10 Quick Things: GB vs. BUF

After rewatching Saturday’s game vs. the Buffalo Bills, here are 10 things worth knowing:



1) Dominique Dafney had a big catch in the first half, but the coaches won’t be happy with his blocking on the failed 4th and 1 late in the game. The inability to stay in front of his man was the reason why Dexter Williams couldn’t pick up the first down. The talented second-year fullback/tight end is still a work in progress.

2) Royce Newman probably locked up the starting job at right guard with an impressive performance against Buffalo’s first-string defensive tackles. The rookie fourth-round pick from Mississippi allowed a bit too much penetration on a few runs, but he was solid as a rock in protection and did some nice work on the second level. While fellow rookie O-lineman Josh Myers got most of the hype in June, Newman was the better player in August.

3) Yosh Nijman finally faced some legitimate edge rushers, and he held up pretty darn well. The massive third-year left tackle from Virginia Tech used much-improved footwork to keep veteran Jerry Hughes away from QB Jordan Love in the first half. Nijman also did an adequate job in the run game. It’s hard to see him not sticking on the 53.

4) After two solid games, rookie Cole Van Lanen had a rough afternoon at left guard vs. Buffalo, and he might’ve punched his ticket to the practice squad. To be fair, the sixth-round pick from Wisconsin belongs at tackle, but he still needed to play a lot better. He too often allowed defenders to work his edges, and he gave up too much inside pressure.

5) Malik Taylor made a lot of plays in the first two preseason games (9 catches for 116 yards), but almost all came against reserve cornerbacks. That changed on Saturday when the second-year wide receiver beat Tre’Davious White for a 14-yard gain. The former Ferris State star ran a beautiful route. He’s earned a spot on the 53-man roster.


1) Watching Isaac Yiadom get beat by Gabriel Davis for a TD showed why he’s been traded twice in less than a year. The fourth-year corner was simply no match athletically for Buffalo’s talented young receiver. That said, he competed hard on every play and showed some promise on special teams. There are worse No. 5 corners in the league.

2) Fifth-round pick Shemar Jean-Charles concluded a somewhat disappointing preseason with another rough game. Getting beat by Cole Beasley is expected, but watching him struggle to stay with Brandon Powell was discouraging. The former Appalachian State star has talent, but he’s nowhere near ready to contribute on defense.

3) Sixth-round pick Isaiah McDuffie put up good stats (9 tackles and 1/2 sack). A few of his better plays came against Buffalo’s backups, but his ability to clear his feet through traffic and beeline to the ball was impressive regardless of the competition. The former Boston College star is squarely in the mix for a spot on the 53-man roster.

4) Ray Wilborn hasn’t been mentioned at all this summer, but the second-year inside linebacker had his third consecutive solid preseason game on Saturday. The former Ball State star, whom I wrote about in May, is one of the most fluid defensive players on the team. He probably won’t make the 53, but the practice squad is a legit possibility.

5) Christian Uphoff almost made a couple of nice plays on defense and special teams, but as we all know, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. While the undrafted rookie safety runs pretty well for his size, I’m not sure if he runs well enough to play at this level. He’s also a little stiff in his movements, which certainly doesn’t help.

photo courtesy of packers.com

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Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

10 thoughts on “10 Quick Things: GB vs. BUF

  1. I appreciate your analysis. You sir don’t give the typical homer view everyone is gong to be an all pro garbage. I also appreciate you mentioning guys like yosh who you have been critical of in the past and it was deserved, but when great improvement is shown you also give credit where it is do.

    Keep up the great work !

    1. Thanks. I always try to be honest, and I’d rather be wrong about my own analysis of a player than do what 99% of people do and just regurgitate what others think.

  2. I’m not sure if there’s any more clarity now at some positions than there was a month ago. I can see about 10 players fighting for a handful of jobs at the bottom of the roster, and with so much time between final cuts and the first game, I could see Gutey adding a veteran or two after cuts. The next few days will be very interesting.

  3. Dexter Williams is a mystery to me. He looks good, very good burst, looks like a legit NFL 3 down back. I know he got in MLF’s doghouse his rookie year and looks like he never got out of it playing behind Patrick Taylor. I can find 50 Taylor’s tomorrow but Williams has real skill. Maybe his blocking ? Blitz pickup ?

    Getting Pettine vibes with this D but it’s preseason. My biggest concern is how the 2nd and 3rd stringers fighting to make the team show no fire, they don’t hit anybody, jump over WR’s that fall to the ground. Pettine’s crew played just as soft. It has to be coaching, culture. Watch how many Defensive players stand around and watch someone else make the tackle. Zero desire to get in the scrum. One of these times our CB will line up so far back off the WR he’ll be out of the endzone.

    When we receive a kickoff on the 4 we might run it out to the 20. Opposing teams receive a kickoff 3 yds deep and run it out to the 25. Either we consistently field the slowest ST’s in the NFL or the coaching consistently sucks. Maybe both ?

    Did they put Jack Heflin in the Hall of Fame yet ?

    Just think if Rodgers didn’t come back and they they had to throw Love to the wolves ? Gute’s contract is up this year. Gutey would’ve taken out a $45 million dollar loan himself to pay Rodgers to come back.

    Gute has 2 starters from his first draft and none from his third. None. Yet, many have pushed their chips in betting this is the guy that can shove Rodgers out the door because Gute thinks Love is a stud.

    1. Gutekunst has done some good things, but he’s already missed on three Day 2 picks from his first two drafts (Jackson, Burks, and Sternberger). If he keeps doing that after 12 leaves, the Packers will find themselves battling for third place in the NFC North.

  4. I’d start Jon Runyan over Lucas Patrick but I understand why they won’t. Someone on the interior OL needs some NFL experience with rookies Myers and Newman starting as well. Yosh Nijman can play! Another year and maybe he’s our starting RT. Far more impressive than Cole Van Lanen. I see nothing special about Van Lanen or Shemar Jean-Charles. My biggest concern is there’s no depth in the secondary or at linebacker.

    Jordan Love can play as well. He could come in with the first team offense and win games. You never got that feeling from either Brett Hundley or DeShone Kizer. But if Jaire Alexander goes down we’re screwed. You could argue Alexander is the most important player on the team. There’s absolutely no one on the roster who could remotely replace him.

    As far a Brian Gutekunst, he’ll get a contract extension. If they were going to move off him they’d have done so at Rodgers request. You get the sense management is as tired of Rodgers as he is with them. I’m sure they desperately want to hit on Jordan Love and the early returns are encouraging.

    1. I’m not encouraged or discouraged by anything I’ve seen from Love this summer. He looked like a lot of young quarterbacks. If I had to guess, I’d say he won’t be the long term answer at QB just because the odds are so much against the Packers going 3 for 3.

  5. Gonna echo another poster and say kudos for the unbiased and insightful analysis as usual.

    I’ve been reading your stuff for a while and almost always agree with your assessment. It’s nice to read someone who knows what they’re talking about

    Is there any way to contribute to your efforts? I’ve compensated writers for their work who aren’t as good as you are..

    1. Thanks, Justin. There’s a donation button at the bottom of each post. Any contribution would be much appreciated.

  6. Just for fun, I went and looked up Ted’s first draft. He had 11 picks with two number 2’s. Aaron Rodgers and Nick Collins were studs. Brady Poppinga and Mike Montgomery were part timers. Gutekunst first draft: Jaire Alexander and MVS with a future pick he used on Darnell Savage. Jaire Alexander is arguably the best player in the 18 draft. His comp would be Darrell Revis. MVS comp DK Metcalf. And Darnell Savage comp would be Nick Collins. There isn’t a GM in the league who wouldn’t take that draft. He missed not only on Jackson and Burks but also J’Mon Moore. I’m not ready to give up on Sternberger yet. Would it have been better if he’d have hit on a few more picks? Absolutely, our depth wouldn’t be so precariously thin at DB and LB if he had. From this years draft, Myers and Newman will start. With Stokes and Rodgers likely to get significant playing time. So these things have a way of averaging out. And if Gutekunst has hit on Love, like it or not, you can expect him to be the GM for the next decade.

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