BJ Raji was moved back to his natural position (Nose Tackle) last season on his one year, “prove it” deal and he was playing like his 2010 form in preseason until a bicep injury sidelined him on the IR for the entirety of 2014. But he was at all the practices, meetings, etc. to help with the rookie Josh Boyd who was suppose to be brought along slowly with the draft and develop mentality. Ted Thompson is so well known for. Letroy Guion was brought in as a free agent to spell Raji throughout the year as another veteran NT but with the injury to BJ he was thrust into the starting roll with Boyd as his backup. As we all know Guion stepped up and filled the role very well and Boyd even as a rookie played better than most expected. But now with the return of Raji and Guion I dare say Boyd will again be put on the back burners to develop another year.
Mike Daniels said he is glad to have Raji back this year he stated Raji told him he is feeling young again and is hungry to prove he is still a force to be feared in the middle of the defense. If BJ can get back to his 2010 form he may just be that force the Packers been missing the last few years.
With Guion also returning and rotating with BJ they both should stay fresh to provide the big bodied run stoppers which was a major weakness last season. Having those big guys taking up blockers this year will also open up opportunities for Daniels, Jones, Peppers and Neal to get pressure on the QB’s. Did you notice I said Neal there and not Matthew’s? I believe Clay will be starting at ILB along with Barrington this year until they can develop whomever they draft and also bring Bradford along one more year. Now I am not saying Matthews will stay in the middle because he won’t. He will move all around like last season to confuse the OC and keep him guessing where Clay will line up. But the main reason the Packers run defense will be better this season is because Raji and Guion will be solidifying the NT position.
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Go Pack Go!