Their second day away from the practice field, the Packers work-out tomorrow for the first time since Thursday's preseason loss against Cleveland. Although Green Bay is 0-2 at this point of preseason, the team isn't worried about records, the coaching staff and front office is worried about getting all 90 players plenty of reps so when Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy sit down to narrow the roster down to 53-men, they have plenty of film to sort through. Aaron Rodgers and the first string offense has seen limited action by design, but the reigning NFL MVP says it's enough playing time to get comfortable.
"You want to do well but its more about, kind of your feel in the pocket, We'll run some no huddle stuff most of the time so how the play thoughts are hitting your mind and your ability to make a quick decision on what you're seeing and what kind of routes you want to get into and what adjustments. You know we made a lot of adjustments at the line of scrimmage. It's about a feel out there more than.. obviously you want to score every possession. We had a couple runs there the last couple of preseasons doing that but I think we're happy where we're at", Rodgers says.
Left tackle Marshall Newhouse was back in mix after missing the first preseason game recovering from a concussion. With his presence, the protection was better and the first team offense was sharper against the Browns. Newhouse's role is important and his task gets tougher each week. Rodgers spoke on how challenging the NFC North is with pass rushers like Jared Allen and Julius Peppers. Newhouse explains how important it is to have his teammates confidence, "The team's going to rely on me and I feel proud that Aaron trusts me and the other guys on the offensive line trust me and I'm just looking to prove my worth around here".
One area Green Bay must improve in is the run game. The Packers backfield has been hit hard by the injury bug, but still someone must step up and carry the load. Against Cleveland the Packers rushed for just 69 yards and 47 of those 69 were yards gained by Rodgers and Graham Harrell. Rodgers knows with a pass-heavy offense you must have big plays from the run game to keep opposing defenses honest. "I think we need to run the ball a little bit better. Graham and I lead the team in rushing, 24 for me, 23 for him. I was just looking at the stats, I think we had 22 yards on 16 carries... You're not going to do the things you want to do on offense if you can't win the down as we like to say it in those rushing attempts. So we need to do a little better job of that and maybe with Ced being in the lineup next week, get him some carries."
Rodgers is referring to Cedric Benson. The veteran, free agent was signed by Green Bay last Sunday but, because of the new CBA, prior to the Cleveland game Benson had not participated in a practice in full-pads so McCarthy did not play him. Benson will play this Thursday against Cincinnati.