Born out of a series of Tweets by commenter @RandBallsStu, an idea by your humble proprietor and a sick thirst to rile up Packers fans for no good reason, we present, "The Increasingly Lost Preseason." In this series, Stu will give a brief recap of the Packers' misfortunes as they tumble back toward Randy Wright-esque putridity. Stu?
Can a season be over before the first exhibition game? The Green Bay Packers may be about to find out.
A playoff whipping for the ages was followed by a turbulent offseason that saw the storied franchise ignore their defense, lose Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson, and continue to employ Dom Capers and Jermichael Finley on purpose. I assume there were a dozen or so commercials filmed by Aaron “Lil’ A” Rodgers and his teammates, because why read a playbook when you can read that State Farm script instead, right?
Of course, when camp opened, the Packer faithful, like 31 other fan bases (give or take Jacksonville), had dreams of a new championship season a-dawning. That dewy-eyed optimism took all of one week to dash, as blow after blow rained down upon the Green Bay training camp.
- Eddie Lacy, the running back drafted to aid the Packers’ non-existent running game and take some pressure of the tiny, harried Rodgers, showed up looking like a less-svelte Gilbert Brown. He may not be able to do a bench-press, but his Gravedigger dance is something else. Just be sure you have oxygen at the ready, and maybe some sandwiches.
- Bryan Bulaga, the team’s best offensive lineman and the man tasked with protecting the diminutive, hot-headed Rodgers’ blindside, tore his ACL in Saturday’s scrimmage. An offensive line that was already dreadful at protecting the actor/quarterback in 2012 now has to plug in rookie David Bakhtiari and hope he can both block and get low enough for Rodgers to peer over him and hit an uninjured (yet) Jordy Nelson in stride. Whoops, never mind! Nelson is now hurt, too, and will miss the rest of training camp (at least).
- Speaking of Rodgers, readers may recall our wondering when he would step aside to give Graham Harrell a chance to succeed in 2012. That never happened, their season ended disastrously, Harrell’s confidence is probably shattered, and the team still doesn’t know what they have at the game’s most important position. This was confirmed when the team signed Vince Young to a 1-year deal on Monday.
Now, all hope is not lost, of course. The rotund Lacy was, by all accounts, impressive during Saturday’s scrimmage (major caveat: against Green Bay’s defense). Bringing in Young shows they may finally let Rodgers know that he has to earn this job rather than coast on past glories. Randall Cobb is healthy. The tensile strength of Clay Matthews’ hair looks to be the best of his career.
However, realistic fans in Dairyland know enough to see the writing on the wall. They see Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward still on the sidelines. They see Mason Crosby miss five of his eight kicks (in a scrimmage!). They wonder if 2013 will be a carbon copy of 2012’s lost season, when they saw rivals in Minnesota and Chicago continue to improve and make the bold decisions needed to compete, while they watched Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick shred their championship dreams.
In an increasingly lost preseason, it’s ever more apparent that hope is not a plan. Maybe someone should tell Ted Thompson.