Before sizing up a juicy season opener against the Eagles, a couple of thoughts on Charles Woodson's contract extension. The Packers have tacked on two more years through 2014, a deal worth a reported 55 million dollars. Not bad for an unrestricted free agent that nobody wanted in 2006. The Packers were the only team to contact Woodson who reluctantly came to town, sparred with Mike McCarthy on several issues that first year and but came to the realization that Green Bay is a pretty nice to town to play football in. Woodson has come to embrace the organization and its fans and the respect is mutual. I can honestly say in the 30 years I've covered the team, Woodson ranks right up there with Brett Favre and Reggie White as the best pure football player I've seen.
Now on to Philly. There hasn't been any brotherly love for the Packers in this city since 1962. The Eagles have won 8 straight on their turf since. While the Pack's offense has been razor sharp through the pre-season, it will have to be wary of defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's blitz package. Protection of Aaron Rodgers will be key, as will precise recognition of the blitzes, quick releases to playmakers and a running game that will keep the pressure honest. Defensively, the Packers won't go out of their way to protect youngsters Morgan Burnett at strong safety or Sam Shields in the nickel. It's like teaching a baby to swim, throw 'em in the water and let 'em figure it out. The Packers variety of defensive fronts and looks should be enough to slow Kevin Kolb's mental clock to the point he won't be firing on rythym to game breakers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Picking up where they left off as a run defense will give Capers the flexibility to mix coverages and blitzes. I like the Packers chances but it won't be easy, 27-23 is my pick.
Let's hear what the guys in the locker room are saying about the matchup: