When the Green Bay Packers announced in April the release of former Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins, many Packers fans began to think of the inevitable: is this the time Charles Woodson moves to safety full time?
A season after intercepting the most passes in the NFL while also giving up the most passing yards, there are many questions surrounding the Green Bay defensive backfield.
Will corners Tramon Williams and Sam Shields return to their 2010 level? How will Morgan Burnett perform after playing his first full season? But the No. 1 question will be at what position the Packers’ defensive captain will be at this year.
When Green Bay Packers fans are asked what was the biggest difference between the 2010 and ’11 seasons, the most common answer is the free agent departure of Cullen Jenkins. The loss of the former starting defensive end is a hole that still needs to be filled and the 2012 draft would be the perfect time for Ted Thompson to address it.
The strength of the 2011 defensive line was starting tackles Ryan Pickett and B.J Raji, but after those two, the Packers didn’t get consistent play from any of the other defensive linemen on the roster.
The Green Bay Packers changed to a 3-4 defense in 2009, and since then general manager Ted Thompson has not made drafting the outside linebacker position a top priority. Three-time pro bowler Clay Matthews is the lone early-round selection by Thompson at the crucial position in the defense, but after the anemic production in 2011, there is urgency for an OLB to taken high in this year’s draft.
Matthews was the 26th pick in 2009 after the Packers traded two third-round picks to move up from the second round to nab him and this year would be the perfect time for Thompson to use that aggressiveness once again.
This year’s Green Bay Packers looked like a team on a mission. Like a team destined to end up in Indianapolis and atone for the franchise’s Super Bowl loss 14 years ago in San Diego. Since that fateful day on the West Coast, the Packers have had some of the toughest playoff defeats of all the teams in the NFL. Where does Sunday’s loss sit on that list? Read the rest of this entry »