In case you missed it, be sure to check out soon-to-be Cheesehead TV correspondent Brian Carriveau’s take on the maturation of the defense in Year Two of Dom Capers’ tenure. It’s an excellent piece and it’s just a taste of what you can expect from Brian starting in July.
Reading Brian’s post really got me thinking some more about what we’ve discussed a couple of times already this offseason – namely that a large part of the improvements you’ll see on the defensive side of the ball will come from adjustments made by Capers.
That said, there should be (and, in my opinion, will be) marked improvement from at least one individual:
Below is a great example of some of the raw ability Jones displayed when given one-on-one opportunities last season. (As an aside, that is the 23rd overall pick being whipped by the 218th overall pick. Ahhh, the Draft…)
Just a great job of getting Oher’s hands swatted down and catching the big-guy flatfooted. (I’d also point out how the man coverage helps the pass rush here. You hear me Dom?)
What Jones needs more than anything are some well-practiced moves that he can counter the bigger tackles with. As 2009 wore on it became pretty clear that the book on Jones was that once he got into a lineman’s body, he was pretty much done. It would behoove him to work in something other than an outside speed move or a straight up bull rush which were pretty much his two go-to methods of rushing the passer.
Overall, I think the guy has got all the tools he’ll ever need, he just needs to keep improving, taking the coaching and utilizing it each and every day. A full offseason in the program along with a full complement of reps with the first team (remember, Jones didn’t take over until the Packers lost not only Kampman but Thompson as well) will have Jones more than ready to contribute to what should be an improving defense.