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The positives were on defense

Andrew from Jacksonville, FL

After watching the game, I have more questions than answers. It seemed like San Diego came out much more aggressive than we did. What gives?

I didn't see a disparity in aggressiveness. In fact, I thought this was a game between two mirror-image teams, two teams with a lot of talent on offense and an emphasis on improving their defense. The Packers and Chargers have each added talent on defense. We know about the six draft picks on defense for the Packers. The Chargers drafted Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes, two of my favorite players in this year's draft, and I think those two players might make the Chargers a playoff contender this season. I saw two teams last night that wanted to come away from the game feeling good about their defenses, and I think that's exactly what happened. Both teams ran to the ball. Both defenses impressed me with their speed. Offensively, the play was uninspiring, by both teams. I think you have to be careful of the kinds of answers you're seeking in a preseason game, especially the first preseason game. If you're looking for efficiency, you're going to be disappointed. I think we should be looking for isolated examples of talent and execution meeting. I saw isolated examples of that on the Packers defense. Rookies Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy and Casey Hayward all flashed. Davon House flashed. Danny Muir continues to play with a lot of energy; he ran down a receiver in the flat. D.J. Smith flashed on a couple of jarring tackles. I liked what I saw on defense. Isn't that what we wanted to see the most?

Alex from Omaha, NE

Any word on what happened to Desmond Bishop's knee?

Mike McCarthy termed the injury a "knee sprain," and McCarthy confirmed that Bishop's hamstring is involved in the injury. I don't like the way that sounds. Soft-tissue injuries usually require an MRI exam, but I don't need an MRI report to tell me Coach McCarthy is concerned about Bishop's injury.

John from Union Grove, WI

Nick Perry gets a flag for doing something Clay did throughout 2010? What's up with that penalty?

You understand, of course, those were replacement officials working their first game, right? I think we have to give last night's officials a pass. I saw a missed block in the back, but we can live with a few of those.

Kip from Seattle, WA

If Graham Harrell doesn't impress in the next three preseason games, do you see the Packers signing a more reliable back up?

I thought Harrell's performance is something on which he can build. If there was one facet of the Packers offense that was under the microscope last night, it was Harrell, and I think he eased any anxiety I had. He played with poise. He delivered some strikes. The pass he had dropped appeared as though it might go a long way. Pressure was a problem but I didn't sense that Harrell's feet were happy. I sensed he was happy with his performance. He got some legitimate playing time under his belt last night and I think he'll build on it.

Koigi from Lynchburg, VA

I need some positives to take away from this game.

Start on defense. Perry rushed the passer. Worthy held the point. Hayward provided at least one impressive coverage effort. Those are the Packers' top three draft picks and they all flashed. I thought Dezman Moses was a factor on special teams. I saw more speed and energy on defense; both were absent last season. Here's a big positive: Most of the negatives were on offense, which I don't think is a big deal because there's no doubt in my mind the Packers are going to score points.

Jon from San Diego, CA

Vic, I'm guessing your inbox is going to be flooded with questions about Rodgers' performance. It could very well be another thing to give him his edge.

He doesn't need anything to give him an edge. What he needs is his left tackle. That would've solved the majority of problems on offense last night.

Marco from Garden City, KS

What did you take from this first preseason game?

This is what you get when the first game you play is the first time you hit somebody. Everything changes when the hitting is real. Something as simple as the angle the quarterback takes on his handoffs changes. The speed and intensity of the game change dramatically when the hitting is real. The player-safety movement is having a ripple effect on the game. Last night's game wasn't very crisp. Why? Because the way both teams practiced is not the way the real game of football is played. I keep reminding myself that it is what it is and I have to accept change as part of the evolution of the game, but something about not hitting, I mean real hitting, in training camp bothers me and I just can't force myself to accept it.

Emmanuel from San Jose, CA

What are Marc Tyler's chances of making the team? He looked really good vs. San Diego.

I think running back is wide open. I didn't see anything last night that I especially liked. I would've liked to have seen Brandon Saine play and I hope he can play against the Browns.

Brian from Colorado Springs, CO

Vic, I know it's only preseason, but it seems as though nothing has changed with the defense. I see missed tackles, no pressure on the quarterback, stuff our defense was supposed to have improved on. Please tell me things will get better.

I didn't see missed tackles, I did see pressure on the quarterback and I am absolutely sure the defense is already better than the one that finished last season. What I'm sensing is that expectations for this preseason opener were unrealistic. This was not a playoff game. This was not a game the Packers could use to erase the sting of that playoff loss to the Giants. This was the first baby steps of a new team in a new season.

Alex from Long Beach, CA

Vic, there are those who would argue that the experience of watching the game at home has surpassed the experience of watching the game at the stadium. That being said, I went to my first Packers game last year in San Diego, and that was an experience I will never forget. What say you?

I say you're right. I saw Packers fans in our hotel and on the streets of San Diego the past couple of days. They were wearing the Packers shirts and they had smiles on their faces and they were looking for other Packers fans with whom they might share their love for their team. That's not fun? readers came up to me and introduced themselves and we talked about the team and they told me where they're from and all about themselves. That's not fun? When Tyler scored and the Packers cut the Chargers' lead to 14-13, the stadium was electric with the cheers of Packers fans. That's not fun? We remember fun. This was just a preseason game, yet, I'll remember it. Why? Because I was there and being there is fun.

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