Browns 27 Packers 17 – First Impressions of Preseason Game 1 All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Green Bay running back Ryan Grant vs. Cleveland BrownsBefore a way-less than capacity crown in Cleveland, the Green BayPackers saw their first real action of the 2011 season against Mike Holmgren’s Cleveland Browns:


Rodgers calls tails and wins the toss. Randall Cobb is back to return the kick and does a nice job extending the return for another 5-8 yds when it looked like nothing was there.

On the Brown’s first drive, Cleveland showed they knew exactly who to attack, going after Jarret Bush and Pat Lee. Lee with his man all the way but never turns to see the ball. It was Ahmad Carroll-like.

Packers kickoff team lines up in a three point stance to start. Intended to give them more explosion (quicker start with only a 5 yd run-up) and less chance of anyone cheating and going offsides.

Marshall Newhouse gets totally abused at right tackle. But what is he doing there? I don’t remember one report of his lining up there in practice, and he was a 3 year starter at LT in college. I guess they’re throwing him in there like they did with Bulaga?

Seems like when Matt Flynn is in trouble, he either doesn’t see or is afraid to throw downfield. Always goes to the closest guy.

Spencer Havner is a touchdown magnet. Footballs in the end zone are just drawn to him.

The Packers are doing a lot of juggling on the O-line in the first half. Lang and Sherrod aleternate at LG, then Lang goes to LT with Sherrod at LG. Then they swap.  All the while Newhouse is over at RT.

Matt Flynn hangs in there under some heavy pressure to lead a nice two-minute drive at the end of the first half.

DJ Williams looks like a wide receiver running routes downfield.

Blocking is a whole other issue for Williams. Browns overload the right side with four player. DJ Williams in the backfield to help. He chooses to block a rusher that is already being blocked. never looks outside. The sack of Harrell resulting in the TD is on Williams.

Cobb’s been getting interfered with all night. Finally got a call.

Graham Harrell off to a very shaky start – does not look comfortable handling pressure at all.

I’m liking how my guy Tori Gurley looks. Hope he gets more chances.

Josh Gordy making his case. A sack and an interception. Showing good athleticism/speed.

Gurley gets his chance for a big play, and drops a sideline pass right in his hands. Ugh.

The offensive line film session this week will not be a fun place to be.

Shaky Smithson is not fast enough for the NFL. Hate to say it, though…


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


20 thoughts on “Browns 27 Packers 17 – First Impressions of Preseason Game 1

  1. Out of fairness to Pat Lee, he had no illegal use of the hands penalties to complete his Ahmad Carroll impersonation.

    1. Nice point, Kuhn and nice article. Seemed to me like the Packers were doing more experimenting with different positions and new players, while the Browns kept their core and replacements in longer.

      Re: Newhouse, the point is in what role does he make this team. He is not going to be the starting LT (#3 there at best). But if he is going to be a backup he needs to play more than one position. Hence they use preseason action to see which spots he can handle (or not as the case may be).

  2. though sam shields and charles woodson were out, i was kinda concerned with our pass rush. we were really blitzing but no.1’s didnt get much pressure at all

    1. It’s way too early, but I’m not crazy about Raji at DE as far as pass rush goes. Unless he’s just going to occupy blockers to give the LBs a clear shot.

    2. there’s a difference between blitzing, and rushing LBs, DB’s, or Safeties.

      To me, Blitzing = overloading the OL, or if not overloading, bringing 5.

      I don’t know that the Pack ever brought more than 5.

  3. I agree about Shaky – a step or so too slow for the NFL. It was painfully obvious.

    I think Gordy makes the team over Pat Lee.

    I don’t think you can read much into the second half performance of the OL. Too many guys moving around. Hopefully, the staff is coming to a decision on LG pretty soon.

    I think many of this year’s draftees will not make the team – Schlauderaff and Elmore, in particular, looked lost. Guy holds the point pretty well and make make the 53-man as a developmental guy.

    Am anxious to see Finley with the offense – the unit has the makings of greatness. AR looks terrific and I think the OL will be better than last year. There are so many packages that they can put on the field to create mismatches.

  4. pre-season this year is about getting to see everyone thats on the camps this year make things very tough. al,i also like gurley[great size].shakey wont makey,its to bad.jordy looks good….did anyone see anthony levine flying all over the field or was it just far as the defense,not to worried at all.

  5. MM admited he was want to see as many options as possible. I’ll buy that, for this game. Starting next week he’s got to give as many reps as possible to the heir apparent at LG. My preference is still TJ.

    Cobb is a natural talent. He looks like a veteran already. He may be the pick of the draft.

    Three of the five corners out leaves Bush and Lee. Definetely didn’t take their chance to improve their status.

  6. Some random thoughts:

    I though the starting o-line when Rodgers was in looked pretty good. Rodgers was a little rusty.

    Both Grant and Starks showed burst on the few runs they had.

    Cobb looks like a playmaker already(watch out DD).

    Not much of a pass rush is concerning(I know CM3 didn’t play).

    We finally have a punter.

    Flynn looked pretty good. If you ever noticed pictures of Harrell he’s always laughing so it was good to see him smile, even after things didn’t always go his way.

    Gordy I believe will be on the roster.

    Come on Ricky, you can do better(or not).

  7. Levine & Gordy certainly had good nights. They are handling the OL just the opposite of my instinct. Newhouse is future LT. Lang = LG. Let Sherrod back-up Bulaga this year. Cobb is another TT WR keeper. Had only Terence Murphy not had career ender, we would have six #1s. Why is Alex Green MIA? Gaine looked good. I liked #51 at ILB. New TEs looked good in limited action. If it comes down to Crabtree vs Quarless, I’m thinking Quarless is gone.

    1. Is if everyone doesn’t know already, I am so disturbed that Marshall Newhouse got ZERO time at LT last night.

      I don’t know if Sherrod can play RT, but it’s clear Newhouse is not ready to just suddenly mirror his footwork/hand work on a moment’s notice. Let this kid compete for LT… Heck, he might even beat out SHerrod at LT in the LONG TERM as well.. We’ll never know if they don’t let him battle it out in live game situations.

  8. Masthay with 52.2 Gross and 48.9 Net was a very nice thing to see. It would have been even more impressive if the coverage team could have tackled better. At this point they’re using all 90 men on coverage. I’ll worry more in the 3rd and 4th games.

    Crosby wasn’t impressive on KO’s. His low trajectory line drive KO’s were returned from 8 to 9 yds deep and came close to braking a couple of times. Proably due to liberal use of the entire roster, I hope.

  9. More random thoughts:

    Last year first preseason game Packers lose to Browns then win SB. This year Packers in first preseason game Packers lose to Browns and win SB.

    Did Holmgen shed a few pounds?

    In MM’s presser why did keep lamenting about not seeing what players were doing on the field because he was concerned about calling the plays. Does that tell you something Mike?

    I know we’ll be fine without Cullen (OK, I’m trying to convince myself).

    With the best QB in the NFL and a crap-load of quality receivers we might not need Finley after all next year. I’m still leaning towards resigning him though.

  10. Bush will always stay because he has become a Special Teams ace. Pat Lee was feeling a bit comfortable since Underwood tweaked his ankle and has questionable personality. Then came Josh Gordy, and even though his skillset may be worse than Pat Lee, Josh Gordy did what the coaches wanted him to do, step up his game. The Packers are to be a elite-tier team this year and so only the best and willing will be on the roster. Pat Lee might have just lost his chance already, not to mention he is not a rookie.

  11. Loved the way Levine and Gordy played. Bush is always going to be a step slow…but a good special team player. The musical chairs at O-line is annoying. Sherrod was lost and played terrible. They need to get it figured out, and let some players get comfortable. Campen is going about it all wrong. Please remember that the QB is our greatest asset…..we need to make sure he doesn’t get hurt….I don’t like experimentation…it could end Rodger’s career.

    DJ Smith looked great. Elmore looked rough. Pat Lee….ummmm…look for the ball buddy.

    Starks is by far the better back over Grant. He looked explosive in his few carries. Grant can be the 3rd down back.

    Need to see more from Mike Neal.

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