Posts Tagged ‘Training Camp’

Green Bay Packers Training Camp- Defensive Line

Of all the free agency losses this year, the one that hurt the most was Cullen Jenkins.  With no proven back up, replacing him on the line is a shot in the dark.  Packers fans have become accustomed to not panicking during free agency.  Every year guys leave and the Packers stick to there guns and there plans, young guys step up, and by the end of the year we don’t even remember the free agency panic we all went through.  This one could be different.

With no proven pass rusher at OLB opposite of Clay Matthews, Cullen Jenkins pass rush ability was what kept defenses honest and helped prevent double teams on Clay (or at least limit double teams).  Here is a depth chart of the D-Line.

  • Left Defensive End: Mike Neal, CJ Wilson, Lawrence Guy
  • Nose Tackle: Ryan Pickett, Howard Green
  • Right Defensive End: BJ Raji, Jarius Wynn

There are a few others, but for the purposes of this article, I am sticking to the top guys.  They have moved Raji from his natural nose tackle position into Jenkins old position.  This move has pros and cons.  The pros:  Pickett is able to go back to his best position at nose tackle after playing Left End last year.  Also, BJ Raji is likely the best candidate on the team for replacing Jenkins.  The cons:  BJ Raji is an awesome nose tackle.  Moving him scares me, but I look forward to be proven wrong.

I have no fears or concerns about Ryan Pickett and Howard Green in the middle.  These guys are effective run stuffers and anchors in the middle.  In the pass game they collapse the pocket and in the run game they force you to run around them.   I love it when the big guys in the middle drop anchor and suck up blocks.  It is such an under rated portion of the game.

At left end (or strong side) is Mike Neal or CJ Wilson.  Mike Neal is a little small for the spot, but he is the strongest player on the whole team which should balance out.  And when he has been in the line up he has shown flashes of brilliance.  Problem is, he has had bad luck with injuries.  I never label a player injury prone.  In most cases it is simple bad luck.  We cannot ignore, however, that he is a young player that needs reps and he currently is not getting them.

The Green Bay Packers are thin on the D-Line.  Hopefully the injury bug stays away and the young guys step up, but even if there are problems history says that the Packers don’t often use 3 down lineman anyway.  Have to find some way to get all of our awesome corners and safeties on the field.

Lee Speakin

www.ksentry.com