Gilbert Brown. Grady Jackson. Ryan Pickett.
Run stuffers of the modern era. With coaches worried about Pickett's health and conditioning, who do we have that can step up and meet the challenge of plugging up running lanes, penetrating O-lines and digging graves for QB's? Colin Cole and Johnny Jolly are likely candidates, but show me a time this off-season or last season where either one of them did a good job of clogging the running lanes without Pickett.
And behind them?
Second year man Daniel Muir, rookies Conrad Bolston, Alfred Malone and recently acquired from the Intense Football League- Rodney Allen. (who I hope is the next Ryan Grant). According to Tom Silverstein -
In the three exhibition games the Packers have played without the injured Pickett, they’ve allowed opponents 372 yards rushing and a 3.9-yard average.
Those aren’t horrible numbers, but starting running backs such as Kenny Watson, Frank Gore and Selvin Young have combined for 100 yards in 18 carries (5.6 average) against the Packers’ No. 1 defensive unit. Against Denver on Friday night, the middle of the defense was the primary reason the Broncos rushed 28 times for 131 yards (4.7).
5.6 yards per carry. Ouch.
There is talk of a trade, but who and for who? Every die-hard fan knows that a 350 pound man does not a good defensive tackle make, nor are there many good DT's in the NFL and so they are coveted and overpaid. Plus I find it ironic that the Packers are looking for a trade when they traded the very man they are looking for in March of this year.
I jokingly made a forum post over the weekend entitled what will be Ted Thompson's biggest mistake of this year's off-season- letting Favre go or trading Corey Williams to the Cleveland Browns. At the time, I thought it was a funny question for our Packer Fan Forum members, now it actually might be the question of the year. I was watching last year's highlight video and watched the play where Williams pokes the ball out against the Redskins and Woodson runs it back for the score. Good stuff.
The Packers kept six defensive tackles last year, with Harrell now on the PUP list, they have more room for Pickett, Cole, Muir, Jolly and whoever wins the rookie DT sweepstakes. With linebacker being so deep this year, maybe they will do something they haven't done since 2000 and keep seven linebackers.
Then we will really see something we haven't seen yet.
Bob Sanders creativity.
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