Without the proven production of Ryan Grant, Aaron Rodgers has put himself on warning.
“I’ve been telling myself that — I don’t have to do too much,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “I tried to do a little too much last week. I don’t think it’s going to change the amount of runs that we do. That’s the biggest difference. I’m a big fan of 32 (Brandon Jackson). I think he’s a really good player. I’m interested to see how he’s going to do. He’s a change-up runner, and there’s differing running styles between him and Ryan. But as the No. 1 guy, I don’t know. I’m not worried about throwing more picks. The correlation between the number of picks and number of attempts is decision-making. We have to run effectively, but I’m not worried about that with him. Honestly, I think our best runs are in single back. And we might do more single back with him.”
After the game, Rodgers called his performance “terrible.” That reaction didn’t bother offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who used this dumb quote — his term, not ours — “dissatisfaction is the basis of all progress.”
Rodgers started Sunday’s game poorly with three badly thrown incompletions, and his eighth pass was an interception. It didn’t help that the Eagles got two sacks against veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher and a third on veteran left tackle Chad Clifton in the first half. Rodgers wasn’t hit in the second half.
“Those guys are multiyear vets and I think maybe it's going to take that one game to kind of get them going,” Rodgers said. “I've never been worried about them, even when Tausch came back after his injury. It's a security blanket having those guys out there and I'm excited about them progressing and having a great season and being healthy. Those are the guys we count on week in and week out, guys that we don't need to give a lot of help to in our protection schemes. If we need to, we will, but i have a lot of faith in those guys.”
Brohm on the bench
Brian Brohm, the Packers’ 2008 second-round draft flop, was in the running to start for the Bills this season. Instead, after completing 21-of-37 passes for 203 yards with one interception in the preseason, he began the season as the inactive third quarterback.
“The other two guys just played better in preseason,” Bills coach Chan Gailey said of starter Trent Edwards and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. “They had a little bit more experience and they played a little bit better. It wasn’t that big of a difference, to be honest with you. You’ve just got to make a decision about what direction you’re going to go. He’s a fine young man. I think he’s got a chance to be a good quarterback before it’s over with. The more experience he can get, the more comfortable he gets in a scheme – I mean, this is his third different scheme in two years, so it’s kind of hard to get comfortable in something. He just needs to keep working. He’s got a chance to be a good quarterback before it’s over with.”
Star receiver Lee Evans echoed that optimism.
“I like Brohm. I like Brohm a lot,” Evans said. “He hasn’t been here very long. When he came in late last year and got the opportunity to play, he plays with a lot of confidence. Obviously, coming from Green Bay, he’s learned under some greats up there. He has a savviness about him that some players just don’t have. Hopefully, someday he’ll get his shot.”
Crosby wins NFC award
Kicker Mason Crosby was named the NFC special teams player of the week after making a team-record 56-yard field goal, along with a 49-yarder, at Philadelphia. Crosby’s kick broke the old record of 54 yards held by Chris Jacke, Ryan Longwell and Dave Rayner.
“I had a good warmup,” Crosby said. “I think a lot of it comes from pregame, making sure my tempo is smooth, regardless of distance. I felt comfortable with it. When I went out there, it felt like a chip shot to me just from what we did in pregame and just the preparation visually, it felt good and had good distance. That always helps. I felt like I swung smooth. And that’s all that matters is that it went through.”
Crosby also became the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 400 career points, doing so in 49 games. Jan Stenerud holds the record with 47 games.
This is Crosby’s second player-of-the-week honor. The other also came against Philadelphia, back in 2007. In his first career game, he hit a 53-yarder and beat the Eagles with a 42-yarder with 2 seconds remaining.
“It seems like good things happen when I play them,” he said. “It’s the start of the season. It’s time to build on that. Now, I guess there’s expectations. I like having those on me.”
Speaking of awards ...
Clay Matthews was one of the nominees for defensive player of the week after picking up two sacks. That award went to Arizona safety Adrian Wilson, who had two interceptions, a sack and a blocked field goal against St. Louis.
Matthews was limited at practice on Wednesday but he got a sack, anyway. The Elias Sports Bureau awarded Matthews with a third sack, on the play when he chased down Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb from behind and drove him to the turf.
Packers injury report
Did not participate — LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring), DE Mike Neal (side/rib) and CB Charles Woodson (toe). Limited participation — LT Chad Clifton (knee), DE Cullen Jenkins (hand), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) and CB Brandon Underwood (shoulder). Full participation — S Derrick Martin (ankle).
Matthews was “very sore,” coach Mike McCarthy said, after his first game of the year. Neal said he feels “10 times better” than he did last week.
“Had a very positive report on Mike yesterday, but we’ll see how he responds,” McCarthy said of Neal. “There’s certain things they’re asking him to do in the rehab that he’s not able to do yet to get on the field. That’s obviously why he didn’t practice today, so we’re getting Jarius (Wynn) and C.J. (Wilson) ready.”
Bills injury report
Did not participate — C Geoff Hangartner (ankle), S Cary Harris (hamstring) and LB Paul Posluszny (knee). Full participation — LB Antonio Coleman (hamstring) and LB Reggie Torbor (chest). Posluszny is out for two or three weeks.
“It’ll be a challenge” to play without Posluszny, Gailey said. “We’re going to have to sure that position up more by committee than by one person being able to do it. We’ll probably have a couple of people trying to play in there and help us do what we need to do in certain situations.”
— Bob Sanders, who ran the Packers’ defense from 2005 through 2008, is the Bills’ outside linebackers coach. Replacing Sanders with Dom Capers was not easy for McCarthy. “I think the world of Bob Sanders as a person, and he’s a damn good football coach. It’s something that, it’s part of the business, but it’s extremely difficult because there is a personal side of our business.”
— Jamon Meredith was a fifth-round draft pick by the Packers last year who didn’t make the final roster. The Bills signed him off the Packers’ practice squad, and Meredith wound up starting four games at right tackle. He’s on the bench now behind journeyman Cornell Green. In limited duty last week against Miami, Meredith gave up a sack.
— Wynn was signed on Tuesday to take Justin Harrell’s roster spot. Wynn, who worked out for Seattle last week, got a call from his agent during the third quarter of Sunday’s game, telling him that he’d be re-signed. “It felt like being drafted again,” he said.
— Jenkins, on his broken hand: “Nah, it's not too bad right now. But sometimes you move it and you can still feel stuff in there moving around. It's a little irritating to deal with.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.