his best spot on the line. If Bakh plays, in week one, we can use Nijman at RT, too. We have to keep ARod safe!

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mrtundra's picture

August 28, 2022 at 07:56 am

I do not relish the thought of playing Hanson at RG or Newman at RT. Both playing at the same time will mean that ARod is running for his life. If Elgton is not back, we had better have Zach Tom at RT. Newman is better at RG, which is his best spot on the line. If Bakh plays, in week one, we can use Nijman at RT, too. We have to keep ARod safe!

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:42 am

I think your last point is on and we don't need to worry about this. I think one of the OTs (Bakh or Jenkins) will play week 1.

Remember that Marcedes Lewis didn't play in the preseason. He typically plays about half the offensive snaps, which means they can have a solid blocker playing on the RT's shoulder a fair chunk of the time until the OL gets more healthy.

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Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Maybe, but I’d seriously think about starting Love if they aren’t. Losing a game is one thing, even against a divisional foe. Losing Rodgers would be another all together.

The Vikings will be scheming and blitzing those two from the outset. As yet, neither Bakh nor Jenkins has proven themselves fully healthy or game ready. That’s a leap of faith on your part and one no team should rely on.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 29, 2022 at 02:40 am

I think you ought to give this notion more thought. TBH, I think you've already overthought this. AR should start. [Knocking on wood vigorously now that I've written this.]

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:16 am

Yes, I agree; I would much prefer a Newman-Tom line. Tom didnt allowed 1 pressure the first 2 preseason games according to PFF. Newman is also a guard, not a tackle. However, Sept. 11th is still a ways off, and I’m hoping that EJ may be ready or play at least some snaps by then. I would not rush him back above playing him early, though.

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LLCHESTY's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:21 am

You've seen them make halftime adjustments to the O line before?

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:21 am

I have never been witness to ML adjusting to anything...ever.

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Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:35 pm

Well, he adjusts his views to what Rodgers tells him

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High_stick69's picture

August 28, 2022 at 05:53 pm

Hopefully someone hits Z hard early and often. He was frequently on the ground hurt a few years back. Didn’t ever seem like anything serious until his back. I hope the Pack tests Z to see how healthy he really is. Now that he’s paid, he can continue to feign interest and be out of football in a year or two.

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stockholder's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:35 am

Freakish injuries, Cheap shots, Learning Time, Dirty plays, Tempers. I'm All for keeping the starters off the field. It said you practice like you play. If a guy got hurt; you'd write they shouldn't have played.

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Since'61's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:39 am

Absolutely stockholder. The article would be about why are our starters playing and being risked during preseason games. Thanks, Since '61

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Bure9620's picture

August 28, 2022 at 07:08 am

There are also non contact injuries which are serious, if a guy goes down without contact it is likely an ACL (Jordy Nelson) or a hamstring. Heavy preseason contact with starters increases chance of injury. Play the young guys let them fight for roster spots.

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oceanstrength's picture

August 28, 2022 at 07:59 am

One other factor. Young players need to work with older players (e.g. Rodgers with rookie receivers) IN the heat of a real game with the elevated intensity, adrenalin and noise. Rodgers doesn't need it for himself, but he needs it for the new players. Getting passes from Love will not duplicate getting passes from AR. New Orleans last year proved that only one game is needed to accomplish that. Its actually a surprise that loss did not end up biting the team in the end.

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ricky's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:12 am

If you have some proof that players that don't play in the exhibition games are more likely to get hurt, please provide it. Meanwhile, here is a partial list of players who were injured to various degrees during the pre-season: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-2022-preseason-injuries-tracker-r...

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marpag1's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:50 am

Exactly. The idea that getting hit somehow toughens the body and increases the ability to avoid injury is 98% nonsense. But what ISNT nonsense is that you can’t really simulate live tackling etc except in live game action.

Still, I have virtually no concern about holding out starters.

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:35 am

Agreed: these guys have played a lot of football. They know what it means to hit and they know what it means to tackle, and they aren't loaves of bread that get tougher the more you beat on the dough.

The only concern I have is the mental side...if you haven't driven in the snow for eight months the sheer processing of it can be overwhelming. You still know how to drive, and you've driven in snow before, but this is the first day where you're in it for a long time. You've been driving under completely different conditions, and it's hard to simulate snow without being in snow. Success in this case is about how fast your processor ramps up.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:58 am

OK, so i read through the entire list.

There were very few injuries listed that occurred in pre-season games. Those that were listed were mostly of a soft tissue type which may be a training/stretching issue, not really contact related.

Much of the carnage was from off-season surgeries or continuing issues.

Given the number of players and the number of games and the number of snaps in the games the injuries that occurred seems like a very very small percentage and IMO does NOT justify sitting out players from a few snaps with fellow veterans at the beginning of games.

This whole "safety" thing has grown out of proportion across us society.

As usual.

We regularly take a relevant observation coupled with a measured response and then blow it up into an irrational deluge of legislation. Over reaction that sticks instead of finding the best outcome middle ground followed by polarization and conflict with irrational arguments put forth by both sides while the baby goes out with the bathwater and new issues simply take the place of the pre-existing one which never gets fixed itself.

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Rarescope's picture

August 28, 2022 at 05:26 pm

Packers staff writers had one thing to say: "Jordy Nelson. End of argument."

And I agree with that sentiment.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 29, 2022 at 07:12 am

short stories satisfy weak minds...

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:18 am

We saw what happened to Leavitt and Scott. Imagine if that had been Savage and Amos. I agree with MLFs decision not to play starters, even if it means a slow start. It is a better decision down the stretch.

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:36 am

Savage IS on the shelf, though...

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 04:00 pm

Hopefully he stays out until Abernathy has enough quality starts to replace the weakest link.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:26 am

During any football game, team with the best blocking and tackling execution always has a most important edge. As Bruce stated in the article...you are what you practice.

MM ran camps with little live tackling and light blocking and it showed early in the season. Matt has continued this, reinforced by the league. And I think they even avoid live blocking and tackling after the league limits end in camp.

This lack of blocking and tackling training and focus was clearly evident on STs all 3 preseason games. Blocking and tackling was pathetic. Attempted arm tackles ball carriers ran through and blocking was sloppy and half hearted.

I think Love and the O's first 4 drives were deep in the hole, all compliments of STs. Meanwhile, SF, NO and KC ALL attacked the Packers STs...with good results...and MN has taken notice.

The blocking and tackling to start the game was very sloppy. Do not be surprised if the season starts the same.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:21 am

The inability to block and tackle on ST’s was obvious and glaring. In the interest of safety the league as limited contact in training camp and practice in general. Players on teams need to have that as their best skill regardless of their position on the roster.

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blondy45's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:37 am

I agree with Bruce Irons. The players in the NFL need practice and contact to get their bodies ready for the marathon that is the NFL season. Running around in shorts with no pads for 3 months does not prepare the body, the mind yes. Now I do not believe most starting NFL players need to play too many minutes in the preseason. IMO they do need to get some time together in a game situation not playing their own teammates. I am up for the starters playing one or two series to start preseason games. After that everyone else who has deserved playing in practice should get their chance to improve their skills and impress their coaches. Injuries will occur in the NFL, it is a contact sport, not flag football. The players know the risk of injury can occur at any time. In goes with their profession, just like a police officer, a health care professional, or a service member. A bad even deadly outcome unfortunately occurs. Risk versus reward. Prepare the NFL body for war, do not standby on the sidelines watching others do "their job"! Go Pack GO!

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HarryHodag's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:00 am

Playing the starters for one quarter at Kansas City would likely have not resulted in a disaster with the exception of Aaron Rodgers. As you noticed, Andy Reid played starters for a time, Dennis Allen played the New Orleans starters for a time.

I still count the loss to New Orleans last year as the second most embarrassing loss in Packers recent history, right behind Lindy Infante's Colts beating Mike Holmgren's Packers in 1997. The Colts won 3 games that year and the Packers went on to lose the Super Bowl.

I was at the game against Denver during the Bart Starr coaching days and the Packers fans started cheering for the Broncos because they were so fed up with losing.

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Since'61's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:08 am

First off our starters did practice against the Saints starters for 2 days. But I guess that doesn't count.

Second and more important the NFL season is a marathon so why would a team want to go into the season with some of their starters injured? Especially if we expect that some of our players will get hurt during the season. Which will mean that we'll be playing some 3rd stringers at positions with multiple injuries.

Injuries to starters wreak havoc on position groups and extend the effects onto the STs. This diminishes the quality of play for the team and throughout the league.

Another big reason is that team owners aren't paying their highly paid players to miss the season and end their team's chances to make an SB run. Of course preseason games are a money grab for the owners whether their stars play or not so why risk their best players in meaningless games. Playing their stars is a lose/lose proposition. The best case is that they play, are not injured but deny precious reps and evaluation of our younger players. The worst case is that the star players suffer a serious injury ending their season and possibly their career. What's the point?

As for the Packers they did play their starting OL in every preseason game. We'll see if it makes a difference or not. As for our skill players would playing Rodgers, Jones and Dillon actually make a difference for them at this point in their careers. How would we feel about our chances for the season if any one of them was lost for the season in a preseason game? Also why deny the extra reps to Love, Patrick Taylor and numerous other players trying to make the team? Those players need the work much more than their starting counterparts.

Finally and most importantly there isn't any credible evidence which supports that playing starters helps them play better during the regular season. The Packers have won 13 games in each of the previous 3 seasons. That tells me the Packers must be doing something correctly.

Start the season with healthy players and hold off the injury bug as long as possible. GPG! Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:38 am

There were no live tackling periods so I don’t think the scrimmages really do count in this context. Football without that is not the real thing. That’s not to discount combined scrimmaging except in respect to it being equivalent to snaps in a preseason game.

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HarryHodag's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:08 am

I did a survey of the number of games 60 years ago and today. The NFL allowed up to SIX preseason games. While the season was 14 games plus two playoff games(which included the Super Bowl), factoring 4-6 preseason games there wasn't much difference between then and now. It's a long season.
David Bahktiari's injury happened on a no-contact drill. Injuries happen all the time but this action by MLF is a bit over the top.

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Since'61's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:22 am

Harry back in the 60s the teams played 6 preseason games because the players needed to get in shape to play.

Back then when the season was over the players went to work in "regular" jobs to make it through the year until the next season started. Many arrived in training camp out of shape to play. that is no longer true. Players have access to trainers and excellent training equipment all year round. They also make enough money playing football so they have no need to work during the off season.

Preseason games are a vestige from that era of the NFL and the owners have maintained them as a money grab.
More practices with less preseason games would serve everyone better in terms of preparing for the season.

Yes, I understand that players will still incur non-contact injuries during practice and other football drills. That is all the more reason to minimize the risk of injury by either keeping players out of the games or eliminating them all together. MLF's action may be a bit over the top for you but it's difficult to argue against 3 consecutive 13 win seasons. Protect your players and they will play more effectively. Wear your players down by taking unnecessary hits and they will play less effectively. If this was not true teams would still play their starting 22 on every down and we wouldn't have rotational players coming in and out of the game on nearly every play.
I'm sure the owners would love to go back to 33 man rosters and they would have 20 less players to pay as they did in the 50s and 60s.

The focus should be on winning in the regular season and in the playoffs. MLF has that correct. He uses the preseason games to evaluate his young players and to get them reps. For those 2nd and 3rd stringers who make the team those reps will mean more for them when they get in a regular season game than they will for the 1st string veterans.

Protect the key players and have them ready to go 100% healthy when the season begins. The idea that non-contact injuries can happen any time is not a sufficient reason, excuse or gamble to increase the injury risks by playing in a preseason game where some over zealous and desperate player, who will not even be in the league after Tuesday, will take a run at Rodgers or Jones or Dillon or a block on Alexander or Campbell just because of the unproven hypothesis that playing in the preseason makes a difference. Just because its was done back in the 60s under totally different circumstances doesn't mean that there is literally any credible evidence that it makes a difference in regular season play. I'm moving on to the regular season and actual football. And I'm happy that the Packers are starting the season with a healthy team rather than regretting that our season ended before it began because some of our starting players were injured in meaningless preseason games. Case closed.
Thanks, Since '61

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blondy45's picture

August 29, 2022 at 10:07 am

~61 I agree that it is important to start the season healthy, and the Pack is. IMO players can take cheap shots in the regular season too. Players can be in good shape physically running and strong etc. If players do not have true contact reps, not near as many these days, they are football "rusty". The timing is off a little, new teammates need to get familiar with their mates while actually playing with contact. Practice, practice, practice, nothing beats the real thing, contact in a contact sport. The Pack needs to not lay an egg like last year in its first game. This year it is the Vikings, a more meaningful game than the Saints last year. More NFL coaches are playing their regulars more in preseason now, MLF is NOT.

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:36 am

Because our TEAM plays like crap early in the season....EVERY season. It has literally been YEARS since I have witnessed a Packer team actually progress to the point of execute on Offense for even a measly quarter of a game. Is it lack of 1st team practice together...11 on 11's...or a culture of lack of desire for greatness and holding other players accountable. The best execution of even a series was against SF in the first scoring drive. After that nothing...SF adjusted to our OL with Stunts and Twists. We did nothing, Zero adjustments. The Offense burned out the heroic Defensive effort. Our Offense is the problem and more so our OL has been without a top player or 2 for way too long. If we get up to speed I'm looking at 4 games minimum for it to click and I'm not even talking Execute the way they should.

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:56 pm

"Because our TEAM plays like crap early in the season....EVERY season."

Under LaF...
Packers 2021-- lost first game, won the next 7
Packers 2020-- won their first 4 before losing to eventual champ, TB
Packers 2019-- won 7 of first 8, losing game 4 to Philly
So maybe it hasn't always been pretty, and maybe that Saints game is sticking in our craws, but they've been getting the job done.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:18 pm

Facts. Gotta love 'em.

Well, depending on what side of the argument you're on I guess.

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 03:47 pm

Yes, we win ugly...a lot. I'm talking dominant execution play to play thru the majority of the game. I'm ok with a "W"...But if the execution never really takes hold we get washed out of the playoffs....Year after year. It does not make me wrong for stating facts either. In order to hoist a Lombardi we will need to play more consistent purposeful football for far more of the game to win more than the poorest Division in the NFL. The NFC North.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 28, 2022 at 04:09 pm

7-1
4-1
7-1

That's our early season record the last 3 years while playing like "crap". 18-3. And those 18 wins didn't all come against Chicago and Detroit. This is the NFL. Your opponent has NFL quality players too. I don't have the time or energy to research what the average point differential is in NFL games, but it's probably lower than you think. We're not going to be blowing teams out by 3 TDs every game. 18-3 is 18-3, no matter how you wanna slice and dice it.

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 04:28 pm

It's PRETTY OBVIOUS when your offense is not functioning play to play smooth. GB is very up and down in it's execution. I like my team...but I'm not delusional about what my expectations are and the actual performance on the field. We played 1 good team up until week 12 last season...The Rams. Seriously, are you actually happy with our offenses execution for even a quarter of the game at a time? I am not. Until they get that fixed...We may win 13 games...but we still will go nowhere in the end, until the Offense gets in the groove. Poor OL play or sporadic play calling or AR changing the call. Whatever it is...It needs fixed for good.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 28, 2022 at 05:42 pm

"We played 1 good team up until week 12 last season...The Rams."

Again, those irritating little facts keep popping up. 1 good team?

How about these wins:

SF 9/21 (10-7) record and a playoff team.
Pitts (10/3) 9-7-1 record
Cincy (10/10) 10-7 record and played in the Super Bowl
Ariz (10/28) 11-6 record made the playoffs
LA Rams (11/28) 12-5 record Super Bowl winner

Actually, during this stretch, they played and beat 4 playoff teams, including both Super Bowl participants.

Please explain how that group of opponents is "one good team". I'll wait.

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:56 pm

SF-early season were not what they were later in the year. We won by 2 pts. And they are as lucky as Brady.
Pitt-Seriously 9-7 team...really Big Ben last stand
Cincy-Beat nobody good until playoffs and we won in OT
AZ-up and down team with injuries.
Rams-we have their number like TB12 and SF has ours.
I believe we could have handled Bengals or Rams but pesky is the 49ers for AR and ML. This year our DL is better.
WR core is young and fast but less experienced. Main thing is the OL healthy and 2-OL back playing. You stick on 1 thing but Homer you are won't admit the Offense is up and down in a constant flux the OL Vets will help.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 28, 2022 at 07:27 pm

My last response because I really have no idea what point you're trying to make.

You erroneously stated we only played one good team during this stretch. I easily FACTUALLY proved otherwise. We beat 4 playoff teams, including BOTH Super Bowl participants during this stretch. So, your point is what...that we didn't beat them more convincedly? Because, again, I have no idea what point you're trying to make.

I need a beer...and I don't even drink.

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:17 pm

2019 1.Bears 2.Vikings 3.Broncos 4. Eagles(LOSS) 5.Cowboys 6. Lions 7. Raiders Anyone could start slow with that lineup.(7-1)
2020 1. Vikings 2. Lions 3. AINTS 4. Falcons 5. Bucs (LOSS) 6. Texans 7. Vikings (4-1)
2021 1. AINTS(LOSS) 2.Lions 3. 49ers (2Pts.) 4. Steelers 5. Bengals (OT)6. Bears 7. Washington (7-1)
Dang there are a lot of not so good teams in the NFL. Fortunately we play a bunch of them to pump up the win column , while still never really playing our best football but that really shows up by our early exit from the playoffs. Playing lesser teams doesn't mean you are good...Just better than bad.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:34 pm

"2021 1. AINTS(LOSS) 2.Lions 3. 49ers (2Pts.) 4. Steelers 5. Bengals (OT)6. Bears 7. Washington (7-1)"

Oops, you forgot the 11-6 Arizona Cardinals playoff team for win #7 during their 7-1 run.

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PhantomII's picture

August 29, 2022 at 05:52 am

Yes thankfully Gute sniped a CB off the AZ Cardinals who intercepted a pass in the end zone as they were about to win the game. Matter of fact I believe this young man won 3 games for us, himself.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:09 am

Our last preseason game was 8/25. Our first regular season game is 9/11. That's 18 days between those 2 games.

Would there really have been much of an advantage playing the starters for, say, the 1st half of that last preseason game, then not play another game for 18 days? Whatever timing, getting used to game day hitting, etc. would be lost during that time between live action.

It might make for some sloppy action early, but that usually is corrected pretty quickly with veterans. I think it's ultimately the right decision to not play starters, especially your top end starters...AR12, Dillon, Jones, Alexander, Clark et al...during the preseason.

3 points
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dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:36 am

Good point, 13TC.

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PhantomII's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:38 am

May as well play 2 more pre season games.

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Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 09:32 am

I don’t buy this. I probably never will. I think players need to get out there and hit and play as a unit for maybe a half. It’s like coming back from injury, one doesn’t feel back till one’s made a few plays and taken a few hits . Yes, there is an injury risk, but there is in practice and it’s a question of balancing the increase with the return.

That said, with this makeshift line and Watson being unable to suit up, coupled with a largely veteran D and Cobb and Watkins being fragile, I’m less unhappy than usual. I would not start Rodgers behind Hanson/Newman (I’m dubious about doing so in game 1).

If we go out against the Vikings and look like game one last year though, this silliness will need to stop. This year should be the test. If it backfires again then there’s no basis for pretending it is valid.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:36 am

I agree! I think Douglas stated he wanted to play a few series vs KC just to go up against an unfamiliar foe full speed and even as importantly to go through the pregame process to get ready for the live play whistle.

Also believe tackling and blocking needs to be stressed all through camp. Maybe it is, but the CBO continuously promotes less of it and it showed up on Thursday on STs and the blocking in the first quarter by the OL.

Those who have played the game know the best teams are coached constantly in blocking and tackling. Good technique is so very important. Poor technique can not only cost your team, it can sting you and intimidate you prior to the next snap. Blocking and tackling is all about confidence that comes from practice, repetition. And you will know if you or your opponent is superior. It is the purest essence of football.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:20 am

It's debatable. Reasonable arguments can be made for either posistion.

As long as MLF is tops in the NFL for win percentage I'm going with what he said on this one. Even with the Saints last year they still won 13 games.

If MLF is focusing on how to be more effective in the post season I am happy.

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Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:43 pm

You are probably right because Rodgers will still be here.

Let’s not fool ourselves that LaFleur is the main reason for the win totals. That’s an ever strengthening roster and an MVP, ably abetted by two divisional foes being grossly inept over that time. If LaFleur deserved the acclaim you suggest, we’d likely have had a Super Bowl or two and a Lombardi to justify it. That’s why the rest of the league doesn’t give him the credit his record suggests it should.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 06, 2022 at 09:35 pm

I don;t think he is THE main reason. But he is one of the main reasons. McCarthy's exit is proof Rodgers can't do it alone.

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:58 am

This is an argument or discussion for before the preseason, and it's been done too many times already. The only thing that matters now is the season will start in two weeks plus with whomever makes up the 53-man roster. Who they keep is now far more important than who did or didn't get hurt playing or not playing.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:29 am

This discussion is a great opportunity for people to vent their emotions and express their philosophy. So I get it. But for me it’s a time for teams to see how their rookies and non starters look in game situations.

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GregC's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:48 am

I wouldn't mind seeing the starters out there a little, but in the end, I trust the coaches to make the right call on this. The trouble is that in terms of intensity, preseason games are not a halfway point between practice and regular season games. They are closer to regular season games. The action is fast, and the hitting is hard. I would rather risk a slow start to the season than put starting players at a greater risk of injury before the season begins.

The O-line was an interesting exception this year. The starting unit (at least for now) played a lot because they needed the work but also because none of the individual players are extremely valuable. Any of them could be replaced without a huge drop in quality if they get injured. Obviously you don't WANT them to get injured, but you can bet that if Bahktiari or Jenkins were healthy, neither one of them would see the field in the preseason.

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Ryan3468's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:53 am

The Jordy Nelson thing years back is easily a thing where a guy like Jordy who grew up a farmer didn’t rest enough. Playing in the preseason I am both for and against. Week one against the Vikings is going to be an ugly game. Win lose or draw. A very ugly game.

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NoNonsense's picture

August 28, 2022 at 11:53 am

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the Vikings played any of their starters except OL in the preseason either. Maybe a few played but don't remember seeing Z or Hunter, Kirk, Dalvin or Jefferson. Anybody care to look that up, I don't have time right now.

Would that make you feel any better about the first game this year if both teams withheld their best players all preseason?

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GregC's picture

August 28, 2022 at 01:03 pm

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! I looked up the box scores. All I could find were offensive stats, and I did not see a single Vikings starter mentioned. From what I could find in the game previews, it sounds like the only defensive starters they played were the rookies, just as the Packers played their one rookie starter, Quay Walker.

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Fubared's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:47 pm

The Vikes played some defensive rookies who will be starters for the team but the all stars on defense and offense sat out the pre season.

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Coldworld's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:58 pm

I’m not sure if they played them in the first game or not, but I really don’t make my decisions based upon what an opponent may or may not have done to prepare. That’s outside our control. We should be focused on ourselves and being the best prepared we can be, not evaluating ourselves in what the Vikings are doing.

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dobber's picture

August 28, 2022 at 02:59 pm

This is a common thread for the Sean McVay coaching tree.

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Fubared's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:45 pm

Your right on. Most teams if they did play the a team it was for a very short time, like one two series. The rookies and undrafteds need to get seen and need the experience more.
I used to be in that club you play your a team but not anymore. Losing your best to injuries in pre season is too costly now.

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Tex49's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:15 pm

By this logic wouldn’t it be better to crash test cars with real people and not dummies? All be it only high school my experience was a hard hit in week 1 hurts as much as a hard hit in week 10 and is just as risky.

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Qoojo's picture

August 28, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Your marathon and powerlifting analogies are very poor ones.

I think better way to think of it is that in order to get into football shape before the first game, you need to play full contact football. If you rely solely on practices to do that, the odds of a packer getting hurt double.

I think it's an assumed risk and known that a large portion of the players will get tired in the first game, and that there will be difficulties in timing and other areas, so performance will suffer.

Classic risk vs reward. What will be gained by playing the vets that you know will make the team and have a large financial investment in? Marginally better performance in game 1? Versus the risk of playing in the preseason and losing the player before the season even starts (and if that player is AR, then season is pretty much over). It's a dangerous game and you are rolling the dice vs an injury more times.

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Rarescope's picture

August 28, 2022 at 05:23 pm

My goodness, I take a week off of CHTV to go camping and come back to this BS? If running into other players at full speed in some way conditioned players to be better at running into other players at full speed without injury don't you think that would be built into the training camp regimen? Normally I expect this level of logical thinking from Cory but I may need to add Mr Irons to my list of CHTV writers to automatically disregard out of hand.

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LeotisHarris's picture

August 28, 2022 at 06:44 pm

There's the collective bargaining agreement to consider, but, yeah I agree with you. Remember when good old Les Steckel brought mini-Iron Man competitions to the Vikings' training camp. Didn't go well. Greg Schiano brought his heavy hitting bullshit to the NFL for a short stay in Miami. He's gone. I expect talking bicep Dan Campbell to be carried off on a cloud of testosterone, waving to the DEE-troit fans on his way out.

Thinking more pounding toughens and prepares the body for a long season is ridiculous, even if you view players as commodities.

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coolhand's picture

August 28, 2022 at 08:00 pm

Bakhtiari blew his knee out in practice. Should we then say the starters shouldn't practice or they might get hurt?

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Fubared's picture

August 28, 2022 at 10:41 pm

I for one will be shocked to see the Packers win at Minny. Matter of fact you take a look at Minnys schedule and wow they can be 7-0 before facing a contender in the Cardinals and they play them at home.
Plus the Gods gave Minny the ablilty to play only two away games in a row and then like three or four home games so if this team has talent, they can go a long way.
If the pack on the other hand stumble out the gate and the passing game doesn't get going as planned, the Pack could see themselves several games behind the Vikes and looking up all season.
The Vikes did a lot in the off season to draft pressure players and free agents with the intent of getting to Rodgers and whomever all season long. I wouldnt take this team lightly

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