I will admit to being excited yet skeptical when the Packers hired Kevin Greene to coach their outside linebackers two years ago. Living in Carolina for four years when he was with the Panthers, I got to see him play quite a bit and I loved him as a player.
But when it came to the idea of the Packers being his first full time coaching gig (he had been a coaching intern for the Steelers during training camp in 2008) I was lukewarm at best. Yes, he was a passionate player with an amazing drive that made him one of the best pass rushers ever in the NFL. But I was reticent about what kind of a teacher he might be. (Not that I had anything to base this on mind you. But I'm a fan. It's what we do.)
Needless to say, not only has he done yeoman's work with the outside linebackers, he has squeezed every bit of productivity you could possibly hope for out of a clown car-like procession of outside linebackers opposite Clay Matthews. From Brad Jones to Brady Poppinga to Frank Zombo to Erik Walden, the Packers defense has barely skipped a beat regardless of who the Packers have had on the right side.
I mean, read that list of names again. A seventh round pick, an undrafted free agent, a mid-season street free agent - and Brady Poppinga. I mean, that is not exactly a cattle-call of All-Pro talent on display there. And yet Greene has lined each of them up at some point this season and all of them have acquitted themselves admirably. (Admittedly, some more than others)
Having watched Erik Walden spring to life against the Bears, I just thought it was time I paid a little respect here in my little corner of the Internet. The guy is doing one hell of a job his first time out as a coach.
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