With Matthews moving back outside I’m personally excited to watch him get after the QB’s again from his natural position. Nick Perry has had health issues and finds himself working on a one-year “prove it” deal but for 5 years he has struggled to stay on the field so we will see. He will be hungry to show he was worth a first round pick and definitely has the talent. With Perry and D. Jones stepping in to keep Peppers and Matthews fresh, this foursome could turn out to be a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Kyler Fackrell is a rookie so I won’t talk to much about him but from the film I’ve seen on him and his body type he might be the surprise pick of this years draft. If he turns out to be the edge rusher Thompson & McCarthy drafted him to be then look out. Then there’s Sam Barrington who fought hard and earned the starting ILB job before getting injured. He will be back and hopefully in top form, he is a huge part of stuffing the run and also getting after the QB but lacks the coverage skills to be a four-down backer. That is where second year man Jake Ryan and rookie Blake Martinez will step in. Ryan is no longer a rookie so he should take the second year jump that coach McCarthy expects of all second year players. Martinez is a chaser so if he turns out to be good in coverage the Pack should have a much better year.
Morgan Burnett & HaHa Clinton-Dix are already two of the best safeties in the league and with Mica Hyde filling in, the safety play will be solid. That lineup will be difficult to break into for hopefuls Marwin Evans, Kentrell Bryce,and Jermaine Whitehead, especially since Chris Banjo is still around. But some competition for Banjo could be a good thing. The big question in our secondary will be second-year cornerbacks Rollins & Randall. If they can improve on last season where they played above expectations along with Sam Shields, the corners should be strong as well. That is without taking into account the development of Ladarius Gunter, who has already played a role and finds himself in competition with Dorleant, Daniel (who had a good showing at Family Night), Jette and Gatewood. Though Gunter would seem to have the strong upper hand.
Mike Daniels is already taking charge of the front line and giving tough love to rookie first round pick Kenny Clark but if he can get the best out of him early then between those
two and Guion the front will be stout enough until Mike Pennel comes back. Bottom line is I am looking forward to this defense starting strong and just getting better as the year goes on.
This is my opinion on the veterans for the defense but let Packer Nation know your thoughts in the comments below and on our face book home page. I will do a article about the offensive veterans soon.
Thank you, Jeff
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