Green Bay Packers: The dress rehearsal

Well, after playing their first two preseason games away from Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers will return home to play the Oakland Raiders.  The game will be televised nationally on CBS will kick off at 7:00 CT.

This third preseason game is the closest thing to a regular season game, as most of the starters will most likely play all of the first half and maybe a series or two in the second half.  For what it is worth, both teams enter the contest with a 1-1 record, with both teams coming off of wins.

This matchup will also see the return of Raiders safety Charles Woodson to Green Bay, where he played from 2006-2012 and was a member of the 2010 Super Bowl team.  I expect Woodson to get a well-deserved ovation from the Lambeau crowd.

With the starters getting more playing time, one question that should be answered on Friday night will be who gets the nod at starting tight end.  Rookie Richard Rodgers got the start against the St. Louis Rams last Saturday, but it was veteran Andrew Quarless who shined.  Quarless caught four passes for 58 yards, while Rodgers did not catch and was not thrown a pass.  Quarless entered training camp as the favorite the win the starting job, but Rodgers quickly impressed the coaching staff.  It will be interesting to see who gets more reps on Friday, and who shows they want the starting job more.

On the defensive side of the ball, the main starting competition has been for the safety spot opposite Morgan Burnett.  While the Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with their first round pick, Micah Hyde was slated to be the starting safety after he impressed so much during his rookie year.  Hyde showed his versatility and how quickly he could cover ground last year that it made him the favorite to be the starting safety.  But, Clinton-Dix has been close on his heels, and after intercepting two passes during practice on Monday, is still making the case why he should be the starter.

For most NFL staff, this third preseason game is the “dress rehearsal.”  With the starters playing deep into the game, the Packers coaching staff should have a good idea afterwards who will start and will be taking notes from the sidelines.