OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – One drop was the only blemish on an otherwise impressive debut for the rookie wide receiver from South Florida. His 5 receptions included 3 for first downs and a touchdown.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Reggie Gilbert – He had more pressures (5) than all the other outside linebackers combined. The only caveat – and it’s a big one – was the competition. Even Tennessee’s starting RT was a backup (Dennis Kelly).
ROOKIE REPORT CARD
Jaire Alexander (DNP) – The first round pick tweaked his groin in practice and sat out the game.
Josh Jackson (B-) – The second-round pick started at right corner and had a solid debut. He allowed only 1 completion for 9 yards and was physical in the run game. He missed 1 tackle and committed a questionable holding penalty.
Oren Burks (B) – The third-round pick started at right inside linebacker and had a solid debut. He held up OK at the point of attack and led the defense with 6 tackles. He did allow 4 completions (4 targets), but they only totaled 13 yards.
J’Mon Moore (D+) – The fourth-round pick had a rough debut. He caught only 3 passes (6 targets) for 27 yards and dropped what should’ve been a long TD. On the positive side, his route running was crisp and he created decent separation.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (A-) – See above
JK Scott (B) – The fifth-round pick punted only twice. The first kick was mediocre and the second was excellent Two of his three kickoffs were touchbacks.
Equanimeous St. Brown (B-) – The sixth-round pick wasn’t as explosive as Valdes-Scantling, but he was solid. He caught 4 of the 6 balls thrown his way, including a 28-yarder late. He was also the only rookie wide receiver without a drop.
James Looney (D) – The seventh-round pick had a rough debut. In 31 snaps against mostly third and fourth-string offensive linemen, he managed only 1 hurry. Even worse, he got pushed around in the run game.
Hunter Bradley (P) – Grading on pass/fail, the seventh-round pick gets a P. His snaps were on target all night.
Kendall Donnerson (INC) – The seventh-round pick made the most of his 7 snaps. He recorded a tackle and forced a fumble. That should earn him increased opportunities going forward.
Tim Boyle – The undrafted rookie QB looked like a poised veteran in his debut. He only completed 7 of 15 passes, but 2 balls were dropped, including what should’ve been a long TD to Moore. His rating was 116.7.
Dillon Day – The backup center played 58 snaps and pitched a shutout in pass protection. His run blocking wasn’t as good, but that’s never going to be priority No. 1 in this offense.
Akeem Judd – The undrafted rookie, who signed only days before the game, had modest numbers (6 carries for 19 yards), but he ran hard and showed the ability to make tacklers miss.
Ryan Smith – The undrafted rookie blocked well and caught the only pass thrown his way in 14 snaps. He was far and away the best of the young tight ends.
Ahmad Thomas – No returning player improved his stock more than the second-year inside linebacker. He was solid against the run and effective in coverage. Now it’s time to see what he can do against better competition.
Kofi Amichia – At least on this night, the second-year guard didn’t make the leap from year 1 to year 2. His 51 snaps at left guard weren’t bad; they just weren’t good enough.
Byron Bell – The veteran gave up 6 pressures in only 42 snaps at right tackle, mostly against backups. His run blocking was OK, but you can’t play for the Packers if you can’t protect the quarterback.
Emanuel Byrd – The second-year tight end had a very rough night. He struggled to get open in the passing game and his blocking was poor. He managed to commit a penalty and give up a sack despite only being asked to protect a handful of times.
Greer Martini – The undrafted rookie looked good on special teams, but his work on defense was mediocre at best. He got pushed around a bit in the run game and was beaten the only time he was targeted in coverage. Fortunately, the receiver dropped the ball.
Joey Mbu – The journeyman nose tackle got pushed around way too much for a man his size (6-3, 315). He offers next to nothing as a pass rusher, so he needs to be stout at the point of attack. He wasn’t on Thursday night.
10 MORE THINGS
Brett Hundley was the best of the three quarterbacks who played against Tennessee.
Jason Spriggs was solid at right tackle against mostly third and fourth-string ends and linebackers.
Undrafted rookie Connor Sheehy held his own in 17 late snaps at defensive end.
Lucas Patrick started at left guard and clearly outplayed starting right guard Justin McCray.
Before both safeties left the game with minor injuries, Jermaine Whitehead was more impressive than Josh Jones.
Left guard Adam Pankey was very good in pass protection but needed to be more physical in the run game.
After Gilbert, the “best” outside linebacker was Kyler Fackrell.
Wide receiver Geronimo Allison did very little with his 26 first-half snaps.
Undrafted rookie Naashon Hughes looked pretty comfortable in his brief appearance at ILB.
Corner Lenzy Pipkins was active (4 tackles and a batted pass) but also gave up 5 completions for 33 yards.
Mike Pettine has decided to work from the press box, and while he obviously needs to do what’s right for him, history suggests the field is where defensive coordinators should be during games. Bill Belichick, Dick LeBeau and Wade Phillips – three of the best DCs in the history of the National Football League – all stood on the sideline. In fact, here’s what Belichick told Nick Saban in 1991 when the young assistant coach wanted to coordinate the Browns’ defense from upstairs: “You install it every day. You’re the one that’s the face of it with the players all the time. You’re the one that they listen to. You’ve got to be on the field so they can make adjustments and impact the players during the game.” Enough said.
On Saturday, I e-mailed all the members of Packers Notes a copy of this post. While I don’t have the time or the desire to update this site four or five times a week, I am willing to write a weekly newsletter if you’re interested.
For a $20 donation, I will e-mail you a newsletter every week until the end of the season. That’s less than $1 a newsletter. If I get a big enough response by Thursday, Aug. 16, I will commit to the project.
Please DO NOT donate yet. Simply click below and send an e-mail letting me know you’re interested.